Issue 16 - October 18 04
“Education is there to brainwash people”
The Quench Inter view
Technology quits talkin’ jibba jabba Digital: The gadgets you must own
Interviews - Fashion - Gay - Travel - Music - Books - Mr Chuffy - Film - Arts - Food - Going Out
Music: Razorlight live Fashion: Get naked Features: Treguard’s back
Satisfy your thirst... 4 6 7 9 15 16 19 20 23 34 36 44 49 50 53 55
Harold Bishop excites O ne Trick Pony
Debate chase the fox-hunting question Mr Chuffy takes a damn good beating Nick Frost slacks it down with Intervie ws
Features campaign for the return of Noddy Travel take more than their mum to Iceland It’s Mardi Gras time with G ay
Fashion wear their politics on their sleeve M usic: Razorlight brighten up the Great Hall Digital on the student gadgets you must own Film are on fire with Denzel Washington Ethan Hawke puts pen to paper in Books
G oing O ut get sweaty in the name of rock Food test drive the latest dieting craze Tho m Airs sees nothing extreme with sport It’s DC G ates - but not as we know him
Executive editor Gary Andrews Quench editor James Anthony
Arts Debbie Green, Laura Quinn, Natalie Slater Blind Date Lisa O’Brien Books KerryLynne Doyle Columnist DC Gates Cult Classics Catherine Gee Debate Jessica Webb Digital Simeon Rosser-Trokas Fashion Perri Lewis Music Jon Davies, Sam Coare Features Emma Langley, Hannah Perry Film Craig Driver, Alan Woolley Food Mari Ropstad Gay Ian Loynd Going Out Dave Adams Interviews Will Dean One Trick Pony Geordie Chris Photography Luke Pavey, AJ Silvers Travel Sarah Cummins, Laura Tovey
Contributors Thom Airs, Fergus Alexander, Bill Bones, Greg Cochrane, Maria Cox, Steve Crofts, Sarah Crosby, David Ford, Melissa Green, Dan Hartley, Claire Hooker, Elgan Iorwerth, Andy Johnson, Richard Lilly, Kristy Marsh, Marz, Tom McEnery, Terry Paul, Johnny Rees, The Ghost of Riath Past, Rich Samuels. AJ Silvers, Rob Sharples, Tina Stephenson, Rebecca Thompson, John Widdop, John Williams, Hannah Muddiman, Shell Plant, Richy Pearson, Reshma Patel, Liam Nicholls, Kyle Evans, Chris Martin, Kat Brown, Amy Smith, Laura Davies, Rob Telford DC Gates Photographers and illustrators Jimi Williams Proof readers Thom Airs, Katherine Mallam, Alys Southwood, Ellie Power Cover design Gary Andrews, Will Dean
Quench 18 10 04
s planned, the previous editorial raised some eyebrows, in addition to (hopefully) providing a diverting read. Perhaps I owe an explanation for that little snapshot of a day in the life… Gonzo journalism is a highly subjective and extremely personal form of writing (it has also been referred to with less flattering rhetoric). It was first conceived, though not named, by one Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. To most, he is known as the colourful character played by Johnny Depp in the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. A potted history of Thompson is not required here; interested parties should check out the 1971 book as a starting point. It came from his tendency to miss dealines by faxing his copy in at the last minute, in time to be pressed, but with no time for editorial correction. Thompson regards Fear and Loathing as a failed experiment in Gonzo. As with all journalism, Gonzo is intended to be an objective record of events, in pure unedited form. In short, the ever-elusive TRUTH (in big captials)... However, Thompson himself edited and rewrote Fear and Loathing five times. Gonzo is a self-referential device, but that doesn’t make it a postmodern falsehood. Good examples of this style are full of sarcasm, humour, profanity and exaggeration -What Thompson wrote is basically true, although satire is used to drive the point home. This is one reason why I stand by my decision to include features like Mr. Chuffy. I don’t believe anyone has a right to police the tastes and humours of others. Fiction is often the best fact. Which leaves me with a dilemma. Have I completely undermined my position as editor of this magazine, by admitting that I am, amongst other things, a recreational drug user? Or, was it a concocted fantasy, with anecdotal evidence, and mere shreds of truth? In my view, this cloudy distinction is half the fun. And furthermore, it completely absolves me of any blame, because I can just claim to have made it up. Neat, huh?
4 One Trick Pony
Quench 18 10 04
This week I have been mostly...
(Underrated) The Euro I'm shortly going to be emitting noises along the lines of 'fuck the pound', because the Euro is ace. It doesn't have the Queen on it (although she was pretty fit when she was younger), and you can spend it all over Europe without having to pay to swap it for local wonga, which means you can afford to break a note on the plane home to buy a beer. Bollocks to what Brown thinks. Or the Spanish barmaid I was trying to chat up over the summer, for that matter. Quite why I brought up currency preference I still don't know, but I went right off her when she told me she wanted pesetas back.
Neighbours Now that term has once again begun I only see Neighbours once a day. I'm gutted. The programme just keeps on getting better, especially since virtually every character is either going to jail or rutting like they've just come out. The potential combination of the two I'm not going to delve into, but with Lou and Darcy sharing a cell, who knows. Darcy would fuck anything. If somebody could just shoot Lyn Scully in the face, Neighbours would be verging on perfect. The new character, a lesbian, should also spice things up no end. Oh, and Harold Bishop looks just like my old man.
...snowed under. The restart of term has seen me going from a state of sitting on my arse doing bugger all, to sitting on my arse scribbling furiously, without a game of Championship Manager played for over a fortnight - definitely hectic. I did manage to disprove my own predictions of two issues previously, by going out midweek and still make it into my lecture at 9am the following morning. Although I must admit I was assisted in that regard by a challenge from a housemate and by my phone making sounds in the morning. Never again. Not midweek. I can't hack it anymore, which I accept is pathetic. I'd retract my offering of sleep as overrated from a few weeks ago but I'm far too stubborn. It's a far cry from my first year - all that time ago - when I had nothing to do with my time other than drink. If I don't organise my time better OTP might be reduced to pictures of my arse for light entertainment rather than the tremendously witty and well-written specimen you hold in your hands. Maybe to give myself more time to write I can fly around the world really quickly and go back in time just like Superman. Not that it did him any good. Geordie Chris
Harold: not a geordie
(O v e r r a t e d) Pavement Cyclists Sometimes they really fuck me off. The footpath is for walking on; that's why it's called a footpath - yet every day some clown on a bicycle comes pelting down the pavement, narrowly avoiding collision and then blaming me for being in his way. Or coming along behind me and ringing his bell in an attempt to get me to move. It is illegal to cycle on the footpath - so use the road. Road too dangerous? Then bloody well walk. The next one is going to feel my wrath, and be unceremoniously dumped out of my way in the road. Or a skip. The Guevara Brand I can't go anywhere these days without seeing Argentinian communist guerilla fighter Che Guevara's ugly mug staring at me from a T-shirt or a poster. There's a shop in town even sells a Guevara guitar. Advocates of the Guevara brand are often those least inclined to socialism, and many don't actually know who he was - such as a chap with a Che tattoo because he thought it "looked cool". The irony of this, of course, is that as a commie Che Guevara would despise the mass commercialisation of his face. â€˜Adelante Commandanteâ€™ indeed.
Nike for twats
( Le g e n d )
n these times in which we live, when the novelty music market has been cornered by South Wales' very own Goldie Lookin' Chain, it's easy to neglect the creative output of other musical genii, such as The Bloodhound Gang or Kevin Wilson. It's also easy to forget that Cambridge University's Professor Stephen Hawking is not just a remarkable theoretical physicist, but has a glittering second career in the world of ‘gangsta rap’. No, really. The Hawkman has been "dropping science on your ass" for a long time now, and his greatest hits A Brief History of Rhyme is available for pur-
chase at www.mchawking.com, and contains DJ Doomsday’s "funky ass beats" complementing perfectly the computerised lyrical genius of Hawking on classic tracks such as Fuck The Creationists, E=MC Hawking, All My Shootin's Be Drive-Bys, in which the Hawkman demonstrates the projectile motion of a bullet using some rivals from MIT as a target, and Entropy, which was proven to be an invaluable source of information for me when I was revising my secondyear Thermal Physics module. Some examples of the finer MC Hawking lyrics can be found in final thoughts, below. Better than GLC.
MC Hawking Hawking mugshot
( T o s s e r )
he unfortunate recent death of scouse hostage Ken Bigley in Iraq last week is a symptom of the worsening terrorism/hostagetaking situation in the country. A speedy resolution to the problems and victory over terrorism is hindered by those that choose to acquiesce to terrorists' demands, such as this issue's Tosser, new Spanish PM José Rodríguez Zapatero. The Madrid terrorist atrocity that claimed the lives of 200 Spaniards was tragic, but to then withdraw Spanish troops from peacekeeping
operations in Iraq and give the culprits what they wanted does nothing but send the message that terrorism is a tactic that works: this will ultimately result in more attacks and the deaths of yet more innocent people. As Neville Chamberlain discovered on the road to WW2, appeasing an aggressor only makes him more aggressive, and on top of caving to alQa'eda-related demands, the Socialist Party Prime Minister’s newly-friendly approach to desired Basque independence is also unlikely to result in "peace in our time".
José Rodríguez Zapatero
"Dr Dre can suck my dick, that bitch got no Ph.D, I lost count of mine, I got stupid wack degrees." -- MC Hawking, from The mighty Stephen Hawking.
final thoughts (...)
"I explode like a bomb, no one is spared, my power is my mass times the speed of light squared. Hoes on my tip, 15 bullets in my clip, my hand rests heavy on my pistol grip." - and on E=MC Hawking.
Foxhunting Johnny Rees
Terry Paul FOR
hat is all the fuss? What is all the hysteria? We all know that the Labour Government has just placated the ignorant city dwelling electorate by forcing a Bill through Parliament which bans Fox Hunting to divert the attention away from domestic economic problems and the ill conceived war in Iraq. Unfortunately, all the politically-correct cretins have fallen for it. Lets get a few facts straight for you ignoramuses who couldn’t identify a fox if it ran out and bit you on the arse. If any of you ‘weekend country visitors’ could only understand the destruction and carnage that a fox reaps upon its victim then you would vomit. Have you witnessed a pair of foxes ripping apart a Ewe giving birth to a lamb? Killing the mother and young, the intestines dragging behind the Ewe whilst she tries to resuscitate her young before succumbing to a slow and painful death. Ever witnessed a chicken being torn apart by a fox then just left to rot? And it’s this vermin you want to protect? Are any of you Barbour coated, green wellied, hiking type morons, who tramp across the countryside on a weekend admiring the views? Have you ever stopped to think of the thousands of hounds and horses that will have to be destroyed? You probably don’t. You all have no conception of what the countryside is all about. You live in the suburbs or the inner cities and have the arrogance to believe you know better than us ‘bumpkins’ who have only lived in a rural area all our lives. I could have written 4000 words or more on this subject. There are 318 registered hound packs in England and Wales. Just count the number of dogs that will be destroyed. There are 184 Foxhound packs recognised by the Masters of Foxhounds Association each with over 30 hounds per pack, that’s over 5000 dogs to be killed. Happy? You city boys and girls come and do it. You kill them. You take away the carcasses. You wouldn’t have the guts! Over 914 businesses are associated with hunting, which together employ over 8,300 full time employees and 3,200 part time workers. Come on, you hand them their unemployment cards. All this is because of a cuddly little bushy tailed natural born killer. Cheers!
t’s bloodthirsty, barbaric and completely unnecessary in the new millennium. People are quick enough to jump on their high horse and preach about ivory ornaments and bullfighting, yet turn a blind eye to the mutilation involved in foxhunting. How can anybody with an active conscience possible justify this form of brutality? As if this isn’t bad enough, they even have the audacity to dress up, prance around on daddy’s prise horse and call it ‘sport’. Such aristocratic Price Charles wannabes make me want to physically vomit! What pleasure can anybody extract from chasing a defenceless creature until it eventually collapses only to be ripped apart by a pack of hounds. Sorry, but this does not sound like fun to me! Obviously pro-hunters have no other form of entertainment. Maybe such upper-class toffs get tired of dusting heirlooms, walking around country estates and breeding with relatives. Apparently it’s still possible to go foxhunting with six fingers... Normally, the feeble excuse is that it’s a "way of life" that must be upheld to preserve an established rural livelihood. Excuse me while I shed a tear. Even worse, the huntspeople insist on brainwashing and exposing children to such displays of violence. Why not treat the youngsters to a midnight showing of the Exorcist just to guarantee the nightmares and twistedness. It’s disgusting! The story just keeps getting worse. It is the weakest, slowest and youngest that are most vulnerable – yes, the cubs! Imagine the entertainment value and breathtaking spectacle in watching a baby fox being torn into pieces…limb by limb. It is literally a living rope in a tug of war. Unfortunately some people get seduced by the pro-hunt propaganda and actually believe that it is a better death for the fox! This is the greatest load of bullshit yet. It is messy, bloody and painful – don’t believe it’s a quick and easy form of pest control! I’m not endorsing the fighting that often accompanies anti-hunt protests. Simply distract the dogs with food whilst confusing them with amplified recordings of barking. These measures are just to fill in while we slowly come closer to the humane solution. A complete ban on foxhunting is the only way to move forward. Leave the killing behind!
Quench 18 10 04
Mr Chuffy Investigates Domestic Violence as a Competetive Sport
he painful images of domestic violence are all too salient in an increasingly graphic media: plastic mops furiously snapped in half, battered microwaves, cheese graters left on draining boards for literally days - the list is INEXCUSABLY long. The scope of this terrible affliction, is sadly not confined to inanimate objects -- who amongst us have never quietly witnessed a loved one getting barged by a relative? Domestic violence wrecks lives, and according to government statistics, is on the increase -- with a recent police finding indicating that unreported attacks have tripled a staggering three times in the last 120 months. However, this twat of a problem does not stop here. The recent decline in popularity of Curling, thought to be due to climate change, has led to a renewed interest in the antiquated Tudor game of Ye Olde Wifey Bashing. Domestic violence as a recreational activity is thought to date back to Elizabethan times, where following the Armada, the Queen herself believed that Spaniards were attempting to infiltrate the country by dressing up as people’s wives. The Monarch decreed that all were to beat their spouse ‘on ye off chance’ they were big hairy male foreigners. This caused much confusion in rural Yorkshire. Public exhibitions of spouse hoofing were organised as a collective act of defiance against the aspiring invaders to these fair shores, with regional events expanding into national tournaments. Unfortunately, what was once a harmless display of national unity has sur vived to become a despicable 21st Century legacy of Neanderthal man. The 1923 Act Against Domestic Violence as a Competitive Sport and Stuff merely forced the now thriving practice underground, a place usually reserved for trains and badger baiting. Police resources are stretched to
the next morning”. It is rumoured that the wearer of the England number 19 shirt in Italia ‘90 chose to bear the number in memory of the record number of points scored in the amateur DV league the previous season. While spectators and ex-footballers alike enjoyed the Walk Into the Door Relay, I spoke to event organiser and political activist known only as ‘Chester’, regarding governmental proposals to clamp down on this most disgusting of illicit pastimes. Chester plans to arrange a mass demonstration to Westminster in opposition of the plans. “First it’ll be domestic violence”, he explained, “and then before you know it, they’ll have banned cheese. It’s , you know, political correctness gone mad.” At this juncture, I noticed my makeshift spouse had begun steadily to deflate, thus with the bitter taste of something decidedly bitter in my mouth, I opted for tactical retreat. With such blatant depravity, is society doomed to the fate of the proverbial monkey on a landmine? Well according to one societal expert asked, no. Society has begun to fight back, with the frontline of The War on Domestic Violence as a Competitive Sport manned by popular music icons. Ms. Spears experienced worldwide success with her ironically titled assault on domestic violence Hit me Baby One More Time. Similar exposure of the problem was achieved in the 1980s by Michael Jackson’s monkeydangling Beat It, despite the obvious masturbatory undertones. Science, so often a bit silly, has provided additional assistance, with preliminary findings from the USA indicating that possession of a firearm can reduce levels of domestic violence. Society may survive, but there will be much internal bleeding. And she might be a little dappy too.
buggery, but with the introduction of the Internet, sick sickos can organise domestic violence ‘meets’ with the ease of buying a puppy. So, still fresh with the stench of incredulity, I put a cover over my head and with little respect for personal safety, followed a cyber-lead to Dagenham and the South-East “Domestic Violence Regional Finals”. In order to gain entry, I was accompanied by an eightfoot inflatable replica of Flipper the Dolphin disguised as my wife. No questions were asked - just another example of the kind of warped individuals we are dealing with. During the Trip Down the Stairs steeplechase, I spoke to Natalie, who, due to fear of reprisals, would only talk to me dressed as a 65 year-old Vietnam Veteran. What could I say to this poor lady with two black eyes? Nothing: she informed me she’d already been told twice. “It’s my own fault really”, she meekly exclaimed, “I looked at him funny”. I felt sickened. The game is swelling in popularity and money - to the extent that competitors in other sports are changing discipline, with aged footballers forgoing a spot as Resident Miserable Bastard on The Beeb and switching to smacking their bitch up for dollar (and “fun”, obviously). An ex Leicester City star told me, “I always used to hit her below the neck. It’s less points in the match but nobody asked her questions about the bruising when she was on telly Collymore: used to play for Leicester
8 I n t e r v i e w
Quench 18 10 04
Behind the music Greg Cochrane talks to the The Music, Britain’s scally-rocking, flare-wearing Kings of Kippax
t’s a quiet drive that surrounds The Music, a silent steel spine that underpins the whole shebang. Not the monkey-man arrogance or bravado you may expect from four frustrated students spat out of Leeds playing stoner dance, threatening to be the biggest British export in years and picking up fans quicker than you can cough ‘scallies.’ Crikey, they even had the audacity to call themselves The Music - cheeky pups. Two years on from the cheekiest of entrances, their second effort sees them return in a more mature, beefy and powerful frame of mind. Back with a "bigger and fatter" new sound. "The first album didn’t sound like us, because the guitars weren’t as large as they should have been," protests drummer Phil Jordan. A re-working then, and a lengthy stint holed up in a studio with acclaimed producer Brenden O’Brien in America. "He was an inspiration in the way that he would push you" muses Robert Harvey as he leans back on his chair. "The one thing about all of us is that we all need a bit of a kick to make us get down to doing something." So, to the time the band spent in the US, a place of wonder, a place of exceptionally chubby people, and a place where those with more millions than brain cells sip cocktails together. "I fucking hate it, there’s no character to it" interjects baby faced bassist Stuart Coleman. On the subject of LA, Rob concurs, "its all fake tits and plastic smiles." Ok, and what about the American people? "Sound." Great, and what about George Dubya and his chances of serving a second idiotic term? "Ignorant prick" quips Rob, "Last time I saw the polls, Bush was actually up ten points or something like that. I’m totally amazed at how that has happened. Every country is gonna have an influx of idiots gathering
together somewhere though," sighs Phil. Further probing on the subject sees the softly spoken sticks-man go on to describe how he finds voter apathy amongst young people [both American and British] "disgusting" and that there are "so many people around at
“Blair and Bush? They don’t give a fuck” - Rob Harvey our age that complain that there’s so much shit going on, and when it comes round to vote they don’t actually fucking vote. It’s total ignorance." Conversation quickly meanders between the subjects of Iraq, (Blair and Bush "make out that they give a fuck, but they don’t give a fuck about the country they’re occupying, all they care
about is what they can... rape from whatever country it is"-Rob). Education, ("Education’s just there to brainwash people I think."-Rob) and strangely, GCSE music, ("Imagine back in day though, Picasso comes along, now he’d fit no criteria at all for artists around, he would have been an F student."...Don’t ask!) Yikes! Better cool the political debate and bring things closer to home with talk of new album ‘Welcome to the North,’ what’s it all about? Adam explains, "It’s about a love/hate relationship with home, which is the North for us." Surely there’s nothing to hate about the pie-scoffing folk of Kippax? "It’s just all of the negative attitudes... it started to irritate us." There’s that quiet drive again then, four teenagers tired of the myopic mind-set of those around them, pack up their ambitions and set about taking the North to the rest of the world instead. The Music’s new album Welcome To The North is out now. The Music (below): Duke of Edinburgh hikes have never been so noisy.
