WOMANBY STREET WELSH GRIME STEWART FRANCIS THE AMAZONS MANGA
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“One night of hard work can put you a whole year ahead.” Skepta
A FINAL LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR Shit, I’ve actually got to grow up now. Finishing my undergraduate degree and my editorship in the same month feels like the end of an era. An era which revolved around stress, loads of wine gums and Lucozade - is it possible to sound any lamer? Probably not. The end of third year means the end of a whole lot of things: no more free press passes, no more review tickets, no more invitations to eat out, no more being in charge, no more blue VKs, no more proof reading sessions, no more student discount, no more stress about balancing university work and Quench, no more part- time job and no more dissertation. I edge out of the university bubble with surplus amounts of debt, and to quote Adele, with regrets and mistakes which are memories made. If you didn’t think I could get any lamer, you were wrong. This term really has been a semester of lasts. As I write this note, I’m thinking of everything that the Quench team have achieved this year. So, five 64-page print magazines, nearly 3 digital magazines and 1 multi-media music magazine later, and we’re done. I’d also to like to take this opportunity to thank several people for being absolutely amazing this year. First off, Alice Dent for being my rock throughout my third year, I couldn’t have done this without you; Jasper Wilkins for being an absolute legend; Eleanor Parkyn for constructing a brand new digital magazine, and the editorial and design teams for helping make Quench the success that it is. The amount of hard work and dedication these people have put into the running of this magazine always manages to astound me. Without this fantastic team, we wouldn’t have been nominated for 3 awards at the National Student Publication Awards. I am incredibly proud of Quench, and the team, and whilst it is a weird feeling to pass on the editorship, I’m certain that Rachel Jefferies will do an amazing job next year. Finally, I’d like to thank you for picking up this issue. Whether you’ve been a regular reader, contributor, or even if this is the first time you’ve picked the magazine up, thank you. In this academic year’s FINAL issue of Quench, we delve into the Cardiff ’s growing grime scene, interview Mock the Week’s Stewart Francis, and throw our weight behind the Save Womanby Street campaign. Readers, it’s been a pleasure. Now signing out for the last time, I am officially over and out. 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: Sarah Thompson, Rachel Jefferies, Lorria Sahmet, Emma Riches, Lucy Aprahamian, Sadia Pineda Hameed Contributing Artists: Lisa Doran, Tom Morris, Sarah Thompson, Meita Singgih, Stephany Damyanova, Rachel Jefferies, Elis Doyle Special thanks: Massive thank you to Elaine Morgan for helping me throughout the whole process. Alice, Jasper, Eleanor, Stephy, Lisa for being at every proof reading night, and helping me avoid a break down. Thanks to Liz Mills, Joe Merriweather and Dimana Markova for being great models. Thanks to my house mates for being the best pals, and, last but not least, a shoutout to Jasper’s mum for being ‘lovely’ George’s number one fan.
This magazine was made with: Anderson .Paak’s Malibu, Spotify’s Ibiza Sunset playlist, and approximately eight kilograms of Tesco’s bourbon cream biscuits.
Saving Womanby Street
Cardiff’s most vibrant independent music strip is under threat.
Quench caught up with the king of the one-liner ahead of his sellout Cardiff comedy tour date.
The White Helmets
The lessons the Quench Food team have learned over the past year.
Not Plant Based
We chat to the food bloggers throwing a middle (fish) finger up to unrealistic diets.
Travel Bucket Lists Part II
Uncovering Syria’s rescue workers.
Grime gets Welsh
Deep in the heart of the capital, a new wave of MCs are breathing life into the urban music scene.
Trust Your Tummy
We couldn’t think of any original travel features, so let’s do an old one again!
Six pages of your best travel pictures from across the globe.
Dear 13 Year Old Me...
Christianity meets Hipsterism. Yeah, we think it’s a stupid name too.
Male breast cancer is rare, but just as important.
An increasingly psychological issue.
Hollywood’s White Past
Because if there’s one thing you should feel bad about, it’s your race.
Rise of Manga
Quench rounds up the early summer blockbusters.
Read right to left, expect nosebleeds and broody teen antiheroes.
Manga St Hilare
All the latest from the rising English rock quartet.
Movie Soundtracks Lights, Camera...Audio.
Some people made some music this month. We tell you if it’s good or not.
The British Film Institute’s finest offerings.
The finest card game on the Continent.
Gaming’s Money Wasters
That’s some mighty fine horse armour you’ve got there, hero.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Let me begin...getting ready for Ibiza.
Pack It Up, Pack It In
Hemingway, Nabakov and other egos.
Make a statement.
Feel the love with Quench’s festival vibes. Contains glitter.
The Roll Deep MC veteran muses on grime’s past and future.
Politics and Fashion
Fashion mistakes from that delightful period when your main style influences were Tracy Beaker and whatever your mum picked out of the Next catalogue.
Our thoughts on the PS4 exclusive.
Quench’s resident romance angel revisits all our previous couples from this past year.
Can you find Dylan?
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!)
A little bit of
COLUMNIST MOLLY WYATT BALANCES BOYS WITH BATTLING THE PATRIARCHY. ‘A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.’- Gloria Stein. Here she is, back again. Talking about her feelings, again. Standing her ground as a strong, independent woman, again. She can be who she wants, she don’t need no man. #Feminism. After twenty-one years of being a singleton, I had just about reached the point of accepting this lifelong loneliness. Being single, and having a peculiar obsession with pineapples, has become much of my identity. I suppose I was okay with that though. I liked my own company; I prided myself on doing things alone. And anyway, aren’t boyfriends a distraction from fighting the patriarchy?! 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. You might call her bonkers. Then again, perhaps not – political correctness and whatnot. Find her on Twitter: @mollymokkamole or online at: www.mockandmole.blogspot.com Illustration by Lisa Doran.
Then… *queue Alan Partridge voice* Crash! Bang! Wallop! Tinder struck a match and before I knew it, my heart of ice was beginning to melt into a puddle of soppiness. Oh dear. What the feck is this feeling? Why am I seeing pink clouds in the sky? Why are cheesy love songs suddenly making sense to me? The last time I was falling was drunk, down the steps of the Student’s Union. This is a different type of drunk, and it’s making me do some strange things and question my acclaimed womanhood… Not one for old-fashioned dating, I’d rather chew on tree bark than be romantic. Or so I thought… Having your new chap turn up at your house to take you out with a bouquet of flowers in hand, turns out to be a tad cute, albeit cliché. Before I know it, I’m letting him pay for dinner, listening to music that he listens to, SHAVING MY LEGS, showering more often, holding onto my sphincter so that I don’t pass wind around him… I’ve even been doing his washing up. Any sign of gender stereotyping, I am straight on that shit like a seagull to McDonalds fries. Anybody who makes any comment regarding socially constructed (outdated) gender traits will be slam-dunked WWE style. Yeah, don’t mess with Molly in a conversation about equal rights. So, how do I practice what I preach? How do I live out the truth that social, political and economic equality is vital for both sexes? How do I become a better feminist in a relationship? I think it starts with recognising what feminism actually stands for. As the writer Mary Shelley once said; “I do not wish women to have power over men, but themselves.” Phew. I’m not having an identity crisis. I’m not being told to do these things; I’m not trying to act out this ‘female’ role. He’s making me so happy, and so naturally I’ve been wanting to make him happy, all the while being as needy as my dog. I’m sorry Kelly Clarkson, but Miss Independent is wanting attention/her hair stroked/her texts replied to within 2 minutes.
And heck, the more time I spend with my boyfriend (still feels weird saying ‘boyfriend’), the more we’re seeing that he is wey-hey more domesticated than myself. Not just that, but his bathroom cabinet holds at least ten times the amount of beauty products than I own. And so naturally, the less frequently I’ve been making his bed, and the more frequently I’ve been shoving my hairy pits in his face. Feminism is a good thing. We need feminism. I’ve always advocated the need for feminism as a single gal. However, I’ve clearly always assumed that the only way of being independent was by being single. Yet much of the time spent being Miss Independent, I’ve been in a pretty poopy headspace, pooping unhappiness from a place where selfworth does not exist. (Deep stuff – apologies). But now, I’m finally feeling appreciated!? And happy! HAPPY! (It’s very peculiar. I don’t know if you’ve felt happiness before, but I would highly recommend it - almost as good as gin.) Just because now that I’ve got a fella and am all loved up doesn’t make me a ‘bad feminist.’ Relationship status is irrelevant. I can be throwing my hands up with Destiny’s Child as an independent woman, and I’m certain my boyfriend would be cheering me on. If not, mate, you’re dumped. Yep, continually striving for self-reliance and rejecting any help (from either man or a woman) can put a spanner in the works. But that has zilch to do with your sex or your beliefs about men and women’s rights. We don’t need to go to these ‘traditional gender roles’ in order to both still have our own independence. Who needs gender roles when we can share (or not share) sushi rolls? Okay, now back to being a sarcastic, moany crank.
SAVE WOMANBY STREET WORDS BY: ERIN BROWN
I remember my first experience of Womanby Street... A timid little fresher, new to Cardiff, never having visited the city beforehand, I had no idea of what to expect. My first few weeks carried me through an endless journey of tacky nightclubs, indulging in watered down cocktails and thriving off the same tunes over and over again. It would have only taken one more Pitbull song to push me over the edge and send me straight back to Coventry. But then something magical happened... Sŵn Festival soon creeped up on me. Oblivious to what all the fuss was about I hopped on the bandwagon in hope to interview some small bands. That’s when Womanby stole my heart. Seeing the street filled with joyful punters, skipping from venue to venue, pints in their hands in search for the next best tune. Womanby welcomed me with open arms. Taking me on an enchanting trip, from indie and dance to grime and reggae straight
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:
DESIGN BY: EMMA RICHES
through to hardcore metalhead rock. It was like being a kid in a sweet shop - so much choice and so much excitement. From that moment on, Womanby would be where I would spend my weekends (and my wages). Having the craziest nights I’ve ever had whilst also building up a never ending playlist of music I may have never found if it wasn’t for Womanby.
only generate more council complaints. We’ve already seen the closing of two much loved venues; The Full Moon and Demsey’s simply due to a lack of funding and support. It’s a frightening state of affairs to see such a creative hub crash down to the ground, which is why we as a community need to come together to save this treasured aspect of Cardiff ’s culture.
However, this dazed Cardiff dream is being ripped apart right in front of our eyes! Money hungry monsters, are commercialising our creative space and pumping utter shit into it. If you haven’t heard, Wetherspoon’s have plans to build a hotel in the empty space above The Gatekeeper. A hotel, and the resulting noise complaints that will inevitably arise from it, are a threat to an already endangered live music space.
It is clear what a positive impact this street full of venues has had on me and many others. However, what we need to think about is the artists, the promotors and the venue owners. Without a cultural hotspot like this, the talents of these wonderful people will go to waste. We lose a space for experimenting, for uniqueness, and for culture. Without this, Cardiff will lose its character. Life needs more colour, not grey hotels.
To add to this, there are plans to build a seven story apartment block directly next to Clwb Ifor Bach - which will no doubt
Send an email to your local
Facebook page for updates.
council by using the template available on the Facebook page or by being creative and telling them why they need to support Womanby St.
Join the march on Cardiff’s City
Donate to The Full Moon so
Like the Save Womanby St Hall on the 29th of April.
Sign the Change.org petition to
stop the building of the hotel and apartments - just search for “Save Womanby Street”.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JASPER WILKINS
it can reopen as a non-profit community space: www.indiegogo.com/projects/ reboot-the-moon-music
Go see Cardiff’s live music!
John Rostron, founder of Sŵn Festival, is here to tell you more. Why is Womanby so important?
Up until a few weeks ago, Womanby Street housed five of the nine key grassroots venues in Cardiff City Centre where you could see emerging live music. That so many venues were concentrated in such a small space demonstrates its importance to the City I think.
What does it mean to you?
I’ve probably spent more time in Clwb Ifor Bach than in any other space in Cardiff. It’s where I first went to see new bands when I moved here. It’s where I learnt to DJ. It’s where I promoted my first club nights and where I promoted my first shows. When we started Sŵn Festival, Clwb Ifor Bach was the first place we booked. We sprawled into other empty spaces in Womanby Street, some, like Kaz Bar, then grew into live venues (it’s now the Full Moon). Others have been and gone. But as venues have become established it’s been a key part of the festival to have that space to explore new music.
What can be done to save it?
You’ll have read about Agent of Change - a principle which Welsh Government could build into Planning Law which would help safeguard venues against noise complaints by future developments. Or the Local Authority’s Local Development Plan, which is reviewed in 2020, and which could designate Womanby St an area of special interest. But even those changes don’t get into the real problem for grassroots venues, which is the economic model for them is broken. I believe the live music industry needs to start ensuring that revenue from concerts held in stadiums and arenas directly trickles back down to the grassroots venues that support the next generation of emerging artists, some of whom will then make their way to the world’s biggest stages. Whilst it doesn’t, grassroots venues will continue to close.
“Womanby Street is where we all saw our favourite bands. It’s where we played our first gigs and made some of the best memories as a band. It’s where we were raised as a band and it helped shaped us. It’s home, and an integral part of our unique culture as a city.” - James Goulbourn (Drummer of Himalayas)
“There’s only one Womanby Street - go sleep somewhere else! You wanna open a hotel it’s a bloody cheek mate. It is my favourite street in Cardiff. We live and breathe Womanby St. We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for Fuel, Full Moon and Clwb Ifor Bach. It is the heartbeat of the Welsh original music scene.” - Katie Hall (Vocals of Chroma)
“There needs to be some protection of culture or something. It just counts about money. These small venues need more protection and support of the people. People need to go see live music more and we need the support of the council.” - Tomoya Suzuki (Bassist of Pumarosa)
Syria’s White Helmets are Heroes, so why are they being treated like Villains? Words by Anisa Gallagher The 89th Academy Awards in 2017 saw one of the most politically charged award ceremonies in recent times. For the first time a Muslim won an award, Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor for his role in Moonlight. But perhaps the most moving and profound award was the Oscar won by The White Helmets. Winning in the Documentary (Short) category, The White Helmets, officially known as the Syrian Civil Defence, refocused the attention on the Syrian conflict, but in an entirely different light.
The White Helmets are a group of Syrian volunteers who work in some of the countries’ most war-torn cities. The organisation is rooted in the community, with the original volunteers actively assisting neighbours and friends who fell victim to the airstrikes. From there the movement gained international recognition and funding. The White Helmets now have formalised training and coordinated missions. The documentary itself provides a little insight into the daily lives of the volunteers, the challenges presented, and their unwavering motivation and dedication to help those in need.
of 1,200 civilians, including 380 children, from airstrikes. The Academy Awards themselves were embroiled in political undertones, with several references to President Trumps controversial “Travel Ban” policy. Numerous actors such as Ruth Negga wore a blue ribbon to support the American Civil Liberties Union, who oppose the ban. Not only this, but the foreign language film was won by The Salesman, an Iranian film whose director refused to attend the ceremony on account of what he described as the “inhumane” ban, read at the ceremony by female Iranian astronaut, Anousheh Ansari.
Donald Trump’s travel ban has been criticised for unjustly and unlawfully extraditing Muslims, as all seven countries included in the foreign policy have Muslim-majority populations. Not to mention, a cinematographer who played a huge role in capturing the violence in Syria was reportedly banned entry into the United States for the Academy Awards, due to the Home Office finding ‘derogatory information’. Derogatory information is a purposefully vague statement; the category encompasses a broad range of problems, from connections to terrorism to passport irregularities. The Aleppo, where much of the documentary Their motto is Department of Homeland Security has takes place, is consistently subjected not released any further information, to airstrikes and bombings, often ‘To save one life is by and large refusing to comment. multiple times in one day. Whole While the win at the Oscars is a huge city districts have been levelled, and to save the whole of success for the organisation, Trump’s countless have been injured, displaced, travel ban has caused an enormous loss or killed during the gruelling course humanity’, inspired in opportunity for the White Helmets to of the violence. Regardless, The White celebrate in their recognition. At a time Helmets have, since its formation in by a chapter in the of such misunderstanding and division 2014, reportedly saved tens of thousands between the Middle East and America, of lives, and continue to save lives daily. Quran. the need for voices, like those part of The dedication of these volunteers is this heroic group, are more important unquestionable, the group’s leader, Raed than ever. Salah, was unable to attend the awards ceremony due to the continued high intensity of airstrikes in the area, Politics aside, what matters most now is what we can take despite having a visa arranged for him to partake in the from the events over the course of that evening. We can take celebrations. Their motto is ‘To save one life is to save the inspiration from the solidarity and unity demonstrated at whole of humanity’, inspired by a chapter in the Quran. It the Oscars but also the solidarity and unity of those whose beautifully exemplifies the simple goal of these volunteers, life-saving work in Syria has achieved far more than just an upheld by the belief in the sanctity of not just human life, award. Amidst all the controversy the Oscars have helped but humanity itself. remind the world that Syria is a humanitarian crisis, that six years of internal conflict has caused, and continues Their gruelling work does not go unnoticed and only fifteen to cause, daily suffering to innocent civilians. But it is minutes after their documentary won the Oscar award, also a reminder of hope. The White Helmets give hope the group back in Syria rushed to save innocents injured continually to their communities, risking their own lives to by a Russian airstrike taking down a residential building do so. They remind us that we must refocus international in Ariha. In the rescue, seven children, two women and views on the Syrian Civil War away from the statistical and two men were pulled from the rubble. Yet while the group often unattached approach that we frequently take. The and the documentary gather great press and fantastic beautiful, yet harrowing documentary reminds us of the reviews, not everyone has reacted so encouragingly, and power of humanity and sacrifice we need today, perhaps the organisation has come under scrutiny from the Russian more than ever. As Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the academy Embassy. The Twitter account run by the Embassy criticized president, said at the ceremony “Tonight is proof that art the film and its win through a cruel cartoon, calling them has no borders, no single language and does not belong to “actors serving an agenda, not rescuers.” This is not the first a single faith”. effort to ridicule the group, and with the volunteers posing a threat to the Assad regime it will not be the last. The To support The White Helmets or to find out more White Helmets, however, continue their good work and information visit https://whitehelmets.org/ fight back, releasing a statement back in December calling the Russians to answer for their crimes against the killing The documentary can be found on Netflix.
