THE ESSENTIAL MONTHLY FOR ALL AMERICANS
THE AMERICAN • JUNE 2009 • Issue 674
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RESTAURANT REVIEWS WHAT’S ON GUIDES SPORTS • POLITICS MUSIC • ARTS
GRAHAM GOULDMAN The Hit Songsmith Talks 10cc www.theamerican.co.uk
The American Museum
July 4th Offer
Music Meets Fashion at
Chelsea Arts Festival
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The American Issue 674 – June 2009 Published by Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Publisher: Michael Burland +44 (0)1747 830328 firstname.lastname@example.org Please contact us with your news or article ideas Advertising & Promotions: Sabrina Sully, Commercial Director +44 (0)1747 830520 email@example.com Subscriptions enquiries: Phone +44 (0)1747 830328, email firstname.lastname@example.org Correspondents: Virginia Schultz, Wining & Dining email@example.com Mary Bailey, Social firstname.lastname@example.org Cece Mills, Arts email@example.com Jarlath O’Connell, Theater firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Pickens, Columnist email@example.com Richard Gale, Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Sean Chaplin, Sports email@example.com Dom Mills, Motorsports firstname.lastname@example.org Jeremy Lanaway, Hockey email@example.com Riki Evans Johnson, European firstname.lastname@example.org ©2009 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by The Westdale Press Ltd 70 Portmanmoor Road, Industrial Estate, East Moors, Cardiff CF24 5HB Main cover image: Graham Gouldman. Inset: Chelsea Arts Festival Fashion Show
t’s a fascinating time for politics. Last month saw the removal of the Speaker of the House of Commons for the first time in over three centuries. Just as Americans have regained faith in their leaders, the British seem to have lost all respect for theirs. This month’s Euro and local elections may throw up some interesting results. Once at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, where orators can find an audience and an argument, an engaging young hippie stood up on his beautifully painted soap box and told us he was a member of the Anarchist Speakers Union. Sensing an oxymoron, I asked him about it – he was the only current member, there had been three but one was in jail and the other had disappeared. The punchline of his speech was this. “They tell us we live in a democracy, we can vote for whoever we want. But I can’t vote for you, madam, or you, sir. The only people we can vote for are those who want to be voted for. And they are the last people you want to vote for!” I can’t help thinking that Tom Paine would have laughed, and approved. They’re celebrating Paine’s anniversary in Norfolk – see our article to find out how to join in. And why not get down to Speakers Corner on any Sunday. Enjoy your magazine.
SOME OF THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS
Liz Prest is a respected image consultant who runs courses and individual sessions. This month she has some great advice on Dress Codes for the Season.
James Hickman is the American MD of one of Britain’s leading foreign exchange companies. This month he has some sage advice about changes in IRS forms.
Alison Holmes PhD is the Pierre Keller Fellow of Transatlantic Studies at Yale University and The American’s political ‘Transatlantic Columnist’
Don’t forget to check out The American online at www.theamerican.co.uk The entire contents of The American and www.theamerican.co.uk are protected by copyright and no part of it may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information in The American is accurate, the editor and publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.
In This Issue... The American • Issue 674 • June 2009
News The American Museum in Britain has a great offer for readers of The American (see below) and a great Music Festival to watch or take part in
11 Diary Dates The strangest, classiest and silliest events around the UK
14 Music Graham Gouldman’s songwriting career started with a No.1 hit for the Yardbirds. The 10cc and Wax man tells Michael Burland all about it 18 D-Day Carol Gould remembers the thousands of young men who made the ultimate sacrifice 65 years ago this month
19 Ben Franklin’s House A true polymath, a scholar, a scientist, a diplomat, possibly a spy and definitely an ageing Lothario. Visit Franklin’s house in London 20 The Social Swirl You must go to one of the British summer social Season events. But get the dress code right. Liz Prest explains all 22 Momma Cherri She’s lived in Britain for 30 years but Momma Cherri is all American – just like her soul food. Read her fascinating story
★ READER OFFER ★ 2-for-1 admission ★ 4th JULY ★ The American Museum in Britain
2-for-1 admission to the American Museum in Britain’s 4th July celebrations. Just show a copy of this edition of The American at the entrance ticket office. The day includes The Crown Forces Drill Display, family games and activities and a rock ‘n’ roll band who’ll teach the audience some dance steps. 12noon-5pm. Entrance to all these events is included with grounds & exhibition admission – Adults £5.50, Seniors/Student s£4.50, Children £3.50.Full ticket including Museum Adults £8.00, Seniors/Students £7.00, Children £4.50.
24 Recipe: Jambalaya Momma Cherri’s special recipe 25 What The IRS Wants The tax man has made some big changes to the forms you must complete 26 Coffee Break Take a break and have some fun 28 Wining & Dining A Snowdonian spa hotel, two top restaurants and a new Spaghetti House – something for every pocket
34 Arts Cece Mills finds the best arts events in Britain, Virigina Schultz visits an interesting gallery and Estelle Lovatt reports on Tony Bennett’s gift to the Smithsonian
39 Theater Reviews A Little Night Musical, Death And The King’s Horseman and The Light In The Piazza, reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell 44 Politics Is modern war becoming remote controlled? Alison Holmes looks at the dangers 46 Drive Time Ford Britain celebrates two birthdays this month, while Ian Kerr goes to Dubrovnic to test drive two Peugeots
50 Sports NFL Draft grades, June tennis, and the NHL reaches the Stanley Cup Finals 56 American Organizations Your comprehensive guide and a profile of the American Women of Surrey 64 Paw Talk Rebel needs help from the Dog Whisperer 3
FVAP Slogan Winners The Federal Voting Assistance Program has announced the winning slogans of its biennial Voting Slogan Contest, as seen in The American. The slogans will be used to promote participation in the democratic process among citizens covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act – that’s members of the Uniformed Services, the Merchant Marine, their families, and all U.S. Citizens residing outside the United States including civilians. They will be featured in the 2010-2011 Voting Assistance Guide, on motivational posters, and other FVAP publications. This year, the department received more than 1,600 slogans from all branches of the Uniformed Services, the State Department, local election oﬃcials and citizens living around the world. A panel of judges which included Members of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and Service Voting Action Oﬃcers was asked to rank their top selections based on originality and motivational value. The winners will receive a letter and certificate of congratulations from the Department. The winning entries were: “Honor the past, support the future – vote!” 1st Place, by Andrea K. Bristol, Army. “Vote Today for Tomorrow’s Future” 2nd Place, James R. Hopkins Jr., USN. “Never too far away to have your say! VOTE!” 3rd Place, Jill E. Pigo, USN. “Don’t just protect the right to vote, use it!” 4th Place by Sgt Michael D. Travers, USMC.
Chelsea Arts Festival
n these challenging times there are some things you can’t put a value on – like eleven days of fine performance, art and entertainment, as promised by the Chelsea Arts Festival from June 13th to 24th. For the past 16 years, the Chelsea Arts Festival has celebrated the cultural heritage and diverse community which is Chelsea with events, exhibitions and openings taking place throughout this fascinating and varied quarter of London. These joint explorations of performance, art and place encourage thousands of visitors to participate. The highlight of the 2009 Festival will be rock legend and member of Yes, Rick Wakeman (pictured above), celebrating his 60th birthday with a concert involving a cast of over 100 including full orchestra and the English Chamber Choir conducted by Guy Protheroe. At this opening concert Rick will perform parts of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and some of his many film scores. The Festival’s finale takes the form of a tribute to the music of the great Paul Robeson by the world renowned baritone Sir Willard White and there will be a jazz concert at the Cadogan Hall headlined by the sensational jazz singer and songwriter Claire Teal.
Also performing are the legendary Boisdale Blue Rhythm Band, featuring music by Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. Other events include a Festival Hat Show and supper at Peter Jones, Sloane Square; foremost impersonator Jan Ravens at the Chelsea Arts Club; gospel and jazz singer Mica Paris at Chelsea’s 606 Club nightspot; in the State Apartments, Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the legendary Chelsea Pensioners, soprano Laura Mitchell and the Brodowski Quartet; summer street parties around the area and a quintessential English event – the annual Festival Cricket Match at Burton’s Court, in the heart of Chelsea. Many events are free: enjoy fascinating guided walks around Chelsea on all weekdays, visit Exhibitions, meet Artists in their studios, tour Historic Buildings and enjoy private Chelsea Gardens. Enjoy Summer, see and be seen at Chelsea Arts Festival. For full information of all events visit www.chelseaartsfestival.org or call for tickets on 0845 890 2435.
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St. Marks Saved?
he historic Mayfair church used by Americans throughout Word War II and beyond, which has been under threat of development as a spa (see previous issues of The American), has been given a reprieve. Lady Sainsbury, President of the Save St. Marks Action Group, thanked the London Diocesan Bishop’s Council for rejecting developer George Hammer’s revised terms of £55,000 per annum to lease the contested London church. “I hope that this decision represents the first step towards the Diocese securing the church as a place of worship, which is what I and the group will continue to campaign for,” she said. Hammer, who owns other former church buildings in London, still has the option to purchase St. Mark’s, but would have to pay a premium believed to be £1m plus another £1m over ten years, plus the repairs liability. The church has no planning permission, which was refused when it went to Westminster City Council last December. Kirk Mitchell, 39, who leads the grassroots campaign added, “The war may not be over, but this round of it has come right, and we look forward to welcoming back a lively, out-going congregation to this building as soon as possible.”
Tom Paine 200
homas Paine was born on January 29, 1737, the son of a corset-maker in Thetford, Norfolk, whose life, thoughts, activities and and writings helped shape the political development of two continents and the democratic world we live in today. This free-thinking radical, a best-selling author in his day, was involved directly in both the American and French revolutions. The bicentenary of his death, on June 8, 1809, will be remembered in his home town with a host of activities from May until November this year. A hundred years ago, Paine’s centenary was marked in Thetford by a single civic dinner. These days Paine’s significance is more widely recognised, especially by Americans, who realise the importance of his pamphlets and treatises like Common Sense, Rights of Man and The Age of Reason. The extensive celebrations planned for 2009 reflect this awareness. They also show the harsh reality of conditions for common people in Georgian England. A Re-enactment and Heritage Weekend is set to bring his story to
James Gillray, political cartoonist and satirist of the day, depicts Paine attempting to force French ways on an unwilling Britannia
life from June 6 to 7. Diss Museum has a series of events in the early part of the year. At Thetford Library local artists explore the life and times of the town’s most famous son from May 26 to June 6. Folk rock radicals The Men They Couldn’t Hang, always inspired by Paine (their song The Colours says “I was woken to my misery/ By the words of Thomas Paine” will be playing at the opening concert and there will be dozens of other other musical, artistic, theatrical, political and historical events throughout the summer and fall. There will be processions, kids’ activities, even a Georgian cricket match, in which 11 members of Thetford Cricket Club will play against 25 challengers using the rules and equipment of the eighteenth century. Get more details on www. tompaine200.co.uk, or join the fun with the Tom Paine 200 Celebrations Group on Facebook.
Twinkle the owl with Keith Mutton, Mildenhall’s bird trainer, and a British guest at the 75th anniversary event.
RAF Mildenhall Celebrates 75 Years
Olympic Spirit at RIAT and Farnborough
ore than 1,000 military, civilian and official guests attended a celebration of RAF Mildenhall’s 75th anniversary celebrations May 15, despite a morning rainstorm. The event included aircraft displays, flying and static, and demonstrations of how different parts of the RAF Mildenhall mission have changed over its the years including the base’s fire department, special operations ground units, the 100th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs and an close look at some of the base’s raptors, used to keep the bird population at a safe minimum. A select few were able to compare today’s Mildenhall to the base in their own distant memories. Former RAF Airman 1st Class Charlie Woolford, 88, stared in wonder as more than 20 aircraft from the early days of the base streamed in. The aircraft later departed the base in a recreation of the historical 1934 England to Australia Air Race. Mr. Woolford wondered where such an immaculate, large collection of vintage aircraft, including many 1930s Tiger Moth biplanes, was found. “It’s great that someone’s able to keep them,” he said. Comparing them to the modern U.S. Air Force
planes on display, he commented “I look at these, and I look at the ones behind me and I don’t know what to say. The difference is so incredible.” Taking a first-hand look at one of RAF Mildenhall’s current aircraft, a KC-135 Stratotanker, Mr. Woolford said he was amazed at how such a large, advanced aircraft could be flown with such a small crew. Master Sgt. Mike Carroll, a loadmaster with the 7th Special Operations Squadron who crewed an MC-130 Combat Talon II during the airpower demonstration, said he was honored to be able to be a part of such a monumental occasion. “I was so glad to have been given the chance to participate in this, especially to be able to showcase the special ops airpower.” Six-year-old Noah Ogle, son of Senior Master Sgt. William Ogle and his wife, Kim, was too busy enjoying lunch to say what his favorite part of the show was, but nodded enthusiastically when asked if he was having fun. Charlie Woolford summed up the experience. “How this place has grown,” he said, as he watched another 70-year-old airplane touch down softly on the runway.
wo of the UK’s most prestigious airshows have worked together to reschedule their show dates for 2012 to fit alongside the London Olympic Games. The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), held annually at RAF Fairford, and Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) have a history of supporting one another and working together. In 2008, FIA organisers helped their friendly rival when RIAT was called off due to extreme weather conditions, by opening their doors to the Friends of RIAT. This time, RIAT is helping to accommodate Farnborough ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games. FIL’s biennial airshow was scheduled for July 16-22, but this clashed with the Olympic Games which will take place between July 27 and August 12. Traditionally, RIAT is held on the weekend prior to Farnborough in order to enable military chiefs and senior aerospace figures to attend both. To keep this tradition, both shows have agreed to move their dates forward by one week. Farnborough International Airshow will now take place July 9-15, preceded by the Royal International Air Tattoo on July 7-8, 2012.
The American Museum in Britain The only museum of Americana outside the United States.
THIS MONTH OUR REGULAR QUILTING BEE Tuesdays, 12 noon - 4pm NICK LANGSTON & THE HIPCATS Jazz quintet performing classics from Sinatra, Dean Martin, Gershwin, Cole Porter and Fred Astaire. June 14, 2pm MOTORCYCLE RALLY Harley Davidson Clubs display their bikes and giving an informal talk on the history of these extraordinary machines. June 21, 2pm MUSIC FESTIVAL A two-day celebration of traditional American music.. Learn new skills, show off your abilities and enjoy the talents of others in workshops, performances and demonstrations. Banjo Master Class (pre-booking required), Singing Workshop, Appalachian Dancing with the Applejacks, performances by Stompin’ Dave and We Banjo 3 and a ‘Have-A-Go’ Hootenanny’ when anyone of any age and ability can get involved. £20 fee includes museum admission and the afternoon concert. June 27-28
Open 12.00-5.00pm. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays and month of August Claverton Manor near Bath. 01225 460503 www.americanmuseum.org
Look carefully through the door on the left. What is that ﬁgure?
There’s A Ghost In My House Those might be the thoughts of the shade of Dr Edward Jenner, the inventor of vaccination and “Father of Immunology”. Jenner lived in The Chantry, a beautiful country house at Berkeley, Gloucestershire from 1785 to his death in 1823. It was here that he pioneered vaccination against Smallpox, saving millions of lives. But it is not his ghost that is causing a commotion at the Chantry. “There have always been stories of ghosts at the Edward Jenner Museum. We usually take them with a large pinch of salt”, says Sarah Parker, the museum’s director. But Chris Sandys, a visiting BBC photographer, may have have unwittingly captured a ghostly image whilst working in the attics. “I don’t believe in ghosts myself ”, says Chris, “but this is strange! As soon as I’d taken the panoramic photo, I reviewed the image on the camera, and straight away noticed this strange formation of light, shaped like a figure, through the doorway in the next room. Without moving I did a few takes to try and work out what had caused it but couldn’t see anything. So weird!” In a weird coincidence, the Jenner Museum in Berkeley has just opened up its attic for the first time to create a brand new exhibition, ‘Ghosts in the Attic: from
Smallpox to MMR’. The attic has never before been opened up to the public. It is a wonderful time-capsule that retains much of its original 18th/19th century character. Visitors can experience a video and sound installation as well as ambient smells! The exhibition discusses the history of vaccination from compulsory vaccination in the 19th century to the current media debate regarding MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination. (The access to the attic is steep via two staircases.) Sarah Parker adds, “We have always thought of the ‘ghosts’ as being metaphoric, but maybe we need to think again. We are truly flabbergasted by the image. We have graffiti from soldiers previously billeted in the attic rooms from the 19th/20th century and perhaps this is one of them or even one of Jenner’s servants.” Visitors can find out for themselves with weekend tours of the attic. An evening Halloween tour of the attic is also planned. Chris’ image can be seen in a larger format on the BBC Gloucestershire website http://www.bbc. co.uk/gloucestershire/content/panoramas/jenner_attic_1_360.shtml and more information about the museum can be found at www.jennermuseum.com or by calling 01453 810631.
