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Quench ISSUE 138 - OCTOBER 2013

Features 5 LGBT+ 11 Columnist 13 Fashion & Beauty 15 Food & Drink 22 Travel 26 Photography 30 Culture 34 Video Games 42 Film & TV 46 Music 52

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! T N E M E S I T R E V D A ! T N E M E S I T R E V D A ! T N E M E S I T R E V AD


quench editor’s note

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Sometimes I wake up during the middle of the night and wonder: was Futura the right choice? My girlfriend will ask me what’s wrong, but I won’t be able to respond. I can’t fully express how I feel when I think about Quench, how I think - even now - about the first issue, even though it’s gone to print. No matter how many layers I wear, I’m constantly in a cold sweat. What do people think about me? Are they laughing at my extraordinarily large forehead? My stupid hipster glasses? My Chinos? I wore a blazer to the first student media meeting. It took me a week to realise that I looked like a god-damn A-level media teacher. Now we’re a monthly publication, I’m probably going to feel even worse. It’s alright for the Gair Rhydd; those guys have a new issue every week, so when they run typos like “The Daily Maily,” (which I can only assume is the world’s first newspaper edited entirely by a committee of small dogs), it’s okay. It’s excusable. Maybe even funny, if you’re into that sort of thing. But I’m not. Serious about semicolons, I want you to keep all sort of deviance away from me. We’re a serious publication over here at Quench Magazine - the sole voice of reason in an otherwise meaningless society. What merit do our lives have if every word isn’t perfect? Oh, yeah, it’s a student publication, sure. It’s alright if you use too many commas. But based on surveys taken by YouGov, I can conclude that people have serious opinions on Everything. I’d like to be a bit like Kanye West, and not really care, but that’s my problem. I care too much. I don’t want to brush off criticism, either, even if it’s a little bit stupid. And I’ve always thought there was nothing sillier than trying to be all things to all men, in an effort to please the few who love mediocrity and the absence of any controversial opinions and bore everybody else. As such, I’m trapped in a prison of my own creation. “Oh, no! I’ve got to put this magazine

UESTION

together. It’s always been a dream of mine, you see... but that was before I realised that other people also had dreams, and that a tiny man with a large forehead never factored into that.” That’s literally what I’m thinking. I can’t explain that to my girlfriend whenever she notices I’ve woken up in a cold sweat. I can explain it to her in print, though, so hey: that’s why I’m always gazing into the distance whenever there’s a lull in conversation.

Will I be referred to, posthumously, as Quenchmaggie Thatcher? I feel like it’s only me that feels so strongly about this, though. Like when we were handing out copies of the magazine during the freshers fayre (I was the dude who looked like a lost sixth form teacher), I offered a pleasant looking young man a copy of Quench; he brushed it aside, laughing at me. “What? Quench? Is it about water?” he said, cackling and swaggering away. I was frowning for days after our encounter. I’d been outsmarted; sure, I’d got a couple of firsts last year, and I’d managed to survive 21 years without sticking a knife into a toaster and cutting things short, but what did that mean in the face of his laughter? It didn’t mean anything. I didn’t mean anything, having been relegated to nothingness by a guy who probably studied Earth Science or one of those WEIRD FRINGE SUBJECTS. If I did that, I’d feel bad for weeks. “What if they thought I was an asshole?” I mean, sure, I don’t think that guy’s an asshole. But people have opinions, and they’re free to have them. How do I pre-empt them all? I’ve got a t-shirt with a pentagram on it that I wear sort of ironically. What if there’s a god,

and he just doesn’t “get it?” Tom Eden mentioned my last editor’s note was a bit too grim, and I get that. But man, now everybody’s just walking around and judging everybody like they’re a public figure, I can’t help but wonder what my gravestone’s going to say. “Here lies Michael O’Connell-Davidson. He had a few hundred Facebook friends, and he said a couple of things not everybody agreed with. Guess he wasn’t right about everything, though (because he died.)” Will there be tweets? Blog posts? A hashtag? Will I be referred to, posthumously, as Quenchmag Thatcher? I mean, I try and assert myself, but I wouldn’t like to think I’d go as far as to systematically destroy a community. Have I done that? Oh, god, there it goes again. The sweats. I’m so cold. Please, go easy on me. All I ever wanted was to sit around and play video games, and now I’m editing a magazine. Maybe the universe made a mistake, placing me here - and if it did, I hope nobody notices. Anyway, welcome to Quench 138. It took 25 people about 600 hours between them to put this thing together, so it’s as close as we’ll ever come to perfect. We’ve done our best, so I hope you enjoy it! This month, our content includes a post-mortem of Breaking Bad, a roundup of cultural happenings in and around the Cardiff area, as well as a treatise on unpaid internships in our Features section. The team graciously allowed me the opportunity to discuss the digital footprint, and how I think it’s a sign that Britain’s becoming a progressively more unforgiving society, especially for young people. All that stuff about me being proper anxious about the magazine, by the way - that was a joke, like most of the words on this page (Bar the part where I said we did our best. I was serious about that.) If you’re wondering why there’s a picture of Kanye West at the top of the page, by the way, it’s because I like him. I don’t know. Does everything need a reason? MOCD

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Quench IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY...

EDITORS

@quenchmag · editor@quenchmag.co.uk Michael O’Connell-Davidson Editor @mikeocd Charlotte Wace Deputy editor @charwace Sophie Lodge Administration and marketing @splodge82

FEATURES

@quenchfeatures · features@quenchmag.co.uk Andy Love Features editor @andyluvv Chloe May Features editor @chloejayne_ Hattie Miskin Features editor

LGBT+ AND COLUMNIST @quenchlgbt · lgbt@quenchmag.co.uk Suryatapa Mukherjee LGBT+ editor @sugaryDEMON Emrhys Pickup LGBT+ editor Helen Griffiths Columnist, deputy controller @ CUTV @_HelenGriffiths

FASHION AND BEAUTY

@quenchfashion ·

quenchstreetstyle · fashion@quenchmag.co.uk

Jess Rayner Fashion editor @jessie_rayyy Jacqueline Kilikita Fashion editor @J_Kilikita Jordan Brewer Fashion Editor @JordanAffairs Sophie Falcon Fashion editor @sophiefalcon1

CULTURE

@quenchculture · culture@quenchmag.co.uk Amy Pay Culture editor @YayAmyPay Sum Sze Tam Culture editor @sumtzenbumtzen

VIDEO GAMES

@quenchgames · videogames@quenchmag.co.uk Rhian Carruthers Video games editor @RoutineEnvelope Matt Grimster Video games editor @MattGrimster

FILM AND TELEVISION

@quenchfilm · film@quenchmag.co.uk Leanne Dixon Film and Television editor @LeanneDixon17 Oli Richards Film and television Editor @ORichards93 Daniel Rosser Film and television editor

MUSIC

@quenchmusic · music@quenchmag.co.uk Tom Connick Music editor @ginandconnick Jimmy Dunne Music editor @GrimmyBumm Hannah Embleton-Smith Music editor @HEmbleton Alex Greig Music editor @anecdotebloke

SPECIAL THANKS

FOOD AND DRINK

@quenchfood ·

TRAVEL

@quenchtravel · travel@quenchmag.co.uk Emma Giles Travel editor @EmmaGiles94 Kathryn Lewis Travel editor @KathrynLewis92

quenchfood · food@quenchmag.co.uk

Emilia Ignaciuk Food editor Dylan Elidyr Jenkins Food editor

Tom Connick, Jacob Dirnhuber, Jimmy Dunne, Emilia Ignaciuk, Tamar Motem, and Sum Sze Tam for their assorted design advice and proofreading assistance around deadline night, Celery, for being the Quench vegetable of choice, and Liam McNeilly, who’s had to listen to me speak far too often recently. Quench would also like to thank, in no particular order, Kanye West, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon, Kerry Moore, Cardiff Parry-Jones, Tyrannosaurus Alan, Craig Landon, and gair rhydd Sports


LIFESTYLE FEATURES

THE RISE OF THE STAY AT HOME STUDENT Sophie Moore discusses why there is increasing number of students choosing to live at home throughout their studies rather than face the expensive alternative of rented acccomodation.

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harlotte Robins is a 19 year old undergraduate from Cornwall. Like tens of thousands of excited students up and down the country, she is preparing to head back to university for the start of a new semester. However, unlike the vast majority of students who choose to study away from home, Charlotte will be staying a little closer to Mum and Dad. Like many students, Charlotte’s visions of university life were dramatically altered, when, in 2010, the newly elected coalition government announced plans to raise the cap on course tuition fees. A merging of power between David Cameron’s Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats saw Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg do a double take on his pledge to prevent an increase in tuition fees. Under the previous Labour government, students were liable to pay tuition fees at a maximum rate of £3,290, but in November 2010 it was announced that from 2012 onward, universities would be able to charge tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year. The growing cost of higher education has seen the rise of the stay-at-home student. With the average cost of university accommodation totalling more than £3,900 a year, reports suggest that students who began their studies from 2012 could now expect to graduate with debts of up to £50,000. As a result, many universities have reported a significant increase in the number of undergraduates choosing to live at home whilst studying to avoid creating enormous amounts of debt. For some students like Charlotte, staying at home was the only option. She now makes the daily commute from her parent’s home in West Cornwall to campus in Falmouth. “I wasn’t planning on living at home whilst doing my degree. I’d applied for universities all over the country, but when I started looking into the cost of halls I realised how expensive it was going to be,” she explains. “I was eligible for a small maintenance grant as well as my loan, but after working out the cost of accommodation I would have been left with very little to live on for the year. My parents couldn’t really afford to help me out with the fees and I didn’t want to get stuck with loads of debt, so I started to think about looking at universities closer to home.” Charlotte is not alone. A recent survey carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency revealed that last year, nearly 330,000 students opted to cut costs by attending local universities and remaining in the family home. This is perhaps unsurprising when you consider that the average weekly cost of living on-campus is estimated to have increased 97% over the last ten years to around £123 per week. Luckily, she was able to get a place on the course that she wanted to study at Exeter University’s Falmouth based campus. “At first I was quite disappointed

not to be moving away like a lot of my friends were, but actually, it’s worked out really well. Although my parents couldn’t have helped me out with the cost of halls if I’d studied away from home, I’ve been able to live at home rent-free, which has been a huge help.” In addition to avoiding rent, Charlotte has managed to escape other costly expenses such as groceries and utility bills. “I do make a small contribution to the weekly food shop, but really my main expense has been travelling to and from lectures every day, so in that respect, I have saved myself a lot of money.” Along with this, Charlotte also works part-time whilst studying, meaning that unlike lots of students she has been able to start saving towards her future. “Initially, I worried that I would lack the independence that other students have, but staying at home has definitely lifted a huge weight off my mind. Although I’ve had to make some sacrifices, I think it’s been worth it to know that I’ll come out of uni in a relatively good financial position- I don’t know if I’d be able to say the same if I’d lived in halls.” Despite the financial benefits, being a stay- at- home student is not the right choice for everyone. Indeed, for many students, living away from university comes at a price. Jack Reed, 20, is a second year undergrad at Cardiff University. He commutes to university and admits that not living on-campus can sometimes make it more difficult to get involved in university life. “I applied to Cardiff because it’s right on my parent’s doorstep and after the fees increased I was worried about the cost of moving away to halls. I didn’t want to take out a huge student loan and I felt like it was silly not to take advantage of having such a good uni so close to home.” During Freshers’ Week Jack was concerned that he’d find it difficult to socialise and make new friends whilst living out of halls. “I did find Freshers’ Week quite challenging. The first few days I felt like I couldn’t go to some of the nights out at the union because I didn’t have housemates to go with, or anywhere to crash afterwards. It was frustrating at times, because I couldn’t drink and drive and I felt like I was missing out on all the fun of Freshers’.” In spite of his initial experiences, Jack is keen to emphasise that living at home doesn’t have to have a negative impact on the social side of uni. “Once I started lectures, I got to know people on my course, and now I have a good group of mates who take it in turns to donate their bedroom floors after nights out. I think the key to staying at home is just to make sure that you make the effort to socialise- whether it’s going to a party, or joining a society. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, because I’m not as central as the other students, but if I’m not pro-active, then I’ll lose out on the experience of university.”

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WRECKING M BALL: CAN ANYBODY STOP MILEY? Felicity Holmes-Mackay on the

Hannah Montana star’s most recent transformation

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iley Cyrus has, in many peoples’ eyes done a few ‘shocking’ things in her time, the most recent of which (in case you didn’t hear about it) was her VMA 2013 performance. Is this her butterfly transformation into womanhood or is she in fact having a breakdown? Are we watching the inevitable rise-and-fall arc of the child star or is she actually doing something unique? Is what she did even that shocking and, let’s be honest, does and should anyone care? So maybe you heard but here it is again: Miley Cyrus, known for her role as Hannah Montana of Disney channel fame, performed at the VMA show in nude PVC underwear… Not only was she semi-naked (goodness gracious), but she stuck her (massive) tongue out a lot, her dancing simulated sex and masturbation, and she also used a giant foam finger in a phallic manner. Putting it like that does make her performance sound bizarre and there’s certainly been a lot of coverage on it. At best, criticism cast the dance as distasteful, and at worst, Miley herself was decreed a disgusting abuser of her young fans affections and an example of why you shouldn’t let your child go into show business. Miley Cyrus started her career playing a schoolgirl who leads a double life as Hannah Montana, teen pop star. Her squeaky clean, family friendly image established her as a rolemodel for her fans, but, as many child stars before her, she started to react as puberty and adulthood struck. A recent image renewal has seen her take on a punk rock look and a very short, cropped haircut. Cyrus certainly seems to be doing her utmost to prove she’s now a true adult, with all the sexual urges and complex relationships of one. Unlike child actors before her, the star has done nothing illegal. Let’s just take a moment to remember Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber (who has this year been fighting photographers and spitting on fans). My, don’t they grow up fast. So what has really been so shocking about Miley’s recent actions and why have they caused so much fuss? She’s been called slut, whore and slag for having taken her clothes off. For others it isn’t the removal of the clothes but what is underneath that isn’t good enough, berating her for a lack of curves in her boyish figure and her androgynous haircut: ‘Does she actually think what she’s flaunting is sexy?’ Many have forgotten that she is now an adult and thus should be able to express her sexuality any way she wishes whether it’s tasteless or not. The controversy surrounding her public nakedness and sexy dancing have perhaps induced such shock because of her rejection of childhood innocence and the denial of the good girl image she was once pushed into by her work. On stage she climbed out of a sinister giant teddy bear and ripped off a teddy bear leotard to reveal the PVC underneath. It seemed to symbolically show her final goodbye to the prolonged childhood the Disney show kept her in long after she stopped being a child. Shock has also come as she hasn’t done what she’s supposed to; not only has she rejected playing the innocent child figure but she has also refused to conform to the modest, sedate woman mould. The rebellion displayed

a confident sexuality in her boyish figure, and perhaps this in-between state of rejection of childhood innocence but flouting of a female ideal is what is most shocking and distasteful to people. No one could deny that glitter, purple microphones and dance routines are one thing, but seeing your daughter/sister aspire to copy Miley’s twerking and party lifestyle is quite another. Does Miley owe it to her younger audience to keep the glorification of her sexual freedom under wraps? The answer is probably not; after all, who can make an informed,

Unlike child actors before her, the star has done nothing illegal life-changing decision to take an acting deal when they’re a child? Children can’t recognise the responsibility they will always have for impressionable fans. Miley may not owe it to her younger fans to give them a falsely modest idol to look up to, but it’s definitely a kind thing to do to stay in the legal clear for a little while longer and keep the sexy dancing to private quarters. So are Miley’s actions really that controversial? So far the conclusion appears to be no, but on looking past the issue of her nudity other controversies arise. While many have been too shocked by Miley’s grown up new image to look further, the glaring issue for me is her choice of backing dancers for her ‘We Can’t Stop’ video, and performances of the song. In the video and for the VMA performance, plus sized black women appear as backing dancers, twerking along with Miley whilst she spanks one dancer and sings: ‘To my home girls here with the big butt/ Shaking it like we at a strip club’. In other performances of the song she’s been doing the same twerking-spanking routine joined by a full company of dwarves, making for uncomfortable watching to say the least. It’s surprising how little criticism this use of unconventional bodies as entertainment has attracted, compared to the criticism concerning Miley’s near-nudity. Cyrus’s routine involves her imitating the ‘twerk’ dance (which has supposed roots in black culture) and, while perfectly free to dance this way herself, her spanking and twerking with her novelty backing dancers certainly patronises and objectifies these minorities. In her privileged position Miley may not actually owe it to her young fans to reign in her sexuality, but she certainly has a duty to decline from reinforcing stereotypes and patronising black and disabled figures. I hardly think that her choice was intended to harm, but as she said in an interview after the performance: ‘You’re thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it’. Should we be shocked by the performance? Yes, but not because of the nudity.


LIFESTYLE FEATURES

Internships: Valuable Work Experience or Elitist Exploitation?

Internships have quickly become an essential part of a student’s CV. James Ayles discusses the potential exploitation students face whilst they struggle to excel in a difficult job market.

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s we near the start of term and students flock back to University, many will have spent the summer seeking gainful employment with a range of national, multi-national and global companies in order to accrue meaningful work experience within their chosen field. Many of these placements can be time consuming and occasionally totally unpaid, a situation which has in recent years led to consternation and anger amongst politicians and academic figures alike. Internships seem to have become an elitist and unfair concept that only the most privileged are able to utilise fully. One such example, a third year JOMEC student named Abbi was thrilled to be a successful applicant for a 3 month internship in digital PR. However this soon turned sour when at the end of the 3 months the workload continued, with no prospect of a salary. Once it began impacting on her degree and other commitments she questioned the company’s attitude. Abbi was then deleted from her company email account and the company began a search for a new intern. Abbi is hardly alone in this situation. Whilst having become an almost essential part of a graduate’s CV over the past decade, many of these high profile schemes have also attracted a sustained amount of criticism for the apparent exploitation of this role. There have been many cases of interns taking on highly skilled, full-time jobs for minimal payment. Indeed, recent research from online job resource monster.co.uk demonstrates that in 2013, four in ten interns weren’t receiving the minimum wage and 14% received no financial support from their employer at all. Whilst these figures reinforce recent criticisms of the booming intern culture, the motivation for taking on such a poorly paid position is clear, further research shows that one in five employers plan on employing an intern at the end of the placement period. Furthermore, nine out of ten interns said that their internship was

When some of the largest companies in the world offer such an enticing opportunity, thousands of students will gleefully accept it, no matter the financial implications.

challenging and met their expectations. When some of the largest companies in the world offer such an enticing opportunity, thousands of students will gleefully accept it, no matter the financial implications. But to what extent are internships a legitimate method of offering valuable insight and experience to young professionals straight out of university, and to what extent do these companies exploit their workers unfairly and often illegally? One current Cardiff University student, who spent three months working on one of the UK’s most highly rated internship programs, has testified to the benefits and improved career prospects that can be gained from participating in student experience schemes, whilst also warning of the dangers of over-commitment and exploitation by unregulated companies. However, having worked for a reputable company in a position of responsibility, this student believed that the experience they gained was invaluable. ”The company I worked for gave us clear performance-based goals that pushed us to improve and develop our skill sets. There was also scope for advancement, and as a Junior Manager, I learnt much about teamwork, administration and leading a team in challenging circumstances.” Despite the advantages offered by such opportunities, this student also cautioned of the poorly paid and sometimes all-consuming nature of this work. Companies seem to suggest that a degree of suffering is necessary in order to reap the lavish rewards promised as a result of committing to working twelve hour days, six days a week with no overtime pay. Indeed, HESA found that 21.7% of 2009 graduates who were employed six months later were working for an employer for whom they had undertaken some kind of work experience or internship in the past. Therefore, for those willing and for those able to commit significant time to unpaid or low paid work, the outcomes may be hugely beneficial.

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LIFESTYLE FEATURES Helen Hare, of Cardiff University’s Careers and Employability Service, admits that intern programmes can be hugely beneficial to all parties should they be executed in the correct way. “Participating in internships can focus your CV and tell future employers that you are serious about entering your chosen occupation. On the flip side, it also helps you rule out careers you are not suited to without the formalities of a full employment contract. Furthermore, the opportunities to network and build contacts for the future are brilliant.” The opportunities a successful internship can offer are unarguably tantalizing for many graduates, with unemployment still high and record numbers of people applying for each available job. Yet, as Helen points out, there is a fine line between experience and exploitation, especially where payment is considered. “In my experience, the first part of the internship is more about guidance and support, and as time goes on the candidate becomes more competent as there is greater self sufficiency and productivity. When the balance of learning and working switches and the intern is now effectively a full time employee, that is when the internship needs to be paid or terminated”. In recent years, a huge range of internships have become available, and these are no longer limited to specific companies, industries or countries. Indeed, internships offering the chance to experience working in different cultures across the world are increasingly common. The opportunities that these types of internships can offer - working in a professional capacity in countries as wide ranging as Australia, Austria or even Brazil are highly sought-after. Yet, as one participant testified this style of program can prove to be beneficial on a personal as well as professional level, and the scope

For those willing and those able to commit significant time to unpaid or low paid work, the outcomes may be hugely beneficial

for individual development makes these increasingly attractive. In turn, these are almost guaranteed to leave the intern with a great deal of experience and understanding to take them into the workplace. However, with the costs of participating in certain internships often running into the thousands of pounds, these openings are regularly unavailable to those who are unable to afford to work for free. It is the inaccessibility of these schemes to all but the most fortunate that have led to the growing claims of elitism and inequality that now surrounds the subject of internships. Indeed, former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation is amongst a number of high-profile companies criticized for advertising unpaid internship positions, with only food and travel expenses on offer to successful applicants. With 100 companies currently under investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over their possibly illegal use of unpaid interns, there is still a clear and widespread issue that needs an effective resolution. Charities and Non-Governmental Organizations such as Intern Aware are constantly campaigning against such exploitation of interns to ensure that they are treated fairly and rewarded adequately for their work. Yet, in many instances, it appears that interns are more than willing to suffer financially in order to boost their long-term job prospects. When more than a fifth of those who employ interns admit to paying them less than the minimum wage, despite the fact that the majority (84%) claims to understand the law regarding this issue, a definite problem remains. Until a final solution is found meaning that these opportunities can be offered to all, regardless of socio-economic situation, it appears that neither interns nor employers are willing to alter the current arrangements, which, despite their flaws, have been proven to have huge benefits to both parties.

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THE APOLOGETIC GENERATION

ADVICE TO WATCH YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT IS HEGEMONY IN ACTION.