5 MINUTES WITH COMEDY KING
STEWART FRANCIS INTERVIEW & WORDS BY DAN HEARD
Stewart Francis is definitely not a simpleton. ‘A simpleton? What? No! We Canadians are definitely known for being nice and polite, and of course, handsome,’ he tells Quench. As far as first questions go, he handles this a thousand times better than expected.
Not content to simply conquer the standup stage, Francis has also acted in BBC sitcom Not Going Out and made appearances on The Omid Djalili Show. But is he a diva when it comes to dressing room demands? “I will insist on a bottle of water being there when I arrive. If there isn’t one, I’ve been known to walk out of the venue...” he says, before quickly adding, “and go to a store and buy one. Sometimes, I even buy one for the store manager too.”
Famed for his oneliners paired with a finely honed deadpan delivery, Francis cut his comedy teeth writing for veteran US talk-show host Jay Leno back in the Tonight Show days, before rising to fame in the UK as a Mock The Week regular and opening act for British comedy icons like Ricky Gervais and Michael Macintyre.
“BRITISH AUDIENCES WILL CONNECT THE DOTS, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPELL OUT A JOKE. ”
Having lived on this side of the pond for ten years now, Stewart is fond of his Cardiff fans, remarking that they’re “fantastic” and that “the room is always full of energy and excitement” – sounds about right. Even across Europe and Asia, his appeal to British humour shines through. “You’d think there’d be lots of stuff lost in translation,” he explains, “but I was playing to crowds of mostly expatriates.” It’s a relationship of respect that goes both ways: “British audiences will connect the dots, you don’t have to spell out a joke whereas in America you really have to spell it out for the most part. Canada is kind of a mix of the two.” Speaking of the US and Canada, we asked Stewart what he thought of politics stateside. “I can’t think of one redeeming feature for Trump,” he says. “I mean, have you seen the guy’s hair? How could you even leave the house looking like that?” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is held with far higher regard. “Handing out coats to immigrants in the freezing winter? Just an
Stewart Francis performed at St David’s Hall on the 2nd May as part of The AllStar Stand-Up Tour 2017. For more information,
VERY PUNNY... Stewart Francis was officially crowned King of the One-Liners by winning Best Joke at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012. Can you guess which of his puns won? 1 “Recently in court I was found guilty of being egotistical. I am appealing.” 2 “Do you know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh & Becks.” 3 “I’m not an expert on masturbation, but I hold my own.” 4 “I will be doing puns about Canadian wildlife. Bear with me...” 5 “So I phoned up the spiritual leader of Tibet. He sent me a large goat with a long neck...turns out I phoned diala-llama.” answer: number two was declared the winner by public vote
This month sees Francis play Cardiff for the fourth time in his career, on this occassion as part of The All-Star Stand-Up Tour 2017 at St David’s Hall. Featuring Francis, along with his ‘funny friends’ Justin Moorhouse, Jarred Christmas and Mike Gunn, the show promises to be one of the most stacked comedy lineups to touch the Welsh capital in quite some time.
I just had to ask Stewart about his favourite one-liner, too. “Oh, I can’t pick one of my own, they’re all equally special to me. But there is this Tommy Cooper one – I went up to the attic the other day, and found a Stradivarius and a Rembrandt. Unfortunately, Stradivarius was a terrible painter, and Rembrandt made lousy violins.” Superb!
WELSH GRIME BITES BACK
WORDS & PHOTOS : JASPER WILKINS
Grime finds itself at a peak in 2017. Stormzy has earned a UK number one album and won your mum’s heart on breakfast TV. Adidas tracksuits are everywhere, Glasto is dominated by grime acts, white kids in the home counties are playing Skepta at predrinks. What was once the fringe lovechild of garage and dancehall has evolved into a fully fledged subculture, and now sits on the verge of simply being ‘culture’. So why then, does it feel like Cardiff ’s missed the memo? It’s a question that Manga Saint Hilare is well placed to answer. As a member of pioneering grime crew Roll Deep, the veteran MC has been a figure on the scene since 2004, and has witnessed its birth, decline, and meteoric rejuvenation into the mainstream. Roll Deep earned two UK number ones in 2010, and as a solo artist Manga has collaborated with heavyweights like Wiley, JME, P Money, President T - and more surprisingly, Welsh grime group Astroid Boys. “Cardiff has got to have more history, basically,” he explains. “I think Cardiff, Birmingham, places like that, they’re little pockets of vibes. They’ve got their own stars, their own vibes, their own beefs. But it’s got to grow beyond that, beyond those cities. There’s got to be more people coming out of the place and saying, hello, we’re from Wales, wagwan?” As well as ambition, Manga muses, it’s also a matter of sheer numbers. “East London grime blew up first, because you had like guys like Wiley, you had Kano, you had Dizzee, you had the N.A.S.T.Y Crew. It wasn’t one person, it was dozens. Grime as a whole came out of London because there’s so many acts, with so much success. That’s the only way to get there. Wales ain’t like London yet.” It certainly true that the legacy of mainstream Welsh MCs is patchy at best. Comedy rap crew Goldie Lookin Chain may have earned a buzz back in 2004 with their mainstream radio hit Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do, but their success also left a lasting perception on Welsh urban music as a whole. With satirical gold chains and singles like Your Mother’s Got A Penis, the band’s brand of crude humour did no favours to the image of more serious MCs from the wrong side of the River Severn. However, times have changed, and grime has evolved. Goldie Lookin Chain are still touring, filling out the midcards of summer festivals and releasing their own GLC craft beer, but a new, younger generation of Cardiff MCs are poised to put Wales on the map in a different way. Manga has high hopes for the small but passionate scene: “Right now, Cardiff ’s got Mace, Sonny Double 1, and Astroid Boys. They’re killing it. And they’re not trying to be from London, they’re not trying to run from their roots.”
Deep in the heart of the capital, a new wave of MCs are breathing life into the Welsh urban music scene.
“ WE’RE STARTING
TO BUILD SOMETHING HERE. IT’S ONLY GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER... WE’RE ON THE SAME LEVEL AS EVERYBODY ELSE, IF NOT BETTER. ”
When the Godfather of Grime himself Wiley headlined in Cardiff at the beginning of the year, it was Mace, Sonny and the Astroid Boys who opened for him as a collective - as indeed, they do for almost any grime artist that dares to venture across the border. Between them, the Welsh lads have clocked up millions of streams online, and recently featured in both NME magazine and Kerrang! TV. As Manga points out, their Welsh backgrounds are an integral part of their music, with their lyrics littered with references to Cardiff, Splott Road, and Grangetown. The 2015 Astroid Boys EP is even titled CF10 after the Cardiff city centre area code. “We’re all from Wales, where we don’t really have an urban music scene,” Sonny explains. “But almost single-handedly, we’re starting to build something here. There’s so much support between us, because there’s gotta be. It’s only getting bigger and bigger, and the quality of music is there. We’re on the same level as everybody else, if not better.” There’s a turbulence to their collective live performance that would collapse in lesser hands, but the Welsh MCs orchestrate the chaos with glee. Foreigners, a thumping collaboration between Sonny Double 1 and Astroid Boys, is a guaranteed moshpit instigator, with the local crowd shouting ever word of the chorus. Despite the sea of baseball caps and gun fingers, the atmosphere is uncompromisingly punk; the Welsh boys are here to fuck shit up, and they’re going to do it with finesse. Sonny’s upcoming debut EP, titled City On My Side, is a clear homage to the community that enabled it to happen. Standout single Mo Farah has been steadily gaining traction since dropping in 2016, thanks to support from the likes of Charlie Sloth, DJ Target, and the Olympic runner himself.
to everyone where I’m from, and relates to the world as well.” Returning to Manga, I ask if he perhaps sees parallels between Cardiff ’s growing scene now, and the London scene over a decade ago. “Yeah, definitely man,” he says. “It’s exactly the same, just on a smaller scale. If anything it’s tougher they don’t have the infrastructure of pirate radio, or label marketing, or whatever. Their thing is live - they’ve gotta go out to the people. They sell merch, and go out again. Their whole thing is DIY, it’s sick, proper sick. They understand how to grow.” “The dream for all of us is to be recognised as artists, as global artists,” Sonny says. Growth is clearly an ambition in his crosshairs. “We’re living the dream now. We don’t have any bosses, we don’t have any top man telling us what to do. It’s all what we wanna do, our energy, our direction. You know what I mean?” With Sonny Double 1 and the Astroid Boys currently in the midst of their UK tour with a string of European dates already behind them, as well as a busy summer of festival bookings including Reading & Leeds, Boomtown and Download, it’s a dream that might become a reality sooner than expected. Sonny’s excitement for the future is easy to see, and I ask if the attention is beginning to sink in yet. He smiles: “There was a time when nobody knew my lyrics. I knew they were good, but other people didn’t because we didn’t have the platform. Now we’re getting a platform, it’s surreal. I’m overwhelmed, every single day, literally.”
The track couldn’t be more aware of its roots; the music video takes place on the streets of Grangetown and features Cardiff City football stadium, while the verses contain proud postcode shoutouts like ‘She said did you start from the bottom/I started from CF11, cos that be the shit that I’m repping’. “It’s about having a connection with the city,” Sonny says, his hi-top haircut bobbing with enthusiasm. “I wanna make music that relates
Pictured top: Benji Wild and Traxx of Astroid Boys perform amongst the crowd at the Cardiff Music Awards. Pictured bottom: Sonny Double 1 and Benji exchange bars on their collaborative song ‘Foreigners’.
Welcome to Hipsterdom Emma Riches investigates the rising trend of Christianity and Hipsterism DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION BY: LISA DORAN
15 From coffee shops to clothing brands, Hipster style is the latest craze of the twenty-first century. Everyone’s perception of ‘hipsterism’ is different, yet the cliché seems to be intact. VICE described the term ‘hipster’, like they would the word pornography: you know it when you see it, but it’s impossible to define. Words such as man-bun, cool moustaches and ripped jeans might be part of the language associated with hipsters - but what happens when you throw the word church into the mix? Huh? “Yes, you heard that right. This is a serious exploration of hipster Christianity. It’s not a joke, and though it is humorous at times and occasionally ironic, it is by no means an exercise of sarcasm”. They said it, not us. The worship of Christianity by ‘hipsters’ is intended for those who feel that their religion has been “inconsistent”, and with slogans such as “worship the spray can”, the alternative take on Christianity has proved to be popular. Taking off in East London in 2013, the movement has inspired a new generation of young people to celebrate their belief in God and all things hipster. Think ripped skinnies, beanie hats and folk-style hymns at congregations on a Sunday. ‘Hipstianity’ is not just Christianity going through its awkward teenage phase. In the 21st century, the Church is an authority that is becoming increasingly liberal, with women bishops and the acceptance of homosexual marriage by some religious leaders; a far cry from the Christianity of the Renaissance where being burned at the stake was the norm for persecuted groups. Whilst the idea of Hipster Christianity may ruffle the feathers of some of the more devoutly religious, the practice follows the exact same message as conventional Christianity just in an alternative way. In a society where what is ‘cool’ changes as frequently as the weather, the way we celebrate our faith must change too. This change seems to be something that the population of London are embracing with annual Church attendance increasing by 16% in three years. We were lucky enough to talk to Brett McCracken, author of When Church and Cool Collide, to hear about his investigations.
new word in culture as is the overlap between ‘Hipster’ and ‘Christianity’ especially in the last two decades. Do you think Hipster Christianity is Christianity reaching out to Hipsters or Hipsters reaching out to Christianity? A little bit of both in different circumstances. On one hand there is a sense of concern on the part of Churches that there is a loss of interest in Christianity so there is a concern to make Christianity ‘relevant’ again. But there are also twenty-something’s that want to make Christianity relevant to their peers and make it more aligned to how they live and what they believe in. What do you think the future holds for religious worship and the longevity of Hipster Christianity? I do think there are inherent negatives to Hipster Christianity. The very nature of ‘hipster’ and ‘cool’ is transient and ephemeral. Being ‘on trend’ means moving onto what is new and cool; it never lasts. It’s like being a fan of a new band. Once they are mainstream, you tend to move on to a new and trendier band. As a Hipster you are beholden to the fast moving. So the very practice is unsustainable. It will always be changing. If the goal is to re-inject life into the Church it will ultimately be a failure. The true energy and the power of the Church is that it transcends time and culture. If more Churches turn to trend then it will accelerate the decline of Christianity. People are going to lose touch with what truly is to be Christian. And finally, do you have an advice for young people who want to be a part of Hipster Christianity, or who are struggling to embrace being cool and being Christian at the same time? I’d say don’t put too much stock in the ‘cool’ thing. It’s always going to be a disappointment. If you are a Christian it doesn’t matter what you think, it matters that Christ loves you. I would say its a path to nowhere to be trendy and cool. It doesn’t mean you can’t be trendy in fashion and being up on the trends, it’s just a matter of priorities. You should ground your identity in what is meaningful and lasting.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to write the book? I grew up in an Evangelical Christian culture and I went to school at Wheaton College which is considered the Harvard of Christian Schools here in the US. I found at college that there was an interesting fusion between the trend of being hipster and also the religious beliefs at the college. I wanted to explore how these two fit together and was inspired to write about it. I first wrote an article, which got a lot of good and interesting feedback and then decided to explore the topic as a book back in 2008. I visited churches all over America and also visited England and France whilst researching for it. What is it about Hipster Christianity that appeals to you? I think one of the things I like about it is that Hipster Christians have more robust appreciation for culture and art and of the world in general. Christian culture in the near past hasn’t had this reputation. If you go back five-hundred years ago the Church was at the centre of art and culture. So I have been encouraged by their passion for culture. I also like the concern for social justice and compassion. On the website for your book, the topic of Hipster Christianity is described as ‘under-studied’. Why do you think this is the case? Partially because it’s a newer phenomenon but the history of the idea of Hipster Christianity goes back quite a way in different forms. But I guess ‘Hipster’ is a
Brett McCracken is a writer and journalist based in Southern California. He is the author of Hipster Christianity: When Church & Cool Collide (Baker, 2010) and Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism & Liberty (Baker, 2013). He has written for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, and speaks and lectures frequently at universities, churches & conferences.
More Than The Colour Pink: Male Breast Cancer
BETHAN JONES FROM CARDIFF COPPAFEEL! SOCIETY DISCUSSES THE GENDER STEREOTYPING THAT SURROUNDS THIS DISEASE…
Breast cancer is typically considered a form cancer that solely affects women. But why is this? We are all familiar with television adverts which feature women clad in neon tutus and trainers, waving enthusiastically as they take part in Cancer Research’s Race for Life. We have also become accustomed to seeing breast cancer awareness adverts in ladies toilets and occasionally appearing in the pages of our favourite magazines. But why is our perception of breast cancer ultimately female? Arguably, this is due to the use of female faces in promotional breast cancer awareness materials, as well as the use of the stereotypically ‘female’ colour: pink. Female-focused breast cancer media makes epidemiological sense, since breast cancer is very rare in men. Cancer Research UK states that ‘there are about 350 men diagnosed each year in the UK, compared with around 50,000 cases in women’. However, this vast media coverage for female breast cancer may influence some males to incorrectly believe that breast cancer only affects females – a dangerous misconception. However, despite the media presence of male breast cancer charities being much less prevalent, there are some media campaigns from charities such as CoppaFeel’s ‘Get it Off Your Chest’ project that tackle these issues. This project aims to educate both males and females about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and encourages everyone to perform monthly breast examinations. What is notable about CoppaFeel’s campaign is their tactful targeting towards both genders; staying clear from the traditional breast cancer ‘pink’ connotations and instead deploying a white and blue colour scheme. They have also featured famous males such as musician Tom Fletcher, comedian Russell Kane, and BBC Radio One’s Greg James, as well as famous ladies such as Fearne Cotton and Fleur de Force. The use of both sexes stresses the undisputed fact that breast cancer can affect anyone. So, why can men have breast cancer, and what should they look out for? Males also have mammary tissue behind their nipples, which is where the cancer begins. The most common symptom is a hard, painless lump in one of the
breasts. However, the vast majority of breast lumps are caused by a different non cancerous condition called gynaecomastia, which is a common condition where the male breasts become enlarged. Breast cancer in men can also cause nipple problems, such as the nipple turning in on itself or nipple discharge. Men (and women) should be encouraged to see their GP as soon as possible if they notice any changes in their breasts. More needs to be done to raise awareness among both sexes about the importance of checking regularly for symptoms of breast cancer, particularly among the male population. After all, if breast cancer is discovered and diagnosed earlier, the chances of treating it successfully are far greater. However, to diagnose male breast cancer in the first place, modern media needs to take inspiration from campaigns such as CoppaFeel’s ‘Get it Off Your Chest’ and take on the responsibility of putting male breast cancer in the public spotlight. Starting a conversation about breast cancer checks with our dads, uncles and boyfriends may make us feel a little bit embarrassed. However, talking about regular examinations is a fantastic memory prompt to check ourselves as the topic becomes more accessible. There is no need to cringe! It is now time for breast cancer charities and national healthcare advisory committees to utilise the diverse range of social and written media platforms available, and make them aware that breast cancer can affect anyone, no matter if you’re female or male. CoppaFeel! have launched a free monthly text reminder service to help you to remember to check your chest every month. Simply text UBT CARDIFF to 70500. To find out more about the work CoppaFeel! do, check out their website - www.coppafeel.org. By providing your number you agree to CoppaFeel! texting you once a month reminding you to check your boobs. Receiving their texts is free and you can stop the service at any time. To find out more about our charity, check out our website www.coppafeel.org.
