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12th-18th October 2012 Vol. 77. Issue 1415. www.redbrick.me
Osborne visits campus as questions asked over student intake
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, visited campus on Tuesday to announce the creation of a new £60m high temperature research centre in conjunction with Rolls Royce. The visit comes amidst rising concerns that several leading Russell Group universities, including the University of Birmingham, have been affected by the coalition’s ‘AAB’ policy. The policy was designed to encourage a free-market approach amongst universities, giving them the chance to recruit as many A-Level candidates as possible with grades better than AAB, but numbers due to be released in early November suggest that several universities have struggled to fill their courses. It also
comes amid reports published recently on the Times Higher Education website that UCAS had warned the coalition of the potential dangers of the policy. The rise in tuition fees, coupled with a pronounced drop in A-Level grades, is widely thought to have contributed to the problem, with universities not subsequently able to recruit outside their ‘AAB’ quota, leaving resulting vacancies on courses. One Russell Group university anonymously reported that they had fallen short of the quota by 160 places; another reported that they were 260 places short. Redbrick will gain access to the figures about the University of Birmingham when they are released in early November.
30,076 Fall in the number of students accepting places at English institurions compared to September 2011
£700m Estimated cost to institutions in lost funding over three years
7.9% The percentage of exams awarded A* grade, a fall from 8.2% from the previous year
Source: The Times Higher Education, Data as of September 2012
Claire Harris on a fuelling controversy page 21
Anita Baumgärtner reviews Taken 2, page 26
Harriet Henderson & Jemimah Shaw review Hairy Bikers, page 23
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@Luidwina90 SOUTH AMERICA
Chavez retains presidency in Venezuela
UK left recession in third quarter, NIESR says
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has been re-elected for another six year period. Chavez won with a ten point margin. His opponent Hendrique Capriles Radonski accused Chavez's administration of corrupting the elections.
German Chancellor Merkel visits Greece SCIENCE
Nobel Prize winners for cell research
Man charged with the murder of April Jones
STORY OF THE WEEK
US presidential election poll update
Sir John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka have received the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine for work into development of cells and organisms. They discovered that all cells have the same genes and information needed to make any tissue.
Mitt Romney has gained a four point lead ahead of Obama according to a poll taken after the first presidential TV debate. The shift is believed to have taken place due to Romney winning over many female and young voters with his performance.
Leading British universities fall in tables
Man charged over defaced Rothko
Leading British universities have fallen down the Times Higher Education league tables whilst Asian institutions have risen. Bristol, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle have all fallen down the rankings, as have Glasgow and Aberdeen.
A Mark Rothko mural was defaced at London's Tate Modern gallery on Sunday. A 26year-old Polish national Vladimir Umanets, also known as Wlodzimierz Umaniec, has been charged with criminal damage in excess of ÂŁ5,000.
Jimmy Savile's 4ft gravestone is to be removed
Redbrick Editorial Editor Raphael Sheridan Deputy Editors Lexie Wilson Owen Earwicker Digital Editor Chris Hutchinson
Arts Editors James Kinsey Rebekah McDermott Anna Lumsden
Life&Style Editors Lucy Whife Megan Nisbet Megan Jones
Sport Editors Sam Price Tim Pearson Joel Lamy
Senior Editorial Assistant Isabel Mason
Travel Editors Emily Booth Chloe Osborne Will Spence
Photography Editors Anna Kirk Charlotte Wilson
Editorial Assistants Ravina Khela Ellie Smallwood Ellie Jarvis Hannah Coates Ella Parsons Francesca Seabourne George Bearman Hannah Mason Alicea Francis
Music Editors Jonathon Milnes Tamara Roper Josh Holder
Art Director Alexander Blanchard
News Editors Kerrina Gray Rhiannon Doyle-Maw Patrick McGhee Freddie Herzog
Television Editors Charlotte Goodwin Russell Webb Abigail Salter
Food Editors Izzy Gibbin Jemima Lovatt
Comment Editors Oscar French Elisha Owen James Dolton
Film Editors Natasha Lavender Aisha Bushby Josh Taylor
Science & Technology Editors Sam Atkins Andrew Spencer
Crossword Editor Antonia Morris
Junior Art Directors Lauren Wheatley Akhil Kothari Anita BaumgĂ¤rtuer Julia Jablouska
Proofreaders Emily Hickey-Mason Emily Trivette Rebecca Mee Bethany Prottey Sophie Tollet Ashley Kirk Naomi Baldwin Megan Kissane
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3 | 12th - 18th October 2012
Party Conferences. Redbrick explores the education policies of the three major parties At At the Labour their conferParty Conference ence held at the in Manchester, leader ICC in Birmingham, Ed Miliband has promthe Conservatives admitised that he would address ted that the economic recovthe 'forgotten 50%' of young ery is going to take longer than people who do not attend univerexpected. A further £10bn is going sity, by revolutionising the educato be cut from state welfare meaning tion system. He suggested that a new nearly 400,000 households may have 'Technical Baccalaureate' be introduced their housing benefit cut. One idea sugfrom the ages of 14 to 18 instead of to gested by Chancellor George Osborne, is 16, encouraging those young people who to severely reduce the number of underdon't necessarily want to follow an acain a family that should be supported Labour demic route, to follow a vocational one. 25s on benefits. The Education Secretary, Conservative The Labour Party also announced that Michael Gove, used his speech to defend his if they were to be elected to the next governflagship policy of free schools and academent the tuition fee would be capped from mies, but also accused teaching unions of £9000 to £6000, easing the debt of loans on using their 'ideologies to hold back children'. students. In order for this reduction in fees to Meanwhile, David Cameron set out suit the economy, Miliband said he would his vision for UK education which featured scrap the cuts in corporation tax, and the flagship free schools scheme and a keep the 50p income tax rate for revised exam system. He wants 'more The financial services, as well as free schools, more academies, Liberal increase the interest rate more rigorous exams, more Democrat Conferon the loans of the expected of every child ence took place from 14th highest earning in every school'. to 18th September in Glasgow. The graduates. Liberal Democrats' record in coalition has been highlighted in detail on their website. The Lib Dems say that they have 'ensured the poorest 25% of graduates will pay less for university than they do now' and that 'only the richest 30% of graduates pay the full cost of going to university.' They confirmed that students do not have to repay tuition fee loans upfront. Instead, graduates must repay loans once they earn at least £21,000. The party has said that in coalition it is 'ensuring 200,000 part-time students no longer have to pay costs upfront', a policy that aims to benefit mature students. For more on the party The Lib Dems also say that by 2014-15, as many as conferences from Beth 75,000 more adults will begin apprenticeships Dawson, Sam Jones, Isabel than under Labour. Hicks and Shruti Aggarwal see our website www.redbrick.me/news
Photographs by Will Siddons
Online News Editor
Patrick McGhee News Editor
Shruti Aggarwal Reporter
£10bn The extra amount George Osborne wants to cut from state welfare
£6,000 The yearly tuition fee proposed by the Labour Party
75,000 The increase in adults who according to the Lib Dems will begin apprenticeships by 2014-15, compared to under Labour
50% The 'forgotten' percentage of people who do no attend university, according to Ed Miliband
200,000 The amount of part time students who no longer have to pay their tuition fee loans upfront, according to the Lib Dems
A Trade Union Conference (TUC) protest was organised during the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. The TUC marched along Broad Street followed by speeches in Victoria Square.
4 | 12th- 18th October 2012
Guild Ofﬁcers. Ex Vice President found guilty Former VPE Edd Bauer and current non-sabbatical officer Sean Farmelo stood trial for incidents at last year's 'Protest the Protest Ban' on campus.
Kerrina Gray News Editor
Former Vice President of Education (VPE) Edd Bauer has been found guilty of 'using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour' under Section 5.1 of the Public Order Act 1986. Bauer was fined £400, and was ordered to pay £500 compensation and £1,000 in costs in Birmingham Magistrates Court. Bauer was involved in an incident during the 'Protest the Protest ban' demonstration which took place on campus in February last academic year. Sean Farmelo, current non-sabbatical Community Action Officer (CAO) also appeared during the court case but was found not guilty of assaulting a security guard. Speaking to Redbrick, Farmelo said, 'I've failed modules and the taxpayer has spent thousands on a stressful eight month case in which the prosecu-
tion had only self-contradicting witness statements whilst there was clear video evidence showing I assaulted nobody.' The march was backed by the Guild of Students to demonstrate against the University of Birmingham's injunction banning 'occupational' protests. However, the protest was taken off of the Guild's planned route and into the University's Staff House following a decision by Bauer. The Guild was unhappy with the decision and released a statement at the time saying, 'The lack of communication between those students who decided to leave the agreed route and the Guild is disappointing. Whilst it is still unclear what actually took place at the time, what we can be clear about is that the Officer Team and University are very unhappy with the way the event unfolded.' In February, Redbrick reported that Bauer described the protest as 'highly
successful' and he said he had 'witnessed no disproportionate or criminal use of force by students against other students or staff.' He also claimed that students were intimidated and assaulted by security staff and the police during the march. Earlier this year, Bauer was found not guilty of intentionally causing danger to the public and conspiring with others to do so after a banner drop at the Liberal Democrat Conference 2011.
'I've failed modules and the taxpayer has spent thousands on a stressful eight month case in which the prosecution had only self-contradicting witness statements whilst there was clear video evidence showing I assaulted nobody.'
From @Simon_Furse on Twitter
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1 Ex-Sabbatical Ofﬁ cers debate at last year's protest ZOE POSNETTE
2 Professor Green, who performed at Fresher's Ball
UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
Christian Union leader resigns
The President of the University of Birmingham Christian Union (UBCU), Ben McNeely, will resign his position after appearing in a photograph posted on Facebook wearing 'black-face' makeup as part of a Caribbeanthemed fancy dress party. McNeely, a 21-year-old economics student at the University, apologised for his actions, releasing a statement in which he said, 'In the summer, I went to a “Caribbean themed fancy dress party” as Bob Marley at which I “blacked up”. I realise now this was a foolish mistake. There was never any intention to stereotype or mock or be offensive to anyone. I did not post the Facebook photographs personally, they were posted by others at the party and the first time I was aware that my actions may have caused offense was when a friend privately messaged me suggesting this. As soon as I understood this I asked for the photographs to be taken down. 'I would like to offer a sincere and unreserved apology to the students of Birmingham University for my actions which I realise have caused great offense. I was genuinely unaware of the history attached to this issue and how it was used to perpetuate a negative stereotype of a particular race. I have since learnt just how sensitive this is and appreciate why some people have been so upset. As a Christian I believe all people are equal regardless of their race and each individual has special dignity in bearing the image of God. I am totally opposed to the dehumanising of any individual. I have a much clearer understanding now of how "blacking up" has been used in this way in the past. It is something I will never do again. 'From the moment BEMA drew my attention to this I have sought to do everything I can to apologise in person to those I have offended including offering to apologise publically in the University Newspaper. I am truly sorry if my thoughtless actions have in any way caused students of Birmingham University to feel unwelcome or unable to attend Christian Union events or meetings which are open to all students regardless of faith, background or belief. ‘However, in light of recent events, it is with sadness and regret that on Wednesday evening I tendered my resignation as President of the University of Birmingham Christian Union. This was not an easy decision for me to make and took a lot of thought and consideration. 'I have become increasingly concerned that the Christian Union's main purpose – to give every student in Birmingham an opportunity to hear about Jesus and his amazing message of love, forgiveness and acceptance - is not harmed and the CU continues to be known as an open society where all students are welcome.' BEMA responded to McNeely's apology, stating, 'We accept Ben's apology wholeheartedly, and we see he is willing to educate himself on liberation issues and white privilege. We have always said publicly, and acknowledge that Ben's act does not make him a racist, as we understand he was ignorant toward the "Blacking up" issue.' BEMA added, 'We are satisfied that we can move forward from this with a better informed student population, and that zero-tolerance is being taken seriously at our university. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ben for his genuine apology.' The University has stated that, 'The University of Birmingham is a community of 150 nations situated in a vibrant multicultural city. We are extremely proud of our diversity, we actively promote tolerance and condemn discrimination of any kind. We will investigate this allegation of inappropriate behaviour with the parties concerned.'
Online News Editor
PROFESSOR GREEN'S TWITTER
3 George Osbourne visits University of Birmingham
'We weren't as good as we could have been' Guild President, David Franklin, has apologised to students for the Guild's errors at this term's Freshers' Ball. As reported in Redbrick last week, 2,000 tickets were sold for the Freshers' Ball featuring a performance by Professor Green, but only 700 people were allowed into the Debating Hall, where the gig was held. At a public consultation meeting, Franklin accepted that the way the logistics of the event had been arranged did not work and said, 'We weren't as good as we could have been'. He confirmed that those who had bought a ticket only for the Freshers' Ball had paid £20 whereas those who had bought a Freshers' Fest package paid an additional £15 for the Freshers' Ball and two other events, included in their total cost. Franklin stated that the ticket cost did not just cover Professor Green's fees but other parts of the event as well. The students' main complaints were about the lack of communication at the event about when Professor Green would be performing or that there was a limit on the number of people who could see the gig. One student at the meeting said 'If we'd got to see Professor Green it would have been really good value, but it was a waste of money if you didn't get to see him'. Franklin said that he will now draw up ideas to combat the issues raised and will be in contact with those who attended the meeting in the near future.
Chancellor George Osbourne visits UoB Rhiannon Doyle-Maw News Editor
Chancellor George Osborne visited campus this week to announce the creation of a new £60m High Temperature Research Centre by the collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Rolls-Royce. The government are in Birmingham this week for the annual Conservative party conference at which Osborne spoke on Monday 8th October. Rolls-Royce has provided a £40m investment which has been matched by a £20m investment from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), through the UK Research Partnerships Investment Fund. The centre aims to aid the development of future generations of aero engines in a bid to make a greener, more efficient mode
of air travel and is part of a range of science projects across the UK which have received a £1bn boost from joint industry, university and the government. A site in the West Midlands, equalling approximately 6,000 square miles, will be chosen during the next four weeks with the hope of opening in 2014. The new research centre will host a unique casting, design, simulation and advance manufacturing facility with the hope to expand from the key manufac-
'This new facility will create a step-change in research capability in the UK which will directly benefit the manufacturing sector of the economy' Vice Chancellor David Eastwood
turing areas to draw in additional research competencies related to these areas through increased industry and academic involvement. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, Professor David Eastwood, has commented that, 'Drawing on the University of Birmingham's outstanding research base this new facility will create a stepchange in research capability in the UK which will directly benefit the manufacturing sector of the economy and enhance the economic competitiveness of the region.' Executive Vice President , Manufacturing Engineering and Technology at Rolls-Royce, Dr. Hamid Mughal commented, 'We are delighted to be extending our advanced manufacturing and design research capabilities with the proposed development of the High Temperature Research Centre.'
Patrick McGhee News Editor
6 | 12th - 18th October 2012
Pro-anorexia Websites: The misconception Jenna Clake Commentator
'Awareness of anorexia needs to be raised'
If you have been affected by this article, there is a variety of help available.
