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SONAR Issue 5


SONAR ISSUE 05 Editorial Hello and welcome to the final print issue of SONAR magazine for the (uni) year. It has been fantastic, we have received so many positives responses and a huge amount of contributions from you guys; it is so exciting to finally be seeing the talent that lurks under the surface at Solent University, there is so much of it that we can’t fit it all into the pages of SONAR, and thankfully ongoing exhibitions and the like around campus help to show off your work successfully too. For all of you who have contributed yourselves, recommended the mag to friends or just been a faithful, avid reader,THANK YOU. None of the past five issues would have been possible without you all, and for that we are eternally grateful. From September, SONAR magazine is becoming a fully fledged specialist society, and will no longer be run by the Students’ Union, just funded by it. For any of you who will still be studying here and are interested in contributing or being part of the editorial team, please swing by the SU for further information. Here’s to a bright future for all of you about to graduate, and good luck with the final slog of deadlines. Roll on Summer! Much love x

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Film Technology is Killing Stories Words // Dan Wheeler

From Strongman Sandrow to Avatar, the advancement of technology in film has had a profound impact on the way we as an audience have consumed film over the last 140 years. Roundhay Garden, for example, was shot in 1888 by Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince, using his personally invented single lens camera, and lasts nearly three seconds, capturing four frames in that time. The film was an experiment, pushing the boundaries of technology, and everyone could be introduced to this revolution for free. Avatar was shot in digital 3D in 2009, used a new motion capture technology, was filmed using cameras from one on the biggest electronics manufactures on the planet, had a running time of over 170 minutes, and consisted of nearly two and a half million frames. After nearly 15 years in development the film was seen as somewhat of an experiment, pushing the boundaries of technology, and the public had to pay up to £10 a ticket to be a part

of this revolution. The film grossed nearly £3,000,000,000 at the box office. Years from now, 360 degree holographic displays will push the boundaries of technology film technology again – and with it will come a new wave of video interaction. But Hollywood, and the filmmakers who work under the money making titan, are becoming so obsessed with pushing new technologies (3D, HD, CGI etc.) that they are forgetting what made films so engrossing in the first place – the story. Perhaps what is important to grasp is the notion that film in general is no longer a ‘new’ technology. Millions of films over the years have covered every genre from every angle – the most popular of which are still easily available today. Over this time every story has been told, every genre, every stereotype and nuance has either been featured or mentioned time and time again. Cinema is running out of completely original ideas


– think about how many remakes you’ve heard about over the last five years. Sequels? Prequels? Comic book adaptations? We’ve seen it all before. So how do they keep the audiences interest at a continual high? Technology. Keep pumping money into advancing technology so fast that it doesn’t really matter what the content of the film is. If we’re wowed by unrealistic explosions in The A-Team or the lifelike textures Tom Hank’s better-than-real-life digital face in The Polar Express – what does it matter that we know what the ending is going to be. What’s that? Sigouney Weaver’s getting too old to attract a target audience? Not a problem. Make her younger. Attractive women sell films - real or digital. And before you say anything - this isn’t sexist – think Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button (which, incidentally, is an idea stolen from a short story). Granted, special effects and

3D can sometimes enhance a story – but the material needs to be good enough in the first place. If we’re being honest with ourselves, Avatar is really just Ferngully, Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves. A tried and tested story, and yet it’s the highest grossing film ever made. Okay, so there are a handful of films still being made by independent filmmakers that challenge our perceptions and make us think differently, but they, sadly, are a dying breed. Technology is where the money is, and will always be. In 50 years from now, people will be paying money to see digital objects float around in free space. Seriously – youtube ‘dreamoc cola demo.’ It’s pretty amazing stuff, but will the story really matter at all in the future? Let’s just hope someone gets a grip on the situation before it’s too late.



Words // Zoe Whitfield Illustrations // Manda Wilks Tender Age by name, tenderly aged by nature, Toby Bull is the eighteen year old behind new Moshi Moshi offspring,Tender Age. In part a “music blog which will contain nothing but love letters to modern music - accompanied by the music to which these letters are sent”, TA is also a host of parties (primarily around Brighton, where it was born) and a record label, the first fruits from which are out now in the form of Beat Connection’s Silver Screen (a beaut early-Yeasayer tinged tune with a fly video to boot). At its core though, Tender Age is “an outlet for record enthusiasm,” something we could all do with, non? Sonar caught up with the guy who’s doing it to find out exactly how.

Sonar // So how did Tender Age initially come about? Toby Bull // I saw good music in London, Manchester and a couple of other places and decided I wanted that in my home town (Church Stretton, Shropshire). So I started putting on gigs locally - Grammatics, Rolo Tomassi, Sam Isaac, :(, Zombina & The Skeletones, King Blues. I did that for a year. I moved to Brighton to live with my brother when I was 16, around then I put on a band called Teeth. I had met Stephen Bass when I was 15 - I think - after I’d become close with a band he was dealing with. I ran into him a bit once I had moved down south and after a while he asked if I’d seen any good bands. We emailed a bit, then we emailed a lot, then he asked me if I’d be interested in starting a label. The rest has followed, really. S: Aside from yourself, who else is involved? TB: A woman called Ruth Clarke is doing product management, Rachel McWinney is on label management, I run the label. Stephen Bass & Michael McClatchey look over my shoulder, help when help is needed and fund the entire operation.

