11th - 17th October 2013
Vol. 78. Issue 1433. www.redbrick.me
Charlie Moloney reviews 'Filth' by Jon S. Baird
Victoria Haworth and Alexandra Landes went to Style Birmingham Live
Ellie Jones discusses the death of the Heineken Cup
Film / Page 19
Life&Style / Page 26
Sport / Page 30
Blurred Lines Banned Ashley Kirk and Charley Ross report
News / p6
Guild Bans Student Groups From Working With Gatecrasher News / Page 3
Sophie Tollet "Itâ€™s a sexist song"
Comment / p7
Jasmine Stewart "They're jumping on the bandwagon"
Comment / p7
11th - 17th October 2013
Fancy being involved with your award-winning student newspaper? Redbrick is the University Of Birmingham's student newspaper and has been running since 1936. Whether you want to write, edit, proofread, develop, photograph or illustrate, we want to hear from you! Whether you’re a budding journalist, a fabulous photographer, a keen coder, or just fancy some freebies to review, Redbrick is the place to be for you. We’re completely student run, so you have the opportunity to get involved at every level, from writer to editor. There are still a number of editorial roles open on our join page at www.redbrick.me/join, but the easiest way to get involved is to pop along to our section meetings. These are short, informal chats where the section editors and writers get together to talk about the latest stories and brainstorm articles for the forthcoming week's paper. Redbrick is after enthusiastic new writers for all of its sections, from News to Comment, TV to Music. Whatever you want to write about, there’s a section to cover it, so pop along to the ones that interest you and chat about your ideas for a feature, or share your opinion on the latest Pitbull album (the music team love Pitbull). When your articles are published in the newspaper, you'll see 3000 copies of your work being flicked through across campus, and for the first time, in select Selly Oak pubs and cafes. Redbrick is reliant on a keen group of writers and section editors, and we do what we do
because we love the buzz of seeing our newspaper read around campus, our articles retweeted and our investigations coming to fruition. In 2011, Redbrick won the Guardian Student Media Award for 'Website Of The Year', and we came runner-up in that category again in 2012. We're constantly improving our website and pushing for fresh new digital content, so if you'd like to get involved with our website development or editing our variety of audio and video content, then we'd love to hear from you too. Redbrick writers and editors reguarly go on to intern and gain employment at some of the largest newspapers and magazines in the world, including the Guardian and The Times. There really is no better way of getting editorial experience whilst you're still at university. So take up this opportunity to throw yourself into Redbrick and we guarantee that you'll never look back, whether your ambitions lie in the journalism industry or you just fancy a dabble! It’s not all work and no play though, so come and join us down at Urban Village on Friday 11th October for the first social of the year: The Redbrick Quiz. It starts at 7:30pm, so be there, and bring your thinking caps.
Section Meeting Times
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Thursday 1pm, Student Development (Guild of Students)
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Life & Style
Science & Tech
Thursday 5pm, Redbrick Office (Guild of Students) Monday 5pm, Rosa Parks Room (Guild of Students) Friday 2:30pm, Redbrick Office (Guild of Students) Wednesday 1pm, Student Development (Guild of Students) Wednesday 4pm, Student Development (Guild of Students)
Wednesday 1:30pm, Student Development (Guild of Students) Wednesday 5pm, Student Development (Guild of Students) Wednesday 2pm, Student Development (Guild of Students) Wednesday 1pm, Student Development (Guild of Students) Friday 1pm, Student Development (Guild of Students)
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11th - 17th October 2013
Katrin Bush @kabulein
Guild restricts student group events at Gatecrasher Zahra Damji News Editor
The Guild of Students has asked student groups to no longer work with Gatecrasher amidst a legal dispute over significant amount of debt owed to the Guild and student groups by the nightclub. In a statement released by the Guild, they estimate that the total amount owed to both the Guild and student groups amounts to around £28,000. The Guild’s statement further goes on to say that ‘as a result, the Guild is no longer working with Gatecrasher and will not review its position until the debts are recov
"This decision has been made in the best interests of both students and student groups." ered. In light of this, student groups are no longer able to work with the venue so that we take a collective approach. This decision has been made in the best interests of both students and student groups'.
The ban means that no official society socials can be organised at Gatecrasher. The Guild will also not be holding any events at the venue, with the club already being excluded in this year’s Freshers Pack. A majority of the amount being claimed is thought to be the balance due from the promotion of the club night, Loaded, which was held at Gatecrasher and jointly promoted by the Guild. Founder of the club, Simon Raine, commented 'We are a great supporter of the University both by encouraging their students to have a great safe night out and by financially supporting the University. In the last 5 years alone, the Birmingham Guild of Students has earned nearly £400,000 from their relationship with Gatecrasher. If that doesn't show our financial commitment to the Guild and the University I don't know what would'. The debt recovery dispute follows the parent company, that owned the chain of Gatecrasher nightclubs, entering into prepack administration after it was unable to pay debts of around £3.5million. The Birmingham nightclub was then bought out by the newly-formed limited company, Gatecrasher (Birmingham) Ltd, under which it currently continues to trade. In a statement to Redbrick, Gatecrasher explained that they have offered to pay the debt incurred but the two organisations are in disagreement over the total amount due to be paid. Raine added, 'our accountants
Guild of Students in administration dispute with Gatecrasher over £28,000 of debt owed to it and student groups. Carnival Rag over £1000 out-ofpocket due to Gatecrasher's administration arrangements.
and the Guild’s accountants had a minor difference as to numbers, which we hope can be resolved. It doesn't detract from the fact that nearly £400k has been paid by us to the Guild'. He continued that 'Gatecrasher was and still is fully prepared to settle the outstanding monies. Gatecrasher remains 100% committed to providing students in Birmingham with the best student nights in the country. Gatecrasher would welcome the opportunity to meet with the Guild in a bid to resolve this dispute and continue with the previously happy and mutually beneficial relationship'. Of the total £28,000 owed, around £1,000 is debt that Gatecrasher has accumulated over events organised by Carnival RAG. ‘This is money that we’re not realistically expecting to get back’, said one of the Carnival RAG committee members. ‘I guess it could come in at some point over the next few years, but for now, we just have to move on with the events we’ve got planned for this year.’ The society has now changed the venue of its bar crawls from Gatecrasher to the Arcadian. ‘Carnival RAG has built up a working relationship with Gatecrasher over previous years. We are now in the position where they owe Carnival around £1000 from previous events. As such we have ceased working with them. We are obviously disap-
pointed that we no longer have a working relationship with them, however we fully support the Guilds decision to not work with Gatecrasher until the debt has been settled'. Gatecrasher, however, insisted that 'the £1500 that Carnival RAG claims to be owed was not paid as the organisation failed to provide enough ticket sales for this amount. The group has never disputed this at any point'. The Guild responded to these claims with the following statement: 'Following the move into Administration of TipTopTap Limited, formerly known as Gatecrasher, the Guild met with the owner over the summer in order to try and settle the outstanding debt of £28k. It was agreed that Gatecrasher would make a payment towards clearing the outstanding debt as gesture of goodwill. This has not occurred. The newly formed Gatecrasher nightclub has since indicated that they are prepared to pay a contribution to the outstanding debt. However this is wholly dependent on the Guild entering into a new agreement. The Guild is not prepared to consider a future relationship until the outstanding debt is paid in full. The Guild would also like to clarify that Gatecrasher have never financially supported the University. The Guild of Students has been in a commercial relationship which has been mutually beneficial for both parties'.
11th - 17th October 2013
News Selly Oak
Sam Tunnicliﬀe Photographer
Canal redevelopment plans 'dead in the water'
University leading accessibility
The developer of the proposed controversial development of the Selly Oak canal has confirmed that the plans are ‘dead in the water’. Harvest said the plans to regenerate the former Birmingham Battery site, which originally included the creation of a new hub with bars, restaurants, shops and a life sciences campus and the restoration of the Lapal canal, are no longer all financially viable. The project originally included promises to pay £6 million to the new Selly Oak relief road, aiming to reduce congestion in the area, and restore the Lapal canal. It has pledged to preserve the route of the canal through the site in the shape of a greenway, which would mean that there would be potential for the site to be developed on in the future. The site will now have less of a retail focus, scaling back by 60% in order to make more room for the Life Sciences campus, which will aim to develop strong research links with both the Queen
Elizabeth Hospital and the University and is seen to be crucial for the city’s future. The introduction of landfill tax has meant the cost of decontaminating the Battery site has escalated further. Project Director Neil Carron defended the decision, commenting on the high cost of the decontamination to allow the development of the canal with a complete cost estimation of £5.6 million. ‘I think the canal is the one which creates the strongest feelings. In many ways this is probably the most difficult site in Birmingham because of the level of contamination. 'People remember a scheme that went for planning permission that had certain things we are not now able to provide.' The council are currently considering revised plans and if approved decontamination would begin next year and have an estimated opening date of 2017. Carron stated that despite the changes the development will still create around 2,700 jobs and it ‘is a strategic development, something that will achieve international standing which is already the case with the hospital and university.’
The Guild of Students has created a petition to support the construction of a cycle path between the University Station and the canal towpath. The lack of accessibility to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, running alongside the university has been identified as a problem. The petition is supported by Tom Wragg (Vice President of Democracy and Resources) Ellis Palmer (Disabled Students' Officer), Rachel Cavet (Ethical & Environmental Officer) and the Green Bike Project (local co-op based at the University of Birmingham). It is hoped that the improved accessibility would not only aid parents with young children, the elderly and the less mobile, but would promote the use of environmentally sustainable transport, such as bikes, around the university. Birmingham City Council estimates that there will be a 50% increase in traffic and congestion by 2020. The petition will also aim to encourage cycling as a more sustainable mode of transport.
Whilst publicising the petition, Tom Wragg (Vice President Democracy and Resources) stated ‘Having a towpath will be good for all as it will enable more forms of sustainable transport, more healthy lifestyles and less expensive transport options for people. It will also give the aforementioned groups more autonomy in their choice of transport’. ‘The 'Birmingham Cycle Revolution' aims to make cycling a widespread mode of transport accessible to as many people as possible. As such, it submitted an application to the Department for Transport (DfT) for £17m (in addition to around £7m from Birmingham City Council's own budget). The Cycle City Ambition Grant has been granted and the people of Birmingham, as well as visitors, can access the green and blue corridors’. Alice Lancaster, second year Sports Science student at the University, also supports the petition. She urges others to support the petition as ‘The canal should be something we should benefit from and utilise. As a runner myself, I would be encouraged to utilise the opportunity to change my running route as a consequence'.
11th - 17th October 2013
UoB students take to Manchester to Protest over NHS cuts Sabrina Dougall News Reporter
Duncan Kenyon News Reporter
Fourty-four University of Birmingham students, led by the Guild of Students, joined the 50,000 TUC march in Manchester last week against proposed changes to the NHS. Concerns over increased privatisation of parts of the NHS were highlighted as a key reason for the protest, which was planned to coincide with the Conservative Party Conference last Sunday. The atmosphere of the protests was described as relaxed and positive, with a number of children and the elderly also present. Just two arrests were made throughout the entire march. Hattie Craig, Vice President (Education) at the Guild, who organised the Guild’s involvement in the protest, argued that ‘there is so much evidence about the NHS already having been privatised’. Craig further pointed out that University of Birmingham students are rightfully concerned about a wide range of issues, not just matters that directly affect them. ‘Students are affected by far more than what goes on within within the walls of the University’. One of the other reasons given for the Guild's involvement in the protest is the Government's proposal to charge international students for the use of NHS services during their stay at university. Given the typically low student turnout at the polls, she suggested that such a ‘culture of campaigning’ was the way forward in making the student voice heard by government. This was echoed by second year history student, Rob Parkinson, who attended the protest: ‘the NHS is at greater threat now than in over a generation’. He went on to say that he and the Guild joined the protest to show the government that they were against the proposed privatisation. A spokesperson from the Department of Health told the BBC that there was ‘abso-
lutely no government policy to privatise the NHS’. Among other Sabbatical and NonSabbatical Officers who attended, LGBTQ Student Officer Leilani Rabemananjara, also said that ‘in terms of the majority of democratic opinion, [the Conservatives] are making a mistake with the NHS’. Hattie Craig also explained that government plans could have a detrimental effect on the provision of healthcare for students in Birmingham. She specified concerns that walk-in centres around Selly Oak could
"Students are affected by far more than what goes on within the walls of the University" potentially face closure due to government spending cuts. This would be especially problematic for students who are not registered with local GPs and use walk-in centres for emergency problems. The UoB Women’s Association has also drawn attention to the adverse effect these changes could have on female students who require emergency contraception. Craig also asserts that the ongoing austerity measures being put place in by the government are ‘completely linked to a short-termist attitude’. She argues that a lack of walk-in centres could result in a higher demand at the A&E at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, including those who didn’t need Emergency treatment.
Molly Wright VPAD
Guild relaunches Selly Watch Scheme Beth Clarke News Editor
The Guild has newly relaunched their service Selly Watch, an instant messaging service that aims to provide residents in Selly Oak with the knowledge and awareness to ensure their safety. Due to Selly Oak’s high student population and empty houses during the vacation period, it is regularly prone to burglary. Students who freely subscribe to the new text messaging service will receive information on how to stay one step ahead of burglars, as well as keeping students informed of concerns and incidents in the Selly Oak area. Vice President of Housing and Community Dave Charles commented on the relaunch, ‘I’ve worked over summer to refresh Selly Watch including allowing students to subscribe via text message
making it easier for you to be updated about what’s happening in the local area. We’ve started a staged launch and should be teaming up with other community partners to increase its profile and impact.’ The service was officially launched last Monday, and students can subscribe by texting UOBGUILD + your road + graduation date to 81025.
Molly Wright VPAD
11th - 17th October 2013
The Guild of Students bans 'Blurred Lines' Ashley Kirk and Charley Ross report on the Guild's ban of the controversial song. Following bans by several British universities, the University of Birmingham's Guild of Students officially placed a ban on Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' on Friday 4th October. The controversial song, alongside its equally divisive video, has come under intense criticism due to its alleged misogynistic nature. Several specific lyrics have been placed under scrutiny, with several parody films posted online. This move adds the University of Birmingham to the growing list of universities which have banned the song on campus or in their unions, including Leeds, Derby, West Scotland and Kingston. The University of Edinburgh was the first to exercise a campus-wide ban of the song's playback, and were shortly followed by numerous other universities, including the University of Derby and the University of Leeds. In line with the Guild of Students' Zero Tolerance Policy, which condemns all forms of oppressive and discriminatory behaviour, the song will no longer be played within the student union building. This policy came into effect on the 23rd September, after six months of groundwork during the last academic year.