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’d like to begin with two stories. The first is that of Josef K., protagonist of Kafka’s magnum opus, The Trial. The other is that of Paris Brown, the ill-fated youth crime commissioner for the Kent Police. In The Trial, Josef K. is arrested on his thirtieth birthday. Neither the crime nor the identity of the authority prosecuting Josef K. is ever made clear; the novel’s antagonist is not a person, nor a group of people, but a web of inscrutable and seemingly improvised rules. It is also unclear who exactly these rules benefit, or, indeed, if they benefit anybody at all. Like many of Kafka’s works, The Trial is grim, and designed more to prove a point than to tell any sort of story. The case of Paris Brown is a similar sort of affair, though not out of craftsmanship; while there was a point to be made, there wasn’t much of a story to tell in the first place. Unlike K., Paris Brown was certainly guilty, although it was never entirely certain of what crime. Hired by Kent Police to serve as a sort of youth outreach officer, Brown’s job was to bridge the gap between an aging police force and an increasingly unmanageable youth. Ann Barnes, the police commissioner who hired her, claimed that she was not looking for a police officer, but “a young person […] warts and all.” And, indeed, that was exactly what she got. Cast into a turbulent political climate, Brown was quickly torn apart by the media for a number of tweets she made between the ages of 14 and 16. The nature of the chaos that followed was the same as any other scandal, although Paris hadn’t really done anything scandalous. The Daily Mail accused her of being

Michael O’Connell-Davidson racist, homophobic, and of endorsing violence; most humorously, they pointed to a “crass” praise of a shirt adorned with cannabis leaves. At the climax of The Trial, Josef K. is apprehended by two agents and sentenced to death. In a moment of dark humour, neither agent is sure which should carry out the sentence, passing the knife back and forth. Josef realises that it falls upon him to carry out his own execution as a result of their ineptitude. Though (thank goodness) Paris Brown was not killed, neither Kent Police nor the media were particularly

After two World Wars and the fall of an empire, are we to believe that the British public can be geniunely shaken by the musings of a 14 year old? sure what to do with her, or whether she’d committed any sort of crime (it was later decided that she had not), so it fell upon her to carry out her own sentence. Brown delivered a press conference in which she apologised for her “horrendously offensive” tweets: for using words like “fag” and for bragging about drinking—essentially for being the young person she was hired to be. I think that this was one of Britain’s darkest moments in recent memory. The youth is constantly vilified by an increasingly desperate news media, yet we seem

complacent in the process; a far cry from the era of punk music and rebellion against prior generations, everybody from the Guardian to the Gair Rhydd implied that this was simply the way things were, and, to some extent, the way things should be. But what sort of world do we live in where young girls are forced to give press conferences for tweets? After two World Wars and the fall of an empire, are we to believe that the British public can be genuinely shaken by the musings of a 14 year old? Reporting isn’t easy and as any first year Journalism student will be able to tell you, it’s only getting harder. Editorial budgets are being slashed across the country and the face of the practice is changing. Journalists and editors are looking for exclusives in new and different places, with social media being one of the newest (and least understood) sources. Vice’s Gavin Haynes wrote that all Paris Brown’s tweets did is expose the generation gap between the establishment and young people. If that’s the case, then she was perfect for the job of youth police commissioner, wasn’t she? What we are witnessing is not the media holding the powerful to account, but the powerless being held to account by the media. The people of the United Kingdom frequently complain about public figures being robotic, having speeches and interviews vetted by PR agencies; we value authenticity, as evidenced by our national cinema and our crippling addiction to reality TV. Yet the sort of authenticity embodied by the working class and the young is easy to criticise, because we don’t have the luxury of having assistance to make sure we’re fit for public consumption. This messy affair proved that corporate and public

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sector hiring practices are—as they always have been—fundamentally flawed. In the same way that a semester’s worth of study should not be assessed by a two or three hour long exam, attempting to gauge somebody’s suitability for a position (particularly in terms of how the public will see them) with just a brief interview seems practically impossible. Paris Brown could have been an excellent public servant and, in an alternate universe, perhaps she is. But beyond the failings of HR, the media’s response and the complacency of the public, hinted at something far deeper. Beyond plunging thousands of people across the country into misery, the credit crunch and subsequent recession has damaged the confidence of an entire generation. Interviews, jobs, HR managers—these are the things that students are thinking about, because it’s drummed into our heads repeatedly that our careers are the only things that matter. How do your society memberships fit into your long term game? What do your friends say about you? Are you careful about who takes photographs of you? Do you control your own image? (Does anybody?) Certainly, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that securing an income should be the first thing on anybody’s agenda, but is it worth surrendering the liberties afforded to us by our forefathers in order to do so? People have fought and died for less than the ability to speak their mind in 140 characters. The irony of it all is that those who hold the keys to our future—hiring managers, public servants and politicians—grew up during the “swinging” Sixties, the Seventies, and the Eighties, where recreational drug use and rebellion against the establishment was an accepted part of reality, if not the norm. Indeed, Hayek claimed that government interventions lead us down the road to serfdom, but profit (rather, the lack of it) has done a great deal to neuter the intellectual and cultural curiosity of our generation. In aspiring to avoid zero-hour contracts and dead-end positions, we have become indentured servants to our own ambition. Jobcentres and unemployment lines have become the new prisons, with trials being conducted by those with no sense of justice—just a paranoid desire to avoid a potential scandal. And so the media has become the highest court in the country. Now every news article, bad or good, is archived in the annals of Google. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act prohibits the republishing of spent offences by news organisations unless they directly relate to the matter at hand, but gone are the days where that matters. Indeed, contrary to common belief, perhaps the Internet is the best thing to ever happen to the press, as newspaper articles no longer become obsolete the day after their publication, as they used to. Instead, they are now immortalised, frozen in time and easily accessible whenever somebody searches an individual online. Conversely, the implications for the historians of the future are hugely negative. No matter how you view the activities of young people, the selfcensorship of the public means that it will likely be harder to gain a true understanding of what the youth of today thought and felt. This is partially down to the fact the laughable concept that everything you tweet or post on Facebook should be considered “published,” in a similar manner to a newspaper or television broadcast. Most people on Twitter are not public figures; while it’s certainly naive to assume that nobody outside of your list of followers will ever

Q 10

discover your account, it’s also completely naive to assume that everybody who uses Twitter has media training and the confidence or desire to speak in front of a wide audience. If you were to give somebody the same resources afforded to, say, the BBC, or to a local newspaper, then hold them to account to the same degree. And yes, you can protect your account, you can adjust your privacy settings, and you can pretend to be somebody else. But have we really reached the point where people have to hide their real face in public, whether in reality or online? How does this fit into wider debates on the niqab? On the suppression of minority groups? We have strong anti-discrimination laws in this country, and, indeed, strong anti-discrimination laws across Europe. But there is little provision to outlaw judging people based on their lifestyle choices, at least partially because it is so difficult to prove. It will—for as long as Facebook retains its position as the preferred method of self-representation for people of all generations—be impossible to stop people undertaking some routine detective work when hiring new members of staff, but to tell people to act as though they’re always being supervised should be considered a step beyond what we’re willing to accept. Otherwise, what use are office hours if we’re always at work? The Tab’s Jack Rivlin charmingly described the shift in attitude following the proliferation of social media as “survival of the dullest,” claiming “students who get the best jobs are now the ones with dull, uneventful lives and airbrushed Facebook profiles.” If we’re going to deny individuals the ability to serve in a public position because they found a t-shirt with marijuana leaves on it entertaining—or, heaven forbid, they admitted to drinking under the legal age—can we deny Rivlin’s assessment? The entire argument is eerily reminiscent to the North Korean Songbun system, by which the government classes its citizens and determines their opportunities—those loyal to the establishment, those who might waver in their support, and those openly hostile. Songbun not only decides who is trusted with responsibility, but also who receives adequate food. Yet the situation in the West is also an example of hegemony in action: if you don’t follow the line of

People have fought and died for less than the ability to speak their mind in 140 characters

the establishment, you aren’t fit to be a part of the establishment, nor are you fit to receive its benefits. I’m sure a percentage of the people who read this article will believe I’m defending Brown’s perceived racism, or homophobia, or whatever other transgressions she might be guilty of. I don’t believe in any of those things, but I do believe in childhood. I believe that young people (even adults) sometimes make idiot mistakes, hold idiot beliefs, and do idiot things in an effort to fit in. I believe in free speech, and in a right to change for the better, because there are no bad people, only bad decisions. To ascribe criminality to that — or to otherwise blacken somebody’s name forever —seems to be little more than an indicator of Britain’s slow and sorry metamorphosis into a callous and unforgiving society. Paris stepped down in April, but I write this now because the world is a changing place, and the United Kingdom’s role in the world is changing also. Though some believe it to be our responsibility to intervene in foreign crises and to assist the proliferation of democracy and liberty, that message seems lost in the face of our own hypocrisy. It is brazenly sanctimonious to tell our people to mind their words and actions while chiding other nations for doing the same, but more openly. As Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia and the markets prove, the eyes of the world are moving eastwards. In the face of double-digit growth, it’s easy to deride China for its suppression of certain thoughts and ideas. A recent article by Kevin Tang for BuzzFeed was critical of the PRC following the instatement of the so-called “500 reblog law.” Legislation now states that those whose posts on social network Weibo are reposted (essentially retweeted; Weibo is Twitter’s Chinese equivalent, as Twitter is blocked in the mainland) over 500 times can be sentenced to three years in prison, if the post in question is deemed “slanderous.” In a move that would likely shock those in the United Kingdom, a middle school boy was detained for insinuating police covered up a death in a karaoke lounge. “If even a middle-school boy can be targeted, then how safe is Weibo?” asks Tang, a good question, and one worth asking. But if a 17-year-old girl can be bullied out of a job for running her mouth at the age of 14, are we really fit to ask those questions?


National Coming Out Day Emrhys Pickup talks about the intricacies of coming out, and what National Coming Out Day means for the community

B

eing at home can be a difficult time for many young LGBT+ individuals, especially for those who are not ‘out’. For some, or perhaps most, going home is something to look forward to; catching up with friends, being back with family, having meals cooked for you! However, the idea of heading back to a place where you will not be recognised how you’d like can be rather ominous and distressing. I found my experience of being home for the summer most strange, being only half out myself. Coming out is a difficult thing to do however you identify. It is not easy and is often preceded by weeks, months, or longer - of worrying, planning, considering the worst possible outcomes before mustering up the courage. In many ways this summer was easy. I did not need to keep making excuses and hiding things from my parents. I openly said I was attending Mardi Gras and, despite being asked if it was a ‘gay or a normal Mardi Gras’ by my mother, it was accepted and I was allowed to attend. My family even asked how it was after and expressed interest in seeing photos of the event, as well as wishing me a good time beforehand.

The truth of the matter is we shouldn’t have to come out anyway and if we weren’t living in such a heteronormative cisgender world we wouldn’t be in that position. I could openly talk about my LGBT+ friends and things I’ve done with the community. Also, my parents even brought up LGBT+ issues of their own accord a few times (albeit a little reluctantly). However despite all this, it was still a strange summer and somewhat uncomfortable from time to time. This was due to being only half out (assuming my two LGBT+ identities are equally weighted - which I would say was not the case) and perhaps due to my family not really

understanding exactly how I identify for the label I am out to them as. Having come out through text message in my first semester at uni I feel that although it has made a lot of things easier (not having to lie about who I met where or what I got up to last Thursday evening) it is not a method I would necessarily recommend. It was a quick and easy way to avoid awkward questions and let them know I am LGBT+, but it basically limited all discussion around the topic. Which, I have to admit, is the reason I originally did it this way. Confrontation is something I have always avoided and so naturally, the prospect of coming out did scare me. However, hindsight I do think that face-toface communication is an ideal thing to have in such a situation. I have never had the conversation with my parents, it’s just there, whenever we are together, hovering somewhere just out of grasp: the elephant in the room, perhaps. I would love the opportunity to explain the difference between bi and pan to my parents, and maybe, just maybe, if that were to happen then the second stage of my coming out will be all the easier. My sister took the opportunity to interrogate me the next time I saw her after coming out, asking me endless questions of ‘how do you know?’, ‘since when?’ and stating that ‘being straight or gay is okay , but not both’. In return I have taken many opportunities to educate her on LGBT+ issues, whilst trying to avoid certain questions that may ‘out’ me. Although I don’t feel I approached it in the best manner, I am, overall glad I came out when I did. So, to those of you thinking about coming out, here are some things I think are worth considering...

Be sure what YOU want from coming out. Do you want a quick release from the stress of pretending to be someone you’re not? Or for whoever you are coming out to really understand your identity and leave it so it is free to discuss at a later date if you wish.

Understand what THEY might want from coming out. This is a step I overlooked. Whoever you come out to will no doubt have questions, or need some further explanation. Having someone know you’re pansexual or biromantic is one thing, but having them understand is a very different matter. Everyone will react differently and, although not ideal, often frustrating and hard to understand, some will need time to adjust and accept you as your ‘new’ identity - especially if it is someone who has known you for a while.

Come out when YOU are ready. I was asked during the summer by my sister if I was trans* gender but felt I had to say no. Now, this isn’t because I don’t identify as something that falls under the trans* category, but because it wasn’t the right time. You need to make sure it is what you want and when you want. Make sure you are safe and happy to do so at that time (or as happy to come out as you can be, what with it being such a potentially stressful time).

Work out the best way for BOTH you and them. Some people are good with words, some aren’t. Some are good with face-to-face and some aren’t. You need to find the best medium for the both of you. Despite my earlier point of texting being a bad method, this is my opinion on how I personally would approach it differently next time - if you feel texting would suit you, then by all means, go ahead!

Remember you are NOT alone. This is perhaps the most important of all the points. As an LGBT+ individual being in the minority can often be lonely and you may think you are alone. This is not the case - at all! The large LGBT+ community at Cardiff University shows that! If at any point you feel you need someone else the LGBT+ Association committee will be more than happy to talk to any of you. Having a women’s rep, Bi* rep, Trans* rep and an open place rep means that everybody who identifies as LGBT+ is represented by someone friendly and caring who would love to help! Don’t be afraid to get in contact or ask for help.


LIFESTYLE LGBT+

HOW WAS YOUR SUMMER? MY FIRST MARDI GRAS

Mardi Gras 2013 was my first experience of a Pride event and what an experience it was! Churchill Way – home of Cardiff’s major gay venues – was completely closed off, taken over by fairground rides and parade preparations. The parade is arguably the most important part of the day; our chance to highlight the issues that LGBT+ individuals still face, here in Cardiff and around the world. I marched alongside friends from the LGBT+ society, SU President Cari Davies (a wonderful ally for our community) and other elected officers, plus representatives from NUS. As the parade moved through the centre of the city, it was wonderful to see so many locals and visitors stopping to watch and enjoy proceedings. Once the parade was over, the majority of people moved to the Millennium Stadium, where the Mardi Gras celebrations were being held for the first time. Relocating from Bute Park to one of the most iconic venues in the country was a huge statement for equality and diversity in Wales. While a number of up-and-coming artists, drag queens and X Factor dropouts entertained on the main stage, local LGBT+ services, groups and charities had set up stalls promoting their work. There was an overriding sense of celebration at this year’s events; with the passage of equal marriage this summer, the LGBT+ community is now equal in the eyes of the law. However, there is still a lot of work to do to change public opinion, especially for the Bi* and Trans* communities and those who fall under the +. But, as people drifted off to prepare for a night of partying, I couldn’t help but have a sense of pride in what has been achieved so far. Sam Cook

PRIDE IN AMSTERDAM Going to Amsterdam was great; the coincidence that we’d gone during Gay Pride week was amazing! From stepping off the plane there were banners everywhere advertising it and the first thing the hotel manager said to us was about Pride and how we should definitely attend some events. I’ve never been in a place where a) Gay Pride was a week long instead of a day and b) the entire city seemed so excited about it and not just the LGBT+ community. Unfortunately we were only there for the opening ceremony, but if that was only opening night, I can’t imagine the rest of the week - it was phenomenal! The march was amazing (and you get lots of free stuff!) and it just got better from there! Cheap drinks, live music and free entertainment all night with so many lovely people. I only wish I’d known about Pride before I’d booked the holiday because the Canal Parade looks incredible along with all the other events the city lays on for Pride. My advice to you would be if you’re planning on going to Amsterdam next year, check the dates of Pride before you go because it’ll only make your holiday in this breath-taking city even better! Following on from Amsterdam, we went to Vienna where we stumbled across an LGBT+ Bookstore! It was the best place, there was literally every LGBT+ thing imaginable inside – books (obviously!), DVDs, CDs, stickers, hats, scarves, badges, umbrellas, jewellery…the list goes on! My favourite was the children’s story book section because I’ve never seen books aimed at children based on LGBT+ families. It took all my restraint not to buy everything in the entire store! Annalise Grieve

STONEWALL TALENT PROGRAMME On the evening of the 4th September I found myself on a train down to London, to take part in the Stonewall Talent Programme 2013. The two day programme is delivered by the very experienced staff of Stonewall, free of charge, sponsored by the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, to 36 LGB (Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual) young people between 18 and 25, who have been selected for the promise they already show. The aim is to get participants to start considering themselves as a role model in the workplace, although more specifically to be an “authentic” role model. The key thing here is about being true to yourself, your colleagues and your examined values. A real eye opener was how we have already been role models to others, without even noticing. In fact it was at this point I really started to think about how certain individuals have really shaped my life and helped me so much without ever realising it. It was a very emotional couple of days, particularly during the point we had to contemplate and then describe our stories up to that point in our lives; particularly how our sexual orientation has impacted upon it. It really struck me how every single person’s story was full of pain and difficulties that they had overcome to become the fantastically strong people that they are today. If you are LGB and between 18 and 25, I highly recommend applying to this programme next year. And for everyone, LGB or not, take five minutes just to think about how you’ve got to where you are, and that maybe there are a few people you need to thank. I also guarantee you have had a significant impact upon someone else, even if it seemed an insignificant event to you. You may have changed someone’s life dramatically for the better. Jack Oakley

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LIFESTYLE COLUMNIST C O L U M N

R O A D

with Helen Griffiths

Those of you who know me will know that I’m into photos in a big way. In fact, it’s probably one of the main reasons I still have Facebook. As sad as it might sound, I LOVE logging in to see that I’ve been tagged in a load of new photos. I also take a kind of strange pride being the person who uploads all of the photos from the night before, much to everyone’s dismay. Whether they’re embarrassing, hilarious or actually rather sweet, photos are memories. I know that’s horribly cheesy and clichéd, but it’s true.

Saying yes to everything can be wonderful. But it’s not without repercussions. “I have chronic Fear Of Missing Out”

Obviously actual memories are memories too, but there’s something quite nice about having a visual reminder to stick on your wall (be this your virtual Facebook wall or actual bedroom wall). However, when the photos go up from an occasion that I couldn’t/didn’t attend for whatever reason, I get a sort of second wave of FOMO.

H

i, I’m Helen, and I suffer from Fear Of Missing Out. Commonly known as “FOMO”, this condition affects roughly 1 in 6 young people (okay, I made that up. But it could be true). The signs are easy to spot. Do you find it excruciatingly difficult to turn down even the most casual of social arrangements? Do you dread hearing a second-hand report of what happened at the last social, or at so-and-so’s birthday drinks? Then I’m afraid you, too, might be a FOMO sufferer. Although I believe that FOMO may have been latently affecting my behaviour for many years, it seriously began to rear its ugly head in my first year of uni. I was pretty much unaware of its existence until sometime during the second term, when my housemates started to notice a pattern. I was present at almost every house-night-out. I rarely missed a trip to the pub or the cinema. Hell, I could scarcely say no to so much as a shopping trip. When this was pointed out to me, I had a sudden moment of self-clarity. It turns out this is bad news for my purse. Money seems to trickle away very quickly when you’re agreeing to everything your friends suggest. I can’t say that I’ve improved at all since first year, either. As I write this, for instance, I am contemplating how best to negotiate my Friday night so that I can go out both for a friend’s birthday and for a LangSoc (English Language Society) pub crawl, even though they’ll be in completely different places. I WILL go to both. I’ve also just agreed to buy a ticket for a play in London in a few weeks’ time, despite having never heard of said play and barely being able to afford it, just because a friend asked if I wanted to go and it sounded like fun (and because Rupert Grint’s in it). In that respect, FOMO can be great news for your social life. It’s kind of like being a Yes Man (or woman), isn’t it? If you don’t know what I mean by this, give the Jim Carrey film a watch. Maybe not a second watch… but anyway. As Carrey’s character illustrates, saying yes to everything can be wonderful. It can open up all sorts of doors and lead to a lot of good times. But it’s not without repercussions – energy levels and money supplies, in particular, get hit hard. Maybe I just won’t pay bills this term… they’re optional, right?

Maybe we should term this post-event - FOMO. It’s that strange twisting in your stomach you get at knowing that fun was had and you weren’t involved, which sounds awfully selfish, but I think we all get this feeling to some extent from time to time. I also have a theory that food envy is linked to FOMO. Now, I know I’m not alone in experiencing this. Ever sat down for a meal, having ordered/cooked something perfectly nice, then looked across at someone else’s plate and felt even the tiniest wave of jealousy? Thought so. That, my friend, is food envy. We’re all guilty of it from time to time. This is why things like buffets, light bites and sharing platters are an excellent, excellent idea. As long as you’re not the “JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD” type (please tell me Friends references are still relevant). You’ll have probably realised by now that this column isn’t one hundred per cent serious. FOMO is, as far as I’m aware, not an actual medical condition. But it is a thing. At the very least, it’s another one of those annoying acronyms churned out by the Twitter generation. I’ll say this for it though: it articulates a genuine feeling, and a common one at that, which previously lacked a name.

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! T N E M E S I T R E V D A ! T N E M E S I T R E V D A ! T N E M E S I T R E V AD


LIFESTYLE FASHION

Fast Fashion

Fashion on the go: @QuenchFashion

and Art Deco shapes, seen at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. There was a definite focus on ‘grown-up’ glamour, with longer lengths here to stay, as once again the ‘maxi’ was favoured by designers along with highly tailored pieces freshened up with sheer fabrics and asymmetric hems. Erdem stuck religiously to a blackand-white palette, mixing silk shirts with shrunken blazers and oversized jackets, whilst Topshop Unique played with oversized silhouettes in abstract prints. At Burberry the quintessentially British brand showcased sexy dresses and separates in powdery shades. Who doesn’t love a bit of forward planning! PREEN S/S 2014

Earlier last month with the launch of Fashion Week, London once again became home to one of the most anticipated events in the fashion calendar. Despite the weather turning colder, a glimpse of Summer/Spring 2014 had everyone lusting over pastels, florals and elegant tailoring. It is a challenge to sum up all the highlights in a mere 200 words, but here are some of the key trends to look out for this Spring/Summer. Flowers for Spring/Summer may not sound particularly groundbreaking, but the catwalks were awash with florals shaking things up with acid brights juxtaposed against sugary pastels, in a mix of geometric

ERDEM S/S 2014

LONDON FASHION WEEK S/S 2014

Meet Conor, Quench Fashion’s Monthly Male Columnist. Conor is studying for his Masters in International Public Relations and Global Communication.

