FASHION MUSIC CULTURE LIFESTYLE ISSUE 5 SUMMER 2013
WELCOME TO OUR SUMMER EDITION illustrations by lydia coventry
PUT YOUR FEET UP AND TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT WE MADE FOR YOU
THE FANTASY ISSUE photography by hivenn
Summer is the season by excellence where any fantasy is allowed, from an exotic holiday destination, to a summer flirt, or style experimentations, everything is permitted and no one will judge you. It is the best season to dream and dare to leave your dreams.
We also explore the true meaning of escapism, take a look at art in fashion and draw some musical inspiration from our meeting with Theme Park and Lucy Cait.
We will see you at the end of November with a brand new issue, meanwhile you can enjoy In this issue, we try the tastes of summer with reading what we have curated for you and vodka and mango popsicles and raspberry follow our summer adventures on our website and white chocolate brownies while preparing pebblezine.com our best outfits for the festival season. We sit down with up-and-coming novelist Natasha Ngan and have a chat with King Arthur.
WHAT ARE YOUR attending the new season of fashion weeks drinking cocktails in the caribbean travelling to ireland in the hope of finding a four leaf clover moving house in north london travelling to canada to meet my boyfriend’s family smoking cigars in cuba glastonbury seeing the sights of new york enjoying a pool and tennis court in a villa for 10 of us in spain desperately praying it won’t rain over my unwaterproof tent in a field in reading being bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding camping weekend in somerset for annual family get together exploring sunny barcelona with my boyfriend
IN THIS ISSUE 138 112 048 135
READ 012 018 026 032 040 044
a work of fiction being king arthur my escapist state of mind from recluse to rock star striving to make a difference a timeless land
LIVE 120 make a wish 135 a sprinkle of fairy dust 138 land of wonder
048 054 058 060 068 072 076 148 150
phantasm dream in layers of movement best of summer blue mirage women’s trends men’s trend how fashion becomes art my fantastical face DIY fake tan
122 tea and cake 126 seasonal recipes 130 alfresco dining
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080 082 091 092 096 098 099 100 102
106 108 112 116
lucy cait new album releases physical music theme park live: vampire weekend live: daughter live: temples live: miles kane fantasy festival playlist
the secrets of shoreditch film previews top fantasy films a literary tapestry
BREAKING INTO THE INDUSTRY
A WORK OF FICTION words by joseph kent photography courtesy of natasha ngan
Time management, patience and dedication are key to a successful writer, says up-and-coming novelist Natasha Ngan. The 22-year-old is known well for her fashion blog, The Girl In The Lens, but she will be releasing her début novel, The Elites, later this year. We asked her about her journey from first lines to book
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As soon as I can remember, I have only ever wanted to be a writer. I have always written and I have always read. My dad used to read to me in bed at night, and when I got old enough, I would read as well. From from those night sessions, I discovered that you could escape reality. I’m an only child as well, so I think my imagination was already rehearsed to keep myself entertained.
The idea first came to me when I was at university. I studied geography, which is a great thing to study if you’re a writer, because you learn about so many cultures and really interesting stuff, and it’s all inspiration for stories. I can remember the first line of The Elites came to me, and it is still the same as it is today: “There is a rumour that The Elites don’t bleed.” So I jotted down some ideas. And at the same time, one of my lecturers was talking about DNA and genetics, and I thought this is really interesting, and it kind of slotted in with The Elites. I was really busy at uni, so I was writing little bits and bobs, and making notes here and there. But it wasn’t until I graduated, a couple of years ago now, 2011, that I began writing properly. After graduation, I went straight into a job in London, and I wrote in the evenings, at the weekends, and it got to the point where I wanted to write at work as well. It was coming up to the end of my six month contract, so I stopped my job, and I gave myself a few months. I had other internships lined up, so if it didn’t work out, I could carry on with that career. Then I wrote it in a few months, and that’s how it happened.
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writer meets publisher I have always written things and had them published in terms of non-fiction. I would write a lot of articles for magazines, and I would do freelance writing, and that was enough to let me know I could write. But writing a novel is very different, obviously. As I was writing, I got this feeling that it was good. I’m not trying to sound vain or anything, but I don’t really know where my writing comes from, it just happens. Even when I was writing, it was like reading a published book, the same kind of feeling. And after I finished writing it, because I had always wanted to be an author, I thought I would send that to agents and get a feel of whether it is good or not. And that worked.
the cinematic experience
I would recommend getting an agent, because there are not that many publishers nowadays that accept unsolicited manuscripts, which are manuscripts from writers without an agent. And if you don’t get an agent, you’re limiting yourself. Books are so personal that you want to get yourself out to as many publishers, to have your best shot of publishing.
I see the scenes like films, and I write down what I am seeing. But I finished my second novel, which is with my agent at the moment, and that was quite a different process, because that was first-person, and I found with first-person that I started writing and got into the writing a lot quicker each day without having to visualise it. Whereas The Elites is third-person, and it jumps a lot through the characters. And for that reason, I was seeing it like little film rolls.
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judging a book by its cover I think covers are really important. As an author, I had to distance myself from thinking about the cover as a piece of art, and I wanted to cherish it. Because when I got my first cover ideas through from Hot Key Books, my publishers, they only sketched them. You can’t really imagine it as that. I was looking at this and thinking this is not what I really wanted, then my agent and publishers were saying, we’re going to make the cover beautiful, but at the end of the day, it is a marketing tool. And they were telling me how important it is. And it’s to catch those people who might go into a book store and haven’t heard of me before, but they’ve seen the cover and they think it’s interesting. They read the blurb, then they’ll think, I’ll pick this up. I don’t know if we’re losing covers, because of things like Amazon’s Kindle, or if we have to make our covers even more amazing and work even harder to capture people’s attention.
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no longer a hobby
I have to treat writing as a job now, because I have deadlines, and it is where my main source of income comes from nowadays. It usually takes two hours to write one chapter, and one chapter a day is enough, otherwise your mind gets all frazzled. So I would usually sit down and read over what I write the day before, making little changes, and then write the next chapter. And sometimes I’m sitting there, I keep looking at Twitter, I’m walking around, I can’t concentrate. But I make myself sit down and finish it, even if takes the whole day, and some days it takes an hour.
When I was working full-time, it was much more difficult. I had to write at weekends and in the evenings. And I have a heart condition and not great health in general, so it was really tiring on me. Now that I work part-time, doing the blog, working in social media and writing my books, I’ve got used to juggling. I always wake up and do the blog stuff first. I can’t write first thing, because I like to check what e-mails I got and need to reply to. Once I’ve done the main bulk, usually by the afternoon, I eventually settle down and start writing. Sometimes it’ll come easily, and other times I’ll still be faffing away until right into the evening. It’s about time management, but I’ve always been good at time managing. The Elites is out September 2013
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BEING KING ARTHUR words by hannah smithson photography by lottie gross
“Who are you supposed to be?” asks a voice behind me as we battle tourists fighting for a picture with him in his spiritual home, atop of Salisbury plain at the world famous pilgrimage site, Stonehenge. “I’m supposed to be me”, came the reply from King Arthur, the Pendragon Druid, donned in wizard’s robes stitched by a witch, and who can only be described as out of this world. Quite literally
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You might be picturing the dark ages right now, as I set the scene for a time when King Arthur boldly pulled the sword from the stone back in “who knows BC”, but I am in fact talking about the 21st century King Arthur - the knights of the round table King Arthur, that is. Thought to have existed only in legend, and yet he appears to be here, right in front of me; living, breathing and battling the modern day authorities of the land. The thought of going to meet the man who claims to be King Arthur conjured up all sorts of preconceptions in my mind about who this mysterious character might be, but I was pleasantly surprised by his sanity and intelligence, despite his genuine belief that he is in fact the reincarnation of King Arthur himself. His reply to people’s responses of him being mad is, “well I’m a certified genius as it goes” and plucks out his Mensa card, showing me that he falls under the highest 2% of IQs in the whole of the world.
“WELL I’M A CERTIFIED GENIUS AS IT GOES” AND PLUCKS OUT HIS MENSA CARD more than just a king But Arthur explains with sincerity, that he is more than just a King. As if that title wasn’t enough, he is also a Chieftain of his own Loyal Arthurian Warband of Druids, a political leader with strong libertarian convictions and he is also just Arthur; the simple living, nature loving, mother earth worshipping, Druid. At this point I confess my ignorance to the history of Druidism, so Arthur comes to my rescue. He explains that Druidry is not so much a religion although it derives from Paganism, which is a recognised religion around the world. “Druidry is more of a philosophical standpoint of anyone who lives in tune with nature,” he says. “That’s why you can have Christian Druids”, says Arthur, who enlightens me to the fact that Queen Elizabeth the second, the head of state and the head of the Church of England, is actually a bard of the Gorsef of Wales. I’m amazed as Arthur describes to me his very own coronation as King: “I became Arthur by changing my name to Arthur Uther Pendragon, but I became King Arthur by being recognised by the Druids as such. We had a protest in Kingston, where the King’s Stone is and there were a number of Saxon Kings crowned on it.” He explains how after a group of five Arch Druids got together, they crowned him King Arthur.
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a famous following The 59-year-old is also pretty famous in this part of the world, with people constantly approaching him with intrigue and skepticism. From Chinese tourists to BBC producers visiting Stonehenge, Arthur is a highlight. And he doesn’t ever shy away from the media limelight. In fact, he sees us as a useful tool to air his issues and beliefs to the world. Suffice to say he is very media savvy. “That’s why I am such a good political leader of the Druids”, says Arthur, “because I use every tool at my disposal and being the nutter who thinks he’s King Arthur is a tool. It just happens to be something I believe in, but I’m not out to convince anybody else. I’m just doing what comes naturally.” He even claims to have a famous following of celebs that support his picketing at Stonehenge. Singersongwriter from the Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten, is apparently part of Arthur’s order as well cage fighter and ex-husband of Katie Price, Alex Reid, who is now otherwise known as the “Dodgy Druid”, after signing Arthur’s petition.
the battle over bones Arthur tells me that only yesterday was he on the BBC fighting it out with English Heritage and appears on page 12 of the Salisbury Journal with his latest headline “Druid protest over remains”. His most recent battle with the authorities, as there is always something to battle about, says Arthur, is for these 5,000-year-old bones of his ancestors that were dug up by archeologists in 2008, to be re-interred to their final resting place. “They were probably a royal line or the priest cast, or the very architects of Stonehenge. The founding fathers of this nation. Their ancestors didn’t bury them with the idea that sometime in the future some archeologist would dig them up, some curator would put them on display. They buried them with the intention that they would go back to the earth.” Unfortunately, Arthur’s last battle was unsuccessful when he recently returned from the Royal Courts of Justice after applying for judicial review of the case, but he maintains that the fight will go on. “All the way through this campaign, I’ve always said, we’re not against the testing, we’re not against the education, we’re not against the knowledge, but what we are against is the macabre display of human remains and keeping them in boxes.” Arthur proposes putting resin replicas on display and hopes to start an international debate, in true warrior style, on whether or not we should respect the wishes of the dead.
