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SUMMER REVIEWED / FESTIVALS ROUND-UP / ERASURE


❁❁❁❁❁❁❁ erasure in terview p.8

contents 04 voyeur 06 debate 07 sof ie 08 interviews 14 travel 16 features 22 fashion 24 gay 27 music 37 f ilm

44 arts 46 books 48 digital 50 going out 51 cult classics 52 the f inal whistle 54 blind date

Iss ue 56 1st October 2007 Summer festival special p.27

p. 15

Editor Ben Bryant Executive Editor Amy Harrison Assistant to the Editors Elaine Morgan Arts Amy Grier, Tasha Prest-Smith Blind Date Hazel Plush Books Tom Williams Cult Classics Gareth Mogg Debate Aisling Tempany Digital Dom Mukwamba-Sendall Fashion Jo Butler, Mary Parkes Features Gillian Couch, Chris Rogers, Jim Whiteley Film Sim Eckstein, Will Hitchins Food Daniel Smith Gay Andy Tweddle Going Out Amelia Thomas Interviews Michael Bateson-Hill, Lucinda Day, Annika Henderson Music Kyle Ellison, Francesca Jarvis, Si Truss Travel Jim Finucane, Kirsty Page Sub Editor Graeme Porteous Proof Readers David Hoare, Aisling Tempany


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{Voyeur }......... IN

OUT

Y

oung, dumb and full of cum. With pass rates rising and exams ‘getting easier’, has there been a better time for Freshers to just embrace a mantra the Daily Mail wishes it could print? Of course, it’s not necessarily that easy to embrace two weeks of enforced introductions, alcohol poisoning and F-U-N. Freshers’ week is a strange experience; a bizarre carnival of tacky club nights, costumes and alcohol. If you happen to live in Talybont or one of the larger halls, it can feel a bit like that homoerotic school trip where you stayed in a dorm on the fringes of the Lake District, participated in some desperate but ill-judged fumbles at the climax of a game of murder in the dark (now forbidden conversational territory) and spent the rest of the trip pondering your sexuality amid the bleak splendour of Crinkle Crags. It’s a heady, insecurity-baiting mixture, like that triple sambuca you dropped in your snakebite to kill the awkward silence creeping up on you and your New Best Friends. Talking of whom, it’s a good idea to keep them in perspective. Sure, you don’t want to get too self-conscious and spend two weeks at your desk reading Sartre, harrumphing at the clichés and false intimacy. But go too far the other way and you’ll spend your honeymoon period with your housemates in the first flushes of an affair that can easily turn ugly. Yes, you WILL regret sleeping with the engineer next door; he might seem like fun now, but later you’ll realise you were just desperate and deluded. Besides, he eats your Marmite when you’re not there.

07964308150

Cardiff ’s own flirt divert service

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Calvin Klein might frame your gooch goblin like nothing else, but they have nothing on magical Mormon plane-crash retardent undergarments. Probably.

Calvin Klein

‘magical’ Mormon undergarments

e - shoppe r Anthem Ball Plays 25 national anthems. £12.38 dstore.com

Magazine of the Week:

Bring BacK...

{

}

Aaaaah... Old Spice. The romantic scent of a grizzly old fisherman’s beard. Everyone and their grandad recognise the distinctive pine-fresh tones of this little beauty. You can actually still buy this classic fragrance, complete with its original packaging, from reputable retailers. It goes well with moustache wax.


S T Y L E with Amber Duval

“Hello girls, boys and in-betweeners! Amber Duval here. Since becoming a widow to my loyal husband of two years, Ernest Willoughby-Caesar, I’ve charitably taken it upon myself to return from the valleys and use my hard-earned inheritance to heave Cardiff from the depths of the turgid fashion rectum it has lapsed into in my absence. Now, money can’t buy style. We all know that. But that’s no excuse for this years’ Freshers’ felching awful dress sense...”

PHOTO: Ed Salter

“Oh dear! Nobody wants a ‘tache on their gash, and that beard makes the rusty trombone no fun whatsoever. This poor chap obviously hasn’t a clue!”

“I once had a girlfriend who wore cardigans. She was a miserable cunt, but she gave very good oral”

IS THIS YOU? PHOTO: Amy Harrison

“This young man might be smiling cheerfully, but that shameful period-head is nothing to be proud of. But there you are, boys will be boys.”

PHOTO: Ed Salter

PHOTO: Ed Salter

This issue: Amber visits Fun Factory

If so, you’ve won a copy of the Proclaimers’s new album with a FREE Proclaimers magazine! Hooray! And some other miscellaneous office crap. Send an email to Voyeur. voyeur@gairrhydd.com /

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D

ance! ance! ance!

Debate considers if you should dance like a maniac or remain cool and reserved on a night out?

Imitating Pans People

T

here is a reason why there aren’t many chairs or tables in clubs. There is a reason why the music is deafeningly loud. You’re meant to be dancing. If you want to just have a drink and listen to some music, well, you know, there are off-licenses. You’d save your money and your eardrums, and we wouldn’t have to feel bad when we wander off and leave you standing in the corner, getting covered in everybodys drink and sweat. It doesn’t matter about being ‘cool’. It’s not about ‘cool’. It’s about enjoying yourself. There is nothing as irritating and un-cool as people who refuse to do something because ‘it’s not cool’. Especially if those people are such miseries to be around. Most people around you have probably had more than a few, and tomorrow, when you’re nursing a hangover, or trying not to fall asleep in a lecture, no-one will remember that you were imitating the Pans People videos playing. After a long hard week, fortnight or month it’s good to lighten up by jumping around on a dance floor like a maniac. Last year I liked nothing better than dancing to No Cars Go by Arcade Fire, with my hair going wild, and flying everywhere. It may not look good on camera, it may permanently destroy my ‘cool’, and may one day result in serious injury, but hell, it feels good at the time. I mean, there are so many things in life that are there to make you feel bad. Aisling Tempany

it’s not about being co ol, se ur lf it’s about enjoying yo

Silent gems

I

admire those people who sashay into the middle of the dance floor and manage to look the epitome of cool. It’s a great thing to be comfortable enough in your own skin to reveal your personality through your dancing and overall body language. Unfortunately, it can all go horribly wrong. It’s bad enough when a drunken male is splashing beer all over your feet, but when you see him wiggling his lower half in a sozzled endeavour at dance it’s somehow so much worse. Or there’s the person (and yes, it is usually a girl) who is trying far too hard, squirming up against a pole. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think she looks much better having a chat at the sidelines about those all-important topics like hair extensions and her favourite tanning shade. The truth is, that dancing well, like most things in life, is a feat achieved only by a select few. For the rest of us, it seems that we either bash our heads around in a deranged attempt to look good, adopt a style that wouldn’t be out of place in a George Michael music video from the 80s, or in my case, shuffle our feet around half-heartedly while hiding behind an obliging curtain of hair. There are advantages to being the silent gem who lingers in the corner. Often people are intrigued by you because you’re detached and therefore shrouded in enigma. It’s more of a challenge to get to know you, and people love challenges. Of course, it’s not all about being reserved and unattainable; sometimes the lack of dancing is replaced by a lovely, mellow heart-to-heart which makes you think, after a couple of hours, that the world isn’t so bad after all. Tasha Prest-Smith

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Sofie Jenkinson

STAND BY FOR TRANSITION T

here are times, moments even, in everybody’s life that seem misplaced, fruitless and confusing. As a taskmaster, transition seems to be a devious little bastard. Life at university is peppered and punctuated with these strange periods of semi-existence, often leaving you wondering when the feeling of belonging will ever rear its not-sougly head. The quicker you learn to go with the proverbial flow in these instances, the better. The occasionally glorious institution that is university is one of the best places to carve a niche all of your own. As a general rule most people seem to think that students are lazy and annoying. I have found that instead of wasting time trying to change this from the inside it is definitely better to except it and do whatever the hell you want. After all you only get the chance to watch Neighbours twice a day every day for three years solid once in your life. Speaking of which, a great deal can be learnt from life through the careful study of Neighbours as a cultural form. Love, loss, family, trauma and most importantly BBQs, pool parties and all forms of “snag.”

Anyhow, I digress. Episodes of transition, much like a decent bout of the flu, often leave you feeling weak, useless and completely deflated. When one comes to such a time of feeling like an utterly pointless waste of cells it usually seems as though inspiration is a mirage that will never again manifest itself in solid form. But fear not as here’s the rub – if

new direction you’ve been dreaming of. As I sit here, slap bang in the middle of my own little transitional hell, I am remembering how tempting it is to run the other way, but sometimes, like this time, riding it out is the only option. Unless you are planning to be a nomad for the rest of your life. I know that after watching the most recent series of Tribe that seems more tempting but it is more likely that you will learn more about yourself by wading through it than as part of an Australasia backpacking experience although it doesn’t hurt to try it once (the only casualties seem to be Mr. Liver & Mr. Bank-Account.) Uni days are ripe for the picking in terms of the many types of experience, and filling your punnett to the brim is the order of the day. Much like Neighbours-related opportunities it is one of the few times in life where you actually get the time and space to really expand your mind – in every sense. And in doing so you might just find the black hole of transition in the days after doing Batman impressions in your graduation gown a little easier to swallow.

pting it is to run the I am very aware of how tem other way, but sometimes riding it out is the only option you can conjure up any amount of inspiration at the height of a bout of pointlessitus (I believe this to be the correct medical lexis) then you may just have stumbled across a skill they can’t teach in lecture theatres. A skill which, in these increasingly fluid and tumultuous times, may be required in the play of life more often than ever before. Much like the heart stopping moments in dreams where you fall from the nearest tall building, I have found the most unsettling times of transition are best rode like a white water rapid of opportunity. They offer an escape route from whatever rut you happen to find yourself in, which can be eye-poppingly scary, oh yes, but may also blow you in the fantastic

sofie@gairrhydd.com /

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IN the DoCk George Clooney

Michael Clayton

Ge

orge Clooney, 46, stars in Michael Clayton, as a “fixer’, at one of the largest corporate law films in New York. He takes care of the dirty work for key clients. He’s burned out and tired. But, when he suspects that he is losing too much selfrespect, he hits back. The result is a tense thriller, directed and written by Tony Gilroy, who wrote all the Bourne movies. Clooney talks about his new role and his life in this exclusive Q and A from Venice film festival. Is the time right for a film like Michael Clayton? I think it is just the right time for this story. I recall seeing The Verdict, with Paul Newman. That, too, was a case of perfect timing. My character is a man at the end of his rope. He has used all up the options. Is it true you made the film free of charge? In effect, yes. I did not take any money, but will make money if it becomes a success. You win some,

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you lose some. I lost out on The Good German, for example. But I have made a lot of money from films in the past and now have a choice. Do I do a film like Michael Clayton, which I really believe in? Or do I get bored and well-paid by big studios for those I don’t? I am lucky to have a choice. What was your relationship with Tom Wilkinson, who plays Arthur Edens? I think Tom learned a lot from me

as an actor (laughs). He kept on saying:’How would you say these lines, George?’ The very first day at work, for me, was the scene in jail with Tom. It was like jumping into the fire. How do you feel about lawyers who protect the guilty? Our country believes that everyone has a right to a fair trial. We have to prove whether the law works or not. Even Saddam Hussein had a lawyer defending him. I would not like it


myself - but we have a right to a fair trial. What do you think of Tony Gilroy, the new director? I don’t like him (laughs). The minute I met Tony and sat down with him I knew he was capable of handling 150 people in a film crew. He has a great script too. But I do not like a director who is better looking than me - and he is! Do you have an example of how well he directs a scene? There was a scene in which my character looks at horses in a field, at the start of a very dramatic sequence. The way Tony directed it, that was interesting and exciting. I could have just been left standing there and the audience thinks:’What is wrong with this guy?’ It has happened before to me. Look at Batman and Robin. Could Michael Clayton have had a more optimistic ending? I read a really good script and want to tell a good story as the script is written. I look at films made between 1964 and 1976 - the good ones and none of them end well. I do not think this one ends particularly well, but there is some satisfaction in it and it makes a moral point. It does not feel like a sell-out at all. Tell us something about yourself...don’t you drive an electric car? I own an electric car, called a Tango. It is a one seat car, which is embarrassing. But it goes from zero to 60 in four seconds, which is fast. I do it because I think we are going to have to find a way to get away from oil. I cannot be the spokesman for the environment because I will still fly on a private jet. That makes a big hole that someone can point towards and go: ‘Really? How is the jet ride over here?’ So I have to be careful how I handle that situation. What is most important - friendship or love? Friendship is a part of love. They are not mutually exclusive. I have great love for my friends. I do not separate one from the other. It has worked out well for me, don’t you think? What would I do for my friends? Do you remember a guy

pany like Nestle. I told her, to earn some money. I am doing the best I can to bring attention to issues like Darfur, war and starvation. There are certain moments when you want to ask: What are you doing to help the world?

who drove OJ Simpson’s car when he was running away? He was made the bad guy. But I liked that guy. Your buddy is in trouble and you say: Okay, I’ll drive.

You grew up around fame, didn’t you? My father was a big TV journalist star for a time. My aunt, Rosemary, was also big star. I saw it. I saw how little it has to do with you. It is all about luck. I got lucky with the TV show ER. If that had not happened, then I would still be on television or not. I believe you are about to do a new film with the Coen brothers? It is one of the reasons I am growing this beard. Do you like it? (already a healthy stubble). There is a lot of testosterone in the family. The Coen film has nothing to do with politics. It is as wrong as it can be. I wish I could understand it. I tell them: ‘I don’t understand it.’ They go: ‘Yeah...heh, heh, heh.’ I am hav ing an affair with Tilda Swinton, from Michael Clayton, so I get to work with her again. I need a stepladder, she’s so tall.

Why are you so politically motivated? I did Goodnight, Good Luck, and Syriana, because I was pissed off. I was portrayed in a magazine, on the cover, as a traitor to my country, for asking that we should ask some questions before we send in 150,000 people to be shot at in Iraq. Would a Democrat make a difference in the White House? I like Barack Obama because he is very intelligent. He is the only guy in that group you wrote a piece in 2003 to say how stupid going in to that war was. You have been in a room every once in a while with a rock star and he takes your breathe away. Barack Obama is just like that.

Does movie-making make you more conscious of own responsibility? The day after I wrapped Michael Clayton, I was on a plane to Darfur. There was something inside of me which made me want to go out and do something else. There is this weird thing that happens. I want to go and stand in Chad for ten days. It was as much about that experience.

