∆ Features · Fashion & Beauty · Travel · LGBT+ Culture · Music · Film · Food & Drink
Issue 125 · October 1st 2012
issue 125 · 1st October 2012
25 10 26
4 · A WORD FROM LAURA This issue, Laura Evans welcomes you all back to Cardiff.
5 . HOW TO TAME YOUR FLATMATES Charlotte Wace offers her advice on dealing with the worst culprits in halls. 6 · ROAD TO RECOVERY Features give you a step-by-step guide to how to recover from Freshers’ Week.
Columnist 7 · ARE YOU NOT
ENTERTAINED? Rachel Moloney wonders why Strictly and X Factor can’t keep hold of their female judges.
8· ∆ Backstage at Green Man festival, Joe Newman and Thom Green take time out from their busy schedule to discuss life on the road, and the crazy success of their debut album. 10 · LUCY ROSE We chat to the singer after the release of her new album, Like I Used To
Fashion & Beauty
12 · HELLO AUTUMN Jacqueline Kilikita shows you how to carry your Summer wardrobe into Autumn. 14 · GRIT & GLAMOUR Styling your leather-look trousers for day and night. 15 · HOME FROM HOME Feeling homesick? Create a bright and cosy room for winter with a few simple touches.
LGBT+ Thomas Leeming tells of his personal experience. 16. TALKING ABOUT MY GENDERATION about trans* issues and identities.
Rosey Brown makes her case 21 · ALBUM REVIEWS Grizzly Bear, The Vaccines, The XX and more. 22 · GREEN MAN A review of Wales’ premier music festival.
The Culture Review
16 · WHAT IT MEANS TO BE
20 · IN SUPPORT OF NEW MUSIC
23 · CINEMA SEARCH Where to
17 · IN THE SPOTLIGHT... Wales Book of the Year Winner, Patrick McGuinness 17 · SLADE COLUMN OF ART Luke Slade discusses the London Design Festival.
24 · REVIEWS, LISTINGS 25 · TRAILER TRASH First look Mama, due to be released in January 25 · FIVE FILMS FOR A FRESHERS’ HANGOVER
18 · WANDERLUST BUT NO
Food & Drink
MONEY? How to travel for less 19 · CARDIFF’S CULTURES Heather Arnold explores Cardiff’s cultural societies.
Cawl, Bara Brith, and more. 26 · RECIPE: Pice ar y Maen (Welsh Cakes)
26 · WELSH CUISINE
Quench Editors: Laura Evans & Jo Southerd Creative Director: Luke Slade Features: Helen Cameron, Johannes Laubmeier, Rebecca Newby & Charlotte Wace Columnist: Rachel Moloney Fashion & Beauty: Sophie Chamberlain, Vicky Gadsden, Jacqueline Kilikita & Olivia Reidy Travel: Heather Arnold & Helena Lins LGBT+: Thomas Leeming
A word from Laura
Welcome back, Cardiff. I don’t know about you lot, but I’m exhausted. This week’s silly scenes in Tiger Tiger mean I’m writing this with a banging headache and wanting to hibernate in my not-so-warm bed (I’m not even lying when I say it’s Baltic). When this magazine gets to you, Freshers’ 2012 will be over; lectures will have recommenced, and everything will go back to normality.
Culture: Jess Rayner Music: Rosey Brown, Kit Denison & Stephen Springate Film: Becky Johnson, Amy Pay & Becky Wilson Food & Drink: Proof-reading: Tom Parry-Jones
With a new year comes a new Quench, and whether you’re reading this while taking a break between seminars or simply refusing to emerge outside, I can guarantee there’s something for you. As leading contenders to win the Mercury Prize, it’s no shock that we’re ∆ (see Music for a review on the festival), Jo got perhaps a little too cosy with Joe and Thom, whose album, An Awesome Wave Quench favourite. Also check out our interview with up-and-coming artist Lucy Rose after the release of her debut album, Like I Used To. It wouldn’t be Wales without Welsh cakes. So, to get you baking and embracing the cuisine of Cymru, Food provide you with a recipe on how to do it yourself (and consume them yourself, of course). Fashion say hello to autumn as they give you tips on how to carry summer trends through to the new season, while Features help you recover from murder. Don’t lie; you know the thought has crossed your mind. Last night, Jo was loving life while chatting to Radio 1’s Huw Stephens ahead of his DJ set in Solus. Look out for the full interview in the next issue. I won’t ramble on about every single piece of content we have, so I’ll leave you to carry on reading. I’m craving a Cafe 37 anyway. As always, if you want to get involved with Quench or any other areas of Cardiff Student Media, then come along to our weekly meetings on Mondays at 5pm. Venues will change week by week, so have a look on www.cardiffstudentmedia.com/quench to see where they will be. That’s all from me.
Cover Photo: Samuel John Butt It took late nights and early mornings to create this issue. And no vodka. Honest. Soundtrack:
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Breakfast Shows on BBC iPlayer. We love you Grimmy.
How to tame your flatmates Words: Charlotte Wace | Illustration: Nathaniel Quinn
hether you’re a fresher, second year or beyond, this September is likely to be bringing an array of new rooms and new neighbours. For those in halls, welcome to a Big Brother-style situation where all walks of life are randomly selected to be incarcerated with each other for the next year. Chances are you’ll love them (which you will tell
SOLUTION: Buy a bag of salad leaves and keep your cheddar and your choc protected by food too healthy for a peckish fresher. Alternatively, cream and drizzle chilli paste over the top to catch the culprit red-mouthed.
The secret scoffer
Always exercise caution around anyone who boasts claims to “craaaziness” or lad-like qualities; this is normally subtext for an attention seeker who doesn’t know when to stop. This character can provide entertainment through Freshers’, as they start drunken flour and water fights and drink anything that hasn’t been drunk first, but by week three it’s tiresome. The third surprise soaking from a water pistol, or the fifth broken window signifies urgent need for action. As much as you love having fun, they’re driving YOU crazy, and not in the way that they think they are.
to offer sympathy when yet another tub of ice cream has gone missing. They claim to love cheese, but strangely never buy it. Yours, however, is rapidly diminishing. You have no solid evidence… but your doubts are rising.
SOLUTION: Firstly, ensure you’re not overreacting. It’s Freshers’, and if other flatmates are unconcerned, adopt the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em’ approach. Put an oxo cube in their showerhead or pay
vodka are drunk), but the daunting possibility remains that you’ll have less in common with your enforced buddies than the Queen has with Russell Brand. Love them or loathe them, everyone has irritating shortcomings, which can make sharing a roof a diplomatic nightmare. So, to avoid kitchen meltdowns and drunken brawls, take our advice on dealing with the worst culprits:
nightly visits to their room with a sports horn. It’s probable they’ll soon demand a truce. However, if hilarity has lost its laughs, and everyone remains paranoid about the next practical joke striking, then have a chat. Keep it simple, serious and non-confrontational; politely ask them to stop and then move on. Alternatively, fake a note from Student Residences to the flatmate in question, stating that there have been numerous complaints from ‘a neighbouring flat’ – and if the offending behaviour continues, a £100 fine or even eviction, will ensue.
