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ISSUE 162

MARCH 2017 • LAURA MARLING • SUNDARA KARMA • WOMEN’S RUGBY • NINJAH •


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“Life is too short, and I got no time to sit around just wasting it.” Eminem

A LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR It’s September 2014. I arrive at the doors of Bute Building hungover, wearing last night’s clothes and not entirely sure what the next three years of my life would bring. The senior lecturer stood in front of masses of extremely hungover students, and exclaimed that “the next three years of your life will fly by” and how “we all had the ability to get a first.” As I sit here, just under three years later, any hopes of me gaining a first class degree may have disappeared (ha), but one thing which I am confident in saying, is that I can’t quite believe just how fast the past three years have gone. I won’t lie, I have made stupid decisions. The decision to put a knife into the toaster to scrape out the crumbs (idiot), the decision to kiss my housemate in fresher’s week (what an even bigger idiot) and the decision to put two sets of bike keys on the same keyring, only to go and lose them. My bike is still, and has been since September, attached to the drainpipe in my back garden (idiot x 10). There are, however, some things that I have done at university which have made the whole experience much less daunting. I have made friends for life, I have found my lovely girlfriend (in Glam of all places), and I have become a proud member of Cardiff Student Media. In first year, the prospect of joining any society made me nervous, yet the warmth and welcome I received upon joining the editorial team in 2015 convinced me that I had made the right decision. Writing this nearly three years on, I can honestly say that student media has helped me develop in more ways than one. It has helped develop my personal skills, my ability to manage a team effectively (debatable) and has cemented the fact that I really want a career in the journalism industry. If you’re nervous, like I was, and you want to join a society which is fun and rewarding, you should definitely think about joining student media. In this penultimate issue of Quench, we interview Cardiff legend Ninjah, discuss the social issues faced by women rugby players, and Laura Marling tells us about her new album and the difficulties associated with being a woman in the contemporary music industry. Last but not least, I’d like to thank our Digital Magazine Editor, Eleanor Parkyn, on a fantastic second issue of Q3. It’s really great- check it out. I hope you enjoy this issue. Let us know what you think @quenchmag. Much Love,

Editor-in-Chief: George Caulton Deputy Editor: Alice Dent Section Heads Features: Rachel Jefferies & Emma Riches International: Amica Phillips-Morris Culture: Hannah Hopkins & Beth Girdler-Maslen Creative: Sanja Dragojlov Music: Mark Sweeney, Sophie King & Erin Brown Food & Drink: Ellie Philpotts & Georgia O’Brien Travel: Gemma Gibson & Harriet Thornley Fashion: Jamila Gandhi & Megan David Video Games: Elis Doyle & Caspar Jayasekera Film & TV: Sadia Pineda Hameed, Naomi Davidson & Oliver Leigh Columnist: Molly Wyatt Design Team Head of Design : Jasper Wilkins Deputy Head of Design: Lisa Doran Lead Designer: Stephany Damyanova Page Designers: Eleanor Parkyn, Lucy Aprahamian, Sadia Pineda Hameed, Lisa Doran, Emma Riches and Sarah Thompson Contributing Artists: Tiffany Tong, Lisa Doran, Tom Morris, Undine Kalcenaua, Sarah Thompson, Meita Singgih Special thanks: to Erin Brown for tirelessly working away to find fantastic interview opportunities, Emma Riches for managing to juggle being a Features Editor and a great designer, Eleanor Parkyn for jumping in last minute to help with finalising designs. I’d also like to thank our lovely models, Ellie, Sarah and Oliver, for braving the Cardiff weather with us. And, last but not least, thanks as always to Jasper Wilkins, Alice Dent and Elaine Morgan.

George

This magazine was made with: Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer, Diplo’s In The Mix! February set, and a dash of David Bowie. Shoutout to Migos’ CULTURE for inspiring our cover.


Content 6

Enter the Ninjah

Cardiff’s most colourful local legend talks Sith superpowers, love spells and self-fulfilment.

10

Women’s Rugby

14

Scott McGlynn

Girls with balls.

34

36

Quench caught up with the celebrity blogger about his role in the LGBT community.

15 Photoshock

Naan of Your Business

Baati, butter chicken and tikka masala courtesy of Chai Street, Cardiff’s latest Indian restaurant.

Recipes of The World

Take your tastebuds around the globe.

38

Travel Bucket Lists

The first thing on my bucket list is to fill the bucket with VKs. Or you can go climb Everest or something, whatever.

Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Photoshop.

16

Trump & Women

40

Study Abroad

18

Street Art

42

Cultural Appropriation

Make Misogyny Great Again!

Cardiff graffiti artist Philip Morgan talks art in the urban jungle.

19 Musicals

Do you hear the people sing?

20

Quirky Museums

Do you wake up in the morning lusting for exclusive demonstrations of a working shave horse and pole lathe? High Wycombe Chair Museum’s got you covered.

22

Creative

23

Qpid’s Corner

24

Featuring The Founders by Christopher Jones. Whether you’re seeking The One or just lonely and horny, let Qpid be your wingman.

Laura Marling

All the latest from the Brit Award- winning folk singer ahead of her new album Semper Femina.

26

Album Reviews

Some people made some music this month. We tell you if it’s good or not.

28

Sundara Karma

The long-haired indie lads tell us all about music, their debut album and, erm, Magaluf.

32

Eating Out

Go away. Learn stuff. Make friends at parties by telling the birthday girl that she’s too white to wear a bindhi and her dreamcatcher tattoo is a crime against the entire Cherokee nation.

44

Celebrity Fashion Lines

For fuck’s sake stop making the Kardashians famous.

46

Fashion Markets

48

Fashion Photoshoot

54

Artificial Intelligence

Style on the streets.

Get wavy with nautical vibes.

Skynet, HAL 9000 and other Hollywood AIs battle it out.

56

Film Reviews

Quench rounds up the March blockbuster offerings.

58

Spoiler Alert

You know nothing, Jon Snow. At least you wouldn’t, if your mate Dave hadn’t posted all about the season finale on Facebook.

59 Videogames

Sidescrollers, virtual reality, and the Walking Dead.

To be in with a chance of winning a Cardiff University hoodie, email or tweet us with the pages Dylan the Dragon is hiding on. There’s three Dylans to be found (not including this one!)

Quench checks out food offerings at the Flora and the Clink.

/QuenchMagazine

Can you find Dylan?

editor@QuenchMag.co.uk

@QuenchMag


Molly

5

COLUMN

A little bit of

COLUMNIST MOLLY WYATT DOES A ‘GRAM OF INSTAFAME. I’m all for Instagram, and - as some of you may be aware - I am a bit of a social media slut (loves a selfie). However, from what began as a space to share nature pics and coffee art, has now evolved into a place to document your ‘life’. Over the past few years, we’ve seen social media lingo wangle its way into our everyday language and there is no doubt that there is a massive blurred line (despite all the megapixels) between reality and online.

Molly is a Journalism student who has a peculiar obsession with pineapples. A keen writer she also loves being on the stage; you may have seen her in one of Act One’s drama productions. Having experienced mental health illnesses, she is a keen bean to use her awful sense of humour to throw this out into the world and rid the taboos and social awkwardness’ that linger like a fart. Find her on Twitter: @mollymokkamole or online at: www.mockandmole.blogspot.com Illustration by Lisa Doran.

We all know by now that there is a huge team behind the models used in adverts; boob taping them, bikini-line plucking them, photoshopping them, morphing them, etc. We all know that they’re trying to sell something. However, the images of girls we see on Instagram, tell a different story – their own story (supposedly). Unlike billboards and magazines, Instagram is personal. “Oh how exciting! I’ve been sent a package from Lush, so I am going to neatly arrange the products on my dressing table around these flowers that just so happen to coordinate with the bath bombs! Can’t wait to use them!” (Does not actually own a bath.) Yes, the “Instafamous”; you’ve probably stumbled across a few accounts, or even follow some hot-dog leg accounts yourself. They don’t have famous relatives, or sing, they may not have even slept with somebody from Made In Chelsea. With 600 million users, the rise of the Insta-celeb is a type of fame that can only be found on social media. After recently spending a weekend with Maddie Bruce, a full time Instagrammer and Vlogger, (and best pal of mine), my eyes were opened to the bucket-load of pressure that comes with being ‘instafamous.’ Don’t get me wrong, much of the products, trips, food and holidays that Maddie has been offered are amazing, and I think I’d wee my Mickey Mouse print knickers if I too were asked to go to Disneyland Paris for a photo shoot! Yet when I spend time with Maddie, it’s hard to ignore the whiff of social media farts that lingers around her. And I’m not going to lie; her instajam-packed life does do my head in. I love a good bowl of porridge, right? But EIGHT BRITISH STIRLING POUNDS for a bowl of cold porridge with some bloody flower petals on?! that, I do not love. Waiting twenty minutes to eat it because “we’ve just got to get the lighting for the photo just right.” #BrunchGoals Is this a job? Is it a hobby? Or is it just a collection of obsessive insecurities that have been laminated four times...? It’s not just a matter of ‘does my bum look big in this?’ No. It really is full time, and as glorious as her Instagram feed appears, much of what is being posted is an advert. And that is what is grinding me gears. It seems like all this shit is their life. It’s what they’ve gone out and bought, it’s where they’ve just fancied to go and visit for the day. C’mon, who really stands outside alone a strangers

front door, laughing at their feet whilst holding an (empty) Chanel handbag? When you take it out of context, it looks bloody ridiculous. *Here is a photo of my perfectly polished nails on my smoothly shaven legs on my whiter-than-Jimmy Carrsteeth bed, surrounded by perfectly placed bowls of fruit and granola, luminous fruit juices and... my iPhone* Who and how was the photo even taken!? Do you have three hands?! Have you hired one of your eleven year old fan girls to take all your photos?! Where are the fake tan stains on your sheets? And how the heck you didn’t spill that bogey coloured drink on your bed, blows my mind. I bet you didn’t even drink that snot. From one-day sunbathing on a beach, sipping a cocktail, to the following day having Afternoon Tea at a hotel with friends. From eating yoghurt on a yoga mat, to having a cuppa. From a selfie to a shopping haul pic. These daily posts of their ‘everyday’ lives, seem so… perfect? WHY CAN’T WE HAVE BRUNCH EVERY DAY AND BUBBLE BATHS AT THE SAVOY HOTEL? But c’mon, this isn’t their lives. It’s their occupation. (I can’t bring myself to call it a profession). Those ‘friends’ at Afternoon Tea are other bloggers who are just as socially awkward as one another. That yoghurt is a new flavour that Liberte need to promote. That bloody cuppa tea is in fact ‘Bootea’ (aka watered-down piss that gives you the squits). And that selfie captioned ‘I love the wintery weather’ is in fact promoted by the bobble hat she’s wearing. These photos are to be put on at a certain time, on a specific day, correctly (but subtly) demonstrating the product – basically like an advert. I imagine events held for these social media stars must be so awkward. Nobody talking, just standing in the room on a constant 360 degree spin, with their phones super glued to their hands. The finger sandwiches will gain a layer of dust by the time they get eaten and the prossecco has gone flat by the time they’ve stopped boomeranging their flutes. This all just makes me sad. We don’t see the other 350 selfie photos they took before getting ‘the one’ (thank goodness). We don’t see the hours spent filtering after filter after airbrushing after cropping. We don’t see the congealed spag bol in your fridge that you will happily eat at midnight. We never see a moment of your life where your fringe is out of place or your nail varnish has peeled off. Nope, just going to post the photos that suit the aesthetics of my profile the best. The photos that make me look like I am the Queen of Rainbow Unicorn Kingdom where we all shit glitter, sleep in the clouds and where we all just #WokeUpLikeThis.

Molly x


NINJAH: Unmasking Cardiff’s most notorious local legend


7 Cardiff’s very own

NINJAH PENDRAGON @NinjahUK

/NinjahUK

PHOTOS & WORDS BY JASPER WILKINS WITH ASSISTANCE FROM SOPHIE KING & ERIN BROWN

“ THERE’S NO

Ninjah is a man who isn’t afraid to stand out. But if you’re a Cardiff local, you probably already know this. A free-spirited Jamaican giant with bright blonde dreadlocks, a passion for bin drumming and a rotating wardrobe of joyful outfits, he’s built a reputation as one of the city’s most colourful and well-loved characters. His attire today is typically outlandish – a black tracksuit, a sequin headband and a silver mask pulled to one side. “Everyone has a mask on,” he explains. “Mine is about psychological warfare. I’ve won the game already.” Our interview begins with a (unprompted) tour of the Chapter Arts Centre he calls a second home. Ninjah strides around with swagger and charm in equal measure, fistbumping staff and greeting them all by name. He also appears to be a bit of a ladies man - a number of different women stop to greet him with hugs and kisses over the course of our conversation. Ninjah brushes it all off with a smile.

COMPETITION BECAUSE I COULD WIPE YOU ALL OUT. I’M A SITH LORD. ”

Over a drink, he dodges straightforward questions like an expert thief dancing over lasers. What’s his real name? “I go by many names.” What does he actually do for a living? “I raise 180 billion for the country every day. I’m bench pressing the planet every single day. I am the richest person on the planet.” You can’t knock him for a lack of confidence.

With a little more coaxing, he reveals he grew up in New York, Jamaica and Birmingham, and settled in Cardiff over twenty years ago. A son to a Jamaican dancehall queen and a reggae trombone player, music was the bedrock he grew up on – Ninjah has himself released two full dancehall albums. “I don’t give a fuck who buys them or about the money,” he tells us, “It’s about the reality of making something beautiful.” “I am the vibration of Cardiff,” he says, explaining his affinity with the city. “You can feel the energy, can’t you? I’ve won. It’s like Darth Vader and the Sith, you can just feel it. There’s no competition because I could wipe you all out. I’m a Sith Lord.” As if to demonstrate, Ninjah leans back and begins to meditate - “death mode”, as he calls it. “Even in athletics, I’m winning everything. Hundred metre sprint, 8.33 seconds, I’m the ultimate rugby player. But I stay in the background. That’s why I’ve got the mask…I’ve only got 24 hours in the day, and I’ve conquered the entire planet. I’m superhuman. I’ll smash all your athletes. And your mum. And your dad. Everyone.” Ninjah’s energy is relentless. He pauses to sip his drink, then takes the conversation on his own spontaneous tangent. “They’re putting the students in debt, and gearing them to work for someone else - but not themselves. What all of you need to do is to become consultants. Be independent consultants. That’s the way you’ve got to play it. Otherwise, they’re having you like lemons, and they’re squeezing you. Because when you squeeze the lemon, you get the juice out. Don’t go into the fucking cocktail.” A muddled

endorsement of modern individualism wasn’t how I expected this interview to go, but such is the magic of Ninjah Pendragon. “Because you’re the odd one out, you’ll be persecuted. You’ll be squeezed. You’ll be turned into a battery. Every phone has a battery. Take out the battery, it ain’t going to work.” It’s hard to deny his enthusiasm as he karate chops the air to illustrate a point none of us can quite figure out. Shooting Ninjah’s portraits outside the centre, he tells me that he used to model in New York, and that I’ve got the best energy field of anyone he’s ever seen. He needs little direction, pulling his own poses and classic Ninjah faces with each burst of the shutter. A woman stops him midshoot, planting two kisses on his cheeks, frenchstyle. She’s the third to do so since we met him an hour ago. “love spells, motherfucker,” he says simply. “I’m a global citizen. I speak 56 languages,” he tells us inside, before breaking into snippets of Polish, Japanese, Spanish - or so he claims. “It’s pure intelligence and intellect. Students, bow your fucking heads!” Not being accomplished polylinguists, we decide to take his word for it. He follows it up by explaining that ISIS has left Wales alone because he had stern words with them, and that he’s going back to America to take over Hollywood and defeat Donald Trump. As we watch him act out his last championship race in front of the bar, the secret of Ninjah’s charm begins to dawn on me - he just doesn’t give a shit. Call it confidence, or call him crazy, people love him because he’s happily unique in a world full of people trying to keep their head down. “You don’t need to be me. I want you to be you,” he says. “I want you to climb the ladder. But have you got a ladder? Go and buy one from B&Q. I enjoy seeing success. Success means people fulfilled. That’s what the big party is about. Keep your underpants and knickers off your face, and manage your mind. That’s all there is to it.” In his own wonderful way, I can’t help but think that Ninjah might be onto something.


48 CULTURE


9


10 FEATURES

WOMEN’S RUGBY: GIRLS WITH BALLS A LACK OF FUNDING, A LACK OF COVERAGE AND A LACK OF SPECTATORS, A CONSIDERATION INTO WHY WOMEN PLAYING RUGBY IS CAUSING QUITE THE RUCK-US. WORDS: HELENA HANSON // DESIGN: LUCY APRAHAMIAN // ILLUSTRATION: UNDĪNE KALCENAUA


11

LOTTIE HOLLAND STUART TOWNSEND

Folklore has it that rugby originated in 1823, when sixteenyear-old William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a game of traditional football and began running away with it, before getting tackled to the ground by the opposing team. From this derived a sport of traditional masculinity, and a game that would grow to become known as ‘the gentleman’s sport’, ‘the old boy’s game’, and ‘the ‘real’ man’s sport’. Appellations of endearment that have one common feature…the complete disregard of women. The history of women’s rugby is not as charming as little William Ellis running riot and disrupting a school PE lesson. Instead, the necessity to be secretive during the earliest years of women’s rugby means that we cannot be certain where it began. The reaction to women taking part in contact sport was contemptuous, and had been known to engender riots, therefore it often had to be undertaken in secret. Although women’s rugby has developed somewhat, beyond underground contests and provoking uprisings at least, there is still a significant void between the men’s and women’s international games. On the field, the conditions are identical. Both teams participate in the same amount of training, follow the same rules, play two forty minute halves, and chase an identical ball. This, however, is often where the similarities end. Nobody is more aware of these differences than Lottie Holland. Holland has an extensive list of rugby achievements to her name, including two consecutive seasons for the England under 20’s squad. Now aged 21 she plays with the England development sevens squad, as well as for Bristol Ladies,

who are currently top of the premiership league.

statistics to Holland and she is not surprised by them.

One of the first things Holland tells me is that people are always “surprised” to find out she is a rugby player. At 5ft 6, with a slim build and tumbling, long blonde hair that is reminiscent of some sort of Herbal Essences ad, “they tell me that I’m too pretty and too small to be running around and getting tackled”. We talk for a while about her sporting achievements, which include travelling the world to represent England in both the rugby union and sevens squad. I am surprised to learn that she doesn’t feel particularly esteemed within the sport despite her evident accomplishments, and I wonder if this is due to a lack of coverage allocated to women’s sport, or a lack of fans to make her feel appreciated.

Eventually she selects the word “devalued” to describe how it makes her feel. “It feels like people don’t appreciate us…like our achievements are not equal to the boy’s”. So then, the question arises, how has it become that female sportswomen feel less ‘valued’ than their male counterparts?