"It is an important and progressive step for our Zero Tolerance Policy" The song has sparked debate across campus and online for months, especially after Miley Cyrus' performance with Thicke at the VMAs last month. After several weeks of expectation, the Guild has deemed 'Blurred Lines' to be overtly distressing, which could potentially cause discomfort for a vast number of students. Vice President of Activities and Development, Molly Wright, told Redbrick that 'I fully support it. It is an important and
progressive step for our Zero Tolerance Policy at the Guild.' It has been reported that Thicke's infamous track has acted as a trigger for many individuals who have experienced sexual violence, or feel strongly about the danger it poses.
"It is not a case of engaging in a slippery slope of censorship, but one of reacting to a very real concern" The Guild's ban has seen a mixed response amongst students. Several took to Twitter and Facebook to issue strong opinions on either side. One Twitter user, Zak Bentley, argued that 'it's clearly a popular song but hasn't suited the agenda of those in the Guild'. Mae Rohani, the Guild's Women's Officer, commented that 'it is not a case of
engaging in a slippery slope of censorship, but one of reacting to a very real concern raised by many of our students in relation to a particular song which is triggering, not only due to its offensive and clear lyrics, but also because of the media attention it has received. 'This song has been put into the public eye where its blatant disregard for survivors of assault has been thoroughly examined.
The recent ban of the song ‘Blurred Lines’ forms part of our newly launched Zero Tolerance Policy. We are one of a number of Student Unions who have chosen to not play the song due to the potential harmful nature of the song to survivors of sexual assault. The protection and safety of our students has, and always will be, the Guild’s primary concern regardless of how popular the song is perceived to be.
Poppy Wilkinson, Guild President
We cannot and will not ignore the effect that this song has on our fellow students, and that is the deciding factor.' Following the ban, there were several reports that 'Blurred Lines' was played at a Stupid Tuesdays event which was hosted at the Guild on Tuesday 8th October. A student who was present on the night told Redbrick of how shocked they were when they heard the song begin, as the ban had been so widely publicised and talked about amongst students. However, the song was stopped midway after a request was made to the DJ, explaining the Guild's stance on the song. The Guild since published a statement, saying that 'we would like to reassure students that, as an organisation, we are working very hard to implement the ban, we inform any external DJ’s and artists of the ban and inform them that it cannot be played. Unfortunately, we have no direct control over the songs they choose to play but we hope that they will respect the decision made by the Guild. We have also contacted SubTV, the channel which plays on the screens in Joe’s bar, who informed us that due to the number of requests made to them to remove it they have chosen to remove it from their playlists entirely.'
Was the Guild right to ban 'Blurred Lines'?
We asked 72 people in Joe's Bar their opinion on the ban.
11th - 17th October 2013
Comment Sophie Tollet argues that the ban is progress towards ending sexism and rape culture. You only have to have seen girls drunkenly slurring the lyrics to 'Blurred Lines' at the most recent Fab to see that it’s a sexist song. Lyrics such as ‘I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two’ and ‘Do it like it hurt’, to which the drunken masses happily sing along without a thought for what they mean, are without a doubt derogatory towards women. Similarly, the video featuring fully-clothed men and (practically) naked women dancing around them is clearly offensive, derogatory and objectifies women. But, surely, I hear those opposing the ban cry, this is no more sexist than other songs we regularly sing to, dance to and download. ‘I ain't never seen something that'll make me go / This crazy all night spending my doe’ Flo Rider tells us on club favourite 'Low'. Is this ban just the Guild jumping on the bandwagon of the fuss created by Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance? Sure, this discussion might make us feel like we’re doing something to combat the sexism that permeates the music industry, but will it really make any difference? What makes 'Blurred Lines' particularly offensive, however, and what makes it particularly relevant to us students, is its suggestion that there is a ‘blurred line’ between rape and consent. That is, in an
eerie recollection of UniLad’s suggestion that it isn’t rape if you shout surprise, the song perpetuates the rape culture that universities and student unions across the country have spent the past couple of years trying to eliminate.
"The drunken masses sing along without a thought for what they mean" As such, although yes there are worse songs, 'Blurred Lines' has identified with a particularly vile aspect of student culture in a way that Flo Rider’s (by now standard) description of women as objects does not. What is more, it seems to me that the more attention and discussion given to ending the chauvinistic objectification of women in any area of our society is a good thing. Will this ban end sexism? No. Will it make any difference to Robin Thicke’s income or even the continued playing of sexist songs at the Guild? Perhaps not. But it has started a conversation. And that, it seems to me, is progress.
Jasmine Stewart argues that the Guild have just jumped on an unhelpful bandwagon.
Should the song have been banned? Commentators Sophie Tollet and Jasmine Stewart debate whether the Guild of Students should have banned Robin Thicke's infamous track.
A total of five student unions have now banned the summer #1 song by Robin Thicke, with some of the reasons given being that it’s ‘rapey’, ‘degrading to women’ or ‘anti-feminist’. You really have to ask if they actually read the lyrics of the song or if they’re just jumping on the bandwagon because they want to pretend to do something to combat sexual violence at universities. The lyrics seem to describe a girl who’s stuck in a relationship in which she doesn’t feel able to express herself sexually, so the guy is trying to tempt her to ditch her significant other so the two of them can get
"There are so many songs far more offensive to women that the Guild thinks are a-ok to play" together and do all the things she wanted to. I definitely see why people would find the video gross or offensive, and I doubt the VMA performance of it with Miley Cyrus really helped the song’s case, but we aren’t talking about either of those things, we’re
talking about the lyrics of the song itself. Plenty of songs have had disastrous performances or dumb videos; it doesn’t make the song itself a villain. I see how the line ‘I know you want it’ could be a trigger for survivors of sexual violence, but the line in itself isn’t ban-worthy. In the context of the song’s story it really can’t be called ‘rapey’, although I personally would find it pretty sleazy. I was actually in Joe’s the other day and they had on ‘Fuck It (Don’t Want You Back)’ by Eamon, which struck me as odd (and not just because the song was being played in a year that wasn’t 2004). The lovely lyrics included ‘fuck you, you ho’ and ‘ya burnt bitch’, amongst other things. Sure, they bleeped out the profanities but the sentiment of the song was still the same to me. There are so many songs far more offensive to women that the Guild apparently thinks are a-ok to play, so scapegoating ‘Blurred Lines’ is just jumping on the bandwagon. Banning it is a lazy way to pretend to combat a much bigger issue, especially as (the way I took the lyrics, anyway) it isn’t a very good example of a misogynistic song. According to an NUS survey, 1 in 7 women have experienced serious violence or sexual assault at university - maybe the Guild should do something about that instead of running around banning stupid songs.
11th - 17th October 2013
Bridget Jones: a modern woman? After a 15-year absence, Bridget Jones is back. But is she really new and improved? Siobhan Palmer Commentator
Yes, Bridget Jones, the iconic diarist, once hailed the embodiment of modern, nineties women, is set to appear in her third book. But due to the circumstances in which this new novel is set, this news has not been received with solely good wishes. We rejoin her life after the death of her beloved Mark Darcy, and meet a new Bridget: fifty-one years old, widowed with two kids and internet dating. Helen Fielding, author of the Bridget Jones books, has always written Jones to reflect modern women and, writing this fifteen years on from the previous instalments, required a change. ‘In the same way as the whole tragic, barren spinster thing was hopelessly outdated when I wrote the first book,’ she told British Vogue, 'the idea of a middle-aged woman being expected to start growing curly grey hair and wheeling a shopping bag is totally irrelevant.' Suzannah Moore of the Guardian did not agree with this assessment of Jones, nor has she ever. No matter what circumstances, Bridget, obsessed (as all women must be) only by ‘dieting, trying to get a bloke and drinking and feeling bad about it’, is ‘vapid, consumerist and self-obsessed’: the epitome of post-feminism.
"...that's not the superduper win for feminism we all thought it was" My first reaction to this assessment of the heroine who, along with Ben and Jerry’s has got me through many a break-up, was to staunchly defend such an unfair dismissal of this universal icon. When the first film came out, people loved Bridget because she was different to every other leading lady in cinema at the time. She was witty, and she was bigger than a size 8! Whoopty-frickin’ doo. The more I think about it, that’s not the super-duper win for feminism we all thought it was, is it? Having women like Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw live independent city lives
made a big splash twenty years ago. Wealthy white women with careers and sex lives blew our tiny little minds. ‘A job, and house, great shoes and a rampant rabbit!?’ we all gasped. ‘My God, she is soo twentieth century!’ Ten minutes later, John Lewis and Ann Summers had had to increase their orders of large white knickers and vibrators twenty-fold. Ninteties Girl Power was a power to consume.
"Bridget Jones is not, and never will be, a feminist super-woman" Do these characters really have a place in twenty-first century feminism? The new, modern Jones is now fifty-one and dating a twenty-nine year old toy-boy called ‘Roxter’ she met on online. This isn’t some new, empowering storyline. This is an aged cougar trope with Twitter chucked in, no? Carrie Bradshaw has also made a comeback recently, but not in the same classical fashion. A 'Sex and the City 3' Twitter feed has been created, with spoof Bradshaw voiceovers that could potentially appear in a new movie. The sheer hilarity of them proves that sexual freedom with added moon-boots does not qualify you to be radical and modern any more. Bridget Jones is not, and never will be, a feminist super-woman. Is that so bad? Yes, she feels a constant need to diet and a constant guilt about shopping. She agonises over boys and her story (until this sequel) was ended happily in marriage and babies. Maybe she doesn’t reject stereotypes and societal pressures. The truth is that, just like many of us, she is affected by them. The fact is, society isn’t quite as modern as we think. So writers of 2013, here’s a challenge. Let’s not drag up well-loved characters of the nineties. It’s not progressive or modern. Let’s create some new characters. Bridget and Carrie were amazingly relatable characters to middle-class white women. Shall we give gay women, black women, poor women the same experience? 'Mad About the Boy' will hit bookshelves on October 10th.
Do you agree? Let us know online at redbrick.me/comment
11th - 17th October 2013
Comment Cartoon: Charlie Dart on David Cameron's speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester
Got an opinion you want to express through a cartoon? Send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org
'Right' and 'left' are outdated terms Labelling people as 'left' or 'right' in political debates no longer means anything, argues Laura Brindley The terms ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’ have so many different meanings and interpretations they are no longer worth referring to. Each individual holds their own belief of what these terms mean, as well as their own connotations riddled with bias. With no single agreed definition for each term, any discussion using the words is pointless. Be they friends or enemies, a heated political debate in which members insist on using the terms ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’ is going to be mentally exhausting for all involved and most probably leave them all wanting to bang their heads against the wall. Perhaps, the greatest exemplification of how ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’ terms make no sense whatsoever, is the case of Adolf Hitler - political contradiction personified an authoritarian dictator most would consider the embodiment of evil. Hitler gave himself the title of a socialist when, in 1927, he announced to the masses: "We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." So, being a self-defined socialist, Hitler
"If Hitler and his Nazi party belong to the left then lefties might want to reconsider where they place themselves" believed in an equal and communal beneficial system of government. Surely if he was around now, he would be at the forefront of
the crowds, protesting for better public health care, regulations on the profit-driven greedy corporations and avidly fighting to abolish the divide between rich and poor. What an admirable man, a man of morals and empathy. Yes, I think Hitler, labelling himself as a socialist proves my point that these terms are worthless. If Hitler and his Nazi party belong to the left then lefties might want to reconsider where they place themselves on the right/left spectrum. It is clearly not as simple as the left wing representing anyone who believes in fair re-distribution of wealth and power and right wing as those who want to keep the ruling elite in power. The ideology of socialism is understood by most as a peaceful and caring system to run the state. Clearly, Hitler’s supposedly socialist rule was far from peaceful or caring. Socialism, communism, fascism, capitalism and liberalism are all contested terms that cannot be neatly grouped into either of the rightwing of left-wing camps. Each ideology is so nuanced and could have right-wing or left-wing supporters. Let’s compare Hitler with Thatcher. Hitler wanted to re-distribute the means of wealth and create an economic system that stopped exploiting the poor. Hitler strived to please the working class in Germany and in doing so created the ‘German Labour Force’ which offered the ‘Strength through Joy’ movement in which workers were offered luxuries such as subsidised holidays and cheap theatre trips. Thatcher, on the other hand, is known for her great lack of sympathy towards the working class. In contrast to Hitler, Thatcher believed in a free market and keeping public expenditure to a minimum. Indeed, her icy demeanour earned her the nickname of ‘Iron lady’ and she undoubtedly had many critics who deemed her harsh and unsympathetic. However, I doubt there would be a large number of people who would argue that Thatcher was a force of greater evil than the man himself,
Hitler. When looking at one area of policy such as public expenditure, Hitler could come across as a friend to the common man. I think it would be a gross understatement to say we all know now that would depend hugely upon the man’s ethnicity. The point is it is infuriatingly unfair to hear someone’s view on a certain policy and make up a whole plethora of assumptions about their political stance based on the one view you have heard. People don’t simply belong to the right or left side. Perhaps someone is a firm believer in economic freedom and despise the regulations on businesses. They believe in survival of the fittest and don’t think the government owe anything to anyone. Red flags go up - TORY TORY! TORY SCUM! A plethora of prejudices come streaming into your head and you instantly see the speaker of these views as a bigoted snob. You assume that they are antiEuropean Union and want to stop
"The nature of politics is naturally complicated and mulit-dimensional." immigration. However, as shown in the case of Hitler, owning a certain political stance on one policy isn’t a fair indicator of who you are as a person. It is dangerous to judge someone from what political party they choose to label themselves. Owning one right-winged view doesn’t mean that you adhere to all other right-winged views. Wanting a cut in benefits doesn’t necessarily mean you want restrictions on immigration. The nature of politics is naturally complicated and multidimensional. There is no black and white and it does not help trying to label everyone and everything into either the left or the
right. Each issue that the nation and the world face is different and people can’t be expected to follow a certain line of behaviour throughout their lives depending on whether they lean more to the left or right. The world is constantly changing so it is only natural that with that, people’s views are going to change. In the current climate where people can easily make a mockery of the benefits system, claiming all sorts of benefits whilst keeping miscellaneous but significant sources of income secret from the government, perhaps a once deeply rooted Labour voter has been pushed to vote Conservative. Those quick to shout ‘Tory scum’ are really not opening their eyes to the wider picture. Those so concerned with political labels are failing to engage with the real issues and remain stuck in their ways, unable to come up with constructive criticism or innovative ideas to solve a problem. Right-winged Tories are bigoted snobs and left winged Liberals are clueless treehugging commies. These general depictions of each side ring so false it is unbelievable. What about the white, working class thug who votes Labour because he wants a safety net? As a builder working for a large construction company he is much more at risk of having his job taken from him by a Polish immigrant willing to work for half his wages than a young Tory working in investment banking. Surely then, it is the Labour voter who is more likely to have a problem with immigrants than the Tory investment banker, despite the stigma that Labour voters are the liberal, open-minded ones who are sympathetic to groups such as ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ community, whilst Tories are supposed to be the narrow minded racists. It is simply ludicrous and idiotic to assume a whole set of beliefs for someone based on which political party they vote. Contradictions, overlaps and blurred lines are rife in party politics and the more people concern themselves with the real issues, rather than ‘right wing’ or ‘left wing’
11th - 17th October 2013
I'm in the Drunk Tank Comment writer Olivia Beesley discusses the latest police-sponsored methods of reducing binge drinking. Who should be held accountable for drunk and disorderly behaviour under the influence?