A/W BOMBER JACKET With the temperature dropping and the days getting shorter, AW13 is beginning to gain some traction after a slow start due to our elongated summer. While peacoats and quilted jackets make their annual appearance, the emergent signature outerwear piece for AW13 is the bomber jacket. First developed by the US Army in WWI, the bomber jacket was born from necessity as pilots required a heavily insulated jacket to resist the harsh conditions in their open-cockpit aircraft. Either collarless or with fur trim, bomber jackets provide warmth and protection whilst not compromising on style. Designed to be worn whilst sitting down, their cropped

length, spacious sleeves and lined shoulders cut a masculine silhouette, immortalised by icons such as James Dean and Steve McQueen, and more recently by Ryan Gosling in Drive. The current revival owes much to the increasing American influence on UK street style, and it is no surprise that baseball jackets are appearing in many high street stores. Baseball jackets are a variation of the flight jacket, and are often constructed with contrasting leather sleeves. Because of this, the modern bomber jacket comes in a range of materials, colours and prices. More expensive jackets tend to be made with leather and wool, which would serve well as

winter progresses, but cheaper cotton variants perform well when combined with layering options. H&M’s £30 offering will provide light cover for autumnal temperatures, whereas pricier examples from Allsaints and Topman will fare better when when we reach sub zero temperatures. To complete the look, wear with slim jeans and low profile shoes or boots to extenuate the more muscular top-heavy shape from the jacket.

Bomber jacket featured, Bleek Leather Bomber Jacket All Saints, £258

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What to wear, Where? As much as we all love a night out in the Union, it would be a shame not to experience the alternative venues Cardiff has to offer - there is life beyond the Lash. The first hurdle when going anywhere new is what do I wear? Don’t worry, Quench Fashion are here to guide you!

THE VAULTS Situated just outside the city centre, The Vaults is one of the most unusual and excellent venues Cardiff has to offer. Vaults by name, vaults by nature – this venue houses three abandoned bank vaults to stage some of the craziest nights a student can experience. The atmosphere speaks 90s grunge and one thing you will not be short of is the mid-riff. There was a time where showing your mid-riff was left to the likes of Britney Spears or Gwen Stefani (We all remember Stefani’s infamous abs). However this trend has trickled down through the

decade and has been brought to the masses in a trend that shows no signs of disappearing. Even if you haven’t got abs you could grate stone on, this trend can be teamed with a plaid shirt and DMs reflecting ultimate 90s grunge. Think Drew Barrymore in Poison Ivy, meets Kurt Cobain, in a playfully sinister paradox of sound systems and strobe. Pretty cool, eh? One collection that encompasses this super cool style is the DKNY Spring/Summer 2014 collectionas shown in NY Fashion week last month.

BUFFALO BAR

@ChrisMillington

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@ChrisJohnMil-

It is safe to say Freshers is a complete blur of new people and places, but if you are looking for somewhere a little more low key to get to know your new housemates, Buffalo Bar is perfect. One of the hardest things people face coming to university is fitting in and adjusting to new surroundings. For the fashion conscious knowing when to go all out and when to leave the heels at home also becomes a major stress. After a mad week its time to put down the glow paint and instead opt for a chilled drink. Buffalo is known for its amazing cocktails, being the perfect place for a drink and a chance to

actually talk (trust me it will come as a relief from shouting at each over blaring music). The dress code is definitely smart casual, with my outfit of choice either being a cute dress or midi skirt, statement necklace, ankle boots and finished off with a statement lipstick. For guys, keep it laid back with chinos or jeans, a shirt and a pair of suede brogues or classic loafers. The overall vibe of Buffalo is relaxed, providing a chance to experiment with classic pieces adding a splash of colour or statement jewellery whilst sipping on a Long Island Ice Tea.


LIFESTYLE FASHION

Quench Fashion would love to see your street style for freshers. Send us photos on instagram @quenchstreetstyle

@sexiiheels

GLAM There’s absolutely no doubt you’ll be attending ANTISOCIAL, one of GLAM nightclub’s biggest nights out. As seen on MTV’s The Valleys, GLAM is a haven for those who love a bit of body con and a pair of statement heels, giving you a perfect excuse to dress up and show off. GLAM doesn’t do things by halves, either, with some of the UK’s best DJ’s like Mista Jam and Reggie Yates doing regular DJ slots, making ANTISOCIAL at GLAM one of the most popular haunts in the capital. The club drops endless chart hits and unique mixes to give you a more than fantastic clubbing experience.

And having won numerous awards as one of the best club nights in Cardiff, what’s not to love? Dress the part and opt for a mini dress and chunky platforms – a staple for those who don’t intend to leave the dance floor. If you want to be daring, be sure to check out the Rihanna make-up range for MAC, which will introduce you to an array of colour you won’t be able to resist. And for the boys, keep it classic with a pair of dark chinos and a statement tee. It’s got to be a failsafe pair of vans or converse to finish off the look. Make sure to invest in a pair for maximum wearability around both town and

CLWB IFOR BACH A fantastic venue for both Gigs and club nights, Clwb Ifor Bach can be found on Womanby street along with other stylish spots such as Cardiff Fashion Quarters and tapas and cocktail bar Pica Pica. There most popular night is ‘Wednesday Clwb’, drawing in crowds with a variety of pop, indie, pop punk and hip hop music. If you’re planning a night out at Clwb think of the tone as casual but with lots of room for personal style (style casual). Though really, however flamboyant you do or don’t want to be I can almost guarantee you’ll feel appropriately dressed. However, if you’re stuck for inspiration here are some example outfits.

If you’re a girl who likes to dress up for a night out I would suggest a block coloured shift dress, some statement tights and a pair of block healed shoes. If you fancy a casual night out you wont go wrong with a pair of high waisted denim shorts a sleeveless cropped top and a pair of your favourite brand of trainers. For the guy who likes to make an effort, dark coloured slim fitting jeans and a Fred Perry style polo shirt will fit the bill. If you’re not then maybe Jeans, and a band T-shirt. Don’t forget your fancy winter coats, the cloakroom is only a pound!

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STUDENT LOCK-IN With loans in and a new wardrobe to fill, Cardiff have entertained our collective fashion tastes by comprising not one, but three student lock-ins around the city centre - whether you are interested in one-off vintage pieces, independent designers, or you are a brand junky, the student lock-in is an event that remains a favourite in the students’ calendar. Quench Fashion went to check out what each lock-in had to offer.

STUDENT SHOP-IN Cardiff University student Jonathan Keys attended the Morgan Quarter student shop-in to write an experience account with a focus on menswear.

As someone with a keen interest in mens fashion, Jonathan gives accounts of what cutting edge collections are on offer right now. The Morgan Quarter is one of the more classic looking establishments around Cardiff city centre and its range of menswear didn’t disappoint. First I ventured into Pretty Green, the shop itself is wonderfully archaic and Liam Gallagher’s brand featured clothes that are ideal for anything from a day spent at a football match to a night out on the town. Pretty Green retains a smart and fitted approach to menswear whilst throwing in a whole lot of paisley and other Mod staples, think Harrington jackets, Parka’s and gingham shirts. The colours are kept simple which only enhances the brand’s approach to classic looking clothing and there is an emphasis on burgundy, this season’s on trend colour. Next was Route One a skatewear shop, their skate clothing is both accommodating and

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durable, especially with regard to the jeans, ones that will hold up against the rough and tumble of daily life. They stock a wide range of skate brands from the more traditional; DC and Element to the trendier brands such as Kr3w, Stussy and Thrasher. Their clothing lines embrace colour, most notably with the inclusion of Odd Future tees and there is a good range of graphic and printed t-shirts that often feature loud and garish prints. Finally it was on to the all impressive Street Casuals, a menswear shop that specialises in the latest streetwear, they supplied the night with beers, electronic music and a good vibe! SC specialises in stylistic clothing, good designs from reputable brands; from HUF and The Hundreds to the up and coming local brand Parlez. The shop features a collection of thick winter jackets, most notably the Carhartt and Penfield’s that are ideal for braving the oncoming winter, as well as a great selection of beanies and 5 panels. Headwear is a must for AW13!

Parlez beanie - £20 Available at Street Casuals

Oxfam Boutique certainly made a splash at the Shop-In, managing to both raise their profile and put on a runway show. The Quench team interviewed Catherine Lye, Manager of the Oxfam Boutique Cardiff, who caims that students aare a vitall important part of their market. To read the full interview and for all sorts of other fashion related news head over to quenchmag.co.uk

Picture: Sophie Falcon


CARDIFF FASHION QUARTER

Situated on Womanby Street, Cardiff Fashion Quarter hosted its first student lock-in to challenge the mainstream junkies of St Davids shopping centre. Quench Fashion went to the event at the start of the month to check out the hype. Cardiff Fashion Quarter is a treasure trove in the heart of the city. It’s a warehouse of unique pieces, with an eclectic mix of vintage brands, hand-made jewellery and second hand records all under one roof. CFQ prides itself on offering something different to the high street by championing independent brands and designers. Last week CFQ hosted an alternative student lock-in showcasing just that. The evening offered 10% off all purchases, with a buzz filling the converted cinema as people browsed the rails to a soundtrack of Reggae beats and the enticing smell of homemade Thai curry. The whole atmosphere truly epitomised the ethos of the venue. The evening proved that Cardiff is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the UK when it comes to style, with bargains to make David Dickinson proud. A smattering of students milled about picking out bits and bobs to add to their cutting edge attire. The evening was a backdrop of fabrics and funky sounds, amongst Autumnal vibes, provided by the local Thai take away and pizzas for you pop punk kids. The atmosphere was added to with seasonal bunting and bales of hay to rest those fashionable feet after a successful rummage through the rails of items and boxes of one off pieces of jewellery and accessories.

As a venue for Swn festival, this year, CFQ are attempting to place themselves firmly as part of the Cardiff scene through events such as the alternative student lock-in. With stalls offering mod, vintage, apparel amongst a multitude of other coveted styles, Cardiff Fashion quarter serves as a reflection of the diverse aspects of Cardiff fashion culture. All stall holders are solely dedicated to offering a unique shopping experience for both the fashion forward or those of us who are just looking for a splash of individuality. What’s more, sellers are always willing to haggle with you on prices. The Quench Fashion team managed to pick up an abstract print vintage shirt on the night for just £6.75 an absolute steal. If you missed out on this event keep an eye open through the next academic year. CFQ are definitely one to watch.

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George Hanks, Philosophy & Economics

Street Style Nathan Jessop, International Relations & Politics

With Cardiff being a melting pot of individual style, Quench Fashion sought out to bring you our favourite picks. From clean cut pieces to urban trends, a weath of Cardiff youth were on hand to showcase their freshest looks, and it’s fair to say they didn’t disappoint. The Quench team hung around a number of Cardiff’s fashion hotspots such as the Freshers’ Fayre and the Morgan Quarter, to scout the best talent.

Sophie Yang, Management

Christain Webb & Chloe Allen

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BeautySpot With priorities somewhat sidetracked over freshers, it’s often easy to neglect our morning routine and opt for that extra half an hour in bed. Quench Fashion are here to make sure you get through your uni life looking fresh faced.

L’Occitane: I’m a big fan of anything from L’Occitane and they have definitely outdone themselves with this rich facial moisturiser. Packed wth purifying ingredients, this cream should most definitely be a vanity case staple. Everything about the Creme Divine screams quality, from its fresh floral scent to the way it leaves your skin both soft and supple. The non-greasy, velvety formula is a saviour for those who suffer with dry skin come winter time or for those who want to protect their skin from the battering it will receive after countless nights out and early mornings! L’Occitane, £28

Thrifty facials: Keeping with the tea tree theme, The Body Shop’s Tea Tree cleanser is great for those of you with delicate skin. It’s delicate on the skin as well as the wallet, and after a few heavy nights in freshers and with the cold weather sweeping in, this is a brilliant base to wash away the stains and strains of last night. It removes impurities, make-up, dirt and anything else you managed to get on you in Solus. It gives clear, soft skin you’ll be raring to show off this autumn. Use morning and night in your usual routine. The Body Shop, £5

Burt’s Bees: Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm is an absolute must for dealing with the aftermath of freshers week. After all the shouting, late nights and the odd shot mixed with the changing weather it’s a disaster recipe for chapped lips. To combat the pain and general unattractiveness of this Quench fashion recommends a good moisturising lip balm. This particular balm is 100% natural and will add a cheeky hint of colour whilst it works its magic! Boots, £5.99

Gentle Toner: You might think a toner is not an essential when you’re struggling to buy meat each week but you’ll be surprised how much it can improve your skin. Toners generally help with blemishes and this particular Tea Tree classic from Lush is also alcohol free. That means it stops you getting that horrible tight feeling you really don’t want first thing in the morning, yet it still gently recovers spot-prone skin without drying it out. Use after your cleanser but before your moisturiser in your usual routine. Lush, £3.95/100g

Crafty Cleanser: Ingredients: 1/2 soft avocado 2 tbs hot water 1 tsp honey Preparation and Usage: Mash the avocado with a fork or in a mixer. Dissolve the honey into the water and add it to the fruit. Put it into your face, using your fingers. Avoid the area of your eyes and mouth. Keep 10 minutes and wash away.

those dreaded wrinkles along with moisturising and reducing inflammation promoting supple skin. Next Issue: Quench Fashion meets Buffalo Boutique..

The Benefits: Avocado is more than just a salad accompaniment; it is also packed with essential vitamins such as Vitamin E and C, key antioxidants in softening the skin and helping build collagen. It helps fight against

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Surfing the web makes me hungry. I truly realised this today when writing this article. I’m trying to find the best food blog; food blogs generally being websites by individuals who love to rant and rave, in this case obviously, about food. They are websites dedicated to sharing food with others, a notion that we at Quench cannot fault. There are hundreds of pages jam-packed with recipes, restaurant reviews, mouth-watering photography and generally a passion for eating for pleasure, AND IT’S ALL MAKING ME SO HUNGRY. There’s no doubt that there’s a blog to satisfy everyone’s foodie needs, but here are a select few that I enjoy, and that you should too.

The Curry Guy

www.greatcurryrecipes.net

Now here’s a fiery blog for all you curry lovers, balti buffs and jalfrezi junkies. The website is run by freelance food writer/ blogger Dan Toombs of North Yorkshire, aka The Curry Guy. The site provides recipes for authentic Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi dishes as well as all your curry house favourites. The directions are clear and simple, with speciality techniques explained, and finished dishes presented beautifully on the endless spice rack of recipes that you will come across. There are also forums to go with every post, where partakers can exchange tips and tricks. From pickles through breads and of course to curries, the site is full to the brim of recipes that will spice up the life of any curry lover, or general food enthusiast.

Dyl-icious Food Blogs Intimidated by the sheer variety of food blogs scattered over the internet? Food & Drink editor Dylan Elidyr shares his favourites you’re like me, those favourites are everchanging! Here’s a completely different blog, Foodstuff Finds. Established as an outlet for a group of people with an obsession for all things edible, new and different, Foodstuff Finds is oozing with reviews of snacks, chocolates, crisps and even booze. Presenting the hungry student’s guardian angel, this site will divert you on the path to snacking satisfaction. The content also comes across as much less snooty and snobby than other blogs, if that’s something that rattles your cage. It’s aimed at everyone, and is the secret to avoiding regret when it comes to trying something new on the shelves. The blog has actually done very well since being set up in 2008 – it’s been recommended by the Guardian newspaper in 2010 and won two awards since then, so it’s definitely a site to keep your eye on.

Tinned Tomatoes

www.tinnedtomatoes.com

Tinned Tomatoes is a vegetarian and vegan orientated blog. It’s focused on recipes for savoury dishes, but there are many cake and dessert recipes to find, as well as cooking education and seasonal advice. Food Stuff Finds What sets the site apart from the previous www.foodstufffinds.co.uk two is the care taken in its presentation. It’s personal, direct and lighthearted and We all go through phases of having a real sense of satisfaction and pride is our favourite snacks and drinks, and if felt when following site creator Jacqueline

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Meldrum’s recipes. A lot of the dishes are quite simple and very healthy too, and every article is presented with a keen knowledge of cooking. A great site for vegetarians, dieters and food lovers alike, here is one not to be missed.

Behind The Food Carts

www.behindthefoodcarts.com

Now here’s my favourite. Behind The Food Carts is an American blog that follows food carts and trucks (essentially burger vans) and documents the dishes that they come across. Not only is the blog concentrated on amazing, creative and exciting food, it shares the story of the people behind the dishes. Here is a combination of delectable snacking, colourful photography and a sense of passion and pride in what these people do. As an insight into the American food cart tradition, it shares the ideas of tens of pioneering individuals and their true love of true food. The above are just a few of my favourites - there are hundreds of blogs available, and they come in all shapes, sizes and cuisines. A lot are American, and so restaurant blogging will become a little irrelevant in this case. Nevertheless, here is a list of Saveur’s best food blogs for you to explore further. Bon appétit! www.saveur.com/article/blog/2013Best-Food-Blog-Awards-Winners


LIFESTYLE FOOD AND DRINK

TELEVISING THE TABLE Anne Porter looks at how the national obsession with cookery shows shapes our perception of what happens around the table

Cookery shows, alongside the phenomena of the TV chef, have been ever increasing in popularity since the rise of Delia Smith, when she taught the nation how to boil an egg and just how useful cranberries are at Christmas. But perhaps all of these shows aren’t doing us any favours in the kitchen – teaching us that shouting works (looking at you, Gordon Ramsey) or that your hair must be expertly gelled to make the perfect soufflé (Gary Rhodes has hair that rivals Simon from E4’s The Inbetweeners). Are they just a reiteration of a few, simple ideas or are they all creating a niche for themselves? One cookery show that has really come into its own in the past few years is the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off. Talk of ‘soggy bottoms’ and Dalek-shaped cakes have ensured that viewing figures are some of the highest for a cookery show on TV. The two judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are pioneering something unique in the kitchen - or rather in the Bake Off tent – the concept of niceness. The contestants on the show, who bake three different recipes each week in order to survive until the final, are often told how good their baking is, as opposed to other TV chefs who see their own work as the be all and end all. Yes, they get told when their work is a failure – such as the time a contestant mixed up salt and sugar – but they are highly praised. Not all cooking is a success, however, nor are we a nation of incredible cooks.

Delia Smith has taught a large proportion of the population the basics of cooking, having sold over 21 million cookery books in the UK. Evidently we could not teach this to ourselves - and many of us today still have not grasped the basics of cooking. Our levels of obesity are some of the highest in Europe with 61% of the adult population being defined as overweight or obese.

“As the population’s health has declined and obesity levels have grown, the responsibility of TV chefs has grown incredibly” In recent years, as the population’s health has declined and obesity levels have grown, the responsibility of TV chefs has grown incredibly. Jamie Oliver is a pioneer for the case of healthy eating – he criticised the allowance of turkey twizzlers in schools in Jamie’s School Dinners. He then took the issue of healthy eating in schools to government, proving how serious he was. Even Oliver has been criticised – his recent series Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals was seen as misleading because the meals took some people MORE than 15 minutes to make.

A trained chef versus Mr Public in the kitchen – surely they can cook at the same pace, can’t they? British people want food fast. THEY CAN’T WAIT. While we complain when food takes too long to cook or TV chefs provide us with unrealistic expectations, we cannot miss the presentation of differing TV chefs. Chefs such as Nigella Lawson see cooking as the art of seduction, and The Great British Bake Off is full of innuendo. The presentation of women becomes stereotypical – either women are mother figures teaching us all of the basics or they are acting seductively to keep their viewers keen. There’s Delia Smith, who arguably taught us the basics, teaching us How to Cheat at Cooking (we’ve become too lazy to do it properly) and Mary Berry saying how ‘lovely’ everyone’s cooking is. In contrast to this are Lorraine Pascale showing us how easy perfect French pastries are (she used to be a model and had a change of heart, discovering her love of pastry) and Nigella Lawson seductively stirring some form of cake mix on our screens. Perhaps if this continues our female chefs will become ridiculed, even when they are very talented in the kitchen. This presentation of women contrasts greatly to our male TV chefs – Jamie Oliver started out on The Naked Chef by saying ‘pukka’ a few too many times, Gordon Ramsey shouts in Hell’s Kitchen and Paul Hollywood from The Great British Bake Off cheats on his wife and this makes national news (what happened to Mr Nice Guy?). As we can see our TV chefs are beginning to conform to stereotypes, reiterating a few simple clichés in the kitchen. So despite the variety of cookery shows on our televisions, they are slowly becoming a rehashing of a few, simple ideas. The presentation of women is, in particular, an issue. Women in the kitchen are capable of great things, and should be acknowledged for this, not for how good their seduction techniques are, or how much they remind us of our mothers, or even grandmothers.

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3 STEPS TO SAVVY STUDENT SHOPPING

FEAST FIT FOR A

One of the most daunting aspects of university life is leaving behind mum’s cooking and relying on your utter inability to produce anything beyond beans on burnt toast, or maybe even a pot noodle (although it says ‘beef and tomato’ it isn’t nutritious enough to bring you wide-eyed, confused freshers out of your hell-hole hangovers). Using my amazing first year experiences, I’m going to guide you into the realm of ‘real food’ and how easy it actually is to cook proper meals without spending a fortune.

STEP ONE: the ‘pre-shopping adventure organisation’. Sounds thrilling, I know, but if the opportunity arises that you can buy food together with your flatmates, DO IT! It’s so much cheaper, you waste less food and you get more people to help carry the bags home from Tesco! If your tastes clash too much you can still opt for splitting the necessities - your bread and butter, your milk and cheese, your meats and all that malarkey – and you’ll still save! Either way, making a shopping list will prevent you buying all the extra crap which you will later realise you don’t even need! Try planning out the meals you are going to eat and then write a shopping list based on this. Always try and include at least 2 meals out of the same meat, such as a chilli con carne and a spag bol, because it’s cheaper, which can only mean more money to spend on getting pissed. STEP TWO: ‘the shopping adventure’. Now that you’ve actually managed to get yourself out of your bedding burrito and into some acceptable attire (apart from those of you who believe a onsie is acceptable attire), it’s time to go to the supermarket! One tip I will give is that bigger is better. Smaller supermarkets may lack the value products and tend to seem overpriced in comparison to the larger ones, so go big! Once you’re in, calm yourself and stick to your list. I usually attack the isles by zigzagging my way through the store picking up anything and everything, convincing myself that I need it and then later attempting to hide all this crap at the end of the till without anyone noticing. So stick to a list and you’ll be fine.