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Embassy News www.usembassy.org.uk
Warden Message Update on Flu Outbreak in Mexico
f you are traveling home to the United States or to Mexico and are concerned about the reports of H1N1 Inﬂuenza, the Embassy suggests that you visit visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s website at http://www. cdc.gov/swineﬂu & http://www.cdc. gov/travel/contentSwineFluUS.aspx for the latest information. The governments of the United States and Mexico are working closely together to contain the current outbreak of H1N1 inﬂuenza. In accordance with measures announced by the City of Mexico to limit the congregation of large crowds, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City suspended all non-essential consular services for a week at end April. Consular services for U.S. citizens was limited to citizenship applications (passports and consular reports of birth abroad, or CRBA) and emergency assistance only. These were precautionary measures only, taken to best assure the well-being of our clients and staff. The United States has imposed no additional constraints or limitations on travel between the United States and Mexico. Travelers are encouraged to comply with suggestions by Mexican public health oﬃcials and to be alert to good health and sanitation practices. The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Mexico that most cases of
inﬂuenza are not “H1N1 ﬂu”; any specific questions or concerns about ﬂu or other illnesses should be directed to a medical professional. Mexico City medical authorities urge people to avoid hospitals and clinics unless they have a medical emergency, since hospitals are centers of infection; instead, those with health concerns are encouraged to stay home and call their physicians to avoid potential exposure. Although the U.S. Embassy cannot give medical advice or provide medical services to the public, a list of hospitals and doctors can be found on our website at http://mexico. usembassy.gov/eng/eacs_medical_info.html. At this time the Mexican Secretariat of Health urges people to avoid large crowds, shaking hands, kissing people as a greeting, or using the subway. Maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other persons may decrease the risk of exposure. In addition, the following prevention tips are from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website: 1. Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. 2. Stay home when you are sick. If
possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of ﬂuids, and eat nutritious food.
For additional information, please consult the State Department’s website at www.travel.state.gov, the CDC website at www.cdc.gov, or the website of the World Health Organization at www.who. int. The U.S.-based call center for U.S. citizens can be reached from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, M-F, at 1-888-407-4747, or if calling from outside the U.S., at (202) 501-4444. ★
Your Guide To The Month Ahead
Get your event listed in The American – call the editor on +44 (0)1747 830520, or email details to firstname.lastname@example.org FA Cup Final Wembley Stadium, London The Superbowl of that soccer game. If you can’t get stadium tickets, get down to any pub with a big screen and you’ll be able to get stuck into the football madness local style - and enjoy ‘a cheeky pint’. The FA Cup holds a special place in the football calendar, and is the oldest football competition in the world, founded in 1872. www.thefa.com May 30
Monster Jam Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Monster Jam is roaring back into Millennium Stadium on June 6 featuring all your favourite mammoth machines. This is the UK’s only show, so don’t miss your chance to see these £250,000 customized creations spin, jump and crush their way to victory! This show will also boast the European début of the amazing Donkey Kong monster truck – which has to be seen to be believed – as well as the legendary Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, Jurassic Attack, Taz, Monster Mutt, El Toro and Jetix. All kids tickets are half price. Adults £20-32 / Kids £10-16 www.dbpromotions.co.uk/ monster-jam.htm 0121 308 4511 June 06
Fulbright Society BFSA Debate In Sickness and in Health: Sustaining the Special Relationship The English Speaking Union, Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London W1J 5ED The Debate will discuss the meaning of the ‘Special Relationship’ in relation to: the global financial meltdown; nationalist economic protectionism; US/UK operations in Afghanistan; British withdrawal from Iraq; our joint efforts against terrorism. SPEAKERS: US Minister Counselor for Political Affairs Greg Berry; Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Ms Sandra Kaiser; Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox MP; broadcaster & Times columnist: David Aaronovitch. 6.30 for 7pm, followed by reception to 10pm. www.bfsa.org June 02
ICA Talks: Of Gods and Monsters Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH A short series of talks about God, and ideas of good and evil in the contemporary world. June 1st, 7pm, Saviours and Survivors; 18th 6.45pm, The Return of Christ; 22nd, 7pm, MegaGod: The Evangelical Strain. www.ica.org.uk 020 7930 3647 June 01 to June 22
Clubs & Coffee-Houses: Franklin and his London Friends Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF When Franklin came to London in 1757 he mixed with the coffeehouse society of intellectuals, writers, scientists and artists. Lady Joan Reid discusses many of these Enlightenment figures, including Joseph Priestley, David Hume and Erasmus Darwin, and the ways in which their stories became entwined with Franklin’s own. 6.30pm £5/£3.50 www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org June 03
Aldeburgh Festival of Music Aldeburgh, Suffolk First held in 1948, the festival continues its tradition of showcasing acknowledged masterpieces and new contemporary works in this beautiful seaside town. Opening the 60th festival is a production of Death in Venice. The closing performance of Bach’s B Minor Mass conducted by Masaaki Suzuki is dedicated to the memory of Imogen Holst. www.aldeburgh.co.uk June 01 to June 30
Epsom Derby Day Epsom Downs, Surrey One of the most outstanding race meetings in the world. Epsom is the spiritual home of flat racing, hosting the greatest flat race in the world for the past 228 years. Derby Day attracts the biggest single sporting crowd in the UK and a worldwide TV audience in excess of 600 million. Nothing compares to being there! www.epsomderby.co.uk 0844 579 3004 June 05 to June 06
hour to eat as many leaves as possible. Stems (ha!) from a contest between two farmers as to who had the longest stinging nettles. One brought in a nettle over 15 foot long and said if anyone had a longer one, he would eat his. They had. He did. www.thebottleinn.co.uk 01297 678254 June 13
Royal Ascot Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, SL5 7JX The world famous quintessential English horse race meeting at Ascot, dating from the early 18th century, is particularly renowned for Ladies’ Day, a unique occasion and setting to flaunt the most spectacular hats! Read our Dress Code special feature in this issue to check what you can and can’t wear to Royal Ascot. It’s called that because the Queen and other members of the Royal Family attend the meeting (she loves horseracing and is a very knowledgeable and successful owner) and the organizers are very strict on the correct apparel. www.ascot.co.uk 0870 727 1234 June 16 to June 20
Summer 09: Music/Dance/Theatre/ Art/Film/Youth/Family/Summer/ East London Barbican Centre, London A transformation in the Barbican’s summer programme as it launches exciting events and series inside the Centre and across many spaces in East London including Victoria Park, Hackney Empire, Gillett Square, Shoreditch Festival and even the Barbican’s own car parks. Many of the events also form part of Create09 – London’s new multi-disciplinary arts festival led by the five Olympic host boroughs. Artists include David Sanborn, Cuba 50, David Byrne and Wynton Marsalis www.barbican.org.uk 0845 120 7550 June 06 to August 03 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Royal Academy, London The world’s largest open submission contemporary show, with works by unknown and famous artists. www.royalacademy.org.uk June 08 to August 16
Wisley Music Festival RHS Wisley Gardens, Surrey 11th June - Katherine Jenkins and National Symphony Orchestra; 12th – The stars from The Commitments and The Magic of Motown; 13th – Killer Queen and Platinum Abba www.rhs.org.uk 0871 230 1095 June 11 to June 13 Bramham Horse Trials Bramham Park, North Yorkshire Bramham Park, the family home of the Lane Fox family for 300 years, hosts one of the most popular and successful Events in the Country. The magnificent house provides the backdrop for the main arena activities and the Cross Country Course is set in the glorious and historic parkland. www.bramham-horse.co.uk 01937 846005 June 11 to June 14 Nettle Eating Contest The Bottle Inn, Marshwood, Dorset 50 challengers are given two foot long stalks of stinging nettles and have one
Man v Horse Race Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys (the smallest town in Britain) Riders compete against runners over a 22 mile course over farm tracks, footpaths, forestry roads and moorland. In 2004, for the first time, a man crossed the finish line before any horse and claimed the £25,000 prize. www.green-events.co.uk June 13 Bromley Pageant of Motoring Norman Park, Bromley The biggest one-day classic vehicle show in the world, with more than 3,000 show vehicles including classic American cars, 150 clubs, trade and auto jumble areas and lots more. www.bromleypageant.co.uk 0871 231 0839 June 14 Celebrate With Song 2009: Celebration of American Jewish Choral Music with the Zemel Choir St. John’s, Smith Square, London Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, music by Copland, Gershwin, Weill and more. The culmination of a series of singing workshops that start May 31. £12 (concessions £10) www.zemelchoir.org 020 8906 1318 June 14 Master Drawings from the Art Gallery of Ontario Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21 7AD The Art Gallery of Ontario has the greatest collection of master drawings
in Canada. This glorious group of around 100 of the best works ranges from Renaissance Italy to 18th century France, from English watercolors to masterpieces by Picasso and Matisse, from German Expressionism to Canada’s own Group of Seven and David Milne. Features some of the greatest draftsmen who ever lived, including Carracci, Boucher, Gainsborough, Ingres, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Turner, Léger, De Kooning, and Canada’s remarkable Emily Carr and David Brown Milne. www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk 020 8693 5254 June 17 to September 20 Longleat International Horse Trials Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 Eventing at its best with both British and International stars taking part. The grace of dressage, the fearsome obstacles of the cross-country and the discipline of the show-jumping... and all within the splendid ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds of Longleat House. Outstanding selection of trade stands. www.longleathorsetrials.com 01404 841331 June 19 to June 21 Hot Rod & Custom Drive In Day Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN Hot Rod, Custom and American vehicle owners are invited to become part of the collection for the day by displaying their vehicles on the arena. Also trade stands and live music. www.beaulieuevents.co.uk 01590 614614 June 21 Comedy Night Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF Comedians test their Franklinesque wit in the unusual settings of Franklin’s Parlour. www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org June 24
Swamp Soccer World Championships Swamp Soccer Arena, Strachur, Argyll, Scotland The rules of swamp soccer are similar to the regular game, with a few exceptions. Each team has just six players, games last for 24 minutes in tota…and fancy dress is allowed! www.swampsoccer.co.uk 01369 830000 June 27 to June 28 World Egg Throwing Competition Between Helpringham and Swaton on the B1394 in Lincolnshire, NG34 0RF Contestants construct gravity-powered egg-hurling devices which team members must catch unbroken or be struck by – eggs can travel at up to 120 mph. Also Russian Egg Roulette! http://swatonvintageday.sslpowered. com/ 0115 988 8539 June 28 The Wonderful West End – July 4th concert Great Fosters, Egham (close to Heathrow and Windsor) The best of the West End musicals, Phantom, Les Mis, Miss Saigon, Lion King and more together for a magical night of entertainment. Enjoy a champagne reception in the beautiful gardens, and a delicious three course dinner with wine and coffee beneath the vaulted oak beams of the C14th Tithe Barn at historic Great Fosters. Sparkling entertainment is provided between each course from Glyn Kerslake and Shona Lindsay. Glyn’s CV reads like a Who’s Who of musical theatre’s leading characters. Joining him on stage will be another West End favourite – Shona Lindsay. The night coincides with Independence Day so Glyn will also be performing American classics by George & Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter. £110.00 + VAT. Mention The American when booking. www.prestige-promotions.co.uk 01442 879000 July 04
Of Goats and Kings and Other Things Solo exhibition of works by His Highness, The Maharaja of Baroda Indar Pasricha Fine Arts, 22 Connaught Street, London W2 This is His Highness The Maharaja of Baroda’s second London show. Ranjit Singh Baroda, the ‘Maharaja of Art’ is a talented artist who trained in India and at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. He has recently returned to his brushes, following a distinguished career in Indian politics. In this exhibition, he will exhibit a collection of finely executed portraits of native goats; these drawings will be accompanied by landscapes and royal portraits in step with the theme of the exhibition. His drawings seem to be inspired by Dürer’s animal studies and follow in the tradition of the Bengali school of art, which has historical parallels to Chinese drawing style. Ranjit Singh’s interest in the arts fits in with the Indian traditional notion of a Rajah’s expected accomplishment and he is also a trained and accomplished musician. www.indarpasrichafinearts.com 020 7724 9541 June 17 to June 27
LIVE AND KICKING
ChildLine Supporters are Pretty Things
Status Quo and Roy Wood Winter Tour
he Pretty Things were the 60s British R&B band whose hellraising behaviour got them banned from hotels, towns and, once, an entire continent. They’ve just won the Mojo Magazine Hero Award and are still going strong after 45 years. On June 1 they are playing two important gigs on the same night. After opening the ChildLine Rocks charity show at London’s Indig02 at 7.30pm they will leap into a car and hurtle to Buckinghamshire, to headline a concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of the legendary rock club Friars, Aylesbury. ChildLine Rocks is an evening of music from some of the biggest rock stars in the business. Proﬁts go to ChildLine, a service provided by the NSPCC to help children in danger, distress or worried about a problem. The Pretties’ lead singer Phil May said “It’ll be a rush and the motor will be running but what’s life without a challenge? We really wanted to help ChildLine because they do such terriﬁc work for kids in distress and we also wanted to support our old mates from Friars. We were the second band ever to play there when it ﬁrst opened.”
tatus Quo, past masters of three chord boogie - for their 33rd album title they laughingly admitted to being ‘In Search Of The Fourth Chord“ - will head out on their traditional winter tour of UK arenas in December. They also play nine theatre venues in November. We mention this so early as a public service – you’ll have to book soon, as although not troubling the charts much these days Quo are still enormously popular live. Support comes from Roy Wood, British music maverick and founder of The Move and ELO. Quo front man Francis Rossi commented, “Like us, Roy Wood certainly knows how to entertain a crowd and we’re looking forward to having him on the bill with us. We think that this pairing represents great value as well as promising some great music – see you in December, I’ll be the one with the newly short hair!”. Yes, shock of the year so far is that Rossi has shorn his trademark ponytail!
Cambridge Folk Rocks
he Cambridge Folk Festival – this year is the 45th – has grown from its folkie-only origins to become an eclectic gem, well worth going to for any music lover and particularly
well placed for anyone in East Anglia, like USAF staﬀ, families and veterans who have settled in this lovely part of England. On the bill this year are Lucinda Williams, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Booker T. Jones, Buﬀy Sainte-Marie, and all the way from East Los Angeles, Los Lobos. British and Irish talent includes The Zutons, Cara Dillon, Paul Brady, The Waterson Family, Martin Simpson and The Saw Doctors are among the artists who’ll be playing this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival. The dates are July 30 to August 2.
Enter the Sonisphere
he Sonisphere Festival is heading this way. The series of ultra-heavy rock festivals barrels through Europe starting on June 20 in Holland, taking in Germany, Spain, Sweden and Finland, ﬁnishing at Knebworth House in the UK on August 1 and 2. The lineup includes Metallica, Linkin Park, Bullet For My Valentine, Machine Head, Feeder, Anthrax, Alice In Chains, Lamb Of God, Fear Factory, Killing Joke and – er – Thin Lizzy (gulp – has anybody told Scott Gorham?). Nine Inch Nails have been added to the bill for one of their last gigs before an extended break.
The American The Jokers’ Big Rock & Roll Show ﬂies in
Together Through Life Bob Dylan Sony Music
ALBUMS THEOF MONTH The Big Rock & Roll Show The Jokers Cargo
You’ve got to have balls, or an unlimited supply of youthful selfbelief, to name yourself after the Hell’s Angels’ bitterest rivals and your debut album The Big Rock & Roll Show let alone blag AC/DC’s Black Ice engineer Mike Fraser into remixing your cheap home made album and write a hard rock celebration of disco heaven Studio 54. Can The Jokers pull it oﬀ? Pretty much. They ain’t no Zeppelin, Hendrix, Cream, Who, T-Rex or Beatles (who they claim as inspiration) but although vocalist Wane Parry could let rip a little more their sheer chutzpah and Liverpudlian cockiness make this a good-time rocker in a Kiss/Aerosmith vein.
Draven CNR Records Taking life more seriously is another hungry young British band heavily inﬂuenced by classic hard rockers of yore. Draven claim Deep Purple inﬂuences (rarely quoted these days but very inﬂuential in their time) as well as Zep, Hendrix, Cream (a theme here?), Nirvana, Tool and Muse. Like The Jokers, they sent their workin-progress to a big name producer, in
this case Kevin Shirley, who’s worked with Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Black Crowes and Bon Jovi. The Surrey-based band ﬂew to LA to record this concept album inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost. Uh oh. Try a listen though – the songs are inspiring and musically interesting with arena-ﬁlling potential. File under impressive.
Metro Station Metro Station Columbia/Red Ink
A band with big numbers – how about 44 million plays for four songs on Myspace and 30 million on YouTube? You’re getting the picture – music for the kids. And why not? But it follows the formula laid down by Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy and (in the UK) Busted, to whom Metro Station owe a debt – Seventeen Forever sounds uncannily like the latter’s Year 3000. It’s glossy, faux bad boy stuﬀ, (“One more cigarette... One more drink” on Kelsey), nicely short and sharp, radio-friendly and nothing lasts longer than 3½ minutes except one bonus remix. It doesn’t hurt that the front man is one Trace Cyrus, brother of Miley and son of Billy Ray. Metro Station’s target audience is early-teenage girls. It’s well-crafted, but there’s a lot of similar stuﬀ out there, so best advice, milk the Cyrus name. (The album was released in the US in September 2007).