Über Slacker King of Zombies
Nick Frost; star of Shaun of the Dead talks to Craig Driver about fame, friendship and ginger pubus.
n recent months, Nick Frost has been receiving the kind of exposure that would seem at odds with his collection of laid back comedy creations. His star turn in the recent Rom-Zom-Com Shaun of the Dead, finally delivered on the promise shown in Cult series Spaced and catapulted him into the limelight and out of the shadow of perrenial best buddy Simon Pegg. Whether it be Spaced’s Territorial Army stalwart Mike or Shaun of the Dead’s Cornetto loving zombie killer Ed, Nick Frost is set to continue his one man conquest of all things off-kilter with the release of his Survival Guide TV Series !!!!Danger, 50,000 Volts!!!
in America on the 24th September, and they took to it really well. Me, Simon and Edgar Wright just got back from a three week tour promoting the film.”
Quench: With the release of Danger, 50,000 Volts you seem to be having a fair bit of fun with some very dangerous tasks. Were there any particular favourites?
Q: You didn’t approve of the running Zombies then?
Nick Frost: “Well, i’m actually a bit of a coward. The whole series kind of reminded me just how fragile life is. I mean I’m scared of rollercoasters. But you see I have this life theory called “Fuck It Syndrome.” So they had me wrestling alligators, finding land mines. You name it we covered it. At one point in the second series they had me driving a hovercraft. It flipped right over and i ended up being hospitalised for a while. But they’re a good bunch of guys really.” Q: I see a certain Mr. Pegg pops up in the DVD extras with some rather large teeth in a lesson on how to survive a zombie attack? NF: “ah yes, Dr, Richard Fell. I think he had the teeth left over from Big Train. He’s a good boy Simon. We’d thought of doing something like that for a while. We’ve been best friends for ten years, so it was a good laugh. We recorded it on a ranch owned by these real “Howdy Partner” people.” Q: Congratulations on Shaun of the Dead. How did it feel to outgross the Dawn of the Dead remake? NF: “Don’t forget 28 Days Later. It outgrossed that one too. It actually came out
Q: What did you think of the Dawn of the Dead remake? NF: “There were some excellent moments, like the shooting Jay Leno rooftop scene, but the whole point of the first film was that they were stuck in this mall; in the remake they go on a boat to an island. I mean the whole point of the original was that it criticised culture and everything.”
NF: “Not really. I mean, it’s like having hot ice. Zombies are inately crap. I mean individually they’re shit; they’re inexorable! When they stutter it gives you time to choose your weapon. I mean, if they’re running, you can’t bloody shoot them, can you?” Q: In Shaun of the Dead and Spaced, you seem to have perfected the uber-slacker role. Did that take much practise? NF: “Yep, I’ve been training extensively for 10 years. Smoked a lot of bongs, drank a lot of pints. It took a lot of extensive personal sacrifice for those roles.” Q: I guessed as such. Do you ever tire of working with Simon Pegg, or is it a continual love affair? NF: “That will never die. We’ve been best friends for years. It’s great because you have a natural shorthand; a reason; a dynamic, when working together. It’s so brilliant when you get to work with your best mates for a living. Me and Simon have just co-written a new comedy series for Channel 4 called La Triviata. It’s based around a weekly pub quiz team. I’ll star in it, but Simon’s currently writing a new film with Edgar. It’s a British action cop film. There really hasn’t been a good one unless you count that Cannon and Ball one.”
NICK FROST: All round fantastic chap Q: Talking of films, I hear you’re to have a cameo in the new George Romero film? NF: (Sounding very excited) Oh yes, me, Somin and Edgar have walk on parts as Zombie extras in Land of the Dead. It’s awesome. George has got over 5000 Zombies all over the place. He’s the Zombie pope; the Don. He just rang us up and said our faces were just right for Zombies. Apparently, Shaun of the Dead is his favourite Zombie film, apart from his own, obviouisly. At this point Quench decide to ask if Nick Frost would be kind enough to answer a few our readers questions. Thankfully, he agrees. Mat Croft: Was your moustache in Spaced real? NF: “Yep, both series were real. Edgar has them in a matchbox on his dresser.” Andrew Seward: Is there any truth in the rumour that you and/or Simon are ginger? NF: “No, not at all. I do get ginger though. My pubus are sporadically ginger.” Stephanie Fuller: What eating plan, if any, did you undertake in order to look the part for Shaun of the Dead? NF: “Thank you Stephanie for your concern, but i have since lost a couple of stone and had a new haircut.” !!!Danger 50,000 Volts!!! is out now and reviewed on p. 39.
Going in Zane
Radio 1 Kiwi DJ Zane Lowe talks to Sarah Crosby and Laura Quinn as he takes his show on tour
fter taking over from Steve Lamacq on The Evening Session last year, and continuing to man MTV2’s Gonzo, it’s hard to get away from Zane Lowe. Lowe manned the decks at the Freshers’ Fun Factory. Quench caught up with him before he dashed back to London. Quench: Zane, how are you liking Cardiff? Zane Lowe: “Oh Cardiff man, Cardiff is the raddest! It’s mad, you know, what are we doing? Playing records, and it’s so much fun, it’s the most fun in the world!” Q: What about the Gonzo tour (for MTV2). How much involvement do you get in choosing which bands appear on the bill? Z: "We leave that up to a guy named David Morgan. He’s a Scottish bloke and he’s really sound. But that doesn’t mean that all the other people at MTV2 don’t know what they’re doing. I mean, we pride ourselves on being pretty up on our game." Q: So what’s it like working for MTV2? They’re pretty major… Z: "But they’re not, that’s the beautiful thing. It is huge as far as the viewers are concerned, but they’re not in terms of us cos’ there’s only four or five of us (in the studio). MTV2 is quite small. We all hang out and we talk shit, we fight, we argue, we get drunk, we’re all friends. My mother knows everybody who works at MTV2." Q: When and why did you switch hemispheres to the UK? Z: " It was 1997. There were a few points that made me move. I was bored at the time, I was very far away. I’d broken up with my band and my girlfriend, so it just felt like the right time. But I didn’t make any decision, it was my
older brother who booked me a ticket and went "y’know, you should go to England cos’ I think you’d be good at doing music television out there." Q: So you were already in music TV? Z: "Well I was in a hip-hop band for seven or eight years, I was producer, rapper, we were like a fairly big act. We won music awards, did tours and all that shit, but then it got to the point where I just wasn’t making any money out of it. So somebody went, "Well, if you want to, be a tape op", which is a fairly low form of employment, "then I can give you a job." I was unemployed, I’d been working in bars for three years, I hated that. Three months later there was an opening on a dance/hip hop/ragga show, and then 9 years later, here I am."
“Put a potato on TV for a month and everyone will go: man, it’s that fuckin’ spud, that shit’s off the hook!” Q: Does it feel weird to be famous now? Z:"Well I interview famous people… But you notice when I go out there tonight no one gives a fuck about me, but the minute I play the good music they give a fuck. Im just a conduit, that’s it.” Q: But you are famous for being on TV. Z: “Yeah, but that’s a really fuckin’ vacuous thing. You could put a potato on television for a month and everyone’ll go ‘Man, that’s that potato, that’s that fuckin’ spud, that shit’s off the hook!’ But for me, I’d rather do what I do, and if anyone gives a fuck about what I do, i.e. my involvement in the music and the culture and whatever then that’s great. But I don’t do it for the fame, I do it for the music.” Q: How did you feel when you joined Radio 1 and realised you’d be taking
Zane at Fu n Fa c to r y on Steve Lamacq’s spot?" Z: "It was terrifying. He’d been on for ten years, and the people I was working with, I was really walking into their environment, so it was a really scary situation. I’d say it took about 3 months before me and Annie (Mac, now a Radio 1 DJ in her own right) and Rob got really close, and then after that it was really smooth." Q: Do you think that you opened up the possibility for those more specialist shows to get into the line-up on Radio 1…" Z: "yeah, the specialist stuff is just rockin’ it, from Mike D to Nihal to Annie to Steve, to fuckin’ Trevor, everyone’s at Radio 1’s so stoked at the moment." Q: Finally, what are Zane Lowe’s tips for the future? Z: "I think 65 Days of Static are brilliant, the 9 Black Alps are gonna be absolutely massive, Go Team are really big, The Departure are gonna be really massive. There’s so much great shit man, it’s really hard to play everything we wanna play"
Radio One’s newest dance DJ drags Rebecca Thompson onto the dancefloor
f you like going out dancing, chances are you will like Annie Mac. She's the type of DJ shapethrowers pray for. The music she plays is all about making sure the people on the dance floor are having a good time, it's not about making her look cool, and it definitely isn't about wheeling out the same old Cypress Hill, Dee-lite and Blackstreet favourites (although I do love those songs). Her Radio 1 show on Thursday nights is an eclectic set: she says at the beginning that there are no rules, she just plays anything that makes you want to get up and shake your behind in a very energetic and completely uncool way. Her set at Cardiff on the first Monday of term hammered into place what her show would lead you to expect, and gave us lots of tracks that I'd never heard before but which made me want to dance until the death. When you're doing a tour of Freshers' weeks across the country though, you do have to play what hundreds of drunk 18-year-olds want Annie Mac: to hear. But apparently, Cardiff Freshers are happier to look beyond the mainstream than most: "Once you get to the universities, you realise that you're playing to a load of pissed up freshers who just want to dance to stuff they know, and why
“You’re playing to a load of pissed-up freshers who just want to dance” shouldn't they? So I've been playing a lot more commercial stuff, but tonight was wicked, it was the first night that
I felt like I could play something different. From the beginning I had kids wanting drum ‘n’ bass, and I was so happy to play it for them. Before, I only ever got told to play the Happy Mondays." Annie started working as a broadcast assistant on Radio One before someone on Mike Davies' show liked the way she said 'punk,'
How many women have disappeared into their bedroom and made an album? It's definitely getting better but there should be more of it, and I'm going to try and encourage it on the show. It's not like girls are any less musical or less talented, it's just a matter of feeling like you can do it." While we're waiting for a crusade of
The headphones are to drown out Zane Lowe and got her to record some voice-over drops for The Lockup. Four years later, she's worked on the overnight shows, sat in on The Breezeblock, and now has two hours every Thursday to herself as part of the new evening lineup. She sticks out because she is still one of relatively few female DJs around, for whatever reason, girls still don't seem to DJ or produce music as much as boys: "There's loads of female DJs on the radio, but in terms of specialist club DJs there's not that many. Men are just more obsessive in terms of music and machines and buttons and knobs and faders.
music producing women to rise up and take over the world's dancefloors, go and see Annie Mac DJ. And if, like me, the bank has got tired of lending you money and you are now forced to face the world sober, you'll have no problem, because the music is fantastic and gives you the energy of approximately 9 shots of vodka. We now just need every venture onto the dance-floor to be this good.
Quench 18 10 04
Thai-m to start teaching Emma Langley gets more than she bargained for volunteering in Thailand
oluntary work abroad is almost fashionable. There are dozens of organisations that offer you the experience of a lifetime and the chance to make a difference. But at what consequence to you and the people you are trying to help? You can pay in the region of thousands to teach, build houses, or just live in a remote village for the ‘sheer experience’. I didn’t want to feel the industry was cashing in on me, but using that time honoured cliché, I wanted to make a difference. With this in mind, I arrived in Kanchanaburi, two hours North West of Bangkok, to meet the project organisers and the other volunteers. What no one reckoned on was a three hour journey on a local bus, followed by another three hour ride down what was mostly dirt track while we tried desperately not to fall out of the jeep, all in monsoon rain. It was past midnight when we arrived in Kriti Lang, a hill tribe village in mountainous jungle near the border with Burma. We waded our way through long
grass in the pitch black, to a large open hut raised off the ground on wooden stilts, before our Thai leader produced candles and a lighter. Our first night under mosquito nets was the night the tiger ate the village cow. I was doing the project through UNA (United Nations Association) Exchange, conveniently located in the Temple of Peace next to Bute building. UNA Exchange was set up in 1975 as an off shoot from the United Nations Association. My financial situation suited the short term three week projects that were on offer, and I was impressed at how much the organisation passionately cared about the projects they arranged, hence a weekend orientation including cultural debates, travel information and past volunteer presentations was mandatory. All the specific information I had was from an information sheet produced by the partner organisation in Thailand. According to this we were teaching basic English and working with a health care centre that had been set up to help com-
bat the lead poisoning problem in the area and to educate the villages about clean water. It was lucky I had been told at the orientation weekend that ‘disorganized’ was the wrong word to use. Most of the information proved to be largely inaccurate for one reason or another, and if I wasn’t prepared for it, I probably would have been rather disgruntled with the whole thing from the start. We were not the first group of volunteers, but there had not been many before us. It seemed the only major difference made by the western world was the remnants of a lead company: a joint Thai-Australian venture in the 1920’s that was shut down in the 1980’s when the Thai government faced up to the lead poisoning problem. This was all over a hundred miles away from Kriti Lang, but the poison in the soil was carried down the Kwae Yai River that flows through the entire province. Anything grown on the soil, the trees, and natural stream water is likely to be poisonous. This does not stop the villagers eating the fruit, and the water is the only water the poorest villagers have access to. And then there is the Malaria mosquito, rife in this particular area of Thailand.
The Karen are the largest of the Thailand’s hill tribes who make their money from tourism. This village still turn to traditional hunting and logging; the manner in which they do both, is highly illegal. Their native language is an ancient form of Korean, so communications involved a different three way translation between us, Sid our Thai leader and the villagers. Only some of the villagers spoke Thai, the oldest could only speak Korean and children only learn Thai when and if they go to school. We had two hours of Korean lessons every night from Metro, a respected elder in the village. Most of the children were shy at first, with the exception of the two that lived in the house next to us. As the first week progressed, they seemed to be with us twenty four hours a day, including meal times that became strained with a food shortage and children who were always hungry for any food they could get. It emerged that the man they lived with was a kind villager. We never discovered why eight year old Shupa had no parents, and the twelve year old was frequently referred to as ‘sick’ by the other children. We were never able to discover his name so the Italian volunteers named him Cicciottobella, which translates as ‘beautiful chubby’. To us it looked like he had Downs Syndrome, the villagers just know that Cicciottobella’s mother had Malaria when she was pregnant with him, and as a result he is ‘different’. Cicciottobella’s mother is now mentally retarded and ostracised from the rest of the village. She spends most days hunched over an opium pipe and draped over her shoulder is a Liverpool scarf with ‘You Will Never Walk Alone’ clearly readable; such is the irony of globalisation. We spent the first half of the project doing renovation work: finishing off the new shop and laying the floor.
Bricks and mortar are a real rarity here as most of the houses are built out of wood, and tools are desperately lacking. We were very proud of building a clean water tank which collects rain water from a gutter. The second half of the project was spent mostly teaching English and running general activities for the children. This was really where we got to know the villagers a lot better. Most of the children were too young to learn English, but the women were by far the most receptive audience. Most of the young mothers were younger than us and represent the group largely ignored in terms of education. As the children, I have never known anyone find origami frogs so entertaining, but considering they had never had crayons or paper, the children were fascinating to watch. Cicciottobella could not join in, but instead meticulously arranged every crayon he could find in order of colour. Sometimes, it all seemed rather futile. English is undeniably an advantage to learn, but most of these children would not even begin to learn to speak Thai for another five years at least. They are strangers in their own country and understood only slightly more than we did. The Thai government has long attempted to integrate hill tribes into main stream society. Ten kilometres away in Kriti Ban, three Queen’s Guards have established a permenent post. They are the real volunteers. Their commission was to set up the health centre and provide general education on clean water and malaria in the village. Kriti Lang is ten kilometres and a hundred years from the Guards post; here the village resembles a village in the modern settlement, there is a shop, a school, cultivated public land, and a much lesser form of poverty. As for our villagers, who spend their lives living on such an environment, they survive, strange as this might sound. Due to increasing recog nition of Malaria, and treatment available only 10km away, the astounding figure of 90% of the population dying from Malaria twenty years ago (as we were told by the authorities) no longer exists. The villagers are poor but proud people; they were very appreciative of the work we did, especially renovation and building work, but they didn’t see themselves as either desperate or despondent for change. This is the only life they know. Children are malnourished and hungry, but their environment makes them
exceptionally robust and ingenious. We ended up with six children in tow one weekend on a marathon trek, and in some ways they are probably fitter than overweight western children whose spend hours in front of a screen. The village wasn’t crying out for help; people seemed mildly happy that we were here, if not largely indifferent. My attitudes were quite patronising really. I think a lot of people are under the impression that you will arrive and start building new houses and wells and start making a difference to poor people straight away. Wrong. You arrive and you are strangers in their village, their village that has been functioning the way it has for hundreds if not possibly thousands of years. People are not suddenly going to stop using water from a polluted river just because a foreigner who knows nothing about their way of life tries to tell them it is cleaner. Change is a delicate and gradual process brought from within their society before the pitside world. Other backpackers said they had trekked to the Karen villages. I did that whenever I managed to negotiate my way past the snake on route to the toilet at night, and it wasn’t all put on show for me. I was told prior to going that the actual work was only secondary to the relationships built and that is definitely true. We never even so much as went into the health centre we were supposed to be working in, but I’m not sorry. Volunteering has not given me a ‘better’ insight into a country. I spent a very small amount of time in a culture isolated from main stream Thailand; Thailand popular with backpackers because of its stunning beaches and western communications. But I do see things differently.
Hannah Perry thinks that this is one hero who’s praises haven’t been sung enough
is story is one of the most inspirational in modern sport. He has battled physical and mental setbacks to rise to the top of his field. He is the most respected and revered cyclist alive today. Lance Armstrong was born in Plano, Texas on 18 September, 1971. He won his first triathlon at the age of 13 and turned professional when he was 16. When he graduated he realized that cycling was his sport and so he ditched the running and swimming. Success came sporadically in the first years of his cycling career. In 1991 he became US National Amateur Champion, but came a disappointing 14th in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He then finished last in the Classico San Sebastian, but came back to win the American Triple Crown in 1993, netting the $1 million prize money in the process. He also became the yougest ever winner of the World Race Championships in Oslo that year. This refusal to be put off characterizes Lance Armstrong’s life. His career record shows two things. Firstly, that he is a natural athletic and a born champion. Secondly, that he has had to work extremely hard for what he has achieved. This combination is what makes his story so remarkable. In 1996 Lance suffered from bronchitis and became crippled with pain. Tests revealed that he had advanced testicular cancer which had spread to his brain and lungs. Doctors predicted that his chances of recovery were less that 50%. After two major operations (the removal of one testicle, followed by brain surgery) he embarked on an extremely strong course of chemotherapy, which was still in the stages of research. Against all the odds, Armstrong was riding again after just 5 months of illness. With his trademark positive attitude he claimed that cancer was ‘the best thing that ever happened to me’. His response to his illness was to
set up the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) in 1997. The foundation works in four areas; advocacy, education, public health and research. They claim that in fighting cancer ‘knowledge is power and attitude is everything’. They serve cancer sufferers, their friends and their families physically, emotionally and practically. They have also provided grants that fund research ‘that is not readily fundable from traditional sources’. The LAF also enabled Lance to meet Kristin Richard, whom he married in 1998. They had their first child, a boy, in 1999 and then twin girls in 2001. Lance triumphed over adversity to achieve success in his professional and personal lives. Even though, when he returned to cycling, he performed disappointingly in a series of races, with the help of his friends and teammates, he learned to love riding again and resumed his training program. He developed his own training methods which, helped him to regain his levels of fitness and have since influenced the way that other cyclists train. Now the Tour de France became his main focus. This was an unusual decision for an American cyclist but one that worked for him. In 1999 he won with more than a 7 minute lead over his nearest rival. In 2000, despite blowing a tyre in the Pyrenees and crashing into a wall at 45mph days before the competition. In fact he has now won the Tour de France 6 years in a row. He is the only rider in history to have achieved this feat. In the 2001 Tour, Jan Ullrich, who was riding just behind in second place at the time, lost control and fell 20 feet into a ravine. Armstrong stopped and waited for him to recover, explaining that ‘it’s not fair to take advantage of a situation like that.’ Every time Lance encounters failure he derives strength from it and answers it with phenomenal success. It is for this reason that AskMen.com say, ‘If you had to pick any athlete to lead you into war, you’d ultimately chose Lance Armstrong.’