Another piece of advice for when in the supermarket is to buy loose fruit and veg, as they tend to be cheaper. In the long run, this extra saving may win you enough money for a jaeger bomb, so keep this in mind and use it as inspiration next time. Another top tip is, if it’s value get it! There’s nothing wrong with value products, trust me I spent a year eating them. You’re not minted, you’re a student and opting for value bread over Tesco’s finest loaf just makes sense! This being said, I’ve tried the lot when it comes to meat as well: frozen, fresh, value, behind the counter and what I would advise is that good meat is well worth investing in, especially when it comes to mince or sausages because frankly the value varieties aren’t pleasant. Be efficient with your meat, and use it wisely. It’s normally the most expensive part of the shop, but it can last two or three meals if you’re careful. Hopefully now you have a full trolley of cheap, proper food without a pot noodle in sight. My last tip for your ‘shopping adventure’ is to BUY A CLUBCARD. Seriously, the amount of points you will pick up is incredible and by the end of Uni you may be able to afford a small holiday! Don’t forget to bring your own shopping bags, no one wants to pay 5p per plastic bag (plus you’re saving the environment of course). And finally we’re at the ultimate step of your shopping experience, STEP THREE: ‘putting away of all your food, not leaving it on the floor until tomorrow for it all to be stale and inedible’. If anything can be frozen (you can check this on the packaging) then freeze it! Defrosting doesn’t take that long and you get more use of your food when it’s frozen. I didn’t know until last year that you could freeze milk (only if its semi skimmed) and I highly recommend you do that because you can buy 2 big bottles and freeze one and then don’t have to be constantly running to the shops for more. Categorise foods that are put away together. Make sure you don’t forget to use an ingredient after you’ve bought it because you lost it at the back of the fridge. If you complete these three steps, you’re ready. Go forth and shop and enjoy your first year shopping adventures. Explore, be creative and enjoy. Food is easier than you think. Tessa Wright

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FRESHER

Food & Drink writers shed some light on the daunting task of getting a student kitchen up and running

So you’ve survived freshers and completed a week (or two) of lectures. You therefore must have experienced waking up at ungodly hours (11am?!), hung-over and tired, with nothing but cereal and toast to tempt you out of bed, your student loan meanwhile disappearing into shop-made sandwiches, coffees and supermarket brand alcohol. You’re missing home food as you struggle to open your twenty fifth can of beans since arriving. This article is not designed to solve all of these problems, because they make first year what it is. It has been designed to provide a few ideas that you can either adopt, or ignore. But if I was back in first year, I would most certainly adopt and have since, adopted.

Something to drink: being the food and drink section, it seems fitting to end on some advice on something to drink. Below are two recipes for some great drinks to be enjoyed sensibly. Skittle vodka: You will need a packet of skittles, a bottle of vodka and empty plastic bottles for each skittle colour. Pour the vodka equally into each bottle. Separate the skittles and add each colour to its own bottle. Lids on and shake. Leave for 2 days. Pass through some kind of sieve to remove the skittles. You will be left with tasty, sweet flavoured vodka .

Limoncello : A sweet and social desert drink to be enjoyed after meals within a group, often Something to wake up to: smoothies – the perfect hango- served at Italian restaurants. This is the most complex recipe included on this ver cure! Not only do smoothies require little effort to conarticle, but worth every ounce of effort. sume, they are packed with vitamins and natural sugar (energy!) and are a great source of fibre. A food proces- Add the peeled skin of 8 lemons to 1 litre of vodka. Leave for 6 days and within sor (usually around £25) is advised, unless you like chopthis time, occasionally tip the bottle upside down. ping… After 6 days the vodka will be a bright yellow colour. Remove all lemon skins. You could stop the process here and keep the vodka as it is. Essentially, this is Breakfast smoothie: “citrus” vodka, as you may find in some supermarkets. A handful of fruit – bananas are great to start with, but any fruit can be used. Next, dissolve 1 kg of sugar in 1 litre of water, in a large pan. Stir on heat until A couple of spoons of (ideally) natural yoghurt the liquid becomes slightly syrupy. Remove from the heat and add the flavoured Around 500ml of milk or fruit juice lemon vodka. Stir, bottle up and whack it in the fridge. You should make around Ice helps create a classic smoothie consistency and will get your drink ice cold. 2 litres of the limoncello. It is delicious and should be served very, very cold. Optional: For a hearty breakfast smoothie, try adding porridge oats. Something to share: one of the best ways to bond with flat mates is group meals. Try to prepare a dish that everyone will enjoy at least once a week. From personal experience, the best group meals are anything that can be cooked in a big wok. Curries, chilli con carne, Chinese stir fry or Mexican fajitas are always a great shout. Try out this simple curry recipe that everyone will enjoy...

Sean Bagnall

Chicken and mango creamy curry (serves 4): Fry in vegetable oil 2 medium sized chopped onions and 2 cloves of garlic, also chopped. Set aside. Fry 3-4 diced (4cm cubes) chicken breasts, until slightly golden. Add the onions and garlic. Fry all ingredients in korma paste for 4-5 minutes. Keep stirring. Add a can of coconut milk and cook on a lower heat for 10 minutes. Add a handful of dried mango pieces. Boil 400g of basmati rice in plenty of boiling water until cooked. Drain and serve with the curry. Bought mango chutney would be a great added extra with poppadoms or naan bread.

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MOROCCO

This issue Quench Travel introduces you to our monthly travel journal, a personal insight into some of the most interesting places in the World. This month Emma Giles takes us to the heart of Marrakech.

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pending first year committed to ‘Tesco Value’ products meant that by summer, I actually had a little bit of money to play with. With this in mind, I knew that I wanted to do a bit of travelling rather than lazing around all summer becoming addicted to countless American TV series’.

For somewhere relatively close geographically, the cultual differences are striking Morocco appealed to me because for somewhere relatively close geographically, the cultural differences are striking and undeniably intriguing. Being relatively close geographically also meant that flights weren’t too expensive: something every student loves to hear. To be honest, I had not heard too much about Morocco other than its famous tagines and couscous. Considering the fact that I had spent most of the year surving on pasta and soup, this excited me a lot more than it probably should have. After spending time in Morocco, I was quick to understand why Morocco is famed for these particular dishes. In the Medina, situated in the centre of Marrakech, await many other culinary treats along with some frankly quite strange delicacies. These include pigs brain and sweets masked as works of art - that in fact taste of marzipan left on the side for too long. The medina is made up of many sights and smells, but what is particularly memorable is the Moroccan attitude to westerners. It seemed their tactics to get

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you to eat at their stalls consisted of recited British catchphrases, my favourite being ‘this isn’t just food…this is M&S food’. Looking at the pigs head on the side of the table I can’t say that I entirely accepted that statement. What can also be said is that the food didn’t resemble the price of M&S, with Moroccan soup costing approximately 30p. The medina itself is made up of many small stalls marketing fresh orange juice and local Moroccan crafts - as well as entertainments including snake charmers, story tellers and men thrusting monkeys upon your shoulder. (Although I can’t say the latter was quite as entertaining). Just off the medina are the souks, which are comprised of hundreds of market stalls selling a variety of goods from jewellery, woodwork, spices and not to mention ‘genuine fakes’ in terms of electronic goods. For some of the members of our group, the sheer volume of the stalls meant that they were in paradise, spending over 4 hours in one small section (much to the dismay of some of the more impatient members). When it comes to exploring outside the realms of Marrakech, you need to travel quite far to reach areas of particular interest. Despite the length of the journey and the unavoidable accompaniments such as travel sickness and doses of neck cramp as you try to find a position to sleep in, the scenery makes it worthwhile. We also visited the Ourika Valley which involved a trek to the top, rewarded with idyllic scenes of a waterfall. I say ‘rewarded’ because it honestly did feel like a reward, especially for those of us who were more accustomed to lying on a sofa instead of mountain climbing. Despite this, we gave it a go and all managed to make it to

the top without any health issues which can only be seen as a success. Despite also picturing an Italian Job style cliff hang, the coach journey winding round the Atlas Mountains was also break-taking.

I spent most of the hour trying not to slide off the hump The longest journey came when we decided to venture into the Sahara desert for a night of camping and camel rides. However, the longest journey led to the most rewarding destination. The camel ride was an experience in itself, especially for me who seemed to have a camel with a wonky seat on it. Consequently, I can’t say that my experience was all that relaxing as I spent most of the hour trying not to slide off the hump. Nevertheless, it was undeniably an amazing experience. We got to camp and could hear wild dogs in the distance which sparked a hypochondriac reaction of, ‘we’re going to get eaten alive in the night’. Thankfully we didn’t. We were awoken at 5am which for many of us was a bit of a shock, but totally worth the sights of the sun rising over the sand dunes. For that moment alone I believe that the 9 hour coach ride was worth it. Morocco for me, was an amazing experience as it was the first time I travelled alone. The city of Marrakech provided me with a perfect backdrop to discover the cultural, social and geographic differences from the UK. I would recommend Morocco to anyone, especially the people who are looking to go travelling on a tighter budget.


See.Stay.Eat

LIFESTYLE TRAVEL

Cliona Elliott gives us an insight into what she loves about Morocco and shares her accomodation hotspots to ensure that any future Moroccan tourists make the most of their stay.

What To See Taghazout Morocco’s west coast is an international surfing destination renowned for its impressive waves. Taghazout is a lovely, lazy surf village twenty minutes from Agadir and athough it’s small, it’s buzzing with friendly locals and a continuous stream of travellers. It’s the mixture of traditional Moroccan customs and the laid-back coastal atmosphere that makes Taghazout so special. Every day I woke up to the sound of the ocean outside my window, and then spent the day in the sea trying to master the waves. I also did sunset yoga on the beach which was amazing. Many of the hostels offer excursions to Paradise Valley, a stunning area of rocky lagoons where you can jump into refreshing pools of fresh water – an absolute must! Essouria Sitauted 4 hours outside of Marrakech, Essouria’s seaside charms are hard to resist - with the white washed buildings and authentic markets offering a relaxing alternative to the bustling life of the city. Said to be the inspiration behind Jimmy Hendrix’s ‘Castles Made of Sand’, ordj El Berod watchtower is also worth a visit. A large part of the charm surrounding Essouria is that you can shop in the stalls without the constant hassle exhibited by vendors in the Marrakech souks. Another odd, yet undeniably intriguing part of the trip is that you stop off on the way to see goats in a tree. What else could you want?!

Where To Stay Ocean Surf There are many small hostels where you can stay for a cheap price. I stayed in Ocean Surf House and paid around £10 per night. For this price I couldn’t ask for more – clean, comfortable rooms with a shared bathroom and a lively roof terrace where we hung out with the owners of the hostel and fellow guests in the evening. Most of the hostels are part of a surf school and offer accommodation and surf lesson packages for a reasonable price. Marrakech Rouge Situated in the centre of Marrakech, the Marrakech Rouge is a classic riad style hostel with a beautiful roof terrace overlooking the rooftops of the city. The hostel itself has a communal feel, with a large living area and roof terrace all decked out in authentic Moroccan decor. Although the rooms do not have air conditioning, there are fans available to ensure that the rooms are kept cool. A nice alternative is to sleep on the roof terrace and wake up to the sun rising over the city. Bliss.

What To Eat Although for some it may be tempting to be seduced by Marrakech’s new town and the somewhat sizeable McDonalds, the traditional Moroccan Tagine is a an alternative that proves not only significantly more delicious, but enlightens you to the varied selection of herbs and spices readily available to you in Morocco. The dish is widely accesible over the country and although varies in ingredients, rarely varies in quality. The Moroccans seem to have mastered it down to a tee, blending chicken, beef or vegetables with a mix of spices such as ginger, cardamon and turmeric collectively known as Ras El Hanout. A trip to Morocco is somewhat incomplete without a tagine.

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ULTIMATE TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Whether you’re exploring the amazon or relaxing on a Spanish beach, there are certain items which will always be a necessity whereever your postion on the globe. Here’s a few of Quench Travel’s favourite travel essentials. LONELY PLANET GUIDE

Lonely Planet books for your choice of city are an essential for any traveller. They have all the practical information you could ever need compressed into one book, from weather, train prices and vaccinwation requirements to cultural do’s and don’ts and hotel recommendations. They also provide important numbers for the British Embassy in your host country and advice if you find yourself in a sticky situation. Cliona Elliot

VASELINE

Vaseline may remind you of something your mother always kept in the depths of her handbag, but she had it for a reason. This tiny tin has a million and one different uses, from general moisturising to cleaning cuts and scratches from your travels in the jungle/rough nightclubs. Forgotten your make-up wipes? Don’t sweat it; Vaseline will leave you feeling fresh faced and ready to face the world. Sophie Lodge

AMAZON KINDLE

A holiday wouldn’t be complete without getting stuck into a good book, therefore my Kindle is my travel essential. Being able to store hundreds of books on one small portable device is great and not having to haul heavy books around in your case makes extra room for more clothes (who wouldn’t love that?). Having a Kindle also opens you up to a whole library of books on the Internet, so if you get bored of what your reading, start another! Lizzy Jones

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THE TRUSTY NOTEBOOK

In a world obsessed with modern gadgets, the classic notebook is often taken for granted. When you’re travelling there’s so much to take in; the people, places, sights and smells. Going back to basics and writing it down is an excellent way to capture your memories. Notebooks are also great for getting the locals to write your name in another language, or to write you a little memoir. Cliona Elliot

WET WIPES

On any long journey wet wipes will be your saviour and god. Not only can they clean anything - from the inside of your bag to the table in that dodgy looking restaurant - they can also function as a manual shower. On long flights or when you regret picking a one-star youth hostel, wet wipes will be there to make you feel a little more human. Sophie Lodge

DRY BAGS

Dry bags are effectively more established, trustworthy plastic bags that enable you to separate your luggage. They prove very useful when it comes to backpacking, particularly for the unorganised amongst us. Not only that, Dry bags offer a form of protection against any liquids that have managed to make their way into your bag. They are really versatile and can also be used as a pillow if you fill them up with a bundle of clothes. Alice Williams


LIFESTYLE TRAVEL

TAINTED THAILAND

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Thailand has acquired a negative reputation over the years, with tales of drug use and corruption putting many travellers off visiting the country. Travel Editor Kathryn Lewis questions whether these damaging connotations hold any truth.

tuffing the hundredth pair of shorts into my minimal back pack, exhausted late on a Sunday evening in August, I felt another pang of nerves in my stomach. This evening I was boarding an overnight train to Gatwick airport, where I was flying out to Thailand for my first ever backpacking experience. When I booked the holiday several months before, I was akin to a child on Christmas Eve, unbelievably excited and I couldn’t wait to visit the bright white beaches and exotic streets Thailand has to offer. However doubt quickly kicked in; it seemed to me that the media and whoever I talked to were persistently trying to dampen the outlook on my dream holiday destination. If it wasn’t friends recalling ‘other friends’ tales of taxi drivers refusing to

The Thai police are so corrupt half the time they are planting the drugs on travellers themselves take a single tourist to their requested destination, or drinks being spiked by drugs that will cause you to assume the characteristics of a dog, it was T.V shows describing how all young male adults will be lured into the beds of prostitutes - and those said prostitutes will steal all of their belongings. Or perhaps suggestions that the Thai police are so corrupt half the time that they are planting the drugs on travellers themselves, just to arrest them. I started to become very anxious about my now looming travels, but bit the bullet and went on my way. After spending just my first week in Thailand I realised how wrong all these rumours, assumptions or whatever they were actually are. Thailand is known as the land of smiles and it certainly lived up to its title. Something which immediately becomes apparent anywhere in Thailand is the incredible generosity and kindness that the Thai people show, not just to each other but to foreigners too. Taxi drivers would help you with heavy backpacks, restaurant owners would show they were genuinely grateful for your custom with a striking smile and any favour you asked would never be too much trouble. All occurrences that most people would expect anywhere, but in truth, a rarity in the UK now. Even in the bustling streets of Bangkok where merchants on the pavements are trying to sell you everything from an iPhone to a samurai sword, when a passer-by replies “no thank you” most will move onto the next passer by and let them walk on, unlike some European holiday destinations where shopkeepers will almost bundle you into their shops.

An irritation I did have at first was, as a very organised person, adjusting to ‘Thai Time’. The locals will always keep their word that they will do something for you, just never expect them to be on time or do anything with any haste. Always book a taxi at least half an hour before you actually need it! However, I began to realise this isn’t a negative element of the Thai culture, but reflects their relaxed way of life with minimal stress and worries, which to be honest was a breath of fresh air for someone like me who always has a million things to do.

In some bars, you can pick up a joint with your rum and coke

Another worry which the media and idle chat burdened on me was the idea that crime was very high in Thailand, especially petty theft targeted towards tourists. This led me to regrettably leave my Kindle and many other valuable items I would have otherwise taken at home. Yet again I found no truth in this assumption, even sleeping on an overnight train from Bangkok to Surat Thani (in southern Thailand) where all my luggage including my passport and money had to be stored on the aisles where anyone could access it. Everything remained untouched and perfectly safe. Surprisingly enough, the only crime that I witnessed was when the iPhone of one of the girls I was travelling with was stolen by another British tourist. One thing I did encounter whilst in Thailand was drugs, although it was nothing like the over dramatic picture a lot of people paint. Yes, in some bars you can pick up a joint with your rum and coke just as easily as you would pick up a packet of pork scratchings alongside your pint at home. However, no one is putting that joint into your mouth: it is left completely up to personal choice. Even when I revelled at one of the infamous beach parties on the island of Koh Phangan, I didn’t see or hear anything of any illegal drugs. The farangs (the Thai nickname for a foreigner) and locals were purely there to have fun - and alcohol seemed to serve that purpose well enough. The whole experience, from booking the holiday to actually being there and enjoying Thailand, has definitely opened my eyes to the fact that people don’t always know what they are talking about, and that holiday tales can often be exaggerated.

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“I took this whilst on a trip to Zambia. I know there is a common stereotype of ‘Africa’ that we get fed by the media, but these children genuinely lived in shocking conditions. Yet, what struck me was the joy in these children’s faces; they were so content and happy with what they had, kicking about a football made from plastic bags. Their faces show signs of hardship, [and] their eyes still pierce straight through the lens and into my heart.” - Louis Browne, 1st yr ENCAP

Please email photographs for publication and any info to: editor@quenchmag.co.uk


FRESHERS’ FORTNIGHT

QUENCH

DOES

OUR WINNER IS... Last month Cardiff saw the laughter, tears and general destructive nature of Freshers’ Week, and Quench was there to photograph it all. Our shiny new Quench banner did the rounds - and made a couple of friends along the way! Team Quench have trawled through the 250+ photos we took over the fortnight and found a group of people we thought would really appreciate some Lash tickets. So congratulations! Please send an email to editor@quenchmag.co.uk with your names and student numbers if you spot yourself in our winning photo to the right. You deserve it!

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We’ve added a couple of our favourites who just missed out on the top spot, but we thought you still deserved a special mention. All the photos are up on our Facebook page if you think you might have seen us when stumbling into the Union, so make sure to tag yourself. h t t p : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / QuenchMagazine


! T N E M E S I T R E V D A ! T N E M E S I T R E V D A ! T N E M E S I T R E V AD


ENTERTAINMENT CULTURE

WOMEX WORLD MUSIC

Calling music lovers, musicians, industry watchers from all over the world: Cardiff will be playing host to one of the biggest expos in World Music this October. Consisting of a concert, festival, showcase, trade fair, film screening, conference, and awards ceremony - it’s going to be a breeding ground for musical inspiration and discussion! Via Sum Sze Tam

World music is arguably the most poorly defined music genre. Nowadays, it’s generally used to mean nonWestern, non-mainstream music, with a real ethnic or ‘roots’ vibe; but in the 21st century, the rigid confines of musical categorisation are becoming less and less absolute. You’d expect folky, islander sounds from the boring stereotype world music has found itself shoved into, but - as the WOMEX showcase will show - contemporary world music very often includes hard rock, electronica, jazz, and even (to the chagrin of post-hipsters everywhere) dubstep. World music is fast becoming the best venue for musical fusion, especially between seemingly disparate cultures. WOMEX will be showcasing many

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such artists, such as Ghazalaw, a Welsh-Indian duo who meld folk and ghazal singing together, respectively. Ghazalaw will be performing at the Opening Concert, ‘Land of Song’. The Opening Concert is a guaranteed performance to watch out for, as it turns the spotlight onto the Welsh people’s relationship with music and song; whether those are people whose families have been on the land for thousands of years, or those who have only in the past century or two made Wales their home. For musicians who want new opportunities - from performance to networking, even the academic - the conferences and trade fair at the Motorpoint Arena during the daylight hours are a must. For those who want

to hone their art, there will even be mentoring sessions where you receive feedback from industry professionals. But for those who just want to listen and revel in music from all over the world, the Wales Milllenium Centre will come alive at night with the sheer vibrance and variety of world music that will take place under its roof. But it doesn’t stop there - WOMEX has brought in DJs to perform throughout the night, to bring the atmosphere of clubs from places near and far to Cardiff’s Glee Club. This isn’t your overplayed, usually aesthetically displeasing to the ear fare that Cardiff’s mainstream club scene targets at students; it’s quality electronica dance music - have a listen for yourself on the WOMEX site if you don’t believe us.


THE WOMEX AWARDS Music often develops according to the culture, society, and politics from which it originates, and this is something the WOMEX Awards recognises. The Awards come in the form of the famous mother goddess statuette, a legendary figure dating back from more than 6,000 years ago; she’s an important symbol, especially to world music, because she represents creation, and does not discriminate between ethnicity, gender or any kind of social category.

LOS VAN VAN is the Cuban dance orchestra of ‘now’, and the past few decades - they play a kind of music that has layers of jazz and rock sprinkled on top of the Caribbean vibe, and is just engineered to get your heels lifting off the dancefloor. The sheer amount of time they’ve spent enriching Cuban musical history makes them deserving of such recognition.

FESTIVAL AU DESERT is a music festival that took place in Northern Mali, and was a joyous occasion that united Mali in its love for music before the Tuareg Rebellion broke out. WOMEX will also be showing a documentary that covers the 2012 Festival, ‘The Last Song Before The War’, in Mali’s final days before the conflict. ‘The Last Song Before The War’ will be screened at the Motorpoint Arena at 3:00PM on Oct 24.

RIVERBOAT RECORDS is World Music Network’s independent artist label, and has been awarded this year for its greatest number of chart successes. Turning twenty-five this year, Riverboat has been behind the recent successes like Etran Finatawa’s The Sahara Sessions, Nuru Kane’s Exile, and Greekadelia.

SHOWCASE HIGHLIGHTS FANFARAÏ is a group of musicians from North Africa who create loud, pulsing music with sounds of the Caribbean, brassy jazz, and the most energetic of latin beats. Their music really just wants you to have a good time.

GUILLAME PERRET & THE ELECTRIC EPIC have created a dramatic experience from out of the blue: Perret is a saxophonist who adapts his instrument into the backbone of metal, rock and electric tracks. The sounds that his instrument makes, one usually reserved for more classical genres, are eerily epic.