Our country believes that everyone

has a right to a fair

trial.

We have to prove whether the LAW works or not.

What is it like being as famous as you, walking in to room? And what point does it get to be irritating? Right now..(laughs). There are things which are irritating, like a journalist who asked about why I do coffee advertisements in Europe for a big multinational com-

Do priorities change as you grow older? The older you get the more you are able to participate in other parts of society. The more secure you are in your career you can concentrate on other issues. I have this great group of friends and they have been a great group for 25 years. The older we get, the easier it is to stay close and spend time together. I have been very lucky and have great parents a great sister and a great life. Michael Clayton opens on September 28th

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The future points ...LEFT Si Truss pinned down FUTURE OF THE LEFT on the opening night of their UK tour to talk obsenities involving goats, guys from Montreal and their love for the oppressed.

‘C

ardiff’s alright,’ proclaims Future Of The Left guitarist/vocalist Andy ‘Falco’ Falkous. He has, essentially, summed up in two words the rather ambivalent view that the band seem to hold about playing in their home city. Tonight is the first night of the bands first proper UK tour. Yet despite two weeks of planning, and the fact that the band and myself live within a mile radius of each other, it’s not until now, half an hour before doors open, that I finally get to talk to the band (completed by bassist Kelson Mathias and drummer Jack Egglestone) in their makeshift dressing room on the middle floor of Clwb Ifor Bach. Clwb is a venue that holds a mixed position in the bands history. Despite being the scene for an increasing number of triumphant Future Of The Left shows, the poor attendance at the first proper gig the band played in the venue (and in fact in

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Cardiff) led Falkous to dub the set ‘the worst show yet’ on his Myspace blog.”There’s nothing exotic about a band from Roath,” Andy explains, “someone would rather go see an experimental art-pop collision from Montreal or two guys finger fucking goats from

Quebec, and that’s fine. You can play a hometown show to no enthusiasm at all, relatively speaking. People just don’t know

what they’ve got until it’s gone.” Maybe this is part of the reason that when I question their thoughts on Cardiff’s music scene I’m met with a somewhat muted response. “In terms of my eternal soul and being fair to everybody it’s probably best that you ask someone else.” Falkous replies sticking, it seems, to the age-old adage that if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all.”Err… it’s nice?” Pipes up Kelson, seeing that he seems to be the someone else to whom the question falls. Certainly, it seems that Future Of The Left don’t think of themselves as a Welsh band. “Only one of us is actually Welsh,” Kelson is quick to point out.”And none of us speak Welsh either, we just live in Wales,” Jack adds.”Wales is good, I side with the oppressed, the little nation,” Offers Andy in support, “but scenes are for scenesters. Bands are good on the basis of the music they make not where they come from.” It’s a fair statement, and one that Future Of The Left have every right to make. Their debut album, Curses, is a great alternative record, good enough, in fact, to make critics


forget about the band’s notable roots and see Future Of The Left emerge as a band in their own right. You see, it’s difficult to talk about Future of The Left without eventually having to mention the three members previous bands; Andy and Jack previously made up two thirds of the regularly name-dropped Mclusky while Kelson comes from local favourites Jarcrew. But does it bother the band that since forming in 2005, little has been written about them that doesn’t mention their former projects? “No, it’s completely natural,” replies Falkous nonchalantly, “I was in Mclusky for nine years, it was a big part of my life and at this stage it’s as much of a part of my life as this band is. If in a couple of years it’s still the main point of reference then it’s a worry; it’ll show how far we haven’t come.” As for his views on his former band mate, the slightly messy split of Mclusky seems to have left Andy somewhat less than harmonious. When asked his views on Shooting At Unarmed Men, the new project of ex-Mclusky bassist Jonathan Chapple his response is simply “Well what do you think of Lethal Weapon 3?” (we take it by this that he means

that it is a thoroughly enjoyable and well crafted piece of work of which everyone involved should be proud.)”I quite like the first Shooting at Unarmed Men record,’ Chips in Jack, saving Andy from saying anything too scaving, ‘it’s got it’s moments.”

I was in Mclusky for nine years... if in a couple of years time it’s still the main point of reference then it’s a worry; it’ll show how far we haven’t come.

With a band name like Future Of The Left and with song titles such as Fuck The CountrySide Alliance it’s not difficult to tell the likely politic leanings of the band. However, when quizzed on the subject they deny being an overtly political band. “It’s probably just that one song,” replys Andy, “thats pretty explicit, but other than that, we’re all left leaning individuals but we’re not a political band. We’re all human beings and we engage in polotics on a daily basis, to say you’re not interested in polotics is like say-

ing you’re not interested in the things you buy, your relationships your day to day existence, but I don’t think we’re a political band.” Tonight’s show sees Future Of The Left kick off a tour that is, as Falkous puts it. “roughly on the same scale as the initial invasion of Stalingrad” and sees the band follow up their UK dates with an extensive European jaunt, including several weeks supporting Against Me. When asked about the prospect of hitting the road supporting another band Falkous seems to hold a kind of optomistic excitement about the whole thing. “In all of Mclusky’s years we probably played about three or four support shows, including a couple, rather hilariously, supporting The Libertines. I’m looking forward to it, shorter sets, slightly more intense.” November sees them return to Cardiff to play Huw Stevens’ Swn festival, and from the way the bands future is shaping up, it could be the last chance to catch them play a home town show for quite some time.

Future of the Left’s debut album ‘curses’ will be available in the UK from the 24th September

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Halfway between modernity and eternity in...

ATHENS

Visually striking and rich in culture, Athens’ history has nevertheless always cast an ominous shadow over its modernisation and progression. Jim Finucane travelled to Greece to find out more

O

ne of the oldest cities in the world, Athens was at the forefront of modernist thought throughout ancient history. Such labels as ‘the cradle of Western Civilisation’ and ‘the birthplace of democracy’ provide a grand aura to the notion of this now bustling metropolis. Of course, like any successful city, Athens was plagued by attacks and pillaging for centuries, with more recently the preservation of its rich culture being challenged by the pitfalls of modernisation and expansion. Athens is indeed a city of perplexing contrasts, as old battles with new to exert its cultural dominance over all who inhabit it. Central to Athens landscape is the Acropolis hill that rises from the surrounding urban sprawl. Upon it sits the majestic Parthenon temple – the enduring symbol of ancient Greece and Athenian democracy, and one of the world’s

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greatest cultural monuments. The travellers’ first glimpse of its imposing structure lit up against the bleak night sky is undoubtedly a moment to savour. However, ascending the Acropolis not only takes a great physical effort in the scorching summer heat, but an imaginative one too. Once great structures that rest upon the face of the Acropolis, such as the magnificent Theatre of Dionysus, are currently reduced primarily to rubble after years of pillaging. However, the Greek Ministry of Culture continues to conduct programs of restoration and reconstruction across the Acropolis, having completely restored another theatre, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and continually

working on the large-scale restoration of the Parthenon. The effects of war have also been greatly damaging. Despite the ornate monuments that stand atop the Acropolis, it was often used as a strategic stronghold during battles due to its preferable positioning and coverage. It is sickening to learn of the destruction that has occurred at certain times; during a 17th Century battle those defending Athens used the Parthenon to store gunpowder inside, but when an enemy mortar was fired at the Parthenon it ignited the stores of gunpowder and blew the temple partially to smithereens. Most recently, pollution provided the greatest threat to the maintenance of the structures, as acid rain

Athens in a city of perplexing

contrasts, as old battles with new


all but completely eroded numerous reliefs that decorate the temples. Unfortunately, Greece has been very slow to address environmental issues, and for many years was one of the most polluted cities in the world. awareness combined dangerously to produce crowded living conditions and persistent smog over the city. However, the situation is gradually improving, primarily as a result of stringent enforcements and changes made prior to the 2004 Olympic Games, which thankfully have been maintained. At the base of the north side of the Acropolis lay the ruins of the Ancient Agora: the centre of administrative, political, and social life. All

are the numerous pieces of pottery with a name scratched onto each, used as voting tokens. Whichever politician received the most votes would be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years, the process known as ostracism (if only the same could be done today!). Areas such as the ancient Agora would have thrived during the socalled Golden Age of Athens, which occurred at around 500 BC. This period saw an influx of money into the city that was used to transform and establish Athens into one of the most prosperous cities in the world. It was at this time that many of the prominent cultural figures in Athenian history existed; as sculpture, drama,

roads led to this bustling quarter, where citizens would avidly discuss topical issues, attend lectures, or be entertained. On its western edge can be seen the Temple of Hephaestus, one of the best-preserved temples in Greece. Below it lies the bare foundation of the Stoa of Zeus, the building from which Socrates was said to have delivered his philosophies: one cannot help but to stop a moment and consider the conversations that must have occurred here in the aftermath of his lectures. The excellent Agora museum houses numerous findings from the site, chronologically explaining the activities that occurred here. Interestingly it presents artefacts of the first Athenian democracies – most striking

and literature flourished. However, it wasn’t until the next century that the three great philosophers and most well known figures of Athenian culture lived: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The legacy of this great trio can still be seen in Athens today, in the form of the Athens Academy. Founded by Plato, and the first institution of higher learning in the western world, it has been attended by scores of successful philosophers and academics since. Today, Athens houses two of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Greece: the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, as well as the Athens Polytechnic. The Athens Polytechnic has always been a place of vibrant political

activism through struggles for peace and democracy in Greece – fighting for the very principles upon which the foundations of ancient Greece were built and prospered, values which were particularly absent during the military dictatorship of Greece during the 60’s and 70’s. The Athens Polytechnic Uprising occurred on November 17, 1973, and was an empowering revolt of the people against the military junta. However, whilst it was the first step towards overthrowing the oppressors it nonetheless resulted in the tragic loss of many young lives. Most recently, and during my time in Athens this summer, Greece witnessed one of its worst national

The ancient Agora, Athens tragedies for decades, as forest fires literally swept huge areas and took numerous lives. The initial outrage and protest at the governments handling of the emergency was followed by shock and indignation at the causes of the fires: the events were in fact the result of human activity, rather than a natural catastrophe. Strict development laws forbidding construction of buildings on forested land had compelled property developers to pay refugees large sums of money to start the fires. This terrible act of greed and destruction perhaps encapsulates the challenges Athens has had to endure over the centuries as adverse human activity continually threatens its breathtaking heritage.

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size DOES matter But so does what you do with it

Jim Whiteley looks at the biggest, best and the down right nastiest characters of the Animal Kingdom specimen # 1

The Colossal Squid Larger than big, bigger than giant, the Colossal Squid is the stuff of legends. Although a fully grown adult specimen has never been caught, clever animal people reckon they could grow anything up to 14 metres long, based on the discovery of tentacles and beaks in the stomachs of whales, and also by the scars found on whale’s bodies . The largest specimen recovered was found this year off the coast of New Zealand, and measured 10 metres in length. To add to the fearful reputation of this animal, instead of being equipped with standard issue tentacles, the Colossal Squid sports swiveling hooks at it’s tips, and has the largest eyes in the animal kingdom.

PU

SS

YC

AT

specimen # 2

The Liger Boasting the title “Largest Cat in the World”, the Liger is terrifying at best. Being the bastard lovechild of a lion and a tiger would be enough to make anyone feel out of place, but to then grow to be double the size of your parents gives this cat some serious issues. The largest (non-obese) Liger in the world is Hercules, a three year old Liger kept at Miami Zoo. Although he is currently only 10 feet long, he is expected to grow up to 12 feet when he reaches maturity. Sadly, Ligers are not found in the wild, as there are no places in the world where tigers and lions co-exist. Probably because they tore each other to shreds before they thought about whacking on the Barry White and getting freaky. Who wouldn’t?

The Goliath Bird-Eating Spider The Goliath Bird-Eating Spider, or Brad for short, is something of a fallacy. Discovered by explorers in the Victorian era, the spider was seen eating a hummingbird. Once. And the hummingbird was probably pretty old and not very well. Favouring crickets, mealworms and the like over the odd blackbird, the spider has all the traits of normal tarantulas; the ability to “hiss” in defence when feeling threatened, the nasty habit of flicking tiny fibreglass-like hairs at people who piss it off, and just being generally big and better than average at chess ...but big in this respect refers to 30cm legspan and 2.5cm fangs. Although ‘fairly harmless’ to humans (2.5cm fangs?!) this is one spider who’s reputation precedes it - and therefore, doesn’t get invited to parties very often.

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specimen # 3

S

ES L M R HA


The Green Anaconda Although technically the largest snake specimen found is the Reticulated Python (at over 10 metres), many imaginative people claim to have seen much bigger Anacondas in the jungles of South America. And we’re talking much bigger. Adventurer Percy Fawcett claimed to have shot an 18 metre snake in 1906. Funnily enough, this claim was ridiculed, and consequently, so were the claims of 30 - 45 metre monsters. Although some people did provide photos to back up their stories, sceptics discredited them, saying that there was no scale in the photos. Which is fair enough, as holding up a ruler next to a 45 metre snake probably isn’t as specimen fun as it sounds.

specimen # 5

#4

The Pandabird

BIZZ

ARE

specimen # 6

Found in the Chengdu region of south western China, the Pandabird is the rarest big animal found on these pages. It is thought that only 20 breeding pairs remain in the wild, and efforts are currently being made by international wildlife organisations for the future conservation of this dying breed. Although the largest Pandabird recorded was 2.3 metres in length, scientists have deduced that larger specimens exist, believing that there could be animals as big as 3 metres long. This was concluded from beak scratches found on wild Pandabirds, caused from their clamber for dominance in the mating season. While only aggressive in the mating season, they are generally shy creatures. Shying away from the bamboo diet of their bear counterparts, the Pandabird is carnivorous, favouring small rodents, which are found aplenty in the forests of China.

The Gorilla With 98% similar DNA to humans, the Gorilla obviously isn’t that similar to humans - it’s blatantly much better. Apart from it’s massive size (just under 2 metres high) Gorillas also have impeccable organisation, with silverbacks leading a troop of up to 30 others. They also have the ability to use tools for rudimentary tasks; mainly sticks for bashing in termite nests, but some reports claim Gorillas also use them to warn off potential threats.