Fascinated to contrast Holland’s experiences, I contacted Stuart Townsend. Townsend plays professional rugby for Exeter Chiefs and Cornish Pirates, and was also a competitor in the England male under 20’s squad for the same two seasons as Holland. Although he acknowledges there is a significant variance between the responses to the male and female game, he is reluctant to agree that it is problematic. He tells me that the men’s game will always have increased popularity as it is closest to the “traditional” game. He corrects my use of the word “better” with “more advanced”, but attributes this progression mainly to a lack of coverage and advertising in the women’s game. Statistics from the 2014 ‘Women in Sport’ report suggest that only 4% of total online sports coverage is dedicated to women’s sport, and just 2% of British national newspaper coverage is devoted to sportswomen. I put these

Value, if considered to be financial, lies within the men’s game. “It’s all about funding” Townsend tells me, and he is right. The funding for sport lies primarily within sponsorships and advertising, lucrative opportunities that are only available when a sport has a significant enough fan base to appeal to advertisers. According to the WIS report, between 2011 and 2013, women’s sport received just 0.4% of reported UK sponsorship deals in sport. The report also publicised that while the most valuable men’s sport deal recorded in 2013 totalled £280,000,000, the women’s equivalent was no more than £450,000. One has to look no further than the 2017 Six Nations tournament to find confounding statistics demonstrating the clear financial division between male and female international rugby. It is suggested that tickets for the England vs Wales men’s game in the 74,500 capacity Principality Stadium are unlikely to make it to general sale. This means that tickets are expected to sell out before they have even become available to the general public. However, the tickets that have become available online are already priced from anywhere between £250 and £580. If one does not fancy re-mortgaging their house to afford a ticket, the England vs Wales women’s


12

FEATURES

women’s match, which will take place just a few streets away, tickets are being advertised between £5 and £15. With such a significant financial gap, we must consider the impact on sportswomen within the game, and question the impact of having the cost of the men’s tickets worth up to one hundred times more than your own. It is a malicious cycle. Ticket prices remain low because interest remains static, because there is limited funding and sponsorship to keep developing the game. Funding and sponsorships are restricted, because women’s rugby receives limited coverage. It receives limited coverage because there is fewer fans to appeal to. It appears that each factor is unable to progress without the rest. I ask Holland whether she believes it is the fault of the media for not covering the women’s game effectively, or whether instead the blame lies with the public for not showing an interest. Eventually she concludes neither, and when asked how she sees a way forward, she tells me that the answer lies within education. “It’s a lack of understanding” she says “neither are educated enough in what we are trying to do”. “The media needs to work with the clubs and the RFU to show people at home that our game is equally powerful, competitive and worthy”. She hopes that if the media, particularly television, broadcasted more women’s games, interest would increase naturally through genuine interest. She is confident that when people watch them play, they are converted to their cause. Holland drew a particular distinction between male and female attitudes towards their game. “Men love to ask if we have cat fights, you know, screaming, bitching, hair pulling”, she says. Neither of us can understand why this would be expected of women’s team, but not the men’s. It is clear though, that the most frustrating assumption experienced by Holland is that her rugby would be non-contact. “Rugby is rugby. It’s almost as though it’s incomprehensible that we play exactly the same”. I put this to Townsend, “truthfully, on the pitch I don’t see a team of women. To me it’s just a team of people, playing their sport. The quality of the game is decided on the skill of the players, not who they are.” Although Townsend insists that gender is irrelevant, he admits he watches very few women’s games. When asked why not, he is silent for a while, before concluding “I guess you just stick with what you know” and I am left wondering what it is Townsend feels he knows about the men’s game, but not the women’s. It seems that despite women’s rugby developing significantly over the past decade, there is still a number of prejudices that are rooted deep within the traditionalistic game. It is clear that there remains significant progress to be made in order to contend financially, and more must be done to encourage funding and increase media coverage in order for the game to continue developing. Perhaps though, the most damning result of the ignorance to their game is the impact on the player’s themselves, where unavoidable comparisons to the male teams cause them to feel undervalued and unappreciated. I asked Holland for a final response to those who believe rugby is traditionally a masculine game that cannot be equated by females. “Come and watch us train, or play, before you tell us it’s a man’s game,” she said. “and I bet you’ll leave thinking we’ve got way more balls!” I can’t help but feel like she’s right.

“The media needs

to work with the clubs and the RFU to show people at home that our game is equally

powerful, competitive and worthy.”


Amnesty International presents...

JAMNESTY Wednesday 29th March 2017 8pm 'til late

JAZZ SOCIETY

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HEADLINER ANNOUNCED SOON THE ALSAHER BROTHERS DJ FROM 12

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£5 O.T.D


14FEATURES FEATURES 10

Spotlight: Scott McGlynn INTERVIEW AND DESIGN BY: EMMA RICHES

So, why did you decide to do a podcast show in particular? How did it begin? I am most well-known for my book Out which I published last year but I also have a website and a blog. They weren’t really working for me though. I had already been on other small shows so had a few connections. I did some research and decided that doing a podcast show is what I wanted to do. There is a lot of emphasis on social media these days; Facebook, e-mail etc. but what I love about being able to do a podcast show is how personal it is. And I love chatting, I prefer talking face-to-face much more than by e-mail. I interview some gay icons and celebrities on my podcast but I also use it to give people advice. I talk to normal people who are struggling with being a member the of LGBT community and give them advice. My website and book has inspired me to do more to help others.

What was your experience coming out as gay?

Scott McGlynn is a Welsh author and showbiz presenter who recently made it onto the Guardian’s Pride Power 2016 list. From hairdressing to celebrity

I didn’t properly come out to my parents until I was with my partner, Justin. I told my parents on my mum’s 50th birthday and they didn’t seem surprised. I think they always knew I was gay. They were so happy and supportive of me. However, when I was younger, I did struggle a bit with being gay. My manager at McDonalds used to comment on it all the time. It wasn’t until I was 18 that my confidence started to grow and I really didn’t care what he said anymore. I had been able to go into Cardiff where there was a bigger LGBT community and made some great friends. I did get depression and anxiety. But I am so glad that I didn’t get too affected by coming out. When I was in Australia, I heard about one person who committed suicide because of their struggles with being gay. That really got to me and I am really glad that I didn’t get to that level in my head, I never wanted to take my own life.

interviews, Scott gets his hands stuck in

Who is your biggest inspiration?

to everything he loves. With his podcast

My biggest inspiration is Sir Ian McKellen. I like that he is able to continue his career despite being gay. He was able to continue acting and doing what he loved. He has really inspired me to help people and to carry on working hard for myself. He came out in the 90s when it was assumed that being gay meant you had to stop doing what you liked and wanted. I think I read somewhere that you couldn’t drive a bus if you were gay. It was stuff like this that really bugged me. Not just with members of the LGBT community. It really got to me that women weren’t supposed to be engineers and that gay people were stereotyped to work as cabin crew or hairdressers (I work in managing the salon so I don’t actually cut hair myself). I think it’s better nowadays that people can do whatever they want, there doesn’t seem to be an issue with gay people working in any job sector.

show really starting to take off this year, Quench were lucky enough to bag an interview with this lovely chatty chap to discuss his experiences as a gay teen, his ambitions and what his plans are for the coming year.

What do you value most in life? My family are my biggest love. They have supported me so much, especially my mum and sister. I’ve worked so hard in the past year and they have helped. I really couldn’t live without them and my partner Justin or my five dogs. I love them so much too. I also value honesty. I am a really honest person and like to think I’m a real person. This is also what I want to get across in my podcast show.

Scott’s ambitions to grow his podcast show and help give advice to people struggling with being a part of the LGBT community highlight him as an inspiration to everyone in Wales. It is no wonder he is included on the Pride Power List of 2016. The way he is going, we shall soon be seeing Scott higher on the list and a more well-known member of our growing society. Scott’s podcast show ‘The Scott Mcglyyn Show’ can be found on iTunes.

https://scottmcglynn.net/ @ScottyMcGlynn /ScottyMcGlynn1


Photoshop or Photoshock?

h nc y e Q u u r ve S

15 Quench’s survey says that around 50% of people think they see 100-150 advertisements daily

→ In reality people are exposed to 3,500 advertisments a day

L’Oreal tell us we’re worth it, Gillette Fusion tells us it’s the best a man can get, and Maybelline tells us that she might be born with it. Advertising and subliminal messages are everywhere. From buses to billboards, we are constantly force-fed images that tell us we aren’t good enough and that we need the newest products in the market. Quite often, the flawless and poreless skin that adverts present us with is generated and constructed through Photoshop. Quench conducted a survey to see if the flawless images we are fed culminate in a cultural strive for impossible perfection. The ultimate question; Photoshop or Photoshock? Walk out your front door, an advert on the bus stop. Drive to the shops, an advert blown-up on a billboard. Watch a video on YouTube, oh look, an advert premiering the video. We can’t escape them. And when Quench held a survey, almost half of our respondents estimated that we are exposed to only 100-500 advertisements a day, and a further 26% believed it was below 100. Want to know the more realistic figure? On average, 3,500 advertisements are presented to the average UK and US citizen every single day. In a study conducted by The Guardian, figures revealed that “in one 45-minute journey, the average London commuter is exposed to more than 130 adverts, featuring more than 80 different products.” This research suggests that just half of the information that we are exposed to actually make an impression, and due to the spontaneity of the adverts, the adverts don’t actually stay lodged in our brains. But it’s not the issue of whether we have a photographic memory I’m trying to raise here, it’s the ideology behind these hypnotic advertisements. It’s the ‘stuff ’ we don’t necessarily think about when we flick the page of a Nivea advert in a magazine. It’s the camouflaged journey from behind the lens with the model, to the computer screen with the editor making the final product you see. I want to expose the horrifying journey models have to face when their natural beauty doesn’t quite make the cut. After purchasing the globally known fashion magazines, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and GQ, I tore out every page that contained an advert on it. Combining the figures of both magazines Glamour and GQ, only 55% of the magazine content was actually left. In contrary to this, we asked you to provide us with reasons as to why you buy magazines in the first place, and funnily enough, only 6% of you told us that advertisements were one of the main reasons that you chose to buy a magazine. So why are we constantly having to flick through images of baby-tight-skinned images of Cara Delevigne, or muscular men posing in their Calvin Klein undies? (Which might I add, the muscle definition is edited or exaggerated). Don’t believe me? Look up the before and after picture of Justin Bieber modelling for Calvin Klein. (Sorry JB, we still love you).

These are the exact reasons why avid consumers often have low self-esteem, particularly in teenagers and young adults. How are we expected to have pride in our own bodies when already flawless celebrities are being morphed under editors’ and designers’ tools? Just a quick before and after search on Google Images, and the model you were calling #goals most likely sat down and had #rolls before their waist was pinched in or edited out. What’s even worse is that we can’t resist looking at these images. 88% of Quench’s survey participants revealed that the most attention-drawing aspect of an advert is the image or model. If that’s not serious enough for you, eating disorder website, B-eat state that “February 2014 showed an 8% rise in the number of inpatient hospital admissions in the 12 months previous to October 2013.” And don’t just

A Londoner will see more than 130 advertisements on a 45 minute journey

55% 6% of Glamour and GQ magazines consisted of advertisments

of people say they buy magazines for advertisements

71% of the participants in Quench’s survey said they buy magazines for articles of content concern the fluttery eyelashes, tummy tuck, or the magic wand be-gone cellulite; it’s relevant to males too. According to The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, it is recorded that approximately 11% of eating disorder cases are male. Dr Nicole Hopkins, a self-esteem professional describes the use of photoshopping as “an impossible image of beauty [which is] the media’s perfect lie”. This is, however, exactly what these images have become. It has even been exposed that on occasions a model’s face on an advertisement isn’t actually their face. It’s combinations of other models’ features such as different eyes, lips or nose applied instead to illustrate ‘perfection’. Dr Hopkins fears that “the majority of teenage girls have no idea that every image they’re seeing is manipulated.” So how do we tackle these blur, reshape and brightening tools? Well there is some good news I can give you to restore your faith in humanity. In our survey, 71% of people surveyed revealed that the main reason why magazines are purchased is for the articles or content. And even better, huge beauty brands have created campaigns, which show a time-lapse and specifics of how a beauty advert transforms reality into an illusion, such as Dove Beauty’s Photoshop clip on YouTube and their website. Although it’s a little ironic that these companies are more than likely still using Photoshop during their product advertising strategies, it’s a huge reassurance that campaigns such as these actually do exist. Although photoshopping is a huge issue that we are constantly exposed to, perhaps it’s time to say “they’re so photoshopped,” before the words “they’re so perfect” come out. Photoshopping is damaging perceptions of beauty, and when they’re thinning out a model, it’s ultimately thinning out our self-esteem along with it. So next time you’re faced with the “perfect” model, perhaps it’s time to question what “perfect” really is. - Rachel Jefferies


16 FEATURES

Has Feminism Been Trumped? Our rights aren’t up for grabs, and neither are we. WORDS BY: ALICE TOWNSEND // DESIGN BY: EMMA RICHES Trump’s presidential campaign was littered with accusations of misogyny and sexual harassment. The entire internet seemed to violently recoil at his lewd quotes and often unbelievable statements, which were widely condemned by women’s rights supporters across the globe. Therefore, it’s only natural that his inauguration was accompanied by worldwide protests. It’s estimated that on the 20th of January nearly 5 million people rallied together to protect the legislation and policies regarding their human rights; particularly the rights of women and other minority groups. This huge demonstration reflects the widespread concern for the impact that Trump’s four-year presidency will have, with many fearing a regression in women’s rights.


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The US government’s stance and policies regarding women’s rights are undeniably critical to their treatment across the globe, not just at home. Trump’s government appointments do little to alleviate worries. Two members of the largely white and male cabinet voted against reauthorizing the ‘Violence Against Women Act’, which aimed to help victims of domestic violence. This, among other pro-women’s rights acts, has been rejected by members of the cabinet in the past, reflecting a lack of concern for women’s issues and an unlikelihood that legislation will continue to further their protection. It not only seems less likely that progressive bills will be passed, but also that many schemes and organisations essential to women’s rights will not receive the attention and funding they need and deserve. Moreover, some of Trump’s policies not only fail to promote women’s rights, but directly jeopardise them. The first three days of his presidency saw him sign an executive order that many argue will pose a dire threat to women’s reproductive health and safety worldwide. Often referred to as the ‘Global Gag Rule’, the order disallows international organisations that perform or provide information on abortions to receive federal funding. In fact, they are cut off if they even use external funding for such projects. This endangers many organisations that provide invaluable information for women in various third-world countries that lack resources and facilities. Many projects, which will be cut off, provide a wide range of services, including information on contraception and sexual health, meaning the effects will likely go far beyond the inevitable increase in unsafe abortions. History shows us that previous bans such as this that were reinforced in 2001 under Bush have devastating effects. Contraceptive shipments from the US to 16 countries stopped entirely. In fact, many experts suggest that the disruption to the distribution of contraception may even lead to an increase in abortions, as the rate rises with the amount of unwanted pregnancies. Marie Stopes International (a charity which promotes women’s reproductive rights) estimates the reduction in funding could, during Trump’s first term, ‘lead to 6.5 million unintended pregnancies, 2.2 million abortions, 2.1 million unsafe abortions, and the deaths of 21,700 pregnant women.’ Trump’s apparent focus on America’s own interests, characterised by the now infamous slogan ‘Make America Great Again’, could have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable women worldwide. Countries in conflict, or which are politically unstable, often rely heavily on foreign aid and support and the US’s change in foreign policy could cause severe disruption to this. Women and children are disproportionately affected by crisis and conflict. Certain organisations focus on tackling the issues which are specific to them, for example, women’s groups in Syria provide anti-violence training and support for victims of assault and abuse. Many organisations undertaking invaluable work helping refugees would greatly suffer from a reduction in support and funding. Whilst Trump has not made his policies entirely clear on such cases, his chauvinist views make it seem unlikely his focus will be on providing foreign aid, meaning many organisations and groups may find themselves lacking a powerful ally. Trumps’ relationship with Russian President

Vladimir Putin puts into question how much support and protection he will offer to the Ukraine, an already unstable region. The threat that having Donald Trump as the president of one of the most powerful and influential nations on Earth puts on women’s rights is undeniable. Whilst many of his exact policies are yet to be confirmed, he has already made a decision that puts the sexual health, reproductive rights and even lives of vulnerable women at risk. However, despite this, I still believe there is hope for the continuation of the promotion of women’s rights. The women’s marches displayed the huge amount of solidarity between women worldwide. Furthermore, it seems increasingly likely that other governments will try to reverse the damaging effects of his policies. The Netherlands and Belgium have already openly opposed his policy on funding abortion abroad. The Dutch parliament has announced its intentions to make an effort to fund the programmes. Therefore, if Trump refuses to further the interests of women, recent events have given us hope that others may be willing to do that for him.


18 CULTURE

DECORATING THE URBAN JUNGLE:

AN INTERVIEW WITH PHILIP MORGAN WORDS BY: HANNAH HOPKINS DESIGN BY: LISA DORAN

Quench culture had the opportunity to catch up with Cardiff local and self-taught artist, Phillip Morgan. Having previously worked with The Washington Post, Urban Outfitters and Coca-Cola with their design projects, Hannah Hopkins finds out what inspires his work, as well as his views on contemporary street art. How would you best describe your art work and how did you get into street art? I would describe my artwork as bold and colourful without using too much detail. I like to add humour into pieces of my work that people can quickly relate to from a first glance. I don’t consider myself a street artist. I have been drawing for a long time now and I fell into the idea of creating some of my drawings into bigger scale murals. I don’t use spray cans either as I like to paint the work with a brush. Street art graffiti is created by some seriously talented people doing great things, but, I’m more of a pen / paint on paper type of artist. What has the Cardiff reaction been like to your art? I’ve had a lot of positive responses to my street art. The Dude Looks Like A Welsh Lady painting on Wood Street got a lot of attention a few years back. I’ve done murals for Welsh Club and Urban Outfitters also. I tend to work on indoor murals more these days for local businesses which is always fun working with like minded people. How would you describe the process behind getting a piece of your street art onto a wall? Do you start off by drawing on paper first? Do you have a plan for a specific space? Do you get approached by companies/the council to create pieces for them? It’s a mixture of all of those things to be honest. I never go into creating a large piece of work without having an idea drawn up on a piece of paper first. Whether it’s working for the Wales Millennium Centre or working for the guys who run the Castle Emporium on Womanby Street. Everything needs to be approved before work starts. I find choosing the right colour tones the hardest part. Speaking as an artist, what are you most proud of? I’ve had good opportunities to work with some great clients over the years. I think one of my most proudest moments would be seeing my artwork being used for skateboard graphics. My first board graphic came out in 2010 for Crayon Skateboards. This year I will have my 18th board graphic released and I’m in talks with Chapter Arts Centre to showcase them all for ‘ Art In Th Bar ‘ over the Summer months. What are the biggest challenges that you face in your street art? The biggest challenges I face when creating work on the streets is keeping myself safe up a ladder to create the work. It can be difficult if you don’t have scaffolding to raise you up properly but I do like the challenge of it. The other big problem here in Wales is the weather.