Anorexia & Bulimia Care: Tel: 03000 11 12 13 Parent Helpline: Option 1 Sufferer Helpline: Option 2 Self-Harm Helpline: Option 3
Birmingham Nightline 08000 274 750 6pm - 8am
Recently, The Sun posted an article on its website in which it branded a website named Skinny Gossip as pro-anorexia. After reading Skinny Gossip for a few minutes, it becomes evident that this is not
often show that their creators and users are very much aware of what they are doing, as many sites begin with the following disclaimer: 'WARNING: This blog contains descriptions of unhealthy and dangerous behaviour. The content may be triggering for persons
t h e case. Skinny Gossip is a 'thinspiration' website, which encourages its users to lose weight and 'stay skinny'. Its owner, 'Skinny Gurl', berates and names and shames models or celebrities she deems 'fat', although a lot of people would argue that they are normal or healthy. Despite Skinny Gurl's controversial opinions and approach to weight, (her BMI is a shocking 15.7), her website is definitely not pro-anorexia, as she states: 'We have never supported illness or self-harm,' while pro-anorexia is commonly defined by pro-anorexia website owners as the decision to 'not go into recovery' for their disorder. What The Sunâ€™s article has shown is a general lack of knowledge surrounding anorexia and pro-anorexia websites, thus demonstrating a lack of much-needed sensitivity. To incorrectly brand someone with a disorder is insensitive, both to Skinny Gurl and anorexia sufferers. However, the biggest cry for understanding may be needed on pro-ana websites themselves. Many non-anorexic visitors to the webpages post pictures of burgers or carb-laden plates with the tagline: 'Just eat something, seriously,' while others have called anorexia sufferers 'disgusting'. There also seems to be an overwhelming belief that anorexia sufferers are entirely clueless about the effects of their disorder, thus causing appalling abuse; one user called a blogger 'dumber than dumb' and another said: 'Starving yourselves is a stupid move. The last thing to go will be your brain, and you may or may not have a heart attack right before the end. Have fun with that, Stick Girls.' However, pro-anorexia websites
with an eating disorder or another mental illness.' There is also a widespread misconception that pro-anorexia websites are a cause of the disorder. Whilst some websites do contain some shocking tips, such as taking an ice bath to make your body burn 200 calories for every degree it has to regain, and punching yourself in the stomach to prevent hunger pains, anorexia is caused by biological and psychological factors, not webpages. This misunderstanding often leads to sites or blogs being closed. What is most striking about pro-anorexia websites (and Skinny Gossip) is the sense of community that is created for its users. There is a real solidarity between the site owner and their followers â€“ not in a dictatorial way, but in a supportive and welcoming manner; examples of competition or pressure are extremely rare. Pro-anorexia websites are also clearly popular - in one case, a blog had received 598,172 visits in its three-yea run. Such blogs are often a means for sufferers to share their secret lives with people who may also be suffering from the isolation often caused by the condition. Whilst a website might trigger a relapse in recovery, or may awake something that lies dormant in someone, it is not a direct cause of anorexia. Additionally, many pro-anorexia websites often change their tact. It is not uncommon to see a website owner stating that he or she now wants to support its users' recovery from anorexia. On the other hand, many sites seem to have simply disappeared or been abandoned. While this may illustrate that its owner has recovered and wants to leave that part of their life behind, it may also indicate something far more sad and sinister.It is evident that from several people's responses to pro-anorexia and thinspiration websites that awareness of anorexia needs to be raised. If we are told more about the disorder, then perhaps people who are genuinely ill will stop receiving abuse from the ignorant.
12th - 18th October 2012
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Study Drugs Jeremy Crampin Commentator
Many websites can become a nuisance for the easily distracted student. So what if there was a pill you could take which made reading contract law fun? Well, there is! Amongst the most popular, Adderall速 offers more than a good night's sleep and instant coffee ever could. These powerful psycostimulants allow one to focus for hours, making the plainest material as gripping as our dangerous orange friends. Great, right? Well no: it turns out you're essentially taking speed. An amphetamine salt to be precise. In an all-too-American myopic frenzy, these drugs have been embraced at face value across the states, and are now prescribed to millions of infants allegedly suffering 'learning difficulties'. Whilst cognitive enhancers have their place in modern medicine (treating severe ADHD for example), a drug commonly compared to cocaine by users really isn't to be taken with a pinch of salt. Governments have long since discouraged amphetamine consumption for good reason, so why is America so willing to dish out a derivative? Might an appetite for performance enhancers in general be culturally intrinsic? Whatever the reason, these drugs are now gaining disturbing ubiquity on the Western academic scene. Unfortunately users can expect the side effects associated with most uppers: insomnia, loss of appetite, strong desire to redose; and a comedown if they don't. This stuff ultimately exhausts your body. Admittedly Adderall differs chemically to the speed taken by Trainspotting's Spud to fail his drug interview, it's a much more even lift for users. Yet it's clear that the marketing of study drugs alone has accorded them false legitimacy in American students' minds and worse still: American parents'. So just how placid is Adderall compared to its Class B brother? American friends have given desperate accounts of the length people will go to for just one pill during exam period: teenagers running across campus at silly o'clock clasping a 20 dollar bill after 38 calls failed to get their supplier out of bed. I'll let you answer that one. Enough about why you shouldn't
take it; for anyone as disposed to procrastinate as me, something more will be required. I'm interested in whether this stuff would really make me write a more intelligent essay, because no one could resist such an edge. By all accounts students' grades do go up when they're on it, but do they become more intelligent? I could cope with peers scoring 5 per cent higher than me because they'd been brushing their teeth with their tongue all night, but not if, say, it made you philosophise better. Our question is then, to what extent do these drugs enhance the quality of abstract thought? I want to make a distinction here between 'cold' logical proficiency and abstract reflective flare. As a student of (often medieval) philosophy, which perhaps demands something closer to the latter, I'm not convinced taking this stuff would help me. In particular, but perhaps true of arts in general, one's human contribution is essential. Adderall turns you into a machine. One's priority switches from quality to completing all one's tasks. That's fine if you read Maths, but in my experience engineering a convincing essay requires reflection, and maybe even a degree of procrastination. Adderall violates this. This isn't a moan at American prescription policy, but as suggested, being disposed to procrastinate might not be the end of the world after all; so often procrastination seems to inhere in the creative mind. By over-prescribing Adderall, America is implicitly presenting one form of mind as superior to another.
'Users can expect the side effects associated with most uppers: insomnia, loss of appetite, strong desire to redose; and a comedown if they don't.'
'In my experience, engineering a convincing essay requires reflection, and maybe even a degree of procrastination. Adderall violates this.'
8| 12th - 18th October 2012
It's been a busy week in the world of local activism. A crowd of thousands amassed outside the Conservative party conference in protest, whilst Defend Education held their first meeting of the year on campus . James Phillips, Rosie Booth and James Bowker report...
'Nasty Party' Conference James Phillips Political Commentator
With no aim but to express anger, frustration and dissatisfaction, the protest outside the Conservative Party conference on Sunday had a resounding message; the Tories are not welcome in Birmingham and if the public had their way (which they rarely do), they would have hosted their conference as far away from the ICC as possible. Crying out with the crowds, it was more than obvious to me that the atmosphere was one of genuine rage. Across both the public and private sectors, the cuts are hitting hard; their consequences deep and farreaching. From railway workers, to fire fighters, to lecturers at our University, there was cross-spectrum resistance to the Tory presence. And, despite police officers being unable to protest along with us by law, the liaison officers were sympathetic to our cause. 'Birmingham Grannies against the Cuts' were a particular favourite group of mine; not least because it shows that Government policies are spanning generations and the most vulnerable are, despicably, getting the rough end of the stick whilst the most fortunate are cut more and more slack. Students, including NUS officers Vicki Baars and Aaron Kiely, also lined the ranks, demonstrating against raised tuition fees and continuing further and higher education cuts. Asked why they were demonstrating, Mathematics student Ollie Jones said they were 'angry' with the cuts that the Tory party were making in Government, particularly in opposition to changes to the NHS. Vicki Baars, NUS Vice President for Union Development hit the spot when she tweeted, 'at the rally against #cpc12, the Conservative led government has tripled Tuition Fees, introduced FE fees for over 24’s 'Let's defend edu!' Ridiculously, Conservative Future's Loughborough University branch branded Vicki and Matt Stanley (NUS NEC) as immature and told them to 'grow up' via a message on Twitter. Inspiring speeches were given by general secretaries from public sector unions including the UCU, RMT and Unite. Christine Blower, general secretary for NUT, addressed the crowds 'there is a will to privatise our education' and cited that one in five young
News News Views
people can't find a job, while Bob Crow, RMT, called for re-nationalisation of the railways. Yet, the protest was disappointing; in spite of a supposed 5,000 attendees, it felt quiet and too jovial, and both the march and the rally were over in two and a half hours. Once it had finished, it had finished. It was by far lacking the passion of previous protests. Whilst timid voices shouted for a tax on the rich, the one per cent, Cameron stood, unscathed and with security for protection, that his Government would not be introducing a mansion tax. Once again, our demands were ignored. Fortunately, I can confidently say that the upcoming protests by the TUC and the NUS in London will be much more impactful. If #demo2012 is anything like the student protests of 2010, we will see 50,000 take on Westminster and show this shambles of a Government that we will not just sit back and take what they throw at us. For ourselves, and future generations, we will say 'no more'.
James Phillips Owen Earwicker. We simply can't imagine the horror the family of April Jones has gone through since her disappearance on the 1st October this year. But one cannot help but wonder if such horror has only been exacerbated through the way it has been covered in the media. Naturally there is no question of public interest here. But what kind? Is it the fact that someone has tragically been kidnapped? Or the fact that the someone was a five-year-old white girl, and this sells news? The latter is more likely. It is a dilemma posed every time news of a similar nature breaks, and part of a culture which pairs with the illegalities of the phone hacking scandal.
POLITICS Freddie Herzog. Boris Johnson this week may have just showed a beacon of light in the pitch-black darkness of modern politics. By emphasising what is great about Britain (yes, apparently there is a lot to shout about – the London Olympics, chocolate hobnobs, films made in Soho) he gave hope that there might actually be a way out of the fiasco-ridden times we are in. The real promise shown by Boris is that he is so very different to the clone politician we have become used to. Yes he wore a suit, but in what he says, he manages to perfectly blend humour and serious politics together. Gone are the days of his foppish gaffes being laughed at – now we are all laughing along with him.
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Defend Education James Bowker & Rosie Booth Commentator
This Monday at 6pm saw the first gathering of a Defend Education Birmingham, a not-exactly-clandestine group of students whose passion for education and equality lit the fire of activism last year, culminating in last the occupation of North House and the now infamous injunction on occupational protests on campus – which afterwards led to a condemnation of the university by Amnesty International and Liberty. It was an enlightening experience for the newer, fresh-faced students, with one saying 'it was so welcoming and everybody felt equal, like they could say whatever they thought'. Perhaps this feeling is due to the use of ‘consensus decision-making’, a procedural technique that aims to break down some of the structural barriers which make it difficult for minority groups and new members to be actively involved. With its roots in the feminist movement and more recently adopted by ‘Occupy’, this is indicative of the philosophy behind Defend Education, whose credo is fundamentally focused on the defense of education quality and student rights. The summit began with two presentations outlining the various issues at stake in higher and further education, beginning with a contextual analysis of national concerns and finishing with a memorable account of what is happening within our own university. These were not
James Dolton. This week saw the opening of St George's Park, a new £105m centre designed to 'fix English football'. However, what must be done for English football and by proxy the English National Team (deep down, any grumbling England fan is only dreaming of '66) to be successful is not a building but a culture that doesn't prioritise a will to win over any personal advancement and self-fulfilment. Our youth teams play with too heavy a ball on too big pitches that encourage 'lumping it long' tactics and bigger players, a style that has at recent international tournaments proved entirely dissatisfactory and unsuccessful. St. George's Park is a step in the right direction, but only a step.
USA Lexie Wilson. Last week saw the first debate between the US Presidential hopefuls, with Barack Obama intellectually squaring up to his competitor, Republican Mitt Romney. Despite the fact that Romney's dazzling levels of charisma appeared the foil to Obama's exhausted appearance and uninspiring rhetoric, the actual ideologies behind that winning smile present a frightening reality that Romney not only hasn't been laughed out the political arena, but is actually shaping up to be a viable threat. Any sane person should not vote for Romney. If you won't take it from me, maybe Snoop Dogg's appeal will set you straight: 'this muthafucka's name is Mitt.' Come on now, America.
only eloquently presented and incredibly informative but were themselves well informed, based on publicly available statistics and evaluations. Many had expected merely a series of rants by greasy-haired, idealist Marxists. What we actually experienced was a multiplicity of peoples, of every creed and various political persuasions. The cohesive nature of the group was purely down to their shared horror at what is happening in Birmingham and across the country and their wish to do something about it. This was where the group excelled most pertinently. It is not a clique, nor is there a hegemonic ideology. Granted, many of the attendants were reading political degrees, however given the political nature of any activist society this is neither surprising nor uncommon. Indeed a significant proportion of members were in fact studying courses with no relation to politics at all – examples including physics, computer science and mathematics. Open debate was encouraged throughout the conference, with various styles of discussion utilized, allowing for students who would usually be less likely to voice an opinion. When combined with the incredibly friendly environment and the use of consensus and ‘safe space’ rules, this allowed for a freely flowing debate leading to quick and exciting idea generation. We discussed what the aims of the group were for the coming term which focused primarily on mobilizing the student community for the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and National Union of Students (NUS) demos and increasing awareness of the campaign. The discussion was nuanced and sensitive, as well inspiringly inventive. It was immediately clear that Defend Education are a serious, but friendly group who are intent on achieving their aims and will employ well-considered techniques to do so. The organizers also made everybody aware of the activist training that the Guild is running on Saturday 6th October and encouraged interested students to attend and learn from what was on offer, in order that the group might benefit from the increased knowledge and experience. I enjoyed this meeting immensely and cannot wait to see what happens over the next term. I couldn’t encourage people to get involved strongly enough, because it involves every student at this university. The recent decision to break up the IAA is just the latest in a worrying trend over the last few years, perhaps beginning with the Sociology department sever. Find the group on Facebook, join Defend Education Birmingham and help to protect your education and student rights! Sophie Tollet. Although it is rather annoying to be consistently boxed into that elusive and, as is so often implied, threatening mass referred to by the media as 'young people', I find Radio 1's recent attempt to attract a 'younger audience' downright insulting. It was the 'well-connected' Nick Grimshaw that the BBC roped in to complete this task. I would hope, however, that the lure of a witty anecdote involving Harry Styles, a hilarious story about Kate Moss, or the most recent offering from Rihanna would not be enough to coerce my contemporaries into listening. Perhaps the BBC has underestimated us. Perhaps 'young people' are no longer entertained by inane chatter.
10| 12th - 18th October 2012
by Olivia Rhodes
Love Thy Neighbour Alicea Francis Commentator
We've all had a time when we've boiled the kettle but found the milk carton empty, when vague delivery instructions have meant all we know is that a parcel will arrive some time between Monday and Friday, when we're going home for the weekend but can't take the goldfish with us. These situations are at best irritating, and at worst (at least in the case of the goldfish) life-threatening. But there's a magical solution to all of these problems, a solution which is all too often overlooked or taken for granted. And it goes by the name of the Friendly Neighbour. If there's one place where becoming acquainted with 'them next door' is pretty much unavoidable, it's Selly Oak. The terraced houses, thin walls and disintegrating fences mean that we're all living on fairly close quarters. It's not unusual to have heard a neighbour during one of their more 'intimate' moments before actually
having exchanged hellos with them. So when we moved into our house at the beginning of September and realised that the fence between ours and our neighbours' garden was not just broken, but inexistent, we thought we'd make a special effort to go round and break the ice. It began with an innocent knock on their kitchen window (just across the shared patio). The light was on in the living room but the curtains were drawn, so when our third knock remained unanswered, we assumed it must have been because they were busy upstairs. A couple of days later, we saw that a trampoline had been erected in the garden. Desperate to have a go, we once again gathered outside their back door ready to introduce ourselves and politely ask if we could have a bounce. Again our knocking fell on stony ground. But seeing as the trampoline was on mutual ground, we figured that technically we had the right to use it, and so spent the next hour practising our swivel-hips. The next day we opened the curtains to find a traffic
cone placed surruptitiously in the centre of said trampoline. By now we were grasping at straws. During one of my more desperate moments of dejection, I decided to enter their house number instead of ours whilst making an ASOS order. That way I knew they'd have no choice but to place the package into our hands, and I'd be able to apologise for the trampoline incident and introduce myself. I should have known better. The parcel appeared outside our back door a few days later, sodden with rain, and looking about as alone and rejected as I felt. We've been at our new house for a month now, and we still have yet to exchange pleasantaries. We thought we'd made progress the other week when we spotted one of the members wave at us as he stood doing the washing up. Until we realised he was just reaching to draw the blind down. Let's just hope they'll be a bit more keen to make friends after they've had Bonnie Raitt's 'I can't make you love me' playing on repeat through their living room wall for three days.
Advice Information & Guidance
IF YOUR STUDIES ARE BEING Professional Support AFFECTED BY PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES WE CAN
WE CAN HELP YOU TO FIND PART-TIME WORK, INCREASING YOUR EMPLOYABILITY AS WELL AS YOUR INCOME
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SUPPORT WITH EXTENUATING Signposting CIRCUMSTANCES WE CAN ADVISE YOU ON PERSONAL SAFETY WHEN OUT AND ABOUT
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WE CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH ONE TO ONE SUPPORT, WHENEVER YOU REQUIRE SOME EXTRA GUIDANCE
WE ORGANISE EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES TO HELP YOU MEET OTHER LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
Whatever the need help with, and whenever you need it, the Student Mentor Scheme service is here for you. Look out for our forthcoming events and activities… We will be hosting a Halloween Film night on Tuesday 30th October in Fusion (Shackleton, the Vale) and face painting on
in Shackleton over the next 2 weeks to promote budgeting and employability.
WE CAN HELP YOU TO CREATE YOUR OWN BUDGET PLANNER, ENABLING YOU TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY BETTER
WE WILL JUST LISTEN WHEN YOU NEED TO TALK
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WE PROVIDE A SAFE PLACE TO AIR ANY CONCERNS YOU MAY HAVE IN OUR MENTOR WELFARE OFFICE
WE WILL BRING YOU IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO HELP YOU TACKLE COMMON STUDENT ISSUES
WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH INFORMATION AND ADVICE ON HOUSE HUNTING
IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING PROBLEMS IN YOUR FLAT, WE CAN HELP YOU TO RESOLVE THESE ISSUES THROUGH MEDIATION
The Student Mentor Scheme provides advice and guidance to all students living in university residences.