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a rough guide to...

s e v a r d n a s e i free par t

Gillian Couch offers a brief introduction to the world of raving A Brief History:

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uring the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the term ‘rave’ was associated with free parties, house, rave, (and other forms of music), warehouses, drug-use, glow sticks, unity, fun and dancing. Free parties often took place in abandoned warehouses, outdoors and various squats. As Steve Pratt, of the Northern Echo elaborated: ‘In the late 1980s, motorway service stations played a role in the rave culture. They couldn’t have happened without the M25 Orbital Parties, as they became known, which were organised with party goers waiting for news of the venue at the service station payphones in a bid to outfox the authorities discovering where

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these borderline legal raves were taking place.’ In 1982 Tony Wilson opened the Hacienda in his home-city Manchester. The Hacienda became something of a super club – allowing the rave culture to exist in a more established and legal environment. The Hacienda ran for 15 years, closing in 1997 following a drug-related death and various shooting. The film ’24 Hour Party People’ is an idiosyncratic take on Tony Wilson, Factory Records and The Hacienda. Despite being closed down over 10 years ago and the death of Tony Wilson earlier this year, the legacy lives on. It was the forerunner of super clubs and without the Hacienda; there may not have been the likes of Cream or Ministry of Sound.


Laws and definitions:

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he Online Cambridge Advance Learner’s Dictionary defines ‘Rave’ as: ‘An event where young people dance to modern electronic music and sometimes take illegal drugs.’ It also defines ‘Underground’ as: ‘People in a society who are trying new and often shocking or illegal forms of living or forms of art.’ Or: ‘An activity that is secret and usually illegal.’ The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, 1994 includes the following sections regarding raves: (Sections 63 and 65)

Films:

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A ‘rave’ is defined as a gathering of 100+ people; at which amplified music (‘wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’) is played which is likely to cause serious distress to the local community, in the open air and at night. Section 65 lets any uniformed constable who believes a person is on their way to a rave within a 5-mile radius to stop them and direct them away from the area – failure to comply can lead to a maximum fine of £1000.

One Mission:

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ne Mission is Cardiff University’s underground music society. Born 9 years ago out of the unity and passion of fans of underground and less mainstream music, such as: DnB, Jungle, Breaks, Rave and Old Skool, just to name a few. Over the years, One Mission has managed to transform these movements into something with a more commercial appearance. Not only has One Mission meant underground music has become more accessible, it allows fans to come together and share their love. Culture within a world bigger than, and beyond One Mission, has also developed with acts such as Pendulum, The Prodigy, Andy C and forms of DnB and Happy Hardcore becoming prevalent within the commercial music scene. While for some this has been a way of introduction to different kinds of music, for others it has tarnished organic music forms and therefore affected their qualities. What is so good about One Mission is that it sticks to the roots, the resident DJs don’t just stick to whatever has proven successful in

Popular music, it experiments with, and showcases these styles, inviting members and members-to-be with their mutual interest and love for them.

Young people dance to modern electronic l drugs music and sometimes take illega

he rave culture has been portrayed in various ways by way of various films. 24 Hour Party People, as already mentioned, documents Tony Wilson and his Manchester nightclub the Hacienda. With Steve Coogan playing Wilson, it shows the ‘Madchester’ wave and recollects to varying degrees of accuracy the life of the Happy Mondays, Wilson and Factory Records, as well as the Hacienda. It’s All Gone Pete Tong stars Paul Kaye as a DJ who gradually becomes profoundly deaf, through years of DJing, partying and drug taking. He then discovers a pioneering way of DJing by feeling the music, rather than hearing it. Human Traffic, probably one of the best-known rave/dance/ drug generation films, is based in Cardiff, and in particular the club Vision. It documents a weekend in the life of a group of friends, featuring John Simm and Danny Dyer. It’s well worth watching, even if just to play ‘spot the pub’!

Building up to its 10th birthday next September, (which is guaranteed to be a massive event, reunitUK – ing members old and new) this year promises big things for One Mission. As of the 9th October, they will be holding bi-monthly socials at Glo Bar – a perfect opportunity for members to meet and have fun, doing what they do best. Also, by way of tradition, One Mission will continue to US plan trips further afield than Cardiff to give members a taste of super clubs, such as Random Concept, Bristol and Fabric, London. And, they will be continuing to showcase some of the freshest talent on Monday nights at Fun Factory. For more information, or if you missed them at the society fayre, check out their website: www.onemission.co.uk or hunt them down on Facebook.

Human Traffic, 1999, Justin Kerrigan 24-Hour Party People, 2002, Michael Winterbot tom It’s All Gone Pete Tong, 2004, Michael Dowse Go, 1999, Doug Liman Groove, 2000, Greg Har rison A Midsummer Nights Rave, 2002, Gil Cates Jr.

A final word from Ryan Williams aka DirtyRay... “It doesn’t matter what you’re into; hip hop, drum’n’bass, breakbeat, dubstep or just a good ol’ rave, One Mission is all about having fun and meeting people. Get involved!”

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So... what actually happens Rogers gives an account of his at raves? Chris rave experiences... B eing a teenager in a city like Bath leaves you with few options when it comes to a night out, which I guess, is why I first started going to free parties. These were usually very small raves, often held in the surrounding countryside, and largely ignored by the police, who would quite rightly turn their attention to the more problematic city centre on a Saturday night. Unfortunately, these raves only occur no more than once a month. If you want a guaranteed free party, you have to head to London, where the many abandoned warehouses are converted into freak shows every Saturday night. These parties inevitably generate more attention from the police, due to residential complaints about noise pollution and the liberal circulation of drugs. Free parties don’t often fill up until about 1 o clock in the morning, and the rest of the night seems to last an eternity. The morning, however, is the most terrifying part of the rave. The sun rises, illuminating the faces of the people you have spent the night with, and filling your heart with dread.

This fear is matched only by the insufferable prospect of sobriety. This is when it is time to leave. But let’s not dwell upon the morning after. It’s what happens during the night that is of most interest. Usually there are a number of rooms where different types of music are played. These range from the standard techno and drum ‘n’ bass to far more

characters who lurk in the corners, and seem more interested in their ‘business’ than dancing, then you have the odd chav, who turns up, lost on his way home after a night spent standing outside Spar. And, of course, I must not forget to mention the ‘crazy’ raver types, with their pink hair and illuminous clothing. I will not, however, be revealing which category I fall into.

The fear is matched on ly by ct of sobreity the insufferable prospe

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outlandish genres, such as gabba, where the beat is so fast you cannot possibly dance to it. This suits the audience, who are quite incapable of dancing anyway, and instead, just swagger on the spot, shaking their bodies violently as if they are in a state of perpetual shock. The insides of the warehouses are often lavishly decorated with neon lights, netting and ‘trippy’ artwork, as if the experience wasn’t a big enough trip on its own. Raves probably attract the greatest range of people of any night out. You’ve got the shady


This fear is matched only by the insufferable prospect of sobriety.

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Autumn/Winter Trends ‘07 Fashion, fashion everywhere but don’t know what to think...? From September 15th to 20th London played host to the fashion crowd. Celebs with plus-sized egos watched size-zero models parade the latest over-sized ‘it’ bag. LFW week pro-

vides designers with an opportunity to parade their Spring/Summer ’08 collections, hoping to catch the eye of high-profile celebs, fashion buyers and journalists. The future is looking

bright for 2008, with bold opaques and dramatic silver-screen glamour. But we need to know is what to wear now. Here is our breakdown of this season’s top trends.

KEY PIECES

70s Cool The ‘70s are cool again. From Matthew Williamson and Fendi to Topshop and Warehouse, the Groupie look is in. Think Mischa Barton, Kate Hudson in Almost Famous and the original Charlie’s Angels. Catwalk pieces such as bright opaque tights, bold prints and statement Jewellery have extended the Summer of Love into the new season.Hippy is hip again, man.

High-waisted flares, graphic prints, knitted mini-dresses and wedges define this trend. Topshop have Yak or sheepskin for the brave and Zara do good value knitwear in bright colours Beauty-wise, the main thing is to keep everything subtle, natural and free. Matte volume for hair, with a fringe or centre parting, softly defined eyes and nude lips.

KEY PIECES

Hardware This is where Biker Chic meets S&M Goddess. Think leather jackets and biker boots teamed with anything studded along with (whip) lashings of PVC. From Burberry Prorsum’s dominatrix heels to Topshop’s sleek wetlook dresses, this trend is harsh, edgy and uber-cool. A word of warning, intergrate a few key pieces into your wardrobe or you’ll end up looking like you’ve crawled out of a gimp closet (on a lead).

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A PVC or studded bag - try Barratts for a bargain. ● Pyramid studs are big, especially in jewellery. ● Towering patent platforms. ● To complete the look, black eye liner and nail varnish (gimp mask optional). ●


1940s Femininity

This Autumns 1940s retrospective comes in two forms. Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and Louis Vuitton rediscovered Hollywood Glamour. Think silver screen sirens such as Veronica Lake and Katherine Hepburn, and modern style icons such as Scarlett Johansson, Gwen Stefani and Dita Von Teese. On the Home Front, Paul Smith, Miu Miu and Ralph Lauren mixed tweed with pearls and MaryJanes for a Land Girls look. Think Keira Knightley in Atonement...not so frumpy forties. A defined waist is key, high-waisted wide-legged trousers, silk blouses and tea-dresses are at the heart of this look.

Boho-Tech This tricky trend merges two unique looks. We all remember the Boho of Sienna Miller: flowing flowery dresses, ethnic/folksy bags, belts and jewellery. This is teamed with a high tech, ultra modern look with the neons of nu-rave and a futuristic gloss. The combination creates a new age traveller or 21st century hippy; ecclectic, colourful and just a little bit crazy. It could be hard to pull off but the key theme is contrast. Team an ethnic scarf with a statement tee or girlie summer dress with PVC leggings.

KEY PIECES ● Try the ‘Land Girl’ look (MissSelfridge) for day, and Hollywood Glamour for night. ● An easy way to access this trend is with accessories. Ribbed tights, felt hats, heeled brogues or a classic clutch all add a 1940s feel. ● Beautywise: Demure for day, rosepink blusher, ● Vamp it up for night, for hair, glossy waves, teamed with red lips and defined upper lashes and brows.

KEY PIECES

An afghan scarf, available anywhere now. ● A wide black leather belt to update your boho pieces. ● Make up is daring and colourful. ●

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Pumping on you Andy Tweddle deliberates over the legitimacy

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ays are forever being slotted into a different file. Some of these files are bad, like the ones labelled Camp, Slutty and One-Dimensional. Others can cater more to the ego, reading Intelligent, Funny or Considerate. Either way, these tags are always fluid. One minute we’re divalicious drama queens scrambling for valium, the next we’re witty wine-supping

with an interesting, and shocking, statement. We were talking about a friend of hers who has a gay son. ‘He’s just such a typical gay,’ she declared as we ambled around Tesco. ‘What do you mean?’ I asked, my eyebrow rising. ‘Well, you know, he’s ecstatic one minute, miserable the next. And he’s so excitable, I think he’s got a very

cally listed all si a b d a h r e th o m My own the attributes of a manic depressive

intellectuals who enjoy Warhol and poetry slams. But do these stereotypes represent our unique identity, or restrict our potential, leading to our ultimate demise? The other day, my mum came up

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high sex drive – if you know what I mean.’ I’m not sure I knew what she meant at all. The realisation that my own mother had basically listed all the attributes of a manic depressive in her descrip-

tion of a typical gay guy seemed, to me, pretty horrific. The fact that she had an image of a ‘typical gay man’ in general also concerned me. What is a typical straight man like? Isn’t the idea of generalising an entire sexuality almost pre-historic? The early to mid 20th Century was not adverse to homophobia, but generally a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ dichotomy was adopted. In the 80s, the AIDS outbreak changed everything. Suddenly to be gay was to be irresponsible, promiscuous, polluted. After this,. us gays got a pretty bad rep. If you were gay, it was held, you probably had it, or knew someone who had, or had been tested to see whether or not you had it. The fact that a straight person might have it didn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind; it was the gays that were getting


ur Stereotype of gay pigeonholing

Sure, variety is the spice of life, but try to avoid these rather unsavoury dishes whilst frequenting gay roller discos and such like The Lecherous Older Gay Gentleman It seems like a good idea to flirt with the bald fat man that came alone, but it’s really not. Get a free drink and get out of there.

Homophobia will a lways exist so will racism and sexism

dirty. Things, of course, have moved on. Anno Domini existence has matured and we’ve reached our super-sweet 21st century. Stereotypes still exist, but they’re less extreme. People have generally calmed down with the addressing of sex in general and, as a result, gay culture has flourished. Today we can truly feel free to be you and me. Homophobia will always exist. But so will rascism and sexism and other irrational fears that stem from ignorance. Stereotypes exist because they are caricatures of the truth. There ain’t smoke without a flaming homo. Arguably, however, gay culture has improved exactly because of this, not in spite of it. To be gay simply isn’t enough anymore.

Embracing the myriad of subcultures is the way forward. The very fact that gay identity is constantly in flux is because we’re all so different. Stereotypes are going to be around for the foreseeable future - the trick is to never take them too seriously. With this in mind, why not step outside the box and explore our homosexual playground? Maybe you’ll end up disproving some of the unfounded preconceptions you had about your contemporaries. Whack out your skinnies and brood with the indie-gays; get filthy with a scally lad; compare pouts with a lipstick lesbian. Either way, it couldn’t be a more tremendous time to be pretty, and witty, and gay.

The Angry Lesbian Seriously, we all appreciate The Bell Jar. Now get over it.

Mr. Over-enthusiastic Pink! Boys! Gossip! If he’s wearing face glitter and isn’t being ironic, abort plan immediately.

