Issuu on Google+

indigo 22.02.2011

The Vaccines on their road to the NME Tour and beyond


indigo You can tell how middle class a uni is by its sandwich population. YUM, the University’s food supplier, takes the proverbial biscuit for its market awareness in this respect, advertising rocket and houmous sandwiches with chargrilled vegetables in multigrain bread. I’m spending a fortune on sandwiches at the library currently, and while I enjoy some feta and olives as much as the next person, £3 a day on a sandwich which fills me up for less than 3 hours (the pound to hour ratio is not looking so good), shows that this type of expenditue clearly isn’t sustainable. I have resolved, therefore to embrace my inner frugal being. I intend to make quantities of french onion

soup, cheddar sandwiches and pasta salads to accompany me on my library excursions; no longer will I succumb to YUM’s tyranny of mature cheddar and locally sourced chutney offerings! I will sit smugly with my thermos of soup, watching the mugs around me drop a fiver on a sandwich and a coffee... The question is, can I apply this new found frugality to the rest of my life? Can I bring myself to switch from Tropicana to own-brand orange? Can I drink instant, not cafetiere coffee? Can I renounce Kingsmill 50/50 with free range eggs in the morning. I just don’t know if I’m there yet...watch this space... M.C

Across

French (7)

1 Average male has an insult for model (8)

25 For support outside, golf begins with the underling (7)

5 Seize stoned sailor on the radio (6) 10 Reprint, reprint! The gallery’s returned with headless big cats and meanings! (15) 11 Quality of the star sign is back to front in church (7) 12 The dividing line, note, is with respect to the hill (7) 13 Hungry for a party with no university sorts at first (8) 15 Banish former footballer, having rejected English (5) 18 Concerning little men in long grass (5) 20 In a moped, I greet the parentage (8) 23 Misrepresents showoff, shown up by the

26 Speech on cooperation in tree has no time to be mangled (6,2,1,2,4) 27 A number back in New York includes alien (6) 28 Very softly, a priest consumed by meditative calm produces warship (8) Down

7 Article on distance is happening (5) 8 Birds drunkenly streak (having lost key) on the Spanish Steps at last (8) 9 Worried about courses (8) 14 Against work that is behaving pretentiously (8) 16 King has lunch, perhaps, bit by bit (9) 17 Terrify the tories in the bog (8) 19 Answer books can become liquidised (7)

1 The Claw moves right up to an artist who’s 21 Mature set consume since been called some- wine and nibbles for thing different (6) starters (5-2) 2 Get back at e-Retail by mistake (9) 22 On the day, teacher’s heard to give speech (6) 3 Depriving this city if a bad actor, it is well24 River-man’s at home equipped and sturdy (7) here? (5) 4 Devour Cheddar (5) 6 In the beginning, it’s cheeky to burst in (7)

25 Prepare for the best (5) Clues by Ned French

Reviews

Indigo Editor: Madeleine Cuff | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Seen a film or been to a gig, read a book or heard an album you want to rant or rave about? Have your say... email your short reviews to indigo@palatinate.org.uk

MUSIC

STAGE No Exit byJohn-Paul Satre Hole in the Wall Theatre Co. Van Mildert College

James Blake James Blake R & S Records

««««« Gemma Copsey

Larry Bartleet

Sartre’s No Exit is an exploration of psychological hell, revealed early on through the valet’s disarmingly self-assured introduction. Although Jacob Cherry as Garcin perhaps lacked the conviction of his co-performers, his interaction with the others provided an interesting interpretation of the power balance between the characters. Inés, on the other hand, was played by Catherine Ellis without fault. Her relentless predation of Estelle (Trina Moseley), both psychologically and physically, was genuinely chair-grippingly terrifying and could not have been more brilliant in provoking the airless, suffocating claustrophobia of Sartre’s drama. Equally, Moseley’s depiction of Estelle’s socialite insincerity was both charming and unsettling; a perfect dichotomy for a character so intertwined in her own lies. The performance was both provocative and powerful, just as Sartre intended.

«««««

FILM & TV Big Fat Gypsy Weddings Channel 4 Tuesdays, 9pm ««««« Madeleine Cuff

James Blake is the talented producer‘s and DJ turned singer’s self-titled debut album. The 23 year old meets several genres halfway, mixing soul, electro, dubstep and avant-garde. Standout tracks include the sample collage of Unluck, and the dizzying, syncopated soundscape of I Mind. With its deafening silences and Blake’s croaky croon, the album as a whole can become stifling and introspective, but without doubt an experimental and fascinating new sound has arrived on the postdubstep scene.

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings has had to wait until its third season to become a cult phenomenon, but what a phenomenon it has become. Suddenly, discussions on gypsy culture has become a de-rigueur topic of conversation for walks to lectures, evenings in the pub and nights in around the telly. This secretive community was shrouded in mystery until the surprisingly non-judgemental documentary from Channel 4 infiltrated the heart of the Gypsy community. It’s clear that tensions between ‘countryfolk’ (you and me) and travellers still run high however, with the camera crew being Under Cover of Darkness threatened with a beating unless they left, in the latest episode. The Strokes Discrimination against travellers Rough Trade (single review) hadn’t really entered my consciousness ««««« before watching this programme. If Larry Bartleet someone told me they were a traveller, my reaction would be “and?” But clearSince we last heard from The ly this view is not shared by everyone, Strokes, the thumping bass of dubstep and BFGW exposes a British society came overground, everyone inexplica- that refuses hotel rooms, cancels wedbly fell in love with banjos, and Kings dings and verbally abuses our travelling of Leon did their upmost to put people population. off guitar bands for all eternity. Clearly, some of the travellers’ values Under Cover Of Darkness is an outdo not marry with that of the settled and-out blast. Nick Valensi’s vivacious community. Attitudes to women and guitar work is nothing less than terrific, violence are particular striking points, chugging alongside the distinctively not to mention their defensiveness and tight rhythm section with careless isolation from most of the public. But abandon. This is it...the sound of a band this series also shows the human side of rejuvenated. their culture, and if it works for them, who are we to judge?

THE BIG PALATINATE SURVEY 2011... HAVE YOU DONE IT YET?

WANT TO WRITE FOR US?

**Closes 24th February, don’t miss it!** Questions on everything from your career aspirations and political beliefs, to drinking habits and social lives. 100% ANONYMOUS

Go to www.palatinate.org.uk for the perfect procrastination tool

Email section editors to find out more. No experience necessary


Interview by: Nico Franks | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

The Cover Story

The Vaccines: good for your health? years to reinvent. Or recycle, depending on your viewpoint. When I meet the band in their suspicious-smelling tour bus, they seem giddy but also pensive. Freddie has his arms folded defensively and more than once turns my questions back onto me. On top of this, the dim Newcastle sun is our only light source in the stationary tour bus. In near-darkness I ask, what should we expect from the Vaccines? “In what respects?” Freddie answers back quickly. Expectations are there to be proven right or wrong. Do they feel any pressure? “[The hype] is something that we’ve had to grow accustomed to. It’s a double edged sword in some respects, but we don’t really pay attention to it”, says Pete confidently. Indeed. The band has a self-imposed ban on Googling themselves, in order to counteract the buzz. “Reading articles is unhealthy, it can only serve to do you wrong, so we just try and stay away from them,” explains Freddie. Many remain unconvinced that the four-piece really are the band that we’ve apparently been waiting for. Do the band feel that there’s already been a backlash? “Do you think there’s already a backlash?” says Freddie, in combat mode.

The Vaccines live on stage at the NME Awards Tour in Newcastle

DAN JEFFRIES

T

he story of The Vaccines goes like this: the lead singer fails as a folk-rock artist (Justin Young used to be Jay Jay Pistolet) and recruits friends to make snappy indie-rock ditties. The said band rehearses, rehearses and rehearses for a few months, uploads a demo called If You Wanna to the internet, and the record company Bigwigs proclaim them to be officially THE band of 2011. But the London four piece are adamant it hasn’t been as easy a ride as their story suggests. “There are literally no shortcuts in this industry”, asserts drummer Pete Robinson, who talks like a member of the gentry but dresses like a vagrant. Unless you’re The Vaccines and it takes 6 months to make it, I say. “But the Vaccines aren’t the product of 6 months work. We’ve each been in a lot of different bands. For a third of my life I’ve had constant disappointment with it, which has made me very wary of the music industry”, says guitarist Freddie Cowan, who sports a fetching perm. The Vaccines are in the unenviable position of being expected to ‘save British guitar music’ in 2011. What exactly

guitar music needs saving from isn’t clear. Maybe the genre’s own predictable unoriginality? The problem with a lot of contemporary bands is that they don’t just wear their influences on their sleeves, but tattoo them on their forehead for all to see. The Vaccines are no different; in equal parts the Ramones and the Jesus and Mary Chain, the band haven’t reinvented the rock ‘n’ roll wheel by any stretch of the imagination. But ever since the Beatles aped Little Richard in the Cavern, rock bands have always tended to look to the past for inspiration. What has changed, however, is the fashionability of guitar acts. This comes in cycles and, after the flurry of garagerock bands in the early noughties, there’s been a lull in enthusiasm for the scene in the past few years. The line-up of the NME Awards Tour reflects this shift. The other three bands on the line up either do away with guitars completely (Magnetic Man), mask them in a haze of electro pop (Everything Everything) or suffocate them with abrasive synths (Crystal Castles). For better or worse, the comeback is on and The Vaccines signal a resurgence of sorts for skinny white boys in bands, armed with Rickenbacker’s and a wealth of pop music from the past 50

