16th January 2008, Issue 53 www.qmu.org.uk
The Rebirth of
in this issue… 6
muir russell’s ever expanding pay cheque
an introduction to burlesque in glasgow
12 7 14 5 13
unfair games: why america sees new game releases before the uk hardeep singh kohli interview the best of last year’s music - and the best of what’s to come tesco partick case goes to court the unbalanced chances of liverpool winning the league
regulars nelson’s column p4 outside the box p 12 showcase p8 album and single reviews p15 clubs and societies p9 i saw you back page
big angry blob: back page
Credits What can’t you give up for new years? Publications Convenor: Scott Forsyth - 10 big gummi cola bottles Editor: Kat Borrowdale - Talking News Editor: Iain Smith - rumour mongering Entertainments Editor: Simon Gwynn - insulin Music Editor: Chloe Adam James Butler - Clarkson Features Editor: Emma Fraser Sub Editors: Leo Clark - Gary Jules’ album from Fopp Laura Murdoch - Dark Chocolate Photography: Daiquiri Dusk photos by David Kane / KaD2 Gipsy and Viva photo by Keith Dumble, Fourth Eye Photography Flickr: Alphabunny Photos, Martin La Bar, El Ingles Contributors: Tricia Hagenbuch - nipple tassels Morven Gavin Lee Pete Myall - crack Shelley Winters Gabriella Forsyth-Scott - writing what I know Mia Deville - nipple tassels Daiquiri Dusk - nipple tassels Henry Wilson Gordon Brady Alison Wilson SarahLouise MacAdie Nelson - political satire Ruth Gilbert Duncan Woodall - Sexism Aaron Murray - myrhh Harriet Johnston - sleeping in public places The people who put this magazine together are students like you who are interested in writing, design, photography or journalism. Some of us are experts, some of us are just getting started, and we always welcome new people. If you want to join the qmunicate team, come along to Publications Committee every Wednesday at 5.30pm (third ﬂoor of the QM). qmunicate is © Queen Margaret Union. All work is © its authors 2008. Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Queen Margaret Union. Printed by McVicars.
qmunicate16th January 2008
Nelson’s Column A unique take on world news from qmunicate’s columnist Nelson
nother year, another qmunicate and I’m pleased to tell you that in the weeks since our last publication we have ensured that absolutely nothing news-worthy has happened. However, the news was re-started last Monday to coincide with this publication and I’m afraid it doesn’t look good. It’s been a bumpy start to the year for the UK with everyone complaining about money; and it’s not just moaning, it’s a serious problem. It seems as if the new year has made everyone question their vocational value. A teachers’ strike is looming which would of course result in a million extra little hooligans on our streets. If the police get their way they could also end up on the picket lines, so there would be nobody to control the feral herd. And ﬁnally all the health care workers are pissed oﬀ so there will be nobody to take care of us in the aftermath. One of the big overseas stories has been the start of the Primaries for the upcoming US elections. The whole aﬀair is of course generating a lot of speculation about the changes this will bring to the United States but perhaps not enough speculation about what eﬀect Bush’s departure will have on the rest of the world. Recent events in Kenya and Pakistan have served to highlight that there is more to democracy than elections. It falls to the wider world to focus on foreign policy, as for the next several months the US is sure to be very self-involved.
Perhaps it is religion we should be looking to for guidance and religion says: play football. In one of the weirder stories of the week Pope Benedict XVI has scraped his way back into the news by announcing that he’d like the game of football to be a vehicle for the education of the values of honesty, solidarity and fraternity, especially among younger generations, as he met with a delegation of Italian football professionals. It is perhaps a strange comment to make given the Italian game’s problems with corruption, match ﬁxing and hooliganism in recent years, but I’m sure that as usual he knows what he’s doing.
New Year, New Nightline
SRC relaunches listening and information service Laura Murdoch et al
tudents who ﬁnd themselves in need of information have somewhere to turn, with the SRC (Students’ Representative Council) taking another step in improving its service to students with the relaunch of Nightline, its late-night student information and listening service. It’s hoped that the revamp will help focus the role of Nightline, which has for a long time been seen as a last resort for students when they have nobody else to turn to, however the SRC’s Vice President Learning and Development Gavin Lee is happy to refute this view: ‘That is neither what we wish Nightline to be nor the way we wish it to be presented. The purpose of Nightline is not to replace the Samaritans or duplicate any other telephone helpline services that currently exist. Nightline’s role is to be a ﬁrst point of contact rather than a last resort for students who are perhaps looking for a piece of information that they can’t ﬁnd buried in the web.’ He went on to point out that Nightline woud be happy to provide a friendly ear to students who need one, saying ‘however, we are also aware that sometimes students may just want to talk with another student without a particular request, so Nightline also fulﬁls a listening function’. Also included in the re-launch is an expanded marketing strategy in order to raise student
awareness of the help available. New leaﬂets and posters are around campus now to ensure maximum exposure for the improved service. So there it is, a new Nightline for a new year. A service that exists to provide students with a friendly ear whenever they need it, but also any information they need; whether it’s course details, exam venues or bus times, Nightline can tell you. In the words of one Nightline volunteer: It’s your service, so whether you need information or just to sound oﬀ to somebody, give Nightline a call. Nightline is still open from 7pm - 7am, seven nights a week during term-time. The service continues to be conﬁdential and nonjudgemental. It is run by trained students, and is part of the SRC’s Student Volunteer Support Service. For those who are interested in getting involved, new volunteers are always welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org
Glasgow University Nightline:
0141 353 1050 Why not save it to your phone?
qmunicate 16th January 2008
Tesco Taking Over? Partick’s Tesco Town development faces court inquiry Iain Smith
lans for Tesco to build a new 24-hour superstore complex in Glasgow’s West End came one step further toward fruition or failure last week when it was announced that a court-date had been set by Glasgow City Council for an inquiry to formally question Tesco’s plans and the concerns of the opposition, with a view to making a ﬁnal decision on the future of the development. The plans for the former scrap yard in Partick, which also requests permission for over 900 student ﬂats above the store, an underground car park, and new houses as well as new transport links between the West End and Glasgow Harbour have been redrawn three times since Tesco’s initial application in Autumn 2006, with objections from both politicians and pressure groups such as Stop Tesco Owning Partick (STOP) forcing the changes. The delay of over a year spurred Tesco to make a formal complaint and has forced the council into action.
The inquiry, which will begin on 22nd April, will allow the City Council to hear both sides and come to a conclusion on whether to green-light the project. A pre-inquiry meeting held on January 9th allowed Glasgow City Council to arrange a series of pre-inquiry talks with Tesco oﬃcials which will allow the council to cover less contentious issues in an informal, cost-eﬀective environment ahead of the crunch-talks in Spring, which are expected to last over two weeks.
Gordon Bickerton commented ‘We have real concerns about how Tesco’s plans will aﬀect our quality of life. We will be putting our case to the inquiry going over the retail impact of the development, which will be devastating for local traders, as well as looking at the traﬃc impact.’ There are also worries over air pollutions problems in the area, after both the Byres Road and Dumbarton Road areas were declared air quality monitoring zones after developments in the last ﬁve years.