If you idolize an unsung hero and want them raved about on the Features pages, write 750 words about why they are great and e-mail to email@example.com.
Bring Back Noddy! Features
Are the children of the nation being let down by broadcasters? Tina Stephenson champions the cause of the golden oldies
nevitably, after a night in drinking with my housemates, the conversation turned to children’s TV. Not the manby-pamby trash that passes as intellectual fodder for the under5s these days. I mean the glory days of children’s entertainment. Having spent Friday night remembering crawling into my parents’ bed to watch Going Live, waking up with a hangover and switching on The Saturday Show seemed oddly unfulfilling. Maybe it’s me getting cynical in my old age, but Fearne Cotton seems to
Knightmare: devillishly scar y have become a presenter by virtue of having blonde hair and too much make-up, rather than any discernable talent. She just doesn’t cut it when compared to Philip Schofield and Sarah Green. Anna (the closet tomboy) waxed lyrical about Thunder Cats and Heman. ‘they were so much more exciting than any of that My Little Pony crap. I wanted action.’ Rory and Katie, on the other hand, preferred Green Claws (‘still a classic,’) and Postman Pat (‘I liked singing along to the tune at the beginning,’). Personally I liked Pigeon Street. I have to wait until the later stages of the conversation before I mention this one. I need to know that I can trust the person I am talking to. Too many times I have encountered blank faces and cries of ‘Whaa?’ When I thought I knew Rory well
enough, I asked him if he had ever watched it. His eyes lit up with recognition as he sang back ‘Lo-ong distance Cla-ara!’ at that moment our friendship was sealed. We like to think of ourselves as the honest children’s TV lovers. This is in comparison to those who lie about their age. They know who they are. I don’t mean that they shave a few years off (in the manner of any selfrespecting Hollywood diva). No, they actually pretend to be older. They are easily identifiable; ‘I used to be obsessed with Bagpuss when I was lit-
Teletubbies: just say n o tle,’ seems incongruous coming from a 19-year-old. Another variation on this is the video owner. You may own Trumpton on VHS, but that doesn’t mean you were a fan. It’s like saying you saw Robbie at Knebworth (when you mean it was on the telly). If you weren’t there it doesn’t count. I have a cousin who is four, and I am shocked (and appalled) at the disastrous selection of programs available to her. Anyone can see that the Teletubbies will do nothing for her mental development. Mr Bean: the Animated Series will surely turn her brain to mush. The fact that these attempts at educational programming are simply not good enough is proven by the fact that some of the oldies still remain in circulation. Repeats of shows such as The Wombles and Padington Bear
cater for some of the public’s demand. Videos are also available of the Mr Men and other classics. If children are the future, shouldn’t we try harder. What hope does the country have if we let their grey matter turn into baby food? Only a rather gory solution to child hunger in the third world. My solution is this: resurrect the golden oldies. By that I don’t mean create pale imitations (for example the pap that was the technicolour Bill and Ben), but actually bring back the originals. Raise them from their slumbers in the tomb of TV past, if you
Noddy: has a car will. By doing this we would secure the future of society. We all know that it is not parenting techniques or the quality of schooling that shapes the generations to come. On the day of reckoning, they will be judged according to their knowledge of Noddy and Charlie Chalk, and how scared they were by Knightmare. I firmly believe that this is the best way to plan for the future of the nation. Programmers will be able to sleep soundly in the knowledge that the future population will turn out just like us. By that I mean obese bingedrinkers with an irrational desire to regress to their childhoods.
It was a nice morning of slipping around in the gusts, but as we returned to the vans we noticed that all the windows on the windward side had been smashed. The fierce wind had picked up gravel and literally sandblasted the sides of the vans, breaking windows and stripping off paint. We limped the vans back to Hofn as the storm worsened and sheltered out the storm in some little log cabins available for hire at the campsite. We found out later that the police had closed all the roads just after we had left town, as broken windows were a common event. After couple of days spent sheltering out the storm and playing cards, we continued our trip. We had overcome the window problem with some tough plastic sheet and gaffer-tape and drove south past more dramatic glacier and mountain scenery of the Vatnajokull glacier and Skaftafell National Park. We clearly hadn’t learnt from our experiences that the Icelandic weather was telling us to stay to the beaten path, as we decided to drive inland again to view the 1,491m Mount Hekla. An active volcano for centuries, Hekla is one of the most famous in the world. Old folk tales tell of the belief that the souls of the condemned trav-
elled through Hekla's crater on their way to hell. Little did we know that our drive would take us to where hell froze over. Driving up into the mountain chain, the weather again began to draw in, first heavy rain, then hail. As we drove higher, the hail turned to snow and the track quickly disappeared. We stopped as the ‘white-out’ became complete; all we could see was white. We returned to Reykjavik later that day and after our natural wilderness adventure of the last two weeks, entering the outskirts of Iceland’s only large city was like entering another world. The city is home to over half the island’s total population of 295,000 but still has a village feel to it. Attractions are limited to museums, art galleries, parks and expensive knitted jumper shops. I enjoyed an afternoon wandering around the city and soon found myself by the large harbour. Fishing has long been the life-blood of Iceland’s economy and it is hard to imagine what else the people would eat, as most food is expensively imported, or grown in huge greenhouses (only 0.07% of the island’s land is suitable for arable cultivation). Huge old whaling ships, complete
Postcards from France By Robert Sharples
As I write this I’ve been oh la la, what a week. t the teachers I’ll be in France ten days, me a half dozen classes en working with and tak ranflat and someone to gua with their help, found a ling bow al loc a at sed pis ally tee it, gotten monument per er oth ry eve rk and find alley only to walk into wo of me. nt fro in ss cla a in ore nt son from the night bef horizon is the ever-prese The only cloud on the French paperwork. had but at the last count I The flat I want is tiny, – not es opi toc pho and ms reached 15 pages of for s and nths’ worth of payslip including the four mo . mit sub to had tor ran bank statements my gua s if you can actually rent les The real beauty is that I have nt, ista ass lish Eng an you’re earning money. As ee e to deny it (and the thr a regular salary, but I hav and say I’m a student it) forms I have to prove bigger y way I can get a flat because that’s the onl e the giv n eve ld cou I m. than a Talybont bedroo law the and h euros in cas estate agents a million
T r a v e l 17 Do it yourself * Flights to Iceland with Icelandair start at £130 * An average campsite in season will cost between £5-15 per person per night. * Food is expensive, so taking some of your own rations can keep costs down. * Warm clothes, even in summer are a must! with harpoons sit idle, slowly decaying, the relics of another time. The final night in Iceland we watched the northern lights shimmer in the sky for the last time, and awoke to bright sunshine. Even though our trip was anything but sunny, my memories of this dramatic and diverse country will always be warm.
it as a says they can’t accept t. ren the guarantee on d fillThe one form I don’t min ate. reb t ren or L, AP ing in is the in flat new When I move into my rly nea im cla can I so, a week or the local half the rent back from sa course, it’s 11 pages plu Of . ice off y social securit mit per nce plus the reside ld couple of photocopies, cou I en wh es car o but wh (four pages to get that) ld even cou I y? uar Jan in sum have 300 quid lump . ermill, I’d make a killing invest the money in a pap
18 T r a v e l
American Adventure (in Britain) We know not everyone an afford to swan off to a different continent -- so here’s how to take advantage of those who can: £1600 for 20 days’ work, the chance to travel... and a coachload of Americans. Could this be a dream job? Kirsty Marsh thinks so.
n January of this year, I was trawling through my emails in the library (as you do when you’re revising for those all important finals). Among the plethora of penis enlargement adverts and advice on how to make your woman scream, I stumbled across an advert for a job. It came from a recruitment agency called Milkround, whom I must have given my email address to at some Freshers’ Fair in the hope of getting a free keyring. The email was from a travel company called EF, asking if I wanted to get paid to travel around Europe. I did of course, but didn’t think I’d get anywhere with it, and chucked it in the post, for shits and giggles. Two weeks later, I got a letter inviting me to an all-day group interview in London. Everyone else at the interview was at least six years my senior, spoke eight languages fluently, had lived in every European country and seemed to have been an influential member of the UN at some point. We were told the job involved executing a pre-arranged itinery for a coach of American teenagers and their teachers. You travelled on the coach with them and sorted out all their food, accommodation, sight seeing; anything and everything really. Somehow, I got through the day and was called back for the second round of interviews and training. They must have been short of staff. Why else would a 21 year old, English Lit student with no more experience than an inter-rail ticket to her name, be left in charge of a coach full of yanks? Who knows, but if I’m eligible, anyone is. EF run tours of all different lengths all around Europe, and you get to choose which one(s) you take. I chose two around Britain, as it was my first time.
One was quite easy – 1 week long, 1 group of 20 teens travelling from London to Canterbury to Coventry and back to London. They were doing a religious pilgrimage… by coach, but they were very interesting, lovely people. My favourite point of the trip was when the rude-boys (they did look like they were straight out of Compton) all bought silver crucifixes from Canterbury Cathedral. They rocked them all week, kissing their teeth and trying to be P Diddy, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there is something distinctly un-bling about a chain from an English church gift shop. The other tour was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done, but also one of the funniest. I was lucky enough to get a wicked coach driver called Andy and together we danced 50 Americans of all ages through London, Stratford, the Lake District, Edinburgh,
York and North Wales. I was up at six every morning and never got to bed before midnight, because I was either organising, planning, panicking or drinking. That aside, it was by far the most fascinating job I’ve ever done. Most of the teenagers actually went against the American stereotype propagated by everyone’s favourite dumb Texan. They were incredibly inquistive, articulate and polite. In the minority however, sat a choice few rednecks, Joeys from Friends and Peters from Family Guy. My advice to you is: don’t delete every email you receive. One of them might just end up earning you £1600 for 20 days’ work.
G a y
Quench 18 10 04
Cardiff Mardi Gras By Ian Loynd Gay Editor
elebration and pride are the themes of Cardiff Mardi Gras and this year’s event did not disappoint. It is the second largest of its type in the UK attracting thousands of LGBT people to our capital. Festivities took place in Cooper’s Field, with delights such as a lifestyle tent, market place and children’s activity area. Entertainment came in the shape of Darius Danesh, Charlotte Church and Noel Sullivan, of Hear’say fame. The additions of night club DnA and dance night Saviour to Cardiff gave a very different feel to the evening celebrations. While it was refreshing not to be cramped into one small club, it did lack the usual friendly sense of community. A spokesperson from Cardiff-Wales Lesbian & Gay Mardi Gras committee told Quench: “We have a twin focus.
Firtsly, on combatting homophobic hate crime. Mardi Gras forms a central part of Cardiff City Council’s antihomophobic hate crime strategy. Secondly, on celebrating diveristy. Mardi Gras is a space where LGBT people are all welcome. “This year’s event was the biggest and best in Cardiff yet. We attracted a record number of people for a troublefree day. Mardi Gras has been independently assessed as bringing in well over £1m per annum to the Cardiff economy.” Mike Smith, of Stonewall Cymru, told Quench: “This was another amazing achievement from a group of dedicated volunteers with limited funding. Particularly welcome was the Cardiff Council Leader pledging to put equality as a prioirty. The challenge now is to use the annual event as not just a great party but as a springboard for improving the lives of Wales’ LGB community.” Celebration and pride? Cardiff has got it just right.
On main stage: Darius Danesh
45,000 join the celebrations
20 F a s h i o n
Quench 18 10 04
Fashion meets politics By Perri Lewis, Fashion Ed.
outure is rarely realistic. The size six models don’t reflect the average woman, and the weird and wonderful creations they wear are not something most would choose on a daily basis. It is incestuous; it has a relationship with the beautiful, the high street and the world of fashion, but it usually fears to step outside into reality. Dior dared during Paris Fashion Week. English and Arabic versions of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ formed a background to what culminated in one of the week’s more political moments: two models stepped onto
the catwalk sporting floppy hats, frizzy hair and t-shirts emblazoned with ‘cute’ anti-war slogans. ‘Dior not war’ and ‘Dior for Peace’ were the two messages John Galliano, Dior’s top designer, chose to put across to fashion’s elite. Sometimes, it seems, the couture houses can be aware of what’s going on in the real world. Realistically, it is unlikely that Dior were actually trying to promote antiwar beliefs because of their passion for the cause. It is far more probable that it was simply an attempt to attract as much media attention as possible, especially as their Spring/ Summer 2005 collection was hardly
the lavish display of extravagence usually offered by Galliano. Unsurprisingly, it worked. Then again, associating with a subject so high on the world’s political agenda was always going to attract a little attention. The Times were obviously impressed; they reported how ‘Dior stretch[ed] the imagination’ with a colour photograph covering half the front page. Whilst the legitamacy of Dior’s intentions may be questionable,it seems that in a rare turn of events, Paris Fashion Week may have witnessed the real world and the world of fashion cross paths for just a moment.
Brush past the surface of what looks like a basic publicity stunt and Dior’s intentions become even more questionable. Rather than simply being an attempt to secure press coverage of their latest collection, it may have been an attempt to deflect media attention away from other political events, off the catwalk. John Galliano has always been a target of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) because he persists in using real animal fur in his designs. The organisation has tried to reason with him before, showing him the horrific reality of the fur farms that his work supports. Continued failure led them to get personal. Designed to coincide with his show in Paris Fashion Week, their latest anti-fur campaign uses the worst photograph of him they could find. Entitiled ‘Fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people’ (see left), they aim to drive home their anti-fur message through public humiliation. Galliano is not the only victim; Donatella Versace’s love of fur has also lead her to fall prey to one of these deeply personal attacks. Like most people, Fashion Desk has no sympathy for either designer. There’s no reason why they should continue to use real fur in their designs. Fake it; everyone else does. Luckily enough, The Capitol Centre ain’t no Dior so there’s no need to feel guilty about supporting their Charity Fashion Show in the Great Hall on October 27. Tickets are available for £10 from the Box Office.
Fashion’s darker side Fashion Despite the claims of many top designers, fur will never be cool. Top campaigners PETA will do anything to make sure it stays this way.
he reality of fur farming is rather grim: few realise how black the darker side of this fashion actually is. Foxes are kept in tiny wire cages from birth, encrusted with dirt, excretment and clumps of fur. Investigations have found that when farmers refuse to fork out for humane lethal injections, they often insert an electric rod in the rectum and a metal detector into the mouth of the young fox and electricute it until it dies of a horrific heart attack. Death is not instant. And you think factory farming is bad. For over a decade, PETA are the kids who have lead the battle against the fur trade. Whilst their use of guerilla tactics and personal hate-campaigns are widely controversial and heavily critisized, they have learnt that sometimes they are the only way to get the message across. Much of the action PETA have taken has been hands-on. Their supporters are no stranger to storming the catwalks of well-known champions of fur; 2002 saw Versace, Valentino and Gautier shows interupted by anti-fur protestors with banners drumming home the message that fur kills. Runways have been covered in red paint and even PETA’s exectutive director has pelted fur-clad models with rubber ‘maggots’ at Marc Jacob’s 2001 Autumn
show. Whilst many couture houses refuse to pander to these campaigns, PETA have had huge success in persuading some designers to be more ethical in their work. Stella Mc.Cartney has fronted one of their promotinal videos and Calvin Klein agreed to become fur-free. They have also convinced many modelling agencies, such as Milan-based Christian Jacques, to refuse to allow their models to work with fur. The organisation has also had a huge influence on those not directly involved with the world of fashion. Trendy New York nightclubs Spa and Tunnel have adopted a no-fur dresscode in support of PETA’s work, and filmmakers such as Olivier Stone and Wolfgang Peterson have pledged to keep real fur away from their film sets. Of course, not all PETA’s work has been so militant. The infamous ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ advertising campaign begun in 1991 and has been successfully used throughout the years. The original advert featured rock band The Go Go’s, but many famous faces have appeared more recently. 2003 saw PETA launch a calender featuring some of the world’s most desirable women sheading their clothes in a protest against the fur trade. Pamela Anderson ‘gave fur the cold shoulder’, whilst Charlotte Ross (below) says ‘she’d rather show her buns than wear fur”. Dominique Swain (left) thinks that ‘kindness is a class act’ and Sheryl Lee ‘wouldn’t be caught dead in fur’. Profits from the calender went to helping PETA continue in their fight against the fur trade. Who says that sex doesn’t sell.
Dominique and Charlotte: getting their kit off for a good cause
The fashion misadventures of
lily griffiths After last week’s incident with the jacket, the girl, her fist and my face, it came to my attention that animal rights are currently very... ‘in’. I’ve tried sitting on the fence before, but it wasn’t pretty. Trying to prize the splinter out would never have been possible if it wasn’t for my compact mirror and tweezers. I asked Daddy for advice about the issue. He informed me that our family are middle-class, we live in the suburbs, and have little truck with the countryside, so apparently I’m a perfect antihunt candidate. I was more than content with my chosen position, something a girl always finds pleasant. After lunch with a couple of friends, I found that most people I knew shared the same views. I’m always reassured I’ve made the right choice when everyone else is doing the same thing. The girls thought it was great that I’d found an issue I was so involved with: they hadn’t seen me like this since I bought the whole collection of Breast Cancer Care badges. I still wear them occasionally; it makes coming across as a caring person so much easier. As always, Paris Fashion Week was to disrupt everything. Last year buying a ticket forced me to live without food until I’d saved up enough to fly over. This year I was to find out that one of my favourite couture houses wasn’t exactly in line with this seasons cause. I had never really thought about where fur comes from before. I mean, it’s not like Lycra; the label doesn’t say what percentage of the garment is made up of the skin of little furry creatures. The dilemma I faced was tough. A fur coat is always a stylish addition to a winter outfit, but animal rights are so in. It seemed like there was no way through this without being deemed hypocritical. I thought about it for a bit and suddenly realised that only time would sort out my problems. By the time the weather is cold enough to warrant donning a fur jacket, animal rights will be so last season. I won’t have to worry about being hypocritical at all!
