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5-11 October 2012 Vol. 77. Issue 1414. www.redbrick.me
1,300 out. Oliver Quirke
'Read all about it' - Professor Green
Life&Style London Fashion Week p16 Senior Life&Style writer April Shacklock attends London Fashion Week and considers the question: Do designers design for creativity or wearability?
Tamara Roper and Josh Holder
In the past few years a new craze has arisen in Siberia. Heroin addicts unable to afford the substance they so crave have turned to a homemade brew called ‘krokodil’. The concoction contains the pure chemical of desmorphine, which is substantially stronger than heroin and costs a quarter of the price.
'There are hundreds of beggars in the city, many of whom are severely disfigured and left to rot. Descending down beneath the surface, I remember vividly a large lady dressed in black on the Metro’s line 2 hunched horizontally, hobbling through passengers whilst singing the most beautiful sombre song.'
Music editor Josh went to Benicassim in July, where he saw a near-flawless performance by the recently reformed Stone Roses. Tamara, meanwhile, went to Bestival on the Isle of Wight. 'Stevie (as we were all referring to him as by Sunday) telling us all to vote Obama on the Sunday brought tears to a crowd of thousands.'
Krokodil - A New Drug Craze In Siberia
Travel Rant - The Parisian Fallacy?
Benicassim and Bestival Reviews
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West Midlands Police plans to be discussed
Economy grew in third quarter by 0.5%
Plans went before a police authority on Wednesday to discuss the sharing of police services here in the West Midlands with Staffordshire Police. The plans are to share joint dog handling, firearms and road policing, saving almost ÂŁ2.5 million. POLITICS
Labour conference in full swing in Manchester
Police funeral held in Manchester Cathedral
Megan Stammers' teacher extradited back to UK
STORY OF THE WEEK
Jimmy Savile accused of sexual abuse
The funeral of PC Nicola Hughes took place in Manchester Cathedral on Wednesday. Thousands of people lined the streets to pay their respects for the policewoman who was shot dead with her colleague PC Fiona Bone when they were called to a burglary.
It has been alleged that the late Sir Jimmy Savile sexually abused children in the 1970s. The BBC has said that it will support an investigation into the accusations, adding, 'We are horrified by allegations that anything of this sort could have happened.'
Two stabbed on Bristol Road, Selly Oak
More details about April Jones abduction case
A stabbing of two teenagers on Bristol Road on Wednesday 26th September led one 18 year old male victim to be in a critical condition, and the other having minor injuries. A 22 year old man has been arrested for the incident in which three knives were seized.
As Redbrick went to press, police released more details about the abduction of April Jones from Wales. Eye witness reports suggest that the five year old, last seen at 19:00 on Monday, was seen getting into a the driver's side of a grey or light coloured van.
Gunman in Nigeria kills at least 20 students
Redbrick Editorial Editor Raphael Sheridan Deputy Editors Lexie Wilson Owen Earwicker Digital Editor Chris Hutchinson Art Director Alexander Blanchard
Arts Editors James Kinsey Rebekah McDermott Anna Lumsden firstname.lastname@example.org Music Editors Jonathon Milnes Tamara Roper Josh Holder email@example.com
News Editors Kerrina Gray Rhiannon Doyle-Maw Patrick McGhee Freddie Herzog firstname.lastname@example.org
Television Editors Charlotte Goodwin Russell Webb Abigail Salter email@example.com
Comment Editors Oscar French Elisha Owen James Dolton
Film Editors Natasha Lavender Aisha Bushby Josh Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Life&Style Editors Lucy Whife Megan Nisbet Megan Jones email@example.com
Sport Editors Sam Price Tim Pearson Joel Lamy
Travel Editors Emily Booth Chloe Osborne Will Spence firstname.lastname@example.org
Multimedia Editors Owen Earwicker
Food Editors Izzy Gibbin Josh Oxley email@example.com Science & Technology Editors Sam Atkins Andrew Spencer firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Assistants Ravina Khela Ellie Smallwood Ellie Jarvis
Photography Editors Anna Kirk Charlotte Wilson chiefphotographer @redbrick.me
Crossword Editor Antonia Morris Senior Editorial Assistant Isabel Mason
Junior Art Directors Lauren Wheatley Akhil Kothari
Redbrick Guild of Students Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham B15 2TT 0121 251 2462 email@example.com Redbrick is printed through www.mortonsprint.com 01507 523 456 Advertising Contact Linda Langley in Guild Marketing on 0121 251 2524 Designed and typeset by Redbrick Copyright (C) Redbrick 2012 The views expressed in Redbrick do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the Guild or the publishers. If you find an error of fact in our pages, please write to the Editor. Our policy is to correct mistakes promptly in print and to apologise where appropriate. We reserve the right to edit any article, letter or email submitted for publication.
5th - 11th October 2012
www.redbrick.me/news | 3
Freshers. Guild denies ticket holders entrance to Professor Green gig 10 granted entry 10 refused entry
Beth Dawson Reporter
Students have expressed disappointment after a Freshers' Ball live music performance was unable to accommodate all ticket holders. After paying either £60 for an allinclusive Freshers' Fest package or £20 just to attend the Friday night Freshers' Ball at the Guild of Students, the limited capacity of the performance venue meant that some freshers were unable to see artist Professor Green perform. Despite 2000 tickets being made available, the Freshers' Ball quickly sold out online. All tickets entitled students entry to the Freshers' Ball, but the capacity of Debating Hall, the chosen venue for the performances, was only 700. There was also a lack of announcements during the night regarding the exact timing of the performance and many students only found out that the main act was running late via Twitter. Students spoke to Redbrick to voice their dismay. Charlotte, who did not wish to disclose her full identity said,
'The venue size was too small, I didn't get in, it was £20 wasted.' A maths student added, 'We talked to a security guard and he said this happens every year...I didn't even know where he [Professor Green] was.' Posts and comments on social networking sites expressed a similar sentiment. Guild President David Franklin issued a statement in response to complaints, saying, ‘I understand a number of students were left disappointed when they were unable to see the performance by Professor Green at this year’s Freshers’ Ball.’ He added that, ‘The Guild has looked into the matter, and in future will revisit how we communicate the room capacity, our judgement of likely demand, and how we manage expectations for events like this. ‘We are holding an open consultation on Wednesday 10th October at 12 noon in the Tolkien Room, Guild of Students firstly so that I can apologise in person and secondly, to review the situation and discuss how we might address these concerns for future events.’
@professorgreen What's with all this 'I hate you cause I couldn't get in' bollox - I didn't choose the venue! X
@evOFields2 @professorgreen I sold my leg for a ticket and didn't get in! I hate you
@professorgreen Probably because it took you a while to walk here RT @evOFields2 I sold my leg for a ticket and didn't get in! I hate you @sallymackenzie5 Fucking @unibirmingham and @Bham_Freshers. I'm so disappointed! We pay for @professorgreen we don't get let in. #harsh #ripoff #letdown
The Professor Green gig in full swing in the Deb Hall
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Mermaid Square, Guild of Students
Guild student staff put at risk
The motion, entitled 'Keeping Our FABulous Student Staff Safe', was submitted in 2011 by Ollie Cosentino, the current VPAD
Patrick McGhee News Editor
A sub-committee of the Trustee Board recommended to the Board that a Guild Council motion designed to provide free transport to student staff working at the Guild of Students after 1am should be overturned, Redbrick has found. The motion, entitled ‘Keeping our FABulous Student Staff Safe’ was submitted by Ollie Cosentino on 14th June 2011 and called for a ‘StudentStaff Safety Scheme’ that would have mandated the Guild to ‘provide free transport home to any Student Staff members who are working after 1am who wish to take advantage of it.’ The motion was not starred at Guild Council, meaning that it was not debated and was passed along with several other motions in a single vote. A post on the Guild Development Forum Facebook page by Sara Thomas in late September this year asked, ‘It was never discussed and immediately passed, though I've never seen anyone ever be able to have one, even though some live on Raddlebarn/Pershore Road/Harborne?’ Responding to the question, former Vice-President for Housing and Community (VPHC) Zuki Majuqwana, who sat on the Human Resources and Remuneration Committee, commented, ‘The £18k figure was an absolute worst-case sce-
nario figure where every member of staff at every Fab shift (approx. 1,700 shifts in total over the year) arranged a taxi by themselves to a home more than 7 miles away.’ He went on to describe the estimate as ‘ridiculous’, adding, ‘a more realistic estimate was assumed at approx. £10kpa [per annum] which is considerably less, but still hardly a drop in the ocean and does not take into account the overheads of running the scheme nor the additional costs for temporary staff at Sports Ball, GradBall, and other events.’ Ollie Cosentino, now the Vice-President for Activities and Development (VPAD), also commented on the Guild Development Forum, saying ‘It was frustrating as I know full well that it can be more afford-
£18k The cost of transport home for staff working at the Guild after 1am projected by the HR and Remuneration Committee.
able than what was suggested. There's not much I could do at the time when it was originally rejected.’ Speaking to Redbrick, Cosentino said, ‘The Guild Council motion to set up such a scheme was submitted by myself in response to a concerned member of student staff back when I was a student in June 2011. ‘Although the motion was passed without any debate at Guild Council, it was then brought to the Remuneration and Human Resources committee, which is a sub-committee of the Guild’s trustee board in September 2011. At that time, it would appear that the board felt that the potential financial implication of creating such scheme would be too high, especially in a worst case scenario situation.’ Cosentino went on to suggest that the Guild could explore the issue of student staff safety in the future, saying that he ‘and other members of the sabbatical officer team have committed to re-assessing the situation and will determine if such a scheme can be made available sometime in the near future’ adding that, ‘As guaranteeing the safety of our members will always be one of the Guild’s top priorities, we feel that this is the best course of action to take.’
IAA 'will cease to exist' as separate school
University climbs higher in league table Emily Duffy Reporter
The University of Birmingham has been ranked at number thirteen in this year’s Sunday Times University Guide, rising fifteen places from last year. The University of Birmingham was recognised for its impressive graduate employment, with 86.5% of its students in graduate level work within 6 months of graduating, higher than both the University of Oxford and Durham University. In addition the University’s student satisfaction score in the 2012 National Student Survey increased by 3% overall to 88%, placing it significantly above the national average. University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor
What is changing? Three redundancies in Classics and Ancient History Five posts cut at Archaeology Vista Centre
David Eastwood said, ‘I am delighted with our performance. We have clear plans and an unwavering ambition to be an exceptional university in which to study, and we can be confident that we have the high calibre university staff and students who can make this possible. 'This latest league table performance builds on a number of successes over the last 12 months, from increasing our research grant income by over 50% and achieving our best ever results in the National Student Survey, to receiving the prestigious Queen’sAnniversary Prize for Higher Education. 'We now need to maintain the same determination and continue to build on our successes in 2012 and ensure we continue to offer students the very best experience.’
Reduced module choices for undergraduates
Photographs by Charlotte Wilson
Dominic Jackson Reporter
Georgina Thomas Reporter
The University of Birmingham has confirmed that the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity (IAA) will close after a review held during the summer. The closure could result in a number of redundancies and there are fears that it will impact on the quality of teaching. The plans, announced by the University on 27th September, will result in the creation of an integrated Department of Classics and Ancient History and a new Centre for Archaeological Studies based within the School of History and Cultures. A University commissioned review of the IAA stated that change would be necessary to maintain ‘sustainability and quality’ and that this would result in a ‘cessation of some activities and a consequent reduction in staffing’. These proposals were unanimously supported by the University's Executive Board and Council. The review cited a falling number of students applying to study archaeology as a primary reason for the closure of the department, adding that it was
difficult to recruit students ‘at the appropriate level of quality (namely ABB+ at A level)’. The report claimed that Archaeology would benefit from relocation to the School of History and Cultures as this would facilitate the creation of a new combined History and Archaeology programme. At a meeting held on Tuesday 2nd October, staff and students from the IAA met to discussthreats to their department. Some staff felt that they had been abandoned by the university and that the quality of teaching would suffer greatly from the planned changes. They criticised the review, which they believed to be flawed, and a consultation process which took place during the summer while many staff were not present. Staff also took issue with the decision to close the Institute based largely on statistics from this year’s student intake alone which many view as anomalous given the recent rise in tuition fees to £9000 per year. One first year student who wished to remain anonymous told Redbrick how disappointed they were, saying, ‘I feel it’s an injustice that this burden is on our department when I’m paying £9000 in fees. Had I known about this it would definitely
have affected my choice of university’. However, Professor Michael Whitby, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts & Law argued that, ‘Difficult decisions had to be taken, in both the institute of Archaeology and Antiquity and the College of Arts and Law, but they were taken because it is clear that change is needed.' He also stated that, 'We are grasping this opportunity to establish a reputation for exciting and distinctive programmes and research.We believe that the efforts of our staff will create sustainable flourishing units.’ Simon Furse, the Guild Vice President for Education, disagreed with the action being enforced by University management. Pointing to the University’s healthy financial surplus, Furse said that it was ‘irrational to take such measures’ and implored students to protest against the changes. The Birmingham University and College Union has motioned for an indicative ballot to be held on the issue to consider potential industrial action. Students and staff unhappy with the changes are planning to hold regular meetings to discuss what further action can be taken.
The outside of Drinks-2-Go where the incident occured
Ear bitten off outside Drinks-2-Go Rhiannon Doyle-Maw News Editor
Two men have been arrested in connection with a fight that broke out on Bristol Road in the Selly Oak area on 2nd October. Police are appealing for witnesses of the fight, which happened at around 12.30am outside the Drinks 2 Go off licence near the junction with Harrow Road. As a result of the fight the 28-year-old victim was punched and bitten, with a chunk of flesh from the victim’s ear later being retrieved from the pavement. Police have stated that it was bitten off. It is understood that the victim had asked the two men, who were walking down Bristol Road, to step off the road for fear they would be knocked down. An 18-year-old man from Stirchley and a 19-year-old man of no fixed abode, are
currently in police custody on suspicion of wounding. Detective Sergeant Neal Hudson has stated, ‘We are still trying to establish the exact sequence of events but it’s clear this man has received a nasty injury that is likely to leave him permanently scarred. ‘Descriptions of the men were quickly circulated and shortly afterwards two men were arrested near Selly Oak train station. 'There will have been people going home from a night out who would have seen this fight. I need their help to find out why this man was attacked in such a savage way.’ The victim is recovering following hospital treatment for his injuries. Anyone with information related to the incident has been asked to contact DC Neal Hudson in West Midlands Police Force CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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A library for the 21st century? University unveils new library designs Ashley Kirk Reporter
The University of Birmingham has revealed images of the new £37 million library that is planned for the main campus. The plans, announced last year, would see the current, traditional red brick building demolished and replaced by a building veneered with metal and glass fit. The University website describes the new building as ‘a library for the 21st century.’ A Facebook group entitled 'Save the University of Birmingham's Redbrick Library' was set up after the new library was announced to petition against the demolition of the red brick façade currently at the centre of campus. Those opposing the plan argue that
the University’s traditional routes would be damaged by such a development, and argue that the installation of technology and some refurbishment does not need to result in the demolition of the red brick front. ‘As Birmingham was the original red brick university’, commented Bethany Prottey, a third-year English student and student ambassador, ‘it would be a shame to destroy a key part of our heritage and damage the traditional atmosphere of University Square.’ The University website has said, however, that the new building ‘is a once-ina-lifetime opportunity to transform our campus and ensure that our students, staff, and wider community have a fa1
cility that serves their changing needs, exceeds their expectations, reflects the status of their institution, and is a source of pride for decades to come.’ The new library would cover 13,000 sq metres over six storeys. It would include many of the existing facilities, such as a café and exhibition. It constitutes a flagship development in the University’s application for 21 projects at the Edgbaston campus. The designers of the project, Associated Architects, are also working on the conversion of other buildings such as Aston Webb. The planners state that it would be a much-needed modernisation and refurbishment to the resource centre, as well as being much more energy efficient, 2
consuming 50 percent less energy. Advocates of the development say that it will bring jobs and competitiveness to the region, providing ‘rich resources’ to students and the public alike. In a statement on the University website, the Director of Library Services Diane Job commented that, ‘The new library will make greater use of technology to meet the changing needs of students and staff, as well as being a vital resource for local schools and residents.’ The University had committed £50 million towards the combined investment, but this estimate has since been revised down to £37 million. Construction work is expected to start in 2014. 3
Interior 1 Façade and café 2 Café interior 3 Library 4 Artwork courtesy of the University of Birmingham
James Dolton Comment Editor
I’m sorry to bring this up. I’m sure you are really busy. But we need to talk about the new library. You’ve likely now seen the drawings, and it would seem the rumours are true. Not the somewhat spurious ones about the library ‘sinking’ like some monolithic brick ship under the weight of all of it’s tomes, which remains unproven albeit bandied around as gospel truth at every Fab. The one that says we’ve decided to replace the admittedly creaking old building with a ludicrous contraption that appears to share more physical characteristics with a cheap 1980s imagining of a TV alien spaceship than it does to literally any other building on campus. I’m all for modernisation and advancement: the current library’s masses of plug sockets still don’t cover for it’s lack of seating or the masses of books locked away in storage. It’s also nice to see University money being spent upon something tangibly and universally useful to its students. However this article appears in Redbrick Newspaper. We are the original “Red Brick” University. It’s bizarre that such a vast oversight has been made in ruining the style and ethos of campus and particularly Chancellor’s Court for no readily apparent reason.