STOP, founded shortly after the original plans were laid down is made up of Partick residents and sympathisers. So far they have forwarded over 1000 formal complaints and 400 e-petitions against the proposal, and have won backing from Tescopoly, an anti-capitalist collective group which objects to Tesco’s business ethics. STOP will be excluded from the pre-inquiry talks, but will present itself at the enquiry against what is expected to be Tesco’s strongest legal team. Spokesperson for the group,
The Tesco development is the latest in a string of proposed modernisation changes to Glasgow’s West End, following the muchpublicised and opposed plans by Stefan King’s g1 Group corporation to create a nightclub in the centre of the Botanic Gardens and the planned renovation of the Botanic Gardens Garage, which was successfully halted in December after Historic Scotland upgraded the building’s status to a Category A building, and an oﬃcial site of national importance.
View From the Top Bitesize QMU President Gordon Brady
fter the success of the 12 Hours of Christmas Cheesy Pop, DJ Toast and co. is closing oﬀ the festive season with the late, late Hogmany Cheesy Pop, our take on the biggest party on the year and it’s only 18 days late. So, if you missed Hogmany with your friends from this Uni, or if you are just coming to the end of your exams, come bring in the Fake New Year in style. We also have a couple of new events coming up in term 2, including iDJ, an opportunity to show oﬀ your taste in music from your
iPod (or less fashionable equivalent) over our sounds system in Jim’s Bar, and Assassins: a live action game where all players take the role of an assassin, and attempt to ‘kill’ the other players, hoping to end the game victorious. There are just a few of the new events that have came from our recent attempts at market research, including the suggestion box, both in the real world and on our website, our recent focus group study, as well as through the forums, all in an attempt to listen to what you, the QM members want from your Union.
qmunicate16th January 2008
Muir Money, Muir Problems University Principal’s pay increases over ﬁve times rate of inﬂation for second year running Aaron Murray
lasgow University oﬃcial accounts have revealed that Principal Sir Muir Russell accepted an inﬂation busting pay rise of 11% in the last ﬁnancial year, making him the current second highest paid Principal in Scotland. This comes in contrast to staﬀ cuts, and other money-saving measures taken since his arrival. While front-line University staﬀ received a
redundancies and the doubt over the future of Crichton Campus. The former undersecretary to the Scottish Executive, who oversaw the construction of Holyrood parliament, has been widely criticized for his attitude to Crichton campus in Dumfries. At the time Alasdair Morgan MP remarked “Glasgow University have really shot themselves in the foot by awarding the Principal such a lavish pay rise at the same time as they are complaining about operating deﬁcits”. While the future of Crichton was eventually secured
‘With the University cutting the funding of the Unions, it is sad to see such a pay hike for one individual’ - Gordon Brady, QMU President rise of just 4 per cent, the Principal’s pay and pension package jumped to £211,000 from the rather modest £184,000. This yearly pay is in addition to the £65,000 annual pension and one oﬀ payment of £215,000 when he turns 60 from his previous job in the Civil Service. Muir Russell’s role as Principal of the University involves high-level strategic planning, attending meetings and overall responsibility for the running of Glasgow University. Mhairi Wilson, President of the SRC questioned the fairness of the increase, noting that “students survive on signiﬁcantly less than this increase whilst studying and perhaps it could have been better spent on other areas in the University.” Sir Muir is accustomed to annual controversy surrounding his salary. His last pay rise occured at the same time as widespread
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it was only through funding from Scottish parliament and not through university costcutting. On another occasion, Russell was condemned by Trade Union representatives after he refused to take a symbolic pay cut in order to demonstrate his support for voluntary severance. Cost-cutting has not been restricted to lecturers and Crichton. The block grant which the unions require for the majority of their revenue was halved in 2004-2005. Gordon Brady President of QMU said of the pay rise “with the University cutting funding for the two Unions it is sad to see such a pay hike for one individual on campus”. With the University continuing to climb the world ranking of third level education it will be interesting to note the ﬁscal decisions made in the coming tax year in light of Sir Muir’s pay rise.
qmunicate 16th January 2008
Killers For A Day QMU Assassins: your mission is (fake) murder Scott Forsyth
ARPG? WTF? I hear you say, well it stands for Live Action Role Playing Game, but please, don’t be put oﬀ by that, there’s not an elf costume in sight. In Assassins you will be assigned a target and sent a photo, as well as some basic information like course and regular hangouts. You will then need to ﬁnd your target and “assassinate” them. You can assassinate people in a number of ways: in a direct elimination you use a mock weapon to touch your target, acceptable weapons include NERF guns, water guns,
spoons and pens among other things. In an indirect elimination you can place a note in your targets food with ‘poison’ written on it, or perhaps leave a note with bomb in their jacket pocket. You can also capture your target by retrieving either their hat, scarf or gloves while they are wearing them. And lastly there is simulated combat, where you can challenge the target to a best of three contest, such as a pool contest or Giant Jenga in Jim’s Bar. Players are only allowed to eliminate their current target, and upon eliminating them, you then inherit their target. The last person
Tasty treat or potential poison? standing is the winner. Obviously this kind of game takes a degree of honesty, if someone gets you fair and square, then you have to report it to the referee, who will be making sure everyone is playing by the rules. If you break the rules then your face will be added to the ‘wanted’ board, and then you’re fair game for anyone! Applications are availiable at the QMU reception desk, as well as online at www.qmu.org.uk. Applications close on 25th January. Places are limited, so sign up now if you fancy yourself as the 7th member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.
Hardeep & Meaningful Rector candidate Hardeep Singh Kohli talks Trident, Tupperware and T-bars
ardeep Singh Kohli, well-known comedian and Glasgow graduate, has returned to campus to spoon out soup to students in the middle of winter. One of the candidates for the Rector election coming up in February, he is explaining to one student ‘I’m slightly overweight, I cook really good soup, and I care.’ Kat Borrowdale found out why he wants to be Glasgow’s next Rector. GUSNP are behind your campaign. Are you a Scottish Nationalist? I am not a card carrying member of any political party, neither would I be. I have great sympathy for the Nationalist cause. I’m ﬁercely proud to be Scottish. I’m also ﬁercely proud to be British, and I don’t think there’s a mutual exclusivity. I do believe that the diﬀerences which exist culturally, philosophically and politically in Scotland ought to be protected. Education, our legal system, our comedy, and our ability to moisturise well on the move are what sets us apart from other nations. Moisturiser? There’s no shame in moisturising. Just avoid the sensitive t-bar area, you’ll be ﬁne.
So you sympathise with the SNP on being anti-Trident and anti-war? Seriously, I just don’t think we can aﬀord £25 million, considering the literacy rates in our schools. That money shouldn’t be spent on more weapons of mass destruction. Besides which, it seems like you don’t actually need the weapons to have the threat, cause we went to war in Iraq and they didn’t have anything. We could just get some empty Tupperware dishes.
Looking forward to going up against Charles Kennedy for Rector? Charles Kennedy’s a lovely man, and I regard him as a friend. A great thinker, and a great man. But don’t we have enough politicians meddling in education, with lovely Charlie standing for Rector? This means much more to me than it does to Charlie. Charlie’s served at the highest oﬃce. This is a big, big deal for me, where it would just be another thing Charlie does.