A direct opposite to “The Hulk”, this poor soul has failed to grasp the realities of student life. The kitchen is plastered with notes about saucepans in wrong cupboards, or tallies of exactly how many bin bags each individual has shifted. Each morning encompasses a sit-down talk about door slamming or ‘using the toaster too loudly’ after a night out. SOLUTION: The kitchen is never going to look like Nigella’s, and as long as washing up has been done and the chance of a salmo-
nella outbreak is minimal, the focus should be on partying and not pans. Try and encourage the parent to let their hair down. With a horrendous hangover, chances are that the stinking bin, or last night’s unwashed glasses won’t be their chief priority. If that fails, buy them a set of ear plugs and keep your new mum mellow by making her a cup of tea now and again (washing the cup afterwards, of course).
The dirty dish inducer
You would rather not spend your valuable time clearing up their manky meals, but after two days of drinking coffee out of a bowl and cereal with a fork, you have the choice: wash it up or starve. Their room is a museum of crusty plates lined up on the desk, and mouldy mugs stewing like a science experiment. SOLUTION: Be honest. So often, than address problems, which can create bitching, moaning and nothing from scratch, and suggest that everyone makes an effort to keep the place habitable, rather than singling anyone out. Perhaps consider a rota – but try to avoid the temptation to
The “Me, Me, Me”
This poor soul hasn’t yet grasped the concept of a conversation, preferring constant delightful anecdotes about themselves. Often starting with “well, on my gap year, I…” or “this one time, when I was drunk…”, their narcissistic ways are reducing the rest of you to grim silence. SOLUTION: Identify the main triggers of their verbal diarrhoea, and make a conscious effort to avoid them. Gap years, boyfriends/girlfriends and alcoholic escapades are common examples. Speak to them in terms that require a yes/no answer rather than a monologue. Keep your ing at the same time as them – just be sure to nod every now and then. Above all, give everyone a chance. If someone’s starting to really grate on you, wait a while before you stick the knife in. Everyone is anxiously trying to impress and as everything starts to settle down, it’s likely a lot of issues and behaviour will too. The people you live with are often the people who will become friends for life. So chill, embrace people for their weirdness and try to have fun!
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Y R E V O C RE
Here at Quench, we know as well as anyone how overwhelming the Freshers’ fortnight whirlwind can be. So, to save yourselves from hitting the real world with too much of a bump, here are our top ten tips to have you raring to go.
Sleep. Whether it’s in your own bed, in someone else’s bed, or on your kitchen But make sure you crawl out from under the covers at some point to do the following...
Drink lots of water. It will make you feel one hundred times better. It will also stop you from getting alcohol poisoning any time soon.
Get in with the societies. Join a society, it’s a must. Whether it is sports, student media, Act One, or even the Tea Party Society, there’s something for everyone. It’s a real opportunity for social recovery if you haven’t had a good Freshers’ week. If you’ve managed to sleep through all of the fayres, don’t A Berocca-a-day keeps the Freshers’ panic! Get yourself down to the Union to see what’s on offer. Remember, it’s all about healthy food as well as those delicious, late-night takeaways. Balance is best. No-one wants to pile on the pounds!
are usually unavoidable by-products of Freshers’. But take your vitamins, stock up on some painkillers, eat some fresh fruit and leafy greens, occasionally try to hit the pillow before 1am and you might just pull through. Oh, and don’t forget... please use a condom.
Get out and about. Bute and Roath Parks are the biggest and best places in town to escape halls for some fresh air (your room may smell a bit stale after hours of partying). Fresh air can help kill that hangover, and with a few bangers on the BBQ (weather permitting) and a couple of mates in tow, you’ll be back on form in no time. Or, if you’re not feeling too fragile... a few cheeky ciders in the sun!
Get to know your housemates. They are the ones who will be around to let you in when you’ve lost your keys, console you when you have just done that dreaded walk of shame and, more often than not, share the pain of your hangover. Getting communal could also help you on the money front. So share food, share stories and cwtch up Socialise sober. Drunken nights are not always the best way to meet on that sofa. people. Find a good hangout place for the morning after. That way you will not face complete social doom if you have embarrassed yourself the night Avoid the post-Freshers’ pinch. Money before. Catch up on last night’s antics, share stories and try to piece together like water during Freshers’. So if you those lost hours. haven’t spent your entire loan in
freebies, walk instead of taking taxis everywhere and don’t feel like you have to buy everyone drinks to make Go to your lectures! Not only is it why friends. And guys, don’t be lazy with your supermarket shopping; a further also a great way to meet people with similar interests to you. Who knows, you might even learn something!
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Are you not entertained? by Rachel Moloney
was complaining not so long ago about the horrendous
Cumberbatch’s words were angrily received by a legion of Downton fans, who were quick to label him a ‘Cumberbitch.’ This ingenious nickname wouldn’t have happened three
ever series of Gossip Girl (Blake Lively seems too busy marrying Ryan Reynolds), I’m dying to know if Carrie’s memory will return in Homeland (Claire Danes is too busy being pregnant) and there’s been an Olympics-shaped hole in
and with two Sherlock series done and dusted, that’s all a bit ironic now.
Nevertheless, there is a little shimmer on the TV horizon that will just have to do in the meantime. Incapable of coming up with any new and original ideas, BBC and ITV are sticking to their predictable Saturday night formulas, with Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor trundling slowly towards
of Frankenstein on the London stage; a trophy that he had to share with co-star Jonny Lee Miller. They took it in turns to play the ultimate bad guy, whether you think that’s Frankenstein or the monster he created, in a greatly received adaption directed by Olympics’ mastermind Danny Boyle.