very similar and very different, different shades of a similar pencil or something. D/R/U/G/S is somewhere between Hippos in Tanks and Kompakt. Intelligent, swathing dance music at it’s peak and nauseating, psychedelic electronica in others. Beat Connection are disco-pop. A good few pills which hit that peak of vague melancholia and absolute euphoria. S: And who would you love to have on your books? TB: Talk Talk, f**king love Talk Talk. I mean, I also really like this band Solid Gold Dragons...they’re really good. Not Even - a sister label - are a lot cooler than us, all of their acts. S: What’re your thoughts on record labels today? TB: The majors are dying because they’ve been idiotic and rigid in the way they’ve dealt with money and piracy. Their inability to change in the appearance of digital media has cut out graves and built coffins for them. The independents are taking the place they belong, which is at the forefront of all forward thinking, thoughtful music.

S: Help? TB: They fund the whole thing. Stephen and Michael have unbelievable amount of experience so their existence there has been unspeakably helpful. Having someone in the know to turn to when you don’t know what to do in an endless help.

S: And before you head off, Toby, what have been your highlights thus far with Tender Age? TB: The whole thing. The sense of burgeoning weight, a growing roster, a family of bands, PR agents, booking agents, graphic designers...everything.

S: So who’s on Tender Age’s roster? Ta for that, Toby. TB: We’ve got just two for the moment D/R/UG/S & Beat Connection - but there are more in the works. They’re both aged



Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side of the World? Words & Images// Sabina Campbell

It had been a tremendous three years in which I had become accustomed to living in a close nit student community with my best friends at my doorstep, social activities frequently on the horizon and an equal amount of hangovers to show for it. Then as fast as it all began it all came to an unprecedented end. When my final year wrapped, I found myself entangled in the clutches of post-university despondency where for the first time in my life the comforting quilt of fulltime education had been ruthlessly pulled out from under my feet and beneath it, the ultimate inevitability of adult life evilly awaited. In what was probably an act of confusion, I armed myself with the customary backpack and passport then aptly said my goodbyes to England and hello to its younger but somewhat larger cousin, Australia.

For me the idea of Australia had never been hugely appealing but the comfort of not having to overcome a language barrier was a considerable advantage. In the past I had mostly associated Australia with; Mel Gibson, beer and blonde people with savage sunburns – and they wonder why they have high rates of skin cancer. My envisioning was somewhat conceivable, however what Australia lacks for in culture it certainly makes up for in natural splendor, which I discovered when embarking an expedition of the East Coast. My personal highlights include; sailing through the Whitsunday Island’s under blues skies whilst giant turtles swam obliviously around us, and later, diving along the Great Barrier Reef amid sharks roaming the depths.


The downfall of my tale comes from the deceptive portrayal of the Working Holiday Visa. Aimed at people from the ages of eighteen to thirty, the Visa is designed so you can travel whilst earning a wage, allegedly. However, after almost four months and still unable to gain even the most banal of jobs is a situation not to unfamiliar for many backpackers.

context that from tourism Australia harvested a massive $22.3 Billion towards it economy in 2008 alone, which is set to rise by the end of 2011. Furthermore, whilst the Dollar to Pound rate is in favour of the latter when you are expected to pay $50-60 on a week’s food shopping alone, you come to realize that your money is not going cover your expenses in the slightest.

With a mammoth amount of travel agencies suggesting the supposed straightforwardness of securing work, they neglect to inform you that competition is ripe and the likelihood of this is low. Their fundamental intention is of gaining as much of your hardly saved pennies as humanly possible whilst maintaining that it is your requirements that they are concern with. This becomes particularly apparent when you take into

But don’t get me wrong, the character asserting experience that comes with the package of traveling solo on a continent as vast as Australia is something immeasurable, however if you are ultimately destined to become a pawn in an unyielding economical web of money grabbing then I am sure that there are other places just as visual captivating.


This Page // Dress, £70, Nancy Dee Right // White top, £35, Bora Aksu for People Tree - Coat, £78, Ruby Rocks Millinery by Harvash


Photography // Matt Kerr Stylist // Emma Bigg Make Up Artist // Charlotte Bradbury Models // Bethan Cooper & Georgia Craze


Playsuit, £49, Ruby Rocks


Playsuit, ÂŁ85, Laura Ashley for People Tree


News Spreads Faster Than Any Tsunami Words // Chris Gill

March 12, 2011 my mother called me yesterday morning to inform me of the second natural disaster that has occurred already this year. Yet to have my caffeine fix, rubbing my eyes and wondering what time it was, I half listened to what she was telling me. “I just thought I would let you know before you hear all about it at work. If the wave reaches here it won’t be big enough to have an effect.” My family lives in Auckland, a city far away enough from Christchurch for them not to have been affected by the earthquake that took place in New Zealand last month. Not that this made the catastrophe any less tragic or devastating, but of course it was comforting to know that my loved ones were safe. As I squeezed honey into my morning oats and waited for the kettle to boil I scrolled through the news applications on my iPhone trying to decipher exactly what my mother had just told me. An earthquake in Japan that

had produced a tsunami. It sounded like yet another Hollywood blockbuster with an anachronistic plot. Most probably starring a bunch of washed out actors looking for some A-list resurrection. As I scrolled through the images and copy on my phone however, it began to dawn on me that this was no movie. I was starting to wish that it was. By the time I reached work I could already see the editorial team of New Civil Engineer glued to YouTube watching the unbelievable scenes of destruction. I logged into my own computer and began to watch the enormous wave of muddy water sweeping through cars and houses at the speed of a jumbo jet and felt my jaw drop. So far three people were thought to be dead and others missing. Before I knew it I was hit by a wave of phone calls, emails and other endless to-do’s, that all seemed so trivial in comparison to what was taking place elsewhere in the world. As soon as it got to lunchtime I found myself