NAVARRA’s music will have you kicking up your feet next to the stage - it gallops with boundless Nordic energy and a melody that runs up and down the piano keys and fiddle strings, whilst carrying with it meaningful and lyrical messages.

WINSTON MCANUFF & FIXI are an amazing example of how mindblowing music fusion is. A zebroid of cultural music, they beat together reggae, dub, afrobeat, the french chanson, and more; masters within their own genres, they meet somewhere in between Jamaica and France, without losing any of their original brilliance.

JAMBINAI is an eye-popping blend of the hardcore modern and authentically traditional. Using Korean instruments like the geomungo, piri and haegum, they throw genres like electronica, post-rock and hard rock together using the tools and musical customs of the relatively more spiritual Korean folk style.

Tickets for WOMEX International Showcase Festival are now on sale via the WMC Box Office on 02920636464 or via the website www.wmc.org.uk. Price £17 in advance, £22 on the day. Those wishing to attend all three of the WOMEX Showcase Festival nights can purchase a three day ticket for £45 from the Wales Millennium Centre Ticket Office.

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CULTURE IS DEAD

In the same way that WOMEX 13 brings many cultures together in celebration of world music, other festivals unite communities around a theme. Quench’s Culture editor Amy Pay explores different ways in which people around the world join their friends and families to celebrate a particularly downbeat subject: death.

EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS WHERE: MEXICO & OTHER SPANISH-SPEAKING NATIONS WHEN: NOVEMBER 31ST-DECEMBER 2ND

In Mexico and other Spanish-speaking nations, November 31st - December 2nd is a time for remembering dead friends and relatives. Known as the Day of the Dead festival (‘El Dia de los Muertos’), it is believed to mark the return of the deceased to their homes. Large groups commemorate dead acquaintances, showing them they are missed. It is not downbeat, though. The showmanship and bold, vivacious art instil a brightness that encourages celebration. Their celebrating entails lots of cleaning, craft-making and the decoration of graves and shrines, turning the potentially melancholic occasion into one of positive human creativity. Skulls and marigolds, central symbols believed to lure the deceased to the party, are incorporated into crafts such as sculptures, ornaments and paintings. Mourners consume and donate special meals. Skulls and flowers are moulded out of sugar paste, tequila is drunk and syrupy sweetbreads and candied pumpkin are cooked. Such extravagances accompany dancing, prayers, storytelling and musical performances to honour all deceased relatives and friends.

GHOST FESTIVALS WHERE: ASIA (MAINLY CHINA AND JAPAN) WHEN: BETWEEN JULY AND AUGUST

In Asia, westernized Halloween traditions are rarely observed. Instead, the dead are remembered with alternative festivities earlier in the year. The Chinese Ghost Festival usually takes place between July and August. Tradition states that during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar, unloved starving ghosts are let out of hell in order to come back to Earth for food and attention. To keep the ghosts happy and return them to the afterlife, Chinese people hold feasts at which they can make offers of food, drink, prayer, death money and paper crafts to the ghouls. In some parts of Asia, specially themed performances are enjoyed by the public and large amounts of incense is burned. A fortnight after these celebrations end, floating lanterns are put in rivers to guide the ghosts back to the underworld. The lanterns are made by folding paper into a lotus shape then resting a lit tealight in the middle of it. When the flame goes out, it is taken as an indicator of the ghosts being safely home and of the donator’s earthly sins being purged.

THE WICKER MAN

WHERE: CELTIC CULTS (TRADITIONALLY)/ WESTERN WORLD (NOW) WHEN: ALL YEAR (TRADITIONALLY)/ AUTUMN (NOW) Centuries ago, woodwork was central to this religious practice by priests of Celtic paganism. Druids interviewed flammable wood-like material to build huge statues of humans. Then they placed a person inside each statue and set the wicker man alight to offer a human sacrifice to their god. Fortunately, this sacrifical tradition has gone. One thing that has survived is the legacy of the wicker man as a visionary spectacle of woodwork and craftmanship. They are sometimes burnt in the Western world on Halloween night in non-religious ceremonies as an alternative to more commercial aspects of the night. Such effigies have inspired works of fine art, performance, music and, most famously, film.

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Want to witness this ceremony in action? St. Fagans Museum of Welsh Life, a short bus ride from Cardiff Central, holds its annual Burning of the Wicker Man at 4pm on 31st November. Arrive early to watch the craftsmen set-up and enjoy the carnivalesque tastes, sights and sounds.


Following his first solo exhibition Misfit Love, Adam Chard (a.k.a. Cardiff-based graphic designer Croatoan) talks to Amy Pay about monsters creeping into his art.

Why do you go by the name of Croatoan? I wanted a separate name or persona for my work, like a graffiti tag. In my old job whenever I was bored I would read articles on Wikipedia. I got really into reading about ghost towns for some reason. There’s this story about an entire island colony going missing and the only clue to their disappearance or whereabouts was the word ‘Croatoan’ found carved into a fencepost. I found that quite mysterious; when I was thinking of a name it just popped into my head.

working through a dusty pile of VHS rentals when we were young, pretending to be in college so we could grab the 18-rated movies. We watched so much crap, but a lot of those cheapy horror movies have flashes of brilliance, where a non-existent budget results in really creative imagery. A lot of that stuff has stayed with me. We had no idea what was a respected film or what wasn’t, so I still value something like Chopping Mall as much as I value John Carpenter’s The Fog. I love anything with a brilliantly trashy aesthetic.

How did you get into design? Is it something you always wanted to do or did you have other ideas? Art was something I loved in school but stopped studying to do English and Cultural Criticism in uni. I kept in practice making posters for gigs that I used to run with Gareth from Spillers Records. I also fell into a graphic design job. Both those things snowballed and merged; now I’m working for myself as a freelancer, which brings a whole new set of challenges. I always knew I wanted to do something creative with end products that actually exist. I really value the fact that I’m making things on a daily basis. It’s really satisfying.

Why do you use monsters and deathly creatures in your art? Horror-related imagery naturally springs up for me. After years of surrounding myself with horror novels, movies and comics, things like monsters and zombies are bound to present themselves when I’m thinking of how to approach something. Sometimes things just end up that way; the lo-fi recordings of Purling Hiss led me to drawing the demon from The Exorcist for that particular poster, all because the sound of the band reminded me of a really badly pirated copy of the movie I had when I was young. It’s interesting how these things manifest. It’s hardly ever in a dark or gory way, more a day-glo, fun side of horror.

Tell us about the nature of your work. What is your usual process from start to finish? Are you given a brief? Most of my work is commissioned by clients so I respect any brief I’m given. I’m really lucky to work with a lot of people who give me the bare bones and let me go away to do my thing. Most of my illustration work involves sketching, inking with a lightbox then digital colouring. I find once I have a solid idea it all moves pretty quickly; along the way you develop a technique and routine that you enjoy and suddenly you’re being really efficient. Where do you find inspiration? What aspects of culture are most influential on your work? Wow, how long do you have? I draw inspiration from lots of places: movies, books, comics, music and photography. The most formative thing has always been me and my friends

Are there any other artists or cultural movements that you rate who use similar themes as you? I really like anything that combines gothic horror with a dark humour. The League of Gentlemen is always a huge reference point for me and things like Tales from the Crypt, which take delight in the macabre. Roman Dirge’s Lenore comic, which is about a little dead girl, is always worth a flick through for a shot of warped comedy too. In terms of cultural events, I love that zombie walks are happening in loads of cities now – it’s great to see fans being inspired to make brilliant costumes and taking over the streets. Plus they provide me with a load of reference photography every time! I also like gallery exhibitions or collections that explore changing perceptions; there was a great exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London called Death: An Intimate Portrait which explored

different artistic representations of death over the decades. Your first exhibition Misfit Love recently took place at SHO Gallery in Roath. How did it feel to have your work seen and valued as art, rather than as an advertisement? I’m really proud of Misfit Love. For my first show I wanted to pay tribute to a lot of things that have inspired me, and it was really interesting how my idea of the show changed as I went along. It became a kind of love letter to those years spent watching terrible, terrible movies and I hope that enthusiasm carried across to anyone who went along to see the exhibition. What’s next for Croatoan? Right now I’m working on something for Darkened Rooms, who I did the Dawn of the Dead poster for last year. That was such a brilliant opportunity; not every day do you get to design a cinema poster for one of your favourite movies, so I’m really happy to be asked again. I love the idea behind showing movies in locations that are relevant to the film and think people will be really excited for this one when it’s announced.

WIN RARE CROATOAN ARTWORK Want a limited edition print from the Misfit Love series? Email culture@quenchmag.co.uk by Oct 31st with your name, phone number & the answer to this: Croatoan designed posters for which local roller derby team? (Hint: check out www.croatoandesign.co.uk)

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horror novels: letting the darKness in

Horror has had an influence in the literary world since the late 19th century. In spite of changing tastes and styles, it has never really left us. With the nights drawing in and Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to read a couple of horror stories and scare yourself witless. From Stoker’s Dracula to Stephen King’s It, there are thousands of novels to keep you up at night. Horror movies are all very well, but so often they fail to live up to the potential of their premise. Because a short story or novel requires us to have a greater input into the story, the entire experience becomes more personal, more immediate and, ultimately, more terrifying. There’s no bad acting in short stories, and no outdated special effects in a novel; it’s just you, a book and a light that sooner or later you’ll have to switch off. Freddie Rochez introduces three great horror writers from the past three centuries.

H. P. Lovecraft

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nlike many recent horror stories, H P Lovecraft’s short stories are truly disturbing, focussing on the despair and insanity of individuals as they are confronted by a universe far stranger and frightening than humanity’s outlook is willing to accept. One of the founders of the modern horror tradition, Lovecraft is responsible for the creation of a dark pantheon of gods who loom over the genre to this day. Lovecraft’s creations have been subverted, inverted and reverted so many times that they have become completely ingrained in the cultural psyche. Everything from Darren Shan’s Demonatta series to blockbusters like Cabin In The Woods owe a debt to Lovecraft’s dark creations. If the narrative involves a demonic force from another dimension, you can put good money on Lovecraft’s twisted, tentacled creations being an inspiration at some stage in its development. Like many older writers, Lovecraft can get a bit wordy sometimes, and his convoluted sentence structure and complex language can be offputting to some. Likewise, his views on race can be questionable at best, and his continual use of identical white educated male protagonists with little discernible personality can be a little tiring. Focus instead on the antagonistic Old Ones, and let your skin crawl at their disturbing portrayal. Lovecraft’s stories, written early in the last century, are now in the public domain, and are widely available both online and in printed anthologies. Because there is no real chronology between most of the stories and poems they can be read in any order, although newcomers to the author couldn’t do much better than reading his two most famous works, The Call of Cthulu and At The Mountains of Madness. Short, sweet, and oh so disturbing, these stories only take an afternoon to read but will keep you awake for nights afterwards.

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Anne Rice

Joe Hill

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orget sparkly, melancholic teenagers with floppy hair and messy love-lives; Rice’s vampires are the real deal. If Bram Stoker gave us the modern understanding of the vampire, Anne Rice was the first writer to make them sexy. The vampires in Rice’s novels are as likely to celebrate their nature as fight against it, and the emotional complexity and range found in the figures is one of the great draws of the series. Characters such as Lestat and Louis are darkly seductive and, despite the guilt that they sometimes feel when feeding from humans, the passion with which they live their lives is intoxicating. Rice’s novels are, in many ways, a celebration of all the positive aspects of vampirism. The characters live lives of luxury, taking what they want from the humans around them as they enjoy their eternal youth. Although the graphic scenes of murder, incest, and arson may be disturbing to some, the characters in Rice’s novels are deeply enticing and the prose is beautifully and fluidly written. Perhaps most importantly, you won’t have to worry about human-vampire hybrids that gestate in a few weeks, or the angst-ridden werewolves that fall in love with them. Although The Vampire Lestat is my personal favourite Rice novel, I reckon Interview with the Vampire is the best place to start as it kicks off Rice’s famous Vampire Chronicles, introducing some of the most famous vampires in literary history. The novel was adapted into a film in 1994, starring a disturbingly youthful Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. However, if you’re more of a dog person, try her latest novel, The Wolf Gift, in which Rice shifts her attention away from vampires and Christian allegory and takes on the werewolf myth.

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he son of horror legend Stephen King, Hill is a relatively new face in the world of horror literature, but is definitely worth keeping an eye on in the future. Hill’s novels are darkly executed slices of Americana, following aged rock stars and decadent playboys as their lives are turned upside down by ghosts, hypnotism, telepathy, and demonic forces. The beauty of Hill’s work is the believability of his characters; men and women who are truly engaging and empathetic, and likeable despite their flaws. They’re a far cry from the central figures in so many horror novels and movies today, where the focus is frequently on cheap thrills and incessant gore at the cost of any kind of character development. New readers should check out Horns, Hill’s second novel, which follows a wealthy man-child cursed with psychic powers and a set of devil horns that only he can see. The book is currently being adapted into a film starring Daniel Radcliffe as the horned protagonist. Hill is also the mastermind behind Locke and Key, a chilling series of graphic novels that tell an ideal horror story for those who prefer images to words. The series is excellently written and beautifully drawn, and without a cape or chest-logo in sight, these books are both enticing and chilling, a must for fans of both horror and comics.


ENTERTAINMENT CULTURE

RECOMMENDED READING KANE AND ABEL

By Jeffrey Archer

Elouise Hobbs

In the 34 years since the original publication, this novel has become a modern classic in many critics’ eyes. The writing style is lively and fastpaced; the plot is so relevant today, it would not surprise me if the book were released today and topped the bestsellers. The novel recounts the tale of two men - Kane and Abel - who lead seemingly unconnected lives, but through meetings of chance, come to change each other in unimaginable ways. Born on the same day, one has a prestigious banking family, the other is a Polish orphan with only one possession. Both men become successful but through their unwavering desire for success they lose sight of the truly important things in life. Kane and Abel are a contradiction, championing the American dream while also criticising the savage commercialism of ‘the greatest country on earth.’ The novel breaches universal themes such as war, politics and the economic crisis, yet the narration allows the novel to remain personal, contrasting national events with individual sagas. This novel will make you laugh and cry. Gradually being consumed by jealousy and hate, Kane, Abel and their empires begin to burn around them - much like their biblical counterparts. In the face of personal tragedy and loss, both men are able to rise from the ashes to become greater than either could have hoped for.

TIGER HILLS

By Sarita Mandanna

Livvy Bathe

Tiger Hills is not your typical love-triangle novel. Admittedly, there is one beautiful female and two males - the spirited bad boy and bookish, sensitive best friend - however, this conventional structure is a part of a unique and intricate plot, one that entangles its reader and refuses to loosen its grip. Part of the brilliance of the book comes from the way in which it uses perspective. Mandanna switches between the protagonists as they weave their way in and out of one another’s lives while simultaneously giving a broader portrait of life in Southern India at the turn of the 20th century. The individual characters are indulgently developed, and serve to represent whole collections of people. The trials of lead character Devi can be read as the reality for many people; her childhood curiosity, and the exploration of her own sexuality are experiences with which many can identify, and the restrictions that bind her are those that continue to confine women across the globe today. The conflicts and chaos of Tiger Hills are ones to which we can all relate. Likewise, Mandanna’s characters invoke our empathy simply because they are like us - at times generous, at others selfish, snatching moments of exhilaration and battling through periods of loss and distress. They live passionately, hungrily and are imperfect. I urge you to let these associates lead you through the jungles of Coorg and up the mountains that surround it - it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a flight!

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ARTING AROUND Autumn is settling in: people are (hopefully) beginning to get their heads into the study rhythm, the daylight hours are growing shorter. But it’s also the beginning of a brand new arts season - and Quench’s Culture Editor Sum Sze Tam has picked a range of the most exciting events over the next few weeks.

This is a collection by artist Howard Hodgkin, whose passion for Indian art has led to him curating one of the finest collections of its kind. Images of elephants, court life, hunting, and scenes from myth and legend, all grace the walls of this poetic set of artwork from the Mughal period, which ranges from the 15th to the 19th century.

VISIONS OF MUGHAL INDIA 29 Oct - 8 Dec (National Museum) Volcano’s latest production takes us into a creepily fascinating world, where the boundaries between adulthood and childhood are not so clear. Featuring an all-female cast and an old Alice, the show expresses the more deranged, strange and grotesque side of Lewis Carroll’s creation, in the context of the monstrosities that surround us in today’s world.

ALICE 14 November (Sherman Cymru)

CHELSEA HOTEL 29-30 October (WMC)

Based on the Chelsea Hotel in New York, this show explores the individual lives, entanglements, and desires of its inhabitants. Known for playing host to a long line of artists who lead or led interesting lives, this production uses elements like live music, film, and dance to tell the story of personalities like Patti Smith, Dylan Thomas and Tennessee Williams.

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ENTERTAINMENT CULTURE The unique voice of critically acclaimed comedian Mr Tony Law will be making its way to Cardiff again, after his previous act Maximum Nonsense, which ran twice and was sold out for both. Described as ‘absurd, shout-y and powerful, yet meaningful’, Tony Law’s return will guarantee more time-travelling, space-traversing, and surreal goodness.

TONY LAW

ALSO ON

22 October (Chapter)

EXPERIMENTICA 13 6-10 November (Chapter)

In its 13th year, this platform for multimedia performance (whether dance, sound art, film, and/or theatre) focuses on the Number 13 as a source of inspiration representing bad luck, failure, risk and chance. The festival is a breeding ground for artistic experiments. Filled with hard-hitting images, and gathers both names of international and local renown, it’s not an experience to be missed!

1984

5-9 November (Sherman Cymru)

An adaptation of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, this new production explores the themes of this well-known narrative. It delves into themes that remain extremely relevant today in the light of recent online privacy scandals. From theatre company Headlong, well-known for their amazing work in both adapting classics and original pieces, 1984 is already gathering great acclaim on its way to Cardiff.

I’M WITH THE BAND (WMC, 16-19 Oct) An allegory for Scottish independence, this production focuses on indie rock band The Union: who consist of an Englishman, a Scotsman, a Northen Irishman and a Welshman. Despite great success, the band finds itself divided with the departure of the Scottish guitarist Barry, and The Union’s future is at risk. Written by Tim Price and with live music on-stage, this show is set to be an imaginative exploration of real-life consequences of contemporary events. MONKEY BARS (SHERMAN CYMRU, 24-25 Oct) An investigation into the child psyche by writer Chris Goode, Monkey Bars is a show that brings words out of the mouths of babes, and into those of adults. The children’s statements, played out by adults in the adult world, make for humour, solemnity, and subtle social commentary. NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY WALES: 30TH BIRTHDAY 2013 (WMC, 5-6 Nov) Consisting of three distinct pieces, NDC Wales works with composers like Atticus Ross (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network) and Mark Bowden (BBC National Orchestra of Wales) for its 30th anniversary production. Choreographers include Stephen Petronio, Angelin Preljocaj, and house choreograher Eleesha Drennan.

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GRAND THEFT AUTO FIVE

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AVAILABLE ON: PS3, XBOX 360 DEVELOPER: ROCKSTAR NORTH RELEASE DATE: 17/09/2013

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With Grand Theft Auto 5 pulling in $800 million on its first day of sales, it would be downright insulting not to see what all the fuss is about. Ed Carmody explores the ins and outs of the release that stole our student loans.

or all of its accolades, our abiding memory of Grand Theft Auto IV will be Roman Bellic’s obsession with bowling. As a follow-up to the ambitious, giant, and sometimes crazy San Andreas, it’s easy to see why so many bemoaned its apparent lack of ambition. Grand Theft Auto IV was grey, subdued and, let’s face it, a bit dull. Well, no such accusations can be levelled at Grand Theft Auto V. GTA is back, and it’s brought the fun. Said fun starts at the very moment that a game of fetch with our dog, Chop, turned into a shoot-out, which led to a car chase and us parachuting off of a mountain into a speedboat to make our getaway. This wasn’t even a mission, but an example of GTA V’s emergent gameplay at work. This moment-to-moment fun is something that is sure to spawn hit Youtube videos as players find ways to terrorise the incredible playground of Los Santos. Los Santos is the star of GTA V. Its terrain is vast and varied and yet every single inch of the game’s world has been obsessively filled with detail. This is not simply a backdrop for the missions, but a world to be admired and enjoyed. In GTA V you become more of a tourist than a player. You will lose hours just pottering about, enjoying the scenery, remarking at the detailed paving on a driveway, or even, as we found, obsessing over the guttering and drainpipes. Every time you stop your car, you’ll find something to look at (which you’ll want to capture on your smartphone and upload to Rockstar’s Social Club). Los Santos is filled with witty references to everything from popular movies, to quotes from Father Ted and the infamous ‘Good Aids, Bad Aids’ sketch from Brass Eye. Of course, this sense of humour carries over into the radio stations that once again make even the longest, most uneventful drives amusing, with Lazlo making a triumphant return and other talk-hosts holding up their end of the bargain. If talk isn’t your thing, the huge selection of music stations will offer something to make you bob your head as you go. All of this would just be flashy window dressing though, if the game itself was awful. Thankfully, the atrocious car handling from the previous game has been overhauled, making driving a far more rewarding experience as it sits comfortably between arcade and simulation. Meanwhile, the gunplay and cover system are less fussy, but still feel somewhat stickier than they could be. For instance, when trying to aim at an explosive barrel, the game will try to pull your aim onto the nearest enemy. However, you can adjust the controls to allow more free-hand aiming and also increase the size of the crosshair, making things considerably

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In GTA V, you become more a tourist than a player

easier. The only issue that hasn’t been addressed is how critical mission instructions will often appear as tiny writing in the corner of the screen during critical moments, becoming more distraction than help; at least the checkpoints are more forgiving this time around. The biggest addition to the gameplay is the ability to switch between the three main characters: Franklin, Michael and Trevor. Pressing down on the d-pad allows you to select a member of the trio on a radial menu. Once selected, the camera pulls back to a Google Earth-style map view, and then crashes down to the character in question, all without any intrusive loading delays. Not only is it a mightily impressive showcase for Rockstar’s technical wizardry, but it also offers a great way to travel back to the city whenever you’ve wrecked a car in the middle of nowhere. Each of the characters have their own specialities and unique ability to match. Franklin, the wheelman, can slow time while driving, which also sticks his car to the road, allowing for impossibly precise manoeuvring. Michael is the marksman and is blessed with bullet-time, while Trevor is just insane and can enter a rage mode that makes him virtually invulnerable and far more deadly. The missions themselves are varied, from sabotaging the LifeInvader keynote speech to battling aliens. And then there’s the heists. These are large scale jobs involving hiring a crew and pulling off jobs that span multiple missions. These heists are a tense fare as your planning is put to the test, making them extremely satisfying missions that completely eclipse anything seen in previous GTA games. In choosing who to hire, you are betting the job’s success and your cut of the profits on somebody else. Will you hire a competent accomplice who will charge the earth, or risk it all falling apart by hiring cheap talent? And the money really does matter in GTA V. You can play the stock market, run property (which comes with its own range of mini games and missions), and indulge in car modification. It’s a game that truly has something for everybody, whether you like playing tennis, want to go to flight school, or just like falling on your face in hilarious ways. There are too many distractions in GTA V to mention in a single review, and that’s before the online mode has even launched. GTA V is quite simply a joy to play. It’s not just an incredible technical achievement, but also a triumph of fun game design that shames most of this generation, standing with giants such as Bioshock and Skyrim. Roll on Grand Theft Auto VI.