been that long!), there’s been a familiar page in the TV guide, as these two giants persistently battle it out in the ratings war. However, it’s not all sparkles and glamour, and there’s always a bit of controversy lurking in the wings. From Brendan Cole’s tantrums to Frankie “Casanova” Cocozza, both shows revel in a touch of the sordid and continue to intrigue everyone with their unexpected dramas and backstage antics. The ‘musical chairs’ game that the judging panel seemingly play is an endless source of both amusement and controversy. While Craig’s ‘cha-cha’s and Len’s ‘Sevvvenn’s have been Strictly’s history, it’s been
macabre to his opening ceremony, with a gigantic Voldemort literature, he could have chosen some prim and proper The Famous Five, but instead felt that our glorious country would be summed up best by the most threatening villains imaginable. Well, that’s reassuring. So, with our obvious love of dark matters, it’s no wonder that Tim Burton has revamped Shelley’s popular tale in the
very public departure. Similarly, you never know who’s going to turn up on The X Factor, with Mel B, Rita Ora and Geri Halliwell all taking it in turns to cover for the main event: Nicole Scherzinger (who’s reportedly now facing the axe). No surprises there then. So why is it so hard for the BBC and ITV to hold onto their
dog Sparky, who dies and is then (excuse the pun) sparked back into life again by his loving master. Happily ever after? I don’t think so. Burton is the undisputed king of the odd and threatening, and adds an even more gothic tinge to proceedings with his
into their role and be comparatively worthy of that grotesque paycheck. But the women just come and go as they please, and their hasty exit really says little for the producers or stars themselves, who simply give the impression of having the attention span of a gnat. But it’s these shock dismissals and replacements that set the British public alight. Ultimately, we just can’t get enough of some dirty dealings, like Simon getting rid of Cheryl, or Kelly bitching with Tulisa, and above all, we love somebody to hate.
as The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride, it’s clear that there’s more to the tale than just adventure and
For instance, Benedict Cumberbatch, a thoroughly nice atrocious”. Now, I’m sure a lot of my friends would agree, as I remember my housemate commenting on my channel choice with “God Rach, my Nan watches this”. However,
crossed Johnny Depp off his contact list, he nevertheless manages to enlist the help of old favourites Christopher Lee Now, Winona is a talented actress and has starred in
Why is it so hard for the BBC and ITV to hold onto their female judges?
the public never tire of someone doing something bad, out of the ordinary or faintly rebellious. Whether it’s deliberately breaking the law, speaking out of term, or controversially industry will exploit it for all its worth on the big screen, small screen and news headlines.
“We’re lucky enough to be having quite a few career highlights lately.” Thom Green take time out from their busy
An Awesome Wave. Welcome to Wales! How are you dealing with the mud? Joe: Badly. We’re both wearing the exact same style trainer and it’s just not suited for the mud. Thom: These are made for running. Joe: They’re like Usain Bolt Puma trainers; they are made for track. Thom: Going to the athletes’ tents and hanging out. Not made for the mud in Wales.
So how would you guys describe your music yourselves? Tell me about some of Thom: We all have quite unique music tastes.
An Awesome Wave has been a massive success; you must be pretty busy right now. Haven’t you just come back from Holland? Joe: We drove here overnight and once we musically. That’s what’s really strong about Thom: I don’t think you can really tour as much as we are right now. As soon as we arrive
background; he was a chorister in a choir near
for the scale of the crowds. well with what I do when we sing together. He brings this early Renaissance charm to my that existed before the album existed would love like shock for us. So where do you go from here?
balance. There are songs on the album that cover some really interesting topics. What inspired you to write something like Taro, for example? Joe: I always say that you should only ever
as we can. It’s all about making new fans and
Time that means we might have money to make a second album. That’s what it’s all about. There’s lots of crazy terms being thrown around to describe your sound. Does stuff like ‘folk-step’ make you die inside?
we did. Thom: That’s why I’m not that keen on it;
I always say you should only ever write about what you’re interested moves you.
at university was an incubator for your centre. Did you all do art at Leeds? learnt how to work together quite naturally in a creative environment. Joe: It was always more about who we were with rather than where we were. We were together as friends and we realised that we together. There was an initial bonding as
this incredible musical chemistry. We weren’t
were very keen to have a video for Tessellate it was absolutely surreal. Christ. Joe: I’m really attached to Manchester as a
that was something we wanted to do for Tessellate an album. How did you come up with the idea for the Tessellate video?
cities that started to like us. They got there before other cities. But what’s really nice is going to cities that you’ve never been to before and our album had clearly been there for some
Obviously you’re touring a lot at the moment. Where are the best places to play?
What can we expect from your set this afternoon? We’d love to hear the album in its entirety. Or will there be any suprises? working on it for quite a long time and we’re
An Awesome Wave we can then move on to other things. But in the we feel like we’re still quite a young band in basics before we get ahead of ourselves and do
we’re big fans of outsourcing ideas. If we like was ridiculous; everyone in the audience gave it was like something out of the 1800s. It was incredible; the scenery and the weather were
enough to be having a few highlights lately.
AnEnglish Rose Lucy Rose emerged on to the scene when she made sweet music with Bombay Bicycle Club. After touring successfully with the band, she focused on her own artistry and
Words: Daisy Payne
album, recorded in her childhood home belonging to her parents.
Lucy, how was your summer? Green Man was insane, Reading and Leeds was overwhelming. Bestival was so good, last one of the whole summer. Such a massive tent, but a vibey gig and the weather was so lovely, which made it all so much sweeter. What was working with Bombay Bicycle Club like? So good. A brilliant experience, learnt They make incredible music, and to be on eight tracks of their last album was just so awesome. I’m sure it has; Jack is such a great writer, they have really inspired me. I certainly want to work with them in the future.
, which is out this week? I decided to record it in my parents’ house, and it was just an amazing experience to record in the family room. We recorded the drums in the village hall, we booked in after the WI! So rock and roll. What’s the future for you? Touring Europe for two weeks with the band, which should be great and then the UK tour for a month or two, and coming to Cardiff on November 16th, which I really can’t wait for. Absolutely. I think it’s going to be different, but come Christmas I really hope to take some time to write and make more music.
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n do on Te
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Unique for Topshop
Jacqueline Kilikita shows you how to carry your summer trends into the next season.
The Dip-Hem If a dip-hem hasn’t made it into your wardrobe this year, then shame on you! The draped back hem presented designers and fashionistas alike with a This season, however, sees our inner ethereal princess getting in touch with her darker side by simply adding a pair of chunky, black, peep toe boots and a studded clutch bag to bring attention to the
edgier, shorter front hem. Toughening up your acceswith a severe, almost bikerchic look, showcased by both Versace and Vivienne Westwood. The new dip-hem style has been described by Grazia magazine’s fashion researcher as “harsher, more in your face and the newest, most dramatic clubbing look.” Well, if the fashion pack thinks so…
£14, new look
EMBELLISHMENT £19.99, new look
What girl doesn’t love a bit of sparkle? Adorning caftans and sandals with embellishment was huge last season; even with the arrival of Autumn and Winter, the colder months cannot dull the shine of this gem of a trend. Make like a magpie and encrust neutral-coloured winter coats with twinkling brooches to truly beat the winter blues. Surprisingly, charity shops are
your best bet to hunt down any brooches or pins to revive last year’s drab, chunky-knit sweaters, and with Cardiff’s Albany Road hailed as Wales’ charity shop mecca, you’re bound to bag a jewel or two. Embellished collars are also hot on the high street, with the likes of ASOS and Topshop delving into their
£27, miss selfridge
Summer fashion saw designers making sweeping statements, injecting both glitz and glamour into what would present the world of fashion with covetable and collectable garments. But with any trace of the sun rapidly dwindling, some aspects of summer style are refusing to budge. The most failsafe summer pieces are seeping into our Autumn/Winter wardrobes and it looks like they’re certainly here to stay.