23 R e v i e w s
Quench 18 10 04
Which way is out? LIVE: RAZORLIGHT The Great Hall
Friday 8th October
Never judge a book by its cover, or so the saying goes. Behind the whirlwind of NME-led hysteria, the Razorlight tale would make for a pretty damn good story. After all, in 2 short years, the band have formed, signed and put out one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. They’re cool, young, and to use that all important buzz word, British. Throw in some high profile festival appearances, and we’ve got ourselves a read. But everyone knows that all good rock’n’roll stories have a twist: Ozzy’s infamous animal nibbling, Motley Crue’s ill-fated car accident, and Axl Rose’s destruction of marriages, friends and bands. So what next for Razorlight? Headlining a sold out tour, its make or break time: can they step
up to the plate and fulfill the promise every publication in Britain has been singing about? Its not pretty. Ok, so the catastrophe that was The Duke Spirit (why oh why) and the monotony of Dogs (Run of the mill pap) didn’t put me in good spirits, but if anything positive can be taken from tonight, its that at such an early stage in their careers, its not gonna hurt them in the long run. What may sound promising on record, certainly doesn’t on stage. It’s limp, lifeless and, frankly, shit. There’s no craft, no creativity, and a seemingly embarrassing inability to entertain. Playing back-to-back songs for an hour may be their idea of fun, but it certainly wasn’t ours. Say hello, tell us a joke, run around for a bit, learn to juggle: I don't care, just give us something to look at. The end remains unwritten - where
the band goes from here will decide whether this unfortunate chapter will remain exactly that, or whether it’s the beginning of the end already. When the dust settles, and the world finally gets an opinion they haven’t just stolen from the NME, it could all end in tears. Next week, after all, will bring a new hero, another ‘best band in the world’, and then the boys will need a different ship to sail on. The lovely glossy photos that grace the covers of every music mag this side of the sun will disappear, and the band will become just another midlevel excuse for a rock band. If Razorlight want to stay at the top, they’re gonna have to learn, and fast, ‘cos if this is the future, kill me now. Sam Coare
24 A l b u m s
Quench 18 10 04
and ideas. The standout track here "Little Yellow Spider" is like a nursery rhyme in its simple beauty, but with a bigger twist in its tail than any little piggy. A beautiful record for fans of the neo-acoustic movement. 9/10 Jackson Bollock
FATBOY SLIM Palookaville
Skint The first track Don’t Let The Man Get You Down opens with a funky almost soulful feel to it. Fortunately, this is continued throughout the majority of the album, with some really subtle and effective beats and rhythms. Mi Bebe Masoquista has a crisp beat and sharp, satisfying baseline, with a touch of Leftfield about it. This works as compensation for the sonic mess that is Slash Dot Dash. Beats, melodies and baselines are piled on top of each other fighting for any one of them to be fully appreciated. Whilst eclecticism is arguably a feature of Norman’s work and the foundation for his popularity, in some of these tracks, the structure and pace of the beats jump around so much that the song never really grips you. Mind you, it’s the same complaint I’ve had against Fatboy from the start, and if you’re a fan, you’ll probably love it. Oh, there’s also a cracking remix of ‘The Joker’ by the Steve Miller Band. 7/10 John Williams
Rough Trade Shops: Indiepop 1 (2CD’s)
Mute Or otherwise knowns as shoe gazers of the world unite. One for the real indie die hards here, as all the obscure bands that your older brother probably loved are collected on to two discs of indie pop heaven. My Bloody Valentine fans maybe interested to hear the strangely joyful Paint A Rainbow. Also, you may like to hear the cringey, hippy sounding Primal Scream tune All fall Down glad to see they improved with age. Although, despite having the best song name ever, The Pooh Sticks I know someone who knows someone who knows Alan McGee quite well is a bit of a stinker. But, beside from a few dodgy tunes, this is a fantastic exploration into alternative music in the decade that taste forgot. 8/10 Bill Bones
DEATH IN VEGAS Satan’s Circus
BMG/Warner Chappell Death in Vegas’ fourth album, including a live CD recorded at Brixton, shows a decided change in direction for the band. The album features no vocals whatsoever. This is instrumental rock approaching its best. You could call it Mogwai for beginners. With a bass and a keyboard death in Vegas have produced an album that is, in the current music climate, quite unique. Great chill out music, yet full of the hedonism associated with the band. 7/10 Elgan Iorwerth
DEVANDRA BANHART Nino Roja
XL Recordings Leftovers have never tasted this good. Recorded in the same session as Rejoicing, this album adds fuel to the argument that Banhart has a seemingly endless supply of depth
Universal Le Tigre return with an album of vaguely confrontational electroclash, an album which is slightly rawer and less cuddly than some of their previous work. The sound is along the lines of Chicks On Speed, or at times even Peaches or Bis, with loud synths and vocals but little other instrumentation. Nothing on here is to the standard of previous benchmark Hot Topic, though it does come close in places, such as on anti-war anthem New Kicks, or the gentle bleepy rhythms of Viz. Enjoyable, but not as good as you feel it should be. 6/10 David Ford
The Very Best Of Macy Gray
Epic Her collaboration with Erykah Badu is still awesome and "I Try", "Still" and "Do Something" still sparkle, but overall there is a terrible mediocrity present and occasionally a right old shite fest: Fatboy Slim look what you've done. Thankfully, it's not chronological; witnessing her career descend was bad enough without having to hear it again on record. 6/10 Rich Samuels
Macy Gray: Dont be such a big head
Ko r n . N o t t o b e c o n f u s e d w i t h Q u o r n .
Albums 25 VARIOUS
DFA Compilation #2
Greatest Hits Vol. 1
Epic/Immortal Korn are ten years old and this album marks their progression from inventive nu-metal pioneers, to mediocre makeweights, resorting to tired clichés, having lost their creative spark. This ‘best of’ is an album of two halves, showcasing old classics like Blind and Freak on a Leash, but reaching them means enduring eight tracks from their increasingly abysmal last three albums and two cover versions of Word Up! and Another Brick in the Wall, which are simply cringeworthy. Clocking in at 76 minutes, this album could be half as long and just as good. Sure, the fifteen year-olds will love it, but for everyone else it proves to be a frustrating experience. 6/10 Fergus Alexander
Original Sound Track
EMI A substantial slice of late eighties excess and early nineties nuance, this soundtrack to the Matthew Vaughn film is a little corker. The Cult's She Sells Sanctuary finally gets the attention it deserves for being the greatest rock song of the eighties, while the Kylie & New Order’s Can't Get Blue Monday Out Of My Head somehow improves on their originals. Mix in a little XTC, Duran Duran, and Joe Cocker and you have a rumbustious and glazed little Pitbull of an album. Have my cake and eat it indeed. 7/10 Cee Dee
ESTELLE The 18th Day V2
One of the most respected UK rappers of recent years, her debut album finds a happy place between the street and pop chart shelving. Part
punking UK RnB, part soul; she echoes the brilliant Missy Elliott without ever standing in her shadow. Expect to hear this bouncing around Talybronx come release week. 8/10
DFA The Rapture are here, as are LCD Soundsystem and Black Dice, whilst newer artists such as Pixeltan and J.O.Y. make their jump from vinyl fetishist's turntables to the mainstream. The brilliant Liquid Liquid, fathers of the post funk/punk scene, are also present and provide the standout track. The third CD is an unrelenting groove-a-thon which has yet to make it back to its slipcase. 9/10 Gage Falsht
THE DECEMBERISTS Her Majesty
Kill Rock Stars Portland, Oregon is about as far from early twentieth century Britain as it’s possible to get. However, that hasn’t stopped the five members of The Decemberists from producing this gorgeous sophomore effort -- a tribute to an older Britain. Colin Meloy sings nostalgic odes to Britannia in a bijou faux-English accent. We get ‘knickers down’ in Billy Liar, ‘pantaloons’ and ‘civvies’, in the WWI ode The Soldiering Life and ‘urchin orphan boys’ in The Chimbley Sweep. The Decemberists still reference their homeland in Los Angeles, I’m Yours and Song for Myla Goldberg, the band remains on a distinctly Anglophile bent and it sounds, well, fantastic. 9/10 Will Dean
DETROIT COBRAS Baby Rough Trade
The Detroit Cobras have suffered from a severe bout of success since pimping their alpha major single Cha Cha Twist to Coca-Cola. Despite this their third album still swings and sneers in all the right directions. Think of a Chihuahua with a case of rabies or a kitten with a concrete mallet. Songs such as Weak Spot and Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat) showcase the Cobras’ vocal dexterity and perfectly pitched machofeminine sass. A band who deserve so much more than they receive.8/10 Cee Dee
Return To V
V Roni Size’s latest definitely emphasizes his continuing theme of variation on the vibes. Being the follow up album to 2000’s great In The Mode , Return to V provides some real catchy drum n bass tunes mixed in with a slightly rnb ‘gangster’ feel. Great tracks include Groove On and The Streets show Roni’s true skill at providing that addictive dnb mixing. Occasionally, the album flows into a hip hop and rnb, not dissimilar to In the Mode. No More and Sing unfortunately drift into a cheesy rnb mood, with some slightly whining lyrics from Beverly Knight and Jocelyn Brown. 7/10 Marz
DAVID R BLACK
Trinity (Part Two)
1000 Watts Execrable, unspeakably English angstby-numbers made by people destined to spend an eternity crawling the toilet circuit trying to grope insecure Placebo fans. The PhotoShop-graduate pseudo-Goth artwork Cradle of Filth probably wet themselves laughing at only masks the utterly weak, undiluted, substanceless three-chord drivel inspired only by chancers with ideas unestimately above their station. A thoroughly unholy Trinity. 2/10 John Widdop
Albert Productions UK Once in a while, you come across a gem. This album is one such example. Happylife, who have already gained the attention of DJs like Jo Whiley and Zane Lowe, have produced a cracking album similar to Snow Patrol, heavier in parts, but just as enjoyable. The only bad thing to be said about this band is that they supported The Rasmus on their recent tour. New band and a new label -expect great things from both! 8/10 Elgan Iorwerth
THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH
Golddiggas, Headnodders & Pholk Songs
Sony The recent trend of MOR cover albums, notably by Paul Weller and Kathryn Williams, is continued here with Beautiful South’s oddly named 9th album. Paul Heaton and gang are long irrelevant but, bless their hearts, they’re still having a little fun. The tracks here range from the predictable, Jeff Lynne’s Livin’ Thing, to the crucial, Blitzrieg Bop by the Ramones and Rufus Wainwright’s Rebel Prince to the downright bizarre, S Club 7’s Don’t Stop Moving and You’re the One That I Want from the Grease songbook. 5/10
Once More With Feeling: Singles 1996-2004
EMI Effectively a best of; this is a musical calendar of sexual dexterity and emotional angst. Never one to shy away from the eyeliner and the sharp quip, Placebo have always been on the verge of brilliance. At last, this collection of their best material showcases them as one of the most
artists can claim to have won the Young Jazz Musician of the Year, and also have produced such bombastic chav-hop like Superstylin? This is a great Best Of, with no major omissions and some fantastic tunes. At the River still sounds as lazy and unhassled as ever, and If Everybody Looked the Same can get any party going. There's something here for everyone and it's worth every penny. 8/10 Reshma Patel
Jive You can't ever accuse Groove Armada of being boring. No two tracks on their Best Of sound at all similar, which just goes to show their inventiveness and innovative style. How many other
Gut As rock resemblances go, looking like a notoriously bad member of a manufactured pop band has got to be one of the least welcome. However, after the impressive beginning, the album
The Hungry Years
under-acknowledged rock bands of the last ten years. Blistering and obnoxious, Molko and Co put the spite and spittle back into gender bender Rock and Roll politics. Songs such as 36 Degrees and Teenage Angst fizz and twitch with a perpetual energy rarely seen. The methadone pretty nephews of Bowie and Bolan, Placebo will always rule the corridors if not the classroom. 9/10 Cee Dee deteriorates somewhat. Making Music is perhaps the clearest example of the trio’s tendency to write self-indulgent, mundane tunes,making it the perfect music to buy a sofa to. Unfortunately for Chung King, the worst is yet to come. Jessie Banks’ heavily distorted vocal performance on Full On, sounds like a parody of a drunk Barry White, and her attempt in sounding big, black and sexy is ridiculous. The Hungry Years is an inventive and varied album, and although it may not be to the taste of everyone, any fans of easy listening jazz are bound to gobble it up. 6/10 Ricky Pearson
ZACK DE LA ROCHA We Want It All
Sony Music-Epic Recordings Anticipated return from Mr. Rage himself, taken from the film Fahrenheit 9/11 which delivers in typical De La Rocha style a venomous lyrical middle finger to the US Government. Rage fans, though, expecting explosive riffs and thumping bass lines, may be disappointed, as the track hardly breaks a sweat. Not bad, but give me the Battle of L.A any day. 5/10 Liam Nicholls
THE DEPARTURE Be My Enemy
Parlophone The wiry guitars and industrial drums of the Northampton boys' chartsmashing debut All Mapped Out remain present here; unfortunately, so do the painfully forced vocals. Their energy just about drags the song through, but with Interpol back - and doing this sort of thing with infinitely more grace - why bother? 5/10 Kyle Evans
THE RASMUS First Day Of My Life
Universal Busted for Goths have managed for the 3rd time to release virtually the same hook-laden song onto the unsuspecting public. The usual quiet, haunting verse and loud, shouty, anthemic chorus are all present as they were on their last two singles. Pop at its most unoriginal. 5/10 Chris Martin
MYLO Drop the Pressure
Breastfed Currently tearing up dance floors across achingly hip clubs across the UK, Drop the Pressure is the sound of Electronica sounding fresh again. Sinister synths and delightfully gratuitous use of the word 'motherfucker' make this the Royksopp and Zero 7 it's okay to like. 'Trash' legend Erol Alkan does a remix too. 7/10. Reshma Patel
THE LIBERTINES What became of the Likely Lads
Rough Trade More wide-eyed wonderment from NME's favourite tabloid fodder. As ever, lyrics are bittersweet but jollied along by punchy rhythms and the general merriment that we have come to expect, while after Doherty's shambolic solo outing here the other week, it's even more of a shame that the band's trademark call and repeats are soon to become a thing of the past. 8/10 Kat Brown
DO ME BAD THINGS Time for Deliverance
Atlantic A dance-floor filler, this is an energetic and satisfying indie-rock. With eight possible vocalists from a nine-strong group, DMBT have nurtured a refreshingly individual sound, whilst at the same time having a touch of QOTSA and Turbonegro about them, which could never be a bad thing. 8/10 John Williams
OCEANSIZE Music for Nurses ep
Look out it’s a bottle of piss: The Rasmus relive Reading
THE OTHERS Stan Bowles Poptones
Any band that will play in your bedroom for a fiver deserves some credit. Urgent, desperate vocals from charismatic frontman Dominic Masters front spiky, frenzied hooks and raw rhythm in this excitingly different rock androll gem. Step out from under The Libertines, The Others, and become the East End of London’s newest darlings. 7/10 Reshma Patel
Beggars Banquet Frenzied enough to make you dirty your undies and challenging enough to make your brain sweat comes Music for nurses from Madchester's answer to Tool:- it's paralleled brutality and elegance will keep psychiatric wards across the country rocking for weeks, until all the patients escape and form bands like this. 8/10 Greg Cochrane
AKIRA THE DON Akira The Don's First EP
Something in construction Sometimes things are just too perfect. Like when the first demo's of Original Pirate Material were surfacing, or DJ Shadow accidentally fucked up the crossfade, the new anti-hero of hip hop Akira AKA Adam Narkiewicz' debut EP bristles with artistic and
WILLIAM SHATNER Common People
Shout The original Captain of the SS Enterprise covers Pulp's council estate classic. Despite the obvious cheese factor, this actually works. Essentially a spoken word cover version, the guitars, nonetheless, crackle and thunder at all the right moments. A twisted and obscure little treasure. 8/10 Cee Dee autobiographical wit, with the monolithic alienation-and-shoplifting Liverpool more Dylan Thomas than Dylan Mills, and consequently incredible. 9/10 John Widdop
Rough Trade This does leave you wondering. Its obvious from the song writing that Pete is talented - he tells a great, if slightly bitter, story. What’s also obvious, though, is that its only with The Libertines that his talent produces something really special. Drop the hangers on and get it sorted! 8/10 Amy Smith
KAISER CHIEFS I Predict a Riot
B-Unique Comparable with every indie band ever, they have most in common with Supergrass, in sound and stance, which would explain and even justifiy my dancing around and singing along. This ping-pongs as mesmerisingly, if not as happily, as their fatty singer arse over titting down the stairs. 8/10 Rich Samuels
L i v e
Quench 18 10 04 GOLDIE LOOKIN’ CHAIN The Great Hall Saturday 2nd October
C o pyright James Perou 2004
AVRIL LAVIGNE Cardiff International Arena Saturday 9th October
"JUMP, JUMP, JUMP, JUMP!" dares Canada’s latest arrival-Simple Plan. Proud to be a modern five piece pop punk outfit combining contemporary thrash rifts with traditional post hardcore punk (similar to Good Charlotte or maybe a variation of New Found Glory). This band who call themselves ‘rock’ were energized with enthusiasm, determined to be loved by the full house as much as Avril Lavigne. An unexciting beginning of plain entertainment was slowly taken over and ended up an ‘alright kinda
The Great Hall
Tuesday 28th September As Robert Harvey straps on his guitar he looks like a rock cherub. A fuzzy haired prophet sent to make his disciples dance like shroomed-out monkeys and holler like maniacs. He even stifles a wry grin as The Music drop the funk-atomic bomb of Freedom Fighters. “I need to shake my blues off, I need love”, wails the pint sized frontman. Cardiff duly complies with a big sweaty love hug. Fresh nuggets like Welcome to the North and One Way In, No Way Out sound massive, conjuring the kind of
night’. Showcasing talent on the guitar and piano, Avril Lavigne spanned her career from her first recording Mobile to her latest release My Happy Ending and most things in between. Poignant intros made it a personal, biographical show, informing fans of her favourite track Together from her current album. Simple Plan were a great support act - no doubt about it. Some may say the highlight of the night! (We’ll plug their album for them-out 25th October). Not to say Avril wasn’t good - but performing LIVE, we have our suspicions. Claire Hooker
supersize Zeppelin-aping riffage that would even give Jimmy Page a haemorrhage and probably wet his pyjamas. As Rob vibrates around the stage with his fire-cracker-up-the-jacksy dancing, Adam Nutter straddles the monitor as if it’s the peak of a mountain, whilst the rhythm department plug away in workman-like fashion. With oldies like Take the Long Road and Walk It still sounding vital, the atmosphere hits a state of rave-esque delirium. Party well and truly into overdrive, the four shadowy figures of The Music stride off the stage and leave the crowd to dance into the night. Greg Cochrane
Think Adidas three-stripe trackies, cheap Argos bling, think McDonalds’, souped-up Fiestas, reefers and Stella. Think Goldie Lookin Chain - 10 (or thereabouts) guys putting Newport on the map by rapping tales of life in the reputedly shitty Welsh city. Whether their anecdotes are genuine, hearsay or just masterpieces of hyperbole, the GLC know how to make its public listen, Saturday night in the Great Hall being no exception. After having turned up somewhat dubious as to what to expect from a bunch of stoners rapping about robots, roller discos and mothers having penises, I was genuinely surprised, and relieved, by their performance. Full of energy and enthusiasm, the crew, whose harebrained names include 2Hats, MC Flatpress, Mr. Loveggs and The Maggot, treated the Welsh-heavy contingent to tracks from their current album Greatest Hits (which, by the way, is their first official album.) Watching The Chain is like watching stand-up comedy set to song. The beats are largely hip-hop based and the lyrics are crude, barmy and utterly hilarious. Already we’re hearing phrases such as "Safe as Fuck" and "You Knows it" in ‘da hood’, and politicians are surely baffled by the track Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do. Finally Matalan will go mainstream with their tracksuit line, and Argos must be doing summersaults over the amount of chunky gold necklaces sold. Less erudite than The Streets, but somehow more respectable than So Solid Crew, Goldie Lookin Chain are the saviours of Newport and the Kings of musical comedy, whether they mean it or not. You knows it. Katie Brunt
THE ZUTONS/ THE FUTUREHEADS The Great Hall
Sunday 10th October What shall forever be known as the most stressful gig of my life. I won’t go into to it in depth, but basically it involved late mates, not enough tickets to go round, missing the start of The Futureheads (blub) and me having to take the photos (sorry Jimmy). I finally got into the gig three songs into the Futureheads’ set, and unless they did something drastically wrong that I missed, they were flawless. Songs such as Stupid & Shallow and new single Meantime sounded tighter than a nun’s crotch and were delivered to a crowd of excited head cases and lucky Zutons fans who would normally never get treated to such a good warm-up act. I think it’s fair to say that everyone who wasn’t one already, went home a fan. Your move then, Zutons. After the pant-wetting joy of the Futureheads the Zutons had a lot to live up to. Receiving an amazing welcome, they started off with Zuton Fever and played a set that included some bsides shying away from the traditional "singles and album tracks" set that fans usually receive. A few new tracks made their way in to the set, one of which sounded suspiciously like an 80’s American cop show. Lets hope it’s not a reflection of the new album then. But for now the Zutons have filled
L i v e 29
the loveable scouse band space left in our hearts by the strange absence of The Coral and for that, we love ‘em. Jon Davies
22-20’S/CATHY DAVEY/WILLY MASON Clwb Ifor Bach
Thursday 7th October The 22-20’s arrive at 22:20 hours (no kidding) and succeed in driving me out of the venue. It's not that they're unaccomplished players, lack energy, have no stage presence or aren't at the noble end of musical re-invention. It's just that they look, sound and act like any other guitar band around at the moment and have a distinct lack of quality material. Plus, they play at the kind of intrusive volume that makes you appreciate the peace and tranquillity of a pneumatic drill. The crowd laps it all up, though. Otherwise, Cathy Davey is an Irish singer-songwriter with enough kept back in reserve and enough grasp of rhythm and melody to one day take up PJ Harvey's mantle of polished, disruptive rock. The highlight of Davey's set was a Bjork-ian rhumba called Trade Secret. The overall impression is that, with the right backing, she'll go places. The same is true of Willy Mason. Geographically, he has toured as far afield as Japan, but have you ever heard of him? Performing a fine set of country-tinged hymns devoted to soul over style, it's artists like Mason
who traval the weary path of nearlyness that illuminate the purest path to re-invention. Rob Telford
THE GLITTERATI Barfly
Monday 4th October Waking up in a stranger’s room, with the disgusting feeling of having bathed in an ashtray, and an intense stench of cheap alcohol; the only clear recollection from the previous night was of the mesmerising leather clad front-man of The Glitterati, strutting his funky stuff at the sweat-ridden Barfly. Their clichéd promise of injecting glam and sleaze into rock n roll’s already damaged veins was more than fulfilled. With determined arrogance, and a spine chilling primal scream, this band have what it takes to propel their unusual style to the forefront of today's monotonous bed-wetting Keane-esque music scene. Supporting my new favourite underdogs were local boys The Martini Henry Rifles. Putting on a great show, I was more than entertained, though felt slightly cheated as they hinted at The Faint-style greatness but never fully reached their potential. Laura Davies
30 L i v e
Outside the Union
Monday 11th October
North Wales’ Gabrielle 25 celebrated the release of their new album, Twenty More Fish in the Sea, with 20 gigs around Cardiff city centre on Monday afternoon. As well as doing a variety of record store ‘out-store’ appearances,the band played at notable spots around the city including Cardiff Castle and the Millennium Stadium. They finished their one day city tour with a proper gig at Callaghan’s later that night. Singer Dan Amor explained the shows were "a gimmick to play on the album name" and they were "knackered" after almost seven hours of playing. Will Dean
TOKYO DRAGONS / WINNEBAGO DEAL Barfly
Thursday 30th September Tokyo Dragons provide a textbook set by all accounts, and win the hearts of many of Barfly’s patrons, but I arrive late – just in time to catch the end, and see Winnebago Deal start. And
they’re the fucking boys. I’ll try to complete this review without using the phrase "The Next Big Thing", but it’s gonna be tricky. How they manage to get such a colossal sound out of just two people is a complete mystery (actually, it’s not – lead singer and guitarist, Ben Perrier just plugs his guitar into a big stack of amps, one of which is a whopping great bass amp). Most immediately striking is how tight these guys are. Then, on closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the reason for this is that they really get off on making a lot of noise. Like some sort of stoner-rock bukkake; everything is taken to excess – it’s fast, sweaty, dirty, and ultimately satisfying. There is a disappointing turnout (there were more people here to see MOR glam rockers The Glitterati), but they don’t care: Perrier is too busy ragging the fuck out of his guitar, and in between screaming his lungs to ribbons, fixes members of the crowd with a glare which seems to imply a grimy sexual arousal. Drummer Ben Thomas looks like a strange fusion of Animal from the Muppets, and the many-armed Hindu god, Vishnu. It’s easy to describe Winnebago Deal by making reference to other bands, most notably Nirvana (the Bleach years) or a pared down Motörhead, but this does them a disservice. Despite similarities to other acts, they do retain enough individuality to stand alone. Each track is welded to the last, no breaks, no thank-yous, no bullshit contrived chat with the crowd, just a breakneck set where never a note is dropped, nor a beat misplaced.