DAN JEFFRIES

Nico Franks

“Oh no! This is why we don’t read articles!” laughs Pete, in mock panic. Freddie turns philosophical: “I think for every person that hears your band and likes it, there are always two people who won’t like it. There’s bound to be a backlash- but there’s nothing we can do about it”. Pete chimes in, the more optimistic of the two. “It’s amazing for us to be able to play in front of 2000 people on this tour, and most of them seem to be really enjoying it.” That’s certainly true; the kids at the front at the NME show were having the time of their lives. Try telling them The Vaccines are just another band of rock ‘n’ roll fakers, who could be forgotten by the time next years ‘Big In 2012’ lists come through. The Vaccines are a very middle-class band. Intensely polite, there have been claims that they’re ‘too posh too rock’. Pete makes a quick exit, avoiding the prickly subject and leaving Freddie to fight their corner. “We’re not what people think we are. I think class is highly irrelevant. If someone wakes up and they want to be a musician, if they want it enough they’ll make it happen. Where you’re from doesn’t make it any easier or any more difficult.” What about the accusations that they’re excessively derivative? “We’re

influenced by so many people that I think it’s kind of…not lazy if journalists say that kind of thing… but I don’t think we sound a lot of the bands we get compared to at all,” argues Freddie. Finally, I pose the million-dollar question. The three other acts on the tour- cliff, marry, shag? “What’s cliffing?” asks Freddie, innocently. “You kill them”. “I’m not answering that. You look quite scary in the dark now…”. To calm their fears I assure them it’s not meant to be taken quite so literally. “I’m sure they won’t take it to heart”, I say. “They definitely would. We’ll stay away from that question.” So we’ll have to answer that question ourselves. Will our relationship with The Vaccines be a happy, long-lasting marriage? A brief onenight-stand? Or will The Vaccines end up getting cliffed? The latter seems unlikely, as there’s an air of inevitability, albeit one that’s media influenced, surrouding The Vaccines, where it appears the only way is up, not down.

‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ is released on March 14th.


Features Editor: Alison Moulds | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Features FLICKR ID: KIDMISSILE

Going the distance G

Postcards from France Oh, and don’t even talk to me about bakeries. You know when you just want a pack of chewy cookies? Not a Picture the scene: it’s coming to the chance mate. Oh no, you have to settle end of a night out, you’ve had a great these stupid pretentious beautiful time, maybe one too many Quaddies, for cakes that are actual works of art. but a great time nonetheless. You need little Even in the supermarkets they are all something to top it off; you’re not sure wonderfully and have stupid what. Then someone says it. “Shall we names like ‘lecrafted Parisien’ and ‘l’opéra’ go to Patrick’s/Bimby’s/Stanton’s?” and I genuinely want to buy some just And you feel genuine joy because that to smash them up and say “NOT SO is what will make this night perfect; a PRETTY NOW ARE YA?!” But that nice pile of chips to hit the spot. might be taking things too far… Now picture being in France, where And oh my God they are actually they haven’t grasped the concept of obsessed with bread. It’s not even a the greasy post-lash feeding frenzy. joke. It’ s no stereotype. No matter Nowhere is open. You have to just… where you go you’ll see a baguette go…without…? I know, unthinkable poking out of a under an right?! And I’m in Montpellier, a really arm, peeping atrucksack, you from a shopping studenty city, what the hell is the deal?! bag. And it’s always baguettes, never And yes, it may well be a good old just normal bread. I don’t know if it’s stereotype but oh my God do I miss something about the phallic shape English chip shops. makes them so popular or what, I’ve had friends visit who’ve literally that but for some reason I’m getting really looked at me with disgust when I annoyed with seeing baguettes literally tell them, “Erm, they don’t really do everywhere. (That’s not me coming cheesy chips out here”. And don’t even out by the way). mention chips and gravy. When I tried And cheese. So. Much. Cheese. to explain the idea to a few Frenchies They have massive aisles in every one just laughed outright. Another just supermarket, there’s always a cheese stared at me puzzled for a bit, the cogs course, every region has its speciality. furiously ticking as he tried to piece I’m not a big fan of the stuff so when I together this idea of chips doused in was invited (and therefore obliged) to a liquid they don’t understand. They go to dinner at one of my colleagues’ just don’t do gravy. Meaning they don’t I had to force myself to eat it. “Why do Sunday roasts. I know what you’re you just say you’re not a fan?” I thinking, how the hell is she living out didn’t hear you say. Not possible. Seriously, there?! I don’t know how I’m doing it it would have been taken as a genuine to be honest. insult to their cooking, their culture, I mean, there is an ‘English corner their pride, so for these reasons I had to shop’, but no way am I paying €7 for choke down bloody brie, camembert a tin of hot chocolate just because it’s and stilton. Cadbury’s. Ahh Cadbury’s. You will Ok I know I’ve painted a really bad never be beaten. If you’re anywhere picture of the food out here, so I feel I near a shop as you read this go and get need a cursory nod to the brilliance of a Dairy Milk, right now, and enjoy it; cuisine. Ahh f*ck it, who am I it’s so much better than the limited cr*p French kidding, vive British food, you might we get out here. not be as well-crafted, but France is Alex Mansell

One of the weirdest things about being at university and in a long-distance relationship is being out of touch with the Boy’s people, who, after all this time, have become a second family to me. I entertain no Brady Bunch delusions here: we have the usual power struggles and periods where we don’t see eye-toeye, but “absence” really does, as they say, “make the heart grow fonder, and other peoples’ parents less annoying”. My relationship has always been something of a Family Affair; I met the Boy through his older brother, T, who was going out with my sister, L at the time. I am aware of a) how incestuous this sounds and b) what a knot this might have created in our family tree. But, T was away at university while our relationships overlapped, so it didn’t make too much difference, until (drum roll) T slept with my sister’s friend. After that, I vowed never to be more than civil to him again, and thus far, I am doing well. T (the betrayer) has recently taken up with Charles, a girl (who I have assigned an unkind nickname) with an engineering degree, strong opinions on soldered versus push-fit joins and a dazzling array of fleeces. Not that there’s anything wrong with a nice fleece, for outdoor pursuits, sure, but Christmas at the Boy’s Uncle’s? Lunch with Mr and Mrs Boy? I ask you dear, and no doubt stylish reader, are these

at every opportunity, or order people out of their beds like some sort of officer of the secret police though. Moving on from Charles, there are also Mr and Mrs Boy. Mr Boy is a classic Dad character; he has a passion for logistics and solving practical problems, usually with the aid of a spreadsheet. He does Dad dancing, stamped the touchline at Sunday football matches every weekend for fifteen years and tinkers around constantly with computers causing, I suspect, more problems than he fixes. His helpfulness sometimes translates as interfering; he likes, for example, to highlight areas where my driving can be improved, and where the Boy and I should go, how we can get there on the cheap and most importantly how to beat the traffic. Mr Boy is the complete opposite of my Dad, who, at his annual Christmas gathering could not remember the Boy’s name, and told his newest wife that I was studying at Bradford University. Luckily, my Mum is more attentive, though she too could be accused of being quite heavily involved. When I went to University, for example, I found a bag of babies and held my tongue when the condoms, of every variety, packed by Boys laid a hideous hall carpet. her in the interest of safe sex. There are But, despite my long, largely unreso many that we’d have had to have sex warded years of dedication, on one of six times a day until one of us died to her first visits, I rolled up to the Boy’s use them all. house on Friday night with my overBut, it comes as quite a shock to me, night bag, as usual, to be told smugly considering how much I moan about by T that the Boy and I would have to them all, how much I miss the Boy’s be in sleeping bags in the living room family while I am away. It struck me because he and Charles were sleeping as I was on a bus that was stuck in, enin our bed. Apparently Charles doesn’t tirely predictable, rush-hour traffic, that like sleeping bags, which is odd, if Mr Boy worked for Arriva, things considering her penchant for outdoor might run more smoothly. And with adventure clothing; I thought a spot of the absence of old people from general mock camping might be right up her University life, I quite miss the Boy’s street. Gran, telling me that I have ‘childbearOther than this, Charles is one of ing hips’ (I am still unsure of whether those dull girls who spends all her time this is a compliment...) It even, I am whispering to T about people and plac- ashamed to admit, gets to the stage, es and jokes that no-one else is party to, near to the end of term, where I would as though she is too timid and fragile to even be quite glad to see my softlytalk to the room at large. Not too timid spoken, fleece-wearing nemesis... and fragile to smugly mock my degree FLICKR ID: DAVE TRAYNOR

fleece appropriate occasions? No. They are not. The Boy says no-one T liked would oing the Distance is a series ever meet my approval, or negate the of articles about the trials fact that he is a big, fat cheater. But, in and tribulations, temptaactual fact, Charles is trying to destroy tions and triumphs, of university me, and usurp my position within the long-distance relationships in gener- household by brown-nosing Mr and al, and mine in particular. I am in my Mrs Boy and trying to undermine me second year of study at Durham; my at every turn. boyfriend (‘the Boy’) is in his third For all her crawling, she has not yet year at the other end of the country. earned her place in the family as I have. We’ve been together for five years I’ve been on interminable shopping and doing the ‘long-distance thing’ trips with ‘Gran’; I have drunk wine for two of them. This has given and gossiped and doled out style rise to an interesting, challenging, advice to Mrs Boy; I have fed cousins’ miserable and funny period of our relationship and lives, which I have taken to chronicling for posterity. Erin Garrett


Features Editor: Alison Moulds | www.palatinate.org.uk

Features

Love Durham, Hate Homophobia - Q Week ‘11 A week of pride in Durham: our LGBTa Campaigns Officer, Katie Reynolds, on why Q Week is for everyone