ENTERTAINMENT VIDEO GAMES SAINTS ROW IV

4/5

AVAILABLE ON: PC, PS3, XBOX DEVELOPER: VOLITION RELEASE DATE: 23/08/2013

This month, Josh Briggs reviews the latest instalment of the wacky and wonderful Saints Row series, and this time it’s presidential. Saints Row, a series well known for spiralling further into craziness with each release keeps up that reputation up with its latest release. Saints Row IV is by far the craziest game you will ever be blessed enough to play, and long after finishing it will probably still find yourself going back to cause virtual chaos in your spare moments. Starting not long after Saints Row: The Third left off, the player is then projected forward 5 years and lands themself as President of the ‘United Saints of America’ and after a West Wing style introduction to some of the main characters it starts to slip quickly down that spiral of crazy when one of the ‘White Cribs’ press releases is interrupted by an alien attack. Yes, aliens; this is what Volition went with as the ‘big bad’. Soon you’re whisked away to a simulation world created as your player’s own personal nightmare, and over the course of the game you learn to break it, which of course means that you get superpowers. About an hour and a half in you gain the ability to sprint faster than cars and start jumping up buildings, and over the course of the next several hours the game introduces powers like telekinesis and ground pounding. You’d think this would make it too easy in a world that’s meant to be a fairly accurate recreation of Steelport, but the city has been revitalised with abundant alien technology and locked down by alien security. Volition proudly boasts that there are more enemy types Saints Row IV than there are in its prequel. Now you can run up skyscrapers whilst being chased by aliens on hover-bikes and what looks a little bit like Predator jumping from roof to roof behind you. The notoriety system has changed too, with the maximum level bringing you up against a mini-boss who can give you a run for your money on your superpowers. Post-game, it can be a bit of a pain - but if you’re playing on one of the harder difficulties then it is generally a challenge to stay alive for long enough without upgrading either yourself or your guns near to their limit. Challenges and side-quests now aren’t just for glory, but offer exclusive upgrades to your character – from outfits to being able to sprint on water or unlock alternate effects for your superpowers, including shrinking the people around you and arc lightning. Collectibles for this game are also much improved, including clusters of data to improve your superpowers, statues of Emperor Zinyak to destroy and audio clips detailing the backstory of the main characters. Customisation, along with the level of crazy, has reached new limits in this game; there’s an improved selection to customisation options

It’ll keep you on your toes and

laughing

with your body, your cars and your clothing, but what’s new is the weapon customisation features in this game. Instead of the basic upgrade system of Saints Row: The Third, you can pour money into damage, accuracy, reload speed, and other relevant stats (it varies a little for each set of weapons) as well as one singular, expensive, upgrade that gives each weapon a unique edge over the others – from incendiary ammo to ‘explosive wubs’. Not only that, but you can change the appearance of every weapon you have, be that changing the paint job on it or changing the appearance of the gun entirely. The music of the game is superb, and this time with more famous songs being played through missions – including Aerosmith and THAT Haddaway song, you know the one if you’ve heard it. The radio stations have more tracks this time, and with more DJ presence than last time; sadly it’s at the cost of ‘The Blood’ – Steelport’s heavy metal station, which made a great soundtrack for causing tank-based carnage. The leader of the aliens, Emperor Zinyak, can be found introducing the pieces of classical music and making readings from Shakespeare and Jane Austen; I think trying to make the protagonist ‘civilised’ as he would put it. Regardless of his intentions, it’s still pretty amusing, and because it’s a simulation you can listen to the radio wherever you are – even on foot. It’s hard to give a detailed review of the story without ruining one of a multitude of hilarious moments, so just trust us that it’ll keep you on your toes and laughing at every other moment. It’s very much a last hurrah with every intention of going out with a bang and a giggle, and to that end it brings back villains, heroes and references from previous games with great effect. Even if you haven’t played any of the Saints Row games before this one, the times where it harks back to its predecessors are still thoroughly enjoyable, but it does provide some feel-good nostalgia for those who’ve played previous titles in the series. The story plays out in a series of missions and side-missions set out in a list that quickly grows but doesn’t rush you to do anything. Besides the huge range of side-activities there’s also a bunch of ‘loyalty missions’ – one for each of your homies, which add an extra level of depth to your relationship with each one of them. Plus, more feel-good singing with Pierce Washington. All in all, Saints Row IV is a labour of love; an insane love, but a labour of love nonetheless. There is no doubt that you will play this for hours on end, and still enjoy every hour as much as the first. It’s a game for anyone who enjoyed the series and anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

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On September 19th, 2013, video games experienced a great loss. Matt Grimster discusses the lasting influence of a man who shaped Nintendo - and with it, an industry.

O

n Thursday 19th September, the gaming world was sad to hear the tragic passing of former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi. Overseeing the company all the way from 1949 to 2002, there is no way that Nintendo would be where it is today without his strong leadership and willingness to pull the company from its position as a small trading card business into the highly competitive electronics entertainment market. Such iconic consoles such as the NES, SNES, Game Boy and Nintendo 64 were produced during his tenure, arguably building Nintendo up to the position where it was able to create the second AND third best-selling consoles of all time: the Nintendo DS and the Game Boy / Game Boy Color respectively. Originally a law student at Waseda University, Yamauchi was asked to work for Nintendo when his grandfather and at-the-time president of Nintendo, Sekiryo Yamauchi, suffered a stroke. Sadly, due to his young age, many employees did not take his leadership seriously, and so he was forced to adopt an authoritative style of management in order to take control of an unruly workforce. His insistence on being the sole approver of new products meant that, whilst a lot of potentially successful products were shot down, he did lead Nintendo into a successful deal with Disney that introduced plastic playing cards into Japanese culture. The success from this meant that Nintendo became a publically listed company with shares available on

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the Japanese stock exchange for the first time. From 1963, however, the playing card market began to saturate, and so Yamauchi felt the need to diversify the range of products that Nintendo offered. Over the next few years, a series of failed ventures in areas such as taxi chains, ‘Love Hotels’ and vacuum cleaners saw Nintendo attempt to find another source of success, and so Yamauchi made the decision to focus the entire company into a toy

Yamauchi introduced plastic playing cards into Japanese culture for the first time manufacturer. He saw the talent in factory worker Gunpei Yokoi (who later created the Game Boy), and so promoted him to a position where he was able to develop popular products that included the ‘Ultra Hand’ and a ‘Love Tester’. Whilst Nintendo were now very successful toy manufacturers, Yamauchi felt that Atari’s performance in the newly-surfaced electronic entertainment market could be replicated - and so began the transition that established them as the company we know and love today. Yamauchi tapped into America via a series of popular arcade cabinet games including Radar Scope and Sheriff, although the golden moment itself was when, in 1981, he recruited designer

Shigeru Miyamoto to develop his Donkey Kong project into a fully-fledged arcade game, and we all know how well that turned out. The only way was up for Yamauchi, as he established three separate research and development departments within the company to compete against each other, leading to the invention of Nintendo’s first two pioneering products: the Game & Watch and the Nintendo Entertainment System. The latter single-handedly rescued the video games industry from the infamous ‘crash’ of 1983 by preventing unlicensed games from working on the machine, ensuring a strict level of quality control over third-party software that previously had not been seen. Yamauchi’s mentality of being the sole approver of anything released remained; and the fact that the NES sold nearly 62 million units shows how effective this was. This continued into the 1990’s with the Game Boy and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the latter of which fought off stiff competition from rivals SEGA, SNK and NEC by utilising revolutionary technology such as the Super FX chip and Mode 7 style of 3D graphics. He was able to establish crucial partnership with developers like Argonaut Software and Rare to ensure that Nintendo could exclusively sell software that was popular with consumers, ultimately leading them to ‘winning’ the fourth generation console war. Nintendo under Yamauchi was not without its faults however, with 1995 seeing the infamously catastrophic launch of the Virtual Boy: a supposedly


ENTERTAINMENT VIDEO GAMES Nintendo products released under Yamauchi’s administration included...

PLAYING CARDS

1956

ULTRA HAND

1966

ELECTRONIC LOVE TESTER

1969 SNES

1990 N64

1996

GAMECUBE

2001

‘portable’ 3D gaming system that was well known for causing migraines for anyone who played it for more than 15 minutes, which led to a very small number of games ever being released for it. Regarded as one of the most catastrophic console launches of all time, Yamauchi came under criticism for remaining adamant that the Virtual Boy had the potential to sell millions and that he wanted to keep producing games for it. His decision-making was again brought into question during the release of Nintendo’s next home console, the Nintendo 64. He had intended the console to be much more difficult to develop and used the less-popular cartridge format for its games instead of its CD-using competitors. The intention was that this would deter third-party publishers from producing mediocre games and put more effort into designing them. This backfired, however, as it only succeeded in meaning that many third-party games were poorly made because of how difficult it was to do so. By 1999, Yamauchi was ready to admit his past failures, and so strove to make Nintendo’s next console (codenamed the Dolphin at the time) much more competitive with Sony, SEGA and the new entrant to the console market, Microsoft. Sony’s PlayStation 2 boasted DVD and CD-ROM playback capabilities, SEGA’s Dreamcast had a built-in modem and a VMU controller, and Microsoft’s Xbox had a built-in hard drive - all of this the Gamecube, as it was now known, would have to compete with. Yamauchi decided to out-price Nintendo’s competitors’ console prices, at the expense of offering a stripped-back console that did not boast any extra features. It would entice consumers as the cheaper option. To a certain extent, this did pay off as Nintendo arguably had one of the strongest first-party line-ups of all time, supported by a wealth of third-party games that were both cross-platform and Nintendo exclusives. At 155 million units, however, the PlayStation was and still is the best-selling console of all time, and so whilst there was not necessarily a problem with product quality for Yamauchi, had it not been for the success of the Game Boy Advance, then Nintendo would have faced severe financial difficulties. One year after the Gamecube’s launch, Yamauchi decided to retire from his position as president of Nintendo, handing the job to Satoru Iwata, who remains at the head of Nintendo to this day. He was still present as chairman of the Board of Directors however, overseeing one of the most controversial periods for Nintendo when it was fined for business malpractice. The European Commission had found that Nintendo, under Yamauchi’s leadership, had engaged in anticompetitive price-fixing business practises since the early 1990’s; not only landing them with a huge €149 million fine, but also tarnishing what had previously been a very good reputation. Under Iwata’s leadership, Nintendo recovered from this soon after with the release of the Nintendo DS their most successful console to date. By the end of June 2005, Yamauchi felt that it was time to leave the company completely; partially due to his old age but also because he felt that it was now in safe hands under the much more democratic presidency of Iwata and new chairman Atsushi Asada. In the later years of his life, Yamauchi remained as the majority shareholder of Nintendo (around 10% in 2008),

becoming the 12th richest man in Japan due to the success of the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii. A lot of this wealth was shared: his reported $9 to $14 million retirement pension was fed back into the company, and he also is said to have donated the majority of the 7.5 billion Yen used to build a new cancer treatment centre in Kyoto. Outside of Nintendo, Yamauchi was also known for investing in an American baseball team, the Seattle Mariners, after they had approached Nintendo of America in the early 1990’s looking for a Japanese investor. He was initially rejected by the Commissioner and Ownership Committee, but after pressure from the people of Seattle and the media they agreed a deal where Yamauchi was given less than 50% of the vote. Although Yamauchi never actually attended a Seattle Mariners game, the deal opened up new opportunities for Japanese baseball players to play for American league teams. By 2000, the team had made a profit of $2.6 million - its first since his acquisition.

It is impossible to see how Nintendo could have grown into the company that it is today without him Many will argue that, since Yamauchi’s departure, Nintendo have actually become more successful and this seems like a fair claim when you consider how much of a breakthrough the Nintendo DS and Wii were. When you look at the history of Nintendo as a whole, however, it is impossible to see how they could have grown into the company that they are today without him. His ability to pick out potential successes amidst the hundreds of thousands of hardware ideas and software projects is reflected in how well Nintendo are regarded in the gaming industry. Many of you reading this may be a hardcore PC, PlayStation or Xbox gamer with no interest in Nintendo whatsoever; but since gaming as we know it was around, so were Nintendo. Yamauchi also spotted key talent in the likes of Gunpei Yokoi, Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto - all of whom have become huge names in the gaming industry themselves, and owe their success to him. It was with great sadness that the gaming community had learned of his death in a Kyoto hospital from complications with pneumonia, aged 85. Many who had grown up with the likes of the Game Boy, Nintendo 64 or Nintendo DS as part of their childhood paid their respects to the man who had started it all - Nintendo themselves released a statement saying that they were mourning his loss. Yamauchi led them not only to some of the greatest moments in gaming history, but also through some of the most troublesome and worrying times. His style of management and controversial involvement in some questionable business practices cannot be ignored, but when compared to the backlash in the media towards companies such as Microsoft and Electronic Arts, Nintendo seems comparatively innocent. On Thursday 19th September, the video games industry lost one of its pioneers; he will be sorely missed. Hiroshi Yamauchi is survived through his three children: Yoko, Fujiko, Katsuhito and their families.

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CHANGING CHANNELS Michael Samuel examines how the way we watch television is changing

T

he way that we watch television has dramatically changed, from the broadcast signal associated with terrestrial television, to the concept of TV on DVD. Broadband internet has allowed the viewer’s relationship with television to mature, and has altered the very make-up of television as a structure, it has allowed for a break with the confines of a schedule. Broadband allows audiences to access content when they wish. Digitally, audiences are able to view a series illegally, via torrent downloads, and legitimately, through growingly successful services such as Netflix and LoveFilm. But what effect has this new way of watching TV had upon television itself, and what benefits does it offer us as 21st century viewers? In 2012 and 2013, torrent site TorrentFreak published a list of the ‘most illegally downloaded’ shows. In it, titles include: Game of Thrones (5.2 million downloads), followed by The Big Bang Theory (2.9 million), How I Met Your Mother (2.85 million), The Walking Dead (2.7 million) and rookie series Hannibal (2.1 million). The third season of Game of Thrones is reported to have had equally as many people viewing the series through the internet as they did on television. Such statistics highlight a viewing preference that is undeniably on the rise. But what is the social implication of this viewing preference? Netflix, as well as LoveFilm or SkyGo, offers viewers the opportunity to select content, whether films or television, from a catalogue, and stream them almost immediately to a device. The quality and speed of accessing this content is greatly dependent on the strength of your internet connection, which, at times, especially in a student household with everyone connected to the Wi-fi, can be frustrating. Another issue

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is that the choice on offer is almost overwhelming, to the point where simply picking something to watch becomes a uniquely torturous process. The television up to this point, has traditionally been a box in the corner of the living room, a fixed communal meeting point where people come together to watch together. However, given that streaming services can be accessed on smartphones, tablets and laptops the idea of the television set as a focal point of a household has dissolved. Streaming allows people to watch exactly what they want to in their own space, and the idea of gathering around the TV is being jeopardised by this added mobility of viewing. At least in the past we would stare blankly at a screen together.

The focal point of the household has dissolved Streaming services like Netflix are also effecting how much TV we can watch at once. The traditional, one episode per week viewing models may still be going strong, but Netflix offers an alternative, allowing us to watch an entire season as a whole, much like the experience devouring a DVD boxset. This is great when wanting to view all of season four of Arrested Development at once or binge on the highly addictive House of Cards. These two series in particular are exclusive titles belonging to Netflix and are part of a growing trend. Original programming belonging to these services highlights enough of a demand for viewership via Netflix and LoveFilm, and

show that streaming is now beginning to genuinely compete with TV as the place to see a programme first. In the case of Breaking Bad, Netflix became the place to view each episode at the same time as the American broadcast, overcoming the geographical boundaries of television and eliminating the need to wait for a series to finally be shown on Sky Atlantic or FX, (as well as having to fork out for a costly Sky subscription.) There are also financial ramifications to the increasing prevalence of streaming services. DVD box set culture is still alive, with student loans or payday spending sprees still filling the tills at HMV, and Amazon orders still overloading the postman’s mailbag. However, the commercial effects streaming services are having on this market is evident in the pricing of film and television on DVD, which is constantly being squeezed by the digital competition. This in particular illustrates the threat, as well as the attraction of the price and value of services such as Netflix, when comparing their monthly charge of around £5.99 a month with the average £15-20 DVD box set. How will the sales of the complete series box set of Breaking Bad or the pricing of individual seasons of House of Cards be affected, when they can be accessed for just a monthly cost that is under £6? Will this loss of revenue eventually affect the amount of money available to produce the shows themselves? Television is changing, and the old models that have been in place for decades are under threat. But whilst the methods of watching TV are in flux, our relationship with what really matters, the shows themselves, is as strong as ever. The channels may be changing, but we are still watching, and in more accessible and affordable ways than ever before.


ENTERTAINMENT FILM & TV

DON’T GO BREAKING MY BAD Leanne Dixon is in the basement, and she is cooking up something good...

It’s done. It’s over. Walt and Jesse’s journey has ended. Throughout TV history there are shows that stand alone. The very mention of Breaking Bad conjures up images of shimmering blue crystal, plastic yellow jumpsuits, and tighty-whities. Vince Gilligan’s incredible attention to detail unfolded over a series of careful elaboration that gave way to one hell of an emotional finale (no spoilers, although you really should have watched it by now!). Breaking Bad’s now seemingly ubiquitous place in popular culture has been a long time coming. Its success has been a slow burn, a beaker bubbling softly over a Bunsen flame. The highly addictive series has been broadcast on America’s cable channel AMC since its premiere in 2008, but its history in the UK is more chequered. The first season aired on FX before Channel 5 picked up the second season in 2009 for its 5USA sister channel. However, the series wouldn’t see light in the UK again until Netflix saved the day, releasing all 5 seasons for British eyes. From this online availability the show gathered a huge swell of popularity and transformed into the pop culture behemoth it is today. (My housemate refuses to check his Facebook until he has seen the final season for fear of spoilers). The multi-award-winning Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who receives a devastating diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. The severity of his prognosis means that Walt needs to create a sizeable fund to provide for his family after his death, and fast. In his desperation Walt strikes up an unlikely partnership with Jesse Pinkman, a small time drug pusher and Walt’s former pupil. The pair pool their individual talents to set up a Crystal Meth lab, with Walt supplying his knowledge of chemistry and Jesse distributing the “product.” And who can imagine anyone else but Bryan Cranston as the infamous Walter White? We see a meek science teacher transform into a demon, complete with pork pie hat and goatee. Yet throughout all of Walt’s madness, misery and monstrosity there remains reason behind what he does, however twisted it may be. It’s not just Heisenberg (Walt’s drug baron alter ego) ruling an empire that we see: it’s Walt the family man, Walt who cares for Jesse, and Walt the dying man. It’s both fear and love that lead him to a life of catastrophe, and it’s the feeling of empowerment and liberation from his deterioration that keeps him doing it. However, Walt’s story would not be the same if he didn’t have Jesse there alongside him. This most improbable of duos has a unique chemistry (pun intended) that is essentially the very core of the programme. Jesse’s history as a failed ex-pupil of Walt’s adds degrees of subtlety and complexity to

Breaking Bad is the ultimate cinematic television experience

their relationship, as Walt vacillates between his instincts as a teacher and his burgeoning ruthlessness. Jesse, who is unconvincing as a gangster but infinitely sweet and good hearted cannot help but turn to Walt in search of a father figure. The hints of a growing paternal bond are always tempered by Walt’s manipulativeness, and any affection is secondary to his self serving goals. Despite Jesse’s questionable actions (and there are plenty) he always displays a real awareness of his crimes, and he comes to symbolise a modicum of conscience in a morally bankrupt world. Originally intended to be killed off at the end of the first season, Aaron Paul’s compelling performance integrated Jesse Pinkman as a vital and uniquely interesting component of the show. Yeah, bitch! Breaking Bad is the ultimate cinematic television experience. Its intricate storytelling and sharp cinematography are worthy of big screen viewing, and the impeccable attention to detail in the series establishes clever symbolism, that is as perfectly balanced as a chemical equation. The series finale entitled ‘Felina’, representing Iron (Fe), Lithium (Li), and Sodium (Na), neatly summarises the drama with the message: ‘blood, meth, and tears’. Similarly, the show ends on the 62nd episode referencing Samarium, the 62nd element in the periodic table that is used in the treatment of Walt’s real enemy, lung cancer. It’s this level of meticulous engineering that provides another layer of depth to the show, revealing the care and attention that has gone into it. This is not just TV that has been churned out to fill the hours around the adverts, this is TV that means something. However, there is one thing that a television drama can achieve more successfully than a film; the incredibly thorough process of character development. It is here that Breaking Bad truly shines. It is not just Walt who is affected by the choices he makes. The remarkable Anna Gunn, as Walt’s wife Skyler, exhibits the onscreen struggle between her role as a loving wife and her confrontation with her husband’s transformation into a meth-baron. Walt’s family problems don’t end there, given that his brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris) is Albuquerque’s top DEA agent, the man behind the search for Heisenberg. Breaking Bad is the perfect synthesis of gut-wrenching drama, genuine villainy, and unforgettable, now iconic, characters, and each episode is a perfectly formed crystal of entertainment. Breaking Bad sinks its hooks in deep, an addiction that’s hard to break. After such a phenomenal journey with these characters the season finale felt like breaking up...and it’s fair to say I’m taking it badly.

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SEPTEMBER

ABOUT TIME About Time carries all the hallmarks of a Richard Curtis classic: the charming if befuddled lead man, the American love interest, a sense of quintessential Britishness and a sharp script. Whilst ticking all these boxes very efficiently About Time proves to have a decent dramatic leg of its own to stand on. Much of the films more insightful moments come from the interplay between Dominhall Gleeson’s Tim and his father, played by an in-form Bill Nighy. The basic story of About Time revolves, quite fittingly, around the time travelling capabilities of the men of Tim’s family. Tim himself discovers this ability at the age of 21 and after a wide-reaching discussion with his father on the possibilities now open to him admits, quite coyly, that he will use this gift as a means to getting a girlfriend. So far, so charming. Curtis’ script does ooze charm and the films easy going take on time travel is appealing. As are the lead performances, Gleeson particularly impresses, succeeding in carrying the film with his impressive first lead role. Rachel Mc-

adams is a perfect fit as his dream woman, Mary, offering a quirky appeal which is hard to resist. As the plot progresses drama does begin to take centre stage. Tim’s father discovering the limitations of a life led hopping through time is dealt with quite endearingly and without too much cliché. About Time never quite excites but gradually leaves you with a taste quite easy to be content with.