JEWEL AND BERRY HUES Jewel and berry tones instantly warm up and energise neutral colours that at this time of year. And with the sunshine having been nonexistent, garnet hues are a great way to hold onto sunset colours. Bridge the fashion gap between Summer and Autumn by pairing skinny jeans and an oversized sweater with
these rich oxblood ankle boots. Use them to showcase navy and browns to ensure you don’t put a foot wrong when stepping into the cold. Be the jewel in the crown of dull and drab lecture theatres with oversized statement bags in reds or purples. Complementing all skin tones, these colours are dramatic
£29.99, Dorothy perkins
£45, miss selfridge
BLACK LACE Channel your inner goth by reversing summer lace’s offwhite hue into striking black. With the high street ordering lace items in bulk, it’s easy to get this look wrong by than one piece. The trick lies in layering. Simply team staple pieces
like a plain coloured vest with this pretty-in-black lace blazer, £25 from New Look, or tuck a sheer blouse into this beautiful lace pencil skirt for a smart yet smouldering look. Gothic lace has been hot on the catwalks at both Etro and Gucci with ASOS even dedicating its debut
LLD (little lace dress) to the of you who are feeling creative, Cardiff Market boasts a horde of stalls selling pocket-friendly lace-style material. Use strips as an instant make-shift waist-cinching belt or to accessorise the handles of your handbag.
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Grit & Glamour As inspired by designers such as Kurt Geiger, the leather look is on the rise this autumn. Leather trousers and jackets are key pieces for your wardrobe, with zips, lace and chains all featuring in this punky look. Many shops are releasing faux leather, wet-look leggings and leather-look trousers for the same leathery effect. These affordable, high-street leggings, £18 from Topshop, will look great this autumn teamed with frills, lace and
Studded wedge boot: £40, Boohoo.com Studded box clutch: £20, Boohoo.com
Black studded plimsolls: £8.99, New Look
nail this season’s colour trends in one single stroke The hysteria surrounding nail art means it’s becoming a brand new craze in its own right. Treat your talons by experimenting with the newest, most covetable autumn/winter shades. Ready, steady, paint!
Rimmel Lasting Finish Nail Polish in Your Majesty, £2.99, Superdrug. Metallics are set to be huge this season, and with Rimmel’s molten steel polish, you’ll be shining despite the dull weather.
Revlon Nail Enamel in Vixen, £6.49, Superdrug. D&G and Balmain are hot for berry hues this autumn. Models teamed black cherry polish with blood red lips for a ‘just bitten’ look.
Barry M nail paint in 47 Black, and Silver Multi-Glitter £2.99, Superdrug.
Miss Sporty in Raspberry Clubbing, £1.99, Superdrug. Opt for jewel tones such as Miss Sporty in Raspberry, a shade seen adorning the nails of models at New York and London Fashion Week. This single pot of polish oozes all the sophistication you’ll need come winter. Jacqueline Kilikita
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home £15, m&S
By the end of Freshers’ Week, most of us are feeling pretty messy and burnt out, with that
to hit us all. First-year bedrooms can feel small begin to build and pizza boxes begin to mount, but don’t let the hangovers dither in your bedrooms; create a bright and cosy room for winter with a few simple touches.
£15, BHS £16, cath kidston
Layer up your bed with different textures and patterns. Dark blooms and are big trends this winter, so why bedroom with some classic prints and flowery patterns.
Cath Kidston in halls, you can rinse the heating at no cost to yourself. But once you start paying your own bills, you may want to invest in some cosy throws. Or create yourself a warm and homely haven from lectures with some sweetsmelling scented candles.
£8, john lewis
£10, tesco £8, BHS
and prints can light up your room from gloomy to glorious!
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WHAT IT MEANS TO BE
LGBT+ When you think of being LGBT+, you probably think of a range of differing stereotypes. You may well think gay men are camp, lesbians are butch and even that bisexual people are confused. These ideas are formed from a lack of understanding, further reinforced through the media. Transgender and transsexual people suffer from a similar misconception, that they are “probably just going through a phase”, while asexual people just haven’t met the right person yet. Although this can sometimes be the case (it is undeniable that some gay men can be very camp), it is wrong to assume that we are all the same. We are individuals, studying different degrees, with personal hopes and dreams for
some colleagues after work. There were some new people who had just recently
sexuality or gender.
Things like gay pride, gay icons and having areas of cities dedicated to gay people can create the impression that we’re somehow different from straight people, that we spend all our time living in a ‘gay bubble’. Of course, gay pride and campaigning does wonders
” What is the same about us, though, is that, like straight and cisgendered (your gender matches your biological sex) people, we all have the ability to love, whatever our sexual orientation. We experience the same crushes, attractions and fantasies. We can be The other day, I went to the pub with
TALKING ABOUT MY
GENDER-ATION Quench about trans* issues and identities
It has always been somewhat amusing being a part of the LGBT community. But that’s only been because of one thing. Did you know that, out of all those letters, ‘T’ is not a sexuality? No; Transgender, Transsexual, Transvestite, Gender Fluid and Intersex (though the latter two don’t begin with T) are all under the umbrella term Trans*, but have no effect on what sex you take to your bed (or for a candle-lit dinner). Nonetheless, it is a part of the same community because of the amount of support and understanding we get from other protected characteristics. We’re family, man. I digress. Being transsexual myself, the same question pops up. ‘What is the difference between transgender and transsexual?’. To put it in basic terms, it is what one would identify themselves as between the ears (transgender) and between the legs (transsexual). It can be tedious waking up and asking yourself, “Why is my brain in the wrong body?”
or like a bellybutton, “why do I have an inny instead of an outy?”. These morning calls are only temporary for most people, and that’s why we are called ‘Trans’. We transition into the gender or sex we were meant to be born because, one day, Mother Nature thought she’d spice life up a bit and set a challenge for one in four thousand members of the human race in the UK. I gasp! Didn’t you know? We are human, honest! The video game of life just set
It is legit that women suffer with them. Plus, it is a funny word to say randomly. I, as a man, can understand the pain
level 23 (23 years old). Previous levels made me lose friends and family, but there are many others playing the same ‘game’ who lose more than that, like their home, job and children. It’s not all bad though. Yes, there are the ‘fun’ times of hormone therapy, surgery and sometimes unpleasant social interaction, but I like to look at it like this. Being a transman has allowed me to understand women on a level no man-by-birth can understand. Periods!
of periods. There are not many men who can say that, or understand or experience other gender-related issues. I have lived in both worlds: Venus and Mars. However, one question will always remain unanswered. Does it hurt more to give birth or to be kicked in the testicles? Don’t try this at home.
and, therefore, they didn’t know I was gay (although they may well have guessed!). The conversation turned to people we thought were nice, in more ways than one. I openly started talking about men and I didn’t explain that I was gay; in fact, I don’t think the word “gay” was spoken at all. It’s very normal for me to be gay. It’s natural and I don’t feel strange or weird or different in any way. Of course, if everyone else I’m with is straight, then I suppose I will be somewhat different, but I certainly don’t feel unusual. I’m used to be being gay. This is simply who I am. Being gay is a very small,
but it does make us stand out a bit, sometimes unnecessarily so, because we’re still human. Whether we fall under the category of L, G, B, T or + is only factual. We are are lot more than this, just living our normal lives.