redbrick.me/comment | 7 @RedbrickComment
For more on coffee, check out this week's 'Shout at a Camera'. www.redbrick.me/comment
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A cry for change in its infancy Jack Pridgeon Commentator
At first glance, it's no surprise that the Independent's newly launched Democracy 2015 has struck a chord with so many members of the British public. From the campaign's claim that British Parliament needs 'strengthening', in order to redeem its present inadequacies, through to its simple yet effective mantra that all that is required for a drastic revival of the faltering system is the election of a new breed of 'better qualified' one-term MPs: Democracy 2015 clearly addresses the increasingly popular claims that Parliament and Government no longer function in ways that most benefit the general public. However, the Independent's cry for revolution remains in its infancy, and whilst it's clear that people all across the nation have been dissatisfied with Parliament for sometime now, with voter turnout in general elections reaching a low of 59 per cent in 2001, and a recent YouGov poll revealing over 60 per cent of the public do not approve of the present Government, Demo 2015 still needs to address certain key flaws within the campaign before making a serious play in the next general election. Such flaws, for example, as the evident lack of political orientation within the campaign. A shortcoming that could not only deter voters from supporting the campaign (beyond a gestural acceptance of its core tenets), but could also result in yet fur-
ther disillusion and resentment towards Parliament and Government should Democracy 2015 achieve electoral success; only to fail in its attempts at governing as it becomes clear the campaign's cascade of victorious MPs lack a shared ideological coherency necessary to form a unified Government. Similarly, the notion of electing individuals based solely on their 'key' qualities and experience, in complete disregard for their political affiliations, could eventually result in the overall demise of the campaign; particularly if an ideological difference divided Democracy 2015 to the point where it was unable to rely upon its own Parliamentary majority. So much for a 'strengthened' Parliament. Furthermore, with its promise that all MPs shall be elected on a one-term basis, presumably to ensure that the practice of career politics does not arise within the campaign itself, Democracy 2015 also abandons any safeguards on maintaining group unity once elected. In the previous scenario, for instance, should such a division within the movement become a reality, the campaign would be unable to issue any form of punitive measure in order to restore coherency; particularly seeming as traditional 'whipping' procedures would be an empty gesture against such unaccountable MPs. In its simplest terms, should an MP representing Democracy 2015 decide to go 'rouge' and defect to one of
the traditional parties, the movement will have no means of reeling in such an individual. A further issue the campaign needs to address is the notion that it will inherently be able to choose candidates better suited to the tasks of government than present-day MPâ€™s. Whilst Democracy 2015 claims it would choose to elect representatives with such managerial and professional qualities, as it deems necessary to rule, it neglects to determine exactly what those qualities are. For example, whilst such professions as becoming a doctor or opening a business are commendable, neither would result in advanced intuition in relation to running a government department. All this is not to say, however, that the campaign is without merit. Arguably the notion of overhauling Parliament has been evident for over a decade now, and the Independent should be commended for putting such a popular, yet ambitious, idea into the field. Maybe the movement's political orientation has been left blank to ensure elected MPs' first priority is their constituency, not the party line, and maybe those 'key' defining qualities for candidates will become clear once the campaign reaches the selection stage. Either way, Democracy 2015 remains an intriguing approach to British Politics and, for that reason at least, deserves to be watched over the upcoming years.
What is Dem Penny Williams Commentator
It would seem that very few people, other than the politicians themselves, have any faith in British politics, as shown by the record lows in voting turnout at general elections. However, to reawaken an interest in Parliament, Andreas Whittam Smith, founder of the Independent, has proposed the idea of Democracy 2015, using the slogan 'People Politics, Not Party Politics'. The objective of
this movement is to gain a majority in the next Parliament and to stand for one term. This would involve a group of people experienced in running businesses and creating new products who will be 'thinking primarily about the voters, not about the votes'. In the current Parliament, approximately 90 members have spent their entire working lives in politics. Therefore they have little experience of
Andreas Whittam Smith 'An air of extreme incompetence has attached itself to this government.' @Democracy2015
www.redbrick.me/comment | 9
'Omnishambles' Parallels across European Politics Kit Neill Commentator
mo 2015? anything else and, in the eyes of their constituents, little knowledge of the real world. Politicians are pushed to market themselves and their policies in order to stay in power, not to run a country. One idea that Mr Whittam Smith is eager to put forward is the fact that this group of people will not be interested in winning any elections after 2015. They would carry no political baggage and be free from the
pressures that ail the current political parties. The mission statement for the group will be: to right as many wrongs (particularly in education, taxation, banking regulations and electoral reform) that previous governments have continuously failed to address. However, are the ideological premises of Andreas Whittam Smithâ€™s concept too radical or even too late?
Politicians are terrible, and that's why everything is so bad. Even your nan would probably agree, and now so does Andreas Whittam Smith, founder of the Independent newspaper and more recently the Democracy 2015 movement. According to Smith, the reason for the 'omnishambles' in Britain is that we have career politicians, whose lives spent campaigning gives them little experience running things. Democracy 2015 instead wants to encourage people with other experience to stand for just one term in the next election, before standing down, to bring back the idea that government is a public service, not a job. This isn't the first movement of its type. The 'five star movement', led by comedian and Italy's most-followed blogger Beppe Grillo, aims to tackle corruption among Italy's entrenched political class. The movement grew out of mass demonstrations in 2007 and delivered a surprise in local elections this year with protest candidates elected to rule in a number of cities, Grillo himself becoming the mayor of Parma with 60 per cent of the vote. The movement is expected to do even better in general elections next year as austerity turns people against the Government, although Independentunfriendly 'First Past the Post makes hopes of reproducing that success here unlikely to
come good. It has been easy so far for the people in power to dismiss this as 'populism', unfocused anger as recession damages people's livelihoods, but as dissatisfaction begins to spread from Occupy-style street protests to electoral politics, it begins to add up to an increasingly loud challenge to a political elite, perceived to pay little attention to the interests of ordinary people, beyond winning a re-election. Unshaven protesters and journalists haven't been the only ones to notice, though. across Europe there has been another response to politicians' competence in the EU austerity crisis: the rise of the unelected technocrats. In Government, 'technocrat' translates loosely as 'expert on doing their job'. After recklessly trying to consult the Greek people with a referendum on Greek austerity, PM Papandreou was replaced with the respected (and unelected) economist Lucas Papademos. In Italy, the admittedly worsethan-useless Berlusconi was replaced with unelected economist Mario Monti and a government of technocrats. Austerity was implemented, bailout packages were approved, and the world was duly saved. The principle makes sense, and you can take it beyond just the economy: wouldn't it be better if the minister responsible for the health service had
experience in managing something, or health issues (rather than a strong belief in homeopathy)? But Democracy 2015 is not proposing Government by experts-just that people with experience outside of political life run for Government, to shake up the cosy group of selfinterested politicians who don't have any useful experience. However, politicians with outside 'real life' experience are not a new invention, and Democracy 2015 overstates the impact that their existence would have on the country. After all, most people wouldnâ€™t argue that Tony Blair, previously a lawyer, was a radical working from outside the political establishment. There also might be a reason that career politicians tend to succeed in government. Mitt Romney showed us recently that skills and success outside of the world of politics doesn't necessarily make you good at the not-lyingconstantly and not-insultingeveryone parts of political life. If Democracy 2015 and the rest of the backlash against career politicians do succeed in improving politics, it will not be by putting more nurses and line managers on councils and in Parliament. It will be by showing ordinary people that they can actually make their voices heard if they act, so more of us start to take an interest and hold our politicians to account.
If you would like to be involved in the project and participate in developing these ideas, you can email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10| 5th - 11th October 2012
Krokodil Craze Eliza Frith In the past few years a new craze has arisen in Siberia. Heroin addicts unable to afford the substance they so crave have turned to a homemade brew called 'krokodil'. The concoction contains the pure chemical of desmorphine, which is substantially stronger than heroin and costs a quarter of the price. This is a drug which commonly causes greying and scaling of the flesh when injected, and after long term use, the skin will rot from the inside and fall off, leaving bone exposed. Sores also develop, and worse still, it rots the brain. Users have admitted that they can feel the drug poisoning them as they inject it, and often soon revert back to heroin as soon as they can afford it. Indeed, considering the ingredients, it's no surprise it resembles a poison. Red phosphorous found on matchstick boxes, paint thinner, industrial cleaning fluid and hydrochloric acid are just some of the extremely toxic substances chosen for their availability. Moreover, withdrawal is tortuous, some vomit, have fevers and seizures, while others have to be injected with tranquillizers to stop them passing out from the pain. Perhaps the most shocking aspect, however, is that the life expectancy after first use is a mere two years. It is imperative that those in power address the issue. Since it hit the streets in 2002, Russian authorities have done nothing beyond confiscation of doses. Granted, the current President Dmitry Medvedev, has recently called for websites explaining how to make the substance to be closed down, but this seems to have made a negligible difference, particularly in the poorest areas where the epidemic has hit hardest. More effective action is needed; if the main ingredient, codeine, was not readily available over the counter, then the two million Russian drug users that use it to make 'krokodil' would be prevented from doing so. But under huge pressure from pharmaceutical companies, who are profiting from the increase in sales, and those who use the drug for its headache relief properties, the government has sat on the fence for years. Worst of all, there is only a scattering of government-funded rehab centres in Russia. If there were more centres for heroin addicts, there would be far fewer people turning to 'krokodil'. It is imperative that the government introduce measures to reduce the 30,000 deaths it causes annually.
Volunteering in the Third World Simon Hookins Commentator
Every year, students from across Britain jet off to exotic destinations to 'help' poverty-stricken communities. How selfless; the image of a wide eyed, impoverished child combined with the allure of a tropical trip seduces keen student do-gooders into splashing out on 'once-in-a-lifetime-experiences'. Often this is a little more than a bid to escape the grey clouds of dreary Britain in favour of gleaming summer sun. Many of these projects are much less beneficial to the local communities than they seem at first glance, and what seems an inherently selfless act is twisted to the advantage of the volunteer. Building projects undercut the local construction sector and hand over much needed work to inexperienced westerners. Students teaching English across the globe can increase competition for limited jobs in the volatile tourist industry that relies on the hunger of US and British citizens to keep the trade going; when the tummy rumbles, the citizens are left jobless. As for when someone decides to take a 5,000 mile flight to explain to locals how they can conserve the Amazon rainforest and prevent deforestation, I hope the irony speaks for itself. One third year student who volunteered in East Asia this summer (and wishes to remain anonymous) criticised the ineptitude of the charity she volunteered for: 'It was a shame the organisation hadn't made it clear exactly what the project culminated in' she described, 'because if we had realised earlier and been fully informed, we could've organised everything properly, improving the experience for everyone involved'. Allowing standards to drop because work is unpaid is unprofessional and unfair on both the volunteers and the participants. It is not expertise or manpower that these organisations lack, but the funds and infrastructure needed to complete the job. Money spent on travelling by volunteers for just a few weeks could be spent on developing long-term solutions to the problems with expert help. Of course, this means the fundamental question is whether people would donate to the same extent whilst sacrificing their opportunity to travel abroad? It would be na誰ve to suggest they would. Sponsoring an individual is more emotive than donating to a charity, and businesses have thus seized upon the idea as a marketing tool. Individuals who volunteer are plastered all over their websites, creating the impression of ethical consciousness, whilst donations are side-lined for their relative lack of marketing impact. Moreover, the individual is more motivated to fundraise when they benefit directly whether this is a tropical destination, work experience or the general 'feelgood' factor. For balance, Camps International (an organisation that runs volunteer projects) was quick to point out that a 'huge amount of local workers [are employed]', providing long-term support to the villages. And, I worked with a grassroots charity over the summer that focused on sustainability and the needs of local communities. To summarise, there needs to be more of an equilibrium. Most projects have huge potential to benefit the local community, but it is undeniable that with some, it is only the volunteers who profit. Will this help international development in the long-term? I'm not so sure.
Freddie Herzog. The West Coast Mainline fiasco just gives further evidence of the black hole the current Government has dropped itself in. Had Virgin Rail not launched a High Court case against the decision to award the franchise to First Group, then the technical issues of the contract would not have been discovered until far too late. The simple fact of the matter is that First promised too much that could not be delivered feasibly in what has become a money-based game of cat and mouse; a game the Government should not be playing. It even begins to make the idea of a nationalised rail service, such as exists in Germany, far more appealing. Who'd have thought?
POLITICS Matt Hewson. Political party conferences exist for two reasons: to give politicians an opportunity to talk to people that, broadly speaking, hate them less than the general public do, and to annihilate the premise that parties are fun. Thus, last week saw Nick Clegg say some things, and this week Ed Miliband also spoke some words. Next week, some sounds will fall out of David Cameron's face in order to end a season that is, remarkably, somehow more boring than the X Factor. Buzzwordpacked, policy-light speeches abound, and no one outside of the immediate Westminster village really gives a hoot. Still, we can be thankful that it at least distracts us from the economy.
Black Salafists Arabia's Red Guard.
Giles Longley-Cook Political Commentator
Radical Islamism has long been in the business of using manipulation and false emotionalism to spark off cultural tensions between the Middle-East and the West.
Max Shapiro. You've probably never heard of BAE Systems or EADS. They are respectively the British and European arms and vehicle manufacturers of the world and they are trying to merge, to form BAE-EADS. Why should you care? I hear you ask. Well, I'll tell you; a merger of these two giants would mean that Europe is intrinsically tied tighter; it means much less military independence for Britain on the international stage and it means a loss of jobs and revenue in this country – arms are our largest export. Whilst you may like the sound of all that at first glance, what is undeniable, and cannot be ignored is that this merger will make Britain significantly weaker.
In every revolution, fractious motives and emotional tempests give rise to groups that stand out as much because of their intimidating and regimented aesthetics as for their uncompromising, fanatical beliefs. The Nazis in Weimar Germany, fascist black shirts in Italy, and The Red guards of China are but a few examples. True to form, such a group has risen to prominence on the back of the Arab Spring; Salafi jihadi groups bearing the black flags that give them the ominous title of 'Black Salafists' and a hardline doctrine of literalist Islam and ruthless expansionism. Black Salafism as a political force is hardly a new phenomenon and can trace its origins back to the Muhujadin in 1980s Afghanistan, and then in Al Qaeda whose leader Osama Bin Laden helped to begin Saudi Arabia’s prominence as an exporter of radical Islamism. When the 2011 revolutions broke out, the salafists struggled at first to choose between the authoritative status quo and opportunities of political ferment to implement even more conservative government.