12 | 12th - 18th October 2012 @RedbrickFood @RedbrickFood
A Meaty Issue: The Omnivore's Dilemma.
Writer Amira Mullaney reviews Michael Pollan's controversial investigative novel and asks: what lies behind the food we eat?
Amira Mullaney Food Writer
How often has the question, ‘What shall we have for dinner?’ left you sweating at the collar, on the verge of having a panic attack? OK, maybe I exaggerate slightly, but we humans expend a hell of a lot of time and energy every day answering what should be a very easy question. Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivore’s Dilemma' has a more poignant way of summarising my first paragraph. Only humans and rats dedicate such a large part of their brain to deciding what to eat. Poisonous foods, maggot-infested foods, bitter foods: all things to avoid. Some anthropologists believe that the reason we developed such intricate brains was to find a solution to the Omnivore’s Dilemma. Now more than ever, it should be easy deciding what to eat – supermarkets lavish us with phenomenal choice and variety – but, it is in fact more difficult than ever to make the ‘right’ choice when it comes to what to fuel up on. Trans-fats, free-range, organic, high fructose corn syrup, additives, preservatives, E-numbers...the list goes on. The supermarket has become a dangerous minefield where a few wrong turns could lead you to Obesity Lane or Malnutrition Avenue. Pollan discusses how the humble grain that goes by the name of ‘corn’ is slowly and steadily taking over the world. It’s cheap to produce and can be fed to almost all animals, as well as
being used in making petroleum-based products. Unfortunately though, the cows that are fed this cheap corn are not able to properly digest it. This means that farmers pump into these creatures cocktails of antibiotics to help them digest it; those same antibiotic cocktails then end up in your Big Mac. Mmmm, antibiotic goodness... Although Pollan writes about US agriculture, the UK is inextricably linked since we import millions of pounds worth of corn-made products every year. The UK itself would love to produce more corn, but unfortunately our lovely British weather keeps getting in the way. Pollan samples three different types of meal: a fast-food (industrial) meal, an organic meal and a meal that he huntedand-gathered. He takes his wife and kid to a McDonalds for meal number one, and between them they have chicken nuggets, a hamburger and a salad. ‘Part of the appeal of hamburgers and chicken nuggets’ he writes ‘is that their boneless abstractions allow us to forget we’re eating animals’. He goes on to convincingly argue that this is what the industrial food chain does best: ‘Obscure the histories of foods it produces by processing them so much that they appear as products of pure culture rather than nature’. This is how I’ve been happily meandering through life, never questioning the origin of the hamburger in my clutches. Most of us have
lost our connection with the origin of our food, which is why, in my opinion, we don’t think twice about wasting it: we can always get more from Tesco’s - it’s not like we have to wait until next year's harvest! Pollan then goes on to investigate life on an ‘ultra-organic’ farm, where he lives and works for a week. The farm is almost completely sustainable, and the farmer and his family and workers only buy toilet paper and other basic essentials from outside. Unlike the corn-based industrial farms, this farm is based on good-old fashioned grass. The farmer, a man who goes by the name Joel Salatin, is an opinionated Christian liberal environmentalist. He hates the US government and is making every effort to get ‘off the grid’ and to be completely selfsufficient. Pollan tries his hand at slaughtering chickens himself, and writes that ‘In a way, the most morally troubling thing about killing chickens, is that after a while it is no longer morally troubling’. Finally Pollan has to hunt and gather his last meal. This part of his narrative deals with the ethical issues around eating meat. As more and more people in the developing world turn to vegetarianism, Pollan writes, ‘ It may be that our moral enlightenment has advanced to the point where the practice of eating animals – like our former practices of keeping slaves or treating women as inferior beings – can now be seen for the barbar-
spring onions, coriander, dill, chives, parsley etc. and store each in a separate labelled container to be used at will. Herbs defrost very quickly, so often these can be sprinkled into dishes at the last minute. Depending on how much you buy initially and when you use it, it is entirely possible that a year’s stock could be made up from one large bunch of each herb, as none of it would have to be thrown away. Remember to remove any yellow leaves before freezing.
Whilst our fridges struggle to stay intact after a trip to the local supermarkets, many students (especially those in student accommodation) find that the freezer is left with ample space. Fast forward to the end of the week, and millions of tonnes of food are thrown out every year across the UK. The answer to both of these problems is freezing.
Milk Freezing milk can sometimes produce a slightly scary result, as full fat milk has a tendency to separate. Semi or fully skimmed is less likely to, but in any case simply shake it when defrosted and you’ll be left with fresh milk.
Bread By transferring slices, buns or rolls into freezer bags and freezing them in smaller batches, a loaf can go a long way and can easily be defrosted in a fridge or simply by popping it into a toaster on a ‘defrost setting’. Rolls, buns and baguettes can be put in the oven whole on a low setting to defrost and enjoyed as if freshly baked that day!
Herbs It’s often difficult for students to buy fresh herbs, as they are sold in large quantities and do not last very long, especially those that are not potted. The solution is to chop up herbs such as
ity it is, a relic of an ignorant past that very soon will fill us with shame’. So, the day came when Pollan was to finally kill a pig, and he made an interesting observation. Crouching down amongst some leaves in a North California forest, he likened his mental state waiting for the prey as being similar to the one induced by smoking marijuana: acute mental awareness and incredible focus. It didn’t take long before he spotted a wild pig, aimed and hit it. For the first few minutes, he says he felt nothing but pride, happiness and gratitude for his ‘achievement’. Later though, as he watched his friend ‘dress’ the pig, and remove its internal organs, his feelings turned to disgust. After having gathered, grown and hunted all of the ingredients for his final meal (including salt which he gathered from the San Francisco bay), Pollan dished up his findings to a group of friends. The meal contained ‘scarcely an ingredient in it [that] had ever worn a label or bar code or price tag’, but it had cost him several months of hard work. Pollan took me on a fascinating and revealing gastronomical food ride. I’m now a lot more active at finding out, as far as possible, where my food comes from instead of just ignorantly shovelling it down my mouth. Maybe one day, I’ll even make an entire meal out of things that I’ve grown, hunted and gathered myself. What do you think? Do we need to know the origin of our food?
The Big Freeze
Vegetables Vegetables such as onions, sweetcorn, beans, peas and carrots can be prebought frozen in most supermarkets. However fresh vegetables can also be frozen and kept ready to be used as needed. To maintain the best quality freshness, blanche vegetables before freezing to remove bacteria and reduce cooking time later on.
Meat When buying large quantities, it is useful to freeze each piece (or more if your portions are larger!) in separate freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible and tie a secure knot before placing in the freezer. This means that when defrosting, only as much as is needed can be placed in a bowl in the fridge to thaw during the day or overnight.
Yogurt By freezing individual pots with a lolly stick poked in, you can make easy frozen yogurt lollies that are perfect for summer. Frozen yogurt desserts can also be made by adding fresh fruit and sugar to plain natural yogurt.
Cake Sliced or whole cakes can be frozen and remain fresh to be eaten another day. Whether shop bought (read guidelines) or homemade, cake can be frozen to maintain freshness, as well as saving you from baking one after a long day on campus. An alternative could be to pop a frozen cake in the post for a UK friend, and it will be perfectly defrosted when they get it.
Bread Dough Dough is simple and cheap to make, and yields you not only countless possibilities for bread but also pizza bases! Once made, single portions of dough could be frozen in individual bags, so that once defrosted, they can cut down the time of making your own pizza by more than half. Roll out the thawed dough, add a tomato sauce and some grated mozarella and all that’s left to do is to throw on your toppings and pop it in the oven!
www.redbrick.me/food | 13
Food&Fiction Turkey: It's For Life, Not Just For Christmas.
Izzy Gibbin Food Editor
Food & fiction: occasionally the two combine so fantastically that suddenly you’re transported into a kind of edible Dahlian paradise, chowing down on yellow meta-flowers and taking great gulps from a chocolate river of prose whilst Gene Wilder croons tunelessly in the background. One such image that’s stayed with me my entire life is C.S Lewis’s Queen of Narnia presenting young Edmund with a box of ‘the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious.’ But there is a world of fictional food that extends far beyond the whimsical descriptions found in children’s fiction – sardines, condensed milk, lashings of ginger beer and suchlike – and it has long served as inspiration for some of the greatest literature in the world. Now, who’s for some fava beans and a nice Chianti?
Lottie Rainbow Food Writer
James Joyce Ulysses Ulysses. Making sense of it can only be likened to sifting through an enormous pile of rubble in search of diamonds but finding nothing more than, well, rubble. But that's alright because Ulysses isn't designed to be understood; like modern art or Swedish furniture, it's for marvelling at without understanding exactly what the point is. Nevertheless I must grudgingly concede that Joyce’s descriptions of food make me want to eat myself into oblivion and vomit simultaneously – and if that’s not great writing, I don’t know what is.
J.D Salinger Franny & Zooey Salinger doesn’t go in much for lengthy descriptions of meals, and yet you can always be sure that his protagonists will either be eating or smoking. What’s clever about Salinger’s use of food is that it’ll always give you clues about the person that’s doing the eating. Take the opening scene in which Franny, who is on a zeninspired spiritual journey, orders a plain chicken sandwich which she leaves untouched, whilst her pretentious and image-conscious boyfriend Lane prattles his way through a platter of frog’s legs and snails.
Virginia Woolf A Room of One's Own Virginia Woolf might not have been the best company, but she sure knew how to throw a great fictional dinner party, deftly guiding the reader through lavish descriptions of meaty stews of isolation and dark, brooding fruit bowls. Woolf would never dream of serving up a dish without a great side-helping of analogous meaning; her extended essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’ uses some wonderful descriptions of an elaborate feast to deliver hard-hitting criticism on the economic and social disparity between men and women. Tasty stuff.
Roald Dahl The BFG I’m certain there’s a very strong case for Roald Dahl being the most imaginative writer ever to have put pen to paper, particularly when it comes to the world of food. The visceral nature of Dahl’s writing lends a quite disgusting and unsettling note to his otherwise fantastical and glittering creations, from the eponymous Giant Peach to the loathsome Snozzcumber.
Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisited If university life involved as many amazing meals as Evelyn Waugh makes out, I doubt I’d leave with anything except besides a low 3rd and a chronic heart condition. The exotically wealthy world of Sebastian Flyte and Charles Ryder is punctuated by extravagant feasts of caviar, duck and sole – all seemingly drowned in vats of dairy and vaguely sinister religious undertones.
“Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crust crumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.” "You don't even have sense enough to drink when somebody brings you a cup of consecrated chicken soup – which is the only kind of chicken soup Bessie ever brings to anybody around this madhouse. So just tell me, just tell me, buddy. How in hell are you going to recognize a legitimate holy man when you see one if you don't even know a cup of consecrated chicken soup when it's right in front of your nose?" “The lunch began with soles, sunk in a deep dish, over which the college cook had spread a counterpane of the whitest cream, save that it was branded here and there with brown spots like the spots on the flanks of a doe. The partridges came with all their retinue of sauces and salads, the sharp and the sweet; their potatoes, thin as coins but not so hard; their sprouts, foliated as rosebuds but more succulent.” “In this sloshflunking Giant Country, happy eats like pineapples and pigwinkles is simply not growing. Nothing is growing except for one extremely ickypoo vegetable. It is called the snozzcumber.”
“I remember the dinner well – soup oseille, a sole quite simply cooked in white-wine sauce, a caneton à la presse, a lemon soufflé. The cream and hot butter mingled and overflowed, separating each glaucous bead of caviar from its fellows capping it in white and gold.”
We all remember the heartwarming ending to Charles Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol': Scrooge, finally seeing the error of his ways, buys an enormous turkey for Tiny Tim and his family of do-gooders. Turkey is the most popular meat at Christmas time, but why not the rest of the year? Turkey has so many advantages over chicken, beef and pork, the most prominent being lower in price and saturated fat. To put this into perspective, a 500g pack of lean beef mince is £4, or £2.70 for a normal pack (not lean), compared to a £2 500g pack of turkey. The £2.70 pack of beef mince has about 7g saturated fat per portion, whereas the £2 turkey mince only has 3g, so for 70p less you can be healthier too. It obviously doesn’t have the same strong, meaty taste as beef but it does still have a delicious, distinctive taste that works perfectly in any mince dish. You can substitute turkey in almost every meat dish: stir fries, roast dinners, pasta bolognese, burgers or escalopes. Try out this recipe for turkey burgers for a healthier and cheaper version of your standard cheeseburgr.
Ingredients (makes 2-4) 250g turkey mince 1 onion, finely chopped 75g chopped spinach 50g soft goat's cheese, crumbled ½ beaten egg Olive oil, for frying Toasted ciabatta and salad, to serve Mix all the ingredients together and form into patties. Make two big ones or three/four smaller ones depending on your appetite! Fry in some olive oil on a medium heat until golden brown and cooked through. Serve on toasted ciabatta with a salad, or with potato wedges. As long as you use fresh turkey mince, instead of frozen, individual turkey burgers can be wrapped up in tin foil and put in the freezer to enjoy another day! Simply take your frozen burgers out the night before you'd like to eat them, place in a dish and let them defrost in the fridge overnight.
14| 12th - 18th October 2012
Break-Up or Make-Up? Gemma Hubbard Life&Style Writer
With Rihanna and Chris Brown reportedly getting closer again, and Kristen Stewart hitting the headlines this week for moving back in with R-Patz, it seems it’s not only us students that fall back into the trap of a bad relationship. University is a testing time for any relationship, and when some don't make the cut it's not always an easy thing to get over someone - especially if you’re the one that’s left broken-hearted. It will seem like the worst thing in the world at the time, but all you need is a bit of perspective. The relationship is over and that’s OK because who knows what will happen in the future and what's waiting for you around the corner, but right now you need to make a decision. You can either choose to drown your sorrows, eat a lot of ice-cream and go for everything with a pulse, which may make you happy for a week or two, but after a while it will wear thin (and
Style Birmingham Natasha Woolf Life&Style Writer
Last weekend, The Bullring and The Mailbox became host to the fashion frenzy that Style Birmingham entailed. It was a weekend purely with the aim of creating a buzz about shopping in Birmingham, and generally making shopping fun for everyone. It’s the fifth year of the event and it proved to be as popular as ever. Run by the organisation, Retail Birmingham, to promote the city centre’s shops, bars, restaurants and hotels, the event featured fashion shows, offers and even goody bags. Chairman of Retail Birmingham, Jonathan Cheetham, said 'Birmingham has so much to offer, and with the current exciting developments taking place in the short to mid-term, it has never been more important to show that Birmingham city centre is open for business with so much to offer to shoppers and visitors from all over the country, and indeed, the world'. you’ll feel a bit sick). Or you can choose to get a grip, realise you weren’t perfect for each other and get back on track. I’m fully aware that it’s easier said than done, and that the second option is much harder. Let’s be honest, we’ll all slip into the first one at one point or another. But the best thing you can do is pick yourself up and move on. Surround yourself by people who care about you, find yourself a new hobby and get back out there. A top tip I was given was to say YES to every invite you're offered. Now I don’t mean say yes to everything; use a little discretion and some initiative. It sounds clichéd but you’ll open yourself up to so many more opportunities and maybe that’s how you’ll meet Mr (or Mrs) right. And if not, hey, you might make some good friends along the way. Always remember that one of the most attractive things about someone is their confidence, so hold your head up high and use it!
Martine McCutcheon hosted the main event at the Mailbox while Lydia Bright hosted the fashion show ‘Enchanted’ in the Bullring. I was at the show in the Mailbox where the focus was to display some of the best Autumn/Winter looks that can be bought in the Mailbox or in the Bullring. Items on the catwalk ranged from Zara to high-end fashion. In addition, Olympic gold medallist and honourable member of Team GB, Greg Rutherford, made his catwalk debut in the Harvey Nichols opening scene. As soon as he stepped foot on the catwalk, there was a loud applause and the odd wolf whistle. Themes in the show included Hide & Chic, Geo-graphic, Country Days & City Nights, Very Berry, Heritage, Japanese Oriental Flowers, Drama & Decadence, with my personal favourite being Futuristic Glamour by Selfridges. This included Peter Pilotto, Hervé Léger,
Victoria Beckham and Lanvin. After each show, Martine and celebrity stylist Bradley Taylor took to the floor for questions and broke down how the looks seen on the catwalk could be re-created for all shapes and sizes. Under the Suffolk Queensway was live music from The Jazz Ramblers and Chinese Jitterbug Squad, circus performers and 3D art. There was also the opportunity to win a £250 shopping spree at the Mailbox, a £500 personal shopping experience at Harvey Nichols and a pair of Louboutins. The event was visited by over 3000 tickets holders and over 250,000 shoppers took advantage of the discounts and special events. Check out all what shopping in Birmingham has to offer and much more on events and offers on the newly relaunched website: www.shoppinginbirmingham.com.
