THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
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FOOTBALL ISSUE College and NFL Season Previews Osbourne House - Queen 7JDUPSJBTGBWPSJUFIPNF WIN A Copy of Fun new book about the Stars’ Cars
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The American ®
Issue 701 –September 2011 PUBLISHED BY SP MEDIA FOR
Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Telephone all departments +44 (0)1747 830520 Publisher: Michael Burland firstname.lastname@example.org
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©2011 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., www.advent-colour.co.uk ISSN 2045-5968 Cover: (Main Image) Landry Jones. Photo: Ty Russell Inset Right: Osbourne House. Photo: Sabrina P. Sully
Welcome n the week that U.S. Olympic Committee members I and athletes visited Britain in advance of the 2010 Games parts of London and several other English towns and cities went up in flames amid unprecedented scenes of looting and violence. Let’s hope that Americans will have the same attitude as U.S. beach volleyball player Brittany Hochevar, in London for an Olympic test event, who said “You’ll have incidents anywhere you are in the world. It doesn’t matter. If you’re in a big city, this could happen anywhere in the world, so this doesn’t change my perception of London for 2012 or give me concern for the Olympics. That’s the world.” Despite the actions of a mindless minority Britain is still a beautiful, fascinating and rewarding place to visit and to live in. Enjoy it, and... Enjoy your magazine,
Michael Burland, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME OF THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS
Jeﬀrey Robinson is an American journalist and author who has been described as ‘the world’s most important financial crime journalist’. Read his take on the phone hacking scandal.
Alan Miller the Director of New York City’s NY Salon, cofounder of London’s Truman Brewery and The Vibe Bar and member of the English Arts Council. We have his thoughts on the riots.
Carol Gould is an American author, columnist and film-maker who fights antiAmericanism wherever she finds it. She writes this month on anti-American, anti-Israeli heckling at the South bank.
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 or any loss arising from reliance on it. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.
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Duxford Celebrates WWII Warbirds On July 31, Sally B and Friends Day celebrated the famous B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. In the day’s grand finale Sally B, now in her 66th year, flew with two Twister aircraft performing aerobatics around her, a display never previously performed. The crowd at Imperial War Museum Duxford enjoyed 1940s nostalgia, flying displays, pilots and ground crew describing how they keep historic aircraft in pristine condition and a display of wartime vehicles, while Duxford’s Wing Co Joe’s Café had a special wartime menu.
Spitfire 75th Anniversary On September 3 and 4 The Duxford Air Show celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Spitfire at the plane’s spiritual home in a spectacular air display. In May 1939 the gentlemen of the press enjoyed seeing the RAF’s exciting fighter airplane, the Spitfire, in action. Twelve Spitfires flew above them. After lunch, Blenheim bombers carrying journalists in the gun turrets were intercepted by the Spitfires. Everyone was suitably impressed. Journalist Alistair Raby reported that ‘after the Spitfires had made their attack they seemed to be drawn away as if by some ethereal vacuum cleaner’ and HF King, in Flight, called the Spitfires display “a poem of speed and precision”.
Sulgrave Manor - Another Claim to Fame Built by a Washington and long established as home to four generations of the First President’s ancestors, Sulgrave Manor recently unveiled its early 20th century claim to fame as a symbol of the “special relationship” created decades before Winston Churchill coined the phrase. Now it is asserting its right to a seminal position in the history of the heritage industry in Britain. ‘Heritage’ is now recognised as big business and the UK’s major advantage in attracting overseas tourists but it wasn’t always thus. Remember Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice viewing Pemberley as a tourist with Darcy’s housekeeper showing her round? That’s how it used to be – you had to have the confidence or the connections to go and knock on the door of English country houses if you wanted to see inside. Sulgrave Manor, however, has been formally “open to the public” since 1921 and producing postcards and guidebooks for sale ever since. It was working with coach and train companies from the 1920s to get tourists to the site. In the 40s it recognised tourists’ other needs and The Manor Tearooms were opened in Manor Cottage, opposite the House, to provide that most English of refreshments. The unbroken sequence of its Visitors and Press-cuttings Books are a treasure trove providing tales of US troops visiting on R&R trips during the Second World War among many others. All that’s needed is an academic to piece the material together to tell the story and position Sulgrave Manor holds at the start of one of Britain’s most important industries.
Events at Sulgrave Manor August 29th Family Holiday Monday; September 5th Labor Day Holiday Monday - US citizens free entry (bring your passport); October 8th & 9th Apple Day; 24th to 28th Half Term at Sulgrave; November 26th Christmas Market; December 11th Yuletide Celebration; 27th December Winter Wassail - NHS nursing and auxiliary staff free entry (bring identification).
Reagan Statue Unveiled
n July 4th Ambassador Louis Susman unveiled a statue of President Ronald Reagan in Grosvenor Square, London, outside the Embassy the 100th anniversary of Mr Reagan’s birth. The Ambassador said, “Grosvenor Square is steeped in the history of the United States. It is a powerful reminder, for all to see, of our special relationship with the United Kingdom – and a testimony to the strength of that alliance. As one looks out upon the square we see statues of Presidents Eisenhower and Franklin Delano Roosevelt; we see the building from which D-Day was masterminded; the home of John Adams - the first envoy here from the newly created United States – the Eagle Squadron Memorial to the pilots of World War II; and the sobering and moving memorial to those Britons who perished on 9/11.” The Ambassador mentioned absent friends, particularly the president’s widow, Nancy Reagan, who was unable to attend: “She was so influential in the President’s life and so instrumental to his success... Mrs. Ambassador Susman (center), (with backs to camera) UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice (right) unveil the Reagan statue outside the Embassy in London.
Reagan we miss you.” Mrs Reagan was represented by former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. Another dignitary that missed the event due to frail health was Margaret Thatcher. The Ambassador noted, “Her partnership with President Reagan - indeed their friendship - helped reenergize the special relationship.” The 10-foot bronze statue was specially commissioned to “recognise Mr Reagan’s contribution to ending the Cold War”. Indeed, a piece of the Berlin Wall has been installed in the front of the plinth. The statue, by American Artist, Chas Fagan, is in traditional style which has been criticised by some. The Ambassador equated Ronald Reagan’s efforts to today’s in which “we seek to meet the aspirations of those in the Arab world struggling for self-determination, human rights, and human dignity. President Reagan’s words to the British Parliament almost three decades ago remain as valid today as they were in 1982. He proclaimed us as “free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so, but to help others gain their freedom too”. Today, few nations are standing firmer, speaking louder, or fighting harder to defend democratic values around the world than the U.S. and the UK. “It was not just President Reagan’s words, but his actions that lent themselves to freedom’s cause. Evidenced when – thanks in part to his resolve, his dedication to the principles of democracy, and his tireless optimism - the Berlin Wall was torn down and half a continent liberated.”
Carol Gould Heckled The author, broadcaster and contributor to The American reports on an audience who did not want to listen
n Sunday July 10th at the South Bank Literature Festival at the Purcell Room I took on Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti and poet Seni Seneviratne in a debate on the boycott movement, chaired by Jonathan Heawood, the head of International PEN. The audience appeared to be 150 members of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jews for Boycotting Israel and Just Peace UK, International Writers for Palestine and Pal Fest. Fellow panellist Jonathan Freedland was horrified by the shocking epithets bellowed at us. At various stages I could not speak because of the heckling. One Irishman said I was ‘the sort of person who would love and encourage phone hackers and would probably revel in listening to the News of the World phone tapes.’ An elderly woman who was a Holocaust refugee who had emigrated to Palestine shouted that she had eventually left Israel because “it is worse than the Nazi Germany I left - it is a Nazi, racist state.” (After the event a friend said she had confronted this woman, who told her that rocket and bomb attacks into Israel were “fiction”.) Barghouti voiced the mantra about the concept of a Jewish State being racist; I reminded him that there are over fifty Muslim nations including the Islamic Republic of Iran and that the real racists are Muslim conurbations that are intention-
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ally Judenrein, also that some years ago Libya reportedly flew out the last Jew to die there so she would not be buried in their soil. After the event one woman said that though she disagreed with my views she was ashamed to be British; another young woman, wearing a ‘Free Palestine’ badge, told Freedland and me she had changed her mind as a result of our presentations. It was uplifting to be asked by Foyles to sign my book Spitfire Girls in the lobby - I needed my dignity restored! After the event I was escorted for dinner in the ‘private dining room’ of the Queen Elizabeth Hall only to find about forty members of the audience eating there as well. How is it that hecklers and haters were given a free meal ? Were Jonathan Freedland and I intentionally omitted from the printed programme? Anyway, I made my case against boycotts. Had my small nest egg - the payout from my critical illness insurance for my stage 3 cancer diagnosis - not been stolen in April by what appears to be a British Madoff, I would go back to the USA but as I am now rendered penniless I must stay. Whatever spare pennies I do have will be spent on buying Israeli goods.
Team USA: Britain Bound
ou don’t have to wait until 2010 to see American Olympians in Britain. An all-star group of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic champions is touring the UK this fall. Among the sports stars will be Nastia Liukin (2008 Olympic gymnastics champion), Allison Jones (2008 Paralympic cycling silver medalist and 2006 Paralympic skiing champion), Henry Cejudo (2008 Olympic wrestling champion), Jeremy Campbell (2008 Paralympic discuss and pentathlon champion), Heather Mitts (2008 and 2004 Olympic soccer champion), Bryan Clay (2008 Olympic decathlon champion) and Rebecca Soni (2008 Olympic swimming champion). Between them, they have won 19 Olympic and Paralympic medals, 38 World Championship medals and hold four World Records. They are taking part in Team USA: Britain Bound, a joint initiative between the U.S. Olympic Committee and VisitBritain, the UK’s tourist authority. Launched at New York’s Lincoln Center it is the first of its kind, an interactive program that will see the athletes appear at Olym-
pic venues and cultural landmarks around Britain, including the Olympic capital, London; Old Trafford in Manchester; the Scottish Highlands, including a visit to The Highland Games; Stoke Mandeville, England – the ‘home of the modern day Paralympic Games’; ‘Britain’s youngest capital’ Cardiff, Wales; Weymouth and Portland, England – venue for the sailing events in 2012; and Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. “With the Olympics only one year away, I can’t wait for our Team USA: Britain Bound trip and to get to visit the Olympic venues and take in some of the famous sites,” said Nasta Liukin. “We’re so excited to get to know the host country in a new light and to share all of our adventures with everyone back here in the U.S.” Fans can give their ideas on what the athletes should see and do when they arrive in Britain at www. TeamUSA.org/BritainBound , where photos and videos from the trips, the itineraries and other Britain travel ideas will be shared. The athletes will also share their experiences on the US Olympic Team Facebook page.
Before You Go The Department of State encourages U.S. citizens living overseas or planning to travel abroad to enrol in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (https://travelregistration. state.gov/ibrs/ui). When you enrol in STEP, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. Enrolling will also make it easier for the Embassy to contact you in the event of an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date; it is particularly important when you enrol or update your information to include a current phone number and e-mail address. U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. For additional information, please refer to â€œA Safe Trip Abroadâ€? (http://travel.state.gov/travel/ tips/safety/safety_1747.html). U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
EWS N Y S S A B EM Worldwide Caution The Department of State has issued an updated Worldwide Caution on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. It replaces the Worldwide Caution dated January 31, 2011. This item highlights most salient points. For the full text, including specific advice for regions around the world, go to www. travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/ pa/pa_4787.html U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. It believes there is an enhanced potential for antiAmerican violence given the death of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011. Al-Qaâ€™ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings. Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. Exam-
ples o of targets include sport events, resihigh-profile sporting dential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and other tourist destinations both in the United States and abroad where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays. U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure including subway and rail systems, aviation, and maritime services. In the past several years, these types of attacks have occurred in cities such as Moscow, London, Madrid, Glasgow, and New York City. European governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attack, and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions. In the past several years, attacks have been planned or occurred in various European cities.
Keeping Up To Date Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, Country Information, and country specific Messages and Emergency Messages are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http:// travel.state.gov/. Bookmark the website or download the free Smart Traveler iPhone App. Follow the BCA on Twitter and Facebook. Travelers may obtain up-to-date security information by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, from other countries, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444, available from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S. federal holidays).