16 compulsively checking into my favourite news sites to be updated with the latest from Japan.The death toll had reached a hundred, many were injured and even more missing as the world watched on in horror. The news began to properly sink in. Japan’s most powerful earthquake in centuries had struck triggering fires, deadly 10m waves and tsunami alerts across at least 20 countries including Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. No wonder the texts had started to flood in asking me in which part of New Zealand my parents live. Sadly, this was not the first time this had happened this year. As I wrote my last email of the day and left work at exactly half past five, I spotted the shocking pictures of the quake and tsunami spread over the front page of The Evening Standard. Once home I opened up my laptop and continued to follow the stories progress. The massive 8.9 magnitude quake had hit the north of the country 230 miles from Tokyo, forming a tsunami that swept a ship away carrying more than 100 people in it. By now over 300 people were thought to be dead and of course the ‘as of yet no known Brits’ sentence had started poking its ugly way into online articles (I find the nationality of death statistics to be irrelevant). When I woke up this morning I felt a pang of dismay at the words “death toll risen to more than 1,000” followed by “Tens of thousands missing”. Facebook status’ and Tweets were filled with commiserations and condolences towards all those affected in the tragedy that had taken place in Japan not only twenty four hours ago. As I reached the supermarket to do my weekly shop I was greeted immediately by every broadsheet and tabloid displaying the words ‘APOCALYPSE’ and ‘DESTRUCTION’ beside photographs of red flames and blue whirlpools. It would appear that I had

experienced this dreadful, heartbreaking event from its start to where it is now through all the many forms of media and communication that exist in our culture. Once again it proves how fortunate and privileged we are to live in an age and society where we are so connected to the rest of the world and can be kept so up-to-date with what is happening outside of our own tunnelled-vision. Of course, none of the sad adjectives I, or any other journalist, blogger or other human being writes can even begin to express how the world is feeling today. As a race, we have a peculiar way of blowing each other up and starting futile wars. Ultimately though, Mother Nature works in the most unpredictable and shocking ways that leave us both stunned and silent. So as fast as the countless articles that have been written on this disaster, or as fast as the new media that helps these stories travel, sometimes there are no words that can express the magnitude of an occurrence like this and its aftermath. Sometimes it is simply time to be silent and to give prayer. Thoughts and prayers to all those affected and yet to be affected by the Sendai earthquake and tsunami of 11/03/11. Chris Gill is a writer based in London who is currently working on his debut novel. To read more of his work visit:


Yellow Bear Exhibition Words // Laura J. Smith

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Yellow Bear Workshop, run by recent Solent illustration graduates, Henry Clark and Samuel Mills, is a company searching for up and coming young British Illustrators, Graphic Designers, Filmmakers, Animators and Photographers with the expressed desire of breaking into the creative scene in mainland Europe. We host and curate exhibitions in Europe. Their recent exhibition ‘L’Angleterre Envahit Liége’ (‘England invades Liége’) at the ‘YouArt’ gallery in Liége, Belgium is running from 3rd March3rd April 2011 and showcases work from British artists, many of whom are also Solent University graduates, from various disciplines of art. SONAR caught up with co-creator Henry Clark to hear more about their first exhibition:

“Sam and I left for Dover with Richard Stuart (another Solent illustration graduate) and all the artwork for the show on Sunday 27th February. Staying in Bruges on the way, we arrived Liege the following day to begin setting up the expo at the YouArt gallery. The opening night was set for 3rd March, and marking our first exhibition as Yellow Bear Workshop, was thankfully a big success. It was full of local artists and friends of the gallery and also anyone else who had taken an interest and decided to come along. Spirits were high and everybody seemed very enthusiastic and welcoming towards a group of British creatives exhibiting in their city. Good times were had by all…watch this space as there will be more ventures to come from the Yellow Bear Workshop in the near future!”




Exhibited work included the likes of both past and current Solent students; from photography (Stephanie Broom, Caitlin Reeve, Alex Golesworthy, Ola Bilski, Sophie Elliot), to illustration (Henry Clark, Samuel Mills, Simon Abbott, Richard Stuart) and Film and Animation (Robin Pailler, Jack Bevington). To keep up with all the latest goings on at Yellow Bear Workshop, visit:


1 - Photography by Caitlin Reeve 2 - Ilustration by Henry Clark 3 - Ilustration by Sam Mills




The Fighter is Mark Wahlberg’s baby.Training for the role for 5 years, this was set to be his greatest role to date. It was however his supporting costars Christian Bale and Melissa Leo who took home the performance awards. Based on a true story,The Fighter is a boxing movie set to follow the trend first laid out in the 70’s, but does this critically acclaimed drama live up to the likes of Rocky and Raging Bull? Micky Ward is a failed boxer living in the shadow of  half-brother  Dicky, ‘The Pride of Lowell’ whose earlier claim to fame had been a fight with Sugar Ray Leonard. Now addicted to drugs and a reckless mess, Dicky’s poor training is hindering Micky’s fighting career. Constantly  KO’d  by family  rows and emotional battles, Micky is an unlikely contender for the welterweight title. The Fighter is not a new story, an unlikely rise of an emotionally chipped boxer. We’ve seen it in Rocky, Raging Bull, Ali, Million Dollar Baby (the list goes on). It is the performances in these films however, which make them great, and The