Manthropology: Should you come to Uni single or taken? Sarah Welsby Life&Style Writer
SCOTT First Year English Literature
JOHN First Year English Lit & History JAMIE Final Year History & Philosophy
'It is better to be single. You don't want to be tied down and restricted to what you do. Single life gives you more freedom and opportunity'.
'A relationship can work out at university. Mine is going well. It depends on the person to be honest and strength of the couple'.
'I came to uni with a girlfriend and it works if you are both aware you can't see each other as frequently. Depends on how long you have been together'.
Anna Dello Russo launches at H&M
It’s over-the-top, it’s glitzy, and it’s definitely not for the fashion-shy. Thursday 4th October saw the international launch of Anna Dello Russo’s collection for H&M, another in a long line of highprofile designer collaborations for the Swedish highstreet chain. Customers were soon tweeting their purchases from the fiftypiece accessory collection. Door-knocker earrings, bright blue suitcases, and cat-eye sunglasses topped with gold crocodiles are just a few of the pieces from the collection that stand out, not to mention the skyscraper heels we’re sure many a fashionista would risk A&E for. Dello Russo, editor-at-large of Vogue Japan, is
noted for her eccentric, experimentalist taste in fashion and she’s a woman whose style creates a buzz everywhere she goes. Each collection piece is a true object of desire (including the luxe packaging), and the range is already a definite hit, if the queues at H&M stores worldwide were anything to go by on Thursday morning. Many had waited around for hours to be the first to snap up items (which start at £14.99 for a pair of earrings), and in anticipation of the frenzy many shoppers were restricted to a mere five minutes in each section. Dello Russo designed the pieces keeping in mind the value of a little bit of luxury every day, transforming ordinary
items into the extraordinary; the effects are spreading already, and not only on the shop floor and in the street. In the last few days, eBay has become overrun with people selling on pieces from the collection at overblown prices (over £700 for a £99 suitcase anyone?) and the pace of the black market doesn’t look likely to slow down as the pieces are rolled out across stores. Like Versace did in 2011, giving Anna Dello Russo the chance to design another H&M collection in the future looks like a smart move for both collaborators...watch this space.
Topless sunbathing by the pool, nude snaps of a drunken night in Vegas – it would be easy to mistake our current youngest royals for...well, any other celebrity whose lives are splashed across the pages of newspapers on a daily basis. But, they’re not any other celebrity – they’re members of the royal family. A family so integral and important to British society that it manages to install a sense of patriotism in us like no other institution can. Therefore, following Kate Middleton marrying into this family just over a year ago, surely she realised that her days of topless sunbathing had come to an abrupt end. I realise at the time she was in a private chateau and the photographer in question was allegedly using a super-long lens to take the photos, but come on Kate, topless sunbathing...really? Regardless of how private this holiday destination was I think she should have had the sense and decorum to know that a woman of stature can no longer sunbathe topless- it was an unnecessary and preventable mistake on her part. Obviously the invasion of the young royal’s privacy was unacceptable and a poll by YouGov stated that three out of four people agreed that the royal couple were right to take legal action against the French magazine. But this whole little mess could have been easily avoided if Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, hadn’t chosen to leave her bikini back in the palace.
X Factor Live Finals: Our Saturday nights start right here with the live finals starting this weekend. Paris Fashion Week: Prints, leather, baroque, turtlenecks and velvet are this autumn’s top trends. October: Autumn is officially here; cue the chunky knits and woolly hats. Mumford and Sons: We don’t know about you but we can’t stop babbling about Babel. Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Plenty of pink treats to get your hands on and all in the name of a good cause, aw. Kardashian Collection: We can't wait until November when we get our hands on a bit of Dash fashion at Dorothy P!
The Debate: Is it OK for the Royals to get naked?! Alex Landes
One D Take Over at Radio 1: Our 5 fave boys become DJs for the afternoon and had everybody dancing in their seats.
Seemingly of late, the royals have been baring a whole load of naked ambition. If it isn’t Harry’s drunken stripping, it’s Kate tanning topless in the South of France. Kate however, was stone cold sober and not privy to prying eyes. In fact, if it wasn’t for that pesky photographer and their over zealous zoom button, Kate’s modesty would still be intact. This wasn’t some lewd act to be caught on camera, it was simply 'safe sunbathing'. It’s a violation of her privacy, not a violation of her regal position. The editor of French Closer magazine defended the publication of the photos by saying that they 'just show a young woman sunbathing topless like millions of women you see on the beach'. Firstly, this clarifies that what she did was perfectly acceptable. Secondly, if that’s the case, then why make it the cover story? She is a royal, but she’s also a human being, and it’s quite nice to know that just like the rest of us, she wants her white bits golden too!
Twitter Trolls: Lady Gaga is not in any way fat. End of. The Festive Spirit: We swear it starts earlier every year; it hasn't even been Halloween yet. HO! HO! HO! Fresher’s Flu: All those big nights are starting to catch up with us now. Boo. Our Bank Accounts: Thursday’s Bullring student event has eaten into our overdrafts already. Fashion Week or Play-Pen?: Celeb kids on the FROW? Emme Lopez, Harper Beckham... It's not fair! Dip-Hem Skirts: So last season! Amy Childs: Using twitter to abuse the granny that stole her phone. LOL. Housing Flyers: It's too soon, most of us haven't sorted the heating yet.
16 | 12th - 18th October 2012
Travel Vox Pop Top Four Picks Armed with just his camera and a notepad, travel writer Tom Troughton has been busy around campus this week finding out where fellow students dream of going on their travels, and what items they cannot travel without. Who will you recognise?
Name: Jacob Smith, Studies: English and Creative Writing One place you would most like to visit: ‘I really want to visit Canada so I can go skiing. My friend has been and keeps pushing me to check it out.’ One item you could not travel without: ‘I love my kindle. It’s great to have when you’re on holiday. Whether it’s raining or sunny, I can just crack it out wherever I am.’ Photo by Hideout Style Diaries
Hideout Festival, Croatia Name: Ahmed Saeed Studies: Maths and Sports Science One place you would most like to visit: ‘Cordoba in Spain. I love places that are busy and bustling with tourists.’ One item you could not travel without: ‘Definitely my phone - everything is on my phone and I could never go without it.’
Name: Zoe Zhang Studies: Accounting One place you would most like to visit: ‘If I could go anywhere, it would be Italy. Everyone is so fashionable there. I would spend a whole day just checking out all of the shops and boutiques.’ One item you could not travel without? ‘My laptop as it keeps me connected with all of my friends and family.’
Name: Marie Giraud Studies: History of Art One place you would most like to visit: ‘Definitely the Philippines. I’ve heard that everything is ridiculously cheap there. My friend lived out there and told me the beer is cheap, the people are welcoming, and the views are idyllic - what more could you want?’ One item you could not travel without: ‘I’ve got a wicked pair of walking boots so it would have to be those - I’m a big walker.’
Ollie Higgins Travel Writer
So, we had booked our tickets to Hideout, a Croatian festival and now we just needed a way of getting there. Direct flights were in the region of £150, but a flight to Bratislava, around 300 miles away, was a measly £30. After patting ourselves on the back for procuring such a shrewd deal, we discovered that the train actually took 14 hours. Still, we had given ourselves a generous margin to get to Croatia, and this would give us the perfect excuse to explore Bratislava during the day, and then take a sleeper train to Croatia, arriving refreshed and rested. Having already been awake for almost 24 hours, we arrived in Slovakia at 7am their time. After some dubious interpretation of the automated ticket machine, we boarded the bus from the airport to the train station. The journey showed the side of Bratislava that doesn’t make it into the tourism books – think third world – and as we were dropped at the station, there was a nervous sense among us that this could be what Eastern Europe is all about. Nevertheless, we opened our rudimentary map, and found that we were actually on the periphery of the old town of Bratislava. We stopped at the President’s Palace gardens, which in hindsight were very impressive, for a well-earned rest, but our fatigued state of mind apprecated the lie down more than the historic land-
mark. With several hours left to kill, the “lads on tour” mentality kicked in, and we got a pint for just under €1; things were looking up. Navigating the road map resulted in an hour-long walk, in 30 degrees heat, as the scale was unbelievably wrong. The plan was simple: catch a train to Vienna, to Salzburg and then a sleeper to Rijeka, Croatia. We boarded our train to Vienna, and then a quick tram across town to the south station, which was free due to our impressive failure to master the self-service ticket machine. Arriving in Salzburg, we went straight to book our sleeper, to discover that you had to book sleeper cabins 24 hours in advance, and that they are all taken. We are told to return at 1.30am to see if we can have the privilege of spending this 8 hour journey in any of the remaining upright seats. Still in a surprisingly chipper mood, we settled down at a bar to watch the semi-final of the Euros, with an eccentric Austrian, who spoke perfect English and had an apparent love of darts. After the match, with a couple of hours to kill, that “lads on tour” mentality kicked in again and we settled in at the station with a huge crate of beer, doing nothing to harm that unfortunate English hooligan stereotype. We entered the train searching for any free seats, with six of us and six seats to a cabin, we had to split up. Two of us ended up with two lads from Bath and a German woman who
had booked two seats so she could put her feet up. Great. Luckily the well known combination of GSCE German and Hugh Grant-esque British awkward yet charming persona served to get rid of her. A couple of hours into the journey, those beers came back to haunt me, and with no leg room, there is no manoeuvrability to get comfortable. Every time I shut my eyes, I could feel the room spinning, and the increasingly real threat of vomiting was exacerbated by the slow, swaying motion of the train. But after five hours we arrived in picturesque Ljubljana for a connecting train to Rijeka. On the Hideout website, Rijeka is branded a “hidden gem” so we weren’t too upset that we had to wait 10 hours for a ferry to the island, but after almost two days solidly awake, tensions were wrought. Everybody hated everybody. We decided to treat ourselves to a sit-down meal to try and lighten the mood. After three carbonaras were ordered, all with a mystery crunchy element in the dish, and two almost instantly came back up; the atmosphere was at an all time low. After 10 hours of sitting on concrete, waiting for the ferry, we finally arrived on Pag Island. After totting up how much we would have spent on a direct flight, about £150, compared with the expenditure of our arduous journey, the flight was £30, around £30 each day on spends, so call it £90, we did save ourselves some money. But the physical and emotional cost of it all? Immeasurable.
www.redbrick.me/travel | 17
from Hell Hannah Patterson Travel Writer
Photo by Sophie Moreland
Oktoberfest, Munich Sophie Moreland Travel Writer
This weekend marks the finale to the famous Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich Germany, a hedonistic beer fuelled festival that takes starts every year around the end of September and continues for one week of binge drinking, sausage eating and lederhosen. Tourists from all over the world flock to the city to enjoy its traditional Bavarian delights, and on looking at the calendar this week and seeing it was the infamous Oktoberfest weekend, my mind was on my trip there in 2011. Yes, the day we spent in the beer tents was mind blowing, but what left a lot to be desired about my experience of it was the journey to and from Munich. As I was spending my Erasmus year living in Strasbourg, France, my friends and I were offered the chance to go to the festival by coach for the mere price of 30€, and the journey was expected to last four to five hours. Oktoberfest for 30€? Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity. When one friend woke up 15 minutes before the coach was meant to depart, 3:45 am to be precise, and ran to the coach with neither makeup nor brushed teeth, we should have read it as an ominous sign. The pilgrimage to those coveted beer-filled tents was clearly not off to a good start. I’m not sure how we maintained the energy to tackle Munich, as instead of taking a mere four hours, the journey lasted an arduous eight, after an
impromptu tour of the German countryside. as the coach driver couldn’t seem to manage the simple journey down the autobahn. As with anything, the early bird catches the beer, but we were better late than never. At midday we finally arrived in a beer tent, the coach trip seemed like a distant memory. Soon we were merrily clinking glasses and dancing on the tables. But as the day drew to a close we had to make a move believing that the coach departure was imminent. In true fashion, problems arose the minute we left the tent. One particular friend was separated from us in the fairground in a drunken haze. Fearing that the coach had left without him, he decided the sensible thing to do was turn himself into the nearest police station. Ridiculed by the German police, he was quoted a small sum of 600€ for a taxi back to Strasbourg.
"I’m not sure how we maintained the energy to tackle Munich, as instead of taking a mere four hours, the journey lasted an arduous eight, after an impromptu tour of the German countryside. as the coach driver couldn’t seem to manage the simple journey down the autobahn."
Hopelessly lost in Munich with neither money nor phone credit, he had to abandon this brilliant idea; meanwhile, 80 of us were impatiently waiting by the coach for his return, in varying stages of fatigue and drunkenness. Luckily, another member of the group eventually saved the day by finding said friend wandering the streets, and brought him back to our departure point. The return journey was spent lapsing in and out of consciousness; one minute awaking to find ourselves on the motorway, the next in some back-end village of Bavaria. Yet again, the expedition was never-ending, emphasised by the fact that we had no food, no water, no preplanning. The motorway service station was a far cry from a ‘Welcome Break’, where the sign above the tap said the water was not suitable for drinking. But we had no choice, desperate times called for desperate measures. With fragile stomachs we soldiered on, bin bags at the ready. The rest of the journey passed as a blur, until someone spotted a road sign and the shining lights of Strasbourg in the distance. Realising we were truly homeward bound, a huge sigh of relief rippled through the coach. How did we do it? We survived, and I stand by the fact that it was one of the best experiences ever. Despite the questionable travel arrangements, we refused to let it ruin our day. Lederhosen, litres of beer, German folk songs and schnitzel burgers, it’s an unmissable experience. Just don’t go by coach. Prost!
It is 9am and the 30 degree heat of the Bulgarian sun is shining on the day care centre in Gorna, as little Bistra tugs my arm and directs me to the see-saw. Having not been on one for about 15 years, I had forgotten how much I disliked this childhood game, but after a few seconds Bistra is giggling and clapping her hands. I know that despite the fact that the seat is beyond uncomfortable and I am tired within minutes, I don’t mind staying there for hours as long as she keeps laughing. This summer, as part of the InterVol society I went to Bulgaria and worked with disabled children. The whole experience was unlike anything I had ever done before. Three other University of Birmingham students and I spent our days playing games and doing crafts with 20 Bulgarian children who would otherwise have had to amuse themselves. Playing with a spinning top that lights up and sings the crazy frog song would be something that I would go out of my way to hide from any child here in the UK in order to keep myself sane, but when we found one in a local shop in Gorna it was as if we had struck gold, and when we gave it to one of the autistic children, it put the whole project into perspective. For the first time in two weeks we saw him smile, dance and laugh wholeheartedly. Although it may seem like such a small thing, we knew that we had made that child really happy. Bulgaria may not usually be your first idea.for a summer holiday, however for students it is the perfect destination. Whether you are interested in its political history, religious architecture or just having a fun night out, there is there something for everyone. The cost of living there is next to nothing; the typical price for a good meal was the equivalent of £3. Away from the day care centre, we had the opportunity to travel around the country, to vibrant Varna and to historical Sofia. Less tourist oriented than Spain or Greece, Bulgaria's beautiful beaches aren’t constantly crowded with the typical holiday makers that make it so difficult to relax. Arriving back in the UK and realising that we weren’t going back to the day care centre in the morning made us want to get on a plane and fly straight back. The fun memories and the amazing children are unforgettable.
Do you want to get away this summer? Need to boost the CV? Want to volunteer with children, vulnerable adults or animals? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then InterVol is the society for you! Come to our presentation events on the 11th October 6pm, the 12th October 6pm or 13th October 11am to find out more about the great projects that you can get involved in!
