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Issue 86 // Oct 26th - Nov 9th

THE STUDENT MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR AT 8! 200 RDS AWA DIA GUARDIAN STUDENT ME NOMINATED THIS YEAR!

VOYEUR ROBBIE BLIND DATE FEATURES FOOD GAY TRAVEL

FILM p. 53

INTERVIEWS FASHION PHOTOS ARTS BOOKS GOING OUT MUSIC FILM

Cover Design: Simon Lucey Cover Photos: Chris Griffiths

FASHION p. 27

LISTINGS

04 06 07 08 12 14 17 21 27 30 34 39 42 45 53 63

Simon Lucey Executive Editor Emma Jones Assistant to the Editors Elaine Morgan Arts Amelia Forsbrook, Rachel Yates Blind Date Sarah Kilby, Caroline Baldwin Books Emma Pocklington Fashion Emily Cater, Kate Eaton Features Ellie Woodward, Sarah George Film Lloyd Griffiths, Natalie Stone, Steve Wright Food Harriet Davies, Hayley Pyper Gay Lucas Owen Going Out Jack Doran Interviews Jody Tozer, Steve Beynon, Tom Rouse Listings Steve Beynon, Tom Rouse Music Sam Smith, Phil Guy, Si Roach Photos Jake Yorath, Liz Foggitt Travel Dom Kehat, Paul Stollery Proof Readers Kate Boddington, Martha Partridge

printed on recycled paper. PLEASE RECYCLE.


voyeur

IN

! "T ! " # loween Survival: impossible

I

went to big old Landan town on the weekend. I don't often get the chance to escape from my miniature Quench ivory tower on top of the Union, but for one weekend only, like a caged rabbit; I was released into the big smoke. ! " # $%& ' ($() $*+ ($(, ) ' + $) -$. ) & $(, / ($ are out of the loop know, the place is utterly fucking mental. I think the most mind-boggling thing about our glorious capital must be the transport system. There is no other way to describe it other than a battleground. Supposedly socially developed men and women in suits carrying briefcases and expensive laptops run, claw and bite their way through the crowds in order to try to get a moment closer to those closing tube doors- all whilst organizing meetings on their shiny new blackberry. Once onto the elusive Tube you are squeezed closer to your fellow human being than is biologically advisable. By the end of your ten-stop journey to Cockfosters you will know his odour better than your own. As soon as you are within a few stops of your destination a cold sweat will descend upon you as you begin to plot your escape. Your next step is crucial. There is nothing more thrilling than gaining that coveted lead position in front of the crowd as they storm towards the ticket machine. You will feel elevated with a sense of authority, and power. You will lead the masses with the passion of William Wallace to those steel barriers. If you are lucky enough to have taken up this most important of roles, leading the crowd, your next task is the most gruelling you will face in your existence. You must successfully feed your ticket/ swipe your oyster card/jump the barrier before the angry masses can build up before you. One slight fumble will see you trampled in a sea of angry commuters. You have been warned. SL

04 / voyeur@gairrhydd.com

Survival sex toys: obtainable

ba dom tish

jolly humorous stuff

! ! " ! " #" " " #" #! " " #! !" " "! " #"! #!! " #!" ! " #! " !! #" ! " ! #! "" # mom called him in for breakfast. On his way in he kicked a cow, pig, and a chicken. So when he gets to the table he sees a dry bowl of cereal. "What's the deal?" he asks. His mom says " You kicked the cow so no milk for you, you kicked the pig so no bacon for you, and you kicked the chicken so no eggs for you." Then his father walks into the kitchen and accidentally kicked the cat. The boy says "Do you want me to tell him or should you?"

dictionary corner on the buzzer with student filth

Procrastibating: Using masturbation to otherwise occupy yourself while pressing matters await. E.g. I had a paper due today, but I spent all night procrasturbating, so fuck it, I'll have to do it another time.


voyeur

at would Tom Jones do?

om, way you gyrate around ! a massive fan of your work. The me and many other Firstly let me just say that I am to on irati insp of leather trousers is &. " " the stage in your thigh hugging " " " " " " " " " "%" " "& "" " & " "" " "%" " "" " "# $ re with you my story ! " # " " "$ %# " " " %$ """ " " "" " "%" "" " " sha t mus I on, reas ing ress dep a I come to you today though for whirlwind romance. I met ironically begins with a happy of sexual plight. This grave tale ed independent food establishment called Mama! s Kebas Rose in a little known Cathays piping hot chips and gravy, the corner crouching over her bab House. I saw Rose alone in ate eye contact. I got lost in her deep green eyes, as the and we instantly locked a passion bulbous lips. Within a few minutes we were locked in ripe re this tale takes a turn steamy gravy dripped from her hen table. However here is whe a passionate love knot on my kitc explain this Tom, so here goes. Apollo exploded all to for the worse. I don"t know how ed before we could even get the saddle on, my soldiers bolt e hors the , pad ch laun over the speak. fails to return my calls. abandoned ship too early so to , I fear, alienated Rose as she now My premature #excitement" has Please Tom lend us your advice. Yours, Lloyd

only imagine the ! " # $ % $ $ into a horrible predicament. I can then? Well I think the Oh boyo, haven't you got yourself early so ode expl you did , , why, why shame you must have felt. Oh why er you member is to answer may be simple. th Wales that the best way to temp one of the biggest It has long been rumoured in Sou into ce advi this sform tran to aged man surround it in tight leather. I have er into some absolutely and 90&s by incorporating the leath fashion developments of the 80&s banging trousers. t clad in my thigh Now whenever I go down the stree can resist my an wom no sers trou skin al anim hugging al voice. I&m telling prominent package and gruff sexu having soon ll you& , boyo you give it a bash my you. women throwing their panties at r man Once you've dealt with your eage to win your be ld shou step next downstairs, your ing on your special lady. For that I suggest work admit I was to thick regional accent. Here I have just say it Lets dd. typri Pon in up ing lucky grow $ , elsh twang, but now ' $ ( $) * ( % $) $ + ! " # $ % u& it. the chicks absolutely dig s amounts of Anyway got to go and have ridiculou sex. Ta-ra.

Tom

voyeur@gairrhydd.com / 05


robbie

! "# ! " # $ %# !factor? ! nvention of digital TV and the option to watch a plethora of better programmes, why do we still watch X Factor? Robbie Wells thinks he has the answer...

!

inter is upon us, the temperature has dropped to a level whereby nip ples become pointier than Reece Witherspoon! s chin, and Cardiff is upholding its meteorological obligation to rain at least once every day. That" s not to mention the ever impending doom of swine ! " # $ " % & ' " & # ( ' ) # $ # " ' % ! s no wonder we re all as sick as pigs (chalk one up for classic comedy there). ! "#$ %& $$%' (%#$ ") %* + , & + "- , ) ) %) . + rounding us, we need some quality TV to escape to, away from the rigours of 10 hour weeks and binge drinking. Escapism, it seems, comes !" ## $ "% $ ## " & ! " # ' " " ( art of karaoke. It can be dressed up with a big stage, an audience, Dermot O Leary and the dimpled one from Girls Aloud, but that is all that the X Factor is. People may deride it as mindless, conveyor belt, commercialised reality TV, and it is all of these things. Which is why the end product, some !paint by numbers" pop star with a hint of talent but lacking in any kind of identity, is so depressing. ! ! s almost a flexing of commercial muscles that Simon Cowell can take an average person from the street, compress their back story into a montage sound tracked by Coldplay, evoke empathy towards them, and then get us to empty our pockets to listen to the shite they produce. However, all this taken into account, the actual show is hilarious. From Danyl, the only contestant

! " #

$ % & & ' ( @gairrhydd.com

to be fish hooked during every performance, to Stacey, who rivals Amy Winehouse for her ability to sound like a construction worker when talking but an absolute genius when singing; there are some brilliantly constructed characters. Olly Murs, my personal favourite at this point seems to combine the charismatic charm, smooth dance moves and singing ability that make him almost as good as a Robbie Williams impersonator. I"m not having a pop at the lad, as he"s the most engaging one there, but in all honesty, it"s been done, and been done better.

"Simon Cowell wanted those little shits in the final" Then there"s the ever so !out there" Jamie Archer, bringing real !balls-out" rock to our prime time screens. By balls-out! I mean "Sex on Fire!, U2 and T-Rex, the sort of stuff that might make your Nan cower, but about as edgy as a Satsuma. As for the Welsh contingent, if they pipe up one more time about being from a “small town in South Wales”, I might cry for them; clearly it was a traumatic experience. I may

be wrong, but Pentyrch is about fifteen minutes from Cardiff, it!s not as if Lucie Jones has been living from farm produce, milking cows in her spare time without social contact with any of them there city folk. Again, I"m not having a go at Miss Jones; I can only assume TV producers know what makes for emotive viewing. Which is precisely why they have left in the Jonny Bravo twins. Seriously, I thought that haircut died out with Ice Man in Top Gun. If anyone thinks that Simon Cowell didn"t want those little shits in the finals, then they are greatly deluded; he knows the power of some apparently rebellious teens who can"t sing, can"t dance, but !piss" off the establishment. He"s not a multi-millionaire from pop music for being naïve to the way teenage girls" heads work. For the time being though, I"m going to thoroughly enjoy watching the many clichés that go into making every episode of X Factor, the fact that you know exactly what is coming next, even though the smallest part of you carries the notion that maybe, just once, something original will happen. We can all pretend to watch it for its ironic value, but Simon Cowell put it best when he described the twins" performance last week: “In the same way I reacted to watching The Exorcist; I didn!t like it, but I wanted to watch it again”. Brilliant.


blinddate

! "#$ % & '

'

! he Quench Cupids pointed their arrows at Sheri and Matt, but did

the conversation flow more freely than the wine?

"I'm sure he won't have any problems finding someone to fuck or marry him!"

Sheri 6 ! " " # $ # " % " $ " $ " &' ( $ # &% ) * I was on the phone to my friend when I walked in and before I put the phone down I said to her, "he's cute!" When I sat opposite him you could just tell he was a typical nice boy; well groomed with clean teeth. 2. Best & worst bits? Best - not having to cook and having a chat. I love talking to people I don't know! Worst - probably when I had a piece of salad hanging out of my mouth because ! " # $ % &' ( )* " + * " ,* " ,( 3. Describe them in three words? Laid-back, funny (looking - joke!) and polite. 4. Were you nervous before the date? I was a bit nervous which is strange for me. Especially knowing his opinion is going to appear in Quench - so I kept my crude sense of humour to a minimum. 5. Did you do anything after the date? We went to the Buffalo Bar. He suggested it and it's ! " # $ " " % & ' ( " " " ) * " + & " , + , # " $ " Then he walked me home - aww! 6. And the infamous chuck, fuck or marry? Essentially chuck - I think my forward attitude scared him a little! I'm sure he won't have any problems finding someone to fuck or marry him!

Matt 1. So what were your first impressions? She looked nice, but came accross a little rude, as she was on her phone as she sat at the table. 2. Best & worst bits? She had great taste in food and wine and was really easy to talk to. But she gave a little too much information for a first date. 3. Describe them in three words? Talkative, attractive and confident. 4. Were you listening....? Give us a fun fact about your date? I learnt far too many indecent facts, which made the evening pretty funny. 5. Any embarrassing moments? Not that I can remember, it all went pretty smoothly. 6. Were you nervous before the date? Wasn't nervous until I got to the restaurant and she wasn't there. 7. So will you be meeting up again? I don't think so, maybe as friends. 8. And the infamous chuck, fuck or marry? Not so sure, maybe marry as we have a lot of things in common.

! ! "# # $ $ # >: # $ ! " #) ## >J" $. : # > # Ha Ha Bar & Grill,Greyfriars Rd. Call 02920397997 for bookings. Or check out their credit crunch lunches starting from ÂŁ6.

blinddate@gairrhydd.com / 07


features

! ! Models: Emma Jones + Olly Birrell

Stick or Twist? Kate Duffield promotes the single life...

M

y singledom coincided perfectly with my going to uni. Mainly because I was dumped for going. He came back on bended knee a few days later (literally – eek!), but a week !" #$ % & % '( (#% " ) #% #* + '!) % , #& !" & #* % ) # confirmed for me finally that my relationship with my ex-boyfriend had become a bore. ! " #" $ #%& ' #" $ ' #& ( $ ) #* ' +$ , #- +$ , .' # at uni is great. I still revel in the luxury of no-one checking my texts, or telling me off for wearing arsegrazing skirts (look I! m 20, I"ll be old one day so the way I see it I may as well get as much leg out now as humanly possible, while I still can!) On the other hand, being single at uni you still have to be, well, single. You have to choose between going home to your own bed alone, after another night at Oceana, or drunkenly wandering off with some random who you might not necessarily feel quite so enamoured with in daylight. You have to listen to the sex every other night, you have to

hear your friends cooing about their other-halves, and have their other halves (with the best of intentions) say things to you like: #Why don"t you have a boyfriend? You"re really nice!" Well! Without wanting to make sweeping generalisations, students aren"t widely known for their romance. Some of the more enticing lines I"ve heard have included: #First round"s on you!" (My text response: #Good one." I didn"t go on that date.) #Are you out tonight?" (translates to: #Is there any chance that, after getting blind drunk with my friends, I might fuck you, without spending any time with you?") and: #I"ve lost my house keys – can I stay with you?" (Darling, do you think I"m a moron?)

! y life's an open book and I'm quite excited about it!" Then there was the French guy who tried to film me, the teetotaller

08 / features@gairrhydd.com

who, to put it nicely, tried to take advantage, and the mysterious prank caller who once rang me ten times in a day. And if they"re not -doing that they"re shouting #Co-onquest" to all their friends and asking you for the taxi fare! What"s more my bed can reek of fake-tan, I can see my friends all the hours if I want to, I don"t have to necessarily watch another dvd in bed while cuddling and eating Ben and Jerry"s when I"d rather be out, doing something new. And I"ve met some really great people I wouldn"t have met otherwise by doing things off the cuff! On a less silly note, being single means I don"t have to stress myself out with the bigger questions that tend to occur when you love someone such as: #where is this going?", #will we still end up together if we"re in different places next year?" and so on. I"m at leisure to enjoy the peace that comes from knowing that next year when I graduate I can take x job in such-and-such a place, or I can fuck off to do the Inca trail with Cindy. So unless my housemate"s boyfriend succeeds in finding me a match (brave) in the coming months, my life"s an open book – and I"m quite excited about it!


features

Young free and single? Or well and truly loved up? The argument over which is better splits all students. Kate Duffield and Chloe Rowley argue it out.