The Grizzly Bear Everyone loves a little body hair, but shagging someone who looks like your dad is always regretable in hindsight. gay@gairrhydd.com /

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IN MUSIC THIS WEEK

summerfestivals

albums:lessavyfav

live:sonicyouth

of a shoe, stealing a gazebo or clambering onto a burger van doesn’t appeal to me, but I can think of many more polite and equally enjoyable ways to spend my time. I guess it was inevitable that

cultureless pit of your usual high street shops where everything within your grasp is steeped in an immense mediocrity. Next year I’ll become a Glastonbury person, which might not seem so dramatic to you, but what you don’t realize is it signals the end of being young and stupid. You’ll probably see me on the TV, sitting around in a comfortable chair, discussing modern art with a group of school teachers that I’ve befriended. I might not enjoy Reading anymore but I’ll always look back longingly to a place where it’s encouraged to be idiotic. KE

musiceditorial

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nother festival season arrives bringing bands galore, many a hilarious anecdote and the overbearing stench of the infamous portaloo. It’s an exciting time for a musicloving scamp like myself and for thousands of others across the country it’s a jolly good excuse to get pissed and burn things. For the first time in my life I couldn’t help but feel incredibly old this year at Reading. There seems to be a general consensus that at festivals it’s alright to act like a dickhead, but with the benefit of age I’ve come to discover what a load of crap this all is. I’m sorry if the idea of drinking vodka out

“It’s a jolly good excuse to get pissed and burn things” I’d outgrow Reading at some stage, but it’s a shame that the one and only thing my hometown had going for it is becoming more and more difficult to enjoy. Without the festival Reading is a

LOVELETTERS

Si Truss declares his undying love for: The Argument by Fugazi Somewhere around my mid teen years, for the sake of argument lets say I was about 15, there was a definite moment where I began to grow out of the pop punk strains of Blink 182 and really discovered genuinely great music. I hold Fugazi responsible for this awakening. The career of Fugazi founder Ian Mackaye similarly charts this change in

my musical tastes; when his first band, the brilliant yet more straightforward hardcore punks Minor Threat split, Mackaye moved on to form Fugazi, combining all the punk energy of his former band yet with a new found experimental, art-rock edge. For me The Argument, Fugazi’s final album, sums up everything that is great about the band. The album is one made by a true

punk rock band yet sounds closer to Radiohead than it does the Sex Pistols. Experiments with a second drummer, and reverbladen guitars combined with Mackaye’s self admitted love of writing sing-along choruses and their trademark guitar interplay make what, in my opinion, is one of the best albums this decade.

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FRIDAY

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rop-kicking the Carling Weekend 2007 into action are Sparta, a band still haunted by their glorious past but who amazingly manage to deliver a satisfying set of sense-awakening post-hardcore gold. Eagerly anticipated New Yorkers Interpol are disappointingly static, with only an impressive set list to lessen the overwhelming realisation that this fantastic band sound exactly as they do live as they do on record. Not to worry though because up next is a delightful red-headed pixie by the name of Patrick Wolf, weaving tales of magical lands and love with an impossible sense of happiness. And bringing the night to a wonderfully bone-breaking crescendo in a fiery blaze of passion, drums and guitars are Brand New, who remain beautifully poignant and instrumentally fierce, as ever. And so, side-stepping the painful experience of undeserved headliners Razorlight, Day One is brought to a mesmerising, Carling-fuelled close. And with Saturday’s lineup, it can only get better...

T& , PA PAT . FAT

AY SATURD

SUNDAY

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unday at Reading Fes tival is usually the day to indulge in some mainstag e The Shins guilty pleasures. For the erican clan m A f o e , second year c e n in se sh n re p su g n in running, pop-punk mis ftenoo , the calm tros Fall Out Boy an do no rfect late a ure enough -pop that c with the pe have been that guilty ple ie d d n in a ft -h so -in d c ti th asure. With c a le m c g e in f goes han n o t Michael Jackson and R t of run enticing se Kelly covers, and ss enslaugh h the a tc m ca a creating an , to r sh e a ord a set to challenge eve set cl n the most skeptid’s finest, in igh-flying form as n annoying d of Portlan h wrong. In a n cal e n o of listeners, FOB are the e t th o n t a s p s a e u rh su rg e n a ultimate p e is s gh n p u rock fa . Altho drunken festival band. ance-po ha opular Foals zz-fuelled d Similarly, Welshit p ja w y d gl n xt n a e n si a ck p e u ro incr and bred Lostprophets kno gular w how to enternt flyPolice Club blend of an rines are se cipe. Tokyo usual, their o b re tai l n their crowd. Cue ma m ca Ta si u s. iu m gs n n ct ge e ss singalongs, so rf ie e st d p e in e b ll the ably th nadian a huge ocean of pogoad their Ca h includes a ing jumping fans and ic re sh h a sp w cr t to d se n c ce a n ti g cha ppin a lead singer who isn’t drama afraid to use the r of hand-cla hich shows the air in a xes in a blu w ing through a t wo im rd fuck. And no, I’m no se cl a d r n e a liv t, e u d b e . t ashamed e d ir ch F ir u e e very m Arcad from th that I enjoyed it. Still, ng festivals y countr ymen yi on gl w la n ha p nd to remove gi llo e n Fe lo lik k s. ’t o drum but lo the guilt from my pleasu t doesn re are LCD go. t I can’t help f a band tha a u o b s rs y, a gn la ye si p o is e d th Soundsystem. James on st tw Murphy reminds eatrics are ance from ju njoy The usual th tent perform body else seemed to e us t u all just how good his lat o d e ck a p ry ir e est album is, e ev th d t n a a back elitist before closing on ‘songI’m a raving of-the-festival , in ga a n e Th contender ‘All My Friend s’. The Carling N. themselves. & KYLE ELLISO We IS ekend may be losing its RV JA A SC charm, but BY FRANCE I’m sure we’ll be back again...

S

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n countless occasions my answer to this question has changed, for example after a heartbreakingly disappointing Arcade Fire experience, caused not so much by the band (who are always great) but by the herds of wankers shouting and pissing in cups next to me, drunkenly shouting into my ear “I love this song man, Wooooo, I WOKE UP WITH THE POWER OUT”, that I feel utterly disheartened by the whole experience and go and get a pasty. On the other hand, such is the power of music that it can easily make you forget the rain and mud and Hardfi fans. The utterly inebriated Zack Condon (of Beirut fame) and his band of Balkan inspired bastards provide one such situation, literally falling on to the Jazz World Stage his roaring and raging East infected indie making the crowd feel more like a pub full of shouting old men than a sodden wet field. It utterly did the trick. It seems at Glastonbury that the best plan is to avoid the three big stages; one may of course miss a few good acts but you will also avoid the festivals muddy hoi polloi. This year a news field was added by the workaholic Emily Eavis, the Park Stage, and was I would say and unmitigated success. Out the way enough so that it felt more like Green

Man than England’s biggest festival,

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the stage hosted a veritably smorgasbord of smaller acts such as the now mighty Los Campesinos! who were on typically fine form and the ‘stick your fingers down your throat bad’ Remi Nicole. The area even had a little tower over looking the festival and acting as a pleasant sanctuary from the all encompassing, soul-grating mud. I’m not a fan of anal sex but Rufus Wainwright clearly is, it’s all bathrobes and show tune numbers and is absolutely fabulous, and when his sibling the overtly sexual Martha appears on the stage all is full of love; leading us nicely on to the topic of Bjork. She’s a mad bitch ain’t she? Choreographed dancers, colourful flags and ambient sound is all very well; but at this point I’m cold and muddy and it’s time for another pasty, and the last thing you want is some chemically imbalanced Icelandic crooner whining in your ear. I would argue with anyone who claims that Glastonbury, on a good day (weather wise), isn’t the greatest of the UK festivals, however more often than not it’s just too muddy. Some people can bear it, manage to embrace the filth, roll around I it, sing in it, swim in it, some however cannot. Sad to say, pathetic as it is, I think I am the latter. Will Hitchins


There comes a time in the life, or rather weekend, of every Glastonbury goer, after traipsing through mud and rubbish and God knows what for two days, functioning on twenty minutes sleep, fuelled by cider and math rock, just as the rain begins pouring down for the ninth time that day that you have to ask yourself, ‘is it worth it’?

O

n countless occasions my answer to this question has changed, for example after a heartbreakingly disappointing Arcade Fire experience, caused not so much by the band (who are always great) but by the herds of wankers shouting and pissing in cups next to me, drunkenly shouting into my ear “I love this song man, Wooooo, I WOKE UP WITH THE POWER OUT”, that I feel utterly disheartened by the whole experience and go and get a pasty. On the other hand, such is the power of music that it can easily make you forget the rain and mud and Harder fans. The utterly inebriated Zack Condon (of Beirut fame) and his band of Balkan inspired bastards provide one such situation, literally falling on to the Jazz World Stage his roaring and raging East infected indie making the crowd feel more like a pub full of shouting old men than a sodden wet field. It utterly did the trick. It seems at Glastonbury that the best plan is to avoid the three big stages; one may of course miss a few good acts but you will also avoid the festivals muddy hoi polloi. This year a new field was added by the workaholic Emily Eavis, the Park Stage, and was I would say and unmitigated success. Out the way enough so that it felt more like Green Man than England’s biggest festival,

Just as the rain begins pouring down for the ninth time that day, you have to ask yourself, “Is this worth it?”

the stage hosted a veritably smor gasbord of smaller acts such as the now mighty Los Campesinos! who were on typically fine form and the ‘stick your fingers down your throat bad’ Remi Nicole. The area even had a little tower over looking the festival and acting as a pleasant sanctuary from the all encompassing, soul-grating mud. I’m not a fan of anal sex but Rufus Wainwright clearly is, it’s all bathrobes and show tune numbers and is absolutely fabulous, and when his sibling the overtly sexual Martha appears on the stage all is full of love; leading us nicely on to the topic of Bjork. She’s a mad bitch ain’t she? Choreographed dancers, colourful flags and ambient sound is all very well; but at this point I’m cold and muddy and it’s time for another pasty, and the last thing you want is some chemically imbalanced Icelandic crooner whining in your ear. I would argue with anyone who claims that Glastonbury, on a good day (weather wise), isn’t the greatest of the UK festivals, however more often than not it’s just too muddy. Some people can bear it, manage to embrace the filth, roll around I it, sing in it, swim in it, some however cannot. Sad to say, pathetic as it is, I think I am the latter. Will Hitchins

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XIII Festival International de

BENICASSIM W

hile a weekend at Glastonbury may leave you incredibly skilled in the art of wading through pools of mud and cow-shit and a few years of going to Reading will make you a master at avoiding drunk morons offering ‘free hugs,’ little can prepare the first timer for the excersise in dancing your way through heat exhaustion that is Benicassim festival in Spain. Everywhere you look Brits are being brought down as casualties of the heat; most notably when we awake sometime on Sunday afternoon to find a naked man lying face down in the sun on top of one of the tents next to our camp with an unbelievably sunburnt pair of testicles pretruding between his legs. Not that the heat is too much of a problem, there is a massive expanse of beach to cool off on and a rather nice waterpark for the more slide inclined indie kids. Thursday night sees Bright Eyes play an unusually crowd pleasing set (they actually played songs we knew) before the always brilliant

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Iggy (& the Stooges) entertained the crowd with their ever amusing habit of causing a stage invasion half way through their set and then spending ten minutes trying to kick everyone off the stage again. The friday sun is made all the better by the inspired pairing of having Rufus Wainwright, who is the gayest thing in existence (and that’s nothing but a compliment) play right before an unexpectantly upbeat performance from Antony & the Johnsons, which sees him with the amazing voice dance and click his fingers through a joyful version of Beyonce’s Crazy in Love. The Rapture play a whole load of songs from their albums to a packed tent, which is great. As half the site run off to a tent to see Klaxons, we rock out in front of the main stage to the legends that are Dinosaur Jr, who live up to their legendary status

with a set that sees new tracks fit perfectly against classics such as Freak Scene. Devo are old men in funny hats playing awesome new-wave music and hence are the best thing in existence. Saturday sees CSS play a great set but they are immediately upstaged by the all out disco-punk onslaught that is !!!, and we didn’t see the Arctic Monkeys because we were drunk on cheap sangria. On Sunday the Kings Of Leon are wonderfully crowd pleasing and I realise, a little too late, the drinks are slightly cheaper at the bar in the press tent. Simian Mobile Disco win the prize for being the best thing to dance to all weekend, while Datarock are amazingly fun to watch at about 3am when things are all a little blury. All that’s left is to dance to Armand Van Helden until we all fall over and pass out. Si Truss


other summer highlights...

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he initial Truck Festival might have been washed away by the tragic British summer but it had done nothing to dampen organisers’ spirits, putting on a truly unique festival all in the name of charity. But let’s not pretend that I camped on a mucky Oxfordshire farm for charity, Highlights of Saturday included Fuck Buttons whose very concept is both frightening and completely brilliant. Fully-grown men screaming into children’s microphones over relentless rhythm sections picked out on a singular floor tom; it’s hardly farm

music - but this isn’t any ordinary farm. Congestion problems in the tiny Trailer Park tent cause Foals’ set to be moved into the Barn, leaving a modest crowd left to watch Youthmovies. As much as I had enjoyed being pushed and shoved by quite possibly the worst fans in the world, I’m glad of the extra space as Youthmovies spin their elaborate math-rock web over their loyal and adoring fans. Sunday’s line-up begins with a euphoric return from Jonquil and the disappointment of realising that in person Winter Kids are in fact dreadful human beings. About 15% of the audience have any idea what’s going on during Screamo outfit Rolo Tomassi, but for those select few it’s a blissful mesh of complicated fretwork and brutal slabs of dense, chaotic noise. With the Truckers sent home the small town of Steventon can breath once again, locals can pretend none of it ever happened and life on the farm can resume. Kyle Ellison

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“The spirit of triumph over advers

shone everywhere. Overall, a top class weekend.”

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ith the general feel of this summer’s weather being similar to that last seen around the time Noah took on a penchant for zoology, it seems only fitting that a festival that has featured nothing but blistering sunshine for the past 3 years should feel the need to break with tradition in favour of something more in keeping with the times. After all, what more could you expect from a festival that began its

Glade Festival

life as an offshoot from Glastonbury than mud? Despite flooded roads, health and safety threats to shut everything down and stages under a foot of water, the festival nonetheless managed to dry out and carry on with only minimal disruption. The spirit of triumph over adversity shone through everywhere, and all acts who graced the stage really seemed to give it their all. Overall, a top class weekend, if a little messy by the end of it. Alex Gwilliam.

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s club promoters go, Wildchild are definitely not renowned for their organisational skills. So it came as little surprise to those of us that knew the brand when they announced that, due to licensing issues, what was originally set to be their first outdoor event in Shoreditch Park this July had been moved INDOORS to the network of clubs surrounding King’s Cross’s ‘The Point’. Thankfully, this in fact turned out to be the best decision they could have possibly made, as what would have been a rather wet and miserable affair outside was transformed into a riotous day of top notch clubbing indoors. The ability to walk between each room in minutes, stepping from trance to house to breaks to drum n bass and on to hard dance with the minimum of effort was absolutely perfect. Next year, screw the park; I’m all for keeping it indoors. Alex Gwilliam.

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other summer highlights...