Fighter is no exception. Wahlberg, known for his hard body but not so deep characters, has finally mastered both. Spending a lot of time with the man the character is based on, alongside years at the gym, this time consuming approach has paid off. It is the films supporting actor and actress however, who took the Oscars, Christian Bale faultlessly capturing the essence of a desperate drug addict struggling to keep a hold on his former glory and Melissa Leo embodying the demanding monstrous mother with visceral tenacity. Stylistically, the film homages and tributes so many scene from Raging Bull and Rocky, through framing lighting and editing, that one might be tempted to say it lacks individual flare. But none the less the films it is referencing are the best of the best, so achieving a similar quality is worth merit. All round,The Fighter is a worthy new addition to the boxing film club, it’s only set back is a lack of substantial originality to set it apart.



T I N I E TEMPAH W0RDS // LAURA J. SMITH After needing to find a new accompanying plus one at the last minute, I sadly missed support act Katy B doing her thing as she warmed up the stage for the man himself. However, when Mr Tempah bowled onto the stage, with a full band all in matching white outfits, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. Having just picked up two Brit awards the week before, he remained elated for the entire performance, soaking up his new-found success and chatting away to the crowd telling them to follow their dreams because if they work hard enough it will all eventually pay off. At the fledgling age of 22, Tinie Tempah is barely older than the majority of Southampton students who flocked to see him in all his energetic glory. Performing to a packed out Guildhall, Tinie bounced around, interacting enthusiastically with both his band members and the excitable audience spread out in front of him. Sitting in the balcony above

gave me a fantastic view of his whole stage setup (lacking in height usually hinders this for me) and he banged out tune after tune, including the likes of the ever-popular Frisky, Written in the Stars and of course the successful collaboration with Swedish House Mafia, Miami to Ibiza. A pleasing rendition of Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair was a personal highlight. We don’t know about Scunthorpe, but Tinie Tempah has most definitely been to Southampton.



CHASE AND STATUS W0RDS // JESS BISHOP Wednesday 9th March 2011, a night to be remembered for many Chase and Status fans in Southampton as they performed an amazing gig at Southampton Guildhall. Supporting acts Red Light and Yasmin warmed the crown up with their dubstep music, making everyone dance to the bass. As they left the stage empty, the crowd chanted and clapped to welcome Chase and Status. The lights were lowered and the smoke machines became active. The crowd went wild as they walked on stage for the first night of their new gig tour. The Guildhall was full to capacity with people synchronizing as they danced. Jumping as the band spoke to the crowd. Everyone throwing their bodies around on the dance floor, chucking their hands up in the air as the bass was pounding throughout the room. They played songs from their new album No More Idols as well as their old album More Than A Lot. Getting the crown jumping as they

performed Time from their new album with singer Delilah. No More Idols includes special guests such as Dizzee Rascal, Sub Focus, Ceelo Green, Plan B, and Tinnie Tempah. A most listened to album in the dubstep industry. They finished the evening off by performing Blind Faith, a song from their new album with special guest Liam Bailey. The crowd left ‘buzzing’ from such a remarkable evening, they later attended nightclub Audio for a live performance from dubstep artist Nero. Chase and Status made an appearance towards the end of the evening to continue entertaining the crowd.



The Australian Pink Floyd Show (TAPFS) will be the first artists who have used 3D Stereographic Visuals, there is no wonder why the band have sold-out several dates in there UK headlining tour, along with Southampton’s Guildhall on the 17th March. The band have been working with John Attard who is a visual effect pro, he has worked on films such as Gladiator, Harry Potter, Fight Club, Black Hawk Down and many more. Together they have created an amazing audience experience which is seen like never before, using 3D polarised glasses, like in a cinema. Stereo Images are sent to your eyes to produce a three-dimensional effect which allows you to see the whole thing in 3D. “I can tell by the smiles on peoples faces in the audience that they are enjoying it, trying to reach out and touch the images in empty space.” Attard has added his favourite piece which is from the song Eugene, “We had a giant head that pops onto the stage and acted as a catalyst for the whole piece.” With flying objects, high speed

3D explosions, lasers and lighting effects along with quadraphonic sounding the audience can really feel like they’re part of the action. TAPFS continue in making there sets as exciting for the fans as much a possible. “Go to the concert. Close your eyes, forget the lights and laser and the 3D and you’ll be transported to where you first heard Pink Floyd play.” Pink Floyd have always been a phenomenon in rock multimedia history and with TAPFS recreating Floyd in 3D it is going to be a whole new experience, not just for the fans but for the music industry too.TAPFS are the most musically perfect Pink Floyd band who have played the UK every year since 1993, in every major town and city focused on there fan reaction. The tour is expected to be very lively. Even if you’re not a huge fan I would highly recommend going to he experience for the 3D special effects and quadraphonic sound.