Chloe Rowley is an advocator of happy uni relationships...

E

ighteen, a dancing queen, and a total cliché, is how I started my university stint. Fresh from an alcohol fuelled week in one of the Mediterranean!s less cultural islands, I had managed to shake off most of the geek-notso-chic image that had plagued my school days. I was ready to hit the city. As an unfortunate consequence of the aforementioned geekery, I was also a late starter when it came to the male species. Hence I became a keen advocate of the “fashionable” singledom, which seemed to rear its head upon arrival at Uni. The ugly truth hit me smack between the eyes around the beginning of the second week of freshers: I had failed to secure the casual after hours liaison vital in separating “the too busy-having too much fun-you!re only young once” kind of single, from the “starting-to-wonder-if-I-haveviolent-halitosis” kind. Previously spoilt by male attention from affection starved, middle-aged

marines, in my bumkin hometown. I started to realise I wasn!t quite the (albeit geeky) prime beef I had once considered myself. This realisation, combined with the flagging superficiality of fresher-dom, allowed me to revert to hopes of a Jane Austen style romance, and against cries of warning from concerned friends, I managed to clinch a similar deal.

!! elationships do have their perks on tap sex is one of them" So yes I am one of those people that sparked up a relationship with another student across the hall, but since said sparking I have been having much more fun. It exasperates me when people harp on about being too young/ making the most of their youth. I am making the most of my youth. I!m just not doing it by

allowing strangers with poor personal hygiene to invade my personal space. While I would never promote being in a relationship for the sake of it, it does have its perks. On tap sex is one of them, and I might add that nights out are actually much more fun when you!re guaranteed to get laid. Even more so the following morning, when you get a lie in instead of the walk of shame. No one but your boyfriend is going to wait on a freezing cold platform for your train to arrive, only to carry your 15 stone suitcase home, and cook for you when you!ve run out of food but can!t be bothered to walk to Tesco!s. It!s nice to have someone to wonder where you are, give you affection, and provide a warm back for your cold feet, and there!s no time like freshers flu for reviving appreciation of your other half. Really, who else is going to love you when you!ve got a nose like Niagara Falls? Aside from these practical perks, requited love is actually quite rare, and what better forum can there be for finding a mate than having twelve and a half thousand likeminded potentials at your fingertips?

features@gairrhydd.com / 09


features

Taking the road less travelled To go to uni or to not go to uni is a question that plagues most of us after our school years have come to an end. Claire Travers details why taking a gap year and exploring the world has benefitted her in the long run.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a

10 08//features@gairrhydd.com features@gairrhydd.com

change that goes on, deep and permanent� -Mark Twain.


!

W

hen I first arrived in Thailand, I was jet lagged, stressed and felt completely unprepared for the 6 months ahead of me. Half a year, 3000 air-miles and 5 grand later and I am an entirely different person, ready for the trails of university life. In those months of nauseating catamaran trips, haggling on street corners and no home comforts, I grew up. Pu't huÅ'~ hÅz3'z{l wwpun'vm f a plane and starting university are essentially the same thing. In both cases one is entering a world as yet unfamiliar to you. But unfamiliarity breeds an open-mind. Surrounding yourself by new situations, sights and people, forces you to look at everything with a new eye. For example, in Bangkok I was surrounded with culinary delights which I had never tasted before. With the apparent lack of a Burger King or KFC, I found myself trying Penang curries and Tempura prawns. I now cook Thai food at least once a week. But being so cut off from things you used to know can also make you look internally. By choosing to try Thai food, instead of seeking out international branches of McDonald s, I grew in myself.

!"" #! !ounding yourself by new situations, sights and people forces you to look at everything with a new eye" If I apply this to my new University world, I am approaching and meeting people in a determinedly unbiased way. Socialising skills also grow amazingly, when you know no one and speak none of the language. In Bali, with a few months

of this lonely travelling under my belt, I picked up some Indonesian and leapt on any other travellers as possible companions. And it didn!t matter if we didn!t click; there were plenty of other people on the island. My inhibitions about meeting people successfully curbed, I encountered people from all over the globe, heard many different points of view, and learnt to accept these as equally valid. Now, while studying in the humanities department, this unprejudiced way of thinking is invaluable. As Mark Twain said: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness" and I couldn't agree more. When trying to leave Bali for Tanzania, we were confronted with a bigger problem. Our tickets had not been put through by STA Travel, and we were stuck in the sub-standard airport in Den Passer, with the very scary and ever-increasing realisation that we may of not have been able to leave the country. Our visas expired the following day and there was no money to pay for the only places left on the plane. Thankfully, things got sorted out - we did get on the plane, and eventually arrived home, but the incident did show me that even with careful planning and the correct paperwork, things go wrong. As I paced about, trying to make a very expensive phone call to the epiphany and I always try to remember it when my printer breaks, or my Student Loan isn!t coming through (just to put things in perspective). When we finally got off the plane in Zanzibar, we hit another bump in our metaphorical road. Zanzibar was more expensive than we could have imagined. Our adolescent budgeting skills were not enough. We had to stay in worse places, eat less and look at our accounts again. This taught me two very important things. One, guidebooks, as with most things, are fallible; and two, how to "keep cheap!. This involved some pretty uncomfortable nights and a very uncomfortable look at my bank statement. The transferable skill here is pretty simple, and I now have a small blue book filled with my receipts and a sum-up at the end of every day. This is something not many people do, but at least I know I will never have be left with no milk for my cornflakes or no twenty pence

pieces for the washing machine; a comforting thought.

" The practiced art of selfsufficiency has been honed by my many months away " The final lesson travelling taught me is how to be cope with being apart from my family. Homesickness in university is hard, harder still if it is the first time you have been without someone to pick up the slack. The practiced art of self-sufficiency has been honed by my months away, washing my own clothes and making my own food. The number of students who are unable to make some fresh pasta or clean a toilet is astounding. I also appreciate things I never did before, like drinking tap water or ironed clothes. Being away from my family taught me how to be independent. It also made me realise the best place I have ever been is home. “No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” When I landed back in Gatwick, tip-toeing to see the heads of my family over the throng, I felt a gratitude to them that I had never had before. Now, although I can live with the lack of privacy that comes with younger siblings, I will never take them for granted again. I matured boundlessly in my GAP year, so much so that on entering my halls, many people assumed I was a 2nd year. I am not the same person I was when I first entered the streets on Khao San Road. The things I learnt will forever be deeply engrained in me and will stay with me after my life in Cardiff. So, if you are unprepared for university, take the road less travelled and learn from the "University of Life!.

features@gairrhydd.com /11


food

! " " " " " #$ " "" " " " " Want to reduce your carbon footprint and eat tasty wholesome food? Natalia Popova shows us where to find and how to cook local seasonal food here in Cardiff.

!

s the temperatures are falling, the days get shorter and the skies greyer, it"s time for warm and comforting food. The good news is that the autumn and winter bring us many interesting root and green vegetables which are cheap and easy to prepare. Here are a few ideas on what you can do with them

Brussels sprouts ! urn your childhood enemy into a yummy side dish by removing the outer leaves, cutting the sprouts in half, boiling till soft and frying them along with some strips of bacon in a

12 /food@gairrhydd.com

really hot frying pan. Green cabbage: this cheap and ! g! " # $ " % # & & % $ g % & # " $ # g# % " & # $ makes a great base for a stir- fry or is a perfectly nice accompaniment to some bangers simply cut into 5mm thick strips, fried in finely chopped garlic and olive oil, richly seasoned with black pepper.

Root Veggies The spherical orange giant or its smaller variations seem to be more often used as a decoration than a food item nowadays, which is a shame, as it! s oh so yummy and turns deliciously mashy when it"s cooked. Why not try a simple pump-

kin mash? Peel the pumpkin (there are varieties with a thin skin which don"t even need peeling!), chuck it in a pan and cover with water. Add a stock- cube or two for more flavour. Bring to boil and turn down the heat for a gentle simmer until cooked. Drain; add a bit of cream, olive oil, fried onions or grated parmesan, whatever floats your boat. Season accordingly. Try the same with swede, carrots or parsnip and potatoes (I would suggest a 3:1 ratio, otherwise it all turns a bit too sweet). For an even simpler pumpkin delight, cut the pumpkin into wedges, boil till soft, transfer into baking tray, sprinkle with chilli flakes and olive oil and whack it all under the grill till golden.


food

Photos: Harriet Davies

Roath Market

Cardiff Market

f course, you can get your veggies from a supermarket but it!s often cheaper (not to speak of carbon footprint and quality) to get them from the following:

Every Saturday from 9 AM to 1PM, at the parking lot by Mackintosh tennis club. Check out the veggie guys at the back in particular as they have lots of cheap seasonal vegetables. Bring your own bag so there! s no need for a plastic one!

Centre of town off St. Mary"s street every Monday to Saturday from 8:30 AM to 5:30PM. Massive array of fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, as well as loads of other random stalls selling everything from bags to kittens! What more could you possibly ask for?

OR...get your fruit and veg from Your Uni Co-op!

Your Uni Co-op, order online on http://sife-cardiff.co.uk/products. aspx before 1PM on a Thursday to pick up your fruit, vegetables, stir-fry or salad- bag on the following Tuesday between 11AM and 4PM. For ÂŁ3 you will get a variable selection on whatever! s

available. Last week"s veg bag included brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, swede, parsnip and onions, for example. The Co-op will pack your orders in one of their green trendy bags, so once again, no plastic!

O

food@gairrhydd.com / 13


gay

14 /gay@gairrhydd.com


gay

Dannii's XY-Factor Gay editor, X Factor addict and general Danyl Johnson enthusiast Lucas Owen hears from fellow fans Alana Gordon and Alana Charlton on the questionionable behaviour of a certain judge a fortnight ago... he X Factor has always been in the limelight for bringing new acts to the public but the current series has focused more on disputes from the judges. Dannii Minogue, pop 'singer' (pah!) of international renown, was in alltoo-familiar territory this week as she opened her perfectly be-botoxed mouth before thinking, and voiced her opinion in a manner that makes us cringe beyond belief. the series opener eight weeks ago Danyl Johnson wowed the public ! " # $ judges with “the best first audition” Simon had ever heard. Now he finds himself in the middle of a small scandal because of the comments of the Aussie minstrel made last Saturday - the first live show, no less. After an outstanding performance of Jennifer Hudson's Dreamgirls power ballad “And I Am Telling You” from the Over 25! s contestant, Minogue decided to misdirect her comments towards his private life and not his talent. His performance was met with a standing ovation from Simon 'God' Cowell, but Miss Minogue queried Danyl's decision (has she not heard of producers?) to update the words. Said the brunette "If we are to believe everything we read in the paper maybe you didn t need to change the gender reference”. This came after a trashy red-top rag reported Danyl's supposed bisexuality, to the equal joy and despair of 15-year-old boys and girls across the land. YouTube practically exploded with hits for Minogue's gaffe, followed thereafter by the Tweetosphere and a bunch of pointless kneejerk mob reactions a la Baby P Scandal on Facebook. Now, this is not the first time we

think Minogue"s contributions on the show have been unnecessary and attention-seeking (but then who would blame her when you have the perfect Cheryl Cole to contend with?).

"If that is a joke that went wrong, she really needs to practice her punchlines because nobody's laughing" However, this week her over the top efforts to stand out on the X Factor panel came across to many viewers as inappropriate, as later indicated across mediated debates. The horrified, embarrassed look on Danyl"s face and the awkward moment that followed as Cheryl attempted to cover up for her fellow judge resulted in an embarrassing situation for us all. With guilty pleasure we then continued to watch as Simon Cowell, mentor to Danyl, went on to confront Dannii about her choice of words towards his contestant, accusing her of playing games. Since the incident happened,

many people have complained and want her sacked. The whole thing left us shocked. What has a contestant"s sexuality got anything to do with the competition or singing ability? It was unnecessary to bring up the issue. Danni has recently defended her actions, claiming that she was continuing a previous 'joke' between her and Danyl. It's definitely foolish to continue an in-joke on national TV with (let's face it) thousands of gayers watching at home and just aching to be victimised. She backtracked live on the following X Factor result show, stating; “Last night was a crazy night. I just want to say sorry to anyone I may have offended last night with my comments. They were only said with humour, and Danyl and I had been joking about it before the show and afterwards he definitely was not upset by my comments. I just wanted to let everyone know.” La Minogue was lucky to have attention diverted away by a saucer-eyed Robbie Williams (Seriously, where is the X Factor green room these days? Colombia? ed.) and must now be thanking an equally high-larious performance from Whitney Houston for quickly making her comments old news. It's fair to believe Dannii would not be on the show if it was not her intention to care for and support all contestants to her upmost ability - in which case the judge in future needs to decide what is worth saying on the live show. So was the comment homophobic or misinterpreted? If that's a joke that went wrong, she really needs to practice her punchlines, because nobody's laughing.

gay@gairrhydd.com / 15


travel

...this week, Chris Griffiths travels through

India. With a

camera at his side,

he showcases the

infinite

sides of this truly

awe-inspiring

country... travel@gairrhydd.com / 17


travel

INFINITY

of

INDIA

18/travel@gairrhydd.com


,

I

m finding India quite a difficult country to write about. It s not that I can!t find anything exciting or interesting to say about it, it!s the opposite. There is an infinite amount of things I want to share about this greatly diverse nation, which makes it hard to summarise such an amazingly beautiful country.

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, D .T I : everywhere you go you experience something different. You could be pushing your way through the crowded labyrinth of streets in Varanasi, lounging on the beaches of Goa, relaxing on a boat on the backwaters of Kerala or white water rafting in the Himalayas. I would recommend India to anyone who wants to go travelling. Its rich and diverse culture offers an in nite amount of possibilities for a sensational travelling experience.

travel@gairrhydd.com / 19


travel I

B

EI

EF

Bristol . . . Each issue, Travel showcases some of the best travel destinations from across the British Isles. This week, Kayleigh Toyra talks you through the essentials of Bristol, and gives you tips to its hidden treasures; whether its shopping, a night out or a gig on a boat, this city offers it all.