E

grounds of sexual orientation, as well as the only recent addition of sexual orientation into the equality policies of many employers. It seems that the government may have overlooked dealing with homophobic bullying in the past in favour of tackling problems which seemed, at the time, to be more important such as race, religion and gender divides. Perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky that we do live in a society which is largely accepting of whatever lifestyle we choose to lead, but things haven’t always been this way and this is why LGBT history month aims to raise awareness of the past events that have shaped the way society is today. In many parts of the world homosexual activity is still illegal, resulting in persecution and the death sentence for anyone caught engaging in homosexQUIN MURRAY

very year, the University’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans association organise an awareness week called Q week. This year it’s running from the 28th February to the 6th March and in that short time we’ve been able to pack in more events than ever before. Although it is true that LGBT students are in the minority, that minority is not as small as you might think. As many as one in ten young people identify as LGBT or are questioning their sexuality. If you think you don’t know anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans then think again, LGBT people are everywhere and there are still so many who choose to keep their identity a secret. We all make assumptions about people when we meet them, including assumptions about a person’s sexuality. The woman with the red hair who served you your mocha yesterday, the weatherman on BBC1 this morning or the elderly lady you helped across the street last week. Any or all of these people could be gay. Most of us will have been taught by at least one LGBT teacher at school, but I bet you weren’t told that at the time. The February of each year is dedicated to LGBT history month. It aims to celebrate the lives, achievements and diversity of the LGBT community as a whole. It has been celebrated in the US since 1994 and the UK since 2005 and was created following on from the example set by Black history month, which was first celebrated in the UK in the October of 1987. This mirrors other developments such as the prohibition of inciting racial hatred, which has been a crime for much longer than incitement to hatred on the

ual acts, so in some ways there is still a long way to go before true equality is achieved. LGBT history month is not organised centrally, instead events are organised by individual groups throughout the UK. It is important to understand that change isn’t going to be handed to us on a plate. LGBT people have worked hard over the years to promote tolerance and diversity. I recently found out that the University’s LGBT staff network was only formed when a current member of staff wondered why it didn’t already exist. The idea was met with great enthusiasm and support, but it took that one person to step forward and make it happen. Silence about sexuality breeds a fear of the unknown. Homophobia and ignorance can only be eradicated if we promote tolerance and acceptance, if discussion is encouraged and positive images of homosexuality are presented. You cannot tackle homophobic issues if you do not discuss homo-

sexuality. Through Q week we hope to promote a wider understanding and acceptance within Durham as a whole about some of the issues LGBT people can face. It isn’t easy to fit in with the Durham way of life when you’re different and sometimes it feels as though everybody else shares an intrinsic set of ideas and values that you’re simply excluded from. LGBT people are far more likely to suffer from mental health problems and are three times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people. This is not just down to external factors such as bullying and hate crime, but also internal struggles with identity and discovery of who we are. The LGBTA seeks to promote a safe social space where like-minded individuals can come together and feel comfortable being themselves. It isn’t easy to encourage students to attend the LGBTA without making them feel as though you are ‘recruiting’ them to the cause. We can’t bribe you with chocolate brownies, all we can really do is create a positive reputation and welcoming atmosphere. Our bisexual ‘Bring-a-friend’ coffee afternoon encourages students to introduce their friends who have never been to an LGBTA event before to come along and see what we’re all about in a relaxed social environment and meet new people. Some people still have preconceived ideas of what the LGBTA is like, but we’re really not that scary! We get a huge mixture of personalities at all our socials and it’s important to remember that, although being LGBT is a big part of our lives, it is not the only thing that defines us. We are all members of other societies

Could you be a religious fanatic? Charlotte Poynton

folded away in the fancy-dress box, but I rest my case. For weeks we did nothing but talk about this god, and he became real, to me anyway. I now laugh about the whole incident, but so did Jane. The fact is we are incredibly susceptible to belief. When you are removed from the ‘rational’ world, and surrounded by people who are telling you something is true, for a month, a week, or in Jane’s case two hours, it is actually fairly easy to be convinced. Psychologically, this is a worrying phenomenon which occurs frighteningly often in the real world: think about the hysterical Salem witch trials, or McCarthyism and the Communist ‘witch hunts’ in America which inspired Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Ever since the ‘dishcloth’ incident I have always been very wary of declaring myself impermeable to fanaticism and perhaps, judging by the example set to us by all those important and

respectable American politicians in the 1940s, we might all think about how rational we really are. And by the way, if anybody fancies a ‘dishcloth’, I still have the pattern tucked away with my sewing machine...

FLICKR ID: THE HAPPY ROBOT

My friend (let’s call her Jane), strolled into my room a few days ago and announced: “I think I’ve become Christian: I’ve been reading the Bible for the last two hours”. If you knew Jane, you would find this assertion humorous to say the least, and somewhat baffling. Lovely as she is, her set of values is largely not one which I would associate with the Christian faith. You might therefore wonder why she would pick up the Bible in the first place, but the answer is less baffling: we are required as part of our English course to read and critique chunks of God’s book. One of the main points highlighted in the module is whether or not the Bible can be read as a purely literary text, devoid of any religious meaning, and I think Jane’s experience, although mainly facetious, actually brings up some rather interesting points. Can sheer intensity of exposure to a reli-

gious doctrine really engineer conversion to those ideals? Now I realise that I may be treading on a minefield. I am not religious and, though I have every respect for those who are, I think I would defend my point of view by saying that religion requires faith, whilst I am too rational and scientific to be a believer. Nevertheless, I have experienced religious fanaticism. When I was about twelve, a group of us, tiring of compulsory Religious Studies lessons, decided to create our own religion. We dubbed it ‘Dishclothism’ (ah, Youth), and had a Lord’s prayer (‘oh Dishcloth, who art in heaven...’), a set of commandments and a Holy garment (a pink Tie-Dyed ‘dishcloth’ fastened over the head with a strap). We prayed to our god several times and day, and disrupted lessons by trying to convert our RS teacher. I wish I could tell you I was joking. Sadly, Dishclothism was a religion in decline, and my ‘dishcloth’ is now

and have a healthy and active social life outside of the association too. During Q week we have also joined together with the staff network. They are leading a panel discussion about what being LGBT means to them, their careers and lives in Durham. We also have a talk delivered by Dr. J Lawson from the Anthropology department about the scientific and evolutionary perspectives on sexuality. It is still a widely argued debate over whether sexuality is down to biological, psychological or sociological influences. The week is packed with socials, but also some quieter times like a film night and discussions about a variety of issues that affect the LGBT community, such as the conflict between religion and being LGBT. A lot of people fear the two are mutually exclusive but this is really not the case. Organising enough events to truly satisfy the LGBT community in Durham as well as fully promote awareness and campaigns when you only have a week is no mean feat. It sounds like such a cliché but all we really wanted was to have something for everyone. My dream for the week would be for every student in the university to feel as though they could attend an event. To learn more about something they have an interest in, to have an input in one of our discussions or just to come along and make some new friends. For more information and a full list of events happening in Q week, please visit http://www.durhamlgbta.org.uk/ whats-on/qweek


Food Editor: Charlotte Allen | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Food & Drink

Come Dine With Me: our first encounter Palatinate’s very own competition for the best host begins with a fiery Spanish fiesta Charlotte Allen The first host: Francesca Henbest, 3rd year Theology, President of Josephine Butler Cookery Club

The guests: Greg Carter, PhD in Psychology, President of Castle Middle Common Room Alison Moulds, 3rd year English, Features Editor for Indigo Charlotte Allen, 3rd year English, Food and Drink Editor for Indigo The Menu: Cocktail reception and Spanish snacks Creamy Butternut squash and chorizo soup with Foccacia bread Mixed Paella with Mediterranean salad Assiette of Lemon Desserts Chocolate Truffles

A

fter a week of trials and tribulations, the first dinner date approached. In a last minute twist of fate, I was drafted in to take part in the competition, having previously stipulated that I was to observe only. I greeted this news with a mixture of tiredness and frustration; considering the days I had spent trying to cajole several applicants that their summatives would most definitely be done in time for them to enjoy the first evening, it seemed that against all the odds I was to participate. Not to mention how a certain (nameless) guest threw a wobbly at going first. I may be blowing it out of proportion, but a panicky nine o’clock text message doesn’t put one in the best frame of mind. Jibes aside, however, they did have a valid reason, and as shall soon be clear, our first host completely excelled herself. When I eventually found Francesca’s house (after circling her road

several times), I found her kitchen to be a picture of organisation: her desserts were prepared and chilling in the fridge, her paella was bubbling happily away on the stove, her starter was ready to reheat and her canapés were poised for action under the grill. Even her vegetarian options were prepared, and met all of the correct criteria. Most impressively, she was up in the early hours of the morning to get her ingredients from Tesco, the Indoor Market, and the new deli on Claypath, which she highly recommends. She had also made a considerable effort to get her table and dining room ready for the occasion, with fairy lights and Spanish music quietly setting the scene in the corner. She proudly told me that she had managed to get matching plates, cutlery and placemats; no small feat in a student house. I can almost see my chances of winning slipping away, amidst the mire of disorganisation and untidiness that is my own kitchen. Francesca cheerfully chats away about her housemates and her cookery club, a college run affair that sets freshers up for their year of self-catering. Despite their busy schedules, she and her five housemates eat together each night, taking turns to cook. She tells me that she doesn’t really use recipes, she learns as she goes. She cooks so naturally, and I find myself envying her confidence hugely. We are interrupted from details of Cesca’s preparations by a knock at the door, our first contestant. I hover awkwardly in the corner whilst she greets Greg Carter, who comes bearing a beautiful bunch of lilies and some red wine, Spanish of course. I glance selfconsciously at my nod to the Spanish theme, two oversized sombreros snaffled from my housemates room, one of which is sitting awkwardly on my head, whilst I was intending to present the other to the next guest. I quickly remove both to the sofa. Greg is exceedingly gentlemanly, much as one would expect from a President of Castle. His

