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11TH NOV 2013/ ISSUE 08 FREE


Jailbreak is theft, says Virgin

Comedy special: Steve Hughes and Bo Burnham




Interview: London Grammar


Tenants to be punished for partygoers actions • New legislation will give council power to temporarily evict repeatedly anti-social tenants • Power to recover costs from unhelpful landlords Jonathan Breen Editor-in-chief Councils across England and Wales are on the verge of getting powers that will enable them to punish the host of a party for their guests’ actions once they have left the premises. The legislation would allow local authorities, such as those in Fallowfield and Withington, to hold tenants having a house party responsible for the conduct of partygoers on their way home and give the council the ultimate power to kick tenants out of their house for excessive anti-social behaviour. But local officials have stressed the powers are not intended for persecuting students, rather to keep the peace. “We are committed to supporting the peaceful, law

Photo: Peter Chinnock, Photo Editor

abiding majority and achieving a transformation in neighbourhoods affected by anti-social behaviour,” said Councillor for Withington Chris Paul. “What we need is these real powers now. “Power to tackle irresponsible landlords and householders. And power to firmly control disrespectful householders, tenants, and their visitors where their bad behaviour is now stopping others enjoying their homes in peace.” The developments come after Manchester City Council called on the government to include stronger legislation in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill in September. The bill is currently being considered in the House of Lords, having successfully passed through the House of Commons, and is set for a line-by-line examination on November 12, just three steps from

becoming an official Act of Parliament. Students told the The Mancunion they felt the proposed powers were unfair. “I don’t see why they should have the right to do that because how can we control someone else’s actions,” said third-year Joe Brunner. “It’s like they are trying to cap parties. What is next, curfews? A limit on how much we can spend?” Third-year History student Romy St. John agreed, “It seems quite unfair on the tenants, I don’t see how you can hold someone responsible for someone else’s actions.” Chloe Norton, a second-year studying Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology said she could accept the idea if partygoers affected neighbours, “I could maybe understand if they were in your house, or if they trespassed on your neighbours, but it seems

unfair if they are not on your property. “Tenants shouldn’t be responsible for how someone else acts.” Many student-landlord tenancy agreements include anti-social behaviour conditions. Manchester Student Homes also outlines the action a landlord will take if a tenant is involved in any anti-social behaviour, defined as anything “likely to cause alarm, harassment, inconvenience, or distress to members of the public not of the same household as the perpetrator.”

Continued on page 2

02 : NEWS



Fashion: Men’s makeup

Cake sales for ‘Children in Need’ have kicked off around campus Photo: Steph Marsh

Page 17 Picture of the week

Health & Wellbeing: Beards Page 27

Film, Review: Gravity Page 19

1994 Group of uni’s decides to disband Inez Dawoodjee News Reporter The 1994 Group, composed of smaller, research-intensive universities, has decided to disband. The Board released a statement explaining the closure: “The 1994 Group has come to a natural end point. This was not an easy decision to make, but we feel sure it is the right one for the future.” The Group was founded 19 years ago to defend the interests of smaller universities when the Russell Group, composed of larger universities, was created in the same year. 22 universities were members of the 1994 group. In 2004, following the merging of University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) with Victoria University, the newly-formed University of Manchester left the group. The London School of Economics left the group in 2006 and the University of Warwick followed suit in 2008. In 2012, 7 universities withdrew their

membership. 4 of these universities - Durham University, University of Exeter, Queen Mary University of London and University of York went on to join the Russell Group. In 2013, the University of Reading left, reducing the Group to 11 members. The Board added: “The Group was founded at a time of real change within the sector and so it comes to end at another point of significant change.” “Collectively, we have taken the decision to bring the 1994 Group to an end, because as institutions we have expanded and changed over time to the point where the need for the Group as originally constituted no longer exists.” Additional collaborations “on specific projects and issues” may continue in future between universities. UK higher education institutions make up other groups which include University Alliance, GuildHE and Million+.

MMU lecturer murder trial begins Pippa Allen-Kinross News Editor The trial of the murder of lecturer Jifeng “Jeff” Ding, along with his wife and two children, has begun. Anxiang Du, a previous business partner of Jifeng and his wife Helen, denies four counts of murder. The prosecution has accused Mr. Du of stabbing Jifeng and Helen Ding to death in the kitchen, before going upstairs and killing Xing (18) and Alice (12), where they were “cowering in their bedroom”.

University staff to strike again Jonathan Breen Editor

University academics and staff are to hold a second national one-day strike on 3 December, in a continuing dispute over pay, four unions have announced. The row centres on a one per cent pay rise offered to university staff – including lecturers and support staff. UCU head of higher education Michael MacNeil said, “Staff have suffered year-on-year cuts in the value of their pay and have made it clear that enough is enough. “We remain committed to trying to resolve this dispute and the employers now have until 3 December to sit

Deputy Editor: Harriet Hill-Payne Sub-Editors: Dan Harold, George Bailey, Jennifer Grimshaw & Eleanor Muffitt

Books, Interview: The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets Page 26

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News Editors: Michael Williams, Pippa Allen-Kinross, Sean Doherty, Aidan Gregory & Gawain Owen News Reporters: Inez Dawoodjee

Facebook: The Mancunion Twitter: @THEMANCUNION

Opinion Editors: Alice Rigby, Charlotte Green & Joe Anthony

Editor: Jonathan Breen

Postal address: Univerity of Manchester Students’ Union, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PR

Phone (0161) 275 2933

Fashion Editors: Susie Coen & Marie Yates

BeautyEditor: Haylee Wells

The jury at Northampton Crown Court has heard how a bloody fingerprint of Mr. Du was found at the scene, as well as footprints in blood around the house. A 999 call made by Xing was played to the court, in which the screams of both girls are heard before the line went dead. Evidence was also heard from a young girl playing near the house, who heard a “shriek” at the time of the murders but was unable to say if it was “a scream of anguish”. The trial continues.

down and positively engage with the unions.” He added workers would strike again next month, joined by the union Educational Institute of Scotland, unless pay conditions improve. Members of the unions UCU, Unite, and Unison took part in a one-day walk out on October 31, which affected Manchester and 148 other institutions across the country. The student-supported action saw lectures, libraries and other University services cancelled, postponed or closed, with pickets outside campus buildings including University Place and a protest in front of the Students’ Union.

Food & Drink Editors: Ben Walker & Maddy Hubbard Film Editors: Sophie James, Robbie Davidson & Angus Harrison Features Editor: Sam Dumitriu Games Editor: Alasdair Preston Lifestyle Editors: Moya Crockett, Isabelle Dann, Beth Currall & Lauren Arthur Music Editors: Tom Ingham, Patrick Hinton & Phoebe Clarke

Sport Editors: Andrew Georgeson, Thomas Dowler & Thomas Turner Sports Reporters: James Eatwell & Jonathan Roberts Theatre Editor: Josephine Lane Web Editor: Jennifer Ho Photography Editor: Peter Chinnock Photography team: Patrycja Marczewska, Joshua Brown & Cil Barnett-Neefs


NEWS : 03

Fees should rise with inflation, says Universities UK President - Cap on fees is “not sustainable” according to University of Surrey vicechancellor - Higher Education faces funding crisis, Universities UK report claims Sean Doherty News Editor The vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey has called for tuition fees to rise in line with inflation. Sir Christopher Snowden, vice-chancellor at Surrey and president of Universities UK, said that a cap on university fees cannot be maintained if higher education institutions are to prevent standards from slipping. He pointed out that Surrey has “several subjects where we are losing substantial sums of money teaching UK and EU students.” After a gradual rise in previous years, 2012 saw maximum tuition fees for new students raised from £3,375 per year to £9,000, where they have been frozen since and shall be for students beginning in the 2014-15 academic year. The University of Manchester currently charges the maximum amount possible. Snowden said that the rate of inflation means keeping a cap on tuition fees will lead to UK

universities struggling more and more with funding each year. “In real terms by 2016, if you look at inflation rates, they will be worth about £8,250…The reality is, the money isn’t worth what it was.” The NUS has stated that this rise meant that fees have already significantly outstripped the rate of inflation. Snowden is not the first vice-chancellor of an English university to have called for higher tuition fees. Last month Professor Andrew Hamilton, vice-chancellor of Oxford University stated that the fees should rise in order to better reflect the cost of educating students. He argued that educating students at Oxford costs an average of £16,000 and so the £7,000 per student shortfall amounted to £70 million for the University last year. Sir Christopher believes the UK should consider other countries methods of approaching student loans systems and how

Coke back in Students’ Union Jonathan Breen Editor-in-chief After three years of being barred Coca-Cola is back on sale in the University of Manchester Students’ Union shop. The controversial softdrink became once again available for purchase last month, after no motion to continue its ban was submitted to student assemblies held in the week beginning October 18. The product was pulled from shelves following a policy backed by a strong campaign against the multi-national company in 2010.

Other drinks owned by The Coca-Cola Company include Fanta, Five Alive, Dr Pepper, and Evian water. The Students’ Union said in a statement, “The Students’ Union “Staying Ethical” policy, which included the CocaCola boycott, lapsed on Monday 20th October 2013. “Students’ Union policies last for three years in order to ensure there is a higher democratic legitimacy given to current students, rather than students who may have left three years ago. As there have been no ideas brought forward

University tuition fees cannot stayfixed at their current levels if standards are to be maintained, argues the President of Universities UK. Photo: Paul Campbell

our country’s system may be changed. He said he believes the only alternative t0 adapting the funding system is more public funding being injected into higher education. A report by Universities UK, published on Thursday 7th November, focused on the challenges in funding faced by universities. It found that despite the rise in fees to £9,000, universities will still need more money in order to cope with the increasing demand from students.

to assemblies asking the Union to carry on with the boycott, the Students’ Union took the decision to reinstate the supply of highly popular Coca-Cola products in Union outlets.” A motion for all expiring Students’ Union policy to be automatically resubmitted to Assembly was put forward at assemblies last week and will go to an all student vote to take place from November 22 to 29. Other policies that expired last month include the Students’ Union officially supporting the right to education in Palestine, a significant and widelydiscussed issue for Manchester students when passed three years ago.

The report acknowledged that any extra funding from the government would lead to cutbacks in other areas of public spending. It also considered the funding models in place in Hungary, the USA and South Korea, but found that while private sourcing for student support may suggest that large scale government funding is not necessary, such private sourcing can lead to higher debts for students. While the report did not call for higher tuition fees, it did

state that, “Flexibility should be retained to vary the key aspects of the existing tuition fee system…to reflect investor and market needs.” A spokesman for Universities UK said, “Not uprating the fee will certainly erode income for investment in the future, at a time of rising cost pressures and inflation, increasing student expectation, and the need to compete effectively in the global economy.” Jamie Whitaker, second year Spanish and Business student

said, “I started university in the first year where tuition fees were set at £9,000. I feel it’s unfair that I’m paying three times as much as those who began the year before me when I’m receiving the same course. “I feel if tuition fees have to rise then raising them gradually with inflation would be fairer than having another significant rise later on where students in two different years are paying vastly different amounts.”

A New Approach to Burglary Gawain Owen News Editor A man attempted to befriend a house of students so his accomplices could steal from them. Opportunistic thieves tried to make friends with a tenant at a house in Fallowfield, so they could clear out the house of valuables. With there being 115 burglaries in Fallowfield in September alone, students are an attractive target to thieves, who have been finding new and innovative ways to catch students unaware. The recent tactic, which

has been attempted on at least three occasions in the Fallowfield area, saw occupants of a house on Granville Road confronted In the early hours of the morning with a man thought to be in his early 20’s. He peered his head through the back door of the house and asked how the occupants’ night was going. After a few minutes of small chat, some of house members realized something was wrong. Fortunately, they were proactive and ushered the man outside, where they found seven more men around the back of the house. The students managed

to persuade the uninvited visitors to leave the property. Their demeanor and attitude led the students to suspect that there intentions were to distract them in their kitchen while their rooms were systematically burgled. Tom Harvey-Smith, an occupant of the house said, “Their intentions were definitely to tag onto a house mate who would be more inclined to allow them back into the house.” Student Tom also said that in the short period of time that the man was in the house two PS3 controllers went missing. While not definitive proof

of a burglary, it is evidence that thieves might not wait for students to leave their house. As shown by an incident reported by The Mancunion, on October 6th in Fallowfield a burglar locked himself in a bedroom in a house full of girls. Often with expensive laptops and poorly secured houses, students make easy targets for burglars. And with many student houses in Manchester being multiple occupancy households, often with as many as nine tenants, thieves can accumulate many valuables from targeting just one house.


04 : News

The Dangers of PMA ‘I’m no crack mayor’ says -PMA, aka ‘fake ecstasy’ has claimed over 20 lives this year alone -Professor David Nutt’s advice on the drug and its dangers Gawain Owen News Editor We have all been hearing about the incidents and deaths related to drug use in recent weeks, especially those at the Warehouse Project. However what has not been made so clear is why these incidents are occurring much more often. The culprit appears to be a drug called PMA. PMA is currently being sold in the UK under the guise of the MDMA or Ecstasy brand. This is not to say that this is true for all MDMA and Ecstasy, but when you hear of these ‘dodgy batches’, PMA is probably the culprit. Professor David Nutt, who is currently the chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD), has released a PMA warning on the committee’s website where much more information on the drug can be found. You may also remember Advice.Hunting.Ad.pdf Professor Nutt as the former 3









government advisor on drugs who was sacked in 2009 for stating that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol. So what are the dangers of PMA? Well it is much more potent than MDMA, and this potency comes in smaller doses. Alongside this PMA takes longer to kick in. This is where its main danger lies, as the effect of say one pill will take longer than the expected effect of the MDMA you thought you had taken. So what happens next? Well you double drop (take another pill), in the thought that what you have taken is weak. Have you guessed the next stage of your night yet? Well you’ve probably overdosed and if you’re lucky you’re in a hospital being treated. Here is a short list of things which you may feel after taking PMA. Rocketing body temperature, 07/11/2013agitated 09:18and delirious becoming

and possibly seizures. Not exactly the euphoric high you were expecting. Big tip number one, be fast to react. If you see someone you know with these symptoms get them to a paramedic or doctor as soon as possible. The chance of lasting damage and death increases the longer they are left in their confused and unexpected state. With a recent survey from the Cambridge Tab showing that 84% of Manchester students have tried an illegal drug, it is vital that information about the dangers of unexpectingly taking PMA are shared and understood. A second year Manchester student who did not wish to be named said that, “so many people are taking MDMA these days, it’s everywhere. It’s worrying to think that you could be buying something like PMA”. Much more information can be found on the ISCD’s website about PMA and a wide range of other drugs.

Manchester lecturer Michael Williams News Editor Politics lecturer Dr Robert Ford found himself labeled a “fat crackhead” on Twitter last week – all in a case of mistaken identity. Torontonians swarmed the University of Manchester lecturer with angry tweets after their mayor, Rob Ford, admitted to smoking crack cocaine. Tweets from angry Torontonians poured in at such a rate that Dr Ford, along with his Twitter handle, @robfordmancs, was trending in the city of Toronto for a time last Sunday – meaning over 1700 tweets were sent out by between 600 and 900 users. “I’ve had occasional bursts of it for a while now,” said Dr Ford. “The guy has a habit of saying and doing controversial things.” Whilst Politely correcting most of those who sent hate mail, Dr Ford did admit to sending “kind of a cranky tweet” on Sunday night when the tweets had piled in all day - but the mistaken identity has also brought him a small modicum of Toronto infamy. Manchester’s Ford has now even

appeared on Canadian morning television - just like his rotund namesake - being interviewed about the mix-ups. “That was a surreal experience,” said Dr Ford. “It was kind of funny, and entertaining, and Canadians seem like a real nice bunch.” While Dr Ford told one tweeter he was “not fat, not Canadian, not a mayor of anything, not a crack connoisseur”, he does have something in common with the disgraced Toronto mayor. “In my youth, I was occasionally involved in what might be described as drunken stupors,” explained the politics lecturer. “In that respect I was a fairly typical student, so I sympathise with him a little bit when he says he doesn’t quite remember what he did!” The similarities stop at name and memory loss, though. “I don’t think he would be very good at delivering high quality feedback and timely marking, as I obviously do as a conscientious lecturer” said Dr Ford. Dr Ford is now being lavished with more attention – of a different kind - by Torontonians after being in the media.

Manchester’s Dr Robert Ford has received Twitter abuse over his mistaken identity. Photo: Robert Ford

“You are in our [newspaper] and I must say unlike our very unattractive Rob Ford, you have sexy lips!” tweeted @ClassyLady_Lisa. Dr Ford is no stranger to online woes caused by namesake confusion. The release of ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’ in 2007 also played havoc. “My Google rankings were only just getting over that bloody film,” explained Dr Ford. “It’s killed Google for me now.” Despite his newfound fame, the politics lecturer remains grounded. “You have to view the whole thing a bit tongue-in-cheek really,” he said. “It’s just a bit of a bizarre coincidence that leads to a slightly surreal start to your week, and then life goes on!”


NEWS : 05

Jailbreak is theft, says Virgin - Virgin trains have spoken against charity hitchhike - ”It’s pretty cold-hearted. Jailbreak is for a children’s charity” says participant

in any way they want, but they can’t undertake Jailbreak activities on our trains. “They all get the same answer. If they ask in advance, it’s ‘no’. If they arrive without warning, they won’t be allowed to travel on our trains without a valid ticket.”

Michael Williams News Editor

both in person to the ticket inspector

Other Jailbreakers ran into difficulty

and via a letter to the company, to no

with Virgin trains, too. Team Abbie &


Taylor also made it to France on their

Virgin trains have hit out at participants

“One of my team members has written

hitch, using the generosity of companies

in Jailbreak 2013, calling the charity

a letter to them, but they basically just

along their way. Only one company

hitchhike “theft”.

spewed back a load of legal jargon at

rebuffed them – Virgin.

In the week after teams made it to Berlin, Paris and even Disneyland to raise money for children’s cancer

“The only guy who said no was with

him,” said James. “I don’t think many teams have a team

Heap. “We were telling him the cause,

of lawyers at their disposal.”

charity KidsCan, a Virgin spokesperson

James’ team eventually made it to

stated that Jailbreak “negatively impacts

France with the help of another train

on their customers” and has caused

and he was really harsh – he was saying ‘I don’t care, I don’t care’. Abbie went on to say that Virgin’s


“severe disruption in the past”.

Virgin trains,” said team member Abbie

“When we used Southwestern trains

attitude towards Jailbreak is “wrong”.


they were much more lenient, we

“It’s once a year, and it’s for charity,

difficult for Jailbreakers to use in their

explained quite honestly what was

it’s not like you’re trying to go for free

fundraising bid – one team were handed

going on and they were way more

and you’re going to spend all your time

a fine of over £150 each when caught

understanding,” he said. A spokesperson

in London, you’re not doing it for that

hiding in the toilet of a Virgin train from

for Virgin said: “We never ever allow


Manchester to London.

Jailbreak activity on our trains. We

“You’re doing it for a good cause, you’ve

James Hind, one of the members of

just don’t allow it. It has caused some

got your t-shirt on and everything. I

the group who received the fine, said

severe disruption in the past, up to

don’t think they should be so harsh.”

“It’s pretty cold-hearted. Jailbreak is for

and including having to call British

a children’s charity.”

Transport Police.”





The team did try to argue their case,

Portia Bailey, the chair of Jailbreak organisers Manchester RAG, said: ““We

“Students are entitled to fundraise

do advise all our Jailbreakers to get

Jailbreak students faced problems using Virgin trains. Photo: hugh llewelyn @Flickr permission before they get on – it’s not

which is obviously a really important

theft if they’re given permission.


“Realistically though, if it came down

When asked about the allegations

to it, you’d hope train drivers would look

that Jailbreak “negatively impacts on

at what we’re raising money for and say

Virgin customers”, Portia said: ““Seeing

‘look, this doesn’t happen every week,

the company they probably use on a

it’s a rare occurrence, we’ll let you off,

regular basis supporting students to

just get off at the next station’.

raise thousands of pounds for children

“A lot of other train companies, ferry companies and air companies are

with cancer can surely only put a smile on their customers’ faces!”

more than happy to let people on, we are raising money for kids with cancer,

Suspect Anxiang Du denies murdering MMU lecturer and his family Pippa Allen-Kinross News Editor

family home a day after losing

in 2004.

a court battle over their shared

“Dr Ding taught chemistry and

business interests, based on a

was also active in schools liaison

Anxiang Du has denied

failed herbal medicine business.

and led a successful chemistry

the murders of Manchester

After fleeing the country, Mr.

admissions team. He was also a

Metropolitan University lecturer

Du was discovered in Morocco

respected hall warden where he

Jifeng Ding and his family.

in July 2012 and extradited back

provided pastoral support and

to Britain to face charges in

guidance to many students.

Mr Ding was found stabbed to death along with his wife Helen

February of this year.

“Jeff will be very sadly missed by

and daughters Xing, 18, and Alice,

Many warm tributes were left

all his colleagues in the Division

12, in their Northamptonshire

to Jifeng “Jeff” Ding, an expert in

of Chemistry and Environmental

home in May 2011.

polymers, by staff and students

Sciences, all our staff, students


and his friends at Manchester

He was a senior lecturer in



Wednesday 20 November 2013 10.30am-4.00pm

Manchester Central (The G-MEX Centre) • Meet representatives from OVER 90 UNIVERSITIES (both UK and overseas) offering thousands of postgraduate courses

the Division of Chemical and

University, where a memorial


Environment Science, and also

bench was unveiled for him

by the wider academic and

• Free seminars on “Funding”, “Study Overseas”, “Teacher Training”, “MSc and PhD Studies”

worked as an admissions tutor

last summer in the John Dalton

research communities.”

• Free entry and free fair guide

for Chemistry.








It is believed they were

At the time of the murders,

pages, including ‘The Jeff Ding

murdered on the day of the royal

a spokesperson for MMU said:

Appreciation Society’ and ‘R.I.P

wedding, 29th April 2011.


Jeff Ding’ were also created by

Last week, Mr. Du denied four


Metropolitan is



counts of murder with the help

saddened by the news of the

of a translator at Northampton

death of Dr Jeff Ding.

Crown Court.

“As a senior lecturer, Jeff was a

Mr. Du, a businessman, is

popular and dedicated member

believed to have travelled to the

of staff who joined the University

students after his death. The murder trial is set to begin on 11th November 2013.


Register at: Organised by the Careers Service

In association with


NEWS : 07

Call for action as UK has the lowest number of female engineers in EU Pippa Allen-Kinross News Editor Business secretary Vince Cable and a government review have warned of the lack of female engineers in the UK. Britain has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, with women making up just ten percent of the overall amount. Even amongst Europe’s leading countries for female engineers – Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus – women only equate for one third of the work force. Speaking on this discrepancy, Cable told The Guardian newspaper “unless we break that psychological barrier we will have enormous problems for years to come.” Cable spoke after the John Perkins review was commissioned by the government as part of last weeks ‘Tomorrows Engineers’ events. One of its main focuses was the lack of female engineers across disciplines, including computer science and chemistry. According to the report, over the last decade the places on engineering undergraduate courses applied to by females has remained at just 15-16%. This is a trend which appears to begin early, as last year only 40% of those taking Maths A-level, and only 30% taking Further Maths, were female. Even more noticeably, whilst Physics A-level remains the second most popular choice for boys in England, it ranks only 17th amongst girls.