Olivia Beesley Commentator
It’s 1:30 in the afternoon and you wake up in an unfamiliar room. Vaguely recollecting that the night before involved friends and perhaps a hint of alcohol, you lift your head up from the pillow. No, the night before definitely involved alcohol. A lot. Half an hour later you walk your bruised and battered body out of the room, begrudgingly pay the £400 fine or fee (however you want to view it) and begin your day. No, this isn’t an overpriced hotel after a night out, it’s a ‘Drunk Tank’, and it may become part of the hangover recovery ritual for many people. It seems that much of the public, supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), believe that individuals should have to pay the price for their wild nights out by footing the medical and care bill for themselves the next day. However, despite alcohol abuse costing the NHS £2.1 billion a year and more than 31,000 people being given a fixed penalty for offences related to alcohol last year alone, I argue that Trunk Danks (sorry, Drunk Tanks) are out of the question. Why? Surely those who abuse alcohol (and others as a consequence of alcohol) are choosing to do so? Wrong. I find it hard to believe that the introduction of Drunk Tanks would make allowances for and differentiate between those who suffer with alcohol addiction, thus our society would be further hindering such individuals by pushing them into debt with sky high fees and fines for use of the tanks. As a society, we should be making every effort to support these individuals with appropriate care, not condemn them to ‘deterrents’ of debt.
Charley Ross. Parliamentary debate over energy politics continue as Ed Miliband and David Cameron have once again clashed over the best way to deal with rising energy prices. While Labour advocates the freezing of energy prices should they gain power, the Conservatives continue to avoid such promises to billpayers and Green enthusiasts. The lack of consensus within politics on such a key issue for future generations is very concerning. Although Cameron accuses Miliband of living in a 'Marxist universe', he undoubtedly is in cahoots with large-scale companies such as frackers Cuadrilla, who encourage a very individualistic view of the future of energy resources. Prioritisation of his relationships and a fight for better relations and consensus concerning energy politics surely isn't too much to ask.
Well what about those who aren’t suffering with an alcohol addiction? Should they be subjected to the tanks? No. If the majority of alcohol abusers are youths, as the ACPO says, then they would only be placing students in the tanks – pushing them further into unnecessary debt. While many argue that the taxpayers pocket should not have to suffer due to irresponsible decisions concerning alcohol, I would like to refer back to the estimated amount that victims of the Drunk Tanks would have to pay: £400£500 per night. At the risk of making generalisations, I suggest that this would only push those who are sent to Drunk Tanks into debt, leaving the taxpayer and government to bail them out from the commercial companies. Oh did I not mention? Yes, the Drunk Tanks will be supplied and run by capitalist businesses to make a profit from alcohol addictions and alcohol abuse. The fact that this issue was even being discussed among the government left me shocked – isn’t this the same government promoting the ‘Big Society’ that cares and nurtures each other? Furthermore, surely this is a step towards a type of privatization of health care, an issue that led the American government into a shutdown just last week. So, as much as it would please middle aged police officers, MPs and grumbling grannies for me to argue for the introduction of Drunk Tanks, I am more concerned about the welfare of those who will suffer in the clutches of these sticky cells. Until these issues surrounding the Tanks are sobered up, I must cling to these thoughts to defend my position against them and hope that the government will have recovered from this political hangover in the morning.
SPORT Dan Baird. There has been a lot of controversy this week surrounding the idea that 'foreign' players could player for the English national team. The player in question is 18 year old Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj who was born in Belgium but also has the choice to play for Albania, Turkey or Serbia. He is eligible to play for England if he completes five years of schooling here. Various figures have waded into the debate such as paragon of virtue Jack Wilshere who has stated only English people should play for England. As opposed to U-21 players Raheem Sterling, born in Jamaica, and Wilfried Zaha of Manchester United, born in Ivory Coast right? How nationality is defined in the modern world could have interesting impacts on national teams.
11th - 17th October 2013
University of the Year Tips
Redbrick Commentator Mehreen Farooqi looks at the gains in prestige we can all look forward to now that Birmingham is officially University of the Year Since Birmingham was named University of the Year, there’s been a lot of discussion on how this affects current students. According to Maslow there is one great reason for us to celebrate Birmingham being named University of the Year: self-actualisation. The greatest, grandest trick of the trade. Who doesn’t want to be worth it? For a lot of us, going to university was always one of those things we hoped for. Finally getting in made the years toiling away at our books and putting up with dodgy uniforms worth it. Well, almost. Nothing quite compares to that wonderful moment of sitting in your first lecture and realising everyone around you is as committed to the subject as you are. The beauty of not being teased for your appreciation of Tennyson, or labelled a geek for an unnaturally keen interest in radiology is finally blossoming for you. As you stumble across campus, laden with text-
books, hockey sticks and coffee galore you will be the epitome of happiness for eager sixth formers all across the country. Legends will stem from your antics in Selly Oak, rumours of your cramming prowess will awe the freshers and the local cafes will marvel at your appetite. Now is your time. The recent title given to this university does fit perfectly into your newfound persona. Being named University of the Year takes the ideal we have of ourselves to a whole other level. We can now rest assured that there is no piece missing in the magnificent puzzle, which is our university experience. How could it be better than this? However, if you are struggling with your newfound image of greatness and immensity, here are a few helpful tips:
Radical Islamism has long been in the business of using manipulation and false emotionalism to spark off cultural tensions between the iddle-East and the West.
Josh Holder. In his first speech as Director-General of MI5, Andrew Parker has unsurprisingly claimed that the recent leaks of classified documents have aided al-Qaeda and caused ‘enormous damage’ to GCHQ’s capabilities. Fine. That was always going to be the official line that came out of the government, but the front pages by The Telegraph, Daily Mail and The Times that followed were particularly striking, not for their dramatic headlines, but for their unashamed restatements of the government line. The Times’ article reads like an MI5 press release and amounts to a plea from the Director-General for less transparency, all in the name of protecting British citizens from terrorists. It’s a clear indicator of the sad state of the British press post-Leveson.
1. From now on wave to all who pass you by on campus grounds. They’re all part of this marvellous experience. 2. As you wait in the permanent queue for the University train station, partake in a friendly conversation with those around you. Remember, a chatty chappy is a happy chappy. 3. Always cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and disregard those who don’t. In the words of our great founder, “You cannot have omelettes without breaking eggs.” 4. There is no longer any animosity between the halls and the Vale, embrace those from all walks of life. Especially if their walk is longer than yours. 5. Write a letter of thanks to our president, Poppy Wilkinson. It’s good to know your leaders on a more personal level. 6. Take two steps forward and one step back as you walk around campus. It’s the best way to see more of the university.
ENVIRONMENT James Hunt. Who's fault is it that the badger cullers have failed to meet their targets? Their own? Protesters? Politicians? Well not exactly. According to Environmental Minister Owen Paterson 'badgers moved the goalposts'. Damn those pesky badgers for refusing to trot out of their sets straight into the marksman's sights. It is estimated that 60% of the current number of badgers in Somerset have been killed during the period of the cull. The plans have proved to be pretty controversial with opponents claiming that the cull will have little to no effect on the rates of TB in cattle. There have 18 arrests arising from confrontations between protesters and marksmen. However, it does seem that the badgers are cleverer than the govenrment gave them credit for in the first place.
Niki Lauda. In an interesting twist Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has said that he is open to 'serious talks' with the government, denied that the Taliban were behind recent attacks in public places and demanded an end to American drone attacks. The fact that Mehsud is open to a dialogue is a positive thing. Although he is styled as leader of the Taliban, he only has a loose hold over various groups in the region. The main sticking point is the use of drones by the American government which are also passively tolerated by the Pakistani government. The other problem is that Pakistan is supposedly a democracy and therefore holds certain democratic values. The Taliban want the instatement of Islamic law to ensure the safety of Muslims. Mehsud commented, 'We consider the safety of Muslims, of scholars, of mosques and madrassas as our sacred duty'. This is very questionable.
11th - 17th October 2013
Freshers What do Freshers need to know about student life in Birmingham?
We asked our brand new Fresher writers about their experiences at university so far.
The Confusion Sabrina Dougall Writer
Charley Ross Deputy Editor
It's no secret that the Second City isn't exactly the prettiest or shiniest of places to visit or study. But what it lacks in aesthetic delights, it makes up for in awesome, cheap eats and hidden cultural gems. Try out Yardbird Jazz Club over Gatecrasher, and the Electric Cinema over Cineworld Broad Street. In fact, avoid Broad Street altogether, it claims more than just drunken souls.
In many ways, the last two weeks of campus life have been a battle to survive. Since arriving at university, I have regressed to instincts of basic survival. Food. Water. Friends. Pot-plants. Interestingly, I’ve found that these days I just stay hungry until I skulk over to a can of tinned tomatoes and sadly stir it in with dried pasta. That never used to happen – eventually some kind of parent-figure would wander in and offer to cook for me. I miss that. Between introductory lectures, taster sessions and meet-and-greets, I’ve been asked to sit down, sign up and drop by more times than I can shake a timetable at. It’s not that people haven’t tried to be helpful – I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more comprehensive array of leaflets, manuals, booklets, guides and notices. It makes it so much easier to find the important things in a hurry. Some things have turned out easier than I thought. For instance, laundry. It has not been a problem because I haven’t done any yet. My student loan just dropped and I’m pretty sure the Bullring is offering student discounts. Solution: I’ll just buy new clothes! My experience of Birmingham up until now has been Open Days and Visit Days. Much fun, excitement and free stuff. Freshers Week, too, followed a similar paradigm. Fun, excitement and free stuff. Now that term has started, I’m beginning to wonder where all the tents and stalls have gone and
why a man in a Lycra superhero suit is no longer offering me a box of pizza for £1. The geography of campus also remains a mystery to me, and I’m still discovering new ways to stagger to and from Aldi with a week’s worth of shopping. And when it comes to lectures, there’s nothing quite as dramatic as tearing through the rain to the judgemental tolling of Old Joe: you’re late, you’re late. By the time I’ve finished wading through my unread introductory guides to everything, I eventually crawl into bed, nestling amongst boxes that, let’s face it, will probably never be unpacked. On my first night I was hauled out of bed at 3am by a caterwauling fire alarm (Flat 18, we’re coming for you). The next morning I
found an email declaring that the Fire Service would be taking industrial action that afternoon. Interpret that as you will. Generally, sleep has been as elusive as a copy of any of my books for this semester in the library. ‘We will meet quite often,’ my personal tutor Rex assures me in a your-ol’-pal-Shrek kind of way, the nurturing tones of his highland accent soothing me into a false sense of carefree bliss. ‘About three times a year’. Maybe I’m going to have to re-think my definition of ‘often’. For some reason I’m beginning to feel like I’ll be responsible for my own learning. Does this mean I have to start being a grownup?
The Fire Door
Josh Holder Editor
During Freshers’ Week, you might start to believe that you could stay in halls forever, but by Christmas you’ll be grasping for something more than Shackleton breakfasts. Once the novelty of Fab ‘n’ Fresh wears off, it’s time to start venturing outside of the student bubble. The Prince Of Wales pub in Moseley (a suburb of Birmingham) is a charming pub with a beach area, a whisky bar and cocktail bar that serves ‘Zombie Cocktails’. Strictly two per person, they’re a shock to the system of even the most seasoned Fresher.
Birmingham has fire doors, who knew? Charlotte Spence Writer
To most people, Birmingham is in the middle of England. To me, it’s the north. I mean, really really far north. Just to clarify I’m from a tiny village near Plymouth (Google it: there’s a ferry port and some dockyards and they build princess yachts). As you can imagine, then, on the morning of moving in I was buzzing! For the first hour of driving. For the other three I was bored out of my mind and by the time I got here I was exhausted. Not exactly how I imagined moving into my new room and meeting my new flatmates. Exhaustion, however, wasn’t the biggest problem when it came to bonding with my flatmates. In deepest darkest Devon we really do speak like they do on
the telly. Our classic greeting is 'ALLLLLLLLLLLRIGHT?', possibly followed with a 'me lover' for good measure. You can imagine what three Mancunians and a Brummie thought of me. Who’d have thought there would be such a language barrier between five students all from England? Since the first day, there has been some serious confusion and rather lengthy explanations of what was meant. Can you imagine how many jokes that ruined? On the plus side though, I’ve made many 'friends' who think it’s completely hilarious to imitate my accent, which really isn’t that bad! I was told by so many people that the Freshers’ Ball would be the highlight of Freshers’ Week. I’m sure it was for so many people. However, my evening was filled with a different, slightly less fun kind of excitement. Even in Plymouth I have never come across anything any-
where near as vicious as the fire doors here. I’m serious. Even though this is going to make me sound completely countrified and possibly like I’ve been living in a hole, I know what fire doors are and I know that they are self-closing. But really, I did not expect them to shut in under two seconds! All dressed up for the Ball - sparkly dress, ridiculous high heels, make up done all ready to leave - then wham! Fingers trapped in fire door. Blood everywhere: the ceiling; the walls; the kitchen window; all up my arms and even my face. I’m not even exaggerating! Combined with the screaming, it was a little bit like a horror film. So I spent the evening of the Freshers’ Ball with three guys who thought it was great, way better than a night at the pub! And if I’m honest, that’s only one of the stupid things I’ve done during Freshers.
If you are bored of the Bullring and Broad Street in general and fancy an adventure you could always take a stroll to Brindley Place, located just off Broad Street. After having a couple of drinks alongside the canal, I recommend you get the water taxi down to the Mailbox for a mere £1.50 where there are some pretty awesome restaurants and bars. Personal favourites of mine include Bar Estillo and Bar Room Bar.