You support the wiping out of student debt. What’s your reaction to the SNP budget disappointment? I think what we mustn’t do is isolate ourselves. Students aren’t just students, they’re members of society. All students will beneﬁt from the budget changes of the SNP. Now obviously, it’s not ideal that we don’t have enough money to be able to write student loans oﬀ the way the SNP wanted to. But is it the hand of Westminister politics at play here? The budget set for Jack McConnell was three times the amount Alex Salmond has been given. I certainly don’t have any sympathy for the Labour party. And the Liberal Democrats…does anyone actually know what the Liberal Democrats stand for?
What do you see as being the most important things the Rector will do? I’ve got the platform of newspaper columns, television, of radio, of books. I want to be here and listen to the students and act for the students, and I don’t mean that in any grand high way. You know, if they want a new walkway I’d be able to go and knock some heads together. If the University need me to be a ﬁgurehead I have the ability to do that, but I want to improve the quality of life for students here, because I had a brilliant time here. This is a great city, this is a great University, and its an honour even to be asked to stand. If I’m lucky enough to get there, it’ll be amazing.
s qmunicate16th January 2008
Showcase. A selection of short poems from Glasgow University Student, Gabriella Forsyth-Scott. Flight-path
Have you ever tried to make a chair spin just by waving your arm? Twirling an invisible lasso in an inevitable exercise in futility; Just to move an inch.
She had published a list of. questions. That you would ask furniture if you could Like what do you see in a day? Do you get cold? Do you like the smell of polish? And do you feel contempt for Ikea oﬀcuts?
An inch to the right, maybe two No more. But of course an inch Is enough to send your unseen rope And hand, smashing into the printer. Pas de Titre Sunday night, always a ﬁght. Fight over space place race? The QM from which my headache stems; condemns me to a life away, away from play, perhaps another day? Thursday night? High as a kite.
At the book launch, Someone pointed out that furniture didn’t have ears.
Just Metallic Just metallic Just a phase Just like neon Just a craze Just a ﬂash in the pan Just a concept in a can Covers plastic Covers wood Covers metal - as it should Covers wicker Covers paper With its magic, shining vapour But don’t be fooled It’s not a toy Not designed for children’s joy Misused shimmer causes grief From toxic fumes which lurk beneath But how can we mere mortals judge? What right have we to hold a grudge? Metallic façades cannot hide The poisoned core Which lies inside
Mini Twister, struggling in vain. Twitching pathetically, I feel your pain. There is sadness im your futile attempts to be self-righteous; I admire your inclination to overcome those crippling plastic wheels. But fear not, little car! Fear not! For one day, we’ll get you back on the road And you’ll ride free Under the goodness of the sun.
Want to see your work in Showcase? We’re looking for your photography, poetry, lyrics, short stories or plays to feature on this page every issue. send your sumissions to; email@example.com
Letters to the Editor
I write in response to the rather misguided article about Grant Thom’s blog. Two main issue’s were raised: the quality of student leaders and the Mr Thom’s remarks on arts and social science degrees. Mr Thom’s opinion on student leaders is not unshared: a glance at the EUSA-Less facebook group will highlight that. I can see where Mhairi Wilson is coming from about “all being tarred with the same brush,” as it were. But she is not completely innocent in the matter. Sending a letter condemning the Scottish Government to Labour MSPs which they were obviously going to use in a press release is not exactly the way to
demonstrate your neutrality. I must also admit that, as an arts student, I felt strangely lacking in any grief about his remarks on my future degree. As for the distraught rent-a-quote being “highly oﬀended” can I suggest she take another look at Mr Thom’s blog, if she ever reads it in the ﬁrst place. The post from 5th July states he was ﬁnishing a Masters in Public Relations for which the entry qualiﬁcations are a degree “in a relevant subject area (eg. arts, humanities and social sciences.)” So what was once a vicious attack on artisticly minded students is now revealed to be tongue-in-cheek selfdepracatory humour. I realise that it was a quiet time of year, what with the Graduate Endowment Abolition
Bill going through parliament; rectorial candidates popping up far left, right and centre; the phased reintroduction of student grants and what not. Surely, however Qmunicate is above regurgitating nonstories from the Evening Times. Yours for Scotland, Angus MacLeod, GUSNA President Editor: qmunicate feels that this story was both relevant and accurate, being based on our reading of Grant Thom’s blog. Student Rachel Porter-McLennan, who was quoted in the article, had this to say: ‘I was fully aware of the context, and found Thom’s comments inappropriate. It didn’t come across as tongue-in-cheek at all.’
qmunicate 16th January 2008
And All That Jazz
Harriet Johnston takes us inside the world of the Cecilians
amed after St Cecilia, the patron saint of music, the Cecilian Society is Glasgow University’s only musical theatre society and one which promotes fun both on and oﬀ the stage. The society stages two productions per academic year, the main show being accommodated by one of Glasgow’s theatres (this year we are re-treading the boards of
This year’s main production is Sweeney Todd, a veritable feast of gore and cockney accents, as the company dusts oﬀ their lace-up boots and grubby waistcoats to return to Victorian London. Rehearsals are well under way and with only six weeks to go until show week the anticipation is tangible. As usual, much fun is being had amid the hard work and talk has
Most members of the society don’t need any Dutch courage to participate in Disney karaoke or singalongs from past performances. the Mitchell), while the QM’s very own plays host to the infamous weekend show. The weekend show usually takes place at the end of Freshers’ Week, and is made up of a production which is cast, rehearsed, produced and performed in 24 hours. Yes, 24. It’s a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun and very rewarding when you realise that you managed to learn three whole chorus numbers, complete with dance moves and harmonies in less than a day. Last term we tackled Disco Inferno, which was a complete success in the traditional hold-your-breath, tongue-in-cheek way.
already turned to the inevitable run of aftershow parties that take place over show week. As musical theatre enthusiasts, the Cecilian society enjoy an active social calendar that includes weekly post-show drinks, themed pub crawls, weekends away and seasonal parties (you may have noticed that many of these activities involve alcohol in some way, but unlike the general public, most members of the society don’t actually need any Dutch courage to participate in Disney karaoke or sing-alongs from past performances). If you are interested in joining the Cecilians, our meetings are usually at 7pm on Thursday
nights in committee room one of the QM. We have an open chorus policy, so if you feel too embarrassed to audition for a part then don’t worry, you can still be involved in the show. We also have a dedicated and talented team of technical types, who build our sets, design our costumes and basically make sure that the production runs as smoothly and professionally as possible, so if you’re more comfortable behind the scenes than on the stage, then come along to a meeting to ﬁnd out more. Unfortunately, because there are only six weeks until show time we won’t be admitting any new members this term, but we are always happy to see new faces at the weekend show so keep an eye out for our posters! If you’ve never sang a note in your life then don’t worry, lots of our members join up with little or no theatrical experience whatsoever but still have a fabulous time, make new friends and discover hidden talents along the way. And this is one place where you won’t have to pretend that you don’t know all the words to The Sound of Music, because chances are everybody else does too. Tickets to Sweeney Todd are priced at £7 for concessions, £10 for adults (more on the door). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
QM Clubs and Societies: Your Guide to What’s On MONDAYS GU LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students’ Association) drop-in session. Committee Room 1, 12pm - 2pm. International Society Com Room 2, 6pm. STAR (Student Action for Refugees) do what they can for refugees and asylum seekers all over the world. TV Room, 6pm. English Lit Society put on talks for anyone interested in literary subjects, from 8pm in Committee Room 1 every week. TUESDAYS Amnesty International 5pm, Committee Room 1
GU Liberal Democrats - 6.30pm, TV Room. People and Planet are against poverty, and for human rights and environmental issues. Committee Room 2 from 7.30pm GU Scottish Nationalist Association - 6pm, Food Factory WEDNESDAY GU Christian Union hold massive meetings in our main hall, Qudos, 4pm onwards. iO (Glasgow University Sci-Fi and Fantasy Society) meet on the third ﬂoor from 7pm. LGBT meet up, for those who want to help plan Pride Week and other events. Committe Room 1, 7pm.