!

ancy a weekend break- without spending half a day travelling? Why not try out the beautiful home city of Banksy and Skins: Bristol, only 50 minutes away by train from Cardiff! ! " est gem sits on the River Avon and with its two universities (UWE and Bristol University), it is a vibrant, young city; quite simply a great night out.With various places to stay: from the central Youth Hostel for cheap breaks to the opulent Marriot hotel that overlooks historical College Green; there is always somewhere to lay your head after a good day/night of hitting the Bristol streets. Cabot Circus is every shopper#s paradise- beautiful architecture allows this modern shopping centre to ! "#$ !" # $ % &# " " & !' ()) !)) # !" # * * # + ( , ! city. For more quirky shopping there is Park Street (which doubles up as the party street at night); check out Motel and BS8 for funky clothing and great vintage pieces - satisfaction guaranteed! For nights out Bristol offers great

20 /travel@gairrhydd.com

variety. Park Street (though annoyingly vertical when in painful heels) has many decent bars, pubs and small clubs (The Elbow Room or Yia Mass) on it and if you keep going until the Triangle (past the impressive Bristol University buildings) you can even check out the “magic bar” Illusions.

! ! !"#$ f Banksy and Skins- and only 50 minutes away by train!" The waterfront is the perfect place to pass the hours on a Sunday afternoon; at day time it has a European feel to it with its outside cafes and bars, and is also home to Watershed, an independent cinema that puts on foreign films and has a great café/bar area (try their nacho platesso lush!). At night you can enjoy the trendy bars that line the waterfront, with the obligatory “take out street” for those with the drunken munchies. The legendary boat Thekla rightly

maintains its status as the coolest floating bar/club that putting on great concerts and even greater club nights (check out their website for more info). The other 'bar on a boat', the friendly Apple is always buzzing and with a variety of good cider to try, one of the best places in Bristol to have good, cheap drink and a proper laugh! Clubs like Panache and Syndicate cater to those wishing to dance the night away; Syndicate is especially notorious for its indie night on Wednesdays: Propaganda. For eating out the Bristol Pizza Express has a special feel to it, it sits on Corn Street which also houses Saint Nicholas Market which is filled with vintage gems, jewellery, cheap food stalls from Asia to the Caribbean and the coolest old school sweet shop that takes you right back to the 50s…definite place to check out for those with a sweet tooth! So with all this to offer and much more, come on over to Banksy#s city and discover what this young, exciting city can offer you.


interviews

PERFORMANCE

&

Cocktails

Stereophonics don’t often get the chance to return home, but when they do, they do it in style. Julia Leonard caught up with the boys when they came to play at our very own Cardiff castle.

E

leven years on and Stereophonics are once again preparing to rock Cardiff Castle, the century may have changed but the venue and price haven!t, a gesture to their devoted fan base. We met the band for a press conference and short interview in one of the Castle rooms, which only adds to the surreality of the experience. Donning their trademark leather jackets, Kelly, Rich, Adam and Javier stroll in and take a seat. And yes ladies, Kelly is just as lovely in the flesh as you imagine him to be. First up, why is it so important to be doing tomorrow!s show? “It means everything really,” says Kelly without hesitation. “This is where it all started. Just

driving up St. Mary!s Street now reminds us of that, seeing where Sam!s Bar used to be where we used to take our own money on the door and then Gamlins!s next door where I bought the first guitar and then Welsh club next door to that the whole way up the street is where it all started for us.” Stereophonics have had their share of issues, including sacking original drummer Stuart Cable in 2003. How!s the band feeling now? “We!re happy doing what we!re doing and I think the band!s more comfortable now than it!s ever been, just being itself. I think we!ve fought who we are and what we!re about for a long time. You take on criticism and take on lots of things and you battle on and try to change but then

realise you were alright the way you were.” But what is it that keeps them going? “I think we!re still hungry really, we still want to make music and never just did it as a hobby. We love doing what we do. We never want to be a band that makes a record then takes four years off. “It!s not even like we!re workaholics: we make an album, we go on the road and we!re lucky enough to be able to write when we travel so the songs keep coming.” Not workaholics? This is an understatement: it sounds like Stereophonics rarely stop. The last year has been busy: they finished touring on December 20 then were back in the studio to start work on the seventh album by January 6. Judging

interviews@gairrhydd.com /21


interviews

by the inspiration for the next single Innocent, the new record Keep Calm and Carry On promises to be as thoughtful and autobiographical as previous work. “Innocent is based on those first experiences of being w!!! out on your own, between about 14 and 18. There were lots of street parties then to welcome the troops home from the Falklands, that was the first time we were allowed to sneak up the alley and get drunk and kiss girls,” muses Kelly. “It! s those points in your life when you"re young and fearless but also the first time you experience consequence.” But the new record was also a challenge for the band. Using a different producer (Jim Abyss who"s worked with Arctic Monkeys, Adele and Kasabian among others) took Stereophonics out of their comfort zone admits Kelly. And the results? “We"ve found something we"ve never made before and I think the songs are up there with those on

Performance and Cocktails.” It sounds like the band seem keen for more variety in general. “We"ve played CIA 13 times before and we want to play something different,” explains Kelly about choosing the Castle as a venue again.

! " # $ % & orkaholics? That an understatement: it sounds like Stereophonics rarely stop." Another reason is because Wales is not part of their upcoming spring tour, although Kelly promises “something special for the country”

22/interviews@gairrhydd.com

next summer. At this point it has to be asked about other plans for next year - perhaps Glastonbury"s 40th anniversary? “It"s been talked about, we"ve been asked if we"re available for V [Festival] and Glastonbury although nothing"s confirmed,” says Kelly. “But hopefully yes, Glastonbury would be good.” Despite their success, the most striking thing about Stereophonics is their modesty. They seem down-toearth and unphased by the dizzy heights of fame. “We"ve never aimed for the stars. We"ve never bragged about anything, we"ve always been the underdog,” says Kelly with a smirk. “There"s times when you become so fashionable you become unfashionable and if you stick around long enough people start giving you f***ing trophies.” They say there"s no secret to their success but such strong friendships and determination clearly propel


interviews

them forwards. “There!s no pushing or pulling, we!re all in it for the same reason: we want to make the band as best as it can be.” says guitarist Rich Jones.

"If you stick around long enough people start giving you fucking trophies." “And we get on. We work together then go out on a weekend,” adds Kelly. “We!ve met so many bands and most of them are a pretty miserable bunch of bastards to be honest.” So what do they think about

bands that split then reform? “They have their reasons, it!s like a marriage isn!t it - you just get on each others nerves,” says guitarist Adam Zindani. “I think every band has gone though that stage where someone goes off and makes a solo record then realises they can!t do without each other so all go back,” says Kelly. “And then there!s the need to make some money,” he adds wryly. For now at least, Stereophonics are no where near that point. Rumours of the band splitting up are one of many crazy stories bandied about by trouble-making journalists. Another is that they!re mentoring an American band called Dakota, which I was told in no certain terms is a load of rubbish, however amusing they find it. Time for a quick-fire round: Best live track? “Local Boy in the Photograph has never not been in the set list - playing it live never feels

any different to when we first wrote it,” says Kelly. Favourite Welsh beach? “Gower.” “Tenby.” “Pembroke.” “Pembury.” We!re in a castle – do you believe in ghosts? “No. Every B&B and hotel we stay in is haunted apparently,” says Kelly. Favourite mythological character? “The dragon of course,” says Kelly. And what would go into a “Stereophonics” cocktail? “Cider, gin, whiskey, rum. Maybe even vodka.” So they might be older and possibly wiser but Stereophonics remain young at heart. “Nothing really changes. I still feel the same as I did at 16. The hunger and the feeling of what we do is no different.” says Kelly. “If you can have a crack with a bunch of people then walk on stage with them to make music, it!s the best job in the world.”

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goinginterviews out

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interviews

Wait There's Moore Steve Beynon discusses with Gary Moore the influences for his new solo blues guitar album, and why he’d never go back to Thin Lizzy.

H

ow did you become entwined in the blues world?

about 14, when it was a big thing in Britain. I just knew it was the way I wanted to go. I ended up in a band called Skid Row in Dublin, of which Phil Lynott (of Thin Lizzy Fame), was the lead singer of. We became really close then, living together and writing together. He got thrown out of the band eventually, after throwing his guitar off the stage in Belfast. What has been the high point of your career? I had 2 new albums out in the early 90s. It started off just as a vague idea, and then turned into 3 weeks in the studio, and a 6 month tour, ending up with 100,000 people in a park. I love playing live. You get more from the music. You can! t tell what it"s going to be like until you get there; it"s different every night. You just have to go out there, play your best, and really give it to people. If you do that, they! ll definitely get off on it. It feels so good to play, especially afterwards, when you walk off the stage after a good reaction from the audience. I always try my best to deliver. How about in the studio? Do ! " # $% & ' $()$* + , ' $)" $- , . + ). $)* . $/ + 0 . $ sound? It"s different because you get no reaction; it"s like being in a laboratory. You"re trying to create a sound in a space where there"s no interaction with anything. I"m a lot more at home than I used to be in the studio, though. It"s much better when I get a good undistorted guitar sound. Thin Lizzy were known to tour for long periods of time. Do you ever wish you could go back to this? I was in Thin Lizzy in 1974 for a few months, then with the Queen

tour in 1977. I joined as a full time member for the 1979 Black Rose album that toured all over the world. I don"t miss it at all, though. There were an awful lot of problems with that band with drugs and people doing stuff they shouldn"t be doing. It ruined the band. We got back together at one point, but it was like they were their own tribute band, and after Phil Lynott died; it was basically all over for them.

"I always choose songs that I can do in my own way. You have to put your own stamp on things." How do you think your music has evolved since your first solo album, Close As You Get? My 2nd album was more rockish and aggressive than the more bluesey first album, and I"m still going in that direction. There"s a Donny Hathaway song on the new album which I love. It started when I saw a photograph of him, that"s all, and then I heard his music and just fell in love with the lyrics, so I did my own version of that. I always choose songs that I can do in my own way. You always see people doing them identically, and it"s just like a pub

band really. You have to put your own stamp on things. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be? A lot of the guys I would have liked to play with are dead now. I would"ve liked to work with Johnny Hooker, a fantastic blues artist. Listen to his songs – you"ll just believe everything he says. It"s his life story. He gave up for about 20 years when electric blues came along, which he hated. When he returned at about 65 years old, he"d been in jail for killing a guy, and then he became a preacher. He"s a great character, and had a lot to write about. We can"t really do that in the same way now – it comes from the cotton fields, the earth, and the guys on the trains. Your new tour sees support from Otis Taylor, what can you tell us about him? Otis is great – an innovative blues artist. He"ll do a blues album, but he"ll also include cello, trumpet and other elements that you wouldn"t normally associate with the blues. He"s great, I"ve played on two of his albums and he"s played on one of mine. We"ve been friends for a good five years, and help each other out. I always try to get him on my tours because we work really well together. My son, who"s 21, plays a lot too – blues guitar. He"s not as focussed as I was, though – he"s a naughty boy. He might follow my path eventually, at like 35… maybe once he stops drinking! What!s next for Gary Moore? I"ve got to do one more blues album for Eagle but after that I"d like to do some sort of Celtic rock – get back to the music that I was absorbed in before.

interviews @gairrhydd.com /25


fashion

Fashion explores the tricks and treats of the trade

L

ady Gaga is wearing fangs, the Beckham's are getting skull wallpaper, and Twilight number two is out next month. The nation's got vampire fever, so ! ! "#$ ! % " #! " % ! !& ' ! % #" ! ! " $ #"! " #"" ! # ! " # $ % " &' ! # &" % '( " ( ) ( '! ( * " When everyone donned their colourful disco gear in the 80s, the ! " # $ % & '( " )* '% $ + $ ,,$ # -'.& '/ 0 1 1 '2 3 % ,' 4 3 5 $ % 6$ ,# '* " 7 )$ # '3 '8 3 % )9 ': ;)* '3 '< $ % 9 ' ! " # $ % $ & ' ( # ! ! & $ ) ' # * & +, ) , - ../ & 0 .- $ 1 & tragic dress'. Then in Spring 2004 Marc Jacobs and Riccardo Tisci created what the New York Times coined 'Haute Goth', by dressing their models as 'glamorous ghouls'.

This season's twist however is 'romantic Goth', combining feminine fragility with Tim Burton horror. Although black is back there is some colour in our catwalks with pale pink chiffons; berry velvet jackets and cream lace offsetting the look beauti-

!"!#$# t to be the most stylish Halloween yet"

fully. Even overseas, designers in Milan opted for hints of muted greys to add elegance. The high-street is devilishly good too. Look to Topshop for lace detailing and velvet play-suits, or a leather skirt and floaty shirt combo. Even the accessories have come to the dark side, with cuffs, chains, and embellished leather. Just remember balance is key! Layer heavy chains over a simple chiffon dress for a feminine twist. Whether you dress up as a witch, zombie, or ghost this Halloween, it's set to be the most stylish yet. Lucy Trevallion.

fashion@gairrhydd.com / 27


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fashion

nEW SEASON, NEW TREND, NEW TRICK! Quench Fashion are here to give you a brand new mischevious look. Beware.

I

f you!re out to bite this Halloween then you!ve got to be gorgeous and gothic. Makeup is one of the main ways to physically outline your beauty and for such an ambitious style; you!ve got to be specific. Remember, white is the new St Tropez; establish what skin tone you are and work your magic! Base your skin with a liquid foundation and concealer to get the ultimate perfect complexion. To those who lack cheekbones, contour your face by applying a darker blush from your temple to the apple of your cheekbone. Also pressed powder is one for the makeup bag as it doesn!t smudge and covers a multitude of sins. Eyeliner is an essential - a great tip is to use pencil liner dipped in

a matching coloured eye shadow, this works a treat to create that sexy smoky stare.

"Make sure your lashes are loaded with macara pouncing out strike by strike"

the upper lid, make sure you angle the brush to get to the corner of your eye creating a dark and edgy loo. When using eye shadow, contrast is a must: use the most light and delicate colours to give your eyelid that vital base it needs. For a snazzy alternative to black, try layering this with a lively purple. Make sure your lashes are loaded with mascara pouncing out strike by strike. For your lips think bold - ranging from sapphires and ruby reds to amethysts and black spinel. Outline these dramatic shades with a liner to give an instant glamorous feel. Don!t let this unique flirtatious look get caught up in the cobwebs this Halloween!