11th - 17th October 2013
Mary Mania Mary's most recent book; Mary Berry's Cookery Course is said to be the ultimate kitchen companion for everyone! Gemma Bridge reviews
Feeling Hungry? Hungryhouse is the UK`s top online site for ordering takeaways. The site has over 10,000 restaurants listed across the UK and so ordering food delivery from your local takeaway has never been easier. Gemma Bridge Food Editor
There are loads of cuisines available on the hungryhouse site, so look no further than the hungryhouse plaform if you fancy an appetite-busting Indian takeaway or if you want to try some taste bud tantalizing Chinese dishes - with hungryhouse.co. uk you are spoilt for choice. New restaurants are added to the hungryhouse platform every day so get onto the Hungryhouse site, pop-in your postcode and find a delicious local takeaway now! By using the hungryhouse site you could be ordering a delicious takeaway from one of the top local takeaway restaurants in minutes - without the hassle of calling up restaurants or sifting through endless leaflets. You can also order your takeaway by using the Hungryhouse app which is available to download from the Hungryhouse site. I wanted to try out some of the top rated restaurants on Hungryhouse that are close to the University of Birmingham. So here goes... Hungryhouse has made a list of the top takeaways in the UK for 2013. There are 5 restaurants in Birmingham's 'top takeaways' - I tried 2 of them; Rainbow Garden and Balti Bites. Rainbow Garden A chinese takeaway in Stirchley with excellent customer reviews! I ordered from them via the Hungryhouse site. The food was delivered quickly and the delivery guy was polite. I ordered char siu satay (£5.10) which was really tasty, it had a nutty taste that wasn't too heavy, which was great. I also ordered a portion of mixed vegetable fried rice (£5), which was tasty, but quite expensive for what I got (considering it was just rice and veg). Overall I think that the
food was great. I would recommend Rainbow Garden if you fancy a quick and tasty meal!
112 Digbeth High Street, Birmingham B5 6DT
1225 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2YT
Finally, I tried one of the takeaways closest to me that wasn't rated highly on hungryhouse. I wanted to see how it compared to the top rated takeaways and investigate why it wasn't so highly rated.
Balti Bites Considering we are in Birmingham, it seems to follow that two of the best restaurants for takeaway in Birmingham are curry houses. Balti Bites is on Pershore Road and is a 'local gem'. I ordered chicken biryini (£6.10) and a peshwari naan (£2) and they were both delicious. The food was fairly priced and with free poppadoms which were lovely and crunchy so I can't complain. The naan was big (shared it with my housemate) and well filled with coconut and sultanas. I really enjoyed my meal and can see why Balti Bites has made it onto Birmingham's top takeaways. I will definitely be going back and will try some of the house specials such as the salmon steak bhuna! 1545 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JH Manzils An Indian restaurant- rated as 1st for takeaways closest to my house. The customer reviews of Manzils are exemplary- most customers awarding Manzils 5 stars for quality, service and value- which is great. I ordered a chicken biryani (£8.00), and a peshwari naan (£2.40). My total meal bill was £10.40 which seemed pretty expensive for a takeaway. Saying this, my order arrived on time (within an hour), the food was piping hot and absolutely beautiful. The chicken was tender and the naan was lovely and fresh- not oily like a lot of takeaways. I also had enough food left over for the next day winner! I would highly recommend Manzils, and make sure you mention that you are a student as Manzils will happily offer you a 10% discount!
Exotic Spice An Indian restaurant located on Raddlebarn Road with no recent reviews on Hungryhouse. I ordered a chicken biryiani and a peshwari naan- total of £8 (after 50p was added for the online booking). The biryani was large enough to leave me with leftovers - good when strapped for cash - and it was full of chicken and vegetables, just how I like it. The vegetable curry was fresh and well spiced, but unfortunately the naan wasn't great as it was very oily. Despite this, I enjoyed my meal and loved the free onion salad, poppadom and mint sauce that came with my order. Exotic Spice offer a student meal deal for £4.95 which includes a popadom or onion bhajee, a Balti dish and the choice of either rice or naan. 23 Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6HH It makes ordering a takeaway quick and easy, and allows you to compare prices, view reviews and see offers. For more information about Hungryhouse have a look on their twitter or facebook page.
"I would recommend using Hungryhouse when you order your next takeaway!"
Mary Berry is a British food writer and presenter, best known for her role as a judge on the BBC two TV programme The Great British Bake Off, in addition to this role Mary also writes recipe books. Her most recent one is accessible for the absolute beginner (i.e. most students) to proficient home cooks who are keen to perfect their skills. The book teaches the reader how to cook some of Mary’s favourite recipes, covering everything from soups and starters to bread, puddings and cakes. The recipes covered in the book have been well explained, written for modern cooks who Mary knows have 'to balance the desire to make delicious meals with a busy life outside the kitchen'. I particularly liked Mary's 'Herby Meatballs with Tomato Sauce' as the dish was quick to make, filling and delicious. The meatballs were tender and juicy, unlike my many other attempts to make meatballs. I also really liked how there was a picture at the end of the recipe as I had an idea what I was aiming for with the finished dish, and it showed me how I could present the dish! I am sure that by cooking up dishes like this you will have friends queuing up at the door for their dinner! The book is easy to follow with clear, step-by-step pictures, 'master recipes' at the beginning of each chapter and clearly explained techniques and tips. I really like the way the book is presented as the clear font and the large print makes the recipes easy to follow when in the kitchen. I really like the extra tips and alternative ingredient ideas that Mary gives if you can't find everything in your local supermarket! I also found the associated YouTube videos really helpful when I was cooking- especially for complex dishes or techniques. I think that Mary Berry's cookery course is one of the best all round recipe books for students that I have read, as the dishes are classic, simple, healthy, relatively cheap, quick to make and delicious. What more could you want?! Although I think it is a great book for students, I can see myself using it for years because for everyday great food with fresh ingredients I don't think you can beat Mary. If you are only thinking of getting one cookery book for your time at university, I would thoroughly recommend buying Mary Berry's cookery course. Unlike lots of other 'celebrity' cookbooks which fail to deliver this one delivers and will continue to deliver for years to come if you want it to. Also, the book is really affordable, and easy to find.
11th - 17th October 2013
Where did UoB Students go this Summer? We asked your fellow students where they went this summer. Here's some inspiration for next year... Matt Greenhill
Istanbul is a source of endless beauty, hagglers, persistent food vendors and stunning views. Make sure to grab a delicious Turkish ice cream and soak up the imposing structures of the Blue Mosque and the Aya Sofya.
India & Nepal
I spent two months of the summer in Nepal with two friends; we were volunteering at an orphanage in Kathmandu for five weeks. It was a great way to meet people, see what life is like for the locals and get off the tourist trail.
Robert Baldwin Morocco
Before the Moroccan sun reaches its blistering midday heat we embark on a two hour long camel ride, trotting through desert and alongside the river. I highly recommend this experience, but beware, the camels treat the tourists like the locals; they are either lovely and accommodating, or bitter and likely to spit.
I spent my summer on a road trip on the West Coast of America. From seeing the wildfires in Yosemite National Park to attending a TV show taping in Hollywood, it really was the most diverse place I have visited; a month didn't even do it justice!
Hannah Stevens Turkey
A five week volunteering stint in rural Nepal followed by two weeks exploration across Northern India was one of the best experiences of my life. From unbeatable views of the Annapurna down into the hotter climes of Rajasthan, there is plenty to see and do in Southern Asiaâ€™s traditional next-door neighbours.
Two months spent in Italy is a summer well spent. I think it's fair to say that there's more to see in Italy than any other western European country; from Rome to Florence to Siena, Venice, Sorrento and beyond; it's definitely my favourite!
I spent a month working at a hostel on the shores of the beautiful Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Surrounded by three magnificent volcanoes, it really is stunning. I would recommend hostel work to anyone interested in travelling; itâ€™s so much fun and a great way to travel on a budget.
Elizabeth Waind Italy
I spent two weeks travelling across Europe, seeing five cities between Amsterdam and Budapest. Seeing the Wieliczka Salt Mine, just outside Krakow, was my favourite site. There you walk down to a depth of 135 metres to see amazing statues and even a cathedral hand sculpted in the salt.
11th - 17th October 2013
The 5... Reasons you should go travelling next summer Elizabeth Waind Travel Editor
You're young and free
Employers love it
Have the time of your life!
You won't always have a whole three months of the summer to do whatever you like... make use of it.
Nothing looks better than somebody who has made use of their spare time to travel the world.
Why sit in envy of your friend and their amazing summer spent in India? Get out there, meet new people.
It Can be Cheap Once flights are sorted, living as a tourist in popular travelling destinations such as Southeast Asia can be extremely cheap.
Learn a lot, see a lot As cheesy as it sounds, you can learn a lot from a month spent living in a different country. Learn about the culture and the people!
11th - 17th October 2013
Bestival 2013 Lily Blacksell Quiz Queen
Album Review: Haim - Days are Gone Sam Dix
Busy polishing their image since debut EP 'Forever' became an unexpected hit last year, Haim have presumably been very keen to mould themselves into popstars, or at least, a recognisable entity within the World of Pop. Since winning the BBC Sound of 2013 Poll and seemingly appearing on every stage performing with every other band at Glastonbury, they've even met Britain's least popular Prime Minister since the last one, David Cameron, who awkwardly took to Twitter to thank the band for giving him a copy of their debut album. Haim seem an intelligent bunch, which raises the question as to why they decided to wedge their first three singles in at the beginning of the album. Is it because they are aware of the tight deadlines journalists have to adhere to these days, knowing there is little chance of any pop critic listening past track 5 without already having formed most of the review? Or are they hoping we will forget what is a really poor second side of the album? It is heavily produced, a cynic could argue this is at the management's behest, eager to cash in on their current popularity. Given that their ball-busting live shows have been praised for their edgier rock display, perhaps some life has been sucked out of the band, perhaps too many synths have spoiled the broth. Clearly mega-bucks have been thrown at this record, with the intention of paving the way to chart success. While we knew Haim weren't exactly going to change the world, we thought they'd at least produce a more interesting album than this. It's boringly brooding, and instead of their attitude fuelled rock we know and love, they seem to have been tripped up by the large amount of money in front of them. My only advice to anyone thinking about buying this album is either a) buy the singles or b) see if you can get a deal where you can pay half price and just get the first half of the album. The entire second side isn't worth listening to.
'One of the best gigs of my life!' said Norman Cook. 'One of the best evenings of my career. Amazing!' said Elton John. 'I was there!' squealed Lily Blacksell, from her post-festival flu sick bed. It is no coincidence that praise for Bestival should be laden with superlatives. The award-winning festival was back and bigger and better than ever to celebrate its tenth birthday in a wave of nautical flair. It seemed fitting that this year was branded as HMS Bestival. The weekend was nothing short of a voyage into a musical soundscape both unknown and well-known. Perhaps the most striking stamp of the theme on site was the ingenious Port stage. An enormous ship, kitted out with all the strobes and lasers a girl could ask for, sat proudly beyond the rest of the dance areas and attracted swarms of fans, both raving and behaving, to hear sets from the likes of Annie Mac, The 2 Bears and Julio Bashmore. Other stages were built into trees, verandas, the corners of makeshift living rooms, the list goes on. Even in more conventional settings, the music, comedy and poetry to be seen across the weekend maintained an extraordinary charm that was all too easy to get swept up in. Friday presented us with a (rather depleted) Wu Tang Clan, whose request for crowd members to pour their drinks into the ground in memory of the late Ol' Dirty Bastard was met with great reluctance by those who'd rather not get rid of a nigh-on five pound pint quite so quickly. In the name of variety, I then went and saw Drenge, who's grungey music and boyish enthusiasm is highly addictive and increasingly appreciated by anyone who knows what's what. 'Thanks for watching two children playing with toys on stage,' said singer and guitarist Eoin Loveless as he got up from the floor that he'd fallen over on to, never missing a beat but unfortunately scratching an elbow. Bombay Bicycle Cub took to the Main Stage later that afternoon, joined by the London Afrobeat Collective for a string of inspired renditions of their old favourites with a calypso twist. With their new songs sounding so great in the Isle of Wight sunshine, Jack Steadman's promise of an album to come in February got us all even more thrilled. Apart from Lionel Richie's inflatable
head looming on the horizon (yep), there was no doubt over who the biggest act on Friday was. Fatboy Slim said that his Bestival set was his most meticulously planned performance ever, and the proof was in the pudding. Speaking of which, Cook opened his set by blowing out ten candles on a Bestival birthday cake. A 'Right Here, Right Now' double-whammy flanked Daft Punk remixes, a homage to Etta James, the new single 'Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat' and 'Praise You', for which he enlisted an all female choir and Rob da Bank on the keys to make the track even more commendable. Blinking in the Saturday morning light, we donned our seafaring fancy dress and
"When it comes to hard acts to follow, Festival of the Year 2012 is certainly a tricky one." headed to the Amphitheatre stage in the depths of the Ambient Forest. Across the weekend on this stage we saw sketch comedy from Four Screws Loose, a stand up, music and poetry fusion from Tongue Fu, a poetry set from UoB graduate and all-round Scumbard Jimmy Grady and a late night horror film or two. Johnny Marr rocked the Big Top before Franz Ferdinand stomped onto the main stage and proved their mettle with a list of festival anthems as long as Alex Kapranos' legs. Snoop Dogg made sure to dedicate every other song to 'all the single sexy ladies' in the crowd and, despite repeatedly being reminded his name was Snoop (doggy) Dogg during 'What's My Name?', he even managed a brief transformation into Snoop Lion. By Sunday, the general euphoria at the festival was reaching a pitch. Most clothes and many possessions were soggy by now, but spirits were far from dampened as we breakfasted in the indescribably wonderful Solace Tent and took survey of the site. Clayton Blizzard, who performed at the Bristol Pear last year for Writers' Bloc's Grizzly Pear poetry event, popped up in The People's Front Room, enlisting an unsus-
pecting Bo Keeney from the crowd to play drums along with his show which comprised of poems, raps, songs and a piano. Valerie June played a mix of roots, bluegrass, plain old and good old blues music with a sultry stare and some beautiful guitars. Chic performed to one of the weekend's biggest, happiest crowds in a stellar set that saw Nile Rogers lay claim to every pop song in the Western world and a rainbow appear in the sky around the stage. For those who had any voice left, Elton John's set was a triumphant, singalong finale. It was more than that, though, with plenty of new material from his new album, 'The Diving Board' and each song as noble as it was fabulous. Sir Elton stood to bow after every number and was on fine form despite his recent illness. Whether we were sobbing into our mac-in-a-pac during 'Your Song' and 'Rocket Man', or maniacally clapping to 'Crocodile Rock', the crowd was never less than delighted and the firework display added 'ooo's and 'aaa's to our 'encores!'. When it comes to hard acts to follow, they don't get much tougher than Sir Elton John. James Blake nevertheless played a blinder of a set that curator Rob da Bank said is one of his all time Bestival highlights. In the true spirit of punk, Parquet Courts were a brilliantly unconventional band to close my festival with, before I packed up my tent and set off into the late night/early morning drizzle. When it comes to hard acts to follow, Festival of the Year 2012 is certainly a tricky one. HMS Bestival 2013 succeeded in rocking the boat and making the grade.
11th - 17th October 2013
Tweet of the Week @SimonCowell: Fifty people coming to my house for dinner tonight. Time to have a bath.