THURSDAY Wir Tanzen present ‘Leonce and Lena’ in the G12 theatre from 17th-19th January. STAG present ‘Scrying Through Murky Waters’ in the G12 studio from 24th-26th January. Cecilian Society: meetings and rehearsals for their stage productions, 3rd ﬂoor. AT THE WEEKENDS iO hold a Ceilidh on Saturday 19th January, Food Factory at 7.30pm. Pause Gaming hold a two day event over 26th and 27th January. GUGS also hold an over-nighter starting on the 26th, 7pm in Lacuna.
qmunicate 16th January 2008
Dan In Real Life Alison Wilson
an in Real Life has the kind of premise that might be given as a stimulus in Scriptwriting 101: agony uncle solves the problems of others, but can’t cope with his own. So far, so unoriginal. He then falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend, which barely makes things any more interesting, but the ﬁlm rises above such an unexciting concept – it’s sweet, painful and crucially more real than most Hollywood rom-coms. There are no gross-out moments, no slimy bad guy who doesn’t deserve his girlfriend, just a real dilemma: what do you do when you’ve fallen in love with your brother’s new girlfriend? Despite being advertised as a comedy, the ﬁlm isn’t hugely funny – rather, its strength lies in the humanity of its characters and situations. Steve Carrell’s Dan is a three-
dimensional character – he loves his brother, but also his brother’s girlfriend. Carrell plays Dan almost entirely as a straight character, with none of the gurning or volume of his frat pack ﬁlms, and this is where the strength of the ﬁlm really lies. Juliette Binoche plays Marie, the love interest, with as much depth – she’s aware of the eﬀect her relationships with both brothers have on the family, and the fact that there is no easy solution. The ﬁlm creates a real sense of the loneliness of Dan’s life in its beautifully observed portrayal of his morning routine, and of the anguish he and Marie ﬁnd themselves in. Real life doesn’t seem as easy to solve as the problems Dan writes about; if they act selﬁshly, people get hurt. Having said this, the ﬁlm’s ending goes against the grain of the story, and it’s ultimately the only unsatisfying note in a surprisingly pleasing work.
I Am Legend Simon Gwynn
miracle cure for cancer goes awry. All of humanity either die or become grotesque ﬂesh-eating monsters. Will Smith survives. How can any story with such a warped sense of natural justice, I thought to myself, be the basis for anything other than a horrendous mess of historic proportions? My instincts were right. I Am Legend is the sort of movie that no review can truly capture. You would really need to see it yourself to appreciate the sheer levels of stupidity, tedium and total lack of imagination that the producers have clearly invested so tirelessly into the making of this aﬀront to decent, thinking people everywhere.
The plot of I Am Legend is fairly familiar territory, coming as it does from the same book that spawned seventies equivalent The Omega Man. The prologue to the ﬁlm details the discovery of a new viral cure for cancer, which will eventually go on to wipe out the human race but is barely mentioned again in the ﬁlm. With such an unwillingness
to actually discuss the issues surrounding what happens when science goes wrong, the moral of the story essentially amounts to ‘don’t mess with nature kids, or everyone dies.’ The ﬁrst part of the ﬁlm is basically quite enjoyable, mainly because Will Smith’s Dr Robert Neville is the only human left in New York, and so he doesn’t talk much. A special mention must go to Abby the dog, who brings a touching warmth to the role of Neville’s four-legged-friend Sam, and gives easily the most convincing performance of the ﬁlm. It starts to go downhill when the zombies/vampires/things start to pop up everywhere. They are both rubbish and pointless, but Neville is nevertheless forced into improbable battles until he makes miracle contact with another survivor, Anna (Alice Braga), and the story crawls mercilessly on. The dodgy morality at the core of the ﬁlm keeps on coming, reaching its pinnacle with the revelation that Anna has been ‘told by
God’ that they should seek sanctuary at a colony of survivors. Neville thinks this is way crazy at ﬁrst, but he seems to have a pretty speedy change of heart, and sure enough Anna and her annoying child eventually make their way to heaven. I mean the survivors colony. I left the cinema genuinely raging at the not-subtle-in-the-slightest religious ideology seeping from every hole in the paper-thin plot. Science is bad, kids. Religion is good. Accept it without question, or you’re fucked. As I said, you need to see the ﬁlm to properly appreciate how bad it is. But please don’t.
qmunicate 16th January 2008
The Sleeping Beauty Dance
ou never know quite what to expect when going to a Scottish Ballet performance choreographed by Ashley Page. Since being appointed as the company’s artistic director in 2002, Page has led the company in a way never before seen in Scottish Ballet, mixing the classical with the contemporary to reveal a unique and exciting style, winning rave reviews and even an OBE for services to dance along the way. His latest oﬀering, The Sleeping Beauty, shows why. From the moment the curtain goes up on Act One you know this isn’t going to be a traditional production. The sets are modern and detailed, the costumes outstandingly beautiful, and the storytelling (through mime, of course) tongue-in-cheek and funny. The most notable example of this is the use of a cactus which pricks the princess’ ﬁnger rather than the traditional spinning wheel! The dancers themselves give 110 per cent throughout, with Soon Ja Lee in the principle role of Aurora showing absolute precision with every movement. Her ﬂuid, graceful style makes even the most strenuous and complex of movements appear eﬀortless – as all ballet should seem. The soloists were all delightful, but at times it did feel like a dance revue rather than a tale told through dance, as each soloist took a turn and curtsied to the audience afterwards, which spoiled the illusion of the story somewhat. Despite the unorthodox storytelling and the lengthy running time, The Sleeping Beauty was a visual joy, beautifully accompanying Tchaikovsky’s haunting and familiar score.
hate to say it, but I warned you about Christmas TV. Doctor Who was infested by over-acting disease-carrying mammals from Australia and the one piece of (somewhat) original television I was eagerly anticipating, The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, paled in comparison to its older, 2006shaped sibling. But hey, New Year, new season, new hope for tellyland. Unfortunately, thus far, same shite. Even Buzzcocks has failed to inspire with its predictable piss-taking of easy targets.But through the bleak TV snowstorm of insipidness and unoriginality, a beacon shines a guiding light for lost TV explorers. Is it Graham Norton’s majestic hosting of yet another phone-vote based reality show full of rejects? No. No it is not. It’s Fit and Fearless Series 2. Nuts TV proudly presents a stone cold rip-oﬀ of cult classic Most Haunted, but with one distinct Nuts style twist. Accompanying the “spirit guide” are three top-heavy whores in lingerie. I’m sure you can see the appeal here; it’s both visually and comically stimulating as the girls helpfully oﬀer up their deep, Socrates-style philosophies on the afterlife and communication with the dead: “Powltergiests? Is that like ghosts an’ that? Na, I dan’t believe it, me”. The future of British TV has arrived and they’re wearing brassieres. Worst of the worst? The honours have to go to the new Celebrity Big Brother, a shockingly awful alternative to the traditional car-crash celeb packed version, which has so far been even duller than E4’s usual evening fare. Still, could be worse; you could actually be one of the housemates who’ve had to listen to Ian Wright, Kelly Osbourne and Russell f’in Brand 24 hours a day.