(Left) A fire engine among the ruins of the World Trade Center after the September 11 terrorist attack. PHOTO: ERIC J. TILFORD, USN
Your Guide To The Month Ahead
Get your event listed free in The American – call the editor on +44 (0)1747 830520, or email details to email@example.com The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
American Museum in Britain
This new exhibition opened on America’s Independence Day, Monday 4th July, and continues until Christmas. It explores the role of freemasonry in American society from the 18th century to the present day, drawing on rarely seen objects from the Library and Museum’s own collections. One of the world’s rarest Masonic books — published by Benjamin Franklin in 1734 — will be displayed alongside the elaborate costumes and medals (Jewels) worn by American freemasons. www.freemasonry.london.museum firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7395 9257
The only museum outside the US to showcase the nation’s decorative arts, with permanent exhibitions, workshops, Quilting Bees every Tuesday, kids’ activities and special events: SEPTEMBER: 1st, Talent for Textiles, sale of vintage textiles and quilts; 4th Woody Guthrie, Hard Times and Hard Travellin’ by Will Kaufman, a ‘live documentary’ that sets the songs of Woody Guthrie in the context of Dustbowl America; 10th Button Up! Workshop, bring your basic sewing kit and any buttons you want to use (01225 823014); 11th Bath Spa Band playing American music inc. Sousa marches and Benny Goodman arrangements, bring a chair or rug; 18th Buddy Mondlock, legendary American songwriter, a chance to hear songs written for Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith and others sung by the man who wrote them; 21st Marilyn and the Mob by Tim Newark, the crime historian explores the connections between Monroe and the mafia (illustrated lecture); 24th & 25th American Civil War Skirmish & Drill Displays, over 100 re-enactors in the biggest living-history event of the season; 27 Antique Antics, TV expert Eric Knowles takes the wraps off the antiques world. www.americanmuseum.org email@example.com 01225 460503 TO SEPTEMBER 30 _________________________________
TO DECEMBER 22
Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD
The Duxford Air Show Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR IWM Duxford, the spiritual home of the Spitfire, celebrates the aircraft’s power and panache in a spectacular air display that will amaze and impress, alongside a host of exciting and varied military and civilian aircraft. Includes the United States Air Force F-15 Demonstration Team and Royal Air Force Red Arrows (Sunday 4th only). duxford.iwm.org.uk 01223 835 000 SEPTEMBER 3 TO 4 _________________________________
Chelsea AutoLegends Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4SR Canary Wharf becomes the hub of all things jazz. The diverse line-up includes the jazz-folk talent of Gwyneth Herbert, rare groovers The Herbaliser, BBC Award winner and Mercury Prize nominee Kit Downes and Canadian jazz trumpeter Jay Phelps with Clare Teal and a brand new 16-piece Big Band. Jazz on the Screen is a series of stylised documentaries shown on the big screen in Canada Square Park, including Ben Stern’s landmark Jazz on a Summer Day and The Monk and Monk in Europe. 020 7001 3016 SEPTEMBER 4 _________________________________
Labor Day at Sulgrave Manor Sulgrave Manor, Manor Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX17 2SD George Washington’s ancestral home celebrates Labor Day, and it’s free to US citizens with ID! Kids can dress up in 16th century clothes, experience how the Washington children lived in Tudor times, and find hidden ‘creatures’. www.sulgravemanor.org.uk
01295 760205 SEPTEMBER 5
In the Spotlight: Remembering 9/11
Kings Place Festival
IWM North has teamed up with Wake Forest University, North Carolina, to give an international performance of two especially composed orchestral pieces in remembrance of the victims of 9/11. On display, a British Union flag recovered from Ground Zero in the wreckage of the World Trade Center, New York, on public display for the first time. It was presented to Great Britain by the people of the United States, and on the first anniversary of 9/11 it was laid on the altar of St Paul’s Cathedral in a memorial service for victims of the disaster. north.iwm.org.uk SEPTEMBER 10 TO NOVEMBER 9, 2012 ______________________________
Imperial War Museum North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester M17 1TZ
various, Kings Cross, London Over 100 Music, Spoken Word & Visual Art performances in 4 days; plus art exhibitions, café, bar & restaurant www.kingsplace.co.uk Box Office, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG 020 7520 1490 SEPTEMBER 8 TO 11 _________________________________
Truckfest Original Newark Showground, Winthorpe, Newark-onTrent, Nottinghamshire Truckfest is the UK’s main event (with its regional spinoffs) for lovers of big trucks - lots of activities, live music and personalities. www.truckfest.co.uk SEPTEMBER 10 TO 11
Great Dorset Steam Fair Tarrant Hinton, Dorset DT11 8HX THE National Heritage Show, this is the leading steam engine and agricultural pursuits show of its type in the world, covering over 600 acres. Showman’s and working steam engines, heavy horses, classic cars and motorbikes, a funfair and live music. You cannot see everything in a day. www.gdsf.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 01258 860361 AUGUST 31 TO SEPTEMBER 4
New Biscay Offshore Race Starts Cowes, Isle of Wight The Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) has announced the inaugural Biscay Race, part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS). Competitors have to take part in three races, including the Transatlantic Race, to qualify for a series victory. The Biscay Race is also open to any yacht only wishing to compete in this historic race. It starts from the RYS, Cowes, Isle of Wight, at midday on September 11th and finishes off the yacht club in Sanxenxo, in Galicia, Spain. More details, including how to enter, are available at the website. RYS Commodore David Aisher says: “When the New York Yacht Club first announced that they wished to join with RYS, RORC and the Storm Trysail Club to form the AORS, the Royal Yacht Squadron was the only club that did not have a race that was a part of this new circuit. On the East side of the Atlantic, the RORC was the Organising Authority for the Rolex Fastnet and was also a part of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Between the two races was a large gap in the sailing calendar that we felt was an ideal opportunity for the RYS to run its first offshore race.” www.rys.org.uk SEPTEMBER 11
9/11: The 10th Anniversary Westminster Abbey, London W1 A service of remembrance and reconciliation. “An opportunity for better relationships with those of other faiths as we recall the Christian values of love, forgiveness and respect”. All welcome. www.awarenesssunday.com ______________________________
Southampton Boat Show Mayflower Park and Town Quay, Southampton SO15 1HJ [mass transport recommended] The Southampton Boat Show offers the whole family a fun-filled day out, whatever your marine interest or skill level. The show marina has over 2km of pontoons, over 1,000 boats of all sizes and around 500 exhibitors. Try a boat for free, see a summer pantomime, try zorbing, diving or climbing, and explore the depths of the ocean with the Science of the Sea feature. www.southamptonboatshow.com 0871 230 7140 SEPTEMBER 16 TO 25
The LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair Berkeley Square Mayfair, London W1 Organised by the UK’s largest trade association, this important annual showcase for 90+ members of LAPADA offers fine antique and C20th furniture, pictures and works of art from all periods to the present day, jewellery, clocks, silver, glass and a myriad collectors’ items. The Fair is fully vetted to ensure superb quality. www.lapadalondon.com SEPTEMBER 21 TO 25 _____________________________
London Tattoo Convention Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF
Art London Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4SR Set within the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, Art London showcases an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary art. The fair is unique in global and historical range, featuring work by Picasso and Sir Peter Blake to Chris Levine and Marc Quinn. Further highlights include a sculpture park with a 10 metre installation by street artist L’Atlas and live performance art by body painter Emma Hack. For further information please call Rachel Phillipps or visit the website. www.artlondon.com 0207 323 6963 OCTOBER 6 TO 10
This year, the world record breaking event is opening up even more areas, rooms and attractions than ever, to meet the public’s inexorably increasing interest in body art. More than 250 of the world’s elite tattooists will be practicing their art in public, working in multiple styles of the art form. www.thelondontattooconvention.com SEPTEMBER 23 TO 25 _____________________________
Kew Gardens in Autumn Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB Golden browns, burnt oranges and deep reds — with the leaves starting to turn to a glorious array of colours, if you’re not in New England, there is only one place to really experience the delights of Autumn-time: London’s Kew Gardens. Learn about nature within the gardens by joining one of their Autumn guided walks, some free. www.kew.org 020 8332 565 SEPTEMBER 26 TO NOVEMBER 30
Autumn Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair The Marquee, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ
The third and final Decorative this year is often the biggest and busiest. Loved by private buyers & professional decorators, this Fair is a must-do event in the Autumn design season. www.decorativefair.com SEPTEMBER 27 TO OCTOBER 2 _________________________________
USA College Day Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX Free event* providing students, parents and advisors with the unique opportunity to meet representatives from over 125 American universities and educational service providers while in London. The only US university fair in the UK. It’s held by The US-UK Fulbright Commission — EducationUSA, with Richmond, the American International University in London. If you are interested in undergraduate study in the US, this event is not to be missed! Fair 11am to 5:30pm. Pre-Event Seminar (9am to 11am) on undergraduate study in the US: learn about the admissions process from experts in the field, a step-by-step guide to the application process, admissions exams, choosing the right university and funding opportunities. * Free if you register in advance, £5 on the day. Pre-event Seminar: £5 wwwfulbright.co.uk 20 7498 4020 OCTOBER 1 _________________________________
Palace Art Fair Fulham Palace, Bishops Avenue, London, SW6 6EA Organised by the team behind the established Brighton Art Fair. This is a small, intimate art show set in the beautiful grounds and building of Fulham Palace, a beautiful, Tudor/Georgian Palace formerly the country home of the Bishops of London right by the river north of Putney Bridge. The Fair showcases around 100 contemporary artists working across all media, exhibiting and selling their work direct to the public. www.palaceartfair.co.uk OCTOBER 7 TO 9
DeAnne Smith: CanAm Comedian DeAnne first started performing stand up comedy in 2005 and has gone on to perform all over the world. Last month the 32-year-old Canadian-American from New York made her way over to Edinburgh for her debut Fringe Festival after performances at the Just for Laughs Festival in Chicago and an appearance on HBO’s Funny as Hell. Josh Modaberi talked to her just before she set off... DeAnne, who were some of the comedians that inspired you when you were growing up?
bean burritos. Those are pretty intense.
Paula Poundstone, Ellen Degeneres, Roseanne Barr, Jerry Seinfeld. I watched a lot of Live at the Improv with my Dad and I was exposed to a lot of mainstream American comedy so I drew my inspiration from there.
Is there a difference between American and British audiences?
Were you inspired by female comedians when you were growing up? Definitely. Though I didn’t (and still don’t) make much of a distinction between female and male comedians. Funny is funny.
What was your first live gig like? My first live gig was an open mic in 2005. I spent all day working on my jokes and forgot to take a shower. In a rush to leave the house, I just threw a hat over my unwashed head (it was winter in Canada, so that was almost acceptable) and ran down to the comedy club. Despite practicing all day, I forgot most of my jokes when I got under the spotlight. I ended up just rambling, but the audience liked it and I was hooked!
You have performed at a number of festivals around the world – how do you think Edinburgh will compare? I expect Edinburgh to be more intense than anything I’ve experienced so far. Except maybe triple
I don’t know yet! But I would assume so. Should I say British audiences are smarter? They’re totally smarter. And more sophisticated. And better looking. And less easily flattered.
What is the best heckle you have heard? The best heckle I’ve ever heard was in a pot room in Toronto and wasn’t even meant as a heckle. (A “pot room” is a Toronto café in which people smoke pot. There’s an underground comedy scene going on in those rooms... a very mellow one.) The guy on stage wasn’t doing well; he was doing a bad impression of some political figure. A stoned man in the back, watching this curiously, said aloud to himself, “Why is he doing this?” It was gentle but spoton. We were all wondering why.
What advice would you give to come-
DeAnne Smith dians performing at festivals for the first time? Have fun, and remember that no amount of attention or approval will really fill the dark hole in your soul. And drink lots of water.
Who is the best current day comedian? And the best of all time? I absolutely love Louis C.K. and Maria Bamford, they’re both doing great work. Daniel Kitson never fails to amaze me. As for the best comedian of all time, it’s tricky. So many people have contributed so much: Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Phyllis Diller, Steve Martin, the list goes on and on, and that’s only the Americans! Maybe the best comedian of all time is God - have you seen the platypus? +
Osborne House - Victoria’s Family Home Sabrina Sully visits the house built for a Queen Photos by Sabrina Sully except where credited
Osborne House on the Isle of Wight is a ‘must’ for an insight into the private life of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Victoria spent a third of each year here, even after Albert’s death, and it was here that she died. Designed by Prince Albert as a family holiday home and country retreat, this light and airy house can only be glimpsed from beyond the estate by sea. The view of the Solent, the waters between the Isle of Wight and Southampton on mainland England, reminded the Prince of the Bay of Naples, hence Osborne’s Italianate design, with its two belvedere towers, which became imitated throughout the Empire. Economically built (cement statues, Portland pillars at the entrance the only stone, marbling rather
than marble) by Thomas Cubitt, it is a charming family mansion, with extensive grounds, beautiful formal gardens (restored in 2000), and its own small, private beach enabling the royal family to bathe and come and go by boat, avoiding the public gaze. So different from the gaudy, very public but smaller Brighton Pavilion, which was sold to fund the creation of Osborne. The public approach to Osborne House gives the impression of arriving at some quiet Edwardian country establishment. To see it in its glory visit on a sunny day, take in the sea view across the trees, breathe in the sea air, and keep an eye out for red squirrels, which are everywhere here – one of the few places to see them in England. Prince Albert’s designs for both
the house and garden gave the family privacy and fire protection, something he was passionate about. Throughout there are touches of his ingenious design, practicality and care, with plumbed baths, trees planted to screen the house, a reservoir for fire hoses, and 15 inches thickness of seashells between floors as a fire retardant. Albert also incorporated the attractive entrance to the old Osborne House (the rest of which was demolished to make way for his creation) in the walled garden It must have been a wonderful, comfortable home, very different to my preconcep-
SH HERITAG : ENGLI E OTO PH
tions of Victorian life. Inside, the principal rooms, although richly decorated, seem informal and comfortable rather than the ‘starched Victorian’ one might expect: the dining room with its family table in the bay window (breakfast was usually taken outside) and the drawing room with its brilliant yellow furnishings and billiard table around the corner. The informal feeling is reinforced by one room opening into another, in the continental style, and the large windows keep everything light and airy. But the revelation is the love and intimacy between Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, their children and their close family life together. Everywhere there are family portraits and mementoes, works of art that were gifts from one to another, many loaned from The Royal Collection. Upstairs the nursery suite with its small initialled dining chairs, then down one flight of stairs to Victoria and Albert’s private apartments directly below on the first floor. These are a series of small, interconnected
From left: Osborne’s famous royal myrtle used in Kate Middleton’s bouquet; the bright and airy drawing room; the nursery; Osborne’s Italianate design; the gardens
rooms, with their shared sitting room/ study between, where there are still the small desks side by side where they worked on political dispatch boxes. Albert’s private bathroom is a tiny space, with his own design of plumbed-in bath, flanked by a large, quite erotic picture, a gift from Victoria, with paintings by the couple and photographs of tableaux enacted by the children, around the walls. The Queen’s dressing room contains a bath and a shower, both built into ‘faux’ wardrobes, and a narrow passage containing the Queen’s lavatory leads through yet another wardrobe door into the bedroom which they shared. Albert’s gadget to bolt the bedroom door from the bed, the small brass plaque inscribed with the dates of their wedding day and Albert’s death put on the bed by Victoria, and the adjacent desks all bring home the loneliness she felt
after his death. The children visited their mother in her bedroom and sitting room, she helped them with their lessons, and Albert delighted in being with his children, flying kites, building snowmen, catching butterflies or demonstrating somersaults in the hay! In the main wing, the council room where Victoria met with her privy council is also where the family tab-
leaux were staged, which Victoria loved, overseeing rehearsals and costumes. Victoria bought the carpet for this room, from Albert’s 1851 Great Exhibition. It ended up in Washington DC in the British embassy in the 1920’s, was then deposited at the Smithsonian and finally given back to the house in 1988. Sir Rudyard Kipling’s father oversaw the design of the fantastical Durbar room, but I lingered in the Durbar corridor admiring the Indian portraits. Outside, wander the gardens and grounds. Be sure to see the memorial bench to John Brown, Victoria’s beloved servant and companion, in the John Brown Walk. From the front of the house, take the free pony and trap to visit the children’s playhouse (Swiss Cottage), their museum, model fort and gardens, where they were expected to grow fruit and vegetables to sell at market price to Prince Albert. Back on the terrace outside the restaurant, the royal myrtle grows up the wall. Grown from a sprig given to Victoria by Prince Albert’s grandmother, this sweet smelling myrtle has been requested for royal wedding bouquets ever since, Kate Middleton’s being the most recent, as a symbol of innocence (a German tradition). Take lunch in the Terrace Restaurant, or buy a superior picnic from the cafe in the Petty Officer’s Quarters, and pick your spot in the grounds. Oh, and be sure to have some cake – I can personally recommend the Victoria sponge and the Battenburg (Victoria’s youngest daughter married Prince Henry of Battenburg, and they lived at Osborne with Victoria), very apt and so far from shop-bought travesties.