Fact: Dylan’s songs are clever, sophisticated and wordy. Usually. In a reversal of this tradition, ‘Together’ is the sound of a man playing halfremembered songs from an old 1940s radio station with his friends. Though all new, they sound like traditional tunes, with simple more direct lyrics. And that’s no bad thing. Dylan’s voice is grainier and deeper than ever before, perhaps more attractive to non-aﬁcionados (OK, me) than his earlier ‘whine’. All the songs, bar This Dream of You, are co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, only the second time Dylan has shared writing credits on the majority of an album. The music on My Wife’s Home Town is jointly credited to Dylan and Willie Dixon – something of a feat as the bluesman died in 1992 (in reality it’s a reworking of I Just Want To Make Love To You). The opener, Beyond Here Lies Nothin’, is a rolling New Orleans blues, driven by a distorted vintage Gibson much like mid-period Tom Waits. Other cuts are Ry Cooder-like, bringing in Tex-Mex accordion and Hawaiian steel guitar for local ﬂavor. Dylan is being inﬂuenced by his eclectic choice of songs for his Theme Time Radio Hour and his age (in I Feel Change Comin’ On he wistfully muses that “the fourth part of the day is already gone”), but he can still conjure up striking imagery - in the proto-rock’n’roll Shake Shake Mama he tells his woman to shake “like a ship going out to sea”. He still has that acerbic streak too, as in It’s All Good, with its withering refrain on life in the modern USA. ‘Together’ is not quite as solid or distinctive a work as Dylan’s last album Modern Times, but it continues his resurgence.
The American interview:
Editor Michael Burland meets Graham Gouldman, hit songwriter, musician and one of the voices of 10cc, who had massive hits with songs like I’m Not In Love, Rubber Bullets, I’m Mandy Fly Me, Donna and Wall Street Shuffle. How would you say you are best known to Americans? We’ve all done other things, before and post-10cc, but I suppose any of us would be remembered for 10cc more than anything. When did you start in music? I was writing for other bands from ‘65, but I was in bands too. Kevin Godley was in another band with Lol Creme. Kevin was a great drummer, and he and I formed The Mockingbirds. A bit later on Lol joined us. Was it odd, having success as a writer while playing with your own band. My first hit was For Your Love by The Yardbirds. The Mockingbirds recorded it, but our record company rejected it and put another song out, which sunk
without trace. My manager placed For Your Love with The Yardbirds. Were your record company gnashing their teeth when it was a Number One hit for The Yardbirds? I don’t know, but I thank them for it, because who knows what might have happened. The Yardbirds were a well known band, they had a lot of kudos, and that helped. Did they change the song? They didn’t change the arrangement of it, but adding the harpsichord was their stroke of genius.
Gouldman, hit songwriter for over four decades
Was having a massive hit everywhere, including America, daunting? I was living in Manchester, in a very down to earth family, so I just took it in my stride. It’s only when you talk about it later on that you think, that was really quite something! And you were still working in a men’s clothes shop? I got sacked not long after. I was leaving the shop early to go to gigs and coming in the next day bleary eyed. Someone did me another favour and gave me the sack. All my negatives turned into positives. You wrote other hits, like Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window for the Hollies, and songs for Hermans Hermits, Jeff Beck and Wayne Fontana, but before 10cc, weren’t you working for someone writing what you considered as throwaway pop songs? I was working with Kasenetz Katz, who were famous for bubblegum music. They wanted to legitimise their operation by bringing in more mainstream, established, classier sort of songwriters and I was one of them. Eventually I got fed up of working with them in New York. I’d already got involved with Eric Stewart in Strawberry Studios [in Stockport, north England] and I wanted to come back to England and work with people I wanted to work with.
Were you the focal point of 10cc? Not really. I was the most wellknown as a songwriter, and 10cc were a songwriter-type band rather than performers, so a lot of the focus came onto me without me wanting or deserving it. 10cc was a very democratic unit. We all contributed equally. Our principal was, ‘whatever the song dictates’. If it dictates my voice, or Eric’s, or Kevin’s, or Lol’s, that’s who sings it. If my guitar playing suited the song more than Eric’s, who played most of the lead, I did it. That applied to everything we did. We were all multi-instrumentalists, and another advantage was that Eric was an engineer. A lot of the time there were only the four of us in the studio. Did you write in the studio? It depended. If the pressure was on... Donna was a hit and we needed to get an album done pretty sharpish. Eric and I were in one room at the studio and Kevin and Lol in another room. Whoever finished first would shout “Got one!” and we’d go in and record it. You were different from other bands at the time. At the 1974 Reading Festival, the audience was there for heavy rock and prog bands. On you came with an archway of light bulbs, wearing suits. You blew the place away. It wasn’t rock – was it pop? I call it 10cc music! I hate those genres they have on i-Tunes. It might have worked against us in the long term as far as identity is concerned, because with different singers and musicians on every track it could have been a different band. That’s similar to the Beatles. Thanks. But we never worried about different crowds. We did a tour in America supporting Slade, and it worked really well. We just thought, if people get past their prejudices and give us a chance they’ll enjoy it.
Still loving it – Gouldman leads the live 10cc
After a run of huge hits, you split up, got back together again… what really happened? Kevin and Lol left the band in ‘76. We didn’t want them to leave, but it was like the end of a marriage – they had lost interest. It all got too predicable for them, the cycle of events. We were on a treadmill, but it’s a treadmill I love, and Eric felt the same way. They came up with an attachment for guitars called the Gizmo, like a mechanical bow for guitar strings, and started doing a demonstration album for it, which turned into a three album set. It took so long that we said, you have to choose between 10cc and your project. They chose the project. I had a mixture of admiration for them and thinking they were incredibly stupid at the same time! Eric and I carried on with the name. It was part moral decision, part business. We were 50% of the team and it didn’t feel right leaving it at that. We went into the studio to see what would happen and recorded Deceptive Bends, which was a bloody fine album. It wasn’t the same without Kevin and Lol, but we sounded like 10cc. I carried on with Eric until ‘82, but it stopped working. We got back together and recorded the Meanwhile album in America but it was a disaster. Then someone made us an offer we couldn’t refuse but we didn’t want to work together so we did the Mirror Mirror album in two halves. A bit of a cheat really, but I found it a better album than
Meanwhile, which is unlistenable for me. Then that was it. I’d worked with Andrew Gold with 10cc. Our American record company wanted us to work with an American writer/producer to help us crack the American market big time. It didn’t really work, but Andrew was a fantastic person to work with. We wrote and produced three songs with him, all of which were singles, which tells you something. When Eric and I split up, Andrew was the person I wanted to work with. And now you’re out again, as 10cc? I think people understand it’s not the original band, but it exists to bring the music of 10cc to people. Kevin is OK with it, he’s sung and played with us, and I’ve not heard from anyone else so I presume they’re fine with it. There are a lot of interviews with you online with Jewish newspapers. Is your faith important to you in your work? No. Well, I always favoured minor keys for songs. I used to go the synagogue with my Dad and a lot of the songs were sombre and melancholy and very beautiful. I suppose I was listening to Eddie Cochrane and the Rabbi! A new album, The Very Best Of 10cc, has just come out and 10cc, now fronted by Gouldman, is in the middle of a UK tour. H
D-Day 2009 An American in London Remembers
Carol Gould, columnist and blogger, urges us to keep in our hearts the boys who gave their lives
ne recent evening I realised it would soon be June 6th. D-Day. I decided to light a candle to commemorate those young men who, this evening in 1944, would have been praying or smoking or writing what they knew could be their last letter home. In my street are many successful and happy people who I hope as they venture out on June 6th will be aware that it is the sixty-fifth anniversary of the crucial landings on the beaches of Normandy. D-Day forever marks civilisation rescued by the men and women, led by Churchill and Roosevelt, from the very real possibility of descending into the hell of the Thousand Year Reich. Someone now in this very block of London flats may have been sitting quaking with fear sixty-five years ago as he watched the dawn break over Portsmouth Harbour. How deeply ingrained in my late mother’s memory was the sight of thousands of young men leaving Camp Pickett, Virginia, where she was stationed as a WAC (Women’s Army Corps), only for many of them to die a few weeks later on Omaha Beach. She received parcels in the weeks after D-Day from GIs sending her tins of tuna and items for
their parents in towns like Bassett, Nebraska, Perkasie, Pennsylvania and Hopatcong, New Jersey; they said they knew they would never come home and their folks needed these precious things more than they did. Five years ago I went with a group of British and American veterans to Normandy to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the D-Day landings. On the special train in the cold fog on the way from Paris to Normandy were hundreds of veterans and their families, but one could hear a pin drop. The men with their hearing aids and worn canes and wispy white hair sat deep in contemplation; I could barely imagine the horrors conjured up by this journey and the sorrow they had carried with them for six decades. Many of these frail men, some in their eighties, had never been back since 1944. They wept quietly as they found the gravestones of their buddies, whose dreams had been frozen forever on that French shore in Nazi-occupied Europe. Presidents Chirac and Bush gave moving speeches and British and American veterans stood at attention as a twenty-one-gun salute boomed across the countryside. Travelling around the remote farmland one saw
endless Union Jacks and American flags outside cottages, some tattered emblems surviving from VE-Day itself in 1945. I urge readers in the UK to visit Madingley Cemetery, a graveyard of 3,800 American airmen with a wall commemorating some 5,100 American pilots and coastguardmen who disappeared or died protecting Britain’s shores. At Duxford Airbase there is a plaque commemorating the sacrifice of 30,000 American pilots. At this time of year the innocent birdsong is sweet. In 2007 I attended a conference in Newcastle that happened to take place on Remembrance Day. One of the speakers, an Anglo-Muslim activist, made it clear that she regarded the wartime pilots as the audience might view a modern suicide bomber. I pointed out to her that had those young British and American airmen not succeeded, Hitler would have taken over the world and she would not be here today. Lest any of us forget the sacrifice made by the men and women of D-Day, let us stop for a moment to remember and thank them for the plenty we enjoy today in this green and pleasant land of freedom and democracy. ★
Where Ben Franklin Laid His Head Carol Gould visits the only extant Franklin home in the world, where the elder statesman led a racy life
n 2001 I produced a short video documenting the early stages of the renovation of the Benjamin Franklin House, a remarkable structure at 36 Craven Street in Charing Cross, London. The house is the only original dwelling remaining in the world in which Franklin lived. Even in Philadelphia, a totally intact house does not exist. Eight years on, it is a lively attraction. Franklin was a member of the Royal Society of Arts when he lived in London from 1757 to 1775. In recent years I have attended symposia and lectures presented by the Benjamin Franklin House and RSA at various venues around London. Dr Marcia Balisciano, the energetic director of the project for ten years, hosts events each year and has led the effort to make the House a learning centre. One never ceases to be amazed at Ben Franklin’s enormous popularity with young women. Even in his 70s, he had no shortage of companions while his long-suffering wife Deborah kept the home fires burning back in Philadelphia. Indeed, when he visited Paris at the age of 70 he provoked a near-riot comparable to Beatlemania. One bit of Franklin lore is about a 90-year-old Parisian friend who stumbled upon the womanising Franklin having a bath with a young lady; the nonogenarian
exclaimed, ‘Oh, to be seventy again!’ One of Franklin’s best known sayings is ‘Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’ In reality he was known to sleep until noon, especially if he had been ‘entertaining.‘ This infuriated one of the Founding Fathers and early Presidents, John Adams, an early riser. When Franklin returned to the US Adams was mortified that he would have completed his paperwork before the elder statesman would ‘stop by’ to sign documents in the afternoon. (Winston Churchill also infuriated President Roosevelt on this score.) One of the driving forces behind the development of Benjamin Franklin House is Lady Reid, wife of Sir Bob Reid, both of whom have been dedicated to the project. In a lecture I attended Lady Reid explained the origins of the segmented serpent image seen in preRevolutionary War imprints, representing the colonies and usually accompanied by the slogan ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ (my new book about anti-Americanism has the same title). At the time its appearance on publications - including those published by Franklin - drew concern from religious purists. Franklin’s House is also known for the famous ‘Craven Street Bones’. When Dr William Hewson was spurned by the
Royal College of Surgeons while studying bone anatomy, he was given shelter at the House by Franklin. Hewson died of blood poisoning whilst operating on a cadaver. Franklin took his children and widow to Philadelphia where there are still Hewsons practicing medicine to this day. The Benjamin Franklin House is a worthy celebration of that remarkable American,who, I may venture to say, with his extraordinary personal magnetism might just have worked the right magic in the Middle East and got the Palestinians and Israelis to make peace. He turned against slavery and would have found the election of Barack Obama a remarkable event. Franklin’s spirit is everywhere at the House at 36 Craven Street so go down there and have a chat with him! ★ Carol Gould is the author of ‘Spitfire Girls’ and ‘Don’t Tread on Me’. She is a political commentator on Sky News and edits CurrentViewpoint.com
The Social Swirl Image consultant Liz Prest ffic has the low-down on Dressing for the Summer Season
t is that time of year again – it is June and the start of the Season, the sporting and social calendar. In an increasingly casual age, why do we still dress up for these occasions and take time and trouble to follow the required dress codes to the letter? One theory is that, as human beings, we have a deep-seated enjoyment of spectacle and, rare as it is these days, enjoy an opportunity to dress up and parade occasionally. Another is that these events wouldn’t be what they are and hold their allure and glamour unless they retained the somewhat rigid protocols that have passed down unchanged over the years. If you have received an invitation to one of the summer Season’s events or you are planning to host a visit, there are a few pointers you need to
think about in advance. Not least, you need to plan what you are going to wear and ensure you have the right clothing, as the protocols surrounding dress can be extremely rigid in some instances and woe betide you if you commit a very public faux pas and get it wrong! First up, is it primarily a sporting or a social occasion – or both? Are there strict protocols surrounding dress at the particular event you’re attending? Royal Ascot (16-20 June, www. ascot.co.uk), is one of the events with stricter protocol concerning dress. If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket for the Royal Enclosure, then it’s full morning dress for men. This is a grey or occasionally black tail coat (with curved front edges, sloping back at the sides) with a shirt with a stiff turndown collar or wing collar. A formal silver-grey silk tie (known as a Macclesfield) should be tied with a four-in-hand knot and worn with a grey or buff waistcoat, double-breasted if possible. Striped trousers should be worn with plain black Oxford lace-up shoes, polished to perfection. Your outfit should be finished off with a grey top hat and matching gloves and, don’t forget, cameras are not permitted in the Royal Enclosure. For women, appropriate attire for the Royal Enclosure is a very formal day dress with a Summery, elegant but relaxed are the hallmarks of Henley Royal Regatta, but take care with the hemline
hat, which is obligatory. If you have always wanted to wear an extreme or extravagant hat now is your chance. Fashion for summer 2009 may be about wild colours and floral concoctions but when it comes to matching accessories with an outfit note that gloves need not necessarily match shoes, but should match bag – and when it comes to bags, the dressier the occasion, the smaller the bag should be; also that the hat looks chicest toning with the colour of the dress or jacket. All premier admission tickets to Ascot require visitors to wear appropriate smart attire – jeans, shorts, t-shirts and sportswear are not permitted. Derby Day (6 June, www.epsomderby.co.uk) is one of racing’s dressier occasions and most ladies wear hats. Some events have their own quirky traditions, for example at Goodwood in early August where men will usually wear panama hats. Henley Royal Regatta (1-5 July, www.hrr.co.uk) which was first held in 1839 has similar strict protocols. Advice from the organisers is that “Those attending the Regatta in the Stewards’ Enclosure must dress in accordance with long-established tradition.” For men, this means lounge suits, jackets or blazers with ties or cravats. Club, university or rowing blazers, socks and caps and boaters may be worn. White, grey or cream flannels (trousers) are appropriate and jackets may not be removed. Women attending Henley in the Stewards’ Enclosure must wear
dresses or suits and should note that divided skirts, culottes or trousers of any kind are forbidden. Hemlines must be below the knee [and this is rigorously enforced – ed. who used to live in Henley] and, whilst it is not actually a requirement, it is customary for ladies to wear a hat. On this occasion women often like a more relaxed style in a lighter fabric or more decorative design for their dresses and suits. In the Regatta Enclosure and public areas along the river there are no specific dress restrictions, although many people like to get into the spirit of the occasion and dress up. Glyndebourne (www.glyndebourne.com), which runs from 21 May to 30 August, is dressy and almost everyone accedes, although those wearing lounge suits or short dresses are not turned away. The programme requests that men wear a black tie and invites women to wear long evening dresses. Women should remember a wrap or pashmina for the cool evenings. Cowes Week (1-8 August, www.cowesweek. co.uk) has dress codes that vary according to the yacht club with which you are associated. The Royal Yacht Squadron is the most formal and, for the social events rather than the racing, men wear collar and black tie, a yachting suit or reefer jacket with grey or white flannels. Female aficionados of these events will have learnt a trick or two to cope with the vagaries of the English summer. For events that may be windy, for example Cowes, hems of
lightweight fabrics may be weighted, either by discreet weights inside the hems or by decoration. Alternatively, long coats may be worn over dresses which helps keep hems in their rightful places and also caters for fluctuations in the British weather. Whether it’s respect for others or respect for the occasion, making an effort so that you look as if it’s been effortless, shows you are someone who knows how it’s done. If you’re lucky enough to go to such events regularly, you’ll already know the score. If not, follow these guidelines and enjoy! ★
The do’s and don’ts of dressing for the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. Don’t follow the rules? Don’t get in!