qmunicate 16th January 2008
Releasing Some Tension
James Butler questions why the USA gets it so much better
n November 24th 1992, Sega became one of the ﬁrst video game producers and publishers to release a prime game, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, in both the US and UK on the same date. The Megadrive was a popular console, and in scheduling such a release, Sega countered one of the industry’s more annoying aspects: its US-centric focus. That America is given preferential treatment through releases has always been an annoyance for gamers on this side of the Atlantic, yet even now, 15 years later, the same tired excuses continue to appear. Lately, there has been an unprecedented rise in this market-skewing. Several high proﬁle games and companies appear to be cutting Europe out of the loop, giving them second class support, if any at all. Harmonix Studio’s Rock Band is a prime example. Having been released last November in America and December in Canada to regular 10/10 reviews, and with a large amount of additional content released on a weekly basis, surely additional markets would be a prime target? Sadly not - us Europeans have to wait until March 6th. The same goes for Beautiful Katamari, with a vague release date of ‘sometime in February’, after over six months of availability in America. It is highly
Video games publishers will often treat the European market as an afterthought.
oﬃcial term is ‘staggering’, staging a release over a period of time, but it has been noted that America is only ever staggered by one publisher – Eidos, developers of the Tomb Raider series. Games in that series have previously been released a month earlier in the UK, but the most recent release led to so many petitions and tantrums from America that the company’s oﬃcial word is that it is
Let the publishers know that they can’t have their power-trip making us foreigners ‘wait our turn’ doubtful that many units were needed to satisy the demand over there.
The excuses of regional coding to ‘maximise comptability’ should not fool anyone in this day. The majority of releases on the Xbox 360, for example, are region-free, meaning any console in the world can play the disc without problems. Yet Rock Band has been made region-speciﬁc. Harmonix do not want European gamers getting hold of the game before their say so, pure and simple. The
now considering a mass release date covering all territories. Such action is not justiﬁed, and screams of selﬁshness. Of course, supply and demand is also a factor. As anyone who tried to acquire either a Wii or a Nintendo DS over the festive period can tell you, both hardware and software were in extremely short supply. An oversight on the shipping department’s part? No. The reason is that as many units as possible were diverted to America, to the important market, in order to satiate the greedy demand over there. Video games
are not alone in this discrimination. Films are habitually released within the US, only arriving on the UK’s shores several months later, if at all. One need look no further than the GrindHouse ﬁasco. The double featre was split upon its UK release, ruining the entire concept, precisely because of the same American audience not understanding the ﬁlm’s nature. The age of slow cartridge development is over. This is the digital age, the age of data shared instantaneously with the world, and it is time developers realised this instead of hanging on to archaic classiﬁcation systems. Modern technology allows quick distribution and same day releases are now a very real possibility. But the publishers, the powers that be, need to be shown that overlooking the UK gaming scene is a prime mistake. Games such as Rock Band, Culdcept Saga, Beautiful Katamari – do not buy. The only way to stand up to these people is to let them know they can’t power-trip over making us foreigners ‘wait our turn’ and thank them for it. I am sick and tired, as a UK gamer, of being treated as a second-class consumer. And so should everyone else.
qmunicate 16th January 2008
Out of Their League? Duncan Woodall on why the Premier League title remains out of reach for Liverpool History shows that the festive period in the English premiership is one of the most crucial points in the season, with those leading after Christmas in recent times more often than not going on to claim the league title. So after the dust has settled in this ﬁxture heavy Christmas period one thing looks clear: Liverpool who are sitting in ﬁfth 12 points behind Arsenal (albeit with a game in hand) look as likely to win the league as Joey ‘the thug’ Barton is to win an award for humanitarian achievement… unless there is a new ‘stubbing your own team mate in the eye with a cigar’ category of course. Ok, slightly harsh analogy. Joey at least has a chance to come back from this. Liverpool, on the other hand, have no chance.
was in 1990. Since then we have witnessed the destruction of the Berlin wall, the end of the Cold War, Tony Blair has come and gone from Downing Street, Britpop passed by, the Gulf and Iraq wars and September the 11th; to cut it short, the world has very much changed since this team last won a League title. There could be numerous reasons why Liverpool have recently done so poorly in the League. Rafa’s rotation is possibly the biggest contemporary culprit, along
But why is possibly the biggest English club of them all, (excluding Man United of course) such a laughing stock when it comes to a serious title bid? They are part of the top four, that elite group of clubs with a stranglehold on the English game. They have money to spend; 50 million in this summer alone was splashed out. They have a huge loyal fan base. They have a European record that the other 3 members of the big four, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal, could only dream about, including 2 Champions League Finals in the last 3 years. So why have a team in English Division 3, who were
with that over-prevalent Liverpool tactic of Stevie G versus the opposition, but no one explanation can begin to get to the bottom
‘Since Liverpool last won the League, we’ve seen the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, Britpop… it’s been a while.” deducted 10 points this season for going into administration, won the league more recently than Liverpool have? The last time Liverpool won the League
of being 17 years of also-rans. The worst part of this is every year they are touted as contenders for the prestigious Premiership Trophy by pundits and the media alike, even
though since the Premiership’s inception in 1992 only four clubs have held this title. A group of clubs to which Liverpool do not belong and in the current climate look as likely to join as Ronaldinho would be joining Dagenham and Redbridge before the end of the January transfer window. Who knows though, if Liverpool signiﬁcantly up their game and sign better players, whilst simultaneously Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal decide not to turn up for a few games, they may even be in with an outside chance of ﬁnishing second. Just don’t 13 gamble your life savings on it.
qmunicate 16th January 2008
2007 << Rewind The highs and the lows. High: Manics back on form (TH) Having seen them many times before, I’d have to say this was my favourite show so far. I wasn’t so keen on the last couple of albums, but when they hit the stage last month and opened with Motorcycle Emptiness I just knew it was going to be a hell of a set. Playing a good mix of the old and new, and even working She Sells Sanctuary into the beginning of Motown Junk. I was blown away! Blagging a setlist after then getting it signed by them all was just a bonus. Absolutely amazing! Manics: amazing
Fast-forward >> 2008 The hopes and the fears. Hope: The return of hairmetal (MD) Last year saw a resurgence in several of the hair metal bands of the 1980s, including RATT, Hanoi Rocks and LA Guns. Disappointingly, some of the shows were cancelled but Hanoi Rocks are now rescheduled to play this year. I have been a lover of men wearing tight leather trousers and far too much hairspray and eyeliner for a long time, but the current emo trend just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe I’m getting too old. Anyway, I think it’s deﬁnitely time for some of the original lot to pick up their guitars once more and show the mini-moshers what it’s really all about. Bring on 2008! Fear: Disappointment in the Von Bondies latest (JB) Several years in the waiting, I have still not given up on the Detroit band’s latest project. Still one of my highest rated bands, every song released so far has been a gritty pleasure to listen to. Yet with a very diﬀerent line-up and sneak previews thus far displaying a sound more akin to the Arctic Monkeys and the Zuton’s craptastic second album, every impulse in my body is screaming alert signals. But still I want it, some base reﬂex hoping that all is not true, that the Von Bondies have not become generic indie rock/pop band #4147-alpha. If they have succumbed to the aﬄiction, then we have lost a truly good band. The days are counting down slowly until all will be revealed , and whether or not a bag of over-ripe vegetables is procured before the up-coming tour.