Do you have an overall mission with your work? I don’t have any sort of mission with my work. I enjoy painting every day and always try and create new pieces of art. I get a lot of satisfaction out of trying to be creative with my work and I love being my own boss. My inspiration comes from everything. Popular culture, music, films, books, the news, other creative people, friends and family. In particular, how did you feel about the complaint over your ‘Dude looks like a Welsh lady’ piece on Wood Street? The complainant apparently found the piece offensive to Welsh women by associating them with depictions of ‘lad culture’. Whoever made that complaint in the first place is an idiot. I honestly thought it was a joke at first. I was asked by Sam and Helen from The Abacus Gallery to be involved in their Welsh Folk Art In The City Exhibition back in 2014. The painting was of a guy with a big beard wearing a Welsh Lady hat with the words ‘Dude Looks Like a Welsh Lady’ painted across it. Nothing serious, just some play on words of an old Aerosmith song. Whenever there is a rugby international taking place in Cardiff, you see tons of men dressed up like this having fun with friends over some beers getting into the spirit of a rugby match. I think the Welsh have the best sense of humour across the land. A complaint was raised in April 2015 about the said artwork. One complaint to the council and they were going to paint over it. There was nothing offensive about the mural at all. The guy making the complaint was saying all kinds of crazy things about it, that it was offensive to Welsh women and that sort of nonsense. Wales Online got a hold of the story and after all the support from the good people of Cardiff backing the campaign, he mural was saved. Unfortunately it’s gone now due to the ongoing development of the new BBC Studios being built. How do you feel about the local Cardiff street art scene? Do you work with any other street artists or organisations? I’m not really involved with the Cardiff Street Art Scene to be honest. I’ve seen all the street art along side the Millennium Stadium which brightens up that area quite nicely, but, I think Cardiff Council could be doing a hell of a lot more to have more street art on display in the city. You only have to go to places like Bristol or Berlin to see how great those cities look and are ever changing. What are your thoughts and feelings about Cardiff’s culture? I think Cardiff is a great city to live in and it’s changed a lot in the last twenty years. I’m not keen on all the new development that’s been built in the centre of the city like St David’s 2 Shopping Centre. It just makes Cardiff look like every other major city in the UK. We have tons of great places to eat and drink not just in the centre but on the outskirts of town like Roath and Canton. The music scene is strong even though venues have closed down. Creatively, Cardiff has a lot going for it and there are a lot of like minded creative people living and working in this part of Wales. I’ve always wanted to move to London to be amongst other creative people, but, why do I need to do that there when I’m happy living here.


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The

New Era of

Musicals Words by: Beth Girdler-Maslen Design by: Stephany Damyanova Whether you like them or not, musicals are an exciting form of entertainment. With a new age of musicals emerging and the agendas of these productions somewhat anticipating a stylistic shift, a new type has effectively been reborn. The 21st Century has aided us audiences by redefining our expectations of a musical. Musicals with a historic and social context, that reflect social perceptions of reality, are becoming more popular than ever. Musicals have, and are beginning to, educate and bring forward important elements of history, and bring hidden or lesser known facts and stories to our stages worldwide. This is bringing a new meaning to musicals – a night out at the theatre is relaxing and enjoyable. Education and history are not just for textbooks and the news. Judging by the huge success of Hamilton, it begs the question: are musicals starting to open our minds to the world around us? Since the emergence of musicals, the themes and ideas behind them have always stood out. Occasionally, due to the copious amounts of singing and dancing, the audience have lost their way with the storylines because of the action performed on stage or screen alike. Some themes in musicals are based on simplistic ideas, but even those that are more complicated have become iconic and even favoured by the public. The musicals

that have been such a big hit predominantly happen to be historically based around events and times that are lesser taught by schools. Of course, everyone was taught about WWII, but how many of us can remember learning about Austria’s involvement in it? I most certainly didn’t get taught this. The only reason I have learnt about their involvement is through The Sound Of Music. This musical not only depicts an amazing story about a nun who is sent to take care of the Von Trapp children, but is also a front to the Anschluss of Nazi Germany taking political control over Austria. There are further examples of this with musicals such as Les Miserables bringing the French Revolution to our stages, Hairspray representing racial inequality and the impact of the Vietnam War in Miss Saigon. These musicals are prime examples of how using an entertainment medium, with a combination of singing and dancing, have become a new way to educate people. Musicals which are based on true stories always make the experience slightly more exciting. Not always having to be based on traditional historical events, some musicals are based on musicians’ rises to fame, such as We Will Rock You and Sunny Afternoon featuring the music of Queen and The Kinks respectively. The incorporation of modern and classic songs give musicals a certain appeal, which undoubtedly contributed to the success of Hamilton. Hamilton tells the life story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of America. The award-winning musical received mass success in America; this has begun to be reflected throughout the UK also. By developing the thematic significance of musicals to teach audiences in a fun and

modern way, Hamilton has become a prime example of how directors and playwrights are attempting to modernise history. In doing so, Hamilton has made theatre more approachable to a new generation of theatre lovers. Often crossing the line of cultural taboo, musicals represent themes and aspects of the world which are frequently overlooked. Musicals, such as Rent, contribute and greatly support representations of the LGBTQ communities. Being one of the most popular musicals around the Western world, Rent is centered around the devastating effects of HIV/ AIDS, homelessness and drugs. The musicality of this production encourage notions of hope through communities and ultimately function to change people’s opinions on topics which they may have been previosuly unaware of. Musicals such as Rent, show audiences the bigger picture. Musicals shed light on areas of society which are often neglected or mistreated. This is mainly due to musicals taking a metaphorical leap; the ability to be considered ‘different’ from what is deemed ‘normal’. By using various aspects of atypical musicals, these performances entertain, whilst also having the ability to teach us about today’s culture and yesterday’s history. Musicals challenge ignorant views towards its minorities. They urge everyone to join together in harmony; they take the messages and educate audiences in an entertaining, yet inspirational way.


20 CULTURE

Design and Illustration by: Sarah Thompson

Museums - weird, wacky, and unique! From the museum of broken relationships to Arizona’s balloon museums, over at Quench Culture we asked our contributors to tell us all about their most interesting and niche museum experiences.

Dal i T h e at re - M u se u m, S pain Located in the beautiful city of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain, Dalí Theatre-Museum - inaugurated in 1974 - was designed by the artist Salvador Dalí in order to make sure the visitors experience a surreal journey inside his creative mind, while living first-hand his art pieces. The whole building has been carefully decorated with his designs - it has white gigantic eggs on top of the roof! But probably the most amazing thing about it (if something has to be chosen), is the mind blowing room where the ‘Face of Mae West which can be used as an apartment’ is exhibited. Mae’s eyes are made out of two paintings and her mouth is a comfortable red lipshaped couch. Visitors can wander freely through Mae West’s face, or they can climb a small ladder to have a better view of the room through a special lens which helps to look at the whole art installation at the same time. No wonder it is the third most visited museum in Spain! Mariana Diaz

B al l o o n M u s e u m, A ri zona Albuquerque is the ballooning capital of the world, so there really is no better place for this museum to reside. Inside, stories of famous ballooning adventurers around the world takes about 80 minutes as opposed to 80 days. The ballooning museum really is the place for those with a phobia of heights, but still dream of a ballooning experience. Here, you get the chance to stand in an over sized picnic basket and glance upwards towards the hovering ball of fire above your head. The architecture of the building is enough to mesmerize, let alone the variety of colours and shapes of the balloons which they display. Kate Eagleton

C h ai r M u s e u m, B uc k i ng ha ms hire If you have ever sat in a chair and wondered “damn, I wish I knew the ins and outs of chair production”, then you should look into visiting the High Wycombe Chair Museum. Specialising in the Windsor Chair, where the chair was first produced in the 16th century, the museum has many different examples of the furniture produced around the town, as the rise of the factory in the 19th century led to the growth of the industry within High Wycombe. So, if you’re for some reason interested in chairs past somewhere to collapse in a drunken state, get on down to Buckinghamshire! Saoirse O’Connor


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Bro ken Rel ati on s h i ps M u se u m, Cro at i a Croatia’s main attractions are found on its picturesque coast, but the inland capital Zagreb does have a few gems of its own. The Museum of Broken Relationships is a weird exhibition of the debris left behind by heartbreak. Love letters, teddy bears, an axe and a pair of fake breasts; the museum showcases all the weird and wonderful elements of relationships. Alongside them, captions tell the stories of how they broke the hearts of the people who donated them. As you snake your way around the gallery it can become emotionally exhausting, but the exhibition is one of the more strikingly human that you’ll find in any museum. Dillon Eastoe

Pi c a s s o M u se u m, B a rc e l o na Nestled in a narrow side street in Barcelona with high walls reminiscent of the medieval period, the Picasso Museum, opened in 1963, houses a vast collection of the artist’s work. The Museum features over 4,000 of Picasso’s paintings and sketches reflecting his astounding genius, with works from the “Blue Period,” paintings depicting his own reinterpretation of Velazquez’s “Las Meninas,” to some of his prints and posters he created during his lifetime. Unique to the museum are his “Las Palomas” (The Pigeons), a series of vibrantly-coloured paintings depicting fluffed up pigeons at the seaside. A personal favourite was the poster of the owl he drew using a single line. The museum is both small and quaint, made up of rough stone walls and with a courtyard bedecked by a palm tree and featuring stairs you have to climb to get to the exhibitions. Museum Picasso is a hidden treasure of Barcelona and a sight not to be missed. Sanja Dragojlov

Transpor t Mu s eum, G l a s g ow The best museum trip I’ve had was in the Summer of 2016 at the Riverside transport museum in Glasgow. Somewhat ironically it took me ages to find it on foot, but once I was in it was all worth it. Highlights include the massive Glaswegian built steam locomotive that worked in South Africa, an open-top fire engine that once served Galway, and my favourite- the exhibit about cycling club culture in the late 19th century, which nearly had me in tears. A rare museum that is informative, funny, and heart-warming all at the same time- and you can get the Metro home! Tom Morris

Se x M u se u m, A m st e rda m The Amsterdam sex museum was the first I’ve needed ID for. Sleazy, scary, and rarely sexy at all, this bizarre place made me uncomfortable... but I enjoyed it anyway. An animatronic man jumps out the wall and exposes himself to you, Marilyn Monroe tugs at her skirts as a fan blows up from underneath - a whole room full of frightening vintage porn. Also of note: giant penises that girls take selfies wrapped around. Scant information about any of it though, so perhaps less of a museum and more of a, shall we say, experience.

Tom Morris

Photo g rap hy M u s e u m, M a d e i ra Vincente’s Photography Museum in Funchal, Madeira, is one of the most interesting museums I’ve ever visited (and I’m a bit of a weird museum connoisseur!) It’s located in an old villa house in one of the main squares and due to this, it seems like a Mediterranean haven from the hustle of the modern day high street - the courtyard cafe is probably one of the coolest places in the city. The walls are covered in early portraits, with photos dating from 1890! The most fascinating exhibit though, is the absolutely massive decorative camera used to take the world’s biggest selfie.

Olivia Botting


22 CREATIVE “This is the way the world ends…” The stars had vanished. I mentioned my discovery to William and was informed that smoke from the city-fires had simply blocked our view. They were all still up there, undisturbed. Since it seemed I could not learn for myself, William told me of the many constellations that sat far above us. He seemed to enjoy doing this. I had theorised that, before the fighting began, William had been a teacher of some sort. It was the way he spoke, calming and informative, that led me to this conclusion. We would ride next to one another, both lost in astrological musings, while the others were ahead of us. Boone often reprimanded us for doing so. Straying from the pack is tantamount to suicide, he would say. I could scarcely argue, as times certainly seemed to be dire. What sat far less amiably with me was Calvin’s constant reiteration of this point, or of any other Boone made. Mr Whitney, as he unsuccessfully demanded I call him, was a little man that, as far as I could tell, would never leave the side of his master. As a way of teasing him, Mr Ford often likened Calvin to a weasel or some other rodent depending on his mood. Since Boone held little interest in the displeasures of his lackey, Calvin was quite powerless to prevent these insults. Making matters more amusing, Mr Ford was a rather large man, one who towered over the entire pack. As if to avoid inconsistency, his default tone was akin to shouting. To complement this mass of noise was Smith, from whom I had yet to hear a single word uttered. It became clear to me that avoiding this mysterious man was in my best interest after inquiring into the peculiarity of his name. The subsequent silent stare I received was as muting as Mr Ford’s loudest tirade, and had inspired in me a great irrational fear of a man I do not know. Quite contrary to Smith’s aloofness was the kindness of Bill Tennessee. No argument was made on Bill’s part about changing his name from William after realising that role was filled before his arrival. To me, Bill was a respite from intellectual discussion if ever I needed one, being much closer to my age than William. He never tired of talk, and if I ever felt the contrary, he would fill the silence with his easy disposition. Boone let us all know we were to stop at a nearby ranch for the horses to rest. It was news greatly appreciated, as we had been travelling for some time. It also meant Boone must have known the area. I found this intriguing to say the least, knowing nothing about his past. Having never spoken to him, I had learned very little of the man whom I called leader. I had been looking for an opportunity to do so, but had yet to find a suitable topic for discussion. The ranch was dead. Like most places, the dust climbed over every inch. After finishing with the barricades in the northern portion of the main building, I found myself huddled around a fire. ‘There was this guy.’ The voice startled me because it belonged to Boone, who had never addressed me personally. ‘I rode with him a while back. Went by the name of Phillips.’ I stared silently at him, assuming I was not meant to speak. ‘He started off, this one time, about how the country could still be saved. Said he’d band together all the people of America and lead them to salvation. Went on about it for a good few minutes, I reckon. He asked me what I thought about his little speech. I told him his ideas were reckless and dangerous. He said my words were a betrayal to the founding fathers.’ He paused for a few seconds, as if to coax me into asking how he responded to these accusations, which I did. ‘I explained that the society we knew was gone. We needed another nation, stronger than before. He would have nothing to do with it, though. Some men are too set in their ways, not willing to acknowledge the existence of their own shackles. This family that we’ve made... We’re not like the rest, you see?’ I nodded. ‘Good. Get some rest, now. We’ve got a long way to go yet.’ I rose and began to leave, until my curiosity got the better of me. ‘What happened to him? Phillips, I mean.’ Boone’s eyes were set on the fire. ‘One thing I like about those big fires out there. The weak, the scared, the feeble-minded… They all get burned. Good night, son.’ “…not with a bang but a whimper.”

THE FOUNDERS BY CHRISTOPHER JONES ILLUSTRATION BY SADIA PINEDA HAMEED


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CULTURE

23

QPID’S

CORNER find your perfect match with quench’s resident love angel

kindly sponsored by

chris

pooja

21, third year Biomedical Science

20, second year Psychology

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. My name is Chris James, I play water polo for Cardiff Uni and for a local club team. I enjoy reading, cycling and snowboarding. Looking for a girl to share some good food, and a drink or two with. Ideally they’d be happy not taking themselves too seriously, while enjoying some semi-decent company. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF POOJA?

First impression was that she was punctual, I’d gotten there 10 minutes early hoping to be the first there, but she was there and waiting on the first table in the restaurant. There was a moment’s awkwardness as I tried to work out if she was my date or not, but I got there in the end. We shook hands (?!?), hugged and I sat down. How do you greet a blind date?! She was cute and instantly talkative. She seemed pretty confident and we were quickly at ease and joking around. HOW DID THE DATE PROGRESS? I really enjoyed it and time flew by, we shared the platter and a bottle of wine, then moved on to a cocktail bar. I don’t think either of us wanted the date to end but being a little tipsy and having a full stomach made for heavy heads and we headed home around 4 hours after the date started. I’ve never been on a first date before, I think we must have been enjoying each other’s company for it to last so long without us noticing. BEST BIT? Hearing how Pooja had taken in an abandoned box of kittens - against her parents will - and found them all new homes, except the one her mum had bonded with which they kept. A real nice story like you see go viral on the internet every other day. WORST BIT? I think I definitely pigged-out a bit and ate far too much of the platter - nerves I think! Hopefully, Pooja didn’t notice, or mind. Also, Storm Doris tried her best to stop us from getting to the cocktail bar, we made it. Soaked, but we got there. HOW ABOUT A SECOND DATE? Definitely, I had an awesome time, we traded numbers and I look forward to seeing Pooja again. I’ll try not to pig-out so much next time!

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. My name’s Pooja, I’m from Hong Kong and currently in the middle of my second year doing Psychology. I love spending time with my friends and family, a big fan of hiking, cooking and watching almost any and everything on Netflix. I decided to do this, just to see what could come of it - if anything, for good conversation and a nice evening out with someone I necessarily wouldn’t meet otherwise! I’m looking for a date with someone who fun and easy going, whom I can have a laugh and kick back with! WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF CHRIS?

He was really friendly, dressed really well and was just really easy to get along with right off the bat. He came across as confident and easy going, which really helped those pre first date jitters!

HOW DID THE DATE PROGRESS? It went quite well, we spent quite a bit of time getting through the food and chatting at the Hellenic Eatery which was nice and very low-key! Despite not really knowing what to expect, I thought we got along well, there weren’t any awkward pauses and found that we that we had quite a bit in common. We decided to head out to grab cocktails after and ended up talking well into the night! BEST BIT? I’d have to say the conversation and getting to know him better! I’m always a bit on edge about opening up when I don’t really know the other person, but it was good, easy talking – full of laughs, and I genuinely enjoyed my evening. WORST BIT? I honestly cannot think of a ‘worst bit;’ everything went absolutely perfectly! It had been pouring madly all day, and right through the night (as it does in Wales) but that definitely didn’t dampen our evening. HOW ABOUT A SECOND DATE? We’ve decided to grab dinner out next week, so there’s definitely a second date happening!

Qpid’s conclusion:

Is your love life one big left swipe? Got a mate who can’t pull to save his life? Let Qpid be your wingman instead! You and your date could enjoy a fantastic FREE meal and drinks for two courtesy of The Hellenic Eatery, Cardiff ’s finest Greek cuisine restaurant. Simply send a photo and a brief 100-200 words about yourself and your ideal match to Editor@Quenchmag.com with “Qpid’s Corner” as the subject and let Qpid do the rest! Date night consists of a shared platter and two drinks, courtesy of Quench and The Hellenic Eatery. No cash alternative offered. Entry does not guarantee selection. Drink responsibly and always use protection.