manners falter slightly at my sombreros, with distaste flickering fleetingly across his face, but in good spirits (and with a bit of encouraging) he dons a sombrero, and I feel slightly less silly. Alison, the final guest appears next, apologising for being late after some confusion over the address. She introduces herself as the token vegetarian, although she does not elaborate too far on her reasons for being so. She watches Greg curiously, looking for the first sign of racism, sexism, or another –ism that will break the polite persona. Meanwhile, Francesca serves her Spanish snacks, olives and roasted peppers, alongside dates wrapped in parma ham and grilled gently. These dates are sumptuous; salty but sweet, with a warm, soft texture that melts in the mouth. She also serves her intoxicating and deceptively alcoholic cocktail, the Highgate, a mixture of strawberries, ginger beer and gin. The crushed strawberries disappear instantly, and it is not until I have greedily consumed the entire thing that I realise just how strong it was. I even eat the strawberries poised on the edge of the glass. Amongst all the eating, conversation is flowing easily. Even when we move to the table for the starter it is easy to let things run their course. It is here, however, that Alison finds Greg’s weakness: obesity. He soliloquises eloquently upon the subject, whilst the rest of us look on, realising the humour beneath his words, but remaining in silence at the vehemence with which he puts it. When he finishes, we all look mutely on, until Francesca quickly steers the discussion towards films. Nevertheless, although Francesca admits she was worried that her dinner party would be plagued with awkward silences, and we assure her to the contrary. We also have Greg filling up our glasses at every opportunity, and I have to doubly make sure I am not slurring my words. The food itself was excellent. For me, the highlight was the soup, a creamy, smoky combination of flavours that I would never have put together. The bitesize hunks of chorizo nestle in the middle of the bowl, and give a lovely warmth to the soup. My only complaint is that the bread is not homemade; bread is one of my favourite things to make,

something I believe becomes a whole new entity when made from scratch. Nevertheless, this delicious soup makes up for it. Francesca presents

as she gets, and that Francesca is a good hostess, “radiating warmth”. He felt that I was “verbally dextrous”. Suprising, considering the amount the paella of wine I had consumed. in a traditional paella dish, something Alison also enjoyed her meal, as she has borrowed from a friend espeshe felt that she wasn’t singled out cially. As she brings it to the table the too much as the vegetarian. She did smell wafts enticingly across the room. comment that her knife was a bit dirty It is sticky without being stodgy, not at the start of the meal, but that she too salty, and the accompanying salad didn’t complain, as she felt the food is a refreshing contrast. I wolf mine was excellent When asked for her imdown a little too hastily. pressions of people, she comments on When I return to my glass, I realise Greg’s fat-ist remarks, worrying about it is full again. I find I am beginning to eating whilst he watched. She also lose track of exactly how much I have mentions her belief that people with had, and notice that my laugh is getting brightly coloured hair have loud or louder and bolder. I am very glad I scary personalities; but apparently my have left the sombrero on the sofa, bright red hair and I were not too bad. or I would be starting to look rather Francesca, in her unbelievably still undignified. tidy kitchen, thought the evening went The presentation of Francesca’s well. She enjoyed the company of he lemon desserts just invites you in. guests and left the evening on a high. A lemon pot is the main feature, acAlthough I must admit that I had to companied by a moist square of lemon be careful of my ever full wine glass, I loaf cake and a lemon biscuit. All the had an excellent evening, with wholecomponents are sharp, and not too some food and good company, and I cloyingly sweet, as I feel lemon desserts cannot wait to get a look around Castle should be, and clean the palate after the before our next meal. rich and smoky main and starter. As we all retreat to give our final comFor all of the comments, the marks that ments (slightly inebriated, and with were given, all the inappropriate comfull glasses yet again) I feel comfortably ments and a fuller look into the evening, full. watch the video on Palatinate TV at Once in the (albeit filmed) privacy palatinate.org.uk. of the next room, the guests give their opinions on the night. Recipes are also at www.palatinate.org.uk Greg enjoyed the soup, considering it “well balanced” and not overly seasoned. He went back two or three times for more paella, which he felt expressed just how nice it was. When asked about his fellow competitors, Greg comments that Alison seems quiet, although she gives just as good banter


Travel Editor: Jess Jones | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Travel

A tale of two cities... MADRID vs BARCELONA Matt Hawkins

Traditionally, tourists in search of rest and relaxation in the Spanish sun touch down in Alicante or Gerona armed with beachwear, trashy novels and bottles of SPF 30. In recent years, no one has been more aware of this than the Spanish tourist board, which has spent large amounts of money trying to attract tourists to its culturally rich cities... Here we present a portrait of two cities at the centre of Spain’s campaign for city-based tourism: Madrid and Barcelona.

Phil Nuttall

T

he main criticism levelled at Madrid is that, whereas a tourist can be entertained in Paris or London for weeks, a tourist in Madrid will be scraping the barrel within five days of arrival (museum of suits and costumes, anyone?) Having lived in Madrid for nine months, I feel as if I’m well placed to dispel this myth. If you’re looking for things to do, start with the classical Royal Palace (and if you don’t like that one, there are four more in the area). Admire its grandiose exterior and opulent interior before moving to the Cathedral next door. Oddly, Madrid didn’t have a cathedral until 1993. In fact, many local residents wish that it still didn’t; its mixture of styles seeming to have proven unappealing to everyone but the architect. If you walk down Calle Mayor, you arrive at Madrid’s most harmonious square, La Plaza Mayor, home to many markets and theatre performances. Also, take the imposing thoroughfare Gran Vía to the Plaza de Cibeles, which has Madrid’s most photogenic fountains and buildings (though getting a photo without capturing whichever bus happens to be whizzing by at the time is nigh on impossible). Spain has produced many

masterpieces, many of which are conveniently located within a kilometre of each other in the Triángulo del Arte. Though the Thyssen and Reina Sofia museums are worth visiting, the area is dominated by the world-famous Prado, which has over 1000 works on display. If, like me, you don’t possess any great artistic proclivities, visit the museum in ninety-minute stints that coincide neatly with the ninety minutes every day during which entry is free. Madrid claims to be one of Europe’s greenest cities. The substance behind this claim is provided by the Casa de Campo, an untended wood in the west of the city with the dimensions of a small nation-state. Every day people flock to this green space to enjoy the lake, the theme park and the panoramic views before promptly making way for the more colourful clientele that occupies the

“¿Qué?” was the first word I heard uttered by Spanish (sorry, Catalan) lips after arriving in Barcelona in June 2009. It was the taxi driver speaking; I had mispronounced the name of the street I wanted him to take me to. A good start to my year abroad. My flat was in the trendy northern district of Gràcia, an area famed for its annual festival during which the local residents adorn the narrow streets with bizarre decorations set to various themes, while death metal bands terrorise all sleepy old folks within a two-kilometre radius until 5am. If I’m honest, I was pretty lax about area by night. If, sightseeing. It was three whole months however, you before I finally decided to dig out my prefer your camera (metaphorically speaking – my parks to be camera was broken). Nevertheless, less reminiscent made a point of going to see Parc of wilderness, the IGüell, the first in a long line of visits sculpted gardens of to the Gaudí masterpieces scattered the Retiro provide around the city. park, as well as its shelter from the ubiqui- funky modernistThe architecture, offers tous 6 lanes of traffic that cut a magnificent view across Barcelona through the Spanish capital. Montjuïc, the hill that domiHaving spent countless days explor- towards nates the south of the city. ing Madrid, many evenings walking Montjuïc is home to the Olympic down its shopping streets, and 90 Stadium, which now stands empty minutes watching a spectacularly dull since RCD Espanyol, Barcelona’s most football match from a frankly dizzying famous football club (Messi who?) altitude, I don’t doubt that Madrid has found a new home in 2009. You can a lot to offer. However, what makes also wander around the botanical Madrid such a great city is its palpable gardens or the National energy. I can walk through the centre at Art Museum on top 3am and there are hundreds of people of the hill. about: I don’t know what they’re doing Last and most but I’m ecstatic that they’re doing it. certainly least in this I can stop for a bite to eat anywhere scandalously brief sumat any time and conversation fills the mary of the touristic air. And I can walk to the symbolic centre of Madrid, the Puerta del Sol, sit delights down amidst the street musicians and of the passers-by, and feel as if I’m sitting at the crossroads of the Universe.

Catalan capital (and I’ve missed out some humdingers... Sagrada Familia, anyone?) is Barcelona’s most famous street, Las Ramblas, the stomping ground of the city’s most prized prostitutes, pickpockets and peddlers of “special plants”. During the day, baffled tourists are swept along in a current of other baffled tourists, drifting aimlessly along an avenue of dead trees and grotty restaurants. At night, this utterly depressing hole in an otherwise beautiful city offers little that you couldn’t find in, say, Middlesbrough. The winding alleys and side streets branching out from the boulevard have more to offer, as long as you keep an eye on your pockets and aren’t walking around on your own. If you want something a bit different, L’Eixample, Barcelona’s university area, would be a good place to start. If you fancy dancing a bit of salsa, chatting up some latinas (or latinos), or even trying some chupitazos (imagine setting fire to a shot of petrol, downing it, then inhaling the fumes through a straw), then head to La Fira, one of the better bars in the area. To sum up, Barcelona has quite a mix: culture, scenic views, great nights and festivals aplenty. Even so, if you’re looking for a relaxing break in the sun, you’re in the wrong place. Be prepared for the hardcore tourist experience.

Would you rather see usk fall over a bustling Madrid or check out some of Barcelona’s impressive architecture?