High: Pop came back (CA) In a world of raging music elitism and subjective opinions, the word ‘pop’ can be a dirty word. It conjures up terrifying thoughts of catchy hooks, associations with entertainment and celebrity, and most worryingly of all, it implies pure, shameless, unadulterated fun. Who wants that? Well, millions of us across the world actually, it’s just that some of us are in the closet. From my sarcasm you can tell that I’m not one of them. 2007 saw pop music back full force. Epic pop songs topped the charts for up to ten weeks, a feat not achieved in a decade. Britney made the best album of her career - a fuck-you album of dance beats; Robyn did the same but with more cred, and the Spice Girls put on a multi-million pound extravaganza tour reminding people that music can be fun. Low: Wettest Glastonbury ever (KB) Everybody knows that Glastonbury is muddy, and that’s all part of the fun. But this summer it just got a bit ridiculous, and many a music fan found themselves crawling through biting rain and cloying mud, cursing the British weather. Scottish festivals didn’t fare much better, and T in the Park, Connect and Indian Summer, to name a few, were all deluged too.
High: Skream (HW) I’d been looking forward to this gig for weeks, and Skream was even better than I’d hoped – from the ﬁrst bass drop to the last echoing tone the guy was absolutely blinding. The chilled reggae vibes of some of his releases were eschewed in favour of gut-wobbling subbass and cutting snares, and every minute of it was pure, unadulterated bliss – a symphony of vibrations pumped through the legendary Mungo’s Hi-Fi Soundsystem. Dubstep has come a long way in the few short years since its birth, and seeing one of the genre’s pioneers in the ﬂesh was fantastic.
Von Bondies: disappointment?
Hope: First album by Foals (EF) Championed by the NME as one of the big acts of 2008, I downloaded Foals’ 2007 EP Hummer a few weeks ago. Pleasantly surprised by their quirky, dance-worthy electro pop style, I am now looking forward to their ﬁrst full length release in 2008. You’d be a Foal to miss it. (See what I did there?)
qmunicate 16th January 2008
Albums Monade Monstre Cosmic Monade wander lazily through the streets of Paris, drifting past dark jazz clubs and frostbitten buskers, picking up the cues for their music. If you imagine plotting out the diametric centre of the soundtrack for every French New Wave ﬁlm ever, you wouldn’t ﬁnd Monstre Cosmic very far oﬀ. It’s an album full of artiﬁce and sly winks, to be sure, but somehow it’s none the worse for it. Laetitia Sadier is a ﬁne chanteuse, blessed with a rich and silky voice (and she also plays trombone on a few
tracks; if you’ve never seen a woman play trombone before, trust me, it’s hot). You might recognise her as the singer for Franco-Krautrock stalwarts Stereolab, and she’s clearly lifted a few of their tricks for her third solo album: she demonstrates a sense of skillful construction. Monstre Cosmic is worryingly easy to listen to – easy to treat as a wallpaper album – but a few of the tracks do stand out, and the whole thing really stands up to close attention. It’s ideal company for hung over Sunday afternoons and directionless days. [PM]
Music The Cave Singers Invitation Songs Seattle’s Cave Singers say they’ve never really played their instruments before, and that they didn’t intend to play folk music. I assume it just happened to them; they woke up one morning on a hangover of Bob Dylan and achingly cool post-punk New York bands and decided to give this music lark a bash. Someone mistook incompetence and limited melodic ability for subtle and muted genius. The album deliberately tries to emulate an unpolished, folk
misery with a plodding guitar line in the background and awkward harmonies. I’ve given Invitation Songs a fair listen. Perhaps if I was a more tender person, I would embrace the delicate potential of the songs, but unlike other music of a folk persuasion, they seem genuinely unﬁnished in a bad way. The opening track is almost there, but it fails to move from the painfully sparse beginning to an uplifting harmony at the end, instead dragging through like a wounded tortoise. The album lacks an elusive magic they need to ﬁnd. [KB]
Singles Radiohead Jigsaw Falling Into Place You know the story: experimental rock legends return with universally adored album of ethereal beauty and complexity; said legends simultaneously challenge the commercially and artistically received wisdom of the music industry; said industry weeps at its own patheticness. So it’s ever such a slight disappointment that Radiohead’s ﬁrst single in four years is so... conventional. It’s quite pretty and perfectly listenable, but come on guys... where are the trombones? [SG]
Theoretical Girls The Hypocrite A very enjoyable little electro number, it starts oﬀ simple and stripped back, with more instruments gradually coming into the mix as the track progresses. The vocals are nice and laid back, and
although there are inevitable comparisons to Roisin Murphy of Moloko fame to be made, it’s meant as a compliment. The B-side, Never Good Enough, is a tad dull, like one of The Knife’s slower tracks but without the interesting experimentation and strange lyrical content. [SF] Celine Dion Eyes On Me Celine Dion has certainly sprinkled this latest single with spicy Eastern inﬂuences. She has unfortunately decided to release this one for general sale, rather than as a downloadonly release. The main reason the last single didn’t sell was that it was no good. Now some unfortunate being may accidently purchase eastern urban groove instead of some nice lo-ﬁ or pleasing Cafe Lounge album. Many tastes have been upset, and presumably numbed, by this release. Do not allow yourself to become the next victim. [SW]
Deﬁnition Overload Shelly Winters takes a look at this week’s weird and wonderful music genres...
Nintendocore A delightfully retro mix of hardcore dancing mixed with stylish 8bit videogame music. Harkens back to the old primary colour NES days, bringing to mind delightful Pacmans and the consumption of large amounts of small yellow pills, running through worlds of pipes, eating mushrooms and jumping on giant turtles. The primary features are re-mixes of classic gaming tunes, and who wouldn’t want to grind to the tinny ditty of Zelda? For prime specimens, seek: The Super Madrigal Brothers, The Minibosses and The OneUps. There’s even a record label catering specially for this music.