24 MUSIC

Laura Marling


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INTERVIEW With a career spanning over ten years, numerous awards received and five critically acclaimed albums released, Laura Marling has provided an outstanding contribution to music over the past decade. With album six on the horizon, releases such as ‘Wild Fire’ and ‘Soothing’ allow for upcoming album Semper Femina to be anticipated as the best yet to come. Visiting Goldsmiths Students Union, for an exclusive Semper Femina conference, Laura tells us everything; from the making of the new record, to the social challenges of femininity, as well as how she would be a vegan chef if she took a different path in life…g Taking her abilities to new lyrical and musical heights, Laura begins the interview by telling us how, “Short movie (2015) was based on a landscape, whereas this album is based on thought.” The name Semper Femina originates from a Virgil poem, translating to ‘Always a Woman’, from the line ‘fickle and changeable always a woman’. Laura tells us that she cherishes the quote so much, that she has had the line tattooed to her body since the age of 21, hesitantly stating, “It’s a good age for making permanent errors.”

in contemporary society want to be as independent, and as free as possible. Despite this, Laura reveals how this can sometimes be deemed as dangerous, in the sense that it can often be challenging to her own safety. “The restriction of women travelling has been the most relevant thing to me. I have this great fear of travelling alone now. That innate fear is quite afflicting. It’s an interesting thing I’ve been wasting time thinking about.” Laura reveals how she takes most of her lyricism from literary works A particular poet who has posed as quite influential to Laura’s music, is Rainer Maria Rilke. “He was a bit of a hopeless romantic, and he is the reason why I got to writing this record in some ways. He was dressed as a girl until he was 8, which had quite a profound effect on his relationship with women. It made him somewhat of an obsessive woman fancier. It was his misguided perception of femininity which guided me to investigate more.”

“America gave me a lot of freedom to express myself without self criticism.”

Nevertheless, the theme of Semper Femina holds questions and societal messages with the provenance of the album coming from a rather masculine time in Laura’s life. Stemming from the idea of a man writing about a woman, this concept soon changed after realising that she doesn’t have to express a platform of emotion towards a woman from the embodiment of a man. Laura told us that “we are somewhat accustomed to seeing women through men’s eyes. Naturally, that was my inclination- to try and take some power over that- but I very quickly realised that a more powerful thing to do was to look at women through a woman’s eyes.”

Recently having created a series of podcasts entitled ‘Reversal of the Music’, consisting of ten conversations with people in the industry such as Dolly Parton and Emmylou, Laura tells us how, “It’s about what is happening with music and feminine creativity and its relationship with one another.” Furthering this idea and talking about the importance of gender balance and influence, Laura explains how, “these are mediums by which we understand the world around us, they need to be rectified so we can have a more balanced understanding of the world.” Therefore, Laura’s in-depth and enlightening research into the theme of femininity has only called for more questioning and thus more confusion, “It is so much more complex and actually more biological than I realised.” Is it about the idea of questioning where femininity starts on a biological level or is it psychological or emotional? Further confusion makes multi-dimensional music, and Laura pushes these boundaries within Semper Femina. Laura tells us about her first-hand experiences of being in a maledominated industry, as she raises the need for challenging these ideas and traditions, “I did a lot of touring and travelling on my own. That sounds super romantic and glamourous, but it entails dragging three or four guitars around and throwing them in the back of a car constantly. It’s a big mental and physical excursion and it can be a little bit scary.” Laura continues to tell us how many women

It is not just the music that Laura has been delving into, as the release of ‘Soothing’ came with a self-directed music video, full of latex entwined women and sensual dancing men and women in various intimate and capturing angles. “Directing was amazing because I have never been inclined to give visuals to my music, personally.” Laura expresses how her directing and ideas are born from her lucid dreaming qualities. Yet putting something so abstract and unknown, into the eyes of others must be a difficult task, as Laura tells us, “You have to draw people into that and make them understand why that annoying prop that costs loads of money has to be there. It has symbolic value.”

Although Laura Marling’s music career has been successful for 10 years now, she does admit that she does have a continuous worry. Her main concern is the usefulness and the importance of what she does, as she talks about having a musical presence in the US stating, “I love America and find America very infuriating for the same reason. I love them because they give a lot of value to artists and everyone is an ‘artist’. That is quite nice if you have inadvertently devoted your career to being an artist. It makes you feel good about yourself... but at the same time, it gives a very strange over the top reverence to people who live self-indulgent lives and demand to be called artists. That represents my own inner tussle.” However, the inner tussle did not overcome her. Being in America accidently lead to the making of her sixth album, “I went there to not do that and I got pulled into it. In a way, it gave me a lot of freedom to express myself without the self-criticism that I should be doing something more important or more useful,” Laura tells us. So, without music, where would the musical genius be placing herself in the world? “I probably would have been a chef. I would impress people with something vegan, I eat meat but that is something that usually impresses people.” Erin Brown


ALBUM RELEASES

SPRING 2017

SEMPER FEMINA Laura Marling

More Alarming Records Available to stream and purchase Laura Marling’s Semper Femina, is her sixth album in nine years. Not only does it stand as her most polished record yet, it also marks the singer-songwriter’s first venture into music video production. Having prepared the world for her new sound with singles Wild Fire, Soothing and Next Time, the full release only continues this trajectory. The album was largely written while touring album five, Short Movie. A stark departure from her earlier four releases, Marling defects from her typical acoustic vibe to the use of an an electric guitar. The influences of travel and recording in the US can be heard in the music, as well as how women, including herself, are viewed in society. Marling provides a positive and clinically accurate response to comments made in the US election campaign. The album’s title is Latin and literally translates to ‘Always Woman’, as featured in the chorus of Nouel. The single has been available for some time, after a performance Marling gave in Chicago was recorded and released online. Nouel is one of, if not the best, songs from the album. As an early release, it a wonderful taster for the rest of the album’s palate. The first single on the album is also its opening track - Soothing. It features a dissonant guitar riff with an unnerving and jazzy bassline. The chorus somewhat reflects the title, and is mentioned – ‘I need soothing/ Your lips aren’t moving’. The bass-line, however, is more unnerving than soothing. Unsurprisingly, the single is accompanied by a music video which primarily features two female dancers wearing latex outfits so glossy you’d be forgiven for thinking they were submerged in acrylic paint. Similarly, the second music video – Next Time - features dancing but from only one woman. It seems the title of the album will be the theme which defines all the music videos. The video is set in a house with fading wallpaper which may have been the same house where the album’s cover artwork was taken from. The song has an unusual but wholesome acoustic riff which repeats itself but is nonetheless a fine example of repetition done right. The song Wild Fire features a rattling and reverberating drumbeat which I can’t ever really recall hearing before. It sounds like there’s something wrong with the drum set but ended up becoming a happy accident and was left in the recording. Wild Fire is much more soothing than the album’s opening track, and Marling seems to be channelling a more traditionally soulful style of singing with her usual country feel. Thomas Edwards

British folk singer Laura Marling looking slightly glum despite receivingfour stars and a cover feature from the best music & culture magazine in Wales. Cheer up love.


27

DROGAS LIGHT

BACK FROM THE EDGE

Lupe Fiasco

James Arthur

Lupe Fiasco is a curious figure in hip-hop; cryptic, lyrically revered, and inconsistently brilliant. His sixth studio release DROGAS Light attempts to ride the current mainstream chart wave of bouncy trap and EDM beats in a similar way to how 2011’s Lasers courted commercial pop rap - and much like Lasers, the outcome is undercooked at best.

Raw, authentic with a hint of rusticity, Back from the Edge kindles the ignition for James Arthur’s original and dynamic sound. With an impressively orchestral opening in the eponymous Back from the Edge, the production is second to none. Similar to the cinematic opening of a James Bond film, the instrumentation occassionally drowns out Arthur’s vocals. Despite this, Back from the Edge offers gumption, punch and difference, and the improved tone of James Arthur’s vocals effectively compliment the forceful and robust sound.

EMI Records Available to stream online and purchase in stores (CD and vinyl) now

The album opens with strong production on Dopamine Lit (Intro), which is conveniently both an intro and actually lit enough to merit a few flame emojis. It also sets the bar way too high for the thirteen tracks that limp after it, all crippled by misplaced attempts at clever cynicism. Repetitive choruses and mob lines such as ‘My AR-15 from California / Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang’ aim to poke fun at trap music tropes, but the one-note joke lacks the wit of Fiasco’s previous work and comes across as trite rather than satirical. Tranquilo sees Fiasco in full bubblegum mode rapping about nutrition and friendships, before Rick Ross lumbers along and yanks the steering wheel away with tired lines about ‘bitches on bitches’ and how shiny his Rolls Royce is. The last half of the album is similarly unsure of itself, unravelling into flat pseudo-nostalgic disco beats and unexciting hooks from a range of forgettable dial-a-feature vocalists who can’t reverse the fact that DROGAS Light is about as deep as a puddle. Jasper Wilkins

Colombia Records Available to stream online and purchase in stores (CD only) now

The first ten minutes of Back from the Edge are by far the best, offering the most musically diverse tracks such as Prisoner, Say You Won’t Let Go and Can I Be Him. However, the latter section of the album becomes repetitive and quite frankly, predictable. The pace slows and songs such as Remember Who I Am and The Truth become too similar, resulting in a gradual plummet of energy. Whilst James Arthur’s attempt to change his style is commendable, Back from the Edge shows that Arthur still has a fair way to go to construct an album that isn’t as confused as I was when I had finished listening to it. George Caulton

T2 SOUNDTRACK

YESTERDAY’S GONE

Assorted Artists

Loyle Carner

More than twenty years after the original film debuted, changing the face of British Cinema and becoming a focal point of the ‘Cool Britannia’ era, Trainspotting is back. T2 sees some familiar faces with a few new twists- much like the accompanying soundtrack to the film. Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life is still there, albeit with a pounding remix by the Prodigy, while Underworld have tweaked their instant classic Born Slippy, a track as iconic as the “Choose Life” speech given by Ewan McGregor’s character Renton. Slow Slippy is just as pounding and powerful as its predecessor.

Loyle Carner’s (real name Ben Coyle-Larner) Yesterday’s Gone is an astonishing debut for the young British rapper. The cover photo of Larner surrounded by friends and family echoes and reinforces the key themes and inspirations of the album. Opening tune The Isle of Arran starts out with a whirling gospel choir as Larner wonders why his “Dad didn’t want me, ex didn’t need me,” the personal nature of the album are clear to hear from the outset. It has a reflective element that many would expect to end an album, but the rapper is just getting started.

Young guns Wolf Alice, Young Fathers and High Contrast all feature, while there’s a few classic throwbacks to yesteryear with Blondie, Queen, The Clash and RUN DMC featuring Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood is another welcome addition, with a song almost as controversial on first release as the original film fitting in this soundtrack perfectly. Much like Danny Boyle’s long awaited movie follow up, the soundtrack packs as big a punch as Begbie would give on a night out, but doesn’t step on the toes of any of the original line-up. It would have been easy to reissue the old album but for a few changes. Thankfully, like the film, it chose to be different. Choose Life. And choose this soundtrack. Dan Heard

Other personal favourites include Mean in in the Morning, Damselfly, Ain’t Nothing Changed and Mrs C, where jazz influences are woven with mournful hiphop beats to create a truly refreshing sound. As the album comes towards a close the incredibly powerful Sun of Jean features piano from Larner’s late stepfather and spoken word from his evidently proud mother, rejoicing in the monumental love of family and embodying the mood of the whole record. Yesterday’s Gone is an emotional, honest, and thoughtful album, fashioning and investing a unique sound that will see the young Loyle Carner go a long way.

Capitol Records Available to stream online and purchase in stores (CD and vinyl) now

LITTLE FICTIONS

EMI Available to stream online and purchase in stores (CD and vinyl) now

John Jarman

Elbow

Polydor Records Available to stream and purchase now After being graced with nearly 16 years of Elbow, it seems we are yet to see the Guy Garvey genius falter as lyrically we are treated to his tales of wonder and nostalgia. Yet collectively we see the band retain that stringed anthem power they’ve come to accumulate as their own unique sound. Hopes are raised as the opening track Magnificent (She Says) allays a steady build up that remains prevalent throughout the years of Elbow tracks, the bellows of Garvey both validates our faith in his voice and indicates that soft lyrical side that we see once he has a microphone. That being the title track, the album is littered with other top tunes as Gentle Storm highlights a slight change in sound, with the piano and fast drum beat aligning better than Garvey’s facial hair. We see a sophistication in their sound that has so often been produced by Elbow that we come to expect great things from them. The long instrumental intro of Trust the Sun is once again an indication of the atmospheric fluidity that flows throughout Elbow`s history.

However, it is in All Disco that we are welcomed with more of a guitar feature that glides alongside Garvey`s bellowing power. Much of the criticism that has been thrown Elbow`s way has been of unoriginality. This seems misplaced when you consider what’s considered true throughout this album, that Garvey`s poetic lyrics and orchestral sounds gives Little Fictions that Elbow warmth we all know and love. Featured so often in the work of Elbow, yet so often underappreciated, tunes as chilled as Head for Supplies rely on that kind of unique sound. An album definitely recognisable as a classic Elbow-esque type; here’s to many more from the Manc four piece. Sean Kirkpatrick


SUNDARA KARMA


29 Indie rockers

SUNDARA KARMA @Sundarakarma

/SundaraKarma

INTERVIEW & WORDS BY ERIN BROWN WITH ASSISTANCE FROM GEORGE CAULTON GIG PHOTOS BY JASPER WILKINS

Sundara Karma are back. After touring with Two Door Cinema Club, the boys are on their second headline UK tour. Whilst in Cardiff, Quench Music were lucky enough to catch up with band members Ali and Dom, who told us about their debut album, their transition to Buddhism, and why their friendship is like being on a permanent lad’s holiday. Catching Sundara in Cardiff SU as part their Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect album tour, the boys kicked off by telling us why this album name is so important to the band. Telling us how they “were gonna just call the album Young Understanding,” the boys gained inspiration from the lyrics in their final song on the album, Deep Relief, adding that “ it just ended up making loads of sense.” Not really understanding why it made loads of sense, we asked Sundara why, at the mere age of 21, they were shouting about youth being fun in retrospect when they are only just living it. Ali begged to differ, “It’s true right, youth is only fun in retrospect... well it’s just funner when you look back on it.” Funner? Yes, funner. You heard.

“ SUNDARA MEANS

BEAUTIFUL. IT STANDS FOR BEAUTIFUL KARMA. ”

With laid back vibes and mysterious facial expressions, Sundara Karma are undeniably pretty cool. Yet for the boys, however, they joke about how the band is nothing more than, “four best mates who have been together since [they] were about 14,” telling us how they are still pretty immature and how they “all still live with their parents.” Confirming how the tour feels like a 24/7 ‘Lads on Tour’ holiday, Dom tells us that nothing will ever beat their real lad’s holiday to Majorca when they were only 16: “We went to the shittiest, tiniest club in the whole of Majorca called Chivas. It’s the only one we could get into because we were underage. We just got completely off our rockets… we should probably leave it at that...” Joking aside, this tight knit upbringing is what makes Sundara Karma the band they are today. With both Dom and Ali being unable to read music, they reveal the difficulties when working alongside real musicians, “It’s weird being with ‘real musicians’ and people who can actually read music. I’m like shit...” Whilst it’s strange to think that Dom doesn’t class Sundara Karma as ‘real’ musicians, I guess this just pretty much sums up their down to earth attitude. The impression that both Ali and Dom give off, can only seem as if they think that their tour and music is just a bit of fun; a bit of fun that has led to producing another bloody great album. Despite the band being a group of 21 year old lads just having a laugh, their music is far from the shallow living of being young, getting pissed and pulling. The lyricism that comes with their music surrounds much deeper topics such as Buddhism, as Dan tells us that, “Oscar’s mum is a Buddhist so I guess she had quite a large influence on us as individuals. I think that really made us think what kind of people we want to be and what kind of lives we want to follow.” Commenting on the importance of religion,

particularly Buddhism, throughout their music, the boys tell us where the name Sundara Karma originated from. “We like the idea of Karma. When you give, you get something back… it’s about that progression of us through time.” Telling us that, “Sundara means beautiful,” and how “it stands for beautiful karma,” there is something about the name that I can’t help but like. Conveying a likeness to philosophy within their songs, Dom reveals how Flame takes inspiration and focus from Plato’s analogy of ‘The Cave’. “If you listen carefully, it’s about breaking from the shackles within the cave. When he leaves the cave, he comes back and tries to tell the story of what he has seen outside… out of this confined isolated place. He was about to tell everyone but no one believes him, so they kill him and stone him to death.” How cheery. In saying this though, Sundara don’t enforce a direct meaning within their songs, therefore suggesting that the cave serves as a literary device- a metaphor- a plea to help creative minds grow. Telling us that they don’t want to force any fixed meaning on the lyrics, they instead want their fans to listen and make their own meanings, adding that, “It depends how you feel about it; you can take it any way you want really. With our music, we don’t say, ‘this is what it is about’, all we can really say, is that we’re influenced by this, [but] what does it mean to you?” With their debut album tour drawing to a close, Sundara explain to us how they are “kind of dabbling” about with their music once the tour is over. With Youth Is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect only recently being released, new tunes are very far out in the distance for Sundara. Having conquered the UK with an appraised debut album release, having smashed a UK tour and featuring in endless appearances on festival lineups including a headline bill at Dot to Dot, it really has been quite a year for Sundara. Drawing to a close, Dom slips up, as he reveals, “we are going to Japan as well for the first time. Which I’m really excited about.” A slight ‘oops’ moment by Dom as Ali adds, “Dude, you’re not allowed to say that!”… “I haven’t said anything, I just said we’re going, yeah we are going on holiday to Japan.” A lad’s holiday to Japan? Right…


30 MUSIC

WILEY, THE GODFATHER OF GRIME: A Review by Someone Who Knows Very Little You’re chatting to your best mate on the SU balcony in the early hours of Sunday morning when he offers you a press pass to see Wiley the following night. You’re a metalhead who knows pretty much nothing about grime - you don’t even own a snapback - but you accept his proposal nonetheless. You are me, and you don’t end up regretting it.

First to the stage are Cardiff new blood Sonny Double 1 and Mace performing their respective tracks Mo Farah and It’s Mad. Both bring outstanding energy to the venue, but that is rapidly eclipsed by a blistering half hour set from Astroid Boys. AB’s endless touring and innovative fusion of grime with metal riffs has amassed them a massive reputation over the past 6 years, and one which is well earned. “The Godfather of Grime” may seem like a rather masturbatory title at first, but Wiley demonstrates very


31

quickly that he is deserving of it. Chart songs from his love-hate mainstream phase such as Heatwave are nowhere to be found, instead he delivers a fierce onslaught of solid grime tracks, mostly from his critically acclaimed eleventh album Godfather. Big hitting tunes such as Speaker Box and Can’t Go Wrong result in frantic mosh pits and instant reloads, and a snippet of BBK’s Too Many Man earns a raucous response from the crowd.