However, once it became clear that the old guard was doomed, they were quick to make themselves appear to be the vanguard of revolution. However, in no event have they shown their true colours more than the recent wave of anger which followed ‘The Innocence of Muslims’. The film, a ridiculous piece with all the budget and competence of a cheap porn flick, is not actually that new, and was hardly seen before an Egyptian Salafist TV host conveniently introduced it (with added subtitles) to his audience on the 8 th September. Within days, widespread protests were rocking most of the Muslim world. One notably quiet country was Saudi Arabia, who always manages to avoid most of the violence and mayhemthey do so much to create elsewhere. Thus when the shocking terrorist assault on the US embassy in Benghazi took place a few days later, it fitted safely into the media-spun web of generic Islamic rage; reinforcing the image of Muslims as violently incorrigible. Radical Islamism has long been in the business of
ACADEMIA Stephen Pearce. Whilst an undeniably controversial figure, the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm was nevertheless one of the most influential historians of the modern age. Some may discredit him for his political views but his works as a historian are seminal in their field. His Age of series offer a unique and insightful analysis of the modern world and many history students owe him a great debt. Alongside this, Hobsbawm's array of other works have helped shape and influence modern conceptions on both Marxism and Capitalism. His death at the age of 95 leaves an considerable intellectual vacuum in which his skill and authority have yet to be matched. Rest in Peace.
using manipulation and false emotionalism to spark off cultural tensions between the Middle-East and the West. Many forget the great lengths certain Mullah's went to get the Danish Muhummad cartoons into Egypt in 2005, even adding fake captions and pictures to make them more insulting. Going further back, the Satanic Verses controversy of 1988 began when Ayatollah Khomeini, desperately in need of something to distract people from his own failures, denounced a book he had, in all probability, never read for being blasphemous. Add a sprinkling of angry mobs who haven't seen the condemned literature, and watch history repeat itself. The organised attack on the Embassy coincided with the anniversary of 9/11, making the intentions of its perpetrators all the more obvious. By igniting anger and chaos the Salafists hope to turn this event into their Reichstag fire, driving the people into accepting the leadership of a small, demented and utterly ruthless faction out of fear of an inflated threat from outside.
James Dolton. It has been a spectacular week for beloved televison figures falling from grace. As well as some shocking (yet unproven at the time of going to print) allegations of child abuse toward Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It presenter Jimmy Saville, the seemingly perennially cheeky and cheerful Justin Lee Collins has faced allegations of domestic and emotional abuse, whose details grow more sordid and nefarious by day. A crime is a crime regardless of how 'well loved' the figure who commits it is, and questions must be asked as to how these respective allegations remained uninvestigated for so long.
12 | 5th - 11th October 2012
Three crazy-easy ways to be healthier today Anish Patel
Go for juice instead of Swap cooking oil for fizzy mixers olive oil Swap your vodka coke Containing healthy for a vodka orange and monounsaturated fats you'll benefit from and less saturated fats, increased levels of vitaolive oil is delicious and mins and hydration throughout your good for the heart. Try extra-virgin mixed night out – something for which you’ll with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice be grateful the following morning! for a delicious salad dressing.
Rise of the Facebook Foodie. They're Armed and Dangerous. Laura Harris Food Writer
Dear friends, Something has come to my attention recently that I really need to talk to you about. It's not personal, and I'm sure it's me, not you, but please, please... try to stop Instagraming everything you eat. As much as there is something intrinsically beautiful about a burger and chips, about a sepia toned pizza, about a Rooster House that you might live to regret, I really do not need to see every little morsel of it, regardless of the artsy filter you've run it through. Thousands of budding 'artists' across the country have been satisfying both their artistic urges and hunger simultaneously, and while that's certainly a time saving way to go about it, it's beginning
to get a tad annoying. Now, Instagram can certainly be used for good, and I'd admit to using a cheeky Hudson filter to make my night in front of the TV look like a night in Andy Warhol's Factory. Instagram is a bad-makeup-day's best friend. It has brought us many a cute animal photo, and for this we must be grateful. But I can't quite fathom what it is about food that has got so many of us reaching for our Instagram. Admittedly, an impressive cake is fair game, or a meal you've made and fancy a brag about. Go crazy. Let your creative instincts run free. Bear in mind, though, that adding layers of heavy saturation and colour contrast to your meal might make it look more 'poached vomit' than 'haute cuisine'. I've been treated to countless photos where I've had to seriously wonder whether it's a 'predigestion' or 'postdigestion' shot. But credit where credit's due: at least you made it yourself. The thing that really gets my goat is where restaurant meals have been Instagrammed. Or Pot Noodles. Or a halfempty packet of Real McCoys. I can't quite see the link between satisfying a basic human need,
GuiltlessPleasure Osasu Igodan We all like to put naughty things in our mouths every now and then. The thing about junk food is that it's almost always followed by a guilty aftertaste. We begin to realize the brevity of our actions as the last pieces of evidence disappear down our gullets, eyes widening, deglazing, mouths opening, circling, releasing the fragrant byproduct of our pleasure, all punctuating that just piggedout look. Bottom line: we' ve just sacrificed our waist-lines
for a few minutes of pleasure, however sinfully delicious. OK. I think I might have revealed way too much about my disturbing eating habits. I sincerely hope a little unhealthy eating is not that much of a big deal for you. That being said, there are ways to lighten the effects of your little salée-sucrée adventures. Try recreating your favourite takeaways at home. Start by trying out our pizza recipe (opposite) and see where you go from there. You might surprise yourself.
Opt for the whole-grain equivalent of refined grain foods Whole-grain pasta, bread and flour are just as tasty and contribute better to a balanced diet. Studies show they also significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
What is it about Instagramming your food? Does it aid digestion? Laura Harris gives her views on this food phenomenon.
and broadcasting this to the world. If we publicised every need we satisfy, Instagram is going to take a strange and mentally scarring turn. So, congratulations on sustaining yourself for another day. Well done for picking the perfect filter to really bring
out the beige of your pasta. But I think it's time to stop now. Slowly put down your Supernoodles and bring back the cute animal photos and artsy pictures of trees. Thanks. P.S. Feel free to carry on Instagraming fancy cocktails. That's genuinely cool.
Dough Ingredients: 300g Strong Bread Flour 1tsp Instant Yeast 1tsp Salt 1tbsp Olive Oil Topping Ingredients: 1 tin chopped tomatoes Olive Oil 1 Garlic Clove 1 Handful of Basil Grated Mozarella Preheat the oven to its highest temperature (about 240C). Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast.
Add 200ml of warm water and the olive oil. Knead for five minutes until smooth, then set aside. To make the sauce, chop the garlic and fry over a medium heat for a minute or two. Add the basil and let it release its flavour into the oil before adding the chopped tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes until reduced. Split the dough into two balls and roll into 25cm bases. Cover with tomato sauce and mozarella and add any other toppings you want. Bake until the dough is crisp and the cheese golden and bubbling (8-10 minutes).
Editorial: Why redesign?
We took the decision to redesign Redbrick at the end of last term. The website was launched on 17 September and today sees the release of the first new-look print edition. It won’t be perfect: redesigns by their nature are complex beings and it invariably takes writers, editors, proof-readers, editorial assistants, photographers, designers and, above all, readers, several weeks to get used to it. The redesign won’t be ‘complete’, as such, until all of the aforementioned are completely at ease with the changes. So why redesign at all? Well, for several reasons. The world of journalism is fast-changing and print, once our sole medium, is now directly competing with the power of the web. Last year, Redbrick won the Guardian Student Media Award for Website of the Year. We’ve just been shortlisted again for the 2012 awards. Amongst British universities that put us in a unique position: we believe we’re the best placed university to fully address the new (and
ever-changing) roles of print and online. We don’t believe it’s a case of ‘print versus online’ but rather ‘print and online’. That, we ought to stress, does not necessarily mean we’ll be right. Last year, we felt the need to cram articles into the paper. This year, we want articles to breathe more. That necessitates fewer articles in print with more being put up online. In turn, we felt that articles on the website had to look better than they did last year - another reason for redesigning the website. We’ve been asked before whether the website is a relegation zone for articles deemed unnecessary for the print edition. Not at all, we unequivocally stress. Not only do articles on the web look unique, but we also get four times as many hits online per month as we print editions. This summer we’ve attempted to address and resolve countless issues. It’s a scary process, and the possibility of failure loomed large throughout, but here, finally, is our first effort. A very public judging awaits.
14 | 5th - 11th October 2012
Travel Rant. The Parisian Fallacy The French use the word 'flaneur' to describe a person who wanders idly through city streets. As Charles Baudelaire discovered it is by far the best way to discover the true nature of a city. This summer whilst loafing around Paris I became used to dirty shoes. The streets are a canvas painted with Parisian phlegm, dog shit and if you are unfortunate to trudge between Porte de la Chapelle and Place de Clingnancourt metro, a plethora of used condoms. Unsurprisingly after a month I came across an enormous human turd selectively placed below the Gare Montpanasse metro map. Bemoaning the state of my shoes whilst walking amongst the petit chemins of Monmartre, I wondered why do tourists come in their swarms to Paris? The answer is simply the city relentlessly advertises the myth of romance and culture. If you read a tourist guide of Paris, you are struck by the Hollywood vision of swan shaped lovers along on the banks of the Seine; of 19th century architectural masterpieces; of Haussamann’s vast boulevards; of Van Gogh painting on every street corner and Camus and Satre discussing philosophy over petite noirs at Les Deux Magots. Granted Paris has a colourful cultural history and sure the city entertained a few interesting events this summer. There was an extensive Tim Burton exhibition at the Cinema Museum and similarly well put together Richter exhibition at
the Centre Pompideu. If film and art are not your cup of tea you could even sunbathe on one of the man made beaches on the river bank, or watch the final leg of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysées. If you have penchant for architecture, Paris is quite stunning. From the top of Notre Dame, The Pantheon and the Eiffel Tower I gazed down in admiration at Paris’ skyline. Yet like getting up close to the decaying paintings in the Louvre, stepping into 21st century Paris you are welcomed by a heap of broken images. Once a romantic cultural Mecca, Paris is now a cheap fair ground attraction. A city infested by crowds of tourists flowing over bridges eyes fixed down on oversized maps. Along every street there are at least fifteen souvenir shops each mirroring the last. Even the sordid side of Paris is a tourist attraction; the Moulin Rouge’s offers a Plat de jour with entertainment for €170! These wealthy tourists flocking between the main attractions create the problem of immigrant hagglers. Rows of African immigrants litter the streets flogging miniature Eiffel towers and fake designer handbags. These men do not physically affront you. Visit Monmatre, however, and you will be accosted by gangs with string bracelets grabbing your arm and refusing to leave. Also to be found around Montmartre and the Centre de Pompidou are gangs of mute/ deaf` families with clipboards
Every city has its problems and its unappealing citizens yet not every city professes to offer such unreal idealism whilst masking its rotten core.
Swan-shaped lovers or a turd of a city? Arts Editor James Kinsey gives us his vision of Paris behind its romantic cliché
hoping for a donation. Several polite refusals inevitably lead to acidic words under their breaths. There are hundreds of beggars in the city, many of whom are severely disfigured and left to rot. Descending down beneath the surface, I remember vividly a large lady dressed in black on the Metro’s line 2 hunched horizontally, hobbling through passengers whilst singing the most beautiful sombre song, only to be greeted with passengers fixing their eyes before their feet. Worse still is the French law that gives an insane person the right not to be hospitalized. You can imagine the effect of a few cans of 48 cent Atlas beer on an insane homeless man confined in the metro. Quite simply the opposite of Parisian beauty. The Paris Metro is even more unwelcoming than the city, there being generally no room to stand nor sit. Signs persuade Parisians not to barge on and off the metro and signs asking travellers not to use the strapontins have no effect. I
experienced the same social indifference at Menlimontant metro station where from a far I watched a man mug a woman of her handbag whilst those nearby merely stared. The Metro’s only redeeming factor is the price of a ticket which is a quarter of the price of the London underground and the Passe Navigo, the Parisian version of the oyster card, which is far better than its London equivalent, after paying €20 a week you get unlimited travel. The rotten core spreads outwards to the surrounding wastelands. If you stroll out a few metro stops north of the main attractions most notably towards the 18th- 19th - 20th arrondisments you are greeted with: Paris’ homeless, dilapidated high rise flats, poor migrant communities flogging fake watches and barbequing corn on trolleys. If the streets don’t puncture the myth, the Parisians will. Men piss in the streets, they ignore the signs asking both genders not to spit, and yes the stereotype of rude Parisian
waiters is true. But I came across Parisians who were simply repugnant. To list some of the worst; a man who argued for the disenfranchisement of the intellectually stunted; at the FNAC music festival in front of the Hotel de Ville a man rubbed his penis against my friends leg and another friend having been so disgusted by the inhospitably of her landlord, was forced to live elsewhere whilst still paying her contract. Every city has its problems and its unappealing citizens yet not every city professes to offer such unreal idealism whilst masking its rotten core. Regardless of its faults, 15 million tourists travel to Paris each year to indulge the myth of the `world’s most romantic city`. I wonder how many of them stroll through both visions of the city. Fittingly Paris’ motto: 'Fluctuat nec mergitur which translates as `It is tossed by the waves but does not sink` is an apt metaphor for a turd of a city that retains itself in the basin of human myths.
www.redbrick.me/travel | 15
Secret Birmingham. Under the city skin Hannah Detheridge Travel Writer
Oh hello you, welcome to Birmingham. By now you’ve probably got a vague idea of the maze of the Bullring and have some drink addled memories of getting lost in Gatecrasher. But surely you cry: there must be more to this city! Well, here is a short guide to some places you may or may not know about, that are slightly off the beaten track and where better to start than with places to drink alcohol? First stop is The Victoria, on John Bright Street, lurking somewhere behind the Hippodrome and Arcadian. Inside, the walls are covered with graffiti artwork of flying pigs and King Kong terrorising cities. From there you could head to its sister venue Jekyll and Hyde; inside is a glorious cocktail bar serving up drinks in sweet jars and boasting not only an Alice in Wonderland themed heated smoking area, but a Victorian gin parlour upstairs too. Happy hour is from 4 til 7. For those of you that miss the pub lifestyle from back home, you need to try Bennetts Hill. It was once used as the old bank and is now a pretty awe-inspiring place to grab a pint, all cavernous rooms and dark panelled wood. It’s on 8 Bennetts Hill,
Photo by Neate on Flikr
Interrailing. Ollie Higgins Travel Writer
Follow these tips for getting around Europe and start greasing the wheels of your own train journeys around Europe: Firstly, don’t expect luxury everywhere – the Austrian and German trains we went on epitomized the stereotypes of ruthless German efficiency. Punctual, mercilessly clean, smooth and comfortable. However, if you want to interrail around Eastern Europe, then expect decrepit trains that look like they’d struggle to pull out of the station, never mind embark on a several hundred mile journey. As for comfort, you’ll most likely be placed in a six seat cabin, three facing three if you go on a lengthy day journey, which helps you get up close and personal with old, foreign women who speak as much English as you do Slovakian, but insist on starting conversa-
tions. If you don’t want to waste a whole day travelling, and you’re going on a particularly long journey (try Krakow – Prague: 10 hours), book a sleeper cabin. It’s around £8 each for a six bed cabin – probably cheaper than a hostel – and you don’t waste any precious sightseeing time sleeping! When you walk into the cabin, you may be dubious, but have faith – the 10ft x 8ft cabin will transform once you fold all the beds down into a five star, six bed hotel room. Well, not quite, but it does the job. I’m not sure whether it was our state of exhaustion every time we took a sleeper, but they provided a pretty comfortable night’s sleep. If you do want a sleeper train, make sure you book at least 24 hours in advance. The last thing you want to be doing is to spend an 11 hour train sat upright, shoulder-to-shoulder with five other people, as we
found out to our peril. Another tip is to pack lightly – one 40 litre backpack should be plenty, regardless of how long you’re going for. All you need is a few changes of clothes, one pair of comfortable shoes and one pair of fairly smart shoes, in case you want to get into any decent clubs. Travel wash is a must, although most hostels will have laundry facilities for a small payment. This also comes in handy if you need to get a plane anywhere, as you won’t have to pay for a suitcase. Most importantly, you have to roll with the punches and do not expect to get it all your own way. Once you get your head around the fact that the worst thing that could happen is spending a night on a train platform after missing the last one, it doesn’t seem that bad. Interrailing is a great, cheap way of getting around Europe, and can be a laugh too, if you embrace it for what it is.
close to Colmore Row and the tiny cathedral. The small square it sits in is fondly known as by ‘Pigeon Park’ to the locals. Go there on a Saturday afternoon to admire the thousands of pigeons and emo youths in their natural habitat. The Hare and Hounds on Kings Heath high street is another great pub, hosting a wide variety of nights from house (Le Lieu) swing, (Electric Swing Circus’ Hot Club de Swing is unmissable) and also live music – an exceptionally good local band Sunrise Over Europe are playing there on Sunday 21st October, so if you like goosebumps with your music, come along. ‘Vintage shopping’ in Birmingham roughly equates to COW Vintage on Digbeth high street, and the Custard Factory; club by night and a hive of small vintage shops by day. However, really decent charity shops, are pretty thin on the groundI’m afraid, but never fear! If you fancy getting out of town, you can head to Colmore Row and get yourself on the 22, 23, or 24 bus, all of which go to Harborne High Street. If you’re worried about missing your stop, get the 23. These have overhead speakers that announce your stop along the way. Take ‘HARBORNE HIGH STREET’ as your cue.