From top: the royal children’s playhouse; the billiard room and the bench that commemorates Victoria’s beloved John Brown
PHOTO: ENGLISH HERITAGE
PHOTO: ENGLISH HERITAGE
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By Estelle Lovatt & Michael Burland
Art sChoice Edinburgh Art Festival Exhibition - Ingrid Calame The Fruitmarket Gallery, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh EH11DF UNTIL OCTOBER 9
42 art varied spaces, from museums to galleries and gardens to stairwells in town houses, host the Edinburgh Art Festival, which finishes on September 4th. However, if you didn’t make it to the festival, don’t despair. Several of the artists will be exhibiting in Scotland’s beautiful capital after the festival ends. One to make a beeline for is Ingrid Calame, also at The Fruitmarket. Calame was born in the Bronx in 1965 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. At first sight totally abstract, Calame’s paintings and drawings all begin as she traces marks, stains and cracks on the ground in various urban
locations. In the studio she combines and layers them and retraces them in coloured pencil or repaints them in enamel or oil paint. - MB
John Cage: Every Day Is A Good Day Hayward Gallery Project Space, Southbank
Poster King: Edward McKnight Kauffer Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London N1 www.estorickcollection.com SEPTEMBER 14 TO DECEMBER 18
Ingrid Calame at The Fruitmarket Gallery John Cage, 75 Stones
Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX UNTIL SEPTEMBER 18
Following a successful national tour, this selection of the visual art of the American composer, writer and artist John Cage is his first major retrospective in the UK. Cage is known as one of the leading avant-garde composers of the last century, most famous for his ‘silent piece’ 4’33”. Less widely known is his involvement with the visual arts. Cage collaborated frequently with pop artist Robert Rauschenberg and choreographer Merce Cunningham,
he was a friend of Jasper Johns and Marcel Duchamp, and an influence on the Fluxus artists of the 60s and 70s. This exhibition includes prints, watercolours and drawings made during the final fifteen years of his life. Inspired by Cage’s own randomised work practice, the exhibition is hung according to chance operations, using a computer-generated random number programme based on the I Ching. - MB
This major exhibition will provide an overview of the career of this pioneering graphic designer and illustrator, focusing on his time in England (1914–40), featuring 50 works and including some lesserknown early pieces reflecting the aesthetics of Vorticism, Cubism and Futurism. The exhibition includes a collection of Kauffer-related ephemera including letters, sketches and photographs. Edward McKnight Kauffer (1890–1954) was born in Great Falls, MT, but was one of the key figures of British modernism. He began his professional life as a painter, but spent most of his working life as one of Britain’s best known designers between the world wars, designing posters. During the early 20th century he created some of Britain’s most iconic and influential commercial imagery. He is most famous for the
fidelity”. When Kahlo was described as a Surrealist, she said, she was once, “until Breton told me I was one. I don’t know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but they are the frankest expression of myself; my subjects my sensations; my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has. I have frequently objectified all this, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.” When Breton tried to incorporate her into the Surrealists she added, “They are so damn intellectual and rotten that I can’t stand them anymore! I would rather Edward McKnight Kauﬀer, American Airlines to Chicago
A Cameroon monkey mask from dealer LouisNierijnck at Tribal Perspectives
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM. GIVEN BY THE EDITOR OF MODERN PUBLICITY
Galleries 27 & 28 Cork Street, Mayfair, London W1S 3NG
posters he produced for London Underground and Shell. He believed that commercial design was more than a way of making money, that it was an important art form in its own right. In 1940 Kauffer returned to the States to escape the Blitz and continued to work in New York up to his death in 1954. - MB
Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera - Masterpieces from The Gelman Collection Pallant House Gallery, 9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1TJ www.pallant.org.uk UNTIL OCTOBER 2
Bringing together the iconic paintings of Mexican feminist painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, Mexican Socialist painter and muralist Diego Rivera (see his murals in San Francisco), enabled by their life together, their friendship and conflicts; Frida had an affair with Trotsky and Diego was quite “unfit for
SEPTEMBER 27 TO OCTOBER 1
Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait with Monkeys, 1943, Oil on canvas © 2011 BANCO DE MÉXICO DIEGO RIVERA FRIDA KAHLO MUSE UMS TRUST, MEXICO, D.F./DACS
sit on the floor of the market of Toluca and sell tortillas than have anything to do with those artistic bitches of Paris!” Her Mexican tradition of ‘ex voto’ paintings and Rivera’s influence of Italian Renaissance murals make for some of the greatest art to come out of Mexico. - EL
This selling event is London’s only exhibition to focus on works of art from the world’s rapidly diminishing tribal cultures, from Africa and the Pacific to unexpected locations like Sweden – there’s a beautiful midC19th wedding/dowry cushion by the equally at-risk Agedyna people of the Skane region of Sweden (from Clive Loveless). First launched in 2007, the exhibition features eight leading galleries from around the globe, each a specialist in the art and cultural artefacts of peoples from around the globe. It includes lectures by leading authorities, offering an insight into the rituals and historic customs of tribal peoples, many of whose way of life is rapidly coming under threat, if not already extinct. Artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Modigliani were inspired by these cultures. This is your chance to see the real thing. - MB
Only Connect Now and Then: Photographs by John Swannell National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE ONLY CONNECT: TO NOVEMBER 27; NOW AND THEN: TO DECEMBER 31
Only Connect is a web of portraits connecting the subjects across three centuries, in paintings, sculpture, photographs, engravings, drawings and miniatures. Composer Benjamin Britten and violinist Yehudi Menuhin
and costumes for Tippett’s opera Midsummer Marriage were designed by sculptor Barbara Hepworth... and so on. - MB Now and Then features sixteen portraits by acclaimed photographer John Swannell recently acquired by the Gallery. They include previously unreleased portraits of worldwide singing sensation Susan Boyle and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Swannell left school at sixteen and worked at Vogue Studios assisting Cecil Beaton, then worked with David Bailey before establishing his own studio and working for Vogue, Harpers & Queen, The Sunday Times and Tatler among other
17 to October 21, 2012 In the run up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, this NPG touring exhibition brings together sixty images of Elizabeth II spanning the sixty years of her reign, some on display for the first time. The artists run from Cecil Beaton to Annie Leibovitz, Annigoni to Andy Warhol. Formal portrait paintings and official photographs are matched with photos from newspapers and iconoclastic contemporary renditions. - MB
Participating Presence: Izabella Kay - painting installation, with Kissinger Twins - interactive video The Gallery in Cork Street, 28 Cork Street, London W1 SEPTEMBER 19 TO 24
From Miami to London, Izabella Kay paints canvases as subtly as 1950/60s American Abstract
© JOHN SWANNELL / CAMERA PRESS
(Above) Sir Edward Elgar, Bt by Sir William Rothenstein 1917 (NPG 3868) ; (Below) John Swannell, Tony Blair, 2009
Eve Arnold, Queen Elizabeth II, 1968 © EVE ARNOLD / MAGNUM PHOTOS
magazines. © ESTATE OF SIR WILLIAM ROTHENSTEIN / NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON
performed at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after liberation in 1945. Menuhin gave ground-breaking performances of composer Michael Tippett’s Corelli Fantasia. The sets
The Queen: Art and Image National Gallery Complex, Edinburgh – Until September 18 Ulster Museum, Belfast – October 14 to January 15, 2012 National Museum Cardiff – February 4 to April 29, 2012 National Portrait Gallery, London – May
Izabella Kay, Participating Presence installation © IZABELLA KAY
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Expressionism; from Franz Kline to Pollock and Rothko. ‘Participating Presence’ is composed of ten painted ‘installations’, containing twenty-four canvases, 30 x 30, each. Appearing 3D in search of the fourth dimension, you soak up the painted edge of a 180 degrees vision; the painted sides as integral as the front, to be viewed from all angles. You are invited to re-assemble ‘Reflection’ section by section. Tall and thin, it’s like a bookmark, to mark a break in the day; a moment to reflect, as Kay “changes time into colour, holding infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.” Neither painting, nor sculpture, or installation alone, it is of all three. For me this trinity of creation realises her canvas as a place where I may get hope and a reflection of myself. ”It’s not only about painting. It’s also about the energy of the piece.” Details & catalogue www.vernissage. co.uk - EL
Art in Revolution: Liverpool 1911 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool UNTIL 25 SEPTEMBER
100 years ago, Liverpool hosted a ground-breaking exhibition that looked at the relationship between the international Post-Impressionists (Van Gogh, Matisse, Gauguin and Signac etc) and local avant-garde Liverpudlian artists, through The Sandon Studios Society, founded 1905. Why Liverpool and not the capital, London? Liverpool had dock and transport strikes, huge mass demonstrations, rallies and crowds mobbing the trams, leading to deaths on the streets. As Rev. Lund had reported in the local press - “Anarchy in the paint pot, mutiny in the brush.
Car Timothy Taylor Gallery, 15 Carlos Place, London W1 SEPTEMBER 1 TO OCTOBER 1
Albert Lipczinski, Portrait of Dorothy Reilly, 1911-13 COURTESY WALKER ART GALLERY
Post-Impressionism was a revolution certainly, and respectable people objected to revolutions. The function of art was to speak in a language which could be understood. In these examples it was really necessary to write underneath, ‘this is a tree’.” King George V cabled his Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, “Accounts from Liverpool show that situation there is more like revolution than a strike”. When Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw advised that popular pictures should be burned “because the public don’t know what is really great in art”, the whole thing turned ugly. Don’t miss local artist Albert Lipczinski’s (a German-born migrant) Portrait of Dorothy Reilly, a full length, life size portrait of the architect Charles Reilly’s wife in a kimono. Charles and Lipczinski’s wife Elizabeth were lovers. David Bingham, Sansom & Co, has written the book, 1911: Art and Revolution in Liverpool, The life and times of Albert Lipczinski. - EL
Lee Friedlander: America By
Recent work by the influential and critically acclaimed American photographer, for the first time in the UK since 1976. This show charts journeys made by Friedlander (born in Aberdeen, Washington in 1934) during the last decade across most of the fifty states. Shot from the interiors of rental cars, Friedlander makes use of mirrors and windows as framing devices for 192 images, using quintessential icons of US culture - cars and the open road - to explore the contemporary U.S. in works that he describes as “American social landscapes”. Presented in square-crop format, these images complicate and invigorate the most bereft of rural scenes. His desire to collapse and flatten out the 3D world parallels Cubist painting and recalls the collaged techniques of American Pop Art. - EL
Stanley Spencer and the Eng-
Lee Friedlander, Montana, 2008, Gelatin-Silver Print © LEE FRIEDLANDER, COURTESY FRAENKEL GALLERY, SAN FRANCISCO
lish Garden; and Capability Brown and the landscapes of ‘Middle England’ Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ UNTIL 2 OCTOBER
The first ever exhibition of this hitherto much ignored part of Sir Stanley Spencer’s work focuses on his garden views and landscapes of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. To him, the English garden was a personal vision of a “private heaven”, without people. There is not one person. Only flowers. Tulips take the place of marching soldiers as fence-posts delineate trenches. Flora, blooming all at once, is, as Dr Rosemary Collier points out in her helpful notes, quite impossible! One of Britain’s best-loved artists, Spencer (1891-1959) was an eccentric. A familiar sight, he would often be seen out walking ‘to work’ wandering the lanes of Cookham, pushing his old black, ripped, pram in which he carried his canvas and easel. A small
de Broke family for almost 500 years. Transformed from a derelict mansion it’s now a gallery in which art, architecture and landscape fuse. It’s the location for the first-ever exhibition about internationallyrenowned landscape designer, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-83), showing the man and his genius. Belts of trees, clumps of hedge and a view of the house across the water made a great vista (referencing Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty) to be viewed from your horse and carriage as you went in pursuit of fashionable aristocratic activities like hunting, shooting and fishing. Individualistic, and quite different from each other, I’m sure Brown and Spencer would have hated each other’s work! Of outstanding first class craftsmanship and quality, Laura Ellen Bacon is the current Artist in Residence, who has “created a single piece [woven] within a yew tree near the lake, designed to ‘discover’. Next, I’m to create a large ‘web’, which will be built within the trees. It’s a fascinating place to work and wonderful to be working while people are passing by!” - EL
the boundaries of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art. The dancer was the star of the Moulin Rouge in the 1890s, and Lautrec’s favourite model; her flamered hair, froth of violet petticoats, black-booted stockinged legs and pale-white angular face make her instantly recognisable. She is seen dancing the can-can at the Jardin de Paris, in the audience at the Divan Japonais and taking swigs of absinthe At The Moulin Rouge. In the cover of L’Estampe originale, Avril is depicted holding a print, the art connoisseur. Avril sang, choreographed her solo dance routines and made her dress sense her own, before Lady Gaga, combining sensuality and unearthly performances. Amongst the artefacts are Munch’s playbill, designed for the first French performance of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt in which Avril is named in the cast list and a series of pen and ink drawings of her dancing, by Picasso. - EL
Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril: Beyond the Moulin Rouge The Courtauld Gallery, London Stanley Spencer, Village Life, Gloucestershire, Oil on canvas CHELTENHAM ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM, © THE ESTATE OF STANLEY SPENCER
man, with twinkling eyes, shaggy grey hair and his pyjamas - under his suit! You must visit Compton Verney. Until the early twentieth century this Grade-I listed building was home to the Verney or Willoughby
UNTIL 18 SEPTEMBER
Before Jane Avril (1868-1943) married artist Maurice Biais and they moved to New York, she was Toulouse Lautrec’s first hot poster girl. Hers is the face, and body, appearing on his posters, paintings and prints. Celebrating and capturing the Parisian world of can-can dancers, cabaret singers, musicians and prostitutes, in between
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jane Avril at the Jardin de Paris, 1893, Colour lithograph, 125 x 90cm NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, WASHINGTON, ROSENWALD COLLECTION
The American By Virginia E Schultz
THE MING THING Virginia E. Schultz talks to award-winning TV chef Ming Tsai and brings home one of his recipes for you to try
very once in a while I find a cookbook I place next to my favourite of all cookbooks, Julia Child’s, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia might be described as my mentor, but more for sentimental reasons than that I actually use her cookbook any more. Still, she was the person who introduced three friends and myself to the enjoyment of cooking as young housewives in New Jersey. The cookbooks on that shelf have food stains and certain pages are creased from long time use. Now, along with Julia, Ken Hom, Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers, Lee Bailey, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Nigella Lawson is Simple Asian One-Pot Meals by Ming Tsai & Arthur Boehm. Many of us living in Europe will not recognize the name Ming Tsai, but in the States he is the Emmy-winning chef of the popular cooking show, Simply Ming and the author of three previous cookbooks, Blue Ginger, Simply Ming, and Ming’s Master Recipes. Tsai, who is third generation Chinese American, was born in California, but raised in Dayton, Ohio where his parents owned Mandarin Kitchen, a popular family restaurant. With that background one might expect him to go on to cooking school, but instead Tsai went on to Yale University where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. Maxine Howe, who was with me and whose late husband had his Ph.D from Yale, and Tsai soon got into a lively discussion that had little to do with cooking or Chinese cuisine, but which gave me a personal insight into
this talented chef. He was a squash player at Yale, an All-Ivy League player in 1986, and while at culinary school in France, played professionally on the European circuit. Cooking soon took over from engineering and Tsai went on to Cornell University, where he
I meet. He is a spokesman for FAAN (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) and was the first chef to create a reference book that lists each allergen for every menu item. His interest began because one of his sons has food allergies . Simple Asian One-Pot Meals is divided into seven techniques of one pot cooking: braising, woking, sautéing, high temperature cooking, roasting, tossing and soups. It is the perfect cook book for a family, each recipe based on healthy eating and affordable ingredients not difficult to find. Perfect also for the single person entertaining a few friends who doesn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. I’ve prepared a number of Tsai’s dishes and among my favourites are Soy-Lime Steamed Salmon with grapeseed flash, garlic osso buco with celeriac,, black bean scallops ps & courgettes cou ug
Ming Tsai & Arther Boehm, Simple Asian One-Pot Meals, Kyle Books, Paperback, 192 pages, £16.99
received a master’s degree in hotel administration and hospitality marketing, and also attended the well known Le Cordon Bleu school.. In 1998, Tsai and his wife Polly (nee Talbott) opened his first restaurant, Blue Ginger, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. David Talbott, his squash coach at Yale and Mark Talbott, the former No. 1 hardball squash ash h player, are his brother-in-laws which is probably the reason he appeared to be in great physical condition the day we met compared to some top chefs
aand nd lemongrass lemongrass coc coconut conut chic chicken cken n soup. Each of the recipes has explanations on the dish and a wine suggestion. Here is the recipe that drew raves from two gourmand friends.
MING’S MINI CLAMS & LEEKS 35g polenta 900g live clams or cockles 1 tablespoon grapeseed or rapeseed oil 2 rashers back bacon, finely sliced 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 2 large leeks, white parts, halved, cut into very thin strips, washed and diced Sea salt & freshly ground pepper 175 ml mirin (most supermarkets now sell this) 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt Juice of lemon 1 Jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced 1. Fill a large bowl with water. Add the polenta, stir and add the clams. Leave the clams to purge for at least one hour and up to three. Rinse, drain the clams well and set aside. Discard the water and polenta. 2. Heat a wok over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the bacon and stir fry for about three minutes until crisp. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the clams and stir-fry for about 2 minutes until they start to open. 3. Add the garlic, jalepeno and leeks and stir fry for about 3 minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mirin, deglaze the pan, cover and cook for 4-6 minutes until all the clams have opened. Discard any clams that remain unopened. Add the yogurt and lemon juice and stir. Transfer to a platter or four large serving bowls and serve. To Drink: Tsai suggests a Chenin Blanc. Ming’s Tip: Crusty bread for sopping as no one will want to miss enjoying the sauce.
was rather dubious when I received this book to review, but to my surprise there are delicious and practical recipes that are easy to prepare and can be enjoyed by those with or without children. Inspired by memories of cooking with her father, the actress and mother stresses the need to cook healthfully, but also offers her version of comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese as well as her grandad Danner’s favourite peanut butter cookies. It’s beautifully illustrated with personal comments on the various recipes. I gave the cookbook to my youngest daughter, who like Paltrow, believes cooking and eating together are a vital part of raising her children. TEN-HOUR CHICKEN Paltrow claims you can put this into the oven for 9 ½ hours and forget it. Remember, however, heat can vary in different ovens and I found eight and a half hours was long enough in mine.
1 organic whole chicken (1.4-1.8kg) washed and dried.
1 lemon halved
Coarse salt Freshly ground black pepper ½ bunch fresh thyme Half a head of garlic peeled. Preheat the oven to 110 degrees C,
200 degrees F, gas ¼. Place the chicken in a rectangular roasting tin breast side down. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken. Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper all over (front and back, inside and out). Tuck the thyme and lemon halves and 3-4 cloves of garlic in the cavity. Place the remaining garlic cloves around the tin. Wrap the roasting tin tightly and put it in the oven for, no joke, 91/2 hours. Take the chicken out of the oven and boost the heat to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F), gas 6, on fan heat if possible. Unwrap the dish, flip the chicken so it’s lying on its back, breast side up and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s nicely browned. Let the chicken cool slightly, then carve and serve with all its lovely juices. Before Paltrow cooks a chicken or duck, she first washes it with cold water and then scrubs it with a handful of coarse or rock salt. Then she rinses it with more water and pats it completely dry inside and out with kitchen paper. Her grandmother called it “koshering a chicken”, but my grandmother of Quaker heritage did the same thing and it is something I do as well.