All in all, the Godfather live is an experience I recommend to all, whether you’re a seasoned roadman or just a slightly hungover metalhead. Rob Byrne Follow Wiley on Twitter @WileyUpdates or visit WileyOfficial.com for upcoming tour dates. Photography by Jasper Wilkins. Follow him on Instagram @JaspWilkins

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32 FOOD

Review: The Flora WORDS BY: ELINOR TERRY DESIGN BY: LUCY APRAHAMIAN Hey, what are you up to tonight? We’re thinking about going to The Flora for a few drinks, want to join us? Now, I know what you’re thinking: any self-respecting Cardiff student in second year or above would have under no circumstances sent that text this time last year. Situated on the corner of Cathays Terrace and Flora Street, the fittingly named pub was, until recently, branded a “middle-aged man’s pub” (sorry, Dad!) and was definitely on every students’ avoid-at-allcost list. Oh, how times have changed! Thanks to those quirky mixologists who run that cool bar over on Ten Mill Lane, and a healthy six-figure investment from Wales’ biggest brewery, SA Brains, the pub is almost unrecognisable and (dare I say it?) cool! You can see it before you even walk through the door - the infamous green and yellow sign has been replaced with something a little classier. The exterior of the pub now looks understated, but clean. Inside too, it’s difficult to believe the place was once crammed with old wooden tables and used to resemble that one pub we all went to on our last day of sixth form. Gone are the patterned maroon carpets, instead there is classic, exposed wood flooring, which matches the partlyexposed brick walls and mismatched “vintage” furnishings. All of this together creates an atmosphere not unlike Juno Lounge on Wellfield Road, or Coffee Barker with added alcohol. The word hipster floats on the tip of my tongue, but I am reluctant to use it because it feels a little too generic. I will instead use the phrase “well branded towards their target audience”. And who is their target audience? I hear you ask. Well, of course, students! And it is not just their quirky décor, which is specifically tailored to us: their drinks menu boasts a wide selection at reasonably inexpensive prices. While you may want to avoid investing your student loan on a pint of Strongbow, which at £3.60 is notably costlier than in The Taf, you will be impressed with their range of £5 cocktails and, undeniably my favourite deal, a £3 G+T. I am not just talking about any old gin and tonic, no sir. I am talking about a wide selection of eleven different gins with no difference in price, each one served with a specially chosen Fever Tree tonic in the biggest wine glass that I have ever seen! Now, if anybody knows their tonic waters they will know that Fever Tree is one of the best and most expensive brands on the market. I almost cried with happiness when the bartender revealed to me that I only had to hand over £3 for the magnificent creation in front of me.

Along with the drinks, the food is also well-priced and aimed at students. Whether you just fancy a quick nibble, or a fullfrontal meal, The Flora caters for all eventualities. The main meals – a varied selection of pub classics, with an emphasis on burgers – all cost a reasonable £6.95, a fair price, which makes it extremely easy to split the bill at the end of night. I’d recommend trying their hummus, flavoured with coriander and definitely not bought pre-packaged in Tesco, as well as their mysteriously named “Bandit fries”, smothered in red paprika salt. However, what most impressed me about the menu is the little twists added to both the starters and the burgers, which make the menu stand out from other generic pub food dotted around Cathays. Everything about the Flora screams “student” and it is clear from the moment you step inside and are greeted by friendly bar staff, and on Friday nights, a DJ, that this pub was designed especially for us. But, I don’t hate that and to be honest I am struggling to find many things to criticise. Other than its own self-confidence and perhaps the lack of tables in the back lefthand room, this place is doing everything extremely well. In fact, if you ask me, this place is definitely worth a visit; after all it was tailored especially for you, so why would you not? The Flora - 136 Cathays Terrace, open 12pm-11pm Mon-Thurs; 12pm-12am Fri-Sat; 12pm-10pm Sun.


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Review: The Clink

WORDS BY: OLIVIA BOTTING DESIGN BY: LUCY APRAHAMIAN Here in Cardiff, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by an impressive range of creative food establishments that manage to combine quality with quirkiness, and perhaps nowhere illustrates this better than The Clink. The charity offer ‘an innovative approach to rehabilitation’, by employing prisoners and helping them get back on their feet. The Clink have secured a glittering reputation for themselves, so our contributor Olivia Botting was eager to sample the Cardiff branch for herself - here’s what she made of it. I write this as I emerge from my two-day food coma bestowed upon me by the delicious food at The Clink Restaurant, located by Queen Street train station. This particular restaurant is a bit different to conventional eateries, in that you have to go through a small security check upon applying for a reservation (at least, that’s what it said on the website) and also the fact that it’s mostly run by prisoners from HMP Prescoed. Yep, you read that right. The establishment employs 28 prisoners who work front-of-house and in the kitchen, and the aim of the restaurant, run by The Clink Charity, is to alleviate preconceptions about people who have been to prison, and to reduce re-offending rates. They do this by both giving the staff purpose - basically, they have a job, and they have the opportunity to gain qualifications in catering so they can be immediately hired once they’ve left the prison service. It’s pretty cool, actually. Our waiter was lovely, and we had an interesting conversation with him about how it was to work in the restaurant. He said he went through years of therapy and rehabilitation to reach a stage where he could interact with people from outside the prison, and that he enjoyed working in the restaurant because he had something to work towards. The Clink Charity seems to be doing good all-round.

Now, onto the meal. As an overview, the food was phenomenal, and I fear I’m going to become repetitive because I can’t actually express how good it was. We booked in for a ‘gourmet’ evening meal, which comprised of four courses (and after-dinner coffee) chosen from a set menu. It was quite pricey, considering a student budget, but you pay in two installments - one for a deposit, paid with the reservation, and the second half with the meal. So really, it’s quite easy to manage. And believe me, it was so worth it. The starter for me was the soup of the day - a cream of tomato soup which came presented with architectural bread shapes. Both of which I enjoyed thoroughly. I discovered later that the bread the restaurant serves is entirely homemade - impressive, considering I had about three different types on my plate. My boyfriend went for a pigeon breast, pine nut and orange salad, took one look at it and wolfed it down with a disturbingly smug look on his face. I’ve never seen the bloke eat so fast. Apparently, it was ‘lush’—evidently, The Clink has his seal of approval. The title of ‘highlight of the meal’ is very much tied between the latter two courses. I ordered ‘poached and roasted chicken, served with fondant potato, trio of root veg and thyme jus’, for which I paused for a moment to take a photo of when it arrived. It was presented like some form of modern art, and I hit a personal goal of self-control when I didn’t devour it in forty seconds. The dessert here is worthy of awards, however. I didn’t stop long enough to see what my boyfriend ordered, but I went for a saffron poached pear and made an ascent to a higher level of being. I’m not being dramatic, I think I blacked out in pearinduced bliss for roughly ten minutes as I made my way through that dessert. I could eat that pear forever. Honestly, I truly recommend this restaurant. Admittedly, it’s a little flush for a student budget, but if you ever want to impress your other half ’s parents with a fancy and fantastic meal, this is your place. The Clink Cardiff, Knox Rd, Cardiff CF24 0UG http://theclinkcharity.org/


34 FOOD AND DRINK

FOOD EVENING

CHAI STREET C

ardiff is a city of two halves. In one sense, it’s rooted in tradition, with a number of entertainment venues doubling as part of the capital’s furniture. On the other hand, it’s constantly regenerating – moving in a new trajectory that often includes independent restaurants. High Street alone captures this juxtaposition – the traditional Goat Major pub situated opposite the new kid on the block, Chai Street. Chai Street’s speciality is Indian street food. Originally only found a little further out of town on Cowbridge Road East, incredible demand meant no choice but to expand, so the more central addition joined High Street late last year. Co-owner Ajit Kandoran explained, ‘We’re delighted to be opening in the heart of Cardiff. It’s a busy, lively and exciting place, just right for a real Indian experience.’ Chai Street is an outlet of the renowned Mint and Mustard, which was launched by doctors Ajit and Latheesh Kottilil after they fondly remembered the food they’d enjoyed back in Kerala, Southern India. The following year, their plan of transporting the Keralan philosophy – that food is ‘a passion and way of life’ to British diners became a reality, in the form of the first Mint and Mustard here in Cardiff – and since then, it’s extended elsewhere, scooping a range of awards in the process. So whilst we’re lucky to have them so close to home, we’re also behind their decision to set up a more relaxed kitchen. After attending Chai Street’s launch party, I was thrilled to hear that they were eager to host a Quench Food Evening, Here’s what our contributors made of it. - Ellie Philpotts

SANYA BUDHIRAJA I was overcome with nostalgia - from fairy lighting to Bollywood pop-art, Chai Street delivered on its name by providing friendly service and authentic food. Whether Bread Pakoras or Aloo Tikki Chaat, a look at the menu and it felt like I was back in Delhi. However, it wasn’t just their varied selection that surprised me, but the innovative drinks, with huge Indo-Western cocktails. Nevertheless, the non-alcoholic drinks were equally impressive, including classics like Mango Lassi and Masala Chai. I was pleasantly surprised that the parath was tawa-cooked, with just the right amount of ghee. This was much better than some other Indian places, as their breads are usually drowning in oil. The stuffing was like the sabji, and the filling wasn’t too sickly, like one would expect curries to be. A total recommendation for someone’s first time venturing into Indian food!

BETH GRIFFITHS Chai Street offers dishes at incredible prices – what’s not to love? I was immediately taken in by the beautiful décor. Bright prints donned every wall, eagerly welcoming you in. The menu ranged from ‘Chicken Lollipops’ to simple curries. I was especially pleased at the vegetarian dishes, as this can be uncommon – nearly all the mains could be made vegetarian. I decided on the Chai Express Meal and a mango smoothie which was excellent value at just over £2. The Chai Express Meal cost £7.25, yet because you chose between rice and Indian bread, I felt it was lacking without one or the other. If you’re wandering around Cardiff looking for somewhere to eat, I recommend Chai Street for friendly service and delicious food!

BOB WIGIN While other diners chose mains, I selected two smaller courses, starting with Chicken Lollipops. These were the middle of a chicken’s wing, probably the best fried chicken I’ve had. With these I had Poori Bhaji, a flakier version of pitta bread. Having visited India during Summer, this dish transported me back. I drank Indian lemonade - the biggest surprise, as it was incredibly flavoursome. One criticism I had was the seating area being quite cold, but I heartily recommend Chai Street - just expect quality over quantity.


35 GEORGIA O’BRIEN From the infamous Mint and Mustard, to the more local Mowgli’s on Crwys Road, Cardiff ’s vast, vibrant Indian food scene spoils us for choice. So when I heard Chai Street was opening on High Street, I was eager to try it. I was impressed by the quirky, and dare I say it, rather ‘edgy’ décor. The locally-designed graffiti was tastefully done, recreating India’s authenticity with a modern twist. I went for the Fish Chai Express, a succulent blend of mild spiced curry and white rice for a student friendly £7.25. The fish was cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection, while the curry sauce was just spicy enough to avoid being bland. The portion, however, was a little small and I did envy the more substantial Thali meals that came with a wider array but at a more expensive £8.95. I’d recommend opting for 2 or 3 of the smaller ‘street delights’ to try a few dishes without leaving hungry. Overall, a pleasant experience with friendly service and yummy food that’s definitely worth visiting this term.

HANNAH HOPKINS Inside, the restaurant is colourful with a casual-dining vibe, with décor enough to get any Instagrammer reaching for their phone (I know I did!) The menu is smaller nibbles and larger dishes, such as the thali. My vegetable thali was a great choice (if I do say so myself) and I was pleasantly surprised by the size. Served on a single plate in line with Indian food customs, my dish was tofu in a tasty (but rather spicy) sauce, with potatoes, raita, mini poppadoms, naan, lentil daal, rice and lime pickle. All was great value, and as a bonus, the cocktails are a student-friendly £5.25, and in a bowl-like glass - Chai Street certainly didn’t scrimp on the size! An independent restaurant with great food, great prices and a friendly atmosphere.

SANJA DRAGOJLOV Perfect for students, the restaurant features both appetisers and mains served on high school cafeteria-style silver trays with the cuisine divided into compartments, featuring rice, poppadoms, and sauces. You choose from vegetarian, fish or meat, so there’s something for everyone. There are also curries and chips a-la-Masala. The atmosphere is cosy, its coloured streamers and lights giving off the right ambiance for a date or social gathering.

MARIA MELLOR Chai Street is aesthetic central; made cosy by twinkly lights, bunting and cleverly painted walls. I couldn’t not order a mango lassi - smooth, sweet and tropical, it was exactly what I needed. I ordered fish thali, on a cute school lunch-style tray with a wide range included. Talk about value for money! I kept thinking ‘Now THIS is real Indian food’. The curry was a little spicy, but the menu had an effective traffic-light system and in my opinion the heat was a welcome complement to the raita. I practically wiped the plate clean and will definitely be going again!

OLIVIA BOTTING Quench Food descended en-masse to Chai Street, where it took me three days to figure out it works as a pun on ‘High Street’. It serves gorgeous Indian street food. Admittedly, it was initially difficult to suss out what I was ordering, because its authentic cuisine was rather different to the Westernised view. But after some deduction and a quick Google, the dishes were easy to understand and staff cleared up any queries. I ordered Chicken Biryani, and in my infinite wisdom, lentil curry to smother on top, because I hail from the land of the Balti and wasn’t going to be defeated by some rice... I was defeated by some rice. Whilst being delicious, the dish had a definite kick, and my eyes and nose were streaming by the time I relented and turned to the yoghurt. It wasn’t an uncomfortable amount of spice, just enough to make you realise you hadn’t grown up with it.

GABBI WAN I was impressed by the design covering every inch of Chai Street. Everywhere you look, there’s something quirky, creating a fun, friendly atmosphere. The staff were quick to explain the menu - you can buy a main meal or smaller plates. There’s an essential mild-to-hot rating, so you don’t order something that sets your mouth on fire. I had their lamb thali, on a tray with different compartments for lamb or vegetable curry and everything else. I loved this as it gives a real Indian street food experience, always full of flavour and spice. I also tried their ‘Mantra’ cocktail - they’re only £5.25 and huge! The mix of coconut water and gin was perfect alongside my medium-heat dish. I’ll be revisiting to try more of Chai Street’s dishes.

CHRISTOPHER JONES If you enjoy Indian food and are willing to spend a few extra pounds on your meal, you should check Chai Street out. I had the chicken dum biryani and Lentil of the Day. The spiced rice and vegetables were peppered with a generous amount of chicken. I found the chicken sauce spicy without the yoghurt, but that could be down to my shortcomings in curry tolerance. I’d also recommend the strawberry smoothie.


36 FOOD AND DRINK

CARDIFF’S CUISINE: around the world with food

Words By: Georgia O’Brien and Ellie Philpotts

Design By: Emma Riches

Illustration by: Lisa Doran

If you moved to Cardiff expecting your diet to shift to solely Welsh Rarebit, cawl and Bara Brith, it wouldn’t take long to realise this isn’t the case. While it is fair to say that traditional Welsh grub is easy to find in Cardiff – highlights being Fabulous Welshcakes at the Bay; Seasons nestled in Castle Arcade and Ffresh which calls the iconic Wales Millennium Centre home – Cardiff’s international cuisine definitely doesn’t end there.

Portuguese

Sadly, Wales’ weather is worlds apart from the sunnier scenes of Portugal, but Nata & Co make a commendable effort at bridging the gap. Initially found only in the suburb of Splott, they’ve since expanded to the Bay and opposite the castle, meaning you’re never too far from their distinctive yellow decor, or, more to the point, unique treats. As one of the UK’s only Portuguese bakeries, they’re incredibly authentic – you’ll find traditional delicacies like the Pastel del Nata custard cake; Bola de Berlin cream doughnut; savoury breads and flavoursome coffees. Nata & Co are cheap, cheerful and colourful, proving that Nando’s isn’t the only Portuguese eatery that starts with ‘Na’ and is worth visiting. When the only downside is that there’s nata single original pun to be made, except that they’re exactly what Cardiff kneaded, you know they must be good.

Indian

As one of the UK’s most popular cuisines, you’d be correct in expecting Cardiff to have its fair share of Indian restaurants. We have Mint and Mustard in Heath, described by last year’s Harden’s Restaurant Guide as ‘firstclass’; Moksh at the Bay, and Spice Quarter in the city centre’s Brewery Quarter, named Best Indian Restaurant in Wales. However, the Duchess of Delhi in Cardiff Bay takes the crown. Walk in and you’ll be immersed into a welcoming atmosphere – the decor is stunning, and the staff friendly and passionate. While Indian food is their focus, they manage to incorporate other South Asian flavours, including Nepalese, Singaporean, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and Burmese. Their impressive menu spanning from vegetarian Green Curry to rarer dishes such as Jaffna Stuffed Squid and Indonesian fried noodles. Well worth making the trip out of Cathays for...

Malaysian

Elsewhere in South-East Asia is Malaysia, and elsewhere in Cardiff is Canton. Combine the two and you’ll find yourself at Wok-ker Shaker. Perched on Tudor Street just underneath the Millennium Stadium, Wokker Shaker compensates for its unassuming-looking decor and exterior with traditional and good-quality Malaysian fare. One of the country’s national dishes is the Nasi Lemak, which is replicated convincingly by Wok-ker Shaker – think rice, coconut milk, egg, toasted peanuts, cucumber and chicken, all for the studentfriendly cost of under £4. Other much-loved meals, from seafood to vegetarian, often with a street-food feel, are in abundance, which enjoys a positive reputation among those who’ve discovered it thanks to its ability to consistently deliver unpretentious good grub. Although Woodville Road’s newly refurbished Jalan Malaysian is closer to home in Cathays, Wok-ker Shaker doubles as an incentive to get exploring more of the city!

Thai

From the streets of Bangkok to the high end shore side restaurants spotted around some of the country’s idyllic island resorts, Thai food comes served with a kick of spice, a pocketful of colour and a moreish flavour that will keep you piling your plate high. But, with a vibrant Thai scene dotted around Cardiff, it’s easier than you think to keep your cravings for all things nice (with a little bit of added spice) at bay. Located just a stone’s throw away on 207 Cowbridge Road East, Bangkok Café is just one of several locally run Thai restaurants in Cardiff. The younger, hipper offspring of Cardiff ’s respected Thai House restaurant, the café is successful in combining traditional Thai dishes with a modern, stylish and welcoming atmosphere. With bright pink and blue interior, the café is a haven for young, fun loving students who are a little strapped for cash. Main dishes on the lunchtime menu are priced at just £5.50 and made using locally sourced produce - an absolute steal I think you’ll agree!