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et in Brighton’s small but rather pretty Victoria Gardens, Loop Festival is an innovative new one-day event holding host to all sorts of entertainment in the digital arts, particularly an amazing line-up of transfixing bands, DJ’s and solo artists. First up are melodic female-fronted Bonobo, who are both beautiful and enticing and are the perfect after-

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ll Tomorrow’s Parties, a promotions company who are invariably responsible for putting on the best indie gigs and festivals in the UK, have really outdone themselves this time. Ok so about 98% percent of people in the UK won’t have heard of most the bands on the line-up but for post-rock loving, BA studying, pretentious indie kids such as myself you will never see a line up this good again in your life. Plus it’s all in Butlins, so you get a chalet and a bed and there’s waterslides. This, the second weekend of ATP’s annual pair of may festivals, saw half the festival line-up voted for by those buying tickets. Which probably explains why there were so many great bands on the bill. Although Friday night saw a rather disappointing opening set from Yo La Tengo who just can hold the crowd from wandering off to Burger King, Mogwai are, as ever, absolutely stunning; a wall of blissful guitar noise as the sun goes down on day one. Saturday highlights included a welcome return to our shores of the

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noon opener with their effortless ease. And with a packed-out tent, it’s not hard to see why. Challenging the face of all that is corporate and evil, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip mix some interesting lyrical concepts with their unique combination of spoken word and almost techno-based beats, but it’s still Thou Shalt Always Kill that triumphs,

‘like-Bright-Eyes-but-better’ stylings of Okkervil River, a great mid afternoon set from the hotter-than-shit-right-now math rockers Battles and the insane costume changing, man kissing, punk rock antics of Les Savy Fav. Whoever decided put the electropunk stylings of New York’s Trans Am on at midnight is a genius and I want to marry whoever had the idea of having the ever intense 65daysofstatic on stage straight after them. Sunday was made all the better for the presence of Architecture In Helsinki, who’s set is under apreciated yet brilliant. As night falls Grizzly Bear take to the stage to prove that they are musical gods amongst us, with vocal harmonies The Beach Boys could only dream of. Live, Knife is possibly the most wonderful song ever writen. Rounding off proceedings falls to Canadian pioneers and Broken Social Scene collaborators Do Make Say Think, who bring the evening to a climax with a fantastic kind of violin centred, double drummer driven post rock that only they could pull off. Si Truss

and the rest is frankly, verging on boring. Boring is not a word I’d associate with Metronomy, a 3-piece tour de force of electronica influenced dance with an impressive light and dance show to match. Their fascinating variety in instruments creates a sound that will undoubtedly shake any mere mortal to the roots of their dancing feet, and they do it with flawless hilarity and style. And arguably the highlight of the day, the new princes of math-rock, punk-funk pop. Or whatever the fuck they are. Foals, as if they’d be anything less, prove yet again why they’re the “next big thing”. They’re both undefinable and undeniable, in a hypnotic blaze of fiery guitars, crashing drums and an air of Greek arrogance from frontman Yannis. These five will capture your hearts and souls, and don’t count on getting them back anytime soon. Fran Jarvis


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Roundhouse, London

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s part of ATP's Don't Look Back series tonight Sonic Youth will be playing through in full their essential album, 1988's Daydream Nation. With their iconic candle as the backdrop, our heroes ascend the stage, guitars held aloft in tongue in cheek pomposity, as if conducting the crowd's electricity. The applause is deafening, but rather than milk it they launch straight into Teenage Riot, much chaos ensues. While Gordon maintains her ice queen persona, Moore and Ranaldo wield their guitars against each others like intergalactic light sabres, conceiving a warped cacophony. As a photographer tries to capture the moment Thurston playfully assaults him with the neck of his guitar. The whole set was pretty much note perfect, perhaps the only disappointment for fans was that the encore didn't herald a roll call of their greatest hits, though that would be the act of a band in the twilight of their career, and the selection of songs they played from last year's Rather Ripped demonstrates that clearly isn't the case, Spellbinding stuff! Guy Ferneyhough

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THE DEPARTURE Barfly, Cardiff

mazingly support band King Blues manage to conform to the complete range of mock Rastafarian clichés in just a mere 20 minute time slot. A remarkable trick I thought, for a gang of quite obviously middle class lads and their novelty Ska jams seem to garner quite a following – admittedly most of which seems to be made up of friends and family. Not to worry though, because here come second support band Clocks who are both as original and exciting as their name suggests. Their songs manage to simultaneously sound like every record ever spun by Jo Wiley except they are delivered with the charisma of a pair

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI

Thekla, Bristol

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rchitecture In Helsinki are fun. This is a statement of undeniable fact. Being fun is part of what defines the band; it is inherent to them. Not only are they fun, but they seem to be having lots of fun too, come to mention it, so does everyone in the venue tonight, even the bar staff. I’m pretty sure that even passers by on the street would feel an odd sense of heightened enjoyment that they couldn’t quite explain as they pass the doors of the venue; it’s that infectious. And to be fair, the Austrailians need to be having lots of fun, because the shiney, PVC leggings being

sported by singer Kellie Sutherland would look fucking ridiculous on anyone who wasn’t massively enjoying themselves while wearing them. Songs from their latest album Places Like This work better live than they do on the album, and that’s really saying something as they sound pretty damn good on the CD. Former single It’5 is a highlight, a fantastic onslaught of percussion and over excited shouting. As the set draws to a close the band baffle audience members by covering an obscure song taken from the Crocodile Dundee soundtrack, which we’re told was a hit in Austrailia. The band finish by decending onto the front of the stage with drum machines and percusion for a version of current single Heart It Races which see’s them show a remarkable resemblance to their occasional buddies Hot Chip. Si Truss

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI: Joyful of black cotton socks. I think it's safe to say the night hasn't been going well, and when a man arrives on stage donning a leather jacket and opens with the line "Let's fucking 'ave it tonight Cardiff" I'm not optimistic about any improvement. Headliners The Departure at least understand the concept of how a song should be constructed, but their efforts are constantly undermined by a frontman who probably likes The Twang. A lot. Despite trying very hard The Departure never really win over the gradually diminishing crowd, and even when they do it's in a similar vein to how an armed robber wins over a hostage. I'm sure there's still a market for oh so rock n' roll music like this, but I hope it's disappeared by the time I reach my mid-life crisis. Kyle Ellison

25/08/07

SONIC YOUTH

04/09/07

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LIVE LIVE LIVE LIVE LIVE LIVE

HOLD STEADY Point, Cardiff

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old Steady singer Craig Finn, is one of the most expresive performers I have ever seen, Leaning into the crowd to make eye contact with his audience, constantly miming lines as he sings them, smiling ecstaticly at all times, his on stage antics perfectly compliment the bluesy party rock of his band. Rock and roll, when it’s done badly, can be utterly cringeworthy. However, when it’s done right, like how The Hold Steady do it, all singalong choruses and pounding at piano keys, there is nothing better in the world. No one shall leave tonight without a smile on their face. Si Truss

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LES SAVY FAV Let’s Stay Friends Witicha

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pparently a lot of people have never heard of Les Savy Fav and that’s fine, I doubt they’d want it any other way. It seems increasingly likely that they will always be happy to be the band that your favourite band name drops in interviews yet you have never actually listened to. Yet it’s hard to trace their retreat to the underground to anything but their own apathy. The New York outfit’s previous effort, 2001’s excellent Go Forth, pretty much invented

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE Strawberry Jam Domino

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series of crooked electronic bleeps, fragmented guitar sounds and anextraterrestrial vocal sets Strawberry Jam into motion; AnimalCollective’s eighth and quite possibly best album to date. Yes, the groups idiosyncratic oddities and weirdisms are still strewn all over the place, but for the first time Animal Collective produce hooks which are refined and dare I say it – easy on the ear. Seamlessly blending playground synth noise with weirdly tuneful screams and other such chaos, ‘For

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that kind of rough edged dance punk that has been made popular by The Rapture’s Echoes and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Fever To Tell in the years since. It’s now six years later and, to the surprise of many of their fans (some of whom had written the band off as finished), Les Savy Fav are finally releasing a new record. Thankfully then, for the fans who did hold out hope, Let’s Stay Friends sees the band on top form, showcasing their trademark balance between classic punk guitar work, an edge of experimentation and underlying pop sensibilities. Stand out tracks Patty Lee and The Equestrian are classic Les Savy Fav anthems while lead single What

Would Wolves Do? sees eccentric vocalist Tim Harrington gently cooing across drum machine beats. I doubt Let’s Stay Friends will be remembered as the bands best album and if you could only own one Les Savy Fav record I’d still recommend Inches, the bands collection of 7 inch singles, as the best place to start. Still, Let’s Stay Friends is easily worth the six year wait and is miles ahead of most alternative records out there. I very much doubt that your favourite band will be disappointed. 9/10 Si Truss

Reverend Green’ sounds like an alternative version to The Magic Roundabout theme made to horrify children rather than gently amuse them. It’s a beautiful mess and an obvious highlight, but it’s not the only strawberry flavoured treat that’s on offer. Single ‘Fireworks’ is subtler in its approach, but equally is built upon a gorgeous muddle of thick laboured rhythms and perfectly coloured melodies. Much like a jigsaw the individual parts that make up the album don’t appear to belong together, but when combined you can’t understand why they would ever be separated. In the end Strawberry Jam sounds exactly like it’s name would suggest, wonderfully sweet and with a gooey consistency that will melt in your mouth. Yum. 9/10 Kyle Ellison

Apparently a lot of people have never heard of Les Savy Fav..

Pick e h Of T k Wee

FUTURE OF THE LEFT Curses Too Pure

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urses, the first album from Cardiff’s Future Of The Left, is one of the most accomplished and impressive debuts I’ve heard in a very long time. As an album Curses is wonderfully simplistic; essentially taking the live setlist that the band have been perfecting over the last year of playing live, recording it and committing it to CD. Which is the perfect way to handle a band such as Future Of The Left; there’s no need for slick production values when you have a band who can make the kind of glorious racket with three instruments that Future Of The Left can. Curses is an album entirely constructed of standout tracks. The unhinged catchyness of Fingers Become Thumbs complimenting the grimey churn of The Lord Hates a Coward which offsets the singalong chorus of Suddenly It’s a Folk Song which fits brilliantly next to the artpunk of Plague of Onces. Essentially the dogs bollocks. 9/10 Si Truss


THE GOOD LIFE Help Wanted Nights Saddle Creek British Sitcom British Sitcom y love affair with Saddle Creek Records began with Tim Kasher’s best-known outfit Cursive; a raw, emotive alternative rock band characterised by heavy clashing guitars and the sound of Kasher yelling his heart out. Upon first listening to another of his projects The Good Life, then, it came as a surprise to stumble across something completely different. Gone are the angsty screams and post-hardcore swagger, replaced with lush, patient folk songs more in the vein of label mates Bright Eyes than anything else in Kasher’s back cata-logue. Whilst the clean guitar sounds that pervade the album are an interesting change, inevitably it’s the vocals and intimate, descriptive lyrics that are the albums most prominent feature. Album opener On the Picket Fence, for example, is musically nothing remarkable but works brilliantly in it’s simplicity as Kasher picks out yet another magnificently tortured vocal. The upbeat Keeley Aimee injects some urgency into a collection of mostly slow songs but maintains the albums feel of complete relaxation. Upon first listen Help Wanted Nights has a danger of sounding middle of the road, but with some perseverance it’s an album crammed with charming melodies and a perfect album to unwind to. 7.5/10 Kyle Ellison

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KANYE WEST Graduation Roc-A-Fella

(Insert high-school reference) t’s a shame when artists become more famous for their behaviour than their music, a stigma that has surrounded Kanye West ever since his much publicised battle with 50 Cent, his outburst back-

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Ok, see you there eet Me in St. Louis have the potential to define the state of British genredefying music. They’ve been doing it in local circles ever since they begun, but it is only now, with the help of Alex Newport (one of the men behind the genius that is At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta), that they truly have the chance to broadcast their unique sound to the masses. Variations on Swing is just that;

a showcase of their best material delivered in a whirlwind of explosive musicianship and dazzling instrumentals. It’s no secret that MmiSL are a difficult band to listen to. They challenge the listener to fuck passive music, and instead to get involved in the finer details. The layers on each track are hugely impressive, and their long list of influences are combined in one huge melting pot and poured lovingly across each slather of postpunk, progressive indie magnificence. Their song titles are as massive as their music, with tracks such as I’ve Got Knives in My Eyes, I’m Going Home Sick providing epic guitar riffs and apocalyptic vocals. Meet Me in St. Louis have landed, and they’ve done it in fucking style. 8.5/10 Francesca Jarvis

stage at MTV’s VMA’s, and his apparent hang up on being black. No wonder Graduation has been one of the most highly anticipated hip-hop albums of the year. Except it doesn’t really deliver. Daft Punk-sampled Stronger was a devastating way to start the album campaign, with wonderfully original production despite some oddly offbeat lyrics. Unfortunately for Kanye, upcoming single Good Life doesn’t quite enforce that same fierceness, and instead falls into bland obscurity.

You can’t fault West for being consistent; there are no car crash tracks or instant turn-offs, but the whole album fades into background music instead of the ‘take notice’ mantra we are so used to. There are no epic productions as on College Dropout or Late Registration, only narrow lyrical concepts and dull collaborations. Perhaps it’s a sad reality that even Kanye can’t “make ‘em like this anymore”. But don’t tell him, he’ll blame racism, Britney and MTV. 6/10 Francesca Jarvis

MEET ME IN ST LOUIS Variation on Swing Big Scary Monsters

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The buzz... The latest news, rumours and conjecture

The cast of Indiana Jones IV and someone that looks just like my Grandad SHIA LABEOUF TO BE INDIANA JONES JR? t’s official, Shia Labeouf, of Transformers fame, is set to appear in the forth instalment of Indiana Jones, entitled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skul. He will be performing alongside Harrison Ford and newcomer Ray Winstone. Interestingly, Karen Allen is returning to the fold as Marion Ravenwood, Indy’s love interest in

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Raiders of the Lost Ark. Significantly, she is down as Lebeouf’s mother. We here at Film are willing to put our head’s on the block and suggest that young Shia could be donning the hat and whip in no time. No innuendo intended.