FLICKR ID: CUELLAR FLICKR ID: STRUDELMONKEY


Fashion Editors: Tom Weller, Rachel Bailin & Laura Gregory | www.palatinate.org.uk

Fashion

Stage Arts

Tom Ford: a man’s designer

Patrick Bernard

come to expect from the man; a film very much drawn from both personal om Ford, a man as sharp and and professional experience. tailored as the image of elegant His recent collections for his own deportment that his name has label encapsulate his own approach become synonymous with in recent to personal design, in his pursuit of a years. For the past two decades Tom traditional elegance. He produces clasFord has moved from success to sucsic pieces, yet in such a way as to feel cess, establishing himself as an icon of exceptionally modern. His inspiration the fashion industry. The span of his was drawn from a far more conservaimpressive career has seen Ford’s name tive era; the certain crisp, smart, refinelifted from obscurity, to brand in its ment of the fifties and sixties style. own right. He has achieved internaFord has graced the fashion industry tional fame as the man responsible with a renewed masculine elegance. for the salvation of Gucci and more His work can be seen catering for recently critical acclaim as film director Hollywood’s leading men, his services in his cinematic debut. were even requested for the outfitting Ford, born Austin, Texas in 1961, Daniel Craig as James Bond in 2008’s discovered his fashion vocation late in Quantum of Solace, if any endorsement the day; his initial educational pursuits was necessary. found him studying interior archiHis evolution as a designer has tecture at Parsons School of Design, clearly seen him adopt a more refined living between New York and Paris. outlook, yet one in which he still delivDespite his lack of a relevant degree ers with the very same uncompromisand experience, the sudden emergence ing and provocative sexuality that won of a strong affection for fashion and him success in his work for Gucci, and design began the relentless pursuit for continues to win him success to this some means of infiltrating the industry. day. However, despite a career as extenAfter several years filling the various sive as it is successful, Tom Ford can positions that persistence and diligence still only be seen to be on the rise, as he had won him, Ford grew tired of what begins to build his very own fashion he would deem as the world of ‘tacky’ empire. Following the opening of his American fashion, and turned towards first flagship store on Madison Avenue, Europe. In search of further freedom New York in 2007, there are now curof expression, Ford moved to Milan rently over twenty freestanding outlets. in 1990. In a startling career move, he Following the success of his cinematic came to the rescue of Gucci at the very debut, Ford has also expressed a desire moment it began to approach bankto continue making films. Whether in ruptcy. Soon he became responsible design or direction, it would appear as for the sudden and striking revival of though there is still much in store to the luxury goods company in decline, come from this man. whilst his occupational insomnia and somewhat masochistic work ethic saw him working up to eighteen hours a day, at times in charge of the design of all product lines. By 1994 Ford was made Creative Director of the company and within only five years, Gucci were worth $4.3 billion. He injected the label with his very own approach to glamour, oozing with sexuality. Not a man afraid to provoke, Ford enlisted the assistance of notable fashion photographer Mario Testino to produce a series of striking advertisement shots for the company. As controversial as they were engaging, many of which never made it to print. Nevertheless, the turnaround of the house is very often principally attributed to Ford’s tireless and uncompromising efforts. More recent success has seen him part ways with Gucci and his later work with Yves Saint Laurent towards the pursuit of his own brand, and more noticeably to part ways with fashion altogether briefly in 2009, in order to turn his attention towards cinema. His directorial debut A Single Man, an adaptation of the 1964 Christopher Isherwood novel, won him international acclaim and the aesthetic agenda and cinematography issues the very same stylistic preoccupation we have

T

CELINE SS/11 THEFASHIONSPOT.COM


Fashion Editors: Tom Weller, Rachel Bailin & Laura Gregory | www.palatinate.org.uk

Fashion Stage Arts

With Thanks To: Photography & Styling: Tom Weller Rachel Bailin Models: Will Giles Josh Wilkins Clothing: Zara

Bright Lights Menswear


Film & TV Editor: Rachel Aroesti | www.palatinate.org.uk Stage Arts

Film & TV

Fighting talk: Hollywood just got ugly

Released ‘just in time’ for the Oscars, it’s secured itself 7 nominations, but does the The Fighter really deserve them? ««««« Rachel Aroesti

H

ported’ to London via little more than an establishing shot of a red bus and someone doing a bad impersonation of a British journalist. Despite the barrage of Academy Award nominations, Wahlberg was the only major cast member not to get an Oscar nod. He was instrumental in getting the film made, though, which explains how he managed to get the part. Unless Micky Ward really has absolutely no distinctive characteristics PREMIER PUBLIC RELATIONS

alf-brothers Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) are both boxers. The elder, Dicky, is now retired from professional boxing and spends his time sauntering around the streets, being, in his own words, “the pride of Lowell”, the Massachusetts town where he grew up and still resides. Dicky is training Micky, but unfortunately for Micky, Dicky is now a crack-addled mentalist so, as might be expected, Micky’s career isn’t exactly taking off. The Fighter, we immediately learn, is set in 1993, so if you squint it’s almost got the feel of an American Apparel ad-campaign. But instead of lithe youngsters heavily dosed up on irony, there’s just a whole load of normal people wearing grey marl cycling shorts. Hence the entire thing looks depressingly ugly. Seeing what has become a marketable aesthetic in the 21st century (a man in a vest with a boombox, someone wearing two types of denim in a crack den) in its sad reality did make me question what exactly it is that the fashion industry is trying to sell us. The all-pervading ugliness of the film was obviously a stylistic choice, but combined with the fact that things got ugly (violence-wise) many, many times, I found myself wishing there was something nice to look at. The scenes where the brothers stride powerfully through the Lowell streets almost achieve that feeling of movie-

euphoria, but in the end it never quite materialises. The focus of the film was on a particular sort of culture – that of the Irish-American family. We witnessed the perpetuation of the figure of the aggressive, self-destructive male. Dicky’s son, after seeing his father punch a locker in rage, does the same except in a vaguely spooky, lacklustre way, like an oversized doll. Clichéd and patronising moments like this lack the subtlety

BELLA FRANKS

The Fighter David O. Russell Paramount Pictures

Feather boa? Check. Tartan suit? Umm, check! Standard school uniform in Clueless circa ‘95

Style Trials: the‘90s on screen

It might have looked depressing in the The Fighter, but the Nineties as seen on screen is a sartorial goldmine

Christian Bale looking suitably mad and Mark Wahlberg looking suitably bland in The Fighter

that could have made the film more emotionally engaging. The emotional ‘issue’ the film hinged upon was the potentially unbearable realisation that the ones you love can be a burden. But instead of being confronted head-on this was neatly tied up by the plot, leaving the audience with pretty much nothing to think about. There wasn’t even any real attention to detail. Near the end of the film we were unconvincingly ‘trans-

whatsoever, unless he is literally a blank canvas of a man, Wahlberg’s performance was dullness personified. It’s based on a true story, by the way, a fact the film seems to think lends itself a reason for existence. Bale on the other hand, a late casting decision, put in an incredibly charismatic performance. Yes, it wasn’t pretty, but more importantly the film totally failed to engage me in any way. The Fighter, unfortunately, was all brawn and no brains.

Clueless (1995)

Seinfeld (1989-1998)

Did high school girls actually wear plaid suits to school in the ‘90s? I really hope so, even if it was only in Beverly Hills.

So ‘90s it’s still swaddled in fashions leftover from the previous decade. There was a time when skin-tight highwaisted jeans were for everyone. Jerry Seinfeld included.

High Fidelity (2000)

Grunge for the working man. Record shop musos John Cusack and Jack Black do a seriously good job of looking like they haven’t showered forever. Spaced (1999-2001)

Rave-culture, getting stoned, film references, cups of tea... Spaced makes unemployment in the ‘90s look quite fun. Obligatory fleece and combat trousers combo worryingly enticing.

Absolutely Fabulous (1992-6)

Literally some of the worst clothes the world has ever seen. And, to think, Patsy and Edwina were supposed to be working in fashion. Life is Sweet (1991)

Nowhere is a stifling ‘90s summer in the depths of English suburbia portrayed better in cinema. This looks like a feature-length polaroid of a ‘90s childhood.

Louis triumphs in the West Bank - but he’s the only winner there

Theroux heads to the disputed Israeli territory where he disarms even his most defensive documentary subjects is stoned by a child. In the face of Daniel’s indignation, a Palestinian onlooker remarks: “It’s nothing. You drop five-ton bombs on kids”. Another Palestinian youth demonstrates the long-term prospects of insurgent violence. He asks Louis: if Israelis killed your people, wouldn’t you want to kill them too? No doubt many Israelis could pose the same question about Palestinians. The sense of injustice on the ground is mutual and intense. But Daniel is of most interest because he is representative of the mechanism by which the conflict continues. Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory is facilitated by affluent Jews, at the pay of wealthier ones, on the basis of ideology. They are assisted by foreigners who have no conception of the political situation but have read the Old Testament and concluded the Jews are the chosen race. They also rely on the Israeli army to protect their minority

presence, leaving Palestinians to watch as Daniel busily repopulates their communities under the permanent threat of armed response to any perceived resistance. By trying to understand Daniel’s motivations, Theroux opens up the reasoning that drives those whose behaviour ensures the perpetual escalation of unrest and ethnic tension in Israel. He never exhibits strong feelings, even in the face of appalling comments, but that is his strength as a journalist. His curious sangfroid creates a kind of placid bubble around him, even in chaotic situations. When he invites somebody inside, they seem to disarm immediately, and project at least understanding – if not sympathy – onto the blankness of his face. He coaxes people into

FLICKR ID: NORDISKE MEDIEDAGER

Louis Theroux has had quite a journey as a TV personality. His first highprofile work was his Weird Weekends series, featuring bizarre sub-cultures. Now he is beginning to develop a reputation for higher-brow gonzo journalism - essentially the practice of covering stories from his own perspective and through personal experiences. In Ultra Zionists Theroux turns his attentions to Israel, and the people whose lives are bound up in one of the most politically controversial disputes of the modern age. Theroux spends most of this documentary in the company of Daniel, who represents the interests of an Israeli group which buys up property in Palestinian neighbourhoods and installs Jewish tenants. The practice is illegal, and condemned even by the US - Israel’s most indulgent ally.