Browns and blacks are usually a great place to start, with strokes to

Menswear.. ... go GRoomed grunge in skinny jeans, simple tees and chunky boots mixed with the sharp lines of a tailored, Textured jacket.

Cross engraved bangle £10 Bead bracelet £8 Scarf £12 From a selection at Topman

Velvet Blazer +J by Jil Sander for Uniqlo £79

Topshop grey stripe grandad neck t-shirt £16 Boots from a selection at Reiss

fashion@gairrhydd.com / 29


photos

Photo: Lizz Foggitt

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Inspire Me

photos

Inspiration can be hard to come across sometimes- this week, Lizz Foggitt looks at some ideas that could help you beat the block.

W

e've all been there- desperate loss of motivation. Just when you need a photo, you can't think of anything. It's the most frustrating thing in the world, but don't worry. Just try some of these. Take some photos of yourself – you!re a subject that!s always there. We!re not talking the Myspace photo, we!re talking self portraits. You can experiment so much with this one, learning through trial and error what works and what doesn!t. You can experiment with light, angle, composition and framing without having to rely on a model. You could end up with a great set of photos and become inspired for any future portraits you take. You might need a tripod- but Poundland are currently doing mini tripods for…ummm…a pound. Visit an exhibition – musicians listen to other people!s music, authors read other books, photographers look at other people!s work. You may love it, you may hate it; either way what you see may end up inspiring you. Whether it!s the subject, the style or the concept you could end up with a whole new set of ideas. Go for a walk – street photography is popular and interesting. Just

walking down Queen Street you often come across some interesting characters, why not capture these moments? Try different angles, and

"Musicians listen to other people's music, so photographers look at other photos" proximity. You can shoot from a distance to try and catch the scene as it is, or go up to people and ask to take their photo. Taking photographs of strangers can help break any confidence barriers you may have. Visit websites and photo blogs. Take time to browse through photos- it!s just like an online gallery. There is usually space dedicated to constructive criticism on these sites, so if you participate you can get

some really useful feedback on your work, as well as helping others. Try www.flickr.com to start with- it has a massive following and loads of great stuff. There're also groups for specific types of photographer and photo. Try looking at life from a different angle, it is all too easy to bring the camera up to eye level, and snap away. What about gaining a height perspective? Or getting close to the floor? This can help give interesting composition and a completely new way of taking photos. Go to new places – go out and explore Cardiff. Break away from the student scene and go to places you wouldn!t ordinarily. Markets and car boot sales provide great varieties of colours, textures and people. Or try heading out to the Gower or Brecon, the Welsh countryside is beautiful and ideal to practice landscape photography. Music. The right track can make you happy, or sad, so why not give you ideas? Try basing a few shots around titles of songs, and seeing where that goes. Adding music to a shoot can also relax your model, by creating a talking point. But above all, enjoy yourself.

Photo: Jake Yorath

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photos

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photos

Photographer of the Year 2010

T

his ummm...alternative entry from Sarah Pritchard was pick of the entries for the first round of QPOTY 2010. The weird lighting, cross dresser and odd make up fit the theme 'Fear and Loathing' to a T. Congratulations to Sarah, whose photo becomes the first of the Photographer of the Year shortlist. Each round winner goes forward to the final shortlist, to be judged by an as yet undecided panel of experienced professional photographers. The winner will recieve a coveted Cardiff Student Media award in the glitzy ceremony, held at the Hilton. Thanks to all the other entrants, we were really impressed by the quality we received. The next round is 'Face Off' and we'd like your entries by the 29th of October. Good luck! As always, send your entries to quenchphotos@gairrhydd. com

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arts

To Clap to Clap? With the recent live broadcast of All’s Well That worldwide, arts and film editors Amelia Forsbrook the success of this cutting edge new ‘super’ genre.

A

rts: Imagine this. On stage a rather large and brash woman from Welsh College of Music and Drama plays the part of Angelina Jolie, and a scrawny man last sighted in the New Theatre takes a stab at playing Brad Pitt. Ten or so students in the front row giggle melodramatically and talk in stage-whispers about twitter feeds and Lady Gaga, under the instruction of a rather overenthusiastic drama teacher. In the back row, two actors engage in a prolonged stage-kiss, behind the prop of a super king-size tub of salty popcorn. Yes, I admit it, I can!t imagine it myself. In fact, I!m strongly of the opinion that a night at the movies can never be portrayed on stage and, after this innovative little production by NT Live, I!m not too sure that theatre shown through the medium of cinema works too well either… …but I still wanted popcorn. Film: But I didn!t. And herein lies the integral cultural crisis. Should I prepare for a terribly polite "Would you be ever so kind as to remove your hat darling! tête-à-tête or keep some choice abuse at hand for the

34/arts@gairrhydd.com

gobby thirteen year-old chair kickers in the row behind? Our brows were in some bizarre limbo between high and low. Our expectations were all over the place, not to mention our stomachs grumbling because we hadn!t bought any popcorn. (Yes, my fault) Arts: For those of you who

"Our brows were in some bizarre limbo between high and low" don!t know the play too well, All!s Well That Ends Well is one of Shakespeare!s closest explorations of class. In it, we see poor but respectable Helena fight for the hand of Bertram, the attractive son of a countess. Like all good fairytales there is no happily-everafter as Shakespeare cunningly exposes unrealistic expectations and the inevitability of failure for his


/ osr

or not Ends Well from the National Theatre to cinemas and Natalie Stone similarly come together to explore

protagonist. So far All!s well, but does this artistic experiment end in the same manner? Film: Nicholas Hytner, the big bad national theatre director is “confidant that we have pioneered a new genre” with a “limitless” potential reach. I have a few that!s a lie - I have an abundance of niggling issues with this claim. The filmic medium certainly transgressed the limitations of the theatre. Rather, we entered the world of the actors! personal

"NT Live places Us-With-Popcorn in a cruel parallel with the ‘real’ audience" space. We saw the sweat drip, the plasters on their hands. However it felt just like I had just paid 50p for my theatre binoculars, but someone

else was controlling them. This was seen as the camera slowly panned out from the gothic background at the start, tainting the theatrical experience with the cinematic need to set the tone. I could not successfully become absorbed by my surroundings as I was repeatedly thrust into the minutia of it all. Good job it wasn!t King Lear with full-frontal Sir Ian Mckellen. Arts: NT Live perhaps places Us-With-Popcorn in a cruel parallel with the "real! theatre audience. When they are all seated, the lights go off for us; during the interval, we observe them from our uncomfortable cinema seats debating whether the expensive little tubs of Ben and Jerry!s will really replace the theatre ice-cream we long for. I cannot shake the thought that I!m tagging along with an experience that is not truly my own. In other words, the adaptation was so utterly fabulous I just longed to be in that crowd of authentic culture-vultures. Film: We could see that there was a spine tingling atmosphere but we were shut out from it and our spines were regrettably left un-tingled. Arts: So the multiple camera

arts@gairrhydd.com / 35


arts

"We want atmosphere, drama, energy – something you cannot capture through a screen"

angles and neat editing transformed All!s Well into a cinematic experience. But hang on, isn!t this exactly the feel we!re trying to avoid? Surely I would have gone along to see Fame or Inglorious Bastards if I was in the mood for a Hollywood special. Film: It seemed somewhat ! "# $ % & ' (") $ "(") ' (* +% (, $ ! (% - "(% $ . /% & ( full use of its medium, and in doing so seemed to undermine the practical conventions of the theatre. Film inherently strives to create believability and often verisimilitude, whilst theatre asks you to invest in a constructed world. When watching this carefully constructed world through cinematic eyes the whole thing seemed redundant. Arts: NT Live provides cast

36 /arts@gairrhydd.com

interviews before, technical discussions during the interval, and opportunities for webchats after the event. Yet is this giving the "All!s Well! experience a more literary padding than necessary? One might say that by seemingly making theatre more accessible, the event actually put this mode of entertainment onto an unnecessarily highbrow podium. Film: It revealed the artifice of theatre in a way that was so distinctly Brechtian that you wondered if perhaps this was okay, before arranging your face back to one of intense distaste. Anyway, though NTlive suffers from a harsh comparison with real theatre, there is a point to the whole thing. Hytner! s sales-talk is all about “access”. I in no way disapprove of intentions to create something of a blockbuster buzz around the theatre. In fact you could argue that we are simply reverting back

to our theatrical roots. After all The Globe graced the Southbank among brothels, taverns and other entertainment for the masses. Yet do we now thrive on the unique experience as an audience member and like to think of our selves as a little bit cultured and a little bit special as we sit quietly all the way through without throwing tomatoes? But isn!t there a central impossibility in the motive to make the experience of theatre more accessible? You!re either there or you!re not. Both: Essentially it boils down to the question: What is theatre to us? Personally we want atmosphere, drama, energy – something you certainly cannot capture through the barrier of a screen. Predictably, it didn!t live up to our expectations of theatre – but does this mean it shouldn"t exist? It makes you salivate for a red velvet theatre seat and a curtain breeze on your cheek and surely that can only be a good thing? The fact that NT Live challenges the very nature of theatre and film can surely only be healthy. One more problem remains: To clap or not to clap? We shall be keeping our hands firmly by our sides. But they can!t hear you darling, so who the hell cares.


... As!we!await Bill Bailey's new material, Steve Beynon spills on why comedy is still the West-Country genius’ forte.

W

hat do you get if you cross a comedian with a classical orchestra? Unfortunately punch lines are currently eluding me. However, mulletted maniac Bill Bailey is one of few men who probably wouldn!t find these punch lines so elusive. They probably put on furry coats and hug him while he sleeps. /:. Î' Î) ' 8++8Î96' 44/4- θ ˛ Î years just on the DVD stands, it!s impossible not to know of him, and if you know of him, you just can!t resist his charms, never mind his witty puns. From Never Mind The Buzzcocks to QI, he has slinkily brought weird yet clever comedy into the limelight, arguably paving the way for other music based comedies such as The Mighty Boosh. After the booming success of the recent Tinselworm tour, selling a quarter of a million copies and filling theatres worldwide, Bailey returns to the stage with the keys to the BBC Concert Orchestra. Expect more than just hilarious demonstrations of a wide range of instruments – Bailey has poured his blood and sweat into adapting music for sci-fi films, 70!s cop

WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN

WIN WIN WIN WIN

shows, horror movies, and of course his own workings from previous tours, into an orchestral extravaganza. Actually, scratch that – a man-troll of this ability probably just knocked the show up for something to do while the kettle was boiling one morning. Slightly more “off-road”, in the words of Stephen Fry, than

"What do you get if you cross a comedian with an orchestra" the electro-rock and emo pisstake songs that litter his earlier stage works, it seems that the classically trained Bailey is finally going to show us his true musical ability – if at all this needs to be proved to us. And, probably, make fart noises with a trombone, or get

WIN WIN

a badger to play the viola. In fact, he will definitely do this. So where does it end for Bill Bailey? Well, it appears we!ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future. With the creation of his own TV production company, Glassbox Productions, ever more popular radio appearances, a new box set and, of course, the tour: life just gets better and better. For everyone, really. Although, I am quite worried about who!s looking after his hamster while he!s away… Catch Bill Bailey at the Wales Millennium Centre on November 6th. The Remarkable Guide… and Inevitable Box Set are released on DVD on Monday 23 November. Can!t make it? Fear not! This week Arts is giving you the chance to win a free shiny-new copy of The Remarkable Guide… on DVD! (As if we!d give it to you on VHS… honestly…) All you have to do is email us, and answer the following question: What do you get if you cross a comedian with an orchestra? Good luck!

WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN

WIN WIN WIN WIN

! ""# $gairrhydd.com / 37

WIN WIN


arts

! ver Forget Musical 13/10/09 Writer: Danny Brockelehurst Staring: Philip Olivier, Scott Garnham

The Welsh Millennium Centre

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eing quite the second time around Take That fan, I was looking forward to seeing !Never Forget", a story about a Take That tribute act. Quite aware that I was losing friends by the minute when describing the evening ahead of me, I was determined that this show was going to be amazing and I would be able to rub it in their anti-pop faces! ! Unfortunately, I have been left hoping that they had forgotten I even

38 /arts@gairrhydd.com

went. The cast contained mild star content: Philip Olivier from Brookside, or you may know him as the winner of the Channel 4 show ! The Games".

"I have been left hoping my friends have forgotten I even went." The story was pretty bare and it became glaringly obvious that this show has only managed to ebb its way from just being West End by containing Take That songs and,

to my dismay, the songs that were released pre-split. On the plus side, this show was bright and colourful, full of varied dance choreography, including a bit of salsa and a gym changing room dance off. The actors were very good and did well with the script that they had been given, but with writers such as Bafta award winner Danny Brockelehurst from Shameless I expected more as the jokes were few and a little lewd. The blue rinse brigade at the front seemed to especially enjoy the tribute act parading around in their pants. Is this necessary you may ask? Well it needed something to captivate the audience. Shoving in some fancy effects to justify this musical"s existence outside of London, the rain effect that spelt out #Never Forget" was incredible and the choir of small children at the end aiding the enrapture of the audience in a #Never Forget" sing along was quite the spectacle. Jody Tozer


books

wmtwp: Gossip from the Valleys David Jandrell

Pub: Y Lolfa

C

wmtwp: Gossip from the Valleys is a short collection of local news parodies, which showcase the easygoing humour of South Wales. Written by teacher and best-selling author David Jandrell (who incidentally is the spitting image of BBC Dragon

100 Facts About Pandas David O'Doherty, Claudia O'Doherty, Mike Ahern

Pub: Y Lolfa

1

00 Facts About Pandas is a quirky little book about everything you ever wanted to know about pandas. The astonishing !facts" are produced

Pimp Your Vocab Lucy Tobin

Pub: Portico

Z

onino cuz! JSYK I have this really book book that I jacked when you were bi-podding with that dullard arm candy who is obv. skett. It"s quality irritainment IMHO. Hush your gums though. Feel me? If, unlike me, you understood any of that then you are one of the enlightened few who are clearly street and the world is yours my son, and everything in it.