Gwyneth Paltrow Notes From My Kitchen Table Boxtree, Hardcover, 272 pages, £20
LORDS of the MANOR Upper Slaughter, near Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire GL54 2JD + www.lordsofthemanor.com + 01451 820243
Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz
he Lords of the Manor is the kind of country house hotel that makes one feel welcome as soon as you drive through the narrow gate. A former rectory, it is a boutique hotel, in the sense that everything is in perfect order and the bathrooms have all the necessities from a hair dryer to a bath tub and a shower that really works the way we Americans like. One thing it isn’t (and what I liked most about it) is a grand hotel with brightly furnished rooms one might see on the cover of Interiors magazine decorated by a noted interior designer, Instead it’s a beautifully designed hotel that the Reverend F. E. Witts, who wrote The Diary of A Cotswold Parson and was pastor there in the 19th century, might recognize. Except, of course, for the modern facilities. Inside the ivy covered house, the Victorian feel has been preserved with antique furnishings and family portraits of the previous occupants. The family crest of the Witts family, who lived there from 1808 until the Second World War, is commemorated over the porch by a sprig of broom in an eagle’s beak. The bedrooms have antique furnishings and many have views across the Cotswolds. Although my room was beautifully decorated and had a large bed with an extremely comfortable mattress, I looked out at the front of the house and I’d request one with a lovelier view when I return. And return I plan to, for there are few more beautiful villages anywhere in
the world than in the Cotswolds. There is much to see and do in this area of England for it is the heart of Shakespeare country. Tours can be arranged to visit Stratford-upon-Avon where you can visit Shakespeare’s birth place, one of the three theaters, the Nash House where the playwright died in 1616 as well as Anne Hathaway’s cottage and Mary Arden’s (Shakespeare’s mother) house outside of town. The Cotswold is noted for its picturesque villages and one could spend several days touring the country side and lunching in the various pubs, many of which retain their 18th and 19th century or older ambience. There are also famous gardens and parks close by, including Hidcote Manor Gardens, Kiftsgate Court and Sudeley Castle to name a few, Borrowing Wellington boots from the hotel, I took a short stroll along one of the many footpaths in the area. There are longer walks to villages like Bourton-on-the Water and Stowon-the-Wold and directions can be obtained from Reception. The hotel does allow dogs and if you decide to take yours, Paws Along the Way by Helen Peacocke (with advice to fellow dogs from her border collie, Pythius) is a book I highly recommend. Other activities such as shooting, fishing, golf and horse riding can also be arranged by the Lords of the Manor. Although there are many excellent dining places in the area, the Lords of
the Manor has a wonderful restaurant under the direction of Head Chef Matt Weedon which is the perfect place to wine and dine after a long day of sightseeing. I might add, I was assured any special dietary requirements can be catered for. As I was there with a number of other journalists, the dinner we were served was specially planned for us. I did, however, check with two guests staying at the hotel who assured me the tasting menu (£85.00) they had that evening was outstanding. The entrees came in perfectly adorned doses, but my runaway favourite was the Ravioli of Burford Brown Egg Yolk and Truffled Potato, Wild Mushrooms, Artichoke dabbled with fresh Parmesan that was a delightful combination of English, French and Italian translated into a Heston Blumenthal style presentation. The main course of Loin of Lighthorne farm lamb with its hint of the Middle East (pictured) had my taste buds trembling with pure delight. Finding the right wines that will harmonize with the various dishes can be difficult, but the selection chosen by Head Sommelier Fabrice Bouffant was in tune until the last sip in each glass. The English breakfast the next morning was without a doubt one of the best I’ve had in ages. I am very particular about how I like poached eggs and they came just as ordered. As for the sausages, I regretted I only ordered one. All of this enjoyed with freshly
squeezed orange juice and somewhat weak coffee. Perhaps it was my American accent, but next time I’ll ask for stronger coffee. I took the train from Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh. Prices vary according to when and the time you purchase your ticket. At the station in Moretonin Marsh, there are a list of taxis
that can be called or have the hotel arrange for one. Frankly, as the trains are sometimes delayed - mine was 5 hours late leaving Paddington - it is wise to make certain the driver knows when you are supposed to arrive or how you can contact him if you’re going to be late. It cost me £20 to get to the Lords of the Manor and £16 return to the station. Both drivers were knowledgeable of the area and do tours. Check with Lords of the Manor for more information.
The Lords of the Manor is the kind of country house hotel that makes one feel welcome
Al fresco eating in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside
The American By Virginia E Schultz
QUINCE MAY FAIR HOTEL, STRATTON STREET, LONDON W1J 8LT WWW.QUINCELONDON.COM +020 7845 8680
he first time I saw Bulgarianborn Silvena Rowe was on Saturday Morning Kitchen when this blonde chef tantalized, beguiled and frustrated every male on the program in her husky Bulgarian/Anatolian accent. Both flirtatious and enthusiastic, she’s one of the few women on television who can make the expression ‘a woman of a certain age’ sound like a compliment and I looked forward to dining in Quince, the restaurant she recently opened in the May Fair Hotel (which had a multi-million dollar make up a few years ago). Not long ago there were no female chefs in any major hotel restaurant in London. This only changed when Gordon Ramsey made Angela Hartnett chef patron at the Connaught. Today little has changed and Helene Darroze, who succeeded Angela, was the lone example until Silvena arrived at The Mayfair in June. It isn’t that there aren’t great female chefs, but most find it difficult to combine a twelve to eighteen hour work day six days a week and still have a private life. Let’s face it, there is no “wife” at home doing school runs or waiting for the plumber to arrive. Interior designer Jennifer Atterbury and I entered through a vestibule lined with tiny boxes holding sweet-smelling quince before moving into an Oriental room with red velvet banquettes, dark wooden walls, elegant antique mirrors and fascinating blue green tiles. Having visited Turkey, Greece, Lebanon and a number of other countries in the Middle East in the past, I was familiar with most of the dishes on the menu. I did, however, appreciate the small glossary at the bottom of the menu
describing ingredients such as tahini, harissa, and za’atar. We started with small dishes of Avocado hummus (£7.00) which included coconut with a spicy blend of toasted nuts and seeds: delicious, but the Borek bites (£6.50), pastry filled with feta cheese, caramelised leeks and hemp seeds was the dish I’ll have again. For the main course, we had lamb (£14.50) and King Prawns (£21.00), 4 large tasty prawns with pomegranate butter and anise flowers. The lamb, a homage to Silvena’s grandfather Mehmed, was, unfortunately, a disappointment. Silvena’s talent is combining the exotic spices of her heritage, and the lamb bypassed that spicy blend of Ottoman flavours that still tingle my taste buds when remembering dishes I enjoyed in Turkey and Lebanon. Our side dishes of rice pilaf with steamed blueberries, pistachios and lemon balm (£4.50) and Labneh (£4.50), a yoghurt cheese with paprika oil, nasturtium flowers and za’atar, a middle eastern spice, were lovely. For dessert I had Buttermilk panacotta with watermelon (From top to bottom) Roasted king prawn in pomegranate butter with Anise flowers , Silvena Rowe’s Bulgarian/ and rose (£7.50) and Jennifer Anatolian background infuses her recipes, inside Quince. the citrusy Ottoman delicacy Orange (bitter orange baklava and pistachio ice cream) (£7.50), the evening. With our meal, we had a the favourite dish of Roxelana, the wonderful Chateau de Musar Rosé and favourite concubine of Sulton Suleia Syrah, Cinsault & Cabernet Sauviman the Magnificent. gnon, Lebanese wines I’d gladly serve Service ranged from perfect to at home. “when are they returning” most of
La Capanna ITALIAN RESTAURANT
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“La Capanna must boast the prettiest interior of any restaurant I have ever dined in” – David Billington, Hello Magazine
17 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8QH + www.porters.uk.com + 020 7836 4296
n one of those all too common, damp, blustery English summer days, Porters restaurant - a pie’s throw from crowded Covent Garden market and not far from the heart of Theatreland - was warm and inviting, less brash than the neighbouring restaurants. The dark wood and polished brass were a reminder of an older London. All you’d need to step back to Victorian times would be a pea-souper fog. I went in for a much needed postshopping lunch. I declined an aperitif at the cosy bar and was given a table in the main restaurant, much like a tra-ditional local London pub with wooden tables and interesting curios on the walls. There were some semi-enclosed booths, but I’m nosy about my fellow diners. The surrounding tables quickly filled with shoppers, visitors and business people, but sadly they were not close enough to eavesdrop on! There is also a charming semi private wood-lined gallery at the back which would be perfect for a group of up to forty, and a Tardis-like basement ideal for a large private party. As a lady eating alone I felt perfectly at ease. Waiters were helpful and smiling, and understandably proud of what’s on offer as they explained that all the food is prepared and cooked on the premises, except the wild boar and rosemary sausages, which are made especially for Porters by their butcher.
Reviewed by Christine Flack Meat lovers are spoiled for choice, but there’s also a menu for coeliac/lactose intolerant diets and, where possible, they will adapt a dish for vegetarian and other special diets.
As a starter I enjoyed an old English dish of beef faggots - minced beef, veg and herb seasoning rolled into balls and cooked in an onion and ale sauce - followed by a small portion of fresh tasting cod in crispy beer batter, both moist and light. Choosing a main course was difficult. There were traditional meaty pies with beef, lamb or game, pies with a modern twist, fishy pies and a vegetarian pie as well as steaks, fish dishes and sausages. Some of the pies were shortcrust hot raised pies; it’s very
unusual to find these actually made on the premises of a central London restaurant. I opted for the traditional beef, Guinness and mushroom pie which turned up in its own dish with the most enormous puff pastry lid and a side order of mixed green salad. My beef and mushroom was juicy, the pastry light as a feather and the salad crisp and refreshing. Vegetable side dishes are listed separately on the menu so you can mix and match, or share, a good idea in these straightened economic times. Chips (fries) would have been too greedy and I wanted a pud after looking at the Eton Mess made with berries, meringue and cream on the next table. I really enjoyed my traditional summer pudding of soft fruit and berries in a thin bread case soaked in juices, light and not too sweet, with a pleasantly tart fruit sauce and just the smidgeon of cream I’d asked for. As well as the standard menu there’s a daily pie special (£12.25 with side order), as well as a theatre menu available all day and, when I visited, a fixed price 2 course menu with a half bottle of wine and coffee thrown in for £23.95, good value for money in this touristy part of London. Richard, 7th Earl of Bradford opened Porters back in 1979 and still owns it - so he must be doing something right. +
Cellar Talk By Virginia E. Schultz
f you ask anyone who drinks the word trocken on German wine on a regular basis bottles, or choose an Austrian or which wine they dislike the most, Alsatian Riesling. In Alsace, the they’ll probably say, “Riesling”. We winemaker ferments every bit of turn up our noses, saying they’re sugar in the grape so ninety-nine far too sweet, which really is a percent of all Alsace wines are shame, for sweetness is only a dry. The German winemaker small part of the taste spectrum. adds a small amount of naturally Riesling comes in many flavours, sweet unfermented grape juice it’s finding the right one that’s into the wine. Another difference the problem. is wine from Alsace has 11 to Decoding the system for 12 percent alcohol while most classifying German Rieslings German Rieslings have 8 to is about as difficult as learn9 percent. Both German and ing the language and the Alsace are in similarly shaped labels Kabinett (light, fresh), bottles with a tall tapering Spatlese (rich, heavy) and neck which is why you need Auslese (sweet and usually to check the label before dessert wines) is some you buy. help, hopefully. SommeRiesling rarely sees liers in most restaurants the inside of a barrel are able to help you and what you taste is choose a Riesling the true expression of that will be perfect for the grape. One more whatever you’re eating thing people tend to and even be pleased (and forget is that Riesling can surprised) that you want be paired with almost to drink this acidity fruity any cuisine whether it’s terroir-driven wine. Check Thai, Chinese or that also with your local wine freshly caught trout you shop if they’re having a managed to land on your holiday. I usually have an tasting of Riesling because Alsace Gewurztraminer there is no better way to in my wine refrigerator learn about the differences Winemakers like Blüfeld are helping to enjoy with a supper that vary from country to to make Riesling a of scrambled eggs with country. popular white wine smoked salmon or a counThe best way to find a again among those try type pate. dry Riesling is to look for who know
Australians make some lovely Rieslings as do the Austrians. Here in Europe the selection of American Rieslings can be tricky which is why I’ll usually go with the Aussies when I’m unsure. If you’re having a clambake this summer and you know some of your guests don’t drink beer then chill some Riesling, for it will match up with whatever you toss in the pot whether it’s lobster, ears of corn, spicy smoked sausage, littleneck, Manila or steamer clams and your flavourings of lemon, orange or garlic.
WINE OF THE MONTH BOURBON WHISKEY
The barbecued brisket marinated with bourbon was delicious but it was the ice cream soda made with bourbon (my friend used Maker’s Mark) offered as dessert by our host that brought the evening to a perfect ending. In a large glass, put in two scoops of vanilla ice cream, then 2 oz of Maker’s Maker’s Mark or any favourite bourbon and finally a can of coke. Gently and quickly stir. Shades of your teenage years with a little extra twist. +
Coﬀee Break SUDOKU i
COFFEE BREAK QUIZ
Did you own one? It’s the best selling car name of all time. 1 Who elects the President of the United States? a) The House of Representatives, b) The Electoral College, c) The Senate, d) The State Governors 2 Who was the President of the United States during the Civil War (War Between the States)? a) Abraham Lincoln, b) George Washington, c) Ulysses S Grant, d) Lyndon B Johnson
5 Which is the best selling car name of all time (including all the redesigns in its history)? 6 What rank in the British Royal Navy is the equivalent of the army’s Field Marshall?
7 Which army is headed by General John Gowans? 8 Internet: what do the letters HTTP stand for?
12 What is metathesiophobia the fear of? 13 Anuptaphobia is the fear of what? 14 What is rupophobia the fear of?
9 Some phobias: Phasmaphobia is the fear of what?
15 Xyrophobia is the fear of what?
10 Chronophobia is the fear of what?
17 Finally, coulrophobia is a fear of what?
11 What is oenophobia the fear of?
16 What is sciophobia the fear of?
For Answers to Coffee Break Quiz and Sudoku please turn to page 58
3 Why did the Pilgrims come to America? a) to establish a trade route with India, b) to set up fur trade with the Natives, c) to establish a new nation, d) to find
religious freedom 4 What is the Official Language of the United States? a) None, b) Latin, c) English, d) Esperanto
The TTh he American A eric Am erric ican a
MUSIC Brian Wilson
LIVE AND KICKING
John Cooper Clarke
The legend (how often is that word over-used – not here) songwriter, producer, arranger and main Beach Boy returns to the UK to perform his latest critically-acclaimed album Brian Wilson Re-imagines Gershwin in its entirety, as well as tracks from SMiLE, Pet Sounds and classic Beach Boys hits. September 10th Gateshead, The Sage; 11th Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall; 13th Manchester Bridgewater Hall; 14th Birmingham Symphony Hal; 16th to 18th London Royal Festival Hall.
LK (Above) releases his new album Black and White America, his first for Atlantic Records/Roadrunner, on August 22. To support it, he’ll be over here on an extensive European tour from October 15th through November 29th starting in France, hitting The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,
Punk poet and elongated-Dylan-in-’66 lookalike John Cooper Clarke is on the road again. Even if you don’t get the Manchester accent or some of the references you owe it to yourself to hear the motormouthed comic genius spouting about ‘Beasley Street’, ‘Evidently Chickentown’ (not for the curse-averse), and ‘The Day My Pad Went Mad’. September 28th Southend, Railway Hotel; 29th Peterborough, Key Theatre; 30th Stratford Upon Avon, Cox’s Yard; October 4th Ilkley Literature Festival; 5th Nantwich Festival; 6th Bournemouth, The Winchester; 7th & 8th London Jazz Café; 19th Wakefield, The Hop; 20th Bilston, Robin 2; 22nd Buckley, Tivoli; 23rd Shrewsbury, Severn Theatre; 28th Edinburgh Picturehouse; 29th York, Duchess; November 9th Belfast, Black Box; 11th Dublin, Button Fac-
Rodney Branigan American Rodney Branigan plays acoustic guitars, but there the resemblance to other musicians ends. For one thing he mostly plays by tapping the fretboard with all his fingers on both hands. When he’s not doing that he’s playing one guitar balanced on another. You’ll go cross-eyed trying to follow the dextrous playing, or working out where the other, hidden, player is as he rocks out. Better to just enjoy it. September 2nd Madfest, Wombwell; 3rd to 4th Weyfest; 11th, London Acoustic Guitar Festival, Olympia Conference Centre; 17th & 18th Bute International Guitar Festival, Isle of Bute.
Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and back to France. There’s but one UK date: October 27th London, Hammersmith Apollo, so Kravitz fans get your tickets now!
(Clockwise from top) Rodney Branigan, John Cooper Clarke, and Kill It Kid
The American tory; 12th Cork Pavilion; 13th Galway Pavilion.
Kill It Kid A bunch of skinny white kids from Bath, England have no right to make this massive, authentic, yet totallytheir-own blues racket. Named (presumably) after Blind Willie McTell’s Kill-it-kid Rag they have a distinctive voice in Chris Turpin, who also plays ripping slide guitar. Find out what they’re all about on September 3rd Lodestar Festival, Cambridge; 8th Popkomm / Berlin Music Week, Germany; 10th Dublin, Academy 2; 11th Belfast, , Aunt Annies; 12th Glasgow, King Tuts; 13th Liverpool, The Shipping Forecast; 14th Leeds, Nation of Shopkeepers.
UK alongside the release of their new album Chateau Revenge due on September 19th (The Lights label). Classy Steely Dan-esque pop with appropriately slick musicianship and harmonies. See them on September 15th at London, Islington O2 Academy 2.