Daniel offers two explanations. The first is capitalistic: if the Palestinians wish to sell, and the Jews wish to buy, why should they be obstructed? But the properties are clearly bought for several times their value and given to Israelis at knock down prices, which is why the Palestinians are willing to sell (despite the threat of being ostracised by their communities) and why the Jews are willing to live in a violently hostile neighbourhood. That is a perversion of capitalism. The second is a more convincing explanation: Daniel believes all Israel, including the Palestinian territories, is divinely bequeathed to him and his fellow Jews. When Theroux asks if Daniel feels responsible for exacerbating the mutual aggression in the region, Daniel elevates the discussion: “Smell that. You can feel King David. He’s here.” Louis speaks to other people. At one point Daniel’s armoured car

FLICKR ID: NORDISKE MEDIEDAGER

Adam Seddon

“His sangfroid creates a bubble around him”


Visual Arts Editor: Tamara Gates | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Visual Arts

More deadly than the male: The Femme Fatale What is the eternal fascination with the femme fatale? This enigmatic figure has been represented in opera, the ballet, film and the visual arts for centuries, and her enduring quality has resulted in years of constant revival. The fundamental purpose of the femme fatale is unwavering; to seduce and destroy men. In depictions of the femme fatale, there seems to be a reverent awe and fear of her, which always derives from her powerful sexuality. Salome is the undisputed icon of dangerous female seductiveness, gaining infamy in The New Testament for causing the execution of St. John the Baptist through her seductive dance: ‘No longer was she merely the dancing-girl who extorts a cry of lust and concupiscence from an old man by the lascivious contortions of her body; who breaks the will, masters the mind of a King by the spectacle of her quivering bosoms, heaving belly and tossing thighs.’ Instead, she is regarded as both an object of sexual desire and as a cruel and dangerous figure. Franz Von Stuck’s ‘Salome’ depicts her using her powers of seduction; her skin is luminous, emphashing the importance of the flesh in her maninpualtion of the king. Indeed, her success is highlighted as the head of St. John is held on a platter. ANTHONY PARTON

The visual arts really hammered home the destructive quality of the overtly sexual woman, for example Kilimt’s ‘Judith and the Head of Holofernes’ (1901). Her actions mirror Salome: when Jerusalem is besieged, Judith surrenders herself to Holofernes, leader of the army, to stop them. In his post-coital and drunken stupor, she takes the opportunity to decapitate him for the greater good of society. In the Victorian era particularly, the archetype was reproduced in various guises in art and literature, such as the ‘voluptuous’ female vampires in Dracula, whose arresting dominance threatened the autonomy of the men. A J.W. Waterhouse’s exhibition in the summer of last year piqued my interest in the figure of the femme fatale in art of this period, and she appears frequently in his work. Though Ezra Pound asserted that Waterhouse had not made the transition from Aestheticim and his works were not ‘keys and passwords admitting one to a fleeting knowledge’, I think that the message evoked is disturbing enough. If nothing else, the images perpetuate the myth that beautiful women who unashamedly pursue sex serve as formidable opponents to men. Disturbingly, this belief is not far from the depressing double standards of society today. My favourite from Waterhouse’s collection was ‘Circe’, who exudes power from her throne, dark hair cascading down her body as she raises her wand to turn Odysseus and his men into swine. I don’t think it would be too outrageous to say that there are women, and indeed men out there, who would relish this power! The compelling figure of the femme fatale regularly

appeared in film noir, which emerged in the post-war period of cynicism and disillusionment. Women were resented for a sense of newly found independence, so they were made to suffer on screen and were divided into unreasonable archetyes. The typical plot of a film noir goes as follows: disillusioned cynical male meets beautiful, promiscuous double -crosser who seduces him into life of depravity. Ultimately her wrongdoings would destroy them both, and she would almost definitely be killed off. This generic convention is still seen today - just look at the women in Bond movies. The on-screen femme fatale developed from Theda Bara, who utters the immortal lines ‘kiss me, my fool’ in A Fool There Was (1915). With her heavyily kohled eyes and a mass of dark hair, she is the epitome of the ‘vamp’- exotic and alluring, yet dangerous. It is worrying that this stereotype is still utilised in popular culture; is the concept of a woman who enjoys and pursues sex really that unpalatable? However, despite the misogyny behind the archetype, I can see how the figure is so compelling. After all, the erotic and the dangerous often offer the same degree of excitement when linked. But guys, the next time an alluring woman gives you the eye, remember: she probably just wants to have sex with you and is likely not to be elaborately scheming your demise!

Klimt’s: ‘Judith and the Head of Holofernes’

ANTHONY PARTON

Franz Von Stuck: ‘Salome’

ANTHONY PARTON

Tamara Gates

How to be a Femme Fatale: If you can’t beat them, join them! WikiHow offers some amusing advice on how to join the clan of the femme fatale...

though admittedly nothing stays secret for long in Durham... 4. Have an unusual skill/interest. Because this really helps with the ‘mystical allure’

1. Speak in a seductive voice. eg. Joan Crawford, Scarlett Johanssesn

5. Answer questions with meaningful quotes...

2. Wear dark, sexy, retro clothes. Apparently a fur coat is essential wardrobe..

“I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not...” “If it’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right.”

3. Be mysterious. Never reveal what you’re doing or where you’re going,

“If a man knows everyhting about a woman, he loses interest in her...”

Still using film photography? When was the last time you took a roll of film into Boots and waited with baited breath while they devoloped your photos? In a digital age it is easy to forget the beauty of analogue photography, and it has become the norm for some people to take over a hundered pictures of the same people on a night out, only to plaster them all over Facebook. Not many people are exposed to the physical photo, a glossy 6 by 4 image. The question is, are students of Durham interested in film photography? Advantages include the excitement of not knowing what your pictures will look like, and the nostalgic, candid quality of the shots. For an experimental feature, I am collaborating with Palatinate’s photography editor to produce an ongoing feature in Visual Arts that will display the best photographs from Durham students. The only rule is, they have to be taken on cameras which use film. Anyone with developed pictures that you’re proud of, e-mail me at the visual arts address and I’ll look forward to starting this exciting project with you...


Stage Editors: Kathy Laszlo and Lyndsey Fineran | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Stage

Welcome to the dark side, Dr Faustus T

NICHOLAS LORY

torches produced a simple but spectacular shadow effect on the ceiling. The use of choral music I found less successful. The pieces themselves, some Elizabethan, others written specifically for the production by Ben Rowath, were impressive to these ears at least. However, the music only worked dramatically in the final scene. Otherwise, it was at best superfluous, at worst an irritating distraction. The seven-strong chorus had almost all the supporting parts, some of which were handled with delightful precision and economy: Joe Burke’s stooped and snarling Lucifer; Dave Spencer’s strutting Pope; Tom McNulty, superbly expressive as Pride and an idiotic cleric. I was less certain about the presentations of some of the seven sins; Wrath was rather obvious, if performed with gusto, whereas Lust could have been made more blatant. Callum Cheatle gave us Faust as a showman. His delight in astonishing his contemporaries with magical tricks, his satisfaction at having rationalised his choice of the dark arts, his needling Mephistopheles; all spoke of incurable arrogance, and were served up with a flourish and a smirk. Faust, apart from anything else, is too clever by half, and Cheatle was clever enough to convey an intelligence confined by a specifically moral blindness. Casting Lucy Cornell as Mephistopheles was perhaps not as bold a stroke as it might have appeared, since her gender hardly ever became a theme for either performer. Cornell brought to the part a magnetic stare and a facial tic suggesting a character on the edge of nervous disorder; she found in it Mephistopheles’ deep agony at being cast out of heaven. She knows exactly what awaits Faust in the afterlife, and both pities and despises him for his weakness. When these emotions were properly conveyed, as in the argument with Faust about mentioning God, the exchanges fairly crackled.

NICH OLA S LO RY

ing that the show, while very good, fell short of being outstanding. Cornell was excellent when addressing Faust or being addressed, but when not directly involved I thought her presence receded too far. One way to address this might have been the way she walked and stood; there appeared nothing about it to mark her “To balance self-delusion out, certainly nothing to suggest the supernatural. and self-awareness like Even more importantly, this is no mean feat, but it Faust’s arrogance and brio not underlain by a sense is what the play demands” ofwere vulnerability. The key action in the play occurs between Faust’s first summoning Mephistopheles and his signing the Having said that, contract. in general they did not It is absolutely crucial that these crackle quite enough; scenes are a life-and-death matter to which is a way of sayFaust, that he has a definite sense of his terrible error; but in this production these scenes did not reach the intensity Callum Cheatle as Faustus

NICHOLAS LORY

stage Faust in a venue like the Norman Chapel, but it takes a great deal of attention to detail to make it work. Take something as basic as the seating: the audience sat on three sides, al«««« most all were level with the pillars, at a Donnchadh O’Conaill stroke removing many of the sightline problems that have plagued previous productions here. This also allowed the he Faust myth is so deeply spaces between the audience and the embedded in our culture that walls to serve as an off-stage area where it can thrive in all manner the chorus could lurk, handing Faust of surprising contexts and guises. But items as needed, speaking as Legion such transplants can hardly match the when Lucifer appears, and heightening potency of Marlowe’s poetry, or refract our sense of being within Faust’s very such a range of feelings through the chambers. prism of religious and spiritual imThe directorial skill agery. This is a play like Durham extended to the Cathedral: they don’t build lighting, with them like this any more, and hand-held torches it’s always worth taking time used to light to rediscover its majesty. faces in the darkAll of which is quite ness and illumia build-up for Peculius’ nate the ceiling production, so it is a pleasure when the charto report that this was an acacters discussed complished piece of theatre. the heavens. At David Knowles has made as the very end of the good a directorial debut as I have play, the seen for a long time. It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to Dr Faustus Peculius Stage Company The Norman Chapel

needed. He seemed too convinced of his own success to seriously question his decision. To balance self-delusion and self-awareness like this is no mean feat, but it is what the play demands; a protagonist who knows he is throwing away his immortal soul, but who cannot stop himself doing so. It is no mean tribute to the production to say that it came close to capturing this; but it did not quite succeed in signing the contract.