And last year 49% of state funded co-educational schools failed to enter a single female candidate for A-level Physics. In his review, Professor John Perkins recommends a “high profile campaign reaching out to young people, particularly girls aged 11-14 years, with inspirational messages about engineering and diverse role models, to inspire them to become ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers’”. He also says: “We support the National Centre for Universities and Business’ (NCUB) ambition to double the proportion of engineering degrees taken by women to 30% by 2030. “The most important actions to achieve this are the measures to increase the number of young women leaving school with the right academic qualifications and to tackle gender-biased perceptions of engineering.” In the 2011/2012 academic year in England, only 400 women began an engineering framework apprenticeship, as opposed to 12,880 men. In 2013, less than one in 30 of those starting engineering apprenticeships were female. The report also shows that three years after graduation 70% of male engineering and technology graduates had begun working in those fields, whilst only 50% of female graduates did the same. Leah Thornber, third year Civil Engineer at the University of Manchester, said: “Engineering is very much a boy’s game. I feel vastly outnumbered as a woman

Oxford University rugby players punished for “free pussy” social Aidan Gregory News Editor An Oxford College Rugby club has been barred from all competition, after it organised a “free pussy” social in which players were encouraged to spike female students’ drinks. Pembroke College Rugby Team (PCRFC) will no longer be allowed to play in the first round of the league season, and the Oxford University Rugby Football Union (OURFU) has demanded each and every one of the team’s leadership face reelection. Over a week and a half ago, the social secretary of Pembroke College’s Rugby Team sent out an email to its members instructing them to pick out a first year female student who

would be “quaking in her boots”. Another team member was instructed to produce a positive pregnancy test. The captain of the team, who has resigned in the wake of the incident, said “I could have shown greater leadership and better judgement in reacting more quickly to the offensive phrases in the email. I reacted too slowly. In the longer term I will try my hardest to rid PCRFC of any elements of this culture that we find still reside in the club.” In response to the email, the Pembroke Junior Common Room issued a statement early last week, which said that “we fear that the rugby committee do not seem to have grasped the seriousness of their offences,

Vince Cable has joined calls to get more women into engineering. Liberal Democrats @ Flickr studying engineering. Even when in high school studying physics and maths, I felt I was a minority. “The issue is that in lower education there is not enough effort put in to encouraging more young women into science. It is perceived to be more “cool” to study art or music. Although

and will shrug this off as an overreaction of a female-led JCR committee.” “It went on to say that “We are outraged and hugely offended by the email. There is very little about the email that suggests any level of respect for the women of Pembroke. “From the imagined female freshers ‘quaking in their boots thinking that they might be picked’, to the concerning ‘challenge’ to a team member to bring a ‘positive pregnancy test’, the email is a pretty repulsive read. “The proposed spiking of the dates’ wine with ‘spirits or food or anything you like. But not your sperm’ prompted our main fear for the safety of those going on the crewdate. “We are committed to ensuring that misogyny does not prevail at Pembroke, and that basic disrespect towards our female members will not continue to be excused as ‘banter’”.

these are important subjects, it means women are encouraged away from the sciences. “It is not enough to make people aware of the lack of women in engineering. Young women need more role models who can encourage those talented enough into the field of engineering.” The John Perkins review ends

on a call to action, saying: “We need to take action in both the short and the long term. We need to get the right messages to young people. “We desperately need to ensure that girls have the opportunities to study STEM subjects [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] and don’t rule

themselves out too early.” He added: “It is time for concerted action by the profession, industry and Government, to achieve the goals for engineering which we all share.”

Outrage at Chester students’ 9/11 halloween costumes Aidan Gregory News Editor Two students from the University of Chester have sparked domestic and international outrage with their choice of Halloween costumes. Annie Collinge and Amber Langford donned matching twin towers outfits, which included burning planes, dying victims, and star spangled banners. The pair, labelled as the “north” and “south” towers, attended a club night at Rosies nightclub in Chester. They won first prize in the fancy dress completion, and were awarded £150 in shopping vouchers.

In response to the incident, the University of Chester and Chester Students’ Union have issued a joint statement, declaring that “we utterly condemn the appalling photos”. The two students, both 19, are now under investigation by the university, and could face serious disciplinary charges. In response to the criticism, the pair have both since apologised, explaining that their intention was to depict a “serious, modern-day horror”. 67 British citizens died in the 9/11 attacks over 12 years ago. The students’ choice of costumes has been met with outcry from the USA, and some of the relatives of those

who died in the attacks. In an article, the New York Daily News described the student’s choice of costumes as “crude” and “sickening”. Patricia Bingley, 79, whose son died on 9/11, said “This is unbelievable — 9/11 happened in their lifetime. It’s hard to understand where they’ve come from to do this without a thought for those who died or the families left behind”. The Sun has reported that the father of Amber Langford, was flying a United Express aircraft at the same time as the 9/11 attacks. In response to his daughter’s choice of costume, he has said that he will “have a little chat” with her.

08 : Feature


“We’ve entered a climate where eventually any thing you say that might offend people could be a crime” Heavy metal comedian Steve Hughes speaks to The Mancunion about political correctness, health and safety, and the meaning of life Sam Dumitriu Features Editor Steve Hughes doesn’t look like your average comedian. With his tall frame, long hair, thick beard and leather jacket, he looks like he’d be more at home headlining Bloodstock than the Comedy Store. Funnily enough, the world of thrash metal used to be his home. Born in Australia, Hughes started out as the drummer for a thrash metal band called Slaughter Lord. How did an Australian metal head come to headline at the Comedy Store in Manchester? “I needed to get a job, without getting a real job. If I could do comedy, I could leave the country without having to make a whole band come with me. And I was quite funny, so I thought that helps.” Hughes’ comedy is influenced as much by classic comics such as Billy Connoly and Richard Pryor, as it was by punks doing spoken word like Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra. Angry and political, his comedy found a surprise audience on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow. “What I do on there is not particularly controversial, obviously I tone it down a bit. But they haven’t asked me back. They’ve all been very nice to put me on the comedy shows; I’m a convict after all. Ha!” Since then it’s been all touring for Hughes, he’s currently on a 50 date tour of his new show ‘While It’s Still Legal’. How’s the tour going and what’s the current show about? “I’m 35 dates in so the brain is getting a bit tense. You get sick of hearing your own voice to tell you the truth. People have been showing up, which always helps when you’re doing a comedy show. “It’s while stand-up comedy is still legal or any kind of opinion that dissents from the prescribed history they want to promote. As George W Bush said ‘You’re with us or against us.’ We’ve entered a climate where eventually anything you say that might offend people could be a crime.” Hughes is passionate about free speech and his current tour rips into the culture of political correctness. “It’s almost like intellectual health

Being spiritually aware makes you no deeper than someone who’s just getting pissed and f****** watching porn and safety regulations where you are starting to legislate into people’s subjective world views, making out they have the right never to be hurt again, which is a form of overprotectionist propaganda. “It’s an illusion because obviously people get hurt on the Earth, both physically, emotionally and intellectually. There’s no way to stop this, and trying to create laws around this, is a blatant form of oppression disguised as a protectionist idea. “Why can’t people have their feelings hurt? Why can’t people get offended and fell bad about ideas they don’t agree with. How you deal with that in your emotional worldspace is entirely your responsibility. No one can make me think or feel anything I don’t want, and to think that I can blame someone else for the way think and feel is a complete illusion.” Health and Safety is another one of Hughes’ pet peeves. As soon as it’s brought up, he’s off on another rant. “Health and Safety, what a form of oppression that is. Stopping grown men from doing what they want. There was a case recently with the

Steve Hughes is not your average comedian Photo: Impressive PR rescue service, remember those guys who didn’t rescue a guy drowning in a river because they did a health and safety assessment? That’s what it does, it’s unbelievable. I don’t trust any of it. Hughes’ has a tendency to sound a little out there with talk of thought propaganda and oppression. Nowhere is it more the case than when the discussion gets onto conspiracy theories, he describes himself as a ‘Conspiracy Realist’. “Conspiracy theorists always seem to get a bad rep, don’t they? For some reason they’re always called nuts and whackos. Some are nuts and whackos of course, but there are nuts and whackos that are football fans as well, so I’m not surprised, in every genre of life you get nuts and whackos. “Of course, people get very upset with people who come up with alternate forms of looking at our shared history. Even though they’re true sometimes, great men in power sometimes act conspiratorially. I don’t see what’s wrong with being a theorist anyway, scientists come up with theories, but if your coming up with conspiracies somehow being a theorist makes you a nutcase.” Weirdly enough, the last time Steve Hughes played at the Comedy Store, he was following Nigel Farage at an event called ‘Stand Up For Liberty!’ during the Tory party conference. When informed of this, Hughes seemed a little confused. “The UKIP people? I didn’t even know what they were. I just wondered why there were cops everywhere. I was told we were doing

this gig for the people who are against the no smoking in public laws. While it’s probably best if you don’t smoke in planes or in tiny French restaurants with no ventilation, then again I don’t see why I can’t smoke in a f****** hotel room I paid for. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know what UKIP was. I’m hardly an expert on politics, if you want to discuss politics on a complex level, your talking to the wrong guy. People say I do political comedy, I don’t I just talk about what’s on the news.” What was the reception like? Would a room full of mostly aging right wing political activists be receptive to Hughes’ controversial brand of comedy? “Whenever you are telling jokes to people like this, corporate people or whatnot, you have to realise they don’t live in the same world as the rest of us. It can be quite bizarre to do comedy for them. But it was all right, some thought it was funny, some thought it wasn’t, but I got away with it. “I didn’t even know what they were for, I was wondering why there were so many cops and they said it was some political party. It was like doing a corporate gig really, I’ve done a few and that’s what they’re like really.” Hughes is probably one of the most unlikely choices to perform a corporate gig with his views on political correctness and conspiracies. What kind of corporation books him? “I’ve done very few, maybe two in my whole life. I have nothing against people running a business or anything. In fact, as you get older you realise you’re not going to change f***

all. It’s not pessimism or a lack of hope it’s just having a deeper understanding of what life is really about. “Life is a singular manifestation of an experience, the horror, the fun, it’s all just part of the big plan, or the big game. It’s a big f****** game isn’t it.” This has struck a chord with Hughes who’s seamlessly transitioned from talking about doing a gig for UKIP supporters to discussing the meaning of life. “Life is mental isn’t it? That we have to get born, have consciousness, wander round this earth thinking of plans. But ultimately we’re all going to die! As you get older you realise nothing I really thought is true. Life is too deep and profound to really have an answer. “Sometimes that’s why ignorance is bliss is a great profundity. You can just rock through and enjoy yourself. Being spiritually aware makes you no deeper than someone who’s just getting pissed and f****** watching porn. I used to think it did, I’ve discovered I don’t think it does.” “I’d love to do comedy where I didn’t have to say anything. I do think one day I’m going to write a show where I don’t saying f****** anything about anything and I’m just going to make jokes about silly things. It would be far more fun to tour.” To see Steve Hughes tell jokes about serious things, you can see his new show ‘While It’s Still Legal’ at the Comedy Store in Deansgate on November 13th. Tickets are available through the Comedy Store website.


Features : 09

Interview: Bo Burnham 23 year-old comedian Bo Burnham speaks to The Mancunion about Vine, fame and why why he’s releasing his latest show for free Despite barely being older than most of the students who attend his shows, Bo Burnham has already had numerous sell-out shows at Edinburgh, written and starred in his own TV show and published a book of poems. We caught up with him just as he was about to start the UK leg of his current tour ‘What?’. Bo described his current show as “a big weird theatrical comedy. For me it’s a product of confusion; music, comedy, poetry, jokes and who knows?” He plans to release a live recording of the show for free online. “I’ve been working on this thing for three years and I just want people to see it. Louis CK changed everything by releasing things for $5 in the US. I don’t feel I have the same big audience that I can just capitalise on for $5. I feel like there’s a lot of people who haven’t seen my stuff, maybe don’t think they’d like my stuff because of my earlier YouTube stuff and I just want as many people see it as possible.” Even though he’s just 23, Bo’s already been putting out comedy for nigh on seven years. What was it like becoming a big name in comedy at such a young age? “I don’t feel like I’m terribly huge. It feels that I have been doing it long enough that I’ve got a bit of a grasp on it. Because I started so young, I feel I’ve had to let my act really change. Obviously when you’re 17 and 23, you radically change. “Obviously, I don’t like the stuff I made when I was 17. But, it’s a good thing and it’s really helped me change because I’m constantly hating myself and hating what I just came up with.” He still gets requests for the old YouTube material. “I don’t go that far back, but I throw in a couple of old ones every show to appease that. There’s a danger with being a musical comic that it just becomes a concert and I’m not interested in that. But there are a few I can still find a bit of joy in. If you’ve paid money for a ticket, I want to give you something you haven’t seen.”

I think I can write for the ADD generation, and nothing is more indicative of that than Vine, an app that cuts you off at the seventh second

Bo has jumped from being the funniest guy on YouTube to becoming pretty much the undisputed king of Vine, Twitter’s six-second video sharing service. What is it about the six-second format that is so great for comedy? “I’ve jumped from one pigeon hole to the next. Vine’s already become very weird and terrible. It was fun to be able to make stupid, little jokes and I think I’m probably good at stupid, little quick jokes. “I think I can write for the ADD generation, and nothing is more indicative of that than Vine, an app that cuts you off at the seventh second. In America, there are people who will come up to me on the street and be like “Are you the guy from Vine?” So apparently I am. This app is going to crash and burn in 20 seconds but it’s fun to have been apart of it. “If someone had come up with Vine a year ago and put it in a movie, it would have been the most ingenious satire of Hollywood. The idea that people get famous for six second videos, literally fifteen minutes of fame was a joke and now Vine is even more ridiculous than that.” Fame is a topic that fascinates Bo. His TV show Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous follows Zach, an 18 yearold pre-celebrity who splashes his life savings on hiring a film crew to create a reality TV show based around his quest to become famous. Bo, who plays the lead and also wrote it, wanted to question the idea of becoming famous for fame’s sake. “I was interested in fame’s impact on how young people view their priorities and their future. In America, there was a study done where they asked high school students what they wanted to be when they grow up and first place by a mile was famous at like 40%. “It seems so untenable and insane and probably not good, even me being on the inside of it to a very small degree, it becomes very empty, inconsequential and silly. It’s also just very funny I think because in order to want that you have to change your priorities to centre on very silly and frivolous things. “It wouldn’t be as funny if thoughtful and quiet people were becoming famous, but the fact that it’s just loud idiots that people are emulating immediately makes it funnier.” Bizarrely, it aired on MTV, which seems to be the mecca of loudmouths who want to be famous for fame’s sake. How did he get them to show it? “We barely got them to broadcast it. Even when they were broadcasting it, they weren’t really advertising it or anything. At the time it was airing, I was like ‘Oh shit, I really am in the belly of the beast right now’. I was trying to start a conversation with kids without them even realising what the conversation was, because the viewers are so young I think. “When it was getting advertised I was getting tweets saying ‘Why is Zach Stone getting a show, I want to be famous why can’t I get a show?’” After not getting promoted at all and being scheduled erratically, MTV opted to cancel it after just one season. Did it ever intend to stretch beyond just 12 episodes? “I am very happy to have made 12, but when we were making the show it was certainly an idea it would last. Before it even aired, I was aware of certain things about the network’s attitude towards it, I don’t think they

Burnham Perfoming his award winning live stand-up Photo: Prospero Communications

were really on-board with it, I was not sure it was going to really last. “Our lead-in was a talk show starring Vinny from the Jersey Shore. That was our lead-in, so people that are fans of Vinny from the Jersey Shore probably aren’t going to be fans of the irony of a kid who wants to be famous for no reason.” Undeterred by his experience with MTV, Bo still would like to make another TV show down the line. “I may even try to make a show over here if possible. I just love how it’s structured over here with like six episodes a season. It seems much more controllable, rather than like America where you pop out 20 episodes a season and if you don’t get 100 episodes then it’s a failure as a show.” On stage, Bo adopts a persona that’s much closer to his old YouTube material, a sort of enthusiastic hammy-ness. “My persona is most importantly just to communicate the material in a way that is most funny and meaningful in the moment. It’s more like a character that’s sculpted for whatever joke needs communicating at the moment. “It’s not most important to communicate myself on stage as it is to be as funny or interesting as I possibly can on stage. I feel more like I’m doing a play whose main character just happens to share my name.” Bo recently published ‘Egghead’ a collection of poems and drawings, which he described as a collection of ‘sort of adult Shel Silverstein poems’. “When I was writing Zach Stone I

The more controversial thing to do now is to be sentimental, to try to be honest, to try to be emotive in any way. had to spend a lot of time rewriting things and responding to notes from the network, I would go to a coffee shop and just write whatever I wanted to write. Then I had a large collection of poems, and I whittled it down to the one’s I thought were worthy of the public’s attention. “Hopefully it’s a fun, weird and whimsical collection of things which are hopefully reflective of things people enjoy in my act, but I didn’t

want it to be just a book form of my stand-up act.” One myth Bo wanted to bust was the idea that there was a college campus backlash against his comedy. Wikipedia tells us that his material was protested for being racist, homophobic and for mocking the disabled. The truth is a little different. “Literally ten students in a college in Mississippi protested my thing as part of student group. That’s the only time it has ever happened, they misquoted lyrics. Because of Wikipedia everyone thinks I’ve been protested, it was a big controversy when there was just ten kids outside. “I think controversy has this allusion of being controversial but it’s totally not, which is why I’m trying to get away from it because it’s just easy and automatic. “The more controversial thing to do now is to be sentimental, to try to be honest, to try to be emotive in any way. That’s the stuff I feel that no one is really doing. Everyone is doing the sort of offensive ‘oohhhh’ jokes, it’s Apple Pie in America.” Bo Burnham is performing live at The Dancehouse on Oxford Road on November the 12th and November 17th. Tickets are available through the Ticketline and The Dancehouse Box Office. Bo Burnham’s new book ‘Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone’ is out now in all good bookshops. Sam Dumitriu

Opinion Students can’t afford to pick the healthy option



Alice Rigby argues that soaring food costs are forcing students to choose between their health and finances

#Your Thoughts Want to give your thoughts on University news, or comment about an article? Tweet, and it could appear in this fortnightly column... @MancunionOp

Photo: Food Navigator We all know that the recession has caused a reduction in most of our budgets. Across the country prices have risen disproportionately against wages, most recently made apparent by the rampant controversy over energy bills. A revelation that food bank use has soared by three times caused a media frenzy last year. However, a recent study into the food bought by households shows that it’s not just the quantity of food we need worry about. Even for those still able to afford food, the quality of food purchased is rapidly deteriorating, with the poorest in society suffering from ever worsening diets. Students are notorious for eating badly. Though many are partial to a frozen or ready meal, many others happily cook fresh food each night. Essentially, these decisions are made from choice, with the option of eating healthily always being present. One of the key findings of the Institute of Fiscal Studies data was that while food prices have grown across the board, the spread of rises is not balanced. For fresh foods, such as milk, cheese and eggs, the price rises have been of mammoth proportions. For those processed foods, considered treats in a balanced diet, the rise has been much steadier. This has an obvious effect on the diet of those whose pounds are being stretched – the choice of healthy over not becomes a lot harder to make. Obviously it is understandable that food prices rise. However, the disproportionate rise of fresh prices over processed prices is clearly not simply indicative of the state of the economy. The overall effect of a breakdown in eating habits on the economy in the long term could be disastrous for the

country as a whole. By their very nature, processed foods have a devastating effect on nutrition. Even if we eat fewer of them in terms of calorific content, the saturated fats and high sugars involved mean that the impact of this kind of diet on our health is still bad. Not to mention these issues can

Students are notorious for eating badly have long-term consequences, which place a heavy burden on our already stretched health services. Similar trends have been seen at food banks, where processed food is picked by users due to its ability to last and, increasingly, the fact that it doesn’t need to be cooked. While some commentators have suggested that this is indicative of unhealthy habits towards food, the same study suggests otherwise. Over the last thirty years the total number of calories purchased by the average household has declined. While this is not entirely revealing, it is indicative of a healthier approach to eating than is often suggested by the press and those in power. This idea has been further perpetuated by the recent flourishing of ‘lifestyle’ programming targeted at the poor. The

most notable example of this is clearly Jamie Oliver’s Save With Jamie which has been marketed as a cooking show that will educate the public on how to cook nutritious meals for little money. Oliver perpetuated many of the incorrect assumptions about the poor and their eating habits in several of the interviews he gave to promote the show. This combined with his inability to match the money-saving cooking solutions of economic cooks like Jack Monroe suggests that the solutions provided by the media to this chronic problem are, so far, coming up short. These disproportionate increases hit those who have the least income – and who have the least opportunity to increase their income. Students inevitably and increasingly fall into this category. With the news that student loans will be frozen next year causing alarm for many, the fact that the price of healthy food will continue to rise may even prevent some students from coming to university at all. Add to this the benefits of students eating well, such as our ability to work efficiently and to prevent illness in what is for many a non stop three years of activity, it is clear that the impact of food prices on the student community could be greater still. Price increases are an inevitable consequence of our economy. We know that inflation exists and we know that it will continue to do so, even in times where our economic prosperity is reduced. However, when these rises begin to have disproportionate effects on societal habits, we need to reconsider the triggers for them – and the solutions we provide.

Opinion Poll As our name suggests, at Opinion we really want to hear the diverse views and opinions of the students at Manchester. To increase participation we are now running a poll every two weeks asking the important topical questions. The poll is printed and posted online, and we have also been on the street getting your feedback. Tweet, email or facebook us with your ideas for polls, we want to make this as interesting and insightful as possible. Having said that, here are the results for this week’s question;

Should the Fallowfield area have an increased police presence? Yes, we need the police to make students feel safer 67% (183)

No, there are other alternatives to increasing policing 22% (60)

I don’t think the police will help 11% (30) Total votes: 273




In a week of remembrance the question is...

YES On the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the First World War officially came to an end. It marked the conclusion of five years of conflict which culminated in approximately nine million deaths. On this day, for the past 90 plus years, Remembrance Day has been celebrated in honour of those who died in all the wars down the years. The red poppy worn by millions during this period embodies the idea of having gone through that tragedy. As the poem ‘In Flanders’ suggests, through the destruction of war, the red poppies managed to grow and shine through. However, in recent times, the red poppy has been much more than a symbol in the United Kingdom. The Royal British Legion organises the distribution of red poppies throughout the country in exchange for donations in name of the Poppy Appeal. Almost everyone including politicians, celebrities and even the Royal Family wear the red poppy during that period. The money from the Poppy Appeal goes into providing financial,

Shanda Moorghen social, political and emotional support to those who have served or who are currently serving in the British Armed Forces. Even though some view this as a pro-war propaganda, the red poppy only suggests the reality of contemporary international relations. Troops are essential in ensuring political and economic stability throughout the globe and it is only logical that fellow countrymen contribute in giving them every chance of doing their job properly and returning home safely. Furthermore, for many soldiers, coming back home and the return to reality can be very hard. The charities benefitting from the Poppy Appeal help largely in rehabilitating those men and women who have served so that we can sleep in peace. But, many argue that the wearing of the red poppy is only a seasonal fashion trend that induces patriotism for a few weeks. It is obviously the case for a part of the population, but general awareness is increasing in recent years, and all in all, at least the money goes to the charities.