All along this street are all manner of charity shops and tiny, independent boutiques, including a very good Oxfam bookshop. If you’re after some eating, it also boasts a Café Rouge, Pizza Express, Henry Wong, Zizzi’s and Sabai Sabai serves exceptional Thai food. The winners in Harborne have to be The Junction and The Plough though; gastro pubs with great food and an even better atmosphere. On the subject of food, the Diwan restaurant in Moseley is one of the greatest Bangladeshi restaurants probably in the world, on 3 Alcester Road. It’s always very busy so be sure to go early or book a table. It is the best kept secret in Birmingham, I promise - it’s cheap and you can take your own drinks. Last but certainly not least, if you like your club nights a little different and don’t for any reason fancy FAB one week, get yourself to Uprawr, at The Asylum every Saturday. Full to bursting with a rowdy crowd chanting away to old school pop punk, relive your giddy youth with very cheap alcohol. As a local, it is my favourite night out in the city. Also worth your time is, The Electric Cinema, the UK’S oldest working cinema, near New Street. Seeing is believing, so what are you waiting for?
16 | 5th - 11th October 2012
Budget Beauty. 5 Top Tips Alexandra Landes Life&Style Writer
We all agree university is amazing but the late nights, copious amounts of alcohol and takeaways all lead to one thing: bad skin. And when living off a maintenance loan, students are not exactly in the best position to go out and spend hundreds of pounds on skin care. But fear not - you’d be amazed with the skin remedies you can create out of the contents of your fridge. So here is my five step guide to beauty on a student budget:
If you’re anything like me, most days you wake up with panda eyes from make-up that you forgot to remove the night before. Leaving make-up on overnight can lead to oily and spotty skin. A perfect remedy for this is an easy facemask made from just two egg whites and two tablespoons of Greek yogurt. Mix them up and apply to face for a couple of minutes before washing off with warm water. It’s a brilliant remedy for tired skin, only takes two minutes and is cheaper to make than your end-of-night kebab!
Burberry S/S'13 collection at London Fashion Week
Creating Wearability or Wearing Creativity?
Another brilliant homemade facemask (which is particularly good for dry skin) can be made from just one avocado and a tablespoon of honey. Just mix the two together and apply the mixture to your face for a couple of minutes, wash off with warm water and voila! Facebook perfect, clear skin.
A top budget beauty tip is, instead of spending £15 on spot cream, to just dab a bit of toothpaste on a spot before you go to bed. When you wake up the spot should be dried out and the redness on your face dramatically reduced.
If you’re running low on makeup and can't face another expensive trip into the Bullring, a great substitution for pressed powder is baby powder. It absorbs sweat (perfect on a night out) and can also help reduce face shine.
If you are in desperate need of new beauty products (and the contents of your fridge just won’t do) then try and stick to cheaper products which in some cases are just as effective as your top of the line make up. I'd recommend Collection 2000 and 17 as great make-up buys, which won’t break your student budget but will still complete your look.
Senior Life&Style writer April Shacklock attends London Fashion Week and considers the question: Do designers design for creativity or wearability? April Shacklock Senior Life&Style Writer
Fashion is the world’s most creative industry - however, its creativity has to translate into wearable pieces that fit seamlessly into the wardrobes of all kinds of women. So when designers were planning their showcases for London Fashion Week SS13, did they reign creativity over wearability or did they compensate theatrical impact for purchasing persuasion? For the grand heritage brands such as Burberry, Mulberry and Daks, their reputation is built on staple pieces that will last a lifetime, such as the Burberry trench. So for their shows, they can simply reinstate these pieces time and time again and they never lose their audience’s interest. For example, Burberry’s SS13 trench coats were cropped, volumous and lacy. But what about the new designers do they need to shock to be remembered or do they need to demonstrate their expertise in designing wearable pieces? The answer is, there are no rules. Each designer is unique and has a different concept. Take Huishan Zhang, who worked at Dior for a year. We could
have been presented with a collection that tried too hard to match up to Dior, but, in fact, as we saw the models saunter past, we imagined our bank balance going down and our coat hangers becoming occupied by elegant, subtly opulent garments for both day and night. There was nothing dramatic about the show - it just softly melted the hearts of the audience as they fell in love with every piece. Philip Treacy returned to London Fashion Week after thirteen years. Despite it being nineteen years since his first fashion show, wherein the world’s biggest supermodels such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell walked for him for free hats, he wanted to show people that established designers such as himself can still shake things up. Not only did Lady Gaga open the show, but Treacy's soundtrack was Michael Jackson to which the models burst into dance halfway down the catwalk. The hats themselves were magical, from oversized Mickey Mouse ears, to spinning wheels and mechanicals cogs. However, the fairground was not all about fun. The models underneath the hats were making a big statement
about the evolution of fashion: all the models in Philip Treacy’s show were black, including supermodel Jordan Dunn. Although Dunn may never struggle for work, it is not the same for all black models who still struggle to make names for themselves in the modelling industry. With all these shocking, innovative elements, Treacy’s show was more evocative of in-yer-face theatre rather than high fashion. But did it make a stand out, respected fashion show? It certainly did - in fact, as Vogue said, ‘it was one of the best ways you could have spent a Sunday evening’. So do designers have to make a choice as to whether they want their catwalk to be the highlight of fashion week or drive high sales? Beautiful clothes will sell themselves, but is showcasing entirely unwearable pieces also a sales ploy? A crazy show will attract attention (Philip Treay managed to keep people from watching the new series of Downton on a Sunday evening!), which will urge people towards your stores where they are likely to discover something as ready-to-wear as a Burberry trench.
www.redbrick.me/lifestyle | 17
5th - 11th October 2012
2012: The Year For Lingerie
Lucy Whife Life&Style Editor
As the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon slowly loses readership popularity, the infamous 'Fifty Shades Effect’ continues to show no sign of slowing down. Affecting relationships, sex-toy sales and the English Dictionary, the trilogy has now been proven to impact the fashion industry, and more specifically - the lingerie market. Retail researchers have found that sales of lingerie have dramatically increased since the publication of the trilogy with Agent Provocateur, the leading luxury lingerie line, basing a recent advertising campaign on the character Anastasia Steele from the novels. But it’s not just the Shades trilogy that has caused a boom in our lingerie spending. The booming sales have been reinforced by the increasing popularity of specifically lingerie stores. The highlyanticipated Victoria’s Secret has finally ventured across the Atlantic and opened two stores in the UK this summer. Unfortunately, both can be found in London (at London Westfields and on Bond Street) but it does mean, online shopping for the brand, if an excuse was ever needed, is much more accessible.
Theo Paphitis' Boux Avenues are also popping up all over the high-street, including a recent opening in our very own Bullring (you can read mine and Sophie Cowling's review of the store launch at www.redbrick.me/lifestyle).The stores specifically provide shoppers with a lingerie range that ensures the exact fit whatever your body shape, making (what can be occasionally) a frustrating and difficult shopping activity much more enjoyable. It seems 2012 has also been the year for celebrity endorsement. An array of female celebrities are jumping on the lingerie craze, with many celebrities designing underwear collaborations with the highstreet, and helping the sales to boom. Only a few weeks ago, Kelly Brook launched her second lingerie and swimwear line with New Look, and proving to be, once again, immensely popular with young females.
Like Kelly, Rosie Huntington-Whitley launched her lingerie collection this summer. The model who made her name by wearing underwear, is now designing it; the 1920s-inspired range with Marks & Spencers that launched a few weeks ago was publicised and praised by all the glossy media; twitter feeds were filled with mentions and the hashtag #rosielingerie was trending worldwide (and to no surprise, the collection is gorgeous). So begs the question; is this lingerie love just a craze for 2012, or has E. L. James caused a definite change in the fashion world too?
The New Yoga Experience - Fly Yoga
Natasha Woolf Life&Style Writer
The Return Of Sunday TV No longer a depressing evening with nothing on and nothing to do. Downtown Abbey, Dragon's Den and The Only Way is Essex are back!
Winter Weather - It's time to wrap up with cosy knits, boots and fabulous coats. The Valleys – Reality show set in the heart of South Wales: nine boys and girls move from the countryside to a shared house in the centre of Cardiff. Previously doing very average jobs, they all have big aspirations of becoming the next big thing. Sounds entertaining to me! Teal Nail Varnish – Not as bright as Turquoise but still something a bit different, perfect for Autumn.
Welcome Back Cheryl - Cole’s
long awaited return to X Factor to help out Gary Barlow at the judge’s houses stage of the competition. She looked stunning as ever and was greeted with cheers by the contestants.
Snap Fashion - A new, free app that allows shoppers to search for clothing using images - kodak your faves out of mags and track it down!
Kristyna Konirova Life&Style Writer
I am officially a yoga addict. I take yoga class at least twice a week, I carry my mat everywhere I go and my room always smells of incense. However, no matter how good yoga makes you feel, everyone gets bored of doing the same routine eventually. So, after hearing about a yoga studio close to my home that offers Fly Yoga classes, I knew I had to try it out. In Fly Yoga the class use a fabric hammock to help provide total body strengthening and stretch activity, without burdening the skeletal. In addition, the exercise promises to have many other benefits such as wrinkle and grey hair prevention, memory improvement and complete body and mind revitalisation. It is therefore no surprise that I was pretty excited to try it out. The class started off with some simple poses using both the mat and fabric hammock as a prop for stretching. In the next part of the lesson, we positioned ourselves inside the hammock and did some of the classical poses that you would normally perform seated on the floor, which were perfect for practicing balance. It was in the last part of the class, the real
fun came. This was the reversed positions. For some, it appeared rather difficult to overcome the fear of taking your hands off the fabric and letting go so you were hanging by your legs. However, after few encouragements and help from the teacher, everyone got there eventually. At the end of the class, I could not believe one hour could fly by so fast. All in all, Fly Yoga was great fun and an excellent alternative to the traditional yoga practice. I would probably not replace the regular yoga practice with it as I found it slightly less effective and physically demanding then my usual yoga classes but it is a great complementary exercise as it stretches and strengthens parts of the body you normally miss out, especially the back muscles. After the class, I felt a massive wave of energy come over me that lasted all evening. Moreover, due to all the endorphins released during the exercise, I felt very happy. I would highly recommend this class to everyone who is looking to spice up their exercise, to those wanting to relieve their back pains or simply to anyone who wants to try something new and have fun.
More exercise tips: Life&Style writer Amber Morgan reviews the best gyms in the Selly Oak / Edgbaston area online at www.redbrick.me/lifestyle
Kate Midds in the Nude Unfortunately seen by over seven million people, this is officially old news.. I can think of way worse things she could have done - why would you even want to see the Duchess of Cambridge topless? Re/fresher’s Finale - Work has now begun. Nights out plus 9 a.m.’s are not the best of combinations. Rain Rain Go Away - Enough of the dull weather and 24/7 rain. Bare Legs and Sunglasses -
Summer has well and truly gone and it is now tights season. As optimistic as you may be, summer is now a long way off.
Maxi Dresses - Simply not practical for winter. However much you may try and layer, it just won’t work.
Chris Brown - As if assaulting
Rihanna wasn’t enough, now he’s got a tattoo of her in a subtle region.. His neck?!
Internet Horror Stories - Most houses in Selly Oak can't get internet installed until mid October. How are we meant to survive?
18 | 5th - 11th October 2012
Now back in Brum
Opposites Attract: The Hippodrome The ballet world is, to those who are not within it, a conRebekah McDermott cealed one. Stories of bleedArts Editor @RebekahMcD1 ing feet and gruelling rehearsal regimes are circulated, probably because the end product is so amazing. The road to perfection must be a hard one and those of you who have seen Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan may have been struck by the dark intensity in which the ballet world is portrayed, with the sheer strength and passion of perfectly representing another world or idea being at the heart of what is important. Opposites Attract, a three part ballet set within two intervals, came to the stage at Birmingham’s Hippodrome this Wednesday. In contrast to productions such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake or Cinderella, Opposites Attract was not primarily focused on portraying a story but instead each piece as a work of art in its own right. Take Five, the first of the three, incorporated both jazz and simplicity. What was impressive about this piece was the timing. Executed to perfection were the dancers clapping and the smooth transition into solo and group dances. Choreographed by David Bintley, the dancing was phenomenal. A contrast with classical and jazz music was essential to the theme of the piece and is performed live by The Dave Brubeck Quartet underneath the stage. Not only did the audience come to see a professional ballet but also a skilled and clearly experienced orchestra. The second performance Lyric Pieces, choreographed by Jesscia Lang had clearly been influenced by stark contrast black and white 1960's art. The audience was also seduced by the rich, oriental stage props which were easily movable by the dancers themselves. Hans van Manen, the director of the final section Grosse Fuge, proved that martial arts can be seen and understood as a form of dance, not just in its premise but also its image. The men's costumes were memorable and impressive, in high-wasited, black flared trousers.
Clearly the scatter-brained QI persona had ingrained itself in Davies. Loafing around the stage at the start of the gig, unsure of himself, he lacked rhythm and was only able to half-heartedly mumble a few complaints about the patched up stage curtain and a few recy-
Despite the warm welcome, the question on everybody’s mind was can Davies, a man renowned for playing the empty headed QI buffoon, rediscover the spark of his early days in comedy?
The majority of the first half of the show featured hackneyed quips about middle-aged men’s incomprehension of Facebook social conduct; recycled jokes about health and safety and uninspiring lengthy complaints about his age.
In the interim Davies has made a name for himself as the role in the TV series Jonathan Creek, and perhaps most notably as the lovable quirky dunce of the QI series. Unsurprisingly, he was greeted with rapturous applause by a sell-out crowd at Birmingham’s at New Alexandra Theatre.
cled jokes about the surprising success of the summer Olympics.
A rusty Alan Davies stumbled his way onto the stage after a ten-year hiatus from stand-up comedy, as part of his comeback tour Life is Pain.
Alan Davies: Life is Pain
Training as a professional ballet dancer can take years of rehearsing, dedication and sacrifice and it is extremely hard to become successful in such a tough industry. Birmingham Royal Ballet have proved once again that it is works of art like this that make it all worth it.