DOMESTIC ABUSE: an increasing psychological issue WORDS BY: EMMA RICHES
TRIGGER WARNING: THERE ARE STORIES AND COMMENTS WITHIN THIS ARTICLE THAT MAY CAUSE SOME UPSET
DESIGN & ILLUSTRATIONS BY: RACHEL JEFFERIES Warning: There are stories and topics within this article that may cause upset. In a world where privacy is a valued luxury, domestic abuse is an affair kept behind closed doors. Victims are often unable to seek help or are sometimes completely unaware that they are being subjected to psychological abuse. With such a fine line between lovingly protective and obsessively controlling behaviour, domestic abuse can be complex to identify. Quench conducted a survey of 83 participants to get some views on the prevalence of psychological abuse and how to prevent it. The idea that domestic abuse is merely physical is becoming something of the past. But what led people to this mind set in the first place? This poster from 2004 was part of a campaign by domestic abuse charity, Refuge. This advert depicts violent domestic abuse, with the victim cowering in the shadow of their abuser. Campaign posters put a majority of emphasis on physical abuse and are representative of society’s belief on domestic violence at the time. Quench’s survey reveals a lot about what people consider to be psychological abuse and how it can be combatted. Out of the 72 people that answered on their experiences with physical abuse, 23% said they had been subject to physical violence, whereas 48% of people admitted to being a victim of emotional and psychological abuse in a relationship. Here is what some of our participants said about their experiences: “I became a victim of emotional abuse at a young age, back then I didn’t see it because I was so young and new to being in a relationship. It got to the point where I’d feel guilty for even having friends.” “My ex-girlfriend was extremely possessive. She was
very controlling over who I spent time with and how I spent that time, [she] would often go through my phone without my permission.” Our participants highlight the kinds of psychologically abusive behaviour that exists in relationships. Jealousy and over-protectiveness seem to be the main issues that arise. Having said that, many participants note how they were unaware of psychological abuse until it was too late, highlighting the lack of support that participants believe is available to victims of domestic abuse. 62% of people said that they do not believe there is enough support available for victims. Some believe that “there aren’t enough support centres where victims of domestic violence can go and feel safe,” some people argue that “charities and support groups exist - you just have to be willing to seek them out.” Is the key to tackling domestic abuse, then, a matter of information and education? One person claims that there should be more education on domestic abuse at a school level: ‘there is some awareness of psychological abuse within public media, such as TV shows. But I don’t think there is enough that reaches teenagers and young adults.” On the contrary, many also believe that information about domestic abuse is something we should all be working on: “there should be societal measures to increase a base awareness of what constitutes domestic abuse, so victims of it realise they are being abused.” “I feel like domestic abuse is characterised solely by physicality. My experience with abuse was purely psychological- and I didn’t recognise I was being abused until I couldn’t recognise myself any longer.”
As an issue that seems to be better understood with age, psychological abuse appears to be an issue that affects younger generations in relationships. We spoke to Cardiff University to see what they do to support students who experience domestic abuse. The university has teamed up with a local charity, Atal y Fro to create a new campaign on campus called TALK: Tell, Advise, Listen and Keep Safe. Their partnership culminated in a designated officer as a point of contact for those who feel they are the victim of domestic abuse. In addition, there has reportedly been 140 staff from the university trained in how to conscientiously deal with students who feel they are the target of abuse. The university told us ‘since the launch of the project in September, the Independent Adviser has received six self-referrals’. This approach, therefore, seems to be working well to combat the issue. These numbers indicate victims’ abilities to come forward and speak out in a safe environment. The university strongly encourage any students who feel they are the target of domestic abuse — violent or psychological — to come forward and speak to the Student Support Services: We would encourage any student experiencing, or who has been a victim of domestic abuse or sexual violence to talk to Student Support Services or to contact the Independent Adviser, Julie Grady on 07787 508719 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Whilst services seem to help with the immediate danger and hostility, it is inevitable for victims to live on with the emotional trauma of being psychologically abused. It is this which makes domestic abuse so dangerous. For the time being, domestic abuse remains an issue which is very much ‘behind closed doors’. We are a society that values privacy to a dangerous level, compromising the safety and wellbeing of the vulnerable.
Seeing in Black and White: Hollywood’s Race Problem
Emma Riches investigates the white-washed social influences over popular culture and every-day life.
WORDS BY: EMMA RICHES ART/DESIGN BY: LISA DORAN Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Film. Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It seems society has finally begun to notice and appreciate the creative works and abilities of many races in society. But why has it taken society so long to get to this point? Have we actually moved beyond race as a determining factor for greatness at all? To be blunt - apparently not. Everything from literature to politics is riddled to the core by our white past. In March of this year, the Royal Society of Literature released a report on ‘Literature in Britain Today’ - Out of 400 writers named by the public as writers of literature, half are living, 69% are novelists, 31% are female, and 7% are Black, Asian or Mixed Race. ‘Under-represented’ is a slight understatement. When we think of authors who have work in the literary canon, the most obvious names come to mind. Shakespeare, Dickens, Bronte sisters… the list goes on. It’s quite frankly populated by caucasian writers. But why is it that we know so much about Shakespeare, but so little about Phillis Wheatley, Maya Angelou or Alex Haley? All of these people are notable black writers from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. The Royal Society of Literature has the answer: “Readers of literature are more likely than others to be white, to be female, to come from higher socio-economic groups.” Literature is not the only art form subject to white traditions. As of the past two
years, black actors and casts were a rarity in Hollywood. Often low-budget and never hitting box office records, films about the struggle for rights of ethnic minorities were never truly noticed, nor in the media spotlight. Such an effect can be seen particularly through actors and casting roles. One of the most ongoing and controversial debates surrounds the next James Bond actor. Suggestions of Idris Elba supposedly taking the role were met with outrage; “James Bond cannot be black because he has always been white.” Just because something has ‘ALWAYS BEEN’ does not mean it ‘ALWAYS NEEDS TO BE’. Similarly, the Harry Potter fan world exploded when a black actress was cast as Hermione Granger for the stage show of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The decision was first met with backlash - as is expected. Yet J.K. Rowling was able to shut down racist criticism. Whilst Rowling was praised for hiring a quality actress, regardless of race, a more recent case of casting in the cinema had a very different outcome. The Great Wall was met with hostility when it emerged that Matt Damon would be playing a role in the film set in China. There was outrage over the fact that Damon is not, in fact, Chinese. Whilst this shows promise of society being able to move away from the traditions of cinema dominated by white men, this case still appears no closer to greater race acceptance. Literature and film are only a portion of society impacted by a ‘whitewashed’ tradition. Take politics for example, America have only ever had one black president and the UK has never had a non-white prime minister. We are still getting over the fact
that we have a woman in office. What century are we living in?! In 2008, Obama made history and was the figurehead for a future of racial acceptance and was deemed the healer of America’s racial divide. Yet in 2017, Donald Trump represents an atavistic turn towards racial segregation and discrimination akin to that of the 60’s. His famous phrase, Make America Great Again is evident enough of the whitedominated past that we used to live in and that Trump is threatening to bring back. It is for this reason alone that events such as Moonlight winning the Oscars stand for huge achievements; they are battling in a world where the white past is no longer the past, but an increasingly threatening future. We like to think we are a society that promotes cultural and racial diversity, but surely the epitome of such a society would be indifferent towards the race of a new political leader or the cast and director of an award-winning film? If they’re black, cool. If they’re white, that’s cool too, right? Same with any other race, also. The truth remains that societies are still stuck in a traditional past that was dictated by white domination. It’s time to start living in this world which celebrates different races. Let’s stop living in a world of white-wash. What’s wrong with multi-coloured, anyway?
INSPIRATIONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHIES Design and Illustration: Sarah Thompson
Reasons To Stay Alive, Matt Haig Mental illness doesn’t pick and choose. Anyone can suffer, and it is something of an epidemic for us students at a time where we feel that the weight of the world is pressing down on our shoulders. Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive is a sincere and thought-provoking memoir detailing Haig’s own struggle with depression and panic disorder, which began at the age of 24 in a bedroom in Ibiza. Haig creatively composed this book about his experience by including eye-opening facts, muchneeded home truths, a healthy dose of humour throughout, whilst never becoming too clinical. He is heartbreakingly honest about his struggle with stigma and his own growing self-awareness of mental illness and its impact on his life, and that of his nearest and dearest. Although the book was hard-hitting, I found it both a beautiful and necessary book to read when I was at a very fragile time in my life. By the time I had put it down, it had given me such a tidal wave of relief and reassurance, and was written in such an interesting style, that I still go back to find a page or chapter that strikes me. Hannah Cameron
The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley/Malcolm X Documenting the trajectory of Malcom X’s incredible, and mistakenly divisive, life and legacy was no easy task for Alex Haley and X himself. However, the book written during the peak of his ‘celebrity’ status, reads as a shocking and brutally honest appraisal of institutional and domestic racism in America. Starting in Lansing where his family suffered at the hands of white supremacists, we follow Malcom as he finds his way to Harlem, the hustles and criminal activities he pursued, and eventually jail. The book brilliantly illustrates the importance of the tiniest details in his life and of the people that surrounded him along the way. The writing done following X’s pilgrimage to Mecca is both stunning and beautifully written. Personally, the book inspired a return to regular reading which I had been half-heartedly attempting for a long time. Malcom read so much in prison he needed glasses when he left. His dedication to the Muslim faith and to Elijah Muhammad helped him to seek knowledge and understanding that he then demonstrated for years afterwards in the limelight of American media. This book comes highly recommended to you all as an important, and educational, kick up the arse. Rowan Lees
Speak Memory, Vladimir Nabokov: When studying Nazi Germany in History at School, we were once visited by a woman who had absconded from Europe to Britain during World War 2. She had managed to arrive at Cambridge, and I believe she then remained there for the better part of her life. She was an impressionable and feisty heroine and what was all the more memorable about her experience was how well it seemed to mirror that of Vladimir Nabokov’s; as documented in his memoir Speak Memory. The last chapter I had read, before listening to the woman, was when Nabokov was exiled from his native Russia to escape the Bolsheviks. Eventually, he ended up at Cambridge, and enrolled at its University. The book, in general, is undoubtedly one of my favourites. It was a pure coincidence, however, of reading his masterful work and listening to her experience – an émigré in the flesh – that made that particular day all the more pensive at the thought of those who have had to leave their homes. Thomas Edwards
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby After being stuck in a coma for 3 weeks following a stroke, Jean-Dominique Bauby awoke to find he was completely paralysed, except for some minor movement in his left eyelid and head. Using nothing but his diminished ability to blink (and a very patient assistant), Bauby wrote near 200 pages of his heartbreaking autobiography. He describes his life before his accident, going on trips to the beach with his family and being Editor-In-Chief for French Elle magazine. The title of the autobiography was chosen to symbolise how Bauby was weighed down in his body – it being impossible to move – in comparison to his free and boundless thoughts. Imagination is like being transported into another world in this story, as Bauby uses it to picture cooking and eating delicate cuisines. However, this is not enough, as he describes his memories as still burning, but being reduced to ashes. The author died of an infection merely 2 days after the book was initially published in France, and it lives on as a testament to his life. Sarah Thompson
The Last Act of Love, Cathy Rentzenbrink: If you’re looking for a memoir that will show you a whole different perspective on life, then this is it. Cathy writes about what it was like when her brother, Matty was in a car accident as a teenager and the events that followed. She prayed for Matty to live, but says she “was praying for the wrong thing” as he ended up in a vegetative state which had a huge impact on both her and her family’s lives. There’s no romantic Sleeping Beauty-style awakening, just the cold, hard truth. While it may sound rather graphic, we get to witness emotion like no other, hurting and healing, and a woman moving on with her life after a tragedy. The Last Act Of Love is not simply a sad narrative, it shows us coping mechanisms and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The book must have been incredibly difficult for her to write, yet it presents a wonderful feeling. The feeling of one’s heart-wrenching love for their sibling. Maria Mellor
A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway A Moveable Feast (1964) is Ernest Hemingway’s account of being a struggling writer in 1920s Paris. Like many of his works, it is a memoir speckled with stories and observations; all of which come together to tell the reader something about life itself. As we might read Salinger at early adolescence, A Moveable Feast may be most resonant when nearing the end of it. “I thought that all generations were lost by something and always had been and always would be”, Hemingway writes. A line such as this really catches you, particularly at moments in your life when you’re struck by disillusionment. However, his words throughout also inspire you to confront this disillusionment: to make plans, to open yourself up to expression and art, to surround yourself with those rare people that are not “limiters of happiness” but are “as good as spring itself.” I had first read A Moveable Feast in Paris, 2013. Three years later I found myself sat in Le Select - one of the many Parisian cafe bars that are mentioned in the book. At the time I may not have directly acknowledged it, but I had clearly been influenced by Hemingway’s memoir. I had met and was travelling with one of those ‘good’ people, and was in the process of becoming more aware of the sublimity, absurdity, and beauty of the world. Sadia Pineda Hameed
PANELS AND GUTTERS: THE WORLD OF COMICS AND MANGA
Elis Doyle introdu the beauty of coces Quench readers to mic books and ma nga. Design by: E mma Riches
by: Tiff Tong
Comic books are the ‘in’ thing nowadays, aren’t they? Whether that be Hollywood film adaptations, or another addition to Netflix’s cavalcade of original TV series’, you have to wonder, “How did this insanity begin?”. To the uninitiated, most would point to the early 60’s, with the modern iteration of Marvel Comics spearheaded by industry legends, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. However, a definitive answer takes us back all the way to 1897, where the phrase ‘comic book’ was first coined by The Yellow Kid in McFadden’s Flats. Of course, this piece of ancient history is a far cry from the superheroes and bombastic narratives we’re now accustomed to. Yet, this unassuming 196 pages long, square bound, black and white book laid the foundations of an industry to stand the test of time. Why so serious? I hear you cry. Well, imaginary Ledger Joker impersonator, comic books have tackled some pretty important topics in their time. Even the plight of the eponymous X-Men superhero squad have, however unintentionally, been contrasted with the same hardships faced by minority groups in modern society. Without question, comic books have throughout the years, attempted to adapt to and reflect issues and events that transpire in real life, with varying levels of success. If we’re to cite some notable examples, then look no further than the joining of X-Man Northstar and Kyle Jinadu in The Astonishing X-Men Volume 3 #51, marking the first ever same-sex marriage in comic book history. Or perhaps the inclusion of Ms. Marvel, the first Muslim, shape-shifting superhero to headline her own comic; whose first solo volume went on to win the Hugo Award for best graphic story in 2015.
However, arguably the most well-known comic saga to approach a real world issue was the Marvel Comics Civil War series that ran from 2006-2007. For some back-story, the Patriot Act signed into US law by George W. Bush in 2001 opened up a proverbial can of worms in regards to the argument of Security vs. Freedom, a notion that this arc epitomised. Without too many spoilers, the main crux of this ‘Civil War’ centres on the government’s inception of the ‘Superhero Registration Act’ that threatens to regulate and reveal the identities of many costumed vigilantes within the Marvel Universe. Chaos ensues, as each side opposing and supporting this revolutionary new act scramble together to fight for their own ideals. The film adaptation sought to tackle this sprawling seven-issue series (that spills out into several other comic books, mind you), but unfortunately it comes across as a thinly veiled allegory and not the poignant political statement the comic established. So, if you have a spare £10 lying around, venture into your local comic books store (I’d recommend Forbidden Planet in Cardiff City Centre) and give the authentic experience a read!
Now without further ado, we move from the comic book industry to its eastern cousin, Manga. Similar to it’s western counterpart, the exact origin of manga as an art-form is hard to pinpoint, but it’s contemporary beginnings are typically centred in the mid 1940’s. One of the earliest iterations of popular manga was Astro Boy in 1952, which focused on the adventures of a small robotic boy in a futuristic world. Yet, from a western perspective, the inherent difficulty of localising manga meant that Japanese animation (anime) was the first to make it over the language barrier and into our popular culture. Some of these hits include: Dragon Ball, One Piece, Akira, Neon Genesis Evangelion and fan favourite Pokemon. Most if not all of these anime’s had their own manga origins, and with proceeding years they have found themselves in the shelves of our homes. As a further point, I’ve always found it neat how the spines of comics and manga especially can occasionally form a story through their collection. For instance, if you collect a number of the original Dragon Ball volumes, they depict a winding drawing of Son Goku and pals flying through the sky, alongside the wish-granting dragon Shenron. One very fascinating feature of manga artwork, is how unique each mangaka’s (author) style is represented. In western comic books, though compelling they are, most styles fit into that same category of athletic body proportions and semi-realistic facial features. However, with manga you can go from over-sized heads and miniature expressions with Chibi artwork, or overly muscular dudes rocking biceps larger than my whole torso in 80’s Shonen manga. In fact, some of these styles are so eloquently drawn, that they hold accolades that are usually reserved for some of the most organic art pieces on the planet. The best example of this I can recall is when in 2009, Hirohiko Araki’s artwork for the manga JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure was one of five exclusive pieces to be feature in the Louvre’s ‘Le Louvre invite la bande dessinée’ (“The Louvre Invites Comic-Strip Art”) exhibition. Not to mention, as the title of the manga implies, the story is absolutely bonkers. One story arc alone consists of a cross-national horse race in the
American Wild West, whereupon the protagonists are instructed by Jesus Christ to kill the President (No joke.) As Stan Lee would say, ‘Nuff said. In short, both comics and manga alike combine incredibly vivid and enthralling stories, with beautiful, and at times, compelling visuals. Something not entirely void from traditional literature and artwork, but elucidates in a way totally unique to the medium. Not only this, but they provide audiences who are maybe not interested or aware of important world issues with an insight that isn’t completely forced or derivative.