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facts or fantasy? He leads a fantastical life of magic and myth and says that dreams can come true if enough people believe in them. He firmly believes in being able to create your own reality and is the proof of his own philosophy. He tells us of his life before discovering Druidism; of serving for six years voluntarily in the 1st Battalion Royal Hampshire Regiment, of being the President of an outlaw bikers club, of working on multi-million pound construction jobs with Liang construction, of having a mortgage and two cars in the driveway and then, of leaving it all behind. “I’d never wanted to live society’s normal way but I’d been sucked into it as you do – you get a mortgage, you get this, and before you know where you are, you’re lost. So that dawning came and I thought, this ain’t me, so I just gave it up. You’ve just got to be true to yourself.” I ask what suddenly changed, what made him one day turn his back on society and decide to live an altogether more simplistic, naturalistic and spiritual life? He directs me to his book for the answers. “The Trials of Arthur” (2012) by Arthur Pendragon and CJ Stone. It explains the epiphanic moment when he realised who he really was. The book reveals, that through apparent signs and omens, the reasons behind why, in 1986, he assumed a new identity. By changing his name to Arthur Uther Pendragon, by wearing a crown in his passport photo and by answering to King Arthur, former John Timothy Rothwell, had accepted his true calling – as he calls it “as the people’s champion”.
“I’D NEVER WANTED TO LIVE SOCIETY’S NORMAL WAY BUT I’D BEEN SUCKED INTO IT AS YOU DO – YOU GET A MORTGAGE, YOU GET THIS, AND BEFORE YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, YOU’RE LOST.”
So whether or not he is King Arthur no longer seems to be bothering me. He sees himself as a freedom fighter of sorts and an eco-warrior, protecting our green and pleasant land. He clearly has created his own fantastical world that is in fact his reality. King Arthur Uther Pendragon wears a crown, has knights, bears Excalibur and holds a round table committee every year- that much is fact. He is exactly what you can imagine the 21st century King Arthur to be, if he ever existed. It’s just this Arthur has a motorbike as his stead and fights battles up trees instead of by the sword. But he has me convinced that he is every bit the King Arthur I know from the legends. He is brave and courageous and stands up for the people and for Britain. He fights for justice in court as his modern day battlefield, and most importantly, he has heart. That is what motivates him not to strive for material things or for power but to believe in Mother Nature and magic. So really what is wrong with a little fantasy? And as Arthur says, “it would be a pretty boring world without fantasy, romance and a little theatre”. To find out more about King Arthur and his Loyal Arthurian Warband go to www.warband.org.uk where you can get information on Arthur’s next quest. “The battle doesn’t stop here”, says Arthur, “the fight continues”…
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MY ESCAPIST STATE OF MIND words by hannah smithson and emily rossell photography by emily rosselli and escapismphotography
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There was a solemn and ghostly feeling as we entered the house. An internal tune played out your emotions and reactions to the confinement of her situation. Painful knots in your stomach unravelled into tears as you realised the tragedy of the place. Entrapped in darkness for over two years. Unable to go outside in the fresh air, smell the newly cut grass and hear the birds sing. The only window to the outside world – a skylight in the roof where she could dream of flying away • 027 •
“I long to ride a bike, dance, look at the world, feel young and know that I am free.” Anne Frank, 24 December 1943. We’d just entered the famous house of Anne Frank, located in Holland’s capital city. Our escape to Amsterdam combined a thirst for some culture and an urge to get away- and what a perfect place to lose yourself! I couldn’t help but think whilst I quietly made my way up the steep stairs from the warehouse; where Otto Frank manufactured his jam, to the secret annexe; the scene of so many of Anne’s accounts and diary entries - how frustrating and lonely it must have been to be in hiding for all that time. The Franks, persecuted for their religious beliefs, were forced into hiding in 1940, when Nazi Germany invaded occupied Holland and rounded up all the Jewish population into concentration camps. Out of the nine that made their home above the famous warehouse, only one survived the war - Anne’s father, who later published her now world famous diary, as a timely reminder of the value of our freedom and equality we so often take for granted. Her diary, I realised, was an expression of her desire to escape. She also wrote fantasy stories and fairytales to try to break free from the confinement of her reality. A young 15-year-old with the courage to imagine better things was an inspiration. Despite her understandable confusion of the world, she refused to believe that there wasn’t a way out of persecution and tyranny. My enlightening journey through the events of her short life was humbling and I felt I could empathise with Anne’s desire to escape, not through any forcible reason but more for the freedom that escaping your own reality can afford. Letting go of those worries, fears and living outside yourself for a while. Going on an adventure of the soul. One individual who knows all about the beauty of escapism is Emily Rosselli, whose blog The London Escapist caught our eye:
why did you start your blog? For me, writing The London Escapist is in itself a form of escapism. I’d been meaning to start a blog for years but was never quite sure what my ‘theme’ would be. I am as passionate about Indian culture, classical music and Jane Austen as much as I am about Katy Perry and Pizza Hut - so I wondered who on earth my audience would be?! Then I thought about what all these things had in common and it was that they all on some level help me to escape. I just like what I like, and I believe if you ‘waste’ time on something you enjoy, it’s not wasted. So my blog is simply about celebrating whatever it is that helps you get through the day!
why do you like to escape?
where do you escape to?
I am an incurable escapist by nature and always have been, ever since I watched Disney’s Aladdin over and over and imagined I was Princess Jasmine in an Arabian palace. But as a grown-up, my interest in escapism was heightened last year in the aftermath of a particularly messy breakup. I took the advice of my friends and ‘kept busy’, which isn’t hard to do in London, as it turns out!
There are thousands of ways I escape, it just depends on my mood! For me escapism could be going for a walk around Little Venice or dressing up for a Victorian themed club night - but it could just as easily be the sound of a perfectly timed ice cream truck on a sunny day, or getting lost in a Jackie Collins novel and missing my stop on the tube. Escapism doesn’t have to mean going to another physical place; it’s a state of mind. I think it’s about living in the here and now but opening And although now, thankfully, everything seems to be your eyes to the everyday moments of magic that are ticking along quite nicely in my real life, I’m still nurturing all around us. It’s about embracing everything that’s not my escapist state of mind. I really believe that escapism realistic, rational or mundane, and not getting bogged can keep you sane, particularly when dealing with the down by the necessities. daily barrage of tube commutes and ‘al-desko’ lunches; where would we be without escapism? All the stories When you’re in that frame of mind, little things can we grew up with, the music we listen to, the amazing suddenly whisk you away to another world entirely - like holidays we look back on; none of it would exist if glimpsing an old Victorian lamp post on a misty London humans didn’t feel the need to escape the drudgery of street and suddenly feeling like you’re in Sherlock real life from time to time. Holmes, or when Beyonce comes on your headphones and you realise you’re strutting to work like you’re Right now in London, ‘Theatreland’ is booming, dining starring in a music video! out has never been more fashionable, and vintage speakeasies are ten-a-penny. As Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” It’s a tricky balance of course; drug-addicts, spendaholics and fantasists are good examples of how escapism can go a bit awry. But I think the trick to avoid full on delusion is to enjoy ‘bite-sized’ pieces of harmless escapism, just enough to take the edge off real life. That’s what my blog’s all about really. I look for small, everyday moments of nostalgia, decadence and escapism to help me cope with and celebrate the brilliant madness of London life - but not to retreat from it altogether.
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where to escape to london? London is an escapist’s playground and I’m quite sure I’ve only scratched the surface. I have some failsafe options for when I need an emergency dose of escapism. In central London, you can never go wrong with Somerset House. It’s a majestic and atmospheric place which seems to transform itself to whatever you need it to be, whether you’re after somewhere to catch an incredible exhibition; stop for a coffee on the terrace overlooking the Thames; run through the fountains; people-watch; go ice-skating (at Christmas), or watch an outdoor gig on a balmy summer night. I live a short walk from Holland Park and I love going there for a wander, it feels so exotic with the Kyoto Garden, cherry blossom and roaming peacocks. And if you’re a foodie (or a ‘cheesie’ in particular), places like Whole Foods in Kensington and Borough Market are basically your theme parks. Keep an eye out for quirky and surreal mass participation events in London - there’s always something pretty mental going on. My favourites this year have included a Santa Claus flash mob (which rapidly turned into a crazy festive bar crawl), and a mass pillow fight for World Pillow Fight Day, both in Trafalgar Square. Even just yesterday, I was walking home from a pub lunch at our local and found myself in the middle of a medieval re-enactment! You never quite know what you’re going to walk into. There’s also been a huge rise in ‘immersive’ cinema and theatre experiences in London, where you interact with the characters and the scenes. I’d recommend the Fawlty Towers Dining Experience, where you are waited on by a hapless Basil and Manuel, or any of the awe-inspiring, interactive screenings put on by Secret Cinema. Next on my list for the summer is definitely The Zoo Lates, an unlikely but irresistible cocktail of disco dancing, Pimms and penguins. What’s not to love? To find out more of Emily’s wonderful ways to lose yourself and escape visit www.london-escapist.blogspot.co.uk
FROM RECLUSE TO ROCK STAR words by georgia scarr paintings by sharon epic
Sharon Epic slammed the door and sat behind the wheel of the first car she’d ever owned. Had she packed everything? Yes: art supplies for work, a hammock for rest. A laptop to stay connected. She wasn’t certain there’d be somewhere to charge it, but that was all part of the adventure. Her hand fluttered to her throat, checking for her ever-present necklace: a small silver cheese grater. “What could be grater than a cheesy necklace?” she thought to herself, her slight smile tinged with trepidation. This was it. She turned her keys in the ignition. This would be an epic adventure
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The dregs of an instant coffee swam around Sharon’s mug. Just this to get down, and then back to her design work. She swallowed it fast and headed for the door, nodding hello to a miaowing Odin as she passed him. A nearby door was hammered and screamed at, making Sharon snap around in shock. She glanced at Odin to gauge his reaction. He returned her stare, nonchalant, licked himself and slinked off to find food. Sharon shrugged back to the screen; whoever it was, they weren’t looking for her. No one had reason to be in touch, and even if they did she wouldn’t have investigated. It was February 16. She hadn’t left the house since January 28. Sharon felt the looks when she did venture out, all of them burning their judgement onto her, letting loose a swarm of ‘what ifs’ and panic in her head. Her heart would beat itself against her ribcage, almost trying to escape and run back home. Nausea throbbed in her stomach as the streets grew busy, her discomfort swelling more with every passing second. Days at home could pass without even a bite to eat, mostly out of convenience: food wasn’t worth the unbearable fear that the public brought. Caffeine would make reasonable sustenance for those hundreds of hours inside, until the stock ran dry and she’d be forced to the grocery store. She’d have to try, in that case. On would go underwear, a dress and shoes… but no, they weren’t acceptable. This couldn’t be worn outside: too bland, too generic. Back to the wardrobe. On went some trousers. They were barely done up before she knew they were wrong: boring. A different dress. No, still not okay: worn too many times before. See, as much as the looks of others struck dread into her bones, Sharon couldn’t bear to go
unseen. People had made her invisible before, back when she’d been at the opposite end of the weight spectrum. If they looked right through her, that made her obese again. If they wouldn’t even look at her, they surely wouldn’t look at her art. She had to be seen. The dressing and undressing would spiral on for minutes, hours, before she’d finally give up and stay in, protected by the company of cats, artwork and a couple of joints. She could wait another day. A thread of thought would tug its way into her mind occasionally: hadn’t she been trapped for long enough? Before the agoraphobia, there’d been anorexia… that constant voice gnawing at any spark of confidence and shredding her self-worth. But no weight would ever be low enough to satisfy those relentless thoughts, and Sharon had fought back fiercely. Surely she could do it again? This was it. Sharon was going out. The sickness throbbed through her ever more violently as the clock ticked closer to leaving time. It was an open mic night at a café. Those were meant to be enjoyable, right? They’d all be there to have a good time, wouldn’t they? Okay, breathe. Paints, brushes, canvas packed up. If painting could numb just a minute of the consuming panic, this would be worth it. A sprinkling of punters filled the café. It was reassuringly peaceful. Set up, breathe. A lone woman glowed through the group: a Latin dancer, her movements were fluid and mesmerising. Those sways and steps rushed straight through Sharon’s brush, oscillating out of the paint and onto the picture. Comments bubbled from impressed onlookers, admiring the 2D image growing before them, loving it. This… this was, God, it was terrifying, but it was starting to work.