Sometimes, there’s a feeling that they couldn’t stop if they wanted to; the band are being carried along as much as the crowd. The good reception is confirmed when people line up to buy the usual merchandise, CDs, T-Shirts and the like. I’m no exception, and I go home proudly clad in a band shirt. Lucky it’s a red one, because I think my ears are bleeding. James Anthony
JOHNNY TRUANT Cardiff Barfly
29th September Ever since their concrete fist of a debut album 'The Repurcussions of a Badly Planned Suicide' Johnny Truant have been on the very edge of mass critical acclaim. At times hindered by their musical origin of choice, their post-modern thrash metal serves them well at a busy Barfly. Pithy little upstarts like The Lost Prophets or Funeral For a Friend could learn a lot about authenticity and audacity from the Brighton based Quartet. Reflecting the US underground noisecore scene Johnny Truant are suitably obnoxious and blisteringly raw.While they may be held back commercially by their musical genre, Johhny Truant tonight showcase their melody and their might in perfect proportion. New single 'The Bloodening' is deftly played showing the band are beginning to forge new ground to accompany their trademark sound. If they keep this up it shouldn't be long before Johhny Truant are expelled no more from the mainstream. Cee Dee
MARTIN GRECH Barfly
Sunday 11th October Who is Martin Grech? Judging by the number of people in Barfly on Sunday, you would have been forgiven for thinking that Grech was just another act, searching for that something that will elevate them out of mediocrity… Sadly, and I say sadly as a result of the pitifully poor turn out, that is simply not true. You may remember the haunting Open Heart Zoo, the title track of his debut album, from a recent Lexus ad. Grech recorded that album between the ages of 16 and 19, making him, currently, the most prodigious musical talent in Britain. His music is truly unique. A subtle, or not so subtle, hybrid of Thom York and Nine Inch Nails with echoes of the extravagance of Muse and a pure vocal talent that makes comparison to Jeff Buckley justified for once. His album sounds in turns hard, mournful, beautiful and mutilated. Sunday’s gig was especially unique in that it was an acoustic set, just Grech on stage with a guitar. He was haunting. He was troubled. He was melodic and lyrical. But he also performed the hardest, most violent track from his album, capturing its power and psyched-out energy completely. This wasn’t Grech at his best. He was modest and bashful, claiming to have forgotten some of his songs. But despite that, this was a chance to see a rare talent in a small, intimate setting. A chance that, it seems, only
dedicated Grech fans took up. Grech has ‘that something’. It’s just a shame that his PR people don’t seem to know their ass from their elbow, and therefore that he is still such a well kept secret. Hannah Muddiman
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS The Point Theatre
Thursday 30th September This is special. To celebrate their 10th anniversary singles collection, Britain’s best band play in a tiny converted church down at Cardiff Bay armed with only their instruments, about 200 fans and an amazing support band. Admittedly, that’s because the support band were also the headliners. Warming up for the next night’s show in London at this wee venue, Gruff and the boys played two (TWO!) sets of unparalleled beauty. After opening with a spellbinding Demons, the first set evolved into a stripped collection, comprising songs from Mwng, and newer (yet still exquisite) album tracks such as Bleed Forever and Presidential Suite. You don’t have to have been reading Quench for long to have noticed our love affair with the Furries, but their second set, to paraphrase Mike Skinner, could end wars. And because they have enough songs to make other, more popular, bands’ greatest hits look flimsy; we were guaranteed an exemplary run of songs. We certainly got them: Rings Around The World, Ice Hockey Hair,
Hometown Unicorn and Hello Sunshine are quickly despatched. Gruff busies himself during songs by heading over to the bar and eating mini cheddars, but normal business is quickly resumed. The teeming crowd finally begins to pogo as soon as Gruff hits the first bar of Hermann Loves Pauline. After a sweaty International Language Of Screaming we see the familiar sight of Bill Hicks on the projector screen reminding us that "All governments are liars and murderers". This means only one thing. Chaos descends as the crowd scream in unison with an incendiary The Man Don’t Give A Fuck. Cut to the twenty minute technobreakdown and the return of the band for one last chorus. As the band return and break into the refrain from Jesus Christ Superstar, we realise we have just seen a band that are so special, and who have been so damn consistently special over the last decade, that it makes you proud to be Welsh (even if you’re from North-Manchester). Will Dean
THE DEPARTURE Barfly
Friday 8th October News just in: Black is back. It’s back, and this time it's brought along its dancing shoes to add to the eye-liner, symmetrical haircuts and glumexpressions. Standing by the bar, The Departure look like five smartlydressed miserablists with the worries of the world resting on their shoulders. But spot them on stage and it's a different story. From the fizzyandrogynous cocktail of All Mapped Out to the blitzkrieg bop of Be My Enemy The Departure grin like boys who've drank too much irn-bru and posse like those with sophistication in their blood. Mashing together the craftsmanship of the Cure, the style of Franz and the face of Interpol might sound gloomy, but add a dash of game-show bass and a handful of shameless funk and things suddenly look a whole lot brighter. Black is back, and this time it's got a smile on its face. Greg Cochrane
32 M u s i c
Q: How’d it do? CO: It went really well. It got played on Radio One, and the reaction it got was amazing. For a couple of weeks it was getting played all over the place. It was really great cos it was only a CDR so there wasn’t a great deal of money put into it. But luckily, coz of Huw’s (Stephens) contacts and influence in London, a lot of the success was down to his involvement Q: That’s pretty rare for an artist like you, who produces quite left- field and diverse music, which usually tends to get ignored by a lot of the media. CO: Yeah, definitely.
CULPRIT ONE Quench speaks to one of the most exciting producers coming out of Cardiff at the moment about how to get ahead in the music industry
etting your debut single played on Radio One is a pretty impressive feat, so how’d ya do it? Jon Davies asked Cardiff’s own Culprit One what advice he could give students about getting noticed in the notorioursly fickle music biz Quench: So how’s it going? Culprit One: Great, yeah got loads of stuff going on at the moment, probably the most exciting thing is my single Jarred coming out on 12inch. I’m really pleased with it cos it’s on the correct dance format despite the rise of MP3’S and all that stuff. It just
seems to have a quality that’s missing from CD’s Q: So how did you get in to doing what you do? CO: Well I was in a band called Headtest, and we had a single on Boobytrap (Huw Stephens’ record label) and, luckily, at the time they were looking for more electronic stuff to release so they asked me if I knew anyone who was doing that sort of thing and I said, well, l I’ve started making some stuff like that, so they had a listen and decided to release it.
“I remember buying 100s of blank CD’S and thinking after I give these out I’ll get a record deal...” Q: So in terms of writing songs how do develop your music? Presumably it’s a lot different to writing a tune on a guitar? CO: I studied Piano at the Welsh College (of Music and Drama) down on North Road, you know the Royal Welsh thingy? I hate calling it that! So I’ve got loads of keyboards and that’s where most of it starts from just thinking up a melody and building it up from there. It’s nice to have melody in dance, a mate of mine always says the worst two words in the English language are “Laptop set” -- you just know it’s gonna be glitchy and crap. I mean, if you played some of the stuff that’s about to your mates, they’d think it’s shit. Stuff like Autechre gets hyped up in magazines like Wire whilst the rest of the world’s just not interested really.
M u s i c 33 I don’t think I’m quite ready for Brixton Academy yet! At the moment I’m happy playing my stuff at club level. Hopefully what were going to do now is get someone on stage with a computer live, with a program that can, you know, build up beats and stuff, with me on the keyboards and also we’re trying to incorporate visuals a lot more into the set as well. Q: So to what kind of level would you like to take it? CO: Well as big as possible, I mean I’d love to have a headline gig at somewhere like Brixton Academy but you’ve gotta take it one step at a time really. I’ve got a few collaborations coming out and loads of ideas for singles. Q: Are you working on an album yet? CO: We’re gonna do a few more singles first, just to get a bit more exposure. It’d be really demoralising to think you were big then release an album that sells two copies Q: What advice would you give to any students who want get into music?
Q: So how do you go about playing your stuff live? Do you tend to play DJ sets or do it live? CO: We started off as a live band with five of us playing keyboards and a live drummer, the problem with that though was because the beats are so hard it was difficult for a drummer to replicate them live and it’s all about the beats really! So recently I’ve just been playing by myself with loads of keyboards. The live thing is definitely something I’m trying to improve on at the moment, especially since I got signed by Coda (major dance agents whose clients include Air, Scissor Sisters and Aphex Twin). The standard’s gotta go up now!
“It’s gonna take you ages; you’ve gotta want it more than anything” Q: So when are you playing next? CO: Well I’ve just played with Mylo, who’s blowing up at the moment. it’s amazing and towards the end of the month I’m playing with Grand National at Barfly. Then Coda will start booking stuff later on in the year. I’ve gotta develop that more first though.
CO: It’s gonna take you ages; you’ve got to want it more than anything. In the big scheme of things I’ve only made small steps, and I’ve been lucky; some people don’t even get the opportunity to release records in their lifetime. I still work a couple of days a week, and every year I’ve been there since leaving uni my hours have gradually decreased! Q: So basically success doesn’t come over-night then. CO: Oh no, I remember buying a 100 blank CDs and thinking after I give these out I’ll get a record deal. Then you gradually figure out who the jokers are and who actually wants to listen to it. The most important thing is to send it to someone who’ll bother listening to it. Sometimes local labels can be a lot better. Polite persistence is the way forward. Jarred is released on the 25th of October on My Kung Fu and is availabe in all good record shops. Look out for the review in the next issue of Quench
34 D i g i t a l
Quench 18 10 04
Inspect your gadget! Simeon Rosser-Trokas discusses the genius that is the gadget
ince the dawn of time man has loved the gadget in all its splendid forms. But why is this? By definition, a gadget is just: "A small specialized mechanical or electronic device; a contrivance". The definition does not specify that without gadgets your day to day life is somehow devalued and yet this is the case. Gadgets actually make your life better, either practically or simply by their very being. I suspect the cause is genetic; man shares 99% of DNA with the animal kingdom, and so when you think that a magpie likes to steal shiny things just because they are shiny, similarly man must have gadgets just because they exist. Of course, some of us are worse than others, but we are all subject to our inner magpie. Can you honestly point out a man who doesn’t crave the TV remote control? I thought not, so join me if you will in the Top five student gadgets: 5) The Garlic Grater: Yes, to the untrained eye it looks like a scaled down cheese grater; however, the untrained eye couldn’t be more wrong.
It’s a garlic grater, damn it. What do you mean that you’ve never had cause to grate garlic? Well, that’s not really the point now is it? Remember you want it simply because it’s novel. Also, women love it: "Wow! A mini cheese grater, how cute!” It’s a garlic grater, damn it! 4) The remote control: TV, DVD, Hifi, all in one? It matters not. Question: Are you a man? Was that a yes? Well, if so, then it is both your instinct and your duty to dominate the remote control(s) at all times and at all costs. Yes, you really do have to scroll through 500 channels before deciding that you want to watch the first one for five minutes before scrolling again. If you relinquish the remote you’ll end up watching Changing Rooms…shudder. 3) The mobile phone: Yes, it’s obvious. Yes, you all have one. But in the world of gadgets the important thing is: what can it do? Just make calls and send texts, you’re joking? Aren’t you? I weep for you...
If you truly want to keep up with the times then your phone needs to be 3G, play games, play music, record videos, take photos, surf the net and send picture messages to name but a few. Of course you don’t need all those features but the important thing is that you have them. There is simply no better way to clear a room than talking about how great your phone is. 2) The iPod: You want one, I know you do, but you have a perfectly adequate minidisc player. But then again you probably cry yourself to sleep at night too, dreaming of that polished white and chrome surface, the finest MP3 player crafted by man. No one has a music collection large enough to fill one or if they do, they have mistakenly identified the iPod as a tool and not a toy; a heinous crime indeed. Were they not quite so expensive they would indeed be the ultimate student gadget. Alas, that title belongs to another… behold!
D i g i t a l 35
1) Mr T in your pocket: This is without a doubt, the ultimate student gadget. It’s only functions are being a key ring; as well as more importantly reciting one of six Mr T phrases, voiced by Mr T himself, digitised and then captured inside this small orange case. It’s sheer genius lies in it’s pointlessness. You have no reason to own one, other than to marvel at and make your friends laugh. Did I mention that its only £9.99. I pity the fool who doesn’t own one!
Web Corner: For all you internet needs www.chavscum.com
ig gold sovereign rings, bright yellow puffa jackets, gold clown necklaces the size of Mt Everest and, above all, fucking Burberry, innit babs? Is this image making you feel sick yet? I know it is harsh, but very few people have sympathy for those who choose to pay a fortune to adorn themselves in such atrocities, making themselves much more than a sight for sore eyes. Goldie Lookin’ Chain have made a fortune out of poking fun at these so called ‘chavs.’ Recently, I heard a rumour that the production of Burberry caps has been halted as the company believe that the caps have come to portray the ‘wrong’ image. If this piece of info makes you laugh, then check out www.chavscum.co.uk. The peeps that created this site are well up for a laff, like, and aim to get down ‘n’ jiggy wit’ da chav culture. Features include: ‘How to Spot a Chav’, (as if you don’t already know); finding out what your baby would be called in Chavworld; ‘Chav of the Month’; merchandise, (including quality ‘Von Chav’ T-shirts);
and last but not least, ‘Celebrity Chavs.’ Among the Celeb Chavs are Jim Davidson, Blazin Squad and 50 Cent. Did anyone see 50 Cent at Reading by the way? It was hilarious when the bling-blinger threw a tantrum and declared: “Why don’t you like my music you motherfuckers?” Ahem, that could take a while, but for starters, what in the name of Satan’s potion were you doing at a rock festival, you gimp? Anyway, I should stop digressing and continue to try and persuade you to look at this pointless, yet funny, website. Perhaps the best part of this site is the ‘Chav of the Month’ section. By taking a photo of a blatant chav and sending it to the site creators, your photo victim may receive the ‘honour’ of becoming ‘Chav of the Month’. Oh and you, (you lucky thing) could be the proud owner of a crisp £5 note. Wahey! Now that’s got to sell the site to you. If this site doesn’t appeal to you, then I have to assume that it is because you are a chav. In order to protect my conscience, I have to say that I am sorry for hurting your feelings, (coz I’m a nice gal, like). I also accept that you may think I’m a snob, but fuck it, I’ll try to be friendly and give you some fantastic advice:
Get some fashion/common sense and blow your student loan on something more worthwhile, if not more pretty than a gold sovereign. Nuff said. Debbie Green
36 F i l m
Quench 18 10 04
SPONSORED BY STER CENTURY MAN ON FIRE Dir: Tony Scott Cast: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken
ony Scott has not been on top form recently. After a string off decidedly average flicks such as Crimson Tide and The Fan can his new film with Denzel Washington be his best since True Romance? The film centres around Denzel Washington’s portrayal of an ex-military assassin called Creasy who is hired by a wealthy mexican industrialist (Marc Anthony) to protect his daughter Pita. When the inevitable happens and the daughter gets kidnapped Creasy must give up the booze and find her. Although the film is nearly two and a half hours long it still manages to keep you enthralled until the climatic ending. The interplay between Creasy and Pita creates a feeling of mutual respect and friendship that explains why Creasy feels he must avenge the girl’s abduction. On his brutal mission to find out who is responsible for the kidnapping, Creasy employs one of the best and most amusing interrogation techniques ever committed to film, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “internal combustion”. Christopher Walken is, as always, brilliant as the link to Creasy’s shady past except for a rather cheesy line which is a waste of his intense and distinctive vocal talents. Giancarlo Giannini is superb as the policeman in charge of the case and Mickey Rourke puts in a short but excellent performance as a slimy lawyer. Based on the book by A J Quinnell it has been made twice before most notably with Scott Glen and Joe Pesci in 1987. However this version offers a bit more than other adaptations, with Denzel lending his Oscar winning talents to the film. Set in and around Mexico City the films draws on the diverse and impoverished population of the world’s most populated city and highlights the alarming number of kidnappings that happen there every year. Tony Scott has managed to create a film that is engrossing and thrilling, a far cry from his Top Gun days.