The Culture Review - ArtLiteratureDanceTheatre -
Cultural Calendar October
SLADE COLUMN OF ART
A new year and a whole lot to get excited about culture-wise in Cardiff. With so much going on this season, in the upcoming issues I will give you my guide to what not to miss and how to get the most out of Cardiff’s extensive community of culture. This week, it is all about what the Sherman Cymru are offering up this coming season. The Sherman Cymru...
Often mistaken for the library or part of the SU, the Sherman is not to be overlooked. After undergoing a £6.5 million revamp, it provides you with access to new and exciting theatre from local writers right on your doorstep. This season, there is a host of unmissable productions, as well as some exciting festivals. With half-price tickets for under-25s, there is no excuse not to pay the Sherman a visit.
October 9th–13th October 15th–20th Afrovibes’ ‘ Festival Cymru plays host to the stimulating, challenging, thought-provoking African festival. Afrovibes is a festival of contemporary theatre, dance, spoken word and music from South Africa. On top of that, the foyer will be transformed into a Township café, with the cuisine provided by African restaurant Tribe Tribe. The Director of UK Arts International, Jan Ryan, describes how “Afrovibes is a festival that connects artists in the UK with artists in South Africa”. Afrovibes is set to be an exciting week of theatre, debates, late-night music and dance. Don’t miss And the Girls and Mother to Mother, two intensely thought-provoking shows.
Yellow Moon & The Monster in the Hall productions Yellow Moon and The Monster in the Hall have toured together, and will be performed at the Sherman as part of their UK tour this October. Written by David Greig and directed by Guy Holland, both plays are imaginative and passionate portrayals of the turbulent lives of young people.
In the Spotlight...
Through McGuinness’s manipulation of insight, detailed layers of characterisation are developed as the narrative progresses. Within his novel,
recommend you check his stuff out. A group to watch, however, is JiB Studio and their furniture range. “My initial inspiration for Credenza O came from the sporadic assortment of plants and pots at home,” explains Londonbased Korean designer Je-Uk Kim, founder of JiB Studio and creator of the Credenza O planter unit, which has circular pots, handcrafted by ceramicist Sun Kim. “It got me thinking about furniture with storage function behind the doors and also a surface for plants, books, objects.” Their furniture, and many of their other designs, appears to rely upon the distinct lacquering and contrasting ‘natural’ oak surfaces. This combination of opposition produces a
A look at the Wales Book of the Year winner, Patrick McGuinness, who has given himself The Last Hundred Days. Patrick McGuinness is a renowned poet whose body of work contains a depth of stylistic and thematic variety. Born in Tunisia, but now living in Wales, he entered the world of contemporary The Last Hundred Days, last year. Once published, his work received huge critical acclaim, being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2011, and earlier this year, he was named the Wales Book of the Year winner. I don’t think any writer could ask for a better debut as a novelist, being received with such widespread recognition. However, McGuinness is no novice; he writes with impressive clarity, which gives his work an autobiographical element that injects a strong sense of realism into his narrative. His novel, The Last Hundred Days, is set in Bucharest in 1989 in the midst of the Romanian Revolution that marked the end of
here are some things that I really love, and one of them is good design. Not only does it make something look seamless and integrated, but often (and at its best) it comes with functionality at its core. The London Design Festival closed its doors last week, but they were closed on some really exciting pieces. I don’t want you to think that this is just going to ramble on about abstract design philosophies – this is just about appreciating good design for being good. The best place to start is perhaps with Hugh Leader-Williams. He is a recent graduate and member of the Anvil Collective, producing pieces that perfectly highlight the notion of simplicity. His furniture designs are made using easy
McGuinness aims to depict the oppression the Romanian people faced, and his sharpness of perception gives the novel an underlying sense of authenticity. Throughout the narrative, McGuinness scatters his prose with powerful imagery; Bucharest is “a heat-beaten brutalist maze whose walls and towers melted like sugar”. His use of diction is short yet cutting, which creates a lasting impression, as such strong images stay imprinted on your mind. In his novel, McGuinness establishes himself as an accomplished writer who seeks to portray the complexities of the human condition. Such an idea is summed up by the English language judge for the Wales Book of the Year, Spencer Jordan, who describes how McGuinness’s novel “explores the very human cost when society itself begins to self-destruct”. It is this attention to detail, expressed with clarity and realism, that makes The Last Hundred Days a haunting read, and sets McGuinness up as a name to remember in contemporary literature. Jess Rayner
Kim, who has lived in London and studied in the US, Denmark and the Netherlands said, “some have told me the Credenza looks Korean, others say Scandinavian or European.” But I think the truth is that you can see all three Scandinavian, but the perfect mess of pots or books clearly speaks to the natural disorder of the family home. I do think, however, that, from an indulgent perspective, I am quite excited by Samuel Wilkinson. It is the diversity and the dynamism of his pieces that make him so exciting. His Mantis desk is particularly interesting, as well as some of his lighting designs. The highlight is, however, Blome. And this is completely contrary to my love of functionality and my geeky tendencies kick in. sic] in a jar, for which you control its climate, water level and nutrients. Completely against my love of the unordered vegetable gardens I grew up with, but just take a look at it and try not to fall in love. This is only a fraction of what the festival has to names that interested my design feelers. Luke Slade
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Wanderlust ...but no money?
Quench Travel is here to give you the best tips to be a thrifty traveler and to tell you all about the best deals for travelling across the UK and Europe.
Food is one of the things travellers spend a lot of money on, even without noticing it. The best thing to do is to organise: give yourself one or two meals to try the local traditional dishes and, for all the others, look for good deals in the supermarkets. In the UK, for example, most of the supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Poundland have sandwiches and other quick meals for just £1. If you’re travelling in a group, remember to shop in a group since the amount you buy gets cheaper when divided by more people. The NUS card – or student card – already gives you some good discounts, but the NUS extra card is a very good saver for trips. For only £12, it offers you numerous discounts, such as zero booking fees at HostelWorld; two extra days of travel with EuRail when buying a 15-day pass; 25% off on all National Express coaches within the UK; 11% off on the cost of the 16-25 RailCard; and 10% off on Megabus, among many others.