18| 12th - 18th October 2012
Album Revie-w: 4/5 Melody's Echo Chamber Melody's Echo Chamber Tayler Meredith Critic
The very title of Frenchwoman Melody Prochet’s solo project denotes a certain kind of introverted euphoria, a chamber filled with kaleidoscopic sonic delights teetering between lucid acid dream state and night mare. Beginning with the sweet caress of ‘I Follow You’ before drifting into the kraut-beat hypnosis of ‘Crystalised’, the record vacillates from breathy dream-pop towards periods of harsh psychrock freak out. Stand out track ‘Snowcapped Andes Crash’ best demonstrates Melody’s Echo Chamber’s more disturbing side; lyrical themes of cannibalism masked by Ms Prochet’s languid vocal make for a pretty unnerving listen. Melody’s cooing vocals are perfectly pleasant, but this album is really a testament to the creative production from Tame Impala psychedelic whizz kid Kevin Parker to avoid the cries of self-indulgence. These subtle references, whether
through the numerous beatlesque reverse tape loops or the can styled drums on ‘You Won’t Be Missing That Part Of Me’ enhance rather than undermine the artistic integrity of the record and in turn conjure a retro-futuristic vibe which could hardly be seen as copyist. The end result is an album exhibiting an overwhelming sense of authenticity, a curious anomaly in a contemporary indie scene dominated by bands that have scrapped their telecasters in favour of a second hand synthesiser and burnt their copy of ‘Is This It’ to make room for an obscure Neu! rarity compilation . Perhaps this feeling of sincerity is summoned through the stellar production job or the technical chops of the classically trained Mademoiselle Prochet, or maybe it’s because I really fancy her. But rest assured Melody Prochet isn’t merely Zooey Deschanel twiddling with a MicroKorg; this gal seems the real deal.
Preview: OxjamBrum Andrew Pollard Critic
EP Review: Peace Delicious Bethany Griffiths Criti
You may have seen Birmingham boys, PEACE, standing tall over Digbeth on their very own billboard this summer, having been recently signed to Columbia Records. Bringing ‘indie’ back to Brum, their four song EP, Delicious, is mouthwatering and refreshing (as their album artwork suggests), demonstrating that they are indeed deserving to be leering over the city. The EP opens with ‘Ocean’s Eye’, beginning with a swingy drum beat, it leads to grungier, thicker guitars, and lyrics, ‘she stole my mind with the ocean’s eye’, introducing the band’s capabilities. ‘Bloodshake’, a rework of the band’s previous track, ‘Bblood’, experiments with layers of plucky guitar riffs, echoing those of Foals, before reaching a crescendo of symbols and heavier guitar. The psychedelic video shows frontman Harrison Koiser singing, ‘spit blood at
the sun, spit blood in the ocean’, whilst kissing a fish and chopping fruit with a machete. Bizarre, yet somehow it works, as this band just oozes coolness. Although their first single, ‘Follow Baby’, does not feature on the EP, ‘California Daze’ offers a slower, chilled listen. Reminiscent of summer days, this track is full of sensual, peaceful harmonies and hazy guitar, before, once again breaking out into a stimulating guitar solo, singing, ‘she tastes like sunlight’, reflecting how PEACE can combine the upbeat with the relaxed, and can still create a scrumptious sound. The last song, but by no means least, is 10 minute long ‘1998’. The sound changes throughout, experimenting with loop pedals, dense electric guitars, flamboyant drum beats, to moodier riffs. This is the perfect finale to a short-but-sweet EP, portraying that these B-town boys are infusing the local, and larger music scene with exciting and promising music.
On the 13th of October something special is coming Birmingham’s way: The OxjamBrum Takeover Festival! Twelve hours of music, comedy and culture, set to submerge all in sight (or even ear shot) in a positive plethora of goodwill and awesome times. Set in seven of Birmingham’s best underground and independent venues (including the likes of The Yardbird and The Victoria), the Takeover Festival works to raise money for the life saving efforts of Oxfam. It features as part of a month long festival organised by the charity each year. In the process punters will be treated to an eclectic mix of music, from no less than forty up-and-coming and established artists, ranging in style from Folk to Reggae to DJ Sets. No matter your taste, there’s sure to be something to peak your interest. If that wasn’t enough there will also be poets, comedians, artists and much much more. Starting at 2 PM and raging all the way through
Live Review: Jacques Greene The Bulls Head
John Raymond Critic
Seeing a DJ more accustomed to the stages of Fabric, Berghain and Sonar festival in the intimate setting of The Bulls Head in Moseley is an opportunity not to pass up. Jacques Greene, a Canadian DJ-turned-producer was clearly in a mood to please. With a back catalogue ranging from two step garage beats to the dreamy Radiohead Lotus Flower remix that he capped off his set with on Wednesday night, the 21 year old prodigy knows how to mix it up. Opening with a huge tune from his new Concealer EP, he proceeded to warm the crowd up with driving tech house such as the un-YouTube-able (to coin a phrase..?) techno release by Shed, WK7. After having put down some really interesting and thoroughly enjoyable tracks, Greene switched directly into full party mode, clearly
Essential Album: Cream Disraeli Gears 1967
Claire Castle Critic
Rock ‘n’ roll, classic Clapton solos, blues, psychedelia this album has it all. In his own right, Eric Clapton remains a household name of British rock, but Cream, a power-trio made up of Clapton, Jack Bruce (bassist/vocalist) and Ginger Baker (drummer) seems a lesser known entity today. Formed in 1966, the band acted as the back drop for Clapton’s apparently egocentric musical endeavours. Clapton himself admits that during the sixties he considered himself some sort of British
to 2 AM the festival promises the perfect opportunity for freshers and old-hats alike to wander from Birmingham’s beaten path into the heart of its vibrant music and arts scene. The proceeds of all tickets (priced at £10 advance) will go entirely to Oxfam. This is made possible by the dedicated team of organisers, all of which are volunteers. A spokesperson for OxjamBrum voiced their excitement for the upcoming event “We can’t wait to share this fantastic day of gigs, performances, sets and sessions with music fans and culture junkies from across the region, whilst raising funds for Oxfam’s vital work around the world.” Headline acts include the award-winning singer-songwriter Scott Mathews as well as folk legend Paul Murphy. Tickets are available now from the oxjambrum.org.uk website, where further information can be found on venues and performances (including secret shows yet to be revealed via twitter @OxjamBrum). You’d be silly to miss it!
blues saviour. Arrogant and young he may have been but the results are timeless. When Disraeli Gears was released in 1967, Clapton had already established himself as a talented performer, beginning his musical career as a guitarist in The Yardbirds in the early sixties and later with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers. I suppose I can’t call all of the songs on the album ground breakingBritish blues during the sixties was in its heyday and some of the songs on the album are so Chicago blues ('Take it Back', 'Outside Woman Blues'), they could be considered unoriginal by die-hard blues fans. However, the album successfully fuses British heavy rock, psychedelia and blues in a way that few others could pull off and as a result, the album really is progressive. If you want proof of genius song-writing and Clapton's talent, listen to the opening riff of 'Sunshine of
enjoying the freedom that a 100-strong crowd permits, stringing together the R’n’B track Pyramids of Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake’s LoveStoned and the recent Kanye release, Clique. Interspersing this earfriendly collection with the monstrous Hudson MoHawke and Lunice collaboration, Higher Ground, Greene then returned full circle to some deep techno with Helix’s flipside Honig and the minimalist Leko by Kink. The seamless mixing of this eclectic collection of
Witnessing a DJ of Greene’s status in his element is a real pleasure
tracks, genres and BPMs echoes his Boiler Room set of 2011, which exhibits mindblowing variety. Witnessing a DJ of Greene’s status in his element is a real pleasure, as he let his hair down behind the decks in the Birmingham venue, allowing himself to indulge in his R’n’B tastes whilst enticing a rapturous reaction with his house banger, Another Girl. With a crowd showing huge appreciation for his set, Greene brought the evening to a close with his previously mentioned delirious remix of Radiohead to leave the evening on a euphoric high note. A raucous night held in the sympathetic setting of The Bulls Head; a fully deserved 10/10. Look out for the next Leftfoot and Le Lieu event with Jackmaster on December 14.
Your Love' - a legendary bit of guitar playing. Blues inspired it may be, but Disraeli Gears is an admiring nod to great American bluesmen such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, as well as an exploration of the world of psychedelicrock. Songs like 'Strange Brew' remain a personal favourite and the sheer musical talent of the band continues to astonish me. Acceptance and development of the American blues movement, among which there were some renowned musicians, brought to Britain a whole new approach to making music and it is thanks to bands like Cream and musicians such as John Mayall that blues prospered in Britain. For these reasons and many more, Disraeli Gears should be hailed as one of the best albums to come out of the sixties and indeed, all of rock history.
20 | 12th -18th October 2012
Game Reviews All our game reviews are scored out of 10 Review: Super Hexagon (iOS)
Have something to say about our reviews? Check the website for more reviews and to tell us what you think at:
Joshua Unsworth Writer
The latest offering from Terry Cavanagh (creator of VVVVVV) is everything an iOS game should be; highly polished gameplay, devilishly difficult and an addictive quality that always leaves you wanting one more go. The aim is to move your triangle to dodge the incoming lines that close in on the central hexagon. The adherence to this simple core gameplay means that success is purely down to your reflexes and
skill, an idea that is sadly often lost in many modern games. The hyped up visuals, with the pulsating shapes and changing colours, can become confusing at times but add to the feeling of urgency and really help the game stand out. Simultaneously being one of the most punishing, rewarding and engrossing games on iOS today, Super Hexagon is well worth a try.
Purchase Super Hexagon now from Apple Store for £1.99
Review: FIFA 13 (PS3, 360, PC) Ed Barclay Writer
FIFA 13 has landed and it’s bigger than ever. Shifting over 1.23 million copies in its first 48 hours on UK shelves, it’s already the ‘biggest sports videogame launch of all-time’ according to publishers EA. What makes this year so special and different enough to warrant a portion of your hard earned student loan? While most agree that FIFA 12 was a great game, it was a rough diamond. FIFA 13 improves on last year’s game to
no end, making it a much more polished experience. Tactical defending remains, but there is more of an emphasis on strength now. Gone are the days when your defender, while jockeying for the ball, would simply tug on the opponent’s shirt making the advantage symbol pop up. The defender now attempts to muscle the attacker off the ball, the size of players coming into play a lot more. To counter this defensive advantage, FIFA 13 introduces ‘complete dribbling’, a massive improvement that means Messi now moves like Messi without the need to spam skill moves. Adding further polish is the new first touch control. This allows you to con-
trol the direction in which the player puts his first touch of the ball, adding fluidity to the game. Lower league players will often take heavier or less controlled touches, giving away possession. The collision engine has also been improved, with developers using the word ‘fixed’ before launch. No longer will the slightest of contacts make the players involved fall over in an often comical manner; in fact, it runs so smoothly that you tend to forget it’s even there. Also fixed is the finesse shot, which many hailed as overpowered in the previous instalment. Instead of any player neatly scoring, only the greatest can deliver a goal
accurately now, with most players missing the target completely. Improved commentary is included in the new ‘Match Day’ system, allowing you to select updates from matches of your choosing. This lets you to keep up to date with what’s happening in those other matches you’d like to keep an eye on. The game is improved off the pitch too, with the aforementioned 'Match Day' system updating player and club statistics depending on their form. There are also several changes to manager mode such as Transfers where you can now give the incoming player an idea of their role before they
09.2009 The best of Kickstarter
$84,613 was invested in this self-published book collaborating art and design from President Obamas campaign, making it the most successful project at the time.
Launched the same day that the Kickstarter site was launched, every page in this crowd-funded book was sold to one backer of the project who could then do whatever he or she wanted with the page. Was an immediate success raising over $3000.
sign the contract. As you gain a reputation as a manager you will also get the option of managing an international team, and you can now move clubs within a season. If you’ve been especially good at managing your current team, other clubs will start to become interested in your skills as a manager. Overall, FIFA 13 addresses the issues that marred FIFA 12’s otherwise infallible finish, adding new features that only serve to enhance the game further. A must buy for any football fan.
Even more successful at the end of the year was TikTok, narrowly missing the million dollar mark. This smart watch uses the iPod Nano to make an innovative multi-touch device that looks slick and feels comfortable round the wrist.
When the movie based on the book Blue Like Jazz was put on hold due to funding issues, investors backed a project aimed at giving the directors all the money they needed to make the film a reality. This topped Designing Obama, receiving $345,992, almost triple the initially pledged amount.
www.redbrick.me/tech | 21
The Latest in Science
Fuel, but at what cost?
Recent analysis has discovered half of the coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has disappeared in the last 30 Years.
Claire Harris Writer
Tar sands could be a potential fuel for the future but there is great controversy over the matter. Here is a look at why. The debate continues to rage destructive second method over the controversial energy pumps water into the sand source tar sands. Could it be which is liquified and pumped another potential source of to the surface. Both techfuel? Unfortunately, like niques require massive most of our energy, it comes amounts of energy, developwith an environmental price. ing the tar sands could be With global campaigns head- seen as having the worst cared up by environmental bon footprint of all our energiants such as WWF, gy sources. Not to mention Greenpeace and even our that all this water is pumped own People and Planet soci- from the nearby Athabasca ety, it’s about time we all got river, with very little safe involved in the argument. enough to return. Petroleum enriched, they With global campaigns are also known as Oil Sands. headed up by environThe deposits of oil can be mental giants such as found inside a mix of water, WWF, Greenpeace and sand, clay and bitumen. However, before this fuel even our own People and source can be accessed, the Planet society, it’s about area must undergo an inten- time we all got involved in the argument. sive mining process. This extraction is then refined to produce a fuel which we can The toxic waste is the main then use. By far the biggest worry for environmentalists. percentage of these reserves Kept in large pools, it slowly can be found in the beautiful seeps down into the river Alberta Province, Canada. providing long term impact The total estimated size is to the surrounding environ170 billion barrels of oil, ment. around the size of England But with the world crying and Wales put together. out for more energy options, Why all the controversy? it is easy to see why governWell, first of all, there are ments would like to invest two methods of accessing money in projects such as this ‘unconventional oil’. these. Bringing in substantial Method one involves scoop- economic benefits for ing up huge areas of top-soil Alberta, as well as providing to cart away the layers of more jobs, has meant that sand underneath. The equally Alberta has had the highest
rate of economic growth over the last twenty years in comparison to the rest of Canada. Recent developments have also seen Shell Canada approve a $1.36 billion project in an effort to cut emissions at the Alberta site. The new technology, Quest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) aims to capture around one million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and inject this into a storage layer of sandstone. Due for completion in 2014 this could be the first of many similar
projects. So, what is the future of oil sands? Still undecided it seems, as we are warned that CCS could be expensive and full of risk, equally prolonging our reliance on fossil fuels. In any case, developments at the tar sands site continue, leaving us to question whether we are further endangering our fight against climate change.
Fears of power shortages by 2015 have recently arisen with the worry that gas prices may soar too.
NASA's Mars Curiosity is currently in the process of analysing soil from the surface of Mars.
Space X is the first of 12 contracted missions to resupply the International Space Station with food, gear and replacement parts.
07.2012 This incredibly clever console received over $8 million in investment by more than 63,000 backers. It is an inexpensive android-based device that can play video games designed for playing on the TV. Anyone can design an Android game which can easily be played on the TV through OUYA.
Improving dramatically on the TikTok watch, Pebble E-Watch rightfully claims its place as the most successful project to date on Kickstarter. It works by connecting via Bluetooth to both iPhones and Android to act as a smart watch unlike any other that exists currently. The Watch App store also creates endless possibilities.
Andrew Spencer Science & Technology Editor
Since it was launched in April 2009, Kickstarter has made an incredible difference for people with very innovative ideas. It has brought a vast range of extremely clever projects into reality. Many of these ideas, without Kickstarter, would have lacked the key funding required to make them possible. However, now with the ability of anyone around the world to invest as much or as little money as they want in a project they like the look of, with exciting incentives for people investing, there are some gems of innovation that can be found on the site. Kickstarter is due to launch very soon in the UK. Here is a look at the best and most backed projects on Kickstarter.