Washington: do not take the piss out of his suit
F i l m
Martial Artistic BUBBA HHUBBA UBBA B UBBA BUBBA HO TEP Dir: Don Cascarelli Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis
rom the perfectly fevered mind of Phantasm creator Don Cascarelli comes a film premise saturated with all the finer points of low budget horror and off-kilter comedy. Kooky may be an obvious adjective but it doesn’t even cover the insurgent quirky premise on offer here. Elvis secretly switched identities with an Elvis impersonator years before his “death”, and was unable to switch back thanks to a series of unfortunate circumstances. Languishing in an East Texas rest home with nothing but his memories to keep him warm, Elvis (Bruce Campbell) is losing faith. When an ancient Egyptian mummy begins stealing the souls of fellow residents Elvis teams up with a 70-year-old black man who believes himself to be JFK
(Ossie Davis) to ward off the attentions of the undead Bubba Ho Tep. Beloved cult icon Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead II) sneers and gesticulates his hips in the role of his life. Gone are the twitchy and violent tendencies of Cambell’s hellraiser days. Here he infuses Elvis with the weary charm of a forgotten king. Kitschy, low-brow, and aggressively understated, the film premise is as perfectly independent as Campbell is catatonically exquisite. With little to do but live for the memories, Campbell’s Elvis is offered the opportunity to sermonize to his heart’s content, waxing philosophical on life, sex, and death. Coscarelli obviously has a loamy gift for drive-in satisfaction and his gentle handling of what is essentially a preposterous story serves perfectly to produce a quirky triumph of the human spirit. As a satire and an offthe-wall comedy, Bubba Ho-Tep hits the bullseye. As a horror movie, it's less successful. It works more as a
warped pastiche of the myriad of Bmovie horror films release in quick succesion in the 1950s. Screams of terror become displaced by bolts of laughter as the geriatric duo play out their private melodrama with a fearless enthusiasm born of a hopeless denial. Despite its shortcomings in terms of terror, Bubba Ho Tep retains an enjoyably sporadic jitter throughout. Darkened corridors intertwine with pitch perfect catchphrases and genuine charm. As the final act arrives and the heroic duo stutter to their final showdown the shadows close in and the pathos and emotion become truly poignant. A dark and bumpy film of miniscule grandeur and gothic charm Bubba Ho Tep gradually parlays its alternative weirdness into an oddly compelling contemporary fairy-tale. Craig Driver
F i l m
ALIEN VS PREDATOR Dir: Paul W.S. Anderson Cast: Lance Henrikson, Sanaa Lathan
liens? Predators? Two gargantuan xenomorphic bad-asses going head to head? AWESOME. Based on the comic books in which those intergalactic rastas, the Predators, breed and hunt the vicious double jawed Aliens. Now the hunt has come to Earth and us soft, crushable humans are about to get fucked on. This is an ambitious project to say the least as there are many fans of the original films holding their breath. When director Paul Anderson was questioned about this
SHARK TALE Dir: Bibo Bergeron and Vicky Jenson Cast: Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger, Angelina Jolie
little Will Smith can go a long way, especially when he’s doing his self-consciously wacky, hyperactive Fresh Prince shtick. In Shark Tale Smith yammers, poses and preens with manic abandon. Yet another retelling of the old “selfish jerk learns that success doesn’t make him happy” canard, Smith plays Oscar, a fish of some sort with huge lips, human eyes and Smith’s personality. He lives undersea in a gaudy, overdesigned world that’s just like our human world with buildings and businesses and product placements (“Coral-Cola” anyone?), a concept that instantly feels stagnant and stale. All of the expected plot contrivances are in place, with unreliable, self-absorbed Oscar never noticing that his best friend (a fish version of Renee Zellweger) has a thing for him as he dreams of a flashy, bling-bling rich life at the top of the reef. A chance encounter tosses Oscar the opportunity to pass himself off as a
recently he said: “You know, i’m not a wierd genetic hybrid. Only if you could fuse Ridley Scott and James Cameron, and add in the facial hair of John McTiernan, only then maybe, could you live up to what a lot of people expect AVP to be.” Unfortunately for some fans this may be the case as they are left with that distinct feeling of disappointment. Others however will bathe in the glory of the brutal and swift Alien slaughter and presence of Lance Henrikson (the android Bishop from Aliens). Compared to the originals the film suffers but then it’s a miracle it ever made it onto screen as the project had been christened “a poisoned chalice”. Big Al shark slayer and acquire all the fame and riches he desires, but only by maintaining the lie that he can protect the reef from deadly predators. Along for the ride is Robert De Niro, doing yet another lame, onedimensional parody of himself on film as the great white Don Lino. More promising is the appearance of director Martin Scorsese as Oscar’s blowfish boss, complete with bushy Scorsese eyebrows and recognizable staccato delivery. But when the script puts Scorsese, perhaps America’s greatest living director; one of the true geniuses of cinema, in the position of delivering lines such as “Who’s your puff daddy?” it crosses the line into abject embarrassment. But then, “Shark Tale” as a whole is an extraordinarily irritating, aesthetically unappealing and poorly written movie. Craig Driver
AVP: Predator Sorvino plays a princess who sets out to return her throne and the rightful prince, Agis, (Jay Rodan). Agis turns out to be a dashingly handsome prince whom the princess desperately falls in love with. The only problem is that Agis has been taught by his strict mentor, Hermocrates (Ben Kingsley), to loath the princess as her family were responsible for the death of his father. Mira Sorivo sets out to win her prince by dressing as a man (Phocion) Phocion’s plan to win the love of Agis becomes complicated when the mentors sister falls in love with Phocion herself. The story continues to twist with a typical love triangle ending that puts Phocion (or the princess) into a difficult situation. If you’re into Shakespeare-style story lines and lots of pretty dresses then this one is for you. Otherwise steer clear by all means. Maria Cox
ALSO OUT THIS WEEK... COFFEE AND CIGARETTES Jim Jarmusch’s collection vigenttes with an all star cast including Tom Waites, Iggy Pop and Steve Coogan amoung others. 7/10
TRIUMPH OF LOVE Dir: Clare Peploe Cast: Mira Sorvino, Ben Kinglsey, Jay Rodan
riumph of love, directed by Clare Peploe, wife of producer Bernardo Bertolucci, is a pre 20th century drama set in Italy. Mira
ANCHORMAN Hilarious comedy about a chauvanistic news anchor forced to take on a female co-anchor. Starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Vinge Vaughn and Ben Stiller. 9/10
HUBBA BUBBA but when that film is Resident Evil: Apocalypse intrigue BUBBA isn’t the name of HUBBA the game; the name of the game is The rain dance was a success
BRIDE AND PREJUDICE Dir: Gurinda Chadha Cast: Aishwarya Rai, Martin Henderson
his is probably the most bizarre remaking of a Jane Austen story ever. Everyone thinks that they know the plot of Pride and Prejudice, but I bet you never thought of it as a Bollywood musical. This is Bridget Jones on holiday, on acid and without the neuroses. Visually spectacular, Bride and Prejudice shows the amazing and beautiful side of India and manages to poke fun at it at the same time. It's camp, colourful and culturally diverse. Darcy and Wickham are exactly as you would expect, but the other characters make it absorbing, if a bit predictable. Unless you hate romantic comedies with a passion, I fail to see how anyone could not enjoy this film. The Mr. Collins-alike sums it up best when he says, "I usually prefer American hip hop, but as Gloria Estefan says, 'the rhythm is going to get you.'” Hannah Perry
zombies, and lots of them. On this count at least, REA delivers in spades, with the plot revolving around girls, guns and monsters in one form or another. After the events of the prequel, General Cain of the evil Umbrella has ordered The Hive to be reopened, and in doing so has contaminated Raccoon City with the living dead, with Alice (Milla Jovovich) stuck right in the middle. Along with Jill Valentine and Carlos Oliviera they must fight to escape the nightmare of Raccoon City. And that’s about it really, just a premise to play with said girls, guns and monsters, have some big fight scenes, make some things explode, save a little girl, followed by the finale. It’s formulaic, unoriginal and entirely predictable. If you simply want to switch off your brain and enjoy some slickly-presented and unashamed comedy violence then this is the film for you. Nonsense, but enjoyable nonsense all the same. Simeon Rosser-Trokas
Dir: James Wan Cast: Leigh Wannel, Cary Elwes
C Dir: Alexander Wit Cast: Milla Jovovich, Alice Sienna Guillory
My name is Alice and I remember everything" an intriguing tagline for a film to be sure,
holding a gun and a dictaphone. The movie is told mostly through flashbacks (with excellent editing) and although the two actors’ (Cary Elwes and Tobin Bell) performances are a little poor at times, this does nothing to detract from the unravelling mystery of the story. With the deteriorating mental states and increasing mistrust between the two men, as well as excellent twists, you’re kept thinking until the very end. Think "Se7en" meets "Phonebooth" and you have this movie. Melissa Green
Suzie always raced fair
INSIDE I’M DANCING
RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE
Dir: Damien O’Donnell Cast: Steve Robertson, James McAvoy
Oh look, he has a SAW
Alice enjoyed musical statues
onsidering myself a hard-stomached movie-goer after watching movies such as Tarantino’s Kill Bill and Disney’s The Little Mermaid, I went to watch Saw - a Twisted Pictures Production -how appropriate. My first mistake was buying popcorn. Though there’s no gratuitous violence in this film, you won’t want to eat during it, unless you enjoy seeing food in reverse. Saw is graphic to say the least. My second mistake was going alone. (I made the same mistake with The Little Mermaid). You’re thrown right into the situation two men wake up, chained to opposite ends of a room and there’s a dead body between them .
rom the director of East is East and Heartlands comes a working title heart-warmer set in Ireland, charting the journey of two disabled young men in their quest for independent living. Michael (Steven Robertson), a 24 year old, whose cerebral palsy hinders him from being understood by those around him, has been living dependant in care homes all his life, until rebellious and outspoken Roy O’Shea (James McAvoy) moves in. Roy challenges the institutional values of the care home run by the overcontrolling Eileen (Brenda Fricker) in a social-commenty film convention that is somewhat stereotypical. The story of the two men’s integration into outside life (for Rory that is drinking, clubbing and getting arrested) is both poignant and at times funny. Whilst there are a few clichés about the challenges disabled people face in life, the film remains engaging throughout. A small and perfect little independent gem of a film. John Williams
Film The DVDon Reviews you can’t refuse
VAN HELSING rel. 11/10/04 The latest popcorn guzzler from Stephen Sommers, rehashes the ledgend of Bram Stoker’s vampire hunter, Van Helsing. Hugh Jackman’s Van Helsing is pitted against Dracula, The Wolf-Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster in a frantic fight to the death. While the film does retain a certain gothic comic-book charm, the plot itself plays second fiddle to special effects and technical wizardry. Jackman’s talents are wasted, while Kate Beckinsale as the feisty love interest, is no more than a generic busty wench. High camp and low horror make for an expansive but ultimately pithy film. The Don says: “It makes no difference to me what a man does for a living, understand.” MONSTER rel. 11/10/04 Charlize Theron stars in the shocking and moving true-life story of Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute executed last year in Florida after being convicted of murdering six men. Theron is superb in her Oscar winning role, while Christina Ricci is excellent in support as her lover and confidant. While the acting is immensely powerful, the premise that our supposed heroine is a ruthless killer does, at times, seem almost parasitic of Aileen and her story. Monster is nonetheless a gritty and realistic examination of desperation and obsession. The Don Says: “I'm not interested in things that don't concern me.“ SCREAM TRILOGY rel. 11/10/04 Wes Cravens postmodern horror trilogy finally comes to DVD. Spanning over five years, the trilogy follows Sidney (Neve Campbell) as she continues to outwit the various guises of the black cloaked killer. The first in the trilogy is easily superior in terms of suprise and terror.
Craven’s use of Barrymore in the opening scene expertly echoes and parodies Hitchcock’s use of Janet Leigh in Psycho. Scream 2 and Scream 3 may not reach the dizzy heights of the original but they still retain a genuine capacity to amuse and terrify in equal measure. Wes Craven’s flourish of fear deserves your attention. The Don Says: “Look how they massacred my Boy.” FAHRENHEIT 9/11 rel. 18/10/04 The academic hill-billy Michael Moore finally focused his political vitriol directly at George W. Bush with this powerful, if at times exhibitionist, film. Released to coincide with the upcoming American Presidential election, Moore’s film constantly challenges convention. Focusing on the events and the fall out of September 11, thefilm explores the relationship between the Bush administration and the Middle East. Both harrowing and at times hilarious, Moore pits his spittle bound polemic against a political cause that is ultimately a social and ethical minefield. Cinema at its most essential. The Don says: “I worked my whole life, I don’t apologise, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the string held by all those big shots.” THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW rel. 18/10/04 Gargantuan natural disater epic from Roland Emmerich, who directed Independence Day. While it may be poignant given the recent government tribulation concerning Global Warning, it doesn’t stop the film being a clunky and parmesan soaked glory vehicle for techno geeks. Jake Gyllenhal does his best to salvage some credibility from the mass of American indulgence, but sadly loses his way in a role that almost makes you forget Donnie Darko. While Dennis Quaid turns in another lazy performance, when you know he can do so much better. It worked best on the big screen but if you fancy one hell of a flight of fancy then do watch. The Don says: “If some unlucky accident should befall him...if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he’s struck by a bolt of lightning, then i’m going to blame some of the people in this room.” TROY rel. 25/10/04 Based on Homer’s poem, The Iliad, Wolfgang Petersen’s sweat and sandals epic offers Brad Pitt’s toned
buttocks, but not much else. Where there should be suspense there is familiarity. Where there should be genuine pathos and emotion there is apathy and Orlando Bloom proving his acting is not as pretty as his face. An excellent cast is wasted through a collection of mean spirited and vacuous scenes. Shiny, sweaty, and perfect if you like Brad Pitt’s honed torso, but if you have any true sense of adventure or tragedy, then this will leave you feeling emotionally flat and abused. A crippled relic of an epic and a perfect example of what can happen in film when you sacrifice artistic integrity for visual talent . The Don says: “If you had come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day.”
THE CANNELONI SPECIAL !!!Danger, 50,000 VOLTS!!! rel. NOW From the hallowed mind of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead’s Nick Frost, comes the DIY surival guide to all things extraordinary. The Series comprises of a collection of 5 minute vignettes on how to avoid, cope, and overcome life’s lesser known, but highly interesting dilemmas. Whether it be wrestling alligators, surviving avalanches, or defusing landmines, Nick Frost guides us through the pitfalls with a cheeky charm and nuance too often sacrificed in todays world of television and entertainment. Essentially a rehashed mix of Frost’s Spaced character Mike and Shaun of the Dead’s Ed, the series is nonetheless entertaining and at times sincerely hilarious. Frost’s genuine wit is supplemented by a verve and energy, to undertake tasks of genuine peril. Overlooked in its run on Channel 5, this series is a perfect little treasure of contemporary culture. Echoing the recent influx of alternative comedy, !!!Danger, 50,000 Volts!!! is remarkably fresh in its concept, and continously hilarious in its execution and cunning. Nick Frost is surely on his way to carving out a comedy niche. A perfectly formed nugget of comedy promise. The Don Says: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
F i l m
Best of the best NINJA SCROLL
Dir: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Dir: Katsuhiro Otomo
he definative Manga film and the one most people are likely to have heard of. Akira is an anime masterpiece, without which many Hollywood films wouldn’t even have been made. The Matrix is the first one that comes to mind. The film focuses on two friends, Kaneda and Tetsuo, who whizz around Neo-Tokyo on souped-up bikes with their gang. After getting involved with the military and some dodgy government types, Tetsuo soon discovers that he has some strange and powerful abilities, mysteriously linked to the secret ‘Akira’ project and a cataclysmic event of 30 years ago. Stunning animation brings the futuristic city of Neo-Tokyo alive, especially during the high speed chases through the streets and the energetic climax of the film. Although sometimes confusing this is a must for any new to Manga while those who have seen it can watch again and again on special edition DVD.
GHOST IN THE SHELL Dir: Mamoru Oshii
ven more beautifully rendered than Akira, the artistic geniuses at Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away) have created the supreme Ghost in
the Shell. The year is 2029 and the world has become even more information oriented and every human is connected to a network. In order to combat cyber crime a special unit called Section 9 is created. These superhuman cyborgs, led by Major Motoko Kusanagi, have to track down the elusive government Puppet Master programe. A fan-fucking-tastic anime that has to be one of the best ever made, great musical score, big guns and has the right balance between action, plot and character developement to leave you gagging for more.
ot all great Manga is grim visions of the future and gigantic walking war machines. Ninja Scroll follows the adventures of a wandering Samurai called Jubei, who in the course of his adventures, comes across Rock Monsters, blind swordsmen, and a mongrel with a wasp’s nest in his back. This film gives some idea as to how gruesome and brutal anime can be (check out Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend) but doesn’t go overboard with the bloodshed. A classic Ninja revenge romp with all sorts of bad guys, good guys and even poisonous women, what more could you ask for? Big Al
ALSO WORTH WATCHING... CYBER CITY OEDO 808 Three cyber criminals: Gogul, Benten and Sengoku are forced to help the police fight psychic robots and uncover vampires. If they fail their missions, then they have a nasty accident with an exploding neck collar...
TAKE TWO: Sofia Coppola
The Sophomore Queen
ofia Coppola may have been born in the unenviable shadow of her Oscar-toting father but in recent years it has been the daughter who has been making the most intriguing cinematic waves. Flitting gently between angst, emotion, and teenage dislocation The Virgin Suicides is a tragic fable as diffuse as an imperfectly remembered dream. Sofia Coppola’s debut film is an atmospheric portrait that perfectly conveys the thwarted feelings and charged emotions of teenage heartbreak. The film centres on a suicide pact entered into by the five fragile, beautiful Lisbon sisters, who live under the same roof. Their father (James Woods) is a distracted, seemingly harmless high school physics teacher; their mother (Kathleen Turner) a straitlaced disciplinarian unwilling to expose her girls to the social pathologies of the world. The story is told from the point of view of five adolescent boys obsessed with the Lisbon daughters. Giovanni Ribisi narrates the story, speaking for all the boys across the gulf of time. The story seems fragmentary and compressed, with a dreamlike texture. A scene in which the boys call up the
imprisoned girls to play them pop records over the phone is heartbreakingly real; the kind of emotionally accurate scene that earns whatever tears it draws. The film intones the tragedy and heartbreak integral and inevitable to the human condition. The Virgin Suicides is about the murderousness of certitude and the delicious pain of living. Coppola’s lack of concrete explanations allow her to create a sophomoric form of obscurity; a teenage meditation on the futility and beautiful fragility of youth. The Virgin Suicides is the product of a generous and alert filmmaker -- the work of a creator who understands that there are more things under heaven than dreamed of in your psychology. If The Virgin Suicides is Coppola’s meditation on teenage dislocation then Lost In Translation is a stylish meditation on alienation and apathy. Lost in Translation is a beautifully lowkey, smart and direct epiphany of all things sacred and precious. A mood piece that captures the characters’ inner turmoil, confusion, restlessness and the strange, surreal surroundings that are the cause for their discord. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are the peripheral odd couple set
loose on a short but sweet deluge of discord in über-chic Tokyo. Murray has an imposing corner on the comic dynamism in this movie; Johansson is no less compelling for her mysticism, self-assurance and charm. Johansson purrs and twirls like a sugar coated acidic nymph. Minutes are spent on her contemplation as we too consider the silence, the delicacy, and the expectations imposed upon our spiritual freedom. In her most tender moments Johansson is hypnotically spellbinding in her sanguine beauty and sensual grace. Never rushed, never pushed, Coppola's steady hand is felt in almost every frame, gently coaxing her subjects and story to a deeper, invigorating sentiment. Sometimes the experience of seeing a film so powerful in its presentation of human character is worth the arguable sacrifice of narrative tension. Lost In Translation is ultimately a film that goes after a feeling than a storyline and as a result allows the characters to breathe and gently evolve. An intimate glossy project with a solid purpose, Lost In Translation is a compellingly warm and intuitive narrative inherently heartfelt and full of imagination. Mysterious and complex, as it muses bittersweetly on marriage, longing and the disconnectedness one can feel from another culture or people. Coppola’s work explores the finer points of youthful mystique and are destined to continously beguile and intrigue. Craig Driver
The Virgin Sucides
44 B o o k s Quench 18 10 04 firstname.lastname@example.org Along with reviews galore, this week we kick off the search for the uni’s favourite book L’AFFAIRE Diane Johnson Penguin
The cover of L’Affaire screams bored housewife and bored housewife reading it certainly is, although with a little more intelligence than a Mills and Boon novel. From the writer of Le Divorce (which was turned into a terrible film starring Kate Hudson) L’Affaire covers the seeming forte of Johnson; that is the French. Based originally in the French Alps, it moves to Paris as the novel progresses. It centres around the wealthy, British aristocrat, Adrian Venn, who is killed in an avalanche. His four children and wives, mistresses, etc, squabble under a veil of ‘European’ politeness, over who should inherit his estate. A young, wealthy American, Amy, who is desperate to seek culture and selfimprovement via the European way of life, attempts to help them all out by flashing her cash but ends up involved in the squabbles, not to mention with the husband of Venn’s love child Victoire.