Momma Cherri –
Queen of Soul (Food) Michael Burland meets Charita “Momma Cherri” Jones, who after living in England for 30 years is one of the best known American faces on British TV
harita Jones came to fame when she was featured on Gordon Ramsay’s program Kitchen Nightmares. The show, which also has a US version, revolves around the British celebrity chef setting out to rescue failing restaurants while shouting and cursing at the proprietors and often highlighting their personal problems. In Momma Cherri, Ramsay met his match. Her sassy personality won him over and she has gone on to appearing regularly on BBC and ITV cookery programs. Charita never intended to become a celebrity chef. She was born in Mount Pleasant, just outside Philadelphia, PA, which she describes as “a little bitty bit of a ghetto in a wealthy area”. Most local kids had to go to a terrible school, but the county line ran through her street and five houses lay in Montgomery county. For years Charita’s family pretended they lived in her Aunt’s house along the street so she could go to a better school. She took advantage of the opportunities it offered. First she became the school’s first black cheerleader. “I went on an exchange trip for a year to Mexico” she says, still excited by the idea. Unfortunately, as she was leaving, on her mother’s birthday their house burnt down. Typically she doesn’t remember this as a problem. “It was
the smell of freedom!” she laughs. Their church held a benefit gospel concert for the family and they moved into an apartment, “with a dishwasher!” she remembers, in Upper Marion, PA. When Charita returned from Mexico she had to go to the other school, where the principal was JC Smith, who later turned out to be a mass murderer, featured in the book and movie Echoes in the Darkness. It was the kind of school where, Charita says, “the girls hung out in the toilets – but I went to classes.” Except one – she got out of a math test by volunteering to go to a college conference. There, she was offered a scholarship to a college and signed up for it. “ I didn’t know where it was, but it was 12 hours away”, she says “It turned out to be a Quaker college. No smoking, no drinking, no nuthin!, in the middle of Indiana. But the teachers taught me you can do whatever you want in life. I got a semester’s work study job on the Sesame Street TV show. I told the teachers I’d love to go to Europe and they arranged a semester in France for me. The family I was staying with were bug eyed when I arrived – they had asked for a white male. The little girl even screamed ‘monstre’ at me and ran away. But eventually she loved me, and I loved her.
“Somehow I got a job in a gospel musical in England. That’s when I discovered we speak a different language. The show was called ‘Little Willy’s Resurrection’ . The only audience we got were single men, who all left at the interval... the show didn’t last. Most of the cast went home, but I stayed, with Ray who I had married. We worked in a hotel to pay our way. Ray later played Rusty, the lead part in Starlight Express. In the UK. I also discovered the National Health Service. I had a cyst, but I had no insurance. They explained I could have an operation and stay in the hospital for free. Bring it on!” The marriage ended and Charita lived in Chiswick with their kids. She started fostering teenagers, “Challenging ones, who hadn’t had a break. I got to visit every police station in England.” A friend asked her to help set up a Mexican restaurant on Skiathos, a Greek island. “Each summer I took all the kids and we ran that place.” Ray and Charita were still friends and they decided to set up a soul food restaurant, the Soul Food Shack, in Brighton. “The problem was the banks. We never had enough money to start with, and I was ‘raised to give’. We gave to any charity that asked, and ran out of cash.” Desperate for money to save the business Charita even
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applied to appear on Channel 4’s Wife Swap program then fate intervened and she received a letter from Kitchen Nightmares. Gordon Ramsay made a typical British mistake when he asked “What’s your Caribbean food like?” After putting him right, and explaining what American soul food was, Charita cooked for him. It was, she says, the first and only time he ever cleared his plate on the show. The program aired at 9pm one night in June 2005. By 9.10 Ramsay had cleared his plate. By 9.11 the restaurant had received 350 emails and so many phone calls they broke the answerphone system. Soon they were turning away 80 customers a day. Momma Cherri was voted Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, and was short-listed as Businessperson of the Year the next year. Despite this, the restaurant went into administration in 2008. Charita’s daughter bought it out and now runs the business while Momma does what she does best – cooking real soul food, working with schools and social groups and entertaining customers and TV audiences. There’s even talk of an animated cartoon series starring Momma Cherri. Look out Britain, soul food is coming your way.
The American Recipe:
Momma Cherri’s Jambalaya Each month we will have a favorite recipe of one of the talented chefs featured in The American. This month, a fabulous jambalaya from Momma Cherri.
his has become my signature dish, a Soul European version of Jambalaya, a rice dish first served in New Orleans. The beauty of this easy dish is that you can substitute or add whatever you like. It’s a great way to use up what’s in your kitchen. A true jambalaya has gumbo filé in it. Gumbo filé is a greenish powder that comes from the sassafras tree, native to America. It is not readily available in the UK I have discovered a website here in the UK, www.seasonedpioneers. co.uk, where it can be ordered online. You only need a small amount in this dish, then you will have plenty left to add to other gumbos or soups.”
4 chicken breasts (I prefer them skinned, but you can leave the skin on). Juice of 1 lemon 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil 2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 thinly sliced 1 red, 1 green and 1 yellow pepper, half of each diced and the other half cut into strips 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional, but it adds a nice touch) 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 4 chorizo sausages, skinned and sliced 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes 1 chilli, preferably Scotch bonnet, finely chopped or left whole 400g easy-cook American-style rice 1 tablespoon turmeric 450g mixed vegetables, e. g. 1 carrot, diced, 1 courgette, diced, a handful of peas, a handful of green beans and a few broccoli and cauliflower florets (or small bag of frozen mixed vegetables) 1 teaspoon gumbo filé (if you have it) 1 litre water or chicken stock 500g peeled raw king prawns or crayfish A handful of mushrooms, sliced
First prepare the chicken. In other recipes, raw chicken is added at the beginning and cooked with the rice, but the chicken tends to stew, and the texture isn’t as juicy as I like it. I marinate it, stir-fry it separately and add it at the end. Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. Sprinkle over the lemon juice, then the Cajun seasoning, and set aside to marinate while you cook the jambalaya. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil, followed by the onion,
chopped peppers and garlic. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning and half the cumin, salt and pepper, then add the chorizo. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion and peppers are softened and the chorizo begins to release some of its juices. Stir in the dried chilli flakes and chopped fresh chilli. (Scotch bonnets are very hot; if you have any cuts they will burn you.) If you are worried about the heat level, leave the chilli whole and add it to the dish with the water or stock, removing it after 10 minutes. The flavour will be released but the heat will be minimized. Add the rice and stir well, then add the turmeric and the remaining half of the seasoning spices. Stir everything together until the rice is fully coated, then add the mixed vegetables and the water or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add the gumbo filé. Simmer, uncovered, over a low heat for 20 minutes. When the rice has swollen and is almost cooked, add the prawns or crayfish and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the sliced onion, peppers and mushrooms and stir-fry for 3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Place on top of the jam-balaya and serve. ★
The IRS WANTS
James Hickman highlights some surprises you need to know about in a new IRS form
he Internal Revenue Service is determined to leave no stone unturned. American expats have always been required to declare foreign bank accounts to the Internal Revenue Service if the aggregate value of the accounts exceeds $10,000. There has been a bit of confusion about this in the past in which many Americans thought they did not have to declare an account if it never held anything in excess of $10,000. Ah, but it is that one little word – “aggregate” – that catches a lot of people out. Yes, if you are a financially sound expat living on these shores, chances are you will have to fill out the catchily named Form 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts or “FBAR” as it is more commonly known. However, this year’s FBAR is substantially different. Not only does the IRS require more information on your foreign bank accounts, but the type of accounts that must be declared and who must declare them is far wider reaching than ever before. The US government’s attempts to stem money laundering, terrorism and drugs traﬃcking means they are examining foreign held accounts
like never before. The definition of a financial account now encompasses non-US mutual funds, non-US annuities, debit card and prepaid credit card accounts. It is these last two that are especially surprising. Several companies, including ours, offer pre-paid foreign currency cards. Typically issued under the Mastercard brand, cardholders can pre-load US Dollars, Euros or other currencies onto a credit card when the exchange rate is favourable and spend the money when they are abroad. A modern day version of the traveller’s cheque, they are widely used by holidaymakers, foreign home owners and business people. The cards do not attract the fees or poor exchange rates typically seen with standard credit cards and are certainly a lot safer than cash. Until recently, pre-paid currency cards did not attract the interest of the IRS as they typically did not hold enough money to even be of interest to the taxman. After all, the cards are only intended as a means of obtaining travel money and most have a maximum limit of a few thousand pounds. Similarly, pre-paid UK debit cards, which are marketed at those with poor credit ratings who
Read the small print on the new IRS FBAR form – you may have to declare these GALLERY.HD.ORG
cannot obtain a standard credit card, must be declared as well. Non-US citizens may also have to complete a FBAR. The definition of who is required to file the form has expanded to include not just US citizens and residents but also “anyone in and doing business in” the US. In other words, non-US citizens with business interests in America will be required to file an FBAR. On the plus side, the new form is supposed to be simpler and easier to fill out. The IRS seems to be a little less draconian as well and allows for amendments if information has been inadvertently undeclared. The FBAR must be filled in by 30 June, though, so consult your tax advisor to make sure you comply with the new regulations. ★ James Hickman is the managing director of Caxton FX, one of Britain’s leading foreign exchange companies. www.caxtonfx.com 0845 658 2223.
Coffee Break COFFEE BREAK QUIZ QUESTIONS 1 Two is the only even prime number?
5 Identical twins have the same fingerprints?
2 A group of peacocks is called a parliament?
6 Elvis Presley was a black belt in Karate?
3 The African Rhinoceros has two horns on its head?
7 A camel can survive longer without water than a rat?
4 In the film Fantasia, the Sorcerer’s name was Yensid?
8 Rubies and Sapphires are exactly alike except in colour?
This month it’s
TRUE or FALSE 9 Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest? 10 Donald Duck’s middle name is Fauntelroy? 11 Sharks do not blink? 12 All polar bears are left-handed? 13 Westward Ho! is the only town or city in the UK which has an exclamation mark in its name? 14 Approximately 1,400 photographs are taken around the world every second? 15 Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb, was afraid of the dark? 16 An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain? 17 In space it is impossible to cry? 18 ‘copyrightable` is the longest word in English that can be written without repeating a letter?’ 19 Taphephobia is the fear of losing your teeth?
COMPETITION WINNERS The winners of our Counting Crows competition were Adam Willson of Walton on Thames, Surrey, and Lesley Tyler of Linton, Cambridgeshire. They each won a pair of tickets. Coffee Break Quiz Answers 1. True; 2. False; 3. True (it is called a muster); 4. True; 5. False (it spells Disney backwards); 6. True; 7. False; 8. True; 9. True (he also came first in one); 10. True; 11. True; 12. True; 13. True; 14. False (around 2,700 are); 15. True; 16. True; 17. True (there is no gravity, so tears can’t flow); 18. False (it’s ‘uncopyrightable’); 19. False (it’s the fear of being buried alive, from the Greek “taphos” meaning “grave” + “phobia” from the Greek “phobos” meaning “fear”)
It happened one... June June 1, 1495 – Friar John Cor records the first known batch of scotch whisky. June 2, 1886 – President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion. June 3, 1800 – President John Adams takes up residence in Washington, D.C. (in a tavern – the White House was not yet completed). June 4, 1913 – Emily Davison, a suffragette, runs out in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby. She dies a few days later. June 5, 1851 – Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly starts a ten-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper. June 6, 1833 – President Andrew Jackson becomes the first President to ride a train. June 7, 1892 – Benjamin Harrison becomes the first President of the United States to attend a baseball game. June 8, 1191 – Richard I arrives in Acre, beginning his crusade. June 9, 1909 – Alice Huyler Ramsey, a 22-year-old housewife and mother from Hackensack, New Jersey, becomes the first woman to drive across the USA. In fifty-nine days she drove a Maxwell automobile 3,800 miles from Manhattan to San Francisco.
A Checker Taxi cab – but when was the first?
June 10, 1829 – The first University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge. June 11, 1184 BC – Trojan War: Troy is sacked and burned (according to the calculations of Eratosthenes). June 12, 1987 – Cold War: U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate. June 13, 1805 – Lewis and Clark Expedition: scouting ahead of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four companions sight the Great Falls of the Missouri River. June 14, 1777 – The Stars and Stripes is adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States. June 15, 1752 – Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity. June 16, 1961 – Rudolf Nureyev defects at Le Bourget airport in Paris. June 17, 1579 – Sir Francis Drake claims a land he calls Nova Albion (modern California) for England. June 18, 1923 – Checker Taxi puts its first taxi on the streets. June 19, 1910 – The first Father’s Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington. June 20, 1214 – The University of Oxford receives its charter.
June 21, 1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, by the Ku Klux Klan, as portrayed in the movie Mississippi Burning. June 22, 1825 – British Parliament abolishes feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America. June 23, 1314 – First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn, south of Stirling, begins. June 24, 1947 – Kenneth Arnold makes the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington. June 25, 1947 – The Diary of Anne Frank is published. June 26, 1284 – the legendary Pied Piper leads 130 youths out of Hamelin, Germany June 27, 1967 – The world’s first ATM cash machine is installed in Enfield, London. June 28, 1838 – The coronation of Queen Victoria. June 29, 1613 – The Globe, Shakespeare’s theatre in London burns to the ground. June 30, 1859 – French acrobat Charles Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
ROTUNDA BAR & RESTAURANT Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz
y Tom Tom was on the blink and I had to get to the Rotunda Bar and Restaurant the old fashioned way by using my trusty A-Z. I have no sense of direction as everyone who knows me is aware, but fortunately Maxine Howe does and she managed to untangle me when I was lost, even though the King’s Place Development was confusing with all the twists and turns that seemed to lead nowhere except another barrier. By the time I reached the massive modern building which encompasses the Rotunda as well as two concert halls, two visual art spaces, The Guardian and Observer newspapers, and some three thousand people working there, I was a candidate for the TV series Grumpy Old Women. And here is what made the difference to my evening’s enjoyment and the reason my mood changed. Even before he knew who I was, the young waiter who led us to the table calmed me down with smiles and sympathy and had the glass of champagne we ordered set in front of us within minutes. Whether he was thinking of a tip
after we had dinner or it was just plain old fashioned manners I don’t know or care. What I do know, it was because of him I was able to enjoy the evening. As Maxine said, what a difference a smile makes! Maxine decided to have as her starter the seared chicken livers, mushrooms with potatoes and shallot dressing (£7.50) while I, having not quite settled down, chose pea soup with a poached egg (£5.95) for its calming affect. The chicken livers were perfectly seared, not over cooked or too rare and the dressing I would have liked to have taken home in a bottle. As for my soup, lovely! Because the Rotunda’s beef and lamb originates on the restaurant’s own farm in Northumberland and the meat is hung and matured on site at King’s Place in a special hanging room, we decided it had to be a meat evening. Maxine chose the braised brisket with carrots and swede (£14.95) and I the braised neck and shoulder
of lamb (£13.95). We also shared a side order of mashed potatoes (£3.50) and spring greens (£3.50). For dessert we decided to continue to go public school (British style) and I had a seductive floating island with toasted almonds (£5.95) and Maxine an even lovelier Eton Mess (5.95). The largely French and Italian wine list has a number of good, but reasonable choices. Rotunda also offers daily specials of traditional dishes such as sausage and mash and fish and chips with mushy peas. The food served is English without pretence, which I suspect is the way head chef Ian Green prefers to cook. And frankly, how nice that is for a change. The curved restaurant, granite bar and dining room faces Regent’s Canal and Battlebridge Basin. The outdoor terrace beside the canal which will seat up to 150 people had not yet opened, but should be a wonderful place to dine once warm weather finally arrives. Ah, I can’t wait to return.
King’s Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross N1 9AG. Tel: 020 7014 2840
GOING WEST(field) TO
SPAGHETTI HOUSE Reviewed by Mary Bailey
t is over 50 years since the first Spaghetti House opened in London, introducing Italian home-cooked food to an excited British public. The family company’s concept has remained successful and in April their latest restaurant opened in the highest floor of the new Westfield Shopping Centre. In the light and airy entrance there is a huge picture of the first Spaghetti House. They are proud of their longevity! My friend Margaret and I found it easily, important as many customers will be shoppers, tired on their feet and longing for a glass of wine or a coffee. It is a Spaghetti House tradition that children are welcome, encouraged to have smaller portions of ‘grown up food’ and consulted in the same way as adults. It is delightful to see a five year old earnestly talking to the waiter about their preferred pasta. We were welcomed and seated where we could see parents with children, girls meeting for lunch and a gossip and a sprinkling of men in the various seating styles of red leather banquettes, booths, dining tables and poser tables. The kitchen is open to view, busy and clean. From the Loft Terrace in the front of house area
one can look down on floors full of tempting shops. We liked the whole ambiance. The menu boasts several starters which can be shared, such as a delicious platter of cold meats and for a party of four they produce a huge bowl of penne Bolgnaise to share. We enjoyed a glass of Chianti Vernalolo, dry and fruity and just right for lunch as we studied the menu. Margaret started with Bruschetta al Pormadora, a simple dish but unfortunately the toasted rustic bread was soggy, olive oil dressing tasteless and tomatoes insipid. Her main course, Frittura di Gamberoni e-Zuccini
was equally disappointing, the large prawns sitting on a bed of reasonable linguine, accompanied by quite tasty potato wedges. She thought the dish too challenging for the Spaghetti House environment. I had better luck with an excellent vegetable soup and seared tuna with rocket leaves, cherry tomatoes and olive salsa which was perfectly cooked although my side dish of sauteed potatoes with herbs was a little like yesterday’s potatoes mistakenly fried up. I asked two ladies on a neighboring table who were eating one of the pastas how it was and they said delicious, cooked al dente but not too much so. We hailed a waiter who hailed an assistant manager and told him of our criticism. We were assured that these things would be improved, they had been open only three days and I am sure they will be. I enjoyed a medium hard cheese from the Piemonte region and Margaret chose a Totra de Dolcelatte with layers of mild creamy gorgonzola, different and very good. Coffee was excellent and prices are reasonable, especially if you share a starter or choose carefully, around £15-£20 per person for three courses and wine.