THE AMAZONS Interview by Sophie King // Photo courtesy of Chuff Media
With their debut album set to be released at the end of May and a UK tour on the horizon, The Amazons are bringing their melodic blend of punk and grunge to every major UK festival that you could imagine. Think Reading & Leeds, Isle of Wight and The Great Escape; you name it and we guarantee they’ll be there. Meeting them at Clwb Ifor Bach, music editor Sophie King caught up The Amazon’s frontman and guitarist, Matt Thomson. After very formally, and quite awkwardly shaking hands, we asked the boys about their past Cardiff performances. Lead singer Matt took control and told us how they had played in Cardiff before, but only to 6 people. ‘We ended up hanging out with them after, they were a bunch of friends who had heard us on Radio 1 and wanted to check us out. We were really grateful.’ The boys’ recent efforts, however, have been far more successful, with many sellout tour dates outside of the UK. ‘Europe is so different man – they are a lot more accommodating I guess and each country you get different crowd reactions’,
Matt tell us. After being named as part of BBC’s Sound of 2017 and MTV’s Brand New 2017 lists, the lads have gone above and beyond to get their names out there. The conversation turns to their upcoming album, and attached single. ‘Black Magic is our newest song. We weren’t expecting such a good reaction, but so far people have loved it. We also are playing new songs from our album coming out in the summer and they were really receptive towards that too.’ So which festivals are the boys most looking forward to? ‘We’re buzzing for Leeds, but fuck Reading. We know all our mums will be there at Reading watching us, but it will be cool to see what the crowd is like at Leeds. We’ve been going there since we were 14 and so it’s shaped us in a way.’ The intimate space of Clwb Ifor Bach proved the perfect setting for the four Reading lads to showcase their talents, with a set that masterfully toed the line between musical polish and rowdy rock attitude. The band explained that there is
a huge difference between performing at festivals and gigs. ‘You get a different buzz you can’t compare,’ Matt grins, ‘you have sound checks at gig but festivals you just don’t know, anything could happen.’ ‘We were influenced by people like Queens of the Stone age, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nirvana, people like that,’ Matt explains when asked of the band’s music tastes. “My dad was into The Clash so a lot of American bands really. I hope we become big there.’ There’s no doubt that The Amazons are going places. Despite their US ambitions, they remain humble in their outlook. ‘I hope we do make it big, but if we never have another tour again, I know we will still be playing music and writing songs, because it’s something we love.’
The Amazons’ self-titled debut album is released on 26th May, available in stores and all digital platforms. Visit theamazons.co.uk for more information.
NINJAH: UNMASKING CARDIFF’S MOST NOTORIOUS LOCAL LEGEND
SAINT HILARE Interview by Jasper Wilkins // Photo by Courtney Francis
25 Manga Saint Hilare has seen it all, both as a solo artist and as a member of pioneering grime crew Roll Deep. The group earned two UK number ones and the veteran MC has since collaborated solo with scene legends including Wiley, JME and P Money. We caught up with Manga to discuss pirate radio, international touring, and how grime has evolved over the past decade. You joined Roll Deep crew back in 2004. How did you first become involved? Roll Deep, that was the first real thing I did. I was just MCing in my ends, rolling with Flirta, Bashy, and other MCs from North West London. Wiley found me and brought me into Roll Deep and from there everything blew up. The journey’s been crazy since, it’s mad that it’s been over ten years. It don’t feel like ten years! What was that rise to success like? I saw everything with Roll Deep. I saw when we had nothing, and nobody gave a shit about our music. And I saw when we had number ones hits, and all the fakery that comes with that. We just became the songs, and I didn’t like it. Some people around me in the crew were only chasing money. I looked at it a bit different. I didn’t wanna pretend to be a popstar, because we weren’t, you know what I mean? Man’s got a round belly and glasses, I ain’t meant to be a popstar! Grime culture has blown up massively compared to when you were first making music. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen? Back in the day, it was so niche, if you just said the word ‘grime’, I’d know you knew everything about it, you had to really follow it. The stations you had to listen to, they were pirate stations. If you didn’t know Rinse was on 100.3, and Roll Deep were on at 9 - 11pm, how would you hear it? Now, you can stumble upon it. It’s so out there. It’s gone from pirate radio to arenas. Exactly! Eskimo Dance is in the O2, the last one was at Wembley. I was at the very first Eskimo Dance in Area, Watford. It was amazing. Wiley clashed Doogz. It was a small ting. The adverts for the rave was on the radio - if you wasn’t listening, you wouldn’t have known. So everyone that was there, knew everything. Every MC. Every bar. Grime’s so different now. But it’s also sick, because you can make a living off it. A real living. And not just one person, multiple people are making a living off this genre of music, off this lifestyle. I think it’s amazing man. There’s also a growing international interest in grime - what’s the reception for you been like overseas? When I toured the US with Flowdan and [electronic producer] The Bug, it was weird. Real weird! We did Detroit, LA, Canada, so many places. And they know grime! They were smaller shows, just like the old days - niche, you know? You had dons who knew everything about you from the internet, and I’m just like, bro, you’re this random guy from Portland! It was weird as fuck! We used to play Aya Napa all the time - that was our abroad. Now we can tour anywhere. In the down season here, we can just go to Australia. I’ve been lucky that I’ve got to do a lot of shows
and seen the world doing my music. P Money was telling me about playing in Japan the other day Sir Spyro played my new single there. That’s mad. Any chance of Roll Deep reforming? Some people don’t love it no more, they aren’t in the mix. But Flowdan, DJ Target, Wiley, Scratchy, all of us still do songs and roll around together. I’ve done singles with Flowdan, my new song Slew is with Jamakabi, I do radio shows with Target regularly. I’m on Wiley’s new album - loads of the Roll Deep guys are on Wiley’s album actually. But there’s no ‘Roll Deep project’ as such. There’s no issues or nothing, people are just busy doing their own thing. Wiley’s the only one that could make it happen again. I ain’t got those powers.
“BACK IN THE DAY, IT WAS SO NICHE, IF YOU JUST SAID THE WORD ‘GRIME’, I’D KNOW YOU KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.” What’s the biggest difference between the Roll Deep days and making music as a solo artist? After all the hype died down, I got my own personal studio. Me and Flowdan used to share it with Target. Back when we had the Roll Deep studio, I’d write a verse for a song and everyone would be there. It was more pressured, just get in and out, don’t take up too much time. But now, with my own place, I have time to sit down and really figure out what I wanna say. I’m not scared to sing, I’m not scared to try new flows. I feel I’m truly myself with my music now. It’s a good feeling. You also produce your own videos and album art. Tell us about that. Wiley makes his own beats, Scratchy makes his own beats. I can’t make beats - it confuses the fuck out of me. So I started to do videos, since we’re obviously in such a visual era. Grime is very DIY. We just get things done, d’ya know what I mean? We don’t wait around for someone to do things for us. We build our own fan bases, we sell our own music, we just keep it moving. Which MCs do you rate at the moment? Top 5? Oh. Oooh! Wiley, number one, straight. On stage, or in the studio, I don’t know how he does it. Then 140Aks, and Flowdan. Skepta has to be up there too. When I used to do radio with him, I used to be amazed at what the fuck he said, and how clear he sounded. He’s cold. And…ah, shit, this is quite difficult you know! I guess we can make it a Top 4. We might have to man! Let’s keep it top 4! There’s too many sick guys out there.
Follow Manga online @MangaStHilare mangasainthilare.bandcamp.com
Movies The Sound of
Imagine watching Sinister without the sound; it would be pretty shit, right? Try watching Titanic without Celine Dionne. Ok, it would be sad but you probably wouldn’t cry. Soundtracks are critical in both the construction of emotion and value to Film. We, at Quench Music, want to celebrate the importance of cinematic music. Here are Quench’s top movie soundtrack picks of all time…
Trainspotting In its original form, Trainspotting boasts having one of the greatest film soundtracks of all time. Blur, Primal Scream, Pulp, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, New Order – a soundscape that is both grungy and sophisticated, reflecting the film’s dark atmosphere perfectly. We plummet headfirst into the film to Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’ as we run with Renton and Spud, listening to the iconic ‘Choose Life’ speech that defines and even justifies Renton’s character, a heroin addict in the early nineties. The sequel, by contrast, is different. Jump forward two decades and Mark is clean, and so too is the Edinburgh he has no choice but to return to. And the soundtrack is just as fresh. Wolf Alice and High Contrast feature in a smorgasbord of classics like Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’, Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’, and Blondie’s ‘Dreaming’, perhaps itself a nod to the iconic club scene in Trainspotting where ‘Atomic’ plays. Throughout the second journey, there are nods to the soundtrack that made the original so popular. Short interjections of Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ and an excruciating less-than-a-second tease of ‘Lust for Life’ when Renton revisits his bedroom. Thankfully, at the termination of the film, Renton returns to his room and allows us the satisfaction of ‘Lust for Life’, albeit The Prodigy remix, which brings the film full circle, ending where it started as we depart on a train hurtling out of Renton’s bedroom, satisfied and full of nostalgia.
24 Hour Party People As you’d expect from a film about the infamous history of Factory Records, 24 Hour Party People’s soundtrack begins with punk rock and ends with the early drugged-up days of acid house and The Happy Mondays. The Michael Winterbottom comedy-drama essentially documents the life and times of journalist Tony Wilson, as he forms his own record label after witnessing the magic of the Sex Pistols in a room in 1976 with 42 other people. Splicing the real camera footage into the film, Wilson, played by the wonderful Steve Coogan, proclaims it was “the gig that changed the world.” The heart of this soundtrack, however, is the music of Joy Division and New Order, the former reminding us of the frantic and urgent nature of songs such as “Transmission” and “She’s Lost Control” and the latter’s acoustic version of “Blue Monday” being a pivotal moment of the score, fundamentally tying the post-punk and early electronica era’s together. This acoustic version of Blue Monday is quickly followed by Wilson saying how it will never sell – “no band ever survived the death of a lead singer”. Oh, how wrong they were. The second half of the film, though, is focused on The Happy Mondays. It may be hard to imagine Shaun Ryder as one of the greatest poets since Yeats, as Wilson declares, yet it becomes somewhat understandable when we hear songs like “Loose Fit” and are reminded of lyrics such as “Go on move in it, go on do your bit// Small, big, take your pick// Doesn’t have to be legit” or of course, the legendary line, “you’re twisting my melon man!”. 24 Hour Party People is a brilliant musical snapshot of the weird and wonderful creation and near death of the Manchester music scene.
The Boat That Rocked The beauty of the soundtrack to The Boat that Rocked is how it is a step back in time to the turbulent and transforming sixties, an era that encapsulates the start of a passion for rock’n’roll music. It contains famous hits from many genre defining artists; The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Turtles to name a few. The plot follows the rise and fall of an illegal pirate radio station, and it is extremely emotional capturing the understanding that modern music was limited to so many people. It is clear that the song choices are suited perfectly to the scenes they go together with. A favourite of mine being the use of Cat Stevens’ Father and Son to accompany protagonist Tom rescuing a drowning man, whom he has just discovered, is his father. It is also amusing to note how many characters conveniently have a song with their name as the title such as Eleanor and Marianne. In this film, no stone has been left unturned when putting together this masterpiece. Every lyric seems to mean so much more knowing it is helping convey a true story. Not to mention, it is impossible not to sing and tap your feet along to the well-known melodies which will stand the test of time and remain permanently at the forefront of everyone’s musical minds.
Drive Released in 2011, Drive quickly became a cult hit amongst film fans as it showcased a unique, more emotional take on a heist film. The film is directed by Nicholas Winding and features an excellent cast with Ryan Gosling in the lead role. One of the key elements of the film is its soundtrack, comprised largely of an intricate score composed by Cliff Martinez. Kavinsky’s electronic alt-pop anthem Nightcall opens the movie, emphasising the dark gritty themes associated with LA’s criminal underworld. Conversely College & Electric Youth’s Real Hero is the centre point to a heart-warming scene mid-way through the picture, aptly displaying the compassionate side to this film. There has perhaps never been a soundtrack so faultlessly crafted for the film it accompanies, hence why the score is so well renowned. In fact, the soundtrack is so celebrated that in 2014, BBC’s Radio 1's Zane Lowe attempted a re-score featuring a variety of artists from the UK. This contained some memorable tunes, yet received mixed reviews as the collection of songs didn’t quite fit the movie’s ambience at stages. If anything, this emphasises the quality of the original soundtrack which truly is one of the greats of modern cinema.
Kill Bill When you think of solid soundtracks, you think of Tarantino; there are no two ways about it. More specifically, Pulp Fiction is often considered by many film and music fanatics as one of the greatest film soundtracks of all time. But what’s often overlooked – both the film and the soundtrack – is Kill Bill. Sure, dedicated film fans show their fair share of appreciation for the film, but the expertly crafted soundtrack is frequently overshadowed by Pulp Fiction, or even Reservoir Dogs. So what makes Kill Bill’s soundtrack so great? Wu Tang Clan’s RZA was behind the whole thing, which definitely helped. RZA, one of hip hop’s finest treasures, composed original music for the film, as well as selecting tracks for it, too. Also, Tarantino soundtracks tend to include prominent dialogues from their respective films. One of the things that makes the Kill Bill soundtrack so great is the inclusion of what is, in my opinion, the best dialogue in any Tarantino film – Lucy Liu’s tirade about her Chinese-American heritage. This, sandwiched by Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) and upbeat Woo Hoo by The 18.104.22.168’s, who actually feature in the film performing that song, makes the Kill Bill soundtrack a classic that will go down in the history of film soundtracks as a tour de force.
Design and Illustrations by: Emma Riches
DIFFERENT CREATURES Circa Waves
Virgin Records Available to stream and purchase Just two years after indie rockers Circa Waves delivered their debut, Young Chasers, they’re back with sophomore album Different Creatures. Are they now, as the title suggests, different creatures? Circa Waves’ early career was defined by a bomb run of perfect single releases, Young Chasers, Stuck In My Teeth, Get Away and their most popular track to date, T-Shirt Weather, planted them firmly on the map as one of the most enthralling and exciting bands of the year. Their first full-length album, Young Chasers, was a hit; a story of twenty-something life in their hometown of Liverpool. Upbeat, positive riffs with care-free lyrics struck a chord with young people everywhere, cementing it as the album of the summer. Different Creatures is a stark departure from any earlier release. It’s the work of a band who’ve grown in the last two years, both in ambition and style. Frontman Kieran Shudall has mentioned headlining festivals, maybe one day, Glastonbury. With this release, they’re one step closer. Sonically, the album is heavier; gone are the bouncy guitars and light rhythms of Young Chasers. Different Creatures is harder hitting and gritty. Circa Waves are back, and back with a vengeance. To a novice listener, the lyrical content appears darker too. The title track calls out our government’s treatment (or lack thereof) of refugees from Syria. The anthemic Stuck, mentions the media world, and “poisonous TV” that fills our living rooms. It seems out of the blue, from a band whose most popular track sings of hot seat belts. However, since their first single release, the band has held a strong online identity, frequently sharing member’s viewpoints, day to day lives and politics. This album serves to give another voice to the band’s identity. That’s not to say it’s all-out brute force. Loves Run Out sees the fourpiece band stripped back to just the lead singer, with a guitar and softly spoken tales of love. It’s a quiet, soft break, showing that Circa Waves are just as comfortable when thrashing up mosh pits as when dialing it down. So then, add Circa Waves to the list of British bands who are going places. Different Creatures shows that the Liverpool four-piece are able to develop and regenerate, while staying true to the roots that influenced them. This new found and well-deserved confidence will carry them big places. Mark Sweeney
Liverpool indie rock band Circa Waves pose in front of an artsy mural thing. There’s actually four of them but they wouldn’t all fit on the page and Kieran’s got the best hair anyway.