“Should we still wear the poppy?” Another objection to that practice is the idea that the red poppy glorifies wars that have mercilessly killed so many millions. On the contrary, it honours their spirit and mourns their loss. War is such a cruel mistress but in the end, only the greater good prevails. Sacrifices have been made, tears have been shed, blood has been spilt and lives have been lost but the troops that have left us along the way have brought a whole new safer and better world for us to live in and the troops nowadays continue doing so. “If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.” Red poppies have grown through land ravaged by war and will most probably survive the ordeal of contemporary critics.

Poppies are spreading faster than the rumour of a flu and I’m not happy about it at all. Why? Because I believe war is the absolute worst thing that there can be and there is no glory to be found in it. Almost every war in history has involved countless beautiful young people getting blown/hacked/shot to pieces by other young beautiful people, usually because a small bunch of over-privileged cowards told them it was a glorious, necessary thing to do. But that’s just the beginning. Soldiers have raped, tortured and murdered civilians in pretty much every single war that has ever happened. The bad guys do it, the ‘good guys’ do it. Whenever we decide to send out our troops into

Nathan Khadaroo another dubious war for another dubious reason, they will do some pretty inhumane, unthinkable things. And they will be doing them in our name. Conflict is always dirty and when a Government send it’s troops to war, they are tacitly sanctioning all the untold acts and immeasurable misery that will ensue. But, isn’t this all about remembering the dead? Sadly it is not. This years Royal Legion slogan is “Shoulder to Shoulder with all who serve”. This isn’t about the dead, this is about the armed forces. In every war since WWI civilians have constituted the majority of deaths. The last major survey in Iraq put the civilian death toll at nearly half a million, a number of death’s I find hard to even conceive. If this was about remembering the dead then maybe they would get a bit more of a mention than the 179 British troops who have died there.

NO And what of all those who fought genuinely believing that the world would be a freer place for all? What would they think of today, with our troops in deeply unpopular wars all around the globe and the Remembrance Poppy rapidly becoming little more than a fashion symbol? Next year will see the 100th anniversary of that infamous bloodbath that at the time was naively dubbed the “War to end war”, it will also see the immeasurable suffering of innocents because we never did end war. We may never forget the dead of the World Wars but we are already forgetting the lessons they would have us remember and that is truly worrying and something we should keep in mind before deciding to send our troops off to die in another pointless war because we, essentially, feel like it.

Agree? Disagree? Or think something different altogether? Tweet us @MancunionOp

What matters to you in your community? Crime? Housing? Street lighting? What’s the big issue where you live? With council elections taking place in May 2014, we’re keen to know about the issues that matter to you. Help us to tell the council how they can improve the area you live in.


Editors: Phoebe Clarke, Patrick Hinton, Tom Ingham Opinion

Interview: London Grammar



Is house the most boring genre of music ever?

Samuel Ward Is house the musical equivalent of sitting on the sofa; watching Jeremy Kyle whilst eating a pack of unbuttered crackers? Does it really deserve such a cult following, with literally hundreds of nights throughout the year blasting nothing but the same beat over and over? Well, apart from the intense pigeon-head dancing I love to see around the coop, I really can’t understand the avid appeal. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate house. The sound can be great, especially with the elements of dissonance and ambience that make it that bit jazzier. The tempo is beautiful too. But as with anything, a constant wall of these things can prove just too much. It just keeps going and going, grinding and grinding. Joy Division made repetition intense and intimate whereas house, being too smooth, just makes it meaningless. It’s like airbrushing the Mona Lisa using only about 4 different colours. In context, those colours corresponding to all the tracks sounding at any one time– it’s easy to see now how the younger generation and bedroom DJs are starting to headline nights in Joshua Brooks. But all this accessibility must be a good thing, right? Since it’s great how nearly anyone can make and mix it. Well, yes and no. You’d think that the popularity that follows ease-of-access would breed diversity and yet,



in the field of Names Samuel Ward

apart from ‘deep house’, I still just hear the same wherever I go. Not that deep house, which seems like it’s even more scared of showing any signs of emotion, is much of a holiday away from house music. Even the emo phase pig-squealed out new trends of metalcore, deathcore and hardcore pop punk which, after seeing the queue for Bring Me the Horizon the other day, still has a faint trace of a fourteen-yearold girl’s heartbeat left in it. I just hate what it’s doing to the club scene though. Everyone wants to include it on the bill due to its popularity, but this means so many nights end up sounding the same. For house junkies it’s an absolute dream come true but to me it’s a bit disappointing. Horizons aren’t broadened and nothing exciting comes of it. The trend has become house and I might even get the tiniest feeling that some of it could be style over substance. Maybe the money-hungry clubs and their branding are more to blame here, but house is still the weapon of choice. As a result, I can’t seem to escape it. I come home and only hear house, I go out to an insanely overpriced night and the theme tune to my buyer’s remorse is house...even the indie bands at Reading and Leeds are covering it. When will the snare-bass drum beat end? Or at least change a little?


London Grammar

Niamh Leneghan speaks to London Grammar about making it in the industry, touring and their influences Niamh Leneghan London Grammar have had a busy year. They uploaded their first single ‘Hey Now’ to YouTube in December 2012, then got signed and released their debut studio album If You Wait this September, reaching No.2 in the UK charts. The London based group’s music has been described as a ‘blend of ambient, ethereal and classical sounds’, with Hannah Reid’s powerful vocals, Dan Rothman’s melancholic guitar and Dot Major’s electronic percussion and piano. “It’s been crazy” exclaims guitarist Dan, “at first it was really casual, me and Hannah met in our first year in halls at Nottingham University, and just played covers in clubs and bars. We then met Dot about a year and a half later and started making more of our own music, and then just as we were about to graduate we got spotted. At this stage we had no fan base whatsoever so we just decided to go ahead and make an album. Even when we got signed no one knew about us at all, so we started from the beginning and put out the first song online, and since then it has really taken off’” Although it sounds like an overnight success, Dan seemed to have had his fair share of trial and error before London Grammar set sail. “I was in bands before and getting signed was all that was on my mind. If you just concentrate on the music and forget about it all, you know, someone will find you” advised Dan. “I always wanted to do music, however I had to give up on the idea of wanting to become a musician when I was 20 and thought maybe I’d just work in the industry, with record companies, and I fucking hated it. Then I started the band with Hannah just for fun, and funnily enough it finally happened.” Studying Economics at University you wouldn’t think that this would have been where Dan would find himself, “I just thought music literally wasn’t going to happen so was like right let’s get a real job. I felt like I had to be a realist about it, I love music but I wouldn’t forgo not having any success in anything, just to be a struggling

1. B.B. King - Lucille

2. The Subways - Mary

One evening King snapped a string mid-set and, to entertain the crowd, he told the story of his guitar and how it saved his ass. The story went down so well that he snapped a string every successive night so he could tell his tale.

The Subways are that band that is the joyous tat you forgot about until you clean out under your bed. Fresh-faced, bright and kicking, this song perfectly embodies the energy of their first album Young for Eternity. Definitely a belter.

I always wanted to do music, however I had to give up on the idea when I was 20 musician, which a lot of people would probably criticise me for, but that’s genuinely how I felt. I met my girlfriend and two of the most talented musicians I’ll ever meet, so it really worked out for the best in the end”. Over the summer London Grammar were featured on many festival line ups including Glastonbury, “I had never even been before so to play there was amazing, if you can get tickets you have to go! However a particular favourite of mine was Wilderness festival in Oxford, the sister festival of the Secret Garden Party. It wasn’t overly big, but it’s getting bigger. We actually missed our set and had to play later as we had so much fun exploring the festival.” At Bestival, Hannah came on stage and sang their track ‘Help Me Lose my Mind’ with Disclosure. ‘Collaborating with Disclosure was always kind of expected because of Hannah’s voice, and our managers knew each other, and with their popularity they boosted our name in a really positive way. What Disclosure have done is incredible, they have a fan base of young people that is just unparalleled. At Bestival it was crazy seeing thousands of teenagers just fucking losing it, our adrenaline was pounding when we played on the same stage just before”. The band are currently in the middle of a huge tour, however Dan suggests that they feel much more at home in the studio. “We’re not really built for the road, like some rock

3. Vampire Weekend Hannah Hunt The scraping organ and Koenig’s shrill voice definitely make this track uniquely atmospheric. Koenig even admits that he has a fetish for names, with another big hitter on their latest album named ‘Diane Young’. I prefer ‘Hannah’.

bands are. Hannah tires a lot especially with her voice, however she is improving and getting a lot stronger. It’s weird because we were in the studio for so long, over eighteen months making the record, I think now being on the road, for the first time really, it’s still kind of exciting. I’m sure in six months time I’ll probably be busting to get back into the studio!” Before starting their UK leg of the tour London Grammar had been on the road in the USA. “I love travelling, it’s incredible fun. Just seeing people singing along to our songs in places you never expected is just amazing. Being on the road we unfortunately don’t get much time to actually visit where we have performed, for example in San Francisco we played a gig and left and that was it, however in Chicago we had the whole day off and got to explore.” Frequently compared to The XX , Florence and the Machine, London Grammar have produced a very unique style, bringing minimalist and electronic melodies together, with a souring, magical voice. “Initially we didn’t have similar tastes, and would argue a lot about music” laughed Dan, “it’s only really been over time that we’ve became more aligned with our tastes. When I first met Dot for example we were poles apart, which was great in a way as we brought many different influences to the table. Groups like Radiohead, The National and Little Dragon we all really love. At the moment I have played Half Moon Run’s album Dark Eyes to death, it’s great. This pretty unknown band called Tripwires are also fucking amazing, if you like grungey sort of music you should definitely check them out, their album’s called Space Hopper”. Keep your eyes peeled this year for London Grammar, they have plenty of stops left on their UK tour; check out their number album!

4. The Cribs - Martell

5. Miike Snow - Sylvia

Who doesn’t like the Cribs? That Wakefield accent. Those charming smiles. Ripped jeans. Bleeding faces. Oh and don’t forget the incident at the 2006 NME awards with the jar of flying saucers. Oh yes, who can’t adore the Jarmans.

One of the more thoughtful Miike Snow singles, Silvia builds up into an icy electronic ballad that really chills. Ambience is definitely sexy, and this track has plenty of it baby.


: @MancunionMusic : / TheMancunionMusicSection





Phoebe Clarke Music Editor Shahid Khan is a prime example of a talented success story. From humble beginnings in Watford, a natural talent and sheer determination led him to produce Emeli Sandé’s award winning debut and biggest selling album of 2012, ‘Our Version Of Events’. When deciding on the moniker of Naughty Boy, Shahid explains “I didn’t choose Naughty Boy, I think he chose me. It’s a super hero alter ego as when I started out, I was too scared to produce under my own name. Naughty Boy just felt right”. However, come Summer 2013 and his own album Hotel Cabana, had rocketed to number two on the charts. Working with Emeli Sandé was the opportunity that gave him such confidence. “We just met randomly at some random underground showcase in London and started working together. When I had my first hit with Emeli in 2009 and it reached the Top 10, I felt something changing at that point as people started finding me. It was crazy success!” Ultimately, it meant stepping into the limelight to further develop his artistry. “The renewed confidence from working with Emeli made me want to bring something new to the game but it needed to be a full album to truly show my abilities.” ‘Hotel Cabana’ certainly does just that. Based on Shahid’s experiences working as a waiter in 2005,

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the album brings all the exotic influences and imagination of his signature sound known with Emeli. He expands “I used to work as a waiter for 2 years and got to see the whole of the world. At first I envied the rich and famous people living their lives in the hotel but after a while thought they were quite lonely. In ‘Hotel Cabana’ I talk about various temptations, money, sex etc. that takes place in hotels.” The success of the first track of the album ‘La La La’, came almost overnight and could be partly contributed to a unique video. The profound video references the childhood story The Wizard of Oz and acts as the backdrop for the album. “The kid featured is going to grow up and become me.” Shahid explains. “He too comes from nothing but is able to use his imagination to ignore the trials of everyday life”. Shot in Bolivia, “the child escapes his father’s alcoholism by realising that sometimes it’s okay not to listen to people around you. I think that’s why the video gets so much love.” Tracks ‘Lifted’ and ‘Daddy’ on the album are similarly thought-provoking through their suggestive lyrics and experimental samples. “I want people to use their imagination to interpret my music”, but imagination doesn’t mean complexity. “The hardest track to write on the album was ‘Top Floor’ featuring Ed Sheeran. I didn’t know whether to keep it simple and acoustic or bring up the production but just because something is a

from home. I want to experience the clichés!” … at Manchester perhaps? Looking to the near future, Shahid has big visions. “My goal is world take over so I can afford to be more creative in the process. At the end of this year, I’ll be touring in America. Collaboration wise, I’d love to work with Adele. It’s always the best to work with and be respected by those you respect yourself ”.

Mancunion Music Meetings Every Thursday, 5pm

Student Activities Office, 1st Floor of SU Review


Local Natives / Cloud Control /Breton Ritz - 27th October 2013 Its a strange feeling when you walk away from a gig feeling that the headline act wasn’t good as the bands which were supporting them on the night. In Local Natives’ defence the support bands are both established acts, with Cloud Control having just released their second album, and Breton on the cusp of releasing their second early next year. Breton open the show with previous singles ‘Edward the Confessor’ and ‘Interference’. They have a unique sound, which is a blend between the sombre tones of Foals, and elements of electro from Hot

demo, doesn’t mean you should add to it.” Having dropped out of his Undergrad at the University of London to pursue his Music career, Shahid reflects on his short-lived University career. “I left because I realised that sound engineering wasn’t for me. My biggest advice to student producers would be to know the course you’re doing is the right one. I was doing sound engineering but being passionate about creating colours and music, I felt I made the right decision to put the plan in focus.” However he continues, “I wouldn’t rule out going back to University in the future. I’ve been doing some freshers gigs at Unis and regret that I never had that independent move

Chip. We are treated to a few more pulsating grooves from their first album, but not before Breton play their recent single ‘Get Well Soon’, and another song from their upcoming second album. The new songs have a lush disco feel, with a driving funky bass and steel drums. Yes - steel drums. They can’t help but wet our appetites for album number two. Next up are Cloud Control. Most of the seven songs the four piece from Australia play is from their recent second album. Their unique psychedelic sound is built up of harmonic vocals, which are especially prevalent

7/10 in ‘Dojo Rising’, and ‘Scar’. Luckily they haven’t completely turned their backs on their previous material, and they finish by playing ‘Gold Canary’, and ‘There’s Nothing in the Water’. The Ritz is at full capacity by the time Local Natives set comes about. the night is loaded with material from their second album, but it is songs from their first album, such as ‘World News’, featuring a cappella vocals and tight, jangly guitars, and ‘Warning Signs’, that bring the biggest reception from the crowd. However, while Local Natives have a good sound, few of their songs are big tunes which stand out from the rest. Luckily the Natives save the day by leaving their best songs such as ‘Camera Talk’, ‘Airplanes’ and ‘Sun Hands’ until the end, which revives the set and gets the crowd going. Its just a shame they couldn’t have maintained this energy going throughout the set. Matthew Staite

Robert Plant O2 Apollo - 31st October 2013 “Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace, sounds caress my ears/ But not a word I heard could I relay, the story was quite clear”. The tambourine wielding, golden god of Led Zeppelin; undiminished by time, albeit in slightly looser fitting denim trousers. Backed by the Sensational Space Shifters, one would be forgiven for expecting Robert Plant to stray away from his previous incarnation – leaving most Zeppelin tracks barely recognisable to the human ear, by the man’s own admission “we fuck about a lot”. Opening with Anne Bredon’s ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ Plant delivers with intensity and dynamism; staying more or less completely faithful to the original arrangement, the songs largely remains the same. Having proved his capability vocally, the set remained largely mellow as he dipped into the mythical Led Zeppelin back catalogue. Led Zeppelin III provided ‘Friends’ and the somewhat simplified ‘Bron-Y-Aur Stomp’, but the highlight came from a breathtakingly beautiful rendition of ‘Going to California’,

where once again the clocks were rolled back to 1971. Since the death of Bonham, Page and Plant have taken license to experiment – dipping their toes in to all manners of musical waters. The Delta Blues scene was a key ingredient in the Zep formula and tonight the master pays homage with a cover of Howlin’ Wolf ’s ‘Spoonful’. Backed by a powerful and vibrant sounding band, (comprising of Massive Attack’s John Baggott) the veteran rocker managed to enrich his potentially dated set with new life – avoiding the alltoo-common garish, nostalgiaridden sights as seen at Deep


Purple gigs nowadays. Juldeh Camara brought a flavour of West Africa to tracks, most notably ‘Black Dog’ which was completely devoid of its infamous pentatonic riff. Plant really brought it on home at the end with ‘Rock and Roll’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’, “quipping, “at least it’s not Smoke On the Water, imagine doing that”. With possible hints at a Led Zeppelin reunion in 2014 all things are sound on the vocals front – Jim, John *cough. Tom Ingham, Music Editor




Mancunion Recommends

Now: Los Campesinos! - No Blues Turnstile Records. Release Date 27th October 2013

Los Campesinos! are a band that sound tracked my pre-adult years. After discovering their early demos on MySpace at the age of 13 I was hooked. From there I went on to purchase everything they’ve ever released on every format (apart from the rare, US-only Sticking Fingers Into Sockets 10”), 10 of their t-shirts and also see them a total of 14 times live. Fan boy? Certainly. Watching the band grow up as I did and progress from their somewhat twee beginnings to making brooding-yet-raw punk influenced indie-rock and involving myself in their active online community meant no other band comes close to matching the emotional attachment I feel towards Los Campesinos! This is why it pains me to reveal that latest offering No Blues is the band’s worst album yet. No Blues as a whole feels quite flat, it sees Los Campesinos! simplify their sound to become cleaner and more pop influenced. The visceral emotion is turned down and careful production turned up. For instance first track ‘For Flotsam’ bursts into a jaunty hook after a stripped down opening, but it still feels very restrained and careful. A world


away from the brutal audio assault of ‘I Just Sighed. I Just Sighed, Just So You Know’ from the band’s third album, and career highlight, Romance Is Boring . ‘A Portrait Of The Trequartista As A Young Man’ trudges through two dreary minutes before swelling into an eventual climactic chorus in which singer Gareth Campesinos! reflects “We all know we’re gonna die” over the backing of serene vocals from sister Kim and a jazzy saxophone melody. The payoff doesn’t quite justify the precedent however. As the aforementioned title suggests, football is a very strong lyrical influence on the album, and as an enthusiast of the beautiful game this holds a certain appeal. Being a Leeds fan, the line “People laugh, they will call it folly, but we connected like a Yeboah volley” swiftly becomes one of my favourite lyrics. Gareth even manages to tie a biblical reference in with former Middlesbrough striker JosephDésiré Job on the line “I proof-read the Book of Job for the Lord: edit one, League Cup 2004”. Yet at times these references feel a bit forced; the lyrics have always been a widely celebrated aspect of Los Campesinos!’s music and Gareth is at his best when bitterly detailing emotional turmoil straight from the heart. Niche puns don’t have quite the same emotional impact. Los Campesinos! still utilise the collaboration of male and female vocals to great effect however. The repeated harmony of “They say you and me are tautology” on lead single ‘What Death Leaves Behind’ is immensely catchy and cleverly reflects the sentiment of the words. Sadly, the album doesn’t have enough of these past qualities present and is a definite deterioration. Patrick Hinton Music Editor

Then: Queen - Sheer Heart Attack EMI 8th November 1974. Long before Freddie Mercury donned the ill-advised ‘tache and steered Queen into cheesy-pop waters, Sheer Heart Attack shocked the music world into the cardiac arrest its title suggests. Coming slap-bang in the middle of that holy trinity of albums, sandwiched between Queen II and A Night at the Opera, this is Queen at the height of their creative powers, when the record inner sleeves were still proudly emblazoned with “no synthesizers!” and their sound was all the better for it. The fairground music opening may suggest otherwise, but ‘Brighton Rock’ wastes no time in establishing Queen’s stadium-rock credentials with a mouth-watering guitar interlude that’s as sweet as the song’s confectionary namesake. Often extended to fifteen minutes in their live shows, it’s a solo that could only ever be envisioned and performed by May and his wild mane of hair. The sound is slightly more commercial rock than its predecessor, the fantastical Tolkienesque ramble with fairies and ogres imbued with black and white symbolism, and ‘Killer Queen’ sees the band at their most accessible. Clocking in at three minutes, it combines May’s rich guitar riffs with the sumptuous harmonies that so define Queen’s sound, all underpinned with Mercury on grand piano. It was the band’s first real hit single, made all the more surprising by the fact it was about how “classy people can be whores as well”. What makes Sheer Heart Attack such a complete album is the diversity in its sound. The theatrical rock of Queen II hasn’t been

discarded completely; ‘In the Lap of the Gods’ kicks off with a screeching high-note followed by warm harmonies and soaring falsettos, all overlaid with dramatic stormy sound effects. Brief ditty ‘Misfire’ couldn’t be further from such an elaborate composition, but its bright melodies contrast perfectly with the aggression of ‘Flick of the Wrist’, a song that launches scathing attacks on the band’s former manager and provides acerbic comment on the industry as a whole: “Prostitute yourself he says, castrate your human pride / Sacrifice your leisure days, let me squeeze you till you’ve dried”. ‘In The Lap Of The Gods... Revisited’ closes the album in emphatic fashion with a powerful harmonic refrain and a cacophony of noise. It’s a fitting end to Sheer Heart Attack, a record worthy of its place in the pantheon of truly classic albums, which rightly appointed Queen into rock royalty. George Bailey

Book now: 0161 832 1111 For full listings visit: NOVEMBER Alice In Chains Monday 11th The Queen Extravaganza Monday 11th Defenders Of The Faith ft Amon Amarth Wednesday 13th The Wonder Years Wednesday 13th Stephen Lynch Live Thursday 14th Gary Numan Thursday 14th Laura Veirs Friday 15th Road To Warped Tour Friday 15th Naughty Boy Saturday 16th Mallory Knox Sunday 17th Television Sunday 17th Blue October Monday 18th Hayseed Dixie Tuesday 19th Karnivool Tuesday 19th They Might Be Giants Wednesday 20th Panic! At The Disco Wednesday 20th The Rifles Thursday 21st Editors Friday 22nd The Backhanders Friday 22nd The Virginmarys Friday 22nd Temperance Movement Friday 22nd Absolute Bowie Saturday 23rd Lee Nelson Saturday 23rd Crystal Fighters Saturday 23rd MSMR Sunday 24th Vuvuvultures Sunday 24th The Passengers perform the songs of Iggy Pop Sunday 24th Barenaked Ladies Monday 25th The Fratellis Wednesday 27th Wednesday 13 + Sister Wednesday 27th TheDismembermentPlan Wednesday27th Hudson Taylor Thursday 28th Dan Baird & Homemade Sin Friday 29th Flux Pavilion Saturday 30th The Complete Stone Roses Saturday 30th The Lancashire Hotpots Saturday 30th The Doors Alive Saturday 30th