Live Review: Wiz Khalifa @ The O2 Academy Siddh Bhatnagar Music Critic
I can’t lie. I’m not the biggest Wiz Khalifa fan. I went into his concert with an open mind, but also a fair amount of scepticism. My fears only grew as I entered and looked around to find that a large proportion of the audience looked like 12 year olds. And they grew again when out came Tuki Carter, the first support act of the night; a lesser known member of Wiz’s ‘Taylor Gang’. But then something amazing happened. Tuki started performing and though no one knew what the hell the song was, the crowd burst into life. As Tuki explained the hooks to repeat, the crowd kindly obliged and repeated them. As he bowed off into the wings I thought that things would calm down. But then Trinidad James flew on stage and we were at it again, this time delighted to actually know the support act on stage. As he performed crowd favourites like the ‘Work’ and ‘U.O.E.N.O.’ remixes the crowd were belting out whatever words they knew and causing a general ruckus for the parts they didn’t. Trinidad James was excited and passionate, even crowd surfing at one point. Halfway through, he spotted a Trinidadian flag in the crowd and called its owner on stage, as well as a couple of others, including a dedicated fan on crutches. The heart warming gesture only heated up the room further, all the way to the inevitable, monstrous, ridiculously catchy anthem that is ‘All Gold Everything’. By now I was feeling the hype. The crowd may have been poorly dressed, they may have been young, but they were dedicated. They won me over. There wasn’t a
Live Review: James Blake @ The Institute Ludo Cinelli Music Critic
An explosion of neo-soul, R&B and dub hit Birmingham’s HMV Institute as James Blake performed to an ecstatic crowd. The 24 year-old Londoner’s set spanned both his studio albums, with particular emphasis on his latest ‘Overgrown’. Joined on stage by guitarist Rob McAndrews and drummer Ben Assiter, Blake created his intricate tracks using vocal, drum and guitar loops. The two supporting musicians were vital to the performance, the drummer with an eclectic mix of drum machines and electronic and acoustic drum parts, while the guitarist worked with both a synthesiser and an electric guitar. These complimented Blake's choir, which was created by the singer’s vocoders and keyboards for a distinctive and unique sound. The concert’s set list was perfectly paced, often balancing a few quiet, minimalistic songs with a loud, dance-heavy one. The best of the former type was ‘Lindisfarne’, which showcased Blake’s ability to grow from a single vocal line to a strange and wonderful composition including beautiful guitar and drum parts. ‘Voyeur’ was the most exciting track of the latter type and possibly the apex of the concert, descending into a calculated quasi-dubstep chaos, channelling unstoppable energy that none of Blake’s studio recordings could. A disadvantage of using loops, modulers and vocoders live is that Blake cannot break free of his seat, despite the force with which he hits his keyboards showing that he
wants to. This visual void was, however, filled by a dazzlingly varied lightshow worthy of a bombastic arena gig. Cascades of strobe lights filled the climax of opener ‘I Never Learnt To Share’. Single ‘Retrograde’ was washed over by a multi-coloured stained glass effect.
"This was an unusual hybrid between a concert and a DJ set." Title track ‘Overgrown’ was surrounded by branches and roots clinging onto the stage, before growing out to grab the audience. In this unusual hybrid between a concert and a DJ set, the need to have something exciting and unpredictable to look at was cleverly fulfilled by the lightshow. Critics of Blake’s music have branded him as unexciting, and coined the term ‘dullstep’ to describe his genre. One thing is certain: they have not seen his live show. Crowds do not roar for encores for a few straight minutes at boring gigs. The only criticism someone could have of this show is that there wasn’t enough of it.
spare inch to breathe in the standing area. The people on the balcony looked sad, but just sad that they couldn’t get standing tickets. Then Wiz came on and did something I didn’t expect at all; he brought a live band. ‘Kush and Orange Juice’ were spectacular and gave every song a great live feel. It was anthemic; it was as if Wiz was a rock star, and the way he flailed the mic stand and jumped around stage, you could have been fooled into thinking he was. The highlights were Wiz’s big hits: ‘Remember You’, ‘Young, Wild and Free’ and ‘Roll Up’ when the crowd were unstoppable. And when ‘Black and Yellow’ came on? Yeah. Uh huh. You know what it was. My favourite part of the concert was at the end when Wiz introduced each member of his band ‘Kush and Orange Juice’ and gave them each solo time. On my way home, my friend pointed out ‘it was a bit pop sometimes’. And it was. It was as if the artist was hip hop, the songs were pop and the performance was rock and roll. Where previously this crossover has made Wiz a less respected artist, that night it made him a complete performer. Before starting Wiz promised everybody it would be ‘the best night of their lives’. Well it wasn’t quite. But if you were a dedicated Wiz Khalifa fan then you would sure have had a hell of a time. And though a lot of the credit for the night goes to the enthusiastic crowd, it must be said that Wiz Khalifa can put on a show.
11th - 17th October 2013
Bintley at his best Marianne Lampon Online Life&Style Editor
Still Life at the Penguin Café simply has to be one of my favourite pieces of dance, and being able to see it performed live amongst other works by David Bintley, E=mc2 and Tombeaux at the Birmingham Hippodrome was a true privilege. The pieces as a collective whole really encompassed the true versatility and imaginative capacity of not only Bintley’s choreography but also of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. E=mc2 is a transformation of Einstein’s physics formula into a piece of incredible dance. The first section, ‘Energy’, was just that – full of kinetic power, a large corps de ballet, some absolutely beautiful leaps and jumps from the dancers and a great musical score. The piece had many contemporary dance elements. For instance frantic hands and a jutting arm motif created powerful silhouettes that complemented the frantic nature of the orchestra and introduced movement examples that would crop up in later sections of the dance. The second section, ‘Mass’, saw a complete contrast and was a far more balletic section. Three pairs of three dancers literally moved en-masse at one point, with two male dancers lifting a female dancer into a beautifully elegant dive-like movement. It seems Bintley was experimenting with the idea of heaviness and gravity here, with moments of stillness also seen throughout the piece. The third section, ‘Manhattan Project’, was once again a huge contrast. With only one female dancer on stage wearing a long white robe, she carried a red fan which complemented the red square of light on the backdrop. Her movements were controlled and fluid and contrasted to the intense thunderous soundscape which became extremely intense. The section may emphasise the power of the atomic bomb which the section’s name refers to. Finally, the section ‘Celestrias’ captured the tone and mood of the speed of light perfectly. Lightfooted, quick, playful steps dominated the section with bouncy partnerwork putting smiles in the audiences’ faces. The contemporary orchestration and lighting continued to impress The second piece on the bill was Tombeaux. Returning to a more conventional form of ballet, the movements and the score was more traditional and less experimental. However, the piece was
equally beautiful and engaging with gorgeous dark costumes and interesting lighting and backdrop that resembled a wood. The choreography and music reflected the intent of the work: Bintley’s tribute to mentors Frederick Ashton and Ninette de Valois and a lament for British ballet scene that Bintley noticed. Several movement highlights to reflect this included a lift where a female dancer was carried with her legs pointing vertically upwards and when a male dancer carefully lowered another dancer as if saying goodbye. A beautifully crafted piece. Last on the bill came audience’s favourite Still Life at the Penguin Café. Bintley’s choreography incorporates theatrical and comedic value through the use of flamboyant animal costumes and their signature movements to produce vignettes of particular animals and their characteristic traits. Despite the joy and memorability of the piece each section in the dance is reflective of an endangered species – an issue just as prevalent in today’s society as it was when the piece was first performed in 1988. My personal favourite section has always been and still is ‘White Mischief’ which explores the Southern Cape Zebra. Dancer Chi Cao wore an incredible black and white outfit and moved with the elegance of a zebra with a rippling body and incredible flexibility. This mixed with tribal steps and incredible leaps to showcase the range of movement of the animal. The xylophone in the orchestra accentuated this playfulness, with the illuminated backdrop suggesting the location of the animal. The penguin passages were also brilliant. With an intensely catchy sound score and full body penguin
costumes, the dancers often incorporated flexed feet, flapping arms and an upright body to capture the characteristic movements of the animal. A mix of incredible costume, soundscore, set design and of course choreography truly makes this dance work the masterpiece that it is. It’s extremely difficult to review and assess the piece in writing as it really is a piece to be seen and appreciated on the stage. From ballet The triple bill definitely deserves five out of five stars for the performance. Maybe we could even give it six...!
BRB @ The Hippdrome Lord of the Flies 14th - 17th May Prince of Pagodas 25th Feb- 1st March Swan Lake 5th - 15th Feb Three of a King 19th - 22nd Feb The Nutcracker 22nd Nov - 12 Dec
11th - 17th October 2013
Hopelessly Devoted @ The Rep
"Digbeth Speaks" 3rd - 13th October, Custard Factory Rachel Coombes Critic
Lily Beazley Critic
Kate Tempest’s thought-provoking new play Hopelessly Devoted interweaves original songs into a powerful script, creating a poignant yet uplifting picture of life behind bars. The play is a gritty account of the lives of three characters in a women’s prison. Facing imminent parole, Serena (Gbemisola Ikumelo) must deal with the fearful prospect of re-entering the alien and hostile outside world. Serena’s musically talented but emotionally damaged cell mate Chess (Amanda Wilkin) struggles to cope with Serena’s absence and is tormented by thoughts of a loved one left on the outside. She finds hope, however, from Silver (Martina Laird), a washed up music producer and recovering addict who searches for personal redemption in helping bring purpose to Chess’ life though music. The play opened on a dim, starkly empty stage. Two projector screens and a drum machine were the only staging and a square marked out in white tape on the floor effectively represented the dimensions of Chess’ cell. Throughout the entire performance the character was confined within the lines. This simple staging device was strikingly effective in creating a sense of claustrophobic and perpetual imprisonment. Tempest’s play deals with some big issues in this small space: the struggle of being a parent in prison; the necessity of finding meaning in a hopeless situation and the fine line between friendship and love which becomes blurred in such a
confined space. The horrors of murder, suicide and abuse were made more shocking as the play gradually revealed the tragic details of the women’s lives through off hand comments and casual conversation. The play encapsulates the idea of prison as an emotionally tempestuous and unpredictable environment. One wrong word would see a moment of light-hearted laughter instantly descend into violence and tension. Amidst the darkness however, humour was prominent. Whether dark, physical or light-hearted the comedy served to bring home an overwhelming sense of the humanity of prisoners, making the characters almost disconcertingly relatable. Music is a principle element in this play which has the redeeming power of song at its core and Tempest’s three original songs each address an aspect of prison life. Chess’ heart-breaking ballade about a child left on the outside, the love song to her cell mate and the frustrated rap about the futility of the prison system were all very beautiful pieces in their own right and within the context of the play add an extra dimension to the performance as a whole. All three cast members gave strong performances, notably Wilkin whose vocal performance was spine-tinglingly stunning. Tempest’s writing deserves the acclaim it is beginning to receive and this very finely crafted new play will be enjoyed not only by those captivated by the idea of prison life, but will also strike a chord with anyone interested in relationships, redemption and the healing power of music.
Those students who are new to Birmingham this year and are interested in familiarizing themselves with its cultural heritage and ‘hidden gems’, should make time to visit the Custard Factory in Digbeth over the next week. Here, tucked away deep within the Factory complex is a small gallery, currently hosting ‘Digbeth Speaks’ - an exhibition which celebrates the rich social and cultural history of the Digbeth area. The innovative show, described as an audio and visual ‘time capsule’, is the culmination of a Heritage Lotteryfunded project, in association with Friends of Birmingham Archives and Heritage. It has been put together by project managers Carly Hegenbarth and Sarah Taylor Silverwood, who were supported throughout the enterprise by a dedicated team of volunteers, including researchers at this university. Whether interviewing Digbeth residents in the streets, or interacting with visitors to local events, the team were able to compile a vast collection of documentary material – including memories of Digbeth residents from the 60s,
feedback from local music festivals, and three-word impressions and voxpops from visitors to the area. Wall texts, audio clips and photographs jostle together to fill the space, offering a vivid snapshot of the diversity of Digbeth’s inhabitants, its events, creative spaces, and businesses. Responses to the question running throughout the exhibition ‘what does Digbeth mean to you?’ were as inventive and inspired as the cultural life of the area itself. At the exhibition launch party on Thursday 3rd, visitors were offered the chance to make their own contributions to the project giving their impressions of Digbeth, in words or pictures – and to sample Digbeth’s famous homemade pies. The event was a real tribute to the exciting culture of this underrated area. The exhibition continues at the Lakeside Gallery in the Custard Factory, Digbeth, until October 13th. Following this, all the materials and works displayed will be rehomed in the Birmingham Archives and Heritage at the new Library of Birmingham, as an official record of our city’s most eclectic – and perhaps eccentric - district. For more information on the project and exhibition, visit http:// digbethspeaks.blogspot.co.uk.
11th - 17th October 2013
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Downton Abbey has officially returned to our screens, but is it worth your Sunday night viewing time?
Marvel's latest adventure is moving from the big screen to TV with new series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Callum Ramsay TV Critic
Downton Abbey has returned to our screens for its fourth season, and what better way to spend your Sunday evening than sat watching the drama unfold for the aristocratic Crawleys and their servants. The show is easy viewing for the end of the week, especially if you are still dealing with the after effects of Fab. You don’t have to be a dedicated viewer to join in and catch an episode; the array of underhand insults, sly scheming and tense rivalries makes for an enjoyable hour of telly. It also allows us to experience some class that is usually absent from student life; the opulence and splendour of the
"You don't have to be a dedicated viewer to join in and catch an episode; the array of of underhand insults, sly scheming and tense rivalries makes for an enjoyable hour of telly" estate and the lavish lifestyle the Crawley family lead are quite the spectacle. Last year’s Christmas special was a shock with the sudden death of Matthew. It took so long for him and Lady Mary to finally be together, and they had just welcomed their baby into the world, so it was a surprising departure that left many wondering how the show would continue to func-
tion. However, I believe it has breathed new life into Downton and has opened up the possibilities of where the story can now go. A solemn Mary seems to be slowly adapting to life and realising that she cannot go on mourning forever - she has decided to become involved in the running of the estate, much to the dismay of her father Lord Grantham. Luckily she has her grandmother, played by the venerable Maggie Smith, to support her in this effort whilst still managing to amuse us with her quips and sharp opinions on familial matters. Sister Edith seems to finally be coming into her own with her current love interest (especially as the last one jilted her at the altar), a situation that seems likely to cause some controversy and judging family members. Downstairs the servants continue their busy roles of running things behind the scenes and Carson the formidable butler is his usual steadfast self, though shows signs of a softer side when it comes to his relationships with Lady Mary and Miss Hughes the housekeeper. Underbutler Thomas is up to his usual tricks with a new scheming partner Edna; after the departure of the wily Miss O’Brien, she will be a hard act to follow. Mrs Patmore looks set to have a stressful time worrying about her position in the kitchen; will she ever get the hang of the new electric whisk?! In the latest episode, things have taken a dramatic turn for lady’s maid Anna - such a shame after it took so long for her and the valet Mr Bates to find happiness after his jail sentence and maniacal ex-wife. A universally-liked character, she has regretfully endured a horrible attack that will mark the beginning of a significant storyline. The family and their servants are in for another tumultuous season that looks set to be excellent viewing. I thoroughly recommend gathering round on your Sunday nights and watching the drama unfold.