“NO HOTELS WERE BOOKED, NO APARTMENTS WERE RENTED. NO RELIABLE INCOME FOR FOOD OR PETROL. SHARON HAD NEVER FELT SO FREE IN HER LIFE” • 035 •
Sharon left with an invitation to paint another event. Spoken word, again. That fear still clung on, trailing her with doubt and terror. She set up in the blackest corner of the room, her canvas lit by a single candle. The more invisible, the better. But invisible or not, she was out. She was outside the house and people were approving, of her, her artwork. People wanted to see this.
Sharon found herself in fierce demand. The Maritimes rave scene and her art were perfectly attuned: her bold strokes and vibrant colours caught the short-lived strobe lights and pulsing beats in a way photographs couldn’t match. From dainty buskers to epic operas, a million moments were captured by Sharon’s brush. The public loved her.
The first art-free adventure in months crept up on Sharon. Her little brother pestered her relentlessly for her company at the concert of That 1 Guy, a travelling one-man band. “You’ve really gotta see this guy,” he’d repeated keenly until Sharon consented to him dragging her along. She had her reservations; she’d only just left the safety that home provided, and now she was in a bar – empty-handed. Sharon wasn’t a bar person. Hell, she only went food shopping once a month. What was she doing here?
Sharon shared a single house with incredible, inspirational people: musicians, fire spinners, a travelling hammock maker who sold her a cheese grater necklace. She slept in a hammock in a small nook, partitioned off from her housemates by a sheet. It was insane, but it all made sense. These people got her. She flitted from gig to gig, putting everything on canvas, fuelled by the drinks and cigarettes that onlookers were desperate to share. This was awesome… and she was paid to do it. A late summer gig closed and the festivals died out. Now what? Pass all her earnings onto a landlord, sign a yearlong lease and settle? No. That wouldn’t work out, it never had. She had a notion. Was it crazy? Completely. Could she do it? Of course.
The stage brightened. A statuesque figure stood face on, his instrument – a harp-shaped construction of metal piping – surrounding him. What was this? That 1 Guy began to sing, murmuring extraordinary lyrics in rich, deep tones. “Scribble on days and dribble on drones… pick your teeth with the butterfly bones.” Sharon was fixated. This music was complex, deep, unique. This was incredible. This was what she wanted to paint: music. After seeing this, reclusion was no longer a choice. Music was outside her home. That’s where Sharon needed to be. That bitter winter warmed into spring, to summer. The paintings multiplied. Summer crumbled to autumn. Her canvases grew. Sharon’s urge to capture music and atmosphere in paint snowballed, crushing the paralysing terror that the outside once caused her until it was a mere memory. The seasons repeated, twice, three times;
She was going to give up everything: her space in the house, her close relationships, her connections to the world. Sharon was going to escape and live on the road. She was going to be a rock star. This was a rebirth. Sharon’s right foot bore a tattoo of an Ouroboros – a serpent eating its own tail. It was an Egyptian symbol of reincarnation, of beginning a new version of oneself out of the remnants of the last. Sharon was the serpent. She adopted the epithet Epic as a stage name and in place of her surname. Epic, because she would make her story epic.
“SHE SET UP IN THE BLACKEST CORNER OF THE ROOM, HER CANVAS LIT BY A SINGLE CANDLE”
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She traded painting fees for a vehicle, courtesy of the local classifieds. She slammed the door and sat behind the wheel of it – it was the first car she’d ever owned. Had she packed everything? Yes: art supplies, hammock, laptop, cheese grater. This was it. She turned her keys in the ignition. This would be an epic adventure. No hotels were booked, no apartments were rented. No reliable income for food or petrol. Sharon had never felt so free in her life. Four years into live painting, cities of people knew Sharon’s work. All those fans were more than happy to provide rest and shelter, as well as a hot shower and sustenance. Fans. She lived on the road and she had fans; she was a rock star in all but career. Each stop she made, she’d paint. Those paintings sold and brought in gas money to take her a few towns further. After 89 days with only her car as a certainty, Sharon’s epic journey turned down a familiar route: it was almost Christmas, and time to reunite with family. Having spent months apart, she would finally see her parents and younger siblings. She headed west through Montreal, but then scrrrrrncgh. Her car whined, gave a feeble judder and stopped. Not a mechanic or a frustrated shove would start it again. She was stuck, still hundreds of miles from her yuletide destination. “Okay, universe, you win.” Sharon surrendered. “I’m going to stay here.” Spring 2013, and Montreal was still home. Maybe not home – home was everywhere for Sharon, but Montreal was where she stayed. She’d switched smoking cannabis for innocent lotus blossoms and alcohol for Shirley Temples, determined that nothing would distract her from art. She’d completed 202 paintings in the previous year, and aspired for even more this time round: she was Epic, after all.
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STRIVING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE words by sophie brinsford photography by iamdifferent
For a 19-year-old to think about someone else is something. But for a 19-year-old to set up their own charity to help others is something quite special. Sa’id Haruna is now 21 years old, building a charity to raise awareness of just some of society’s problems in his home, Nigeria
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It’s hard to imagine a school without chairs and tables, a road without tarmac and barbwire fences surrounding homes in England, but this is a common problem in Nigeria and Sa’id wanted to make a change by creating his charity, I Am Different (IAD). From a very young age Sa’id has wanted to help less fortunate people than him, but it wasn’t until a school project that he began to think he could make a difference. Sa’id wanted to do something a bit out of the ordinary to raise funds. Instead of the usual bake sale or a car wash he wanted to celebrate why people are different, he says, “I prefer seeing people being appreciated for what they can do, rather than having to conform to what peoples standards are.” Sa’id persuaded his friends to make a video of why they are different to be put up on his blog. Surprisingly, the video gained a lot of interest from people who wanted to help. From there, Sa’id gathered a team of volunteers of similar ages and began making plans. In the first stages of setting up his charity, Sa’id and his team would rely solely on donations from their family and leftover pocket money from their own savings. This still happens, but progressively less now as football matches and tournaments put on by the team build strong links in the community, uniting them together. Like every country, in Nigeria there is a gap between the fortunate and less privileged people. However, in Nigeria the gap is vast Sa’id says, “You can see a really, really nice house and then a really, really, terrible looking house just beside it. The rich people in most cases are not doing enough to help the poor people. The gap is huge.” So part of Sa’id’s plan is to help narrow the divide and bring the community together. That is one huge task for a student to take on. IAD helps to provide students with books, pens and pencils and school uniforms. But the focus isn’t just on schools in Nigeria, Sa’id explains, “With a lot of charities you can donate £50 and never see it, but we didn’t want to be like that. There is a list of schools and materials on our site which you can personally donate to. It doesn’t have to be through us, we’re being like a platform.” If you see a school in Poole that needs books, then you can use Sa’id’s site to see how much the books will cost and see where your money will go and how it will help. The future for IAD is to gradually expand and raise further awareness, to make the charity more useful to people in Nigeria. However, Sa’id is in no hurry, “I plan to make it bigger but don’t want to rush; I want it to be honest.” Sa’id plans include raising more awareness through talks and seminars before adding more members to his team. At the moment he has ten friends who volunteer to help keep projects going, the majority are at University in Nigeria, but Sa’id says, “We’re like a family, we trust each other.” It definitely seems to be working, with appraisal from schools and the ever grateful students, IAD look like they will continue to succeed, even if their founder is based over 3000 miles away. You can read more on the I Am Different website www.theiad.org and Twitter @IAD_Charity.
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A TIMELESS LAND poem by nicolle millian illustration by becky hill
Entwined in trembling fingers. Dark blades, pale skin. Oh how I long to see A greener land. Preference of a world behind delicate lids, Where toes curl In orange grass. A timeless land with no darkness, only embraceable silhouettes of light. Perhaps there is no darkness, Only darkened eyes, Clouded by the fog Of reality. Allow the orange strands To dip in a clearer pool, for the grass can be As green as we desire
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PHANTASM n. A ghostly appearing figure or something existing in perception only. Welcome to our fantasy photography by phoebe cheong assistant andrew james lamb designer amelia arnold model lorelle rayner hair and make up jennifer newell
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DREAM IN LAYERS OF MOVEMENT Russian-born designers, Xsenia and Olya, offer a new style of fashion advice: “If your work makes you happy, the universe will help you out” words by tazz gault
A sensual and romantic collection, SS13 for Xsenia and Olya showcases what digital print masters they really are. Each garment is crafted with such precision and detail; after graduating from Central Saint Martins College together, the two ladies use their friendship and fantasy for fashion to create designs oozing with inspiration. Operating via a zero waste pattern cutting technique, the wearable and approachable collection is not just organic, but economically friendly too. Rippling with dreamy layers and fluidity to die for, Xsenia and Olya design with the needs of a woman at heart.
Their SS13 collection skilfully explores smoke and water, shaped beautifully around the idea of movement, whilst keeping at the heart of each piece the desire and beauty of print. “We have had movement run as a theme throughout all of our collections,” they say. “There’s a magical beauty in the way they [each garment] move which captivates the senses. These mystical shapes created by the movement seem to tickle some faint physical memory, like a scent evoking a forgotten mix of feelings. You know – that wonderful feeling of happy nostalgia.”
“Our prints are bold, vibrant yet feminine,” they tell me, clearly understanding the market and ability to shape their work around our needs. “We wouldn’t say that both of us have especially outgoing or loud personalities, but something that we believe in is being confident and bold about things in your life that you want to achieve. Just imagine what you can achieve and go for it,” they laugh, showing a seamless link between the charismatic attributes of both their design work and personalities. “In the last ten years we have both had very close family members that have died, and this made us realise that you really have to live for the moment, every single second. If your work makes you happy, the universe will help you out.”
It’s like a theatrical performance; each print makes a unique statement with its sleek and smooth nature, casting a kaleidoscope of sea blue, burnt orange, smoky teal and grainy purple across a delicate surface, tactile in its presence in silk chiffon and jersey. And, within all of these components lies a fundamental difference from many other designers; each piece strives for convenience for a women who travels, suitable for limitless amounts of encounters a day, but attractive to the refined eye. “They feel comfortable yet super desirable and feminine. Most of our pieces cling to the shape of the body with a fluidity echoing its movements, in the conviction that the dress must take on the personality of the person wearing them,” they confirm.
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Born with a burning passion for design, both Xsenia and Olya felt sure for a future in fashion from a very young age. “Both of us started re-designing our mother’s clothes – something they weren’t too happy – so that we could stand out from our friends,” they laugh. And it seems their fashion fantasies continue even into womanhood: “If we could have a magical power, it would be to be able to print our prints with the palm of our hands on any choice of fabric instantaneously!” And if you could compare yourselves to a piece of technology, what would it be? “The iPhone! They’re well designed and they evolve, but ultimately stay true to what people love about them: they’re easy to use and look good, just like our pieces.” Like they say, these ladies are just full of surprises. The future seems bright for Russian born Xsenia and Olya as they continue to mix indulgent quality fabrics with modern elegance and an organic desire for movement. “Since we’re fascinated with movement so much, we would love to create an interactive piece where the prints of our collection complete a bigger picture, and even evolve into different forms as the models move around. A sort of fashion stop-motion graffiti art-work,” they tell me, grasping the future with both hands to carry their creativity and wisdom in new directions. “We live for the moment, and at any time in the future, we will still be living for the moment. But, we would love to design tour costumes for someone like Beyoncé!”