Adele has spent her life trying to push people out of the album charts to get her music to the top. Within the last few months she achieved her goal as she stunned us all with her beautiful new album 21. It has been in the charts for an astounding seven weeks so far and no doubt it will be in there for several weeks to come. She performed a magnificent show at the 2011 Brits Awards with a piano performance of Someone Like You, gaining a standing ovation applauding her outstanding talents. Adele herself even shed a few tears once she stopped singing, proud of her new album and the passion people have towards her. Someone Like You tells the story of coming to terms with the breakup from her long term musician boyfriend Slinky Sumbeam. Another favourite within the music industry, Rolling In the Deep is topping the chart show every week. Lyrics ‘The scars of your love remind me of us, you’re gonna wish you never had met me’ express her true feelings which creates such a whole-hearted album.

Her songs are related to one another, having the same meaning behind each song . They all include acoustic guitars, pianos, and a mixture of strings. A very easy album to listen to which becomes more and more addictive every time you listen. No doubt about it, you can’t go a day without hearing an Adele track on the radio. 2011 has only just started but we can see very positive things for Adele this year. We can’t wait to see what she has for us in the near future, with maybe many more albums to come. Fingers crossed.


BAFTA Video Game Awards Words // Dave Merritt

The Video game BAFTA’s are as prestigious as the film counterpart and last night’s affair was no exception with its fair share of shock winners and expected glory. The PS3 exclusive, and sheer brilliant, ‘Heavy Rain’ (SONY) was the biggest winner of the night, being the only title to take home multiple awards. Naturally, due to its cinematic and immersive experience, its greatest success was in picking up the award for best Story alongside gongs for Original Music and Technical Innovation. The only category to be voted for by the general public was the GAME Award of the Year 2011 which saw Call of Duty: Black Ops (Treyarch/ Activision) take home their only award of the night. The award everyone was after though of course, was for Best Game which was picked

up by the much anticipated sequel ‘Mass Effect 2’ (EA) which saw off shortlisted entries from Fifa 11, Xbox LIVE’s Limbo and Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed Brotherhood. The third title in the Assassins Creed saga didn’t walk away empty handed though, picking up the award for best Action. In recent years the video game industry has finally received the recognition it deserves in terms of artistic appreciation and commitment to the entertainment industry. Another PS3 exclusive, ‘God of War III’ won Artistic Achievement, whilst ‘Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was praised for its Use of Audio. The other main Technical categories were given to the already mentioned gritty ‘Heavy Rain’ The interesting winners of the night were those in the Handheld and Social Network Game categories. The handheld victor was none of the console based portables but the iPhone’s app


based game ‘Cut the Rope’. The social network dark horse was ‘My Empire’ who saw off bigger names such as ‘Bejeweled Blitz’ to claim the trophy. The 7th generation of consoles has seen an influx in orientating video games to a much larger audience than ever before. Family games are meant to encourage anyone and everyone to the world of video games and in the past few years have even embraced exercise, something that video games have been constantly been connected with decreasing levels of. This years Family category shortlist saw no less than four titles from the recently released, and record breaking, Microsoft Kinect. ‘Kinect Sports’ was the eventual prize winner, and quite deservedly so. The Nintendo Wii has started to show its age in recent months as the PS3 and Xbox 360 demonstrate their future-proof capabilities. The single Wii game winner was the consoles

premier mascot Mario in ‘Super Mario Galaxy 2’ being commended for best Gameplay. Black Ops was surprised not to collect their second of the night when they lost out on the award for best Multiplayer to EA’s revamped ‘Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit’. A controversial decision maybe as Black Ops still dominates the online charts months after its release. The final round up of winners was ‘F1 2010’ taking best Sports, ‘Civilization V’ walking away with best Strategy and finally ‘Twang’ being the game that was said to be the One to Watch. All-in-All it was another fantastic ceremony for gaming and as the industry grows and grows, 2011 promises big things and 2012's BAFTAs should be something special. We could even be looking at the possibility of new Consoles as well as great new games...


HELL RAIS E R S Words // Amy Lyon The life and inebriated times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole and Oliver Reed What do you get when you bring together four of the most notorious actors that have ever appeared on screen, famous not only for their acting abilities, but their undeniable talent when it came to downing copious amounts of alcohol? The answer is a group of infamous Hellraisers – a description perfectly fitting for the title of film journalist Robert Sellers’ witty account of both the personal and public lives of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole and Oliver Reed. Hellraisers attempts to document, at least as much as can be remembered, the origins of these four thespians and their rise to fame and invites readers to try to make some sort of sense out of their wild alcohol-fuelled antics along the way. Sellers’ presentation of the four men is often as humorous as what he is describing, although his writing is never judgemental. In fact there are hints of admiration and you get the idea that he would have loved to join them on a bender, although whether or not he could have kept up with them is another matter. The book details the actors’ bad behaviour, however, rather than leaving the reader appalled, as morally it should, it draws you in never quite