22| 12th - 18th October 2012
Birmingham Book Festival
T h e resilience of poetry in the modern world is an exhausted topic, but it won’t go away regardless of how many times it’s discussed. It could be thought that examining its role gives it vitality; if it’s being debated then it surely still exists in our conscience and has an important part to play in life. When Michael Gove announced last June that he intended to introduce the recital of poetry for children in primary school on the national curriculum it seemed like an attempt to resuscitate an interest in poetry by indoctrinating people at a young age. However this treatment doesn’t do poetry any favours. Not because suggesting that its popularity is wavering is an acknowledgement of it as an ebbing art form, but because the perception of poetry as a rival to X-factor or iPhones is a fallacy. It’s much healthier to see poetry as something that runs parallel to all of this; something which adapts to the present day and remains significant to those who seek it. This perception was put to the test recently by poet Simon Armitage who in his most recent book, Walking Home, stretched the lengths of its value. Travelling as a modern troubadour along the 256-mile Pennine Way, he relied on his poetry as currency, replacing Pound Sterling with verse. Starting in Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border, traditionally the end of the route, Armitage gave poetry readings in village halls and church function rooms in return for board and lodging as he made his way to the Derbyshire village of Edale via his home in Marsden, Yorkshire. After each of these readings a sock was passed around as a receptacle for donations, allowing each person to give their own personal valuation. At the end of 19 days, with 18 readings conducted, Armitage accumulated a gross profit of £3,086.42. At a simple glance this quantifiable figure may be enough to say that ‘yes, poetry still remains an important concept amongst people.’ So much so that someone is able to earn, according to Armitage’s sums, £1.11 above minimum wage, which is even more impressive when one considers this was done in villages with relatively small populations. However greater testimony to the undwindling appreciation of poetry can be seen amongst those who travelled with Armitage on his route. Most of them there were strangers who endeavoured the challenging terrain and temperamental weather simply for the chance to accompany one of the country’s most popular contemporary poets. Speaking last Friday at an event put on by Birmingham’s Book Festival at Adrian Boult Hall, Armitage stated the journey made him feel that his chosen art form had been validated. ‘I’ve always wanted to appeal to anybody and everybody with my poems. Whether that’s somebody who is studying literary criticism with a scalpel or whether that’s somebody picking up a book of poems for the first time. It is an impossible ambition, but a worthy one I think, and in that respect I felt that there was still an appetite out there for somebody saying things in, what I hope is, a memorable way.’ Armitage’s desire to appeal to anybody and everybody is admirable, as is his acknowledgement that not everybody will be drawn to it. It’s treating poetry not as an essential part of life, but something that is readily available. It can be seen in his own experience with poetry; he wasn’t entrenched amongst literature all his life, he studied geography at university and then went on to work as a probation officer. His passion for language and poetry was helped by being exposed to it at school, but its growth was organic, rather than it being forced upon him. ‘I started being interested in poetry Reliable Witness is when I was about 14 or 15 at school and we started reading Ted Hughes’ work. Up to that point I was asleep, I an interactive transmethought the world wasn’t a very interesting place. Those Hughes poems woke me up, and they woke me up dia installation that to language and the power of language.’ allows you to influence the The other night I asked him what his thoughts were on Gove’s plans and how he thinks poetry should be outcome of the story, written administered within the education system. ‘I think it’s good to be exposed to good things at school, by Mez Packer and Rochi that’s how I got in to poetry. But my feeling is you need to find or to be shown the poems which Rampal. Based around ‘Darren’ are meaningful or exciting to them and my worry about what Michael Gove was saying is that and ‘Amy’ and their group of we’ll all be forced to recite ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. If it’s about giving people the friends, the story so far includes access to forms of language which they understand, which excites them, or gets their writers a failed wedding proposal at imaginations going and is meaningful to them in some way rather than completely facing a Artsfest. Now you can follow alienating and putting them off poetry forever, then I’m completely in favour of new Libya the characters on Facebook and it.’ since the fall Twitter, become a spectator or Armitage has recently been involved with a project called ‘Stanza Stones’ of Gaddafi. participant in their life together. which saw the placement of stones engraved with his poetry throughAwaited with particu- Even meet and see them in the out rural Yorkshire. The depth of the engraving on these particular lar excitement is the out- offline world in the Pavillions stones means that they’ll remain there for at least a 1,000 rageous and hilarious Caitlin Shopping Centre. years. This innovative display of public art acts as the Moran, best-selling author of If the launch party was anyperfect metaphor for poetry. It will always be there, A How to be a Woman, and Simon thing to go by, it should be an it is there to be read just as the Pennine way is t r u e Armitage's story of tackling the inspirational festival. Elvis there to be walked. However it must be f e s t i v a l Pennine Way without a penny Mcgonagall had the Yumm Café approached, rather than forced a t m o s p h e r e to his name. in stitches with his raucous upon people, otherwise it’s could be felt in There is something for every- Scottish humour after Stephen an unwelcomed Birmingham on Thursday one, workshops, readings, an Morrison-Burke was announced challenge. the 4th of October. The day saw emergency poet, talks and ques- Birmingham’s new Poet the launch of the 14th tion and answer sessions on Laureate. Morrison-Burke is Birmingham Book Festival, certainly exciting; he’s young, National Poetry Day and the urban and incredibly current. announcement of the new He has recently won a regional Birmingham Birmingham Poet Laureate for Poetry Slam Final in Cambridge 2012/2013 - quite a day in which put him through to the Book Festival Birmingham’s literary calendar. national final, expected to take Birmingham Book Festival is a place in March 2013. Morrisonlaunch. hand-crafted event; it’s incrediBurke works as a Freelance bly current and specific to Poet teaching workshops to Birmingham. The festival proyouth offenders and young carvides a vibrant stage for both ers when not taking to the stage established and new local writto perform. He’s only been on ers, whilst infusing the internathe performance poetry scene Lizzie Place tional. fascinating topics such as the about 18 months and says he Stretching from the 4th of psychiatry of character; even a started his work because he Crtitc October to the 13th, events performance by the extraordi- ‘used the page to confide in’. range from the delights of nary poetry-music band LiTTLe He said he was ‘over the moon’ acclaimed writers Liz Lochhead, MACHiNe at the closing party. to have been selected Jackie Kay, Patrick Gale, David Particularly thrilling is the inter- Birmingham Poet Laureate Edgar, Femi Oyebode, Tiffany active storytelling installation, 2012/13, and we can certainly Murray, Peter F Hamilton and the first of its kind, commis- expect great things from him. Stuart Maconie. There is also sioned by the Birmingham the opportunity to hear from Book Festival.
went along to n o s n h o J t re B al, ohsnon tackv J ti s '. e fe m k o o H o b g in m a lk ingh l 'Wa As part of Bbirom of his new nvoavnet is poetry to society h c n u la k o Armitage's nding question; how rele les the une today?
e m o H g in lk a W : Simon Armitage
"MorrisonBurke is certainly exciting; he's young, urban and incredibly current"
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In Britain we have a saying, “start as you mean to go on”. Never in my experience has this feat been so expertly achieved as through Mark Watson’s entrance into his current live show “the information.” It sets the bar for a unique and highly enjoyable night of comedy. Watson has made a significant name for himself over the
millennium with several awards and appearances on well know programmes such as Mock the week, QI and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, yet he still retains a kind of self-deprecating insecurity which has become his comic identity. At one point, after performing a hilariously bland original song which he has titled “the bouncy castle”, he attempts
to be “rock ‘n’ roll” by pushing over his mike stand, only to pick it up again and declare it meekly a stage too far. Watson’s tour alludes to the pros and cons of the technical age, whereby information is available to all. Asides from his fluid ramblings on an array of topics, Watson also possesses the gift of spontaneity. He inter-
Mark Watson: 'The Information'. Rosie Kelby Critic
Hairy Bikers: Larger than Live.
Trigger warning. This piece deals with serious issues in comedy. As all good art should. The stage is not merely vehicle for raw ‘free speech.’ When a performer goes blue, they have a responsibility to treat their audience and their material with respect. Plundering tabloid horror stories to make jokes at the expense of the marginalised is unacceptable, and a ‘joke’ is never simply ‘just a joke’. Yes, mocking the weak might appear to be legitimate career choice, but it needn’t be one of a racist, misogynistic, etcetera-ist bent. If both the artist and observer are able to contextualise a joke, we can all laugh, bond and change the world for the better. For example, we must treat issues like knocking on doors with the respect that they deserve and with due concern to the many elements that can upset and hurt people. Like splinters. Next time you tell a tale of blindly, ignorantly knocking on a door, think of the eighty year old woman who lives within, whose heart will be raised at the thought that finally, after three weeks of silent and solitary thought, someone has been reminded of her existence and come round.
Birmingham Footnotes: Don't be a Dickhead. James Diffley Critic
Last Thursday evening the first ‘Don’t be a Dickhead’ event of the University year took place in Beorma Bar. For those of you who are unaware of this function, it is a heckle- free stand up event where aspiring comics of any experience can try their hand in front of an affable and welcoming audience. Whilst the thought of performing in front of a large number of people is certainly a daunting one, the audience of around one hundred that packed into Beorma Bar were exceptional. They created an amiable atmosphere and gave each comic a raucous welcome, allowing each of them to perform to their full ability, giving the evening a cheerful ambiance. They were certainly not to be disappointed. ‘Don’t Be a Dickhead’ is characterised by the diversity of the acts who take part. Each performer has approximately five to ten minutes to make their mark and every person who took to the stage had a different perspective on humour and subject to cover. The acts were kicked off by an extremely witty acoustic rendition by Jack Toop; depicting a man who had untoward feelings to his grandmother’s car ‘Cecilia’, during which time the phrases ‘paraphilia’ and ‘necrophilia’ appeared rather more than appropriate. He was followed by amongst others, Graham Broome who had a seemingly never ending sup-
acts seamlessly with the audience, ridiculing and consoling in equal measure, and even hiding behind the seat of one audience member who leaves for the toilet. Watson’s tour is cleverly constructed, original and well worth the watch. Despite not being the biggest name in the comedy circuit, he is a still-rising talent and brilliantly entertaining.
everything Richard Higgs & James Dolton
Knock knock. She was sit- marred usually only by a boiling ting down, as was the fashion of kettle and the plop of a single teathe day. Her mother said that any bag. Can she trust this knocking, problem, no matter how great could this imposition with no knowledge be solved simply by sitting down. of it’s context? She freezes and But not this one. Never mind if it’s calls out in a quavering, rasping the postman, never mind if it’s the voice bailiffs, what matters is that she “Who’s there?” matters to someone. She gets “The Doctor.” up, slower than she used to, Not again. She doesn’t and she picks her way remember him ever through her spartan living appearing unannounced, room toward the threshold, but then, she doesn’t trembling yet eager to see remember much. She what humanity has thrown racked her brain, her mind her. Knock knock. Finally now bereft of the synaptic grease she reaches for the handle yet of youth - cogs stutter and now she’s anxious, so anxjam as she struggles to satious. People, strangers have isfy this self-imposed let her down before. Knock inquisition. Why has he knock. The knocks shortcalled? How did he en in length and increase know where I live? in rapidity. She felt like Have I ran out of she was in a poem she jam? Who is he? Yes. once read. It had a bird. She Who is he? used to have a bird. Knock “Doctor Who?” ply knock. At once her Poe- “I have your results. I of ian vision melts away as think you should sit puns. a percussive, splinter- down.” Those ous symphony la And that was the who did siege to a sound- last time she pure stand up s c a p e did. were able to comically slander a wide range of topics. Alice Weleminsky- Smith took a much needed dig at the film one industry, pointing out particularly atrowhich was most cious film productions. Daniel Moroney enjoyable was the instructional video on also spun an amusing tale of that how and how not to socialise at universiamongst other things included a Bruce ty. This included a demonstration on Willis lookalike. A personal highlight how to socially alienate yourself with was an explanation on how the mixed course mates and females alike. martial arts discipline was ‘strangely inti- I can only suggest that if you enjoy commate’. edy, come along to the next ‘Don’t be a In between performances the audience Dickhead’ event. The footnotes society were kept entertained by a humorous and performers created a memorable and pair of hosts. Out of all their cameos the hilarious evening.
Harriet Henderson & Jemimah Shaw Critics There are few words to describe the evening spent with the Hairy Bikers, other than bizarre and slightly disturbing. The majority of time was filled with semi-nudity, embarrassing dad jokes and a disappointingly minimal amount of cooking. The performance began harmlessly enough, with a mockumentry featuring the bikers as a parody of themselves; cross-dressing, lazy and anti gastronomic, arguably the best part of the show. They then appeared on stage behind a cloud of smoke in what can only be described as ‘pimped up’ motorbike thrones, equipped with an array of kitchen utensils and a hearty supply of vodka, much to the delight of (some!) of the audience. The show relied chiefly on audience participation through which the show maintained its momentum and ensured that the bikers could charm the key demographic; menopausal women. Aside from this, the performance was based solely around a comedy routine, but it is difficult to put this show in to a specific genre, as it seemed unsure of exactly what it was trying to achieve and whom it was specifically targeting. It was interspersed with many awkward dance routines accompanied by ridiculous costumes (one of which was particularly memorable, shown via video clip, in which they were accompanied by Kristina and Robin from Strictly Come Dancing). It also featured bad singing, and an odd escapology act that added nothing to the overall content apart from an increasing dread of what was to come. Considering the Bikers are nationally renowned chefs, known for their hearty and no nonsense food, this hardly featured in what can only be described as a rather embarrassing spectacle involving two men aged 50 plus men prance around in spangles. So, if middle-aged stripping, curry and escapology acts are your idea of fun then this is a highly recommendable show; but if not, then avoid it at all costs.
24 | 12-18th October 2012
Star Programme. Take Me Out Daniel Leadbetter TV Critic
The hit dating show Take Me Out is back. Yes, the programme where Paddy McGuinness struts around a garish set, spouting inane catchphrases (‘no likey, no lighty!’ and ‘let the pinky see the perky’) while trying to pair up couples. It’s not intellectual viewing, but exactly the sort of guilty-pleasure television you’d expect on a Saturday night. The show derives much of its popularity from the cringe-worthy aspect of the would-be bachelors’ attempts to woo the ladies. On Saturday’s show, a postman, looking like one of the cast from Geordie Shore, boasts ‘I always deliver!’, and one of the girls earnestly claims ‘I think we’ve got a connection already’ - they both like Coronation Street, you see. Unlike Blind Date, where the contestants couldn’t see each other, Take Me Out seems largely based on looks. Indeed the women have the opportunity in the first round to turn their light off, ostensibly based on what the men are wearing (but I suspect there’s a more physical aspect to their choices). The awkward dinner exchanges between couples on their romantic holiday never fail to amuse; it’s true to say that the dates nearly always go wrong. It would seem that judging someone based on a self-promoting two minute video and looks alone doesn’t make for a match made in heaven. Who knew? And temporary failure doesn’t matter so much for the girls, because they’re going to be back on the show next week anyway. Paddy just about makes the whole debacle bearable, as the host with a load of so-bad-they’re-good jokes at his fingertips, and witty comments that salvage the more awkward moments. For all the vacuousness and superficialities of the show, the whole affair is just a bit of fun. With this in mind, next Saturday unplug your brain for an hour, sit back, and enjoy the spectacle.
Top TV News Of The Week Rosie Pooley TV Critic
Lucy Pargeter Interview Charlotte Goodwin TV Editor
How would you describe your time playing Chas on Emmerdale over the years? I have loved every second of it, every storyline, each day filming. We are so professional when it comes down to doing the job, but in between takes we have such a laugh, you couldn’t ask for better people to work with. It’s brilliant and I hope that they keep challenging me for many years to come! Are you nervous about the live episode? It's an experience that I am going into with the best people possible, and I’m doing the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. Hopefully the two weeks of rehearsing beforehand will settle our minds. It’s the first time anything like this has been done purely on location, so logistically and technically it’s not just a matter of us remembering our lines. I’m trying not to think about it because at the moment we are doing all the scenes for the episodes before and after the live one, so it’s really heightening what we are going to have to put ourselves through during that hour. Have you done any live TV before? No, and I’ve never really done any theatre. I’m slightly worried about my burping problem! I burp when I’m under pressure. A lot of the cast have done theatre before but nobody has done a live. Many of the crew and our director have done it before so they all know what it involves. How does it feel to be playing such a big part in the 40th celebrations? It’s a massive honour, but also a massive responsibility. I just hope I don’t disappoint anyone. Tell us about Chas’s state of mind in the lead up to the 40th birthday week? Chas is in a state of total confusion and fear. She’s not in a great place at all but she’s completely determined to marry Dan. Do you think she’s over Cameron? I don’t think she is completely over
Cameron, and I think the decision to get over him was made when he went back to Debbie. Although she has accepted he’s back with her, she’s not particularly happy about it and she just has to get on with her life. Everyone is quite cynical about her relationship with Dan. Is she genuinely in love with him? I think she sees everything in Dan that she had hoped for in Carl and Cameron. He completely adores her and would do anything for her. With Dan she sees security and she loves him for the person he is. I think Chas just wants to know which direction her life is going in and to be settled and happy, and she wants to be there as quickly as possible. Do you think if Cameron left Debbie Chas would go back to him? I think she might go back to Cameron because she does still have feelings for him. He would have to completely convince her that he wasn’t going to change his mind though. Jeepers! Can you imagine trying to live in the village as a couple around Debbie and the family? Carl has been threatening to ruin everything for Chas. What’s going through her mind? She is desperate to keep him quiet. Letting this secret come out to Debbie is not an option. She’s terrified about what could happen and worried as Carl is getting very intense and scarily involved with her life. He seems to be getting quite obsessed with her again and loving the fact that he can control her like a puppet. He’s admitted he loves her and he’s adamant that all this worry can go away because he’s in control. He just wants to be back with her. What would you tell viewers to expect from the 40th episodes? Drama in buckets full. Tears, fear, surprises and a few giggles. Absolutely everything you would expect from this show all thrown into one episode. Lips are sealed about the content of the live episode, but can you give any hints? There are a couple of really big shocks in store. It’s not going to end the way everybody thinks it is going to end and fans of the show are going to be very very surprised with the outcome of the live episode. We certainly were!