Ashley Moreton TV Critic
My first introduction to the superhero genre was The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble, whichever you prefer). I really enjoyed it, and quickly went through all the previous movies – excepting Hulk. I really enjoyed Iron Man 3 when it came out, and have been looking forward to Agents of SHIELD since I first heard it announced. It would obviously be very different, being a series on the small screen, but that didn’t mean viewers were going to cut it any slack. So, obviously a lot of pressure on Joss Whedon. I feel the show was just as good as hoped. I don’t want to give away the plot – if any of you missed the premiere, you really should start watching as soon as possible – but I will do my best to give you an idea of what the show is like. We were given a host of new characters, all with the potential for interesting back stories. Firstly, we meet Agent Grant Ward for the first time. He seems pretty unhappy with his lot, for reasons I’m sure will take at least a season to be revealed. He is a contrast to Agent Maria Hill and Agent Coulson (come on guys, we found out there was something fishy about his 'death' back in The Avengers!) who have been presented as agents with a long history within SHIELD. Later on, we are introduced to two British scientists; I’m pretty sure they’re only British so that the Americans have a funny accent to giggle at, but it does at least mean we have two characters who don’t grab for guns to solve every problem. Don’t worry – you’re not actually meant to understand their technobabble. In this episode, we hear quite a bit about The Rising Tide – although the episode seemed a little 'monster of the week' themed, this hints that there probably will be an over-
arching storyline. Which is always a good thing. Despite how it might sound, this show wasn’t one long gun battle. Besides the action, we also get insightful conversation and humour. Lots of humour. At times it can
"If you have even the slightest appreciation for Marvel, I think you should be too." feel a little misplaced or overworked, but generally it fits very well. And it is the Marvel-style humour we all know and love. Also, there were nice, subtle nods to the other Marvel movies – and not just in speech. Keep an eye on buses and billboards! Personally, I really enjoyed the show, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching for the rest of the season. And if you have even the slightest appreciation for Marvel, I think you should be too.
11th - 17th October 2013
The Big Review The start of term brings the return of two TV heavy weights, Strictly Come Dancing and The X-factor, Joanna Kendall and Shannon Carey take a look at how both competitions are shaping up so far...
It's nice to see you to see you... NICE! TV Editor Joanna Kendall takes a look at the Strictly class of 2013. It's that time of year again - get out your glitter balls and dancing shoes as Strictly Come Dancing hits our screens. Standing the test of time is often something long running programmes struggle with, but the 11th series has returned with a bang, beating rival X-factor's rating for the last two weeks running. With more sparkles and cheesy jokes than ever, Strictly series 11 is showing no signs of becoming old news or tired. Week one saw the traditional two show split with all the dancers performing without the fear of the dreaded dance off. With the pressure off, the show had a more relaxed feel as we watched some of our celebrity favourites take to the floor for the first time. Whilst some succeeded, others flopped with Tony Jacklin marking himself as a probable ballroom casualty with his painfully clunky waltz, and the likes of Dave Myers and Vanessa Phelps following in quick succession. However, it wasn't just a night of 'dance disasters darling', as several celebrities including Abbey Clancey, Ashley Taylor Dawson and Natalie Gumede wowed the judges with their debut performances. Love him or hate him, week two gave us a glimpse of Strictly without Brucey as Claudia Winklemen had to step in as Bruce was away with flu. With the threat of the dance off hanging in the air, the nerves were apparent as the celebrities took to the floor for the second time. Sophie Ellis-Bextor finished top of the leader board with a stunning Charlston whilst Tony Jacklin was the first to fall after losing out to Julien MacDonald in the dance off. So after all the excitement of the first dance off over and done with, its time to sit back and enjoy as we begin the Strictly countdown to Christmas.
If you’re a big fan of The X Factor (or, let’s face it, even if you aren’t), you’ll no doubt be aware that the monumental talent show returned merely a few weeks ago and brought several changes with it. The show faced a tough year in 2012, which saw it hit 'by the worst figures of all the series’ so far and losing the constant rating battles with the BBC’s rival show Strictly Come Dancing, which led to many asking whether the show, after nine years, had lost its touch. With this question hanging over producers, the show really had no option but to dramatically up its game – and that it certainly has. First on the list of changes in this year’s X Factor was the return of Sharon Osbourne after five years away from the show. Having
"This is perhaps the nastiest the show has ever been; to see relief sweep over contestants faces and watch them become inconsolable moments later is enough to make you look away" watched the show since it began in 2004, I, along with several other committed fans, was very excited about this when it was announced earlier this year. The famous Mrs O is perhaps best known for her cutting remarks and a don’t-mess-with-me attitude, having seen her throwing water over her fellow judges in previous years. It seems the years have not changed her – throughout the audition process, we have watched her put down deluded wannabes in her true honest manner, as well as been treated to her constant calls of ‘Fabulous, darling!’ and fits of giggles in the audition room. It’s clear to see why Mrs O is still regarded one of the best judges in the show’s history, and shows just how ingenious ITV’s decision to bring her back is – I know I can’t have been the only
one who tuned into the show simply to see what impact the return of Sharon would have on the show. Next of the list of changes is yet another return, this time of the original ‘judges' room’ audition process that the show began with. However, this has been intensified by a double-audition process, which saw contestants facing both the judges in an isolated room and an audience of thousands in a ram-packed arena. When I first heard about this, I must admit I wasn’t sure – what was the point of two auditions? Would acts really change that much in a big arena as compared to a single room? Luckily, the show seems to have once again made the right decision – it has been interesting to watch acts turn from good to extraordinary in front of the public, and it’s been equally interesting to watch them crash and burn under the eyes of a watching crowd. It has also been nice to see the mix between the old-style X Factor to the audition process of more recent years, meaning that there’s something for all fans to enjoy. The most recent change to the show that viewers will have watched last weekend is the shake-up of the boot camp stage of the show, which saw each category given to one judge who could then choose six acts to fill up their ‘six seats’ into the next round. However, even once an act has successfully earned a seat, they are not safe, not by a mile – if the next act is good enough, the judges can choose kick one act out of the competition in favour for another. Seats have never been so scary. This is perhaps the nastiest the show has ever been. To see relief sweep over contestants face as they sit down on one of those precious seats and watch them become inconsolable as they lose their place merely moments later is almost enough to make you look away. Almost. Say what you want about modern talent shows, nobody can argue that the more cruel the show, the bigger the audience that tune in and watch it. In this sense, the X Factor truly has renovated itself from last year’s shambles, creating television that, perhaps against our better judgement, we can’t help but watch with bated breath Last weekend we saw the contestants at
the judges' houses, battling it out to be in their final three. This was probably the most tearful episode yet. At one point one of Nicole's girls seemed to be crying out of her entire face, leaving Nicole rather damp. As nice as it was to watch the successful go back home and break the news, I don't really think it was necessary for the cameras to follow the unsuccessful contestants home. Having to tell your family that you're not through, in a room full of 'Congratulations!' banners, is hard enough without having ITV there to broadcast your misery. Overall, it seems that the X Factor 2013 has truly set itself up to be one of the best years yet. The foundations are all there: the judging panel seems more connected than it ever has, the pressure is harsher and the talent is as strong as ever. While the show will never win everyone over – there will always be those that consider it seriously ‘uncool’
to admit to watching the show – it cannot be argued that the X Factor is the king of Saturday night television, and that these new variations could be just the thing to return it to its original glory. It may be too early to truly see how this year’s show will pan out, but one thing is for sure – I can’t wait for the live shows to begin.
11th - 17th October 2013
Spotlight: Ben Wheatley The Writer and Director of Kill List and A Field in England held a double screening of his films at Birmingham's Electric Cinema. Tom Lofkin and Daniel Moroney attended the Q&A session to gain an insight into the mind of filmmaker Ben Wheatley.
Harder, Faster, Lauda.
Details Release date: 13th September 2013 Director: Ron Howard Cast: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde Running time: 123 minutes
´´´´´ At about ten past six, late and out of breath from the sprint from New Street Station, we enter The Electric just as Ben Wheatley finishes his introduction for the first of two films being screened that evening. As the opening titles for his 2011 film Kill List come up, he takes his seat at the back of the room. We sheepishly fumble for seats in the darkness, hoping he hasn’t seen us, undoubtedly irritating surrounding punters and cinephiles. As anyone familiar with Kill List will testify, our clumsy entrance is probably not the best preparation for such a twisted and disorientating film. But now on our third (Tom) and fourth (Dan) viewing, you'd think we would know what to expect by now. For the uninitiated, Kill List follows the story of Jay (Neil Maskell) and Gal (Michael Smiley), two mid-career hit men who are given a job to kill three people: The Librarian, The Priest and The Politician. Alongside this, we see Jay failing to provide for his wife (MyAnna Buring) and son Sam (Harry Simpson). Scenes are spliced together in a way that manage to be both fluid and yet oddly jarring, creating an unsettling atmosphere that rivals The Shining in its immediate intrigue and sense of foreboding. Indeed, Wheatley mentions viewing The Shining again recently in the first Q&A break, “I remember thinking as I was watching it, ‘Oh, The Shining is a big build up to him (Jack Nicholson) going mad.’ But in fact, he’s mad from the first second. I quite
"I find it really tedious when stuff gets explained, and I think that there's enough information there to put it together." like that, watching this. It’s all so inevitable. He also bemoans too much ‘tedious explanation’ that he says he tries to avoid in his films, 'I find it really tedious when stuff gets explained, and I think that there’s enough information there to put it together. Of course, it’s from their point of view, not from the point of view of the people pulling
the strings. It’s about these two guys, so you wouldn’t know'. This certainly applies to Kill List. Although there are scenes of gut-wrenching hyper-violence, which will put even the most seasoned gore-hound through their paces, certain important aspects of the story go unexplained. In particular, references to a previously botched job in Kiev are never really elaborated on in any significant way, but linger in the background uncomfortably creating a hard-to-place tension between the two antiheroes. After being asked what he made of the film, having not seen it since Film Four's Fright Fest, Wheatley jovially remarks, 'It’s a curious thing to be asked that in front of a load of people, isn’t it? ‘Did I enjoy my own film?’ I did.' The second film of the night and Wheatley’s latest effort, A Field in England (2013), is a psychedelic trip into the English civil war from the perspective of four men
"For me, it's all about texture. That's why we ended up shooting in black and white." who shirk battle. Charming, beautifully-shot and just as odd and discordant, it forms a great companion to its predecessor. Wheatley deserves credit for managing to create such an intense and mesmerisingly cinematic experience without the same level of violence that Kill List exhibited, demonstrating his undoubted skill as a filmmaker. He explains how the film’s cinematography, notably shooting in black and white, is important to the psychedelic elements in the film, 'For me, it’s all about texture. That’s why we ended up shooting in black and white, because colour is distracting'. However, as a result of this, the film doesn’t always hit the right notes. Budgetary constraints do occasionally become noticeable, especially in the trip scene with Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith) which, although illuminating, is created using fairly simplistic effects. It would be wrong if it were a more traditional hazy psychedelic and, as evidenced in his response, is not what Wheatley was aiming for.
He also explains how it’s his view that the civil war was the start of democratisation and parliament in England, 'It was the last time we were all totally radicalised. The whole country was turning everything upside down...it also mirrors what’s going on now. Idiot leaders and terrible wars'.
"The whole country was turning everything upside down." Through this prism, it is easy to see the film as a metaphor for the struggle of men to be free in a modern world where base greed replaces aristocratic values as the tool of oppression. Of course, Wheatley himself would eschew such a grand statement, and he’s partly right, there’s too much nuance and flair on page and screen to justify such a crude explanation. He then went on to discuss the deliberate omission of any battle scenes from the script, which was written by Amy Jump, Wheatley’s wife and writing collaborator, 'What Amy was interested in... was a history that was never reported. She thought it would be nice to see what happened to people on the edge of it'. The fields, as the title might suggest, transcend their role as just setting and become part of the fabric of the film. This is in no small part down to the cinematography, switching focus from the insects to the landscape in a majestic and strangely profound manner. Almost every set-piece is executed in his typically off-kilter style. One shot in particular, a close-up of Whitehead, perfectly captures the insanity and the smallness of this one man’s revelation in the midst of national upheaval. As it stands, fans of British cinema, as well as the wider viewing public, are incredibly fortunate to be in the presence of such a rare talent; a filmmaker who has proven himself to be extremely versatile. Wheatley crafts outstanding films, which grab us by the throat and refuse to let go until the credits role. He expertly weaves together sickening horror with belly-laugh humour, all the while forcing us to consider much larger themes contained in brilliantly written and masterfully shot works of cinematic art.
Mike Hall Critic
Ron Howard’s high octane motor racing drama provides a tantalising glimpse of both the glamorous, and yet dangerous world of Formula One during the 1970s. The critical success of Asif Kapadia’s 2010 biopic Senna was perhaps a motivation to explore more great enigmatic figures of Formula One; a sport generally under-represented at the box office. Rush is to Formula One what The Damned United was to football. It is a glossy reimagining of famous events, with a couple of sports movie tropes thrown in for good measure. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) stars as wild English playboy James Hunt alongside Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) as steely Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda. Rush is the story of their infamous rivalry which culminated in the dramatic 1976 season and Lauda’s horrific accident.
"Rush is to Formula One what The Damned United was to football." The make-up and prosthetics are excellent, and Brühl turns in a fine performance as a post-accident Lauda. Rush is very much Lauda’s film, as evidenced by Brühl’s intermittent narration, but Hemsworth is also effective as bad-boywith-redeemable-qualities Hunt. It only really struggles in its over-eagerness to spell out emotional set pieces. A more subtle approach, particularly in the use of camera effects during Lauda’s terrified return to the wheel, could have proven more effective. Although often conventional, the class and style it brings to the screen, along with its perfectly casted leads, means Rush is an emotional two hour thrill ride, with plenty of mangled metal and roaring engines along the way. Rush to your cinema, this one’s a world champion.
11th - 17th October 2013
Film News Mark Reeves Critic
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen are the latest names to be confirmed for Avengers: Age of Ultron. The duo, who are already set to star in the new Godzilla reboot together, will play superhero twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch aiding the Marvel heroes against James Spader’s robotic villain Ultron.