If you are wondering how to get to another city in the UK, Megabus is what you are looking for! As a low-cost company, a single journey can cost only £1 when booked several weeks in advance, and every Wednesday, all journeys on English and Welsh routes cost no more than £5. Even if you don’t manage to get these bargains, the journeys’ prices are still very affordable. For example, a two-way journey from Cardiff to London usually costs £14. Luckily enough, this will also include free Wi-Fi during the entire trip. Moreover, Megabus also connects Cardiff with other European cities such as Amsterdam, Boulogne, Brussels and Paris. This is an excellent opportunity to visit Europe for a bargain! Just remember: the earlier you book your journeys, the cheaper.
If you are more of a train traveller, however, then the 16-25 Railcard is for you! It costs £28 for a year or £65 for three years, and it saves you 1/3 off rail fares across Britain. This includes all Standard and First Class Advance Tickets, long and short trips, any day of the year. However, if you travel at or before 10am on Monday to Friday, then the £12 minimum fare will be applied. Furthermore, with the 16-25 Railcard, you can also get other discounts such as on accommodation or on some of the UK touristic attractions. www.nus.org.uk www.megabus.co.uk www.16-25railcard.co.uk Helena Lins
Quench Travel always tries to keep track of the best travel deals and savings! So don’t miss ‘Pssssssst!’ for secret little tips.
Today’s tip: if you’re planning some travel, make sure to check out the deals on the Travel section of studentbeans.com before you buy any tickets.
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Cardiff’s Cultures our university has some great cultural societies for you join, and here is a look into some of them. The curse of being a student is having long holidays and itchy feet but not having the money to do anything with them. Thankfully, Cardiff University has plenty of societies that celebrate different cultures – joining up may not be the same as a three-month tour of Vietnam, but these societies’ events and socials are a great opportunity to meet people from different places and get involved in everything from reggae nights to Chinese New Year. MALAYSIAN SOCIETY: Having won ‘Best Society’ for three years running, Cardiff’s Malaysian Society is a fun and active society dedicated not just to welcoming Malaysian students to Cardiff, but also allowing Cardiff to enjoy Malaysian culture. One of the society’s execs, Hana Hamaz, describes what they get up to: “Being a multiracial country, our society organises festivals including Eid, Diwali and Chinese New Year”. Though the society holds many events throughout the year, one of the most popular is the Festival of Diversity, which involves a musical show to “promote Malaysia’s unique and diverse cultural background to an audience from different countries”. Student Action for Refugees (STAR) is a volunteer organisation that operates in universities around the UK – here in Cardiff, STAR’s volunteer projects and events are always a great way to mix with people from all over the world without leaving Glamorgan! Here, STAR runs a weekly drop-in centre and English lessons for refugees, as well as plenty of cultural events: “this is a great way to make friends from all around the world and hear their stories,” explains STAR’s president Hanna Gretton. “Our highlight each year is Refugee Rhythms, a night for students and refugees to eat together and celebrate with music from around the world”.
NORTHERN SOCIETY: “The Northern Society attempts to bring together Northerners and provide an opportunity to meet, greet and live it up with your Northern kin... We want you to join us in our quest to show Cardiff what the north is all about,” says the Northern Society’s President, Jay Rourke. Although aimed at uniting people from northern England and Scotland, the Northern Society is open to all who want to meet some northern folk, or just fancy a pie and some pints.
Here are some Cardiff’s other cultural societies: African Caribbean Society Arab Society Asian Society Bulgarian Society Canadian Society Chinese Society French Society German Society Hong Kong Society Japanese Society Kazakh Society Kenyan Society Korean Society Libyan Society Nigerian Society Pakistani Society Saudi Society Spanish and Italian Society Turkish Society YUVA Indian Society Welsh Society Heather Arnold
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In Support of
New Music Words: Rosey Brown Photo: hyekab25 It’s a new academic year, a new-look Quench, and a new team of editors in the music section. What better time for a fond declaration of the importance of new music? This train of thought all started a few weeks ago, when my father turned on the TV, and on came the UK Top 40. We watched in silence for a while, and then he spoke… “I haven’t heard of any of these people.” His tone was a mixture of shock and aggravation. Meanwhile, a scantily clad Nicki Minaj wriggled across the screen. “This is terrible.” It had happened to him, just as it will happen to all of us one day. He had fallen behind the times. It’s just like Grampa Simpson says:
“I used to be with it, but then they changed what *it* was. Now what I’m with isn’t *it*, and what’s *it* seems weird and scary to me. It’ll happen to you...” It’s a common phenomenon, the rejection of new music by the older generations. It’s true that certain things do mature with age. Fine wines, good cheese, certain male
celebrities. This article isn’t condemning classic rock, or any old music; it’s an appeal to those who write off the music of today without giving it a proper chance. The problem is, as people get older, they have more responsibilities, and things that they once had time for (such as building up music collections) fall by the wayside. Then, when they do get time to listen to the radio, it’s the mainstream, highly polished, big-bucks club tunes. I’ll be honest... that Nicki Minaj video was pretty terrible, in my opinion. So why is this stuff in the charts? The output of new music is affected by a lot of factors, and the recession in particular plays a big part on the output of new music. In our current economic climate, the population are feeling the pinch, and with piracy sites galore online, people aren’t buying nearly as many albums
the blanket statement, “music is terrible these days.” If you have ever thought this, just remember that we often look back at music from the past through a haze of nostalgia. It is easy to forget all the terrible songs that were on the radio at the time, and cherish only the truly great hits. But twenty years from now, the same thing will have happened to music from 2012. It’ll be interesting to see what history chooses to remember. The 21st century is such an exciting time for new music, in so many ways. The internet has created a platform accessible to everyone; now, any aspiring musician can record demos, set up a website, and get their music heard. Music equipment and technology is becoming cheaper and easier to use; there is more music being made than ever but if you look (and listen) hard enough, you are sure to
industry means labels have less cash to splash, and thus their choices are more conservative. Music becomes more and more derivative as label bosses stick to what they know. In an age when music is increasingly commercialised and the charts appeal to the lowest common denominator, it’s
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up-and-coming bands by buying their music. Music is the expression of the age we live in. Let’s remember something good.