French

From well-known French food chains La Bistrot Pierre and Cote Brasserie to a number of quaint, locally run outlets, Cardiff has become the piece de resistance of authentic French cuisine. Perhaps one of the best is Bully’s. Located conveniently just outside the city centre on 5 Romilly Crescent, the restaurant has been running for over 15 years and has a vast selection of menus, including both a lunch and evening menu, a la carte and an extensive wine list. With a quirky homespun interior adorned with a selection of mirrors and images collected on the owner’s travels, the restaurant prides itself on its homely atmosphere and flavorsome locally sourced dishes. It’s no wonder therefore that this hidden gem has a sparkling reputation, winning the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2015. A little expensive for us poor students - mains on the evening menu are priced at £19.95, a trip to Bully’s is best reserved for when those wonderful things called student loans come in. With some French favorites - pan fried foie gras, fillet of sea bass in bouillabaisse sauce and cinnamon panna cotta to name just a few on the menu, I think it’s safe to say that although expensive, Bully’s compensates its prices with freshly prepared, top quality dishes. Everyone deserves a treat now and again, right?


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NOW Create your Own! Portuguese Fish Casserole Nata & Co focus on the sweet, so we thought we’d switch over to the other side. (More reason to stock up at the bakery for dessert...) Here’s how to make the Portuguese Fish Casserole at home. Ingredients – 2 pounds of salted cod; 5 large potatoes (peeled and sliced); 3 large onions (sliced); ¾ cup olive oil; 2 cloves garlic (minced); 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped); 1 ½ teaspoons pepper flakes (crushed); 1 teaspoon paprika; 3 tablespoons tomato sauce. Recipe – Soak the cod in cold water. Drain the water, then repeat this process. Boil a large pot of water. Cook the cod for 5 mins then drain and cool. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In an 8x11 casserole dish, layer the cod, onions and half the potatoes. Top this with the remaining potatoes. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, parsley, pepper, tomato sauce and paprika. Pour this evenly over the casserole. Bake for 45 mins and voila, a hearty dinner to fuel you through those essays.

Indian Carrot Halwa The opposite of the aforementioned Nata & Co, Duchess of Delhi’s big business is mains, so here’s how to make dessert. We all have a second stomach reserved for this, don’t we?! And as the name suggests, this Carrot Halwa isn’t all unhealthy... Ingredients – 4 carrots; 2 cups milk; 1 cup sugar; 2 tablespoons ghee; ¼ cup nuts and raisins; 2 crushed cardamom. Recipe – Peel and grate the carrots. Heat the ghee in a small pan and fry the nuts and raisins in it. Heat the milk in a pan, then add the carrots. Cover it and cook on a medium flame, stirring regularly. After 20 minutes, when the carrots have absorbed the milk, add sugar and keep stirring. After 8 minutes, add the cardamom, nuts, raisins and ghee. Mix this all for another minute and enjoy!

Malaysian Banana Fritters Room for pudding? Of course there is. Here’s how to whip up your very own Mashed Banana Fritters, a popular Malaysian snack that’s also considerate of your 5-a-day. Ingredients – 2 mashed bananas; 4 tablespoons flour; 1 tablespoon rice flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons oil, 1 ½ tablespoons butter. Recipe – Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar into a bowl. Stir in the bananas. Add oil to a medium-heated pan. Place a tablespoon of banana into the pan and flatten it. Fry each side until medium-brown. Ideally eat warm, but they work cooler too!

Pad Thai No Thai menu would be complete without the iconic Pad Thai, a dish any budget traveller may have come more than accustomed to during their time exploring. All you need to do is follow these easy steps to transport the taste of Thailand from Chiang Mai to Cathays this Spring. Ingredients - 200g rice noodles, 140g frozen peas, 200g frozen prawns, 2 tbsp sunflower oil, 100g beansprouts, small bunch spring onions sliced, 2 beaten eggs, 3 tbsp roasted peanuts, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, small bunch coriander, leaves only Recipe - Boil a pan of water, add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes, adding the peas and prawns for the final minute. Drain, and set aside while you heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the noodles, prawns, peas, beansprouts and spring onions, tossing to coat in the oil for a few minutes. Push everything to one side of the pan and pour in the egg. Stir until cooked, then mix everything well. Toss through the peanuts, soy and sweet chilli sauce so everything is combined. Scatter with the coriander and serve.

French Onion Soup French Onion soup is a light, flavorsome and nutritious broth that only takes half an hour to prepare and can be frozen and reheated for both lunch and dinner. Ingredients - 4 large onions, 3 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil, 4 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaf, 300ml dry white wine, 1 rounded tbsp plain flour, 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon Recipe: Cut the onions into thin slices. Heat a large pan, add the oil when hot, stir in the onions, 3 of the thyme sprigs and the bay leaves, then season with a little salt. Cook over a high heat for 5 mins, stirring often. The onions shouldn’t brown yet, but just start to soften. Lower the heat, then cook slowly for 35 mins, uncovered, stirring often until the onions have reduced and are soft. While the onions are cooking, bring the wine to a boil in a small pan, then bubble away for 30 secs. Remove and leave to cool. Tip the flour into a small heavy pan and toast over a medium heat for a few mins, stirring occasionally, until light brown in colour. Set aside. When the onions are soft, turn up the heat so they caramelise, then cook for another 12-15 mins, stirring along the bottom of the pan occasionally to mix in the brown sticky bits. When the bottom of the pan and all the onions are sticky, stir in the flour. With the heat still high, gradually pour in the wine, again stirring in the bits from the bottom. Pour in 1.2 litres of cold water. Stir in the bouillon, then slowly bring everything to the boil. Skim off any froth from the surface. Simmer for 15 mins. To serve, remove and discard the herbs from the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and accompany with warm crusty bread. Enjoy!


38 TRAVEL

the Quench

Travelling Bucket List

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is home to the weird and wonderful, the sophisticated and the sexy, full of culture and ‘coffee shops’ (one city where marijuana is legal and prostitutes are waiting in red-tinted windows by 5pm). If Amsterdam is not on your bucket list then you are missing a city like no other, detached from the rest of the world in its uniqueness and magic. There is so much to do in the ‘Dam, and one day must be spent touring the vast range of museum’s the capital has to offer. From Van Gogh to alcohol - there is a museum about everything! One trip I personally recommend would be to visit the home of Anne Frank. Giving you the chance to live through her heart-wrenching experiences during World War Two for yourself, the place will transform you into an emotional wreck. There’s no such thing as walking in Amsterdam. There is the tram network, the canal network, and even bicycles have their own lane! And at the end of the day, head to the Heineken Experience brewery for a drink (or two). Amsterdam is a hidden gem that everyone must experience. I may have ticked if off my bucket list, but I’ll be going back again. Gemma Gibson

ICELAND Why not take the opportunity to see beautiful landscapes? Why not visit the cleanest place in Europe and the country which publishes more books than anywhere else? Experience all of this in Iceland. The most sparsely populated European country is a luxurious getaway on many bucket lists. Iceland is geologically and volcanically active. You don’t get to see volcanoes, glacial rivers, or lava fields anywhere else, or to see a country is physically moving away from itself (the Mid-Atlantic Ridge). The Blue Lagoon won’t disappoint, but you must book in advance. This popular tourist attraction brings thousands from all over the world each year. The lagoon itself is spacious, isn’t too hot or too cold, and is very modern, contrasting beautifully with the organic setting. You can stay in the water for as long as you like, so it’s an absolute must when travelling to Reykjavik. The arctic fox is Iceland’s only native animal, and The Arctic Fox Centre, where you can visit them, provides research on Icelandic arctic fox populations, their history and wildlife tourism. Iceland is a special country like no other and should 100% be on your bucket list! Rachel Nurse

rome Despite having been around for over two thousand years, people from across the world still travel far and wide to visit the beauty of the Eternal City. Culture, romance and history can be found in the smallest nooks and crannies of Rome. The Vatican Museums are one of Rome’s most historical and artistic treasures. People gather from all around the globe just to take pictures of the magnificent Colosseum, to watch the sunset from Piazza del Campidoglio, to soak up a panorama of the natural beauty from the Palatine Hill, just a few places that make it a definite on the bucket list! Experience the breath-taking Vatican City, enjoy authentic Italian food and wine. Seize the opportunity to hear the natives speak what is widely known as the language of love. And of course, no trip to Rome would be complete without tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain, another one to add to your list! The tradition is said to ensure that one day you’ll return to the Eternal City. Full of romance, history and beauty, Rome is a must see! There really is no place like it. After all, it wasn’t built in a day folks! Lucy Pugh

DESIGN AND ORIGINAL ART BY: LISA D ORAN


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South Africa Something that has remained with me for years is the incredible Safari experience that South Africa offers; now that should be on your bucket list. Getting up in the early hours is highly recommended on Safari, this is when animals are likely to be wandering around (hiding from the midday scorching sun). This early start is more than worth it, even if it is just to see the golden sun break across the African Savannah. I recommend booking a tour, as guides will be knowledgeable about the greatest viewing spots, and a higher vehicle makes observing these animals in their natural environment much easier! Keep an eye for Africa’s ‘Big Five’- Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhinoceros. There is nothing quite like your first sighting of a herd of elephants or a lone cheetah creeping through grass. Going on safari should be top of your bucket list as these animals won’t be here forever. South Africa is one of the few places you can appreciate them in their natural habitat. Game Reserves I recommend visiting include The Kruger National Park (the size of Wales!), Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Park in Kwazulu Natal, and Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. Courtney Bridge

There are many reasons why the Philippines belongs on a young traveller’s bucket list, and yet most people travelling South East Asia still leave it off their routes. Visitors claim the archipelago is the perfect mix between South East Asia and South America. A previous Spanish colony, the seven thousand islands are full of Spanish culture, a breath of fresh air to “temple-tired” travellers adventuring from Thailand and Cambodia. The locals are known for being super welcoming and their English is impeccable. If you are after less culture and more nature, the Philippines have amazing, white sandy beaches, as well as famous diving sites. Of course, if you’re after a bit of nightlife, the island of Boracay will not disappoint, known for hosting some great beach parties. The thing making the Philippines even more attractive is that compared to the rest of South East Asia, it is relatively untouched by tourism, making it a secret treasure in an area that is otherwise overflowing with visitors. Here, you will experience authenticity that you can no longer find on a “normal” route, which is why you should go now, before the country gets taken over by tourism. Arianrhod Engebø


40 TRAVEL

Five ways studying abroad changes your life for the better Words by: Maria Collins Design by: Stephany Damyanova At the beginning of this year, I made the life-changing, intimidating choice to pack up my bags, head to London, and fly alone across the pond to begin a new chapter of my life - studying abroad in Pennsylvania, America for six whole months. It turned out to be the best decision I had ever made. Sure, studying abroad isn’t perfect: the application process is a nightmare and you will undoubtedly feel homesick and isolated at the beginning of your trip. But ultimately, if you are thinking of signing up for this experience, you will come to realise these qualms are minor in comparison to the overall incredible adventure you will face. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why studying abroad will change your life for the better...

You will view the world in a different way No longer will you be stuck in your boring, unchanged, daily routine. Travelling will broaden your horizons, as you adapt to a new culture, meet new people from all over the world and learn everything, both good and bad, about your chosen destination. Your mind will be opened to a new way of living, which will give you a better understanding of your own country’s culture.

You will make friends for life At first, you may feel completely alone in the world, cut off from everyone you know and love. But remember, there will be other students going through the exact same culture shock as you. So facing this crazy experience simultaneously will no doubt bring you closer together and you will form unique bonds for life.


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You will have an advantage with your future career Studying abroad looks great on your CV. Employers will recognise that from this opportunity you have the confidence and social skills to adapt to a new culture, you have the ability to communicate well with others, you have received a broader education and, as a person, you have a willingness to learn by taking on new challenges. How many other people can say that about themselves?

You will break out of your shell By learning a new language and living in a different culture with new people, you will be forced to break out of your own shell and reach out to others in order to help yourself adapt. This will make you a more confident, open-minded individual and you will grow as a person, which will benefit you in later life with jobs, relationships, and so much more.

You will become addicted

“So, if this once in a lifetime opportunity ever comes up, go for it! See the world, broaden your horizons and watch yourself change as a person. Studying abroad is truly an unforgettable experience.�

Never again will you be satisfied living and working in the same hometown you have grown up in. Through this extraordinary experience you will become addicted to regaining that sheer independence you felt whilst travelling, while learning and exploring the world in all of its unique beauty.


42 FASHION

Appreciation Throughout generations, fashion has become more aware of its surroundings. Whether this is nature, social demands or different cultures, fashion has undeniably adapted. However, when fashion labels inflict their styles with a sense of the multicultural, the question is always posed as to whether this is cultural appropriation or appreciation. I believe that cultural appreciation is the central aim of fashion when it borrows from other cultures. It is, indeed, a borrowing rather than a stealing. It has become fashionable to talk about cultural appropriation and through this, society has become conscious of acknowledging the origins of its style.

Illustration: Tiffany Tong

Oriental patterns have dominated the winter collections of 2016/17. Japanese prints dominated Gucci’s line, whilst Prada was influenced by China. Whilst browsing the shops over Christmas, I noticed the oriental on the high street too, in Matthew Williamson’s Butterfly collection in Debenhams. These floral patterns featuring bright birds on a dark silky backdrop are typical of the Japanese style. The high neck and detail borrows from the cheongsam, from China. Silks pervade the catwalk, such as Fendi, and also the high street, another key element of the cheongsam dress. This use of traditional oriental fashion in Western society expresses and praises the beauty of the style, whilst it does not fail to acknowledge its origins since it is a well-known feature of the oriental style. If we followed the theory of Orientalism by Edward Said, this style, by borrowing the conventional, and expected oriental style, would be submitting to a stereotype. However, it is through this use of the stereotype of the oriental style that we come to appreciate its beauty rather than take them into Western fashion as if it is our own. Braids and cane rows, another cultural borrowing, are featuring heavily in the fashion scene at the moment. Topshop have added a new ‘Braid Bar’ since Kim Kardashian brought braids into the public eye. Or did she? Her “boxer braids” are really just cane rows, and therefore, it is apparent that she is appropriating black culture. This style has been fashionable for years, worn by stars such as Beyoncé and Ciara. However, I don’t think braids or cane rows, as a part of fashion, are appropriating culture. It is only cultural appropriation when it is taken as if it was one’s own. I am a big fan of wearing braids since my housemate started doing them for me in first year. When wearing braids, I don’t feel like I am taking from her culture, but celebrating and enjoying an element of it, in other words, appreciating it. Moreover, West African tunics known as dashiki’s are also in the fashion spotlight for both men and women. Again, with websites like ‘dashikipride.com’ it seems that this element of African culture is being borrowed for a celebration of their style. Elements of cultural borrowing, by being constured as cultural appropriation, undo the celebration of a foreign culture. It would be wrong to ignore the

fashion of other cultures from our own. We would be acting as if our own culture should dominate and not acknowledge any other. By using bold features in fashion which originates from other cultures, Western fashion acknowledges what there is to celebrate, and presents some of the best elements of multi-cultures to the public eye. Elizabeth Mills

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Appropriation When a designer takes inspiration from another culture foreign to their own, there is a risk of exploiting that culture, appropriating their heritage and dress for profit with little consideration for its consequences. Cultural appropriation is something that pervades the fashion industry, where garments are often completely disassociated and even demystified from their cultural roots. In Native American tribes, for instance, the right to wear the headdress must be earned by spiritual leaders. The garment itself is handmade with consideration and respect for nature, and for Plains Indians, each eagle feather represents honour and compassion. Yet, the cultural significance of these headdresses and other Native clothing is continually being ignored and even erased whilst the Western fashion industry profits from it. During a Victoria’s Secret runway in 2012, Karlie Kloss infamously wore a Native American war bonnet down the runway in underwear, a choice clearly insensitive to the sexual victimisation of Native American women in the US as well as their traditions of modesty. Not only did Victoria’s Secret appropriate the culture into a fashion, but the apparent ignorance was offensive. Such exploitation can be seen in Urban Outfitters’ 2012 ‘Navajo’ range of products. The inauthentic tribal prints used were not linked to Navajo designers, and as such meant that the store profited from selling culturally disassociated garments. Moreover, the ‘Navajo’ range included underwear, feathered earrings and a hip flask - the latter of which was apparently designed by a company ignorant to permeating alcoholism issues within many Native American communities and the alcohol bans in Navajo reservations. Turning such cultures into a fashion is not appreciation, it is the stereotyping and erasure of a heritage; the appropriation of a culture that is foreign and alien and not respected in its proper context, but is revered as fashionable and edgy on hip teens at music festivals and Caucasian models - the context of Western beauty standards. Cultural appreciation would involve research, speaking to those from the culture who voice concern, an effort to show the culture as beautiful and respected on the coloured skin of its originators. Instead, much of what the fashion industry perpetuates is the same outmoded narrative that cultural dress is only fashionable and profitable when it is translated for Western beauty ideals.

Cultural appropriation in fashion can be harmful to the cultures it ‘borrows’ from, and anyone that voices an opinion is told to get over it and stop being so offended. Yet, it is not necessarily offence that people from these exploited cultures feel, but rather a sense of helplessness and oppression. For example, many South Asian people living in the West grow up seeing their culture negatively stereotyped in the media. Yet, as soon as Gwen Stefani, Selena Gomez and Iggy Azalea start wearing bindis in music videos, it’s suddenly fashionable, sensual, beautiful- a staple accessory of 90’s party wear. People affected are told to stop reacting; surely they should be happy about their culture being celebrated and enjoyed by others. But ultimately, between the cultures and the Western fashion industry that takes inspiration from them, there is no equitable exchange. One gets diverse and hip ethnic clothing to profit from, whilst the other is left still aspiring to western beauty ideals as apparently everything is more fashionable when they appropriate it. A cultural exchange should be encouraged, as the Western world is heading towards a more global, multi-cultural and tolerant society. Yet, a fair exchange of cultural capital cannot be achieved until we start challenging the current narrative of Western beauty standards and exploitative cultural appropriation. When the fashion industry makes more of an effort to work with the cultures they are inspired by, collaborate with their designers, use ethnically diverse models and have a consideration for respect, then we can hope for more instances of more progressive cultural appreciation. Sadia Pineda Hameed

Japanese-inspired dress at Gucci Fall/Winter 2016-2017 Illustration: Stephany Damyanova


44 FASHION

Celebrity Fashion Lines From Olivier Rousteing’s Kardashian led Balmain army to the A-Listers’ obsession with street style brand Vetements, celebrities continue to hold an important place within the fashion industry. Be it with a stand-alone brand or a collaboration with a designer, more and more celebrities are delving into the world of fashion. WORDS BY: CHARLOTTE WEATHERILT

DESIGN BY: EMMA RICHES

ILLUSTRATION BY: SARAH THOMPSON

Victoria Beckham Arguably one of the most successful cases of the popstar turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham’s eponymous brand has reached global success. Taking the step from the Spice World to the fashion world was arguably somewhat of a risk, and back in 2008 the industry press awaited Victoria’s launch of her first collection with little expectations. With no prior training and questionable personal style, the industry was sceptical of Victoria's ability to create more than just another celebrity vanity project. But nine years down the line, the former Spice Girl is both a respected business woman and fashion designer in her own right, and has entered the fashion world in a humbled and organic way. As the label evolves and the brand’s identity becomes more defined, the designer continues to have an understanding of 'what women want to wear' and creates clothes with a distinctive style and cut. With the seal approval from the industry and stores opening around the globe, Victoria Beckham will no doubt continue to conquer the fashion world.