satisfying your desire for the absurd. Insane stunts ranged from ridiculous games invented by Reed, most famous for his role as Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist [1968], like ‘head butting’ which involved each player repeatedly smashing his head against his opponent until one collapsed or surrendered, to Burton (Brief Encounter [1974], Nineteen Eighty-Four [1984]) downing 21 tequilas before casually wandering down to nearby sharkinfested waters and jumping in. Sellers’ writing leaves the reader with a foolish admiration for the great actors, and despite their bad behaviour you can’t help but mourn the potential chaos they could have caused had they all still been active today. The book explains how all the actors enjoyed each other immensely whenever they did meet, with Burton and O’Toole being described as ‘booze soul mates’ because of their mutual relationship with the bottle. Outrageous jaunts also included Harris’ trip to Spain where, intoxicated by brandy despite having a low tolerance it, he jumped from a taxi, staggered his way through on-coming traffic on a main road, ran to the nearest house where he began attacking a solid oak door with his bare hands. Whilst able to withstand the effects of alcohol beyond the point of the average man, brandy brought out the Camelot [1967] star’s bad temper. Ironically the owner of the house came outside merely to sit and watch this strange spectacle unfold. By no means out done, O’Toole (Lawrence of Arabia [1962],What’s new Pussycat? [1965]) would often get drunk on his own home-made mead, resulting in him being arrested. Incarcerated once for the harassment of a building his excuse in court the next morning was ‘I felt like singing and began to woo an insurance building.’ It was his personality as well as his charm that allowed him to get away with murder whilst retaining his sense of humour. He never wore a watch or carried a wallet, and would never take his house keys with him stating ‘I just hope some bastard’s in,’ and often having to explain to the police why he was breaking into his own property. As well as sharing some of the greatest scandals the acting world has ever seen, Sellers also

provokes the reader to draw comparisons between the attitude in Hollywood then and the state that many young actors find themselves in today. If celebrities today drank and acted the way these four men did they’d be sent to rehab or put in jail. However, it seems there was a greater tolerance for alcoholism amongst stars 50 years ago, as though without it, fame could not be endured. For these men the large consumption of alcohol was simply routine, with Reed managing to knock back 126 pints in just 24 hours, a mere 12 minutes per pint.The men were the ultimate image of masculinity; chasing women, fighting and of course drinking to excess, they did what they wanted to do when they wanted to do it.They had no hidden agenda, they were simply having a good time. There are very few actors today who could pull the same stunts and get away with it whilst remaining charismatic. The reason being is that there are very few who actually have the talent to support this kind of behaviour. Having mostly been brought up in similar situations (all apart from Reed who in fact started life as a very privileged child), drinking was immediately recognised as part of workingclass culture. Alcoholism was passed down

from father to son, with Burton’s father and grandfather both victims of insobriety, drinking just seemed natural. However, there are perhaps some extreme accounts that could force even the most loyal fans to recoil in horror. For example, no one could have predicted the shock from doctors during an operation, when it was found that Burton’s spinal column was entirely coated with crystallised alcohol. Burton, however, was not fazed and viewed life with one mindset: ‘God put me on this Earth to raise sheer hell’ and he would continue to ensure he did not disappoint. When reading Sellers’ book, you can’t help but think why did no one make a concerted effort to try and stop them? If not to put an end to their insane behaviour but to try and prevent their deteriorating health and in all but O’Toole’s case, the fatal consequences. Whilst there were general pleas to try and cut down on their alcohol consumption the men were always inevitably tempted away from sobriety. Hellraisers is one of those glorious nostalgic trips back to when film stars were great at what they did and the attention they received (for the most part) echoed these sentiments quite deservedly. When these four men were at their peak, they were truly credits to their profession. Therefore, as Sellers himself demands of the reader, ‘Enjoy it. They bloody well did.’



OLD FIRM FARCE Words // Dan Brett

In the same fortnight that saw Wayne Rooney elbow an opponent in the face, and Ashley Cole shoot a work-experience boy with an air rifle, football once again plunged itself into controversy on Wednesday night. Celtic and Rangers took to the field in a fiery Scottish Cup clash, resulting in three red cards and a touch-line scrap between Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist. With these games notoriously aggravated affairs by nature anyway, little was needed to stoke the fire - enter, El-Hadji Diouf. With two players already sent off, Diouf received his marching orders after the full time whistle had blown, earning a second yellow card for dissent towards the referee. He then walked towards the Rangers fans’ segregation and threw his top into the crowd

in a further act of rebellion against officials and Bhoys fans. The winger joined Rangers in January on loan from Blackburn Rovers, and has already had his fair share of trouble with Celtic. He was subject to abuse from Scott Brown, who aimed a two-handed fist pump celebration towards Diouf, further highlighting that frustrations towards Diouf still haven’t gone away. Diouf is no stranger to altercations as far as Celtic fans’ are concerned, with the Senegalese international caught by TV cameras spitting at fans during a UEFA Cup Quarter-Final back in his Liverpool days. Wednesday night’s match gave me an decreased feeling of pride for the sport I’ve grown up with and known to love, especially considering some of the headlines made in recent weeks by supposed ‘top athletes of their time’.

“Assault in any case is a serious crime, so to have three separate acts of violence and aggravation televised in such short proximity can do no good for Britain’s footballing reputation” These people are role models, and supposed to be setting a good example to not just the next generations of athletes, but to children everywhere - something that seemingly has skipped their minds of late. That, and especially the Ashley Cole affair (and how many times have we heard those three words recently?). Taking an air rifle to a training complex is silly enough, firing it without checking if it was loaded is beyond crazy - but for no action to be taken because it’s based on private property further highlights the class divide between footballers and the rest of the country. If you or I were to shoot someone with an air rifle, we’d have charges slapped on us left, right and centre with little we could do about it - but as soon as you sign for a Premier League club, apparently you’re above and beyond the law and can even go and deliberately elbow a fellow professional in the jaw if you feel like it.