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BEST OF SUMMER From left to right Paisley shorts Daisy Necklace Eye bracelet Earrings Blue and silver necklace Bikini top Aztec shorts Sunglasses Belt Floral dungarees Sandals
£22.99 Zara £16.50 Topshop £2.50 Topshop £8.00 Topshop £3.00 Primark £12.99 H&M £10 Primark £2.50 Primark £2.50 Primark £34 Topshop £30 Topshop
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BLUE MIRAGE A tactile land of topography
photography by phoebe cheong assistants larisssa gauger and oli hillyer-riley designer scottacus anthony model nina modak hair and make up clare greathead
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ROMANTICISM Romantic trims and pastel colours head formalwear this summer. The trend is best worn in the form of dainty dresses and statement jewellery. Team light colours with neon accessories and shoes to brighten up an otherwise classic and elegant look, or pick sequinned pieces for a minimal and accessory free outfit.
new look £12.99
miss selfridge £79
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dorothy perkins £65
Where minimalism is concerned, less is always more. Aim for angular shoulders, low backs and structured shapes that are stress free for a truly minimal look. Find the perfect balance between luxurious fabrics and toned down styles by choosing a muted palette for a simple chic and understated outfit.
river island £16
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FLAMBOYANT FLORALS Fresh floral styles and embroidered patterns are timeless and perfect for transitioning your wardrobe to high summer. Opt for neons combined with monochrome hues for a modern approach, and ditsy floral dungaree dresses to display a more feminine look.
river island £22
new look £29.99
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Feel futuristic with metallic accessories and glitter-ball inspired pieces for the festival season. Use sandals, bags and neckwear to give a sparkling accent to your outfit. Or step out in gold, silver and bronze pieces in relaxed shapes, teamed with block colour accessories to fully embrace this dramatic trend.
new look £12.99
river island £35
oh my love £35
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river island £70
CHAMBRAY This summer is the perfect opportunity to embrace the laid back style of chambray. It is time to ditch the denim shirts that have been in your wardrobe since 2011 and bring in this lighter material for the brighter weather. Chambray shirts are ideal for a smart-casual look paired with shorts or trousers. There is no risk of double denim so Chambray is easy to wear with jeans. This fabric is a new high street favourite but has been coveted by Ralph Lauren for years and made many appearances on the high summer catwalks. For the brave out there, put the shirts to one side and step out in some chambray shorts. Pair with a white t-shirt and you have a great yet simple summer look.
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river island £35
POMEGRANATE Every season there is a stand-out colour that is a favourite of designers and stores alike. Pomegranate has proved its worth in the style stakes, toning down the neon colours of spring by adding this rich colour to our fashion palettes. Go casual this summer with a t-shirt in this laid-back colour or step out of your dark suit comfort zone and go for a pomegranate blazer and matching trousers.
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PRINTED TEES For those who go for the subtler fashion statements printed tees are the easiest way to get out of your boring outfit rut. J. W. Anderson brought tons of stylish printed tees to Topman this year and they have stuck around. From being covered in giant pineapples to a low-key polka dot the variety within this trend allows it to be unique to each wearer. Wear with jeans, chinos, shorts, kilts… whatever you want. Pair with a blazer and smart trousers for an easy day to evening look.
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river island £14
RUSTIC SPORT Sportswear has been popular for a while now but put away your shiny new jackets and have a search for some vintage looking pieces. The aim of the rustic sport look is to look as if you’re a retired sportsman or coach just repping his old uniform or training kit. Baseball jackets are a great option for this with a suede or leather effect on them. Michael Kors featured this in a lot of his catwalks as well as suede effect suits that give the same weathered look. Be adventurous with this one and step away from the high street to maybe root around in vintage and second hand shops.
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HOW FASHION BECOMES ART “I try to put a lot of things in one artwork. It has to be spiritual, decorative and beautiful,” says Richard Zarzi, ‘glamour artist’ by nature words by wil oxford
Art is one of the most powerful mediums because it has the ability to inspire change, provoke thought and create action. While ever-changing in its form and style, every artwork has a primary objective – to attract and engage its audience.
but in the fibres of the very works themselves, threaded through the being of his whole creative process.
Richard Zarzi believes so, having a clear vision of what defines successful art – beauty. After working with luxury fashion labels such as Dior, Bottega Veneta and Etro, the French artist received a religious like calling to paint. “I had a change in conscience, I felt myself change” he explains. Ever since then the canvas has acted as an aperture for his emotions and creativity, working with galleries in Switzerland, the South of France and in London. He is also due to exhibit at the Cannes Film Festival this month.
In his own art, Zarzi’s choice of cultural figures as the focal point of his pieces is aimed at achieving this timeless quality. Last year he held an event in London showcasing all of his work dedicated to Kate Moss, explaining “Quality is timeless, and Kate Moss inspires my art to become timeless.” The supermodel is however not his only muse, with his subjects ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Marilyn Monroe.
“I try to put a lot of things in one artwork. It has to be spiritual, decorative and beautiful.” He explains. In fact, the subject of the beauty of art is something he is This, however, in such a digitalised age is often difficult. passionate about. “For the past 100 years or so art has Access to the world at the click of a button means been going in a bad direction because there is a lot of nothing and no longer shocks us; creativity is provided ugly art. I believe art has to be beautiful, for example on-demand and consequently artists have to take their with artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci everyone loves work to the next level to keep their audiences tuned in. his work because it has this aura, this timeless beauty. I But is the formula for popular art really such a complicat- don’t think ugly art will be timeless like the renaissance ed task? Or simply down to the most basic of principles? or the impressionists.”
For Zarzi, emotion is key. It is the lifeblood of his work and fundamental to his views on art. “My art is all about Zarzi’s work is an explosion of fantasy, colour, glitter and heart. I believe artists represent goodness and values abstraction, the artistic equivalent of David Bowie circa we lose in times of war and suffering, they provide us Ziggy Stardust, 1973. “My inspiration comes from the with a fantasy to escape to, they have this magical qualartist Kandinsky. For me, he was the master because he ity.” According to Zarzi society is backwards, our needs believed art was about spirituality and emotion, he unand desires have become distorted by ideas propagatderstood the emotion in the space.” Ultimately Zarzi’s in- ed that make us believe spending and money is where spiration is founded on the same principles. Kandinsky’s happiness can be found. Gratification and pleasure influence exists not only in a literal, illustrative sense really exists in the simplest and oldest of virtues.
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“We don’t need money or spending to make us happy only love. Love from a man or woman, love from your family or love from your friends. That is all you need.” Richard Zarzi is represented by Walton Fine Arts Gallery, London
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LUCY CAIT words by rosie lord • photography by joseph kent
Lucy Cait’s influences aren’t what you’d expect from a female singer-songwriter. For starters, she loves hip hop. “I think it’s like a modern day orchestra in some ways, with so many layers of sounds”, she begins, and reels off a list of producer artists that provided inspiration for her EP, Gabriel’s Wharf.
Lucy gigs a lot with Folkroom, the independent digital label she’s signed to. Folkroom release EPs and host one-off live events to help young folk artists get their feet off the ground. “Folkroom stand for really good things” she says, “it’s not just releasing a record and gigging, it’s a great community of people”
It’s not just hip hop that Lucy accredits to the sound of her music. “Busted and McFly were bands that really inspired me when I was little, big cringey pop tunes were kinda my thing” she laughs. It’s easy to pick up on Lucy’s diverse taste when listening to her music, with her delicate guitars and distinctive, deep, echoing voice. It’s a voice that’s seen her through years of choir practices and bedroom writing sessions with her guitar, “From a very young age, I’ve just always been playing guitar, it’s just been my thing.”
Folkroom is where Lucy met Ben Walker, who produced her EP. It was recorded in her bedroom over the course of 8 hours, and has been a long time coming. “I was meant to release my album last summer” explains Lucy, “but I held off because I didn’t really know how I wanted it to sound yet. I ended up listening to some of my favourite albums to try and work it out.” This included a number of sessions with a Frank Ocean mixtape, Johnny Flynn, and the Alt-J album. “One of the songs on my EP is actually a response to a Johnny Flynn song called
"BUSTED AND MCFLY WERE BANDS THAT REALLY INSPIRED ME WHEN I WAS LITTLE" That’s not to say Lucy considers herself a guitar-playing folk artist. When pushed to categorise or label her sound, Lucy opts for ‘South London Indie Folk Rock’, and winces. “I wouldn’t say I’m a folk artist. I’d say I’ve half heartedly fallen into that genre” she begins, before adding “but it’s been amazing. I’ve been to so many gigs where there’s so much focus on the music.” As an unaccompanied singer songwriter, music is all Lucy has to hide behind in a live setting, and that’s not always easy. There’s no shortage of acoustic songwriters, especially in Lucy’s native London, and she’s the first to admit it can be difficult to stand out in the crowd. “There’s a lot of people out there with a guitar, and it can be kind of dry for an audience” she says, “I really try to get them involved, clapping and stomping and audience participation seems to do the trick.”
Hello Hello” she admits, embarrassed. As well as creative indecision, the delay in Lucy’s EP release can be attributed to a lack of funds. “I’ve had some of the worst jobs!” she says, “I’ve worked in a café that didn’t pay me, I’ve done charity chugging, and I’ve worked in a call centre.” Luckily for Lucy, she’s got a support system in her family, who have encouraged her to pursue her music since day one. “They’re very supportive of anything creative, and my sister does art. When I told them I wanted to make music, they told me to go for it.” With her debut EP out now, Lucy’s ready to let people hear her music. “The thing that I established as soon as I started playing, is that if you’re going to write a song, you can’t be apologetic about it” she says, “I think there’s something really therapeutic about songwriting, and making music, and I want to share that.”
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New Album Releases
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LAURA MARLING once I was an eagle 9.5/10 words by rosie lord
Laura Marling’s progression since 2008’s Alas I Cannot Swim has seen her develop into one of the most accomplished songwriters of her time. Where her early friends and bandmates have burst through and conquered the mainstream charts (Mumford and Sons, Noah and the Whale, you may have heard of them), Laura has steadily grown to be one of the most adored yet relatively unknown talents of the folk industry. In 2011 Laura released her third album, A Creature I Do Not Know. It was a triumphant album, one that saw Laura finally embrace her folkstress status and eschew the “indie nu-folk” label that stuck around through her first two efforts. It was an album riddled with stories, metaphors and characters. Once I was an Eagle is a different story altogether. Where Laura’s favoured metaphor and storytelling in the past, she’s flinchingly honest now. In ‘When Were You Happy’, Laura sings “I find the more I think the harder it is to breathe.” In ‘Love Be Brave’ she sings “How did I sleep at night, with you so far from my side?” In ‘Saved These Words’ she sings “Thank you naivety for failing me again.”
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The album reads like a diary entry, the most personal songwriting Laura’s showcased since 2010’s Blackberry Stone. Whilst she’s more than capable of telling a story, and knows her way around lyrical imagery, Laura’s at her best when she’s being honest. The sixteen songs that make up Once I Was an Eagle were written over the course of a number of years, with ‘Pray for Me’ being an old live favourite since the release of her second album in 2009. It’s more a collection of songs than a traditional album, like a greatest hits of new material. What it lacks in cohesiveness, it more than makes up for in variety. There’s the gentle, unaccompanied acoustic lullaby of ‘Little Bird’, the crashing drums and banjo of ‘Master Hunter’ and the angry shouts of ‘Saved These Words’. At just over an hour in runtime, and with each song hovering around the five-minute mark, it’s Laura’s most sprawling effort to date. Once I was an Eagle has taken the best bits from each of her previous albums and combined them to form an expansive, twisting, turning performance that stands alone as one of the greatest folk albums in a very, very long time.