Although The Chronicles of Narnia films have been a mixed bag of success, a fourth film in the fantasy franchise has been announced. Adapted from C.S Lewis’ The Silver Chair it finds Eustace (Will Poulter) return to a much darker Narnia in a quest to find a missing Prince.
Review: Filth A new adaptation of Irvine Welsh's work provides audiences with depictions of psychological instability, drug abuse, and bigotry.
´´´´´ Charlie Moloney Critic
Release date: 4th October 2013 Director: Jon S. Baird Cast: James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Iain De Caestecker Running time: 97 minutes Writer: Jon S. Baird Certificate: 18 IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 Tagline: It's a filthy job getting to the top, but somebody's got to do it. Watch if you're a fan of: Trainspotting, Four Lions, Burn After Reading.
The murder-solving Edinburgh police force consists of a strange assortment of characters who belong in a Harold Pinter play. All bad-boy cop Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) cares about is how solving the case will land him a promotion. He closely studies his colleagues, playing them off against each other and cruelly exploiting their weaknesses. But his prospects for a promotion look bleak. He’s going off the rails and can barely function normally. As he smashes through as much alcohol and cocaine as he can get his hands on, he begins to completely lose his mind. With bizarre and sometimes terrifying visions leaping out at him constantly, it seems like only a matter of time until he cracks.
"Whilst Trainspotting was grim, Filth is hilarious." Director Jon Baird, has taken Irvine Welsh’s Filth and created a film which is dedicated to being entertaining. Beautifully filmed, and with a brilliant soundtrack, Filth is a joy to watch. At times surreal and ridiculous like Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, it does everything it can to make you love it.
The best thing is that it doesn’t hold back at all. Bruce is as excessive as he can possibly be and James McAvoy plays him with a knowing grin. Whilst Trainspotting was grim, Filth is hilarious. It’s clear from the start that Bruce is on his way down to rock bottom, but he takes the plunge like someone who’s skydiving for the first time. For an actor who played Mr Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia, McAvoy is nothing short of show-stopping in this film. At first it seems like he’s trying a bit too hard to be cool, but as the film progresses and more gets revealed about Bruce, he gives the character the emotional depth that makes him believable. Eddie Marsan, who plays whipping boy Bladesey, fulfils the role of McAvoy’s punching bag. He makes McAvoy’s character that much more complex by being the placid object of Bruce’s hatred, whilst also being his only friend. We can only see how pathetic Bruce really is when we shackle him to a wimpy loser. The film wasn’t blessed with a cast of Hollywood A-listers, but it’s somehow better for it. As a British audience we can enjoy actors we vaguely remember from this film or that TV show popping up and joining in with the mad fun. This film has split critical opinion, but maybe critics have lost their sense of humour. If you’re willing to teeter on the brink of insanity, then you’ll love Filth. It’s religious about sex, drugs and portraying a voyage of self-destruction. Take the name of this film seriously, because ultimately, it does what it says on the tin.
Fan of foul mouthed CG bears? Good, because Ted 2 has been given the summer release date of June 2015, with Mark Wahlberg and Seth Macfarlane set to return as the weed smoking thunder buddies. The family guy creator will also direct the follow up to the 2012 smash hit comedy.
Horror fans may be disappointed by the lack of Paranormal Activity this Halloween, after the fairly regular release of the previous four. But fear not. The fifth instalment of the found footage fright saga is underway with new director Gregory Plotkin taking the helm with an expected October 2014 release.
11th - 17th October 2013
Science & Technology
Access to Medicine: Treating the Rarest and Most Severe Diseases Benjamin Giblin discusses the work of Les Haplin, the founder of Empower: Access to Medicine campaign, to make experimental medicines available to sufferers of motor neurone disease. There is a good reason that motor neurone disease (MND) is one of the most feared illnesses in medicine. The name MND belongs to a group of debilitating fatal disorders that progressively degenerate the nerves and muscles responsible for voluntary movement. Eventually, the patient becomes paralysed, unable to even talk or breathe independently, whilst their mental functions remain intact, witness to the body’s deterioration. Typical life expectancy is 3-5 years following the onset of symptoms, although exceptions to the rule include renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking – alive today despite being given two years to live after diagnosis in 1963. As if the symptoms weren’t bad enough, MND is dreaded by doctors and patients alike because there is almost no treatment available and very little progress has been made in the past few decades. There is in fact only one drug licensed for the disorder, which was made available over twenty years ago. One has to question why has so little been achieved
to combat the disease in this time, and what more can be done to improve patients' chances? In fact, the production of drugs specific to MND is not the only area of limited progression. The entire process of drug synthesis is an enormous time-consuming uphill battle at astronomical financial cost. A survey in which mem-
"One has to question, why has so little been achieved to combat the disease in this time, and what more can be done to improve patients’ chances?" bers of the general public estimated the total cost of releasing a new drug was conducted, and the
majority guessed around £1million. In reality, about 2% of the population were correct; it is actually closer to £1 billion. So what makes producing drugs so expensive? Most drugs work by interacting with a protein in the body. Producing a new drug begins with scientists attempting to identify the correct protein, known as the ‘target’. The next step is the production of a molecule that can bind tightly to the target, and does so exclusively; binding to the wrong protein can cause side-effects. Once a ‘lead molecule’ has been produced, scientists build the desired properties into it. These include making the drug orally bioavailable, so it can effectively circulate in the body after swallowing, and assigning an appropriate half-life, so that the drug exists in the body long enough to have effect. The drug is then usually tested in animals to confirm it is non-toxic, and then human volunteers. Finally, in phase two, the drug is given to patients, and this is the first real test to see the drug’s effects. The whole course of develop-
ment, from identifying the target to patient studies, can take twelve years or more. Moreover, upon reaching phase two – the patient studies – the drug is found to be ineffective over 90% of the time. The inefficiency often stems from a lack of in-depth scientific understanding of how the disease functions at a fundamental level. Expressed in those terms, it is little wonder scientists struggle to produce drugs to combat illnesses like MND. Consequently, it appears there are limited options in terms of treatment for patients with rare conditions such as MND. However, born from this conundrum is the Empower: Access to Medicine campaign, founded by Les Halpin, a sufferer of MND. Its aims are to make experimental medicines – those not yet cleared through the synthesis pipeline – available to patients suffering from very serious, rare disorders. In other words, the patients who have nothing to lose, and potentially, a lot to gain. The campaign consists of four pillars: a relaxation of current regulations on drug availability for special cases, improving the efficiency
You can find out more about Empower: Access to Medicine and sign a petition to push the campaign forwards at: www.accesstomedicine.co.uk
at which drugs can be produced, a comprehensive review of all possible treatments for special cases and encouraging more research to be conducted into these cases. At the mention of a relaxation of regulations for drug distribution, many doctors become very apprehensive. After all, these regulations are put in place to specifically safeguard against releasing a bad drug with serious side-effects. The most famous case of this is thalidomide, which caused deformation in babies after mothers had taken the drug during pregnancy in the 1960s. Having lost a family member to motor neurone disease, I am perhaps somewhat biased on the issue. However, I believe that anyone affected by a similarly terrible and lethal illness, with almost no other treatment conventionally available, would want themselves or their loved ones to have any possible chance at improving their condition. In special cases, with the correct safeguards in place, Access to Medicine could really benefit those with nothing left to lose.
11th - 17th October 2013
Free Wi-Fi available, connect? Claire Harris
Science and Tech Editor
Follow us online www.redbrick.me/tech @redbricktech
Spotlight: Freshers' Flu Soumya Perinparajah Science and Tech Editor
Got a sore throat? Throbbing headache? Don’t worry, it’s just a case of Fresher’s Flu. With hundreds of people packed into the same room, nightclubs can be notorious breeding grounds for infection. They have some of the most vital conditions that pathogens need to be transmitted. There are pathogens present on every body, and these will differ from person to person, depending on what part of the country, or the world they originate from. Add to this the usual features of a nightclub: the strobe lights; warm temperatures; and the moist air attributed to every sweaty dancing person in the room. Someone is coughing. Somebody sneezed over there; that’s essentially a mini microorganism explosion travelling at up to 100mph. Contained in those expelled droplets are the perpetrators of Fresher’s flu; the influenza virus, more commonly known as the ‘flu'. When you’re throwing yourself into Fresher’s Week festivities, the last thing you want to do is slow down and take it easy. But looking
after your body is just as important, as the first few weeks can have a surprisingly large toll on your health. It’s no surprise with consistent nights out, increased
"When you’re throwing yourself into Freshers' Week festivities, the last thing you want to do is slow down and take it easy." alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, and neglecting your diet. In other words, your immune system becomes vulnerable. It is hard to make a vaccine that can act against the ‘flu', as it is an impossible virus to pin down. The structure of the virus is such that the protruding outer coat proteins are constantly changing, whereas the core remains relatively unchanged. A type of flu, known as a strain, is determined by the specific proteins on its outer coat. To ensure that flu vaccines stay effective, the World Health Organisation carries out an annual
assessment of the most common strains. Components of the top three strains are incorporated into the vaccine, with the aim being that your body’s immune system produces antibodies against the proteins. The vaccine becomes available for countries in the northern hemisphere, including the UK. Currently in the UK, the flu vaccine is targeted towards vulnerable members of the population, such as the elderly, the very young, and those with pre-existing medical conditions. However, new research shows promising first steps to developing a universal flu vaccine that could combat all strains of the flu, rather than a select few. This is because the new vaccine will target the core of the virus, not the outer proteins, which is common for all strains of the virus.he future of flu vaccines, and in fact any other vaccine, will lie in exploiting what we know about the immune system to our benefits.
We all get a pleasant surprise when we spot this message on our Smartphone screens. Nothing is better than surfing the web for free when you’re out and about. With the age of constant updates upon us, it seems that the ability to be continually connected is increasingly popular. Savvy students with contracts will know that mobile internet costs can be fatal when you reach your limit. Well, we are in luck, with Birmingham City Council rolling out free public Wi-Fi across the city centre. The plan is to provide free and speedy internet connections in popular public places from September. The contract, which has been awarded to Virgin Media, will include no usage limits and support higher bandwidth streaming. The opportunity to stream a video for free at your favourite cafe may be finally upon us. The scheme also hopes to improve mobile network coverage as well as data capacity. It is part of an initiative to boost connectivity across the city centre and contribute towards Birmingham’s overall economic growth. Councillor James McKay claimed that “boosted 3G and 4G coverage will help businesses of all sizes be as competitive as possible in the fiercely competitive global marketplace”. So, come September, there will be no excuse for not replying to that e-mail. The internet can find you anywhere!
11th - 17th October 2013
Life & Style
Style Birmingham Live AW13 Redbrick's Life and Style Editors Victoria Haworth and Alexandra Landes review Birmingham's hottest fashion event of the year. There are not many things I will get up at 7am for, but a day filled with goodie bags, free champagne and fashion catwalks is probably one of them. The wonderful ladies at Style Birmingham Live provided us with bloggers' passes for the lovely Style Birmingham Live last Saturday, which was hosted by Emma Willis (Brummie born and bred) and Ryan Clark (more Essex than Brummie). The day began with a bloggers' reception at the Town Hall, and, along with the chorus of clinking champaign glasses, I got the chance to speak to Jacqui McIntosh from the Francesco hair group, who did the hairstyling for the Style Birmingham catwalk shows.
It’s Ted Bakers take on the pink coat trend, adapting the style to add a fitted feminine delicacy. It perhaps is not as edgy as the other boyfriend and swing coats on the market, but if you want to maintain a fitting feminine shape then this is the best compromise. Matched with their seasonal romantic print dress and umbrella and a pair of Clarks ankle boots they create brightness not normally achievable in the winter
Her main tip for new season hair was that it is all about texture. Gone are the days of endlessly ironing your frail locks to create a smooth and sleek finish, as the catwalks demonstrated. A style that was repetitively used on the Style Birmingham catwalk was a fishplait in a high pony tail, which channelled the textured look, but the pony tail kept it sleek and manageable. After the lovely reception (and with free Francesco goodie bag in tow) us bloggers made our way down to the catwalk. The inside of the Town Hall had been completely transformed into a minimalist catwalk set, where for the next good part of an hour, models including the winner of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model, Lauren Lambert
Ted Baker's up again but this time its for the men (and menswear is where I think Ted Baker is in his element). It's a celebration of preppy chic, reinventing the classic tailored look for modern wardrobe. The ensamble mixes a variation of rich tones, perfect for those winter days when black seems just a tad too morbid. Matched with a pair of clarks highshine lace-ups and Piccadilly Opticians Moscot Black Framed Glasses.
did their thing. The show collectivised all the key looks for the upcoming season, and treated guests to a look book containing images of all the outfits presented with their relevant retail information. All the outfits are available for purchase within Birmingham, with featured stores promoting the looks throughout the special shopping day. The show included looks for every fashionista’s style. We had showcases of the most popular styles for AW13, such as Harvey Nichols Monochrome bonanza and a celebration of the 1980’s ‘British Urban’ check, but also more niche looks such as the ‘Call of the Wind’ collection; an eccentric mix of animal prints leathers and furs. The nine shows ended in a
We always seem to come back to the eighties; it seems that the era maintains a style which contemporary fashion longs to steal for itself. Urban Unique's show collectivised the best of British 1980’s with boyish silhouettes and head-to-toe square prints. This Union Jack ensamble from Bolongaro Trevor (found in the Great Western Arcade) is kitted up with Primark red tartan hotpants and a pair of patent Hunters.
beautiful snow-infused finale, as the models glided across a snowy catwalk, with umbrellas in tow, welcoming the winter in with an appreciation for its beauty. Style Birmingham Live really exhibited how fashion-driven Birmingham has become, and demonstrated that it could very much stand proudly and uniquely as a contributor to British fashion.
"The show collectivised all the key looks for the upcoming season"
Marks & Spencers get in there! They are already the masters of the pink coat (with waiting lists in the hundreds) and now they have a collection of autumn winter tailoring to die for. The white quilted top matched with black pencil skirt creates the perfect workwear look, and when topped off with another one of Marks' famous oversized coats we find ourselves with one of the most fabulous outfits of the show.
We love geometrics this season, and square prints are particularly leading the show. This G-Star Raw collection mixes grey denim jeans with a black and navy check skirt, topped with a denim gilet and male UGG boots in brown. I will admit, I am not a fan of the boots (they look like something from Santa's Grotto) but the rest of the outfit makes the perfect statement of casual and cool. All accessories from New Era.
11th-17th October 2013
Tips for a unique and stylish uni bedroom Alexandra Landes gives us her tips for a super chic bedroom. From dingy and mould-scented bedrooms on Dawlish Road, to painfully identical bedrooms in halls of residence, it can be hard to give your room that homely feel, especially when one is usually so strapped for cash.