GRIZZLY BEAR SHIELDS (WARPED RECORDS) 17.09.12 Upon hearing Sleeping Ute,
Shields, followers of Grizzly Bear were understandably getting quite excited. Dense percussion textures, twisting guitar lines and a characteristically unconventional structure all pointed towards a very pleasing follow-up to 2009’s highly praised Veckatimest. On the whole, the rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. The achieved a happy medium between their more abstract and kooky side and their more poppy alter ego. Where they sat quite uncomfortably next
to each other on Veckatimest, these two sides appear to have come together to create a more homogenous sound, particularly evident on the second single, Yet Again. Although it is lyrically quite simplistic, the warm, lush guitars and layered drum patterns create a beautiful soundworld, while the instrumental breakdown at the end is an unexpected yet wonderful surprise. On the whole, Shields is building on the qualities and ideas that were present on Veckatimest, but in a more coherent fashion. KD
THE VACCINES COME OF AGE (COLUMBIA) 17.09.12 With the title Come of Age, one might expect The Vaccines to deliver a more mature, more cohesive record with fewer indie clichés than present on their debut, What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? The band also expressed an interest in becoming more of a rock band on this album, and you could argue that they have achieved some success here. Some pretty tasteful guitar work courtesy of Freddie Cowan and a driving rhythm section ensures a more classic rock sound. However, the whole album is littered with
tired indie rock archetypes, in both the instrumentation and lyrics. And while this album may rock harder, it is decidedly lacking in memorable
THE XX COEXIST (XL) 10.09.12
No Hope, with its Bob Dylanlike vocal delivery and lazy guitar strumming really sticks in your head. This is not a bad album, there is just nothing to distinguish it from countless other indie rock albums, and any personality it does display seems to be constantly paying homage to its predecessors. KD
ché, but ask The XX or Mumford & Sons and they will probably agree that it exists. How do you compete with the hype generated by a debut globally and passionately loved by the public and critics alike? Do you repeat the unique formula and hope that you still sound fresh, or go in a different direction and hope that you haven’t lost your touch? Both bands have eagerly awaited albums out this month after emerging from nowhere with well-loved debuts in 2009, and both have clearly done the former. In the case of Mumford & Sons, according to Ben Lovett, there was a realisation that ‘‘people dig what we’re doing’’ and that there was a need to ‘‘make something robust, with that energy’’. This time, the band have made it clear
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE CENTIPEDE HZ (DOMINO) 03.09.12 Animal Collective’s ninth EP, Centipede HZ, sees the return of Josh “Deakin” Dibb, who was absent for their last endeavour, the critically acclaimed Merriweather Post Pavillion of 2009. Centipede HZ is perhaps less accessible; it feels more frantic, almost schizophrenic in places. Each song is connected to the next by static and random samples, making the whole album a kind of colourful patchwork of techno. It’s like a selection of short stories, each requiring your full attention and preferably your eyes closed for full immersion into the richness of the
MUMFORD & SONS BABEL (GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD/ISLAND RECORDS)
soundscape. Catchy tracks include fruit-obsessed yodelling in Applesauce, and Rosie Oh’s quirky, dove-like cooing synths. “I’m holding the choice as she grows life from its stem,” sings Deakin, over the drones and mesmerising Indian rhythms of Wide Eyed. The sincerity of the album’s vocals ral voices seem to wholly believe their cryptic mumbo-jumbo. This, contrasted with aggressive sampling and time signature changes galore, makes Centipede HZ a bizarrely beautiful creation. RB
their energetic live performances, and it is the more anthemic songs at which they excel. The album is full of the rousing, foot-stomping anthems in the vein of The Cave, which has made them a live favourite. Listen to lead single I Will Wait or Broken Crown for proof and you’ll remember why they became so popular. Its Babel’s quieter moments that tend to lag. There is nothing to match the more introverted strength of White Blank Page, and it is in the
8/10 5/10 24.09.12
various quieter ballads that the album threatens to sound like a tired carbon copy of their debut. However, there are some truly brilliant songs on here be disappointed by this second effort. The XX, on the other hand, have made an album that also uses the same winning formula as their debut with great success. When you have a sound as perfectly crafted as The XX, it is easy to understand the reluctance to branch out and luckily here, while nothing has really changed since their debut, Coexist still has the same freshness and beauty without sounding tired at all. If anything, it is possible to hear a development in the band’s technical and lyrical ability that makes Coexist sound like a platform for the band to fully unleash the potential that they showed in their debut. Easily one of 2012’s best. SS
This Fortnight’s Highlights 07.10. Oxjam Womanby Street takeover – “A variety of and more”. Visit www.oxjamcardifftakeover.co.uk
Hullabaloo + Fjords + Nine Lights + The Phantom Light
09.10. Carducci Quartet – a taste of top notch culture, very cheap for students at Cardiff University Concert Hall. 10.10. Hip-hop trio Foreign Beggars bring their fusion of electronica and rap to Clwb Ifor Bach. 11.10. Sunderland’s Field Music perform songs from their Mercury Prize nominated album Plumb at Clwb Ifor Bach.