THAT’S YOUR LOT
Little Dragon have been subtly blazing trails in the world of electronic music since 2007, when their eponymous debut was released. Now, ten years later, the band’s fun, fifth studio album is released, with its hazy synths seemingly just in time for summer. Yukimi Nagano’s exquisite vocals glide through the record, which seems apt for an album seemingly about chasing down various ‘highs’. Such a delectable voice almost embodies the ‘sugar rush’ that Nagano croons about on Sweet. There are 80s vibes present, notably on Push, but the band manage to keep it fresh and modern in an era that seems to be obsessed with churning out old styles and samples. Season High, however, is not Little Dragon’s most fruitful effort. Nagano laments that making the album was a ‘struggle’. On the one hand, the record doesn’t seem to have suffered too greatly from this, as it is a solid electronic record, and the band don’t seem to have lost their trademark sound. Yet, the album does show hints of complacency. The only evidence of experimentation is that two of the tracks are over six minutes long. It’s a pleasant record though - ideal as a background soundtrack to your summer - despite its energetic downfalls. Butterflies and Should I are highlights of the album, the former for its slow burn and the latter for Little Dragon’s signature sound; good beats and silky vocals. Ciera Littleford
After having released a total of three EPs since they started out in 2013, Blaenavon have held us in great suspense in the run up to their debut album. That’s Your Lot is finally here and it doesn’t disappoint. The Hampshire trio’s first attempt at a first record was rejected by their label as they were told they weren’t taking it seriously. This must now be a distant memory for the band as this album has a refreshingly mature sound. The album consists of 3 singles - Let’s Pray, Your Bark is My Bite and Orthodox Man. It manages to subtly show all the different styles/genres the band have to offer. The 8 minute track Swans, written when front man Ben Gregory was only 16, shows their mellow and cinematic vibes, this emphasises the element of groove Lonely Side. The masterpiece of Prague ’99, a re-recording of a track found on their KOSO EP, showcase Gregory’s effortless Marr-like guitar skills, which shine through the strong drum-beat and all the the wah’s and ah’s. I can’t think of a better final track name for a debut album, romantic title track That’s Your Lot. It rounds the entire album up adding a sense of completion to this 5 year-long project for the young band.
THIS OLD DOG
Mac describes this album as acoustic with the album being dominated by acoustic guitar, synthesizer, some drum machine and a pinch of electric guitar. This record is lazy and relaxed, simply constructed but sophistically sounding. Introducing the album with already released track My Old Man, a laidback easy breezy acoustic number with subtle synths to make the perfect opening track. Followed by, the album title named track This Old Dog, an extremely slow dazed track dominated by Mac’s traditional twinkling chords and monotonous vocals that run throughout the album. Through these tracks alone, they really construct an image of where Mac is at now, with a reflection of self and the passage of time combined to intimately give us an insight to his life on a different level. Returning back to a trippy, dreamy vibe, One More Love Song is what mac describes as acoustic piano; it’s sensual and timelessly romantic as if it belongs in a 1940’s romance movie. You know what you are going to get with Mac, he doesn’t fail to deliver the epitome of slacker rock. Mac doesn’t disappoint, but at the same time he doesn’t surprise. Erin Brown
Pond’s latest album, entitled The Weather, showcases the bands originality which stems from the use of interchanging instruments throughout. Pond’s Weather merges the mellow with the raw. Like its title, the song Edge of the World provides us with an ‘out of this world’ feel, whereas A B edges towards a more psychedelic rock atmosphere- a deliberate choice of creative expression by Pond. It’s hard to pick what song is my favourite, because they all speak in a plethora of ways. Zen Automation sends you off into a world of your own with its piano melody and use of an electric synthesising sound; I urge you to explore this band as they are really something special. If you are interested in being taken on a journey through time, space and atmospheric rock and pop music, then Weather is well worth your time and money.
Because Music Available to stream online and purchase in stores (CD and vinyl) now
Captured Tracks Available to stream online and purchase in stores (CD and vinyl) now
Transgressive Available to stream online and purchase in stores now
Marathon Artists Available to stream online and purchase in stores (CD and vinyl) now
THE WITCH Pumarosa
Universal Recordings Available to stream and purchase now London based 5 piece Pumarosa captured the attention of the alternative music scene upon releasing their 6-minute brooding epic Priestess back in September 2015. 2016 saw the band release a slew of singles including Honey and Dragonfly which intensified anticipation for further material from fans across the UK. Pumarosa now return to release their full debut titled The Witch which sees the band expand their sound experimenting with a mixture of genres. The album opens with the single Dragonfly, a song that epitomises the sound of the band, jarring dark instrumentation laced with haunting vocals from lead singer Isabel Munoz-Newsome. The title track The Witch, an eerie mellow piece reminiscent of Portishead, hooks the listener with the repeated lyrics “it’s not human nature it’s what they made you” cascading over you as the guitar and piano swells in the background reaching a furore. The aforementioned Priestess is one of the highlights of the record, the transfixing vocal performance being a perfect
accompaniment to the raw, sinister, industrial arrangement all whilst retaining dance elements. My Gruesome Loving Friend, despite the title, is a tonal shift away from the morose formula, an almost bubbly upbeat pop synth track by Pumarosa’s standards. There are more dance-centric songs present with Snake closing the album an unrelenting electro piece that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Chemical Brothers release. Pumarosa’s debut The Witch despite not being flawless is nevertheless an intriguing atmospheric experience from an emerging talent finding their feet in the music world. Conan Cavanagh
22 CREATIVE QPID’S
CATCHUP Qpid catches up with some of the matches he’s made this year to see how things panned out after their first date...
KATE & TOBY
MARIE & ALEX
23 SEEKING ‘THE ONE’, OR JUST HORNY AND LONELY? APPLICATIONS RE-OPEN IN SEPTEMBER 2017!
SHE SAYS... Not a lot happened afterwards. We saw each other one drunken night in Welsh Club; he was half naked and I was painted red… it was Halloween, in case you were wondering. He then introduced me to the girl he was with. LOL. I do also see him around now and again - I usually see his cello before I see him. I wish I had something more interesting to say- sorry Qpid!
HE SAYS... I’m told we ran into each other in Welsh Club but I’m such an alcoholic mess I don’t remember any of it. Kate’s lovely though!
SHE SAYS... Actually we haven’t met up since! It was so much fun and we had a great time, but unfortunately no second date. So I don’t really have any interesting gossip to feedback on. Nevertheless it was such a good experience, I really enjoyed meeting Alex and I would totally recommend doing it!
HE SAYS... Unfortunately after the date we didn’t see each other again! The date was fine, but it felt like two friends hanging out rather than anything romantic. I actually haven’t seen Marie since the blind date! Not even at Juice (strangely). It would’ve been nice to take her up on the Lebanese food we had planned to go for but it didn’t go that way, we’re both busy third years. There are definitely no hard feelings on my part. For the first blind date I have been on, it couldn’t have gone better.
PS. My housemate Elinor has a different story entirely...
ELINOR & TOM SHE SAYS... Tom and I exchanged numbers and talked to each other quite a bit over the next few weeks. We didn’t actually meet up again until about a month after our first date. We went for drinks in Park Place and the conversation was just as laid-back as the first time. He’s a very easy person to chat to and I enjoy meeting up with him, something which we have done a couple more times since then.
HE SAYS... We met up at 29 Park Place not too long after and played ‘who wants to be a millionaire’, although I don’t think she was too impressed with my lack of general knowledge. Since then we’ve bumped into each other around university fairly often, and my friend and I went out for her birthday recently. Sorry to disappoint but there is no juicy gossip to be found here! Regardless, I had a great experience.
POOJA & CHRIS SHE SAYS... Unfortunately, Pooja wasn’t able to get back to Qpid in time, but we understand her and Chris are still seeing one another
HE SAYS... Yeah we’ve met up a few times since Qpid set our date up in the last issue. We checked out the new Flora, shared some damn good sweet potato fries and a toffee popcorn pannacotta. We’ve also been to the cinema to see Hidden Figures, which was pretty inspiring and thought provoking.
Cardiff has an abundance of international cuisine options. But in the midst of the city centre, , one international option stands out - Wahaca. Wahaca was the brainchild of Thomasina Miers, whose impressive CV extends to winning BBC1’s Masterchef back in 2005. Two years later, she decided it was high time a stylish, fresh take on Mexican cuisine found its way to the UK, and, a decade on, Wahaca stands proudly in 23 locations across the country. So when Quench Food Editors Ellie Philpotts and Georgia O’Brien were invited to sample their dishes and drinks, we were quick to accept. Here’s why you should check it out!
Food Yum. If I had to summarise the food at Wahaca in one word I think that would be it! What I love about the food at Wahaca is the option you have to try not one dish, but two or three when you go for the street food range. Cleverly served in smaller sized portions, these give you the chance to try out everything that tickles your fancy without putting you into a food coma! Dishes in this range cost between £3.95 for the corn, black bean and guacamole, to £5.50 for the MSC Battered cod tacos. Wahaca recommends you have 2-3 of these dishes per person, making the grand total for your meal anything from £8 to £16. With such a vast array of Mexican favourites to choose from, including Tacos, Tostadas, Taquitos, Quesadillas, Baja Tacos and Market treats coming in meat, fish and vegetarian varieties, it can be a little overwhelming at first to try and narrow it down to just 3 options. As a result, Ellie and I went for the Mexican Feast sharing selection, made up of 7 dishes and 1 dessert, all for a reasonable £36. Although every dish was equally scrummy, I would definitely recommend the salmon sashimi tostadas- a sensual blend of salmon, fresh lime, soy, tobacco onions, chipotle salt, avocado and chipotle mayo with a melt in the mouth texture that is both refreshing and incredibly moreish.
Drinks Wahaca’s focal point is obviously the food, but that doesn’t mean drinks don’t get a look-in. The theme prevails – drinks both individual and collective have all the connotations of Mexico, from tequila and mezcal which stem from the country itself, to citrus flavours transporting us from the ever wet, wintery Wales to sunnier scenes. The drinks list is almost as comprehensive as the main menu, which isn’t helpful for those of us who already struggle with the art of decision-making, but the actual drinks compensate. There’s a real mix of unique flavours, such as the El Recuerdo de Oaxaca Blanco, which is all ‘smoky, salty and ripe tropical fruits’ for £3.75, and ‘molten caramel, spiced agave and vanilla’ Jose Cuervo Reserva De La Familia Anejo, somewhat pricier at £7.20. Fear not if you’re in dire need of an alcohol detox – Wahaca’s juices make you feel you could give one of those health bloggers a run for their money. After a passion fruit vanilla mojito, I had the Vampiro, aka carrots, beetroot and ginger, and Wahaca can count both me and (probably) Edward Cullen as fans.
Atmosphere and Decor Even on a weekday evening, Wahaca’s popularity is noticeable amongst the lively downstairs dining area. This, combined with the colourful yet minimalistic décor, successfully creates a welcoming atmosphere where any diner would feel obliged to sit back, relax and socialise with friends or family. The visibility of the kitchen area where you are able to view the preparation of your food adds to the honest, authentic feel that is consistent throughout the wholesome Mexican menu. With some key statement pieces, including circular lights that hang impressively down almost the full length of the room, I found myself admiring my surroundings as much as the food itself!
Service As the old adage ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ says, the community feel in Wahaca is clear to see, both literally and figuratively. Our staff were attentive, friendly and charming, from taking the time to navigate us through the Specials, to suggesting to seat us at the best-lit table because of our review. Anyone who actively encourages snapping Insta photos is a winner in our book!
Summary All in all, Georgia and I reached a matching conclusion – that Wahaca makes for a fab meal out. The only Welsh Wahaca proves catering isn’t their only talent – they’re also alliteration aces, promoting ‘the tidiest tacos on the Taff ’, and double as hosts, with events like ‘What is meczal? – a Master-class in tequila’s divine cousin’. Other Wahaca brownie points are that they ethically source produce, support children from Mexico, are cost-efficient and considerate of dietary requirements, such as gluten-free and vegetarianism – what’s not to love?
32 FOOD & DRINK
Lessons We’ve Learned:
Food Gone are the days, months and years of school; sixth form flew by; and before you know it your degree’s rolled around. Universities deliver the highest qualifications you can get, so you’d be right in expecting a whole lot of lectures to be part and parcel with the process leading up to graduation, when your lifetime of education comes to an end and off you trot into the world of work. And yes, although we did head to Cardiff for the main goal of career prospects, the old cliché that ‘uni is where you’ll learn a lot of lessons away from the lecture theatre’, is one you’ll be hearing a lot. That’s because it’s true. In our final issue of Quench (sob), we’re reminiscing the foodie lessons we’ve learned along the way… PS: Thanks to our fellow food fans who’ve contributed this year! Quench Food love x Design by: Stephany Damyanova
There’s no such thing as a best-before date (and it’s really hard to give yourself food poisoning) The move to university presents a whole new level of independence and responsibility. Most notably - the responsibility to feed yourself and stay alive. Without the home comforts of Mum or Dad’s cooking, it’s time to discover the extent of our culinary skills and an opportunity to develop them. It doesn’t take too long to realise that best-before dates are plain lies due to health and safety gone mad. Unless it’s growing unavoidable mould, the reality is that you can still eat it. Cut off the fur and whack it in a pan. The chances of it killing you are likely to be slim. It’s possible that this way of living might be aided by the lowering of our expectations in conjunction with our level of hunger and the ever-decreasing capacity of our bank accounts. Or it could just be the limited education around cooking. For example, mushrooms are already fungi, so when is it too much fungi? I think we all have the mindset that the heat from cooking it kills off the harmful part of the gone-off food. Maybe we’re onto something here, because it seems to have worked. Perhaps an exception to this is meat - you do have to be careful here! Chicken is definitely not a meat that you can have medium-rare. And I think everyone is a bit cautious with cooking meat. Despite this, it’s actually quite hard to give yourself food poisoning. I can’t say I’ve tried on purpose, but some things I’ve consumed at university have definitely been questionable in terms of being edible. Nonetheless, I’ve survived and haven’t been ill. Yet. Touch wood. Whilst this isn’t actually a healthy way to live and this could be the cause of our everlasting colds, desperate times call for desperate measures. Until proven otherwise, we’ll continue to throw out of date food recklessly into dishes for the sake of laziness and our bank accounts. Kate Eagleton-Etheridge
Pub Crawl Guide As our final year of dedication to the Lash draws to a close (hold back those tears) we simply couldn’t write this reflective account without paying credit to the humble pubs of Cathays who’ve so kindly assisted us on our way to waviness on Wednesday nights. The days of first year, where Cathays seemed like an impossible maze of streets, takeaways and letting agents, are now behind us and at last we’re finally able to reveal the secret to the perfect pub crawl. Freshers take note. To begin, there’s no other place to start than the Woodville, the convenient middle man for those living on Cathays Terrace and those further towards Salisbury Road. With a relaxed vibe and plenty of room to make yourself at home with a social or large group, it’s the perfect place to congregate and enjoy a selection of reasonably priced drinks. From nachos to breaded prawns, you can even line your stomach with one of their delicious sharing planks before heading on your way into the depths of Cathays. Following this, the Vulcan is a popular second pit stop among pub crawlers. A hotspot for sports clubs, you’re bound to find an abundance of young men running riot with ties around their heads. But it’s not just the red blooded males that bring some to the Vulcan - the drinks are also really cheap! Make the most of these by topping up your glasses before moving onto our next stop, Gassy Jacks. With a similar laid back vibe to the Woodville, Gassy Jacks hosts a number of live music evenings. With two floors and large bar area, it provides great space for those wanting a tamer evening to socialise or play a game of pool. For the wilder ones among us however, who can resist two jaegerbombs for £4? An absolute steal I think you’ll agree and the best way to brave the cold walk ahead to the motherland (the SU). Last but not least, we have Kokos. Being the closest to the Students’ Union - yes you can get in through the back entrance – it’s the logical ending place to the evening’s escapades. With 11pm fast approaching, it’s time to have a shot…or three, before a pre-lash boogie on the unassigned dance floor conveniently next to the bar. By now you should be suitably prepared for the evening ahead. Remember, a Wednesday isn’t a Wednesday unless you stay til lights on. See you in Family Fish! Georgia O’Brien
34 FOOD AND DRINK
WORDS BY:ELLIE PHILPOTTS AND GEORGIA O’ BRIEN DESIGN BY: LORRIA SAHMET
You can barely open anything – Instagram; celeb magazines; even your kitchen cupboard, without embarking on a stare-off with a health product. Glossy publications have forever been splashed with the oxymoron of ‘love yourself for who you are’ against diet tips, and although they’re getting more prevalent, supermarket aisles being adorned with superfoods beyond the humble apple and carrot is no new concept. But as fullyfledged members of the social media generation, it seems harder than ever to ignore exercise examples and poached-egg preachers.
That’s where Not Plant Based steps in. The brainchild of Laura Dennison and Eve Simmons, www. notplantbased.com keeps the ‘troubled eater’ firmly in mind. Laura and Eve share the belief that this group of people were inaccurately represented in the intended audiences of food and fitness sites, so blend their personal experiences with a dose of truthfulness and generous dollop of individuality. Laura and Eve have expanded to feature a range of contributors, and their popularity shows it’s paying off. Here, Quench Food asked away til our hearts’ content.