ASH WEDNESDAY Ethan Hawke Bloomsbury
Ash Wednesday is Hawke’s second novel, a fact disguised by the confident, punchy prose. The book charts an unlikely road trip that sees Christy Walker and Jimmy Heartsock drive across America in a bid to find a sense of place in what becomes an unlikely homecoming. The narrative is raw and urban as Hawke draws his characters with unflinching honesty. Both Christy and Jimmy are broken people from broken families: Christy’s mother skipped town leaving her father to raise her and Jimmy’s father committed suicide. Neither characters seem cut out for the paternal roles that drive them from New York to Texas and the novel explores the problems with themselves and each other. Jimmy feels he has never made a good decision and, learning that Christy is pregnant with his
The world of L’Affaire is one of supreme wealth, beautiful food, beautiful people and beautiful things. A world where all the men are incorruptible philanderers, who treat marriage as an irritating aside and see their wives as ‘difficult.’ Yet their French wives and mistresses let them get away with it, as that is how men are. Johnson clashes the cultures of America, Britain and France. Even an Austrian is thrown in for good measure. But apart from the odd aside at the arrogance of America or the stupidity of French laws, Johnson’s clashes of culture seem more a mingling of sparkling witty repartee. At the end of the day these people, no matter what their country of origin, are still all connected. They are connected by the mountains of money they possess. The Joan of Arc plotline slipping in and out of the many chic French gatherings, was pointless and had little relevance to the story or its outcome, but I feel I am being harsh on poor Johnson. She is an eloquent writer, and regardless of the many characters, they are all well child, he attempts to reverse this. Meanwhile Christy feels that Jimmy will never grow up and, despite wanting the baby, she is unsure as to whether being Mrs Jimmy Heartsock will cause more problems than it would solve.
Ultimately the book is about regret, maturing and the process of coming to terms with oneself and the choices one has made. Jimmy was supposed to be a one-night stand that would help Christy live a little and get over herself. Two dates later
fleshed out, even if a little predictable or archetypal. To me the book conformed to all American stereotypes of posh, cultured Europeans. From the toffboy English poet, Robin, to the intoxicating and cruelly charming, yet unfaithful, French intellectual, Emile. Yet Amy Hawkins, the American, is especially likeable, until the end, when it is suggested she has a long affair with Emile, spanning many years. Why are nice women so attracted to odious, egotistical, womanisers? If you are in the mood for some light, easy reading, and are fed up with your poor, student life and crap food, this is one way to escape. Shell Plant
she tells him she loves him and a relationship predicated on great sex and little or no conversation ensues. Jimmy thought that he would gain the discipline and responsibility he lacks from the rigid structure of the army but, six weeks after signing up, he realises it was a huge mistake. As the novel opens Christy has told Jimmy that she is both pregnant and leaving him to head home to Texas. Jimmy decides that, for once, he is going to do the right thing and take Christy home. What follows can only be described as a surreal road trip. The unlikely couple journey across the states and through their own personal histories in a bid disentangle themselves from their respective past mistakes. At times funny and frequently sad, Ash Wednesday is an engaging and moving read. AJ Silvers
This week we kick off the search for Cardiff’s favourite and least favourite books with Books’ very own nominations
Least Favourite Book
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY: JANE AUSTEN
his may be a bit of a cliché, and I am sure I will get lynched by my fellow Quenchers for this, but it really is my favourite book. Yes it is chick-lit; yes it is just a tad sentimental; but Sense and Sensibility is a fantastic book that deserves the first nomination. The wonderful thing about Sense and Sensibility is the characters. It has the stock Austen plot concentrating on marriage and relationships, but what makes the book stand out over Austen’s other novels are the characters. Finding themselves penniless after the death of their father, the story focuses on the lives of Elinor and Marianne, two sisters with very different personalities. Elinor is strong, controlled and thinks with her head; Marianne is passionate, willful and intensely romantic. Both sisters struggle as they fall in love, get their hearts broken and feel trapped with their financial situation. They learn that in their harsh world, money and status are everything and that loyal friends are few and far between. However, despite this lesson the book is vibrant and very funny, The scheming Mrs Jennings plays match maker to the girls and provides much humour. The dashing Willoughby could jump right off the page as the callous heartbreaker, while gentle Edward could restore anyone’s faith in men. Overall, it is a book that is worth a read for anyone who has been in love. It deals with heartbreak, scandal, inequality and is the perfect insight into the cruel social world of the early nineteenth century. Despite this, it is witty and heartwarming with characters so believable they could step off the page.
his week is just the first week of nominations in our search. So whether you agree, disagree or have a book that you would love to nominate we want your opinion. Whether you want to nominate a children’s book, your favourite book at
B o o k s 45
CATCH 22: JOSEPH HELLER
he phrase ‘Catch 22’ is now such a part of our everyday lives that itis sometimes easy to forget that it started as a novel. I had heard so much about the book that, when I excitedly opened it on Christmas Day, it was the first present I really looked at. I was expecting one of the best reads of my life and a concept that would blow my mind so I suppose it is not surprising that I was disappointed. During the first chapter I found the book really interesting. The whole idea of the stupidity and hypocrisy of war really interested me and, for a while, I thought that the book would live up to my expectations. It was smart,well written and, although the characters were a little crazy, it was compelling. The first few examples of the Catch 22 paradox were very interesting because they really did show the stupidity of war. The novel constantly highlights the incompetence of the characters that are have jobs of high authority through paradoxes and at first this is a brilliant idea. Yet by chapter 12 I was sick of hearing that the Captain was the best Captain because he could not do his job. What was an intially amazing idea became really irritating because the device was used so much. So for me while the concept of Catch 22 was really interesting, the book itself was a real disappointment, While I can appreciate that the book was a bold step and was built upon a marvellous idea it was a very disappointing read as the idea did not seem to develop.
school or a book so awful you cannot belive it is in print let us know. We are looking for just 250 words for each nomination and best of all you will get to see your name in print. You can send your nominations to email@example.com and, at the end of the year, we will reveal the results. So get scribbling!
Quench 18 10 04
Different ends of a cultural spectrum This fortnight, Elgan Iorwerth gets dirty with Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson, whilst Dan Hartley explores the Welsh landscape...
KEVIN ‘BLOODY’ WILSON St. David’s Hall
his was not a comedy show for the easily offended. Jenny Talia, Kevin’s daughter, made this a family affair by providing the support act. Both acts comprised of the per-
THE WELSH LANDSCAPE Martin Tinney Gallery
he Martin Tinney gallery has just unveiled its latest exhibition: ‘The Welsh Landscape’. Whilst this title doesn’t exactly ring any hardcore bells, the show really is a treat. Featuring leading and emerging Welsh landscape artists, it comprises traditional and modern works, which constitute a multi-media delight. The highlight of the exhibition has to be the creations of Sir Kyffin Williams. Born in 1918, he has clearly had many years during which to reflect upon the profundity of the Welsh landscape. His ‘Nant Peris’ is a black and white, ink and wash on paper, which really seems to delve straight to the soul of the lands. But his finest piece (which it should be for £28, 500) has to be ‘Snowdonia’, an oil on canvas from 1949. It blends an expressionist’s eye for essence with the cock-and-balls bleakness of Ted Hughes’s poetry. Moreover, Williams doesn’t fall prey to R. S. Thomas’s accusation of landscape painting becoming mundane, ‘Arranged roman-
former singing humorous songs and interacting with the crowd. Jenny’s set was short but overall funny especially the song about shopping in the supermarket. Kevin Wilson’s philosophy is to make jokes about everything. His set contained several stories of funny events during his life, most of which were set in and around a small mining town in the Australian outback. His song about apprentices verged on genius, but unfortunately the majority of the songs were a bit one-track. Kevin did however have a great rappor with the crowd, which included many sing-a-longs. At times, his spontaneous jokes were genius. However, those who are politically correct would have been offended by jokes such as How do you train a suicide bomber? I shall show you this only once. This was liberating,
but at times it went slightly too far. DILLIGAF, if anyone asks, does not stand for “Do I look like I’ve got a frog?” as Kevin taught his nephews. Whilst the mime song was funny, the great moments were rare. Australian humour is unique and can be an acquired taste. The graphic content in the show sometimes distracted from the actual humour, and certain anecdotes verged on the distasteful. I wouldn’t advise many guys to take their girlfriends to this kind of show, but Roy Chubby Brown fans would have enjoyed it. Comedy of any kind is specific to its audience and Kevin Wilson is no exception. Those who enjoy crude humour would love Kevin Wilson, but those of a sensitive disposition may be better advised to stay away. Elgan Iorwerth
tically in the usual manner’: he captures the ‘fluke and the foot-rot and the fat maggot’ of the rural domain. This man has earned his title. Another artist who likewise captures the bleak brooding of the Welsh landscape is Sophie Eynon, one of the younger generation of Welsh painters. Her style, however, is in stark contrast to Williams. Where Williams opts for earthy shades, Eynon adopts lighter, colder hues. Her works have a photographic quality, as displayed in ‘Pendine Sands’, an oil on canvas in which one could almost reach out and touch the ripples of the water. In ‘Morning Sun’, which depicts an autumnal sunrise over a field, she avoids the clichéd warm oranges and reds and instead employs lighter tones, ones which release the frosty fingers of dawn, giving them reign over the viewer. A final highpoint comes in the pieces by Sally Moore, who trained at the British School in Rome. She hopes, her biography summary states, that her paintings may both unsettle and amuse the viewer. This can certainly be said of ‘The Sisters’, a painting which draws on two Greek mythological traditions – the three Fates,
who decided destinies by cutting the thread of life to different lengths, and Icarus, whose wings melted on flying too close to the sun – and presents them with a tongue-in-cheek, domestic bias. If you get the chance, this exhibition is definitely worth a look. Being located at 18 St. Andrew’s Crescent, just around the corner from Senghennydd Court, it is easily accessible to all students. After all, by simply studying in Cardiff, all students are inadvertently partaking in Welsh history: it only seems right to engage with what is around us and what went before us. Dan Hartley
Laura Quinn talks to Wales’ Hidden Dragons
isability was once a silent issue in the art of Wales. However, the re-launch of Disability Arts Cymru is giving disabled people across the country a chance to express their creative talents. I interviewed Gwennan Ruddock, development manager of Disability Arts Cymru to gain an insight into this amazing organisation. Obviously your organisation will be representing a large population of people in Wales, considering this, what is your main aim? “Our aim is to develop equality in the arts for disabled people, but also to celebrate the works of disabled people that are already around. It’s about making sure we get disabled people in Wales out there.” What sort of schemes do you propose to implement to achieve this aim? “We are going to provide training for arts centres across Wales to help make sure their centres are more accessible for disabled people, but this isn’t just about ramps and the like, it’s about making sure the staff in the centres have the right attitudes and make disabled people feel welcome. we provide information, advice and support for disabled people out there, and also set up projects, for example, we have already had a book published.” What did the book: Hidden Dragons: New writing by disabled people in Wales involve? “We got a grant from the ‘European Year of Disabled People’ in 2003, and
ran ten writing workshops all across Wales. 86 disabled people took part, and it was interesting because there was a real mixture of people, from professional writers to people who have never even picked up a pen. 45 writers were selected to be featured in the book, which contains lots of poetry and short stories from all genres.” When did the organisation get established, who by and what was the inspiration? “It was started in October 1982, which was called the ‘year of the disabled’ at the time. Established by the ‘Welsh Arts Council of Wales’ and ‘Disability Wales’, mainly because there was a big need for arts to be happening with disabled people. At that time there was no decent provision. We just wanted an organisation that could really help push disabled people for good quality work, but also for their freedom to work independentely, because they are people too.”
What’s on this fortnight? Shakespeare’s Trilogy at New Theatre Cymbeline, Twelfth NIght and Merchant of Venice take to the stage,18th-23rd Oct.
Silent Cry at The Sherman
A moving drama based on real documented evidence, 19th-20th Oct.
The Riverfront at Newport
A new arts centre opens, 23rd Oct..
West Side Story at New Theatre contemporary Romeo and Juliet musical, 26th Oct.
Ghost Tours at Museum of Welsh life
Get in the mood for halloween with this spooky walk. 26th and 30th Oct, 6.30pm and 8pm.
Turner at National Museum and Gallery A fantastic collection of Turner’s works. Will run til the 9th Jan.
James Dowdeswell at Seren Las
A bundle of laughs on the 26th Oct.
International Music Festival relaunch in Cardiff!
e Arts Eds have been lucky girls this fortnight. We were wined, dined and hob nobbing amongst the poshos at… THE HILTON! Yes, it was fun (it’s been a long time since we had wine that isn’t Lambrini), but it also provided us with some essential info on the International Music Festival 2005. This massive event first came to the city in 2002, putting Cardiff on the cultural map. It involves numerous musical events in a variety of locations around Cardiff. The 2002 festival was an incredible success, espe-
A r t s 47
cially since there were a mere six organisers in comparison to a whooping fifty organisers for the equivalent festival in Edinburgh. At the launch, there were taster performances, including a wicked compilation of songs from the top musical Chess, which will be performed during the festival. There will also be dance performances at the New Theatre and plenty of musical wonders at St David’s Hall. However, April is a long time away, so we will be updating you on the festival madness closer to the time.
or all of those interested in the arts, the Arts Society has been re-launched this year by a group of enthusiastic and well organised second years. The first social of the year was well attended and set the scene for a great new society. The focus is on providing a range of activities that cater for all interests. The first event lined up was a session at The National Gallery with a talk by the contemporary arts curator, which was free of charge and followed by the obligatory booze up! If you are someone who enjoys art this is definitely the society to join. With the prospect of life drawing classes, metal work sessions and African jewellery design all in the pipeline, it has a very exciting future. Watch this space for more informaTion on upcoming events or contact Emma Minett: firstname.lastname@example.org
C u l t
48 C l a s s i c s
Quench 18 10 04
With 80s cross-genre randomness and classic literature we’re dressed to impress this fortnight so let’s indulge in a little cultural nourishment LEWIS TAYLOR
THE GREAT GATSBY
Dir: Alex Cox (1984)
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1926)
Island Records (1996) When talking about Lewis Taylor, there are generally two categories of people: those who have never heard of the man and those who own every single recording he has ever made. Taylor is not the kind of artist who inspires a dedicated fan cult, a la Manic Street Preachers, but the quality of his work is so high that it’s impossible not to be seduced by his Marvin Gaye-esque voice and smooth soul grooves. Taylor’s eponymous debut album surfaced in the mid-ninties with little fanfare, which was unsurprising given that Britpop and dance music dominated the charts at the time, although those who did discover Taylor sang his praises immediately. While Taylor’s lyrics deal with the standard woman-seduction and loss, as most classic soul tracks do, the intricate production and sheer attention to detail made him stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s the four minute build up to a perfect chorus on opener Lucky or the driving distorted guitar that unexpectedly crops up half way through Damn, every single track is a mini-masterpiece in its own right. This album, together with the followup, Lewis II, firmly established Taylor as an innovative and exciting talent and a worthy successor to the music of Gaye, Al Green, Barry White, Otis Redding et al. Now all the world need to do is discover him. Gary Andrews
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Harry Dean Stanton
Another 1980s cult classic, Repo Man crosses genres like few others before it. The film stars teen brat-packer Emilio Estevez as Otto, a punk-kid who’s just been fired from a grocery store. He gets talked into driving a car for a man whose wife is ‘in trouble’ but it turns out he’s just repossessed that car. Before he knows it he’s been sucked into the weird world of repo men. In one of cinema’s most effective ‘odd couples’ he and Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) become repo partners whilst Bud imprints upon him the ‘code’ with which to live by and the honour associated with repossessing cars. Director Alex Cox manages to create a docudrama yet surrealist feel with an alien conspiracy thrown in for good measure. Because there’s aliens too. And death-rays. And a flying car. Repo Man is filled with black humour which can take a few viewings to unearth. It centres around 1980s consumerist culture using sight gags and quick one-liners to put the point across. Basically the scene is set in the film and it is up to the viewer whether or not they get it the way it is intended. Largely defined as a punk film, the soundtrack neatly mirrors this featuring such acts as Iggy Pop and The Ramones and so cements its attitude. Its one to be reserved for when you want something a little out of the ordinary and feel able to find some of the most random stuff hilariously funny. Catherine Gee
The Great Gatsby is a novel that captures the shallowness of preoccupation with status. The novel surrounds the relationship between Nick Carraway and his wealthy neighbour Gatsby. Nick finds himself embroiled in a complicated friendship with his mysterious neighbour and their friendship soon dramatically changes their lives. Throughout the novel Gatsby is portrayed as the epitome of sophistication. This is gradually undermined when Nick becomes friendly with him and learns that Gatsby may not be what he seems. Gatsby’s position as an enviable, popular man soon diminishes radically making it the perfect parable about fair weather friends. The shallowness of Gatsby’s acquaintances and their obsession with status veers towards the ridiculous and the absurd way that married couples in the novel commit adultery is particularly entertaining. However, it is the plot of The Great Gatsby that makes it a true classic. Beautifully crafted, it unravels so cleverly it is one of the best narrative plots ever written. The narrative is interwoven with aspects of reality and keeping up appearances and it is the stark clash of these elements that ultimately leads to tragedy. Overall it’s an unmissable read. Fitzgerald’s magnificent craftsmanship and characters combine to make The Great Gatsby a complete cult classic. Kerry-Lynne Doyle
Quench 18 10 04
t’s time to get out your Oxfam blazer and your retro gear, as Going Out fills you in on Cardiff’s key ‘alternative’ venues. One thought though - if everyone there wears the same clothes and name-checks the same bands, what’s so alternative about that? Bad Boys On Their Best Behaviour investigate ...