Tel: 020 8749 5252 spaghettihouse.co.uk
Westfield is London’s newest mall. It can be reached by overground train from Clapham Junction, there are four nearby underground stations, buses, a taxi rank, 220 spaces for useful, and in Britain rare, valet parking, and 4,500 ‘ordinary’ car spaces. There are some 265 retailers including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser and Waitrose, 40 in an area called The Village which houses special and designer wear. The staff are very helpful – when my cell phone broke down one of the Security men lent us his. A library, cinemas, spa and gym are planned. Whatever your taste Westfield is bright and cheerful and worth a visit.
THE COMMANDER Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz
he Commander is the wrong name for this restaurant. With a name like that I thought it should be by the sea. Then as I entered that evening with Nelly Pateras, I thought of the TV series of the same name starring Amanda Burton, but the people dining there looked more like Julia Roberts and Hugh what’s-his-name in Notting Hill than the throaty-voiced commander of a not so merry band of tough cops, but then this was Westbourne Grove where middle class success was evident in the designer clothing of the diners and the soft laughter echoing around the room. Now, please, this is no criticism of the restaurant because when the above thought went through my mind I hadn’t sat down and frankly, I could pass for Julia Robert’s mother more than I could Burton’s superior officer. It was just an observation, possibly because I had eaten at Vivat Bacchus when The Commander’s Executive Head Chef Robert Staegemann headed their kitchen and offered exotic meats such as alligator and rattlesnake. I never had any of those particular selections, but he was been a very good chef who made chicken, well, taste like chicken. Believe me, compared to some restaurants that is a real talent. Nelly started with a glass of Laurent Perrier Brut (£8.50) while I, after some interior debate as I scanned the cocktail list, finally settled on “The Millionaire Cocktail” (£7.90), Made with Bacardi 8 year, sloe gin, apricot brandy and fresh lime juice, it took me back to my college days when we tried to act sophisticated. Actually, I liked it. Oysters were on the menu that evening and Nelly and I couldn’t resist
and she ordered a dozen while I settled on six. Did I tell you she’s French and is a slim as Carla Bruni? Nelly then decided to have the Charcuterie Board while I couldn’t resist the Commander Big Salad (£7.25) and added the seared Tuna with soy, shallot and ginger dressing (£4.00) as an extra. The charcuterie was in Nelly’s words, honnete, which more or less means soul satisfying, but my salad consisting of mizuna leaf, lotus root crisps, bok choi, shitake mushrooms and bean sprouts is the reason I want to return. By this time, we were hardly able to eat anything else and might have called it quits if I hadn’t been reviewing the restaurant. However, we forged on and Nelly ordered the grilled yellow fin tuna (£11.50), served with braised red cabbage. Neither one of us were too certain of that vegetable with fish, frankly. The fish, supplied by fishmonger, John Norris, could have been bought unprepared (£3.98) – The Commander not only has a restaurant with three private dining rooms, but in the courtyard one can purchase fresh fish as well as flowers to take home.
Nelly’s tuna simply grilled and sprinkled with lemon was excellent. Having had steak two nights before and deciding a hamburger would be more than I could consume, I had black-eye bean and chorizo cassoulet that I’m afraid was disappointing. Memories of New Orleans did not come to mind, I assure you. However, we shared a platter of springbok carpaccio (£8.75) that was the highlight of the meal. Delicious! Dessert was by this time too much even for Nelly and she had fruit sorbet while I settled for coffee. Wines are offered by glass, carafe or bottle, most reasonably priced. The wine list isn’t long, but well chosen. The best place to sit is definitely one of the booths.
47 Hereford Road, London W2 5AH 020 7229 1503 www.commanderbar.co.uk Erratum The correct telephone number for Les Eleveurs Hotel in Belgium, reviewed last month, is +32 2 361 1340. Our apologies for any confusion.
BODYSGALLEN HALL Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz
dreamt last night I was at Bodysgallen Hall. Outside the wind is blowing gently and as I stand at the window I see the ancient watchtower of Conwy Castle, the craggy mountain ranges of Snowdonia and the ocean sparkling under... and then I woke up. The three days I enjoyed at Bodysgallen Hall were the perfect escape from a world of economic breakdown and threat of disease. Bodysgallen was one of three important houses that were restored and opened in the 1980s as Historic House Hotels (the others were Middlethorpe Hall in York and Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire.) Now owned by the National Trust, future profits will go to the charity. I was allowed to bring my dog, and early mornings when the ground was still damp with the dew of last night’s rain the two of us would ramble through the spacious grounds, past the walled gardens where flowering trees announced the arrival of spring, stopping for a moment to gaze at the rare and intricate parterre in which herbs and roses send off their sweet scent, and further on to peek over the wall
of the kitchen garden to observe the green shoots of future fruits and vegetables that will appear on the menu. There are few places in the UK with views as magnificent or dramatic as those of Bodysgallen Hall. Because I brought my dog, I was in one of the cottage suites rather than in the hotel. Without her, I could have stayed in one of the 15 magnificent rooms in the 16th century mansion. The Snowdonia Rooms have the most breathtaking views, but Jane Austin would have approved of even the less expensive. Descending from the tower where I’d observed a world that hasn’t changed much for two hundred years, I met my friend Maxine Howe in one of the drawing rooms for a drink before dinner. With its oak panelling, antique Dutch tiling surrounding the fireplace and stone mullioned windows it was as if we’d stepped back in time. You can choose to dine in the fine dining room or the more casual restaurant, 1620 (the Tack Room and Terrace, adjacent to 1620, opens this summer and guests will be able to enjoy a drink or snack while taking in the enthralling
view of Deganwy Castle). Chef Gareth Jones is in charge of all. We decided to go upmarket our first night. For my first course, I had the cauliflower with hand dived scallops and sliced truffles which nearly melted in my mouth while Maxine selected the stuffed saddle of wild rabbit, crispy ham, caramelized onion purée and whipped chervil. The sommelier suggested a New Zealand Chardonnay for my dish and a French Sauvignon Blanc for Maxine’s and how right he was. To freshen our palate before our main course, we enjoyed a refreshing lemon and thyme sorbet, £3.50 extra but worth it. Among the main courses, the one that interested me was the herb poached fillet of Welsh beef, sticky ox cheek with celery salt mash. I asked for medium rare and I got medium rare. But it was Maxine’s roast breast of guinea fowl adrift in cèpe crepine and marjoram jus with sweet potato fondant that was extraordinary. And once more the sommelier chose the perfect matching wine. A cabernet sauvignon for me and a pinot noir for Maxine. Our delightful waitress persuaded me to try the pear tart tatin, vanilla glazed blackberries and kir sorbet. How glad I was that she did! Maxine ‘s raisin and dark rum panna cotta, pink pepper grissini and iced pineapple sated her to the last morsel. Chef Jones pampered our taste buds from beginning to end and is a chef to look out for in the future. Three courses was £39 per person inclusive of service and vat. Wine and coffee were extra. We definitely needed the health and fitness spa the next day. While Maxine swam in the 50 foot pool, I had the restorative mud envelopment (£55) which eased every aching muscle in my body. Maxine preferred the Decleor Aroma Body Massage (£60). She enjoyed it so much she would have had the treatment again the next day if
our therapist, Jackie, hadn’t had the day off. Jackie, I might add, was wonderful and both of us would definitely ask for her again. The spa offers not only beauty treatments, but a special fitness program for both men and women can be arranged with James. Just be certain you call ahead of time. Dinner that night was in 1620. We had joined two women we met earlier for drinks in the drawing room and despite us arriving shortly before closing time, our delightful waitress couldn’t have been more accommodating; in fact, all the staff were charming and ready to help whatever our needs. One last note. Prices are not cheap, but there are special offers throughout the year. Because my dog was with us, we stayed in a cottage which was not an easy walk to and from the hotel, especially at night when it was raining. However, the spa was close by and a member of the staff drove us to the cottage after dining in the restaurant. With all the things to do locally including a visit to the charming town of Llandudno as well as nearby gardens, I’d either take my own car next time or arrange for transportation while I was there. Bodysgallen Hall is three stars in every way and I do hope to return sometime in the future.
Llandudno, North Wales LL30 1RS, 01492 584466 www.bodysgallen.com
Cellar Talk Libations by Virginia E. Schultz
The Restaurant Scene Today
legant dining, or fine dining as some call it, is on the way out. There are still formal restaurants in London, but even those which demand ties have diners who show up in a casual sports coat rather than a suit – and they are no longer only Americans! Surprisingly, as restaurants become less formal, overall food quality has risen. Is it because we travel more today and have become more demanding in taste and quality, or because of all those food scares we’ve had the past few years? Two years ago at a fashion evening we were served one of the best and most expensive champagnes. I noted how few of the socialites and WAGs appreciated what they were downing so casually; only the name was important. That may change . The day of spend merrily and forget tomorrow has gone. The boisterous credit card crowd who once enlivened the restaurant scene with their easy spending are disappearing – especially on weekends when it’s their money they’re spending – as financial woes deepen. Another thing I’ve noticed is people bringing their own wine glasses. When I first saw it in the States I was shocked, but I began to understand when a £60 bottle of wine was poured into in a thick, heavy glass which proved impossible to swirl or aerate. There is no longer any excuse for this. Once upon a time suitable glasses cost almost the price of the meal, but today there are low cost durable
glasses which can even be put into a dishwasher (although I’d advise against it). Dining out should be fun and having a glass or two of wine with my meal is for me part of the dining experience. Unfortunately, my evening has been ruined when I was served a wine recommended by the sommelier that should have been dumped down the sink. If the wine is corked, I can complain, but sending back a bottle I find insipid and characterless is not usually possible. A matter of taste, a sommelier will tell me, and possibly it’s true. Sadly, however, it can also be a poorly made wine that the restaurant never should have purchased. A knowledgeable sommelier and attentive service is for me more important than whether the restaurant is three star. Although I eat out more often than the average person, going out with friends for a casual evening I find myself returning to restaurants where I’m treated like someone who deserves the best. Years ago my husband and I had a favourite restaurant where we dined at least once or twice a week. One evening we asked for a particular table to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Sitting at another table near us was the King of Jordan. When, Louis, the manager of the restaurant was asked why we were sitting where we were rather than the King, he replied, “Mr. and Mrs. Schultz come in regularly; his Royal Highness only once a year.” ★
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Lunch at La Capanna 1 course £11.50 2 courses £15.50 3 courses £19.50 Available lunchtime Mon – Sat; 7 – 8pm Mon – Fri.
Open Sunday nights and Mondays as well from 1st June
48 High Street, Cobham, Surrey
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Cece Mills picks her Arts and Exhibitions for June and continues her alphabetical look at art forms. Harland Miller: Don’t Let the Bastards Cheer You Up Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead Until 19th July We all have a place in our bookcases for the row of old Penguin books, with their distinctive orange, blue or green covers with no gaudy pictures or visual clues to the contents of the book. Miller has created work for this exhibition in the form of painted reproductions of these covers with fictitious book titles, but all with direct links with Yorkshire, where Miller grew up. Miller is also an author and has written the novel Slow Down Arthur, Stick to Thirty in 2000. Miller is fascinated with the effect of time on posters and book covers and in the history of the region he lives in. Harland Miller, Gateshead Revisited, 2005, Oil on canvas © the artist, Photo: Stephen White, courtesy Jay Jopling/White Cube ( London )
‘It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.’ – Pablo Picasso
The Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair 11th to 17th June London Sculpture Week 12th to 19th June
Marble figure of Asklepios, Roman, c. 2nd century AD, 15 in.
There is an absolute wealth of wonderful things to ogle at here, even if the credit crunch is depriving you of the buying power you may have enjoyed in the past! At Grosvenor House, on Stand no. 5, is Rupert Wace Ancient Art Ltd., showing incredibly ancient and mind-blowingly priced pieces such as the Roman marble figure of Asklepios, the ancient Greek god of medicine and healing, which dates from the 2nd century AD, priced at £165,000. A long way from the contemporary art shows I usually write about, but made more fascinating to me because I am just about to celebrate my 50th birthday by throw-
ing a Roman Toga party. The image of Asklepios has been inspirational for my husband’s outfit – now your minds are really boggling! As well as Asklepios, Wace has on his stand a 1st century AD Romano-Egyptian cartonnage mummy mask that is believed to have come from the site of Hawara. London Sculpture Week is now in its sixth year and consists of a number of prestigious galleries, based in the Mayfair and St James’s area of London, presenting special exhibitions of sculpture from antiquity through to now.
Rupert Wace Ancient Art
Egyptian cartonnage mummy mask, Romano-Egyptian, mid-late 1st century AD. Rupert Wace Ancient Art
The Whitechapel Boys The Whitechapel Gallery, E1 Until 20th September The Whitechapel Gallery opened its new extension on April 5th into the next door Passmore Edwards Library. Both buildings were once known as the ‘University of the Ghetto’; in the early 1900s the East End of London was almost a quarter populated by Jewish people from central and eastern Europe. The old Whitechapel Library was the meeting place for a group of artists from this community, who later became known as The Whitechapel Boys. It was these artists, including David Bomberg, Mark Gertler and Isaac Rosenberg, who formed the Vorticist movement, contributing to the founding of British Modernism. The artists also included writers and poets striving to express their philosophical and political opinions, and coming to terms living in this poor part of London. The exhibition includes first editions of the poetry of John Rodker, and other personal items, as well as press cuttings and correspondence related to the Whitechapel Boys.
Gerard Quenum, Clandestines, 2008.405 x 151 cm. Wood, Metal, Doll and Wire Courtesy of October Gallery, London
Gerard Quenum: Stowaways October Gallery, London WC1 Until 27th June Contemporary African artist Gerard Quenum uses recycled objects, in particular discarded dolls, in strange and quirky combinations to create tableaux and pieces that amuse and tell stories. The dolls he uses are sent over from kindly charity organisations in aid packages to the poor and deprived children of Africa. Quenum procures these from the children by giving them the things they really want – food, sweets etc. His pink and very western dolls are then given an African make-over with skin blackening treatments and hair frizzing before they begin their new life as part of his installations. The October Gallery is in Old Gloucester Street (nearest tube Holborn or Russell Square).
Snozzcumbers and Frobscottle!: The Wonderful World of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA Until 6th September How could you resist taking the children to this wonderful display of two such lovable and well-known figures? The brilliant stories of Roald Dahl illustrated by the unique Quentin Blake make this exhibition a two in one whammy! With original manuscripts and illustrations, and plenty of interactive stuff, this is something not just for the children but for adults too.
Illustration from ‘The BFG’ copyright Quentin Blake
Liz Goodman, Museum of London conservator with Roman millefiore bowl
Fragments of the bowl before restoration
© Museum of London
[credit] © Museum of London
Art News: This month seems heavily biased towards the Roman theme, so I thought I would tell you about the amazing find in April this year of a Roman polychrome millefiori dish. It was found during excavations in Prescot Street, Aldgate, an area of London outside the city walls was dedicated as a burial area. Dated
from the 1st or 2nd century, it was among other precious glass and other items buried beside the body of a prominent Roman Londoner. Miraculously the dish was held together by the earth it was buried in, but took experts at the Museum of London Archaeology ages to piece together.
It is a really rare find, not only for this country, but from the Western Roman Empire too. It is made up of hundreds of little, indented glass petals as the name suggests - millefiori means ‘a thousand flowers’. The dish is now on display at the Museum of London in Docklands. Willie Doherty, Buried, 2009
Willie Willie Doherty: Doherty: Buried Buried
Courtesy the artist, commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery with support from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Fruitmarket Fruitmarket Gallery, Gallery, Edinburgh Edinburgh Until 12th July Until 12th July
In keeping with our theme of film for this month, this highly acclaimed exhibition of Willie Doherty’s work is centred round his native Northern Ireland, illustrating aspects of the political and geographical landscape. Buried is a film made specially for the exhibition and concerns the issue of memory and its repression and return. The film is full of dark gothic imagery and eerie sound. art_Cece_Willie Doherty_Ghost Story 1.jpg [and #4,7 and 8] Willie Doherty, Ghost Story, 2007 (video still) Courtesy the artist, Alexander and Bonin, New York, and Matt’s Gallery, London
art_Cece_Willie_Doherty_Buried_2009image3.tif Willie Doherty, Buried, 2009 Courtesy the artist, commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery with support from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Willie Doherty, Ghost Story, 2007 (video still) Courtesy the artist, Alexander and Bonin, New York, and Matt’s Gallery, London
In keeping with our theme of film for this month, this highly acclaimed exhibition of Willie Doherty’s work is centred round his native Northern Ireland, illustrating aspects of the political and geographical landscape. Buried is a film made specially for the exhibition and concerns the issue of memory and its repression and return. The film is full of dark gothic imagery and eerie sound.