But stand-up comedy is about rhythm and finding your feet with the audience. Thankfully when Davies had scored a few cheap laughs, he gained confidence and began to show his true talent as a comedian. He is at his best when spurting surreal observational rants, with standout highlights including the sexual experiences with fanatical feminists in the eighties; imagined thoughts of a lonely baby in a crib and a lengthy explanation about the best way to retrieve baby faeces from the bath. When Davies eventually found his stride, his chatty down to earth style had a warm
appealing quality which was coupled with drole self-deprecation; oddly, there is something quite amusing about a comic who laconically pauses to check his prepared list of jokes part way through the show.
Unsurprisingly, considering the slow start, the show ended with more of a whimper than a bang, musing he had run out of jokes and should probably leave the stage. But this did not matter as the understated quality of his comedy had already won the crowd over.
www.redbrick.me/arts | 19
Bruch's Violin Concerto: At Symphony Hall
Alice Grimes Critic
Ask any violin player the concerto they would most love to play and Bruch’s First Violin Concerto in G minor will inevitably top most lists. It continues to be the defining work of the, sadly, relatively unknown German composer Max Bruch and remains a staple in any professional’s concert repertoire. The reasons for this are simple: the vibrant virtuoso passages and soaring melodies which accentuate both the sheer range of the instrument and the emotion and tone of which it is capable. Not to mention showcasing the inexorable talent of the soloist. It is little wonder then, that the audience at the packed Symphony Hall were treated to a rendition of this masterpiece by the CBSO who were conducted by Walter Weller. The soloist was twenty five year old Yossif Ivanov who has been tipped by music critics to be one of the best violinists of his generation. He has studied with the likes of Zakhar Bron, Igor and Valery Oistrakh, and is the youngest violin teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
For those violinists among you, he also plays on the 1699 Lady Tennant Stradivarius lent by the Stradivarius Society of Chicago worth over $2million. So it was obvious the audience were in for something special. The orchestra opened with Weber’s Euryanthe Overture and concluded with Tchaikovsky’s infamous Symphony No. 5. But it was the Bruch concerto that people had paid to see. Yossif Ivanov played with poise and his performance was professionally executed. The acoustics in the Birmingham Symphony Hall allowed for a crisp tone and finish to the melody, brilliantly supported by the CBSO who weaved the gentle orchestral accompaniment through the skilful playing of Ivanov. It was certainly an excellent performance and it meant that more people would hopefully become more engaged with the little known composer who devised such an iconic violin piece. Sadly Bruch was a kind of classical “one hit wonder” although other notable works include Kol Nidrei for cello and orchestra and Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra which is being performed at the Town
Now go to these: Birmingham Comedy Festival, 5th - 14th Oct
5th- 6th. Hairy Bikers: Larger Than Life. The New Alexandra
4th - 6th. Ellis James, Sean Collins, Jojo Smith. The Glee Club
11th - 14th. John Bishop: Rollarcoaster. The NIA
Birmingham Book Festival, 5th - 13th Oct.
5th. Simon Armitage: Walking home. Adrain Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire
7th. Tell me on a Sunday. Blank Canvas. Ikon Gallery
11th. Jackie Kay: Reality, reality. Birmingham Cathedral.
Planet Earth: At Symphony Hall
Ben Norris Critic
It is difficult not to admire the success of the BBC’s big-budget natural history documentaries over the last few years. Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Blue Planet, Life. Even on the small screen, the cinematography, music and flawless production values are breath-taking and that’s before you take into
account how fascinating the show’s content is. All this with the dulcet, fatherly tones of David Attenborough. Whack the stunning visuals onto a huge screen in one of the country’s most celebrated concert halls, have the whole thing underscored by the Philharmonia Orchestra and and the result is incredible. Narrated and conducted by the composer, George
Fenton, the latest BBC Earth Live national tour is an emotive powerhouse. The show consists of thirteen movements each of which capture an element of life in the natural world in incredible detail. The movements are individually introduced by Fenton, whose evident passion for the whole project is infectious and chart everything from birth, through epic cross-continental
migration, to intense predatorprey battles. Fenton’s music is perfect for these scenes. That’s not surprising, given that he’s one of the UK’s most celebrated and decorated film and television composers, with five Oscar nominations and multiple BAFTA and Emmy awards to his name. So, if you’re in need of a lit-
tle perspective then Planet Earth in Concert offers it in abundance. I defy anyone to watch each individual muscle of a wildebeest strain to escape the gaping jaws of an alligator as myriad single specks of dust are sent spiralling skyward into an azure African sky, miniscule yet distinguishable thanks to the ultra-slow-motion, and deny that the world is a magnificent place.
20| 5th - 11th October 2012
Festival Review: Bestival 6th - 10th Sept
Josh Holder Online Music Editor
As soon as your plane hits the ground in Spain, the staples of a British festival (raincoats, umbrellas and wellies) fade into a distant memory and you realise that you're finally going to experience a rain-free festival. This year's 'Festival Internacional de Benicàssim' featured an abundance of big name acts and 8 full days of scorching Spanish sun. From Example to The Horrors, New Order to Jessie J, there really was something for everyone. Unless you'd been waiting for Florence & The Machine, who sadly had to pull out due to a vocal injury. The highlight came on the festival's third night of music, with the newly-reformed Stone Roses' set that spanned their entire back catalogue, from a jangly rendition of debut track 'Sally Cinnamon', through to 'Ten Storey Love Song' from their sophomore album Second Coming. Everything was played to perfection, and there were no signs that their lengthy split had
The highlight came on the festival’s third night of music, with the newly-reformed Stone Roses’ set that spanned their entire back catalogue.
affected their musical chemistry. Closing day headliners New Order also performed an aweing set, dedicated to Ian Curtis, whose birthday it would have been that day. The circumstances made their encore of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' even more magical. The biggest surprise of the festival was Chase & Status' astonishing live dance set. With phenomenal lighting, a superhuman live drummer and a killer bass thud, the crowd went wild; bouncing, bopping and raving for the full hour show. They proved that they're easily up there with The Prodigy and Pendulum as the ultimate live dance music experiences. The always brilliant Bombay Bicycle Club wowed the audience with a varied set that features tracks from their latest album, including 'Shuffle' and 'Lights Out, Words Gone', right back to crowd favourite 'Always Like This' from I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose. The Maccabees also performed a tremendous set that was in line with the huge amount of critical acclaim they've garnered over the past two years. From 'Pelican' to 'Love You Better', the crowd lapped up every song. These incredible acts, combined with the scorching sun and a beautiful beach, combine to make Benicàssim a truly unmissable festival experience.
Tamara Roper Music Editor
The Bestival line up filled me with longing every time I looked at it. Stevie Wonder, Sigur Ros and enough DJs to make the teeny bopper in me squirm every time I refreshed it, I had convinced myself that going this year was out of the question. That is until, in a stroke of very last minute Redbrick-related luck, I found myself with a ticket, a tent and lift down all in the space of two days. For those unaware of Bestival's existence, I will summarise it thus. It's on the Isle of Wight, is curated by Rob Da Bank (BBC R1 DJ at large) and with the absence of Glastonbury this year, had the biggest line up in the UK. It's spread out over a huge park in a valley, and is notoriously difficult to arrive and leave from. Its internal set up looks a bit like the place where the elves live in Lord of the Rings mixed with a giant circus, and because it's held in term time, it lacks that distinctly grubby vibe that comes with V and Reading. Music starts on the Thursday night and carries right on until the wee hours of Sunday morning. There are 26 (official) stages, a forest that is illuminated with lights and laced with hidden treasures and several clubs,
Festival Review: Benicassim 9th - 15th July
including one in an inflatable church and another in the base of a hollowed-out wishing tree. The arena holds a roller disco, shisha bars and more huge stages, and to top off what already sounds like a musical haven, it was a weekend of unbroken sunshine. The beautful weather proved to be somewhat of a hindrance, as stupified with laziness and an overwhelming sense of contentment, I missed out on bands like De La Soul and Jessie Ware, both of whom I'd been hugely looking forward to. But, unexpected wonders (pun absolutely expected) saved the day. California girl band Warpaint were perfect for the near mediterranean weather and performance poet Luke Wright brought out the literature student in me tucked away in the ambient forest. Major Lazer dropped their normally standard homoerotic crowd pumping for a set that included pop, dancehall and Paul Simon, and Stevie (as we were all referring to him as by Sunday) telling us all to vote Obama on the Sunday brought tears to a crowd of thousands. I have made my Bestival hat trick, and would more than happy to do another three years. Rob da Bank chose well when he named his festival, because the combination of arts, people and vibes make it, for me, the best that Britain has to offer.
www.redbrick.me/music | 21
Summer may feel like a distant memory, but Redbrick Music has spent Freshers Week asking UoB students what were their musical highlights of the holidays. Whether a far-flung festival or a highlight of the Olympic closing ceremony, here's the summer of 2012 in music.
2012 Christoph Buescher 1st Year
Emily Bell 1st Year
Annabelle Collins 3rd Year
Bethany Griffiths 1st Year
Marianne Lampon 1st Year
My friend and I were on holiday in Sweden and had emptied a bottle of wine. Late at night I turned on the Scissor Sisters song 'Let's Have A Kiki'. We ended up playing it again and again, singing and dancing along for hours, having the time of our lives.
My musical highlight was meeting my favourite band, Lady Antebelllum, who'd come from Nashville Tennessee. They were genuinely lovely people and had the best southern accents! The atmosphere at their concert was phenomenal. I'd recommend them to anyone, whatever your music taste.
Summer of 2012 was very much about discovering new music, particularly bands from the Birmingham area. A highlight had to be One Beat Sunday; I enjoyed the likes of Swim Deep, The Carpels and Tempting Rosie in sunny Cannon Hill Park. It really showcased how strong our local music scene is!
My musical highlight this summer was Leeds Festival. I got to see my favourite bands all in one place, and the atmosphere was phenomenal. From intimate gigs like Dry The River and Alt-J, to headliners Kasabian and The Maccabees, the festival offered something for every music fan.
Having Googled the Bestival line-up countless times, I couldn't wait for the dance music on the Big Top tent. I knew that whatever time of day or night I would be in for a treat. From SBTRKT to Skream & Benga, Friendly Fires to Justice, the atmosphere was always incredible.
Your ten musical experiences of Summer 2012: from reunited bands to stand out tracks
Robert Jones 1st Year
Lily Blacksell 1st Year
Tamara Roper 3rd Year
Jonathon Milnes 3rd Year
Josh Holder 3rd Year
In a summer where I witnessed The Stone Roses' epic hour and a half headline set at T in the Park; followed it up with Kasabian's performance the very next night; and finally saw the very first band to spark my interest in music â€“ Madness; picking a highlight was going to be tricky. Then I saw Blur. During 'No Distance Left To Run' I felt a tear escape my eye. The rest is history.
Osheaga Festival in Montreal was the best non-camping festival I have ever been to. I only had Friday and Sunday tickets so unfortunately missed Snoop Lion's Saturday appearance... I nonetheless had my tiny mind blown by Bloc Party, Tame Impala, Justice, M83, Santigold, The Black Keys, The Shins and Polica.
Of all the die-hard band fans, Bloc heads are some of the most dedicated. After two and a half years of tantrums, rumours and supposedly a new lead singer, Koko in Kentish Town was rammed to the rafters, and tickets had supposedly gone for ÂŁ100. It wasn't the best gig Bloc Party had ever played, but attending their first home gig of the decade was a treat and an honour.
Admittedly, the Olympic Closing Ceremony was somewhat disappointing in comparison to Danny Boyle's creation two weeks earlier. Yet, for me it was in this show that the best music moment of the summer took place. Nothing quite beats the combination of British patriotism and Girl Power. Plus, Victoria Beckham looked hilarious posing uncomfortably on top of a London Taxi.
After a series of unfortunate events led me to miss Noel's gig at the Birmingham NIA, I was unbelievably excited to finally catch the legend at Spain's Benicassim festival. Performing a hit-packed set complete with a batch of stunning Oasis songs, the highlight came as the crowd united for the closing song 'Don't Look Back In Anger', complete with its dazzling solo.
22 | 5th - 11th October 2012
"It's the car, right? Chicks love the car." Batman Batman Forever (1995)
Newsreel JONATHAN FAGG Critic
ANDREW POLLARD Critic Release Date: 28th September 2012 Director: Rian Johnson Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Bruce Willis Even when your profession involves gunning down undesirables sent to your present by crime lords from the future, the fact that you’re contractually obliged to kill yourself from the future is a difficult one to accept. It’s definitely not made any easier when your future-self turns up in the form of a seriously hacked-off Bruce Willis. Throw in telekinesis, drug addiction and plenty of bullets and you’ve got Looper. To be fair there is the odd plot hole, the odd bit you shouldn’t spend too long thinking about. In fact, part of the genius is that you very rarely get the chance to. The whole thing is filled with such an erratic intensity that you’re too busy having your mind blown or your nerves shredded. .Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance is stand out and his subtle mimicry of Willis’s persona makes their shared character easier to believe than you would have ever thought possible. The scene in which Joe finds himself sat in a diner facing himself separated only by a table and 30 years is cinematic genius. What is clear is that films like this don’t come around too often. Some films are not just witnessed but experienced, and Looper is without doubt one of them. It is intricate, intense and incredibly good looking. There are few films that manage to pay tribute to both its characters and its plot in equal measure. It’s one hell of a ride and one you’ll probably want to take over and over again.
MATTHEW KEARS Critic Release Date: 5th October 2012 Director: Scott Derrickson Cast: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone A true-crime writer (Ethan Hawke) researching his next book moves his family to a house where a gruesome, unsolved multiple murder by hanging occurred. Sadly, the crime proves to be the handiwork not of a publisher-friendly serial killer, but of childdevouring Babylonian deity Bagul. Unfortunately this fantastic synopsis masks a plot that is too predictable to create any sense of mystery. Hawke gives a good performance in spite of the generally uninspired dialogue, though the rest of his family are unconvincing. That said, the film is wellpaced and many of the scary moments are highly effective. These, combined with some humorous moments and considerable visual flair
Twentieth Century Fox have hired KickAss author Mark Millar as creative consultant on their upcoming adaptations of Marvel franchises X-Men and The Fantastic Four. This suggests that the studio is making a concerted effort to hang onto these comic book classics, and prevent them from reverting to Marvel Studios.
The Campaign ANTHONY KEEN Critic Release Date: 28th September 2012 Director: Jay Roach Cast: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis Will Ferrell’s latest outing, accompanied by Zach Galifianakis, pits Cam Brady (Ferrell) a Southern congressman who has never been opposed in elections, against Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) a local tour guide. After Huggins is backed by the powerful Motch brothers, a fierce electoral battle takes place. The Campaign is a comedy that’s less ‘typical Ferrell’ comedy, and more light satire. While the more slapstick comedy is still present in the film – such as Ferrell’s character punching a baby, jokes like the American flag on Brady’s lapel getting bigger throughout the film are squarely aimed at US politics and government. While not Ferrell’s funniest comedy, there are still many laugh-out-loud moments, and is well worth a watch as a solid political comedy.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly antipcated new film, The Master, is creating a rift between critics and audiences. On Metacritic, critics are giving the Oscar hopeful 85/100, while audiences are placing it closer to 60. UK residents can cast their verdict when the film opens here on 2nd November.
Thomas Farrell paints a picture of the best film posters #1 Alien #2 M #3 Star Wars
Few posters are as iconic as Alien’s, and there aren’t many that can match it for the sheer alien menace exuded by that egg (despite it being a simple chicken’s egg and not even used in the film.) Accompanied by one of the most brilliant, and widely quoted, straplines, it’s a stark hint at what is to come. Even the title lettering is great, lending the whole piece a subtle futuristic feel.
Striking, dramatic, and telling you absolutely nothing about the film’s plot – there should really be more art like this. Fritz Lang’s 1933 thriller is a masterpiece and this poster is perfect at evoking the darkness and mystery behind it. Even 80 years on, a wizened hand painted with a stark red letter is sure to have a viewer wanting to find out more.