ALESSI'S ARK the still life
8/10 words by rosie lord
According to Alessi Laurent Marke, The Still Life is “the stage we’re all striving towards, where you feel accepting and content.” That’s not to say she’s reached it, mind. The Still Life isn’t so much a celebration of contentment as a documentation of a dark time in Alessi’s life. A large proportion of the album is made up of sombre storytelling, and it’s easy to believe Alessi’s claims that most of her inspiration for songs comes from sleepless nights. This is most noticeable on track ‘Money’, when Alessi sings “What’s clearer in the dark makes getting out of bed so hard.”
former sees Alessi slip into her mother’s native French, which she describes as a defence mechanism, “It’s a bit of a cheat really, saying the things I can’t say in English in French!” In the six years since her first EP, Alessi has done her fair share of growing-up, and The Still Life is an embodiment of all the struggles she’s faced, particularly her confidence in herself, and it’s by far her most accomplished and beautiful effort so far.
The album’s strongest moments are condensed into the second half, with the lovely ‘Sans Balance and Pinewoods’. The
GHOSTPOET some say I so I say light 6/10 words by charlie case
Without even a listen, Ghostpoet’s Mercurynominated debut, Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam gave away its tone all in the name. And so its tongue-twistingly titled predecessor comes in as no surprise as a far darker, harrowing evolution.
is lost under a mumbled delivery. The playfulness of lines such as “opened up a jam jar of past pain narratives that I can still shut”, in ‘Dialtones’, trips each word into the next, where they should jump out with ease at the ears.
The littering of bleeps, drones, and snapping beats ticking around, all placed with the same heavy presence of Ghostpoet’s unnerving vocals, maintains ‘Some Say...’ at one singular dark pace of consistency. However, it is this lack of dynamics that is its undoing, and keeps it flatlined.
Only in its last minute, of closer ‘Comatose’, does it find new direction to cling to. Jumping to life with jittering synths lines and sweeping string sections. The record is dragged to a place of newfound energy, but the taste is bittersweet.
Ghostpoet’s mastery over his lyrical craft should be its saving grace, but all emotion
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As it ends, ‘Some Say...’ pulls away just as it starts to offer more.
daft punk random access memories 8/10 words by nicholas williams
Daft Punk, an ambassador to the world of music, a duo that have themselves possibly the most anticipated album of 2013. At the release of ‘Get Lucky’, featuring the cool cat himself Pharrell Williams, the duo had put themselves back in the cool books. They have set the pathway for an album that would re-kindle the oldest of fans and be cherish by the new ones, however this time it’s different.
For lack of a better word, this album is epic, containing elements of classical and orchestral sounds, destructive drums, as well as tracks that are perfectly in tune with 80s disco, yet the record feels entirely newborn and fresh.
The duo have created an utterly addictive record, with a few helping hands from the likes of Julian Casablancas and Nile Rodgers. Its elements of funk take it away from the days of ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Random Access Memories isn’t the euphoric Stronger’ - no it’s not by Kanye West - in a pop sound heard on tracks like ‘One More completely new and digestible way. Time’, but it has funky, jazzy, high-end, thrashy guitars, interspersed with the With no shadow of a doubt Daft Punk are trademark electronica vocals. Tracks feel back, and they’re back to stay. less about electronic pop sound and seem to just be fueled with passion, adoration and soul.
cold war kids dear miss lonelyhearts 7/10 words by sally rose mccormack
Someone has pumped Cold War Kids full of cherry aid and pop tarts and, unlike a bunch of six-year-olds at Whacky Warehouse, this isn’t the worst thing in the world to have happened. Yes, they have always been fast paced, with the odd slow song, but they’ve grown out of the teen like angst and embraced impending middle age with childish glee. Opening track ‘Miracle Mile’, on their fourth offering Dear Miss Lonelyhearts opens with a very Cold War Kids style punchy piano, which drives the tempo for the rest of the song, refreshing. After an album that drifted many by, Mine Is Yours, this is just what Cold War Kids
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needed a dash of their very own special mix of musical madness. It certainly isn’t a touch on ‘Hospital Beds’, with its rough edges and all round rawness, but it has a certain charm, even if they have added a slightly synth feel in certain areas. After such a rip-roaring start, the album does fall down in places, leaving you begging for some bluesy emotion, something the title track and ‘Water & Power’ try to cater for. Much like a kid on a sugar high, there has to be a come down and this album certainly has one.
GABRIELLE APLIN english rain
5/10 words by laura potter
Breezy but not gale force, moderate with highs of ten-to-twenty strokes a minute, high pressure and, of course, occasional precipitation. The outlook looks at least reasonably promising. English Rain is a crisp summer eve, soaked in ballad and temperate refrain. Loyal to her roots, ‘Home’ loiters her harmonies and melancholic piano riffs. Behind lightly dusted lashes, Gabby’s innocence twinkles in abstract nouns and natural imagery. Love song ‘Panic Cord’ enchants with tender allusions to ‘The Sound of Music’, drizzled in mid-tempo
Marling-esque. ‘November’ and ‘Ready To Question’ induce little change; self-doubts far from Gabby & Bastille’s bold ‘Dreams’ (Fleetwood Mac). 20 going on 21, one can hardly knock the English Rose for not having quite yet bloomed brave and wild. Nevertheless, since the upsurge from ‘The Power Of Love’, warmth established with Ed Sheeran during his Australian tour combined with fresh direction from producer Mike Spencer, Gabrielle is forecast to extend the ‘acoustic’ umbrella.
SEASICK STEVE hubcap music
6/10 words by sally rose mccormack
An album made entirely on a guitar made of two hub caps and a garden hoe, then recorded on - in Seasick Steve’s own words - “old fashion tape”, you could almost mistake this 72-year-old man for a hipster in the making. It comes as no surprise to anyone that the former hobo is infamous for his home made instruments. There is a similar theme on this record as there has been on his previous work, the building ditty about the working life, such as ‘Self Sufficient Man’, only this time John Paul Jones and Jack White are toe tapping in the background. The 12 long tracks are nothing ground breaking, Seasick Steve isn’t one for trends,
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he’s just doing something that comes so naturally to him. ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ is a typical Seasick Steve song bursting with creaky guitar and wavering dusty vocals. Right after the hillbilly rock and roller you are faced with a rather slow paced bluesy breakup song, that’s right Seasick Steve is Taylor Swifting all over the place in ‘Over You’ and it’s perfectly tender, bare and gruff. No one can take away from Seasick Steve the memories he has made and he just wants to share a slice with us less adventurous types.
james blake overgrown
7/10 words by nicholas williams
At the break of 2011 James Blake became a nationally renowned musician with an idea for a post-dubstep creation, his ideas for the self-titled debut album were unique, diverse and came as a fresh face to the world of dubstep. His experimental and often powerful construction of music was rather exciting. Two years on sees the release of Blake’s second record, Overgrown, which seems like nothing much has changed. It still is led by piano, and his falsetto voice is poured over the top. The album feels slightly like a reincarnation of his debut album, however it is still filled with intricate developments, patched-up drums and some powerful moments.
When Blake burst onto the scene in 2011 he was seen as a pioneer of his breed, a post-dubstep wave that felt independent to anything else, however since that release the genre has been abused and subjected to no avail. Blake’s album still stands out as being strong, but it falls right back into that genre with the rest of the gang. It’s undeniable that Blake is a talented musician, and the music he creates is diverse, immersive and often emotional, but the key second album for Blake will not put him in good stead in a compact and crowded industry.
kurt vile wakin on a pretty daze 9/10 words by nicholas williams
Every man deep down wishes he was a little bit like Kurt Vile, as women gaze upon him their hearts melt. His shaggy rags and the ability to sing so monotonously but still create great records is truly a gift. He’s back with a 5th studio album, Wakin On A Pretty Daze. A confident, experimental lovechild of his previous album Smoke Ring For A Halo. Vile’s music is one that traditionally explores classical guitar sounds and drums entwined with his deep Philadelphian haunting vocals. Tracks such as ‘Never Run Away’, ‘KV Crimes’ ‘Shame Chamber’ are all particularly strong.
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The record itself is one that is littered with a much more exuberant sound to that of previous records. It is one that is immersive in the subtlest of ways that will wash over you with a great sense of satisfaction, but not entirely grab your attention. The charm of Vile is his power to capture an audience with what some people could see as a dull ache, but the record seems to have propelled Vile into further exploration and confidence in his music after a successful 4th studio album. This is an album for a summer’s day, or a cold winter night, Wakin On A Pretty Daze fits to all walks of life.
YEAH YEAH YEAHS mosquito
7/10 words by honor martin
The once black bobbed punk rocker has come back a blonde bombshell. The return of Karen O, Nick and Brian has been greatly anticipated by many, but their latest album Mosquito hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. It is clear throughout the album that the New York trio have tried their hand at creating music with new genres only dabbled with in previous albums, unfortunately though this has resulted in a confused sounding album rather than earning their usual title of greatness.
‘These Paths’ is a Bjork-esque song that conveys the band’s adjustment in musical style, it’s far more experimental than anything we have heard from the them before. The album’s namesake track ‘Mosquito’ is very nearly classic Yeah Yeah Yeahs, yet it doesn’t smother us in punk passion as Karen has proved she is cable of so many times before.
This definitely isn’t the strongest of their albums, but songs like ‘Always’ and ‘Despair’ show absolute potential. Perhaps this experiment of new sounds was just an The excellently selected opening track itch they had been waiting to scratch for a ‘Sacrilege’ takes us back to Fever To Tell, but long time. the inclusion of a gospel choir is a fresh and brilliant twist that I would have loved to hear continued throughout the album.
THE NATIONAL trouble will find me 8/10 words by carrie mok
Just because it is their sixth album, and will probably be their most commercially successful one to date does not mean that The National has detracted from their music or their fans. No, Trouble Will Find Me is yet another therapeutic aid for the dejected and rejected. Lead singer Matt Berninger is just as lost as he was 12 years ago when they released their debut as he softly groans, “I can’t get the balance right” in ‘Don’t Swallow The Cap’. ‘Sea Of Love’ is complicated, forlorn and reflective while ‘I Should Live In Salt’ feels like the transcript of an argument between Berninger and his loved ones. The addiction
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themed ‘This Is The Last Time’ is fast-paced but easily changes into a folky confession. The many subtle progressions across the album characterise not only the band’s mindset when piecing their tracks together but also their talent and how humble they have remained over the years. In fact ‘I Need My Girl’ epitomises this and their need for a better relationship whether with their family or with their own heads as the line “I need my girl / I keep feeling smaller and smaller” repeats until it quietly fades into black.