When did you act on the inspiration behind Not Plant Based? Laura: The idea was born last summer, and we went live in September. I’d planned to go it alone as I’d always wanted to help others, but after realising Eve and I shared the same vision, drive and similar eating disorder stories, it made sense to team up. I don’t think I could’ve done it alone! Eve: I’d been out of treatment for anorexia for 9 months and have been writing about eating disorders and nutri-bollocks since I started treatment. I'd wanted to raise awareness but hadn't landed on anything concrete – then I met Laura... What’s your top advice for someone struggling with food? Laura: Disordered eating comes in many forms, with different issues, so it’s difficult to give tips applicable to everyone. Try to unpick what’s behind your relationship with food. For me, it was anxiety, and I’ve finally come up with ways to manage that. If I’d had more understanding when I was younger, my bulimia probably wouldn’t have lasted six years. Don’t persecute yourself for enjoying food. It’s a shame that people, particularly women, can’t enjoy cheesecake without immense guilt. It’s your right to enjoy it and you should consider yourself lucky to be in a time where wonderful food is readily available. Eve: It depends how you classify ‘struggling’. If you notice your eating habits are unhelpfully triggered by your emotions, try to establish the root of that feeling. If diet takes up a disproportionate amount of headspace - so it’s interfering in everyday life - seek professional help. Left untreated, eating disorders can be incredibly serious. Ask your GP for a referral to a local clinic if you’re struggling with eating. It’s scary, but worth it! Eating well at university can be difficult and expensive. Do you have any tips for students trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle away from home? Eve: University isn’t a time to prioritise being healthy so please don’t waste that loan on juices. It’s for booze and beans on toast only. Joking, but don’t be a dick, uni is just three short years. Enjoy it, and if that means downing 10 vodka & oranges, a cheeky trip to the kebab shop then a duvet day with Domino’s, so be it. Laura: It’s harder for people with less money to buy unprocessed food like vegetables, but you can only do your best. Live within your means and know that inexpensive foods can be the most nutritious. Stock up on potatoes. Sports-wise, there’s plenty you can get involved with in societies. Otherwise, go for a walk or dance all night. Try not to worry – that’s a huge but neglected part of maintaining your health. As a student-run magazine, we’re interested to learn how people got into the industry. Which paths led you to blogging, and how did your ideas develop – was there a set point which was particularly promising? Laura : Myself and Eve have worked in journalism for a few years. It was important for us to create solid, funny, well-researched content we’d want to read, and that makes us stand out. People are bored of reading blogs by Instagram models with sub-par written content. I dropped out of university because I was so unwell with my eating disorder, but I worked my bum off interning and in a pub until I did an NCTJ Journalism short-course, leading to my first job in a news agency. There I learned the skills for Not Plant Based. We’re both humbled and excited by our journey. We’ve worked really hard and are pleased everyone seems to like it. Eve: I did MA Magazine Journalism at City University. It was fantastic training but not for everyone. I was lucky to do the course as I lived at home in London. I’d say find people’s names and ask them for a coffee. You never know what they might tell you or who they’ll introduce you to!
Why do you think social media has a growing influence on how young people perceive their bodies? Eve: Because everyone’s looking for a quick-fix rule-book to make themselves seem a certain way. It’s ingrained that we must look a set way to be successful. It’s important to be curious about everything you see – it’s not representative! The more we question things, the less power they’ll have over our self-inflicted standards. Laura: Because it’s not reality! Social media is marketing, and people only display their best versions. But, you’re worthy and different - whether that translates to a square photo or not. I love your emphasis on the personal. When you had eating disorders, did you think there was enough support, or did you set up Not Plant Based to bring more community connection? Laura: I felt alone, too embarrassed to seek help. Not Plant Based has highlighted there’s not enough support for people with troubled eating. Eve: No, there are definitely too few resources for sufferers, and existing resources don’t reach enough people. I was lucky to have an informed family, and there was a brilliant ED service in my area, which is rare. A lot of resources speak to ED patients like they’re just patients. It’s important to talk about eating disorders openly, to create a comfortable environment. It seems one reason Not Plant Based is successful is how close you both are. How did you meet and form a friendship? Laura - I love this question and I’m glad our closeness shows. Eve and I met just last year, but she’s the only person I’ve been able to talk to about my eating disorder, because she relates. We have similar work ethics and it’s a pleasure to share the successes with her. Eve: I’m always baffled by how lucky I’ve been during recovery. Laura said she’d suffered for years without help, and I wanted to share all I’d learned. I ended up needing her more than I realised! She’s been kind enough to let me share this journey and I’m eternally grateful. We also have great brunch dates. How would you sum up your main aims in three words? Laura: Love your food. It’s fab that you offer a platform for others, such as the pieces ‘I’m a man with anorexia’ and ‘What to eat according to a dietician.’ Do you think providing different voices gives readers a better-rounded scope? Eve: Totally. Although we give a good representation of our experiences, everything is unique to each individual. Laura: Yes. Not Plant Based is a community – it’s key to give a voice to people who’ve felt alone. Our readers love the contributors. Which part of your work do you think readers respond best to? Eve: Food myth-busting pieces are always a winner. It shows how much bullshit is out there - people enjoy different perspective! Laura: People love fact-heavy posts, and humour. Our Instagram pictures poking fun at clean eating get the most likes.
TRAVELLING BUCKET LIST 2 #
Our contributors return with a second dose of those all important places that you need to tick off your bucket lists. DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION BY: LISA DORAN
Glimpsing the Northern Lights We think we’re lucky with some of the sunsets we see in the UK- the city skyline turned to black Tetris or the trees mimicking a fuzzy blanket under coloured skies. But the true magic is in those lucky Scandinavian countries. The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, is the visual representation of energy. It is the collision of different particles in the night sky creating a celestial waltz. It displays vivid colours of pink, green and violet waves interacting to create a visual interpretation of the euphoria you feel when you witness them. The freezing temperatures may be off-putting to those who prefer beach holidays, but the need to wrap up in every cosy knitted jumper you own adds to the wonder and romance. Why should this be on your bucket list? Well, scientific research has shown that these neon occurrences will become less frequent, eventually fading to dimmer colours over the next ten years. It’s essential that you see them as soon as possible, before you can no longer see them at all! It’s certainly a more interesting way to experience science than Bunsen burners at GCSE, not to mention the brilliant photo opportunities! Kate Eagleton
Cruise in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam Ha Long means “Bay of Descending Dragons’. It’s amazing that the bay is not one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The tranquil, turquoise lagoon is dotted with lush green limestone islands and no picture could truly capture the beauty of this wondrous place. You take trips around the caves on some of the islands, which have the most magnificent structures. The communities there live on floating houses and have never seen cities before. Being so far from the hustle and bustle of urban life you feel completely relaxed. It’s very humbling and eye-opening to see just how differently the locals live their lives. It really is a must visit place for everyone. I spent 2 nights on board a cruise ship and loved every minute of it. The rooms had panoramic views of the bay - you felt as though you were floating on the water! A little Vietnamese girl rowed up to my window, showing me shells she had painted. One morning, I even took part a sunrise yoga class, which was sensational. It’s a really special part of the world that I would advise everyone to see and experience at least once in their lives. Emily Murray
New York, New York If you’ve never looked at a photo of the New York skyline and needed to be there, you and I have nothing in common. New York is the ultimate travel goal; hail a cab and take in the whirlwind glory of the city that never sleeps, from the grunge dive club streets to the glamorous Manhattan rooftop bars. From grabbing food in Little Italy to catching a well-loved Broadway show, you’ll never be bored. One trip is never enough! If you’re lucky enough to catch New York in its annual Thanksgiving fever you might glimpse the infamous Macy parade, something everyone should experience - it’s truly magical! The winter months of New York are the envy of every Brit: the idea of grabbing a coffee, walking through snow-covered Central Park, ice-skating with your friends and finishing the evening with a cold beer, live music and greasy food in a low-lit pub. New York is a place you can be yourself and, though on the pricey side, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. It certainly tops my travel bucket list, and will remain there until I finally get the chance to explore the city that never sleeps! Hannah Stait
Visit orangutans in Borneo Kuching - Borneo’s sophisticated city within the state of Sarawak- encompasses a world of contradictions. Sleepy streets endowed with colourful architecture contrast with cave systems and sprawling national parks, boasting the richest ecosystems and most enthralling tribal cultures. Bako National Park should top your to-do-list; hike across the knotted tree roots and dense undergrowth, through to rugged coastline and untouched beaches. Though the trek is not for the faint-hearted, sightings of wild Bearded Pigs and the curious Proboscis Monkeys make Sarawak a spectacle for wildlife and natural beauty. Borneo is one of only places in the world where orangutans still roam freely. A trip to Semenggoh Wildlife Centre to see them in their natural habitat is a must. For your final adventure, swap the untamed sprawl of Sarawak for the touristy state of Sabah, and scuba dive at Pulau Sipadan. The Sipadan Barrier Reef is frequently voted the world’s greatest diving spot, renowned for rich marine biodiversity and ethereal coral walls which drop thousands of metres to sea floor. Though a tad pricey, this dive will be the best of your life. If you desire destinations well off tourist tracks, you’ll find the wildness of the Bornean landscape almost impossible to resist and unforgettable. Emily Jones
Have a break in Puglia Europe is every twenty-somethings’ dream. I’ve explored many countries but if I could book a flight tomorrow where would that plane land? Puglia, Italy is top of my list. Everyone loves Italy, and no one wants to walk behind a red-faced tour guide and throngs of tourists, trying to glimpse the David in Florence or the Pope in Rome. No, we opt for a more relaxed climate.Imagine stretches of undiscovered waters down Italy’s heel, home to hypnotic blue beaches, so tucked away only the most versed locals know about them. This is the place for a quiet escape while still inhaling the air of culture ever-present in Italy. Polignano A Mare, slightly south of Puglia’s main city, Bari, just beats it as the perfect getaway. I can picture myself enjoying succulent seafood and a spritz whilst watching the sunset over a stony beach. It’s not just the idea of a tan that entices me, it’s the culture too. Head just outside the region of Puglia, to basilicata home, Matera- the world’s second oldest constantly inhabited city. I’d see how ancestors lived long before I was even a thought – and ultimately that’s what I find exciting about Italy. Hope Brotherton
T r a ve l P h o t o s t l u s e R n o t i t e p Com With over fifty entries and hundreds of votes being cast, Travel Editorâ€™s Gemma Gibson and Harriet Thornley have finally managed to filter through, alongside the help of the Print Centre, their top 10 travel photos of 2017. Well done to everyone who submitted an entry, and congratulations to our winners!
Lorena Stancu - Valencia
Design by: Emma Riches
Lizzie Miller - Shanghai
7 Arianrhod EngeboNambian desert
6 Antonia Robinson Santorini
5 Hugh Doyle - New York
Kelsey Rees - Snowdon
3 Courtney Bridge - Iceland
2 Effy Damyanova Malta
1 Alexander Jones - Canadian Rockies
A Plea to
r a Ye
Some call it #ThrowbackThursday, others call it out-right humiliating and some couldn’t give a shit. But, what fashion advice would you give your 13 year old self? I’m sure that when many of you reflect on your fashion choices, you might be able to make sense of Adele’s song… if you like Adele, ‘regrets and mistakes they’re memories made’...
If I could give my 13-year old self-advice in regards to fashion, I would say to stop trying to fit in by wearing clothes that are considered “cool’’ but that you don’t feel comfortable in. I spent so much time overthinking whether or not I would be made fun of because of my choice of sneakers or jeans when I really should have taken that time to express myself and have fun while figuring out my personal style. I would try to encourage my younger self to be more confident in their own skin, too, and to wear the clothes that accentuate what I like about myself, instead of trying to hide my insecurities. And last, but not least, listen to your mum’s advice! I know she sometimes sounds as if she is just trying to get on your nerves but, trust me, you really don’t want to wear two bright-coloured tank tops on top of each other, and soon enough you will realise how great her fashion sense actually is. So, just don’t compare yourself to others and always showcase your personality through your clothes- that’s how you will build up your confidence and sense of style.
Give me a time machine and I wouldn’t hesitate one second to go back and burn my entire wardrobe. While my friends have cute photos to upload for #throwbackthursday, I’m always holding back thanks to the cringe OOTDs I had on. Starting with shoes I would remind myself that purple Crocs are not cool, were never cool and will never be cool. Same story with Uggs. Yes, they’re comfy and warm but please stick to wearing them as house slippers and not on Queen Street - not until you get Queen Bey status yet anyway. Bin the multi-coloured, flared, striped trousers you got on sale and hold so close to your heart. You’re 13, not a clown, don’t take experimenting twisted babe. Stick to jeans. Clearly I must’ve also been colour blind because apparently orange and pink were a classic combination? Talk about sophistication. 13 year old’s today should be thankful fashion advice comes in the form of subtle TV show titles (i.e. Orange is the New Black), saving them face, shame and dignity (unlike me).
Elin Morris Girl, your black hair with red highlights really isn’t you. Wear bright and vibrant clothing like you used to. Pure black isn’t your style. You love others who look like you, but it’s not who you are, and that is okay. Wear your pink hairband and ignore people who make fun of your unicorn socks (they’re cool now, you pre-hipster!) Wearing tracksuit bottoms when you’re not exercising or watching TV is a definite no. I mean, seriously? What were you thinking? Also, it was a great idea to get rid of those shiny leggings you wore every other day between washes. They were too tight, too short and too sexy for your age. Yes, you will start sounding like your mother younger than you think you will. Don’t try to be something you’re not to make people notice you and to purposely stand out from the crowd. Stand out from the crowd for being who you are. Don’t be what other people want you to be. Your fashion sense will improve. Improve in the sense that you will dress more like you. Knee length boots, heels bigger than your ego and flat ballerina shoes for when you’ve had enough of the extra height. You’ll wear dresses as scary as that sounds: your tomboy, emo, goth, chav phrase will slowly reunite you with your girly girl antics. Most importantly, enjoy expressing your fashion. From 19 year old you.
Rachel Nurse Honey, stripes do not go with everything; they don’t work under your P.E. kit, they don’t work under your school uniform, and they DEFINITELY don’t work under any of the 8 checked shirts that you used to wear on rotation. Don’t get me wrong, a checked shirt with skinny jeans and converse is always a classic look but wow please change it up from time to time (and not with stripes). You’re not Ophelia from ‘Brutal Legends’ no matter how much you want to be. In addition, please skip the combat trouser phase, they never looked good with anything, who were we kidding? I know you were trying to be edgy and “punk rock” because Fall Out Boy were your favourite thing ever (still have a soft spot, don’t panic) but you’re so dainty, they just swallow you up. Finally, don’t be afraid to get layers in your hair as soon as you realise you want a side parting. Trust me, it’ll save you a good year or two of your hair clinging to your head, flatter than your chest is (haha self-burn). The thing is, Sarah, I can roast your fashion sense for hours, but the band t-shirts were a really good shout; I should get more of them… NO. BAD SARAH.
In all fairness, being thirteen is hard. You’re not a kid anymore, but you’re not quite an adult yet either. So how do you dress for this awkward age? I had no idea what I was supposed to be wearing. I didn’t care about celebrity trends and I didn’t care what people thought about me. I was more concerned with what I wanted to wear. And there’s no better way to show off my style than on mufti day. The only way to describe my outfit is yellow. Yellow t-shirt, yellow cardigan, yellow skinny jeans, and yellow Doc Marten boots (my pride and joy at the time). To add to this interesting ensemble, I chose a plaited headband, worn right across my forehead. It’s called fashion, look it up. When I was thirteen, black was side-lined in favour of neon colours, and if you owned a full velour tracksuit, you were the envy of everyone. The coolest clothing was that which had its brand name plastered across the front in big bold lettering *cough* Jack Wills *cough* Hollister. And the more you clashed patterns and colours, the more stylish you were. If I could go back and give thirteen-year-old me one piece of advice it would be this: do not change a thing! This awkward fashion stage is a rite of passage that every teenager must go through. You’re doing you, and you’re rocking it.
Design and Illustrations by: Emma Riches
In a Political Fashion Sarah Harris swaps talking about the latest trends to subliminal political messages that are incorporated in the clothes that we wear. WORDS BY: SARAH HARRIS DESIGN BY: LUCY APRAHAMIAN
ZAC POSEN’S AUTUMN/WINTER ‘16 SHOW
Fashion and politics are two words you wouldn’t really expect to hear in the same sentence. My housemate is sat across from me right now whilst I write this article and looked very confused when I told him what I was writing about. Another one of my housemates is watching Gossip Girl in the lounge, a show associated with fashion, the elite and in some cases, even politicians. Just a few days ago, she was watching an episode that featured Ivanka Trump at some luxurious party full of New York’s finest (my other housemate is fast asleep on the sofa, oblivious). It seems as society progresses, fashion becomes more advanced and controversial. The recent Autumn/Winter ’16 shows saw the emergence of super model, Halima Aden, a 19-year-old born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moved to US with her family as a child. Aden rose to fame after appearing in some of this seasons biggest shows, such as Yeezy, whilst wearing the Hijab and representing her fellow American Muslims who are silently suffering from the aftermath of Trumps rise to power. In an interview with I.D. Aden said, “the world needs to see an American Muslim in popular media not doing something bad. For a really long time, when you saw a Muslim person on TV, it’s usually because someone committed a crime.” Just a few weeks ago, Business of Fashion introduced their own campaign - #TiedTogether movement – encouraging members of the fashion community to wear a white bandana in support of solidarity, human unity and inclusiveness. It’s clear the fashion industry is under heavy scrutiny when it comes to wear they stand with the current political issues of today’s world. Many people praised designer, Tom Ford when he stated in an interview that he had previously declined to dress current First Lady, Melania Trump and would continue to do so in the future. The designer had been a clear supporter of Clinton during the 2016 elections. It raises the question as to what role the fashion industry plays in politics?
Another impending question the combination of fashion and politics asks is whether women in politics should be criticised for their sense of style? When Miriam Durantez, lawyer and wife of former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was photographed wearing burgundy tights combined with scarlet shoes, the media was quick to point out her questionable combination. However, is it really fair that politicians and partners of political leaders can’t even feel comfortable with their own sense of style due to receiving heavy scrutiny by the media and public? Similarly to Durantez, Melania Trump again caused controversy after being spotted in a vibrant Gucci pussy-bow blouse. Within hours the Internet was full of memes with the famously sexist Donald Trump quote –“grab them by the p*ssy.” Despite this, women all over the US decided to wear pantsuits to polling stations in order to show their support for Hillary Clinton with it being her most iconic look. It’s clear that being a woman in politics allows you the chance to influence other women and start new trends. It’s crazy to think that women only began wearing trousers less than a hundred years ago and some woman in this day and age still have to wear heels to work as part of company policy. Politics clearly has a huge role to play both in and out of fashion. It not only influences the trends and styles we see daily, but also subtly tells us what we can and cannot wear. In many countries, Muslim women are still banned from wearing the Hijab and Niqab due to the growing issue of Islamaphobia. On the other hand, laws in some countries forbid women from leaving their home with too much of their body ‘on display.’ It seems where politics could in fact help women, it is in fact doing the opposite and criticising woman who have the liberty to wear what they choose.