Nigel Kennedy Remember Kennedy (he dropped the first name for a while, but it seems to have resurfaced)? He of the punk hairdo, the artfully dropped ‘aitches’, the full throttle versions of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Jimi Hendrix tributes? He’s back for an extensive tour of the UK, again performing his unique
The Silver Seas Another act blessing Britain with one concert is Nashville quartet The Silver Seas, who are finally coming to the
John Cage Night Complementing the Hayward Gallery’s autumn exhibition of the visual art of John Cage, Every Day is a Good Day (as seen elsewhere in this issue), the pioneering ensemble Apartment House celebrates the groundbreaking composer with their John Cage Night, which opens Southbank Centre’s International Chamber Music Season. The programme includes performances of Cage’s seminal 4’33”, Radio music for 8 performers, and String Quartet in Four Parts. September 13th London, Southbank Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Toots and The Maytals The soulful vocals of Toots Hibbert fronted the Maytals’ music from the early days of ska through the classic era of reggae. ‘Pressure Drop’ and ‘Monkey Man’ were huge hits and a deal with Island Records led to international acclaim, especially in the late 70s when punks discovered and loved their rebel music - The Specials covered ‘Monkey Man’ and ‘Pressure Drop’ was recorded by The Clash. See the real thing on their 50th Anniversary tour: August 28th Rhythm Festival, Old Warden Park, Biggleswade; 31st Newcastle O2Academy, September 1st Glasgow O2 Academy; 2nd Leeds O2 Academy; 4th Wolverhampton Civic Hall; 6th Ipswich Regent Theatre; 7th Liverpool O2 Academy; 8th Brighton Dome; 8th to 11th Bestival, Isle of Wight; 9th London , Brixton O2 Academy; 11th Bristol O2 Academy; 13th Oxford O2 Academy; 14th Cardiff University; 15th Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall; 23rd Nottingham Royal Concert Hall.
take on the Four Seasons as well as his own new composition, the Four Elements. Composed for the Orchestra of Life and voices, the Four Elements is inspired by the elements of earth, water, air and fire. Now dividing his time between homes in London and Krakow, where he lives with his Polishborn wife, says, “I’m enjoying my music much more than ever as I’m playing exactly what I want - it’s become a deeper experience and enjoyment for me, savouring the moment more, not thinking about the future or the past but thinking about now.” September 11th Oxford New Theatre; 12th Cardiff St David’s Hall; 14th Bristol Colston Hall; 15th Brighton Dome; 17th London Barbican; 19th Glasgow Clyde; 20th Newcastle City Hall; 22nd
The alt-country pioneers, to whom many more widely–known Americana bands owe a debt, are affording you the opportunity to find out more about them on a blitz round Britain. (If you are already a fan, scratch those comments and just get along and see them.) September 15th Manchester Academy; 17th Acoustica Festival, Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter; 18th SXSC Festival, The Railway Inn/The Attic, Winchester; 19th Bristol, The Tunnels; 20th Sheffield, The Greystones; 21st Leeds, Brudenell Social; 22nd Glasgow, Stereo; 23rd Newcastle-upon-Tyne, The Cluny; 24th Bedford Civic Theatre; 25th Nottingham The Glee Club; 27th London, Scala; October 2nd Brighton Coalition; November 7th Belfast, The Empire Bar and Music Hall.
Competition The American
WIN A COPY… My First Car, by Matt Stone It’s published by Motorbooks (hardcover, £16.99) but five readers can win a copy of this fun, nostalgic book by answering this question:
You never forget your first… car! Whether it’s the smell of the upholstery or summer afternoons spent cruising with friends, the memories are rich and easily recalled. In My First Car, author and journalist Matt Stone captures those wonderful moments with 60 stories from celebrities, athletes, race car drivers, and industry moguls including Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Bob Lutz, Carroll Shelby, Piero Ferrari, Jay Leno, Dan Ackroyd, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, John McEnroe, Arnold Palmer, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Andy Warhol, Hugh Hefner and John Glenn, most with photographs of the novice drivers with their first cars.
Which tennis player’s first wheels are featured in My First Car?
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Ghost the Musical Book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin z Music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard z Piccadilly Theatre, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell z Photos: Sean Ebsworth Barnes
olly…you in danger, Girrrl”. Unless you were on a different planet in 1990 you will know about Ghost. Whoopi Goldberg stole the film and won an Oscar as the shifty psychic Oda Mae Brown and Kleenexes were moistened the world over watching Demi Moore losing her perfect lover, Patrick Swayze, cruelly shot down in a mugging, orchestrated by a crooked friend as part of a financial swindle. The central message was if your love is strong enough it will even transcend the grave. Sam’s ghost sticks around for a bit before his own heavenly Ascension to try and save Molly from further harm. He tries to connect with her, most famously over THAT pottery wheel, while listening to THAT song (‘Unchained Melody’ by the Righteous Brothers) on the radio. Now, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics has added more original songs and Bruce Joel Rubin, who won an Oscar for the original screenplay, has provided book and lyrics. It is a slick piece of popular entertainment and its savvy commerciality should ensure big audiences. It will probably be remembered though for its stunning designs. Rob Howell uses huge banks of LED screens on the three moving walls and he and video designer Jon Driscoll take the theatrical experience about as far into cinema as it is ever likely to go. Paul Kieve’s illusions and Hugh Vanstone’s lighting too are also crucial to the success of the piece and they are literally awe inspiring.
The problem though is that they’ve seemingly forgotten it’s a musical and the songs have got rather lost in the frenetic hubbub. The songs aren’t that strong, but at least they are new (it’s not a jukebox show) and varied and they are also
Both leads Caissie Levy (Molly) and Richard Fleeshman (Sam) “display great musical talent”
very cleverly of the moment. Both leads display great musical talent. Richard Fleeshman (Sam) recalls Rob-
bie Williams at times and has oodles of charisma and Caissie Levy (Molly) is so good she rises above the empty Mariah Carey style emoting of most of her numbers. Her big ballad ‘With You’ has all the wailing melisma of a typical X Factor showcase number. As with the heroines of Chick-Lit iit is all aspirational here and Molly ‘‘has it all’. A struggling sculptor (no dull secretaries here), she manages d tto live in a cavernous loft converssion, has great hair, and a perfect boyfriend. He may look like a Chipb pendale but he has a great job as a p ccity boy and could be brought home tto mother. This was before those in fifinancial services were transformed iinto the personification of evil. Being the mere projection of female B ffantasies Fleeshman hasn’t got much to t work with, but, to his credit, he finds some character beneath the fi buffed torso. b Thankfully audiences are saved ffrom all this perfection by Sharon D Clarke (as Oda Mae), who brings ssome warts‘n’all humanity to the piece, allied to a scorching wit. After p a lifetime of swindling suckers she rredeems herself by helping Sam out. Her comic timing is a joy and her big H number ‘I’m Outa Here’ is a perfect n hymn to Gladys Knight-style 70s h disco. She has the voice and attitude d rright and rightly brings the house down. d Matthew Warchus’ direction doesn’t let the pace slacken for a second and it is great to see a musical which has been so lovingly polished and refined, even if it was a fairly safe bet to begin with.
House of Rufus Royal Opera House Covent Garden z Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell Photos: Matthias Clamer
Pictures courtesy of Royal Opera House
hutzpah is what Rufus Wainwright’s got. Never one to hide his light under a bushel, he has now made history by becoming the first solo artist to have a week-long residency at Covent Garden. As the overture blared out, a beautiful gauze emblazoned with huge red letters proclaimed ‘House of Rufus’, and then he appeared. For two nights of his five-night residency he recreated his famous facsimile of Judy Garland’s legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert, another night he was joined by sister Martha, on another by his father Loudon Wainwright III and half sister Lucy Wainwright Roche. On the last night he presented his one act opera Prima Donna (which has already played Manchester Festival and Sadlers Wells and is NY City Opera bound) and for the second Act, was joined by his two divas from that piece, Janis Kelly and Rebecca Bottone, for nothing less than ‘Rufus Does Rufus’. His first night was the Judy Concert and it found him in sparkling form. As he admitted, it had been rather foolish to record and film that concert the first time out, as he has now grown into it and indeed his voice has got better. The material here requires him to belt and to use all his instrument and leave aside his signature nasal twang. What makes this a true homage is that he doesn’t try to mimic Judy but instead brings something of himself to these great standards, the highlight being his transformation of Coward’s ‘If Love Were All’ from wistful longing into a quiet scream from the heart, or his tender take of ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’. Seemingly a bit more
daunted by the more jazz infused numbers - “Hold on a sec I gotta count off here” - he served them all with a simplicity and directness and lost himself in the great swing arrangements for ‘Zing Went the Strings of My Heart’ or a rousing second encore of ‘Chicago’. In the original 2006 concerts he stuck rigidly to Judy’s set and running order and recreated the arrangements for a 36-piece orchestra, aided by the ridiculously youthful and talented musical director, Stephen Oremus. For Covent Garden, they presented a slightly truncated set and Oremus conducted the Britten Sinfonia enhanced by three great soloists (Steve Bartosik, Mark Hummel and Dave Phillips). A classy old-fashioned staging using a huge glitter ball and a large red velvet backdrop also rendered the opera house even more magical than usual. Despite all this careful attention to detail Rufus got upstaged. Sister Martha, who is quickly becoming one of the most compelling international song stylists, tottered on stage dressed in see through zebra-print tights’n’panties, with a funky top (looking like she was flitting between SoHo gallery openings) and launched into ‘Stormy Weather’. Her instinct for the blues, her perfectly judged phrasing, her sheer intelligence and the dramatic power of her voice all combined to lift the roof off the opera house. She then nonchalantly wandered off, as if she’d somewhere better to be. Let’s hope they’re pals. In any case, look out for any of the prodigiously talented Wainwrights if they’re ever passing your way.
Lay Me Down Softly By Billy Roche z Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell z Photos: Andrew Downes
f you’ve never seen a play by this Irish Chekhov, this master of the poignant lyricism of the everyday, then check this out. If however you’ve
Dermot Murph y (Junior) and Michael O Hagan (Peada r)
seen his earlier work, especially his great Wexford Trilogy (A Handful of Stars, Poor Beast in the Rain and Belfry), then you could safely give this a miss. For Roche here is mining the same territory, not a sin for a writer, but this piece about a small itinerant carnival in 1960s rural Ireland lacks dramatic heft. Without that, this melancholy memory play appears insubstantial. The stage is dominated by a boxing ring and a rusty turnstile, part of the travelling road show run by bitter, middle-aged, Theo (Gary Lydon, a Roche regular). His long estranged daughter Emer (Pagan McGrath) suddenly turns up and is the catalyst for the drama, slowly getting each character to reveal their back-story. She disrupts Theo’s relationship with his feisty lover Lily (Simone Kirby) and falls
for one of his resident young fighters, the handyman Junior (Dermot Murphy). Meanwhile the ferocious Dean (Anthony Morris), sensing he is losing his place in the pecking order, stokes up a rivalry with Junior, while ending up getting humiliated himself in a match with a passing old pro. The peace between these two young bucks is maintained by Peadar, (Michael O’Hagan), Theo’s reliable old trainer. He literally acts as referee and keeps this show on the road. O’Hagan imbues the part with a quiet dignity. A familiar figure in Roche plays, Peadar is a man lost in reminiscence and regret. Of course, when chronicling a country scarred with emigration and loss (as was 60s Ireland), an atmosphere of small town inertia and thwarted ambition is unavoidable. It is however not easy to make this dramatically compelling. Key dramatic moments here, such as Dean’s fight with the pro and Junior’s fight with a local upstart, happen off stage. While recreating a boxing match is perhaps too much of a challenge for the small stage company (unlike for the screen, where it is easier to fake) if these key moments, on which the plot hinges, are missing, then the energy of the whole piece gets dissipated. Roche directs himself, which is never a good idea, but he manages
don (Top) Gary Ly
mone (Theo) and Si Kirby (Lily)
to draw some fine performances from this ensemble. Simone Kirby, in particular, shines as the jaundiced old gal, Lily. She wittily recalls her escape from the one horse town of Knockanoo, only to have her dreams disappear, hitched to this travelling road show, permanently on the road to nowhere. There is no denying Roche’s lyricism, his ability to delineate a character, as well as his skill at evoking a lost time and place, but this Irish reviewer began to think how great it would be if he were to turn his focus onto the Wexford of today. There he would find no shortage of thwarted hopes or ruined dreams. Move on, Billy.
Richard III By William Shakespeare z The Bridge Project at the Old Vic Theatre, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell z Photos: Alastair Muir (top) and Tristam Kenton (bottom)
am Mendes and Kevin Spacey bring the curtain down on their three-year Bridge Project with a triumphant production of Shakespeare’s great portrait of a tyrant. Spacey himself is in barnstorming mould in the title role in this tight, lucid and mostly modern-dress production, which is again co-produced by New York’s BAM and features a mix of American and British actors. Mendes brings his characteristic clarity to what is a difficult text. Large captions punctuate each scene and (usually) introduce the next unfortunate victim who is about to be eliminated in Richard’s relentlessness lust for power. Spacey, with his left leg encased in a calliper splint, (let’s hope he’s got a good physio), is utterly commanding, combining a fierce physical energy with perfect mastery of the verse. He is here the epitome of the wily politician, running rings round thee various feuding factions, and with his direct address to the audience, making us complicit in his scheming. That device was never used more by Shakespeare than here and with Spacey’s deft comic timing and saturnine charm it has never been so effective. Having been so cleverly copied byy Ian Richardson in TV’s House of Cards, itt is worth noting that Spacey is about to star in a US TV remake of that portrait of modern political chicanery. The challenge for Spacey here of course is to climb those Himalayas of dialogue and to keep us interested in wearisome exposition, which fills us in on the multifarious and quarrelling Plantagenets. It is after all the culmination of the War of the Roses cycle of
plays, so rather like coming to a box set at series 5. Unusually for Shakespeare the female characters get more than a walk-on and Annabel Scholey, Maureen Anderman, Haydn Gwynne and Gemma Jones all rise to the challenge and rail at Richard’s tyranny, as they lose sons, lovers and husbands along the way. This laser-like focus on Richard and his journey does however leave the supporting characters rather sidelined and if the production has a fault, it is that the women especially end up like a generic Greek chorus, bemoaning their fate. Mendes does throw in some great directorial flourishes such as the scene wher re Richard seeks the votes of th he where the
be at prayer beside two monks. We’re led to believe that he is reluctantly being dragged from a life of pious devotion to serve as a political leader. This staging cleverly presents Richard as a modern day master of media manipulation. When he finally gets the crown on his head and the ermine on his back and is seated next to his benumbed Queen it is of course not enough. As with so many tyrants who came after him, this is merely a preface to a new reign of terror, fed by his increasingly paranoid fear of those around him. 400 years ago Shakespeare perfectly captured the psychopathology of the tyrant. Together SSpacey and Mendes have ta taken a difficult text and gi given us a Richard for our tim time, which is just what th the Bridge Project set out to do. After the Old Vic, th the production will tour to th the Epidaurus Festival in Gr Greece as well as to Istanbu bul, Aviles (Spain), Hong Ko Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Sy Sydney, San Francisco and fin n finishing back at BAM in Janu Ja a uary 2012. January
London citizens. We first see his sidekick Buckingham (Chuk Iwuji) at a lectern doing his master’s spin n doctoring. Richard is then introduced, but only seen on a large video screen that reveals him to
Above: Kevin Spacey’s Richard, with Annabel Scholey as Lady Anne
Road Show Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman z Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell z Photos: Catherine Ashmore
welve years after it first saw the light of day, London finally gets to see the new Sondheim. It premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop as Wise Guys in 1999, was refashioned as Gold and then reworked by Harold Prince as Bounce for Chicago and Washington DC. Then in 2008 the great director John Doyle reimagined it, as Road Show, for Off Broadway and it is this, slimmed down, 95-minute, version that is getting its European premiere. So was it worth the wait? The answer is undoubtedly ‘Yes’, although this troubled piece will go down in the history books as minor Sondheim. At first hearing it has so much that is familiar: Sondheim’s unparalleled way with a
THEATER REVIEWS witty lyric, his dramatic daring in condensing an epic story with such economy and his usual rather caustic take on the American dream. Central to its success is John Doyle’s staging with a great ensemble cast present throughout and the props piled up like an antique store at either end of a traverse stage. Dollar bills frequently rain down on the audience as a tale unfurls of an adrenaline rush American dream, which is worthy of a major mini-series. Based on the true story of the adventures of the Mizner brothers, Addison and Wilson, whom we follow
OT OF H S P A ING SN E IT MAY BE A R R A E S ..A WHIL L AY IT NEVE D N A A P AMERIC THE NATION RTAIN... F TE AddiSTATE O EASES TO EN son’s love C
from their father’s death bed, to the Yukon gold rush (where they fall out and go their separate ways), to 1930s Florida, where Addison played a key part in the real estate boom which created the resort of Boca Raton. In style the piece echoes Ragtime or Sondheim’s own Assassins, as a searing snapshot of America and while it may be a state of the nation play it never ceases to entertain. As musically
promiscuous as ever, Sondheim here either employs the razzmatazz style of vaudeville or the more sober sound of American pastoral, which of course perfectly encapsulate the energy of a time when everything was possible. Addison is the dreamer and Wilson the huckster. After a series of disastrous international ventures Addison reinvents himself as an architect and, with the help of a male patron and lover, he finally strikes it rich, creating ever more vulgar mansions for the wealthy denizens of the Florida coast. Sondheim may have changed the gender of
David Bedella as Wilson Mizner
interest in this version, but ‘The Best Thing That Ever Happened’ retains its power as the show’s key romantic ballad. Wilson, who along the way was a gambler, a fight promoter, a Hollywood hack and an eternal womaniser, finally turns up on
From top, Jon Robyns (playing Hollis Bessemer) and Michael Jibson (playing Addison Mizner) with the cast of Road Show; David Bedella (left, playing Wilson Mizner) and Michael Jibson (playing Addison Mizner); the cast of Road Show
his brotherâ€™s doorstep and joins forces with him, but inevitably his chicanery and recklessness leads to him ruining what Addison had so carefully built up. This Cain and Abel story represents two sides of the American character - the hedonistic and the hard working, and what could be more apposite than stories of property booms and people losing their shirts. David Bedella (so effective as Satan in Jerry Springer the Opera) is gloriously oily as the shyster Wilson while Michael Jibsonâ€™s boyishness perfectly captures the visionary Addison. Gillian Bevan, too, is wonderfully commanding as Mama Mizner who always doted, of course, on the bad boy Wilson. Simple props are cleverly used to evoke the picaresque exploits of the two brothers and Doyle, who combines design and direction, gives us all an object lesson in how to make an epic tale like this work as an intimate and entertaining piece of theatre. +
BOOK REVIEWS Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz
A Stolen Life By Jaycee Dugard SIMON & SCHUSTER, HARDCOVER, 288 PAGES, £14.99
This is the kind of book that makes too many parents nowadays overprotect their children. At the age of eleven, Jaycee Dugard was abducted by Phillip Garrido,, a drug addict and known sexual ual deviant and his wife Nancy. Using a stun gun, he placed Jaycee into the back of his car ar and for the next 18 years kept pt her captured, even fathering her two daughters. To survive her eighteen years of sexual abuse, she had what is
known know as Stockholm syndrome and synd began bega to fear the outside outs world more than Garrido. Jaycee does J not hold back on the horrors she experienced as exp the captive of a sexual monster, se but b deals with her h own shame at a not escaping when she had w the opportunity. opportuni It is the sad story of what incarceration and continual abuse can do to the mind and body in order to survive.