Riotgrrrl! Angry, angry and angrier still. Charming young ladies, inspired by both the punk movement and feminist attitudes , convey messages of both through the medium of song. Generally associated with a DIY attitude. Underground zines and fanclubs often help to arrange tours and promo materials. Born from the Mount Pleasant Race riots in 1991, the exclamation mark is a necessary part of the genre title, emphasising the attitude which created it. Their known for writing apparent slurs and derogatory terms on their own semi-nude bodies with lipstick. Like many things musical, much eﬀort was destroyed by the appearance of the Spice Girls. See the bands Penetration, Bikini Kill and The Poison Girls for a sample of this subgenre’s special taste.
qmunicate 16th January 2008
n unusually early start from ﬁrst support act Metronomy meant that I only managed to catch second support act Justice at a packed Carling Academy. The French duo played a fabulously energetic set of songs from their album Cross, artfully accompanied by an enormous ﬂuorescent… er…cross adorning a stack of imposing and impressive equipment. A moment of mild controversy occurred towards the end of the set when Xavier casually lit up a fag, an act which would have had Joe Ordinary ejected from the premises but which only incited even more cheering and adoration from the crowd. That ‘fuck-em’ rock’n’roll attitude really does die hard. Speaking of rock’n’roll, the venue was illuminated by hundreds of miniature cross-shaped glo-sticks, a modern day electro spin on the lighters tradition, which to be honest in a venue this lively and crowded would have just resulted in several people having their hair set on ﬁre. With the neon-clad audience’s appetite well and truly whet it was ﬁnally time for the headliners to take to the stage. In true CSS style the band emerged from giant metallic Christmas presents that looked like they had been designed from a child’s sketch pad, with lead singer Lovefoxxx keeping up the festive theme in one of her trademark jumpsuits encrusted with emerald green sequins. Opener Patins had everyone jumping and singing along, and the band looked like they were enjoying themselves as much as the crowd. They were jovial and engaging throughout, swapping instruments, dancing along and somehow still managing to play tightly and tunefully. They bounded through most of the songs from album Cansei de ser Sexy, including singles Alala and Oﬀ the Hook. Lovefoxxx lead the audience in one of her Playdays-style dance-alongs, and removed her green sparkly costume to reveal a red one with black handprints on the bum. Further highlights came in the form of Meeting Paris Hilton, Music is My Hot
Hot Sex and Alcohol, but the real star of the show was Lovefoxxx herself. Her enthusiasm and sheer joy were apparent and genuine, as she gushed to the crowd about how much the band loves playing here and how overwhelmed they were by the response, which you hear at every gig but somehow believe this time. Her quirky costumes and bohemian dance moves were as charming and amusing as always, bringing a rosycheeked wholesomeness back into the gig experience, and you can almost imagine yourself as a slightly taller child in a slightly busier than usual playground, just having fun with your friends with not a care in the world. By the time of the encore everyone knew what was coming and the anticipation was tangible. The band returned to the stage to feverish applause, with Lovefoxxx in a sliver lame jumpsuit, and launched into Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above, which had everyone singing and dancing like there was no tomorrow. A ﬂurry of tickertape and spangly lighting ended what was an utterly delightful and uplifting gig, the musical equivalent of Willy Wonka’s factory. They’re playing at the Barrowlands on February 24th as part of the NME awards tour. See them.
ast time Marilyn Manson played here, it was packed out. We got our tickets at the last minute and were literally about three rows from the back of the arena. But, it was an awesome stage show and we even got backstage and met them! No such luck this time however. Having bought my tickets several months ago, we were a lot closer to the front of the hall. Still seated but close enough for the miracle that is the optical zoom lens to be adequately eﬀective. The support band were Norwegian death punks Turbonegro, but to be honest, they did little for my tastes. Marilyn Manson’s set was a mixed bag; quite a bit of material from the new album plus a few oldies like Sweet Dreams thrown in aswell. One of the highlights for me was the robotic maid, who appeared onstage pushing a tea trolley, before Manson stuck his head up her skirt then pulled her head oﬀ. Charming. Well, considering the man has been known in the past to stick a lollypop up his arse then oﬀer it to a doting fan, I suppose it is really. Overall, a good stage show and a decent selection of songs, with Manson even getting right down with the crowd. But there was just that little spark missing that used to make his live performances so electric, but a good night nonetheless!
qmunicate 16th January 2008
Hibernation For the Nation Emma Fraser acts as your own personal cheerleader for the new year
ell, it’s a new year. The Christmas trees have been thrown out into the street to rot in the gutters, gym memberships have been renewed and nicotine replacement patches bought. It’s a new start, a chance to improve on our ﬂaws and achieve our full potential. It should be a glorious time of reinvention and personal growth. Like that scene in The Lion King where thousands of wildebeest thunder down the ravine, we too hurtle ourselves into 2008 with all the sweet rewards it has to oﬀer. Right?
April. Really, all I want to do is stay in bed, watching DVDs of Sex and the City and Star Wars, until the daﬀodils start to sprout and there are more than three hours of daylight to look forward to after 10am. We shouldn’t feel guilty that we haven’t implemented our new regimes by the second day of January. Giving up stuﬀ is hard work, and it’s even more hard work when you have other things on your mind like exams and coping with the fallout of
All I want to do is stay in bed, watching DVDs of Sex and the City and Star Wars until the daﬀodils sprout For a start, as theatrical and inspiring as that might sound, the reality is somewhat diﬀerent. The dark looming mornings don’t entice me to get up and go running in the park. Not being able to see where I’m going, I’d probably trip over something and injure myself, and that’s before I’ve come up against the gauntlet of criminals lurking behind every shrub attempting to steal unsuspecting joggers’ iPods. The cold weather doesn’t make me want to eat salad and fruit, but stew and cake and other warming stodge to ward oﬀ starvation while I hibernate under my duvet until
Christmas spending. It is unrealistic to try to force yourself to change your habits with the turning of a calendar page, and if you have a doughnut at 2am whilst revising for an impending exam then you shouldn’t scold yourself. In fact, you should applaud yourself for being such a dedicated student, and ride the sugar high for as long as possible until it’s time to supplement the sugar with a double espresso. It is my belief that the pressure of trying to start a new year with a fresh set of resolutions is one of the main reasons why
January is such a long and depressing month. So, my beloved readers, I am here to lift those back-to-reality blues once and for all, because you all deserve a bit of love. For those of you who intend to give up smoking, well done. Cigarettes are one of the most diﬃcult things to quit, so even if you manage to cut down you are at least going in the right direction. Any of you who decided that this year you would lose weight, I am behind you all the way. While I’m sure you are totally beautiful and fabulous just the way you are, anything which makes you feel good about yourself is great. Stick at it. If you made a new year’s resolution to study more, good for you. You’re taking responsibility for yourself but remember to have some time oﬀ as well and to have fun. You deserve it. I can’t go through every possible resolution with positive aﬃrmations, but for all the rest of you who are feeling the dark days and cold weather sapping your happiness then don’t worry, chances are that 95% of the population are feeling the same. Life is short, so don’t deny yourself the good stuﬀ, and if all else fails, listen to the Baz Luhrmann song about sunscreen. It always helps me. That, and strawberry ice cream.
Interactive Feature Alert! H
ere at qmunicate we’re always looking for new challenges. We pride ourselves on being a magazine that beneﬁts its readers, even if it’s just to be a coaster for your pint. That’s why we want your help. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but don’t quite have the guts to? Have you pondered what it would be like to join a sect just for the day? Ever gotten the urge to stroll down Byers Road wearing your pants
on your head just to see people’s reactions? Well, now’s your chance. Or rather, it’s OUR chance.
Send your suggestions to 07766 404142, starting your message with the word QMU QUEST, and we’ll see what we can do.