MODEL HALIMA ADEN L
Couture king, Zac Posen’s A/W ’16 show featured 25 black supermodels in support of #BlackModelsMatter. His show was inspired by the Ugandan Princess, Elizabeth of Toro who has completed a law degree from Oxford University. The fashion industry struggles every season to feature a range of diverse models, hence why Posen’s show was critically acclaimed by fashion superiors. Posen wasn’t the first member of the fashion community to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Dior’s S/S’ 17 show was inspired by award-winning movement. Dior’s S/S’ 17 show was inspired by award-winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie gained her way into the fashion world through her unique style and adventurous taste for clothing. It seems that people are still under the pre-conceived notion that fashion is for the dim witted. However Adichie’s proves that this isn’t so having won the MacArthur Genius Award and still having a passion for fashion.
DESIGNER ZAC POSEN L
A Voguish Voyage
When summer comes around, I’m shopping like it’s no one’s business. But there is always that horror when it comes to packing up a suitcase to actually go on holiday. The pile of clothes you’ve carefully chosen are all laid out on your bed but the piles 3X the size of your suitcase. In a flurry, you end up packing an uncoordinated batch of clothes half of which you aren’t able to wear. Fear not friends, Quench has got you covered with style savvy packing essentials right here. Words by Emily Murray and Megan David Design and illstration by: Stephany Damyanova
Your Favourite Tee
For those days where you just want to throw something on. It could be merch from favourite band. It could be a logo T-shirt from your favourite designer. Just make sure it’s interchangeable with the rest of your walking wardrobe (i.e. horizontal stripes are not to be worn with pinstripe culottes).
You can’t go wrong with a little black dress. A strappy shift dress can be slung on for a dinner date or played down with a white t-shirt worn underneath. It’s versatile for every occasion and can hide a multitude of sins (alcohol stains, ketchup stains, suncream stains, sweat stains, that kinda thing. We didn’t say travelling would be glamorous ladies and gents). Wear your favourite t-shirt underneath, or throw on your denim jacket, be resourceful, you may surprise yourself.
Sunglasses are a welcomed accessory when travelling around the globe, they certainly make you look the part and hide any sins from the night before. They’re not only classy and elegant but their flattering shape means you can still look good when only wearing your sun cream underneath. Also, be aware of the increased UV rays in the tropical climates. We’d suggest finding a pair with high UV protection and maybe even polarised lenses if you’re planning to spend your time on the beach, or driving around the coast. TKMaxx are a gold mine for discounted designer sunglasses.
A Little Black Backpack
You’re lugging around you’re Duke of Edinburgh on your back from Budapest to Belgrade and you’ve finally reached your humble abode for the next day or two. You’re ready to explore the city. What do you take? A little black backpack. A place to store all your extra holiday essentials, such as money, your passport, hand sanitiser, a towel, along with that book you’ve been meaning to read since you left..
It’s so easy to over pack bikinis and swimsuits because there’s just so many to choose from. What I suggest is sticking to one style – the triangle cup halter neck, the strapless bandeau, or the padded plunge bra. Now, if you want to have a new bikini to wear every day on the beach I’ve got a little trick. I like to pack 3 bikinis of the same style but in different complementary colours/patterns. These then transform into 9 different bikini sets! You can mix and match your red bikini top with your white bottoms one day and wear your black top and palm tree print bottoms on another!
Pale Denim Levi’s Jacket
Classic, smart casual and, best of all, it goes with everything! Dress it down in the day with the sleeves rolled up or have it hung over your shoulders as a cover in the evening. It also has two buttoned breast pockets for you to carry around your cards in so there’s no need to take a bag out if you’re worried about pickpockets. P.s. don’t worry about wearing them with your Levi’s shorts. Double denim is back in. Hoorah!
A pair of black linen culottes can be worn day or night and their light weight material is perfect for hot weather. There are also a lot of different colours (e.g. metallic pink) and patterns (e.g. navy and white pinstripe) around so find a pair that suits you. This may be some controversial advice, but I’d suggest a pair of black or dark denim straight leg jeans for the male travellers out there. I know they’re kinda heavy and not easily washed, but their versatile, durable and can hide a stain or two. There’s no need to pack your dads Columbia convertible pants. You’re going travelling, not trawling!
I find shoes the hardest things to pack. You want a pair to just stroll around in, one’s you can wear on the beach and a pair to wear in the evening. I can confidently say that in matters of footwear, as a traveller, comfort is essential. Birkenstocks are perfect for the sand, sightseeing and also look great in the evening with a summer dress! They’re orthopedic footbeds and if they’re good enough for Miu Miu and Celine, they’re good enough for us. Plus, gentleman, if Leo (DiCaprio that is) can still rock them, what’s your excuse?
The turn of summer heralds a cornucopia of festival styles, from classic boutique to comfy rave garms. Clothes modelled by DIMANA MARKOVA, JOE MERRIWEATHER, and LIZ MILLS. Shot exclusively for Quench magazine by JASPER WILKINS at Bute Park, Cardiff, with assistance from GEORGE CAULTON.
SCALLOP LACE CHOKER BLACK (BOOHOO) , £4.00 BLACK THIGH SPLIT WRAP MAXI DRESS (YOINS.COM), £29.99 TAN CRESCENT BELT (DOROTHY PERKINS), £4.00 BLACK THEDORA HAT (TOPSHOP), £16.00
BRONZE TIMES RETRO PUNK SUNGLASSES, £13 WASHED BLACK STRETCH SKINNY JEANS, £45.00 LIVE SLOW, DIE WHENEVER SLOTH SHIRT, £15.00 FOREVER 21 MEN’S DISTRESSED DENIM JACKET, £30.00 MEN’S FULK LOW PROFILE OXFORD,(TIMBERLAND), £85.00
BRONZE TIMES RETRO PUNK SUNGLASSES, £13 CREAM CONTRAST PRINT SHORT SLEEVE T-SHIRT- RIVER ISLAND£15.00 FOREVER 21 MEN’S DISTRESSED DENIM JACKET, £30.00 CLASSIC | 40MMST MAWES, DANIEL WELLINGTON WATCH, £159.00
RED TIGER PRINT SHIRT - VINTAGE BOUTIQEU ( FINSBURY PARK) - £5 LEVI’S 501 SHORTS ( LEVIS), £54 EARRINGS (£6 EACH PAIR) & NECKLACE (£15) - ACCESSORIZE ROUND RESIN TORTOISESHELL CAREY SUNGLASSES (PULL&BEAR) £12.99
54 FILM & TV
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2
Director: Jordan Peele Certificate: 15 Run time: 2 hrs, 10 minutes
The soundtrack, while not as effective as its Vol. 1 counterpart (there’s only so many pre-1980 pop bangers after all), is still a massive part of what makes Guardians 2 so unique and charming. Having the guts and the sense of humour to overlay would-be high drama actions with ‘Mr Blue Sky’ and a dance routine is MAKEUP MADNESS not something most sci-fi films It feels odd to talk about ‘charm’ would dare to do. in describing a Marvel Studios Dave Bautista’s Drax Guardians 2 is not without issues; blockbuster film, but compared makeup took only 90 Quill’s arch-nemesis Yondu still to some of their more overblown minutes to apply, down has that irritating pen that zips ‘super powered’ characters, the from four hours for the around while he whistles at it and first Guardians film was a success first film. However, he will have some gamers shouting in making its foul-mouthed would have to sit in a “OP!” at their cinema screen. Baby protagonists surprisingly relatable. sauna at the end of the Groot meanwhile can sometimes Especially when you consider day to get the makeup feel like a “look at the cute tiny that they are talking raccoons and off. character” gimmick. Big Groot’s sentient trees, and we are but mere relative good nature compared to earth-bound humans. the smaller, furrier Rocket (who spends most of his time sneering or snarling at anyone who The danger with sequels then is to lose the spirit talks to him) was of those quirks that lit up the of the original to the bluster of big budgets and original so well. bigger expectations. The opening sequence here would fall prey to just that, but for an inventive Whether you’re thinking of seeing the film for use of the franchise’s trademark ‘Awesome Mix’ Marvel completionism or as a casual sci-fi or cassette tape (now on Vol. 2). comedy fan, there’s something for everyone here. Director James Gunn has set phasers to fun, An encounter with a race of knowingly naff blasting away any sequel jitters and cementing humanoid aliens (the costume ideas wouldn’t be the Guardians as mainstays in Marvel’s ongoing out of place in an 80s sci-fi B movie) opens up a cinematic onslaught. You certainly feel for those series of events that lead Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) working on Star Wars’ Han Solo film, as the to delve further into his mysterious past. Most of position of quick-witted, handsome space rogue the main cast return, with Dave Bautista’s Drax has been definitively taken. providing some of the funniest moments despite his sense of humour (“His people are completely Dillon Eastoe literal. Metaphors are gonna go over his head”) giving him no right to. Everything about his character should be annoying, but the genius of these films is that even literalist space wrestlers become endearing. Director: James Gunn Certificate: 12A Run time: 2hrs 18 mins
Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is on form, the wisecracking raccoon armed with plenty of new demolition gadgets and more schtick than you can shake a stick at. A will-they won’t-they between Quill and Zoe Saldana’s green Gamora provides a nugget of romantic interest, but the movie makes sure to never take itself too seriously. Kurt Russell’s turn as the enigmatic Ego, master of a utopian planet on the outskirts of the galaxy, provides the intrigue in the first half of the film,
“WHETHER YOU’RE THINKING OF SEEING THE FILM FOR MARVEL COMPLETIONISM OR AS A CASUAL SCI-FI OR COMEDY FAN, THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE HERE.”
Jordan Peele’s Get Out is the type of satirical horror movie that should be made more often. Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, a black photographer who travels to an affluent suburb with his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams) to meet her family. Before they leave, he learns that she hasn’t told them of his race. Given that the film opens with a young black man getting snatched from a suburban sidewalk, and thrown into a white car playing the ’30s music-hall ditty “Run, Rabbit, Run”, he’s understandably nervous. Even without the horror genre, the film raises some valid questions about race relations in the modern western world. Chris is told ‘I’d have voted Obama in for a third term’ and asked about his golf swing by the (nearly) all white suburban couples he finds himself among. Get Out is a fun, well-made horror film, but the overall cinematic experience is enhanced by its biting social commentary; that is what truly makes the film its own. Saoirse O’Connor
LIFE Director: Daniel Espinosa Certificate: 15 Run time: 1 hr, 50 minutes When I first saw the trailer for Life I must admit I honestly thought it would be a thoroughly shit sci-fi horror film – an easy paycheck for some of the veteran actors attached including Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal. Life is set on the International Space Station orbiting Earth and follows a crew of astronauts after the initial discovery of bacterial life on Mars. However after tests are conducted upon the bacteria, now newly named ‘Calvin’, it rapidly evolves into a CGI abomination – a hybrid between what looks like a plant and a blue transparent squid, as it slowly eliminates the crew in a variety of gruesome ways. Life succeeds in its ability to consistently ratchet up the tension only to be broken by the brutal executions of the creature’s prey (and sadly the overt ‘CGI-ness’ of the alien). Life is a beautifully filmed sci-fi horror worthy of watching and its ending will leave you pondering the overreaching ambition of mankind. Oliver Leigh
A CURE FOR WELLNESS Director: Gore Verbinski Certificate: PG Run time: 2 hrs, 26 minutes The potential for this film to become a cult classic was high, it aims to provide comment on humanity’s obsessions with achieving success, the emptiness that follows and the ritualistic methods of doing so. However, while this was addressed in short scenes of the main character lacking interpersonal skills, working whilst travelling and gloomy cinematography at the start, once the main plot begins to play out, there is a certain randomness to the behaviour of the characters. This adds little more to them than simple plot devices and at times gives them an embarrassing shock factor, producing an unengaging watch. The film moves from the city to the wellness centre and in typical horror style, strange things start occurring. He encounters a girl who is not like the others and the mystery that is supposed to shroud her is easily guessed by the audience, who by the end are left proved right and cringing. The style here appears to intend gothic, Tim Burton-esque quirkiness, which makes it a great piece of cinematography, but with a mismatched plot. Perhaps it takes itself too seriously, giving off a sense of unease.
“AN INTENSE BEAUTIFUL LOOKING FILM WITH AN ENTICING STORY, LET DOWN BY A SLOW PLOT AND UNINSPIRED ENDING.” The idea behind a real ‘cure for wellness’ provides a strong starting point for a film, if a little cliché, but it felt as though this film tried to counteract this by forcing ‘extra-ordinary’ behaviour. At around two and a half hours, it is a long (noticeably so) watch, left unrewarded by the ending, which takes quite a brusque and dramatic approach. It leaves the audience unsatisfied and without answers or even a perspective. Worth a watch if you have two and half hours spare, but don’t expect too much. Abigail Eagle
LOGAN Director: James Mangold Certificate: 15 Run time: 2 hrs, 21 minutes As the final step in our eponymous hero’s journey, Logan serves as a grim reminder to all Wolverine fans, of the Hugh(ge) gap that will be left behind. The trilogy of ‘Wolverine’ movies can be easily defined as one, whereupon each proceeding instalment improves vastly on the last, and Logan is no exception. From the very beginning, the audience is treated to a truly hellish, Mad Max-esque dystopia, where an ageing Logan and Caliban care for a mentally unhinged Professor Charles Xavier. Gone are the halcyon days of ‘Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters’, as Logan is led on a desperate journey to protect his mysterious protégé X-23, from the clutches of an unknown organisation.
The cinematography and acting are definite highlights, but the film is not without flaws. As the third act arrives, the narrative becomes disjointed, almost to the point of jumping the shark in regards to some abrupt developments. I don’t want to give away too much, but for Christ’s sake Logan, did you forget what happened last time you stayed at a homely, family ranch in the country?!
One of the features that became almost immediately clear to me, was how the gorefactor had been cranked up to 11 since previous instalments in the franchise. This most likely being caused by fan demands for a truly ‘R-rated’ Wolverine flick, a change which couldn’t of been more suited to such a gritty, almost Western movie. However, things don’t remain all doom and gloom, as the inter-changes between Logan, X-23 and Xavier provide enough laughs to maintain an almost cordial atmosphere.
That said, Logan is heartfelt, and befits the legacy of Hugh Jackman’s stellar performance as Wolverine for the last 17 years. In the end, the claws have been passed to a capable pupil, who will no doubt put them to good, gory use. Elis Doyle
“LOGAN IS HEARTFELT, AND BEFITS THE LEGACY OF JACKMAN’S STELLAR PERFORMANCE FOR THE LAST 17 YEARS.”
56 FILM & TV
THE BIG WORLD ON THE SMALL SCREEN DESIGN BY SADIA PINEDA HAMEED
A Spanish Orange is the New Black? Sinead McCausland speaks to Walter Iuzzolino, host of All4’s Walter Presents, about the best of world television drama that we’re missing out on. There is a man who has spent hours, 3,500 to be exact, empathising with a group of young students resisting the Second World War (Resistance), exploring the world of murder and mystery in a dark, neo-noir Sweden (Blue Eyes), and experiencing what it’s like to live in 80s Germany, the Berlin wall still intact (Deutschland ’83). This man is Walter Iuzzolino, and he has been able to travel from France to Belgium to Afghanistan whilst staying in his London flat. On the surface this seems impossible, but Iuzzolino has been able to explore and curate a world full of fictional dramas thanks to the vast amount of foreign television drama created around the world. Pre-2014, world dramas were not on the minds of the majority of the British audience, and what audiences did know about world drama came from their mild exposure through BBC Four’s airing of the Danish crime drama The Killing, or BBC One’s multilingual The Missing. Thanks to the creation of ‘Walter Presents’, a Channel 4 series under which a range of foreign drama is aired, audiences have access to television programmes from around the world. Every programme is free, with over twenty box sets able to be streamed exclusively on Channel 4’s streaming service, All 4.
“a window into the rest of the world.”
Walter Presents’ success has proven that the British audience want stories from other countries; however, as Iuzzolino described at the Radio Times and BFI TV Festival, while his shows are from foreign countries, the stories are ultimately the same. When I spoke to Iuzzolino over the phone, the curator made it clear that stories are at the centre of what he does. He sees his service as an antidote to the ‘wave of conservatism that is sort of sweeping across the whole west,’ with the streaming service acting as a ‘window into the rest of the world.’