James Caan), the satirical newsletters are woven into a narrative which is set !well into the future". a mysterious object called a !CDROM", he is given the opportunity to take a glimpse into the lives of the villagers in Cwmtwp. Through reading their monthly newsletters, Nigel becomes acquainted with the zany villagers, who, with their comic names and wacky traits, form the cast of a kind of Welsh Balamory and he begins to gain an impression of what life was like in South Wales in 2005. Although the satirical news stories won"t have you laughing out loud, the ingenious puns will provoke at least a grin and an eye-roll. The

in an almost a scholarly textbook manner, including !photographic evidence", which makes them just about believable. In fact, the first couple of !facts" look like they might well be true, but once you hit the participation of a panda in the 1904 Olympics (she took part in the 220 yard freestyle swim and was leading until an Australian great white took her out) the trend is set for the rest of the book. Did you know that panda-fur is bulletproof when interwoven in fabric and a group of pandas is called a cupboard? Or that 2 Belgian pandas went on a killing spree in their zoo until a killer whale stopped them?

"I have this really book book that I jacked when you were bi-podding with that dullard arm candy. Fortunately for the rest of us, Lucy Tobin"s brilliantly funny (and also quite informative) dictionary should go some way towards clearing the

book contains some Welsh cultural references but it is not alienating to the foreign reader, as many aspects of British culture in general are mocked. Jandrell pokes a jibe at cricket for being duller than watching paint dry, doping during the Olympics is spoofed and (close your ears JOMEC students â&#x20AC;&#x201C; joking!) useless degrees are mocked. This is a pleasant little book packed with subtle humour, but don"t rush out to buy it: it"s sure to be found in friends" bathroom reading piles. Keep it in mind, though, for your jolly elderly relatives at Christmas. Rosie Burrows

And that the skeleton of a panda consists of just one bone and the bear that smells with its ears and hears through its nose is classified as a nut? It feels like the authors were a bit stuck for ideas, as some of the facts are really well written and make your stomach muscles hurt with laughter, whereas others leave you completely cold. The book is by no means an invaluable addition to your book-collection, but provides a good giggle nevertheless. It"s one of those things you buy your auntie for Christmas when you"re really stuck for better ideas. Natalia Popova

fog that clouds our brains as soon as we see text speak. Pimp Your Vocab is exhaustively researched; clearly a great deal of work was required for Tobin to source the root of all the words, acronyms and phrases that appear in it. My personal favourite is !irritainment", which refers to any kind of entertainment that is addictive but trashy. Tobin suggests The Jeremy Kyle Show as the perfect example of this. What you have here is a fun introduction to !kidult" speak that would be the perfect stocking filler or silly gift for a Grandparent who wants to embarrass their Grandchildren. Jog onâ&#x20AC;Ś Andrew Papworth

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books

Geoff Thompson Best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, martial arts instructor, and self-described !warrior" from humble beginnings. His books on mastery of the self have sold in their thousands, and his autobiography is now feature film. Chloe Grant caught up with him to see what he had to say.

Y

ou spent many years doing menial jobs: you! ve been a night-club bouncer, a ! " ! ! ! ! # ! ! $ , and even a floor sweeper. What made you finally decide to take the plunge and pursue your dreams? ! ! ! ! ! ! ! "! I was tired actually of living like a machine, following the herd into the shitty factory and living for the Friday ! " # $ % & ' $ & ( ) * & + # , + - . - - " # m% & ' & ( ) * & - " / " # m& other people! s expectations, but

40/books@gairrhydd.com

meeting none of my own. I was desperate for some inspiration. I wanted to live the dream, become free, sit in midnight cafes having coffee with my heroes. I wanted all that, but I was too scared to take it. My reality was small, and every time I ventured to the periphery of my orbit I felt tremendous fear, and so recoiled back to my safe centre. I was massively ambitious for a better life, but my fear held me prisoner in an ordinary existence. Because I was not finding

any outlet for my creative ambition I became root-bound, I turned inwards and I became very depressed. Depression was a regular in my life. It turned up as frequently as the tax man and took its toll. Then one day I decided enough was enough. I could no longer live under the dominion of fear, so I set out to face down all my fears. I wrote them down on a piece of paper and went out to confront them, one by one. I developed a great tolerance for discomfort, a


books ! " # # $ % & # ' " ( $ ) " % , and it was this girder-like infrastructure that eventually allowed me to give up my job and become a writer full time. Your books have received a good deal of positive reviews, were you surprised at this glowing media reception? Surprised and delighted. But I am more interested in the fact that my work helps other people to escape their fears. The words serve me, as a part of my personal atonement or catharsis. I try not to buy into media reviews. If you get off on them too much it can be debilitating when they suddenly don!t like your work. So I am grateful, but tend to see (as Kipling said) critical success and failure both as impostors. What is it about your work that you feel has struck such a chord with readers? Honesty I think. And congruence. They can see that I am not a perfect man but I do live my gospel, and that is quite rare.

"I actually wrote the book in the toilet of the factory that paid me You!ve been voted the best martial arts instructor in the world by Black Belt magazine. Do you see yourself more as a writer or a martial artist? I see myself as a warrior first and foremost, and starting martial arts nearly forty years ago was the beginning of my warrior quest. My art today is the art of living bravely, which is challenging, often on a daily basis, but invigorating too. I love to be challenged; it is often not until we are cornered by personal pain that we learn to develop a personal armoury. I know that there will be people out there now who are in pain, they will probably be feeling needlessly tortured, but my experi-

ence tells me that there is divinity in every situation, that every life occurrence â&#x20AC;&#x201C; especially the darker ones â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is massively instructional. The old Shamans of Mexico believed that power could actually be cultivated from difficulty, so every painful situation for them was a potential harvest of personal power. You also teach self-defence. Is this something that!s important to you, and do you think that selfdefence is necessary in modern society? I teach metaphysical self-defence, the art of defence against the self. A small part of my teaching involves physical self-defence, which I think is a good investment, but the majority of my teaching is about defending yourself against your self. It is the art of self-sovereignty. Most people are not the boss of themselves, they are under the dictate of personal habits, I teach people to develop personal power by recognising their internal enemies, and then dissolving them. All our power is locked into our addictions, and naĂŻve people think that they can flirt with these addictions, but they cannot. Talking as a man that has spent a life time fighting the internal war, I can tell you categorically that your addictions are either dead or they are dangerous. Procrastination will only allow your addictions to bed in more. Your autobiography, Watch My Back, has been made into a film, Clubbed, and you!ve made several short films yourself, including the BAFTA-winning Brown Paper Bag. Clubbed is at times a fairly violent story: are you worried about cinema!s glamourisation of violence? We had long discussions about this when we made our films, because the last thing we wanted to do was glamourise violence. I lived a violent life for nearly a decade and I found that violence was seductive, but ultimately futile. I think the problem with film is that writers/directors soften the violence in order to protect people, but in doing so they automatically romanticise it. If you are going to show it, show it properly, how it really is, consequence and all. I think we successfully did that in our films; there are scenes that make me recoil, and I lived it. So if you find the violent scenes repugnant, then we have done our job.

And finally, out of all that you have achieved, what!s the one thing you!re most proud of?

"There are scenes that make me recoil, and I lived it" As far as the work is concerned it would still have to be the first book I ever published, Watch My Back. Everything I have achieved since that time - the films, the books, the awards - has all come from the inspiration I reaped from getting that one book into print. In becoming a published author I actually created a new reality for myself. I come from very working class origins where people like us (or so I was told) did not write books, we left the comprehensive, often very proud of our lack of education, and went straight into the factory with the oil and the shit and the canteen porn. We were grateful to have a job, and did our very best never to get above our station. We were hemmed into our small worlds with our limiting beliefs by ignorance and fear. So to break out, to prove that getting published was possible, actually proved that anything was possible. I can still remember getting the acceptance letter from a (then) small publisher called Summersdale. I could hardly believe it, and nor could anyone else. I actually wrote the book in the toilet of the factory that paid me to sweep floors. I wrote it between breaks when the foreman wasn!t looking. It has gone onto sell 100,000 copies and is still going strong. It has become a short BAFTA nominated film that has screened in over thirty countries, a stage play that toured Britain, and a feature film that had two premiers, one in the West End of London and the other in Paris. All from the scribbling of a floor cleaner in a factory toilet in Coventry. So whilst I am massively proud of all the other work, especially the BAFTA, I know that without my first publication, none of it would have happened; none of it could have happened.

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goinggoing out out

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL One of the biggest events on the going out calender approaches us with superhuman pace, it's Halloween. Here lies the where, when and why....

The Dance of the

Rave or Die!

Dead

Koko Gorrilaz

The Great Hall 31st October

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fter the huge success of their launch, the boys at Shout Out Loud are back for an evening of ghoulish delights. Taking over The Great Hall once more, the line up is just as action packed as before. Topping the bill this time round is Mercury Music Prize winner Ms. Dynamite, back in the loop after years of absence from the limelight. Toddla T also features, an artist on many lips at the moment. As if that wasn!t enough to get you charging to the SU box office then also in support is the likes of Baobinga, A1 Bassline and Mickey Slim.

Extreme Halloween Glam 28th October

31st October

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wo of Cardiff!s biggest promotion teams are teaming up for one night only on all hallows eve. Kokos is set to be transformed into an dungeon of deviance with not one, but two big name acts gracing the decks. Cool House will be residing in the attic, Berlin!s Sven Weisemann in the mix. Whilst deep house is his style of production, his set is likely to venture into the fields of standard house and techno. Downstairs will be Julio Basmore, hosted by C-y-n-t. Signed to Claude Von Stroke!s Dirty Bird label, he has the party vibe that should get the venue kicking off.

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ack by popular demand, Cardiff Uni!s Snowsports Society present a truly evil showcase. For the scrooges out there I advise you stay at home for fancy dress at this event is compulsory! If you need a little incentive then how!s about this: the best dressed ghost, ghoul, gremlin or other will receive a free ticket to join the society on their bi-annual ski trip. That!s right, reach for the paper mache, don the face paints and you could find yourself mountain high in no time at all. The tunes will come courtesy of DJ Distinction, founding force of dubstep in the north of England.


going out

Juju Nations

CLUD

Chicaboom

Toucan Club

The Welsh Club

Undertone

31st October

30th October

31st October

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or those uninitiated into the world of psytrance I urge you to get yourself along to The Welsh Club this Friday. The Cardiff Luminous Underground Disco (CLUD) aim to provide an altogether new experience. Whilst the hardcore ravers amongst us won!t be leaving the hypnosis-inducing dance floor, CLUD has much more to offer. With fluoro, UV decor from floor to ceiling, get yourself immersed in the interactive audio-visual environment featuring art installations, market stalls and a chai cafe. Yes, that!s right, I did say chai cafe.

F

f you like your house music like you like your swimming pool, deep and soulful, then Undertone!s line-up is bound to tempt you out. The basement club will be flitting along to the sounds of the internationally recognised Groove Assassin. He will be joined by DJ and radio presenter Nick Power, affectionately known as !The Godfather of Ayia Napa!. With a pair of fine DJs and only a fiver to get in before midnight, this night will definitely prove to be a good reason to cash in that coppers jar.

ever heard of Juju Nations? Neither had I. If ever you felt that Cardiff!s clubbing scene had a certain void then this little known jem may hold the answer. The endless floors of Toucan club shake to the beat of a different drum, the rhythms being afrobeat, reggae, funk and everything in between. If you love to have a dance but occasionally want an alternative to the rinsing bass lines elsewhere then this could be your ticket. Should your cravings for some wobbly silliness overcome you, head to the top floor where grimy dubstep is the order of the day.

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going out

!

oud

The Great Hall Reviewed

I

t seems Shout Out Loud is quickly establishing itself as a premier promoter of dance related events in the South West. ! " # $ $ B% $ & ' $ # % B% B$ % " # ( $ & ) $ %" $ reads like a who! s who of the Breakbeats/Drum"n"Bass underworld, with some of the most exciting names on that list arriving on the doorstep of the Union. Saturday October 10th promised to be a good night. Alongside Krafty Kuts, winner of the Breakspoll #Best DJ" award for three years running, was long time collaborator and beat master A-Skillz, Jungle Drummer and DJ Fu. Topping it off the list was Loo &

Placido, fresh from remixing tracks by Madonna and other such A-list celebrities. Add into this gloriously frenzied melting pot a decent dose of break dancing & full AV show, the night could only be described ! " #! #" $ " % & ' #( ! & % ) ' " * # & +$ #, ( % $ # every synapse & agitating every neurotransmitter. A-Skillz' set served to only further the assumption that his turntable mastery is only rivalled by his ability to mix the most unlikely of songs into the Breakbeat arena, proving his musical ear is unrivalled in many circles. It was impossible not to be overcome with the need to chant along when The Beatles" #Come Together" found its way interwoven into the set, the majority of the baying crowd seemed to feel the same way too. Other highlights included the splicing between soul classics, such as #Soul power 76', his collaborative effort, #Happiness" & Nirvana"s, #Something in the Way". As A-Skillz set began to diminish

in pace, leaving the crowd in an eagerly anticipatory moods, Krafty Kuts took over and in fine style brought his up-tempo groove into the mass consciousness assembled in The Great Hall. Krafty Kuts is the consummate crowd pleaser with an undeniable charisma & energy. When the strobes & AV kicked in throughout his set, the energy in the room was palpable, a huge seething mass of unrestricted energy that waxed and waned with every polyrhythm that came from Krafty"s turntable. The stormer of a set lasted the best part of 90 minutes after which the crowd seemed to relent somewhat, but for those hardened few who stayed past his set were treated to either Loo & Placido thumping the main room or Jungle Drummer vs. DJ Foo in the second, either way the crowds were kept in euphorically high spirits until the early hours of the morning. John Berry

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music

music live:batforlashes feature:islandrecords

albums:editors

local:preview newsinbrief missed swn? no worries.