Frescoes & Film E
very month I try to choose art forms that you may be familiar with but which – just maybe – I can tell you something you didn’t know about! This month I have found some images of frescoes in my collection taken in Pompeii, fragments of wall paintings uncovered by archaeologists hundreds of years after the eruption of Vesuvius buried the city. What makes these especially dramatic is their colour, and also the sense that they are an important historical guide, showing us how advanced and sophisticated the Romans were in their approach to art and home decoration. The essence of frescoes is that they are paintings on fresh plaster, either on the walls or ceilings of buildings. The wall paintings in Pompeii are an early version of fresco and date from the 1st century BC. Frescoes are painted on fresh, damp plaster which means time is of the essence. It is interesting to imagine what the Romans used as colour for their palettes – with saffron, madder and gall nuts, and the incredibly bright purple derived from murex, a type of shellfish. Modern wall paintings use modern paints, as can be seen in the rather vulgar scenes on the front of the Casa de la Panaderia, Plaza Mayor in Madrid, repainted in 1980 by Carlos Franco to replace the originals of 1670 destroyed by fire.
of each image one after the other by cunning devices – the zoetrope, mutoscope and praxinoscope – sounding eerily Harry Potter-esque. A zoetrope is a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. Inside the cylinder is a series of images, drawings, pictures or photos. As the cylinder spins, you look through a slit at the opposite side and a moving image is produced. In fact the earliest zoetrope was invented in China in 180AD, but in Britain it only surfaced in 1834. The Praxinoscope was an improvement on this design – it replaced the crude slits with a cunning system of mirrors, and was invented by a Frenchman, Charles-Emile Reynaud in 1877. The trouble with this was that the
Above: Roman fresco, Pompeii
Below: One of Carlos Franco’s ‘vulgar’ frescoes on the Casa de la Panaderia, Madrid Cece Mills
ilm or moving images originally consisted of a series of rapidly photographed individual ‘frames’ or images, which gave the appearance of moving due to the fast projection
Colin Fraser’s work – old school artist Praxinoscope-Théatre (1879) de Emile Reynaud escarlati
moving picture was only available to one viewer at a time. this also happened with the Mutoscope, an american invention marketed by the american Mutoscope company, which quickly moved on to become the coin-in-the-slot peep-show machine of the era, much to the horror of many upstanding citizens! if you have ever made a ﬂip-book then you will understand the way the mutoscope worked, but rather than being in a booklet, the images were put on cards attached to a circular core like a rolodex index card system. other amazing inventions of the period to produce a moving image were the thaumatrope, the electrotachyscope and the Phenakistoscope! so how did we move on from this fairly primitive system of individual images to the continuous, rolling film we know today? simply, we didn’t. films still consist of millions of individual frames, it is just that technology has become so sophisticated and the speed so fast, that the ‘frames’ are undetectable. the world’s first motion picture film was in 1888 and was called the roundhay garden scene and was recorded at 12 frames a second. ★
Next Month, Looking At: GRAFFITI AND GLASS 38
Colin Fraser: Places in Time The Catto Gallery Exhibition review by Virginia E. Schultz
t the onset of his career as an artist, Scottish born Colin Fraser has been captivated by painting in egg tempera, one of the oldest techniques as well as one of the most durable. It is a labour intensive form of art and the artist must have a clear view of what needs to be expressed that takes a particular kind of temperament. Even in art school Fraser was no more in step with the prevailing art scene than he is now and Conceptual art, Agitprop and Abstract and Pop art held little interest for him. There is a starkness to his work that reminds me of Andrew Wyeth, the noted American artist. In Wyeth’s paintings, however, there is a loneliness of someone passing by while with Fraser it is as if whoever had been there would return at any minute. Perhaps because he lived in Sweden since 1985 where light part of the year intensifies with its length and darkness casts shadows over the landscape the rest of the year, the colours in his paintings can be vivid; yet there is a mist of shade seeping in along the edges. The Fine Art Collective has printed a book of images by Fraser called Inner Light with text by William Packer & Richard D. North which can be purchased through The Catto Gallery. ★
Tony Bennett, Duke Ellington, watercolor and graphite on paper, gifted by the artist to the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Ellington by Bennett By Estelle Lovatt
inger Tony Bennett has donated his painting of Duke Ellington to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Ellington’s birth. The painting portrays Ellington with a spray of pink roses in the background. Bennett selected this motif of flowers to celebrate Ellington’s custom of sending the singer a dozen pink roses every time Ellington composed a new song. Bennett, a 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer, has painted all his life, and is considered an accomplished visual artist. “We are honoured to accept this donation from Mr. Bennett to the National Portrait Gallery’s collection,” said Martin Sullivan, director of the museum. “There was great affection between Bennett and Ellington, and both were outstanding contributors to America’s musical heritage.” This donation marks the third painting he has donated to the Smithsonian. In 2006, Bennett’s painting of Central Park was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and, in 2002, his portrait of Ella Fitzgerald was donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. ★
THEATER REVIEWS by Jarlath O’Connell
Left: Alex Hanson (Fredrick Egerman) Hannah Waddingham (Desiree Armfeldt) Below: Grace Link (Fredrika Armfeldt) Hannah Waddingham (Desiree Armfeldt)
A Little Night Musical
Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London
ondheim’s most accessible musical has made its way from the Menier Chocolate Factory to the West End. Yet another in their catalogue of hits. Apart from Maureen Lipman, stealing the show as Madame Armfelt, it has no star wattage and the producers are to be commended in these times of gloom for bringing Sondheim into town without any other TV ‘names’. Based on Bergman’s film Smiles on A Summer’s Night it was first produced on Broadway in 1973 and is the story of the lives and loves a group of aristos in 19th century Sweden. Famous actress Desiree (Hannah Waddingham) re-ignites her affair with Fredrik Egerman (Alexander Hanson) who in the interim has acquired a teenage bride, Anne (Jessie Buckley, runner up on TV’s I’ll Do Anything talent contest, here making an assured West End debut). Meanwhile, Fredrik’s studious son
Henrik (Gabriel Vick) is torn between forbidden desire for his new teenage mother-in-law and fighting off the flirtations of housemaid Petra (Kaisa Hammerlund). Thrown into the package is the witty Countess Charlotte (Kelly Price) who endures a tedious marriage with tin soldier husband, Count Magnus (Alistair Robins) who is having an affair with Desiree. Got it? It all culminates in a ‘Weekend in the Country’ – one of the best known songs from the show -– when Desiree’s mother the ageing courtesan, Madame Armfelt, (Maureen Lipman) invites them to her country mansion where sparks fly during the long Swedish white nights.
The show marked a break for Sondheim from harder and more bitter contemporary concerns in shows such as Company and Follies however, as always, he brilliantly dissects the human heart, the delusions which sustain us and achieves this eloquence while writing all the tunes in waltz time. This is the third West End outing for this show (the last one won an Olivier for Judi Dench at the national) and director Trevor nunn reminds us what a brilliant book Hugh Wheeler wrote for it. Each character is wonderfully delineated and the show’s big hit ‘Send in the Clowns’ is presented so simply by Hannah Waddingham it’s as if one is hearing it for the first time, losing the fey archness which typifies many of the recorded versions. Waddingham is an amazing stage presence, a sort of Amazonian Julie Andrews. She can deliver a killer line such as when Fredrik talks about
his young wife as “a blank page” and Desiree opens her negligee and flashes him with the lightning response “Yes, and the page that has been written on”. Having worked her way up through shows such as Spamalot and The Beautiful Game she is now at the top of her game. nunn’s orchestrates the ensemble with consummate skill. He also lets Maureen Lipman shine during her ‘turn’. She has written recently of her debt to him for not typecasting her and here she delivers a Madame Armfelt who is touching as well as eccentric. She wistfully recalls one lover who “might have been the love of my life” but whom she passed on to advance her “career”. The part was created by Hermione Gingold, whose persona has haunted the part ever since and time is ripe for a re-invention. What made Bergman’s film special was how it presented human foibles and foolishness with deftness and wit. Wheeler’s book and Sondheim’s mordant wit preserve this quality and make it one of the most successful translations to stage of any film.
Left: Maureen Lipman as Madame Armfeldt
he national’s cavernous Olivier Theatre has always posed a challenge for directors “lucky” enough to be given the honour of staging a play there. It demands an epic approach, which not many directors are used to in these days of two-hander, one-set plays. Rufus norris pulls it off admirably with a wonderful production of nigerian nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka’s play Death and the Kings Horseman. First produced in nigeria in 1975 it is here given a production of such vigour and colour as to bring a freshness to the national’s repertoire. This is only the second UK outing for this play, having received its UK première at the Royal Exchange in Manchester in 1990. It has also had successful staging in the US at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and at both the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers. The decision to have some of the all black cast ‘white up’ to play the colonials raised some eyebrows at first but succeeds beautifully with Lucian Msamati, hilarious as the pompous District Oﬃcer Pilkings, and Jenny Jules (below) stealing the show as his no-nonsense wife. Looking like she stepped out of
Front of shot: Giles Terera (Praise Singer), with members of the company
PHOTOS: ROBBIE JACK
Death and the King’s Horseman By Wole Soyinka • Olivier Theatre at National Theatre, London SE1 a production of Blithe Spirit and with a cut glass accent to rival Celia Johnson’s she is one of the highlights among a wonderful ensemble. Also cutting a dash is nonso Anozie in the title role as Elesin, the Horseman to the King. Drawn from real events that took place in nigeria in 1946 Soyinka set the action a few years earlier when WWII was still raging, albeit a long way from West Africa. The plot revolves around the attempts of the British District Oﬃcer, egged on by his wife, to prevent the local leader Elesin from committing ritual suicide, which is his duty after the death of his King. Matters are complicated by the problem of a royal visit when obviously there can be no sign or any local “trouble”. Like all good British colonials they don’t want “a scene”. The fallout of the District Oﬃcer’s intervention risks a riot from the furious locals and it forces an evaluation of the
conflicting views on the meaning of death and the place of the afterlife in everyone’s philosophies. The sheer audacity of the colonials is wonderfully illustrated by the decision of the District Oﬃcer and his wife to dress up in stolen Yoruba tribal costumes. The clothes signify the honouring of the tribe’s dead but the British sport them merely as an hilarious fancy dress outfit for their ball in honour of the Royal visitor. Katrina Lindsay designs, quite low tech for the Olivier, employ vivid Yoruba colours and fabrics and Javier de Frutos’ choreography and movement bring this whole world wonderfully to life. Pivotal to the plot is the return of Elesin’s son who has been educated and Anglofied in Britain and who tries to intercede with the British. “Have the humility to let others survive in their own way” he pleads.
But this is more than a play about culture clash and while Soyinka isn’t even handed in his own arguments, the play presents us with a rare and valuable opportunity to attempt to see the world through other’s eyes. Giles Terera (Praise Singer) and Nonso Anozie (Elesin, front of shot)
The Light in the Piazza F
our years ago Adam Guettel’s musical The Light in the Piazza swept the boards at the Tony Awards, winning six in all, including best musical. Guettel who has music composition in his blood, is the son of Mary Rodgers and the grandson of legendary Richard Rodgers, so expectations were high and there was much excitement when these seemed to be met. The show has now finally got its European première, not in London but in the spanking new Curve theatre in Leicester. The pride of the Midlands, this huge stunning theatre complex, which fills the gap left by the demise of the old Haymarket, is also run by Paul Kerryson, who has a great track record in musicals. In his time he even attracted Stephen Sondheim himself to the Midlands, to oversee brilliant productions of Merrily We Roll Along, Follies and Paciﬁc Overtures amongst others. When people ask where is the new Sondheim, Guettel is often the answer. After seeing this I am not so sure. Based on a 1960 light novel by Elizabeth Spencer it was subsequently made into a film starring Olivia de Havilland. That also featured George Hamilton with a tan (of course) and a ridiculous Italian accent. It imagines an encounter between well-heeled American tourists and inscrutable locals in Florence of 1953. It echoes David Lean’s Summertime and also A Room with a View and every ‘Americans abroad’ novel going back to Henry James, with its PHOTO: CATHERInE ASHMORE
Music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, book by Craig Lucas Curve Theatre, Rutland Street, Leicester
tale of buttoned up Anglo-Saxons letting their hair down with fiery latins. Pivotal to the story is the revelation (and apologies for the spoiler here) that Mrs Johnson, who is holidaying with her pretty young daughter Clara, has good reasons for trying to prevent Clara from marrying her young Italian suitor, Fabrizio. Clara has what would now be called a learning disability, which is not at first apparent, and she fears for her future. Guettel’s score breaks from the recent trend in Broadway musicals for pop or rock infused scores and returns to a neo-romantic, almost classical style. Heavily orchestrated the score has extended melodic structures and is incredibly lush. It also requires trained voices and Mrs Johnson is beautifully played here by international opera singer Lucy Schaufer. Caroline Sheen, who scored a hit with Mary Poppins, also has the necessary “pipes” to sing the very diﬃcult role of Clara. In the
male leads Kerryson has cast two West End stalwarts Matt Rawle and Graham Bickley, both with glorious voices. The piece though is problematic and the book and music don’t ever gel. This story might have worked wonderfully as a musical souﬄé similar to She Loves Me had it remained on the path of light romantic comedy but it lurches into melodrama and the light tone cannot be sustained. Despite the lush strings and the high notes the music never really captures the heart because one is never swept away by the characters. We are instead expected to make judgements on them and ironic distance and operetta don’t mix. This book, despite its picture postcard surface, is darker and could have benefited from a more modern musical treatment. The other flaw in this production is the design, which crams the stage with ugly slabs of marble which look more Greek than Roman, the movement of which deadens the pace. With a new theatre there is a temptation to show off its box-oftricks but here less would have been more and this piece isn’t good enough to sustain this lavish production. ★
Laurence Olivier Presents Harold Pinter’s
The Collection (PG) Reviewed by Michael Burland
ack in the ’70s Laurence Olivier produced and starred in a series of starry, and for the most part wonderful, television adaptations of classic plays for Granada Television. One of them, Harold Pinter’s The Collection is now available on its own on DVD. The Collection was seen in the West End only last year in a double bill with The Lover, starring Gina McKee, Mark Strong and Timothy West. This first TV version has, as well as Olivier himself, two iconic stars from the ’70s, Alan Bates and Malcolm McDowell and it is great to see them here, at their peak. In a small but pivotal part it also has Helen Mirren, long before she attained the status of national treasure and even then just as charismatic. Set in the exclusive world of West End boutique owners the plot revolves around Harry Kane (Olivier) who is disturbed one night by a visitor to his grand home. It is a Mr Horne (Bates) who wants to talk to Kane’s young ‘lodger’ Bill (Malcolm) whom he claims has had a romantic encounter with his wife (Mirren) when they met at an hotel on a recent business trip. Looked at today the relationship of the two men who live together as a couple in such grandeur is curious to say the least. Back then of course ‘confirmed bachelors’ were just that and nobody was vulgar enough to ask any questions.