TRIBES wish to scream 3/10 words by carrie mok
A 16-song track listing is something of a rarity for the record of any indie darlings but it is even more unexpected from Tribes. In some ways it feels unnecessary for Wish To Scream because it is largely a collection of lacklustre follow-ups from first album ‘Baby’. Whilst ‘Dancehall’ and ‘Sons And Daughters’ are barely catchy radio fillers, some others such as ‘How The Other Half Live’ is repetitive and uninspiring. ‘Wrapped Up In A Carpet’ does however work well with the reoccurring lines of “You sit next to me hanging out on the scene / You grow up to be, who you wanted” flowing from verse to verse. But the trumpet feels unnecessary, forced and out-of-place in not only ‘Wrapped Up In A Carpet’ but also ‘It
Never Ends’, ‘Street Dancin’ among others. There’s hope in ‘Looking For Shangri-La’ and the softer sing-a-long campfire-esque elements of the chorus is a perfect song to be played live, and yet it’s disheartening to think that this song was probably written almost entirely for that purpose. The most disappointing is ‘Reincarnate’ which seems to be beautiful and a change of direction from the rest of the album but then frontman Johnny Lloyd ruins it with a less than graceful announcement of “That’s it” at the end.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND modern vampires of the city 8/10 words by nick reilly
Before the release of Modern Vampires Of The City, Vampire Weekend guitarist Rostam Batmanglij took to Twitter announcing he believed that the band’s third studio effort was in fact their finest hour yet.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t continue some of their most infectious tracks to date, though. Recent single ‘Diane Young’ is one of the band’s most ambitiously fulfilled tracks, effortlessly blending typically warped romanticism with a frenzied guitar line. It’s A bold claim, perhaps, but it’s one that’s a similar story for ‘Worship You’, lead by a brought to fantastic fruition on this album. It’s pounding drumbeat that isn’t dissimilar to a band sounding as inspired as ever, with its counterpart on ‘Walcott’ from the band’s everything that was so likeable from their first album. previous efforts shining through, but at the same time seeming to be so much matured. Ultimately, it isn’t Vampire Weekend as we used to know them, with previous youthful Maturity means that the band have never invigoration making way for a sound that’s sounded as crestfallen, and it’s this that slightly more jaded. This isn’t to its detriment overall defines the album. Stand out track though, because change in this instance, ‘Step’ sounds like the sombre sister of is never a bad thing and with their third ‘M79’ from their self titled debut, whilst Ezra album, Vampire Weekend have gone far in Koenig’s cries of “the time has come, the reminding us just why we came to love the clock is such a drag” on ‘Hudson’ seem New Yorkers in the first place. deliciously paranoid.
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noah and the whale heart to nowhere 7/10 words by ben fisher
Noah is back, this time with something of a killer whale as Heart To Nowhere cranks up the appetite of every nose-diving pop fan. The title track is appealing and sweet just as ‘Tonight’s the Kind of Night’ went strolling up to Joe Public with open arms – this is more of the same. ‘All Through the Night’ continues the timeorientated direction of what is now a rather lumbered whale. ‘Lifetime’ offers a racket as a bass - fit with a jolly and harmless chorus - meet with a warm violin or two. The emphasis is on the sound of the band once more, vocals aren’t pushed but uplifting and are the souls of the songs, none more so than ‘Lifetime’.
‘Silver and Gold’ is happy to help as such but doesn’t build on the stronger latter foundations of this ten-track and neither does ‘One More Night’ which is just a combination of more mellow lyrics and hanging guitar chords. ‘Still After All These Years’ is different – it’s like Eric Clapton’s son has discovered his dad’s voice and tried to blend that with a lackadaisical pop spice or two. ‘There Will Come a Time’ is buoyant and picks up the odd bypassed track. This is trademark Noah – a toe-tapping bass, a cheery lyrical singsong about emotions and a conventional look at the clock.
SHE & HIm volume three
6.5/10 words by carrie mok
She & Him’s combination of the eversweet and chirpy Zooey Deschanel and the warmth of the guitar from M. Ward in first song ‘I’ve Got Your Number Son’ is a wonderful greeting to fourth studio album Volume Three. ‘Never Wanted Your Love’ is a catchy shimmering number about a lover who is giving up on their relationship with the lyrics “I’m not talking to you anymore/ Making my bed so I can lie there forever” all on top of quick, sharp violins and the silky roars of M. Ward. Meanwhile ‘Baby’ is a cover which embodies the brightness and synergy between the duo. With ‘Turn To White’ being a much
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quieter ensemble, with lighter layers supporting Deschanel’s echoing voice and message of heartbreak. It seems like ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me’ is a similar softer song, but it contrasts the earlier direction of the album with a sense of desperation and a melodic mix of jazz and country whereas another cover in the form of ‘Sunday Girl’ is airy but it is not excessive. It’s not overly exciting but Volume Three is full of crisp guitars, fierce backing violins and Deschanel’s prominent vocals making up for the repeating motifs and similarity.
Physical Music words by nicholas williams
From a young age I dived into possibly the most terrible music possible, and I had a terrible gig history in my first few teenage years.
Eventually I fell into indie. I grew the biggest adoration for Bloc Party and Biffy Clyro, they were my two favourite bands, and they were worshipped by me religiously.
My first gig was embarrassingly Kids in Glass Houses, dear me that’s a horrible confession. The first cassettes I ever owned were Eiffel 65’s I’m Blue and Ricky Martin’s Livin’ la Vida Loca, both undeniable classics. The first CD I ever purchased was Gorillaz Demon Days which, to this day, is not too shabby for a first CD purchase. The first Vinyl I ever purchased was in around 2008 and it was White Lies Death on single, and still to this day I’ve never played it. As a teen I just wanted a wall decoration, so cheap singles was the way to go.
Nowadays as a 20-year-old man, I find myself in awe of psychedelia, grunge and drone. With a gradual collection of vinyl, I’m falling back into the days of my parents generation. The likes of Tame Impala, Todd Rundgren, DIIV, UMO, Wampire, Parquet Courts, Pond, Kurt Vile are all on the list of albums that should be loved and adored.
As I grew older and my wardrobe became engrossed with football shirts and nike tracksuits, “the chavy days” would see my little CD player host the likes of Eminem, D-12 and of course Justin Timberlake. I also still vow that I can sing or rap all the worlds to Eminem’s ‘When I’m Gone’, as well as countless JT tracks, there is no denying that Justified isn’t a great album. Then there’s a gap; somewhere along the line I picked up a guitar and drum sticks and fell in love with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Supertramp. But then I started listening to terrible music again - the likes of My Chemical Romance, Paramore etc. - which must have spoke volumes to my teenage emo heart.
Seeing as I’ve almost come full cycle in terms of going from Rap to Emo to Indie to Psychedelia, who knows where I’ll be next. I may try my hand at some electronica.
Best band live: Tame Impala Best album/EP: Tame Impala - EP Biggest letdown album: Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost Best festival: Greenman Festival/ Glastonbury
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Pebble caught up with jolly trio Theme Park, whose laughter could be heard echoing through The Joiners in Southampton
When asked to introduce themselves, front-man Miles doesn’t hesitate. He commands, politely: “Miles is my name and I am the singer, and I play a little bit of guitar,” before a ginger haired Oscar, reminiscent of a beaming Roald Dahl character adds “I play guitar and a little bit of bass.” Miles says, “Brother M (Marcus) is the player-manager if it was a football team, the Gianluca Vialli of the band, he’s most aware of where we’ve got to be, responsible for lighting set-up, fulfilling the role of production manager, part-time tour manager, band member and publicist.” Despite their name, the boys aren’t necessarily theme park fans, it’s probably fairer to say they’re scared of them. Miles sheds some light “We like casual rides but we don’t really like them. We embraced Legoland as youngsters, we like the log flume because it’s calm.”Oscar, who’s sandwiched between the two brothers both on and off stage, chips in with “When I was younger I was genuinely terrified you could get hurt. I’ve learnt to let go and embrace the joy of it.” Apart from a hate of theme parks rides, what else is there to the band? Oscar offers up some band influences, “David Bowie - that rubbed off a little bit, hopefully. I listen to a lot of Prince as well. He’s amazing; he would be in my dream band as guitarist. Jonny Greenwood would be in there. Maybe I’d have Nina Simone to sing, she’s my favourite singer of all-time, she’s so passionate. I’d put Stevie Wonder on drums, he can do vocals.” Theme Park aren’t just influenced by music, however. The boys are very cultured, with art school backgrounds and interests. “I was in Musee d’Orsay in Paris” begins Oscar, “I was astounded by the impressionist artists, they were all amazing artists in their own right, and they’d been working within ten to twenty years of each other.” Theme Park have played some high profile support slots – including opening for Two Door Cinema Club on their words by ben fisher • photography by charlotte dart
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UK tour. “They have a phenomenally huge fan-base,” says Oscar. “They seem like very normal nice human beings. A lot of people we work with had worked with Two Door. They had a good experience with them and built them up from grassroots.” As well as Two Door Cinema Club, Theme Park also count Bombay Bicycle Club among their friends. Suren from played in jazz groups with them throughout school, and ex-member Louis Bhose now plays live with the band. “Having peers out there playing on television and stuff, the whole thing became much more achievable. It wasn’t this dream world.” Whilst they might have friends in high places, Theme Park’s sound is very different to that of Bombay and Two Door. It’s chirpy and energetic with calypso influences – but the boys have trouble putting their finger on exactly how they’d describe it. “We never sit down and decide to use the same sound we always use. It’s more about what feels right at that moment.” Lyrically, however, the band have a more assured idea of what they’re about. “I don’t like the idea of performing really sad songs all the time” says Oscar. “If you play the most miserable songs on earth, you’re going to be the most miserable people on earth.”
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O R IG IN
VAMPIRE WEEKEND troxy, london // 02.05.13 // Last time Vampire Weekend visited the UK, they played Alexandra Palace, a 10,000 capacity venue. London’s Troxy’s capacity is just over 2000. Put simply, it’s too small for Vampire Weekend. Hours before doors open, a queue of girls in matching t-shirts sat camped outside the venue, almost 9 hours before the band were billed to come on stage. Anticipation of the third record from Vampire Weekend has been growing since they mysteriously posted a teaser ad in the New York Times, but tonight’s gig is taking place weeks before the release. That wasn’t always the plan, and tonight was originally scheduled after the release of Modern Vampires of the City, but was pushed back to accommodate an SNL appearance. As a result, the only new material the fans have to work with is two early singles, and a handful of live recordings. That’s not to say they don’t know them word for word. The band play a set comprised of first, second and third album tracks in equal amounts, but it feels heavy on old material. Opening with ‘Cousins’ and ‘White Sky’ from second album Contra, they launch straight into fan favourites with ease. Frontman Ezra Koenig is charismatic as ever, entertaining the audience with jerky and exaggerated dance moves. It’s been three years since the release of Contra, and the boys seem a little out of practice in a live setting. Whilst they storm through older material with ease, they seem more nervous with the new songs. Fast-paced lead single ‘Diane Young’ falls slightly flat when nestled amongst the familiar singles, and unheard tracks ‘Obvious Bicycle’ and ‘Everlasting Arms’ don’t quite resonate with the audience enough to keep the pace of the set. Finishing with a three-song run of live favourites including ‘One’ and ‘Walcott’, the band quickly redeem themselves and bring the audience back to screaming point. Nineteen songs is a lot to play in such a small setting, and tonight’s set suggests that Vampire Weekend can command much bigger venues, bigger production, and the bigger show needed to showcase the new material in a way that it deserves.
words and photography by rosie lord
daughter the old firestation, bournemouth // 23.04.13 // words by sally rose mccormack photography by eliot lee hazel
Bournemouth was the scene for the ever-tender Daughter’s last show in their current string of UK dates, supported by Bear’s Den. The support consisted of three men, made up of beard and flannel. They managed to hold a mildly interested audience with a very Mumford and Sons approach to folk, low builds, soaring generic chorus.
a stunned crowd as the band play their most upbeat song ‘Human’. Sparse echoing guitar rifts, piercing machinist rumbles and ground shaking drum loops fill the Bournemouth venue. People casually chat at the bar, sit in the clubs booths or stand shoulder to shoulder at the barrier, either way there is an eerie spell bounding silence in parts.