DECEMBER Capercaille Sunday 1st Papa Roach Thursday 5th Watain Thursday 5th White Lies Friday 6th Electric Six Friday 6th Dutch Uncles Friday 6th Shed Seven Saturday 7th For Those About To Rock: Livewire The AC/DC Show Saturday 7th The Word Alive Sunday 8th TheMenTheyCouldn’tHang Thursday12th Alabama 3 Friday 13th Kurt Vile Saturday 14th Gogol Bordello Saturday 14th Scar the Martyr Saturday 14th Primal Scream Sunday 15th Black Veil Brides Thursday 19th Levellers Friday 20th The Ratells Sat urday 21st Overload Saturday 28th

JANUARY 2014 The 1975 Monday 6th Lamb of God Sunday 19th dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip Sunday 19th Megan Nicole Tuesday 21st Redd Kross Fri day 24th Julia Sheer Wednesday 29th London Grammar Wednesday 29th Mayday Parade Thursday 30th John Newman Friday 31st RX Bandits Friday 31st

FEBRUARY 2014 Jefferson Starship Saturday 1st Killswitch Engage/Trivium Saturday 1st Skindred Sunday 2nd Less Than Jake & Reel Big Fish Monday 2nd Ron Pope + Wakey! Wakey! Thursday 6th Little Comets Wednesday 5th Protest The Hero Thursday 6th Phoenix Monday 10th August Burns Red Tuesday 11th The Defiled Tuesday 11th Mikill Pane Friday 14th Parquets Courts Saturday 15th Kerrang! Tour 2014 Monday 17th Tich Monday 17th twenty one pilots Friday 21st Room 94 Saturday 22nd MDNGHT Saturday 22nd Laura Cantrell Saturday 22nd ReConnected Monday 24th

MARCH 2014 The Dear Hunter And Anthony Green Saturday 1st Kodaline Wednesday 5th Architects Friday 7th Haim Saturday 8th All Time Low Thursday 13th Heaven 17 Saturday 15th Sex Pistols Experience Saturday 15th Ian Prowse & Amsterdam Friday 21st Space and Republica Thursday 20th OneRepublic Friday 21st Franz Ferdinand Saturday 22nd Transmission - The Sounds of Joy Division Saturday 22nd Azealia Banks Wednesday 26th Bonafide Wednesday 26th Deathstars Wednesday 26th The Stranglers Saturday 29th

APRIL 2014 Halestorm Friday 4th Mentallica vs Megadeth UK Saturday 5th UB40 Saturday 12th Uncle Acid &The Deadbeats Thursday 24th Patent Pending & People On Vacation Friday 25th




Editor: Alasdair Preson Review

Retro Corner

review: Batman:

Arkham Origins

Alasdair Preston plays the prequel to Batman’s best games Warner Bros. Games • Warner Bros. Interactive • RRP: £44.99 • Available on 360, PS3, Wii U & PC There has always been more to Batman than the Nolan universe. Until Batman Begins came along, the Dark Knight may have been cast aside with the rest of the dated heroes by people who could only picture Adam West POW and BIFF-ing his way through the Joker’s hapless minions. However, the edge that Nolan put on his interpretation has always been present in the Batman stories, and is beautifully captured by the Arkham series of games. It’s Christmas eve and, much to Alfred’s dismay, Bruce Wayne has to go out and deal with Gotham’s criminal underbelly once again. An assault on Blackgate prison and harrowing encounter with Killer Croc kick off another long, long night for Batman as he does battle with many villains, all the while contending with the eight assassins all trying to collect a huge bounty that was placed on his head. It’s not easy to be the world’s greatest detective if the likes of Deadshot, Bane and Deathstroke are constantly getting in the way. When Arkham Asylum first came along, it wowed us with the amazing blend of free flow combat and predatory gameplay. As Batman, you can choose to try and take your enemies head-on, or use his superior tactics and gadgets to bring them all down without them ever knowing you were in the room. Many games since have tried to emulate the group fighting mechanics, but none with quite so much success. In Origins, diving and ducking around groups of adversaries all the while landing jaw-breaking punches and kicks is intensely satisfying. It feels more like an art form than a fight. If you just hammer all the buttons as fast as you can, well that’s just not very Batman at all is it? You’d very quickly end up dead. The caped crusader is a master strategist, and a highly trained hand-to-hand brawler. To win, you need only to master your timing and tactics. A well placed punch and handy counter can do the job that a hundred bashes on the X button can’t. Not included in the instruction manual is growling “I’M BATMAN” and “WHERE ARE THEY?” at the

screen during combat. While it has no actual in-game effect, I found it to enhance the experience significantly. For those times when beating your opponents to a bloody pulp isn’t entirely necessary, you can progress by sneaking your way through many large set-piece arenas. These are always the best moments in the game. Bruce Wayne himself must crack a smile when you enter a room of patrolling enemies and spot all the potential traps and Batman-shaped hiding places you can use to terrorise your foes. He can incapacitate enemies in a huge array of ways from almost any position, and there are even more possibilities if you can cleverly use his gadgets to distract guards, drop walls on them and more. Using Detective vision, you can get a clear view of the whole room and all of its interactive components, as well as keep track of the unlucky bastards tasked with somehow stopping you. It even allows you to monitor their heart rate, and shows just how afraid of you they are. This fear is reflected in their actions, and is just another tool Batman can use to defeat them. Something Origins expands on from its predecessors is the detective aspect. Arkham City included some minor moments in which you’d scan crime scenes to find the next lead. These scenes have become more in-depth and are, happily, in greater supply. With his tech wizardry, Bats can now use evidence to reconstruct and then replay events as they unfolded, which can give him further insight. Beyond the main story, Batman has plenty of other work to keep him busy. Many villains have different plans to cause trouble that night, and there are lots of crimes to prevent all over the city that aren’t tied in to the plot. These include the traditional set of hidden collectibles scattered across Gotham by the Riddler, however his tricks

Image credit: seem lacklustre compared to his previous (or future) efforts. The game is once again set in Gotham and, as someone who couldn’t help but 100% the last game, it all felt quite familiar. Whereas City had a completely different map to Asylum, Origins has pretty much the same one as City. In most aspects, Origins doesn’t improve upon City or do much different which is, arguably, for the best given just how impressive it was. Some fans may feel shortchanged however, as the amount of new game for your money on offer is lacking. When you’re following a game as excellent as Arkham City, it may well be best to stick to the winning formula as closely as possible and that’s exactly what Warner Bros. Games have done here.

Alasdair Preston

Alasdair Preston recalls little brother Luigi’s finest hour Mario’s little brother, Luigi, holds a special place in the hearts of younger siblings and player twos the world over. While he usually plays second fiddle to Nintendo’s mascot, occasionally he gets his time in the spotlight. In fact, Nintendo have declared 2013 the ‘Year of Luigi’, and have allowed the lanky plumber to star as the lead in several of their big releases of the year. One of these is the sequel to one of the Gamecube’s most compelling and well-made titles, Luigi’s Mansion. Luigi’s Mansion started life as a tech demo demonstrating the Gamecube’s capabilities, and went on to become it’s best-selling launch title. It was an odd departure for the Mario universe; despite all the kart racing and tennis they’d been at before. Luckless Luigi finally has some good fortune, and wins a mansion in a competition he doesn’t even remember entering. It’s full of ghosts. Never fear, for Luigi happens to know a very brave young(-ish) man who could get that all cleaned up by lunch. Mario is trapped inside the mansion. This time, there is no other option but for cowardly Luigi to strap on a vacuum cleaner and take out the trash, so to speak. He cleans up the mansion, both literally and figuratively, armed with a torch to stun the ghosts and a hoover to gather them up. What made Luigi’s Mansion so special, and so deserving of a sequel 11 years later, was it’s charm. The mischievous ghosts came in all shapes and sizes, usually needing different tactics to be stopped. Luigi himself was adorable in his fear, gently humming along with the game’s backing music during quiet moments to stave off the scares. The mad Professor E. Gadd that gives Luigi the ghost-catching equipment talks non-stop gibberish, and is also responsible for the equally insane Fludd pack Mario uses in Super Mario Sunshine. While it can definitely be said that Luigi’s Mansion is too short, this may have helped it’s puzzles, soundtrack and gameplay stay fresh. Regardless, Luigi’s Mansion was a game that every selfrespecting Gamecube owner had to have.

Alasdair Preston

Image credit: ToTheGame


best of: 360 & PS3

We pick out our favourite games of this generation before the advent of the new one The next generation of console gaming is about to get under way, and now is the perfect time to pick up one of the current gen consoles and their best games for cheap. In their lengthy lifespans, the PS3 and 360 have played home to some of the very best games. Here are some of our favourites. Tekken A two player fighting game has to come into the list, and the champion of all fighting games has to be Tekken. Any baboon with opposable thumbs can play this game and that’s the fun of it. Button bashing and combos are definitely my technique. Tekken first came out in 1994 by Namco Bandai games. The character selection has stayed loyal to the originals throughout; Yoshimitsu, Jin, Eddy Gordo

and many more are main stays. New contenders such as Alisa Bosconovitch, a bionic girl with arms that turn into chainsaws and personal favourite of mine, have also joined the carnage. Tekken likes to go wild with unconventional choices such as Panda, Armor King (Man with a bear’s head), Mokujin (essentially a stickman) and the boxing kangaroo who is called Roger. The characters have a fascinating back story that intertwines them all together making the game even more compelling. There are three films based on this ever evolving storyline. The moves you can do are also the most innovative out of any fighting game. Yoshimitsu for instance can render his opponent helpless with his super potent bad breath and bionic girl Alisa can detach her

own head and have it explode on you. I challenge any of you to a duel. Bianca Boorer

Whether it was cooperative campaigns or online modes like Firefight and Rocket Race, Reach was immensely detailed, graphically exceptional and once again offered up a beautiful soundtrack. Halo 4 ushered in a new and exciting change of direction with Bungie handing over the reins to 343 Industries, which should promise many more exceptional titles on the new console. There is no more iconic a character than Master Chief or an infamous foe like the Covenant - Halo was a turning point for franchise gaming, and it isn’t finished yet. “Die? Didn’t you know? Spartans never die”. jack Crutcher

Halo When we look back on the Xbox 360 era in ten years time, what will be the one franchise that unequivocally changed the way we gamed, raised the bar for its peers and combined great storytelling with provocative game play? Most would agree that the Halo titles we witnessed on 360 raised the bar more than we could have hoped. Halo 3 saw the main story arc draw to a close perfectly, combining a story-line that would not look out of place in the cinemas, a fun and challenging campaign and a uniquely dominant online community. Halo ODST was a rare blip for Bungie who came back strong with Halo Reach. Reach was one of those games you could play for years and not get bored Image credit:

Bioshock No games collection is complete without a Bioshock. It’s a simple fact. Bioshock & Bioshock Infinite rocked the gaming world upon their release, not just because they were outstanding as games. They were, and are, outstanding as art. Their unique narratives that enraptured gamers somehow managed to repeatedly knock you on your arse. The unique weapon system that gave you so many options, as well as the rock-hard 1999 mode, meant the games can be played over and over again. While the gameplay and story drew you in, it was the world around you that kept you there. Both were set in incredible cities that just oozed style, littered with recordings and designs to echo their period in time but still somehow seem strange. The way that Ken Levine & the team managed to create tension and emotion seemingly effortlessly has yet to be matched by another development team. A newly released DLC ties the two worlds together in what will surely be another profound step for the franchise.

Alasdair Preston


Editors: Susie Coen, Marie ClareYates, Halee Wells (Beauty)

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring


Top 5

How not to get wet: Theo’s top tips Casual observer Theo Jolliffe talks umbrella alternatives

Raincoats eh? Why are waterproof things so shiny? Weird. Am I right? Great, everybody loves observational comedy, you’re probably still laughing now, but there is a serious issue I’d like to discuss. The casual observer has never been so under threat; with over 200m umbrellas estimated (by me) to exist in Manchester alone, each with about 10 spikes – you don’t need an A in a-level maths (3 marks off an A*) to see there’s a lot of potential for eyeball gouging. Did you know that in the years 2009-2013, more than HALF of the people in the UK were either scratched or nearly scratched by an umbrella?

Half-running, half-walking from doorstep to doorstep. It’s only 60% as quick as actually running, but it’s 20% more laid back and cool



Male Jackets By Keir Forde

1.. RAINS at Urban Outfitters £70 To me, a dark jacket should be a staple of any wardrobe, ready to be whipped out at the first drop of rain. The dark colour means it will work with whatever you put it with, allowing you to dress it down with a wooly jumper for a December lecture, or perhaps up with an evening shirt for a Manchester night out. The breathable waterproof fabric won’t get you sweaty and it looks equally brilliant undone for when the weatherman gets it wrong. Besides that, we should welcome the price as most of Rains’ designs market around the £800-900 mark.

The phrase “you always hurt the ones you love” is never so poignantly true as when two people share an umbrella. Half of their body soaking, and half of their scalp being Theo Jolliffe: Not shelling-out on umbrella insurance this lacerated as the sweat salt of year the day redissolves in rain water and drips gradually 1. Why not hold an old bit of newspaper on your head? As well as into the fresh wounds.. keeping dry. It will help show to passers by that you’re up to date with current affairs. Chip shop newspaper is the best as it’s waterproof If you don’t want to shell-out on layer of grease will leave you high and dry all the way home. expensive umbrella insurance* but want to leave the house when it’s raining, here are Theo 2. Half-running, half-walking from doorstep to doorstep. It’s only Jolliffe’s top tips for staying 60% as quick as actually running, but it’s 20% more laid back and dry on a budget this winter: cool.

3. Buy a mobility scooter. Autumn/ Winter 2013 is about see a drastic trend in the able bodied use of these vehicles. I am sure a 2x2 meter piece of tarpaulin and a DIY attitude will keep you dry AND dramatically reduce unnecessary energy expenditure this November. (N.B. Argos sells 3 and 4 wheelers hitting top speeds of 8mph for all you petrol heads out there. [if any staff of Argos notice this plug and want to make a young chap’s Christmas come true then contact me on to negotiate delivery of said scooter.]) * effectively a joke targeted exclusively at those studying business and/or economics.


“Under my umbrella, ella...” Ella Westall runs through her top picks of Manchester’s most essential accessory

3.Topman £95 Parka’s aren’t anything new and their weight can be off-putting. But they are absolutely perfect for a student winter. Like this great one, they are normally mostly cotton, keeping you warm when you’re battling sharp rain or snow on Oxford Road. The cosy fur hood is basically a built in scarf and the length will keep your lower half dry too. This Topman example is ideal and at a reasonable price considering it will last forever. But be warned, a Parka will not make you irresistible; they aren’t very flattering and have been sported by bus lady, so be sure to match with good shoes and neat hair.





Fashionably Dry

Beauty: Let’s face it!

Scarlett Whittell shows us that Manchester rain doesn’t have to wash good style away Far too often I am caught out by Manchester’s damned winter weather. I will leave the house umbrella-less, lured into a false sense of security by the sunny rays beaming through my window. Five minutes later there is a torrential downpour and I end up looking like a drowned rat. Walking into a room looking like you’ve dunked your head under Niagra Falls may be amusing for your friends, but it doesn’t do much for the old self-confidence. So, this winter I have made a resolution. I am going to invest in waterproof fashion, shield myself successfully from the onslaught of gales and rainstorms, and channel the winter goddess look instead.

Nikki Patel shows us how to waterproof our makeup come rain or shine.




Image credits: 1. 2. 3. woman&


4. 5. twoheartstogether. com

The inevitable heavy showers of a Mancunian Winter can wreak havoc with your makeup. Luckily, with just a few simple steps, you can safeguard your face against the elements and arrive at that 9am looking just as fresh faced as when you left the house. Step 1:Primer Waterproof makeup begins with a good quality primer. A Holy Grail for any makeup maven, it is essential to ensure that your foundation stays put without sliding around or fading when you get caught in the rain. Lancome La Base Pro Perfecting Makeup Primer is my go-to, however I also recommend Cicaplast Pro Recovery Skincare by La Roche-Posay. Although it is technically not a primer it renders your foundation infallible whilst repairing any dryness or flaking caused by harsh Wintry weather.

If you have looked like a soggy rodent in the past, or simply want to save yourself the embarrassment (highly recommended), make sure to arm yourself with these three vital pieces of equipment. 2. Reclaimed Vintage at ASOS £48 This rain jacket is something you should go for if you are feeling more adventurous and are confident enough to make more of a statement. You will be turning heads for all the right reasons wearing this vibrant yet autumnal green keeping you from fading into the masses on the magic bus. Also this jacket is every inch the 90’s throwback look sweeping our University this year. So while you can stay on trend, stay dry with the durable cotton lining and showerproof outer

We got some of the boffins in the maths department to crunch the numbers and it’s definitely worth it.

/TheMancunion: Fashion & Beauty

Step 2: Foundation

Stylish umbrellas



Never fear, pesky showers do not mean that you have to brave the dreaded barefared look this Winter. The key is in choosing a durable product that enhances your skin’s natural glow as opposed to covering it. Mac Face and Body Foundation is water resistant and provides natural coverage. It also conditions the skin, a welcome bonus given the drying effects of cold Winter winds. Step 3:Mascara

The other day a sudden gust of wind blew my flimsy brolly into a thorny bush, nearly whipping me over a small garden fence in the process. My wrestling match with the shrubbery, though amusing for the general public, fuelled my determination to find a Manchester-proof umbrella. Thank god ASOS is here to solve our problems. This gorgeous Fulton umbrella has deep, domed sides which promise to keep every single pesky rain drop at bay, even in gale force winds!

Waterproof eyeliner

Waterproof mascara is a beauty essential for every young woman at all times of the year. A safeguard against not only wet weather but also the blood, sweat and tears of a messy night out, I highly recommend L’Oreal Waterproof Volume Million Lashes which is a steal at just under £10.00. Flashier waterproof warriors could even invest in Terry’s Lash Coat Mascara. Launched earlier this year it effectively acts as a raincoat for your favourite mascara whilst also lengthening and curling the lashes. Step 4/5: Lips Finally, rain needn’t mean that you have to shy away from the dark lip, an annual Winter beauty trend. You just have to be cautious when choosing your products and prepping your mouth to keep it looking pristine. I personally recommend using a lip primer such as Too Faced Lip Insurance before injecting a splash of colour with a dark Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain. These stains require zero touch ups once applied and stubbornly refuse to feather/bleed in torrential rain, leaving you with an enviably indelible pout.

Craving & Saving

Craving & Saving

Charlie Daniels on how to keep your tootsies dry on both no matter what the budget

4. Primark Lightweight Jacket £10 There is no denying the excellent price of this jacket from Primark. It would be wrong to dismiss this number because it’s everything you could want from a rain jacket. The polyester lining is soft on the skin and the nylon outer layer will keep you dry, whilst also being attractively coloured with masculine shades of blue and red. If this wasn’t enough, the jacket is extraordinarily thin meaning it can be stored at the bottom of your backpack

Long gone are the days of black streaks and smeared flicks! Benefit has come to the rescue with some seriously waterproof eyeliner. I have always been sceptical of the stuff – how ‘waterproof’ is it exactly? Could you go swimming? Or does it merely withstand a tear or two? However Benefit’s ‘Badgal’ Liner has silenced my protests. Never again will you see me roaming through the library looking like a panda - my eyes will be super defined come rain or shine.

Leather Boots

5. Barbour at John Lewis £219

Cath Kidston Garden Rose Minilite Umbrella Joules Posy Brolly Brighten up a rainy day with this pink floral umbrella from Joules. We love the vivid colours, and it comes with a matching slip on bag to keep it from dripping everywhere. It’s reduced to £14.95 on the Joules website, so it’s a bargain too!

At £22, this pretty umbrella from Cath Kidston is our most expensive pick, but we definitely think that it’s worth it! The gorgeous rose pattern is pretty enough to cheer you up on a miserable day, and the neutral colours mean that it will go with almost any outfit. It also folds up small enough to leave in your handbag ‘just in case’, which is definitely a plus.

Marks and Spencer Per Una Spotted and Rose Umbrella This fun spotted umbrella definitely won’t get lost in the depths of your bag, and we love the frilly edges! At £17.50 it’s not too expensive either (especially when you consider how many times you’ll use it, unfortunately). Image:


Okay so the price isn’t a barrel of laughs, but I think that this jacket would be worth every Christmas penny your Grandma sends your way. Barbour are a beloved label around our campus and this waxed jacket really shows us why. It’s youthful yet mature, relaxed yet smart and suits literally anything you could put with it – it’s the ideal item of clothing. If I were you I would stay away from green waxed jackets to make yours a bit more flexible. No hood sadly, but match with a long umbrella and you’re Mr. Fashionable. Image credits: 1. urbanoutfitters com, 2., 3. 4. asos. com, 5.

I have a major issue with wellington-worshippers. City living does not require knee length, plastic shields when all we encounter are a few ankle-deep puddles and the occasional scattering of snow. So instead of looking like a lost farmer, try out these leather riding boots from H&M. They promise to keep your feet (and calves) warm and dry, and they look great with a whole range of winter outfits. For a fair few years now, I have championed the wet-look (literally). It is such a relief to have a waterproof wardrobe! This calls for some sort of celebration, singing in the rain maybe? Image credits: Umbrella, eyeliner, boots


MARSÈLL LEATHER ANKLE BOOT £675 GBP Good Foundations – Keeping your feet warm and dry in winter can seem like a never-ending battle, especially in Manchester where wet weather always appears to be looming. Ruining most of my ballerina flats leapfrogging over vast puddles and sitting in lectures with soggy socks, has inspired this week’s ‘Craving and Saving’: The Leather Lace-up Ankle Boot. The timelessly classic lace-up boot is this winter’s essential building block for your wardrobe. The black leather ankle boots from Marsèll feature a round toe, a lace-up front fastening, a rear zip fastening and a chunky mid-heel. Marsèll Ankle Boot:


SHELLYS LONDON ANKLE BOOT £85 Simple and Chic- and you needn’t break the bank for style or comfort! Shellys London Nyklas Platform Boots are your Winter 2013 BFF. Be a step ahead of the weather (and your friends) with these 3-inch beauties that will ensure you are safe and dry from Manchester’s notoriously wet weather and its puddles! These boots are a great investment piece as they can easily be worn casually, during the daytime and for more dressy occasions. They also look great with both dresses and trousers; socks and tights! For savvy shoppers, get your pair from ASOS- where you’ll get your 10% off with Student discount!

Shellys London Boot:

ISSUE 08/11th November 2013 WWW.MANCUNION.COM

Editors: Sophie James, Robbie Davidson, Angus Harrison Top 5

5 So you think you’re the Christ? Feature


Tragic Nolan Love Interests

Jackson Ball gives us a top 5 Christopher Nolan countdown of leading ladies who didn’t make it to the end of the film

5. Leonard’s Wife – Memento (2000) The events of Memento are set into motion after the violent murder of Leonard’s (Guy Pearce) wife. Her death leads him on a relentless vendetta to catch her killer, a quest that is forever stunted by his short-term memory loss.

4. Julia – The Prestige (2006) Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are warring magicians and bitter rivals. It’s revealed in flashback that their animosity stemmed from Julia (Piper Perabo), their former assistant and mutual love interest who was accidentally drowned during a failed magic trick.