Assault in any case is a serious crime, so to have three separate acts of violence and aggravation televised in such short proximity can do no good for Britain’s footballing reputation, and these events just highlight to me just how right FIFA were to not award us the World Cup. Of course, this is just my opinion, but to host such a major tournament in a place where even the players can’t behave themselves could further make a mockery of our country, adding to an alreadyestablished history of football hooliganism and thug culture.



SEEING RED Words // Craig Thomas

The back end of 2010 was quite an impressive year for Cardinals, coming in to the Southampton scene from essentially the midst of nowhere, they finished the year with several gigs and have began 2011 in much the same style, featuring prominently in many line-ups. Craig Thomas speaks to them about their experiences thus far. So obviously, every band has to start somewhere… How did Cardinals come to be? James: Me and Nath started the band originally wanting to make some music in the vein of Brand New and Minus The Bear. It took a while to get going but we eventually managed to recruit Patt and Neil who got involved through an advert at uni. Last year was a pretty big year for you guys playing several good shows, how was that?

James: Last year was huge, as we finally got to show everyone the music we'd been working on. Playing our first ever show at Solent SU was just crazy; people singing back the words and a really big turnout. It started the band off in a better way than we could ever have imagined. Since then it has been great supporting some of our favourite artists including &U&I and Hold Your Horse Is. Not forgetting making friends with a load of local acts, the local scene is fantastic here and we're glad to be a part of it. March 24th sees the release of your debut 4 track self-titled EP, what were your influences for it? Patt: Lyrically, I have had a lot of influences for this EP, including literature and observations of day-to-day life. Musically, I just wanted to create a Cardinals sound which I think we achieved, with influences from Bloc Party to Brand new...and the like. It's pretty dark sounding, but personally I'm not a fan of ‘happy’ music, and I find 'dark' subjects interesting.


Neil: My influences were mostly American Alternative/Emo bands like The Appleseed Cast/American Football, and post rock stuff like This Will Destroy You.

gently and gradually with Patrick’s lower toned vocals contrasting the pitch of the guitar riffs. The song speaks of sophistication Pat’s dark sound is ever present throughout.

As for the EP itself:

2415, the final song on the album begins with a Kings of Leon style riff, which leaves you grasping on in wait for the drums to kick in. The song settles after a long intro but quickly regains its euphoric sound as the drummer’s cymbals provide quite a backdrop for the other instruments. The only lyrics in the song come in towards the end in the form of group singing, leaving the track with impressive and haunting effect.

You can begin to see and feel the influence from bands such as Minus the Bear and possibly Bloc Party with Numbers; the first song on the album. The song has an up-tempo beat with energetic guitar riffs combined with punchy drums. The increasing drumbeat combined with lyrics such as “falling, not forgotten, falling” really stands out as the focal point to the song. Salamander is the second song from Cardinals debut EP and sees front man Patrick begin on his acoustic guitar, which really gives the feeling of a love story told from third person. Beginning with the good and ending with the bad, the music matches the mood of the song with a more aggressive full sound coming in towards the end. Human Traces possesses a more gloomy tone in contrast to the other songs. The song builds

Following on from last years success, 2011 looks like it could be a good year for Cardinals, so long as they can find the time to balance the band with their uni work. Who knows what we will see from them next?


Berlin Film Festival Words & Photography // Robin Pailler

Now in its 61st year, the Berlinale Film Festival has established itself as a driving outlet for the vast artistic approach of worldwide, somewhat independent filmmaking overshadowed in the more mainstream festivals. Whilst lacking the glamour and coverage of those such as Cannes and Sundance, there is something about Berlin’s calm, collected and realist approach to film that cuts out the squared convoy of stardom, fame and commercialism we are so accustomed to in contemporary cinema. Having been the previous two years my hopes of discovering hidden gems were high. After all, this was the festival that introduced me to premieres of documentaries such as Soul Power (2009) and Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010), as well as raw emotional rollercoasters such as London River (2009)

and most notably, Antonio Campos’ Afterschool (2008). This year, the Coen Brothers’ Oscar nominated True Grit (2010) opened the Festival, although released nationwide the following day, it seemed an easy route in and the standard Coen charm amongst strong performances ensured our participation in the closing applause, even if it still had nothing on Fargo (1996). Chinese thriller The Stool Pigeon tells the story of highly regarded police detective, Don Lee and recent released convict Ghost Jr., who is forced to delve undercover within a notorious bank heist gang as an informant for Lee in order to help him convict the gang, whilst earning the money needed to pay for his sister’s freedom from prostitution. Although at times, feeling like a poor man’s cross between Infernal Affairs

and a Need For Speed: Undercover game, director Dante Lam does an impressive job in bringing depth to multiple characters whilst maintaining a strong (sometimes over-complex) narrative with great tension, impressive set-pieces, and a scene involving machetes that would have Robert Rodriguez squinting. Although not a fan of 3D, I reluctantly purchased a ticket to British director Gareth Maxwell Robert’s adult 3D thriller The Mortician (2011). Sadly the film started forty minutes late and although I was begrudgingly impressed with the depth of field used within the 3D element, an hour of watching Method Man slug about as some timid loner mortician amongst a backdrop of gang culture clichés with nods

