Is Canterbury making busking bust? Henry Mendoza
couple of years ago, I was walking along the Southbank, in London. I was on a short drama course, and was on my lunch break It was a warm day, with the glint of the sunshine reflecting off the London Eye. People were out, having ice cream, looking over the Thames, riding the carousel, all sorts. In my quest for sustenance, I suddenly became aware of a pleasant melody. Someone was singing, and playing acoustic guitar. “Not sayin’, it was your fault, but I know I could’ve done more...” It was ‘Naive’, by The Kooks. Sure enough, as I slowed and turned, I spotted her. This lovely voice emanating from this girl - not much older than me - with a guitar, speaker and an open guitar case. I looked at my watch - bags of time til I was due back. Lunch could wait. I stayed, watched and listened. She had a beautiful voice, and was playing a great mix of covers and some original songs she’d written, in a nice Folk/Pop style.
After having watched her for about it an offence to busk in the area without quarter of an hour (and chipping in a licence, and started threatening what spare change I had in my pocket), £1,000 fines for street performers. As I got chatting to her. Her name was Charlotte knows all too well, elsewhere Charlotte, and she apparently regularly in London, police will often move you performed around the area. I’d not been on from ideal spots that you’ve picked, to the Southbank much at this point, regardless of whether you’re bothering so wasn’t as aware anyone. of what a centre Now, it seems it is for street Canterbury is going performers. in much the same Fast-forward to way. the present day, When I first and I’ve become arrived in friends with Canterbury, I was Charlotte. I’ll often pleasantly surprised see her when I’m to see how much passing through more freedom Waterloo, en route buskers have here. to the National or I spoke to a guy the British Film who was singing Institue. When near the market I’ve had time, once and I asked if I’ve stopped and he faced a similar Photo by Henry Mendoza plight to his London listened, and when I’ve had change, counterparts. He I’ve happily given her some. happily told me no - as long as they’re The Southbank aside though, it’s not bothering anyone, him and his rather difficult to busk in London. In fellow street performers can entertain March last year, Camden Council made the locals to their heart’s content.
So, imagine my disappointment when I discovered that Canterbury City Council are now using the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 to target buskers. Unlicensed Canterbury buskers will now be facing even heftier fines than in Camden - £2,500. Authorities may even be able to destroy a musician’s instrument - as if a fine or criminal record wasn’t bad enough. Busking shouldn’t be demonised; it should be embraced. A street performer can make you stop what you’re doing, slow down, and smell the roses. Maybe just for a minute or two, maybe more, but it allows us to take in the beauty of the artist’s music, and of the world around us. Canterbury is a lovely city, and not everywhere in London matches up. Some of us non-local students, coming from more metropolitan places, might not appreciate Canterbury’s beauty, were it not for us being given a reason to slow down once in a while. Sometimes, it’s nice to pause, and indulge yourself in a little culture. Let’s not take that opportunity for granted.
2015 Oscar nominations Is Top Gear out of gear? Shalyia Arumugathasan
he 2015 Oscar nominees have been announced and it is safe to say there is a lot of variety of films and actors up for the awards. The top categories to look out for are Best Picture, Best Actors and Best Actresses, both leading and supporting. The selections for Best Picture range from American Sniper, to Selma, to The Theory of Everything. This year, there seems to be a broad selection of film genres, each having been very successful and well-received by the public. American Sniper, having been very recently released, has created quite the buzz in America. I feel it may be one of the top to win, especially with its star studded cast, including Bladley Cooper and Sienna Miller. The stars up for Best Actor seem to reflect the lead characters from the films in the Best Picture, although Steve Carrell has managed to wriggle his way in with his performance in Foxcatcher. This is also his first ever Oscar nomination. Some of the other actors who have made it are Bradley Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch, both of whom have played excellent roles in their films American Sniper and The Imitation Game. The award for best actress has two first time nominees up for the award. Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything and
Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl, a former Bond girl. Both showed excellent performances in their films and deserve to be up for the award. They’ll safely give Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon a run for their money. Another woman I cannot fail to mention is the 18 time nominee Meryl Streep who holds the record for havig the most Oscar nominations. Nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role for her part as the witch in ‘Into The Woods’; if she wins it will be her fourth rightful Oscar. Lastly we can’t forget the Animated Feature Film category. The films nominated are Big Hero 6, Boxtrolls, How to Train You Dragon 2, Song of the Sea and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. But people have questioned why The Lego Movie seems to have been snubbed out of the running. One thing’s for sure, the results will be interesting. And will surely be followed with a long line of criticism.
Photo by Cinema Scope
or some, Top Gear’s Patagonia special may have been on your must-watch list over the holidays. The build-up earlier in the year saw the tabloids reporting on how the presenters and crew had to high tail it out of Argentina due to Jeremy Clarkson’s faux pas in which he ‘accidentally’ drove around with number plates referring to the Falklands conflict of 1982, which many of the locals did not take too kindly to. The road trip saw Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson making their way from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, in their respective Lotus Esprit, Mustang and the Porsche 928. While the first part was slow, the second part didn’t disappoint which saw the trio face their greatest obstacle yet, a chained gate. Clarkson was forced to abandon his car and make it on foot to fetch some bolt cutters. That’s right, he actually travels on foot. Clarkson was forced to admit walking was a safer option as his alternative plan to ride horseback fell through after his colleague, May, crack his ribs. Over the course of the special their shenanigans meant much of the episode was typically spent fixing their beleaguered rides. After finally arriving in Ushuaia they found their trip had been in vain.
The entire crew was kicked out of Argentina and they sought safe haven in Chile after surviving an angry, rock-throwing mob. So serious was the danger that the crew had to alter their route to Chile and seek an alternative one in which they had to cross a river via a ferry/lorry the presenters had used previously during their road trip. This was to avoid the wrath of another angry mob lying in wait. Whether Clarkson was aware of his number plate mishap we’ll never know, but one thing’s for sure, the way the show, and Clarkson himself, hyped up the episode made for a guaranteed ratings winner.