Nothing ing To Hyde By Pauline Hyde PALANTINE PUBLISHING, PAPERBACK, 256 PAGES, £7.99
I met Pauline Hyde when I was living a few doors from her house on Lower Belgrave Street sometime in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. It was a fascinating time to live there with the Queen Mother and Princess Diana’s grandmother in one house plotting the marriage between their grandchildren and Pauline and her husband Toby entertaining who’s who in the
Sing You Home Jodi Picoult HODDER & STOUGHTON, HARDCOVER, 448 PAGES, £18.99 (PAPERBACK EDITION JANUARY 19, 2012)
Jodi Picoult is one of the State’s most popular writers, but she isn’t one to step away from fictional controversy as she has proved in this her latest best selling book. k. Zoe Baxter spent ten years trying to become pregnant and when she believes she’s about to get her most desired wish, tragedy occurs and her marriage ends in divorce. In the aftermath, she throws herself into her career as a music therapist and meets Vanessa. This relationship to Zoe’s surprise turns from friendship into love and once again she thinks of having a child. Remembering she still has frozen embryos she and her husband never used, she decides to seek his permission to o have his child. child But Max, after years as an alcoholic, has found redemption in an evangelical church and receiving his permission turns from a simple question into a public controversy. A touching and intelligent novel that neither criticizes nor condemns either belief, although the ending will, undoubtedly, not please everyone.
foreign and English social circle that was London at the time. Her autobiography, Nothing to Hyde, is exactly that. Pauline is the kind of woman who took hold of the reins and, despite any unexpected hurdles ahead, let nothing stop her from enjoying life. But, Pauline was more than a hostess among the rich and famous, she was a smart and savvy business woman who developed a successful blue chip company that she later sold to Scottish television and made her a wealthy woman. She and her husband Toby had what is best described as an open and honest relationship which didn’t n’t stop either of them from having lovvers. Perhaps the biggest bombshelll she reveals in this fascinating and unputable down autobiography was as her affair with Vice President Hubert rt H. Humphrey, known as The Happy Wararrior. This is the perfect book to read d while lying on the beach or enjoying ng a glass of champagne curled up on the he living room sofa with the rain tapping against the windows. It’s a great read by a very interesting woman.
Night Road By Kristin Hannah U.S.: ST. MARTIN’S PRESS, HARDCOVER, 400 PAGES, $25.00; UK: MACMILLAN, PAPERBACK, 400 PAGES, £12.99
Night Road is the story of two different families living in shore towns in the state of Washington and the tragic incident that takes the life of one of their children. Jude Farraday is a happily married woman with two happy and popular teenage twins, Mia and Zach. One day, Lexi Baill, a foster child from a working class background, comes into the twin’s life and becomes best friends with Mia and eventually falls in love with Zach during their senior year at high school. At first Jude welcomes her, providing the motherly
love and family Lexi never had since she was abandoned by her mother as a child. But the night of their graduation party, the three youngsters are involved in an accident and Mia is killed. Justice demands punishment and because Lexi was driving she is put behind bars. When Lexi is released a few years later, Jude is faced with the past and must either forgive or further marriage. destroy her son and her marr Hannah H writer is a w who keeps the rreader emotionally emo involved invo from the beginning to beg the end. The women in wo her books, he whether wh best be friends, fr mothers or m daughters, are strongly aand vividly daughters described. A perennial New York Times best-selling author, she’s grown n from strength to strength with each book and this, her latest novel, is my favourite so far. I started to read it on a flight from New York to London didn’tt put it down until we touched down att Heathrow. Highly recommended.
A Gentle Pioneer: Nancye Stuart 1871-1956, A young mother’s life and travels in Southern Africa By Rosemary Wells TRAILBLAZER PUBLICATIONS, PAPERBACK, 88 PAGES, £6.99
Nancye, christened Sara Annie Mellor Robinson, was born on the 1st February 1871 in a small town close to Durban, South Africa. She was the seventh daughter of the Reverend Thomas Robinson and Sarah Mellor, a strikingly beautiful woman as well as a
gifted musician. Their son was only six months old when Reverend Robinson believed he could only fulfil his work in South Africa and left England for Cape Town. There he bought a wagon and oxen and trekked 175 miles to Riversdale where they settled for the next two years. By the time Sarah was twenty-three, she had lost two children to dysentery and one can only imagine the relief she must have felt when they moved to Bishopstowe where her husband was to teach the native population and prepare to be ordained. The author, Rosemary Wells, Nancye’s granddaughter, took much of the book from her grandmother’s diaries and the journal she wrote later in life called “Just Ramblings”. Although the family had to endure bouts of malaria as well as drought and food shortages, Nancy never complains of the difficulties she had in feeding and clothing her family when she became one of the few women following in the footsteps of the original pioneers who ventured north into the country then th known as kn Southern So Rhodesia. Rh Cecil Ce Rhodes Rh (founder (fo of Rhodesia) sia and BadenBa Powell Po (soldier (so and an founder of fou the Scout famous movement) are among the fam and infamous men who appear in an almost matter-of-fact way in her journal. She was a gentle pioneer, but as well an exceptionally brave woman, although, undoubtedly, she’d be the first to deny that description. A lovely book.
Hacking – The Transatlantic Dimension Journalist, author and Murdoch-watcher Jeffrey Robinson spoke to Michael Burland about the phone hacking scandal. It may have been knocked off the front pages by the riots, but have no doubt it will return. The News Corp phone hacking story has been top of the news headlines on both sides of the Atlantic. You’ve written a lot about corporate malfeasance and you are following this story. Well, I lived in Britain for 25 years. I wrote for some of Murdoch’s publications, I’ve had a long relationship with Sky News and I interviewed Murdoch years ago.
became public] now say they spoke to him about the emails, so I think James’ answer was probably correct, he hadn’t seen them. Now, in the United States, there’s a rumor that they hacked
How did you get on with him? I found him very charming. I quite liked him. This is a transatlantic story. Well, News Corp is a U.S. corporation, Rupert Murdoch is now a U.S. citizen, James has dual citizenship, and there are serious ramifications under U.S federal law. I think the Murdochs did very well in front of the parliamentary committee. I thought the committee were a bunch of wimps, the Murdochs weren’t under oath, and they’ve now adjourned for the summer. It was a lesson in futility. For example, one Member of Parliament asked James if he had seen certain emails and he said no. Colin Myler and Tom Crone [the editor of the News of the World and News International’s top lawyer at the time of the hacking, both of whom lost their jobs after it
Jeffrey Robinson has been described as ‘the world’s most important financial crime journalist.’
into 9/11 victims’ phones. That would be serious, a violation of federal law. There is also a Murdoch advertising sales company that had a competitor in New Jersey [Floorgraphics] who claimed that the News Corp subsidiary hacked
into their computer. They called the FBI, and the Murdoch subsidiary paid $26milllion in damages after a civil suit. The man who was running that News Corp company is Paul Carlucci, now the publisher of the New York Post. So this has other ramifications. The really important one is the Federal Corrupt Practices Act. If an American corporation has bribed the British police, then they may be in very serious trouble. The Bush administration enforced this wildly. You can expect the Obama administration to do the same.
In the UK I don’t think people gave a damn that celebrities had their phones hacked for gossip then were paid off. It was a combination of the Milly Dowler hacking and the bribery of the police that hit hard. The Milly Dowler thing was pretty bad taste, and the 7/7 victims. In the newsroom at The Times I heard people saying they had got hold of people’s emails. This would go back to 2002, 2003. I suspect it was endemic, and not just with the Murdoch papers. British tabloid journalism is something very special. When Generoso Pope moved the National Enquirer to Lantana, Florida, he couldn’t find any American journalists who knew how to do that kind of journalism.
Rupert Murdoch earlier this year and James and Rupert Murdoch appear before the British Parliamentary select committee
He brought Sun and News of the World guys over from London. The whole staff in Lantana were Brits. The British understand this kind of newspaper journalism. We don’t – although we have learned how to do it on television. There are a lot of tabloid television shows that pursue celebrities and do ‘freak show’ journalism.
The Justice Department is preparing subpoenas over the foreign bribery and 9/11 hacking allegations. What do you think will happen? Peter King, Republican Congressman from Long Island, [and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee] called the FBI and said they had to investigate the 9/11 hackings. You have to understand there’s no love lost between the Murdoch empire and this Justice Department. That is not to say that they’re going to use their office to pursue political enemies the way the Bush administration did – that’s been well documented, with the appointment of U.S Attorneys and whatnot - but there will be a strong argument for pursuing it, simply because it’s Murdoch. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also getting involved. Will there be corpo-
rate prosecutions as well as personal? The idea is that the FCPA is not only aimed at directors and others illegal activity, but at the corporations too. Why do you think Murdoch closed the News of the World so quickly? I think he decided he had to make a grand gesture, and figured he could close it down and come back with a Sunday edition of The Sun which would be the same thing. Don’t forget, the News of the World is only one percent of his business, by his calculation. It doesn’t represent a huge amount of money to him. But he needed to make a gesture, along with being contrite. It has been mooted that it was so they could sell off all the computers. No, no, no. The police would have warned them not to have destroyed any evidence, including the computers and emails. I’m sure by now the police have been in to get the computers. Murdoch still wants to own 100 percent of Sky in the UK. Do you think he’ll drop the UK newspapers to achieve this? Probably not The Sun. The Sun is very profitable, and very influential
– remember Murdoch’s support of Tony Blair, with its headline “It’s The Sun Wot Won It”. Murdoch really helped put Blair into office. And he supported Margaret Thatcher, although he grew weary of John Major. The cosy relationships that have been criticized are par for the course. Don’t tell me that the publisher of the New York Times doesn’t occasionally sit down with the President. The fact that Cameron hired Andy Coulson, a News of the World journalist, to run his press operation, well that’s what you do! Even the Metropolitan Police, which had the second worst press office on the planet (Buckingham Palace having the worst), finally decided to hire a journalist. The fact that The Times probably doesn’t make much money, if any, means that Murdoch may be willing to flog it off. He won’t get Sky anymore, I think that’s finished. If it happens it will be five years down the line, after a lot of contrition. To pull out of Britain probably wouldn’t bother him. There may be an emotional tie to Britain but when it comes to business he’s not an emotional man. No businessman of that ilk and that size would allow emotions to get in the way of a decision. America’s much bigger,
and then there is Asia. What would happen to The Times and Sunday Times? Who knows? Who’d want to buy them? He took the papers way downmarket, they’re not what they were 25 years ago. He hasn’t done that with the Wall Street Journal although he’s turned the editorial pages into a political forum for right wing conservative thought. There are still some very serious journalists on the WSJ, who don’t share Murdoch’s political bent, who are interested in taking on the New York Times (full disclosure, my son writes sports for the Journal in the Greater New York section!) but he is using the Journal to get his side of the story out. Fox News has sidestepped the whole thing. I don’t think Murdoch calls Roger Ailes and says “I don’t want to hear anything about the scandal on Fox News”, I think the journalists are smart enough. Of all the news channel and cable news networks, Fox has repeated it least. There’s a huge difference in how much it’s being reported, and how it’s being reported, on Fox. But the WSJ has covered the story pretty well on its front page.
Where will the story go in the States? Don’t forget next year is an election year. Whether there will be Congressional hearings in the House I doubt, because the Republicans control the House, but in the Senate you may well see something because it gives the Democrats the chance to go after Murdoch. And they will not be so polite as in Britain, where you’re in a small room and on the same level as everybody else – it’s pretty candy ass stuff. In
Rupert Murdoch was attacked with a ‘custard pie’ during his Parliamentary select committee appearance
the Senate you’re in a big room and the Senators are sitting way above you like some North Korean commission. The grilling is pretty tough. It’s intimidating. I suspect the FBI will look thoroughly to see if there is anything, and there will be federal indictments. Will it go all the way to the Murdochs? I would be surprised if it does, because I don’t believe Rupert pays that much attention to these kinds of things, he’s a big picture guy. What did James know and when did he know it? That’s another story. James might get arrested. If he does it’ll be like Rebekah Brooks and there will probably never be a trial. I suspect the private detective and Coulson will go. The old man won’t. In Britain the real story is
the Met. Most people already think that journalists are sleazebags, the horror is thinking that British police officers are taking bribes.
Would Rupert have known about the payment of $1million to Gordon Taylor of the Professional Footballers Association, whose phone was hacked? I don’t know, it’s just a cost of doing business to them. They get sued all the time. In all corporations there are limits of how much people can spend before referring up to the next level. Finally, if someone turns up in Congress with a custard pie to throw in Murdoch’s face, what will happen? There are metal detectors and guys with guns there. He’ll get shot!