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Quote of the week “I’m normally not a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me Superman” (Homer Simpson)

2007 VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

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PETER JACKSON BACK IN THE RUNNING TO MAKE THE HOBBIT? t appears as though the ongoing saga concerning The Hobbit has taken another twist this month. With Peter Jackson seemigly being rulled out of a return to MiddleEarth by New Line, many believed that Spiderman dircetor and close friend of Jackson, Sam Raimi was in pole position to take on the project. In a recent interview however, Raimi denied any involvement and appeared to add his voice to those championing Jackson’s cause; “I am not involved. I respect [Peter Jackson] a great deal and he may do it some day, so no”. It has also emerged that New Line are currently in talks with Jackson in a bid to repair their damaged relationship and move The Hobbit forward (and make a fat load of cash as well, no doubt). The latest rumours suggest that Jackson will produce the film (or films - it sounds as though they will be making two) with Raimi directing. Well, If it’s good enough for George Lucas. ‘Rings fans across the world wait with baited breath.

his year’s Venice Film Festival came to an end earlier this month with Chinese director Ang Lee picking up the Golden Lion award for best film for the second time in two years. His spy thriller Lust, Caution follows in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Brokeback Mountain which won the same award in 2005 (as well as bagging Lee a Best Director Oscar). The awards overall however, were largely dominated by American films. Brian De Palma won the award for best director for Redacted, his shocking docu-drama centred around the brutal rape of an Iraqi girl by U.S soldiers, and Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan bio-pic I’m Not There was also honoured with Cate Blanchett receiving the award for best actress for her unusual depiction of the man himself. Perhaps the most significant award of the festival however was taken home by Brad Pitt. The 45 year-old was awarded the best actor prize for his role as the infamous outlaw Jesse James in the forthcoming The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Purportedly the best performance of his career, there are already rumours that it may earn Pitt his first Oscar (he has amazingly only been nominated once, for his supporting role in Twelve Monkeys). Here at Quench we wait with baited breath for what looks like one of the films of the year.

Ah, freshers’ week: has there ever been a better time to dig out that Simpsons box set?

Brad Pitt’s very best ‘give me an Oscar’ face

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Latest Releases ATONEMENT Dir: Joe Wright Starring: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai Out Now, 125 mins

Summary: In the years leading up to World War II, the lives of housekeeper’s son Robbie, and the positively plumy Ceclia are torn apart by the active imagination of Ceclia’s 13 year-old sister Briony. In the years to follow, as WWII dominates the landscape both at home and abroad, Ceclia and Robbie fight to rebuild their lives whilst Briony, having grasped the consequences of her actions, tries to atone for her mistake.

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fter the somewhat surprising critical success of Pride and Prejudice, there has been a quiet sense of anticipation surrounding Joe Wright’s next project, an adaptation of the lauded Ian McEwan novel Atonement. The movie that he has produced however, has surpassed all but the loftiest of expectations and catapulted Wright into the public consciousness as one of the top young British directors at a time when we are blessed with a plethora of directing talent. Atonement is a sumptuous period film that avoids the usual trappings associated with British period dramas, namely overly formal dialogue, slow pacing and unadventurous cinematography. Instead, Wright provides us with an agonizingly tense visual spectacle with no lack of ambition. Full of clever editing (especially when presenting scenes from dual perspectives), and inventive camera work, the first half of the film is also drenched in colour, the rustic tones of social upstart Robbie contrasting with the burnt green’s and ambers of the upper class family’s leisurely existence. Even in the film’s pivotal sex scene which crackles with sexual energy, one cannot help but focus on the fabulous use of colour, Knightley’s opulent green dress being striking in its conspicuousness. The scale and ambition of the film is most evident in the spectacular five minute

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uninterrupted tracking shot that meanders through Dunkirk beach during it’s evacuation. Beautifully capturing the exhaustion and battered moral of the troops (it’s impact can be compared to that of the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan) it simultaneously leaves the viewer in awe of the sheer logistical triumph of the shot. Wright also deserves praise for some brave casting. The faith that he has put in Knightley by offering her such a challenging adult role has paid dividends, the 22 year old exuding self confidence as she delivers a mature and fluent performance as the spiky Cecilia. James McAvoy too continues to impress as he effortlessly carries the emotional weight of the film on his shoulders. The performance of the film though arguably comes from young Saoirse Ronan. Radiating coldness and a dangerous sense of self importance, her portrayal of Briony is captivating and eclipses that of Romola Garai who plays the adult Briony. The outstanding performances of the main characters are embellished admirably by a fantastic supporting

cast, Benedict Cumberbatch in particular putting in some sterling work as the decidedly unsettling chocolate factory owner Paul Marshal (what is it about chocolate factory owners?). The soundtrack too is a triumph. Constantly enforcing a sense of impending tragedy, the crescendoing sound of typewriter keys that punctuate the score excel in ramping up the tension to almost unbearable levels throughout the first half of the film. Atonement’s devastating conclusion will leave most emotionally exhausted, but even this cannot dispel the overriding sense of exhilaration in having seen such a magnificent example of intelligent British film making. It would be no surprise to me if, come January, it received six or seven Oscar nominations. A genuine candidate for Best Picture, the stunning performances from both two leads and the supporting cast, and the breathtaking cinematography and score deserve all the acclaim that they are sure to receive. It is however Joe Wright’s deft direction that will deservedly steal the plaudits for this fabulous film. If I could continue gushing I would, but I seem to have run out of superlatives. Sim Eckstein

Flicking a V to your critics never looked so good


RUN, FAT BOY, RUN Dir: David Schwimmer Starring: Simon Pegg, Hank Azaria, Thandie Newton Out now, 95 mins

Synopsis: 5 years after jilting his pregnant fianceé at the altar, Dennis (Pegg) attempts to win her back by running a marathon.

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his directorial debut from David Schwimmer sees Simon Pegg once again don the loveable loser façade as chunky monkey Dennis. Beginning the film by running away from his pregnant fianceé Libby, Dennis, finds himself running back to her five years later. However, ridiculously charming, rich yank boyfriend Whit is standing in his way. Put a cute son called snot-face into the mix along with a best friend who is gambling his life upon you finishing a marathon, and the race becomes one of epic proportions.

SHOOT ‘EM UP Dir: Michael Davis Cast: Clive Owen, Paul Giamati, Monica Belluci Out now, 108 mins

Synopsis: After stepping in to save a pregnant stranger from some angry looking hitmen, Mr. Smith inherits the newly born baby. Despite having no connection with the child or mother, Smith goes on the hunt for some answers with the child and a lactating prostitute (Belluci) in tow.

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ny film described by its director as ‘John Woo’s wet dream’ is likely to be heavy on the action front. Shoot ‘Em Up however, is absolute carnage on celluloid. The opening sequence of the film does much to set the tone of Shoot ‘Em Up. Whilst going to the aid of a distressed and heavily pregnant woman who is being chased by a

A nice premise this may be, yet the all-important comedy factor is sadly lacking. If you can allow yourself to laugh at a thick Asian accent, then fat landlord Mr.Ghoshdashtidar proves good value, but this is merely the best of a series of cheap laughs, as Schwimmer plugs his porous script with smut, more smut, and the odd cameo appearance. Plus points include strong screen performances from Azaria and Dylan Moran, and there is, dare I say it; Friends-like charm to the central romance, but this is negated by the aching predictability of a plot that ultimately fails in its attempt to inspire. TOM WOODS

Hot pants - mmmm, chafing man obviously intent on killing her, our protagonist, Mr Smith (Owen), shoots near on 50 henchmen (who appear from nowhere) whilst delivering a baby. Not bad hey? Doing ridiculous things whilst firing a gun is essentially what this film is about. Packed with some fantastic visual gags and stunts that revel in their own ridiculousness, Shoot ‘Em Up finely treads a line somewhere between the slapstick (or ‘splatstick’) visual jokes of Peter Jackson’s early movies (minus a bit of blood) and the sincere but slightly tongue in cheek homage of Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Quench favourite Paul Giamatti expertly ramps up the madness a level or two as the henpecked husband come ruthless assassin, but

BREACH Dir: Billy Ray Cast: Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillipe Out now, 110 mins

Synopsis: Ryan Phillipe is sent to expose Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) who has been trading secrets to the Soviets during the cold war era.

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hough Ryan Phillipe puts in a respectable performance in Breach, it is Robert Cooper that undoubtably steals the show. Portraying a man happy to sell out his country with subtlety, he presents a man of secrecy, whose quiet, conservative family life is simply a facade for his amoral tendencies. A decent film, entertaining rather than pulsating, Breach just about manages to keep the viewer interested throughout the film. At times a little predictable, it never the less does enough to warrant a watch. RICHARD BROWN

both him and Owen put in sterling over the top performances that beautifully compliment the film’s zany tone. Shoot ‘Em Up unapologetically distils the action film down to just action. Plot? Characterization? Who needs them when you can have this much fun watching a man spin a roundabout (the playground item, not the traffic intersection) by shooting it instead of using his hands? SIM ECKSTEIN

Paul Giamatti is a bad man

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EAGLE VS SHARK Director: Taika Waititi Starring: Jemaine Clement, Loren Horsley, Brian Sergent Out now, 87 mins

Synopsis: Jarrod, a true nerd, falls for Lily after her success in a video game tournament at his ‘dress as your favourite animal’ party. Jarrod soon tells Lily of his quest to exact revenge upon the high school bullies who ruined his teenage years and she joins him as he returns to his hometown to fulfil his destiny.

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agle Vs Shark is a beautifully produced comedy brought to us by Taika Waititi, who both wrote and directed the movie. Jemaine Clement of ‘Flight of the Conchords’ fame, stars as Jarrod, whose obsessions range from playing video games to an intense level, to making somewhat unique candles. Although Lily and Jarrod’s relationship is not always straightforward

(though it is always hilarious), the love story between the two is beautifully constructed and is simply a joy to watch. The film has a Napoleon Dynamite feel to it, and is an absolute must for all who enjoy nerdy comedies, as this film is the epitome of this genre. The soundtrack too, which ranges from Devandra Banhart to the Stone Roses, is impeccable and perfectly accompanies the film. All the films actors, as well as the director, hail from New Zealand, making this an Indie film of entirely Kiwi origins. That it gained an official selection in the prestigious Sundance film awards this year is testament to both the cast and crews considerable talents. Eagle Vs Shark is both written and directed by Taika Waititi, who directed the short film ‘Two Cars, One Night’ in 2003 which earned him an Academy Award Nomination, and this talented director has produced yet another fantastic film which should see him earn the plaudits of both fans and critics. Quite simply, this film is a mustsee, and I have absolute confidence that you will not see a better romantic comedy this year. Or ever. RICHARD BROWN

SUPERBAD Dir: Greg Mottola Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse Star Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: Superbad tells us the story of two best friends as they desperately try to change their luck with the ladies in their last few weeks together before heading their separate ways to college.

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lthough this film is very funny at times, it could have been so much better. Chris Mintz-Plasse makes an excellent debut as Fogell the school’s uber-nerd, and the banter between the two main characters is fantastic. However, as the film progresses it becomes unnecessarily emotional and melodramatic when in all honesty, if it had focused more on making me laugh, it could have been one of the films of the summer. Jonah Hill gives another good performance and looks as though he will feature in many American teen comedies for years to come, excelling as he does in the lead role he is given. The film is also too long, touching on 2 hours, and would probably have benefited from cutting out some scenes that added little to the movie. RICHARD BROWN

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DVD Releases ZODIAC Dir: David Fincher Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr Out Now, 158 mins

Synopsis: Robert Graysmith, a newspaper cartoonist, becomes obsessed with the case of a serial killer who terrorised the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s and 70s after his paper receives cryptic letters and messages from the ‘Zodiac’.

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espite the fact that the self styled Zodiac is only credited with five official killings between December 1968 and October 1969, his shadow hung over the residents of San Francisco for more than a decade. The film centres around three men (and three impressive performances) whose lives become consumed by the case; Detective Dave Toschi (Ruffalo) who leads the police investigation and newspaper cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal) who also pursues the case through some

TELL NO ONE (NE LE DIS À PERSONNE) Dir: Gullaume Canet Starring: Francois Cluzet, Marrie-Josee Croze, Out now, 125 mins

Synopsis: Alexandre’s wife has been dead for more than eight years now. Though he finds solace in his work as a doctor, Alex is still haunted by the day that she was murdered. One day he receives and anonymous email seemingly confirming that she is still alive, sparking him into a frantic search to find the truth.

obsessive off-the-clock research with help from his papers crime writer Paul Avery (Downey Jr.). With Se7en under his belt, its clear that Fincher knows how to handle the serial killer genre, but somehow this film manages to engulf you to the point that you leave the cinema feeling as if you have just conducted your own investigation, having examined every detail in the same neurotic manner as Robert Graysmith. Clocking in at 158 minutes, there was the potential to have some serious fidgeting going on in the seat next to me (my film going companion has the attention span of a pea) but the film lures you in with each brutal murder. As you struggle to weigh up the toll the investigation is taking on those involved, and your desire for them to persevere regardless grows, it is impossible for even the most scatty of people not to be captivated. If you missed this one on the big screen, the DVD is probably worth investigating. However, as is often the case, a little patience will reward you with an extended addition, which will include extensive extra features including huge documentaries, so you will get the chance to check and double check the case details, and draw your own conclusions on the identity of the Zodiac. MIKE ROFF

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ell No One is thriller in the classic mould. Fast paced and well shot, Guillaume Canet’s film tells of Dr Alexandre Beck’s (François Cluzet) search for his supposedly dead wife despite continuing accusations that he is the culprit. Boasting a magnificent performance from Cluzet, Tell No One blends Hollywood pacing and excitement levels with the arresting French cinematic style. This film’s success serves to highlight that European cinema is not just about art house films that no one can understand and that there is a genuine alternative to mainstream Hollywood cinema if one chooses to look for it. If all the alternatives are all this good, we’d be fools not to. SIM ECKSTEIN

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hhhhh Freshers’ week. Whether you’re ‘learn ing you limits’ (i.e. being sick in somebody’s flower bed after a few to many shandies), ‘developing an understanding of the opposite sex’ (by getting slapped) or just waking up to the fact that every action has a consequence (or waking up to somebody that vaguely resembles your great uncle Steven) it is a week, nay, a rite of passage, that symbolises the transition from adolescence to adult hood. This week we look at 5 films that, for whatever reason, best encapsulate this momentous change. There are space ships, an evil lion called Scar and Bill Murray but despite their differences they all represent something profound about the process of growing up.

handedly invented the teen movie. STAR WARS IV – A NEW HOPE Set over one Saturday detention, five (1977) entirely different youngsters (a prinOn the face of it Star Wars is a cess, nerd, weirdo, jock and criminal silly boys film with space ships, as the characters themselves so poinoisy swords and a bad guy with a gnantly put it) who, over the course plastic face. That it has enjoyed such unparalleled success can arguably be of the day put aside their superficial attributed to the archetypal coming of differences and forge a bond rooted in dissatisfaction and disillusionage story that drives it. Luke, an inment. Effectively confined nocent farm boy, is whisked away from Andrew: Why do to one room for the entire the film, Hughes’ film is as home on a mission to save a princess. you have to insult pure a character study as you’ll find in main stream Along the way he has a crush (no everybody? Hollywood but its sharp humour and deeply percepFreudian analysis please, we know it’s Bender: I’m being tive take on ‘Generation X’ makes it a must see movie his sister), sees his mentor killed and honest, asshole. about growing up. ultimately risks his life for the greater (THE BREAKFAST CLUB) FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (1986) good becoming a A film that is close to many a man along the way. Sexual awakenheart, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is ing, encounter with death, bit of a a brighter and funnier take on the scrap. Textbook. somewhat gloomy themes covered in The Breakfast Club. The film follows THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985) Ferris Bueller as he skips school to The defining film of a generation, ‘seize the day’ and do all the stuff he The Breakfast Club almost single hasn’t had the nerve to do yet (performing Twist and Shout during a parade). Astoundingly, the film manages to invoke a generation’s sense of alienation from the adult world at the same time as being incredibly fun, and is all the better for it.