A

pologies, dear reader, for due to an unfortunate timing of print deadlines there will be little coverage of Swn Festival in this weeks issue. And by "little coverage", I really mean no coverage at all, with all our Swn reviews/news/to-dos coming at you next time instead. For those of you unlucky or foolish enough to have missed out on last weekend's events, though, fear not and turn that frown upside down for Quench has all the info on the rest of Cardiff's upcoming musical musings. Lovers of folk/punk will be pleased to hear that cult favourite Frank Turner is returning to the Students Union on Sunday 27th October following the release of new album Poetry of the Deed. Next, subtract the folk and slap a post on the front, and then you've got postpunk quartet The Chapman Family, who are also playing at Barfly on Monday 2nd November. Recently reformed 2 Tone legends The Specials also make an appearance on November 1st at the CIA which, given their energetic performance at this years Glastonbury, could be one of the must-sees of the month. Tickets will be pricey, but could well be worth it for those of you who have some money left.

coal exchange re-opens

miniature music press launches

Few of us have been in Cardiff long enough to remember when the Coal Exchange was an operational venue in the Bay, but after some revamping and a bit of spit and polish, November is set to see it open again. If there's one thing Cardiff lacks as a city for live music, it's those medium sized, thousand capacity type venues that other university towns - particularly Bristol with the 02 - always boast. Because of this, we've missed dozens of popular acts that stop at Bristol before turning right back around and heading back into England simply because Cardiff doesn't have an appropriately sized venue to suit them. Hopefully, the completion of the Coal Exchange will bring a new flurry of life in this area of popular artists. With the likes of Super Furry Animals, Funeral For A Friend, Ocean Colour Scene and supergroup Monsters of Folk (including Conor Oberst, Jim James of My Morning Jacket and M. Ward) already booked, it certainly looks like the Coal Exchange is going to try and make up for lost time after it's years of closure. What's more, with any luck this will bring some musical life back to the Bay after the closure of The Point by the ruthless Cardiff Council. Here's hoping.

his month sees the welcome arrival of a new addition to Cardiff's meek music-media spectrum. And about time too. Miniature Music Press is a free magazine and website with a vision close to our hearts here at Quench - aiming to help you fine people discover the best new music in our great and diverse city, with a particular passion for uncovering local talent. It strives to cover all events from all venues and covering all genres of music, giving previews, reviews, interviews and conjecture. Extra special bits includes their Band of the Month section, where the team do a small feature on whichever artist is particularly tickling their fancy as well as their strictly local album reviews section. Miniature Music Press will cater for all your local needs, and should be your first port of call for listings and tip-offs. Oh right, second. Second port of call. We're first, right? Right guys? Well we're trying our best either way. Publicising other local music magazines, nice one Quench Music. Well if there's a different set of personel giving out the CDs at the next Quench meeting, you'll know why. Last time we help you guys out, that's for sure.

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music-features

a bluffer's guide to...

Steve Beynon discusses the transformation of 50 year-old mega-label, Island Records..

W

ith the record company celebrating their 50 year anniversary this year, it! s time to take a look at the CVs of the talent scouts responsible for jamming some of the world"s best bands and artists into our ears. What makes them iconic in today"s vast music world? remembered for fallouts with certain artists (surprisingly Amy Winehouse is not a problem in this case). Why? They poke and prod and commercialise a special sound; it! s all about competition and bagging big names, who in turn bag nice fat cheques. Simples. Not at Island Records. Yes, it is now inevitable in today"s industry. However, Island pride themselves on the creative freedom they offer their musical geni; a feat managed today only by a handful of major labels. Its closest counterpart today may be Domino, they too having had their own aura since their dawn in the 90s. Admittedly the general public will have never heard of some of the more obscure artists on the Island label – many have never entered the charts at all. But just because certain music isn"t popular, doesn"t mean it isn"t something spectacular once it is discovered. Started in 1959, Island has never lost the Jamaican sun sound originally created by Chris Blackwell, despite his quick move to London.

46 /music@gairrhydd.com

To gain a rough idea of the inspiration leading to this escalation of talent, watch/read/listen to Island In The Sun took Blackwell from Jamaica to an even happier place in the sun. Rather than solely marketing Caribbean-originating records, or concentrating on a particular sound, Blackwell decided on a risky route, finding artists based on his personal taste. A good thing too, that he found the sounds of Bob Marley and Robert Palmer pleasing to the ear. Surprisingly, it wasn"t easy to break Sir Bob Marley (I bestow upon myself the power of initiating knighthood) into the broadcasting world of Europe and the USA. It required a lot of time, money and effort from the Island staff – things they wanted to disassociate themselves from in order to preserve the unique aspect of fun that is so rare in a business like the music industry. Island was an artistic environment, not a business. What is often ignored in the light of such big names deriving from Island Records is their cult status in the late 60s when it was the world"s leading label for progressive music. It witnessed the birth and - not quite the fall - but eventual decline in the wide popularity of prog rock. They were known as the Pink years, due to the unique pink labels around which the vinyl revolved. This is a key example of their distinctive marketing techniques – now of course

known as branding – mixing the time!s defining artists with musicians, at the time termed “innovative hip capitalism” amongst their undeniably square peers at Virgin, etc. Within the laid back artistic environment, artists are nurtured and allowed to develop. They are hand picked because of their talent, and although each have their own individual sound, and that distinctive hint of Island sunshine that radiates through their music. For examples of this, just think of The B-52s. Roxy Music. Paul Weller. U, Damian Marley. The roster is endless, featuring many career changing albums. The mark inflicted by the record company in this case is not the icing on the cake, smothering the originality of the bands, but simply the cherry on top. Whatever you call it, it"s the de served little touch that defines them as an Island export. It is a shame to see that the need to merge labels has dented Island in recent times (Blackwell in fact sold Island to Polygram for £272m 20 years ago). The Island #brand" was sliced and merged into already successful companies around the world – in the UK, Mercury; in the USA, Island Def Jam; in Germany, Polydor Island. Small is beautiful, yes, but seldom bountiful. The longevity of their influence continues, however, and by the looks of their artists, it's set to last.


features-music

music@gairrhydd.com / 47


music-albums

Editors

Editors In This Light And On This Evening

Columbia

I

magine hearing the end of the world. Imagine being swept up in a sea of doom laden synths before plunging into a thunderous whirlpool of fiery guitars and unsettling morse code bleeps, all the while hearing a sombre voice resounding from the heavens one that"s strongly reminiscent of Ian Curtis, come to think of it. That"s right, ladies and gentlemen, Editors are back, and the end of the world sounds a bit like the title-track that opens their latest album, In This Light And On This Evening. Many critics have already commented on how this album marks something of a departure from their trademark screechy, high-end guitars (that which gave classics such as Bullets and Bones their potency), in favour of bellowing keyboards and tinny, staple-gun drumming. In all honesty, though, Tom Smith and his band of merry men are still

48 /music@gairrhydd.com

flogging the same comatose pony of minor chords and melodrama, but have dressed it up in slightly more adventurous colours. In other words, as songs such as You Don!t Know Love and The Big Exit can attest, they!re just as morbid and gloomy as ever before, but thanks to an apparent raid on a music room store cupboard, they now have slightly more punch to add to their perpetually pessimistic post-punk. One of the album!s finest points is the gracefully anthemic closer, Walk The Fleet Road, whereby a steady electronic throb provides a perfect backdrop for Smith!s swooping baritone, while strings yawn sleepily away to soothing background vocals. Unfortunately, because the final track is so strikingly different from the rest of the album, and because the opening track is such an overthe-top apocalyptic fanfare, the seven songs in between struggle to assert themselves. Really, In This Light And On This Evening is nothing other than a collection of fleshed-out carbon copies of every other Editors songs in existence. Matt Wright

5.

Maps Turning The Mind

Mute Records

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orthampton-based Electronia !wonderkid", James Chapman aka Maps was the talk of the music industry in 2007 after his critically acclaimed debut, We Can Create justly earned him a Mercury Prize nomination. Chapman"s swirly sound drew comparisons to the work of shoegaze pioneers, My Bloody Valentine, as well as more electronic based artists, such as M83 and Four Tet. Therefore, Chapman!s follow-up, Turning The Mind, arrives with high expectations, but unlike his magnificent debut, is extremely inconsistent and lacks creative coherence. A majority of the album!s highlights are contained within the opening half. Opening and title track Turning The Mind kicks off where We Can Create left us, and is a track layered with a sense of warm starry nostalgia, reminiscent of Boards of Canada at their most majestic. The


Mumford & Sons

albums-music

trademark combination of Chapman"s soothing vocals, fragile lyrics and sparkly sweeping melodies make for a superb opening, replicating the dreamy sound of We Can Create. However, unfortunately the album gradually plunges into mediocrity. Love Will Come is a song completely void of any imagination, and oozes that oh-so familiar nauseating commercial dance sound. Those expecting a rapturclosing track, Without You is totally uninspiring and its dullness fails to leave a positive final and lasting impression of the album. Turning the Mind produces mixed results, as it fails to live up to its initial promise. Thankfully, there are real moments of genius, which at times even manage to surpass We Can Create in terms of musical ingenuity and imagery. Here"s hoping that Chapman can dust himself off and produce a follow-up which mirrors the form encapsulated in his sugar-woven debut and parts of Turning the Mind, assuring us that this map does lead to somewhere quite spectacular. Nick Cook

5.

Mumford & Sons Sigh No More

Island Records

!

t's impossible to throw a stone in London without hitting a trilby donning, waist coating wearing musician who is the brother, mother or lover of Laura Marling. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! and Sons fits into such a stereotype with such conviction one may be tempted to disregard debut album Sigh No More in protest to the new overly righteous folk infused movement, but to do so would be a grave mistake. ! ! ! their debut, Mumford and Sons manage to stick to their bluegrass and folk roots, without alienating the broader audience, with rugged vocals and wide use of instruments, the four piece create an intensity similar to Willy Mason, with theatrics more comparable to Arcade Fire. Whilst title track Sigh No More tilters dangerously on the whiny side of folk, The Cave is an all encompassing love song, complete with banjos, offering up a lighter portion of the intense lyrics found on the record.

Other tracks place more precedence on instrumental to the vocals over ittake note here of Winter Winds which is reminiscent of Beirut, whilst Thistle And Weeds is a dramatic four minutes of crashing pianos of epic dramatic proportion. A stand out track if ever I heard one, this little beauty alone can quieten those critics who view the four piece as simply another !scene" band with little authenticity, Thistle And Weeds allows Mumford and Sons to stand next to the more so-called credible bands with pride.

"Their beauty can queiten those critics" In a years time the clique of anti-folk in London will have moved on, throwing their crusty cords into the bin for new and cleaner things. Mumford and Sons will remain, and if this album is a sign of things to come, fashion will be of little worry to their success. Dom Kehat

7.

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music-albums

Zero 7 Yeah Ghost

Atlantic

Richard Hawley

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Richard Hawley Truelove's Gutter

Mute Records

R

ichard Hawleys' solo career has always belied a reputation that his dashing 50's quiff bestows upon him. Despite a cut that suggests Little Richard and Elvis, Richard Hawley has always made music of a certain melancholic meandering, reimagining his native Sheffield's streets with a regretful yet not downcast Romanticism. Open Up Your Door demonstrates this brilliantly, beginning the song with the title seeming a bare plea that turns more and more determined and joyful as the song reaches it's symphonic climax. ! " # $% # & '$( # ) *% # + '# ( # $, -$*" # $& '. ! " # is the ten minute Remorse Code, apparently written to a lost friend who continues upon bent on selfdestruction, much as Hawley himself did before he joined Pulp. You never feel distracted, instead Hawley's brilliant craftsmanship allows him to

50 /music@gairrhydd.com

tell us his continuingly melancholy tale with depth and a sense of regret matched but not spoiled by the length of the song. The outcome is extraordinary, as Hawley imbues every verse of this huge song with genuine compassion rather than a knowing tone. For Your Lover Give Some Time is another example of Hawley's maturity. Under less experienced songwriters, the refrain that is the title repeated over 6 minutes would sound patronizing. Instead Hawley's honesty gives the song emotional resonance, no more deeply when he declares "Here's is a toast to you Helene, to all the cinemas we ran in from the rain" as understated violins sparkle the song with decorative beauty. While sporting less of the 1950's Rock feel that made Coles Corner a breakthrough success, Truelove's Gutter still shows why Hawley's Romanticism is so appealing. While his pace and tone stands juxtaposed to that of Jarvis Cocker's solo albums, he seems all the more worldwise while yearning for a Romantic and wistful era, one which sounds truly beautiful. Lloyd Griffiths

8.

he fourth release from downtempo ensemble Zero 7 is an exciting prospect, especially as there!s been personnel changes since last time round. It!s on Mr McGee that it first becomes apparent that it!s not just the members of the band that!s changed; it!s a dance floor hit waiting to happen. It is also our introduction to the soulful voice of Eska Mtungwazi. After the departure of vocalist Sia Furler the band had considered continuing as an instrumental group, but they!ll be glad to know I think they made the right decision in getting Mtungwazi on board. There!s a lot going on in third track Swing: it!s absolutely smashing, and one of the best songs I!ve heard in ages. If combining glockenspiel, saxophone, trombone, steel drums, flugelhorn, trumpet and euphonium sounds like this, I don!t know why more artists aren!t doing it. Pop Art Blue is similarly excellent. It has a meaty riff but retains an ominous delicacy, lilting gently on the precipice of sanity. If you were kidnapped by musical terrorists, given a room full of musical instruments and synthesisers and told to play brooding, atmospheric trip-pop or you!d never see your family again, you!d probably find this song came naturally. Actually, you!d probably panic at the enormity of your task, sweat a lot and end up getting shot in the head. With a few notable exceptions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the synth-tastic, Mika-esque Medicine Man and the dreamy lullaby The Road (which suits Mtungwazi down to a T) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it goes downhill from there. You probably know Zero 7 as a downtempo band, but on Yeah Ghosts they!re at their best when they!re going hell-forleather through essentially catchy pop songs, but there aren!t enough to make this a properly cohesive album. But, it!s definitely worth a listen if you like your impressions of bands to be shattered. Vincent Forrester

5.


live-music

! or Lashes Great Hall, SU

16th October 2009

Jh df JgTPg

Fanfarlo/First Aid Kit Clwb Ifor Bach

15th October 2009

T

eenagers Klara and Johanna Sรถderberg make up First Aid Kit, and with their autumnal , they look and sound like they! ve walked straight out of a Brothers Grimm story. Their set consists mainly of songs from Drunken Trees, a folk record which preaches the romantic simplisticity of forest life. From the offset they deliver a beautifully uncomplicated performance, driven by uncluttered acoustic chord structures. Their strength falls on their vocal melodies; a constant train of perfectly interwoven harmonies, emphasized by their sisterly bond. Though the inclusion of three covers suggests a lack of original material, their combined age of just 31 is reason for forgiveness. However charming, this stripped down performance was blown away by what proceeded. Fanfarlo are