Over-the-top and faintly ridiculous, the artwork for the original theatrical release is still charming. Though the inclusion of Luke in a He-Man pose with rippling abs and bulging pecks alongside a scantily clad Leia is bizarre, it works well in a film with so many nods to 1930s adventure flicks like Flash Gordon. Plus you can’t beat Vader looming in the background.
Disney has cast Tom Hanks as their company founder in upcoming film Saving Mister Banks, the first ever film about the man himself. It will focus on the years Walt spent convincing PL Travers, author of Mary Poppins, to allow him to adapt her work.
www.redbrick.me/film | 23
Summer sizzlers: a roundup of 2012's summer films Online Life&Style Editor Megan Jones discusses this summer in cinema A time for the big blockbusters, summer at the cinema often brings many highs and lows. From many highly anticipated comic book films to some slated Hollywood re-makes, we take a look back at what summer 2012 had to offer at the movies. As Selina Kyle warned, a storm did come over us this summer as The Dark Knight Rises thundered through the box office and blew other films aside, including Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, but also left devastation in the wake of a savage act. The power of Christopher Nolan’s beloved Dark Knight trilogy, now hailed as this generation’s Godfather, however, kept cinema goers' faith in cinema as he delivered an epic conclusion to the iconic franchise. With an electrifying cast including new
additions Tom Hardy as the villainous and successfully put a new spin on the mastermind Bane, and Anne Hathaway classic comic with Brit Andrew Garfield as the sultry Selina Kyle along with (both have recently confirmed a sequel) Bale’s best performance yet, The Dark being the perfect casting for a cooler, Knight Rises was the film event of the more confident Peter Parker. Sci-fi flick season. Dredd also opened to positive reviews Not only and was particularly praised was it the for its masterful visuals and summer of Top 10 films in the UK, summer 2012 gritty nature compared to - courtesy of the Guardian.co.uk the superStallone’s '80s adaptation hero, it of the comic strip. The was also 1 The Dark Knight Rises, £54.5m Bourne Legacy divided the time audiences as Jeremy for reboots 2 Marvel Avengers Assemble, £51.8m Renner’s portrayal of a and ticknew assassin failed to ing both 3 Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, £29.1m reach the impact of the boxes was beloved Damon/ T h e 4 Ted, £28.1m Greengrass trilogy but it Amazing was the Total Recall reS p i d e r - 5 The Amazing Spider-Man, £25.8m make that acted as the Man. With summer’s loser, disapthe idea of 6 Prometheus, £24.7m pointing both the pubmaking a lic and critics alike. fourth film 7 Men in Black 3, £22.0m Ted was the comein the Sam dy of the season as R a i m i 8 Brave, £17.9m Family Guy franchise creator Seth scrapped 9 American Pie: Reunion, £16.8m McFarlane by Marvel, brought his M a r c 10 Snow White and the Huntsman, first feature Webb took £15.8m film to the big up the screen, overshadchallenge owing The Watch,
The Beginner's Guide to... Joseph Gordon-Levitt Hayley Allanson tells us how comedy's favourite geek became Hollywood's latest action hero
This week Sci-Fi action film Looper hits cinema screens, and although Bruce Willis may be the go to guy for the genre (think Fifth Element, Twelve Monkeys and Armageddon), it’s this year’s breakout star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who once again steals the limelight, proving his worth as one of Hollywood’s most talented yet underrated actors. In the Beginning Joseph Gordon-Levitt was born on the 17th February 1981 in Los Angeles, California. From a young age he featured in several commercials as a child for big name brands such as Pop Tarts. By the age of six, Levitt had branched out into television, starring in numerous American shows such as Dark Shadows, Quantum Leap and Family Ties. However, it wasn’t until he was cast as alien Tommy Solomon, in NBC’s hit sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun that he finally stepped out of the shadows and into his first major role. Having garnered his status as a lovable, geeky teen, Levitt earned his first lead part in a motion picture as hopeless romantic Cameron in 10 things I Hate about You, the Shakespeare reimagining of The Taming of the Shrew, starring alongside ‘90’s star Julia Stiles, and Heath Ledger. As Levitt’s career progressed, he discarded his sweet-
rom-com The Five Year Engagement and American Pie: Reunion, though the latter was still a popular choice. Pixar’s new animation, Brave, may have not have thrilled audiences as much as its previous ventures but still made a position in the summer’s top 10 along with family favourite, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. Though the summer of cinema may be over, autumn has even more to bring with the likes of Looper, On The Road and Great Expectations.
natured archetype upon taking multiple gritty roles in independent films that proved him as a diverse and versatile actor. 2004’s Mysterious Skin saw him play Neil McCormick, a teenager scarred by sexual abuse as a young boy. Despite being an uncomfortable watch at times as McCormick’s mental trauma is laid bare, Levitt provides a salient and stunning performance that is well worth watching. Possibly his greatest performance occurred in 2005, where he was cast in Looper director Rian Johnson’s Debut film Brick, in which he plays Brendan, a teen loner, who, after a distressing phone call from his girlfriend (Lost’s Emile De Ravin), is forced to investigate her disappearance. Here Levitt electrifies Johnson’s snappy noir script and injects it with effortless cool. Bending the Genre In 2009 Levitt starred in another romantic Comedy in the form of (500) Days of Summer alongside the queen of quirk, Zooey Deschanel. The movie was praised for its unique nonlinear style and unconventional take on relationships, with Levitt being nominated for a Golden Globe for ‘Best Actor (in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy)’. The turn of the decade saw the transformation of Levitt
from relatively obscure into a Hollywood star as he was cast Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster, Inception. Cast alongside the likes of Leonardo Dicaprio and fellow Dark Knight Rises star Tom Hardy, Levitt ensured he held his own against Dicaprio’s disturbed Cobb and Hardy’s flamboyant Eames, as the lovable yet rational Arthur. Further recognition was won by Levitt in 2011 as he took on the challenging role as Adam, in Jonathan Levine’s ‘cancer comedy’ 50/50. An amusing and emotional movie, Levitt truly tugs at the heart strings and was deservingly awarded ‘Best Breakthrough Actor’ at the Hollywood Film Festival. Breaking Through However, it is arguably 2012 which is truly Levitt's year, having seen him star in two of the year's biggest blockbusters, in which he reunites with past directors. In The Dark Knight Rises he plays John Blake, a beat cop, who, under the tyranny of Tom Hardy’s Bane joins Bruce Wayne in the fight forGotham. So it seems that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s career is only just beginning at 31 and with the help ofstunning performances in Inception, 50/50 and The Dark Knight Rises we can only imagine more great things to come in the future.
24 | 5th- 11th October 2012
Star Programme. Homefront
Jasmine Harman Interview
Charlotte Goodwin TV Editor
Yasmin Jones-Henry Critic
Picture this, Britain: three tipsy women, loud music and a club called “Mojito’s”. The first five minutes of this programme had me debating whether this was worth watching. However, I am glad that I did not switch it off because after the first five minutes the programme redeems itself. With the party scene over, the viewer is thrown head first into another world. It’s the knock on the door, abrupt and without warning, that leaves you guessing, panicking almost, as to which of the women will receive the bad news. That same young, feisty female who was out on the lash the night before, is a grieving widow and a single mother the next morning. The most heart-breaking moment of this episode occurs when Tasha (the new widow) discovers that she was out partying when her husband made his last call.A box of tissues may be required. The principle that every word, every gesture counts - as no one truly knows if they will have tomorrow to make amends, is what made this episode so relatable. The idea of a drama about the lives of the relatives and friends of soldiers fighting a war in Afghanistan is not new. However the creators of Homefront must be commended all the same for their attempt to portray a world within Britain that has until recently been overlooked. Antonia Thomas and Clare Skinner (Outnumbered) deliver brilliant performances. Forget the politics. Forgive them for the low-budget. Homefront was thought provoking andunrelenting and I can only ask: will every episode be as good as the first?
TOWIE Moments Rosie Pooley Critic
TOWIE catchphrases have made their way into our vocabulary from the first time Harry said ‘shut up’. But the definitive Essex slang came when TOWIE superstar Amy Childs vajazzles Sam ready for a big night out. Amy gives Sam a diamond bikini line to be proud of, and vajazzling firmly became part of every Essex girl’s beauty regime. It has even been sweeping further across the nation as vajazzling becomes a must have for women.
Jasmine Harman, presenter of Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun: Home or Away, talks to Charlotte Goodwin about her latest shows My Hoarder Mum and Me and Britain’s Biggest Hoarders. It is a follow on from Jasmine’s first show about hoarding My Hoarder Mum and Me. The show focused on investigating the different possibilities open to help people with hoarding disorder. Jasmine openly says her mum still hasn’t recovered from hoarding, even though it was the focus of the show to find ways to recover from hoarding and what the reasons were behind it. Jasmine speaks willingly about her mum’s hoarding, ‘until I was 30, I didn’t speak about the problem outside my home. My siblings and I spoke about it all the time. We came up with plans to cope with the situation. My sister spoke to her friends about it, but I didn’t talk to anyone.’ Outside her home the situation was kept very much as secret, ‘my extended family members didn’t even know about my mum’s situation. If anyone came round we had to rush around and we had to try and clear at least one room for them to go in.’ Prior to My Hoarder Mum and Me Jasmine says, ‘Mum had counselling two years prior to the show and she received help from the NHS funded Mobile Repair Service in Hackney for a couple of hours each week.’ However, even though her mum did realise she had a hoarding problem the documentary shows recovery is a difficult process. Hoarding is an especially difficult problem to overcome as it does not exist as a disorder at the moment. Jasmine says, ‘there are a couple of experts in the UK, but it is not yet regarded as a disorder in its own right. There is recognised help in the West Midlands though. In Coventry there is "Orbit Care and Repair" - this provides a training programme which has just started to train professionals how approach hoarding and they are service providers to help hoarders.’ Jasmine also says Heather Matuozzo works directly with hoarders. 'She is from Cloudsend, which is a social enterprise based in Solihull. She is dedicated to helping people with a hoarding disorder and has been ‘an amazing help. She has provided so much more than just help as she really understands the issues
Before everything was so sweet for Gemma and Arg, in TOWIE spin off The Only Way is Marbs, Gemma confronts Arg over the rude comments he has been making behind her back. After stripping off poolside she proudly lets Arg know that he 'ain’t ever gonna get this candy'. A truly empowering moment that had thousands of viewers shouting 'you go girl' at the screen.
hoarders have, she is a campaigner and fundraiser who is a force of nature!’ Jasmine says there are different triggers that cause people to begin hoarding, ‘there are different themes that cause hoarding, but everyone has a different reaction to them. It can be due to a loss of something or someone, a lack of something in their lives previously, for example, if they didn’t grow up with a lot and now they feel they need to save everything. There is also the somewhat logical view that hoarders keep items with the intention and plans to use them later.’ The problem is continuous, ‘some people never get themselves out of the situation and they are just regarded as messy people. Also, some doctors say if that is how people choose to live then that is fine.’ In the show Britain’s Biggest Hoarders we see that it often has to get to a crisis point before hoarders admit they have a real issue. Jasmine says for Richard that ‘it was due to illness caused by environmental factors that caused him to suffer dangerous chest problems and was afraid of death. For Alan, the local authority was threatening to prosecute him for the second time, and he may have been faced with a massive fine of tens of thousands of pounds. For my mum it came when my brother was removed from the house and for her to then get help was a very brave move.’ However, even after the crisis point and help has been given, Jasmine sees that people cope with recovery in different ways. Jasmine said, ‘Alan and his wife Marian have been successful in opening up to friends about problems when it was kept a secret before. Their friends and family have been responsive in helping with the clearing process. Richard has come just as far but has coped differently and has made slower progress. While you can’t see the results yet, he is recovering more emotionally. He does have someone working with him to help him with the difficult ongoing process.’ Jasmine says, ‘I would love to do more follow-up shows and to see more people benefit from the help that is out there. Talking about hoarding does help, especially once it is out in the open. When people talk there is a weight off your shoulders and people become better at understanding the problem in a serious way. It also helps reduce the stigma related to the hoarding disorder. It is not a choice as the hoarder cannot choose or control their disorder. It is not just laziness as the problem runs far deeper than this.’ She concludes: ‘so many people thought they were the only ones that suffer and the shows and my website reach out to people to show that they are not alone. Making people more aware about the problem makes people with hoarding problems seem a lot less different.’ Jasmine has set up a website: www.helpforhoarders.co.uk to support those affected by hoarding and their families.
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Reality Shows. To bother or to not be bothered?
Abbie Salter Online TV Editor
Fed up with the seemingly endless reality TV shows, Russell Webb battles it out with Abbie Salter and her a self-confessed guilty pleasures... Russell Webb TV Editor
What is the fascination surrounding these reality-but-not-reality shows? I cannot find a reason for me to consciously sit down and watch any of these programmes by choice. People are becoming 'famous' for going around orange and sticking jewels to their genitals! What part of that sentence makes any logical sense? The characters (because they're on
screen lives are scripted) are mainly people with no discernable talent apart from their fantastic ability to make fools of themselves. This is my main issue with these programmes. I am not the most talented person on the planet, so this may be hypocritical, but I am also not parading myself in front of the nation pouting, posing and sleeping around. I have attempted to watch these shows and their ignorance and stupidity does
not make me laugh as so many people that I have asked state. They in fact serve to infuriate me! The first episode of Made In Chelsea made my blood boil. Just the smallest of trivial things spark a hate-filled 20 minute rant. As such, it is better for my housemates and the safety of my television screen that I don't watch any of these shows that are slowly infecting the whole UK. This pandemic must stop with The Valleys...please.
Reality TV programmes are my guilty pleasure. In general conversation I express my dislike of the tackiness of these shows but really, I love it. And I’m sure that truthfully most of you do too. From the appalling antics of Geordie Shore to the luxurious ‘rah’ lives of the cast of Made in Chelsea, my friends and I have spent countless hungover Sundays 'iplayering' and '4oding' these shows and bitching about the ridiculous exploits of the cast. Whenever we debate about the point of these shows my main comeback is that they’re purely entertaining, and what’s wrong with pure entertainment? Most arguments against reality shows are based on the ‘pointlessness’ of the programmes, yet why does entertainment have to be factual or educational? With all my university and extra-curricular work, I like, and feel like I need, to watch something which requires minimal concentration. As much as I love the typical Attenborough programmes, there comes a time when you’re feeling pretty rough and drowsy after FAB and just want to watch something completely mindless. Sitting around the TV on a hungover Sunday with housemates is so relaxing, and a nice opportunity to have a brief break from the fast pace of everyday life. Reality shows bring people together; whether you’re bitching about outfits, or have just found common ground with a stranger about Spenser’s awful hair, they can be focal points in conversation. Whether it should be the type of topic to bring people together is facile: it does, and surely this says something about society. We are fascinated with
'They’re purely entertaining, and what’s wrong with pure entertainment?' other people’s lives. Maybe one of the best qualities of reality programmes is that it shows reality, albeit a warped view; it shows viewers that happy endings aren’t a cert, Lauren and Mark couldn’t make it work, reflecting many real relationships. TOWIE’s relationships and even those on Geordie Shore portray an alternative to those acted out on Gossip Girl or 90210, where beautiful people flit from one dramatic relationship to the next. Reality shows illustrate that relationships aren’t clear cut and don’t just consist of boy meets girl equals perfect relationship. So, although reality shows aren’t educational or necessarily talentpacked, they’re interesting, and at the end of the day isn’t that what entertainment should be - interesting?
‘The Thong Song’
Arg had been acting strangely for a couple of weeks, especially towards new girlfriend Gemma Collins. To make it up to his vivacious co-star he stripped down to his pants, socks... and thong, and treated her to a romantic serenade, as well as a new fish tank. Who says romance is dead?
Lauren and Mark’s Engagement Party
Lauren Goodger and Mark Wright’s relationship was top of the list of TOWIE drama. But after eight months apart Mark proposes to on/off girlfriend Lauren and in true Essex style they throw the most glamourous engagement party around - complete with Mark, and a reluctant Arg, arriving on horseback.