Stage Editors: Kathy Laszlo and Lyndsey Fineran | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Stage

The results are in: does DNA pass the test? HARRY GATT

Intriguing ideas, but First Person Theatre Company’s DNA failed to live up to its hype.

DNA First Person Theatre Company The Assembly Rooms «««

Julia Chapman

O

ne would usually expect a play about the murder of a young teenager to be handled with a certain amount of gravity. However, this was not the case in First Person Theatre Company’s production of DNA. Intended to be a black comedy, DNA was barely black or comic, and while the acting was very strong, the lack of plot, innumerable awkward pauses and somewhat incomprehensible speech detracted from the otherwise good skills of the cast. Revolving around a group of teenagers who believe they’ve killed a peer whom they have been bullying, DNA addresses the coping mechanisms of this unusual grief they have sustained, and philosophically muses about the nature of happiness whilst grappling for humour in the situation. With such a dramatic twist, the play is not very dramatic, and even at the climax of the story, there was little to suggest that anything very significant was happening. A fellow viewer even turned to me at the end and asked me what had happened. There was indeed sufficient

build-up on the parts of the more minor characters, but it amounted to nothing, and the tension just petered out instead of making consequence out of something consequential. The standout performance was that of Clare Reavey as Leah, whose Irish accent compounded her quick speech in making her the frenetic and anxious young girl she was playing. Her many monologues directed at the nearly mute Phil (Steffan Griffiths) went from annoying to enjoyable as she began to ponder what makes us happy, and she was convincing throughout. Lucy Cornell’s twisted Cathy was played very well, with almost a nervous twitch, so that her character was moderately more interesting than the rest. Sam Kingston-Jones’ frantically hysterical and subsequently drugged up blissfulness was also a highlight. The play itself, although not very exciting, does raise some interesting questions about grief and happiness. Leah notes that “Everyone felt wonderful” at the funeral, and tells Phil about how many of their friends are turning their lives around in the wake of what they have done. She tells him that “Grief is making them happy.” The various ways in which the characters handle grief (excitement, anxiety, hysteria, painfully slow eating) were fascinating, but not explored to their full potential.

While I initially thought the comedic timing was good, it eventually became very wearing and the number of dramatic pauses was enough to drive one mad. The distress manifested in the ridiculously rapid speaking was effective, yet sometimes beyond comprehension, which diminished the effect. Upon first entering The Assembly Rooms, I was immediately struck by the impressive set. Quoted as having 102,336 leaves, the stage was absolutely covered in them, and the dark, atmospheric lighting (although not particularly conducive to program reading) very much set the morose tone that was anticipated but never fulfilled. The trailer released on the DST website was a wonderful way to attract attention to the show in terms of audience numbers. It did, however, build up a certain amount of excitement that the show itself lacked, and this is perhaps part of the reason why the play was a disappointment. Overall, DNA had an interesting concept but lacked plot, and any dramatic tension that was expected was lost in this. Despite its strong actors who had little to work with, an impressive set, and an intriguing idea, the play did not succeed in living up to the hype it generated.

What’s On Durham Drama Festival 2011 Four jam-packed days of theatre! DDF is one of the highlights of Durham’s theatrical year. With a range of respected industry professionals, an exciting line-up of workshops and question-sessions, and a multitude of fantastic new performances, the festival is a wonderful showcase of some nation-leading theatrical talent. Presented by Durham Student Theatre at The Assembly Rooms Wed 23 February - Sat 26 February Endgame Endgame: the point of no progression. Four people all locked together in a state from which they cannot move on, however much they would like to. Hailed as one of Beckett’s most important works, the play focuses on the themes of repetition, time, circularity and existence. Presented by Castle Theatre Company at the Norman Chapel, Castle Wed 2 March - Sat 5 March


Music Editors: Olivia Swash and Nico Franks | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Music

Everything Everything: not just another indie band

Indigo chats to the lead singer and guitarist of the genre-defying four-piece at the Newcastle leg of the NME Awards Tour Olivia Swash

A

rt rock? Convoluted indie? Math pop? You decide. This toe-tappingly jittery and anti-conventional four piece became sick of recycled and stagnant indie, so decided to do something about it. After being scouted by Radio 1’s Zane Lowe in their unsigned beginnings, the Manchester-based band site being tipped on BBC’s Sound of 2010 list as their biggest boost to success, despite at the the time having only a handful of singles in their blossoming discography. “It was so early on when we got it, it felt like we were the youngest there. Everyone else had albums ready to go!” guitarist Alex Robertshaw tells me as I make myself at

home amongst the PS3 controllers and coffee cups in their haven of a tour bus. “Although I think in the UK you can still succeed if you’re not on that list. It’s important abroad, people seem to look at it first to see what’s new over here,” lead singer Jonathan Higgs explains. His suprisingly low-pitched speaking voice only highlights his extensive vocal range, a

talent which plays a prominent part in the band’s sound. Having been described as ‘genredefying’ and similar terms in the media since they formed in 2007, their jaunty sound seems fresh and new in comparison with a lot of recent indie bands due to their irregular song

structures and fusion of diverse influences. But how do they go about maintaining this different approach? “You gotta keep writing and listening to a lot of music and trying to find new things. If

“When indie decides to become fashionable again it’ll have to change itself. Stagnation is just so boring”

record label Geffen, Alex explains “You can create a story as you’re going from standalone singles to creating a whole album. It’s a good cross-section of what we sound like”. The availability of technology is a key aspect of their chirpy and at times Nintendo-reminiscent tunes (see Photoshop Handsome and Qwerty Finger) “The way we write, it tends to start on a laptop, which for a so-called indie band might not be that normal. But there’s nothing to hold you back, you don’t have to think “oh I can’t make that sound on a guitar”. With a laptop you have free reign, you can even have an oboe!” Jonathan optimistically desribes. “To be defined by what your musical abilities are is sad”. So with their quirky lyrics and upbeat ditties, will Everything Everything ever turn into a serious band? “A misconception that we’re trying to avoid is that we are this chipper band. There is a lot of serious stuff on the album and the next single will be much more serious. Although it won’t get half as much airtime because it’s not as radio friendly”, Jonathan tells me, somewhat wisened to the ways of mass media. Although with their catchy songs still having an edge with harmonising and perfectly unexpected breaks, this band is anything but a take two of The Hoosiers. “Funnily enough both of the re-releases are the most politicallyminded on the album”, says Jonathan,

something we write or a demo doesn’t excite us then we change it, and that’s the way we’ve always worked. It’s hard to define how you try and make things “new”... It’s not really as conscious as you might think!” Jonathan tells me modestly. Could this be the beginning of some sort of post-indie movement in NME’s history? The magazine itself had refreshingly branched out from the expectations of a line-up awash with guitar bands on this year’s Awards Tour, with Magnetic Man and Crystal Castles unusually starring on the same bill as The Vaccines and Everything Everything for the tour. “It’s really good that it’s this diverse. I was in two minds when I first saw the line-up!” Alex admits. “It “To be defined by what certainly divides crowds, there’ll be people who will come to see The Vacyour abilities are is sad” cines who just will never ‘get’ Magnetic Man. But I think we’re quite lucky as we straddle quite a lot of audiences. But those same people who came “I like that some teenager could listen along thinking “I want guitars!” may to MY KZ UR BF and be all “oh your come away thinking “that was actually boyfriend, what’s all that about?” and really good... I never would’ve gone then think about the lyrics and realise to that!” that something interesting’s going on... “Indie’s had to develop, it’s not Sneaking in there...” really holding the torch anymore His theory seemed to prove true, as which is good. It means there’ll be the general ‘first-time drunk’ swarm at more of a variety of music from the O2 Academy that evening showed, now on,” says Jonathan. “When exciteably moshing to even Leave The indie decides to become fashion- Engine Room- by far the slowest song of able again, it’ll have to change the album. itself a little bit which is always good. Stagnation is just so bor- Man Alive is out now on Geffen. ing. No one enjoys that”. Whilst being helped What’s On? along their way by Chew 23 Feb - Paige @ Durham Live Lounge Lips and Bat For 24 Feb - Polarsets @ The Cluny, Newcastle Lashes producer 27 Feb - Mogwai @ The Sage, Gateshead 1 March - Collegiate Battle of the Bands @ St. Aidans David Kosten, the 2 March - DUMS @ The Sage, Gateshead band take pride in the amount of artistic 2 March - Les Savy Fav @ The Cluny, Newcastle freedom they have had 3 March - DUCK Ceilidh @ Fonteyn Ballroom, DSU 6 March - Surfer Blood @ O2 Academy, Newcastle on their debut album 7 March - The Queers @ Durham Live Lounge Man Alive. On the transition from GRAMMAR - indie/electro/pop/soul every Tuesday their few 7” releases in 10pm - 2am @ Fishtank their emerging days to being Vane Tempest Sessions every Saturday @ DSU signed by Universal-owned rd

th

th

st

nd

nd

rd

th

th


Books Editor: James Leadill | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

Books Inside the Baby Barista Files W

hen most people think about barristers they imagine Dickensian gents in wigs and gowns postulating in court for a pricey hourly rate. For those that have worked in chambers this preconception is sometimes scarily close to the reality, but Tim Kevan is one barrister who breaks the mould. Raised in Somerset and educated at Cambridge University, Kevan went on to become a barrister at Temple Garden Chambers in London. Recently described by Chambers UK as ‘incredibly talented’ and possessing an ‘unsurpassed knowledge of the law,’ it is no surprise that Kevan became a regular legal pundit on the television and radio – also somehow finding the time to author or co-author ten law books. But, as Kevan explained to Palatinate, he wanted to write something different.