Daughter took to the stage as the crowded Bournemouth student’s union bar shuffled forward to get a closer glimpse of the perfectly understated Elena Tonra. A slim figure wearing a simple black top to contrast the souring vocal that erupted from her mouth with the opener ‘Shallows’, a jaw-dropping start.
The two most mimed a long to, because who would dare try to match Elena’s vocal prowess, were ‘Human’ and ‘Youth’ songs making it on to every radio station’s main playlist. It wont be long till every slightly emotional scene in Hollyoaks is coupled with songs like ‘Still’, which gave the band the perfect space to display how in tune they with each other, building and drifting together, neither The almost wave like vocals washed over the other band over powering the other. members mellow, yet haunting musical input. The album itself is full to the brim of sorrow, beauty and a certain Sadly Bournemouth missed out on the chance to hear a loss that we will all eventually experience, themes that mash up of Bon Iver and Hot Chip, something everyone come across just as vivid live as they do on the album. should witness at least once in their lives. Elena’s voice could take no more, but managed to delicately pull off Sharp vocals emanating from a tiny pin straight bob cut, ‘Home’ before leaving the stage to a wave of applause. are broken up with shy greetings and reminiscing about nights out in some of Bournemouth’s most infamous of A rather beautiful and calm closing show, no smashing nightclubs. Elena’s awkward and totally adorable stage up the stage, just the shattering of the crowds emotions talk is interrupted by the audience’s exclamations of after such a musical rollercoaster and the realisation love, something that seems to still shock the trio. they will never be Elena Tonra’s vocal chords. As the night progresses Elena confesses that the tour has taken it’s toll and her voice is giving in and apologies profusely, something which could of fooled
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Dim lights, shaggy rags and leather, all elements of a shady night in Lennons nightclub, in Southampton. A night of psychedelia, and not just any old night. A night that would transport you to time adored by generations before, this was a night that could be the closest thing to a 70s revival, and the night itself was graced by Temples.
TEMPLES lennons nightclub, southampton // 29.03.13 //
Temples are pioneers of the 70/80s adoration of psychedelia. Washed-out vocals, grungey guitars and an intuitive, rhythmic and powerful drum sound. Lennon’s Nightclub sits in the middle of nothing, a few houses, a local pub, a corner shop but inside the lights are low, the air is hazy and as Temples grace the stage the place became alive.
words by nicholas williams photograph courtesy of temples
Delivering a polished and engaging set it seems that the rest of Temples material will make for a strong debut album. Tracks ‘Shelter Song’ and new single ‘Colours to Life’ are particular crowd favourite as frontman James Bagshaw (also a wonderful re-incarnation of Marc Bolan) chats to the crowd. The band seem to be one that don’t realise the strength of the music they create, a band that stands timidly on a small stage with few words in-between tracks. Lennon’s Nightclub hosts a number of psychedelic nights with up-and-coming Splashh scheduled to play next. For those who are fed up with the monotonous nature of other Dorset nights out, take a trip to Lennons for a night that feels like the night our parents would have adored.
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miles kane komedia, bath // 12.05.13 // words by stephen chapman photography by alterna2
It was amongst a sea of sideburns, tight trousers and top-buttoned polos that Wirral wonder Miles Kane took to the stage at Bath’s Komedia. It was the latest instalment of his tour to promote the release of his second solo album, Don’t Forget Who You Are. Former frontman of Indie-rock oufit ‘The Rascals’, and co-founder (with Alex Turner) of side project ‘The Last of The Shadow Puppets’, Kane has amassed a loyal following of ‘mods’ both young and old, who formed the majority of the Bath crowd. As the stage was cleared and set up for Kane, a buzz of anticipation could be felt around the ever-growing Komedia crowd. The lights went off and onto the stage swaggered Kane, the eyes of the entire crowd following him as he jumped between the impressive lights and smoke which drenched the stage. His presence and confidence, which was missing from the warm-up act was more than made up for, as Kane just stood and lapped up the adulation from the mod-heavy crowd. The set was fittingly opened with ‘You’re Gonna Get It’, an instalment from Kane’s latest album which a surprising number recognised and sang along to; a fact which explains just how well Kane’s solo career has captured imagination’s everywhere. 3 songs into his set, Miles stopped the music in the middle of a song to break up a fight which had broken out between some of the merrier members of the crowd, a move which immediately got all of Komedia on his side. He took to the mic and proudly exclaimed, “I don’t want any more fucking fighting. I just want to play some fucking music!” Kane then changed songs, claiming “We needed something more upbeat after all that”. As a performer he exuded ability, and came with the kind of confidence that justified that hair, those trousers and that rock-star pout. Halfway through his gig, cheeks already glistening with sweat, Kane unleashed ‘Inhaler’, a fan-favourite from his first album The Colour of the Trap. Any doubts about the set vanished, and Kane himself seemed to move up a gear, shredding up and down his guitar as the mods bounced around in front of him. An extended edition of ‘Come Closer’, another favourite from the first album, followed by the second album’s title track ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ ended the show. Lights, fights and questionable tights – the set had everything, and proved to the critics that Kane is equally at home in an intimate venue such as this, as commanding a jumping festival tent.
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THE FANTASY FESTIVAL playlist Crystal Fighters // Follow Limahl // Never Ending Story The xx // Fantasy Atoms For Peace // Default MGMT // The Handshake Beirut // Mount Wroclai (Idle Days) Foals // Spanish Sahara Purity Ring // Fineshrine James Blake // I Only Know (What I Know Now) M83 // We Own The Sky
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THE SECRETS OF SHOREDITCH Set amongst Shoreditch’s vast revue of cultural spaces, The Book Club is a worthy addition to the area’s vibrant scene. Although on appearance it seems like a restaurant, it is so much more than this, rapidly garnering a reputation as a hub for alternative cultural happenings in London. In February it hosted an exclusive UK screening of “Marfa Girl”, the latest film from controversial “Kids” director Larry Clark. Clark had previously claimed that he wanted to bypass cinematic distributors, as he felt they were not trustworthy. It’s nothing short of a coup for the venue to host the film. It’s also started to delve into the increasingly popular art of performance poetry with cult hero Scroobius Pip hosting a night called “We Are Lizards”, teaming DJ sets with occasional ‘beats and pieces’. There’s also the opportunity to experience the various Cabaret nights held at the venue, offering a unique mixture of dance, theatre and comedy. The next of these is due to be held on the 2nd June. In an area where venues like The Book Club are so common, it’s hard to stand out. The Book Club does this and more, offering a unique performance platform in the heart of one of London’s most vibrant areas. words by nick reilly photography by the book club
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MOVING PICTURES: PREVIEWS words by jodie packwood
Despite summer being well and truly upon us, the dreary weather still seems to be lingering. So what better way to spend a rainy day than checking out our Top 5 films to see over the next few months? • 108 •
only god forgives Starring Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas, ‘Only God Forgives’ is a crime thriller set in Thailand. It tells the story of Julian (Gosling), a drug smuggler in Bangkok who is compelled by his mother to avenge his brother’s death. Expect drugs, action, crime and violence in Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest creation. The film divided critics at Cannes, with many thinking that there was too much violence. It’s one of 20 in the race for Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or prize and definitely worth a watch to see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
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THE ICEMAN Inspired by real life events, ‘The Iceman’ follows notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) from his early days in a mob, until his arrest for the murder of more than 100 men. Kuklinski appears to be living the perfect American dream, with a great family life as a devoted husband and father. But in reality, he’s a ruthless killer, with his family having no idea about his real profession. Co-starring Academy Award nominee Winona Ryder and Chris Evans (Avengers), ‘The Iceman’ is both brutal and harrowing, going to violent extremes that you wouldn’t ever think possible.
Silence TV crime dramas of late have been preoccupied with tales of moody Scandinavian detectives tackling the most grizzly of crimes. It was only a matter of time before such subject matter made its way to the big screen and that’s exactly the vibe that ‘The Silence’ is aiming for. It follows the story of Krischan Mittich, a detective on the cusp of retirement. However, he’s haunted by a single unsolved case from years ago, in which a girl was subject to a horrifically sexualised murder. On the anniversary of her murder, another girl is taken in a copycat disappearance. It’s this case that truly stands in the way of Krischan and retirement. Brutal, brooding and relentless, ‘The Silence’ is a fantastically welcome addition to the crime genre on screen.
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THE BLING RING Based on a series of true events, ‘The Bling Ring’ tells the story of a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who use the Internet to track the whereabouts of celebrities so that they can burgle their homes. Oscar award-winning writer and director Sofia Coppola manages to portray a funny, riveting and bang-on portrayal of the celebrity obsession. Starring Emma Watson, the story could be criticised of seeming somewhat far-fetched if it wasn’t based on reality. In 2008-2009 a gang of high school teenagers, who became known to the press as ‘The Bling Ring’, stole £1.9million of jewellery, clothes, cash and art from the homes of Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan. Hilton even plays a short cameo role in the film. Coppola has a track record for creating fantastic films and this one looks set to follow suit.
WHAT MAISIE KNEW ‘What Maisie Knew’ is an adaptation of Henry James’ 1897 novel, and tells the story of a young girl who’s caught up in her parents’ bitter custody battle. Told from the point of view of 6-year-old Maisie (Onata Aprile), the film shows the captivating story of the never-ending turmoil that the little girl is facing. Starring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan as Maisie’s parents, it becomes evident that they are too self-involved to notice the neglect that they are placing on their daughter.
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TOP FANTASY FILMS words by nick reilly
Pan’s Labyrinth is Guillermo Del Toro’s finest film to date, seamlessly blending the horrors of reality and fantasy together in an allegorical fairytale, set against the Franco dictatorship of Spain in the 1940s.
It’s focused on the story of Ofelia, the stepdaughter of a Fascist general who is led by a mysterious fawn into the titular Labyrinth, a dark and unpredictable underworld inhabited by a multitude of unsavoury creatures. Reality isn’t depicted as much rosier, with Ofelia’s stepfather seen to brutally torture anti-fascists on a multitude of occasions and it’s here that Del Toro’s genius emerges. He’s subtly criticising a dictatorship that seems far more monstrous than a darkened underworld in order to emphasise and subtly critique the horrors of both war and fascism.
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The princess bride
In the 1980s, Rob Reiner had one of the most successful runs of all directors. The likes of This Is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me and Misery cemented his name in the echelons of cinematic history, but his venture into fantasy with The Princess Bride is arguably his greatest hour. The story of Buttercup and Westley’s quest for true love is theoretically bland, but Reiner goes far in injecting the film with a brilliantly madcap sense of humour. The character of Prince Humperdinck is effortlessly manifested as the obstacle standing in the way of true love, but it isn’t this central plot that has made it’s way to the annals of cult history. Instead, that honour goes to Mandy Patinkin who gives a fiendishly brilliant performance as Inigo Montoya, with the line “You killed my father, prepare to die”, being the most iconic line from the whole film.
Labyrinth isn’t just a film. It’s a trip that even the strongest batch of LSD wouldn’t be capable of creating, as visionary Muppets creator Jim Henson invites us into the titular Labyrinth. Henson’s puppet creations perfectly compliment the tale of Sarah, played by a youthful Jennifer Connelly who is transported to the titular Labyrinth, a surreal and unnerving underworld. Bowie gives a typically unworldly performance as Jareth, the Goblin King, whose performance of the ‘magic dance’ lives long in the memory as one of the most inadvertently disturbing pieces of interpretative performance ever seen on the big screen. The plot is skewed, unpredictable and downright nonsensical, but it’s totally suited to the thematic symbolism of the film and is ultimately responsible for one of the most unlikely endearing pieces of fantasy cinema you’ll ever watch.