TOWIE goes glamping
Sam Faiers invites her new beau, Joey Essex, on a romantic glamping trip and brings a few other TOWIE castmates along for the ride. For all those not in the know, Sam describes glamping as “being all glam like we are and then we go camping”. Genius. The episode unfolds with fashionable wellies, Joey in uggboots and Harry Derbridge digging a latrine.
26 | 5th -11th October 2012
@RedbrickSci&Tech Assassin's Creed 3 is released on October 31st for PS3 and Xbox 360
Science To Watch Ellie Fewings Writer
A look at the latest science from across the world Robots that listen to Jazz? Scientists in Japan are building robots able to learn and repeat Jazz music . Researchers from the University of Palermo in Italy have set their sights on discovering more about the human consciousness and our ‘creative streak’ by studying whether such skills can be programmed into a communication-based robot. The hope is that these robots will be able to, after sufficient training, mimic human sounds and use their own interpretations to create harmonies and duets. It is currently thought that artificial life can compose simple strings of music, but only humans have the creative aptitude to weave individual interpretations into the chord patterns we know and love. Matching together complementary chords is a relatively basic characteristic that can be programmed. The connections that humans make when improvising with a partner are vague and described by composers as “similar in a sense to dreaming”. Technology in the robotics field is improving every day, and these advances could be just the start of a new way of deisgning the machines. If these robots prove to have successful musical careers, it will shed great insight into what makes us the complicated and artistic beings that we are.
The projected worth of Whisky Biofuel production per year.
Whisky to be used as efficient biofuel. We are constantly hearing of breakthroughs in biofuel technologies. With the ever imposing need for a new fuel, attempts are being made left, right and centre to find the most efficient (and often it seems the most bizarre) replacement for fossil fuels. The newest of these attempts is from Napier University in Edinburgh and the Tullibardine Whisky Distillery in Perthshire. These companies claim to be the first people in the bio fuel industry to use the waste product of whisky production to run motors. At present, the technology has only been tested on a small scale but with promising results. Bacteria are used to feed on the sugarrich leftovers; usually recycled to make fertiliser and cattle feed. These bacteria convert the waste into butanol, one of the main petrol alternates. Scientists are constantly looking for the next big development in sustainable fuel. so news like this is extremely good to hear. With a grant from the Scottish Government and the ‘Zero Waste Scotland’ initiative, can we expect to be driving ‘Jack Daniel’s’ fuelled cars any time soon? Well it is a work in progress but we will keep funding whisky companies just in case.
Apple Apologises New maps app in iOS 6 has faced technical Shabnam Ghahestani Writer issues following launch Following the release of Apple’s latest software update iOS6, the new Maps application has received backlash amongst users. Most are unhappy with the compan y ’ s decision to ditch
Google Maps and replace it with their own maps application. Towns have disappeared or moved, names have been changed, and some cities are obscured by clouds and can’t be seen at all. A search for Manchester United Football Club for example takes you to Sale United, a football club for children. Maps in 3D show distorted buildings, roads suddenly being completely cut off, highways resembling roller coasters and some iconic places such as the Eiffel Tower looking squashed. The problems have
occured on all iOS6 devices. After the complaints, Apple has now acknowledged the problems with the app and released a statement by Tim Cook, the CEO, to customers. He has apologised saying, “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better”. He then suggests other alternatives, “while we’re improving Maps”, that are available in the App store or for users to “use Google or Nokia
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Redbrick at Eurogamer 2012 Sam Atkins Science & Technology Editor
Eurogamer Expo has fast become the leading video games convention in the UK. From humble beginnings in 2008 where developers showed their wares to a 4000 strong crowd of gamers, this year saw 4 sold out days at Earls Court in London to mark one of the biggest Gaming event the country has ever seen. We were there and got the chance to go hands on with most of the big games on show. The UK debut of the WiiU was the talk of queues into the event, the next generation of consoles being close enough to touch that most attendees raced to the Nintendo booth when doors opened. We were with them and were very impressed with the new system. The WiiU Game Pad is a sturdy piece of kit, the 6.2 inch touch screen responding well during our gameplay sessions with Trine 2 a n d Nintendo Land. It’s a unique gameplay experience, especially given the size of the controller on the whole. The best games were those that used multiple facets of the device The combination of touch controls with the accelerometer in Rayman Legends for instance changed the dynamic of the experience. The various minigames in Nintendo Land worked brilliantly at an event like Eurogamer, utilising regular Wii Remote’s to separate the style of pla y between players in multiplayer games. We had our doubts about the direction Nintendo was going, but thank-
State of play Where is gaming headed? We take a look at the current state of the industry
Tom Rich Writer
The games industry changes every day. Year on year it matures and redefines expectations technologically, artistically and sociologically - the rules keep on changing. Indeed, in the last decade society has begun to take notice. Blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft have entered the public consciousness. These blockbusters have also redefined what it means to be a gamer, no longer
a niche pursuit - nowadays everyone has a sibling, child or relative who spends most of their time glued to the television. Indie games have also redefined the business. For many this vibrant, yet occasionally pretentious scene is a wonderful breath of fresh air from the stuffiness of corridor shooters. Novel distribution systems such as the App Store, Steam Greenlight and even Kickstarter have smoothed the pathway from indie development to dollars. The image of the indie-
fully after going hands on it started to make sense. It was a great way to start, but the games would only get better over the weekend. The big names on show included 2 major titles from Square-Enix, with huge crowds for both. Hitman: Absolution brings Agent 47 to PS3 and 360 for the first time, the demo we played doing so in dramatic style. Next to the countless action games on show, playing something stealth based was brilliant. Tomb Raider was also much more brutal than we expected, think of Uncharted without the comedic quips. Seeing a beloved character like Lara being battered and bruised as she navigates the jungle environment though was hard to watch at times.
Assassin's Creed III surpassed all expectations with new hero Connor making his mark in the American revolution Other highlights included the beautiful Studio Ghibli RPG Ni No Kuni which will finally see a western release in 2013. GRID 2 was the best racer on display, proving yet again why Codemasters are the leaders in the genre. God of War: Ascension certainly looked brilliant, but other than the new multiplayer mode very little showcased a step up from the last game. In contrast, the change of direction for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was striking, the demo providing a
game hipster now rests in the pantheon of gamer catch-alls alongside the angry adolescent and nocturnal nerd, not forgetting the recent attention in the press given to feminism in games with increasing nods to girl gamers. So, the industry is broader socially than ever and is beginning to gain greater acceptance, but what of the technology? There has been much debate over the impact of such a long console generation - after all the Xbox 360 was released in 2005. Games don`t necessarily need better graphics to remain compelling, but the constraints of old hardware slow down progress in other areas such as AI, where real gameplay depth could be added. Mainstream Video Games
buzz across the whole show. DMC: Devil May Cry also played well, with one of the most ridiculously over the top boss battles of the event. The stars of the show? The new Assassins in Ubisoft’s massive Assassin's Creed franchise were our picks. The Playstation Vita spin off Liberation provided the full console experience on handheld, the female protagonist Aveline making the game hugely exciting. Assassin’s Creed III surpassed all expectations as well, with new hero Connor making his mark in the American Revolution. Everything has been kicked up a gear, with traversal and combat feeling even more natural and well tuned. Seeing a franchise that sees a release every year improve so much was truly exciting and is sure to make Assassin’s Creed III one of the highlights of Christmas 2012. Eurogamer Expo was bigger and better than ever, with enough screens for the big titles to prevent queues much longer than an hour. Developer Sessions with Valve, Hideo Kojima and Peter Molyneux brought some of the A-List of gaming to Earls Court too, which made the whole event feel even more special. There is a lot to look forward to in the next 12 months, and the games on display at Eurogamer Expo 2012 was just the start. Be sure to check out our extensive coverage of Eurogamer Expo 2012 at
are now enormously expensive to produce, so developers are often forced to play it safe and focus on the visuals, leaving less room for risky but innovative game design. There has also been a huge influx of casual users who value fun and accessibility over a deeper gaming proposition. The soon to be released Wii-U looks harness this market - reports indicate Nintendo`s new project will barely rival the power of the Xbox 360. However, having staged a strong comeback in recent years it is arguable that the PC gaming is dominant again; a platform from which innovation flows like no other. The rise of online gaming has given PC a new lease on life. From MMOs to RTS, from free-to-play games
The top 5 games of Eurogamer 2012 5 Dante may have had a redesign but DMC: Devil May Cry is still the game you know and love. This could be the push the series needs to reach a new audience.
4 Wii U was the big name at Eurogamer and the new console was as impressive as expected. Zombie U and New Super Mario Bros Wii U both look sure to be must haves when the console arrives in November.
3 GRID 2 combines the arcade feel of Colin McRae with the simulation of games like Gran Turismo. The tracks demoed at the show showcased the incredible visuals and physics created by the team.
2 Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance stars series veteran Raiden in full cyborg Ninja mode. Gameplay more similar to Bayonetta gives it a unique perspective on Kojima’s crazy universe.
1 Assassin’s Creed III was undoubtedly the star of the show. The final 3 minute timed section was the most exciting moment of Eurogamer for us, we can’t wait for the full game later in the month.
to modding Skyrim for free, PC gaming is a unique and exciting space. Finally we are brought to what all this means to the players of games - what has our medium become? Still a young industry, there is no clear distinction between art and entertainment,. We can say that gaming has already come to encompass both. Like the best games the medium itself is infinitely dynamic, it constantly challenges our perceptions. Who knows what the next great innovation will be? Now is a great time to start playing, to help shape a whole new artistic medium, to be there when it happens. The rules of this game just keep on changing - that is what is so exciting.
28 | 5th - 11th October 2012
2012 How was your summer? Tim Pearson Sport Editor
Samuel Johnson wrote in 1777 that ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. He could have been writing in 2012. This summer a restless city stopped to witness a celebration of sport which the UK will not see for years to come. British Olympians and Paralympians won a combined 185 medals to make it our most successful modern games of all time for an expectant and proud nation. But it is the moments which made it special. The individual memories etched in people’s minds which only when put together can depict the games of the XXX Olympiad. Whether it was the British horses dancing for gold or Andy Murray’s redemption on the grass at Wimbledon, the Olympics delivered for Britain on a far greater scale than ever imaginable. Which reminds me; there was far more going on this summer beyond the Olympics. Britain
secured its first grand slam tennis title for 76 years and its first Tour De France winner ever. Rory McIlroy lapped the field for a second major championship title and did anyone catch the Ryder Cup last weekend? Frankel proved himself to be best racehorse in history at Royal Ascot and Andrew Strauss bowed out of cricket for good in a series in which Hashim Amla put the England bowling attack to the sword. The Spanish continued their dominance in world football, winning their third major tournament in a row. Not a bad summer then for the out of form Fernando Torres, who picked up European Champions League and European Championship medals... oh and a golden boot. It was said that this summer of sport was going to ‘inspire a generation’. I am not going to make such bold claims; but it did inspire me.
Redbrick Sport asked 100 people: 'Who is the first person that springs to mind when you think of London 2012?'
Felix Keith Sport Writer
Lawrence McSheen Sport Writer
Eight Redbrick Sport writers pick their sporting highlights of the summer
1. James Tottle Andy Murray wins the US Open - The raw emotion that escaped Andy Murray during his runner-up speech at Wimbledon was replaced with elation and relief as he bested Novak Djokovic, courtesy of a five-set epic in the US Open final for his maiden Grand Slam title. This victory was special. Not only because it capped an unparalleled summer of British sporting success, but because it marked the culmination of a physical, almost spiritual, journey for the Scotsman. The 7-6 (12-10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 scoreline serves as an indication of the topsy-turvy nature of the contest at Flushing Meadows; with each man gaining and relinquishing the ascendency over the 4 hour 54 minute match. Memories of the four previous crushing Slam final defeats weighed heavily as Djokovic mounted his comeback, but Murray held his nerve to make sporting history in front of a raucous crowd in the Arthur Ashe Stadium. 2. Thomas Dodd Bradley Wiggins becomes the first Briton to win the Tour de France - Let’s put this one into perspective. In the 109-year history of the Tour de France there had never been an English winner. Furthermore British riders had only ever managed 11 days in the the race leaders’ yellow jersey. In all, Wiggins had possession of the maillot jeune for 13 straight days in a commanding performance that saw him win the world’s greatest cycle race by nearly three and a
half minutes from teammate and fellow Brit Chris Froome. Wiggins arrived at the tour off the back of wins in the Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné, and with the support of Team Sky the Englishman tracked his rivals over the slopes of the Alps and the Pyrenees before destroying the entire field in the races’ two time trials- a discipline where he has still not lost this year. Conquering the most gruelling bike race on the planet must surely be the best British sporting moment of the summer. 3. Nick Sharpe Mo Farah claims his second Olympic Gold - Mo Farah’s 10,000km victory at this summer's’ Olympics was an incredible moment, where a new sporting icon was undoubtedly born – the 5,000km gold however, was extra special. Farah, who is trained in Oregon by Albert Salazar, went into the race with the public already in love with him and his famous ‘mo-bot’ celebration. He was drained, mentally and physically from his previous race; he himself admitted apprehension. The 80,000 people packing out the Olympic stadium didn’t expect, but they hoped, and our Mo delivered. A perfect blend of East African heritage and true British
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grit lead him to the front of the pack. With him roaring home towards the finish line - his eyes filled with emotion and legs still pumping beneath him- we all thought one thing – ‘I am proud to be British’. 4. Joel Lamy Europe clinch the Ryder Cup Unbelievable sporting drama does not come about very often, but nothing has gripped me like the Ryder Cup. If Europe's Saturday late night comeback kept the contest alive going into the final day was not enough, then nothing could have prepared us for what came next. Ian Poulter’s never-saydie attitude, the late comebacks from Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia and the brilliance of Paul Lawrie. Martin Kaymer’s nerve-defying putt to regain the trophy – coming 21 years after his countryman Bernhard Langer missed a similar putt in the same circumstances – was a poignant ending. The ghosts of Kiawah in 1991 and Brookline in 1999 have finally been banished Possibly the greatest sporting comeback ever and all just to honour the memory of one man, the great Seve. 5. Tom Garry David Weir wins the wheelchair
800m - The standout moment of the summer has to be David Weir winning the 800m, his third of what would become four gold medals in the Paralympic Games. This race was particularly special compared to the ‘Weir-wolfs’ three other wins, simply because it was incredibly close. China's Xhang Lixin stayed level with the Brit until the last 30 metres and Switzerland's Marcel Hug was barely a wheel’s length behind as well. It is hard to deny that it was the crowd's support that got Weir over the line first in such a close race, something I could never have imagined at any previous Paralympic Games. The outpouring of emotion across the park in the aftermath made me very proud to be British and the feeling of national pride was still in the air fifteen minutes later when a young amputee named Jonnie Peacock walked out for his 100m final. 6. Joe McKivitt Chelsea win the Champions League - Chelsea’s incredible Champions League victory in May kicked off the summer in style. Chelsea’s manager, Roberto Di Matteo, had only held the position since March and had inherited a squad of players lacking confidence and in poor form. Most critics had written off the team’s
hopes of winning Europe’s biggest club football competition for the first time in their history and after drawing reigning champions Barcelona in the semi-finals, Chelsea certainly faced a huge challenge to reach the final. However, Di Matteo’s defensive tactics paid off, with Chelsea winning 3-2 on aggregate. Despite having a depleted squad due to suspensions, Chelsea then went on to defeat four-time winners Bayern Munich on penalties in a thrilling final, overcoming the odds and delighting football fans across the country. 7. Lawrence McSheen Usain Bolt retains his 100m Olympic title -For the first time since his double gold in the 100m and 200m at Beijing in 2008, there were doubts hanging over Usain Bolt. He had not been in form during the months preceding the final in London and had lost out in both sprints to training partner and Jamaican compatriot Yohan Blake in the Jamaican trials. Bolt silenced all the doubters with a comfortable victory in the 100m. After a characteristically slow start, it appeared this might be Blake’s year. However Bolt eased past his teammate, striding comfortably to victory, even slowing down towards the end of the race
and putting a solitary finger to his lips to ‘shush’ the crowd. This was a clear message to those who had dared to doubt the self-proclaimed ‘legend’. 8. Natasha Son Ellie Simmons wins the S6 400m Freestyle -Golden girl Ellie Simmonds won four medals in London, yet the standout moment has to be her victory over arch-rival Victoria Arlen, in the S6 400m freestyle. As one of the Paralympic poster-girls of London 2012, young Simmonds who suffers from dwarfism was certainly under pressure to deliver. In addition, the controversial decision over Arlen’s classification and the knowledge that she had previously broken Simmond’s 100m and 400m freestyle world records in the US trials, could have affected her composure. However amidst such controversy, Simmonds did not appear phased, smashing the world record with a time of 5:19.17, and defending the 400m freestyle title she won in Beijing. Simmonds was yet to face a challenge like Arlen, having won the 400m in Beijing more than 14 seconds ahead of her nearest rival. The sheer strength and endeavour shown to take gold for Britain makes this a special moment of London 2012.