3. Kay Connel – Insomnia (2002) More of a reluctant love interest this one, as high-school student Kay is the subject of Walter Finch’s (Robin Williams) unreturned affections. Finch does not take the rejection well, leading to an investigation by detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino).

2. Rachel Dawes – The Dark Knight (2008) Poor Bruce Wayne: His parents were murdered, The Joker is terrorising the city the love of his life is in the arms of the perpetually smug Harvey Dent. Nolan then takes Bruce’s misery to an unprecedented level by turning Rachel into ‘collateral damage’ as part of Joker’s evil plan.

1. Mal Cobb – Inception (2010) If Christopher Nolan rained down tragedy upon Bruce Wayne, surely he raised the depression for Inception’s Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). Not only did he inadvertently cause the death of his beloved wife Mal (Marion Cotillard), but he is constantly reminded by that fact when she appears in dreams to kill him and his friends, like a glamorous Freddie Krueger.


Our take on events from the world of film and television

George Bellamy discusses alternative Jesus figures in modern cinema Let’s talk about Jesus. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to convert you; but as this summer blockbuster season was kicked off by a heavily Christ-oriented Superman, while a remake of Robocop is on the horizon (one of the more radical interpretations of the Christ figure), I feel it’s a good time to discuss Jesus in Hollywood, and give a little praise to the legacy of radical, alternative Christ figures in American cinema. When discussions surround the treatment of archetypes and heroic tropes coming out of Hollywood, conclusions tend to stress the homogeny of the character-types, where the bland nature of the heroes we come across on the big screen all appear in the same mould. Jesus, however, as a figure in cinema is surprisingly diverse in his apparitions, as there’s a wealth of playfulness in the depiction of God’s son and heir to the millions. Films explicitly about Jesus have had a long run of inoffensive conventional approaches, yet radical film-makers have had many opportunities where they have shaped Christ in a mould far more radical than how an action hero have be dealt with. Ken Russell’s The Devils, Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ are all worth watching for they ways through which the perspective of a film-maker has an object through which their personalities can create its most extreme expression. It is common to find that in the architecture of the

hero in cinema, allusions abound to the qualities and tropes of Christ. The latest Superman film, Man of Steel had several visual references peppered throughout, which eventually provided a source of critical derision since the references made had the effect of tapping into an extrinsic source of worth and value, which the character within the film hadn’t justified or really conveyed. A moment where he speaks to a priest on whether it was worth

sacrificing himself for humanity had a stained glass picture of Jesus taking up half the shot, screaming the pretence of Dramatic meaning without being dramatic or meaningful in any effective manner. However, when a film uses the tropes of Jesus to complicate or subvert expected understandings of the parallel with Jesus, a film can then use the extrinsic source of theological ideas to add vitality the film at hand. The original Robocop presents a

Jesus Americanised with all the horror that prospect suggests. Robocop is a cyborg super-policeman who, with his oversized gun, hyper-scientific suit and passable one liners, wreaks violent judgment on the creeps of a dystopian Detroit. This doesn’t sound very New-Testament but the film has a surprisingly prevalent correlation to Christ’s physical suffering, which emphasises the damage inflicted by immoral bodies of people (be it thugs, corporate institutions or hubristic science) on the good guy trying to be earnest in a corrupt society. There’s even a moment where it looks as if he is walking on water before he goes to save a fellow cop. Cool Hand Luke on the other hand presents a darker use of the Christlike iconography, where Paul Newman’s inspiration for the spirit and resistance of the people who revere him does not lead to salvation or freedom from oppression, but a pacified dream of hope where the inmates continue to revere the idealised hero but never defeat their oppressors. Hollywood may not be an environment where the studios are keen to offend their audience with audacious presentations of an alternative Christ-figure, but somehow throughout the years, filmmakers have managed to mingle various ideologies and ideas through using existent genre tropes and religious iconography to great effect. George Bellamy


the PREVIEW: The Wolf of Wall Street

Christmas is Oscar season at the movies, so most big studios, directors and actors set out their stall. Following from 2006’s The Departed (remake of Hong Kong’s Infernal Affairs), which won four Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Actor, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are back together in the upcoming Oscar-bait The Wolf of Wall Street. Martin Scorsese is back with his new darling Leonardo DiCaprio for the adaptation of the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, a convicted stock manipulator turned motivational speaker and author. The film is a black comedy focusing on his time running a “pump and dump” scheme (artificially inflating prices then selling in large quantities). Basically the lead is a crook and the joke is that we all know how this will end. The appeal of these types of film is the act of living vicariously through the anti-hero and, with a lead of DiCaprio’s charisma, probably rooting for them in the process. Despite Gordon Gecko being the villain in 1987’s Wall Street, many investment bankers took his rousing speeches and slick image as inspiration for their career choices, despite the man breaking the law! So is this film just another spiritual Wall Street sequel? I’d hazard to say the contrary, as Scorsese, and his editor-in-arms Thelma Schoonmaker, usually

have a more dark comedic streak in their films. Wall Street set out to say the opposite to its famous maxim of “Greed is Good” and failed to convey that effectively. The Wolf of Wall Street looks set to revel in the moment, savouring the thrill of making a million dollars a week before the inevitable fall from grace. It seems as though Scorsese is setting out not to make a serious critique of the greed and temptation of the financial sector, but rather another gangster-esque romp through colourful characters skirting the long

Director: Martin Scorcese Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey Released: 17th Febuary

arm of the law. So colour me excited. Scorsese makes consistently above-average films, DiCaprio is fast becoming one of the best working actors and Matthew McConaughey seems to be making good film choices finally after the critically acclaimed Mud and Magic Mike. Will this win Oscars? Probably not, it’s a comedy, but it’ll be worth the ticket price. Jack Evans

ISSUE 08/ 11th November 2013 WWW.MANCUNION.COM


/TheMancunion: Film @MancunionFilm


theREVIEW: Thor: The Dark World

Director: Alan Taylor Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman Released: 30th October

Nicky Rankine goes to see if Thor can be welcomed back with thunderous applause Walking out of the cinema, I had the realisation that Thor’s second outing was perhaps a contender for being the ‘marmite’ of modern cinema. Evident from the occasional excited fist-pumps of some cinema-goers combined with the few uninterested faces of the clock-watchers. I am afraid to say that I was in fact part of the latter group. Having found the first instalment a rather fun comic book romp, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in its sequel. This was due to my belief that the film offered little else but forced romantic subplots and a whole lot of visual brilliance and noise, thus, leaving little room for much (if any) character development. The sequel takes place during the aftermath of the events that happened within The Avengers, with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) confined within Asgard’s dungeon and Jane (Natalie Portman) still longing to be in the arms of her heroic muscle man, since his two year absence. The films ‘focal’ plot, however, sees the introduction to Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) as the vengeful leader of a primordial race seeking to destroy the Nine

Realms. Despite playing the film’s primary antagonist, Christopher Eccleston is frustratingly underused, with Chris Hemsworth’s chiseled torso possibly receiving more screen time. This leaves the plotline lacking the depth that was achieved in the first movie, where Tom Hiddleston skilfully managed to portray an

it is Hiddleston and Hemsworth’s palpable chemistry and charismatic performances that create the film’s most interesting, emotional and even laugh out loud comedic scenes. In contrast to Thor and Loki’s relationship, the continued pairing of Hemsworth and Portman’s characters is another weakness of the

antagonist, who was sympathetic and even likeable. However, even Loki’s character begins to lose his edge in the sequel, as the film’s creators can’t seem to decide on whether to make him a villain or not. Despite this,

movie. The lack of chemistry between the two makes their relationship hard to care for, whilst often detracting attention the main plotline. Despite taking up a lot of screen time, neither character seems to develop during

their romance. This is especially obvious in the character of Jane, whom seems to have no interesting character traits of her own. This lack of independence transforms her character into a formulaic ‘damsel in distress’ and makes her a difficult character to like or relate to. It is likely the visuals and sound effects of the film that the audience members will enjoy most. This is demonstrated by a scene presenting an invasion of Asgard complete with futuristic aircrafts flying, shooting and blowing up amid an attractively designed cityscape, slightly reminiscent of Star Wars. Yet, even more visually spectacular was a sequence showing the destruction of London. The fact that the battle scenes were held within Greenwich was also somewhat more refreshing setting than the standard battlefield of upstate New York. Despite the cinematographic brilliance, these action sequences can sometimes go on for far too long, again allowing less screen time to focus on any character development. ★★★ Nicky Rankine



If you like clever-funny, then you’ll like Veep (catch up on Sky Player). As a political comedy there a lot of the themes you might expect: corruption, deception, incompetence. Although it is the American counterpart to the British series The Thick of It, there aren’t as many similarities as you might think. Despite the British director and mainly British writers, there’s a distinctly American feel to the show. Not in a canned laughter Cheers kind of way; more subtle, like The Office. Those Arrested Development fans out there will appreciate the resurgence of Tony Hale as the Veep’s right hand man. He is basically playing the same character with a slightly more normal voice. Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ return to sitcom as the Vice President has earned her multiple awards, and rightly so. She plays the character with a delicateness that allows you to like the character despite the fact that everything she does and says would point you in the opposite direction. I would strongly recommend this show if you’re a fan of the American Office. It’s a bit more fast paced, and the jokes are sometimes less easy to spot, but if you’re prepared to concentrate a little bit you’ll really enjoy. For those who like to quiz: don’t forget University Challenge is back on Mondays (available on iPlayer), always a good watch, if only for Jeremy Paxman’s wrong answer scoff. Can’t wait till then? Pointless, is on EVERY day and you can catch watch it all on iPlayer. Like me, you might find it insufferable at first, but give it four days and you’ll be applying to be the next contestant.

Contrary Corner

Cornerhouse Pick of the Week


Walhberg is missing the mark

Bianca Boorer went to see the awards season favourite starring Dame JudiDench

Jack Crutcher charts the frequent misfires of the artist formerly Marky Mark

Being my first film at the Cornerhouse, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. From the picture I thought it might be a dreary story about a sweet old lady - but I was gladly mistaken. I was pleasantly surprised by the film and found it well deserving of its award at the Venice film festival for Best Screenplay. Philomena is an emotionally gripping story, based on true events, of an Irish woman who had her son taken away from her by nuns who sold illegitimate children. Philomena was one of these teenage girls, who kept the secret of her long lost son for 50 years. She is played by the marvellous Judi Dench who depicts this character with poise and humour, despite her Irish accent not always convincing. She reminded me of my gran: very easily pleased, religious, toughminded and yet at her core, clearly vulnerable. Despite her age she was really quite relatable as a character. It was quite a contrast from her most notable recent role as the stern head of MI5 in James Bond. Philomena, eventually, tells her story to her daughter on her lost son’s 50th birthday. Her daughter then tells journalist Martin Sixsmith

Hollywood has always had its A-list favourites. From Marlon Brando and John Wayne, to Uma Thurman and Elizabeth Taylor; this elite bunch are generally considered the best around, and it’s more often than not hard to argue with that premise. But from time to time conventional wisdom fails to deliver, and there’s a certain actor who seems to be the talk of Hollywood right now, none other than Mark Wahlberg, vis-à-vis the guy who was out-performed by a CGI Teddy bear... who you could say was a little over rated. This isn’t a personal attack on Wahlberg, it’s worth mentioning he’s a reasonably nice person. I mean, he rapped on Radio One and basically hijacked a Graham Norton show, for which we should all be thankful. But if somebody is ever going to make millions in their career, you’d like to think they were the best in their industry, and Mark Wahlberg just isn’t that great. His career started off reasonably convincingly with solid performances in Boogie Nights and The Perfect Storm. But since then it’s all gone downhill. Planet of the Apes in 2001 was boring, and Wahlberg played your archetypal ‘yippie ki-yay’ American action hero/ astronaut. In 2003 he ‘starred’ in the remake of the 1969 classic The Italian Job, again playing what was essentially an American action hero who enjoyed driving fast cars and shooting clueless bad guys. It was at this point Wahlberg probably realised he could make easy money by playing the same character over and over again; a character that is ultimately the

played by Steve Coogan.

Martin is the complete opposite of Philomena, which makes them such an enjoyable pair to watch. He is cynical, anti-religion ,with no interest in writing ‘human interest’ pieces, believing them to be for weak minded people. Naturally he is gradually becomomes emotionally involved in the finding of her son. The film plays with preconceptions of stereotypical ‘good’ and ‘bad’ roles. The nuns are depicted as evil, particularly in comparison to the journalist as the heroic, truly moral one. For me personally, seeing a journalist as a good guy, uncovering the truth to help people, is less of a stretch. Yet it is brave how openly the film interprets religion, and its discriminations, as evil.


Despite this discrimination, Philomena takes the high road and has no desire to seek revenge on the nuns, concerned instead with the welfare of her son. Leaving her comfort zone for America, she seeks every detail she had missed from her son’s life, connecting them with her vivid memories of him at the age of three. The flash backs featuring her life in the convent bring the story alive and help the audience live the experience through Philomena’s eyes. The two characters go on a journey together and realise they were more involved in this story than they thought and learn from each other along the way. The dramatic ending makes the reality of the story all the more harrowing. The film takes you through the solving of this mystery and shows you things are never as they seem. It starts and ends with the convent, an emotional journey tying people and places together brilliantly in a complete circle. Bianca Boorer

Mark Wahlberg he wishes he was. Hence his decision to work out loads and spend millions on a personal gym. Four Brothers was a rare hit from Wahlberg, as a movie it worked and offered a good blend of wit and edgy violence, but I’m sure you can all guess by now what Wahlberg’s character Bobby Mercer was all about. Shooter and Max Payne represented nothing new from Wahlberg, he blows things up, shoots a few bad guys and then rolls off into the sunset - His performances don’t leave you on the edge of your seat, they don’t make you want to reassess your personal views or feel the need to down a stiff drink. And unlike others who ply their trade in a

similar fashion (Bruce Willis et al), Wahlberg doesn’t have that stately charisma, that Hollywood big daddy image that an actor needs to play the ‘stars and stripes wielding American Exceptionalism’ card. In Ted he was fine, but was carried by Seth MacFarlane’s wit So maybe the best advice he could receive would be to stick to his role behind the camera, as a producer in the award winning TV series Boardwalk Empire or the recent thriller Prisoners where he was executive producer. Or maybe he would be better suited to a life in the Marines... where he can shoot things for real.



Society Spotlight

The Food Co-op

Photo: Harriet-Hill Payne

The Manchester Students’ Food Co-operative formed two years ago, as it was evident there was a clear demand from the student body for ethical, affordable and healthy food in Manchester, which was reflected in our immediate success. The co-operative is open to any student of the University of Manchester, of Manchester Metropolitan, of Salford and RNCM. Though we have paid up members from UoM, ManMet and RNCM, in practice our most active members are from UoM, as our stall is in the Oxford Road Students’ Union every Tuesday, 11-3.30. We ask a £2 membership fee, which covers our running costs, and one you have joined, you are a member for as long as you are in Manchester. We run a weekly pop up shop, selling a variety of dried and tinned foods at cost price to co-op members, which we buy from an organic wholesaler, meaning the food is as cheap as is ethically possible. We have a wide range of food - dried fruit, nuts and seeds, oats and muesli, and grains and pulses as well. We also stock tea, coffee, chocolate and biscuits, and store cupboard items like stock cubes, pesto, tinned tomatoes and

started running the scheme, and it has been great to see one of the original aims of the project (to build a network of local food producers) develop through this. As well as mushrooms, leeks, potatoes and carrots, you might find a kohlrabi, celeriac or bunch of red kale - we try and keep them as interesting as possible. The Co-op is run entirely by student volunteers, who all give up an hour a week to weighing out almonds and dividing up boxes of vegetables. We are always on the look out for new people who would like to get involved - when the co-op was established, the aim was to have as flat a leadership structure as possible, meaning that the jobs and responsibility get shared equally. However - in practice, we need a core team of a couple of people to run it, make key decisions and make sure everything gets done. We’re now looking for a couple of people to take over the running of the Students’ Food Co-op - you would need to be first or second year now. It’s obviously a great thing for your CV (we have been featured in campus multimedia, The Guardian newspaper and spoke at People and Planet’s annual conference last year),

Photo: Harriet-Hill Payne

tomato sauce. We also run a weekly vegetable box scheme, which has gone from about 10 people per week to an all time high (slightly too high, as all the vegetables get delivered to our house and we couldn’t fit them all in our hallway) of 60 people two weeks ago. What is in the box varies week on week, but all the produce is seasonal, local and organic, and sourced from farms in the local area. We have been using the same suppliers since we

but is also an amazing opportunity to be part of a fantastic network of people who make Food Co-op happen. If you’d like to talk about getting involved, or to order a vegetable box (you need to order and pay at the stall a week in advance or pre-pay using PayPal) contact us on: mansfcoop@ Alternatively, search ‘Manchester Students’ Food Co-op’ on Facebook.

Harriet-Hill Payne



/TheMancunion: Books

Editors: Esmé Clifford Astbury, Annie Muir


Everyday Analysis





On almost bumping into someone ‘You can’t be when walking around a corner a good writer without being a good reader first’ The Everyday Analysis Collective apply critical theory to everyday occurrences

in precisely the same position as you. The corner has hidden a reality of perspective; you realize that from their perspective, quite literally, you were them, and they were you.

Bumping into someone when walking around a corner. Image: Annie Muir

You’re on the way to work or university, and you’re in a hurry. You walk quickly down the street, focused on getting to your destination. Then, appearing out of nowhere someone comes from around a corner, walking directly into your path and almost bumping straight into you. You look at each other, fury in your eyes, and you place the blame on the other individual.

Perhaps you even tut, or mutter something to yourself, as you step aside and continue your rushed journey. Certainly you feel an (albeit minor) wrong has been committed against you. But a moment’s reflection as you walk along leaves you feeling a little differently, a little disappointed in yourself for getting so angry, perhaps even a hint of fear that the other person heard your tut, as you realize that they were

What this shows you is that even in a predominantly secular society, the way we view our world is still structured by an imaginary omniscient and all seeing Other, which is capable of structuring how we ourselves see Speaking of perspective in his ground-breaking study of Walter Benjamin called ‘Ways of Seeing’, theorist John Berger commented that the contradiction in the “convention of perspective” is that “there is no visual reciprocity”: perspective structures “all images of reality to address a single spectator who, unlike God, [can] only be in one place at one time.”

The corner-incident forces the unfortunate bumper into this realization. As you walk away you realize that it has been your mistake to imagine all images of reality. In this case the street you saw in front of you, was addressing you as a single spectator; it was precisely the same for another. But it’s more than just a reminder that you are only one of an infinite number of subjective positions. The incident shows you that at a visual level a trick is played, and that your own way of seeing is constituted by another imaginary one in which the look comes from a privileged and all seeing position. What this shows you is that even in a predominantly secular society, the way we view our world is still structured by an imaginary omniscient and all seeing Other, which is capable of structuring how we ourselves see. When you bump into someone at the corner, you realize, perhaps unconsciously, that you aren’t in charge of your own perspective. It’s such a big issue, some Japanese architects have designed corners to make it impossible.

James Jackman heads to Hallé St. Peter’s to talk to poets Michael Schmidt and Michael Symmons Roberts

Interview with Michael Schmidt How would you describe your poetry for a complete beginner? Rythmical. It should be read aloud. So you would recommend reading it in front of an audience rather than at home? Reading at home is good. The other thing is: don’t feel you have to look up any of the allusions. If they’re not explained in the context, then they probably don’t work. How long have you been writing poetry? Since I was eight years old. What advice would you have for any aspiring poets and writers? Read and be passionate about specific poets. Really get to know their work, imitate and gradually find your own way.

Classics Digested

Classics digested: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Interview with Michael Symmons Roberts How would you describe your style of poetry to a complete beginner? Like a lot of my contemparies, I work in the lyric tradition. I am a lyric poet, but I am very much influenced by the modernists. If I had to put a label on myself, I would say I’m a lyric modernist. Your new collection is all 15 line poems. What gave you the idea for this set limit on each poem? I’ve always liked the way that working within a set form can be liberating and can force you to think harder about the words you choose. When I decided this book was going to be called Drysalter and take some of its bearings from the psalter, I knew there would be 150 poems as there are 150 psalms. I then took that number a twist further by deciding each poem was going to be 15 lines long. I also like the fact that each poem is one line too long for a sonnet. What advice would you give to any aspiring writers or poets? I’m afraid it’s the oldest cliché in the book: read, read, read. You can’t be a good writer without being a good reader first.

Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is the perfect book to curl up with on the sofa on a cold winter’s day and devour in a sitting, says Elizabeth Linsley




The second youngest of the six Brontë children, Emily Brontë was inspired to publish Wuthering Heights by the success of her older sister Charlotte’s first novel, Jane Eyre. Brontë originally published her only novel under the pseudonym Ellis Bell (her sisters Charlotte and Anne were first published under the names Currer and Acton Bell respectively); Victorian sensibilities deemed that only a man could have written a book of such violence and passion. Wuthering Heights was inspired by the wild and rural landscape of the Brontë family home on the Yorkshire moors.

The novel recounts the lives of two generations living at the Wuthering Heights farmhouse and the neighbouring Thrushcross Grange. The story is told by the old maid Nelly to Mr Lockwood, a wealthy outsider who is renting the Grange. Gradually he begins to learn the complicated tale of the two houses, and learns of the love and passion between Cathy and Heathcliff (her adopted brother) that lies at its core. However this is no fairytale romance, and the bleakness and isolation of the setting is echoed in the grim plot.

Brontë’s book is beautifully written and incredibly evocative of how difficult and lonely rural life was in the 19th century. It’s a classic tale of a forbidden love. The passages where Cathy finally declares her love for Heathcliff are heart-wrenching poetry. Wuthering Heights is the perfect book to curl up with on the sofa on a cold winter’s day and devour in a sitting, particularly as so many characters have the same name and can therefore take some keeping up with. However it’s worth the effort to experience one of English literature’s most important and well-loved novels.

is the author?

is it about?

read it?

CLASSIC QUOTE You said I killed you - haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (Oxford University Press, 2008)


Editors: Ben Walker, Maddy Hubbard Feature


we you



Bernadette Chapman advises on the difficulties of making a hungover Sunday roast Still feeling a fair bit sorry for myself after a rather turbulent Friday night Halloween party, on Sunday my boyfriend and I had the brilliant idea to cook us up a roast, and cook it up good. Inevitably, all did not go to plan, and I learned some valuable lessons that day, some of which I’d like to share. Number 1 With a combination of alarming cockiness and nostalgia for something home cooked and Sunday afternoon-y, we decided on the classic beef, of which there was a joint rattling around in the freezer. However, given my confused state of mind I didn’t even know where to start, and ended up defrosting it in the microwave, resulting in a joint the texture and consistency of a tramp’s pants. Lesson learned – don’t cook when confused by beer induced melancholy. Number 2 Despite the heady ambitions of a Sunday Roast with all the trimmings, the fragility and insecurity that comes with a two day hangover led to me forgoing my usual approach to gravy, which is generally delicious and which I could cook with no eyes and just the toes on my left foot. Instead, because of a brain that felt like it had been replaced with cauliflower cheese, I decided to play it safe and follow a recipe from the Times no less. The gravy was as bland as cauliflower without the cheese, and who wants it without the cheese right, who wants anything without the cheese. Have faith in your fail-safes.