Millie Mackintosh Social-media style icon Millie Mackintosh has been described by Vogue.com as “fashion’s surprising new star.” Alongside appearing on Made in Chelsea, making tabloid headlines and being a fitness fanatic, Millie has built a successful fashion empire which launched back in September 2014. As a designer, she is involved in the creation of her collections from the sketch pad right up until the final stitch. Her clothes are sold both on ASOS and through her own website. The designs are always wonderfully accessible and mirror Millie’s own chic-boho style. In the early days, her collections were made up of floaty, festival style dresses with a hippie feel. Since then her designs have evolved, with her latest collection, ‘Tailored by Millie’ offering customers a range of welltailored clothes inspired by the 1970s. In an interview with the Mail Online, Millie explained, “I wanted to create a collection for the girl who is looking for something smart, but doesn’t always want to wear a feminine dresssomething that will take her from the office through to the evening.”

Alexa Chung Alexa Chung is one of Britain’s biggest fashion icons, the muse to many fashion designers around the world and an all-round-it-girl of our generation. After a long wait, 2017 will see Alexa launch her own fashion brand. The contemporary-style, ready-to-wear line is set to hit stores in May 2017. The collection is set to include everything from daywear, eveningwear, jewellery and shoes all designed by Alexa herself. It will no doubt offer fashion fanatics everywhere a piece of Alexa’s much-envied wardrobe and is sure to be a success. Previously, we have seen Alexa collaborate with some well-known fashion brands. Her collections with Marks & Spencer’s saw Alexa raiding the retailer’s archive cupboards, reinventing pieces from the 1940s to the 1980s using her impeccable eye for style. The collaboration was quick to sell-out and was even brought back for a ‘Winter Archive’ at the end of last year. Her highly anticipated fashion line will no doubt mirror this success and with her being one of the biggest influencers on what young people wear today, expectations are high. Drawing on her trademark style, the first collection is sure to feature some of Alexa’s iconic staple wardrobe pieces. Expect denim cut-offs, dungarees and brogues along with some vintage frills.


45 Beyoncé // Topshop One of the biggest trends we’ve seen over the past year is athleisure. Although it is questionable how acceptable it is to wear your gym kit all day long, workout clothes are now a staple piece in many women’s everyday wardrobe. Be it in the library, at lectures, at the shops or in a coffee shop, sporty chic will be there.With the trend showing no signs of slowing down, high-street shops are now offering a range of comfortable stylish sports gear. What better way for Topshop to get on board than with a collection designed by Queen B herself? Launching in spring last year, ‘Ivy Park’ offers shoppers a range of 200 effortlessly cool activewear pieces including leggings, hoodies, swimwear, sweat bands and more. Named after her daughter Blue Ivy, the collection has pushed the boundaries of activewear. All branded with the stand-out Ivy Park logo, the line is both minimal and monochrome with an unapologetically strong look aiming to support and inspire women to be confident both physically and mentally. The collection is inspired by Beyoncé’s onstage energetic dance routines and will no doubt motivate fans everywhere to get up and break a leg.

Rihanna // Puma In February of last year, popstar and fashion icon Rihanna debuted her Fenty x Puma collaboration. Now the creative director, the highly anticipated athleisure collection was inspired by Marie Antoinette and was her first project with the athletic brand. The show was an artistic mix of sportswear meets high fashion drawing influences from Japanese street style. Along with the baseball caps and oversized hoodies, models such as Gigi Hadid and Naomi Campbell wore thigh high boots and corsets in a show which was sexy, confident and mirrored RiRi’s bad girl attitude. When the popstar was appointed as creative director back in 2014, industry insiders suggested that Puma were more focused on profiting from her celebrity status rather than understanding Rihanna’s artistic vision. Following the Fenty x Puma show at Paris Fashion Week in September of last year, it became obvious that this collaboration is different from celebrity fashion lines of the past. Rihanna’s line is a direct reflection of her work both in music and fashion. Every model in the show, male or female, walks and dresses as if they were a projection of the singer, with both her iconic beauty and attitude.

Kanye West // Adidas Love him or hate him, Kanye West is one of the most talked about celebrities in the world. Alongside his wife Kim Kardashian he has become an urban style leader with a huge following. Kanye West’s deal with Adidas back in 2015 was rumoured to be valued at somewhere around $10 million and after much anticipation, the Yeezy season one show at New York Fashion Week was a hot topic in the industry. The impressive front row was made up of the likes of Kim Kardashian, North West, Rihanna, Anna Wintour, Jay-Z and others. The collection included urban and athletic silhouettes seen in military-inspired oversized jumpers, coats and leggings all in an array of earth tones. Alongside the clothing line, Kanye created a range of Yeezy Boosts, the lightweight prime kit trainers sold out in 12 minutes and are still massively popular today. Kanye’s collection with Adidas proved to be commercially successful and evolved into three further seasons. A collaboration on this scale between the fashion and hip-hop worlds has never been seen before and Kanye has managed to bring some of the diversity of street-style into the high-fashion industry. His shows feature a diverse cast of models of different ethnicities and body types. The Yeezy Season 3 show also happened to double up as a world premiere of his album The Life of Pablo and has been described as a game-changer within the fashion industry. The show had a revolutionary frame work, bringing together the hip-hop and fashion worlds under the roof of Madison Square Garden, where for the first time ever fans were invited. With Yeezy season 5 rumoured to be in the making, there’s no doubt that Kanye West will continue to make his mark in fashion.


46 FASHION

GLOBAL MARKET TRAWLS There’s no place better than a street market for a one-off, show-stopping piece. Quench fashion examines some of the best from around the world. WORDS BY: JAMILA GANDHI DESIGN AND ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY: LISA DORAN

Portobello Road – London, England Touted as the world’s largest antiques market, you’ll find collectables dating all the way back to Roman times and from every era in between, along Portobello Road. The area is a favourite among London hipsters and is also home to some famous sights from the film Notting Hill, so be sure to take your camera along too. Best for: Antiques, of course, but you’ll also find a great selection of vintage clothing and jewellery, as well as carts full of delicious fresh fruit.

Chandni Chowk – New Delhi, India Never before has perfect harmony existed in such chaos. Chandni Chowk is a sprawling, open-air market where you can find just about anything your little heart desires. Haggle over jewel-encrusted bangles, pick up bags of the most delicious incense you’ve ever smelt and see stunning, billowing saris on every corner. Stroll around the streets slowly to take in the various inconspicuous temples, the deals being made between local merchants and the faint sound of birds chirping above all the commotion. Best for: Traditional Indian jewellery, intricate fabrics and saris for any occasion.


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Paddington Markets – Sydney, Australia This market is an icon when it comes to showcasing contemporary Australian fashion, art and craft. Located on the famous (and oh-so-hip) Oxford Street, you’ll find up-and-coming fashion designers and artists here, all vying to make a name for themselves on the creative scene. Sip a latte as you wander around some 250 stalls set amidst the chic Victorian terraces and modern galleries of Paddington. Best for: Cutting-edge fashion that hasn’t hit the boutiques yet and artwork to spruce up your pad.

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market – New York City, USA Obviously, New York City is painfully hip, and if we had to pinpoint the most stylish pastime, it’d have to be rummaging through its many flea markets. Established in 1976 and surviving a 60-year hiatus, Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is one of the best and a favourite of celebrities and fashion magazines like Vogue. If you’re a sucker for all things vintage, then this easy going market is for you and haggling is actively encouraged. Best for: Vintage clothing and mid-century items.

Chatuchak Markets – Bangkok, Thailand Boasting over 200,000 visitors a day, Chatuchak Market differs from the rest. These bustling, heady markets are a must for any visitor to Bangkok so, if you’re planning a trip to the Thai capital anytime soon, be sure to include this gem in your itinerary. Enormous woks full of fresh, spicy seafood release aromatic clouds of steam onto the ramshackle of fashion, homewares, cosmetics, trinkets and pet stalls at Chatuchak. Best for: Fashion-forward designs from emerging Thai designers and pretty homewares.

Tung Choi Street – Kowloon, Hong Kong The Guinness Book of Records once held Kowloon’s Mongkok area as being the most densely populated place on the planet. Here, in amongst the entire hubbub, you’ll find the famous Ladies Market where your wildest fashion fantasies will come true. Don’t worry if the stall owners ask you to follow them to their ‘showroom’. This is simply a place – probably an apartment – where they keep the bulk of their best stock. Open from midday until 11.30pm, this place is heaven for thrifty fashionistas, so put on your pair of comfiest walking shoes and get ready to bargain like a pro. Best for: All things ladylike! Think handbags, jewellery and clothing by the truckload.


Cool blues and natural browns come together to create an understated nautical look that is sophisticated yet cosy. Clothes modelled by SARAH PEREIRA, ELLIE MOSS, and OLIVER LEIGH. Shot exclusively for Quench magazine by JASPER WILKINS at The Dock, Cardiff Bay, with assistance from ALICE DENT.

TOPSHOP NAVY BARDOT CROPPED TOP, £6 FITBIT ALTA WRISTBAND, £99


TOPMAN ROLL NECK CASHMERE JUMPER, £45 GREENBELT COUNTRY WEAR PADDED WAX MENS JACKET, £60


PRIMARK RED BARDOT CROPPED TOP, £5 PRIMARK NAVY PINSTRIPE BELTED TROUSERS, £15 H&M BELTED CREAM MACKINTOSH COAT, £30

TOPSHOP CAMEL BOYFRIEND COAT, £65 PRIMARK STRIPED TIE SLOUCH TOP, £5


NEW LOOK ROLL NECK JUMPER, £15

PRIMARK BELL SLEEVE STRIPE DRESS, £10

TOPSHOP NAVY BARDOT CROPPED TOP, £5


10 52 FILM & TV

TOP HOW TO LOOK LIKE A FILM BUFF TIPS

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With awards season fever looming large, you may unwittingly find yourself drawn into a daunting conversation soon, debating the merits and mistakes of some of the seasons most prestigious films. So if you don’t know your Schindler’s List from your Lion King, Lucy Sanderson provides you with a list of some top tips to construct the illusion you are a first-rate film buff.

Spend hours watching celebrity interviews on YouTube. While being an excellent form of procrastination, this will curate a deep intimate knowledge of on-set stories and backstage information at which mere movie-peasants will gawk.

Watch upcoming film trailers so that you have a brief (and otherwise useless) knowledge of every film being released in 2017. This means whenever your friends say ‘want to go see so-and-so’s new film?’ you can provide an informed synopsis. Knowledge is power, pals.

Mention The Shawshank Redemption at every opportunity which presents itself. Act horrified and insulted if people haven’t seen it, make it seem as though you came out of the womb saying ‘get busy living, or get busy dying’ in your best Morgan Freeman voice.

Pick a combination of commercial and cult classics and stick up the promo posters all around your Uni room. Not only does it liven the place up but visitors will automatically assume you’ve seen these films. Use the next few tips to convince them you have…

Learn famous one liners from wellknown favourite films and when they are brought up in conversation, just quote a singular line with a knowing look and a slow nod. Great examples are:‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get’ – Forrest Gump - ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it’ – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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Dress up as a different classic film to the lash every week. Use your newly memorized quotes to chirpse lads and ladies as you battle for VK’s at the bar.

Get a large and noticeable IMDB tattoo. This permanent and low effort technique will have real clout with all those serious cinema geeks out there. (No really, it will…)

Make film posters your phone background/ laptop background so people in lectures know how knowledgeable you are. This can also work if you want to get extra Noughties and make theme tunes your ringtone. Jaws and Psycho are personal favourites.

Throw around phrases like ‘MiseEn-Scène’, ‘the fourth wall’ and ‘meta’ to describe films (understanding what they mean is not a necessity, sprinkling them into conversation will work just as well.) E.g. ‘I saw Trainspotting 2 the other day. Boyle has got so meta in this one it will really mess with your head.’

Watch films. Finally, the zinger, the best way to look like a film buff is to be one. Make your hangover days more productive by watching hours of the IMDB top 250 films, it’s contributing to the brilliance of your social prowess and is definitely not a complete waste of £9000.


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54 FILM + TV

Do Androids Dream of Human Emotion?

Artificial Intelligence can become complicated when the boundaries between man and machine are blurred. Ellie Roberts discusses the implications of advanced artifical intelligence in film, wherein robots go past serving their creators.

DESIGN BY SADIA PINEDA HAMEED


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“Do they have free will and are they capable of existing outside of servitude?”

A

rtificial intelligence is a theme that we avid film watchers can never resist. There are many awful representations out there, but when cleverly portrayed and explored, it exposes deep philosophical questions that leave us with our head in our hands pondering the meaning of life. Futuristic settings, robotic creations and advanced technology have been popular themes of AI way back to the 1920’s. However, it is about so much more than that. It’s about what lies beneath the surface. Film producers have explored what happens when technology spirals out of control, the struggle that exists between master and creator and the identity crisis of an artificially manufactured human being. Recent films that probe into the portrayal of AI include I Robot, Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, Ex Machina, Rogue One and so much more. Written and directed by Alex Garland, Ex Machina is a film that explores concepts of responsibility, freedom and control in an almost beautiful way. The film follows the experience of Caleb Smith, a highly talented programmer who wins a competition and is invited to the luxurious home (or testing facility) of Nathan Bateman, a software expert who has manufactured a robot with artificial intelligence; Ava. Ava physically looks and acts like a human being capable of interaction and free thought. This is where the film really starts to expose the hard hitting questions of AI. Ex Machina blurs the boundaries between human and AI to the point where they are indistinguishable. It is one thing to create a robot that possesses the capabilities of human actions but Garland takes this even further when he gives Ava a human body and feminine clothing. The physically human side of Ava results in us seeing her as not being artificially manufactured but instead a living being with emotions and thoughts. We are drawn in to Ava, wanting to know more about her and her experiences. The strive for freedom is a popular exploratory theme of AI and plays a big part in Ex Machina. To question our existence and our path to freedom is a human concept. Ava’s questioning of her existence further blurs the boundaries between the real and the AI. The big question of why we exist is also featured in I, Robot, starring Will Smith and directed by Alex Proyas.

The film is set in the year 2036 and robots exist to serve humans. Proyas questions what it means to be a robot surrounded by a world of human control; do they have free will and are they capable of existing outside of servitude? Boundaries are again blurred when a robot named Sonny begins to question things that should only exist in a human mind; his own identity and reasons for coming into being. To witness a robot going through an identity crisis is something we have seen previously in Ex Machina. To have an identity is to have a consciousness and the capability of making your own decisions and actions. Identity is also connected with people’s backgrounds and upbringings and this is where Sonny encounters his problem; he has no upbringing. Only a lab full of equipment and testing that constitutes his memories. I think this is where I, Robot plays on our feelings of empathy; what must it mean to have no experiences that construct who we are? The relationship between master and creator can almost always be found in films that explore AI. What is interesting is that this relationship is more often than not portrayed as a power struggle with potentially catastrophic consequences. It has its roots in literature with the well-known Frankenstein and his monster. The theme raises questions of responsibility and what happens when the creator rejects all of this responsibility. Ex Machina and I, Robot seem to suggest that power is easily transferrable and obtained through artificial intelligence. If this intelligence is not properly guided and used correctly, the power relationships inevitably spiral out of control. Ex Machina and I Robot are two films out of many that question the possibilities of artificial intelligence and what can happen as a result of manufactured human beings. Perhaps this theme has become so popular in film because the further technology progresses, the closer to home the films become. Artificial intelligence has subtly yet increasingly invaded our everyday lives with video games, personal virtual assistants and smart home devices. These are essentially technological developments that exist to serve human life. Films take this further and ask what would happen if these robots are given a consciousness or the ability to think and act freely. Artificial intelligence becomes perhaps not so futuristic as we had thought; the setting for I, Robot is less than 20 years away after all.


56 FILM & TV

FIFTY SHADES DARKER

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE Director: Chris McKay Certificate: U Run time: 1 hr 46 minutes

Director: James Foley Certificate: 15 Run time: 1 hr, 58 minutes not take long until you become immune to the visually fantastic world that Chris McKay has created.

After a disappointing year for DC in 2016 (with the critical failures of Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad), NO LAUGHING Lego Batman provides a perfect The Caped Crusader is back and MATTER antidote to the company’s trend of Gotham City needs saving once ‘gritty’ superhero films, in a loving again. Undoubtedly more awesome Batman’s crazy laugh roast of the Batman mythos. So than ever, the great minds behind is actually voiced by whether you are a die-hard comic The Lego Movie brings Batman back the director, Chris book fan or not, by blending fun to the forefront of our screens in McKay. It was originally with action, Lego Batman is a his best outing since Christopher a placeholder before must see film for people of all Nolan’s The Dark Knight. By Will Arnett’s laugh was ages who fancy a dose of childlike blending a combination of comedy added in, but it never energy. Considering, on paper, the with action, Chris McKay’s latest ended up being changed. film looks as if it would more than film exceeds all expectations. likely flop, Chris McKay has gone above and beyond to present us with a visual The Lego Batman Movie sees Batman (Will delight. Arnett) struggling with his awesome life of ‘sweet’ vehicles, insane reflexes and repressed Scott Place emotional insecurities. With the help of Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) and the ever faithful Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes), Batman takes on the greatest foe he has ever faced – himself- as well as what is possibly the greatest roster of villains ever seen in cinematic history, let alone Batman. Packed to the brim with constant jokes, easter eggs (you’ll need to watch it…) and witty one liners, The Lego Batman Movie can sometimes feel like a Batman parody; a parody which has been taken to a whole new level. Despite this, the parody-esque element only contributes, rather than deviates, to the overall cinematic experience. The self-aware comedy that made The Lego Movie such a success in 2014 is emulated brilliantly throughout Chris McKay’s latest Lego project. Although Lego Batman does not fully match its predecessor in originality, it still infuses intense fun with surprising amounts of strong emotional punch and flare. Although the film is undeniably tailored to target all types of audiences, one main criticism is that the film’s comedy can feel and seem somewhat forced in various scenes, which, in turn, disrupts parts of the narrative. Something that may put many viewers off the film is the fact that it is *shock horror* all in Lego. Despite this, it does

James Foley’s Fifty Shades Darker presents a damaging and dangerous view of what a ‘real’ relationship is founded upon. Wealth is presented to be the key to ownership, as well as being used as a tool for manipulation. The first thing Christian (Jamie Dornan) does when he and Anna (Dakota Johnson) reunite, is present her with a lovely gift wrapped box, containing a brand new expensive laptop and phone. Anna’s attempts to take back control by giving away the $24,000 Christian put in her bank account does not resonate as a convincing act of feminism. It is very easy to get caught up in the sex appeal in this film. However, when these layers are stripped back and the story is brought to light, the harsh reality of this situation is shocking. Grey’s manipulation of wealth and emotion to gain back Anna overturns the narrative of her gaining control in her relationship. Yet again, the Fifty Shades series has placed women in a subordinate role. Fifty Shades Darker is a simple narrative with little depth of character or plot. Josie Powell

LOVING “LEGO BATMAN IS A MUST SEE FILM FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES WHO FANCY A DOSE OF CHILDLIKE COMEDY.”