Whether Toy Story is a fantasy film by traditional definitions of the word is debatable, its brilliance however, is not. The story of toys that come to life when their owners are elsewhere is for what it’s worth, the greatest animated film ever made. More than just a kid’s film, it’s a stark meditation on the effects of friendship, belonging, love and loss. The film marked a breakthrough in cinema history, becoming the first CGI feature to grace our screens. By combining a unique mixture of humour that appeals to universal audiences of all ages, John Lasseter headed a Pixar team that created an animation revolution. An undoubted masterpiece.
Studio Ghibli is arguably the greatest animation studio in the world, bringing beautifully hand drawn creations to life, and in the process gifting us with the likes of My Neighbour Totoro and Ponyo, to name but a few. But for what it’s worth, Spirited Away is their unabashed masterpiece. Directed by studio founder Hayao Miyazaki, it follows the story of Chihiro, a girl who enters a mystic underworld. In this sense, it’s thematically similar to Pan’s Labyrinth and is surprisingly sinister, given that Chihiro’s parents are turned into pigs. However, the film’s subtle meditations on both family and belonging are what stay with the audience long after the credits have rolled. It’s more than just an animated masterpiece, it’s one of the greatest films ever made.
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A LITERARY TAPESTRY words by julie cornu
Be it Chuck Palahniuk’s black-humoured ‘Rant’ or Bret Easton Ellis’ love triangle in ‘The Rules of Attraction’ -there’s something fresh, engaging and even transgressive about stories narrated from a nuance of characters. This is especially the case with David Mitchell’s ‘Cloud Atlas’. Stretched across a plethora of continents, centuries, races and personalities, ‘Cloud Atlas’ strives to explore the innate universality of human nature through characteristic, recurrent themes, ideas or things which connect the characters in some way or another. A bisexual British composer conning a dying musical genius, a journalist in the 1970s discovering a corporate nuclear scandal, a cloned humanoid slave in some distant, dystopian state and many more — each are connected in meticulous details, some as small as birthmarks. The idea of a novel demarcated into six specific stories, each with their respective main character, can be off-putting. Even a single protagonist can sometimes be difficult to empathize and relate with, to the extent that one finds the story so disengaging and frustrating that they’ll give up on it. This was not the case with ‘Cloud Atlas’. The six narrators are so infinitely different from one another and placed in such a variation of settings, that you ultimately begin to forget the stories are connected. This means that when you do begin to discern similarities in names, physiology or objects, the satisfaction in watching all the threads come together into one glorious, colourful, anachronistic tapestry never ceases to grow.
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MAKE A WISH compiled by georgia scarr • illustration by jenny cooper
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I wish I had the power of flight, holidays would be so much cheaper! I wish to have permanently immaculate make up that I never have to redo I wish that I never make a mistake that kills someone I wish to have the time (and skill!) to make music again I wish one of my parents spoke a second language and taught it to me growing up I wish I had a bin that emptied itself I wish I looked and acted like the image of myself in my head I wish that I can look back on my life and think “you did good, kid” I wish my cat would live forever, even though she puked inside my suitcase I wish I needed less sleep I wish I had an infinite supply of Nutella
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TEA AND CAKE words by georgia scarr • photography by charlotte dart
Old-fashioned is in fashion. Pebble loves this vintageinspired coffee house
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ELSIE HARRHY COFFEE HOUSE, BOURNEMOUTH • 123 •
The venue: The venue: Clean-cut and charming, the Elsie Harrhy Coffee House is homed by Bournemouth’s affluent Westbourne high street. Muted tones of blue and mint green make the slim café space seem expansive, with mismatched tables and furnishings giving it a warm, quirky feel. A vintage theme runs throughout, from the walls adorned with eclectic 40s memorabilia to the retro soundtrack and even the coffee house’s name, inspired by the owner’s great great aunt.
The products: The hand-selected coffee and loose leaf tea the Elsie Harrhy Coffee House offers are delicious, but the champion beverage is their homemade hot chocolate: a chunk of rich, solid chocolate is served on a stick along with a mug of frothy steaming milk to dissolve it. If that’s not quite luxurious enough, try their homemade toasted banana bread drizzled with honey (£2.50) for breakfast, or visit later in the day for one of their signature doorstop sandwiches (from £3.95).
While you’re there: Browse through the elegant boutiques or pay a visit to Westbourne’s old-school bingo hall.
Perfect for: Hot chocolate purists and lovers of all things retro.
IN SEASON recipes by briana millett photography by charlotte dart
Get a taste of summer with dishes using this season’s best ingredients: broad beans, lamb and raspberries • 126 •
BROAD BEAN AND MOZZARELLA BRUSCHETTA Serves four Broad beans don’t just have to sit alongside a Sunday roast. These crunchy bruschetta make for the perfect starter or light bite.
Ingredients 300g fresh broad beans 1 tbsp olive oil Small handful of basil leaves, finely chopped 8 small slices of ciabatta Half a 125g mozzarella ball, shredded
1. Simmer the broad beans for 3 minutes in lightly salted water. Drain the beans, run under cold water and drain again. Remove each bean’s grey skin before placing them in a bowl. 2. Add the olive oil and basil to the bowl. Crush the beans slightly with a fork and mix the ingredients together. Be careful not to overdo it!
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3. Toast the ciabatta evenly on both sides and scoop some of the broad bean mixture onto each piece. 4. Top with the mozzarella, drizzle a little more olive oil over the top of each portion, season and serve.
LAMB BURGERS WITH SWEET POTATO WEDGES Serves four Enjoy this season’s fresh, delicious lamb with this tasty twist on the classic burger and chips
Ingredients 600g lamb mince 1 large egg 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped 4 large sweet potatoes 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp paprika 2 tsp Dijon mustard
1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas Mark 6 and grease a large baking sheet.
the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, giving them a shake every 10 minutes.
2. Place the mince, egg, red onion and garlic 6. When the wedges have been in the oven into a bowl, season and mix well. for 25 minutes, begin grilling the burgers. Grill for 15 minutes, turning them once about Shape the mince mixture into four evenhalfway through. shaped burgers and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. 8. Serve the burgers in a crusty bread roll and enjoy your spicy sweet potato sides. 3. Slice the sweet potatoes into thin wedges. 4. Place the sweet potato wedges in a bowl, along with the olive oil, paprika and mustard. 5. Mix thoroughly. Spread the wedges onto
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RASPBERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE BLONDIES Makes 12 squares Bring the sunshine to your baking by adding juicy raspberries to these white chocolate treats
Ingredients 200g butter 150g white chocolate, finely chopped 300g caster sugar 3 eggs 200g plain flour Pinch of salt 125g raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 25x22cm shallow tin with a thin layer of butter. 2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook gently for 5 minutes. Allow the butter to cool for 5 minutes, add half of the white chocolate and stir until smooth. 3. Beat together the sugar and eggs. Sift in the flour and salt, then fold in the chocolate and butter mix.
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4. Pour the mixture into the greased tin and scatter with the rest of the chopped chocolate and raspberries. Bake for 40 minutes, ensuring the mixture has risen all over and has a golden crust. Cool and serve.
ALFRESCO DINING recipes by georgia scarr • photography by charlotte dart
These light, fresh-tasting dishes are simple, BBQ-friendly and bound to impress • 130 •
CHILLI, GARLIC AND CORIANDER FLATBREAD Serves eight
Ingredients 400g self-raising flour 340g plain Greek yoghurt 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped 1 tbsp olive oil 3 large sprigs of coriander, finely chopped 1 tsp salt
1. Grease and line a large baking tray. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas Mark 6. 2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the Greek yoghurt and mix until a dough forms. Add the chilli and garlic, and knead for 5 minutes until the dough forms a smooth ball. Refrigerate for half an hour. 3. On a floured board, roll the dough out until it is 1-1.5cm thick all over. Transfer to the baking tray. Drizzle the dough with olive oil, then sprinkle the coriander and salt on top. 4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
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AROMATIC PORK KEBABS Serves four
Ingredients 300g pork mince 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped 1 small red chilli, finely chopped 1cm thick slice of ginger, peeled and finely chopped 2 spring onions, finely chopped 1 tbsp sesame seeds 1 red pepper, diced 1 yellow pepper, diced 1 large onion, cut into eight
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1. Place the pork mince, garlic, chilli, ginger, spring onions and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Roll into 16 meatballs. 2. Carefully thread the meatballs, peppers and onions onto wooden skewers. 3. Grill or barbecue the kebabs for 7-8 minutes on each side, or until the meatballs have cooked through.
ASIAN-INSPIRED COLESLAW Serves four
Ingredients Half a medium white cabbage, finely sliced 1 medium carrot, grated 6 spring onions, finely sliced Half a cucumber, deseeded and finely sliced A few sprigs of coriander and basil, finely chopped For the dressing: 2 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp soy sauce ½ tbsp fish sauce
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1. Combine the vegetables and herbs in a large bowl. Mix the rice vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce in another bowl. 2. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss thoroughly.
CREAMY MANGO VODKA POPS Makes eight small lollies
Ingredients 1 mango, flesh removed 200ml coconut milk 50ml vodka 50ml citrus-flavoured vodka (lemon or lime would be ideal) Juice of half a lime
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1. Use a blender to puree the mango flesh until smooth. 2. Add the coconut milk, vodka and lime juice. Mix thoroughly. 3. Pour into ice lolly moulds. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
A SPRINKLE OF FAIRY DUST Add a little good luck to your day with these DIY fairy dust trinkets words by briana millett • photography by charlotte dart
You will need: Empty miniature ‘message in a bottle’ trinket Glitter Super glue Loop screw Key ring or necklace chain Hint: you can buy most of these items for next to nothing on eBay or at your local craft store.
1. Remove the top of the bottle and fill with glitter. Place a line of superglue along the inside of the bottle and firmly replace the top to ensure that the glitter doesn’t escape. 2. Screw the loop into the cork and place onto a necklace chain or key ring.
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LAND OF WONDER photography by adrian denisiuk make up roseanna heymann model sally fish styling nicki grainger location what alice found vintage shop boscombe
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FANTASTICAL Barry M Dazzle dusts in shade 8 and shade 10 £4.59 each Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation £8.99 Revlon Photoready Skinlights £11.99 Collection 2000 Lasting Colour Gel Liner in Teal £4.99 Maybelline Great Lash mascara in Blackest Black £4.99 Boujois Blusher £7.49
L’Oréal Paris GlamShine in Bubble Pink £7.65 Eylure Naturalites Natural Texture False Eyelashes 155 £5.35 Other eyelashes £2.00
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DIY: EASY FAKE TAN photography by charlotte dart
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what you will need: 100g unscented white lotion 45g 100% cocoa powder a fork and a bowl
step one: put both ingredients into the bowl step two: mix well with fork until the ingredients are blended well - make sure there are no clumps
tips: adjust the cocoa ratio according to how dark you want it to be - these proportions will give you a medium glow use lemon juice to remove
step three: smooth over body evenly and apply daily for a deep gradual tan
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WHO ARE WE?
editor deputy editor features fashion music culture lifestyle beauty photography videography sub editor design
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julia denni joseph kent joshua saunders hannah smithson tazz gault tash salmon lauren anthony sally rose mccormack rosie lord nick reilly jodie packwood georgia scarr briana millett sophie crockett charlotte dart scott craig honor martin sinead houlihan rachel currie milly mcculloch
HAVE A FANTASTIC SUMMER
photography by hivenn
find us enjoying our summer at pebblezine.com • 153 •