THE LION KING (1994) Come on, admit it, you love this film. A

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true Disney classic, The Lion King is a traditional coming of age story; young, carefree lion cub Simba flees his kingdom only to return years later, a wiser more mature lion, to face up to his responsibilities and take up his rightful place as King (after a cracking fight with his uncle). The highlight of the film has to be Jeremy Iron’s deliciously evil Scar, but it is its ability to reduce any grown man to tears that wins it a place in our Top 5. Mock me if you will, we all know you cried too. RUSHMORE (1998) Rushmore, the second writing collaboration between Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, follows 15 year-old loser Max as be becomes embroiled in a bizarre love triangle with teacher Mrs Cross and his former friend and mentor, depressed industrialist Herman Blume (Bill Murray). The theme of unrequited love is a staple plot of coming of age films, but Anderson’s unique style makes this film both funny and poignant. Bill Murray’s masterful performance is reason enough to watch this film however. Profound, depressed, amusing, he sets the tone not only for the movie as a whole, but for the decade of brilliant work he followed it with. SIM ECKSTEIN


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Beautiful Dis S

dissecting surrealist

urrealistic art takes many forms, but the movement as a whole is dedicated to expressing the imagination as revealed in dreams, free from the constraints of reason and convention. Surrealism had its creative heyday in the 1920s and 30s, and its roots can be traced back to French poets such as Rimbaud, Baudelaire and Lautreamont, the latter providing the famous line that summarises the surrealists’ love of the incongruous: ‘Beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table.’ Like Dadaism, it was originally shaped by emerging theories on our perception of reality. Founded in Paris in 1924 by André Breton with his Manifesto of Surrealism, the cultural movement’s principal aim was ‘to resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality’. Surrealist works often feature an element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur (Latin for ‘it does not follow’). Freud’s work with free association, dream analysis and the hidden

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visible in the French revolt of May unconscious were important to the 1968, whose slogan, ‘All power to surrealists in developing methods the imagination’, rose directly from to liberate the imagination. However, French surrealist thought. while they embraced idiosyncrasy, In a nutshell then, surrealism is they rejected the idea of an underlying madness Beautiful as the chance encounte or darkness of r of a sewing the mind. As a visual movemachine and an umbrella on a dissecting table ment, surrealism based on the belief in previously nehad a method: to expose glected associations, in the omnipopsychological truth by stripping orditence of dream and in the disinterestnary objects of their normal signified play of thought. The major artists cance, in order to create a compelof the movement are Salvador Dali, ling image that was beyond ordinary Max Ernst, René Magritte and Joan formal organisation, evoking empathy Miró, along with Marcel Duchamp, from the viewer. Pablo Picasso and some of Georgia Surrealism is a melting pot of difO’Keefe’s work. ferent styles; the artists, with their The Kiss (Le Baiser) (1927) by roots in Dada and cubism, the abErnst, for example, is a typical paintstraction of expressionism and posting of the movement: the influence of impressionism, were also influenced Miró’s penchant for sexual symbols by the so-called primitive and naive is apparent, along with the drawing arts. The group aimed to revolutionstyle of Picasso, with the use of fluid ize human experience, including its curving and intersecting lines and personal, cultural, social and political colours. aspects, by freeing people from what Dali is perhaps the most rethey saw as false rationality and the nowned surrealist painter, famous restrictive customs of everyday life. for images such as Birth of Liquid As a consequence, at various times Desires (1931) and The Persistence surrealists aligned with communism of Memory (1931), which features and anarchism. This was especially


sorder:

st art

melting pocket watches on a beach. It illustrates Dali’s theory of softness and hardness, which was central to his thinking at the time. Magritte’s ‘This is not a Pipe’ from The Treachery of Images (1928) is another example of playful uncertainty. The message written seems to be a contradiction, but is actually true: the painting is not a pipe, but an image of a pipe. Or the viewer might decide that it could be the image of something else entirely, such as a watering can, magic lamp or hairdryer. Similarly, Yves Tanguy’s distinctive painting, Indefinite Divisibility (1942), almost defies explanation, set in a lunar landscape where indefinable, nameless objects float in a spectral, dream-like space. Surrealistic art remains popular with museum patrons and the general public. The Guggenheim Museum in New York held a surrealist exhibit, Two Private Eyes, in 1999, and in 2001 the Tate Modern held an exhibition of the movement’s art that attracted over 170,000 visitors. And surrealism’s impact on popular culture can still be felt today, most obviously in innovative advertising. Tash Prest-Smith

Pygmalion

@ the new theatre T he Peter Hall Company, in collaboration with the New Theatre has produced a first class performance of the classic Victorian drama Pygmalion, which was later used as the basis for the musical My Fair Lady. As such, the time old love story of the cockney flower girl turned into a Lady by the vehement efforts of speech expert Professor Henry Higgins, is as familiar to most as the Cinderella fairy tale it emulates. The performance effectively blends tragedy and comedy creating a pathos which is central to the enduring success and popularity of Pygmalion. Originally written by Bernard Shaw, the new director Peter Hall draws out the light and dark elements of the script to expound Shaw’s subtle comment on the stratified nature of society, whilst acutely and hilariously documenting the chauvinism of middle class men of this period. This particular production conveys these themes brilliantly, much to the credit of the excellent performances of the cast. The BBC and West end actor Tim Piggott Smith, who plays Professor Higgins, fully gets to grips with this complex character portraying, both his cruel and comedic nature with great élan. Michelle Dockery also excels in her representation of Eliza, capturing her fragile yet forthright personality. However, the loudest laughs of the evening came from the character Alfred Doolittle (Tony Haygarth), who provides amusing and original insights into the lives of the “undeserving poor.” The queues outside Oceana testify that the New Theatre may struggle to attract students on a Monday night, but with more performances like this one that may be about to change. Pygmalion is humorous throughout but still manages to convey a deeper commentary on the disjointed nature of class and society. It kept my attention throughout, all in all Pygmalion is perfect entertainment for those looking for a slightly different night out. The pleasant ambience of the venue, coupled with some effective set design and some outstanding performances all contributed to a really enjoyable evening. Emma Drake and Hywel Pegler

arts@gairrhydd.com /

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Murder, he wrote... On September 5, Polish author Krystian Bala was jailed for the the murder of a young businessman. The gory details of which were near identical to one that appeared in the author’s debut novel.

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t’s a case that reads like a paranoid Stephen King novel. A first time author is arrested and tried over the murder of a young and popular businessman in Poland nearly seven years after the crime, as perplexed police stumble across an identical crime in the pages of a pulp novel. But fiction it is not. On September 5, a Polish court sentenced author Krystian Bala to 25 years in jail after finding him guilty of planning and leading the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski, the owner of an advertising agency. The case has gripped Poland since 2000, when the body of Janiszewski was spotted on the banks of the River Oder, near to the city of Wroclaw pointing him in the direction of Amok. by local fishermen. Police discovered that Janiszewski had been tortured, Police were shocked to find the mutilated and bound before being details of a murder in the book were dumped into the river. almost indistinguishable from those For three years Polish police were of Janiszewski’s. What was more sigbaffled by the case. They could not nificant to the police was that many come up with any clear motives, of the similar details had not been leads or suspects and not even a revealed to the press, and would only mass televised appeal could produce have been known by the police, or by any further lines of the killer themselves. enquiry. This is a crime that ha Around the same d the nation gripped time, a philosophy graduate named ction sub-plot Krystian Bala with its peculiar stranger than fi released his Bala was subdebut novel Amok. The novel dealt sequently arrested, but with little with a group of disenchanted sadists, evidence, and only a work of fiction to go by, the police had no choice and their narrator Chris revealing in but to release him three days later. intimate detail the murder of a young However, evidence slowly started to woman. The elements of the murder pile up. Janiszewski was discovered were chillingly near enough identical to be an acquaintance of Bala’s exto the case of Mr. Janiszewski. The wife, and Bala was revealed to have novel went on to become a Polish made a phone call to Janiszewki on bestseller, and despite this, with no the day of his murder. The revelation leads and nothing to go on, Comthat Bala had sold his victim’s mobile missar Jacek Wroblewski, who was telephone on an internet site four leading the investigation, declared days after the murder appeared to be the case closed. the nail in his coffin. The case lay dormant in the back Bala insisted all along that his of the Polish nation’s minds until work was merely inspired by the Commissar Wroblewski received events of Janiszewski’s murder, an anonymous tip-off in 2005

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informed by his collection of newspaper cuttings. Bala even offered himself up for a lie detector exam, which he passed. However, when the transcripts were read out in court, the judge was struck by the very long pauses Bala took before answering questions. The prosecutors told the court that Bala, an experienced diver, was in these instances using complex breathing techniques to disguise any signs of lying. Earlier this month Bala was sentenced to 25 years in jail, still vehemently protesting his innocence. With not enough evidence to prove that Bala was the sole perpetrator, the judge found him guilty of planning the murder and leading it. Whether it was true that Bala was merely an aspiring writer obsessed by a crime he happened upon in the press, or a real-life evil genius who committed what seemed to be a perfect crime and then had the desire to brag about it in a work of fiction, this is a crime which had a nation gripped with its peculiar stranger than fiction sub-plot, and one which will not be easily forgotten by a shocked and fascinated nation.

Tom Williams


2007 man booker prize I

t has been a good year for Ian McEwan. After releasing his most recent novel, On Chesil Beach to critical acclaim and his 2003 novel Atonement receiving the big screen treatment, McEwan has now been shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. McEwan has been the favourite to win since the long-list was announced in August. To many, this year’s short-list seems a one horse race. The only underdog with the potential to win in the bookies’ eyes is New Zealand’s Lloyd Jones for his novel Mister Pip after a surge in online bets. If McEwan goes on to win this year’s Booker prize for On Chesil Beach it will place

Blood On The Saddle

Rafael Reig Serpent’s Tail

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mix of mystery, noir, satire and science fiction, Rafael Reig’s Blood on the Saddle tells the story of jaded detective Carlos Clot and his efforts to sleuth three vulnerable women. One is a missing teenage girl, wrapped up in a world of drugs and prostitution, one is a wife suspected of not being faithful by her husband, and perhaps most interestingly of all, one is a missing character from an unfinished novel who has escaped the confines of her author’s manuscript leaving him with insufferable writer’s block. It’s a bold and promising premise,

him among only two other authors who have won the prize twice, Peter Carey and J M Coetzee; McEwan’s 1998 effort Amsterdam scooped that year’s Booker prize. This year, many critics have denounced the shortlist, as many first time authors included in the longlist did not make the final cut, which the critics saw as cowardice on the Booker Prize committee’s part. Although this year’s shortlist seems like a case of a giant amongst minnows, the Booker prize has a tendency to surprise, so when the winner is announced on October 16th, look out for a potential upset.

the shortlist Nicola Barker - Darkmans Anne Enwright - The Gathering Mohsin Hamid - The Reluctant Fundamentalist Lloyd Jones - Mister Pip Ian McEwan - On Chesil Beach Indra Sinha - Animal’s People

and is genuinely exciting at first, but the reader gets the impression that perhaps Reig’s hyperactive ideas are too big for him. This is evident in the way Reig’s narrative jumps uncontrollably from genre to genre, be it the Chandler-esque scenes in the detective agency, or the 1984 inspired bleak view of a futuristic Madrid, with the all-powerful Manex Chopeitia fronting a malevolent genetic engineering company which seems to rule the city. Reig’s tale of one man against the world is definitely an attentiongrabbing read. Its surreal premise is genuinely exciting at times, and the protagonist’s dry wit stirs memories of pulp noir’s best. However, one can only feel that something is missing; at times the narration seems forced and unnatural, perhaps something got lost in Paul Hammond’s translation. Or maybe it’s the fact that Reig darts erratically between genres, not allowing the reader a comfortable anchor. Tom Williams

books@gairrhydd.com /

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the iPhone cometh

The long awaited launch of the iPhone nears but Apple may already be up to their old tricks.

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rum roll please (imagine a drum roll here)... Ladies and gentlemen Apple have finally announced that their iPhone; a device that has moistened and tautened undergarments of fashoinistas and tech heads the world over, will go on sale in the UK on November 9. The iPhone will be available exclusively on the O2 network and distributed through Apple, Carphone Warehouse and O2 stores. The iPhone features a 8GB flash drive, 3.5” widescreen touch sensitive display with 480x320 resolution, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi capability with inbuilt Safari browser, Coverflow, Google-maps iTunes store and Youtube applications as well as a 2 mega pixel camera and of course the ability to play music, video, display photographs and if all else fails, phone people. Unlike most handsets in the UK Apples iPhone will be sold to customers completely unsubsidised by Telefonica owned O2. This prospect when coupled with Apples cheeky pre-iPhone UK release of the iPod Touch, a media player so similar to the iPhone that it has billed by everyone other than Apple as the iPhone without the phone, has raised concerns about how well the iPhone will do in the UK market compared to the US launch where one million units sold in 74 days and queues formed outside

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Apple stores nationwide in the days running up to it’s release. Unlike the US, which is notoriously behind in mobile communication technology, European markets are no stranger to expensive smart-phones being part or wholly subsidised by network operators and almost universally capable of using 3G services. Nokia’s new N95 smart phone has an RRP of around £450 and features a 5 mega pixel camera, 3G, video calling, MP3 player and Wi-Fi internet browsing and is available for free on the 02 network as long as customers are willing to sign up to an 18 month contract of 30 pounds. In comparison iPhone will be available at £269 upon release with an 18 month contract of 35, 45 or 55 pounds no 3G functionality or EDGE support (A system that allows users to access the internet away from Wi-Fi hotspots). 02 are rumored to be paying up to 40% of the revenue from the sales of the handsets directly to Apple. But if it got O2 exclusive rights to use the mobile dubbed by many the “Jesus phone” from Apple, a company that would gladly charge you simply for humming something you heard on iTunes if they could, who can blame them. A far less newsy review of the iPod touch which without spoiling things I can tell you is really good will follow next issue. You had best start saving now.