A Gin Tasting Night with the Drinks Enthusiast As a history geek Maddy Hubbard loves the stories at this boozy lesson about the history of gin, held at Lock 91, but too much neat gin leaves quite an unpleasant taste in the mouth... Dave Marsland, better known as The Drinks Enthusiast, is a great bloke. Warm, engaging and funny, he keeps the room laughing and heckling throughout the evening at Lock 91. He describes himself as a “Taster & Guide to the World of Drinks”, and for £15 you can spend the evening trying out four different spirits, and learning their history. We went to the gin night, where Bombay Sapphire, Tanquaray, Hendricks and Sipsmith were on offer, each being described and tasted in turn. The history of gin is genuinely fascinating. Most people have heard it described as ‘mother’s ruin’, but Dave traces its history right back to an early version of the spirit was supposedly drunk by soldiers from the Netherlands during the Eighty Years War, giving birth to the term ‘Dutch Courage’. From there it was brought to England, leading to the Gin Craze where by 1743 the British drinking 10 litres (!) of gin per head each year. While clearly never reaching such dizzying heights of popularity again, gin drinking has definitely had a resurgence in recent years, with its image rehabilitated from seeming like and ‘old man drink’, even becoming the tipple of choice for hipstertypes for a while. Dave’s enthusiasm when talking about all of this is fantastic, and he really made me want to find the tasting notes he was talking about in each of the gins. Unfortunately often all I got, in all honesty, was the overwhelming burn of

alcohol and an aftertaste of nail varnish remover. This is clearly partly due to the failings of my palate, but I did think that it was a little much to be expected to drink four neat shots of gin in succession. The people around me pulled an interesting variety of faces as the night went

Despite struggling with this part of the evening, I am definitely a huge gin fan, and after the tasting I really enjoyed the four delicious and potent cocktails we were given, each using a different gin we had tried. The guys at Lock 91 really know what they are doing here, using gin in various drinks including their take on a martini (Chambord, Sipsmith gin and vermouth – a grown up drink that was incredibly strong and not too sweet), and the deliciously sweet Lemon Sherbert (Tanquaray, limoncello, orange liqueur, lemon juice and vanilla). They made a great end to the night and had us walking home along Deansgate Locks really quite tipsily. Overall therefore I would pronounce the night a qualified success. We all had a great time, warming to our host and the company, but I do think there are slight changes which would make the event even better. But of course, everyone’s palate is different, Photo: Dave Marsland and there were definitely some tables knocking back the neat gin like there was no on, and I saw more than one group quietly tomorrow! And while not an expert, I’m now push their second or third glass to the side after definitely much more qualified to ramble on having a sniff of its contents. pretentiously about the history of gin, which is Personally, I’d have liked to be provided with clearly a vital life skill and one for which I am some sort of mixer, maybe a bottle of tonic on very grateful to Dave. each table, for once we had tried a sip of each different gin.

Taste Test Photo: Bernadette Chapman Number 3 Thinking a glass of wine would solve all of the above, drinking it on top of a thousand cups of tea led to the suspicion I might develop a kidney infection, and the urge to just lie down until the whole thing blew over until it was pub quiz time was quite overwhelming. When faced with the urge to give up and leave the kitchen, resist, and follow point four below. Number 4 The potato is the saviour of all failed meals. As long as you put it in an oven with some fat and salt for at least an hour, it’ll be fine, you’ll be fine, and you’ll realise that you might just be okay in the end.

Cheese is not just a student staple but a human right, an ingredient that can turn the most boring meal into something delicious (if decidedly less healthy). But I often find myself overwhelmed by the huge range of choice available at most supermarkets - do any of them really taste that different? To find out, I did a blind taste test of three mid-range cheddars, all between £2-3. Option 1 - Cathedral City (£2.55 for 200g) A very popular choice among students, this was relatively good value although I was interested to see if the taste really lived up to the marketing hype. The overall verdict was that it didn’t - testers thought that it was a relatively flavourless choice, offering

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little of the acidic depth of flavour you get from a proper cheddar. Others thought it had a waxy texture and tasted a bit artificial, although in its favour they agreed that it was nice and creamy, melted evenly and had a pleasant aftertaste. Option 2 - Davidstow Cornish Classic Cheddar (£2.79 for 200g) I chose this one because it had one a gold medal taste award. It definitely had a more interesting and complex flavour, with an initially mellow taste that gave way to a very strong aftertaste. Testers thought it would be good for cooking with but not the kind of thing you would grate on your spag bol. They were also intrigued by the texture, which was drier and a bit crumbly, with some put off by the slightly grainy texture. Personally I liked

Photos: Maddy Hubbard this, finding it more interesting than the massproduced option. Option 3 - Taste the Difference Extra Mature Cheddar (£2.89 for 250g) This was another interesting option, as the packaging claimed it had been aged - a useful term to remember when using up that drying lump of cheese you had forgotten about at the back of the fridge, you can claim you were leaving it to develop it’s flavour... Luckily this cheese was a lot more appealing than that image suggests, and it definitely had the strongest and most acidic flavour. It was crumbly, “slightly nutty” and had a rounded flavour which definitely grew on you with time. Definitely one for cheese enthusiasts rather than the average student cook, but a good option nonetheless.

/TheMancunion: Food & Drink @MancunionFood

Food & Drink 23


Freeganism It’s getting on for midnight in an alleyway in Chorlton, just starting to drizzle and bloody freezing. I’ve been told to keep an eye out for people as a friend scouts out the back of a supermarket. All clear. We open up the wheelie bins one at a time, sorting through the rubbish (and trying not to get bin juice on our clothes), while picking out food. Quite a lot of it is perfectly edible, a lot still in its original packaging, yet the supermarket has not only thrown it away but will threaten us with prosecution if they find us taking it. This is a funny experience for me, not something I’d choose to do often but really eye-opening about just how much food is being wasted every day. While few would disagree that wasting perfectly good food is wrong, both morally and environmentally, some people choose to live off the produce discarded by supermarkets – a lifestyle known as freeganism. While not exactly mainstream, this is occasionally commented on in the press, although they are generally portrayed as alternative hippies, saving the world one discarded Beef Bourguignon ready meal at a time. Amongst the student population there is definitely a significant minority who make their loan stretch a bit further by going ‘skipping’ occasionally, but many more would react in disgust at the idea. Most people know someone that chucks away perfectly good cheese rather than cut off a bit of mould, or who relies rigidly on sell-by dates rather than their own senses. But it is definitely a psychological jump to go from believing that you should eat food from your own fridge that might be a bit past its best to climbing into bins and taking food straight from the skips outside the

Maddy Hubbard investigates the lifestyle, and wonders if she could really face living out of food taken from bins

supermarket. Clearly it’s not a lifestyle for everyone - it’s not exactly the most convenient way to do your weekly shop. And it’s pretty hard to romanticise the reality of rummaging through rubbish for something edible, you can never go ‘shopping’ until past midnight, and it’s always going to be quite an open air experience whatever the weather. Oh, the glamour of climbing into a bin in the rain in a dingy Manchester alley. Another difficulty is how variable the pickings can be. Making dinner from a pot of yoghurt, some bacon and a carton of unsweetened soya milk could be an entertaining challenge the

first time, but must be an exhausting way to live your life. Despite this, a friend of mine says the only things he ever has to buy from the shop are toothpaste and brewing sugar (of course he brews his own beer, it definitely goes with the stereotype). Obviously this varies based on your local shops – he generally goes to Waitrose and claims to get over £100 of free food from there a week. A better class of freegan, dahling... Unfortunately another obstacle that puts some people off is that freeganism also has a very ambiguous legal status. Supermarket staff can often be hostile to people skipping – I’ve heard stories of food being stamped on or even being destroyed having bleach poured onto it by staff. Often skippers are seen as freeloaders, helping themselves to free food that the staff are not allowed to take home themselves. Certainly there is quite a lot of hostility, with freegans regularly being yelled at or chased down the street, and if caught they are vulnerable to prosecution for trespass or even vagrancy, under the oh-so-modern and relevant 1836 Vagrancy Act. So is this just a youthful phase of naive lefty eco-evangelism, or is it a genuine attempt to respond to the wastefulness of modern society? Ultimately it seems like quite a pragmatic response to the our inefficient and unenvironmental food system, although in my opinion initiatives such as Veg Soc are more likely to make a genuine change to the system by allowing students to use their power as consumers to bring about change, which freeganism opts out of. But then again, as long as you don’t mind the process of getting it from a bin, it’s kind of hard to argue with the appeal of free food...


Recipes of the Week: BeefCasserole

Days are getting shorter, evenings are drawing in and the temperature is dropping. This can only mean one thing; it’s casserole season. Often considered the perfect comfort food, not much beats a hearty stew on a chilly winter’s night, especially when its colder inside your drafty house than out. Serves 5 (roughly £2 per portion) 500g diced braising/stewing steak 3 carrots 2 onions 2 celery sticks Beef stock Olive oil Flour Bottle of cheap red wine or a couple of bottles of

ale/stout. (Red wine in the £3-4 range from Aldi will do nicely or alternatively a couple of bottles of a pale ale or guinness work well.) - Pre-heat your oven to 160°C/140°C (fan)/gas mark 3. - Roughly chop up the veg into large chunks. - Season your beef generously with salt and pepper then place it into a large mixing bowl and coat with flour. - Heat a little oil in a flameproof casserole dish and add the beef, allow it to brown all over then remove it from the pan onto a plate. - Add a little more oil to the pan then add your veg, give it a few minutes to colour before returning the beef to the pan. - Add your wine/beer to the pan and scrape off all the bits from the bottom as you stir it in. - Top up with beef stock until all your ingredients are covered in liquid. - Season well with salt and pepper. If you have them in the cupboard, add a couple of bay leaves and about a teaspoon of thyme for a flavour boost. - Put the lid on and pop your dish into the oven for about three hours. Check on it half way through, give it a stir and if needed, top up with stock. -Serve with some fresh crusty buttered bread for that homely feel. -Leftovers can be frozen for a quick meal a few weeks down the line. If you want to bulk it out a bit more, add extra veg; mushrooms, potatoes or canned tomatoes all work well. Just make sure when you put it into the oven everything is covered by liquid.

PeteChinnock’scasseroleandFayeWaterhouse’scake are the perfect recipes for comfort food as the dark nights draw in.

Upside-downCake For the sponge: 150g butter 150g caster sugar 3 eggs 200g self-raising flour

1. Preheat the oven to 170C and melt the butter in a pan adding the sugar once it has melted and stirring gently until most of the sugar has dissolved. 2. Cover the mixture with the berries so they cover the base in a single layer.

Even though summer is over and the dark nights are drawing this easy to make, light and fruity upside down cake will brighten up any occasion! The added extra that it is mostly all cooked and baked in a pan means less washing up! Ingredients (Serves 6-8) 50g butter 125g caster sugar 250g frozen mixed berries

3. In a bowl beat the butter until soft then add the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at time then add the sieved flour. 4. Spoon the mixture on top of the berries in the pan covering them completely. Place in the oven for 35 minutes. 5. When taking the cake out of the oven allow to sit for a couple of minutes before carefully lifting the pan upside down on to your serving plate. The top should be nice and sticky and it doesn’t matter if it is a little runny it will set. Any leftovers will keep up to 2 days in an airtight container. Enjoy!


Arts & Culture Origami how-to: Sombrero!

ISSUE 08/ 11th November 2013 WWW.MANCUNION.COM

Editors: Matilda Roberts, Abbie Roberts


Double Indemnity at The Cornerhouse Inspired by the classic film noir of the same name, Elizabeth Gibson finds The Cornerhouse exhibition ‘Double Indemnity’ is dark and sometimes disturbing but definitely worth a visit The group show is spread across three galleries, each with its own theme inspired by lines from the film. While they might be too different - I felt that Galleries 1 and 3 could be from different exhibitions - it was still a concept that made for an interesting viewing experience. A good number of the pieces are video works, giving you and eclectic experience of sound, vision and even fragrance. ‘Object of Desire’ is the theme that kick starts the exhibition in the foremost gallery, and one particularly memorable piece from it is Hito Steyerl’s ‘Lovely Andrea’, a film investigating the practice of bondage photography in Japan. Shocking and somewhat revolting, it shows a dangerous and seedy underworld, telling of how women are often dragged unwittingly into this world and have to buy their way out. Another striking video piece in the same gallery is Andrea Fraser’s ‘Official Welcome’, in which the artist quotes lines from various art exhibition openings while steadily removing her clothes in front of an audience. A third piece is Sophie Calle’s ‘The Shadow’ for which she had a detective follow her around Paris for a day. The

artist’s own romantic account of the day set against the detectives cold and professional write-up clash effectively. The next gallery is divided into two sections. The first features one of the most disturbing exhibits – an installation by Bunny Rogers and Filip Olszewski which consists of a set of speakers from which a child sings about death, accompanied by three sound blankets based on images from a child modelling website, all under the title ‘Desiring Youth’. The second section is entitled ‘Desiring Bureaucracy’ and one of its pieces is Sharif Waked’s ‘Chic Point’, a film juxtaposing fashion with bureaucracy at Israeli checkpoints, suggesting a link based on the way both can involve the exposure of midriff. The final gallery titled ‘Consuming Desire’ features Frances Stark’s ‘My Best Thing’, a bizarre but somewhat captivating piece discussing, in a novel way with animated characters, various issues. The crudeness and vulgarity of some of the dialogue makes for uncomfortable viewing but adds to the dark feel of the whole exhibition. I came away from this show with an array of


Turner Prize ‘13: Laure Prouvost

Jack Sheen investigates social influences over creative culture Photo: Flickr, by Deflam

1. Begin with square paper folded diagonally, fold in half and unfold to make crease. 2. Fold bottom corners in to meet middle line to make a house shape. 3. Fold these corners in again. 4. Fold top point down. 5. Over along the middle. 6. This should result in the paper being flat. Press flat. 7. Turn paper over and repeat 8. This should result in the paper being flat. Press flat. 9. Turn paper round, open the paper along bottom edge. 10. And collapse it into this shape. 11. Then fold corners up. Repeat behind. 12. On either side of model pinch outer layers of paper. 13. And pull them apart. 14. Making a flat sombrero. 15. To complete sombrero open out along the bottom edge.

Pity is often seen as the epitome of the ‘selfexpressive’ artist.

What’s on This Week? Domestic Festival Friday 8 — Sunday 17 November 2013 A series of intimate interactions, homely conversations and domestic dramas played out in a block of flats. Some shows are ticketed while others can be made by appointment Venue: Cooper House, off Boundary Lane, Manchester, M15 6DX — a 5 minute walk from Oxford Road Ticketed Shows + Appointments can be booked online or reserved over the phone: 07581 299 439. Wounds and Utopia: Artist and Photographer, Sarah Jones Talk on recent work 16:30 Wednesday 13 November 2013 Room 4.05 Mansfield Cooper Building

William Blake

Ever since I’ve come into contact with creative people, I’ve always shuddered slightly at those who claim to ‘express themselves’. The idea of art being a self-expressive ‘tool’ for the artist is ultimately one of the Romantic period, where musicians, writers and artists wanted their work to go beyond its aristocratic social. Since then, Romanticism has gone somewhat out of fashion. Continually deconstructed through various changing trends, its expressive notions nowadays polarize artists and audiences and they see it as a lost ideology of better times, and those who cringe at its remaining presence within contemporary culture. Yet discussions on the extent of which art is or can be itself a form of self expression is a bit of a red herring, as ultimately all artworks are intrinsically intertwined with the subjective mind of its maker. Perhaps a more pertinent question would be what do we really mean when we speak of the ‘self ’ in ‘self-expression’? Alongside an inherent biological makeup, I believe that people today are essentially built out of the world within which they live; the architecture of one’s social, cultural and moral values rises from one’s experience of and involvement with these factors. This is perhaps most obvious within the arts. Those who have been brought up on the grand scale and complexity of five hour Wagner operas may find it difficult to adapt their modes of listening and musical concepts to a short, economic pop song by Beyonce, just as those who indulge in Renaissance portraits may be baffled by the abstract expressionist paintings of the 1950s. Much post-modern art deliberately plays with this idea, conceptually

Image: Flickr, Wickerfurniture

Turner Prize

Society as the Self

Text and Image by Abbie Roberts

emotions, and the thought that The Cornerhouse really is great at putting together diverse thematic exhibitions.

grounding itself in challenging what people see the arts to be aesthetically and socially. Perhaps then when we say ‘self ’ expression, we really refer to the sum of our sociocultural influences and the world within which we work. This idea goes beyond just culture, summating our entire interaction with the world as a series as determined social causes and personal effects; there is just as much ‘self-expression’ creating art as there is ordering a cup of coffee, it’s all a ramification of our surroundings. Despite this pedantic approach, the above conclusions have quite a severe effect on how we generally perceive the arts. Firstly, it shatters the image of the artist as an egocentric idol. Although rare virtuosic talent and craft is something to admire, it becomes much more relatable when one sees it as channelling a social product which we can analyse and empathise with, removing the intimidating pedestal upon which artists are placed. Art can also be seen as an effective historical tool, capturing not merely the personal emotions of an autonomous artist, but preserving the sentiments produced by the socio-cultural environment which was felt by many. Ultimately, art’s meaning transcends being a cultural commodity and becomes an important document and dialogue with society’s highs and lows. Once the narcissistic rug of personal expression, which artists ground themselves upon, is swept away, comprehension becomes much more immediate and transparent, creating culture which no matter how cerebral or difficult it is, is ultimately an empathetic and universal one.

The Mancunion Arts & Culture brings you introductions to the four 2013 nominees, this Week Raphaé Memon introduces Laure Prouvost. Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is awarded each year to a contemporary artist under 50 living, working or born in Britain, who is judged to have put on the best exhibition of the last 12 months. Laure Prouvost, one of the four nominees for the Turner Prize 2013, is a French artist who lives and works in London. She graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002, and has also attended Goldsmiths University, in London. Prouvost has exhibited at Tate Britain and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Earlier this year she won the Max Mara Art Prize for Women for her installation inspired by visiting the Mediterranean and exploring the aesthetic and sensuous pleasures in Italy. Her work combines installation, collage and film – she makes use of old domestic objects, combined with film and sound recordings to create an installation with a narrative. Sometimes quite meaningless and conflicting, Prouvost likes to extend the boundaries between language and translation, with ideas of space and disorientation. She worked on a project for the Frieze Foundation in 2011, involving handpainted signs, which were both humourous and instructional. They evoked a response between the audience of the Frieze fair within the architecture of the space where it was held. In film, Prouvost uses a juxtaposition of word and image to create a mesmerising narrative which most of the time has quite a surreal dimension. One of her famous works, It, heat, hit is created using fast-moving sequences of images of everyday events. They could be of a swimming frog in a pond, to a snowy garden scene, contrasted with bold statements on love and violence. Collaged in-between are disturbing scenes of body parts and food, usually taken using close-up shots and focusing on grim details. In terms of sound, the film has an oppressive rhythm that grows and intensifies as the film progresses – the mood becomes unsettling. In this film, and in most of her others, Prouvost highlights the various notions of reality, and how they can slip and falter.




Editor: Josephine Lane Review

What’s on

The Cherry Orchard


Lucy Gooder reviews MMU’s production of Chekhov’s classic play at the Capitol Theatre

Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’, like most of his plays, has its critics. I was told you either love it or you hate it. This is due to the fact that in terms of actual dramatic events, not a lot happens. Judging by this standard, however, means you miss out on a great deal. It is not the events that propel the play forward; they simply give it an outline to flesh out. It is the relationships that make this play, particularly this production of it, stand out so memorably. It is clear a lot of rehearsal time has been spent working out these characters and the rapport and emotion between them. It is Chekhov’s brilliant writing that makes them so perfectly human, with flaws, charms and imperfections in equal measure, but it is the effort of the cast and director David Salter that makes them so beautifully realised. It is utterly believable that these characters have known each other for years as the cast have a sense of camaraderie, which makes their fighting, dancing and backstabbing so much more enthralling.

Knowing Chekhov was a pre-Revolution Russian playwright you wouldn’t expect writing that could make a modern audience, both young and old consistently laugh out loud. The role of the elderly servant Firs was a personal highlight and Elliot Pizer’s commitment to his stooped and muttering role brought continued snorts of laughter from the audience. Jordan Turk’s Simenov also brought some wonderful light relief to some of the more tragic and intense moments of the play as a glance at his face during any scene showed either the epitome of delight or a mask of askance horror. The actors with perhaps more emotional roles also displayed honesty and humour; making you feel for the characters despite yourself, as they squandered away their money and their home. The costume and set designers also deserve a special mention as both were strikingly achieved. For a ball scene the set cleverly opened out so that the party was ever present in the background, however only

intruding when needed. The transformation from inside to outside was also neatly done, with a covering of woodchips seemingly swept out from nowhere to create a real sense of the cherry orchard that was so central to the story. Chekhov used the titular orchard as a metaphor for Russia, the foibles of the Russian aristocracy and the catalyst of its downfall, and the idealism and fight of the new proletariat and intellectuals the naive hope for its future. You can see how carefully he has woven this into the story despite his death before this great change took place. The production is therefore not heavy handed with ominous winks at the audience or complex narratives to overshadow the performances within it. If we follow the love or hate it formula I have to say I loved it. The play throws out preconceived notions that old and revered playwrights have nothing new to give us and shows you can always do more.


PLAYS TO CATCH Sweeney Todd Steven Sondheim’s classic musical comes to The Royal Exchange after being transfered from the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. Except blood, gore and lots of operatic singing. Runs from the 1st November to the 30th November at the Royal Exchange Theatre


A Clockwork Orange Theatre Editor Josephine Lane reviews Action to the Word’s production of A Clockwork Orange at the Lowry Anthony Burgess’ infamous masterpiece ‘A Clockwork Orange’ returned to it’s native Manchester last week in the form of Action to the Word’s physical theatre piece at the Lowry. The show, born on the London Fringe, has just returned from Australia after it’s sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival. Being a big fan of the story in all it’s various forms, I went to see it with an open mind and curious as to how the company had taken this timeless masterpiece on, genuinely having no idea just wondering what it was going to be then, eh? For those of you who don’t know the story, it centers around Alex: the charming, attractive and manipulative anti-hero of our story. Along with his band of droogs (friends), Alex’s interests include ultraviolence, in-out in-out (rape), Ludwig Van (Beethoven) and drinking moloko (milk). Set in a dystopian future complete with new fictional language, Nadsat, Alex’s story progresses as he falls victim to the Ludovico technique, conditioning him

against his greatest loves using somewhat brutal means, thus turning him into the ‘Clockwork Orange’ so-mentioned in the title. After an attempted suicide and apology from the state, Alex, no longer conditioned, deems himself cured, ready for a life of non-violence. The all-male company had chosen to do the play from a very homoerotic angle. Acts of ultraviolence were accompanied with passionate kisses, a gay couple was attacked and the pumping soundtrack was strictly music by gay or bisexual artists. This was effective as it highlighted the homoeroticism that is present in the work: Alex is a flamboyant, fashionable, open and confident with a raw sexual appetite, not to mention the dominantly-male nature of the piece. It also updated the play somewhat and was an interesting deviation from the norm. The production was solid, funny and a good example of physical theatre. My praise is aptly given to Adam Search, who took the role of Alex, who brought

cockiness and complexity to the role. Tempting as it would be to borrow tropes from Malcolm McLaren’s exceptional film portrayal, Search managed to resist entirely, bringing an entirely new dimension onto Alex’s character. For all it’s praise, I must say that if there’s one adjective that should always be in the same sentence as all things Clockwork Orange it’s ‘shocking’. Yes, I know we are all impossible to shock these days thanks to the internet and horror movies , but I really didn’t feel like the production packed enough of a, excuse the pun, punch. I had (oddly) gone in, wanting to leave the theatre shaking with discomfort. However, in reality, the violence just was too stylized and well, just not violent enough. On the whole, the performance was enjoyable and definitely got better as time went on and the energy built up. I can also safely say it was not at all what I had expected from it and is definitely well worth a watch.