CLWB IFOR BACH Womanby Street
Awarded best rock and pop venue three years out of three in the Welsh Music Awards, there is little left to say that hasn’t already been said about what is arguably Cardiff’s most famous music venue. Clwb Ifor Bach aka the Welsh Club - is split into three floors, allowing it to cater to all sorts of tastes on any one night. Wednesday night sees Popscene/ Cheesey Club, where on the ground floor you get funk and disco adding some edge to your usual cheese classics, on the middle floor you’ll find DJs with broken beats, and the top floor provides indie and some of the best new music around. Tuesdays see the long-running Rock Inferno, providing a mixture of rock, metal and goth. And for something a bit different to the usual Friday night fare, try The Dudes Abide, where you’ll hear classic retro and indie tunes, including young pups like Dylan, Hendrix and The Stones. Live music, however, is where Clwb Ifor Bach really comes into its own, with DJ sets and gigs occurring regularly. With a back catalogue including The Strokes, Elbow, Coldplay, Roni Size, Feeder and Roots Manuva, it’s difficult to go wrong. As with most of your alt-indie venues there’s always a contingent of people posing, trying to be all ‘alternative’ and cool, talking loudly about obscure bands in the hope of being overheard by people cooler than themselves. But that just comes down to how much of a music-snob knob you allow yourself to be. If you come here just for good music and to have a good time, you most certainly will. Tom McEnery
Those who dislike Metros would say that it’s dark, dingy and claustrophobic. Look again, though, and these can become positive attributes to a club that’s as close to the heart of indie/alternative student life as it’s possible to be. This place doesn’t mess around when it comes to its music. It caters for rock and metal (Tuesday and Thursday – those not wearing black need not attend), new sounds (Monday and Saturday), and alt and indie (Wednesday and Friday). Wednesday nights can be particularly good fun, as they whack out the cheese to lighten the mood and pack out the dancefloor. Gold by Spandau Ballet anyone? Metros also provides a heroically cheap way to get drunk on Mondays and Wednesdays. This of course makes for utter carnage in a venue that gets as packed as this. What with the intense heat, overcrowding, unbelievable levels of drunkenness, and a foam-filled quagmire of a dancefloor, it’s a wonder there aren’t fatalities. You won’t last five minutes in here if you’re too used to clean, trendy, polite places, where you can go the whole night without putting a hair out of place and avoid any number of suspect stains on your clothing. Embrace the place, though, and its piss-flooded toilets, sweat pouring from the ceiling, and vodka that tastes like meths, and you’ll have a sweaty, dirty, no-holds-barred helluva night out.
Tucked away off Queens Street is a music lovers’ Pandora’s box, where a modest-looking place makes a big noise. The Barfly looks like it could be mistaken for the Cavern Club, but thankfully without teddy boys and Paul McCartney. Its intimate cellar venue can somehow manage to fit in a whole band with most of their instruments, as well as audiences sizable enough so as not to draw attention to you nodding your head like a talking dog trying to sell car insurance. While the music provides pleasure for the ears, the bar provides the necessary blend of ease on the wallet and damage to the liver that makes the hangover worth it. Although not as large and spacious as its main rival, Clwb Ifor Bach, there’s live music nearly every weeknight, and while some bands all look and sound the same, there can be a sense that some are going places and you can say "I saw them before they became pricks". When live music isn’t on the agenda, Barfly provides great Friday and Saturday alternative nights with the best music new and old. Its hasslefree, unpretentious feel means that the problems only start when you spot the Jagermeister behind the bar.
Bakers Row (Off Wharton St)
Com e and ‘ave a go if you think you’re hard enough. M e etings M onday 5pm, 4th floor. Email: email@example.com
F o o d
Sponspored by Dalchini Tandoori
Quench 18 10 04
Two weeks on McKeith’s Shell Plant spent two weeks on the McKeith diet only to discover that she’d rather have chips and chocolate...
am no health freak. I have the occasional alcohol binge, and I like my food - Italian, takeaways, chocolate, crisps. Nevertheless I believe I am quite healthy. I do Yoga every day and haven’t touched a McDonald’s in over a year. Yet after watching C4’s You are what you eat with Dr. Gillian McKeith, my previous attempts at healthy eating seem half-hearted, to say the least. For those who didn’t watch the series here’s quick rundown. The programme opens with shots of some of the most disgustingly obese people in Britain (highlighted by the fact they are stripped down to their underwear and shot at highly unflattering angles). Nutritionist Dr Gillian McKeith then steps in to “save” the participants from any ailments they may suffer due to their diet of general processed crap. For eight weeks the participants are subjected to a diet of vegetables, fruit and healthy things like millet. They all end up healthier, happier and slimmer, not to mention the better lighting and camera angles. The programme intrigued me. I eat a lot of comfort food. Is this actually making me feel worse? I decided to purchase McKeith’s book You Are What You Eat and take up McKeith’s ‘diet of abundance’ for two weeks to see what effect the diet had.
McKeith has a long list of foods in her book that I am allowed to eat. It includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and carb filled foods such as brown rice and grains. I can eat as much and as often as I like, but am not allowed to eat anything other than what is on the list. (It is rather unfortunate that I don’t know what half the foods are). Alcohol is out of the question, as is
caffeine and fizzy drinks. All I am allowed is mineral or filtered water, herbal tea, and raw vegetable or fresh fruit juices. I should not drink during meals, as it floods the digestive system making food difficult to digest. I can drink water up to thirty minutes before or after meals.
I venture into two health shops, and am unsure as to what to expect. The first I visit is Spice of Life - a cute little shop off Albany Road. It’s quite dark and smells funny. Vowing not to be put off, I sample some packets of beans. I nearly fall over when the total comes to £13. Just for beans? Next I try Holland & Barrett in St David Centre. The shop is light, bright and odour free. I buy some millet and leave with a smile, anticipating the delicious taste of this alternative to rice and pasta, full of iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and Vitamin E.
Millet tastes crap. Even mashed with my favourite veg, cauliflower, millet tastes crap. Why did I buy such a giant bag of it? To cheer myself up I look to McKeith’s book for a scrummy recipe. Oooh, Carbo Fudge Delight. My faith in health food is restored. I make up the fudge and put it the freezer to set. Upon tasting the fudge I realise that McKeith has fobbed me off. She promises delicious fudge delight – a guilt free alternative to regular fatty fudge. What does McKeith deliver? Nutty poo slop. Dejectedly, I head for the sofa with a bottle of water.
What “delicious” concoction does
McKeith have in store today I wonder? Ok, red kidney bean burgers, this isn’t so bad. I boil up the beans as McKeith suggests and then attempt to mash them up to make the patties. They’re refusing to mash. I take a bite and am shocked to discover, they are rock hard. I think I may have over-boiled the things. My bean burgers have officially been a disaster; I have no energy left for anything else, so I go to sleep. One issue with seeds in plastic bags, apart from feeling like a budgie every time you eat some, is that once opened they have a life of their own. You simply cannot contain the things. Everywhere I go a trail of seeds follow me.
BUDGIE: Shell with her seeds
corner. I’m delighted to discover that I’m allowed to eat one item on the menu; the five-bean chilli, but not the accompanying sour cream or tortilla chips, which is upsetting. Even so, the chilli is damn good. Another amazing find is PJ’s 100% fruit smoothies. The orange, banana and mango one tastes lovely. Although expensive (£2.28 for 1 litre) it contains no E numbers, additives, preservatives, nothing. McKeith would be proud. Day 9 I learned to make onion gravy today, which sorts out the issue of dry meals and no drink to help it down. I may try millet again with the onion gravy; see if that improves the flavour.
WEIGHT LOSS: Shell lost 8 lbs in two we e k s DAY 6 I am racked with guilt. My feeble will has failed me. I ate a mouthful of curry. It was just one mouthful and it was brown rice, no meat at all I swear. But still that mouthful is now churning disgracefully in my belly, I just couldn’t stop myself, it smelt so good. All this deprivation has made me obsessed with food. All I want is to eat is a subway, or a chocolate brownie, or a pizza, or a bowl of Golden Grahams or an egg-mayo sandwich. What’s so wrong with eggs anyway? Apparently factory produced eggs contain toxic hormones and antibiotics. Fried and pickled eggs are also high in cholesterol. Thanks for that McKeith. Broccoli soup it is then. DAY 7 I can’t stop thinking about curly fries, but have made a discovery - sunflower seeds are great. Packed with protein, minerals, and vitamins, they fill you up, taste good and give you loads of energy. Versatile too, you nibble them on their own, or put them in salads, noodles, stir-fries and even as a topping on cakes. It’s just unfortunate that I’m not allowed cakes. Or chocolate. DAY 8 My friends announce they want to go to our local Wetherspoons for some cheap pub grub. I really want to go but I know that I can eat nothing on the menu. I agree to go in the hope I may be able to eat/drink something, even if I just sip mineral water in the
DAY 12 I feel better today. In fact I made some chickpea burgers and to my delight, they mashed up. They taste great with onion gravy. I like onion gravy. Makes me think of beef. DAY 13 To cheer me up, two of my housemates decided to stick on a video and replace our usual popcorn and ice cream with McKeith’s Lemon Pudding. Which, to be honest, can only be described as avocado, lemon and date gloop, bearing absolutely no resemblance to regular lemon pudding. Bless my housemates, they soldier on and eat a whole bowl of the stuff each, looks of bemused dismay/disgust on their faces. What great friends I have. On the positive side this diet has made me appreciate different types of food. I never knew I liked dates and pears before. DAY 14 I get to eat a Subway tomorrow. I’m so excited. To celebrate this momentous occasion I’m going to have a meatball and cheese foot-long, rather than my normal six-incher. Only one more day to go, I can do this, Subway
T ROUT: Typical McKeith food
heaven awaits me.
Will I stick to the diet? Erm, no. It’s expensive, inconvient, unsuitable for the student lifestyle and it tastes crap. Instead of feeling energetic and good about myself, I felt grumpy and deprived. However, this is a good diet to try if you are desperate to lose weight quickly. I lost 8lbs in two weeks. I do see McKeith’s point; I feel groggy if I eat lots of processed food so I may try to incorporate more seeds, fruits and vegetables into my diet. But that’s for next week. This week I’m going to gorge on as much shit as I can. You only live once and there is no point in depriving yourself of the things you love.
A day on McKeith’s 9:30am
One apple, one orange and a banana.
A handful of hazelnuts and some pumpkin seeds.
Rainbow trout, baked with leeks, garlic, ginger, olive oil and lemon juice and served on a bed of lettuce, cucumber, raw carrot and red pepper.
Small bowl of brown rice, flavoured with carrots, sprouts, onion and vegetable stock.
Five bean chilli from Whetherspoons (see day 8).
Half a bag of hazelnuts.
S p o r t
Don’t believe the hype
very new idea, it seems, needs a gimmick to appeal to the masses. The people responsible for the flashes of inspiration that are Soda-Streams, blow-up furniture and Michelle McManus may all rue the way they promoted their leftfield ideas but strangely, in the world of sport, gimmickry has found a home. Beneath the low-slung jeans and oversized hoodies of the extreme sports fraternity lies an untruth that is rarely investigated. Externally, these laid-back sports enthusiasts, with their predilection for elongating superlatives (duuude), are the embodiment of care-free sportsmen, but the myth that surfers and skateboarders chose their sports because of the general bonhomie and lack of competitive bitching has been perpetuated long enough. It seems odd that few people question the validity of extreme sports ‘enthusiasts’ when their publicly-spoken ethos is based on a lie. Extreme sports may be comparatively new and exciting activities, but to say that they are enjoyed by a different type of sportsman to say, football, is wrong. Channel 4’s late-night schedules are often filled with hours of ‘X Games’-style coverage, filmed, naturally, in on-the-edge wobble-vision and grainy cut-aways. Presenters are streetwise, sun-bleached Zane Lowe types and the competitors
celebrate victories with nauseating speeches about how community and enjoyment are the best parts of skateboarding. This too-cool-for-school production and pious rhetoric is gimmickry of the highest order. Mountain biking, snowboarding and surfing are full of skill, agility and bravery but why do the Quiksilvers and Rip Curls of this world continually push the notion that these sports cultivate such a noncompetitive, easy-going following? Skateboarders are viewed as devil-
“Don’t kid yourself into thinking that they are anti-competitive and ideologically different from ‘mainstream’ sportsmen” may-care teenagers cruising effortlessly through concrete jungles while footballing youths doing kick-ups in the rain are pock-marked louts with a ferocious devotion to self-preservation. Fundamentally, a kid practising ollies on a pavement and a lad juggling a football in a park are not different types of people.
BOARD STUPID: Skating is just as competitive as mainstream sports
Quench 18 10 04
Thom Airs isn’t cool with extreme sports’ slacker reputation This separation between cool-boarder and uncouth footballer is often attributed to the ‘underground’ merits of extreme sports. Nailing my colours to the halfpipe here, sports remain underground for a reason - they’re shit. Skateboarding clings desperately to this label, seemingly oblivious to the mainstream successes of Tony Hawk video games, Etnies shoes and skater chic. Underground, it seems, means cool and cool means being seen to shun competitiveness. But it’s all an act. Steve Peat, Kelly Slater and Bucky Lasek haven’t risen to the pinnacle of their extreme sports by refusing to compete against the best in the world (they have shown similar dedication to that of Jonny Wilkinson and Tim Henman from ‘overly competitive’ sports). Matt Pritchard of Dirty Sanchez fame used to be one of the top skateboarders in Britain but, just like in the worlds of rugby or tennis, side projects like hurting yourself for TV hamper your ability to perform in your chosen sport. Contrary to the popular misconception, at the highest level skateboarding is just like any other athletic sport: competitive, constantly evolving and reliant on fitness. Skateboarding, surfing, inline skating et al are great sports that are just as skilful as more established games but there really is no need to perpetuate the sport-as-a-way-of-life attitude that accompanies the extreme genre. The alternative fashion industry that keeps the ‘extreme’ bandwagon in motion may suffocate the activities themselves, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that they are anti-competitive and ideologically different from ‘mainstream’ sportsmen. Like the introduction of Scrappy Doo to Scooby’s adventures, extreme sports have been sullied by a needless gimmick that detracts from the intrinsic appeal of the original idea.
54 B l i n d
D a t e
Quench 18 10 04
Dream Date...? Bored? Broke? Looking for love? Look no further, Cardiff’s answer to Cilla Black is just a phone call away. Let me take away the hassle of finding that special someone. Too drunk by night and hungover by day? You may have missed your perfect match. But fear not Lisa Love will do the hard work for you. All I need is for you to contact me with your name age and sexual preference.
You never know what’s round the corner...and even if it’s a minger, you get some free grub as well as free beer/wine goggles. What more could you ask for? Except possibly Marilyn... cos she’s dead. For those of you who have already contacted me, don’t despair! I’m working my magic as we speak, and will be in touch shortly. Interested? Phone or text me on 07746503742 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org “Nights are not just for sleep” - Marilyn Monroe
D-Ream: “Things can only get better”
D i a r y i n t o l e r a n c e
eing asked to write this column is like a beloved Uncle passing on, and leaving you the prettiest, most beautiful painting on God’s earth. And then being asked in his final will and testament, to break the gilded silver frame over my knee, and walk around with the shards of MDF dropping off like carcass off a kebab. The boots are large, my feet minute, the heart heavy. Prince Charming went out looking for the wearer of the glass slipper, and it neatly fitted the village horse better than Cinderella. I am not DC Gates any more than the next man. Or indeed, horse. Most people who keep a diary dream that one day someone will find it and say "my god, this person was a genuine fuck-up and never told anyone! Man, they’re so REAL". Don’t give me that "oh no no, mine’s purely personal – nobody’s ever going to read it" tripe, because face it, even if you’re point-456 of a fuck-up, you’re still going to angst up your diary a bit because, after you croak it and form a wormery in the breast pocket of your death suit, someone is going to find your diary and you know you want them to say. You want them to say "Whoah – issues! – Wish I’d bast-
ed that turkey when they were on this mortal coil". Too right. Online blogs are dandy for all this, but we’re talking megabuck copy-cat suicide issues here, not perverse cyber thrills. It’s this sick fantasy that leads most people to subconsciously want their diary published. Everyone dreams of it as they scrawl "Saw RJ in the Frog and Fuckwit today – oh man how can I tell him about SG and the baseball bat incident?" They dream, and then they die. RJ, being RJ strops over to the deceased house at the wake to ransack the bedroom – "What did they say about me? Did they want to do it on that camping trip in Normandy, or did they really just have their hip replaced?" It’s for this reason I don’t keep a diary. I used to, but you know, you grow tired to sculpting your life into a hybrid of Monsieur Sophisticate and Billy Wanker, in the hope that Joe Public will admire your wit AND sensitivity. It’s tricky business trying to juggle all your defecits without having to phrase them beautifully when your write up your account of why you had to leave your best friend’s brother’s band, Bumwhistle, during their debut gig at The Choking Nun. Poor, poor
Quench 18 10 04
pitiful me collapses under the weight of musical tourettes: “I had to cry in the toilets and only had the last page of The Bell Jar to blow my nose, and... oh yeah, the new Giant Sand album is AMAZING”. Less Kurt Cobain’s journals, more Utterly Inarticulate Idiot, open backets Fancies Himself A Bit Of a Nick Hornby, close blackets. The solution? Is there a solution? Who even wants one anyway? Nobody likes people who scrape the offal of fabricated misery from their ventricles and serve it up on your breakfast plate any more than... actual, of course they do! that’s why Robbie Williams’ sack o’ shit autobiography gets gobbled up by the citizens of Planet Car Crash. Looks like I’ve got a future in non-celebrity intoxicant confessions. Oh, YEAH. So this is my diary now. And you are my future looking back on my life and screwing up your face. So when I exit stage left, you can all have the chance to play detective, finalise the last weeks of my life, wish you’d done something about it, etc. And naturally, you can all rest assured that it didn’t want to do with any of you, least of all whilst camping in Normandy.
Your Horoscopes with Madame Cynthia
ibra (Sep 23 - Oct 22) Do you love me, mummy? Do you? You do? Can I come out of the boot now? Please? corpio (Oct 23 - Nov 22) Dear me, you seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that other people care about your enthusiasm for US underground music. That Big Black t-shirt isn’t impressing anyone, either. agittarius (Nov 23 - Dec 21) The new week begins with a surprise - a cure for that toothache. What a pity that yet again an axe has to be involved. Damn the sluggard pace of medicine! apricorn (Dec 22 - Jan 20) Listen, buster, those seats is reserved for decent peoples. Now get out or I’ll have you by the beak before you can say Jack Robinson, Mr Tarbuck. quarius (Jan 21 - Feb 18) Won’t be told, eh? Right, you fat Scouse cunt, you’re going down! You an’ all, Rooney - philandering has no place in today’s world of sport! Oi, Ringo! Where d’you think you’re going? C’mere!
isces (Feb19 - Mar 20) Over the course of the coming weeks you will discover hidden messages within the recordings of 70s yokel funsters, The Wurzels. National catastrophy is alluded to in the dread phrase “with a gurt big stick I’ll knock ‘im down / Blackbiiirrrd, I’ll ‘ave ee”. ries (Mar 21 - Apr 20) Your interpretation of the word ‘commando’ is met with consternation and fury by your superiors at Sandhurst. aurus (Apr 21 - May 21) Yellow, formerly your lucky colour, falls completely out of grace, after fifteen banana daquiris make their presence all too well known on the no.27 to Llanishen. emini (May 22 - June 22) Noone cares about your fucking time machine. This is an AA meeting, and we’re trying to find the kettle. Piss off, will you? ancer (June 22 - July 22) at first, everyone will laugh and pour scorn on your time-travelling craft. The fools! You must warn them all before it’s too late! Hurry, my boy, hurry!
A T G C
eo (July 23 - Aug 23) Boys, boys, boys, are looking for a good time. But not with you, you supperating mass of boils. irgo (Aug 24 - Sep 22) Your life will improve immeasurably next week, as you discover a method of heating the food in the cans. Madame Cynthia regrets to mention that her previous secretary, one DC Gates, is still in her service. Having taken an apprentice in the form of Mr. Widdop, the wretch clings to his column like a beggar to his rags, and will peddle his nonsense next issue, as well as transcibing La Cynthia. Ave!