4.8m The record-making audience for The Great British Bake Off
Terry Pratchett has set up his own television company, Narrativia, which has exclusive rights to adaptations of all of his novels.
The F-bomb was accidently overheard on BBC Breakfast as a microphone was left on and picked up the expletive.
www.redbrick.me/tv | 25
Strictly Class of 2012 Modern Family Rosie Pooley TV Critic
Jo Kendall evaluates the new batch of celebrities that are taking to the dancefloor this term.
#SCD Jo Kendall TV Critic
It’s nice to see you, to see you nice! The sequins were out as this weekend saw the beginning of the latest series of the popular BBC1 show Strictly Come Dancing. As we prepare for ‘Strictly mania’ to sweep the country, who will be the champions and who will be a ‘dance disaaaster’? This year’s line-up is impressive, however surely the favourites going into this series have to be found amongst the sportspeople and singers. With the likes of Denise Van Outen, Louis Smith, Kimberly Walsh and Victoria Pendleton competing for the title, this year’s competition is going to be fierce. But who will be the underdogs? Those who will enter the hall of fame alongside John Sergeant and Anne Widdecombe for their comical yet horrific performances. In my mind, Jonny Ball and Lisa Riley have to be shortlisted as this year’s potential comedy act. Despite their
843,000 The latest series of TOWIE launched with its lowest ever viewing figures.
enthusiasm, they at first appear to lack the skills required to succeed in the competition. Friday night saw the introduction of new judge Darcy Bussell, and performances from the first six couples. Nobody was surprised when Denise Van Outen wowed the judges with a beautiful waltz. However, the evening held two surprises as Colin Salmon exceeded everyone’s expectations with a cheeky ‘cha cha’, while Pendleton collapsed under the pressure. Saturday saw the remaining eight couples take to the floor. The show opened with a stunning professional dance, and the evening commenced with the celebrities exceeding Friday’s standards. Most of the celebrities performed as expected, until Lisa Riley came out and blew everyone away with her ‘cha cha’, which shockingly left her top of the leader board. Perhaps she could be the real surprise package if her ballroom matches her latin. So the first weekend has wetted our appetites for the series to come. As the phone lines open next week, who will be the first to fall?
Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley is set to co-host a new celebrity diving show on ITV
Critically praised at this year’s Emmys, American comedy Modern Family follows the lives of three households that have only one thing in common - they are family. Season 4 finds us straight back where we left off last Spring. Mitchell and Cam (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Eric Stonestreet) are dealing with the failed attempt at their second adoption, and are left with the difficult task of explaining it all to their already adopted daughter Lily - who quite frankly would be just as happy with a cat called Larry. Meanwhile Gloria is wondering how to break last season’s pregnancy bombshell to husband Jay, whose 65th birthday has arrived, and he really doesn’t like surprises. The aptly titled 'Bringing up Baby' nods to the screwball comedy film it gets its name from, and reminds us why Modern Family has been going wrong as of late. When patriarch Jay falls in the lake for a second time, the slapstick fell short of a slight titter on my part. However, despite this episode’s obvious pitfalls, the redeeming moment from Friday’s instalment came from a brief conversation between Dad, Phil and son Luke - with the other characters dealing with the baby bombshell Luke leans over to his dad, ‘Gross, I didn’t know Grandpa could still do it!’ To which Phil replies ‘Don’t be disrespectful, Luke, anyone could do it with Gloria.’ It is these moments that Modern Family does so well. In the past two seasons it seemed that Modern Family might have been losing its way - often steering towards the obvious and forgetting the comedic charm of the first series. Although it may sound like typical sitcom fodder, what Modern Family is good at is touching on the sensitive subjects that every family deals with, and producing heartwarming moments of comedy gold. After its slow start, the fourth series opener is a welcome reminder why Modern Family has won 'Best Comedy Series' at the Emmys three years running.
Hunted Yasmin Jones-Henry TV Critic
If Hunted is the future of British spy thrillers, we'd better hope that 007 will not be taking an early retirement. Unbelievable is the only way to describe this new series. In this ‘thriller’ these spies don’t do slick action. They stare into the distance, out of windows pouting throughout. Laced with clichés, this had the potential to be a very funny spoof. Unfortunately, it was not a parody. You are expected to take this seriously. Sam (Melissa George) is the spy who is the prey. It isn’t difficult to tell. She gets shot by a sniper – who turns out to be an accomplice. Having successfully fooled the villain into thinking that she has been murdered, she walks past him moments later, with the fake blood removed. Naturally he sees her, and naturally he chases after her. She gets shot - again. How and why is not immediately explained as the next scene has her staggering up a hill in Scotland. After a year of taking lots of baths and reading the newspapers, she returns to headquarters in London. Her return brings with it the revelation that not only is there a leak within the organisation, but someone is trying to kill her. Knowing this, she still signs herself up for another high risk assignment: living in a gangster’s mansion. There is just one problem - her assassin will also be staying at this hospitable gangster’s residence. CAUTION: There is a particular scene towards the end of the episode that viewers may find disturbing and a little out of place with the rest of the action. The final scenes were clearly intended to have the viewers coming back for more. However, after 58 minutes and 14 seconds, the poor viewer may be too exhausted to care.
The number of cast members who will be involved in Emmerdale's live episode
26 | 12th - 18th October 2012
"Where we're going, we don't need roads." Doc Brown Back to the Future (1985)
On the Road
TAMARA ROPER Music Editor Release Date: 12th October 2012 Director: Walter Salles Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart On the Road has been picked up and put down by probably every idealistic 16-year-old in the world. Though the film's backdrop is just as the book suggests, the acting leaves a lot to be desired. Sam Curtis is one of Britain's finest, but as Sal he’s not ideal and he’s probably better sticking to his native accent. Garrett Hedlund’s easy-on-the-eye Dean Moriarty picks up the pace a bit, with some ANITA BAUMGÄRTNER beautiful scenes of the troubled alcoholic and carefree vagabond, Critic but there is still a bit of rogue lacking. Release Date: 4th October 2012 Although the scenery and music of mid-century America is Director: Olivier Megaton bewitching, it isn’t enough to carry the film. On the Road serves Cast: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace as more of a compendium of ‘best bits’ from the book, but it's not How far would you go to save your daughter from the hands of the masterpiece it should be. human traffickers? In Taken we saw ex-CIA-agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) answer this question - he literally walked over dead bodies. One year after this incident Bryan is still troubled by his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), as she cares more about her JOE ALLEN boyfriend than passing her driving test. But when daughter and Critic ex-wife come to Istanbul to surprise the overprotective father, this Release Date: 3rd October 2012 routine will soon be broken again. That’s because the kidnappers’ Director: Stephen Chbosky relatives now seek revenge for the murder of their "sons and Cast: Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller fathers". Unfortunately (for them) the ex-cop is well-prepared and comes up with a number of gadgets to counter their attacks. The phrase 'Based on the novel by...' has led to many cinema clas- Consequently there’s everything you could look for in an actionsics, but can cause trepidation and concern. Will the film version filled movie and it doesn’t skimp on explosions, breathtaking match the artistic quality and vision of the source material? In the fighting scenes and wild car-chases. However, it fails to provide case of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the answer is an emphat- any deeper moral. ic yes. This is partially because the book’s writer is also the film’s Four years have passed since the filming of the first movie and, director, but mostly thanks to a wonderfully witty and sparkling as Neeson himself stated, Bryan has grown tired. Nevertheless, he script delivered with panache and feeling by the film’s cast, as well can still go berserk for the sake of his loved ones. The mixture of as sharp, clever cinematography and direction. Wallflower explores family reunion and action works just as well as in the first movie divisive social issues without ever feeling trite or overly sentimen- - with many new ideas and enough plot-changes to prevent reduntal, and barring a few brushes with the maudlin, succeeds in deliv- dancy. Even if you haven't seen part one, Taken 2 is entertainingering a smart and poignant coming-of-age drama. throughout and action fans are going to love it.
THOMAS LOFKIN Critic The 85th Academy Awards will be hosted by Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane. On being chosen to host the Oscars next February, McFarlane said: 'I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors.' This comes from the man who created and voiced a pot-smoking teddy bear.
The Perks of Being...
The first image has been released of Daniel Radcliffe in Horns, a dark fantasy film adapted from the novel of the same name, written by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King). The image features Radcliffe sporting a stylish leather jacket, as well as two goatlike horns protruding from his forehead.
Jessica Green reveals which Danny Boyle films are in medal position #1 127 Hours #2 Slumdog... #3 Trainspotting
This entry may cause a few raised eyebrows, but it is completely justifiable. 127 Hours is based on the gruesome tale of Aron Ralston (James Franco). Boyle has the ability to keep you on the edge of your seat, in awe of a man’s battle for freedom (a very squeamish freedom at that). This simply-structured yet utterly effective film has the power to keep an audience gripped right to the end without the need for car explosions or over-complicated storylines.
Slumdog Millionaire has to be one of Boyle’s most inspiring pieces - an astonishing film, introducing us to the world of Mumbai’s slums. This film has fantastic, colourful imagery and a cleverly focused storyline. It follows the life of a young man (Dev Patel), depicting the horrors, the pain and the love he experiences on his journey to winning Who Wants to be a Millionaire. A genuinely inspirational and heart-warming film – very Oscar worthy!
Gritty, graphic, incredibly well-acted by an ensemble of brilliant actors and, as anyone who has watched this dark comedy will confirm, totally addictive (pardon the pun). Boyle’s representation of the Edinburgh drug scene provides both the shock and entertaining elements sure to leave an audience in immense appreciation of his style. Thought-provoking, vibrant and definitely the crème-de-la-crème of Danny Boyle films.
The first trailer from The Lords of Salem, the new film from metal musician/director Rob Zombie, has been released. It looks terrifying and shows a very different style from his previous work. Channelling the likes of Stanley Kubrick, the film will once again star Zombie’s wife and muse, Sheri Moon Zombie.
www.redbrick.me/film | 27
Introducing: Sylvain Chomet
Chomet super-fan Alice Grimes wants you to say 'Bonjour!' to one of France's greatest exports He is multi-award-winning, renowned by film critics internationally and yet most people know little-to-nothing about French animator and director Sylvain Chomet, who has clearly established himself as the most successful creator of adult animation films (that don’t fall into the ‘blue movie’ category). His innovations, despite containing only snatches of muffled dialogue have opened global film festivals - so what is the magic behind Chomet’s animations that have led him to acquire a kind of cultish following? His first film project, La Vieille Dame et les Pigeons, I am not ashamed to admit, terrified me on first viewing. It is a grotesque fusion of surreal-esque dream sequence and the stark reality of an individual in isolation: a thread which will evolve in Chomet’s subsequent ventures. Lasting only 25 minutes, it is a good introduction to Chomet’s artistic psyche. The plot centres on a hungry and lonely policeman who, whilst on his rounds, spots an old lady feeding pigeons in a Parisian park. Naturally he manufactures a giant pigeon costume, visits her house wearing it and, falling for the bluff, she feeds him during his regular visits. Transforming into a man reminiscent of Monty Python’s Mr Creosote,
our now heavily overweight and waddling protagonist realises the little old lady isn’t quite what she seems – but is it too late? Belleville Rendez-vous was Chomet’s first global success nominated for two Academy Awards: ‘Best Animated Feature’ and ‘Best Original Song’. We first meet Champion as a young boy, lonely and melancholy. His grandmother, Madame Souze, finding his hidden album of cycling related photographs accumulated from newspapers and magazines, buys him his first bike, and years later we see him as a professional cyclist in the Tour de France. But he is kidnapped by two French mafia henchmen who take him and two other cyclists to North America on an ocean liner and chaos ensues. Madame Souze and their dog Bruno follow on a pedalo until they reach the ironically named ‘Belleville’. They
are helped in their quest to find Champion by the now aged music hall singers 'the Triplets of Belleville', who feast on frogs and make music with fridges, vacuums and newspapers. Oh, and all of this happens against the backdrop of a terrific jazz soundtrack by Benoît Charest; it is a deliciously French gem.
Eight years following the success of Belleville, Chomet’s latest film The Illusionist opened the 2010 Edinburgh Film Festival and again received much critical acclaim; nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award and won the first César Award for 'Best Animated Feature'. Set in the late 1950’s, this enchanting yet heart-breaking film follows a lone illusionist as he finds himself trailing European music halls for work in an era where nobody is impressed by magic anymore. He and his temperamental white rabbit travel to a remote Scottish island and there he meets Alice, a young girl who believes he possesses supernatural powers. The two embark on a touching companionship as they travel to Edinburgh, the illusionist having to take on night time work to afford their upkeep while Alice continues living in a fantasy, believing her magician really is magic. Meanwhile, all the performers continue to grow more destitute and depressed and we witness the harrowing dark side of the industry. His films are like nothing you have ever seen or will see again. Chomet has a masterful skill for beautiful subtlety and his stories explore the darkness of human loneliness, finding solace in unlikely friendships. They simultaneously display a cutting satire on Western culture amongst the comedic scenes, but a tender warmness permeates the relationships that the characters form. Yet there remains a consistent sinister underpinning – these films really aren’t cartoons for c h i l - dren.
Hype...er...reality? What happens when a highly anticipated film fails to meet our expectations? Thomas Williams discusses the mixed emotions surrounding movie hype The phenomenon of hype is part and parcel of modern filmmaking. It can be the difference between a Titanic-esque blockbuster or a John Cartershaped lead balloon. Such results have a huge bearing on whether a film is seen as successful, but success in these terms is rarely to do with quality. The extent to which a film is hyped by the media and the public is something executives are keen to manipulate, but in some circumstances the films hype themselves. But when there is such a furore for a new release, can they ever live up to the billing they are given? Financially they may do, but will the hopes of those willing them to be the best thing since cinematic sliced bread (now in 3D!) be inevitably dashed?
An example of such a film is this summer’s Prometheus. With Ridley Scott, the creator of Alien, returning to the franchise with the promise of providing answers to such headscratchers as 'who’s the big spacedude in the chair?' it almost became assumed knowledge that Prometheus was going to be fantastic. While the film had its good points, it ultimately left me wondering: 'is that it?' This seemed to be the consensus, as it achieved predominantly average-poor reviews. But the question is, could it ever have met our expectations? Those eager to see it had already decided how good it was, and upon seeing a different film to the one they had imagined, left feeling let down. Despite this, the hype over the film still led to it taking a substantial amount of money at the box office, basically guaranteeing the sequel that Scott has talked up. At the other end of the spectrum is a film like Dredd 3D. Without a director of Scott’s prestige, an A-List cast (with respect to Karl Urban) and ultimately a budget like Prometheus, many people were unaware of the film. This was not helped by the fact
that Judge Dredd’s only previous big screen appearance was the disappointing 1995 Sylvester Stallone effort. This, coupled with underwhelming trailers, left me initially uninterested in Dredd. However, on a friend’s recommendation and encouraged by reviews, I decided to try it. The result was a pleasant surprise; my (admittedly low) expectations were far surpassed - the complete opposite to my emotions post-Prometheus. It appears I wasn’t alone in my initial misgivings as Dredd performed poorly at the box office, making a sequel (more deserved than Prometheus) unlikely. But this is the nature of the hype machine. Films carrying designer cinematic baggage such as Prometheus’ connections to Alien are always likely to out-perform a film like Dredd 3D, encumbered as it was with the soggy paper bag of disappointment that was its predecessor. Hype makes us raise certain films to levels where we can only be disappointed, while disregarding others, at times, of better quality. With the majority of our money going on ‘must-see’ blockbusters, it’s a trend that looks set to continue.
28 | 12th - 18th October 2012
Metchley and Bournbrook were hives of activity as the University of Birmingham's rugby teams got their seasons underway...