“It’s safe to say that 96 minutes of The Seventh Seal (1957) firmly restored my faith in not only cinema, but Berlinale itself.” to notions of film noir, I left the theatre. The only time I have walked out of a film... ever. It wasn’t just the film that led me to commit this cinematic crime but the fact I had to catch another screening, one I knew I couldn’t afford to miss. It’s safe to say that 96 minutes of The Seventh Seal (1957) firmly restored my faith in not only cinema, but Berlinale itself. Victoria Mahoney’s directorial debut Yelling to the Sky, tells the story of a teenage girl struggling for self-identity amongst a desolate suburban landscape. Filled with gang culture, discrimination, drug addiction

and abusive, broken families, the film echoes the likes of Fish Tank, Precious and Thirteen. Sadly the film’s strong opening act never fully delves into the depths of teenage anxiety as successfully as the aforementioned comparisions.Although not wholly original,Yelling to the Sky produces some wonderful displays of acting, including lead character Sweetness (played by Lenny Kravitz’ daughter Zoe Kravitz) as well as lead ‘The Roots’ vocalist Tariq Trotter (aka Black Thought). Mahoney’s subtlety behind the camera and her stylistic use of editing, mise-en-scene and sound suggests a bright future for the former actress. Berlinale always seems to save the best till last and I was fortunate to spend my final evening at the European premiere of John Michael McDonaugh’s upcoming film The Guard. Anyone familiar with McDonaugh’s themes of culture class comedy (he previously made In Bruges) will appreciate the sheer delight he has in offending every stereotype going. As always McDonaugh’s razor-sharp script pokes fun at every topic possible, from religion to race to prostitution. 90 minutes breezed by; in all honesty I missed half the jokes from the sheer volume of laughter, although the Germans DO laugh at everything. Director and cast mingled with spectators postscreening and I managed to speak with Mark Strong himself, where I asked him his thoughts on the recent cuts to the UK Film Council, in which a “bloody government” response, was refreshingly human. And that’s why I like Berlinale, everyone seems equal, for all the flashes of press and glamourised sponsors lurking in the background, there’s an honesty and warmth to embrace film as art; to be shared and discussed; not just as a vehicle for celebrity and meaningless consumption.



The Rebel Dread Words // Emily-May Ford “You can have it all but you mustn’t be greedy,” says Don Letts, the original Punk Rock DJ at the Roxy, Grammy Award-winning filmmaker and founder of Big Audio Dynamite. Here is a man who proves you can do anything if you want it bad enough.

Sonar : Who is the most inspiring person you’ve ever worked with?

S : Are you working on any current projects?

Don : It has to be Joe Strummer, of the Clash.

I’m currently working on an animation stopmotion video for Dr Martens. I’ve never worked with animation before so it’s been a really good experience to be involved in. It involves a rebel dread Rastafarian running around.

S : Do you think the music world is missing a ‘Joe Strummer’ figure? I have to say musically it does, but we have to remember the way Joe has been mythologised is not a good thing. It’s important that we keep people like Joe real because then it remains something that others can aspire to. This is why the StrummerVille charity that I’m involved in is such a good way of discovering new bands and solo performers that we can offer the chance to record, rehearse and play live. There’s going to be a StrummerVille session at Soul Cellar soon as well. (Keep an eye out).

S : Is there anyone you’d like the opportunity to film? That’s a hard question... Maybe Damien Hirst; he’s such an interesting character. S : What was the last record you bought? Because of my show ‘Culture Clash Radio’ (Radio 1), I don’t have to buy that many,

instead I get them given to me. I remember laying out some dollars for one last year in Australia by ‘Hot 8 Brass Band’. Luckily I get given a lot of stuff; I say luckily, that’s not true, it’s a fucking pain in the arse. Being a DJ, I feel obliged to listen to what gets sent. I can’t just look at a sleeve and throw it in the bin because no matter what I think of the music it’s someone’s hopes and dreams so it deserves a chance. S : What was the first record you ever bought? ‘Penny Lane’ by The Beatles as a single, and Marvin Gaye ‘What’s Going On’ as an album. I didn’t have to buy reggae as a kid because it was just at home and part of my life. S : Do you think reggae has influenced music today? It’s morphed into all these other things, like if you listen to some of Lily Allen’s latest album; there are reggae rhythms and Ska beats. The sonic ideas that come out of reggae are part of the fabric of modern pop music. Rap comes out of reggae, the whole emphasis of drum ’n’ bass comes from reggae, the whole dub mentality comes from reggae and you can find all those aspects in regular pop music. S : What reggae songs did you play to The Clash for example? People always make a big thing out of me playing at the Roxy and that I started the ‘Punky, Reggae Party’ but the truth of the matter is that people like Strummer, Paul Simon and [John] Lydon, were kind of into reggae already, and the people that I tuned into reggae fans were white kids who didn’t

live next door to black people back in the 70s. There were a lot of people who weren’t familiar with black culture, and they’re the ones that I really turned on to reggae music. It was a beautiful thing man. We kind of got closer by understanding our differences, and not trying to be the same. S : You’ve practically done everything most people dream of. How did you get into all of this? I decided on a life of rock and roll through my love of music. I remember constantly being involved [in the scene] as a teenager and thinking, you know what, fuck this school bollocks, I don’t believe in it. I have never regretted that moment of rebellion, having said that I’m in no way of encouraging young people to fuck up their education. Trust me, you need that shit these days, you’re better tooled up. So don’t copy me. S : Where can we expect to see you this summer? I normally play at Glastonbury, The Big Chill and Bestival. Hopefully see you there!


Sonar // Issue 5  

Issue 5 of Southampton Solents magazine Sonar