Rebels Without A Cause Alan Miller looks at the history, context and ramifications of the August riots, and suggests a way forward With a heat wave that is reminiscent in New York of a bygone era one may have thought that a new “Summer of Sam” could have been on the agenda. However, departing the humidity of the Big Apple for the more temperate European climate, the riots that broke out in London and then spread subsequently to Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol and Manchester came as a shock to almost everyone. The initial incidents were sparked off by events that could seem to be linked to a more historical experience of policing and community relations in inner cities in the UK. Mark Duggan, a 29 year old man from Tottenham was shot and killed by the police in a cab. There were several conflicting accounts as to the circumstances that led up to the shooting and whether Duggan shot at the police or not (the IPPC, the Independent Police Complaints Commission report has now con-
cluded he did not, although he was in possession of a loaded gun). Duggan’s family and others from Tottenham wanted answers and around 300 people marched to Tottenham police station. Nothing was heard for several hours. Riot police were deployed and violence ensued. Up until that point, one may have been able to make a link, however tenuous, to the past, where police and race relations had historically led to severe inner city riots last seen in the Eighties in Tottenham on Broadwater Farm Estate and in Brixton, Toxteth in Liverpool and Handsworth in Birmingham. Britain however, has changed beyond recognition in the last thirty years. Once, the infamous “SUSS” laws (Stop and Search) were widely targeted against black youth by police and a climate of racial hostility existed. A climate of “us and them” was fostered under Margaret Thatcher’s government, where inner
city youth were often presented as being a similar battle to Northern Ireland. The riots that occurred then had the language of demands for equality, fair treatment and an end to harassment. Looting was something that was incidental to the main battle between enraged inner city communities and the police. Fast forward to today. In Tottenham it quickly became apparent that the destruction of property and looting of shops was the prime motive. Images on YouTube and messages on Twitter rapidly went around the capital and country. The police were seen watching looters walking off with electrical equipment, sneakers and cell phones which some have argued gave the nod for copycat activities across London and beyond. After Tottenham, looting broke out the following nights in Enfield, Hackney, Walthamstow, Croydon, Peckham and beyond. In each of these instances it
47 A party shop burns on Lavender Hill, Clapham Junction
PHOTO: ANDY ARMSTRONG
“ The generations no longer speak to one another – our ‘moral web’ of values seems to have disintegrated..” seems that the police have had a disorientated and muted response. Gone are the tough boot boys of the miners strike and the political demonstrations of yesteryear where the police were often brutal and certainly unflinching. These days, the combined impact of a politically correct outlook alongside a softly softly approach with young people certainly seems to have impacted the police leadership, which has officers on the street somewhat hamstrung. From the recent student demo misbehaviour to handling gunmen in London, there has been an increasing tendency for the police to try and deal with things with kid gloves. I am not, I should say, an advocate of heavy-handed policing of citizens and certainly do not want to see clamping down on civil liberties or want the introduction of more autocratic rules. However, it is clear that for those in the business of law and order, the current impasse has come about from an approach that has been obsessed with ‘Health and Safety’ (for officers as well as citizens) and an anxious and fearful outlook about who they are and what they represent. This has come from the top, in an age of therapeutic psychomanagement and has left the police force as well as most other British
Police charge rioters in Croydon PHOTO RAYMOND YAU
institutions in a state of disarray. Most tellingly, authority across the whole of British society seems to have collapsed. Thus it is that these “riots” – and to be honest it has been a few hundred kids in various areas chancing – have been more about the implosion of authority from above than any sense of rebellion from below. Readers of The American will have noted that I often make the point that history is made by ordinary people, out on the streets, coming together to challenge the prevailing sentiments and working towards a new set of ideals. The recent looting across the UK is imbued with no such aspirations or ideas. Far more, it represents a nihilistic attack on the community and a selfish, incoherent grab for consumer products. The generations no longer speak to one another – our ‘moral web’ of values seems to have disintegrated, with those at the top of society embarrassed and incapable of articulating, let alone arguing for, any set of principles and ideas that could cohere society. My mother decided to go out to one of the looted areas and talk to the police and, at one point, confront the tearaway kids – she couldn’t understand what would motivate such wanton destruction. That is the point. There
isn’t one. What we have witnessed in the past few days in Britain certainly can point to disillusionment and disengagement and isolation from a wider network; however there is no attempt to challenge any of this. Simply to do a bit of destructoshoplifting. Clearly it is the topic that everyone in London is discussing. The surprise by ordinary Londoners at the ineffectual policing is because they haven’t followed the transition from confrontational policing to consensual policing over the last twenty years. However, after a couple of days, many local people decided that they would deal with things if the police would not. In Haringey and Stoke Newington, Turkish Kurds patrolled their shops and the local area, as did Sikhs in west London who joined up with Muslims. In Brick Lane, Bengali youth and adults aligned with white business owners and locals and patrolled the area together saying they would not tolerate looting. In areas such as Enfield where locals have been tagged as “racists” because they were predominantly white, and as “vigilantes”, it is clear why authorities are fearful of hundreds of citizens out on the street saying that they will take control of things themselves. There have been times when
people very consciously took control of things with a view to suggesting that they did not agree with the state and that they believed there was a better way to do things. That is not the case here, where it can be seen as encouraging that local people will simply not sit around while looting occurs. At the same time this is mainly because they feel the state has imploded and abandoned its responsibility. I try not to pepper these articles with personal anecdotes as they can be unempirical and impressionistic. However, having been in many of the areas in the past few days from Tottenham and Enfield to Hackney and Brick Lane, it is clear that the fearful, anxious and pessimistic response of those at the top of society who have advised shop owners, theatres, sports stadiums and others simply to close down have totally missed the point. We don’t need the army on the streets, or water canons and rubber (or real) bullets as some have argued on radio stations and other media. We need to be able to tell children who are misbehaving they are petulant and irresponsible and to get a grip. We need to hold the line. We should argue for making London even more open, for longer hours, not shutting up shop in fear of a bunch of teenagers who are on a naughty shopping spree. Watch-
he ing the images from around the country, it is clear that rather than a well organized, militant and radical foe, the kids on thee street are themselves erratic tic and disorganized. It is a pathetic moment when the authority off the elite has diminished so far that it cannot present any clearr response. The last word though must go ss up to those that are trying to dress the riots as some kind of “challenge” to the system. Grow up. You are living in a different world, plagued by the fact that you cannot g see that this is not a noble uprising of the poor to challenge their posi-tion in society and make a better world. It is theft and destruction. If we want to be in a position g where we can give a lead to young people, we need ideas that can inspire them and aspirations that will make a difference. We also need to address why authority is so diminished and fix the ‘Bowling Alone’ effect of disintegrating communities. Most of all, we need to be honest. There is little ‘context’ for the current spread of looting. What is required is setting some context to why we are here and how we can, collectively, get to somewhere better. For that we need to discuss, arguee and inspire with ideas. +
the ey – the day after Welcome to Hackn STOLENGOLEM PHOTO on nd Lo riots in
A burned out bus in Croydon, South London PHOTO GEORGE REX
in Police push back rioters
PHOTO HUGH E PAUL
Sooner ...or later ‘Bama looks ready for a run, the Ducks are still in contention, the ‘Noles are back, Boise State’s in the top 10 already, but it’s been Oklahoma atop the preseason polls
he Big 10 has 12 members after adding Nebraska, and the Big 12 is down to ten (gotta love football math). With Utah and Colorado now in the Pac-12, and Boise State in the Mountain West, new dynamics will be everywhere, and of the regular contenders topping our title conversations – Oklahoma, Alabama, Oregon and Wisconsin – not one is without an early blockbuster fixture: OU at FSU Sept 17; Alabama at Penn State Sept 10, vs Arkansas Sept 24, and at Florida Oct 1; Oregon opening with a visit from LSU Sept 3; and Wisconsin hosting Nebraska Oct 1. In a turbulent scramble to the BCS Championship Game that now includes titles games in the Pac 12 and Big 10, there’s time enough for some teams to fall once and rise again ...including No.1 Oklahoma. With no Big 12 title game, and one less chance to impress the voters, the Sooners start top and hope to stay that way. If they’re not 11-0 going into their regular season finalé at Oklahoma State, the Sooners will be relying on the Cowboys’ own dark horse aspirations as the springboard. Just don’t count anybody out too early. Quarterback Landry Jones hopes to lead Oklahoma to the national title. PICTURE COURTESY OU ATHLETICS/TY RUSSELL
Big 12 Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray’s 15 TDs are gone, but QB Landry Jones and WR Ryan Broyles (131 catches) are back. Aside from the FSU and Ok.St games, the road schedule is easy (yes, ‘easy’ now includes Texas). Expect to see freshman Brandon Williams spell undersized Roy Finch in the backfield. The tragic death of Austin Box, and Travis Lewis’ injury leaves the LBs stretched. Could Missouri’s visit, Sept 24, be just a shade too early? // Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon give Oklahoma State a pass-catch combo to match Oklahoma’s, and Joseph Randle will try to replaced RB Kendal Hunter’s 1500 yards. Replacing Off. Coord. Dana Holgorsen is tough, the pass defense must improve, and the schedule isn’t helpful, with Missouri, Texas, Tech and A&M on the road // 16 starters return for Texas A&M, and while LB Von Miller isn’t amongst them, QB Ryan Tannehill and RB Cyrus Hill have a line that’s shaping up. If the Big 12 champ isn’t from the state of Oklahoma, it’s likely A&M. Also a factor: Texas, Missouri; Baylor Atlantic Coast Conference If Florida State upends Oklahoma, Sept. 17, watch out; after last year’s 47-17 loss, even a close loss could signal FSU’s return to national relevance. EJ Manuel must adopt the QB mantle, but a mature line and experienced backfield complement a growling defense. A dangerous fixture could be at Clemson, just a week later // Virginia Tech’s new backfield is an unknown, but most of the line and receivers return, and while the trademark defense has lost some of its sting in recent seasons, the schedule suggests a lot of wins headed their way // For coach Al Golden’s new team Miami to contend for a BCS berth, QB Jacory Harris must be less wild with the ball (32 ints the past two seasons). If RB Lamar Miller and WR Travis Benjamin take another step forward, Miami could surprise. Equally, they could remain in the pack. Also a factor: BC; Maryland; UNC; Clemson
Right: LaMichael James spearheads an explosive attack for the Oregon Ducks, and enters the season as the premier back in the Heisman Trophy chase
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
PICTURE COURTESY ERIC EVANS/UO MEDIA SERVICES
Big East Perhaps we’re getting too excited about seeing West Virginia QB Geno Smith working in ex-Oklahoma State coordinator Dana Holgorson’s offense. A Sept. 17 visit to Maryland – one week before hosting LSU – makes for a dangerous early twosome, and the defense returns just four starters, but in the rough-and-tumble of the Big East, edges are slight. Holgorson is an edge // If BJ Daniels’ late2010 improvement continues and Colorado transfer RB Darrell Scott are all they could be, coaching stability works in South Florida’s favor this year. The defense, fast and effective in 2010, figures to be good again. If WVU do slip up (and let’s face it, they lost to Syracuse last year) USF host them in the season finalé // Pitt’s defense returns 8 starters, but switches from a 4-3 to a blitzing 3-4, and QB Tino Sunseri will be using the shotgun for the first time, There’s room for some teething problems under new coach Todd Graham, but they’ll be close. Again. Also a factor: UConn; Syracuse Southeastern Conference If all goes as expected, Alabama should join Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship game, and will be going for the SEC’s sixth title in a row. Sure, they lost stud WR Julio Jones and super-safe QB Greg McElroy, but sometimes you just have to sit back and marvel at a defense – and this could be one of those, with Donta Hightower, Courtney Upshaw and Nico Johnson amongst the LB corps, and Mark Barron and Robert Lester as the ballhawking safeties // Of course, LSU had a pretty good defense of their own last year, and they beat ’Bama. This time, though, they open against Oregon in Dallas, visit Alabama and West Virginia, don’t have DB Patrick Peterson, and Off. Coord. Steve Kragthorpe had no sooner been brought in to pep up the offense than he stepped down to QBs coach due to Parkinson’s Disease // South Carolina won the SEC East last year, and should repeat, if QB Stephen Garcia can stay away from suspension for a little while. Otherwise, opponents will just load up the box against Marcus Lattimore, one of the best backs in the nation // QB John Brantley has been flat for Florida so far, but with Charlie Weis running the offense, his fundamentals
Our Preaseason Top 25
should be better. New head coach Will Muschamp may involve himself more on the defense, which looks like a work in progress // Georgia freshman RB Isaiah Crowell could be this year’s Marcus Lattimore, in which case he and QB Aaron Murray could cause some upsets // Arkansas moves from QB Ryan Mallett to Tyler Wilson, who has three 1000-yard receivers returning, but RB Knile Davis (1300 yards, 13 TDs) is reportedly out for the year. Also a factor: Auburn; Tennessee; Kentucky; Miss St
Big Ten Wisconsin lost two games last year – at Michigan State, and at TCU (by 2). The defense was tough, the running game produced 48 TD, and James White (14 TDs) and Montee Ball (18 TDs) are back. Add to that dual-threat ex-NC State QB Russell Wilson, who’s already thrown 76 TDs in his career. What’s not to like? // Nebraska are eyeing up the Big Ten title in year one, and if QB Taylor Martinez is as good as a soph as he was as a fresh, that’s legitimate. On the other hand, a sophomore jinx and RB Rex Birkhead failing to match departed Roy Helu could easily translate to a damp squib. The defense has it where it counts in the Big Ten: up front // You remember how Wisconsin lost in East Lansing last year? Well, Michigan State host them again this year, and if the line doesn’t wobble too much from a change of personnel, the skill positions - led by QB Kirk Cousins – will be in the Big Ten title fight. Also a factor: Penn State; Iowa; Michigan; Illinois; Ohio State; Northwestern.
Oklahoma Alabama Oregon Wisconsin Florida State LSU Nebraska Oklahoma St. Virginia Tech Boise State Stanford S. Carolina Michigan St.
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Texas A&M TCU USC West Virginia BYU Notre Dame Penn State Florida Georgia Arizona St. Air Force Arizona
Pac 12 The Oregon Ducks are the only team holding station in the top 3 as the new season approaches. That’s because they still have RB LaMichael James, QB Darron Thomas, and most of the secondary. Last year’s defensive front seven has mostly departed, however, so nothing is a lock. An unbeaten run to the Pac-12 championship game seems a stretch // Only a visit to Arizona should stand between Stanford and 6-0 before the schedule gets tougher. That may give them time to figure out some new protection for Heisman hopeful QB Andrew Luck, who saw not just the interior line graduate, but FB Owen Marecic, a staunch blocker and TD target. Saying goodbye to coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t help, either. // Spoiler Alert! USC’s defense will be improved, and Matt Barkley is back under center, but the schedule is a who’s who of Pac-12 contenders, plus a visit to re-emerging Notre Dame. However, looking at it the other way, some contender will certainly get shaken by a Trojan team with nothing to play for by pride // Arizona State looks likes having two great lines, but it’s passing and defending the pass that are question marks // Arizona’s Nick Foles to Juron Criner is a pass combo to celebrate – if only they could borrow the Sun Devils’ line. Instead it’ll be all-new. // So how good would one of these BCSbusters do if they played BCS teams weak-in, week out? Utah will do their best to show us, though this isn’t their best vintage, and non-conference visits to BYU and Pitt won’t be kind. Also a factor: Wash’ton; Oregon St; California
Mountain West Conference We’d love to linger on Air Force’s running game – it’ll still be good for 10 wins– complementary passing game and many returning starters or San Diego State’s QB Ryan Lindley, but the MWC hype is all about Boise State and TCU until the Falcons upset one of them (don’t rule it out). Casey Pashall is the new TCU QB, and the RB corps is solid, but only 4 starters return on a defense that has led the nation three years running, the departure of Andy Dalton’s leadership cannot be underestimated, and is why we’re not picking the Horned Frogs to go unbeaten again. Another reason is the schedule: at Baylor and Air Force to start, at SDSU, at Boise State. Boise State’s schedule has its hurdles too (at Georgia to open), but Kellen Moore is still the QB. If the next generation at receiver can step forward quickly, the Broncos could again mount an unbeaten charge to give BCS voters fits. If so, don’t be surprised if RB Doug Martin becomes as much the focus as Moore – Martin was the one thing Nevada couldn’t stop. Independents Notre Dame are a top 25 team for as long as the season doesn’t start. 17 returning starters (plus kickers) should count for something, but even with star WR Michael Floyd reinstated, this is a team that went 8-5 last year, and might struggle to do better than 9-4 this time // BYU only went 7-6 last year, but look how much attention they’re getting ...still think independence was a suspect move? Of course, 9 returning starters including QB Jake Heaps and a real good line means the BYU will be solid, and their schedule lends them credibility the WMC never could. But that schedule may be just a little too ambitious for a Top 25 finish // Don’t be too ambitious for Navy, academy fans. Only 2 defensive starters return, and upsetting Notre Dame a third time will be difficult, even at home // Army also has holes to fill on defense, but the headliner should be RB Jared Hassin, who posted a 1000 yard season after transfering from the Air Force Academy (apply your own cheers or rasps as required). Other Conferences C-USA: Case Keenum will make an outside Heisman charge for Houston, and Tulsa and UCF will challenge. SMU may be the best team, but the schedule’s tough // WAC: Hawai’i bids a WAC farewell by topping Fresno State and Nevada // Sun Belt: Troy over FIU // MAC: Northern Illinois over Temple. +
Second Draft Agreement between the NFL’s players and owners unleashed a spree of late-summer free agent signings
n 1992, the ‘Brett Favre era’ began in Green Bay, but as much a part of that revival was the free agent arrival of DE Reggie White in 1993. In 1997, the Denver Broncos landed a slew of free agents headlined by DE Neil Smith – they went on to supplant the Packers as NFL champs. This has been a similar offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles, who came from nowhere to land top free agent Nnamdi Asomugha as well as trading QB Kevin Kolb to acquire another top CB, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Then the Eagles reached a tipping point where free agents began to regard Philly as the consensus destination for a Super Bowl run. Here’s our pick of the top offseason signings.