Brum fall short in difficult opener Men's Rugby Union
Ellie Jones Sport Reporter
Birmingham's 1st XV suffered a heavy 26-11 defeat against Durham 2nds in their first competitive game of the season at Bournbrook. The hotly anticipated match saw the two sides face each other in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, with Birmingham hoping to improve on their three warm up fixtures. Coach Mike Umaga said before kick off: 'the close matches in warm up season brought many positives out and we purposely picked tough matches to give ourselves the best start for the season'. Umaga aims this year for his side to be promoted from Premier North B league onto bigger and better things. The game started positively, with the home crowd cheering their team on for a penalty in the second minute of the game, which was successfully converted by 'kicker Wood'. After the re-start, Durham woke up and made two big drives for the try line, with their backs making darting runs through Birmingham's defence. With several big pushes from the opposition, the home team buckled and an offside gave Durham their first penalty. The score line read 3-3 and the game was well and truly underway. Pressure from Birmingham's forwards forced Durham into a kick-
ing game, with many successfully gathered by the home team's backs. However, sloppy passing from both sides meant that penalties were a defining feature of the game. The first scrum of the match exhibited Birmingham's strength and agility, but Durham struck back with their fierce, damaging breaks, eventually leading to a converted penalty. The hosts countered with strong, hard tackles from all of the forwards, particularly Jamie Rose, keeping Durham at a standstill and forcing them to concede a penalty. Wood took this with aplomb to bring the home side back level at 6-6. The hard fought match saw some outstanding passages of play by Durham, who claimed the first try of the match following a flurry of passes just before half-time. The second half saw Birmingham back on form with fly half debutant James Wilson contributing some savage tackles and quick runs. The home team fought hard and showed some impressive skill, but poor passing gave Durham the initiative, seeing them score a further two tries. Birmingham showed resistance as the game drew closer to the end, when excellent rucking and a charge down behind Durham's try line hooker saw Jake Knowles touch the ball down for their only try, putting the score the way it would finish at 26-11. After the game coach Umaga concluded by saying 'some players stepped up, others didnâ€™t. Durham played well but we can take many positives from the match.' Birmingham clearly have a talented squad, but will have to improve if they want to achieve their ambitious aim of promotion from what will prove a tough division.
This match was the ďŹ rst in our 'Game of the Week' series. Go to redbrick.me to see the report alongside multimedia content such as audio interviews and video highlights.
www.redbrick.me/sports | 29
Brave Brum give Durham a fright Women's Rugby Union
James Newbon Sport Reporter
Photos: Will Siddons (above) Meurig Gallagher (left)
Second half onslaught gives league lads perfect start
A resilient defensive performance from Birmingham saw them push a dominant Durham side close before going down to a 14-15 defeat at the Metchley pitches on Wednesday. Tries from Garnet Mackinder and Sam Voyle weren't enough for the hosts as the visitors held on to a narrow lead to record their first ever victory on Birmingham soil. With the sides finishing third and second in last year's table respectively, a close game was expected. But this didn't appear to be the case when a five minute spell of possession straight from the kick off saw the away side take a 5-0 lead courtesy of a Laura Hind try. Any thoughts of a whitewash that this early supremacy may have given rise to were quickly quashed by Brum, who, against the run of play, took the lead two minutes later. Touted as the hosts' players to watch by captain Mel McKirdle, Voyle and Mackinder combined for Mackinder to run in a try under the posts. Her conversion meant the
home side led 7-5. Play then became stuck in the middle of the field, as strong Birmingham defending prevented Durham from making any inroads into their 22, until, on the stroke of half time, the resistance was broken. Mia Borgesen scored and then converted a try, to give the visitors a 12-7 half-time lead. A Borgensen penalty early in the second half increased that lead to 15-7, as the home side struggled to get out of their own half. And it appeared that Birmingham were going to struggle to find a way back into the game until, with eight minutes remaining, Voyle took advantage of a rare spell of Brum pressure to get the team back into the game with a try. Mackinder's conversion meant the home side trailed by just one point. However, despite visible renewed hope in the hosts' play, this was the way the score was to stay. Mackinder got to within a yard of the line, as Brum piled forward into one corner in search of the win, but their efforts proved in vain as Durham took all the points on the long bus journey home. Despite the defeat, McKirdle took the positives from her side's performance by praising the forwards' play, as well as the two try scorers, whom she described as 'amazing'. The team will now look to take those positives and use them to build another successful season.
Men's Rugby League
James Campbell Sport Reporter
In the opening league fixture of the season, Birmingham's men's rugby league first team put in a dominant performance to win 28-0 against opponents Coventry University. After finishing a disappointing eighth in the league last season, coach Russell Parker made very clear before the game his ambition for the Bulls to win the league this time round, and they got their campaign off to the best possible start. In the first half Birmingham were dominant in both possession and territory, although they had nothing to show on the scoreboard for their
early pressure. Felix Sharp had a try disallowed for the hosts at 20 minutes as the referee adjudged that his right foot had hit the flag before the ball had made contact with the ground. It was not until the 30th minute that captain Sam Edgar broke away down the right hand flank to score the home side's first try, giving them a lead of 4-0. The first telling pressure from Coventry came just before the half time whistle. After being awarded a penalty, Coventry's fly half decided to kick and came agonisingly close, hitting the post from 40 yards out. When the whistle blew, Coventry should have granted themselves very lucky that they were only trailing by four points. As the second half began, Birmingham's quality shone through as they scored four tries without response from the visitors. Despite Coventry's early pressure, in the
50th minute Birmingham's Andrew Burton latched on to a missed catch by the Coventry fullback and coolly finished underneath the posts. The conversion was made giving Birmingham a lead of 10-0. It was not long before the home side put more points on the board with Scottish international Dan McCloud finishing off a slick passing move down the left hand side. The opposition lacked imagination throughout, their style of play being very one-dimensional and relying too much on predictable runs from their big men. Birmingham's fourth and arguably best try of the afternoon came at 67 minutes when Captain Edgar rounded off a fast counter attacking move that included a switch in the play by fly half Andrew Gale, and a seemingly impossible offload by Matt Bligh. Coventry had the best of the last
ten minutes of the game, but were unable to penetrate a solid Birmingham defensive line. Tom Shepherd capped off an excellent afternoon for the home side with their fifth try in the last minute of the game. Fittingly Edgar made the conversion to cap a man of the match performance and a 28-0 victory for the home side. After the game, the coach Russell only had good words to say about his team's performance. 'I was disappointed we did not go into half time with more points on the board. We were very impressive in both attack and defence, with Coventry never looking like they were going to score. No player had a bad game and I am confident that both the first team and the second team can win their respective leagues this season.'
30 | 12th - 18th October 2012
Spring when you're winning After unprecedented success for the British Olympic gymnastics team in London, Tom Garry catches up with the University of Birmingham's 'Development Club of the Year' about their hopes for the year ahead... After being named as Development Club of the Year for 2011-12, the Gymnastics and Trampolining Club are going from strength to strength. The club captain for gymnastics, Vicki Harris, is full of enthusiasm for the new season after a huge increase in membership. The club, dubbed 'Gym and Tramp' is one of the University's best run sports clubs and when asked what the club's recipe for success was, Vicki was quick to praise the entire committee: 'It was a combination of a significant increase in membership and massive organisation. Everyone on the committee worked harder than expected for the team to help build the club's membership.' Last year's success appears to be continuing this year too, with a staggering 290 students signing up for gymnastics taster sessions at last month's sports fair. Significantly, 160 people then turned up, which represents a big improvement in the number of people following through on their interest in the sport compared to previous years. This is no surprise though to Harris, who added 'we have some lovely new equipment and lots more social activities, plus there are a lot more opportunities for people to compete, so altogether there are plenty of reasons to join the club.' Harris, herself the winner of the Guild of Students' highly prestigious 'Outstanding Individual Contribution' award for last year, went on to add that the club now expects to smash their membership income targets, which is further good news. Alex Pear, the club captain for trampolining, added 'We've had a really good grass-roots intake this year. Our number of novices is really up on last year, which is great.' The success of the British gymnastics team at the Olympic Games has clearly reinvigorated the sport nationally and the effect seems to be a boost at University level too. 'I think the British team, especially with the men's team coming third, had a massive effect on the country', Harris said. 'The girls did really well too and I think it has made everyone remember how much they love gymnastics. It's a sport for the whole nation that is generally wellloved. The Olympics helped share that love even more and that could be why so many more people have followed through their interest for gymnastics at our first sessions.' The club is very active, with multiple weekly sessions. The gymnastics club runs full club sessions on both Wednesdays and Sundays, with four groups for varying abilities, running from novice to advanced. Additionally, on Mondays the club have a squad ses-
sion for gymnastics, with performance group training for those hoping to compete at the BUCS championships. Similarly, the club's trampolining run specific ability sessions throughout the week too, right from novice to elite. The club are not only competing in, but also hosting competitions this year, namely the Birmingham Cup, which is set to be bigger than usual this year now that there will be three ability levels so that more people can compete. The event, which is run for fun, attracted more than 60 students from six different universities last year. In terms of BUCS competitions, the primary gymnastics event is held in February near Guildford and captain Harris has high hopes for competitive success to add to the club's success in terms of participation, saying: 'One of our men is a potential medallist and we'd love for him to finish in the top three. Our men's team is aiming for the silver medal and this is also our women's team's strongest year for gymnastics, so we're really excited!' Harris added that, amongst the new membership, there are a number of students who are self-defining advanced gymnasts and they hope to introduce them to the BUCS squad which could lead to further success. However, the club's best asset is the number of participants. 'Obviously we have our squad group who train intensively on Mondays for next term's BUCS, but our whole club is based on participation, getting people to come and try gymnastics, even if they've never performed in their lives.' The club appears to have a superb spirit too. 'You can always find something new to learn, to improve on. We're a really sociable club so we have fun as well as taking it seriously, we work hard but have a good time. Really good club spirit.' Rachel Jones, the trampolining competitions rep, explained that the club hopes to take 25-30 people to their first competitive meet of the year in November, which is being held in Loughborough. 'There are four competitions this year and we're hoping to win again after coming first last year in two categories of the Northern English Universities Trampolining League'. If you want to try gymnastics and/or trampolining for yourself, it is not too late to sign up. Email gymtrampbrum@ gmail.com to register your interest. New students can simply turn up and the cost is just ÂŁ3 for one session. There are four groups for different abilities and the club committee will sit down with members to see where they would fit in.
Photographs by Charlotte Wilson
GYM AND TRAMP FACTS The word gymnastics comes from the Greek gymnos, meaning naked. It is the only sport which has taken place at every modern Olympics, although trampolining did not take its place in the games until Sydney 2000. Both the men's and women's gymnastic teams took bronze medals at the BUCS championships last year. It is the third biggest sport in Birmingham behind athletics and hockey.
31 | 12th -18th October 2012
Page 31 Sports Shorts
Tweet of the Week
Online this week @TheRealAC3
Heroes... Marlon Samuels Samuels hit a match-winning 78 which included six 6s to help the West Indies to victory in the World T20 final against hosts Sri Lanka on Sunday, as well as posting figures of 1-15 in his 4 overs. Leeds Rhinos The Rugby League powerhouse made history by winning a sixth grand final, defeating the Warrington Wolves 26-18. The Rhinos' captain Kevin Sinfield continued his record of never having missed a kick in the sport's showpiece event.
Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFTWATS.
Newmarket hosts the historic Cesarewitch Handicap on Saturday, and in this most unforgiving of tests, 9/1 market leader Countrywide Flame appears to tick all the boxes. The Triumph Hurdle winner has stamina in abundance, a high cruising speed, and is unexposed having made his seasonal bow last month. Redbrick road to glory The first training session was a success, with 14 turning out for a good old fashioned kickaround, which ended 5-4 following a 'next goal wins' scenario. However, the strength in depth has left the manager with a selection headache, with the squad being trimmed to eight for this week's first competitive match. Our opponents are 'One Direction' (ironicially, surely), and your guess as to what will happen is as good as mine.
The Redbrick Crossword
Back from the wilderness Kevin Pietersen signed a central contract with the ECB last week, but Ross Highfield asks whether it is the right move to bring back such a divisive figure at this time. Tuesday Debate After four horses died in the last two runnings of the Grand National, Fraser Kesteven and Nick Sharpe debate whether the changes to the Aintree showpiece are appropriate.
Men's Hockey 1sts v Durham 1sts Bournbrook 3.45pm Netball UoB 1sts v UoB 2nds Munrow Sports Hall 7pm Men's Badminton 1sts v Manchester 1sts Munrow Sports Hall 1pm
5 Sporting Name Changes On the back of Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn proposing to change their name to London Orient, Nick Sharpe examines five name changes in the past from the world of sport.
Antonia Morris Crossword Editor
Down 1. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, David _______ (8) 2. Swedish pop group famous for the single 'Waterloo' (4) 3. Collaborative form of ďŹ ne art that uses live performers (7) 4. Mammary gland of female quadruped mammals (5) 5. The capital of Australia (8) 6. The most consumed alcoholic drink worldwide (4) 11. Noticeably happy (8) 13. Blocking the way (8) 14. Youth beloved of Hero (7) 17. Perfect (5) 19. Curve in a doorway (4) 21. Golf equipment used to hit a golf ball (4)
Luis Suarez & Gareth Bale Both of these men displayed the worst parts of their game this week with theatrics that belong on the West End stages rather than the football field. Redbrick sport suggests a three-match ban to stop the would-be floppers and flailers.
Men's Volleyball 1sts v Derby 1sts Munrow New Gym 7.30pm
World T20 Review With the West Indies' victory over Sri Lanka bringing the fourth tournament to an end, Tom Kelly asks whether England are paying for not having more players competing in the IPL.
Women's Lacrosse 1sts v Manchester 1sts Munrow Track 4.30pm
Women's Hockey 1sts v Durham 1sts Bournbrook 5.15pm
Completed crosswords to be submitted to the Redbrick office, located in the Guild basement
Across 7. Ideal source of energy in the body (12) 8. The capital of Canada (6) 9. To board a vessel as for a voyage (6) 10. Agreement of opinions (7) 12. Malicious burning of property (5) 15. Person who does no work (5) 16. Setback in an illness (7) 18. The capital of Spain (6) 20. Sweet liquid secretion that is attractive to pollinators (6) 22. Bravely (12)
Women's Football 1sts v Durham 1sts Munrow Track Pitch 5pm
Game of the Week (Wednesday)
This week's prize is a ÂŁ5 Waterstones Gift Voucher
Please complete this form before you hand in your completed crossword to the Redbrick office.
Fixtures - 17th October
Korfball on Sky Sports Birmingham have been one of the trailblazers and most sucessful universities at Korfball, which this weekend will receive some welldeserved publicity. The sport will be profiled on Sky Sports News at 7.30am on Saturday as part of their 'Get Involved' series. Make sure to tune in!
Romain Grosjean The Frenchman was involved in his seventh first lap incident of the year in the Japanese Grand Prix, causing Mark Webber to drop from second to the back of the field. Grosjean recently served a one race ban for dangerous driving; when will he learn?
Interested in being part of Redbrick Sport? Get in touch: email@example.com @redbricksports Redbrick Sport
32 | 12th - 18th October 2012
Welcome to the gym... Redbrick Sport get to grips with Gymnastics and Trampolining, our Development Club of the Year.
Rugby League victory Read about a tremendous victory for the rugby league first team in the their opening fixture.
The big kick-off... p28-29
Rampant start for new school of sharks Aussie Rules
Wolverhampton George Killick
Felix Keith Sport Reporter
Aussie Rules side Birmingham Sharks ran out comfortable 142-61 winners against the experienced Wolverhampton Wolverines in a game which they dominated from start to finish. The performance was even more impressive considering the rebuilding they had to do after losing graduates last year. The Sharks only had one taster and training session before the start of the season, but you couldn't tell from the way they played. In their first game as an official University of Birmingham team they struggled to keep possession early on, but opened the scoring when fullback Ollie Di-Lieto scored a rare goal from a break on the left side. Further goals from David Wheaton, coach Anish Patel and two from Andy Morton left them at 36-19, but in truth the scoreline didn't reflect their dominance. The hosts simply got better as the game went on and continued to increase their advantage after the break. Morton was found by Di-Lieto and scored from a tight angle before captain Ed Clampitt powered out of a breakdown and converted another six points. The Sharks' midfield continued to find space and club president Ben Massey added another six points from a distance. The Sharks would have been out of sight had more behinds been turned into goals. The third quarter continued in a similar vein with Wolves being largely outplayed, although in this high-scoring
sport they did continue to keep up the scoring. The Wolverines' defence was beginning to tire and attackers Ian Kafka and David Fisher took full advantage; first Kafka getting in behind the fullback to score and then Fisher picking up the pieces from a scrappy move to add another six. There was still time for the impressive Morton to add to his personal tally and move the Sharks to 95-52 coming into the final quarter. It was in the last quarter that Brum really moved away from Wolves, scoring 47 points to their opponent's nine. The large squad of the Sharks proved particularly helpful towards the end, as they were able to exploit the tired defence with fresh legs. A first goal for Sam Willet was followed by a second for Wheaton and a quick-fire brace from Fisher, who was playing his first game for the Sharks and exemplified their performance. By this point the Wolverines were looking defeated and counting down to the final whistle. The Sharks ran riot in the opponent's half, adding the icing to the cake via goals from Clampitt and Kafka. When the final whistle blew playercoach Patel was thrilled with his teams' performance, saying: 'This is a performance we can all be proud of. The new guys integrated well and we really gelled as a team. This bodes well for the season ahead.' Birmingham Sharks will now hope to keep their number one ranking and unbeaten record from last season, which saw them beat both Oxford and Cambridge.