of their debut EP, Landslide. Combining guitars and brass, Hullaballoo always deliver a packed and lively gig that is guaranteed to get you on your feet. Possibly Cardiff’s answer to Madness. email@example.com · @quenchmusic
THE BRECON BEACONS
Words: Rosey Brown and Kit Denison | Photos: Jo Southerd and George Cheng
The Green Man Festival
has come far from its humble origins as a tiny, one-day event held indoors. 2012 saw it celebrate its 10th birthday in style, with 15,000 people, an amazing spread of acts, and to top it all off, a glorious backdrop of misty Welsh mountains. Originally dealing exclusively in folk, the festival has branched out over the years, with this summer’s headliners (Mogwai, Van Morrison and Feist) showing the variety available. There was an abundance of musical treats to enjoy over the four stages. Green Man’s main stage, appropriately dubbed the Mountain stage, hosted dozens of big names in the worlds of folk, rock and pop. Friday witnessed post-rock giants Mogwai induce the audience into a trance-like state with their dense, distorted guitar textures. It did, however, seem somewhat of an anti-climax, following an intense set from Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. Although Malkmus’ current output is perhaps not as fresh as when he was recording with indie icons Pavement, it still sounded stuffed with youthful energy. Probably the highlight of the festival was the wonderful tUnEyArDs, who had everyone dancing along with their groove-driven and highly infectious songs. Frontwoman Merrill Garbus is, without doubt, one of the most fascinating characters in music today; her captivating personality and vocal acrobatics ensured that she not only entertained her current fans, but also gained many more. After such an incredible set, Feist’s comparatively mellow pop-rock could have been a disappointing end to the
weekend. Thankfully, her live sound was considerably rawer than on record and, unexpectedly, quite bluesy. Elsewhere, the festival’s second stage, Far Out, was home to numerous bands on the up, including Stealing Sheep (pictured top right), TOY and Errors. Alt-J (pictured bottom right) have been attracting huge audiences to all of their festival shows this year, and Green Man was no exception; they completely packed out the tent thanks to the success of their recently released debut album, An Awesome Wave. Don’t miss Quench’s interview with the band on page 8. A few better-established acts also performed on the stage. The Tallest Man on Earth headlined on the he is actually quite short). Flailing passionately with his guitar, his honest songs had the huge crowd singing along. Chai Wallahs proved itself to be far more than simply a café with a stage, showcasing some of the most innovative music at the festival. Highlights included Dizraeli and The Small Gods, who by incredible beatboxing from female world champion Bellatrix. Also adding to the feel-good mood were King Porter Stomp with some funky ska, Yes Sir Boss with beats and brass, Hidden Orchestra with their dual-drumming pyrotechnics, and Polaroid 85 with their piano-led, soulful drum ‘n’ bass. The site also included a fun science area called Einstein’s Garden for kids, a comedy tent and a cinema tent, which, in addition to
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bands. These all proved extremely popular with soggy punters, providing some respite from the unrelenting rain on Friday and Saturday. However, the wet weather did not dampen the spirits of the festival goers: a healthy mixture of students and teens, families and folky-types. While the festival appeared to have maintained at least a Welsh talent on offer. Aberystwyth’s Georgia Ruth was one of the few Welsh acts to make an appearance over the weekend. Fortunately, her brand of harp-laden folk left a lasting impression on the audience at the charming Walled Garden stage. Further Welsh folk exploration came from Pen Pastwn, who played the Far Out stage on Saturday, while a slightly mediocre alternative rock set came from Islet on Sunday. As one of the largest Welsh festivals, shouldn’t there be more emphasis on supporting local musicians, rather than attracting so many international artists? In spreading its wings, is Green Man losing sight of its traditional roots and core principles? But thankfully, Green Man still holds a lot of alternative ideals. It lacks the hectic atmosphere of many of the bigger festivals this summer, thanks to its manageable size and lush garden surroundings. With an emphasis on independent businesses and trade, Green Man Festival provides a welcome alternative to the increasingly corporate experience of larger festivals. In both its approach to music and its mountainous setting, Green Man Festival is a breath of fresh air.
CINEMA SEARCH 1. FILM SOC & FILMCLUB Students’ Union, Park Place CF10 3QN 029 2078 1400
2. CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE Market Road, Canton CF5 1QE 029 2031 1050 chapter.org
2 4. CINEWORLD Mary Ann Street, CF10 2EN 0871 200 2000 cineworld.co.uk
3. VUE Stadium Plaza, Wood Street CF10 1LA 0871 224 0240 myvue.com -
5. ODEON Red Dragon Centre, Hemingway Road, CF10 4JY 0871 224 4007 odeon.co.uk
UNI: MOVIES VS REALITY
IN A CINEMA NEAR YOU
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET DIRECTOR: STARRING: RATING:
SINISTER Release date: October 5th HATES HATES Amy Pay
RUBY SPARKS Release date: October 12th
NOW IS GOOD DIRECTOR: ON THE ROAD Release date: October 12th
On the Road
HIT AND RUN Release date: October 12th
FRANKENWEENIE Release date: October 12th
MADAGASCAR 3D: EUROPE’S WANTED Release date: October 19th
PITCH PERFECT Release date: October 19th
With thanks to
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Release date: 19th October
Release date: January
Five films for... a FRESHERS’ HANGOVER
C B A
WelshCuisine Words: Gwenllian Rees
a daunting experience, especially from a strict cooking perspective, you need to let go of the fear of
taking chances. One of them would be embracing your new home culture and immersing yourself into the Welsh experience. Here’s a must for any student that comes to Wales – to know how to make the famous Welsh cakes. Somewhere between a cake and a biscuit, this consistent dessert is healthy, easy to prepare and can successfully complement a cup of tea or milk. We rolled up our sleeves and got into the kitchen to offer you a demonstration of how to master Welsh desserts’ most beaten but not unattractive path. All the utensils you need before getting started would be a medium-sized bowl, a spoon and a pan. After, you might need to consider some washing-up liquid and an empty stomach.
Welsh cuisine may not be the most well-known in the world; in fact, it may be non-existent to those new to the region. Cardiff, by being the capital, is a fantastic place to experience it; while managing to embrace new cultures through the vast array of cuisines it has to offer, it still remains Welsh at heart. The most well known dish is “cawl”, which can be described as a stew of vegetables and meat (usually lamb), accompanied by cheese and bread, and traditionally eaten on St David’s Day. The recipe customarily contains leeks, an emblem of the country, making it all the more Welsh. It also contains lamb, something the country certainly doesn’t lack! Cawl is especially ideal for students in offering a taste of the country’s cuisine in an easy, affordable and nutritious way. Its ingredients consist mainly of vegetables, which are healthy, but – most importantly – really cheap to buy! And for those who aren’t exactly experts at cooking – and even for those who haven’t cooked for themselves before – rest assured, cawl is a very simple meal to make. It is even easier if there is no meat included. There’s nothing better than a dish such as cawl to complement all the alcohol consumption that takes place during Freshers. As well as main dishes, there are
several charming Welsh desserts to try. Welsh cakes are a delectable dessert, and are essentially the tasty amalgamation of a cake and a biscuit. Alternatively, you could indulge in some “bara brith” (speckled bread in English), a delightful creation that fuses bread and cake to form an enjoyable and only mildly unhealthy dessert containing dried fruit and raisins. country’s beautiful landscape, with many of the ingredients homegrown and bred on the luscious green countryside. The fact that Wales is the smallest country in Great Britain doesn’t mean the cuisine it has to offer is in any way lacking. In fact, Cardiff Castle regularly hosts The Great British Cheese Festival (this year it takes place on the 22nd/23rd of September) with numerous homemade Welsh cheeses available to buy or sample. And although Wales doesn’t exactly have the warmest climate, surprisingly, there are several vineyards in the country where Welsh wine is produced, some even in the Cardiff area. Although the country’s cuisine is not extremely well known, hopefully living in Wales will give you the opportunity to discover it. Just dare to celebrate its characteristic food on occasions such as St David’s Day and why not, through events such as food festivals!
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Pice ar y Maen
ingredients (for 6-7 cakes)
75g caster sugar 1 egg ½ tbsp baking powder 50g diced butter and some extra for the greasing 75g sultanas a splash of milk spices: lemon peel and/or cinnamon (optional) a pinch of salt (if you use unsalted butter)
I II III
butter until it gets crumbly. Add the egg, the sugar and the sultanas, and work them into the mixture. If it seems too dry, just pour a spot of milk. Don’t forget about the cinnamon and the lemon peel. These are
Form small balls of dough, shape them and put them into the already greased and heated pan. Turn them on each side until they get a brownish colour – 3-4 minutes per side.
Remove the cakes from the pan and dust them with caster sugar. Enjoy!
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