Masterful Moves 1. Philadelphia: Nnandi Asomugha 2. Philadelphia/Arizona: Dominique RodgersCromartie for Kevin Kolb – win-win, but more so for Philly, who pocketed a 2nd round pick as well 3. New England: DLs Albert Haynesworth, Shaun Ellis, Andre Carter, Mark Anderson, Marcus Stroud ...but most of all Haynesworth, who will want to prove himself, and Ellis, from the rival Jets 4. Arizona: TE Todd Heap – under the Ravens’ noses 5. Baltimore: FB Vonta Leach – pro-bowl blocker helps Ray Rice and newly-acquired Ricky Williams 6. Houston: Johnathan Joseph – finally, a corner! 7. Minnesota: QB Donovan McNabb – because having McNabb now makes the Christian Ponder draft pick look more planned and less panicky 8. Philly: DEs Jason Babin; Anthony Hargrove; DT Cullen Jenkins – defensive linemen come in clusters 9. Philly: QB Vince Young – perfect Vick backup 10. Seattle: WR Sidney Rice – because he’s not just a stand-out receiver, but knows QB Tavaris Jackson
Significant Signings 11. New Orleans: RB Darren Sproles 12. Houston Texans: FB Lawrence Vickers – the best available answer for losing Vonta Leach 13. New Orleans: C Olin Kreutz 14. Jacksonville: LBs Paul Posluszny; Clint Session – in one afternoon. Nice work. 15. San Francisco: S Donte Whitner
16. Tennessee: LB Barrett Ruud 17. Jacksonville: S Dawan Landry 18. Kansas City: WR Steve Breaston 19. NY Giants: P Steve Weatherford 20. NY Jets: WR Derrick Mason – because Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes might do silly things 21. Seattle: TE Zach Miller – best FA TE available 22. Oakland: TE Kevin Boss – because they lost Zach Miller, and he’s the next best TE available 23. NO: NT Aubreyo Franklin 24. St. Louis: OG Harvey Dahl 25. San Diego: S Bob Sanders 26. LB Takeo Spikes 27. San Francisco: CB Carlos Rogers 28. Seattle: RT Robert Gallery 29. Minnesota: LT Charles Johnson 30. San Francisco: WR Braylon Edwards 31. Tennessee: QB Matt Hasselbeck 32. Atlanta: DE Ray Edwards 33. Philly: WR Steve Smith 34. Philly: RB Ronnie Brown, 35. Arizona: OG Daryn Colledge; 36. Miami: RB Reggie Bush 37. Washington: Barry Coﬁeld 38. Chicago: WR Roy Williams 39. Chicago: (undrafted) WR Dane Sanzenbacher – in case ex-Cowboy WR Roy Williams underachieves 40. Tampa Bay: P Michael Koenen – only here because the Bucs paid him $19.5m over 6 years ...for a punter ...coming off one of his worst years!
Green Machine T
he last time we saw the Philadelphia Eagles, the Green Bay Packers picked off Michael Vick to preserve a 21-16 win with 44 seconds to go. The Packers went on to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles went on to win the offseason. The Eagles and Packers could meet again next January, this time for the NFC Championship. The Packers should go all the way because they did that last year despite a raft of injuries at midseason; the Eagles should do it because the weight of talent – existing and recently-signed – is unstoppable. (Then again, a lot of people, including us, were picking the Cowboys last August and look what happened there!) Ruining the colour scheme, the Patriots looks ready to regain some swagger over the Jets, with the Baltimore Ravens facing them in the AFC championship game. Our best guess: the Eagles to beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
NFC NORTH We don’t have to make the case for reigning Super Bowl champions, so we’ll make the case against: the Green Bay Packers lost linemen Mark Tauscher and Daryn Colledge, defenders Cullen Jenkins, Brandon Chillar and Nick Barnett, and their top returning runner had under 300 yards last year. But we’re still picking Aaron Rodgers and co. in the North // The Detroit Lions sacked opposing QBs 44 times last season, but they were still poor against the run, which helps explain the drafting of DT Nick Fairley and the signing of FA OLB Stephen Tulloch (159 tackles for Tennessee in ‘10). If Matthew Stafford can just stay healthy, they’re a playoff team in the making // The Chicago Bears allowed their QBs to be sacked a league-high 56 times last season, and as much as they signed plenty of free agents, they lost their best lineman, center Olin Kreutz to the Saints // If you believe that Minnesota Vikings QB Donovan McNabb has anything left, you have to look at the starting offense – Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Versanthe Shiancoe – and decent special teams, and believe they can contend. However, the defense lacks turnovers.
by Richard L Gale
Above: DeSean Jackson of Philadelphia averaged 22.5 yards a catch last season © DREW HALLOWELL/PHILADELPHIA EAGLES/ GETTY IMAGES
NFC EAST At press time, Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin was out with illness, and Michael Vick rarely makes it through 16 games, so nothing is assured. However, by adding key DLs and two outstanding CBs to a defense that was already third for picks last year, they have the ability to shut down the pass in a passing league. Only chemistry could halt them, it seems // The Dallas Cowboys’ seemed to lack both chemistry and focus last season, and pretty soon were without QB Tony Romo too. Rob Ryan arrives as defensive coordinator, so they should be improved there, but if the offense falters again, is shopping Romo impossible? // Despite some good signings, why do we get the feeling some players would rather not work for New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin? // A bunch of Washington Redskins DEs left, and heap of free agents arrive. This level of personnel turnover has never worked for Washington. And Rex Grossman could be their quarterback.
NFC WEST The St. Louis Rams went from 1-15 to 7-9 last season, a tie-break out from winning it. Between Sam Bradford, Tavaris Jackson, Kevin Kolb and Alex Smith, the Rams may have the edge at QB, but they lack a marquee receiver, unless rookies Austin Pettis or Greg Salas emerge // The Seattle Seahawks soaked up some valuable free agents, and if QB Tavaris Jackson isn’t clinically paranoid about being benched by this point of his career, a divisional repeat is possible // Kevin Kolb is now the Arizona Cardinals’ QB of the future (would it be cynical to observe that Kolb was Philly’s QB of the future just 12 months ago?), but they had more things to solve, such as the offensive line (enter Daryn Colledge, Floyd Womack) and tight end (Todd Heap, Jeff King) // Out with Mike Singletary, in with Jim Harbaugh at the San Francisco 49ers. Free agency suggests players believe in Harbaugh, but Harbaugh seems still to believe in QB Alex Smith for now. Key losses amongst the front seven make a Pete Carroll-like splash unlikely. NFC SOUTH The Atlanta Falcons won the division, but QB Matt Ryan’s playoff appearances have been horrible. New WR Julio Jones could help the receivers overwhelm secondaries, but they couldn’t retain RG Harvey Dahl. DE Ray Edwards (ex-Vikings) helps a suspect pass defense // In his first full season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman threw for 25 TDs to just 6 ints, and RB LaGarrett Blount
debuted with 1000 yards. If the past two drafts’ defensive selections click, last year’s soft run defense and low sack tally could vanish, and the Bucs could steal this division // The New Orleans Saints had a busy offseason, ensuring that Reggie Bush is replaced by Alabama RB Mark Ingram and ex-Charger Darren Sproles, and bringing in new offensive linemen. The defensive front leaked free agents – considering how few sacks it tallied, not necessarily a bad thing – but they’ve done little to solve league-low picks // For the Carolina Panthers, no free agent out-headlined the drafting of Heisman-winning QB Cam Newton. Electrifying as he was at Auburn, he may have difficulty upstaging the likes of Drew Brees, Ryan and Freeman.
AFC EAST The New England Patriots were top for pointsscoring, 8-0 at home, 8-0 to finish the regular season, and the defence snatched a league-high 25 balls. They added a raft of veteran defenders, hoping the 4-3 and more leadership puts them over the top // The New York Jets didn’t win the East last year, and Mark Sanchez still isn’t a stellar QB, but he, L.T. and Shonn Greene efficiently snuffed out the Pats in postseason. Losing DE Shaun Ellis and punter Steve Weatherford are big negatives // RBs Dan Thomas and Reggie Bush replace Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in the Miami Dolphins backfield, but QB Chad Henne must step up. Even with Jason Taylor returning, the Dolphins lack identity // The Buﬀalo Bills are not the free agency destination of choice. A wave of rookie defenders must help a front seven than leaks rushing yards. AFC WEST
Josh Freeman’s Buccaneers are finally a contender ...and headed back to Wembley PHOTO © GARY BAKER
The San Diego Chargers had the best offense and one of the best defenses ...and still missed the playoffs because their special teams were epically awful. The NFL has moved kickoffs from the 30 to the 35 yard line, but expect improvement anyway. RB Darren Sproles departs, but free agent defensive signings (see opposite page) keep them in the upper echelon // The Oakland Raiders went 6-0 in the division, but 2-8 otherwise, so coach Tom Cable was sacked. Hue Jackson inherits the NFL’s second-best rushing team, and a defense that was amongst the best
for sacks, and second-best defending the pass. However, free agent signings barely replaced losses // The Kansas City Chiefs won the division with a league-leading rush offense, but the passing game was poor, and OC Charlie Weis has moved on. // Never mind Orton v Tebow, the Denver Broncos can’t run and can’t stop the run. An influx of new DL retreads won’t change that enough, so rookie LBs Von Miller and Nate Irving will have to excel.
AFC NORTH The Baltimore Ravens lost WR Derrick Mason but Lee Evans will help deep until rookie Torrey Smith is ready. The running game will be even better by adding Ricky Williams and FB Vonta Leach. Defensively, their reputation is formidable, but they didn’t get to QBs so often last season // The Pittsburgh Steelers’ O-line has been ho-hum for a while, but it doesn’t stop them getting to Super Bowls, it seems. QB Ben Roethlisberger remains messily successful, but could their biggest enemy this year be Commissioner Roger Goodell, seeking to punish borderline hits? // New Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur will develop QB Colt McCoy, and they used their top two picks to improve a run-porous DL, but the Browns need broad roster improvements before they can contend // QB Carson Palmer prefered to retire than play with the Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie Alex Dalton will learn the hard way, though Bengals passers were not badly protected last season.
AFC SOUTH Despite the fantasy football offense, the Houston Texans’ secondary was a no-hoper in 2010. Now they added CB Johnathan Joseph and S Danieal Manning, plus drafted twice early at CB. The secondary still isn’t great, but at least it isn’t a big open wound marked ‘poke here’. RB Arian Foster’s 1600 yards would be hard to repeat without FB Vonta Leach but they signed Lawrence Vickers // The Indianapolis Colts kept most things from their 10-6 campaign, but lost S Bob Sanders and will have rookie Anthony Castonzo as their starting left tackle; it’s the Peyton Manning show ...unless suddenly it isn’t // The Jacksonville Jaguars quietly went on a spending spree, adding some very useful players to a defense that was weak against the run and feeble against the pass. How long before QB David Garrard becomes Blaine Gabbert? // The Tennessee Titans have a new head coach – Mike Munchak – and a new QB (Matt Hasselbeck). However, it is 4 years since Hasselbeck threw more
Baseline The winner of the U.S. Open likely defines the 2011 tour. Time for fairytale endings? wonders Richard L Gale
kay, I’ll admit it, ‘Baseline’ is just ‘Sideline’ without the football, but after five pages of gridiron couldn’t we do with the change? So far in 2011, change is exactly what we have seen in men’s tennis, with Novak Djokovic delivering on our May issue speculation and unseating Rafael Nadal atop the men’s standings. The Australian Open champ played Rafa close on clay, then landed the breakthrough at Wimbledon. The two-horse race of Nadal and Federer suddenly seems a lot like Nadal and Djokovic, with Roger Federer and Andy Murray comfortably in their wake, Federer slowly on the slide and Murray starting to earn a reputation as a satellite-prizewinner who fades when the grand slams come calling. Does anyone weep for Murray? The gawky Brit is no charm offender, and internet message boards rarely warm to his mention. Not so long ago, he’d climbed to No.2 in the world and dared to talk about Federer’s No.1; now he and Fed are tussling for 3 and 4. If Djokovic wins the US Open, he becomes not just the best player of the moment, but crowns himself as the new dominant player, with 3 of the 4 calendar slams. Even if Rafa defends his title, Djokovic likely finishes the year as the headline story, and Rafa-Novak is cemented as the new rivalry with two apiece. But what if Federer or Murray find a way to conquer Flushing?
Andy Murray may have peaked ked as much as Federer. Murray won n five fivve fi tournaments in 2008, six in 2009, 9, just juust two last year, and just one this year. Robin Soderling is closer to him in the rankings than Murray is to the grand slam champs above him. On the other hand, of the 17 events Murray has won during his career, only two have been on grass (both at Queen’s Club, London – ‘home court’ ...if you ignore the fact that he’s Scottish and lives in Spain), while 13 have been on hard courts, the majority outside. Murray has been to three (forgettable) grand slam finals, but all three were on hardcourts, two of them were in the past two years, and unsurprisingly he says the hard court is his favorite surface. The desperation of the British to land a Wimbledon champion ties him to grass court expectations but if he is ever going to win a grand slam (look, we’ll take any grand slam, really), it’s more likely to happen in Australia or the United States. I could be talking up the US men here – Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick, Sam Querrey, John Isner – and a US victory by one of them would certainly qualify as fairytale stuff (especially if it’s 28 year old Roddick, a winner 8 years ago, or 29 year old Fish, who’s netted 6 minor tournaments in over a decade), but if the US Open isn’t to belong to Nadal or Djokovic, who’ve you got? Roger Federer’s won one tournament this year. It has to be Murray.
Andy Murray regularly lands satellite titles such as the Aegon Championships ... but a Grand Slam title has been elusive PHOTO © GETTY IMAGES/STAFF
However, if you can’t muster enough Scottish ancestry to claim kinship with Murray, the best option for a Flushing fairytale is to be found with the ladies, where comebacks abound. Kim Clijsters has already established hers, winning the US Open two years ago, so she’s hardly reliant on the good wishes of neutrals. Fellow former US champ Maria Sharapova is back in the top 5. The rest of the field includes Europeans with sketchy former (or present) No.1 rankings that owe more to the absence/injuries of Clijsters, Sharapova, and the Williams sisters than they do to scarce grand slam accomplishments. Ah yes, the Williams sisters. If you didn’t anticipate them occupying the final paragraph of this page, where’ve you been since Wimbledon? After as many tournament appearances this past 12 months combined as Caroline Wozniacki alone (she’s the present No.1, by the way), they were both back for Toronto. After storming Stanford, could Serena be lining up the year’s definitive showstopper? +
Sports News Inaugural Biscay Ocean Race This month the fearsome Bay of Biscay will see a new world-class ocean race. The organiser of the new race is the UK’s Royal Yacht Squadron (www. rys.org.uk). It will form part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS) which was formed by the RYS, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and the Storm Trysail Club. The RYS was the only one that did not have an ocean race that was part of the series. The Biscay race fits into a gap in
the calendar between the Fastnet and the Middle Sea Race and is also open to any yacht wishing to compete solely in this historic race.. David Aisher, the RYS’s Commodore Yachting, explained, “The Royal Yacht Squadron has for many years been organising some of the best inshore regattas in the UK and for us, to be a true part of this new AORS event, we needed to show that we could also run a first rate offshore event as well.”
BBC Promises Olympics Will Not Dominate Airtime Roger Mosey, the BBC’s Director of London 2012, has said that he was “Surprised to read newspaper stories a couple of weeks ago that a BBC executive was ‘admitting’ Olympic coverage would dominate every service next summer. I was even more surprised to see that the person alleged to have said this was me.” He added, “Yes, we want to do justice to the biggest sporting event on the planet and to the story of 2012 as a truly exceptional year. But we also want to make sure that we don’t remove other people’s favourite programmes and that there are sanctuaries for people who don’t want to go Olympic-crazy.” The sports events will be broadcast “from dawn to dusk”. BBC Three’s Olympic coverage will be extended and it and BBC One will show live action. Radio 5 Live will add an extra, temporary digital service. The BBC’s website will be enhanced, with some sports accessed mainly online. However Mosey stressed, “Significant areas of the schedule - like BBC Two peak and BBC Four or our other network radio services - will not be over-run by athletes, and they can focus on what they do best including some of the Cultural Olympiad.”
PHOTO: JAMES MARVIN PHELPS
Sacked Caddie Lambasts Tiger Steve Williams, the caddie sensationally sacked by Tiger Woods after a dozen years, has reacted sharply to comments made by his former boss. Williams, 47, (pictured above with Woods) said “I was absolutely shocked that I got the boot to be honest with you. I’ve caddied for the guy for 12 years, I’ve been incredibly loyal to the guy and I got shortshifted.” The outburst follows Tiger’s description of their parting. Woods said he was “comfortable” with his decision to sack Williams on July 21. He said they had a “great partnership” and that Williams was “one hell of a caddie,” but it was simply “time for a change.” Tiger’s boyhood friend Bryon Bell will caddie for the former world number one in the short term. Woods could slip outside the top 50 rankings in his next scheduled event, the Australian Open in November, unless he does well in another tournament before then Williams caddied for Australian Adam Scott at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, at Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio. He said that he had been dismissed over the phone, not in a face-to-face meeting, as Woods claimed, and described his new employer’s victory at as the “most satisfying” of his career – despite having won 13 majors alongside Woods.
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Published on Nov 1, 2011
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