From a Spanish hybrid comedy drama (Locked Up) to a European crime thriller (The Team), Walter Presents has something for everyone. Each box set has a near two-minute introductory video featuring Iuzzolino himself, the foreign drama connoisseur creating succinct arguments as to why you should watch the show in as passionate a manner as the shows themselves. ‘Behind the sexy and glossy façade,’ says Iuzzolino in his introduction for the recently added Dutch suburbia drama The Swingers, ‘the series asks some serious questions about important issues. Issues about infidelity, the fear of infertility, of repressive religious education; what happens when you cross the boundaries of your own morality.’ Iuzzolino’s rapidfire sentences and captivating presence reminds you this is the titular Walter of Walter Presents; and in interviews Iuzzolino is the same. The curator is full of ideas about foreign drama, including how his audience consume it. Iuzzolino sees his subtitles as another facet of a television show’s story rather than a hindrance, observing that subtitles are both ‘easily overcome’ and make the show more like a personal novel than a commercialised story. For Iuzzolino, reading and watching is ‘a more
intimate experience; it’s almost like it’s between cinema and novel and it fuses those two. And so, when you watch an hour of this, this feels really special.’ The shows of Walter Presents also break the stigma around the inaccessibility of foreign drama. While they’re well-crafted stories with a careful handling of the visuals and cinematography, the shows are also commercial and fun. The two shows that most prove the ability to bring both entertainment and artistic craft are, coincidentally, the most popular on the streaming service. Below is an introduction to both: Deutschland ’83: The Berlin wall is as strong and upright since it was first constructed in the early 60s, but the divide between its people is starting to weaken. On the East of the wall lives our protagonist, Jonas Nay’s Martin Rauch. Martin is a 24-year-old border guard for the East; however, the intimidating Walter Schweppenstette (Sylvester Groth) gives Martin a new assignment: to infiltrate the West German Army under the guise of being their soldier. With moments of poignancy, heartbreak, and humour, this is one of the most stylistic of Iuzzolino’s choices. What’s more, Deutschland ’83 will return for two more series, with 86 airing in 2018 and examining the tensions between the Ronald Reagan West and the Soviet Empire, while 89 will look at the fall of the Berlin wall.
“The shows of Walter Presents also break the stigma around the inaccessibility of foreign drama.”
Locked Up: Set in a Spanish women’s prison, Locked Up is a 2015 Spanish drama that follows Maggie Civantos’ Macarena Ferreiro as she gets sent to prison. The truth behind why Macarena has been convicted remains a mystery through the series, but this is not why you will stay for the whole series when watching this show. The brutal violence that is contrasted with scenes of gentle but effective comedy, along with the development of Macarena’s character and her relationships with her prison mates, are the real reasons Locked Up will become so addicting. The show’s great writing making its characters feel like convincingly real and flawed humans. While the show has finished in its home country
of Spain, the cast revealed at the Radio Times and BFI TV Festival this April that they would be willing to come back for another series. For UK audiences, however, there is still series two, which will air in the UK at the end of April this year. After Deutschland ‘83’s airing in the UK, it became the highest-rated foreign language drama. It’s clear from these figures (’83 had consolidated viewing figures of 2.5 million after its first episode in January 2016), and Walter Presents’ release in the US, that foreign drama is on the rise. With the Radio Times and BFI TV Festival, the success of Iuzzolino’s foreign dramas was realised, with series two of Locked Up and series one of Merciless having their premieres on the big screen, the form of television and film blurring as the lights are dimmed and the adverts are no more. These foreign dramas have the ability to turn single experiences into shared ones, connecting these stories around the world through computer and television screens. For Iuzzolino, this is what makes Walter Presents so important to him. The handpicked, personally curated nature of the show is what makes Walter Presents different from more prominent streaming services, and, as he says, foreign drama is important as it provides a chance for audiences to be curious, and ‘this is the best time for people to ask interesting questions and to be more curious than ever.’
Walter Presents is available to stream for free on All 4 at www.channel4.com/programmes/walter-presents
IMAGE CREDIT: CHANNEL 4/ GLOBAL SERIES NETWORK
When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be Famous
It’s weird to think of actors outside of the roles you see them in let alone their lives before they were famous. Just a few months ago, I had an appointment an University Hospital and am 99% sure my doctor was J.K Simmons and spent the whole time waiting for him to throw a drum stick in my face like he did in Whiplash. As far as I know Simmons isn’t a secret part-time actor but it raised the question – what did actors do before they made it big?
Words by: Sarah Harris Design by: Stephany Damyanova
Star of Magic Mike, Channing Tatum, had in fact had some previous experience with his role in the film. At the age of 19, Tatum was in fact a stripper for a whole 8 months. This definitely explains why he was so good in the role.
Britain’s beloved, Helen Mirren worked as a promoter for an amusement park near Southend on Sea.
Infamous rom-com actress, Rachel McAdams worked at McDonalds for 3 years before her hit film, The Notebook. I guess you’ve gotta start somewhere? And who couldn’t do without free fries?
Everybody’s favorite human, Danny De Vito was a hairdresser before he gained fame. Not sure how I would feel about De Vito chopping off my locks.
The Wolverine star, Hugh Jackman was not only a PE teacher but also worked part-time as a party clown. I know I’m not the only one who would love to hire Jackman as a clown for any future party.
Oscar nominated actress, Amy Adams worked a job at the world famous restaurant, Hooters. Imagine being waited on by the star! And hey, at least free chicken wings.
Nicole Kidman had the not so fabulous job of being a massage therapist. I’m sure she spent all day wishing she were in her client’s position, I mean who doesn’t love a massage?
Human Rights Activist and general Queen, Angelina Jolie, trained to become a funeral director before following in her father’s footsteps and entering the film industry. Is it just me who thinks she may have been pretty good at this job?
Johnny Depp sold ballpoint pens over the phone. Hey, maybe he would have done a better job playing Jordan Belfort in the Wolf of Wallstreet.
Lastly and definitely the best of them all, none other than Christopher Walken who had the awesome job of being a lion tamer. No idea why he’d go into acting with a job like that!
Never too late to drop out of University and become the next big thing!* *Again, Quench does not condone these views. Stay in Uni. Work hard. Achieve big. Ha.
Or how I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cards Words by: Elis Doyle Design by: Stephany Damyanova
I hear you all breathing a long-winded sigh of relief. Hooray! We managed to go an entire year without a single piece written about The Witcher! Oh ho ho my sweet summer children, you have been eluded; as recently, I have been sinking my tabletop teeth into none other than, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. In all fairness I can attest mild mannered reader that this is indeed quite a stretch. But don’t be enamoured by these mere shenanigans, because the game in question is worth recognition! The origin of ‘Gwent’ started in The Witcher 3, a game already packed to the brim with content. Yet even with that handicap, Gwent still proved to be a rather complex and rewarding game in of itself. Compared to Gwent: The Witcher Card Game however, it’s rudimentary my dear Watson!… nailed it. CD Projekt Red – the darlings – opened the beta for us measly PS4 users on the weekend following March 31st (unfortunately we’re apparently not as worthy as the Xbox One master race). Although it’s confirmed that there is a story mode, the available options during the beta were restricted to multiplayer and deck creation only – most likely to avoid spoilers. That said, the wealth of decks and customisation alone were enough to keep me occupied. In my first multiplayer session, I was pitted against an anonymous fellow wielding the Nilfgaard deck. Since I was a bit of a newbie I knowingly stuck with the default Northern Realms deck, and was promptly handed my arse on a platter. Not only is Gwent difficult, but it reprimands you for not paying attention to its intricacies. But when you win, oh man, it’s like tactically savaging a gazelle with your insane lion strategies. In my mind, it’s this exact kind of gaming mentality which has ushered in the new era of the card game. That’s right, an industry of gaming and entertainment, almost eclipsed during the birth of the digital age is now blending seamlessly with the latter. To name but just a few successes, we have the insanely popular card games Hearthstone, Duelyst and Spellweaver. Hearthstone itself has reported more than 50 million players registered, an incredible feat only usually reached by a fraction of gaming titles. Digital card games have also integrated themselves fully into the e-sports and casual gaming scene, making them both approachable for newcomers and devilishly difficult to master for hardcore players. However
to quote the infallible fellow himself, Friedrich Nietzsche, “and if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee”. In short, the saturation of digital gaming comes with both perks and disadvantages. Buying a pack of cards in the competitive sense is not a new concept to gaming, I’m pretty sure we all begged our parents to buy us Yu-GiOh cards at some point back in the day. However, the emphasis of ‘paying to win’ is heightened even more so in games like Gwent and Hearthstone, whereupon the power of your deck is paramount to your success. This is coupled with the intense level of convenience allowed only by digital minitransactions, which means selling your soul for that one ‘Justicar Trueheart’ card is so much easier to do than in the 90s. This does highly devalue the effort of trying to be strategic with your enemies, and highlights the indicatively ‘freemium’ nature of the gaming industry in it’s current contemporary state. Christ, I’d like to apologise for that paragraph my dear reader, I didn’t intend to get so nihilist on you. What was I saying? Oh yeah, Gwent, what a game. I don’t think I’ll be using the ‘payment’ aspect of the title anytime soon, but the core gameplay does allow you to acquire ‘kegs’ and ‘ore’ that you can use to construct your own cards and decks (just at a much slower pace). However, unlike most development teams, CD Projekt Red have shown themselves to be incredibly charitable and fruitful with their DLC and purchasable content (Just look at the ‘Blood and Wine’ DLC for The Witcher 3, damn near rivals ‘The Shivering Isles’). I’d highly recommend Gwent: The Witcher Card Game to any aspiring, or already hardcore card gamer. And CD Projekt Red, if you see this, how about that Witcher 4 eh?...
60 VIDEO GAMES
O’ Wallet, Where Art Thou? Quench Video Games contributors give us their tales of monetary woe - damn you Steam Sale! ILLUSTRATION BY: ELIS DOYLE I’ll be the first to admit that I have an addictive personality. I’m not crazy, though. I haven’t gambled away my student loan yet, just a few fivers here and there and a lot of places in between. Gambling with my time, however, is proving to drain me of much more than my bank account. Candy Crush was never a game for my commute or my spare time, it was my time. I think it took me two years of revision dodging and obsession for me to hit my breaking point. The fatal ‘what the hell am I doing’ moment, was a few days before my A Level exams, and the worst part was that along the way I had committed the cardinal sin of mobile gaming: I had paid for extra lives. Again, I’m not crazy. It can only have been £25 over two years. But there I was, unlocking level 400-and-something, and I had my first epiphany that there was and never will be a point to playing Candy Crush. What have I gained? What have I learned? Why am I realising this at 18 years old? A full-blown existential crisis induced by sweets on a screen. I thought back to the money I had spent and realised that it had brought me no joy. I was paying to throw my education away for the sake of a level up. So I deleted it. Two years of hard work gone. I had placed monetary value on something utterly useless and 462 levels later I decided to go outside instead (it was ok, I guess). Now I try to be much more wary of where I splash my cash. £25 can buy you 10 Vk’s, for example. Christ, maybe I am crazy… Caspar Jayasekera
My laptop (nickname: Adele, no prizes for guessing why) and I have been through thick and thin together these last six years. Long nights spent on coursework, entire worlds built up and burnt to the ground on Minecraft, marathon Sim City sessions, the list goes on. Just like an aging family pet, I don’t want to admit her age. This explains why I keep buying up fancy new games on Steam. Quitting out of a barely-managing game of Besiege, I hop onto the store and see Grow Up, a few percent off and looking suitably shiny and fun- the kind of platformer Nintendo could produce if they’d get out of their own behinds. I buy it, I run it… and I’ve spent £10 on a PowerPoint. Why do I keep dying, why are these controls so unresponsive? Never mind, here’s Rise of the Tomb Raider. Adele and I had a great time playing through Tomb Raider 2013, we’ll love the sequel- I can’t wait to perfectly line up a silent crossbow headshot again. Alas, ROTR is unplayable too: top-shelf voice acting drifts from my speakers- but the picture changes less than a holiday snaps video made in Windows Movie Maker. The graphics are beautiful, even at the lowest setting- the word “loading” looks so crisp. What a wonderful audio play. Sadly it’s only a matter of time. Resigned, I deleted Steam. Adele’s obsolete graphics card gathers dust as she becomes an internet-connected typewriter. One day soon, maybe after graduation, she’ll be replaced. Her choked fans will whir no more as she’s sent out onto the lake in a burning boat. Or maybe not, that might be against environmental regulations. Tom Morris
The only instance where I regretted buying something was back when I was studying for my GCSEs. In a bid to give up gaming while I focused on my studies, I sold my PS3 and my entire collection of games for £300 and bought a Wii…. madness had clearly consumed my mind, body and soul. The only good thing to come out of it was being able to play Resident Evil 4 for the first time ever, and using the motion controls to feel as though I was the long blonde haired hunk blowing up Las Plagas zombie heads. That, and possibly Wii bowling... c’mon, it was a classic. All in all, it was probably one of the worst financial decisions fifteen year old Olly ever made (only to be topped by twenty plus Olly, and the discovery of Lash Wednesdays at the SU). Apart from Resident Evil 4, which I borrowed from my uncle, and the inclusion of Wii sports, I never purchased another game for the Wii. Whilst my intentions were good, it didn’t stop me from then purchasing another PS3 and building my collection of games, AGAIN. Of course, I did this during college where my grades mattered more so than ever before… I could have gone to Oxbridge, damn you PS3 – Wii – PS3 (again)!!! Oliver Leigh
Rocket League is a frustrating but exhilarating little gem. I was fortunate enough to receive it for free, thanks to PlayStation Plus. So, after countless hours of enjoying this oxymoronically easy but difficult game, I started to feel a little guilty. Little by little, Psyonix released a bunch of free content including new arenas and new game modes. Alongside the free content came new cars to purchase. The cars that come standard with the game are a tad stale: there’s a hot rod, 4x4, a sports van and a few other options. All of the cars are similar in terms of playability, they have the same speed, acceleration and handling. This means that your car is the main way you express yourself in the game (except for any abuse you happen to write in the chat). A couple of months after release, a ‘Back to the Future’ DLC was announced. Suddenly, all I saw was DeLoreans flying around my screen. It looked undeniably cool. My guilt of not paying for the game, combined with the envy of not owning a time machine, meant that I bought the skin pack immediately. I was mind-numbingly bored with the standard cars, and I had met my girlfriend at a Back to the Future party, so I just had to purchase it. It was fun for a game or two, until I started losing every game. The cars are similar, making me perplexed on why I seemed to miss easy shots. It turns out that a pretty significant difference between the vehicles is the size of their hit boxes. Meaning that the shape of the car has a big effect on how the ball travels when you hit it. I simply couldn’t figure out how to play well with the DeLorean, and so I went back to my boring but trusty truck. I haven’t touched the 40-year-old coupé since; and worst of all, I’ve never even watched Back to the Future. Saman Izadyar
Horizon: Zero Dawn Guerilla Studios Exclusive to PS4
I’m going to come right out and say that Horizon Zero Dawn was a reluctant buy for me. I wasn’t excited for it, I didn’t watch many of the trailers, and I’d written it off as a third-person Far Cry. Then the reviews came out and I was forced to take a step back and reevaluate my judgements. You play as a quirky young girl named Aloy, who serves as a sort of alloy, if you will, to the old and new worlds. She is also born ‘motherless’, which is one of the gravest sins. As such, she’s cast out with her new adoptive father, Rost, and shunned by the tribe for most of her early life. Without wanting to spoil any more of the game, it doesn’t stay that way. Perhaps the most important thing to mention is that I’m 17 hours into the game, and I’ve barely even scratched the surface of the main story. I’ve spent the last 10 hours doing side missions and exploring the world. The side missions aren’t simply fetch quests either. There’s hunting, tracking, taking out enemy outposts, clearing corruption, exploring ruins… the list could go on. What I’ve seen of the main story so far follows the philosophy of ‘show, don’t tell’, and feeds information in large enough pieces to keep the player satisfied, but small enough that I’ve spent the whole game speculating, “what on earth happened to the world for it to get like this?” The world Guerrilla has created is as beautiful as it is varied, with mountains capped with snow dissolving into open
deserts, which then blend seamlessly into rainforests in the ruins of an old city. The colour palette is incredible, and the areas feel truly alive. This extends to the settlements too. The Nora tribe settlements feel cosy and warm, whilst the larger city of Meridian is full of life and colour to the point where it’s almost claustrophobic, as I’m sure it would be
“THE COLOUR PALETTE IS INCREDIBLE, AND THE AREAS FEEL TRULY ALIVE.” for a girl who has spent her whole life living alone in the wilderness. Combat is largely great. Aloy’s bow feels a lot more natural as a weapon than it does in games such as Tomb Raider, because you’re on even footing with the enemies around you. Stealth is a fun, but also vital, gameplay mechanic that is introduced to you early on in the game. It makes combat a lot easier if there are hordes of enemies, and so there tends to be little to no reason to adopt any other playstyle. This can be a problem, however, when you’re thrown into an open arena fighting a pseudo-boss with nowhere to hide. Even though you’re the same level as this huge mechanical worm, it can kill you in two hits. Repeatedly hitting its weak spots with arrows is great but it doesn’t quite work. You could try
trapping it, but it’s a worm… it can go underground. Whilst challenging fights are more than welcome, the mechanics in the game don’t fit this type of battle at all. This wasn’t even part of the main quest either! There is such a large variety of encounters that, whilst most of them are great and satisfying when executed well, it feels like Guerrilla tried to add too many types of encounters without taking into account the limitations of the combat mechanics. That said, the enemies are incredible. You are fighting giant robot dinosaurs after all. I came across a huge mechanical bird as I was riding through the desert that I naturally stopped to fight, and it was a great boss battle. Except it wasn’t a boss battle, it was a normal enemy that I’ve encountered a lot since. Some of the enemies are just so epic, you can’t help feeling proud for taking them down even though they aren’t bosses. All in all, Horizon Zero Dawn is an ocean, with the depth of an ocean. My neglect of the main story up until this point has me feeling quite ashamed, but I’m having so much fun that I don’t really care too much. Rebecca Cornish
+ Beautiful world +
+ Good pacing +
Encounters don’t - always fit with combat mechanics Overall:
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