Photographer: Steve Beynon

B

at For Lashes enchanting headline set was warmly supported by Brooklynbased support act Yeasayer, who dived straight into songs from their brilliant debut All Hour Cymbals along with new material from their forthcoming second record. Their eclectic combination of hippy space dub and anthemic indie-rock slowly captured attention, and certainly won them some new fans as they built an expectant atmostphere for the headline act. ! " # " $ % " & a% " & & ' & " ( ( ) & * + " , - . & # % - & stage just after 9pm and met with a rapturous reception before inviting the audience to share her journey through her captivating solo album Two Suns. Khan received applause and cheer at every opportunity - the small conversations with the crowd implying her sweet and endearingly down-to-earth personality as she played through crowd favourites What's A Girl To Do and Daniel! ! Surrounded by dim lighting, her artfully rendered theatrical pieces involved a pagan woodland set decorated by pictures of the !Joshua tree desert" a place she visited in California for inspiration. Singing songs about wizards and white witches brought a spooky mystical element while fluttering her hands like she was in a modern dance class proved that she had her own fantastic method of delivery. With that said, you have to allow yourself to soak into all her mystical fantasy to really enjoy the concert and there were times where the audience's mood dipped. Nevertheless her encoring performance of The Big Sleep certainly lifted up any doubts of an !average" performance as her band worked together to bring the show to its final piece, and swept the audience off their collective feet from the second the opening chords were pounded out on the piano. Leaving the dancing crowd with closert Priscilla, Bat For Lashes proved herself to be an endearing performer. Aysar Al-Rawi

six musicians and a hell of a lot of instruments, tonight all crammed onto a tiny stage. They present the Cardiff crowd with an animated set, however, despite their spacial restrictions. The penultimate date of their UK tour began with just half the members on stage singing an unplugged version of Harold T Wilkens proving that, when they want, they can pull of an effective acoustic performance. Appearing at first to be overzealous members of the audience, the rest of the band take to the stage and go on to deliver a cleverly crafted set taken mostly from their debut album Resevoir. The last two songs show them to be a versatile band, able to create contrasting moods. Melancholy Comets is made chilling with the drone of a bowed saw and is followed by Drowning Men - an upbeat song that successfully weaves the six musicians together. At it's climax, lead singer Balthazar wips out an Oboe, perhaps a last attempt to demonstrate their multi-instrumental abilities, but non the less a successful ingredient which, combined with the trumpet, forms a climatic fanfare. Megan Dobson

music@gairrhydd.com / 51


music-singles

Moby

singles round-up

y Mistake Mute Records.

7.

Moby! s latest release from his Wait For Me album is an emotive homof Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen. Unlike anything of the artist I have heard before, Mistake comes as a pleasant surprise. Moby has soulful sound, backed up by powerful guitars and synths.

Dead Weather I Cut Like a Buffalo Third Man Records

7.

If it took Jack White"s latest out two weeks to complete their album Horehound, that means (averagely speaking) this song was written in just over a day. You can tell. But the messy, rough-around-the-edges feel leaves it sounding like the dirty cool soundtrack to a fashion advert. It"s got scummy style that could have easily been lost with a few days extra polish. JP

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Chase & Status

End Credits (ft. Plan B) Mercury Records

9.

This latest effort is from the current Michael Caine film Harry Brown, and it"s a heavy hitter. Presumably chosen to reflect the gritty urban nature of the film, the track is full of Chatus! s signature DnB sound. The use of Plan B"s vocals will draw comparisons to 2008"s Pieces, but it gives the track an emotional edge that sets it apart from its peers. SS

Biffy Clyro The Captain 14th Floor

6.

Scot-Rockers Biffy Clyro"s second single from their upcoming album has been dividing opinion ever since its first play. The song echoes Puzzle-era Biffy, with anthemic chanting choruses. The inclusion of a brass section seems like a bit of a random afterthought, confusing and ultimately detracting from the power of the track.. It pales in comparison to previous single That Golden Rule. SS

Arctic Monkeys Cornerstone Domino Records

7.

For a band best known for their memorable choruses and witty lyrics, this track isn"t a showcase of what they do best but a branch down a new, more laid back path. Turner"s words aren"t as sharp as normal but the slower than usual melody and underlying blend of acoustic and electric guitars sounds great, if a bit melancholy. ZC

All American Rejects The Wind Blows DGC/Interscope

5.

It's fair to say that angsty poprockers TAAR peaked well before the release of their latest album, their third single bringing the unshakeable feeling of an anticlimax. The Wind Blows has a relaxed, emotive air, created by a smooth, catchy bass and suitably haunting lyrics. It's a good example of some mellow pop-rock, the only problem being that TAAR have managed a lot better. AE


! "#"

! PREDA-LICIOUS Adrien Brody is being slated to appear in the Robert Rodriguezdirected reboot of the Predator franchise. The announcement of the star of King Kong and The Pianist looks set to add some muchneeded credibility to the project. And will hopefully bury the memory of the god-awful Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. Elsewhere in space, the unthinkable looks to become just-that-bit more thinkable, with Ridley Scott apparently agreeing to return to the helm of a prequel to Alien. This will mark the first sci-project since Blade Runner for Scott, who is currently filming the Robin Hood re-make starring Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchett. No cast has been announced yet, but it has been confirmed that Sigourney Weaver's Ripley will NOT appear. A pity.

arnassus: Worth the hype? Read the review on p.60

T THE HELL?!? you might have noticed, we're not especially keen on the idea of gratuitously unnecessary sequels. In what has to be the best possible !" # $%& ' % $%( ) *'( + *$% %# *, % + $%' " -% + *. ( / 0 * of thought, it has been announced that there is a script for Independence Day 2 in the pipeline. Says Fox CEO Tom Rothman: 'We would love to do it...the story definitely can and should continue.' Proof if it was ever needed that film execs inhabit another dimension. Apparently director and weapon of mass destruction Roland Emmerich is on board, with the possible inclusion (or exclusion) of Will Smith being the only remaining obstacle. Please Will, don't do it. It's not like you're falling over yourself to make Bad Boys 3. Oh wait...

TWI-GONE? Hey girls, enjoyed Twilight? Can't wait for New Moon? And what about that Robert Pattinson eh? Well if your enjoyment of the aforementioned teen-vampire fest was primarily down to the guy, then this story may cause you not insubstantial discomfort, as Pattinson has recently commented that the Twilight saga might be his last acting roles. Said Pattinson: 'I don't even know I want to be an actor for that long. If I start doing lame work I'm not going to stick around and do it.' Still fan boys and girls, don't fret. Actors and actresses are notorious for not always speaking the truth. Remember Danny Dyer insisting that he was a 'fucking good actor'? Lies, damned lies and irritating Cockney impersonators...


film

WORLD CINEMA: SLUMDOG TO MILLIONAIRE? E

ver popped to your local cinema to catch the latest Bollywood flick? Yeah, that!s what I thought. So consider a film that you most likely have seen, namely, Danny Boyle!s “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008); in the next few minutes I think you may come to realise that you!ve come a lot closer to experiencing Bollywood film than you thought... Despite being one of the better known sub-genres of World Cinema, Bollywood film is still not seen as particularly accessible to mass film audiences. Despite this, many Bollywood influences can be seen in mainstream cinema today, Slumdog Millionaire being a prime example. For example; the ending credits of Boyle!s picture is a Bollywood-style dance sequence; obviously a common feature of traditional Bollywood films. The Pussycat Dolls! recording of the film!s soundtrack (a remix of Hindi song Jai Ho!) smashed music charts worldwide, reaching number 3 in the UK; therefore showing the film!s accessibility despite its cultural contexts. The music video for this soundtrack also features classic Indian “Bollywood” dance and costume as well as the collaboration of Indian Cinema Film Composer A. R.Rahman. The plot of “Slumdog Millionaire” also reflects Bollywood film by its use of traditional Bollywood themes including; star crossed lovers, love triangles, family ties, reunion etc. Its films such as this that are bringing many aspects of World

54 /film@gairrhydd.com

Cinema to the masses. My question is, is this a positive thing or not? On the one hand, World Cinema is arguably just as important to today!s culture as mainstream cinema, and deserves to have its voice heard. World Cinema should not be brushed aside by Mainstream Cinema simply because its appeal is not as seemingly vast. As artists, filmmakers should be constantly challenging conventions and encouraging the evolution of film as an art form. I believe this is what Boyle was doing: merging Mainstream Cinema with different aspects of World Cinema and creating something fresh, new and exhilarating in the form of “Slumdog...”.

"There has been a shift from the traditional to a more westernised Bollywood" However, it may be unrealistic to expect World Cinema to reach the giddy heights of Mainstream. Mass appeal depends on the culture of the audience and is not something to be tailor-made but something to strive for. As “Slumdog...” was so successful, it may be said that it lacks the individuality and challenges that makes World Cinema, and ticks all mass appeal!s boxes. Also, there is opposing arguments in that while Boyle is being

diverse, are the influences that he has drawn upon portrayed accurately? Boyle himself has been quoted saying that three Bollywood films influenced him directly whilst making “Slumdog...”; “Satya” (1998), “Company” (2002) and “Black Friday” (2004); this selective influence may have led Boyle to ignore how Bollywood culture itself is evolving. For example, in Bollywood film there has been a shift from a traditional sense of Bollywood (focused on arranged marriages and liberal sex scenes etc.) to a more “Westernised Bollywood” which focuses on a more urbanized culture, the characters date and go clubbing, for example. Therefore this may cause problems when trying to pin down what incarnation of Bollywood (if any), Boyle was trying to create and whether he has done so traditionally, or in a more modern, Westernized way. If it can be said that Boyle used this modern sense of Bollywood film, the issue is raised in whether this was his actual intention or simply an accidental stray from traditional Bollywood film conventions. So, you have now experienced true Bollywood film in a new modernized sense, demonstrated by Danny Boyle; or possibly an overhyped and only vaguely Bollywoodinfluenced picture that does not actually become part of the genre. Whatever conclusion you draw, I think that Boyles Slumdog... will be stretching other film genres for quite some time yet. Shelley Hughes


film

"Filmmaker's should be constantly encouraging the evolution of film as an art form" film@gairrhydd.com / 55


film

AN Added Dimension? With Up tugging at our emotional heartstrings, Monsters vs Aliens exploding towards our faces and Avatar plunging us into a parallel universe, it seems that the 3rd 3D revolution has all bases covered. Lloyd Griffiths examines whether 3D is giving some film-makers tunnel-vision.

C

ritics, Directors and Actors have this summer been hailing new 3D technology a breakthrough in Cinema. Although we have hardly been flooded with 3D films, those tickets that have come with RayBan 3D glasses find themselves packing an impressive amount of hype, bringing large audiences (Monsters vs. Aliens recorded an impressive ÂŁ40m weekend debut) and assertions that 3D film is the way forward. Anyone whose anyone who reads Empire will know the monumental hype that James Cameron!s Avatar has been accumulating. Aside from it!s Cameron!s first film since Titanic and the budget is rumoured to be more than $230 million, Avatar is promising to offer the most expansive and epic 3D experience so far. Despite the tireless work ploughed into making detailed passenger ships and perfectly crafted sex-hands-on-sweaty-car-windows, Cameron!s career has always been about these epic, hyperbolic good-

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old fashioned action sequences. People can talk about feminist critiques about why tiny Alien!s splatter out of Male chests in Aliens as much as they like, but it will always remain a Gun-Porn fest. And clearly the promise is to replicate this in 3D. Maybe they can film it so it looks like the Aliens are bursting out my chest, and then watch the audience scramble/dismember me as the black-headed monster angrily looks around the theatre. But that!s an idea for another day. Avatar places the audience at the centre of the action, so rather than cheesy arrows and flames pinging out at your eyes we are met with what Cameron calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;A window into a realityâ&#x20AC;?, with the audience seemingly walking on Pandora with the characters. Just as intriguing as the involving 3D experience is the parallels between our experience of the film and that of the human protagonists, who use technology to "project! their consciousness on to Alien beings (the Na!vi). In typical sci-fi fashion however, the Human-Aliens don!t want to meet and greet the native Na!vi, rather

exploit their verdant and ripe habitat. Just as we find ourselves placed in an unsettling cinematic experience (almost one where we are uninvited visitors), Jake Sully romps around Pandora, shagging Aliens and mining resources where he isn!t wanted

Cameron calls Avatar's use of 3D "A window into a reality" So. Deep breath, what does this all mean? Do we really want to feel like we!re in another world rather than in a dusty old cinema? People have spoken about Avatar having a great !depth of field", but 3D films do seem to pose a threat to narrative cinema despite the subtlety


film

they offer. Not that I want to turn this into a rant about Hollywood, but when exactly did he get this right? Cameron would!ve been a B-movie director 40 years ago, yet here he is at the top of the greasy pole, proclaiming 3D as an explosive experience. One Guardian writer claimed that 3D will be the next Renaissance for art. However it seems that we are presuming that we know a new dimension adds to the art. People have rightly pointed out art works by trial and error, and not only does predicting 3D's success seem presumptious, but the method of CGI-ing characters and environments as well as pretending we are in another world seems to nullify the exciting possibility of naturalistic filming. All in all, it seems a more clinical way of filming. More over, the fact that the film industry suggests 3D is an attempt to battle piracy and downloading seems either a complete lie or really naive. 3D is partially a better way of selling blockbusters. It happened in the 1950!s, the 1980!s and again this year. People who like explosive ac-

tions movies like Monsters vs Aliens are obviously going to consume a 3D version happily.