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We can hear your brains whirring away already, but please remember that we are only human, so try to make your requests reasonable. We don’t have access to any of the following: Spaceship, time machine, shark tank, helicopter, x-ray goggles or David Hasselhoﬀ ’s phone number.
qmunicate 16th January 2008
Putting the ease in tease, local sensation Daiquiri Dusk gives us the lowdown on the recent revival of the art of burlesque. Nipple tassels at the ready...
urlesque shows are becoming an increasingly popular night out for those looking for something a bit diﬀerent - an excuse to dress up in your ﬁnery and escape the dreary streets of Glasgow for a few hours. The last few years have seen a boom in this entertainment form across the UK with numerous clubs springing up all over the place, bringing glamorous stage shows and lots of sparkle to club-goers across the country. A little over two years ago, I wrote an article for qmunicate about the new wave of burlesque and since then, I have become hooked on the subject, even managing to work it into my degree! Like many people, I started out in the audience, an
avid attendee of Club Noir, the only regular burlesque night in Glasgow back then. But, it wasn’t long before I began itching to try it out for myself. And more and more women across the country are getting this same urge too. Burlesque classes and workshops are becoming more popular, with ladies of all shapes and sizes casting oﬀ their inhibitions in a grand celebration of womanhood in the 21st century. It is here that the lovely ladies at the Academy of Burlesque and Cabaret come in. Working in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, Gypsy Charms and Viva MisAdventure oﬀer burlesque workshops and weekly classes to teach performance techniques of both the classic and modern
burlesque. Drawing upon a variety of glamorous entertainment forms, the duo incorporate elements of good old Broadway burlesque, with Parisian cabaret and British vaudeville in their teaching, as students learn how to peel and pose, bump, grind and tassel-twirl their way onto the stage. Have I caught your interest yet? With the retro-pin-up look of Dita Von Teese being the new in-thing, replacing the tanned, blonde model of the 1990s, girls everywhere are striving to recreate the look and feel of the glamorous era of the 1940s and 50s for themselves. Bored of the fast-paced culture of the new millenium, we are a generation that has seen and done it
qmunicate 16th January 2008 with the intention of promoting the art of burlesque in Scotland, creating a working support network for artists and encouraging and developing new talent. Both experienced professional dancers, Gypsy and Viva bring true passion and talent to those with a desire to learn. There are two options for learning; weekly hour-long classes or one-oﬀ workshops, generally run every couple of months and lasting for a whole afternoon.
he great thing about the Academy of Burlesque and Cabaret is that you will never feel uncomfortable. Women of all shapes and sizes join the classes for all kinds of reasons; I asked Viva why she thought the burlesque classes were becoming so popular at the moment. “Teaching burlesque is very rewarding. Our classes can give women a license to ‘play’, as well as a boost of selfconﬁdence. Dancing with boas, or learning how to perform a glove striptease routine, women can forget day-to-day problems and body issues. It’s an ultra-feminine form of expression and the female bonding at a dance class can be very therapeutic - it’s a joy watching students transform into ﬂamboyant, conﬁdent performers.
all, and are now looking back, trying to ﬁnd something a bit diﬀerent to entertain us. The thrill of seeing women who “look just like us” in dazzling costumes embracing their own femininity with a sly nudge and a wink, has captured the hearts and the imaginations of many, with lots of girlies longing to try it themselves.
new routine each time. For those who have ﬁnished the beginners course, there is also an advanced option and following that, a performance master class, for those brave enough to hit the stage themselves in front of a real live audience. Having taken the classes myself, I cannot vouch enough for the diﬀerence they have made in my life!. Very much in love with my converse trainers and ripped jeans, I would have been hard-pushed to imagine myself prancing around onstage in nipple tassels and a corset, this time 3 years ago, but that’s exactly what I do now! With more and more new burlesque events springing up, there are increasing opportunities for those wishing to grace the boards themselves (be warned, though, it is not an overnight thing and deﬁnitely not a get-rich-quick scheme, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to have any success as a performer.) But, if you do fancy learning how to elegantly remove a glove, take your knickers oﬀ with your feet or get those tassels twirling, check out the Academy of Burlesque and Cabaret now, and perhaps I shall see you at a show in the future. For more info, visit www.burlesqueandcabaret.com or www.ministryofburlesque.com
In addition, burlesque is kind to women with ‘real’ bodies. Diversity in shape, size and age is applauded. Attitude and selfexpression whilst performing the dance routines is much more important than having a perfect body! I think women identify with and aspire to this type of body
Gypsy Charms and Viva MisAdventure incorporate Broadway burlesque, Parisian cabaret and British vaudeville in their teaching, as students learn how to peel and pose, bump, grind and tassel-twirl their way onto the stage
he ﬁrst question I normally get asked about the burlesque classes is, “Do I have to go down to nipple tassels?” The answer is no, although I can almost guarantee that by the end of the course you will be dying to give your own pair a twirl. So what do the classes entail? Well, perhaps a little background ﬁrst. The Academy of Burlesque and Cabaret was established by Gypsy Charms and Viva MisAdventure (left)
conﬁdence. ”But wait! Tell us exactly what we would be doing in class. I don’t want to have to take clothes oﬀ in front of a room full of people, I’d be too embarrassed. In the beginners class, you learn the basics and posing and peeling week by week. For example, one week you will do glove removal, another week jackets or hats, incorporating each technique into a
i saw you - text ‘qmu’ and your message to 07766 404142 i saw u klaxons! sheer sweaty briliance! much luv! • James hunter spooned a hooker. Fact. Say goodbye to the bag cause there ain’t no reduction in suction. Fact • i love the giant condom and the src crew out on shag day xxx• i saw you sara cawley dressed as a giant condom on friday at cheesey! • I saw us breaking staﬀ board protocol • i saw slush puppies nd jelly babies! Happy belated 21st jon-jon. Dance gordon, dance! • I saw you partying with the kids! You’re ace • haha! Lauren kane got it up the arse in malia from a mohawk • Paul McInally got done up the arse by afro paul + dj shamrock! N thts the truth! • i saw you using to many fonts. And stop with the thanks you sook! • u touch my tralala! My dingdingdong! Xxx • here,i want ur sexy elf with the fringe 4 xmas. hes a ride! ooﬀt! x
What’s On This Week Wed 16th January 5.30pm - Publications Committee (3rd Floor) 8pm - Big Wednesday Night Pub Quiz Thurs 17th 5.30pm - Social Committee (3rd Floor) 9pm - Unplugged, Jim’s Fri 18th 4pm - Friday Face Oﬀ
Sat 19th Fri 25th Gig - Hundred Reasons, 9pm 4pm - Friday Tickets available from QM reception Face Oﬀ Mon 21st 5pm - Support and Services Committee Tues 22nd 5.30pm - Events Committee (3rd Floor)
Wed 23rd Late, Late, Hogmaney Cheesy Pop 5.30pm - Publications Come along, celebrate the end of 8pm - Big Wednesday Pub Quiz exams and re-celebrate the end of 2007 and the start of 2008! Thurs 24th 5.30pm - Social Committee (3rd 10pm-3am Floor) Entry £2 Members/£3 Non-Members 9pm - Unplugged, Jim’s
Gig - Air Traﬃc Mon 28th 5pm - Support and Services Tues 29th 5.30pm - Events Committee Gig: Tegan and Sara
Wed 30th 5.30pm Publications Committee Thurs 31st 5.30pm Social Committee