Director: Kenneth Lonergan Certificate: 15 Run time: 2 hrs, 17 minutes Jeff Nicholls’ Oscar award winning film Loving, tells the deeply emotive story of Mildred (Ruth Negga) and Richard’s (Joel Edgerton) anti-miscegenation arrest in 1950s Virginia. Based on a true story, Loving portrays how ‘some love stories can change the world’. The relationship displayed by both Negga and Edgerton highlights the determination and undeniable love emulated between the couple; an act of true authenticity. Ruth Negga is outstanding in her role as Mildred, as she captures the peaceful sincerity of the character with ease. Whilst the film has a phenomenal cast and storyline, there are occasions when the film can seem somewhat elongated. Daniel Timings


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HIDDEN FIGURES Director: Theodore Melfi Certificate: PG Run time: 2 hrs, 7 minutes In all honesty, how many people knew about the three black women behind the science to send NASA astronauts into orbit? For many people, the answer would be a resounding ‘no’. But now due to the magnificent work of director Theodore Melfi, the hard work of these fantastic women is finally getting the recognition it deserves, both in and out of the work place. The film avoids the usual trope of making every white character an evil villain, but still addresses the racism and hostility of the 1960s. Instead of focusing on the oppressive treatment of the black men and women behind this saga of the Space Race, the film instead intelligently addresses their acts protesting against this oppression. The image of Al Harrison (Kevin Costner), head of the team including Katherine Goble (Taraji P. Henderson) destroying the NASA segregated bathroom sign with a sledgehammer, declaring ‘Here at NASA, we all pee the same colour!’ is one of the many iconic images of the film, as not only does Melfi acknowledge the importance of the task of placing a human in orbit over segregation, but also faces the

“THE FILM AVOIDS THE USUAL TROPE OF MAKING EVERY WHITE CHARACTER AN EVIL VILLAIN, BUT STILL ADDRESSES THE RACISM AND HOSTILITY OF THE 1960S.” current issues over labelled bathrooms, with labels of gender, now more frequently replacing labels of colour. With Academy Award nominations firmly under their belts, the cast and crew of Hidden Figures deserve awards for their performances. How did Octavia Spencer manage to keep a straight face when her character Dorothy Vaughn is asked by Janelle Monáe (Mary Jackson) if she wants some pie, referencing that unforgettable scene in her Oscar winning film The Help which addresses similar themes regarding the treatment of black women in the sixties. Hidden Figures brings these intelligent women and their achievements into the limelight, where they truly belong. Naomi Davidson

T2 TRAINSPOTTING Director: Danny Boyle Certificate: 18 Run time: 1 hr, 57 minutes 20 years on and the gang are back. Apart from being a bit more apathetic – with fewer drugs to numb both the pain of current life and the memory of wasted time – they’re very much unchanged. Although this, supposedly, is the point, the characters are in their mid-40s and they are quite frankly still losers. The time they have left to reach that fame and fortune which lies just over the horizon is ticking away more noticeably than ever. Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting 2 (T2) takes elements from Irvine Welsh’s book Porno, bringing the group tentatively back-together - Renton’s betrayal 20 years prior is understandably still a sore spot for Spud and particularly Sick Boy. The biggest threat, however, is escaped psychopath Begbie who, having spent the time between films locked-up, is finally free and looking to settle old scores. Whilst T2 isn’t as thought-provoking or emotive as the original, the famous ‘Choose Life’ monologue is back, whilst our characters are faced with an increasing awareness of their own mortality. It is somewhat difficult, however, to invest emotionally in the existential crisis’ of men in their mid-40s, who still have some way to go before that home in which they’ll be “pishing [their] last”. The supposed threat of Begbie becomes irritating after a while too – at

the end of it all, he’s just a nutcase approaching 60-years-old who is wanted by the police, and consequently shouldn’t have such a capacity to terrorize three men 10 years his junior. Despite these flaws T2 is, ultimately, a wonderful film: it zips along with excitement, wit and style, and there is once again an easy chemistry between the cast; particularly Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Sick-Boy (Jonny Lee-Miller). The latter’s female companion Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) adds an interesting third dimension to the relationship too, as an alluring rose caught between two thorns. Danny Boyle has created a more-than worthy successor to the 1996 classic and one that you really should go and watch. Joe Fletcher

“T2 ZIPS ALONG WITH EXCITMENT, WIT AND STYLE.”


58 FILM & TV

WORDS BY: FRANSCENCA DODD DESIGN BY: SARAH THOMPSON

The internet has given us so many wonderful things. It has given us a wealth of easily accessible information, quick communication, and a wide range of entertainment services. However, it has also brought with it one irritating instance - spoilers. Lets imagine that you are watching an episode of your favourite series at a later date than scheduled. You’re happily browsing Facebook or Twitter, when BAM! Spoiler. No prior warning. Clear as day, for all to see. To avoid this frustrating situation occurring, read on for our foolproof spoiler survival guide.

1) There’s An App for That

First up is the handy app Spoiler Shield. It blocks spoilers from appearing on your social media feed, and can be used for both Facebook and Twitter. It features over 50 of our favorite shows and includes sporting events, allowing you to select as many as you like, blocking any posts referencing them. It’s great if you’re behind with your show, but still want to scroll social media without the dreaded fear of seeing something you’ll regret. Spoiler Shield can be used on both your phone and as a Google Chrome extension for your laptop, so you can safely scroll away on any device without having to worry.

2) Hide those Hashtags

If the thought of staying off social media terrifies you, muting particular hashtags may be your best bet. If you want to avoid The Walking Dead spoilers, mute anything you can possibly think of relating to the show. Seriously, the more you mute, the more effective it will be. You could mute certain people until you’ve caught up, too, if you know that they will undoubtedly be hitting the Tweet button to outsource all of their emotions towards the episode. Or better yet, unfollow them, because you really don’t need people that post spoilers all the time in your life, seriously.

3) Have a social media cleanse Depending on how far behind you are, you could just turn your phone or laptop off. If you’re only going to be watching an hour behind, then just switch off your phone or put it on airplane mode as soon as it airs live. I’m sure you’ll manage for an hour or two without your phone. If you can’t switch it off completely, at least avoid social media like the plague. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit; just don’t even bother risking it. I guess what I’m suggesting is to hibernate until you’ve caught up.

4) Watch it

The most obvious and by far the most risk-free idea, is to just watch it live. If you watch it in real time you’re obviously not going to see spoilers because you’ll be watching the action as it happens; it’s as simple as that. If you are a true fan of whatever show, surely you’ll do everything in your power to watch it live, right? Essay due? File for mitigating circumstances! Do they not know the Game of Thrones finale is on tonight?! Got work? Ring in sick.*

...Whatever option you decide to go for, just stay safe out there, for the night is dark and full of spoilers. * Quench does not promote these views. Stay in school. Work hard. Watch on Catch-up.


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PRICES OF GAMES: A FISTFUL OF RUPEES

'Freemium' and 'Whale' players are common terms coined in this new industry of mobile gaming, so why has gaming juggernaut Nintendo, been slammed for ascribing to these common practices? Tom Morris takes a look.

'Freemium' and 'Whale' players are common terms coined in this new industry of mobile gaming, so why has gaming juggernaut Nintendo, been slammed for ascribing to these common practices? Tom Morris takes a look. Super Mario RUN launched on the App Store in December and despite getting a bazillion downloads almost instantly, its review score tanked as people realised that to play the full game they had to cough up about £8. Maybe a lot for a mobile game but on a console this would be considered a steal. There’s never been a full Mario game released for that price - it might even be devaluing Nintendo’s brand. Some might say Nintendo are too used to their own fans, who never seem to mind the unusually high prices they demand. Sure, a WiiU game might cost less than a PS4 or XB1 title, but its price won’t go down for years, whereas those dark and broody AAA shooters drop like flies after a month or two. It’s not just the new games either as this

also applies to their Virtual Console. If you want to play the 31 year old Super Mario Bros on a Nintendo platform, you'll have to stump up about a fiver on each console. Perhaps Apple and Nintendo shouldn’t have put it with the free games - is that being dishonest? But so are a great many “Free to play” games that, we well know, are able to get thousands out of “whale” players and pennies out of the majority. If anything, Nintendo overestimated how much mobile fans are willing to pay, even for the best known gaming franchise in the world. Hardcore Nintendo fans have stuck by them, proud that Nintendo are sticking to their guns in a mobile market renowned for shady practices, where the games at the top of the heap are the ones best designed to take micro-transactions from players. This reopens the debate: just why do games cost as much as they do? There are a few reasons for console games being expensive, one being the console publisher trying to recoup the lost costs of the hardware in the software

sold for it - this is most true in Nintendo’s case. As long as games are expensive, they are seen as a luxury item. On Steam, where games are often cheap, they are much more of a convenience good - friends often buy each other cheap copies of terrible games for a joke. However, Steam games have another reason for being cheap - to beat out the competition from piracy. If console games were more widely pirated, I can guarantee that the prices would fall overnight. It still doesn’t explain why downloaded console games cost a similar amount to discs, but as for that question I can only guess at the answer. The main thing I wonder is this: would games be bought more if they cost less? Presumably publishers and console manufacturers must have researched this and found the answer to be no - but maybe some renegade publisher should break the mould and start selling games at a different price to the norm (as Nintendo have done with Mario Run) - maybe the results will surprise us.


60 VIDEO GAMES

CUPHEAD (or The Unexpected Virtue of Postponement) WORDS BY: ELIS DOYLE DESIGN BY: STEPHANY DAMYANOVA

Kids these days are spoilt rotten with their plasma pistols and HVK-30’s. Back in my day we had one handgun, with unlimited ammo! After a frantic exit from the buffet room, you desperately claw at your mum’s dress, begging for just one measly pound coin. Perhaps it’s a mixture of the blazing Majorcan heat and the sound of two old codgers rasping away Dire Straits covers, but she slowly relents and drops the comparably cold object into your outstretched hand. After launching yourself at the arcade, you pause. Metal Slug is etched in rusty calligraphy on the screen, and the fun begins. Run ‘n’ Gun sidescrollers are as old as the gaming industry itself; from Contra in 1987 to Alien Hominid in 2002, it has always been a constant staying power. The primordial delight of unloading a gun holding a bottomless ammo case, at a horde of baddies usually consisting of military grunts, evokes a simplistic pleasure only achieved in these kind of games. Some of these games also incorporated co-operative elements, which meant you and your buddy could work together to take down ‘insert X evil organisation’. If I were to cite a personal favourite of mine, I’d have to go with the aforementioned Metal Slug. The premise is simple, you play as a man donning a white bandanna, whose only purpose in life is to mow down endless waves of enemies, with his equally endless bullet reserves. If you’ve ever seen Commando, you have a basic idea of the chaos that ensues. You can also chuck ‘nades, operate the eponymous Metal Slug tank, and even beat these unsuspecting grunts to a bloody pulp. As a kid my mind was transfixed on the amount of unbridled fun to be had, and unlike what the right-wing press would have you believe, I did

for

not grow to don a white bandanna of my own. However, as a result of it’s lengthy lifetime and unchanging formula, the genre has grown stale and lost popularity in recent years. Enter Canadian brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer operating as Studio MDHR, who in 2015 released a trailer depicting their own take on the run ‘n’ gun sidescroller, Cuphead. The game’s story revolves around two cup-headed entities, who have been forced to repay their debt to the Devil by defeating a number of bosses. From the trailer, we can see that it doesn’t stray too far from the generic game-play elements of the genre. Surprisingly, it’s most pivotal elements can be found in it’s art direction, which draws heavily from traditional animation pulled straight out of the 1930s. The sheer amount of effort put into this thematic direction is evident from the smooth visuals, that harken back to a nostalgic age of animation. I for one was absolutely astounded by how ambitious these two Canadian brothers were, and eagerly anticipated any proceeding news. Evidently, the ambitious art direction has also taken a toll on the development process, as after almost two years the game has still not been released. A release date has been vaguely placed some time in 2017, but the future of this promising product is unknown. As well as that, game-play footage unveiled between the initial trailer release and present day have indicated a potentially more monotonous gaming experience in store. Of course this may not necessarily be a fault of Cuphead, as I grow up I have to ask myself, is walking in one direction holding one button really that fun anymore? So with a pensive sigh, I continue to wait patiently for the day that Cuphead reignites gamers’ love run ‘n’ gun titles.


61

Virtual Reality Tom Morris speculates on the future of Virtual Reality and of gaming as a whole. Is it a fad, or will it last?

WORDS BY: TOM MORRIS DESIGN BY: STEPHANY DAMYANOVA Our generation is the one that has matured alongside virtual reality. The Virtual Boy, an early commercial foray into VR, was released in 1995, and was deemed a failure shortly after. Many of us may relate. During sixth form, it finally seemed like VR was coming of age. I remember the day I called into Radio 1, speaking with anger about how the Kickstarter-backed company Oculus had sold out to Facebook. No bother of coursewe knew Valve were working on something. I tried an Oculus Rift devkit during my first year at Cardiff, as a friend had borrowed it from the engineering department. I wasn’t convinced as he got me to play Team Fortress 2 in what seemed to be a whole new way. It just seemed like having a PC monitor strapped to my face, and the disconnect between mouse movement, WASD and head movement was totally jarring. Unconvinced, I thanked my friend and left. Then over the coming months I tried a few other forms, for cheap. There was the Gear VR on display

at Samsung’s Queen Street store, and my own Google Cardboard headset, put together so badly that to press buttons I had to take it off and stick my finger inside to tap the screen. I tried not to use it too much as it made my phone overheat. So come summer 2016, I wasn’t convinced about how far VR tech had come. That was until I attended the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival, where I was able to play on a HTC Vive, fully set up with a speedy PC, next gen motion controllers and motion trackers on poles around the room. I dived into Google Tiltbrush, a 3D painting programme, and I didn’t want to leave. Friends told me they were getting PlayStation VR. Emails told me I was eligible to obtain a copy of Superhot’s VR edition. I seethed with envy, staring at my computer which can’t even seem to run Minecraft anymore, let alone a proper VR game. After my Vive experience I feel like VR won’t replace the current way of playing games, but will become very much a viable alternative. If the games industry can work out how to effectively market virtual reality, then it will start to take off and consumers will hopefully be able to decide what kind of games work best for VR formats. It

may well be the case that less detailed environments that evoke more of a dream sequence effect (such as those seen in Superhot and Tiltbrush) are more popular in VR than games which attempt to ape realism in their graphical styles. Motion control will become much more important as it does so much more in VR than it does when you’re just controlling a 2D image on a nearby TV. Those who read my article on the Nintendo Switch, available on Quench’s website, will know I don’t think too highly of it. How will that little thing compete in a market where Sony, Apple, Google and probably Microsoft too, will be pushing VR? If Nintendo are smart, and the console is powerful enough, they’ll sell a headset the Switch screen docks into, and let you use those Joy Cons as motion controllers. Voila, a cheap version of the Vive that bests the Gear. On Microsoft’s side, they’ve bet more on augmented reality than virtual, with the Hololens. Meanwhile, owners of PS4s and powerful PCs should be feeling very smug indeed. This really ought to be the year the first good VR experiences and games start arriving into customers’ hands. The future is looking almost unreal…


68 VIDEOGAMES

THE WALKING DEAD: A NEW FRONTIER Telltale Games Available on PS4, Xbox One, Windows, iOS and Android In late December, Telltale graced us with the next instalment in their The Walking Dead series; their early Christmas present to all of the masochistic gamers out there, like myself. The New Frontier introduces new characters to get attached to, but also develops fan favourites such as Clementine, adding a depth to her in a way I wasn’t expecting from the character I had nurtured for two seasons. It’s a refreshing change to experience Clem’s pain from the outside for once, and in a single episode I’m fully invested in Javi, the current playable character. There may be opportunities to play as Clementine in later episodes, but I am quite content in discovering what Clem went through and the way it relates to the plot as I play rather than having the knowledge from the get go. With that said, having Clem as a companion does complicate decision making. This is due to the player, unlike Javi, having an awareness of how undeniably awesome she is and at least a fraction of what she has been through since the outbreak. This has led to me trusting Clem’s advice more than a complete stranger would, perhaps blindly, and it will be interesting to see

whether or not Telltale expected this and throw us a curve-ball at some point. Regardless, Clementine is both the best and worst part about the game for me so far. However, perhaps the player’s relationship with Clementine has also made decision making that much harder:

“CLEMENTINE IS BOTH THE BEST AND WORST PART ABOUT THE GAME FOR ME SO FAR.” do I trust Clementine, protect the family that Telltale has made me adore in less than half an episode, or neither? All of the characters are irrefutably human. They have motives, desires, and pasts which I’m still trying to figure out; all voiced by a strong cast including Brandon Keener, the voice of Mass Effect’s Garrus Vakarian. I have no idea whether his character is good or evil, but I will throw myself at the mercy of my space boyfriend no matter what. That said, some of the dialogue choices don’t always encapsulate the ensuing dialogue accurately, with one option titled “tell him off ” resulting in Javi yelling at a guy about the fact his wife was going to leave him, and me yelling at the screen that I didn’t want to say that. All in all, the choices truly feel like they

might shape the volatile personalities that have been presented to me, and have me pausing the game and sobbing every time I have to make one. The stakes are arguably higher than ever and, without wanting to spoil anything, I have such a huge amount of love towards the community that is being built already. Rebecca Cornish Whilst ideal for long-term fans of the series, The New Frontier is also an appropriate place for new players to begin as well with an emotive narrative laced with desperation and punctuated by fast-paced quick time events.

in brief:

+ +

Excellent, wellcrafted narrative

Genuinely tough decisions and moral choices

+

Quality voice acting

-

Occassionally vague

from most characters

dialogue options lead to confusion

Overall:

9/10 “Essential”


Shed Seven

Ghost

Sleaford Mods

April/Ebrill

October/Hydref

Lucy Spraggan

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Sleaford Mods

27/10/17, £18.50 ADV

All Time Low

Parkway Drive

December/Rhagfyr

Lower Than Atlantis

Bury Tomorrow

Ghost

May/Mai

March/Mawrth 03/03/17, £14.50 ADV 11/03/17, £28.50 ADV 18/03/17, £16 ADV

25/03/17, £25 ADV

The Stranglers

11/04/17, £25 ADV 21/04/17, £16 ADV

Shed Seven

07/12/17, £24 ADV

The Alarm

19/05/17, £22.50 ADV

27/03/17, £25 ADV

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Quench 162  

Issue 162 brings you interviews with Ninjah, Laura Marling, Sundara Karma, and much much more!

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