Out of Proportion Student Jack Busby has written a play about being Jack Busby. Somewhat experimental and surreal in style, expect the unexpected. Runs from 13th to 15th November at the Council Chambers

Shakespeare Schools Festival

My Favourite Scene

my FAVOURITE SCENEfavourite scene from ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

This week, Annabel Cartwright tells us about her

In Act I of Much Ado About Nothing, wealthy and well respected Leonato has welcomed soldiers home to the Italian town of Messina. Leonato’s niece, Beatrice, and a soldier, Benedick, exchange insults whenever they meet, mocking each other in a “merry war” of wits. During Act II, Scene III of the play, Benedick’s friends plot to trick Beatrice and Benedick into falling in love with one another. As part of their plot, they stage a conversation within earshot of Benedick, discussing Beatrice’s ‘love’ for him.

Don Pedro. Come hither, Leonato: what was it you told me of to-day, that your niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick? Claudio. O! ay:—[Aside to DON PEDRO.] Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits. I did never think that lady would have loved any man. Leonato. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful that she should so dote on Signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to abhor. Benedick. [Aside.] Is ’t possible? Sits the wind in that corner? Leonato. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it but that she loves him with an enraged

affection: it is past the infinite of thought. Don Pedro. May be she doth but counterfeit. Claudio. Faith, like enough. Leonato. O God! counterfeit! There was never counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion as she discovers it. Don Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she? Claudio. [Aside.] Bait the hook well: this fish will bite. Leonato. What effects, my lord? She will sit you; [To CLAUDIO.] You heard my daughter tell you how. Claudio. She did, indeed. Don Pedro. How, how, I pray you? You amaze me: I would have thought her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection. Leonato. I would have sworn it had, my lord; especially against Benedick. Benedick. [Aside.] I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide itself in such reverence. Claudio. [Aside.] He hath ta’en the infection: hold it up. Leonato. No; and swears she never will: that’s her torment. Claudio. ’Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: ‘Shall

I,’ says she, ‘that have so oft encountered him with scorn, write to him that I love him?’ Leonato. This says she now when she is beginning to write to him; for she’ll be up twenty times a night, and there will she sit in her smock till she have writ a sheet of paper: my daughter tells us all. Claudio. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of. Leonato. O! when she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet? Claudio. That. Leonato. O! she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; railed at herself, that she should be so immodest to write to one that she knew would flout her: ‘I measure him,’ says she, ‘by my own spirit; for I should flout him, if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.’ Claudio. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses; ‘O sweet Benedick! God give me patience!’ Leonato. She doth indeed; my daughter says so; and the ecstasy hath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometimes afeard she will do a desperate outrage to herself. It is very true.

The UK’s largest Youth Drama Festival returns to Manchester, with local schools tshowcasing four different abridged Shakespeare plays each night. Runs 11th to 14th November at the Contact Theatre

Wicked The sensational West End is on for one week more. Join the sensation to discover the true stories behind the Witches of Oz. Runs until 16th November


Editors: Lauren Arthur, Moya Crockett, Beth Currall, Izzy Dann Ask Izzy


The school of fame IZZY ask

As Educating Yorkshire quickly becomes one of the most-watched TV documentaries of the year, Hannah McGrory reviews the show that has gripped the nation’s hearts

an earnest attempt to cure all your woes. Tweet any burning issues, genital or otherwise, to @izzydann the past few weeks, Q For I have been seeing an

heart-warming by his delivery of a speech to the entire year group on their final day at school. To see the transformation of a boy frustrated with his inability to communicate develop into someone able to confidently stand up in front of his peers was awe-inspiring, and I’m not ashamed to admit that a tear may have been shed over my laptop screen. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure that I was not alone, and the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Educating Yorkshire could arguably see it placed as one of the most popular documentaries of the year. Did somebody say BAFTA?

Photo: Channel 4

Horoscopes with Mystic Moya

TV LIBRA (24 SEPTEMBER - 23 OCTOBER) Mars rising in Jupiter suggests that you’ll be experiencing feelings of great uncertainty about your future and your purpose on the Earth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any solutions.

are a student; she A You is a professional. You’re both in this relationship for different reasons. For you, it’s financial and emotional support, the latter of which you’re evidently lacking. For her, it’s an appropriate degree of peer envy – her friends covet your liaisons has as they enter another year of their sexually tedious marriages. Carry on while the mindblowing sex is still worth your emotional trauma, then perhaps experiment with a fellow student simpleton for a less painful affair.

astonishingly reminiscent of a classic David Attenborough interaction with a pride of lions – however the pupils of Thornhill were arguably more ferocious. From the firm-butfair head teacher Mr Mitchell, to Bailey, the vivacious year ten with a penchant for inch-thick make-up (quote of the series: “d’ya like me eyebrows? I shaved ‘em all off!”), ‘Educating Yorkshire’ delivers to the viewers an abundance of colourful characters, linked together by a tight-knit school community. While a large portion of the documentary focuses upon the reformation and handling of the more challenging members of the student body, we are also treated to a glimpse of students such as Ryan, whose sparkling personality could warm even the frostiest of hearts. One of the most noteworthy moments of the series for me had to be when twelve year old Ryan earnestly admitted his ambitions to one day become the Prime Minister – “either that or an actor”. Brilliant. However the most poignant moment of ‘Educating Yorkshire’ is undoubtedly awarded to year eleven student, Musharaf Asghar. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Mushy’, the sixteen year old suffers from a heavy stammer which, in times of anxiety, can render him virtually mute. The final episode followed his journey through his final GSCE year as he attempted to tackle a vital speech exam that stood in the way of his college ambitions. Aided by his remarkable English teacher, Mr Burton, we witnessed a truly miraculous moment where the student borrowed the technique displayed in the film ‘The King’s Speech’ and recited a poem from beginning to end with the aid of musical distraction. Mushy’s progression was made even more emotional and

SCORPIO (24 OCTOBER - 22 NOVEMBER) We see a very strong chance of romance for you this month, Scorpio. All you have to do is look out for the person wearing a beanie on their head, Nikes on their feet and an edgy rucksack on their back. Don’t say we don’t give you options.

CAPRICORN (22 DECEMBER - 20 JANUARY) A wise man once said, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” We are here to advise you that these words have no relevance to your life at all. It is literally the worst advice in the world. Do that and you end up like the cast of Made in Chelsea: permanently surrounded by awful people you hate.

AQUARIUS (21 JANUARY - 19 FEBRUARY) The colour red looks to be of great significance for you this month. It’s the colour of love and passion, sure but it’s also the colour of winter acne and unpaid bills. You decide which has more relevance to your life.

ARIES (21 MARCH - 20 APRIL) If you don’t rein it in, your constant and inaccurate use of the word “literally” will literally see you bludgeoned over the head with a blunt object until you literally learn your lesson. No quotation marks, capeesh?

TAURUS (21 APRIL - 21 MAY) This month, a toxic combination of emotions – nostalgia, desire, and straight-up loneliness – will result in an ill-advised night of passion with your ex. After consulting the stars, we predict you’ll realise they’re just as annoying before and regret it.

CANCER (22 JUNE - 22 JULY) This month you will experience incredible highs and devastating lows, as you spend six hours at Warehouse Project and then spend the next 48 hours crying weakly into your pillow.

Illustrations by Cecilia Tricker

incredibly attractive woman who is ten years my senior. She is a highly successful lawyer and so she often takes me out for expensive dinners or for romantic weekends away. When spending time together at home, I usually come over to her place because she lives in a stylish Northern Quarter flat whereas I live in a seedy basement abode in Rusholme. All in all everything is really magical, except she’s not very good at listening to me talk about my life and I rarely get to see her in the daytime apart from when she decides last minute to whisk me away. I think I love this woman, so do you have any advice?

When the adverts for a new Channel 4 documentary following a secondary school in Yorkshire first appeared on my tv screen, I have to admit, I was far from enthusiastic. Immensely bored by the triviality of TOWIE and Made in Chelsea, the thought of a new addition to the evidently scripted, over-the-top collection of ‘reality’ TV shows exasperated me greatly – that is, until I stumbled by chance upon the first episode of Educating Yorkshire on the channel’s website. What initially started out as something I had put on to drown out the silence of an empty flat one afternoon, quickly became my latest obsession: along with a large proportion of the nation, I was hooked. It would be easy to pinpoint the heart-warming insight into the relationships shared by the pupils and teachers as the main reason for the success of ‘Educating Yorkshire’, however for the people of our generation – that is to say, people for whom school is a not-too-distant memory – the documentary offers a somewhat humorous reflection of the school life that many of us experienced. I personally found myself greeting the back-combed hair, the orange foundation lines and the woeful attempts at banter with a nostalgic delight that I would never usually admit to possessing. The genuine (and staggeringly honest) portrayal of Thornhill Community Academy‘s daily routine gave the show the sense of humanity that has been undeniably absent from other representations of school life, allowing it to successfully strike a chord with the British public. Edited down from two thousand hours of footage shot on sixty four carefully placed cameras, the result was

LEO (23 JULY - 22 AUGUST) The whole casual-grunge, 90s sportswear, un-brushed hair, scuffed trainers look you’ve got going on is cool, sure. However, you might start to reconsider a few things this month when a homeless person kindly offers to buy the magazine you’re holding.

boyfriend says I need Q My to improve on my oral sex technique. How do I go about this? with a generously A Practise sized banana (skin-on) until you overcome your gag reflex and find yourself blessed with a fantastic new party trick.

Do you have a problem that you’d like solved? Send it in to lifestyle@

SAGITTARIUS (23 NOVEMBER - 21 DECEMBER) You’ve spent so much time in the library recently that the bags under your eyes are more like suitcases and you’ve begun to dream in footnotes. Take a break every now and then – join the rest of us in Slacker Land! We’ve got tea, Come Dine with Me repeats and loads of naps… It’s great.

PISCES (20 FEBRUARY - 20 MARCH) Elephants never forget, and apparently neither do you. Yes, it was annoying that your housemate finished off your vodka when you were home for Reading Week, but you have got to let it go.

GEMINI (22 MAY - 21 JUNE) They say don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but to be honest, Gemini, you’re lucky to have a basket at all, so take what you can get. In the words of Mark Twain: “Put all your eggs in one basket – and watch that basket.”

VIRGO (23 AUGUST - 23 SEPTEMBER) It’s not that you’re lazy, exactly, it’s just that you can’t be bothered to do anything. Lectures, essays, getting out of bed and showering are all just quite pointless tasks, aren’t they? According to Jupiter, you are actually part sloth, so draw the curtains, get back under the covers and watch stuff on iPlayer all day. It’s destiny.

/TheMancunion: Lifestyle @MancunionLife


Sophie on the diverse range of travellers she met on her journey across Latin America

The Hispanophile: They adore anything and everything Latin American, which is completely valid, so long as they don’t impose their veneration upon you! This is naturally impossible for them, as the very nature of the Hispanophile is fanaticism; their compulsion to preach to you is inescapable. Their obsession is exemplified through patronising questions like “have you ever heard of something called Ceviche?” – these Latin American cultural

references are apparently esoteric, and only the Hispanophile have access to this sacred information. Moreover, they try to out-Latin you, by code switching to Spanish in a conversation with predominantly English native speakers, merely to prove that their Spanish is exalted above everyone else’s. Affability rating: 5/10 The pretentious competitive traveller: These travellers try to eclipse your experiences by visiting obscure places. They will pose questions to you within seconds of your meeting, like “Have you been to Ushuaia?” When you answer in the negative, as the competitor suspects, they exhibit a unique look of mingled conceit and pity, to leave you in no doubt that you are not a real traveller – you haven’t been to these arcane places, therefore they are the superior explorer. What is profoundly irritating about these characters is their travel tales of mythic proportions to undermine accounts of your adventures – cue physically impossible, preposterous story, peppered with “what a legend” and other intensely exasperating platitudes and epithets. How can anyone surpass anecdotes that are complete fabrications, without descending to the depths of the fictional falsifier? It is beyond the bounds of possibility, a fact the competitive traveller is fully aware, securing his title as the supreme voyager. Affability rating: 3/10


Sex and Relationships

The L.A complex So I just returned from travelling in Latin America in my post-graduation ‘gap year’. Did I find myself? No. Did I write my ‘coming of age’ Bildungsroman? Unfortunately not. Did I return all spiritual, with my hair in dreadlocks and wearing mala beads? Thank goodness I did not. I did however manage to meet, in my heady travels, an assorted array of peregrinators. Latin America is not like Costa del Thailand, in so much as one can encounter a more motley, diverse crosssection of those who travel. They differ somewhat from those audaciously urinating in the sea at the full moon party. This is probably due to the fact that the region is somewhere your mum tells you to avoid because of the dangerous likelihood of being kidnapped by drug traffickers. Thus, none but the brave (and marginally more interesting) bother. So let’s evaluate these travellers I met along this less-travelled road…


Sinfully boring cokeheads: These individuals are the most boring people in the history of civilisation because they possess a single note; they exclusively and monotonously drone on about cocaine, and devour cocaine, ignorantly complacent that they’re funding Farc rebels with their habit. These characters are so dull they make Latin America boring, which is no mean feat! But they’re really nice guys, with big hearts! Their good nature has plenty of room in their bodies to blossom, thanks to their loss of appetite induced by excessive cocaine consumption! Affability rating: 0/10 Sophie Jean-Louis Constantine Photo: mikebaird (Flickr)

It’s a boy girl thing Can men and women ever really ‘just’ be friends? Beth Currall and Lewis Johnston argue both sides of the coin


Even though I’m the first to admit that a lot of friendships between the opposite sexes do not always remain friendships, I think it’s wrong for people to assume that lads can never be ‘just friends’ with girls. My best friend is a girl, we spend loads of time together and I love her to bits- but if I had to describe my worst nightmare of a girlfriend, she would be it. I just consider her on the same level as my male friends, in the sense that we get on, but there’s absolutely no attraction between us. Nowadays, I know loads of lads that get on with girls better than their mates of their own sex, and vice versa, and if you enjoy spending time together, why should that be an issue? Yes, I have overstepped the mark with some of my female ‘friends’ in the past, but I think that if your friendship is genuine, then it will survive this test. My best friend is way more reliable than other lad mates that I’ve known for years, and I always know that I can rely on her. I think that those who don’t believe the opposite sexes can be friends have obviously just not matured yet. Lewis

Health and Wellbeing

Positive Image Month Amy Bowden on how to boost your self-esteem this November

November sees the beginning of Positive Image Month, and it’s obvious that many of us need a boost when it comes to our self-esteem. Remember when you were a child and your biggest worry was how you would go about eating (or hiding) the veg on your plate so that you could skip to dessert? Or how about when you didn’t care what you looked like in the mirror because you were too eager to get outside and play with friends? Nowadays, if a friend tags you in photos on Facebook that you haven’t pre-approved, you frantically spend your time untagging yourself and possibly blocking him/her off Facebook and out of your life for good. A shocking seven out of ten women believe that they do not ‘measure up’ in their appearance, career or relationships, and others have admitted to being more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents. Do you ever look in the mirror and just don’t feel confident about your appearance? Well, that’s what the people behind Positive Image Month campaign want to help with. They promote that there are many different types of beautiful and we don’t have to

change in order to look like an airbrushed celebrity. Wouldn’t it feel amazing to wake up in the morning and think “I am beautiful”? Here are some tips on achieving a positive body image:

make a list of the qualities that make up who you are? You are more than just your exterior. Consider yourself as a whole person, not just that wobbly part at the top of your thigh. What do you love about yourself?

1. Don’t compare yourself to others. This can be difficult in today’s society, with numerous magazines plastered with models and celebrities. Facebook and Twitter aren’t great helps either! But you have to be confident with you. If we were all clones of one another the world would be stripped of its diversity and would ultimately be a very boring place to live indeed. Be proud of who you are, and you’ll be amazed when you realise how many people love you, for you.

4. Surround yourself with positive people. Negativity will just bring you down and you don’t need that. I personally feel more confident about myself when I’m with family and friends because I know that they love me for who I am and not what I look like.

2. Exercise and diet. If you maintain a balanced diet and do some light exercise each week then you will most definitely feel healthier and release some feel-good endorphins! Try it: the only thing you can lose is calories. 3. Stop looking at the outside. Why not

Kate Hardcastle, the woman behind Positive Image Month, recognises that we don’t have to change everything about ourselves and we must find ways to bring out our individual beauty. We are in control of our lives and our body image shouldn’t affect the directions we take. So let’s all click ‘unlike’ to low self-esteem and ‘like’ our positive body image. Take a look at for more information of Positive Image Month.

A poor substitute for face-to-face action? Photo: Photo: Alessandro Valli (Flickr)

Photo: Comedy Central (Press)


I have seen many male-female friendships form ever since high school, and almost every time I can write the scripts for these ‘friendships’: mates for a couple of months, one falls in love with the other, the pair gets physical, and/or one is most definitely left heartbroken and friend-zoned at the end. Time and time again, boys and girls form friendships believing that they are ‘different’ to others; but the simple fact is, we are not biologically programmed to have lasting, platonic relationships. It is in our blood to be attracted to the opposite sex, and sexual desire will always find a way to form. Think of your favourite TV sitcoms, and I bet all of them feature friendships that eventually turn into relationships. Where would F.R.I.E.N.D.S have ended up if Ross and Rachel hadn’t had the most on/ off relationship of the Nineties and Noughties? Would How I Met Your Mother be half as entertaining without Ted’s countless attempts to get himself out of the friend-zone with Robyn? We all fall in love with someone that we can be friends with, and this is exactly why friendships with the opposite sex rarely end well. Yes, I have lad mates, but there’s no way that I could talk to them in the same way I do my girl friends, or hang out with them regularly. In my opinion, if you want to spend a large amount of your time with a member of the opposite sex, then you’re in denial about your feelings towards them! We may as well admit that these friendships will never work, and save millions of people the heartache (and embarrassment) of being launched into the friend-zone sooner or later. Beth

Creative Writing, Politics & Poetry with stephen morrison-burke, poet laureate for birmingham

Words are weapons in their own right, They can harm, they can heal or start up a fight. Our creative writing session will help you to see, That words are as powerful as direct action can be. Hosted by Poet laureate Stephen Morrison-Burke, You’ll soon see how effectively poetry can work!


Follow us on Twitter @ActivismAcademy



/TheMancunion @Mancunion_Sport

Sports Editors: Andrew Georgeson, Tom Dowler and Thomas Turner



Club Profile- Judo The Mancunion talks to club captain Joe Perry 1) Why should people join your club? People should join Judo because it is a great cardio and strength-building sport. It is an awesome workout, not to mention damned good fun to have a scrap with your friends. It’s a very high-octane Olympic sport which, though physically demanding, is very rewarding and enjoyable. 2) How successful has your club been over the past few seasons? It’s very difficult to measure exactly how successful one Judo club is over another, given that unlike some other sports clubs, we don’t compete every week. However, we rarely return home from competitions without medals, and among the people we train with are a three time paralympic gold medalist, a six-time British Champion, the current over 100 kg British Champion, an international Judoka ( Judo player), along with

a few nationally ranked Judoka. 3) Where and how often do your teams train/play? We train every Monday and Wednesday 19:00-20:30 at the Armitage Conference room. 4) Do you have to be of a high standard to join your club? We are a very accessible club to complete beginners. Despite having a good compliment of very high-quality players, we have a very diverse range of ability throughout the rest of the club. Some people are nearly black belts, some people are complete beginners. We always cater for the beginners at every session and are very happy to do so! If you’re thinking about trying it, please feel free to come along to any of our sessions! 5) What is the social side of the club like? Socially, the club goes out several times a year (usually in fancy dress to the AU social).

It’s a seriously good night. I’d urge anyone to join a sports club (even if it’s not Judo!) to be socially active! Team-spirit makes any night out so much better. Also, we go for a drink in the pub after every Wednesday session. 6) Anything else? So a little information about Judo: it’s a wrestling-based Olympic sport, the aim of which is to win by throwing your opponent onto their back, or bringing them to the ground and finishing the fight through a pin, an armlock or a stranglehold. It’s Japanese in origin and there’s no striking involved or anything like that, so you’re unlikely to get any black eyes or broken noses! Our facebook page is can be found using this link: groups/manchesterjudo/

Club Profile- Boating The Mancunion speaks to MUBC Chair Simon Moss 1) Why should people join your club? People should join the club if they want to get fit and have a really good laugh doing it. We spend a lot of time together and make seriously good mates from all squads in a large mixed club. We also have pretty messy socials (nothing more will be said!) 2) How successful has your club been over the past few seasons? Its a tough sport with a lot of other unis having a lot more funding than us. However, we have been quite successful in the past. Last year our top women’s crew got to the final of women’s Henley. a really great achievement. Our men regularly qualify for Henley Royal Regatta (a good achievement in itself ) but

Club Profile - Sailing The Mancunion speaks to club Marketing and Sponsorship secretary Harry Farley 1) Why should people join your club? As a small club, we are able to retain that friendly, family feel so no one is missed out. That is true for whatever area of the club you join! 2) How successful has your club been over the past few seasons? Over the last couple of years we have been slowly building a squad together and putting foundations in place to build on. Whilst that has been happening we have competed and held our own across the northern universities but haven’t done as well as we’d hope against the stiffer competition of the southern universities. However, this year we have a really strong

1st and 2nd team that has been built up gradually over the past couple of years and we hope to compete on a national scale. 3) Where and how often do your teams train/play? At least one of our teams will be training or competing every weekend. This semester we are competing in Leeds, Newcastle, Dublin and London so there are plenty of opportunities to race up and down the UK. We train regularly at our home club - West Kirby Sailing Club on the Wirral. Although it is quite far away we are given excellent facilities, high class coaching and a warm welcome every time.

always great events where people from all areas of the club and all different abilities come together and enjoy a great night out.

unfortunately we missed out in our most recent attempt (see the photo above). Our novice (beginner) squads also do well with our women coming in the top 10 at BUCS and our novice men’s four coming 10th overall at BUCS regatta. 3) Where and how often do your teams train/play? The amount we train depends on what squad you’re in. The top seniors will train approximately 10 times a week split between circuit sessions at the Sugden Centre’s gym and at our boathouse in Sale. Our beginners also train there, but for just one or two sessions at the weekend and wednesdays. Plus the club circuits sessions in the Armitage Centre.