COPYRIGHT JAY STIRZAKER

Barrister turned writer, Tim Kevan, in his North Devon home

“I had an ambition to write a novel and after the first draft of ‘Why Lawyers Should Surf’ was finished, I very much wanted to sit down and write a legal thriller.” So in 2006 Kevan began writing an anonymous blog entitled ‘BabyBarista’. “Instead of a thriller, what popped out was a legal comedy about a fictional young barrister fighting off his fellow pupils to gain tenancy at a chambers in London. “I called the title character ‘BabyBarista’ which was a play on words - his first impressions being that his coffee-making skills were probably as important to that year as any forensic legal abilities he might have.” Populated with a supporting cast named with appropriate monikers such as “TopFirst” and “Worrier”, BabyBarista provides an exaggerated portrayal of a life spent immersed in one of the nation’s most antiquated professions. The blog soon attracted a cult following; within three months it had been picked up by The Times, and literary agents were talking to him about the volume rights. “I was hopeful it might raise a few smiles but in my wildest dreams I hadn’t imagined quite the extraordinary set of circumstances which unfolded,” Tim reflected. “I was also lucky enough to be approached by a couple of literary agents and chose to go with Euan Thorneycroft of

AM Heath who has been extremely helpful at all stages of the process, from looking at the story itself to negotiating with the publisher. Funnily enough, I almost didn’t get the original email he sent since it was along the lines of, “You don’t know who I am but I am a literary agent and have been reading your blog,” which Hotmail immediately decided was spam. It just shows that it’s worth checking your junk mail occasionally!” The collected blogs were published last year as Law and Disorder: Confessions of a Pupil Barrister by Bloomsbury, famous for having been the only publishers to initially sign up JK Rowling. The book, which was described by one reviewer as “a cross between The Talented Mr Ripley, Rumpole and Bridget Jones’s Diary,” is set to be the first in a series called The BabyBarista Files. Following the success of the BabyBarista blog, Kevan, an avid surfer, was keen to escape London; he bought a house in North Devon and then took a break from the Bar in order to finish the first book. “Whilst trying to juggle all of these things, I eventually decided to move down to North Devon full-time and take a break from the Bar so that I could finish the novel and work on the businesses, as well getting into the sea whenever there was swell. Since then I’ve sold my flat in Soho and paid off the mortgage down here which has in many ways freed me up financially.” When quizzed on how close the stories of BabyBarista are to his own experiences of the Bar, Kevan is quick to emphasise it is a work of fiction. “I don’t mean it defensively because there are elements of scandal in there or anything, but it wasn’t at all autobiographical. I had

TIM KEEVAN

Vincent McAviney

Law and Peace, Kevan’s follow up to Law and Disorder is released this May

a really nice pupillage, the chambers were excellent, and I had three lovely pupil masters so it is complete fiction. “Obviously the background of the Bar, the court settings, the chambers, and the atmosphere are all authentic in the sense that it comes from ten years of practice, but the actual characters and the story are utterly fiction, and for what it’s worth, that was actually necessary in order to progress the writing. “If I was in any way worrying in the back of my mind, “Oh this might be taken as truth” or something like that, I wouldn’t have had the freedom just to be able to let the story flow because I would always have been worrying if this could offend someone. So it was an explicit decision to have it as fiction.” Asked what advice he might give to other budding writers, Kevan responds, “As for fiction writing, I feel like I’m still learning – but if I’m asked what I’ve learned from my experience so far, I’d simply say “write away”. Get on with it and try not to be perfectionist in any way. Remember you can always go back and change it later on. “Beyond that I would say that when you sit down and start writing, you should allow the voices that pop out to gain a momentum of their own. Listen

to them and give them the freedom to grow. So, too, with the characters which come into your head. Let them loose and see where they take you. “In doing this, blogging certainly introduced me to the new immediacy of the publishing process. You think it up, type it out on your keyboard and then publish. It also allows the writer to busk or play around with ideas and see how they work.” For any students thinking of heading to the Bar, Kevan couldn’t praise the career path enough: “The Bar is a wonderful profession – I’m not just saying that in a cheesy way, it’s genuinely an enjoyable job and a privilege. The independent and self-employed nature of it is incredible, you don’t get that in a well-paid job in most areas I can think of. The advocacy is fun and the variety of cases is rewarding. It is worth the hard work, effort and risk. “In terms of advice as to how to go about it, it’s really just hard work and putting the time in, always plodding on – beyond that there’s no clever answer.” Law and Disorder: Confessions of a Pupil Barrister is available now in all good bookshops. The second novel in the BabyBarista series, Law and Peace, is due to be published in May 2011.


Games Editor: Jon Zhu | Photography Editor: Quin Murray | www.palatinate.org.uk

Stage Arts

The Back Page Meet the King of Hearts

Chris Pettitt

I

Colour 1st Place (below) Michael Peake Canon 300D 18mm f/5.6 Exposure 1/4

on luck. The chance of going bust is practically zero. In reality if we flipped 1000 times, you would expect to end up with a profit of about £1000. The essence of poker is convincing your opponent to put their money in at a disadvantage over and over again. Of all the poker players from the University, two stand out like beacons. Paul Williams, also a very talented snooker and pool player, is remem-

bered around Durham as a guy with bags of ability but also with a great approach to other people, leaving his own ego out of the equation. One former pool opponent remarked: “He never made you feel like a moron, even while he made you look stupid. He’d say ‘good shot’ when you did something well, and when you made a mistake he’d beat you.” It’s hardly surprising that this combination of great ability

FLICKR ID: TPTK

t’s close to the final table of the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event and the best player in the world, Phil Ivey, is in danger of being knocked out by the current chip leader, Chris Moneymaker. There is an excited hush around the room. Ivey has a full house, three nines and two queens; Moneymaker holds three queens. The commentary team predict the winner of this pot to be the winner of the whole event and the first prize of $2.5 million. Either Ivey will have the ammunition to play at his best, or Moneymaker would have the overwhelmingly largest chip stack and have eliminated the best remaining player. Ivey is an 83% favourite to win the pot and with one card to be dealt needs to avoid only one of the three remaining aces or sixes, or the solitary remaining queen, to win the pot. As the dealer turns the card, a shriek goes up around the room and the commentator is almost incredulous as he exclaims, “It’s an ace!” Moneymaker’s fist pumps the air and Phil Ivey is too stunned to move. So what’s all the fuss about? The Main Event has a large entry fee of $10,000. This sum on its own is still hardly an option for the everyman, but the situation changed when an online poker company called Poker-

Stars offered the chance to qualify for the event from just $39. This is how Chris Moneymaker came to be at the event, and how he came to win $2.5m. It’s a story which fits the American Dream like a glove, and it caught the imagination of the nation like wildfire. Within three years the Main Event field had swelled such that the prize won by Jamie Gold in 2006 was $12m. The poker websites that made this possible became multi-billion dollar enterprises. The two largest of these are PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, and each has their own cast of sponsored professional players. The headline player for Full Tilt is Phil Ivey, the loser of that fateful hand. It’s difficult to put a value on how much the ‘Poker Boom’ has made Ivey, but it’s easy to say it’s a lot more that the $2.5m he missed out on back in 2003. So how does the best player avoid bad luck in poker? The term used by poker players is ‘bankroll management’ and it means managing the extremes of risk by playing lots of games with a fraction of your available funds. Stockbrokers take note. For example, I might play you at heads or tails and offer you £2 for heads for every £1 you give me for tails. If your bank account contained £1 and we flipped once then you would go bust half of the time. If instead you had much more money and we were to play multiple times, the outcome would be less dependant

Former Poker Society President James Keys bags £1 million as runner up at Aussie Millions 2011

Next theme: People All entries to : photography@palatinate.org.uk by 25th February 2011

Any photographers still using non digital/ film cameras get in touch for a project running for several issues in the future

Taken in Valencia visiting L’Oceanogràfic, the largest aquarium in Europe. These little guys are from the Aurelia genus of Ulmaridae jellyfish. They’re almost completely transparent so are invisible to the human eye until the application of this UV light

2nd Place (below) David Benhamou Olympus E-410 300mm f/5.6 Exposure 1/640

Taken in a hostel garden after several days of hiking in the Colca canyon, Peru , whilst taking a much deserved break.

and temperament translates impeccably into poker. Playing mostly one-onone matches, Paul won consistently on his way to a $70k profit in his rookie professional year before eclipsing that by taking his chances in the biggest weekly tournament available and converting that luck to victory and more than $250k. James Keys is the best known professional with a Durham connection. The former society president is a great example of getting a crucial bit of luck and ruthlessly making it into a career. After qualifying online for the London leg of the World Series of Poker, James made his way through the field to establish himself in the poker world with a £60k cash pot. Over the years James has recorded a string of 4-figure wins and has become one of the top British pros. In January he became a poker millionaire when he placed second in the Aussie Millions Main Event, winning $1,023,638. Poker is a game anyone can excel at. Some application to the mathematics of the game coupled with an even mental approach could make the next Phil Ivey or Chris Moneymaker. Find out more about the Durham Poker Society at www.dur.ac.uk/poker.society

The photography team is looking for a few more members to shoot events in and around Durham. Get in touch if you’re interested!

3rd Place (below) Alice Blanchard Fujifilm Finepix 13mm f/3.5 Exposure 1/105


Indigo 727 for website