TIGER WOODS 08 EA Sports Nintendo Wii

C Log on and be Counted

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ell, it’s about that time of year again: the Golden Joystick Awards have arrived. They’re no Oscars, and as such you’re unlikely (but not overly so) to see Shigeru Miyamoto spill out of a limo coke’d off his rocker screaming “Donkey Konga!!” whilst drumming on the breasts of a high class call girl at the after party. But regardless it is quite an achievement for them and vicariously all of us too. For 25 years the public have been casting their votes to decide who deserves to take home the Golden Joysticks, since back when playing computer games was something you did for a minute or two between listening to both your mum and your Commodore 64 scream at you for two hours (or so dad tells me). Thankfully nowadays things are a lot better. With the big three consoles now out on the market and the release of great games like Gears of War, Zelda: Twilight Princess, Resistance: Fall of Man and Company of Heroes games are finally both exciting and, unless you’re my Nan or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition obsessed girlfriend, cool. We’re lucky enough to be going along to the awards on October the 26th and shall bring you all the coverage once our hangovers have cleared. Whether that will involve a tearful acceptance speech from Mario for the Most Enduring Italian Stereotype award you’ll have to wait and see. But in the meantime you can busy yourselves by voting at: http://www.gairrhydd. com/ where you will find full listings of all the nominees and a little background information on what makes them great.

onsidering that Tiger Woods 07 was released on the Nintendo Wii just under six months ago it is of little surprise that the Wii version of Tiger 08 has very few new additions to speak of. The graphics are still near identical to the Playstation2 version and all the previous play modes are included. The developers have taken the time to fine tune the control system allowing you to make both fade and draw shots far easier and by doing so have removed much of those the frustrating missed shots that cause no end of piss taking in multiplayer mode. The IR interface (or pointing the remote at the telly) is still just as fluid and EA have also toughened up the putting which before was arguably far too easy. One novel addition is the new player confidence system which will watch how you take your shots and build up a corpus of the ones you’re prone to screw up on. When you take these shots your character will show visible stress, your stats will drop, the Wii remote will start rumbling and the classic blood in your ears sound effect will kick in. Macabre as it is it’s nice to have a sports title playing off your weaknesses and does make for a more tense, and if you make the shot, rewarding experience. Multiplayer additions include great new taunting system allowing you to manipulate wind

conditions and add audio distractions while your mate attempts that critical shot. While single-player still features a career mode allowing you to take your homemade pleb to the greens to do battle. Overall however the changes are minor and Tiger 08 feels like an update rather than a sequel. This is still by far the best golf game for the Wii but with no online modes or Wii specific content it still feels like a slightly underwhelming effort given Nintendo’s system is in principle perfectly designed for golf games. Tiger 08 is undeniably enjoyable and if you’re looking to play a few holes in the comfort your living room I can guarantee this won’t disappoint, but if you already own Tiger 07 I’d recommend you keep your money in your pocket until Tiger 09 inevitably rolls into town. Dom Mukwamba-Sendall

digital@gairrhydd.com /

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Eat the world Going Out takes you on a culinary adventure around the world. And the best bit...? You don’t even have to leave Cardiff

a taste of the orient

Zushi//140 Queen Street

Go Eastern in a far-away yet contemporary way, as symbolised by the popular presence of a sushi conveyor belt.

go americano Las Iguanas// 8 Mill Lane Hard Rock Cafe// The Brewery Quarter Serving Latin American food Las Iguanas offers students 20% off food and two for one on cocktails. Hard Rock offers a taste of North America’s finest cuisine. With its regular band nights and tremendously traditional jukebox tunes, the Hard Rock takes you to Highway 69 in style.

little bit of lebanon Mezza Luna//

feel the fiesta

La Tasca//

The Brewery Quarter Spanish through and through, La Tasca’s popularity and specialty lays in its Tapas.

indian indulgence Spice Quarter// The Brewery Quarter

Set in the Old Brewery Quarter of Cardiff, the surroundings of the ‘Spice Quarter’ aid in making this the City’s Emperor of Indian Eateries.

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portuguese please Nandos//The

159 City Road

Brewery Quarter

If you fancy trying something a little bit different taste the delights of Arabia at this fantastic gem of a restaurant. On Fridays and Saturdays belly dancers supply the evening’s entertainment.

Mary’s Street

Portos//40 St

Cardiff boasts two very different styles in Portuguese meals. While Nandos as an upbeat KFC will score a first with all you fast-food fans, (99% of Cardiff students?), Portos proves a pleasant place to sophisticatedly spend a date.

european veneer

La Braserie// 60-62 St Mary’s Street The quaint and conservative atmosphere of La Brasserie envisions your being on a wholesome tour of Europe.


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It’s that time of year again...

O T K C BA L O O H C S

With new stationery and packed lunches, Cult Classics take a look at one of the best known school related films and one of the most loved high school TV shows of all time... Billy Madison

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ack to school, back to school, To prove to Dad that I’m no fool. Got my lunch packed up and boots tied tight, Hope I don’t get in a fight!” Returning to the monotonous routine of education after the fun and freedom of summer can be a daunting prospect for even the most conscientious of scholars. Imagine just how scary this event, that occurs annually for the majority of students, would be after a holiday of nearly a decade… when the class you’re rejoining contains pupils twenty years your junior…and despite being twenty-seven years old you still believe “rock” to be spelt R-O-K? Adam Sandler plays Billy Madison; the eponymous character in a “back to school” movie with a difference. Billy never had to grow up; he only graduated high school in the first place because his billionaire father had bribed his teachers. He has subsequently become what any respectable adult would when confronted with an endless supply of daiquiris and weekly nudey magazine days; a lay-about lout. But when daddy decides to retire he wants Billy to prove himself worthy of inheriting his company, by passing grades one to twelve in twenty-four weeks (sort of like a reverse “Van Wilder” but better, mainly due to the absence of Tara Reid). Sandler’s child-like voice and typically exaggerated behaviour make

him the perfect choice for playing Madison, the boy that never had to grow up; a man on the verge of entering his thirties who still sings motivational songs out loud to himself (see above). The plot is too ridiculous and the characters too goofy to be taken seriously; they exist merely to provide an opportunity for Sandler to chase hallucinated penguins and other such absurd shenanigans. Stop looking at me swan! Laura Gibbons

Saved by the Bell

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can say with almost an insane amount of surity that everyone will have seen this program once upon a time. How can i be so sure of this? Well, becasue it was absolutely amazing. Starting life in 1989, the show followed the exploits of six high school students whose lives were depicted in Bayside High. Under the watchful eye of Mr. Belding, Kelly Kapowski,

Jessie Span, A.C. Slater, Zack Morris, Samuel “Screech” Powers and Lisa Turtle made up the group. I don’t think the plot varied that much over the years, or infact between episodes, with Zack always pining for cheerleader Kelly, Slater just being a jock, Jesse getting involved in different movements, Lisa being the brains of the group and Screech (everybodys personal favourite character!) being generally nerdy. The show was attempted to be revived with Saved by the Bell: the College Years, which admitedly was pretty useless as it tried to capture the same elements wih the show while appearing to be more mature. Umm, hello? Not what we want thank you very much. It may not be popcorn gold or anything worthy of awards, but it has a cult status that can’t be overlooked. Gareth J. S. Mogg

Cult Classics reccomends

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Animal House (1978)

Disney’s Recess (2001)

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Death of the entertainer The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has gone. Matt Cutler asks, will we really miss him?

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osé Mourinho certainly knows how to make the headlines. His shock parting with Chelsea has dominated the back pages for over a week. The split came following his involvement in a distinctly average (by Roman Abramovich’s standard that is) start to the season. Can English football carry on the same without the suavity, style and arrogance of the Premiership’s selfproclaimed ‘Special One’? The exact circumstances of Mourinho’s departure may always be shrouded in mystery. It seems in spite of this that an inevitable onerow-too-many with Chelsea’s all-powerful owner, was the straw that broke the camel's back. Roman Abramovich had grown frustrated by the missing Champions League crown. The owner’s short-term memory is obviously hampered by his expectations. Mourinho is the best manager Chelsea have ever had. Not only overlooking one FA Cup and two Carling Cups victories, Roman forgets that Chelsea had not won the topflight title for 50 years until Mourinho arrived. The Portuguese talisman, backed by Abramovich’s millions, won it at the first time of asking in 2005 and followed it up with another championship the next season. In a results-driven industry, often the lovers of free-flowing football have despaired at Mourinho’s failure to produce the flowing,

entertaining football his wielding of a vast cheque book demanded. Grinding out a tight win is not manner in which champions play, but it is effective. Mourinho himself admitted to this and remedying it was not important to his footballing ethos. Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal have always been the more aesthetically pleasing on the eye. Neglection of home-grown talent and over-spending on players that outpriced other clubs in the Premiership are two other negatives associated with José Mourinho. So too was he criticised for the instances of manmanagement which would have even made David Brent cringe. Andriy Shevchenko’s disappointing introduction into English football for example has been handed to Mourinho. Fortunately, the man’s legacy has been established outside of the condemnation he has received. The unpredictable egotist and master dramatist brought far more to our shores than just on the pitch. Mourinho had across-the-board appeal when it came to provoking emotions. Even those uninterest

ed in sport will recognise the either smartly clean-shaven, or untidy tracksuited silver good looks of a stylish man with uncontrollable arrogance. Infamously dubbing himself the ‘Special One’, he did not strive for humility. The Portuguese coach did not care for the reputations of illustrious contemporaries such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and Rafael Benitez. So too did he speak his mind, unmoved by the political-correctness observed in keeping emotions close to one’s chest in the media forum. José once claimed that Arsène Wenger was a “voyeur” as he likes to watch other people, likening him to men who, when they are at home, “have a big telescope to see what happens in other families.” Few others could get away with branding one of Europe’s top managers a footballing-pervert. It is the characters in life that people remember, and José is no exception. Love him or hate him, Mourinho has been magnificent for English football and the sporting horizon will be poorer without him the spotlight. The moments of foolishness and arrogance of an outspoken talisman must be remembered.

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Erasure

Andy Bell and Vince clarke. Musicians// UK. All I want when I die, is an immense baseline at my funeral. Like boom ba boom ba, as the coffin’s coming out or something…and that’s all, I’d be a happy man then you know? Ultimately, it’s what I live for, dance music. I feel like I’ve got electronic music in my blood. Growing up as a teenager, electronic music was new and exciting. I guess that means I’m stuck in the mud when it comes to influences really. Maybe Vince (Clarke, other half to Erasure and formerly of Depeche Mode) is my biggest inspiration. I’m into all kinds of avant - guard stuff. I was looking at that MIA girl the other day. I quite liked her actually. I always try to have a listen to what’s going on in the contemporary. It was so very different when we started out in the music industry. Back then, record companies wanted to build up an amazing back catalogue of artists. Now, culture is all about celebrity. And record companies, they’re suffering for it. They are forced to reflect it. Now, they are all about getting instant hits. It’s no longer the artists’ that hold the reins, it’s the record companies. Pop has always been fickle. Yet, when you’re a real music fan, from a young age, then your heart is all in it. The longer you go on (like us) the more you stand your own ground. You realise that you get lots and lots of promises, but they are rarely ever fulfilled. It’s not important to be listening to the ‘latest and greatest.’ I suppose influences do change over the years, but it’s not like it has anything to do with the contemporary. At the end of the day, our music is about song writing. Song writing is unaffected by style and other people. It’s inspired by life you know? We are past feeling pressurised. We used to build ourselves up so much you know? Then an album comes out and it doesn’t sell. Well, you get so disappointed naturally. As we have got older though, we’ve stopped worrying. As long as the record company brings it out, puts our music out there, then we’re happy I suppose. It’s important to be a perfectionist. I always hold other artists in such high esteem. Like I’ll listen to Blondie, and be wowed! I’ll think, even those backing vocals are amazing. That’s true perfection. Then I’ll listen to our electronic music, and realise that it all requires the same amount of work, the same level of precision. That’s what we aim for. Blind faith? It’s just not enough to make it as a musician anymore. The most important advice I’d give to young, aspiring artists is to believe in oneself, and play live. Live shows are more important than ever for artists these days. Record companies may be fickle. But it should never be assumed that the fans are. Playing live for us doesn’t get any easier. Technically, it just gets more reliable. The crew, they’ve worked with us for a very long time. So everyone just gets on and does what they have to do. If you can win an audience round, then that’s the best feeling in the world ever. It’s all so exciting in the beginning, as no one knows your music. We played in some right dives. But it’s also very frightening, you know? But if you’re in a tiny place, and the bar staff don’t even like you, you feel a bit…denied. Sometimes on tour, I just feel like I’m being plain rude. And it’s usually just because I’m not constantly saying hi to everyone and all that. There is that pressure in this industry. But I’m not being rude; it’s just what I’m like. Vince and I though, we are like family, we can both be in a room and not even realise the other is there. We appreciate each others space. That is the most important thing for a working relationship. We feel like we’ve come round full circle. Our new album, it’s a lot like our old stuff really. The song Sunday Girl? (On the new album) Well I’m a massive Debbie Harry fan obviously, but it’s more of a euro track. The name just stuck. And I couldn’t bring myself to name it Wednesday Girl, or Monday Girl or anything! We got to meet my idol, Debbie Harry, while taking part in some lobbying this year. It was part of the True Colours tour across the USA. It involved a lot of musicians coming together to play their 45 minutes, in order to encourage the senate to pass a bill against homophobic attacks out there. We met them all, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, the Dresden Dolls. Expect some darker, scary soundtracks from us. Our next project is an album of nursery rhymes. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We’re about half way through. We are definitely up for reinterpreting some of them, yes. There’s definitely no plans for us to end yet…we just love our dance music too much. Interview Lucinda Day Erasure are touring the UK now. The latest album, Light at the end of the World, is out now.

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Record companies may be fickle. But it should never be assumed that the fans are.

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Quench - Issue 56