6) Anything else? Follow us on Twitter @ManUniSailClub or visit us at www. manchesterunversitysailingclub. to find out more and keep

4) Do you have to be of a high standard to join your club? All standards are welcome from complete beginners to those who have competed for their country (we have both). 5) What is the social side of the club like? Ace, because we train hard we get drunk pretty easily. Most of us are pretty cheap dates and our socials show that. Boozing aside we all get on pretty well and have a good time. 6) Anything else? We have a novice race day in the next couple of weeks where those who started rowing in November will be racing each other for a bit of a laugh. The senior squads are training for fours head at the moment, a 7.2 km race on the boat race course in boats of four. up to date with what is going on. We’re off to Dublin for the Irish Nationals this weekend and then we’re heading to London later on in the month!

4) Do you have to be of a high standard to join your club? Not at all! We pride ourselves on offering sailing for all abilities and are proud of the mixed sailing heritage across our club. We offer beginners and intermediate courses to get into sailing, social sailing for those who are competent and wanting to test the waters, yachting and team racing for the more experienced. 5) What is the social side of the club like? Our socials are every Wednesday and cover the whole spectrum from entirely inappropriate fancy dress themes at AU to salsa dancing and beer festivals in the northern quarter. These are


SPORT : 30


Freedom of the Press? Andy Georgeson explains how the future of sports journalism is under threat from tyrannical owners and managers Andy Georgeson Sport Editor Journalist, noun perpetual annoyance, scandal maker, master of hyperbole. Well, that’s not quite what the Oxford English Dictionary says, but it may as well. Opinion divides, and it can alienate, annoy and anger people. But it makes people engage in conversation, which is vital in a democratic society. Unfortunately, football owners have increasingly turned their clubs into communist dictatorships. The two examples in the news at the moment are Port Vale and Newcastle United banning the local newspapers due to supposedly slanderous material. However, there are other examples from the past like Sir Alex who was notorious for banning journalists from Old Trafford like Stalin picking off his competitors. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Mark Ogden of The Telegraph who ably played the role of Trotsky

several times, and ended up getting the metaphorical axe to the face for his troubles. But surely in a democratic society, with supposedly free press, the idea of banning journalists from football stadiums is unjust? The story which broke the Camel’s, or perhaps Hippo’s (if we are referring to Newcastle’s hierarchy of Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear) back was Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle’s coverage of a Newcastle United protest named #time4change - a peaceful march ordained by council and police alike that went through Newcastle’s city centre before the Liverpool match a few weeks ago. Newcastle United argued that the amount of pages the Chronicle gave the march was excessive, comprising the front page of the paper, an inside spread and four pages in the sports section. They argued this was disproportionate to the significance of the actual event. This does seem extreme, however, when I flicked through a copy of the Evening Chronicle I counted 12 pages

out of 60 dedicated to Newcastle, and this is after the media ban. On the other hand, if Newcastle didn’t cover the march, they would be doing a huge disservice to the fans that buy the paper. It is the definition of a ‘lose-lose’ situation.

Photo: @EveningChron

Newcastle can turn their own official match-day programme into £3 issues laden with propaganda which defends their players with religious fervor. But surely it is the media’s job to relay the truth to the public and give them

insight that they would otherwise be unable to receive? Journalism as a whole is in a precarious place. There is a fine line between creating press regulations and total censorship, and it will be a line which the government will need to tread very lightly. Yes, Rebekah Brooks needs to be punished for residing over a phone hacking scandal, but surely writing something that upsets an owner of a football club should not be any reason to ban journalists from stadiums? The question is, who can, or perhaps who will, stand up for the journalists of today? Who will stick up for that rare breed of person who thrives off scandal, and makes football managers’ lives a living hell? Other members of the national press rallied around NCJ Media at a Newcastle United press conference the other day upon hearing the branch of North-East media were to be banned from Newcastle matches. Questions were refused and other members of

the press asked them in their place. The conference resembled the last scene from ‘Sparticus’ in which everyone claimed that they were the eponymous hero. In short, it was a complete shambles. My request to the FA is the following: stand up to tyrannical ownerships and to small time mediocre sports brand owners and give the power back to the press. This is not for the sake of the newspapers, but for the sake of the fans. In a time of economic struggle, many fans can’t afford to go the matches or afford ever-increasing Sky Sport packages. They will turn to the papers to get the inside-scoop. In the 150-year anniversary of the FA, in times when they claim to be returning to the roots of their football heritage, how can they simply stand by when football is being destroyed from the top down?

Raging Bull:Phil Vickery Former England rugby captain spoke to Tom Dowler at the launch of his new Raging Bull leisure clothing range at House of Fraser Tom Dowler Sport Editor

Legends XV against their Australian counterparts, turning out for a charity game at the Twickenham Stoop. Phil revealed that he was anxious ahead of the game because of his run of injuries and a recent neck operation necessary because he couldn’t open his hand due to nerve damage. However, Phil didn’t turn down the chance to muck in once again with the class of ’03, sadly he didn’t make the highlights reel quite like his front-row colleague Steve Thompson did with a length-of-the-field score (well worth a watch on YouTube), but he turned out for a great cause and helped England to an enjoyable 17-12 victory. Phil originally delved into the world of rugby team-wear with customised playing kits for rugby clubs. After much success, the Raging Bull

I had the pleasure of meeting former England rugby captain Phil Vickery MBE at House of Fraser, Deansgate for the launch of his new Raging Bull Leisure clothing range, last Thursday. Vickery was capped 73-times by his country, went on two British and Irish Lions tours and captained England to the final of the 2007 World Cup in France. Known for his devastating scrummaging ability and ball-carrying prowess, Sir Clive Woodward named the former Gloucester and Wasps favourite the Raging Bull. In 2003, Martin Johnson captained the glorious generation of English rugby to World Cup glory in Australia in dramatic circumstances. I asked Phil the obvious question, to find out if that night in Sydney (in which England won 20-17 in extra-time) was the highlight of his career. “Its very difficult to sum up one moment that you’ll remember forever. For me it’s a combination: my first cap for England versus Wales in what was the Five Nations back then in 1998, running out in front of 76,000 people for the first time, captaining my country and getting to the (World Cup) Final in 2007…winning Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership medals. “But I still have a trophy at home which I was awarded playing for Bude colts – my hometown in Cornwall for coming next to last in the merit table! But that little trophy means an awful lot. “The Rugby World Cup will be remembered for that iconic moment. People will tell you where they were, what they were doing and what it meant. This country stood still for those four seconds of flight for that final dropkick from Jonny Wilkinson. But there are so many little moments that mean an awful lot to me.” Phil Vickery’s New Raging Bull clothing range Later that evening, Phil laced up his boots once again for the England

brand expanded to include leisure wear. Vickery juggled an immensely successful playing career with a desire to establish his brand in the fashion world. Sadly, a serious reoccurring neck injury forced him to hang up his playing boots in 2010. For a former front-row forward, Phil demonstrates a lot of versatility; he developed a thriving fashion label, but he won Celebrity Masterchef in 2011! In business, we all know relationships are very important and Phil and the Raging Bull team have established an excellent rapport with House of Fraser. He said he is immensely proud that the Manchester House of Fraser concession is the 26th store to stock his clothing. “I’m very lucky in my rugby career with what I achieved…but I always needed something else to do, you can get so absorbed in one thing.” Vickery was renowned for his leadership on and off the pitch for both club and country and this shines through in his business ventures. He takes great pride in his clothing: “It’s very well made, it’s very resilient and it’s of great quality. Yes I want to develop the range more…but under no circumstances is the quality compromised.” Phil also gave a prediction ahead of the first QBE Autumn International between England and Australia at Twickenham. Vickery backed England to win by a score, picking the home side to win by 32 points to 28. Stuart Lancaster’s side won 20-13, with the back-line miss-firing and some argue that the home crowd helped influence a few of the officials’ key decisions. Vickery said that the squad has great potential, “I’m excited by this England team…I want to know what this England team stands for? They can make a statement to the World.” With the Rugby World Cup taking place on English soil in 2015, he added, “These guys can create a legacy and be heroes.”

Photo: Julian Brown. Pictured (Left-to-Right) Callum Millar, Phil Vickery MBE and Tom Dowler (......................................) Pictured (from left-to right: Callum Millar, Phil Photo: Vickery Mbe and Tom Dowler

Competition Time!

We have five Raging Bull polo shirts to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the following question:

Against which team did Phil Vickery win his first England cap? To enter, follow and message @mancunion_sport on Twitter with your answer, or email your response to Winners will be notified by Mancunion Sport when the prize draw has taken place. Entries close at midnight on Sunday 17th November 2013, you must live in Manchester to enter.

View the full interview (filmed by Fuse TV’s Callum Millar) on YouTube: Search for Phil Vickery Interview for FuseTV. Or scan the QR code to be automatically directed.

SPORT : 31


Focus on Women’s Sport

The only way is hoop Leeds too strong for valiant Manchester in relegation battle at the Armitage Centre University of Manchester 1sts


Leeds Met Carnegie 2nds


Thomas Turner Sport Editor Manchester women’s basketball 1sts suffered their fourth consecutive defeat of the season on Wednesday, losing 4532 to fellow strugglers Leeds Carnegie 2nds at the Armitage Centre. Both sides entered the game experiencing torrid runs of form, with Manchester without a win in their last five and Leeds in their last three. However, while Leeds had opened their 2013-14 campaign with two narrow defeats, Manchester’s opening three games saw them going into the match with an eye-watering points difference of -102, much as a result of their 62-12 defeat at home to Newcastle in their second game. This however did not show in the spirits of the Manchester squad, who along with coach John Brady looked

ready and raring to go prior to the start. In the battle of the Northern 1A bottom two it was the visitors who took the early initiative, racing into a 6-0 lead in just a matter of minutes. Sadly, the six point deficit was as close as the hosts would get to Leeds for the remainder of the match, as they toiled to get back into contention against the physical visitors. Missed chances proved costly for Manchester who failed to convert any of their six free-throws in the first period. Leeds on the other hand were far more effective on the break, regularly converting chances to race into a 12-4 lead at the end of the first period. Manchester came out stronger in the second period, with their number six Hamzah converting a number of chances to keep the hosts in touching distance. However despite Leeds being notably less clinical, they still managed to retain a strong lead thanks to their powerful number nine, ending the second period 24-15 in front. Despite continuous hard work Manchester struggled to close the gap

in the third period, though Rawat was unfortunate not to score from distance on a number of occasions, which, on another day would have brought Manchester back into contention. An increasingly physical game was typified by Hamzah taking a knock to the face half way through the third period as Manchester reaped little joy from their attempts to drive through the cente, taking them into the final quarter nine points behind at 21-30. And any hope of a fairytale comeback was dashed by the visitors within minutes of the final period beginning, as some good attacking play from Leeds saw them add a further seven points without a purple reply. By the time the hosts did begin to put points on the board, it was sadly too little, too late, with Leeds able to comfortably see out the game with a convincing 45-32 victory. It is however testament to the home team that they continued to press until the very end, and their coach John Brady was the first to congratulate their efforts as the horn sounded for full time.

While Leeds returned home celebrating their first win of the campaign, it is now sadly six defeats in a row for Manchester, with a trip to Lancaster coming up next week. With Lancaster sitting third bottom of the table before Wednesday’s fixtures, you do feel that it is now somewhat of a must win game for Manchester, if they are to avoid being one of the two sides to be relegated at the end of the season from an incredibly tough Northern 1A

division. However on today’s evidence, regardless of the results MUBC women’s 1sts will undoubtedly continue to exhibit their unrivalled team spirit and hunger for the remainder of the season, and for that, they and their coach deserve huge credit. Woman of the match: F. Hamzah (6). Was a powerful driving forward for the home-side, and on another day would have scored a hatful of points.

Sheffield ‘foiled’! Way of the Warrior

Jennifer Schofield’s impressive lunging swipes victory from Sheffield 1sts University of Manchester 1sts


University of Sheffield 1sts


Seamus Soal and Bryony Spencer Sport Reporters Sugden Centre’s Hall C rang with cries of “Stick ‘em with the pointy end!” on Wednesday afternoon when Manchester Women’s 1st Team faced off against a steely Sheffield side. Even though Sheffield’s team featured a member of the Northern Ireland national squad, and Manchester were missing two members of their squad, the home-side owned the piste to slash their way to victory. This now leaves the Manchester Women’s fencing team undefeated in

the BUCS league. The afternoon’s fencing occurred in three phases. In the opening Epée round, competitors target their opponent’s entire body, having to hit them with the point of their blade (á la Game of Thrones) to score. Here, it swiftly became clear Sheffield were advantaged by the fact one of their number’s tall height lent her impressive reach. Her opponents were forced to lunge further than usual, leaving themselves exposed to her blade. But Manchester overcame this, emerging with 45 points to Sheffield’s 38. This was followed by the Foil round, in which the confusing ‘right of way’ rule applies: should both fencers land a blow simultaneously, the point goes to the competitor identified as the ‘attacker’. Simple in theory, but in practice, rapid bursts of parries and lunges meant even the referees

struggled to tell what was going on and baffled us as spectators. Trailing 39-41 before the final Foil match, Manchester needed a strong display from Jennifer Schofield if they were to finish the round on top – and she didn’t let us down. Despite having to tape-up her footwear, Schofield’s mastery with the Foil won her six successive points in a devastating comeback. Her lunging was consistently impressive all afternoon, knee almost dropping to the floor, giving her incredible reach and speed. With the scores at 90-79 overall, Manchester needed just 35 points in the final round, that of the Sabre, to win. This round easily provides the most adrenaline as all parts of the sword are used, competitors lamping one another into submission. One of Sheffield’s number was shown to favour the Sabre, as she consistently boasted throughout the afternoon, relentlessly chasing opponents across the piste in a vicious 15-point comeback that suddenly made a Manchester victory uncertain. Enter Nicole Rajan. Her performance in the penultimate bout brought Manchester the points they so desperately needed. All that was left then was for Jennifer to face Sheffield’s aggressive ‘Sabruese’. This final match turned into a sabre masterclass that brought the overall score to 135-121 to Manchester. All three Mancunian fencers performed at a consistently high level, and Women’s Captain Nicole was keen to stress that the afternoon’s victory arose from a team effort. “This was the hardest match of the season so far,” she acknowledged as Manchester celebrated their win, “but we have a really strong team.” Even with the absence of two of its members.

Seamus Soal takes a look at the UoM martial-arts scene Seamus Soal Sport Reporter Gold for University Kickboxing team! Laura Wylde comes away with the gold medal at the world championships and has become the very first world kickboxing champion for the University. Laura represented England in the WKC 5th annual world championships at Taranto, Italy. She won her gold in the Women’s continuous 65kg category and also picked up a silver medal in the ladies team event. She triumphed over the hosting nation’s Adrianna Fossaluzza in the final and was able to knock Adrianna on the floor; the Italian made several futile attempts at a clinch game but this was quickly dissolved by superb boxing combinations and Laura was consistent in winding her opponent with powerful rear leg sidekicks to the stomach. Speaking to Laura, she claimed that the key to her success was fitness. “I have worked hard this year to put my fitness at

its highest level and that was the key for the win in the final. When it came down to it, I had more in the tank than my opponent and was able to remain strong until the end.” This adds to the success of Laura and the Chinese Kickboxing club as she also won gold at the British championships in June. I asked Laura what her world champion status meant to her as a university kickboxing member, “It’s a fantastic feeling! Everyone at the club has been really supportive and it was great to bring home a gold medal to friends that I train alongside every week. It’s also great to be able to show the new members what they can achieve if they stick

at it!” Laura as a fighter is known for sharp movement around her opponent followed up by an explosion of quick hands and crippling kicks. Her focus on personal techniques in the build up to the world championships was to include more blocks, evasions and counters into her arsenal. Essentially, to be met in a square on cross fire with Laura is something any fighter would choose to avoid. Congratulations to Laura and an excellent start to the upcoming year for the Manchester University Chinese Kickboxing. Success for Shotokan Karate The University’s Shotokan karate club recently attended the KUGB northern regional competition. England international and club captain Cristina Finta led the charge by bringing home a wonderful medal tally. Cristina won the gold medal in the Ladies Dan Grade Kata and picked up two silver medals in the Ladies Individual Kumite and the Ladies Team Kumite. Cristina was not alone in the medal count as her fellow team mates got involved in the action, bringing their combined total to 8 medals. Victoria Ogunseitan: Ladies Senior Kumite, Bronze Medal, Ladies Team Kumite, Silver Medal. Erica Pericas Hewitt: Ladies Team Kumite, Silver Medal. Josh Croft: Men’s Kyu Grade Kata, Silver Medal. Sam Humphrey: Men’s Team Kumite, Bronze Medal. Speaking on the club’s performance Cristina has said, “I am so pleased with the performances, everyone showed great spirit. We want to thank our instructor Sensei Garry Harford for the exceptional standard of teaching we get and the support he gives us at every competition. He is a fantastic inspiration.” A great day for the enthusiasts of the classic Japanese martial art, well done Shotokan Karate!




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Shutler stuns Leeds

UoM grab first victory of the season over table topping Leeds University of Manchester


Shutler (x3), Westmascott. University of Leeds


Andy Dowdeswell & Rob Eden Sport Reporters A miserable day in Manchester welcomed the University of Leeds to the Armitage Centre. Looking for their first win of the season, and against top of the league Leeds, Manchester were facing a tough challenge that they excelled in. Pressurising in defence and incisive in attack, Manchester never looked troubled throughout the 80 minutes. Starting brightly, Manchester broke the Leeds University defence just 10 minutes in. A pressing kick from the impressive fly half Watson was taken over the try line by Leeds for a five-metre scrum. The resulting scrum rumbled forward and the scrum half Claire Shutler proceeded to score the opening try, bustling through the opposition no. 10 in the process. A simple conversion added the two points. After Manchester missed various openings through handling errors, they eventually capitalised upon the pressure they put Leeds under. A similarly dangerous kick from Watson was this time collected and cleared

by Leeds, but straight to the hands of Olivia Westmacott, who stepped her opposing number, and with an impressive turn of pace ran the ball into the corner. The resulting conversion was missed from a tight angle, making the score 12 – 0 after 15 minutes. Heading into half time, Manchester continued to defend astutely as Leeds began to grow into the game. A good spell of possession for Leeds arguably should have seen them pull a try back, but a crunching tackle from Megan Grant-Hill meant Manchester went into the break without conceding. Manchester equally had a few more chances to add to the score line which should have been converted, even in such difficult conditions, but lacked conviction in their execution. In the second half, Manchester initially lost their discipline, giving away countless penalties for offside, but their domination was preserved. With an injury to Westmacott, Manchester readied a substitution. In the process, with 14 women on the field, the forwards drove right up to the 22. Shutler, sniping around the edge of the ruck, complemented the impressive drive; she made another great break, only to be stopped on the fivemetre line. The ‘cry’ for hands from spectators, seeing a big overlap on the far right side, was met. However, with what can only be described as a replica of Ben Kay’s tragic drop in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, Manchester failed to convert the opportunity, with

UoM rally to victory

UoM volleyball move off bottom of the table with Liverpool win University of Manchester University of Liverpool



Andrew Georgeson & Eve Yongo UoM volleyball recorded their first victory of the season with an impressive win over a good Liverpool team at the Sugden Centre. Manchester lost their first three games of the season against Northumbria, Warwick and Durham in straight sets

and this trend seemed in no hurry to improve as they lost the first set 25-10. Much of the credit for score has to go to Liverpool’s American import Potschulat who got a hat-trick of aces in the opening exchanges to put Manchester under pressure, as well as scoring 2 further points from open play. Despite two time-outs, Manchester could not find any rhythm, and of the 15 points that they managed to score, 8 were picked up from faults.

the winger knocking on while trying to cushion the incoming pass. It seemed that the indiscipline had begun to affect the handling in the back line as well, questioning whether Manchester would be able to finish this game off. Perhaps players’ minds were drifting back to their last time out, in which a victory was stolen from hosts in the final moments of the game. Shutler resolved any concerns; the Leeds scrum (as a result of the knock on) was won by Manchester and Shutler showed her predatory instincts to add another try to her tally at the 52 minute mark. The scrum-half picked up from the back of the scrum and charged over the line, taking the Leeds scrum half with her, who clung on in hope. The conversion

was again missed but the try seemed to calm a nervous opening to the second half. Manchester regained their opening dominance, and a lovely break from No. 8 Katy Mulqueen, required four people to bring her down. Mulqueen had bundled into the try zone in a Jonah Lomu-esque fashion, but was unfortunately held up, resulting in a five-metre scrum. From the scrum, Manchester again attacked down the right flank, a lovely flowing move from the Manchester backs released Balchin, playing at inside centre, to finish with consummate ease. Making the score 22 – 0, the result was sealed, but Manchester continued pressing enjoying the attacking opportunities

Manchester’s dominance in the line-out helped them to a 22-0 victory over Leeds Photo: The Mancunion

Manchester started the second set with a point to prove. Although Liverpool had the quality in the individual ranks to probably put the game to bed, in truth, they didn’t look particularly bothered. Manchester on the other hand were out to ruffle some feathers, and with a renewed sense of belief epitomised by their captain Paschali they really took the game to Liverpool who had very little response, and the sets were leveled with Manchester winning 25-17. Goals for UoM An extremely tight third set saw Max Liverpool captain pull back in front mainly through the brilliant Franchi Drakeley who

scored 7 of Liverpool’s 25 points. Apart from this stand out performance there was very little between the two teams as Manchester pushed Liverpool all the way in a set that finished 25-21 to Liverpool. Without the individual class of Franchi it may have been a different story, as for every point she scored, Liverpool would give one away with a fault. Manchester finally got the rewards that their effort deserved in the fourth set. Liverpool’s decline continued, again giving away 14 faults to aid

they were getting. Leeds struggled to mount any serious challenge with outstanding defence from Manchester’s Kayleigh Balchin and a monster hit from player of the match Shutler, making us question whether there was anything the magical No. 9 couldn’t do. Fittingly, the final try of the game was the best and also scored on the counter by, you guessed it, Shutler. Breaking through the line of defence in her own 22, she raced away from the opposition to run it in with ease. Asked about this post-match, the hat-trick hero said, “I just saw the ball on the floor, picked it up and headed for a bit of space. I was a bit terrified when I looked around and all I could see was green, but I trusted my pace and was quite glad when I got to the try line.” An excellent try to round off an excellent performance from Manchester, with the final score Manchester 27 Leeds 0. Looking forward, we asked Shutler what she thought was possible for this team, “I think we can go to the top.” There is a bristling confidence around this team, and expect to see them add to this convincing victory over the coming weeks. The win sees Manchester move up to third position in the Northern 1A division, four points adrift of league leaders Sheffield who are the only team to beat Manchester this year. Going by this performance, Manchester has every right to believe they can go to the top. Their next fixture is away to Keele University who sit at the bottom of the league. the Manchester cause. This alongside a sterling performance from Godaret gave Manchester a comfortable victory. Manchester were confident going into the final set which was, only played to 15 points instead of 25. Again, captain Paschali lead by example, scoring 6 points. The match was finally wrapped up with Soysal scoring the winning point. The victory moves Manchester off the bottom of the league as they go into their next match against bottom side Sheffield University.

Focus on Women’s Sport