Oliver Richards

3.5/5

YOU’RE NEXT Fresh of the heels of two successful V/H/S pieces, horror fiend Adam Wingard, with You’re Next, succeeds in making us laugh and grimace, if not scaring us. You’re Next is a fairly low budget home invasion movie centred around a typically dysfunctional family get together. This already sounds like a recipe for disaster and that’s because Wingard enthusiastically, if a bit clumsily showcases every cliché that this increasingly popular sub-genre contains. You’re Next certainly sits comfortably with it’s tongue firmly stuck against it’s cheek. This can sometimes be a little grating and often leads to predictable and unexciting deaths. Most of the characters prove to be fodder but some of them are simply wasted. However, at its best, You’re Next manages to successfully juggle its billing as a gore flick and its intentions as a genre undermining but celebratory horror film. One such moment comes when, after deciding that the only way is out, one of the family members makes a run for the door. As her family egg her on she takes

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a truly dramatic, slow motion sprint towards the exit only to be greeted by a thin line of cheese wire. Another joyful moment comes in the last frame, where upon finding the gruesome scene a hapless police officer falls prey to a self-made trap intended for the home invaders. Praise where praise is due, this is truly funny, and quite horrific after the earlier ordeals of the film. It’s in moments such as these that You’re Next really pays off and whilst they are not frequent enough to create any sense of momentum Wingard does craft a pruriently fun picture.

Oliver Richards

3/5


IN REVIEW BLUE JASMINE

Woody Allen’s films have a tendency to divide opinion but the inarguable fact is that the man is frighteningly prolific, having released more or less a film a year since the early seventies. Yet whilst his films of late have been a decidedly mixed bag, from the lovely, booksmart Midnight in Paris to the forgettable To Rome with Love, his latest effort, Blue Jasmine, finds Allen on masterful form. The film charts the decline, both mentally and materially, of Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), an erstwhile New York socialite whose crooked husband’s (Alec Baldwin) shady business ventures leave him in jail and Jasmine out of cash and without a place to live, forcing her to San Francisco to stay with her working class sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Blue Jasmine explores the theme of class-culture shock very well, with Jasmine’s refined affectations rubbing jarringly against Ginger’s lifestyle and love interests, and Allen’s usual upper middle class schtick finds a perfect foil in Ginger’s straight talking boyfriend Chilli, leading to some brilliant comic

RUSH

Rush tells the true story of the fierce rivalry between the Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 World Championship season. The two men were binary opposite characters; Hunt was the consummate playboy, living as fast as his car, fuelled by booze instead of petrol, whilst Lauda was a consummate professional; studious, technical and incredibly serious. Director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) re-teams with screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/ Nixon) to transpose racing history onto the big screen and the film does an admirable job of recreating the period detail of the time, and for Formula One fanatics Rush is likely to be pure ambrosia. But what about the rest of us? The thing about Rush is that it isn’t really a film about Formula One, it is a film about two contrasting personalities and it is this focus that makes it a highly entertaining piece of populist drama. Hunt’s epicurean nature makes him anathema to the straight edged Lauda, but the joy of Rush is to watch the two

moments. However, compared to the lighter feel of Allen’s recent fare, Blue Jasmine has a sombre undertone, powered by Blanchett’s movie stealing performance. Her portrayal of the fractured Jasmine and her mental breakdown is superb, and is cleverly mirrored in the films non-linear narrative structure which flits between Jasmine’s life as it is and what it was, giving the audience a glimpse of what she has lost, and crucially, why she has lost it. Allen develops her character slowly and wonderfully, with the cracks in her aloof, prideful façade revealing a genuine depth of humanity and vulnerability behind what otherwise, in less talented hands, may have been a shallow caricature. Luckily for us though that isn’t the case, and the result is that Blue Jasmine is a beautifully drawn tragic character study of a life and mind in upheaval.

Daniel Rosser

4/5

men approach a sense of reconciliation and respect for each other. The film is set at a time when Formula One racing was a vocation for the impossibly brave, with a much higher fatality rate than the sport has today. It is the constant threat of mortal danger that make Rush’s racing sequences so exciting, and there is an unshakable sense that something BAD is coming around the next corner. Chris Hemsworth performance as Hunt is fine, yet he is perhaps never quite as charming as he should be, making it hard to completely take to his womanising, hard drinking ways. Daniel Brühl, however, is fascinating as Lauda, and watching his steely inscrutability tested by tragedy is the greatest pleasure of the film. Rush’s true success lies in the fact that it makes you care not just about the cars or the racing, but the men behind the wheel.

Daniel Rosser

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Discussing a different Quench Masterpiece each month, we hope to bring to you lost gems, hidden wonders and stone cold classics to enrich your film viewing lives. This month sees film editor Oliver Richards discuss Eureka.

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EUREKA Shinji Aoyama’s Eureka (2000) is this month’s Quenchessential film for a number of reasons, it is by all accounts a well shot and resolutely acted piece but this is not what makes it a masterpiece. Many pieces of cinema regarded as such offer a gloss of immediate genius for film fans to dig their teeth into and whilst the best do remain in your head for some time it is often this surface layer that attracts the most attention. Eureka is not one of these films. Eureka is not an easy film to watch nor is it particularly easy to digest in one sitting, but like most mainstream art, be it particularly thoughtful music (see Joanna Newsom’s Ys) or a doorstop weighted book, it is all the more effective for this. A Japanese language film shot almost entirely in a mixture of sepia and white Eureka lasts just over three and a half hours; by nature it is not an easy film. This is not to say that it is not simple. Eureka’s basic plot only suffers from complexity brought on by a strikingly minimalist style; shots linger and dialogue is sparse. It’s basic plot revolves around the aftermath of a bus hijacking that leaves only 3 survivors. We see only fragments of the event and then begin to follow the survivors: brother and sister Naoki and Kozue and the bus’ driver Makoto. Makoto feels ostracised after the ordeal and fails to find any sort of peace until he takes refuge with the other survivors. The film consists almost entirely of this three piece, we are introduced to Naoki and Kozue’s studious and effervescent cousin who is made to seem disingenuous for his easy going attitude. Eureka certainly embraces the sombre mood conjured by its

main characters and this combines beautifully with the natural scenery of rural Japan to create some quietly mesmerising images. Over the course of three and a half hours of film seemingly not much happens, the survivors each react differently but not extremely to their ordeal and Aoyama is content to explore their lives at a thoughtful pace and a measured distance. This gives Eureka a modernist (in novelistic terms) angle: by showcasing in detail the lives of the three survivors Aoyama’s film morphs into an exploration of what it means to live and how big issues such as death affect all of us. When all is revealed to be not as it seems there is no sudden realisation, no surprise, just the feeling of a long, broken dance of a story elegantly reassembling itself and revealing it’s underlying beauty. This is the joy of Eureka. Its last few frames drift into colour as the survivors finally face the reality of a life after their ordeal. This ending is executed with the same subtlety as what has come before and as the credits roll Eureka emits a near-unique resonance. Eureka is a masterpiece not because of an exciting immediacy but because of it’s nature as a well crafted, patient, and again: illuminatingly resonant piece of cinema. If a hidden gem of cinema is what you seek then Eureka is a perfect, if sizable, find. Equally if you like your cinema to explore human nature without descending into poetic cliché or forcing ideals before your face then Aoyama may have lovingly crafted the perfect film for you. And if Eureka’s substantial spirituality is not your cup of tea I urge you to spend a few hours giving it a chance, you may benefit more than you think.


ENTERTAINMENT FILM & TV

ARTISTRY IN HORROR

As Hallowe’en approaches Jordan Watkins explores the intricacies of Horror as a genre, and discusses why these are often overlooked

Horror is arguably one of the most established genres

in modern cinema, and there are very few people, if any who haven’t seen a horror film; at the very least, there are few among us who couldn’t name one. Films such as The Exorcist and The Shining are rooted deep into our culture. This is true especially of The Shining who’s iconic, psychotic face of Jack Nicholson has been featured on numerous T-shirts and posters and parodied what seems like an even larger amount of times in popular culture such as The Simpsons. Moreover, year after year films are released within the Autumnal season to coincide with Halloween and to capitalise on the large masses of money that can be garnered from those looking for thrills and sleepless nights. Films such as Paranormal Activity and more recently The Conjuring point to a large audience for the genre, especially when you consider that The Conjuring took forty two million on its opening weekend in the United States and Canada alone and already has a confirmed sequel. These films however do not fully portray the range of horror films in existence. In fact, the critic Mark Kermode describes Multiplex horror films such as Insidious as being aimed at those who don’t actually like horror films. Another critic, Nigel Floyd, described such films that use silence followed by a loud bang as “cattle prod cinema” highlighting the fact that these films lazily use shock tactics in order to get a reaction out of the audience rather than using suspense driven narrative to create fear. As Alfred Hitchcock explained: “There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it.” Yet in spite of the popularity of these films, which is clearly shown through the bucket loads of money they take year after year, there is a stigma surrounding the horror genre that is based off common misconceptions. One of those misconceptions is that the genre is filled with gratuitous gore and sex. Which was an opinion

perhaps fossilised during the “Video Nasty” scare in the ‘eighties where the tabloid newspapers instigated a witch hunt that persecuted horror films as being a corrupting influence, a criticism which video game culture currently receives in the media.

There is an artistry in horror that is often overlooked There is a sense of artistry in horror that is often overlooked by people who don’t look past the violence. A large amount of horror cinema focuses on the subtext and uses violence, fear and even sex as a vehicle to present larger concepts. There is also a general artistry in causing an immovable feeling of dread within the audience; to be able to create a physical reaction to something that is clearly fictional. Horror however, faces the tremendous task of making one fear something they know to not be a real threat by using the psyche of the viewer. Horror is a genre of film in which many respected directors have worked and in some cases have played large roles in shaping it into the medium it is today. As previously mentioned Alfred Hitchcock reinvented the horror genre with the seminal 1960 “Psycho.” The shower scene is another infamous piece of cinema that everyone knows about even without having seen the film. The point is that Horror is much more than blood, guts and sex. It is a genre with artistic merit that often goes unappreciated.

David Lynch’s debut feature film Eraserhead is an exploration of sexual guilt, repression and the effects that social entrapment can have on one’s psychology. The plot revolves around Henry, who through premarital sex ends up impregnating his girlfriend and due to complications has to raise a prematurely born child. In other words it is not your stereotypical horror movie plot in which sexualised teens are picked off one by one in isolation to the overall narrative in ever changing locations. Instead it tackles real world issues and uses exaggerated imagery in order to present the loneliness and suffocation that young parenting can bring onto oneself. The film through a series of surreal shots makes the viewer feel a pervasive sense of dread and terror throughout its running time. In order to create the soundtrack David Lynch placed microphones into bottles then submerged them in water, an apt metaphor to display the sense of oppression throughout the film. The 1973 film The Wicker Man is another film that instils dread within the audience from the opening credits. The film opens with shots of an aeroplane flying over islands that foreshadow the isolation that Sergeant Howie faces on Summerisle with its increasingly strange inhabitants. The film also manages to create an overbearing feeling of discomfort that when coupled with the tonal juxtapositions of the ritual songs sung by the children and locals leaves the viewer with an almost unbearable sense of suspense, building to a disturbing climax that solidified the film in the nightmares of almost all that saw it. So, if this Halloween you are looking for an alternative way of getting thrills and chills perhaps you could track down a copy of Eraserhead or The Wicker Man and be transported into a world of overbearing dread and sheer terror. For those are the things that will really keep you up at night rather than loud bangs which will be forgotten until the next “cattle prod” film comes into the local Multiplex next October.

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and the wi With the Mercury and Welsh Music prizes both taking place this October, Joseph Ainscough takes a look at the relevance an intentions of music awards ceremonies, and who really benefits from them.

The Mercury Prize - or The Barclaycard Mercury Prize to give it its full title - prides itself on recognising and rewarding the best of British music each year. Focussing on artists that don’t normally make the cut for Fearne Cotton’s Radio One playlist, it presents itself as the sort of cooler, more relevant, younger brother of The Brits. Pulp, Primal Scream, Arctic Monkeys and Dizzee Rascal; all huge names in British music and all previous winners of the grand prize, and at twenty-two years The Mercury Prize is an institution in its own right. However, just as all cool, hip younger brothers eventually start buying pastel jumpers from Matalan, there are questions surrounding the relevance, the necessity and the validity of the awards. The first issue you could raise with the award is all in the name: The Barclaycard Mercury Prize. If a footballer signs a sponsorship deal with Nike, nobody cares; if the League Cup is suddenly named The Capital One Cup, nobody bats an eye. However, if The xx were suddenly to announce that Pepsi Max sponsored their next album there would be cries of ‘sell out’. The masses would join as one to shun them, making them outcasts forever in the music world for have the audacity to accept vile, grotty corporate money in order to fund their passion. So why does nobody raise an issue about the fact that the awards themselves can’t be talked about officially without being preceded with the word “Barclaycard?” There’s something not quite right about an award ceremony - which claims to provide the more independent and cutting edge side of British music - being sponsored by a credit card provided by one of the country’s biggest banks. The two worlds seem to be at odds by their very nature. Obviously events need sponsorship in order to happen, but ask yourself: could you imagine Bowie (one of this year’s nominees) or the Gallagher brothers (nominated in 1996) accepting a £20,000 cheque directly from Barclays bank just to say ‘well done with the album’? The bad taste left in the music-lover’s mouth by these seedy corporate overtones isn’t exactly washed away when you realise that artists themselves have to

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pay £200 to even be considered for the shortlist. Again, as an award ceremony that prides itself on recognising those artists that dwell off the beaten track, asking artists to pay in order to even be in the running seems to be more exploitive of the independent music industry than it is supportive. Add into the equation the anonymous panel of twelve judges and you

in its ongoing attempt to appear relevant, the MERCURY PRIZE comes across as tired and predictable have an award ceremony that feels more like a sleazy uncle than a cool younger brother. As if to only further reinstate their desire to be of detriment to independent acts, The Mercury Prize rules state that all artists must have a “digital and physical distribution deal in place” in order to even be considered for the award. Meaning that truly independent artists, who lack any backing from major labels, or any labels at all, are completely overlooked. Ludicrous terms and conditions such as these, enforced to the letter, have led this year to the long awaited comeback album from My Bloody Valentine, ‘MBV’, to be ignored by the panel, despite achieving critical acclaim. Unfair omissions aside, maybe the shortlist of nominees for this year’s award can build a strong enough case in favour of The Mercury Prize. However, not even a list containing David Bowie is enough to convince the sceptics about its own necessity. The problem is, in its ongoing attempt to appear relevant and on the ball, the award ceremony comes across just as tired and predictable as every other one. Just

as it was unthinkable that anybody but Adele would win the Brit for ‘Best Album’ in 2012, it was just as inevitable that The xx would win The Mercury Prize in 2010. Similarly, as soon as Alt-J were nominated last year they were out and out favourites to win the accolade, and they did. Whilst both The xx and Alt-J are two fantastic bands whose debut albums deserved all the recognition they got, The Mercury Prize continues year in, year out to deliver predictable shortlists, focussing on a very small selection of choice genres and awarding the prize to an artist that any self-respecting bookmaker would have given you short odds on. This year is no different, with artists such as Foals, Disclosure, Jake Bugg, Laura Marling and Rudimental all nominated. Are they good artists? Of course. Do they deserve some acknowledgment? Certainly. Is it a shortlist that reflects and recognises the real cutting edge of an exciting and vast range of British music? Certainly not. Marling herself has been nominated twice before as have fellow nominees Arctic Monkeys (who won the award after their first nomination). The inclusion of Arctic Monkeys on the shortlist is almost as ridiculous as the inclusion of David Bowie - as good as their albums may be, they are both bona fide international artists with masses of adoring fans on every continent; they’re hardly the bright young upstarts who could benefit from the award and that the award itself could benefit from focussing on. The shortlist does recognise some genuinely exciting talent, James Blake, Laura Mvula, and Savages are all creating exciting and interesting music. However, they’ve also all appeared on Later with Jools Holland in the past year. As good as they are, they’re big enough names in themselves to not need the exposure or the album sales boost that performing on the Mercury Awards live show would provide, with all three releasing albums that made the Top 20 this year and Mvula and Blake breaking Top 10. It seems that the longer this award ceremony continues, the more its shortlist selections look like the desperate attempts of a dying institution trying to remain ‘cool’. So what can The Mercury Prize do to avoid becoming an increasingly irrelevant and even embarrassing relic of the British music scene?


entertainment music

nner is... A serious question for any institution to face, but for the answer The Mercury Prize wouldn’t go far wrong if they were to examine and perhaps take some cues from any number of emerging, independent, more localised music awards. In recent years lots of cities around Britain have begun celebrating the very best of their local scene and our very own ‘Welsh Music Prize’ is the

The Welsh Music Prize isn’t just a night of the British music industry patting themselves on the back perfect example of the sort of award ceremony that The Mercury Prize could learn a thing or two from. Created in 2011, the prize was founded by Cardiff native Huw Stephens and is also helped by Swn, who seem to have a hand in just about every independent music event in the city. The advantage of having a more localised and independent award ceremony is often born out of the founders of said award. The ceremony achieves a real cutting edge simply because it is founded and run by people who have a genuine passion for local musicians. Living and breathing the local music scene every day, they know the bands, they know the labels and they know the audience. Due to this greater knowledge of independent music, award ceremonies like The Welsh Music Prize take on a justifiable level of authority. With their local founders and fully published list of all judges and jurors, it’s easy to see who was involved in the process and just as easy to understand why. This adds to the sense of community and genuine celebration of the scene, in comparison to The Mercury Prize’s highly secretive judging panel. Being so localised also means that what

we get with The Welsh Music Prize isn’t just a night of the British music industry patting themselves on the back, but some genuine and real support and recognition of the Welsh music scene. It’s almost a boast, a night where some artists might win awards but the real message is: “look how incredible Welsh music is.” This not only benefits the scene itself, but it also provides an opportunity for a number of shortlisted artists - most of whom are signed to small independent labels - to gain some much needed and well deserved publicity and appreciation. These aren’t Arctic Monkeys or David Bowie, who will get national press coverage every time they release anything; these are small bands who, were it not for The Welsh Music Prize, couldn’t possibly hope to be mentioned in BBC articles or on NME pages. Clearly The Mercury Prize needs to reinvent itself to avoid sliding into relative obscurity. Maybe - by looking at what the smaller, independent ceremonies are doing - it can save itself. Instead of a selection of predictable artists from the year to have a place on their shortlist, the prize should delve into the depths of the independent music scene to find some real gems. Instead of charging artists for the chance to be considered, the award should do everything in its power to support the artists it is involved with. Instead of having a shadowy panel of twelve unknown judges, all its processes should be open for the public to see. We want to know who is judging these artists and why it is they chose them. What about the artists excited and intrigued the judges enough to give it the accolade? In doing this, The Mercury Prize would become not just another night of Lauren Laverne telling us how good David Bowie is, but a sincere and honest celebration of the very best of Britain’s music scene. A music scene worth boasting about deserves an award ceremony equally worth boasting about and The Mercury Prize could be it. It just needs to realise that in order to be the cooler, more relevant younger brother of The Brits, it needs to learn to love music as much as it likes to think it does.

nominees

euros childs - summer special First of the first man - Self titled Georgia ruth - week of pines laurence made me cry - diary of me little arrow - wild wishes metabeats - caviar crackle neon neon - praxis makes perfect Race horses - furniture sweet baboo - ships trwbador - self titled winter villains - february zervas & pepper - lifebringer

arctic monkeys - am david bowie - the next day disclosure - settle foals - holy fire jake bugg - self titled james blake - overgrown jon hopkins - immunity laura marling - once i was an eagle Laura mvula - sing to the moon rudimental - home savages - silence yourself villagers - {awayland}

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IS CARDIFF’S LIVE MUSIC SCENE

FUTURE-PROOF?

This summer, with the closing down of the Coal Exchange, and Beatbox bars going under, the city’s music scene was looking shaky. Jack Meredith examines the future for small live venues in Cardiff

Many students now prefer to drink at cheaper bars or remain at

home

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A recent trend has emerged: alternative venues in Cardiff are running up on hard times. Several popular venues have stated a need for refreshment in their management, including Ten Feet Tall, Buffalo Bar and the recently established Fire Island. These bars were, until recently, the three bars that made up the Beatbox Bars Ltd group, which has gone on to amass debts amounting to around £1.2 million, including a debt of almost £250,000 owed to the Welsh Government’s Finance Wales division. Trouble first struck for the company when cash flow problems, caused by excess spending on the refurbishment of the Fire Island website, rendered them unable to repay their creditors and maintain business as usual. The administrators duly moved in to seek potential buyers for the three bars. Buffalo and Ten Feet Tall were both able to continue trading until a suitable buyer was found, but Fire Island was forced to shut down. Buyers have since been found for Fire Island and Buffalo and administration firm SFP stated there was a lot of interest in the bars. One of the SFP partners, Daniel Plant, sang their praises as a great opportunity for someone with good local contacts and experience in running small, unique bars. Fire Island, originally opened in November 2012, has been leased on a five year contract by Evol Wales, the father company of Newport micro-brewery Tiny Rebel. Meanwhile, 8 Bar Blue has snapped up Buffalo Bar. Owners Michael Griffiths and Daniel Rickard bring good news: they have stated that they intend to continue running the bar under the name of Buffalo and maintain its style for the time being, with the intention of reassessing the situation after Christmas. Unfortunately, news on a buyer for Ten Feet Tall is yet to come. In the light of these problems, Clwb Ifor Bach has stated intentions to reassess its present state, with some trustees and committee members considering stepping down or taking a complete change in direction with regards to the venue. However, Clwb promoter Richard Hawkins has insisted that the move has not been instigated by financial influences: “Clwb Ifor Bach is an odd entity in the sense that what it was set up to do was to support the Welsh language and the Welsh culture. Primarily, with its public persona it is not seen as that: it’s seen as a live venue. “Because it was set up to support the Welsh language and culture, after thirty years we have to look at it and say ‘is it still serving the same purpose?’ And, primarily, no, it’s not.