30 | 5th - 11th October 2012
The people that made the Olympics Name: Elisha Owen Where did you work? Basketball Arena What did you do? My main role as a Games Maker was to provide great customer service. This could be anything from showing people where the toilet is, to recommending the best food stand (always the Mexican
one). Thankfully my job varied from day to day, so even though I occasionally manned the gates outside, scanning tickets for exit and entry, on other shifts I got to steward inside and see all of the action!
met Lauren Jackson from the Women's Australian basketball team, and got to speak to a few players from the Women's GB, Russian and USA teams. I also met Daniel Clark from the GB Men's team and caught a glimpse of the superstar Lebron James.
Who did you meet? I was very lucky and found myself in the right place, at the right time, quite frequently. I
Most memorable moment: Meeting Dame Kelly Holmes. I watched her win the two gold
Name: James Newbon Where did you work? I was part of the transport team at the Copperbox Arena on the Olympic Park during the Olympic Games. What did you do? The role involved welcoming and counting athletes and officials off their buses, greeting the dignitaries and corporate
Name: Tom Garry Where did you work? Wimbledon (Olympics) and Eton Manor (Paralympics) What did you do? As a 'Field of Play attendant' my role was to set up the courts prior to and during matches and/or practice sessions. This ranged from setting up nets and umpires chairs on
light. Our team were privileged to be working in the players' private quarters. It quickly became the norm to be holding open doors for Novak Djokovic or for Serena Williams to ask me for a favour.
Who did you meet? Meeting the likes of Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova in private was obviously a huge high-
Most memorable moment: The athlete I enjoyed meeting the most was American Paralympian Nick Taylor, who won a gold and a bronze in the
Name: Claire Sackman
through photographs, directing people to water facilities, assisting those with disabilities and even simply engaging in friendly conversation. Primarily, my role as a Games Maker was to ensure the visit to the park was enjoyable for all who attended.
What did you do? I volunteered throughout the Paralympics and had a variety of jobs including checking tickets at the main gates, helping to capture spectators’ memories
Where did you work? University of Birmingham What did you do? I volunteered at the Jamaican athletics teams' pre-Olympics training camp. The role involved two main duties: 'security' and 'team attache'. For the 'security' role, we had to work as part of a team to
Who did you meet? I seemed to miss all the famous
the court to topping up drinks and ice for the athletes. The other main duty was to escort athletes to and from their matches, leading them to the appropriate mixed zone to speak to the world's media.
Where did you work? I volunteered during the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the Olympic Park.
Name: Frankie Conway
clients as they arrived in their cars or being based in the Olympic Family Lounge answering any transport queries. It wasn’t the most exciting role but it was a good experience to be on the Olympic Park to soak up the atmosphere and I did work with a great team of people.
ensure the Jamaican athletes' accommodation site was scrupulously monitored and protected. The 'team attache' job tended to involve more direct contact with the athletes. The job required us to escort the athletes to and from the university training centre, assist the athletes and coaches in the setting up of any equipment and being on hand to help out wherever possible.
The University of Birmingham was inextricably linked to London 2012, and many of our students volunteered as Games Makers. Redbrick Sport finds out about five different experiences....
medals at the 2004 Athens games and was so inspired. When I saw her being driven into the arena I (rather unprofessionally) ran from my post, squeezed through all of the soldiers that surrounded her, and asked for a picture. She was absolutely lovely and accommodating. Whoever said, 'you shouldn't meet your hero', obviously didn't get a hug from Kelly Holmes!
people as they turned up on my days off. I missed David Cameron, Francois Hollande, Seb Coe and most importantly Kate Middleton, which was disappointing. When I was at work most of the dignitaries like the Queen of Denmark and Prince Albert of Monaco rushed past, but I did get to meet Kelly Holmes who was lovely and show Avram Grant to a bus after we refused to get him a
car he wasn’t entitled to. Most memorable moment: Getting to see the technical rehearsal of the opening ceremony was incredible as Danny Boyle had done a fantastic job. There wasn’t a lot to do on my first shift, so our manager gave us some spare tickets and told us to go and watch, which was a nice surprise.
Quad Category of the Wheelchair Tennis despite being in constant pain, having limited arm movement and having to flick the ball up to serve with his feet. It was a huge honour to attend to him during his bronze medal match, helping him eat, drink and shading him from the sun during changes of ends. He was extremely emotional afterwards and so was I.
Who did you meet? As a Games Maker I met spectators, athletes and their coaches from around the world and
local and international press. Additionally, I met many volunteers, from all over the UK, old and young and of different backgrounds. Interestingly, every day I volunteered I found myself volunteering with either prospective, current or alumni University of Birmingham students, generating not only a sense of British pride but also Birmingham pride. The number of Birmingham students volun-
Who did you meet? The volunteers were very fortunate in meeting Jamaican athletes, team managers, coaches and physios. It was a true privilege meeting the athletics legends like Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Kerron Stewart. It was also a pleasure spending some time with the lesser known athletes, as well as the managers.
Most memorable moment: There were a lot of extraordinary moments on the camp. It was mind blowing watching the likes of Bolt and Blake going through their sprint training, watching their speed and presence on the track, as well as their confident, show-man like aura. Witnessing the utter self belief exuding from the legends was a sight to behold.
teering speaks volumes of our institution and student ethos and love of sport. Most memorable moment: As a spectator, my most memorable moment was experiencing Thriller Thursday in a packed stadium, where Hannah Cockroft, David Weir and Jonnie Peacock won gold for Team GB - a truly unforgettable evening of sport.
www.redbrick.me/sports | 31
Page 31 Sports Shorts
Tweet of the Week
Online this week @LukeDonald
Heroes... Ian Poulter Poulter kept the European dream alive with a stunning performance on the Saturday, which included consecutive birdies on the final five holes, changing the mood in the European camp entirely. Jose Marie Olazabal The Ryder Cup captain is believed to have delivered a motivational speech on the Saturday night, moving some players to tears. He got his Sunday selections spot on too, as the Europeans fought back from 10-4 down to retain the trophy at Medinah.
What a day, what a week, what a comeback. Words can't express the emotions of the last few hours. Proud of everyone on #TeamEurope Weekend Wager
The most prestigious flat race of the season, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe takes place on Sunday at Longchamp. A series of high-profile withdrawals will see Camelot and Orfevre dominate the market, but a better bet could be Yorkshire Oaks winner Shareta, who won impressively over course and distance recently. Redbrick road to glory History has been made. This week marked the inception of the first ever Redbrick 6-a-side football team (or since I've been here anyway). Woe betide any other team entered into the 'Thursday, 1pm' league, where Redbrick will be competing for honours. A kickaround has been organised for Friday, where the players will get some much-needed match practice, and get used to playing with eachother ahead of the first fixture.
The Redbrick Crossword
Ryder Cup Review After the comeback to trump all comebacks, Owen Dunne takes a look back at the Ryder Cup. Events at Medinah rivalled any other this summer for excitement. Tuesday Debate With clubs around the world spending more and more on importing the world's best players, Nick Sharpe and Joe McKivitt debate whether a wage cap should be introduced to limit the amount that a footballer can earn...
Game of the Week (Wednesday)
John Terry: the verdict Ross Highfield analyses the fallout from the FA's verdict on John Terry's racism charge, and argues that the decision to only suspend Chelsea's captain for four games shows the organisation's double standards. 10 reasons to join Redbrick Sport With a new year upon us, Redbrick Sport are on the lookout for new writers. Online Sport Editor Joel Lamy tells you why you should think about getting involved.
Antonia Morris Crossword Editor
This week's prize is a ÂŁ5 Waterstones Gift Voucher Completed crosswords to be submitted to the Redbrick office, located in the Guild basement
Please complete this form before you hand in your completed crossword to the Redbrick office. Name:
Across 1. Surprise (someone) greatly (11) 9. Powered tool (7) 10. Characteristic sound of a horse (5) 11. Second most populous country in the world (5) 12. Savoury pickled cucumber (7) 13. Graduates of university (6) 15. A pair who associate with one another (6) 18. A Citizen with the legal right to vote (7) 20. To pulsate (5) 22. To shape something from a material (5) 23. University of Birmingham students' democratic voice, Guild _______ (7) 24. Poet and dramatist considered one of the greatest English writers (11)
Rugby With other sports not getting going until October 17th or later, the spotlight turns to Birmingham's rugby teams, who kick off their season on Wednesday. The men and women's union firsts entertain strong Durham sides, while the men's rugby league first and second teams face Midlands rivals Coventry and Warwick respectively.
Down 2. Completely comprehensible (5) 3. _____ is divided into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (7) 4. Come out into view (6) 5. Category of artistic composition (5) 6. Armed robbery (7) 7. Mixed feelings or emotions (11) 8. Discharge of lightning (11) 14. To discover something lost or kept secret (7) 16. To force oneself into a situation uninvited (7) 17. Devices used to align teeth (6) 19. Adjust ďŹ nely (5) 21. To happen again (5)
Men's Rugby 1sts v Durham 2nds Bournbrook 3pm
...and villains Steve Stricker To put it bluntly, Stricker had an absolute shocker. The 45-year-old lost every one of his four games, and his putting failed him in the decisive match against Martin Kaymer.
Mark Hughes The controversial manager cut a disconsolate figure after his expensively assembled side lost 2-1 at home to West Ham on Monday. QPR lie rock bottom of the Barclays Premier League, and the bookies are making Hughes favourite to be the first top flight manager to get the sack.
Aussie Rules The Birmingham Sharks, our very own Aussie Rules team, kickstart their season this weekend with a match against the Wolverhampton Wolverines. The fixture takes place at 2pm on Saturday at the Metchley Pitches. Get down there to show your support!
Interested in being part of Redbrick Sport? Get in touch: email@example.com @redbricksports Redbrick Sport
32 | 5th - 11th October 2012
Meet the Games Makers Redbrick Sport look at the different experiences of UoB student volunteers
An unforgettable summer Eight writers pick their sporting highlights from the summer of 2012.
Golden girl Relph has summer to treasure Redbrick Sport caught up with Paralympic rowing gold medallist and Birmingham alumna Pamela Relph to reflect upon a life-changing summer...
How did you take up rowing? After being medically discharged off a military training scheme, my sister, who is part of the able-bodied GB rowing team, introduced me to the coach for the Paralympic rowing. That happened about a week after I was discharged and as soon as I was classified I started training straight away.
lot, but I also trusted in the training we had done and the race experience we had as a crew. Weirdly I remember a helicopter flying around and thinking 'how rude, do they not know we are about to race the most important race of our lives?!' and then later realising it was because we had Kate Middleton watching in the stands!
How long had you been focused on the Paralympics for? As soon as I started rowing in September 2010 I was focused on 2012. I knew that I was going to have to work a lot harder to get to the right standard and had a lot of catching up to do.
What was the atmosphere like at Eton Dorney? It was fantastic. All I can remember from the last 250m was the sheer noise. Everyone who was cheering for GB was willing us across the line and the noise is something I will never forget.
Did you think after winning the World Championships in Slovenia that Olympic gold was a possibility? Yes! I set my mind on the gold as soon as we started training after the World Championships. I trained with a mentality that each and every long training you do in the freezing cold when you would rather be in bed is where medals are won and lost.
Can you describe the physical pain that rowers go through in the last few hundred metres of a race? Having done military training for over four years, I thought that rowing would not be harder than anything I had done in training - I was wrong. I have never experienced something as painful as the last few hundred meters of a race - you feel it in every inch of your body and it kind of feels like everything is on fire.
What sort of memory do you have of the Paralympic final? I remember thinking on the start line that the next 3m20s was going to hurt a
How much of your training is geared towards managing your disability? I have certain adaptations that I use in
'All I can remember from the last 250m was the sheer noise' Pam Relph
'I'll treasure the memories of that race forever' Lizzie Armitstead
Katy Wilson talked to road cyclist Lizzie Armitstead, who won Team GB's first medal of the Olympics... Let’s start with the obvious, how does it feel to be an Olympic medallist? I’m still getting used to it. To be honest, it feels really, really weird. Growing up as a kid and watching the Olympics, I used to think Olympians were these incredible people and now I’m one! And you brought home the first Team GB medal, did it add to the feeling? I think it did add to the feeling because I got so much more attention because of it. I didn’t really know at the time and I only realised I’d won the first medal when I saw it in the paper, but it definitely made it so much more special. The press seemed to put a lot of pressure on Team GB to win medals, especially after the men’s road race on the Saturday. What was the pressure like going into your race? Because I’d been training in Europe, I didn’t actually arrive in England until there was just seven days to go until my race. I didn’t watch any of the Olympic coverage on the TV and I didn’t read
any of the papers, I really did consciously try and avoid the press. Obviously you still feel the pressure and the hype around it, and I was really disappointed for Cav (Mark Cavendish) when it happened but I didn’t read any of the papers so I didn’t realise they had put so much pressure on him! It wasn’t exactly beautiful weather on the day of the race, how did that last stretch in the pouring rain feel? To be honest, I enjoy the rain! I perform better in the cold. The worst thing for me is 30C heat, which it was at the start of that week during training. I was really starting to panic so I was happy for the rain. I think you’re so focused you don’t notice, it could have been snowing and I wouldn’t have known. How did it feel to have the home support? It was phenomenal. It’s going to be hard in future races because women’s races don’t get a lot of attention, I think it’s
order to complete my training, such as custom made hand straps to use during the winter, as my grip in my right hand is a lot worse when it’s really cold. I also have to adapt a lot of my weights programme in order to still work the same muscles but in a slightly different way. Apart from winning gold yourself, what has been your standout moment of the Olympic summer? I don't think I could pick! I have had the most amazing summer and so many experiences add to that. I really enjoyed rowing on the Gloriana leading the Jubilee pageant down the river Thames. I also loved the open top bus parade in London. What sort of impact will London 2012 have on Paralympic sport? I think it has had a huge impact not just on sport but on disability in the UK. I have already had a number of people with the same condition as me say they are inspired to take up sport! And there seems to be a refreshed attitude towards disability. People feel comfortable talking about it and also people realise that you don't have to be in a wheelchair or missing a limb to be considered a disabled athlete.
Go to redbrick.me/sport to read the full transcripts of both interviews
Lightning Lizzie going to be a bit of a comedown. I’ll treasure the memories of that race forever. Victoria Pendleton spoke out this weekend about equality for female cyclists, how do you feel this equality could be achieved? I think it’s down to the governing body of cycling, the UCI. All professional men’s teams need a female equivalent. I’ve got a friend who’s an avid cyclist and would love to know if you name your bikes? (Laughs) No! To be honest, the only bike I’ve ever named was my first bike and that was Tommy Trek but since then I haven’t named one. Finally, do you have any top tips for budding sportsmen and women? It’s not about having the best equipment! You don’t need the best kit or the best bike. It can be an expensive sport but there’s nothing worse than someone useless with an expensive bike!