Critics have rightly pointed out art works by trial and error, and 3D seems a more clinical way of filming Many producers are happy to admit 3D is 'protectionist' Jeff Katsenberg, president of Dream-

works stated; "You can't camcorder 3D. So the by-product of this is that it will have some serious implications about that [Piracy]". If this is the case, then expect to see 3D rehashes right left and centre. However, I want to make a more subtle point than merely the cynicism of some moviemakers and their use of 3D. The aesthetic pleasure of flat screen, to me, far outweighs 3D. I!ve struggled to define this for the article, whether it!s the lack of an assault on the senses or but perhaps this demonstrates my point aptly. 3D cinema is so obvious, makes you too aware of itself. The elusiveness of flat screen cinema is part of the magic. Although for purely aesthetic meanings, the illusion of depth Avatar offers is exciting, to say this will revolutionise cinema is to underestimate beauty in narrative. Concentrate too much on the "experience! of films or their action-packedness then we will forget some of the magic of sitting back and enjoying the nuances of being involved in a cinematic experience, emotionally, rather than literally.

film@gairrhydd.com / 57


film

Up Dir:Pete Docter Cast:Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer

F

ollowing the award-winning !Wall-E", one might have wondered how Pixar, could ever top themselves.Contrasted against Wall-E"s post-apocalyptic fairytale, the colourful jungle backdrop and ridiculous supporting cast somehow promise less than, say, a world full of talking toys or cuddly monsters. Then again, perhaps that!s the point: Up could take place almost anywhere and its central storyline would remain the same. Most of the narrative consists of nothing

more than a series of skits, as our heroes find themselves in increasingly outlandish situations on their journey across paradise. Which isn!t to say that locating the story in South America is just windowdressing. These skits make full use of the surrealistic setting; the collars which allow dogs to talk become the premise for a recurring joke. Like Wall-E, one gets the impression the film would have been just as good had it been nothing but a series of mini-adventures. But if Pixar appear not to have the courage to avoid a proper narrative then it!s because it wouldn!t be the same film without our hero!s aforementioned self-discovery reaching its conclusion. Films with much older demographics rarely start with a story as sad as this one, and Up spends the remainder of its running time trying to recover from it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as does the protagonist, whose past seems to literally drag behind him in the form of his own floating house. Pixar have succeeded in creating an incredibly beautiful, idealistic world, and then set about subverting it, before bringing us back to more realistic ideals. It!s quite a journey, and needless to say, a small masterpiece. George Carpenter

Students Verdict on 3D

"

From the pre-film adverts my faith in Pixar was restored, a mechanical dog playing with an orb circling the theatre, and the classic Disney castle given another dimension showed how 3D can be subtle and still enthralling. The opening 5 minutes rivals Bambi for emotion and the 3D truly involves you in the character!s lives, giving the sequence a real impact. ZC

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"

"

9.

When Coraline was released last week I excitedly settled with in the 3D specs in my dark room and waited for my eyes to adjust. I waited... and waited... and was thoroughly disappointed. Yes, it was 3D, but the saturation of the colours was awful! It was 30 mins before I had to switch to the far superior 2D version. CB

"


film

GET YOUR FREE TICKET TO CAINE'S NEW FILM We have a WHOLE cinema's-worth of free tickets for you in Heol yr Odyn, Cardiff, CF15 7QX on 2nd November at 7pm to see Harry Brown. Simply visit www.seefilmfirst.com and enter code 706292. Harry Brown will officially be released on 11th November.

Harry Brown dir: Daniel Barber cast: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Jack O'Connell

S

ome critics have already labelled this tale of Michael Caine's protagonistic elderly avenging angel as the British Gran Torino. Whilst there are undoubtedly similarities between the two, this is ultimately where the likeness ends. Clint Eastwood shocked through implication; here, the sheer brutality on display here ensures that no

punches are pulled. Harry Brown is Caine's baby; his presence in almost eve scene making this evident from the start. Despite being a national treasure in almost every sense of the word, even his most serious performances, nonetheless have always been tinged by an unwanted comedic ele-

"The sheer brutality on display ensures that no punches are pulled." ment, that much-imitated cockney charm that has so often put him at risk of self-parody. Not here. Brown is a construct made all the more terrifying by Caine's everyman appeal. Undoubtedly every inch the lead-

ing man, Caine is assisted greatly by the more-than-able supporting cast. Emily Mortimer shines as Frampton, an officer to takes a special interest in Brown's actions, and David Bradley is effective in a small, but important role as Harry's ill-fated friend, Leonard. Also good are the gang of youths that plague Harry's estate, who include Jack O'Connell (Cook from TV's Skins) amongst their number. By turns chilling and horrific, even the somewhat unsatisfying ending isn't enough to put a dampener on this, which whilst isn't up there with the likes of Get Carter, is still a deeply compelling experience. Steve Wright

8.

film@gairrhydd.com / 59


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

film

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus dir: Terry Gilliam cast: Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Heath Ledger

out now, 122 mins

W

ith the imaginatively ambitious Terry Gillam directing Ledger’s last role, now finished with cameos by Depp, Law and Farrell, Parnassus has a lot riding on it. Doctor Parnassus (Plummer) is the immortal ringleader of a four-man traveling circus, dependant on a mirror that delves into the traveller's deepest desires, or most haunting nightmares. He becomes increasingly paranoid as he makes nefarious deals with the Devil (Tom Waits) in exchange for his 16 year old daughter Valentina (Cole). An exciting premise, but one that ends up meandering aimlessly instead of delivering the kind of satisfying narrative that we yearn for in fantasy. Gilliam certainly has guts to soldier on after the demise of his star. Luckily, the surrealist nature of the film lends itself comfortably to the disappearing and reappearing traveling circus act of his lead, especially as Ledger managed to just about finish all the scenes in modern day London, leaving scaling the parallel universe of the imagination

60 /film@gairrhydd.com

to the other actors. This isn’t where things fall down by any means. The plot begins to lose its way a bit amongst strings of increasingly fantastic Dali-like dreamscapes. I’m all for subtlety– but this was an incomprehensible tangle of loose ends. Not even the relationships between the characters could distract from this. In the case of Cole, I could perhaps have attributed this to her inexperience – but this film has a kaleidoscopic spectrum of talent and promise, yet still has nowhere to go. Ultimately, it fails to provide as fitting a tribute to Ledger as The Dark Knight. Natalie Stone

5.

Love Happens dir: Brandon Camp cast: Aaron Eckhart, Jennifer Aniston, Martin Sheen

out now, 109 mins

D

r Burke Ryan (Eckhart) has made his fortune as a best-selling self-help guru; and yet he does not practice what he preaches. A tragic incident from his past has left him emotionally scarred; he needs someone to reciprocate the help and release him from his metaphorical shell. Whilst leading a seminar in Seattle he bumps into Eloise (Aniston) and is instantly

attracted... The tag line to the film, ‘Sometimes when you least expect it, Love Happens,’ is wholly misleading as we definitely did expect it; and yet it never really happened. Another sub-standard Jennifer Aniston rom-com has been churned out by the Hollywood ‘Camp’ duo who’s writing palettes had obviously dried up for this one. The film relies on stock characters and predictably mushy scenes boasting nothing fresh. Aniston plays a friendly florist who can never find Mr. Right; standard. Her kooky best friend Marty (Judy Greer) adds humour to some scenes; and yet she reminds us of all the best friends we’ve ever seen in a rom-com. The only credible performance comes from Eckhart, who does his best with a bad script, and convincingly engages with his character, who begins to deal with the loss of his wife three years after she tragically died. Some potentially touching moments in the film lose their momentum as the romance between the two protagonists fails to impress. Scribbled love notes, the metaphorical freeing of a parrot and Burke's rebirth/semi-naked swimming pool scene are just some of the clichéd moments this film relies on to avoid total depression, and yet they merely manage to pad out a relatively flimsy and unimaginative plot . As a film dealing with loss and letting go of the past it is successful, but as a fresh faced romantic drama, it tragically withers into bland nonchalance. Charlotte Fennell

4.


film

Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee dir: Shane Meadows cast: Paddy Considine, ScorZay-Zee, Olivia Colman

out now, 71 mins

L

e Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee is the latest production from the critically acclaimed Shane Meadows. It is a comic ‘mockumentary’ filmed in five days, which follows a short period in the life of Le Donk

Zombieland dir: Ruben Fleischer cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone

out now, 88 mins

B

oy meets girl; Boy falls in love and tries to woo girl. Your usual nerdy romcom situation. Except that they're being chased by zombies across the USA. Zombieland is one of the new breeds of zombie flicks, so if you like your undead lumbering and only able to utter some low groans, then this probably isn't for you. These zombies sprint, shriek like banshees, and have a level of intelligence sufficient enough to be able to climb things.

"Zombieland manages to be funny and entertaining throughout." The general premise of the film is very similar to a lot of the zombie films out there, namely that a few remaining survivors are trying to reach a 'safe-haven' destination without getting eaten by the majority of the

(Paddy Considine), a middleaged roadie who thinks he is a talented musician, who starts managing a sideshow Midlands rapper named Scor-Zay-Zee, trying to nurture his career for the mainstream. What intrigued me most about Meadows’ style was his combination of authentic performances, cinematography and powerful social themes, particularly evident in This is England. The mockumentary style of Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee with the behind-the-camera commentary from Meadows, although a unique style, starts to grate after a while. It only works in patches, and because of this, Considine’s brilliant performance as a ‘roadie with a purpose’, fails to grip the audience.

population. Of course, this is never going to go smoothly. Saying that, Zombieland manages to be funny and entertaining without extreme levels of gore, despite the high presence of violence. Woody Harrelson excels in his role as ‘Tallahassee’ (we never learn the characters names, they are all identified by their destination) the hard as nails zombie killer whose motto is ‘nut up or shut up’. His biggest mission of the whole film is to find himself a twinkie – that touch of normalcy from a previous life. Our own zombie-flick Dead Set got a cameo from Davina McCall as a zombie; a Hollywood budget gets you Bill Murray, who brings a lot of laughs. Jesse Eisenberg, the narrator and resident geek, brings a Superbad-esque feel to his character; the reclusive and worldly inexperienced ‘Columbus’. His rules for Zombieland are amusing, and play an underlying part in the whole film. Cardio is the most important rule, as he says, ‘the poor fat bastards’ are the ones to go first in this new era-zombie world. Although less than an hour and a half, Zombieland is a comedy roller coaster through post-apocolyptic America that is sure to please almost any cinema go-er. Sarah Kilby

From the perspective of a ‘loser to fame’ story, the movie pushes some empathetic buttons, but Le Donk’s stretched confidence does little for the audience to feel happy for him when he succeeds. Ultimately, Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee is little more than an extended blooper reel which attempts to gain credibility through authenticity. The movie is a product of Shane Meadows’ ‘Five day feature’ initiative, which seems to show his arrogance in trying to create a low budget hit under a time limit. Meadows should have spent more resources making a better movie on such an unexplored topic. Ayushman Jamwal

5. Zombieland

8.

film@gairrhydd.com / 61


film

BesT film foR

Eternal Sunshine

...Messing up your

...accepting the forgotten

%...Desiring to be a genius

Grandmother

parts of your memory

meeting pompous

Closer (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Clive Owen, you filthy bastard, you owe me a new grandmother. Such is Closer, a film entirely centred on four protagonists (Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Jude Law, and Natalie Portman) and their break-ups and make-ups as they descend the rungs of decency into the pits of foulness and debauchery. The synopsis reads that the film looks at ‘modern relationships’ – apparently such things come love-free, but nevertheless full of base and animalistic values. Expect unrealistic attachments, nefarious exploits and notions that will leave your once idealistic envisions of love blurred by vinegary distortions. Also prepare your ears for some aural vandalising - now, I’m not adverse to a bit of swearing, but my God, the expletives were coming thick and fast and in every direction. Grandma didn’t even have time to hobble out of the room, poor soul; she’ll never be the same. If you really desire to see this one (and trust me I think you’ll regret it) put those of sensitive hearing in the kitchen.

Ah. Aw. Oh. Just some of the noises you’ll be hearing yourself helplessly utter as you treat yourself to this exceptional movie. Jim Carrey leads as emotionally reserved Joel Barish – a far cry from his usual largerthan-life characters, but be assured that he pulls it off with aplomb. After their relationship sours, Barish seeks to erase his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) from his memory via a company called Lacuna Inc. However, Barish realises half way through the procedure that he is making a terrible mistake. Thus, the film follows Joel as he internally seeks to hide the memory of Clementine deeper and deeper in the unplumbed caverns of his mind, preserving the halcyon moments they once shared together. What entails is a beautifully crafted story brimming with nostalgia, regret and longing. Brilliantly odd and unabashedly eccentric, set against the genius of Jon Brion’s soundtrack – guilty. I purchased it following viewing – this is the kind of film that will forever dwell comfortably in your thoughts, never to be erased.

‘How do you like them apples?’ goes the line from one of the best scenes in cinematic history. That one scene will leave you with an incredible urge to hit the library, consume some books, and then lurk in bar corners waiting to unleash a verbal avalanche on some conceited intellectual. The joy. Matt Damon stars as Will Hunting, a wayward janitor of a university who’s actually a genius, his towering intellect handicapped by social and personal inhibitions. His troublesome behaviour nearly lands him an episode in jail, so therapist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) is called in to help him realise his true potential. The acting is charismatic; the relationship between Hunting and his therapist is poignant and profound. The most stubborn of us couldn’t resist. Life and death, love and loss, success and failure – the film handles its thematic elements with the style and grace of a gloved juggler, drawing you in, suspending you eloquently and leaving you feeling uplifted and deeply inspired. Alex Mathias

62 /film@gairrhydd.com

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listings

Monday 26th Gary Moore: St David's Hall Oxjam: 10 Feet Tall

The Chapman Family Barfly Moby Dick: Millenium Centre

Tuesday 27th Frank Turner: Students' Union Jazz Cafe Jam: The Gate Adem Ficek: The Globe Bob the Builder: St David's Hall

Tuesday 3rd Funeral for a Friend Students' Union Rice and Pease: Buffalo National Dance Company Wales Millenium Centre

Wednesday 28th The Cheek: Barfly Lisa Milberg: Buffalo Bar Earthfall Dance Company: Sherman Theatre Thursday 29th CYNT: Hi Rankin: Clwb Ifor Bach Whole Lotta LED: The Globe Dorian Grey: Millenium Centre Friday 30th The Wurzels: The Globe The Towel + Tommy B: Buffalo Bar The BFG: New Theatre Saturday 31st Dance of the Dead: Students' Union Time Flies Halloween Ball: Liquid Sunday 1st November Andrew Roachford: Barfly The Specials: CIA Monday 2nd 3OH!3: CIA

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Wednesday 4th Beverley Knight: St David's Hall Gawazi: The Globe Entity:The Random Dance Company: Sherman Theatre Thursday 5th Alabama 3: Coal Exchange The Luchagors: Barfly Friday 6th Eddie Izzard: CIA Bill Bailey: Millenium Centre The Apples: Cardiff Arts Institute Hell's Bent: The Globe Saturday 7th Hospitality Cardiff: Students' Union Destroy the Disco: Glam Argonauts: Bombastic Dance: Chapter Arts Centre Sunday 8th A Place to Bury Strangers: Barfly Records and Roasts: Cardiff Arts Institute Mike Tyson: Coming Back to the Fans: CIA

listings@gairrhydd.com/63



Quench - Issue 86