“We are still turning a profit: we own the building, so we’re not in financial concern at all. The issue is whether our primary objectives are being served and, if they’re not, is it better for us to sell the building to create a fund that might used to fund other things, like the Welsh language society?” Clwb still runs several Welsh cultural events including folk dancing, Clwb Coffee – a coffee morning that invites people to sit together and practise their Welsh – and plenty of Welsh music to promote all that Wales has to offer. An announcement on the future of Clwb Ifor Bach is expected within the next month as they look to increase the amount of support they give to Welsh culture. Typical of the issue facing Clwb Ifor Bach, causing them to reassess their current role, is the popular colloquial reference to the club as “Welsh Club,” a reference that many involved with the club, including Richard, find frustrating: “It doesn’t seem relevant to call it the Welsh Club and I think it’s almost like a failure of what we’re trying to achieve – I can understand that it probably seems a bit of a novelty, but it’s pretty offensive to most of us.” Questions have also been raised as to whether a rise in the cost of University fees or a gradual change in attitude has in turn tightened student budgets, meaning many students now prefer to drink at cheaper bars or remain at home to pre-drink before heading to a venue later in the night. Such a practise would affect all local bars as people are spending less, but it also increases inter-venue competition – a factor that has been noted as a reason for the trouble experienced by the upstarting Fire Island and established Clwb Ifor Bach alike. In the case of Clwb Ifor Bach, it might even be argued that the increased competition amongst bars has had a hand in the way that the venue has changed direction over the past decade and hence, why a need for reassessment is now felt: “If you know you’ve got a night that is going to sell out and take a lot of money as opposed to something that is culturally a bit more important, because we are not a charity we are self-financed, then maybe the decisions we make are a little blinkered.”

We at Quench Music are hoping that the students of Cardiff University will take it upon themselves to get behind the city’s smaller venues. We live in a student city with a diverse music scene in terms of culture as well as originality: let’s show our support.


BEST OF CARDIFF ANIMAL BROTHERS

ENTERTAINMENT MUSIC

Alex Greig speaks to drummer Osian from Animal Brothers, the up-and-coming indie band from Cardiff Uni with a penchant for gratuitous metaphor. You’re all Cardiff students: what are you studying? I study English Literature and Philosophy and I’ve known Ollie since first year as he lived in the same halls and does Philosophy. I met Andy and Thom through the Live Music Society: I chatted to quite a few musicians but I bonded best with those two beautiful men. Andy does Social Sciences and Thom is our band’s Physicist. What would the philosophy of Animal Brothers be? Our philosophy is to convert all our animal, adolescent anger into passionate and enjoyable music. We’re all pretty different characters so we don’t set limits on what we write about or how we play: we’re still in the process of trying to find our own sound.

How do you handle being full time students and trying to run a band? It’s not a task to run, it’s just a fun thing to do: the band isn’t really an entity beyond four guys meeting up to play music. It’s just like being in a sports team: if no one wants to play, there is no game. Describe your genre. Do you think that your degree choices have an impact on your music? I’d describe us as Indie-rock fudge sundae with bits of blues rock, funk and punk sprinkled on top. The EP is quite coherent but since recording it we’ve been writing in order to find a distinct sound of our own. I’m not sure whether our subjects have an impact, but we’ve all got different focuses in terms of our writing so I think that shows from song to song.

We’re an Indie-rock fudge sundae with bits of blues rock, funk and punk sprinkled on top.

You had your EP ready a few months ago, but you’ve only recently launched it with your Facebook page. Why is that? Firstly, we didn’t have any pictures of us looking like dashing indie kids for our page as we were all spread around in different corners of this little United Kingdom. Secondly, Brooks was canny and gleaned that now would be a better time to get the ball rolling, what with thousands of students coming back to Cardiff. What’s it like being a part of the music scene in Cardiff? There’s some very decent local talent as well as travelling talent. It’s an exciting time for rock music at this level: I think rock music has had to evolve a lot in the mainstream over

the past 5 years, and the sounds of the new crop of bands ‘making it’ is really exciting. What are your favourite venues in Cardiff? The Motorpoint for its scale and the Union for its intimacy. Do you have plans to play outside of Cardiff? If they’ll have us and are willing to pay our fare to come back over the bridge. At the moment, though, the immediate plans are to play in Cardiff at he Full Moon on 4th November. Keep an eye on our FB page for updates!

VENUE SPOTL I G H T

Quality live music is rife in Cardiff; the secret is knowing where to look. Frederica Bowden puts Gwdihw on the agenda as one of the city’s best established back street venues. The club scene in Cardiff can get tedious, especially when it seems that your only options for a night out are those presented to you by representatives thrusting fliers into your hands (not the most pleasant way to hear about local night life). But there’s a whole other world out there, down the little backstreets away from the bright lights of the city, with a more exciting night to offer. Imagine a swinging little bar just beyond Churchill Way with a variety of live music and a warm atmosphere, playing anything from reggae to rock and roll. This place is Gwdihw (pronounced Goodyhoo). A promise of live music is always a treat, and Gwdihw has fine-tuned the atmosphere to perfectly complement the music in a way that makes you want to return night after night to see what else this quirky venue has in store. Regular open mic nights and DJ sets can be expected, along with live music from the likes of JuJu Nations (a Cardiff based funk/afrobeat/

reggae band) and Stalin’s Street Party (who mix every music genre into psychedelic electro with live percussion), appealing to an array of musical tastes. Gwdihw also hosts a Music Matters quiz once a month and Juxtaposed, the indie music night on Thursdays for nights when you want to know what to expect. Previously, they have even put on ‘Folk in the Owl’s Nest’ nights for its namesake (for those who aren’t yet fluent in the native tongue, ‘gwdihw’ means ‘owl’ in Welsh). Former Cardiff University student and DJ Indie Blue gave a personal tour around the intimate venue, consisting of a busy dance floor which thankfully appears to lack the usual threat of high heels, a single bar and a large outdoor area decorated with colourful lights and posters of the nights Gwdihw has to offer. He mentioned that Gwdihw is his go-to location when he’s after a good night out in the city – and would advise others to make it theirs, too.

GWDIHW

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LIVE REVIEWS BONOBO - GREAT HALL, 5/10/13

It’s fair to say that as an interesting art form, the explosion of live dance music in recent years has become somewhat saturated. DJs are great, but when there’s an option for a producer performing live to either bash at some sample pads and spin a few tunes, or to replicate the sound made on a record in a live setting with acoustic instruments – we all know what artistically seems more interesting. Enter Bonobo Live; some truly talented session musicians, a combination of both electronic and acoustic instruments, and at once you have the makings of a quite brilliant show. What is so unique to Bonobo is that the transformation from the writer, producer and in-studio Bonobo (AKA Simon Green) to the live band Bonobo is almost entirely seamless. Indeed, the Cardiff show certainly formulated a true representation of a producer’s electronic-music abilities alongside the line-up of a commonplace jazz band. Simon and co. certainly wanted to make this show a big one. The stunningly calm and melancholic vocals of Szjerdene in songs such as Towers interrupted the more ecstatic points in tunes like Sapphire - led by the live drummer, Jack Baker. The set focussed predominantly on the last three albums, allowing club-filler favourites Kiara, Kong and Cirrus to make an appearance. But it was the southern-American inspired melody in El Toro that seemed to be the undoubted party moment of the whole show. As the strobe lights circulated and empty beer bottles carpeted the floor, the room was struck with euphoria, each member of the band delivering a sharp solo and prompting the audience’s party At last it seems that genres that perhaps once seemed distant or hard to access are comfortably slotting into modern day electronic music. A show such as this represents Bonobo as a purveyor of such a process, providing a fresh reminder that synthetic dance music can be fuelled on an eclectic love of music as an art form. Ed Watson

ELLIE GOULDING - GREAT HALL, 10/10/13

It’s easy to explain why crowds of people were gathering in the cold outside the Students’ Union on 10 October: Ellie Goulding was gracing the stage in the Great Hall. The gig kicked off with Lulu James, who achieved what every supporting act hopes for: polite applause and minor dance moves. A frustrating delay before the headline act did not make things better, but as soon as Ellie Goulding started playing the energy in the room stepped up. Ellie’s entrance got a massive roar from the crowd and immediately changed the atmosphere in the hall. Opening with Figure 8, Ellie Goulding literally shook the floor. Her set included a few newer songs and old favourites, and had a good balance of lyrical and energetic compositions, teaming calmer moments with bursts of wild energy. Halfway through the gig, Ellie left the stage. Fans got anxious, but a few moments later she returned - this time with her guitar. With her powerful yet peaceful voice, Ellie stunned the room into near silence. She cast a nostalgic spell while singing Guns And Roses, followed by I Know You Care: “This song is for my dad,” she said before starting. When the lyrical part was over, the concert climbed to its peak. Ellie’s dynamic hits Anything Could Happen, I Need Your Love and Lights had fans screaming the lyrics. Such big support from the audience was well deserved: Ellie Goulding gave it her all. Watching Ellie is never boring; every one of the band is constantly doing something interesting. This time special applause goes to her backing vocals: their synchronisation and passion made the room move with more power than ever. The emotive tone in Ellie’s voice and the inner power of the whole band kept the audience entertained until the very last note. She proved the gig was worth queuing for and rewarded all her fans with an outstanding evening. Vaiva Seskeviciute

BASTILLE - GREAT HALL, 13/10/13

Bastille return to Cardiff, having gained a large local following since March’s Bad Blood tour. Their steady rise in popularity since the Laura Palmer EP has seen them reach the UK No.1 with their latest rock-pop notes. The Great Hall’s layout meant fans were never too far from the band, which can be a disappointing factor when going to see larger bands and then ending up watching them through a screen. It is clear to see that Bastille are all about engaging with the audience, from echoing back the lyrics, to sticking around for a meet and greet post-gig. The crowds begin to draw in from 6pm onwards, where the early-comers were pleasantly surprised by a duet with support band To Kill A King. As the last support band finish their set, the chatter amongst friends becomes louder, until the room erupts as Bastille rock up on stage. The opening to Pompeii is almost indistinguishable beneath the ectastic uproar. The four-piece take control of the audience with Things We Lost In The Fire, to a reception of many whoops and cheers. The close setting and Smith’s ability to interact with the crowd soon gets the whole room moving from bar to barrier. At the end of the night the crowd spills out into the cold dark road beneath, ears ringing with lyrics that will be on loop for the next few days. Surely a signifier of a good night. Sophie Johnson

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ALBUM REVIEWS JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE - THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE: 2 OF 2 - 2/5

Justin Timberlake said of his recent tendency of not being able to make songs less than 7 minutes long: “If Led Zeppelin could do it, why can’t I?” The reason you can’t, Justin, is because they all (at least on this instalment of The 20/20 Experience saga) sound like leftovers from the cutting room floor. Mirrors was a great pop song, a fantastic comeback from a formerly great pop star that came in at just over 8 minutes long and worked. It was a well-deserved number 1 hit single that showed that Timberlake still had the skills to make an impact in the music world after a successful few years making films. He had nothing more to prove after it. So why make an album that is not only strained, but wholly unnecessary? Lead single Take Back The Night is a Michael Jackson-like, lyrically simple song and the 11minute long(!) Not A Bad Thing seems to be tagged on the end of the album with little purpose or impression left on the listener. All in all, it’s just a little bit boring. It frustrates me to think about why Timberlake would want to tarnish his legacy with such a pointless addition to his back catalogue. On an album that’s all filler and definitely no killer, these songs just feel like a deluxe edition of The 20/20 Experience has gotten totally out of hand. I think I’ll just watch The Social Network and pretend this never happened. Matt Jones

KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES - PEACE - 3/5

In 2011 Kids in Glass Houses headed in new directions with the experimental In Gold Blood. This year they’ve abandoned that pursuit and gone back to what they do best: making endlessly fun, effortlessly uplifting stonkers. The first thing to be considered when listening to the Cardiff five piece’s fourth studio album Peace is that you are not going to be blown away, you are not going to witness a musical revolution and you are unlikely to hear anything you haven’t already heard a million times before. However, what you can be sure of is that you’ll enjoy yourself, and at the end of the day is that such a bad thing? While most generic alternative-rock/pop punk albums have one or two stand out tracks that get your fist pumping, the entire first half of this album is packed full of potential crowd-pleasing singles, and though the second half does start to get a little dull and repetitive that’s still a decent achievement. KIGH are a band who pride themselves on their energetic and entertaining live shows and Peace is an album which suits that perfectly (incidentally, this works out quite well for us since they’re Cardiff-based). So, don’t expect this album to win any awards or change any lives, but if you’re a fan of Kids in Glass Houses’ first two albums, and if you fancy a bit of simple old-fashioned fun, then Peace is well worth a listen. Henry Boon

HAIM - DAYS ARE GONE - 4/5

The debut album of BBC Sound of 2013 winners Haim has been one of the most eagerly anticipated of the year. The band have grown with the hype and continued to impress critics with their versatility and originality, a process that culminated at the beginning of September by beating Justin Timberlake to land a number one with Days Are Gone. Opening with singles Falling and Forever, we’re offered a thumping reminder of the sound that got Haim to the position they are in today. Followed by most recent single The Wire, a country-infused take on the Haim sound, these three tracks are illustrative of the wide sphere of influences the Haim sisters draw from, ranging from Alternative Rock to Contemporary R&B. If I Could Change Your Mind is one of the standout new tracks, telling a tale of young love accompanied by a funky guitar line that makes it both dancefloor-friendly and personal. The second half of the record is by no means overshadowed by the first, which is best exemplified by the slightly sharper rework of dreamy ballad Go Slow, originally from the Forever EP. It’s the most comprehensive showcase of the incredible vocal chemistry that Haim offer which, whilst unsurprising given their sisterhood, is yet another aspect of what makes this one of the most well-rounded pop albums of the year. Liam McNeilly

HINDSIGHTS - THE THOUGHTS THAT WEIGH ME DOWN - 4/5

The Thoughts That Weigh Me Down, the new release from Berkshire based four-piece Hindsights, is a solid offering expertly dealing with the anxieties of modern life. The 14-minute EP is packed with lyrical angst and gritty guitar hooks that leave a solid impact upon the listener long after its final notes ring out. A tried and tested juxtaposition between clean and harsh vocals is put to good use here, and matches up well with the lyrical subject matter, which address the deepest and darkest thoughts many of us have, but fear to voice. Moodily atmospheric opener Grey sets the tone, with the singer bellowing “Heaven won’t accept me with the thoughts in my head”. Fluoxetine and Heavy Head are both centred on choruses that will get fists pumping and fans singing. Watercolour Sunset offers some respite from the emotional anguish of the rest of the EP, a slow, major number that meanders along in wonderful fashion. The Thoughts That Weigh Me Down is a real achievement for a band so new on the scene. If Hindsights can capitalise on this success by releasing a solid full-length debut, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Ashley Bebbington

WOLF ALICE - BLUSH - 4/5

Wolf Alice’s latest EP Blush easily justifies the buzz that’s been steadily building around the four-piece. Having toured with the likes of Swim Deep, Ellie Rowsell and co’s hard-to-describe sound has earned them hordes of fans who’ll be eager to hear which direction the folk-turned-grunge act will take next. Opening track Blush is reminiscent of The xx, the subdued vocals and sparse instrumentals lulling the listener into a false sense of security before exploding into a grungier chorus. Second track She continues this newfound attitude with feisty lyrics and frantic guitars, a far cry from Wolf Alice’s whimsical beginnings. Nosedive strikes the balance between chilled indie and rock, running along the lines of the upbeat melodies that former tour buddies Peace are renowned for. The final song, 90 Mile Beach, begins with muttered lyrics and intricate guitar lines that eventually build into an explosive soundscape not too dissimilar to The Naked And Famous at their best. It seems that Wolf Alice have been unable to define their sound on this second EP; but their willingness to experiment is by no means a bad thing. With the semi-recent addition of a proper rhythm section the band combine their whispered musings with heavier moments, resulting in rocky pop songs suited to the stage and iPod screen. India Thomas

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ENTERTAINMENT MUSIC

DEAP TALK Meet Deap Vally. They don’t want people to know how old they are because ‘it’s too literal a fact’; they’re ‘bored to death’ of being asked how they feel about White Stripes comparisons and they bonded over a joint love of crocheting and rock n’ roll. Alex Greig catches up.

Deap Vally are pretty cool. They take to the stage with a swagger reminiscent of the rock greats and the moment the girls take place on stage is the moment they blow your mind. Their live set is loud, unapologetic, and to the point. The girls let the music do the talking, interjecting chatter on only a couple of occasions during their set at Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival. By the end of the gig, everyone leaves feeling thoroughly more badass than they did when they entered the tent. It’s not surprising that they’re so rock ‘n’ roll. Biggest influences? “Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Joan Jet, Nine Inch Nails, Hole, Captain Beefheart and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins”. When asked why they’ve misspelt their band name, they cite the fact that “The Beatles did it... And Led Zeppelin”. The latter band was also their bonding point when they met at a crocheting class at Julie’s old shop The Little Knittery, a hobby the girls still continue: “There’s plenty of time on the road to knit and crochet on planes, trains, and automobiles. But I had to sell my shop last Summer because I was never in town anymore!”

The world is so big, there will always be a small venue left somewhere for us to build a fanbase It’s unsurprising that Julie was never in town as the band have been ripping up British festivals: “Festivals are really fun, but are also pretty stressful, overwhelming, and loud. It’s hard work to do three solid months of festivals! We’re exhausted. Regular tours are saner because you get to soundcheck before you play and you don’t have to do seven hours of interviews after you play. But they’re more lonely because you don’t have a ton of different bands to hang out with backstage.” Talking of different bands, did they get to see anyone they liked? “Tame Impala and Father John Misty were the highlights of festival season for us. We also got to see Parquet Courts and The Bronx for the first time and we love them!” It’s great that they’ve had a whale of a time, but, exhausted as they are, it seems there is little in the way of a break for them. They are shortly embarking on a UK tour, which will see them play the Trinity Centre in Bristol on Saturday 2nd November and visit Cardiff’s very own Spillers Records on Sunday

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3rd November. They also already have plans in place for 2014, namely “lots of US touring. We’ve given the UK and Europe plenty of attention. Time to give the US some love.” As much as Deap Vally give love, the crowds give it back. However, it’s not always aimed at their music. At their recent set at Cardiff’s HUB festival, they received a lot of ‘compliments’ about their appearance (read: wolf-whistling) and whilst many bands may get frustrated when people focus on the image over the music, they don’t seem to mind. “Well, it can be literally distracting while you’re playing, but whatever brings people to us is fine with us. However, when they get aggressive or gropey with us off stage, that’s when it becomes unacceptable.”

The gig itself created a great intimate buzz, given the small size of the venue, retaining an intimacy that might be difficult to hold on to as the band’s success mounts. When asked how they feel about this, it’s nice to hear a balance between retaining this intimacy and an ambition in reaching higher: “Hanging on to smaller audiences is not realistic in the cold, hard light of being a band. So, as fun and vibey as small venues are, since we’re not doing a full-time hobby, we’re gonna have to grow! But the world is so big, there will always be a small venue left somewhere for us to play and start developing a fanbase.” Catch Deap Vally at Spillers Records on Sunday 3rd November. Their album Sistrionix is out now.


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THINGS NOT TO MISS

Delta Sleep/Suffer Like G Did: 31st October, Le Pub

You’ve settled in, you’ve got to know Cardiff, and now it’s time to stretch your legs. What better place to explore than Cardiff’s neighbour Newport, and its iconic and world-renowned venue Le Pub? Recently the subject of an international campaign to save the premises from demolition, Le Pub has played a part in kick-starting the career of almost every Welsh band. Now thankfully saved from demise, it is bursting back onto the South Wales scene with aplomb. Just one of a myriad of stellar shows on the cards for Le Pub, Big Scary Monsters Records’ recent math-rock signing Delta Sleep headline this Halloween extravaganza alongside brilliantly jazzy instrumentalists Suffer Like G Did. Expect a night of odd time signatures and even odder costumes, though the latter is a common sight in Newport.

The Dillinger Escape Plan: 1st November, Solus With a reputation for incendiary and relentless live shows, TDEP’s return to Cardiff is sure to be a highlight of the year. The show comes in support of new album ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’, which vocalist Greg Puciato has described as the product of “two really critical relationships in my life that were under a lot of strain” during the album’s creation. Channelling this turmoil into a 40-minute rampage, the album was praised for the band’s ability to streamline their sound even after sixteen years together. Solus would do well to strengthen its walls before Puciato and co. bring their metallic mathcore to town, and with support from instrumental noise-rock trio Three Trapped Tigers and post-rock perfectionists Maybeshewill – both of whom blew us away at this summer ArcTanGent festival. It’s sure to be an unforgettable evening. Just don’t forget the earplugs.

The Caves/Worriers: 12 November, Undertone Basement venue Undertone can always be counted on for palatable music offerings. Swansea based trio The Caves came back on the scene after an eight-year soul-searching break; expect quality light-hearted pop from their 2012 self-titled EP. Following the local lads is self-deprecating Worriers from Brooklyn, who cite “outrageous sobbing” among their influences. Formed in 2008, they’ll be contributing a modern punk edge. With undeniably Blondie-esque vocals from lead singer Lauren Measure and new EP ‘Cruel Optimist’ set for release at the end of October, the band have a lot to shout about. What’s more, their timing is perfect as far as we academic types are concerned. They’re turning up with a new title track clearly written to empathise with midterm angst: “What doesn’t kill you just makes you a mess. But no one ever wants to tell you that.” Happy studying, kids. His Clancyness: 7th November, Clwb Ifor Bach

The Slackers: 5th November, The Globe The Slackers are one of those bands that prides itself on a hard-to-define existence. After 21 years, they have finally settled on “Jamaican rock ‘n’ roll”. Intriguing, at the very least. Frequently falling into ska rhythms, fans of The Specials should try this six-piece from Manhattan. Renowned for their energy and manipulation of the chipper reggae genre into politically charged messages, the band have built up a cult following. Joining them are fellow British skankers Imperial Leisure and Dirty Revolution. The latter is a particularly exciting act, stemming from our very own Cardiff and eulogised as “vital” by Punktastic in the light of their debut album Before The Fire. They’ll be playing in 350-capacity The Globe: nice and convenient for Cathays dwellers, and a good chance for freshers in farreaching halls to sample the music scene of second year.

A recent signing of the ever-reliable Fat Cat Records, the psychedelic stylings of His Clancyness will be gracing Cardiff this November. The solo output of one Jonathan Clancy has been turning heads since 2009, when he joined that great tradition of bedroomproducers, crafting ambient electronic gems from the comfort of his own duvet. That catalogue has morphed and evolved in the intervening years into the “sassy, dreamy glam rocknroll album” that is latest effort ‘Vicious’. Its lead single ‘Zenith Diamond’ enters the wasteland between grunge and dream-pop and proudly plants its flag, the scuzzy guitars of Yuck allying with the hair of Twin Shadow. Clancy’s previous tours with indie and hardcore bands have given him a sensitivity to gig-goers needs; so expect a set of tight, fun, shimmering dream-pop numbers alongside all the angst and the art.


! T N E M E S I T R E V D A ! T N E M E S I T R E V D A ! T N E M E S I T R E V AD


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