But plot isn’t the point with Pinter of course, which probably makes him not the most suited to our idea of television. This film is wonderfully dated and has a stately pace concerned more with mood and language and character than incident. Being one of the acknowledged giants of modern theatre Pinter earned himself an adjective all to himself in Chambers Dictionary. “Pinteresque” is defined as “a world of halting dialogue with an air of menace”. Nothing could better describe this. Pinter portrays how we really speak. How we don’t use language to communicate but rather to obfuscate or to assert authority. Relationships are all, ultimately, about power and interactions are stratagems of evasion stemming from fear or uncertainty. Everyone here has impeccable manners, which can strike one as a bit odd in our more egalitarian times. “Do forgive me,” Bill says before he slams the door on Bates face. These are cultivated chaps and are often far more menacing than the low-lifes who Pinter also specialises in. The play contains one of Pinter’s greatest passages of dialogue. In front of Horne, an infuriated Harry tears into Bill when he realises the degree of his deception. He accuses him of being “a slum boy” whom he’d pulled from the gutter. “I have
nothing against a slum mind” he says grandly and later goes on “there is something faintly putrid about him don’t you think…a slug…..a slum slug”. Olivier is in his element here and one suspects it might be the reason he took the part and chose the play. Fans of cinema may find this adaptation, despite being directed by the great Michael Apted, ‘stagey’ but then this is not a play one could ever ‘open out’. It is about the cauldron that is our domestic sphere, here the drawing room. It has however more real drama in 60 minutes than most action films have in a whole series. For those old enough to remember ’70s television when directors took their time and didn’t have to cut every 5 seconds it is a comforting wallow. Network DVD, £9.99
Dr. Alison Holmes, Yale University’s Fellow of Transatlantic Studies, has some diﬃcult questions for the administration about drone attacks
Remote Controlled Future of War
Above: From spy-plane to deliverer of death – an MQ-9 Reaper Drone
s I write, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan is making his way to Washington. Given the tone of the recent visit from Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Pakistan, he has much to consider during the course of his 16-hour flight. It takes no imagination to think what the world would have made of President Bush if he had used Mr Brown’s colorful phrases like ‘the chain of terror’ that links Pakistan to Europe, or referring to the border region as a ‘crucible of terror’. Little wonder that President Zardari found other business to conduct when he was supposed to be giving a press conference with the British Prime Minister. But if a week is a long time in politics, it is also a whole world away as President Zardari’s plane crawls over oceans to make his rendezvous with the President. There is word that the White House has already had a ‘crisis meeting’ to discuss the forthcoming summit which will include both President Zardari (right) and his
Afghan counterpart, President Karzai. Mrs Clinton, echoing her friend in Number Ten Downing Street, has been ‘talking tough’, while officials have been scurrying to get a bill through the Senate that would triple US assistance to Pakistan bringing it to $1.5 billion a year for five years. Such a welcome gift clearly beats a collection of ‘film Americana’ or an iPod, but it may not be enough to keep things on an even keel. That is why signals have also been sent out, in appropriately vague diplomatic language, about the beginnings of the possibility to perhaps have an option to discuss ‘dual controls’ on what the Pakistanis regard as the serious issue: US drone assassinations of terror suspects on Pakistani soil. It is a complicated scenario. Some suggest that President Zardari has secretly approved the use of these new lethal technologies. On the other hand, the Pashtun tribesmen of FATA, still enraged at Pakistan’s invasion and militarization of the autonomous region in 2004,
have threatened an uprising. Thousands of people have protested the civilian casualties that inevitably accompany the use of drones, chanting ‘death to America’ at marches across Pakistan including a gathering of over 1,000 people just last week. The overall impact makes Zardari look painfully weak and, ironically, may help to fulfill the fear of the Obama Administration that mili-
tants could actually topple him in a kind of ‘Iranian scenario’. However, the summit is not without potential pitfalls for the Americans. If the Pakistanis succeed in making their case on the use of drones, a new page may be turned on views of the Obama Administration’s approach to what we used to call the war on terror but now, perhaps in keeping with the euphemisms of warfare that drones allow us entertain, must be referred to as ‘overseas contingency operations’. The muchheralded promise to close Guantanamo Bay and the controversial publication of the memos on torture may have cast a bright light on some areas but bright lights also cast deep shadows. It is in these shadows that the drone issue remains largely out of sight. Three days after President Obama became the 44th American President, five missiles hit compounds in Waziristan, killing an estimated 22 people. Drones and missiles are part and parcel of campaign that started last summer under President Bush to increase the use of unmanned military systems. This approach to combat looks set to continue well into the future. P.W. Singer is the head of Obama’s defense policy campaign team, a Brookings Institution fellow, and the author of a campaign paper since adopted by the Administration pledging to increase funding for unmanned drones. Singer has suggested, “Over the last five years we’ve gone from not using any unmanned systems in our military operations to using them every single day. And I don’t see any great change…This is the future of war.” His observation is borne out by recent trends. A relatively new tool in
the military tool chest, the Air Force’s fleet has expanded to 195 Predators and 28 Reapers (a new, more heavily armed version) bringing the total number of military drones from 167 in 2001 to the current 5,500. Today, Predators and Reapers are flying
34 surveillance patrols each day in Iraq and Afghanistan (up from 12 in 2006) and transmitting 16,000 hours of video each month, some of it directly to troops on the ground. That amounts to over 500 hours of video every day and an flying time for every patrol of nearly 16 hours. As the region, slightly larger than Vermont or a bit larger again than Wales, continues to be in Gordon Brown’s well–used phrase, a ‘crucible of terror’, this is valuable information in difficult terrain and often unfriendly territory. But the shadows are deep. Drones have evolved from an extra set of eyes helping to monitor activity and protect forces, to high– tech sniper scopes. They are operated (unofficially) by ‘pilots’ based at the CIA, via a computerized ‘joystick’. Their load is a Hellfire II missile –
a 500 pound bomb. On the command of a click, enough explosives to take out an armored vehicle arrive at their target at 950 miles an hour – twice the speed of President Zardari’s plane at cruising altitude. The usual cause of death is incineration and a minimum 100 yard radius is charred with debris scattered far and wide. The problem for those on the ground is that they are not aware of the planes until they are nearly overhead and even then they often have no idea which planes are merely watching them and those that may be coming in for a kill. Since the President’s inauguration there has been almost constant surveillance of the population and at least 16 Predator strikes killing over 150 people. Drones are currently used without prior permission, over sovereign territory, against people who have had no charge brought against them, have not been heard by a judge let alone seen by a lawyer, and yet are assassinated in their homes, their cars, or on the road with their families or any other member of the general public who happens to be nearby. To date, according to Pakistani officials, nearly 700 lives have been lost in 60 separate strikes that killed 14 wanted al-Qaeda suspects. Perhaps President Zardari will ask President Obama, as he was flying the 16 hours from Pakistan to Washington DC, how many drones were flying in the other direction with new targets in their sights. Perhaps American journalists will ask President Obama if his argument in relation to the torture memos to ‘uphold one’s values’… ‘even when it’s hard’ doesn’t apply if American hands are only tainted with blood by remote control. H
The Capri, Ford’s European Mustang
As Much Use as a Chocolate Racecar? 40mph electric city cars may be good for the planet but they don’t get the pulse racing, so a team at the University of Warwick got to thinking how they could promote eco-friendly motoring with a hit of adrenaline. On May 5 they unveiled the “WorldFirst Formula 3 racing car”. It’s powered by chocolate, steered by carrots and has bodywork made from potatoes, but can still do 125mph around corners. The University’s Warwick Manufacturing Group and the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre decided that the car had to be competitive, while using environmentally sustainable parts, to show the automobile industry what is possible using environmentally friendly technologies available now. The fruits of their labor meets all current Formula 3 racing standards except for its biodiesel engine which runs on fuel derived from waste chocolate and vegetable oil. Dr Kerry Kirwan from the research team said “Components made from plants form the mainstay of the car’s make up, including a race specification steering wheel derived from carrots and other root vegetables, a flax fibre and soybean oil foam racing seat, a woven flax fibre bib, plant oil based lubricants and a biodiesel engine configured to run on fuel derived from waste chocolate and vegetable oil.”
Ford Dagenham Hits 80
oMoCo, the only one of the big three Detroit car manufacturers surviving without government funding, has a double dose of celebrations in store on this side of the Atlantic. Ford’s main UK plant on the banks of the Thames at Dagenham, Essex is celebrating 80 years of manufacturing. The site on the Thames was opened on May 17, 1929, when Henry Ford’s son, Edsel, cut the first sod with a silver spade. The marshy land cost Ford just £167,700 (around $668,000 at the time). 20,000 piles were sunk 80 feet into the ground to support the buildings. The company built new homes for 2,000 Ford employees and their families, who were moved south from Ford’s first British plant at Trafford Park, Manchester. The factory took 28 months to build, and the first vehicle, a Model AA truck, rolled off the production line in October 1931. Although the 475-acre factory complex no longer builds complete cars, it makes over 1,000,000 mainly diesel engines a year which are sent to vehicle assembly plants across Europe. Famous employees at the plant have included Idris Elba, who plays drug dealer Stringer Bell in TV’s The Wire, singers Sandy Shaw and Billy Ocean, world heavyweight boxing champion Henry Akinwande, land speed record breaker Sir Malcolm Campbell who was a director of Ford and (less popular among modern motorists) Maurice Gatsonides, who invented the GATSO speed camera.
Capri, the British Mustang
Ford’s second anniversary is the 40th birthday of the Capri, an equivalent of the Mustang that was designed for European roads. Buyers A plot of history – Ford’s plant could choose from a range of exterior andinon the Thames terior trim, and six engines from a relatively parsimonious 1300cc to a rip-roaring liter V6 that would, the adverts promised, give an Aston Martin a run for its money. In 18 years nearly two million Capris were sold and it became something of an icon . Capri fans are getting together at Castle Combe, Wiltshire (6 June), Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, Aberdeenshire (30 August), Ace Café in London (5 September) and Brooklands Museum, Surrey (2 September).
Peugeot Vivacity Ian Kerr gets lively among the Croats
ou might think that a historic Croatian city would be the last place a modern twist-and-go scooter would fit in. However Peugeot’s Vivacity, now ten years old and in its third gestation, fits in a treat. Its fresh modern looks don’t look out of place among Dubrovnik’s smart new hotels and chic shops selling haute couture. In the ancient, castellated area of Grad and it still displays a level of reverence, thanks to the its classic but clean looks. The machine is designed and styled in France, but built in China to keep the price down to a very affordable level. Engineers from Peugeot are based in the far east to ensure standards are maintained. In fact I defy you to notice any unfinished areas of the bike or poor quality; the fit and finish of all panels and components is superb. Take the front storage compartment that opens outward. Unless you know it’s there it looks like a solid front panel protecting the rider’s lower body from the elements. More storage exists below the seat, which can swallow a helmet, making it ideal for those who do not want to advertise that they use two wheels as transport when they walk in the office. Then there is the briefcase/bag hook inside the legshields and optional factory designed rack and top box.
Riding is simplicity itself. Grab a brake lever, turn the key, thumb the button and accelerate into the fray. The nippy 50cc Vivacity is more than up to the cut and thrust of city traffic once rolling, even if it will not win the traffic light Grand Prix. Despite being a two-stroke, even when maxed out the exhaust note is inoffensive and there is no blue cloud of smoke behind, this is a very green clean machine. In fact gently drifting round the very narrow streets of Dubrovnik old town, not one tourist turned to look as I drifted by! Despite the helmet compartment, the two-person is good for the vertically challenged and anybody can quickly feel comfortable on the vehicle. Controls and instrumentation are standard fare but the rider enjoys ultra-complete, digital instrumentation including a clock, exterior
temperature indicator and ice alert, no less, although I think that as an exposed rider you would know when it’s that cold! The Vivacity makes nipping around town a breeze, the smallest gaps can be taken with confidence. Thanks to larger than average 12 inch wheels it gives you confidence on the open road as well. Around the coast and on open roads (some of which made Britain’s pot-holed lanes seem like American freeways) it was fine. Some of the surefootedness comes from the fuel tank being sited under the machine, lowering the centre of gravity. Its 8.5 litre capacity is 40% greater than the old model and Peugeot claim a range of 150 miles. The miles I did, mostly flat out, barely registered on the fuel gauge, so it is probably realistic. Despite its small engine the bike feels much bigger and you do not feel the need to check shop windows in case you look silly. [And Ian is several inches taller than me – 6’ 1” ed.] This is a neat trick, a small bike that everyone, irrespective of size or experience will feel happy on and want to ride! What else could you want from such a machine? Clean lines, good looks, ultra-easy to handle and in a variety of sensible colours. Add in an exceptional level of equipment with an unbeatable features/price ratio and a 2-year guarantee all for £1,499. H Vivacious Vivacity impresses dyed-in-the-wool motorcyclist Ian Kerr (NB rider is NOT Kerr)
Peugeot 3008 P
eugeot chose Croatia and the historic city of Dubrovnik to début their new 3008 to the world’s press. The French car giant claims that “the 3008 represents a new and innovative vehicle concept, not only in the Peugeot range, but also in the market in general, known as a ‘Crossover’. According to the press team, it is positioned at the crossroads between several existing vehicle types: the SUV, the MPV and the hatchback. The reality is of course that other manufacturers like Nissan, with their Qashqai, have been in this area for some time now and are doing very nicely. Like the Nissan, the Volkswagen Tiguan and Ford Kuga, the 3008 combines many of the strengths of the SUV, the MPV and hatchback into one vehicle. In this recession that can be very attractive for an active family unit. While in an ideal world we would all like a garage full of vehicles for every conceivable need, something like this can at least be competent for
Ian Kerr finds a new kind of car in an ancient city most needs, even if it excels at none of them. Having said that, Peugeot have worked harder than most to get it near the top of each bracket. To help make the purchasing decision easier Peugeot have introduced a number of new and original technologies like Dynamic Roll Control, Grip Control, head-up display, electric parking and brake hill control not normally found in this market segment. They have also aimed to give the purchaser some real driving enjoyment, which is why they are offering a very potent 1.6 litre petrol engine in various states of tune, as well as a diesel option, both of course being very eco-friendly. It has also been designed so that it will in the near future be the first of the vehicles within PSA Peugeot Citroën group to be fitted with hybrid technology. From a styling point of view, the architecture, as they like to call it, of
the 3008 quite successfully combines elements of a conventional hatchback with a forward-positioned front windscreen, a split tailgate, spacious interior, large side windows and raised driving position, similar to that you would expect from a 4x4. Like the competition, it looks very much like a squashed down four wheeled drive that has been rounded off to give a pleasant sleek appearance that does not look bulky or intimidating in any way and has an excellent aerodynamic rating. It is a vehicle that will not look out of place in a city anywhere in the world, in the country, or on the drive of a modern or historic home. The exterior belies its spacious interior, the driver benefits from an ergonomic and particularly luxurious driving position that is reminiscent of the world of the luxury coupé and, I have to agree, has some similarity to the cockpit of an aircraft. However, more toys, more gizmos means more to go wrong or, more importantly, distract the driver Passengers also get generous, comfortable seating and plenty of leg room. There is also the option of a large glass panoramic roof, although I personally have never understood why you want to allow more heat on a sunny day into the car and work the air-con harder, thus increasing consumption figures! At the rear is a cavernous multiadjustable load space that allows
Fighter-plane technology for the family car – the 3008 has a head-up display
different levels for loads to add to the security when parked. In addition the useful split tailgate makes loading and safety a lot easier than just a normal single piece tailgate. Useful safety aids that are available as standard, or as an option, include a head up display, distance alert, electric parking brake, hill assist, not to mention on-board navigation systems. Another innovation is the five position Grip Control system, consisting of an advanced traction control system and special Mud & Snow tyres. It optimises the traction of both front wheels for improved traction on poor road surfaces. Ride comfort is controlled by a rigid body that allows the suspension, comprising of a McPherson type front and a torsion beam rear set-up to work as they should. A Dynamic Roll Control system, fitted to the rear suspension, reduces body roll and is intended to aid road holding as well as give a flat ride through corners. At the heart of the Peugeot 3008 are its six power train options. The petrol engine options - 1.6 litre VTi and THP engines developed in co-operation with the BMW Group - and the 1.6 and new 2.0 litre HDi diesel versions fitted with diesel particulate emission filters, are claimed to have excellent fuel consumption as well as being very ecofriendly. So what is it like to drive? Well you cannot argue with the spacious interior with all controls falling easily to hand. If they don’t you can guarantee that there is an adjuster somewhere to make sure they do!
The head-up display is very useful, especially when you have been warned of speed traps along the route. Definitely a safety aid and no gimmick! My first drive was in the sporty version of the petrol engine version and this proved to be quite good fun on the very twisty coastal route. The throttle response was excellent and the light, progressive steering made pushing the vehicle a real delight. However, while the roll control works well on the rear, it encourages you to push harder and then the front end becomes a trifle twitchy! While the motor seemed to thrive on being revved and allowed a reasonable pace, it was lacking real punch when it came to the quick overtakes you would consider in a hot hatchback, or a more sporty motor. Switching to the diesel version meant a more pleasant drive as you felt no inclination to push the vehicle at all. I feel that most potential purchasers will be better off with this version and settle for the multiplicity of use, instead of pretending they are in the sports car category. There is little opportunity to test out fuel consumption on a launch like this, but given the poor state of the Croatian roads I have to say the ride and comfort was excellent and I genuinely felt that the vehicle would
Outside it’s an aerodynamic hatchback/MPV/SUV crossover, inside it feels like a luxury coupé
cater for most of my needs if I was in the Crossover market. The vehicle will not be launched into the UK showrooms until November this year and no price has been fixed, but if you are looking for a spacious vehicle that at time needs to act like a station wagon and occasionally has to deal with loose or muddy surfaces, this is a genuine contender. Peugeot are to be congratulated in managing to combine the attributes of most dual purpose vehicles into one that will no doubt sit high on many people’s shopping lists for a whole host of reasons. H
Protection Order Don’t let star quarterbacks distract you – this year’s class was about the next generation of pass protectors and disruptors. Richard L Gale gives his grades and opinion on the ’09 NFL Draft class
hile Oakland draws derision for Darius Heyward-Bey, and Detroit heralds a new era with Matthew Stafford, the 2009 draft will assert itself on the 2009 season with the Xs and Os of block-or-be-blocked. The ’07 Dolphins won 10 more games in ’08 after overall no.1 pick Jake Long solidified a line that had been one of the NFL’s poorest. In New England, Jerod Mayo’s 100 tackles earnt him Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, the sixth linebacker in a row to win the award. Draft grades are about more than quarterbacks...
GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers bring defensive terror in DT BJ Raji (BC, r1) and LB Clay Matthews (USC, r1) fixing a 26th-ranked rush defense. At OL, they located battler TJ Lang (Eastern Michigan, r4) and quick athletic Jamon Meredith (South Carolina, r5), part of a good mixture of ‘now’ and ‘later’ prospects that matched style and need.
Throughout April, Philly made McNabb happy, trading for OT Jason Peter, snatching sure-handed, shifty WR Jeremy Maclin (Missouri, r1), pro-style catch-friendly RB LeSean McCoy (Pitt, r2), tight end Cornelius Ingram (Florida, r5), and two linemen – all below value.
NEW YORK GIANTS
New WRs: Hakeem Nicks (UNC, r1), an NFL-ready possession receiver, and 6’6” Ramses Barden (Cal Poly, r3). Will Beatty (UConn, r2) matched OT need. RB Andre Brown (NC St, r4) could work in. LB Clint Sintim (Virginia, r2) had 20.5 sacks the past two years.
A great draft for a team with no first day picks. DL Jarron Gilbert (San Jose St, r3) and DE/OLB Henry Melton (Texas, r4) have upside. Juaquin Iglesias (Oklahoma, r3) is a soft-handed chains-mover who could be the next Wes Welker. CB DJ Moore (Vanderbilt, r4) was a steal.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers
ST LOUIS RAMS
NY spent some spares and a 2nd to trade up for charismatic QB Mark Sanchez (USC, r1), but don’t expect good times to roll immediately. The weather gets cold in NY and like tough new RB Shonn Greene (Iowa, r3), Sanchez was only a one year starter in college.
DE Aaron Maybin (Penn St, r1) is a top pass rusher, who started only as a senior, Andy Levitre (Oregon St, r2) an adaptable OT who’ll switch to guard. Pro-ready OG Eric Wood (Louisville, r1) might be the dullest pick of r1, but that’s okay, as he oﬀsets later ‘development’ talent. CB Jairus Byrd (Oregon, r2) is a smooth ballhawk with the mind of a receiver, but the work ethic of a safety.
The Lions took all-the-throws QB Matthew Staﬀord (Georgia, r1) and some targets: WR Derrick Williams (Penn St, r3), a worker in traﬃc, and TE Brandon Pettigrew (Ok. St, r1) an excellent blocker. Safety Louis Delmas (West Michigan, r2) has Round 1 solidity.
The Pats dealt their way to 12 rookies plus Bucs TE Alex Smith, while setting up a healthy haul for 2010. Secondary help included top SS Patrick Chung (Oregon, r1) and CB Darius Butler (UConn, r2), an athletic cover corner. Later picks were more quantity than quality.
A solid collection. LT Jason Smith (Baylor, r1) is a can’t-miss prospect as left side protector for the postOrlando Pace era. ILB James Laurinaitis (Ohio St, r2), is a Butkus Award-winning tackler who just feels like a future all-pro. The Rams stuck to their script of needs through the later picks, taking few risks.
WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech, R1) may be the draft’s most complete receiver. LB Scott McKillop (Pitt, r5) is a tackler with excellent play recognition. A round 2 pick was traded to Carolina for a 1st next year, and they added a host of lesser oﬀensive tools including blocking TE, backup RB, and a project QB.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS Grade:
LB Brian Cushing (USC, r1) and DE Connor Barwin (Cincinnati, r2) plus veteran LB Cato June add to an improving ‘D’ that could be special in ’09, and potentially among the elite in 2010. A steal: TE James Casey (Rice, r5), a phenomenal receiver (111 last season).
The Cards rejuvenated the run with RB Chris Wells (Ohio St) at pick 31,and added his college FB Dionte Johnson as a free agent. Also notable: pass rush DE Cody Brown (UConn, r2) and minor steal FS Rashad Johnson (Alabama, r3) who has football savvy and tackling ability.
NEW YORK JETS
Kenny Britt (Rutgers, r1), a hard possession receiver for NFL traﬃc, was a need. ILB Gerald McRath (Southern Miss) is a run-supporter who only adequately ticked another need. There were some nice later picks, but not the definitive shutdown CB they sought.
Jason Smith of Baylor was the first lineman taken as the St Louis Rams sought an instant replacement for all-pro left tackle Orlando Pace. PHoTo: BAYLoR ATHLETICS
Traded out of the 5th overall, gaining 3 more ex-Jets to add to FA signings. Needs were defense and WRs, so they took... C Alex Mack (Cal, r1)? R2 WRs included Brian Robiskie (Ohio St), 6’3”, hands and routes to catch plenty early, and Mohamed Massaquoi (Georgia). For now, let’s assume this isn’t all a vanity project by Coach Mangini to show NY what could have been.
The Colts matched needs with players that fit their system well: 2000-yd rusher Donald Brown (UConn, r1), small cover-2 CB Jerraud Powers (Auburn, r3), r4 WR Austin Collie (105 balls with BYU ’08), two DTs and a kicker to replace FA punter Hunter Smith.
The Falcons sent a 2010 r2 for TE Tony Gonzalez, then committed all but one pick to defense. Nonetheless, linebacker went largely unchecked, and Peria Jerry, already with a dissuasive catalogue of gimpiness, went lame as soon as they got him to camp. However, the general standard of picks and UDFAs was good.
Seattle selected LB Aaron Curry (Wake Forest) over OT Eugene Monroe or QB Mark Sanchez, but turned to OL, WR, and QB needs with their next 3 picks. 2008 Butkus winner Curry is one of the draft’s impact players, with a wow factor that later ‘Hawks picks lacked.
Needing sacks from more than Julius Peppers, Carolina gave up a 2010 1st to leap between Miami and r2 DE/LB Everette Brown (Fla St), who has sky-high potential to justify the move. R3 DL Corvey Irvin (Georgia) also has burst and moves. There was a recurring theme of ‘hard worker’ from this class.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS Grade:
A WR clearout welcomed ex-Ram Torry Holt, and draftees Jarrett Dillard (Rice, r5, NCAA’s all-time TD catch leader) and Mike Thomas (Arizona, r4), both surehanded producers, and 6’1” Tiquan Underwood (Rutgers, r7). OTs Eugene Monroe (Virginia, r1) and Eben Britton (Arizona, r2) could bookend the Jags line for a decade, at worst at LT and RG. Despite dropping to the lower half of the league’s defenses, The Jags selected only two defensive players. LB help was overlooked.
OT Andre Smith is a massive, punishing sumo-ish run blocker and an all-pro unless he eats himself out of the NFL first. LB Rey Maualuga brings destruction to the field and, reportedly, to parties. Don’t you just love these Bengals players? This class may blow itself apart, but a few opponents will be caught in the explosion.
The Cowboys traded out of Day 1, loading up Day 2. Inevitably, there’s a lot of maybes. 3 of their top 5 picks went between DE and LB: R3 OLB Jason Williams (West Illinois) brings a mixture of tackles, turnovers and sacks. R4 DEs Brandon Williams (Texas Tech) and Victor Butler (Oregon St) tallied 40 sacks over the past 2 seasons.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS Grade:
Lucked into Texas DE Brian Orakpo, an explosive passrusher at pick 13. OL needs were not addressed in the draft itself, and clearing up the QB situation was desirable, so this was something of a half-draft. CB Kevin Barnes (Maryland, r3) has great straight line speed and together with Orakpo, will figure in 2009.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Tyson Jackson (LSU, r1) and Alex Magee (Purdue, r3) join Glenn Dorsey in the DE rotation, as KC try to reverse the huge drop-oﬀ in sacks that followed Jared Allen’s trade. OL could have been addressed more thoroughly.
Ziggy Hood (Missouri, r1) was a dodge-and-disrupt DT in college but may be a 300 lb DE here. Needing better OLs, Kraig Urbik (Wisconsin, r3) and AQ Shipley (Penn St, r7) look like more of the same old fill-ins.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS Grade:
At last, a franchise QB! The Bucs traded up 2 picks to get to K-State’s Josh Freeman before Denver, but he’s one of several projects and may sit awhile. A massive need at OLB was ignored, but mid-round DL help arrived.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio St, r1) is a game-fast player starting soon at CB or FS. Chip Vaughn (Wake Forest, r4), a college FS, is big enough that he may end up at SS. Their shortest draft since Mike Ditka wore dreads.
In big Sean Smith (Utah, r2) and confident Vontae Davis (Illinois, R1), Miami landed starting CBs of the future. This year, however, T.O. and Randy Moss might beat them like drums. The ’Phins also took QB Pat White and some WRs, but never found a pass rusher – I’m convinced that they were looking at DE Everette Brown as a steal before Carolina traded in ahead of them.
OT Michael Oher (Ole Miss, R1) is a very quick blocker for his size, and Paul Kruger (Utah , R2) is athletic and disciplined, but there are downsides: Oher is raw as sushi and Kruger’s body has been through a lot – he seems way above value at pick 57. As the first two picks from the same draft class, that seems a little risky.
WR Percy Harvin (Florida, r1) is a slippery, big play threat. Coachability may be an issue, and he’s a small player. 6’8” RT Phil Loadholt (Oklahoma, r2) has long arms but lacks quickness. ILB Jasper Brinkley (South Carolina, r5) is a steal if he gets over ’07 knee ligaments injury. These are high risks for a small 5-player draft.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
R1 OLB Larry English racked 30.5 sacks over 3 years, and had a good Senior Bowl, but beyond him and r5 CB Brandon Hughes – a rare below value pick – this draft didn’t seem to advance the Chargers beyond the AFC West squabble into which they’re falling.
The Cutler trade was acceptable because the Broncos could use picks to rebuild one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Mission unaccomplished. The Broncos selected more oﬀense than defense. Only RB Knowshon Moreno (Georgia, r1) appears to be a year-one impact player.
Darrius Heyward-Why? What can you do when a team consistently, stubbornly ignores the consensus value of players? For anybody who suspects Al Davis of being certifiable, this wasn’t a strong counter-argument. H Aaron Curry of Wake Forest became a Seattle Seahawk as the first linebacker selected in the 2009 NFL draft. PHoTo ©BRIAN WESTERHoLT, SPoRTS oN FILM
15,000 Word Draft Dissertation! Catch more than capsules online at
On Court A
British male has not won Wimbledon since Fred Perry back in 1936, but I think that drought will end this year with Mr. Andrew Murray. Not only will the Scotsman win Wimbledon,– along with writing the obligatory biography that will be on sale at your local high-street newsagents – but may very well win the French. While I know this is a reach, the man has genuine talent, as displayed by his hard court prowess, but also has the goods to win on any surface, including clay. His recent rise to number three is no fluke, and neither are his wins over both Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal since last year’s All-England tournament. The sentiment within tennis circles is that it is only a matter of time before Andy overhauls both Federer and Nadal to reach the lofty number one spot in the world. While his play on both grass and hard-court was always good, his clay performances have been improving each year and it is only a matter of time before he breaks through at the French. The real secret to his success may be attributed to the friendship he formed with University of Miami tennis player Daniel Vallverdu, whom he met while both were junior players training in Spain. What Andy has tapped into is a fitness culture. Andy loves the heat and humidity in South Florida to the point that he has bought a condo down there and trains at the University of Miami. Andy spent three weeks in December swimming in the UM pool,
lifting with the football team and playing soccer with the varsity. In addition, he practiced yoga, hit twice a day and gobbled up about 6,000 calories daily to fuel all the work. Will all the work pay off? I think over time it will, as hard work and fitness will surely only improve on his talented base, and I don’t think there are too many on the tour at the moment willing to work as hard as Andy has. While there will be more prominent story lines to this year’s summer tennis season, I would highly recommend to those who follow tennis closely to watch Andy during the French and satellite tournaments leading up to Wimbledon. Pay close attention to not only the first set of the first match he plays, but also the last game in the fifth set when fatigue, both mental and physical, sets in. I am certain that Andy will make fewer mistakes than his opponents, simply because he is fitter and thereby better able to handle the pressure. The toughest obstacle Andy will face if he makes a run at Wimbledon will not only be either Nadal or Federer, but the pressure from the fans and media at home to finally lay the ghost of Fred Perry to rest. I really like Andy to cause a minor upset at both the French and Wimbledon tournaments this year, and for those discerning tennis fans, make it a point to visit the satellite tournaments now. You can say with authority that it is his diet and fitness regime and that you saw it coming some time ago! H
photo © getty images/getty images for evian
Can Britain’s Andy Murray bring home a Grand Slam title? His time could be now, writes Sean L Chaplin
June Tennis in the UK – When and Where? AEGON Championships
Location: The Queen’s Club, London Defending Champion: Rafael Nadal Already confirmed: Nadal, Murray, Andy Roddick, Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils, James Blake, Mardy Fish Notes: Andy Roddick has won Queen’s four times – in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007 Website: www.aegonchampionships.com
Location: Eastbourne, England Defending Ladies Champion: Agnieszka Radwańska Reigning Men’s Champions: Ivo Karlovic Notes: A combined event , merging the Eastbourne WTA tournament with the former Nottingham Open Already confirmed: Jelena Jankovic, Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva, Gael Monfils, Radek Stepanek Website: http://eastbournetennis.com
June 22-July 5
Location: All England Lawn Tennis Club, London SW19 Defending Men’s Champions: Rafael Nadal Defending Ladies Champion: Venus Williams Website: http://www.wimbledon.org Notes: See next issue for our Wimbledon preview!
And Then There Were
Jeremy Lanaway looks at the Conference Final contenders
aking it to the conference finals is no small feat, especially in today’s NHL, where parity is the name of the game, but for the final four teams fighting for the chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s celebrated mug, it’s just another step in the long road to winning hockey’s highest honour. For the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, eight wins are already in the bank – half the quota required for winning a place in hockey history.
© gETTY IMAgES
Chicago Blackhawks (4) vs. Detroit Red Wings (2) The NHL bigwigs are happy campers — having two original-six teams square off in the Western Conference Finals. The rematch of last winter’s Winter Classic has all the makings of a classic, a David-versusGoliath match-up that will pit the Blackhawks’ baby-faced stars, led by Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, against a group of the most accomplished players in the sport, including Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Lidstrom, and Marian Hossa. Can the Red Wings achieve the nearimpossible and win back-to-back Cups? Or will the Blackhawks return the silver chalice to the Windy City for the first time since 1961? Red Wings coach Mike Babcock isn’t worried that
his team’s Cup win last season will prevent a repeat, as it has with every other team that has won the trophy in recent years. “What people don’t understand,” he explained in a pre-series presser, “is that the people who have won [the Stanley Cup] know what it takes to win it, and they refuse to give in.” And so far, his team has put his words into practice, debunking the notion of the ‘Cup hangover’ by dispatching the Columbus Blue Jackets and then drawing the curtain on the Anaheim Ducks’ storybook resurgence. If the Red Wings want to get invited to the big dance again, they’ll have to maintain constant discipline and not give the Blackhawks a chance to cash in on their peaking power-play, which has a success rate of 29.4 percent, the gold standard in this season’s playoffs. The Red Wings have let in at least one power-play goal in each of their last nine playoff tilts, giving them a kill rate of only
71.4 percent, so sitting in the sin bin will be a sure-fire way to dig themselves into a hole in the series. At the other end of the rink, the Blackhawks will need to get as much rubber on Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood as possible if they’re to have any chance of usurping the best in the West. The Blackhawks youthful offence has notched 3.67 goals per game in the post-season, more than any other team, and they’ll certainly look to maintain this output in the series by taking every opportunity to fire pucks on net, which will no doubt be screened by towering forward Dustin Byfuglien, a key to the team’s success against the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Perhaps more importantly, the Blackhawks will simply need to keep believing in themselves. Defenceman Duncan Keith voiced the team’s confidence: ‘We won nine in a row during the regular season. You’ve got to be a pretty good team to be able to do that. But we haven’t accomplished anything yet. It’s an accomplishment to make the last four, but that’s not what we want. That’s not what our ultimate goal is.’
Carolina Hurricanes (6) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (4) The Penguins may have an advantage in the back rooms of Las Vegas, but it’s hard to bet against the Hurricanes, who went on a late-season tear to earn a playoff berth, then upended the New Jersey Devils before knocking off the East’s top squad, the Boston Bruins, in seven games. The Penguins are riding a similar wave of momentum, coming off a thrilling game-seven win against the Washington Capitals. Both teams are hungry, confident, and focused, so a
long, back-and-forth series is likely. ‘You’re going to see some fast hockey,’ predicted Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. ‘Both teams really play similar styles. I’ve watched them play. Their D is in the play, they’re quick up front, they attack, and they don’t sit back. I think that’s similar to the way we like to play as well.’ The Hurricanes thrive on end-toend hockey, so they’ll want to keep the puck moving northward, constantly on the lookout for odd-man rushes. They’ll hope to keep their top sniper, Eric Staal, on the score sheet, because when Staal scores, they win, as they’ve shown on seven separate occasions throughout the playoffs. Backing up Staal will be team leader Rod ‘The Bod’ Brind’Amour, who’d finally managed to dump his thirteen-game pointless slump in the last match against the Bruins. ‘He had a big game,’ commented Staal on the Hurricanes’ thirtyeight-year-old workhorse, who was the leading factor in the team’s Cup run a few season ago. ‘He scored a huge goal for our team. He got us back into it on the power-play. We’re going to need him in this round for sure.’ The Penguins will want to take their puck-possession game to the next level in order to keep the Hurricanes hemmed in their own end as much as possible. By winning puck-possession battles, the Penguins will be able to keep the Hurricanes on the backs of their blades, and prevent them from getting their defence up-ice and into the offensive fray. However, drawing up puckpossession dominance on a white board and executing it on the ice are two very different things, so the question is – will the Penguins manage to translate ‘game plan’ into ‘game play’? H
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Published on Jul 31, 2009
Published on Jul 31, 2009
The American has been published in Britain since 1976. It is the only monthly magazine / website / community for Americans visiting and livi...