There are quick ways to transform your university bedroom that will create a comfortable and unique atmosphere and have all of your housemates drooling in jealousy.
1. Washi Tape It’s effectively masking tape, but comes in an array of colours and patterns and is super sticky, and therefore is perfect to use to create a frame around photos or posters on your wall. Or, if you’re feeling extra crafty, you can use the colourful tape to create symmetrical patterns that will liven up any plain, drab wall. 2. Lighting Never underestimate the power of good lighting, my friends. It can turn a stark, cold bedroom into a warm little cove. Whether it be fairy lights, or just buying a couple of extra lamps (Wilkinsons and Ikea sell some great ones for under £10), good lighting will completely transform the ambiance of your bedroom. 3. Washing Line Photos Why just have a photo collage of all of your photos stuck up on your notice board? That’s so 2010 people, come on, get creative. A cheap and fun way to display your beloved photos of family and friends is to simply hole punch each photograph and run a ribbon through the holes, creating a washing line of photos which can be strung up around your room. 4. Fake Flowers I obviously understand that this option is mainly for girls, but fake flowers can really do wonders. They are dead cheap, and can be bunched together and shoved into old bottles for a vintage inspired look .You can even stick them to your wall (bluetac really does hold everything) to liven up posters or photographs. Or if you’re feeling extra creative, make a small hole in the stem of each flower, thread a rope through it and voila! You have a flower garland to hang from your ceiling.
Birmingham's Hidden Gems Online Comment Editor Sophie Tollet is back discovering the cities best hang outs. This week, York's Bakery Cafe. Sophie Tollet
Online Comment Editor For two girls harbouring a not-so-secret addiction to independent coffee shops and homemade cake, we are perhaps not perfectly suited to the lifestyle of a student in Birmingham. Although Bristol Road is rife with chicken shops (observant readers will have noticed the recent addition of the aptlynamed Chick Inn) and Tesco Metros, a haven of cosy, quirky cafes it is not. However, we have persevered and over the last two years discovered some real gems. Although you may have to go a little further afield than the local Selly Oak area, it is perfectly possible to find café culture in
"It is perfectly possible to find cafe culture in Britain's second city."
Britain’s second city. So we’ll start off easy by directing you towards Yorks Bakery Café. Tucked away behind St Phillip’s Cathedral on Newhall Street, just 5 minutes from New Street, this adorable bakery manages to marry a cool, funky vibe created by exposed piping, white washed walls and endless hipsters behind laptops with all the quirkiness of slate boards, hand-written menus and battered crockery. Yorks steers clear of the over-done chintz furniture and mismatching mugs that is becoming so rife in café culture, and instead creates the perfect relaxing, open, chilled space to while away an afternoon. With freshly-baked pastries and cakes always on the menu, and coffee to please even the fussiest coffee snob, the food lives up to the fantastic setting. With the cakes changing daily, particular favourites tried in the past have been a heavenly Salted Caramel Brownie and an individual carrot cake with creamy icing to tempt even those on the strictest low-carb diet. Yorks goes further than your average café, however, with a brunch menu served until 4pm that exempli-
"Although you could perhaps re-create scrambled eggs in your Selly Oak kitchen, trust us, York's flat whites are unique." fies the individual personality of the café. This features every breakfast delight from ‘The’ Bacon Sandwich to Canellini and Bean Stew on toast. Breakfast at Yorks costs about £10 a visit (perhaps more, as those coffees really do add up!) and so is more of a rare treat for the average student. Coffee and cake, however, will set you back roughly a fiver, which is much more student-friendly. And although you could perhaps re-create scrambled eggs in your Selly Oak kitchen, trust us, York’s flat whites are unique.
X Factor Live Finals Next weekend sees the return of the live shows and Nicole Scherzinger’s smoking hot self. It’s going to be schmazeballs.
Kate Moss for Topshop Very excited for this reunion: the supermodel is set to return with a brand new collection for SS14.
Glastonbury 2014 Next year’s event has sold out in a record time of 1 hour 27 minutes. Majorly jealous if you managed to nab tickets.
Homeland Homeland – Our favourite drama returned on Sunday eeeee.
UoB Just wanted to say again that we got voted university of the year.
Fab Tickets Literally like gold dust. Not worth £20 though
Marc Jacobs The time has come for Marc to depart from Louis Vuitton to focus on his own label, aw.
Rihanna's Dignity It’s fair to say we watched her latest video for ‘Pour It Up’ with raised eyebrows throughout. We’re talking stripper poles, gold thongs and a whole lot of twerking.
Our Student Loan With the Bullring student event and so many shops offering 20% student discount at the mo, it would be rude not to, really.
Freshers Flu It’s back with a vengeance and targeting all you Freshers out there (and all the rest of us) boo.
Katarina Bickley Life&Style Writer
11th - 17th October 2013
Yellows storm to opening victory Birmingham Yellows
69 "A successful conversion
brought the home side's lead to seven and set the tone for Birmingham's kicking, which was impressive all game."
Wednesday saw Birmingham men’s rugby yellows begin their season with a match against the University of Warwick’s 3rd team. After four weeks of gruelling preseason and games against universities such as Nottingham and Reading, the home side looked to start positively. They were able to do just that, beating the visitors by a comfortable margin of 69-24 in a game which they led from start to finish. Number 11 Ben Murphey got the yellows off to the best possible start with a try on the wing, after a period of possession and
hard work by the forwards. A successful conversion brought the home side’s lead to seven and set the tone for Birmingham’s kicking, which was impressive all game. Following a brief period of pressure from Warwick, which the home side defended admirably; the yellows were able to double their lead through a counter attack; number eight Will Mckenzie breaking down the right wing and running almost the length of the pitch. With a penalty try awarded for a trip in the 17th minute, the hosts looked to be in control of the game, leaving Warwick to chase a 21 point lead.
Soon after, however, Birmingham’s number 13 Morris limped off the field injured and in the 20th minute the visitors fought back with a try from Kieran Emmer, who beat his man with a hand off and raced into the right corner. Buoyed by this, Warwick went on the offensive charging down the centre of the field. This attack was stopped short by an impressive tap tackle by number 7 Jordan Cranton, which sent his man sprawling. This seemingly legitimate tackle was unfortunately deemed a foul and quickly became a bone of contention for the home side. A disgruntled Ayman Shehata commented on this decision afterwards, saying, ‘I thought tap tackles were legal now’. Despite this the first half ended with Birmingham leading the visitors 33-12. The beginning of the second half saw Birmingham extend their lead following an incisive run by number five Charlie Inscone. Warwick, however, refused to lie down and retaliated, quickly shipping the ball to their number 11 Andrew Mi who pulled a try back for the visitors. Despite Warwick’s control
of certain aspects of game play such as lineouts, of which they won 10 of the 13 available, they were left constantly chasing a Birmingham team who displayed impressive attacking capabilities in both their forwards and backs. This was emphasised towards the end when a twinkle toed run from prop Sanchez provided the impetus for another try, this one very much a team effort. Coach Nile Dacres commented on Birmingham’s performance at the end of the
"I am very proud of the guys, we attacked with a lot of belief and didn't take our foot off the gas." game, saying, ‘I am very proud of the guys, we attacked with a lot of belief and didn’t take our foot off the gas’. All in all, an impressive and promising start to the season for Birmingham.
11th - 17th October 2013
Debate Should Joe Hart be England's number one? No
Yes David Morris Sports Editor
As the old adage goes, 'form is temporary, but class is permanent', and this can certainly be used in the case of Joe Hart. The Manchester City and England number one has endured a difficult spell of late, visible no more so than in his side’s 3-1 Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich, in which the goalkeeper was at fault for two of the three goals conceded. However it would be wrong to dispose of the best player currently available to England in this position, for matches of such magnitude, as England head into crunch qualifying games against Montenegro and Poland, which will determine whether they are to appear in the 2014 World Cup or not. When on his game, Hart is one of the best in the world.
"When on his game, Hart is one of the best in the world." There are several reasons as to why this is the case, and it is worth first of all noting the qualities Hart brings to the team. At 26, he can still be considered young for a goalkeeper, and yet he already has a wealth of experience that will not be matched by most in his position by the time they retire. Experience is vital, especially when it comes to the big games, and these are arguably the biggest England have faced in a while. The Manchester City stopper has played on the big stage for most of his career and except for occasional dips in form, has normally played to a very high standard. While his distribution has always deservedly been a topic of debate, his shot stopping ability should never be questioned. When on his game, Hart is one of the best in the world. Hart is also a 'talker', ensuring he is in constant communication with his defence in
a bid to limit the amount of confusion at the back. This is of particular importance given that England’s apparent first choice centre back partnership of Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka is inexperienced. Having Hart behind them will give them a lot more confidence. Indeed, only a year or so ago when Roy Hodgson was choosing who to select as John Terry’s replacement as England captain, many were touring Joe Hart, who represented then, and still does now, the future of the national team. How can someone of such repute then, now be considered so poorly? There are other reasons why Hart should remain the number one choice for Hodgson. Worthy of consideration is the fact that there is no suitable replacement at the moment. Hart’s nearest rival is Ben Foster who has been superb in the last couple of years and except for injury may well contest the spot. However he is unavailable and so the choice would be between John Ruddy and Fraser Forster. Few arguments will be made for the inclusion of Norwich’s Ruddy who is simply not good enough, and only has a place in the squad to make up numbers. Forster on the other hand is earning himself a lot of support based on impressive showings against Barcelona in the Champions League over the course of the last couple of seasons. However, there should be reservations over the fact that he plays for the best team by a long way in Scotland and so does not find himself tested too frequently, and when he does it is hardly against the most prestigious opposition. Those calling for Foster’s inclusion would also do well to remember Scott Carson’s dismal performance against Croatia, which was the final straw in costing England a place at Euro 2008. Carson was inexperienced and did not deal well with the scale of such an important game. In my mind, there is no question that Hart should still remain as England’s goalkeeper for the games against Montenegro and Poland, and do not be surprised if he proves the doubters wrong with two excellent performances.
‘Joe Hart is still my number 1’ Hodgson proclaimed last week. This came after the announcement of the squad that will feature in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland. This is a controversial decision by the England manager to say the least, creating a somewhat media frenzy around his choice. Confidence is key to a goalkeeper’s performance and right now Joe Hart is significantly lacking in belief. It has become apparent that Hart is clearly out of form, demonstrated by an abundance of blunders in recent months. It was only last week in the Champions League that his error tally went up another notch. Having been criticised for his failure to keep out two Bayern Munich goals, there was cause for concern. There is no doubting that Hart is a talented keeper, but at this moment in time it would be reckless to stand by him, just as a means of consistency. Hart’s poor performances are evidently having an impact on City’s club form and this is bound to rub off on the England squad. There are many other goalkeepers that are in good form for their club that could benefit from the experience of playing football at the highest level. I am also sure they are more than capable of putting on a good display. Confidence is key to a goalkeeper’s performance and right now Joe Hart is significantly lacking in belief. He is young and still has time to prove himself as a top keeper, but right now, why not give someone else the chance? Celtic keeper Fraser Forster could be a potential Hart replacement. He is known as the ‘Great Wall’ for his incredibly impressive shot stopping ability. Forster has managed to keep 59 clean sheets in 110 Scottish Premier League games – an outstanding record. John Ruddy is another possibility for Hodgson to consider. He has certainly
proved himself since joining Norwich in 2010. His consistency as a performer has drawn attention from the likes of Chelsea, who made a bid for him this past summer. Another candidate is Rob Green who does have previous England experience, but is currently playing for Queens Park Rangers in the Championship and as a result, he may not be the peoples’ favourite choice. To me, Forster seems like the best bet and he should be given a chance. He is in good form and this can only positively influence the England Squad. His experience playing in the Scottish Premier League can only help his cause. Joe Hart on the other hand has been struggling of late and this is undoubtedly from playing too many games. The pressure of putting in good performances on a regular basis, whether it be for club or country is obviously taking its toll. He needs to take a
"He needs time to rebuild his confidence. Hodgson should give someone else a chance." break in regards to playing for England and utilise this time to enhance his game and address his current areas of weakness. In addition, a little competition for his place in the England squad will do no harm at all. Players need competition to bring out the best in their performance, otherwise they become complacent. Completion from the likes of Forster and Ruddy can push Hart to improve his game, which, if he doesn’t, could place his spot in the England squad at risk. There is no doubt that Joe Hart is a gifted young goal keeper and great future prospect, but he needs time to rebuild his confidence. Hodgson should give someone else a chance.
11th - 17th October 2013
The Death of the Heineken Cup With the current dispute over the running of the Heineken Cup, Ellie Jones looks at the reasons behind the breakaway and possible consequences of the situation. Ellie Jones Sport Reporter
In talks last week the French and English rugby associations have declared they will not be taking part in the biggest European rugby competition, the Heineken Cup, after 2014. There were glimmers of hope earlier this year, with rumours of the two big rugby giants returning to the competition, but the decision, announced in Dublin last week, has well and truly squashed those potential prospects. The announcement comes after years of dissatisfaction on the part of the English and French leagues. The Heineken Cup organisers ERC (European Rugby Cup) have come under fire many times from both rugby associations, but not much has ever been done about their worries. This being the case, it is now thought there will be an Anglo-French breakaway, creating a new tournament to fill the void. In simple terms, English and French clubs have three main issues they wanted addressed, or their leaving will not just be a threat. Firstly they believe the qualification process for the Heineken Cup is unfair for them, as it is based on merit, whereas Pro 12 teams qualify automatically, regardless of where they finish. Secondly, there is an argument over distribution of competition revenue, with Pro 12 getting 52 per cent of funding and AngloFrench clubs only receiving 24 per cent. This means Pro 12 have earned £25.5 million over the last five years, and who would be stupid enough to let that go? Lastly the unhappy clubs feel the competition is poorly executed as a whole. The clubs claim the ERC do not take full advantage of the commercial opportunities they get for the tournament. The feeling is that they could be advertising a lot better and therefore making more money. The arguments presented by the clubs’ leaders have been known for years but matters came to a head in June 2012 when they declared they
"the unhappy clubs feel the competition is poorly executed as a whole." were giving in their two year notice. If there was to be no change in this period they would leave for good and create an AngloFrench competition which would no doubt rival the strictly Pro 12 Heineken Cup. The changes required were to reduce the number of clubs participating to 20 from 24 and for qualifications all to be on merit, with the Pro 12 qualifiers being the top six finishers regardless of country. Finally, the clubs also wanted an equal three way split of money from commercial revenue. Although the demands from the French and English clubs seem fair, there would be one major disadvantage if the Pro 12 clubs were to follow - money. As the other European teams earn more than the Premiership and top 14 in the competition, it would seem there would be no incentive to leave the Heineken Cup and gain less money from joining a new, English run tournament.
Despite all of this, there would seem more disadvantages in not following the Anglo-French breakaway. The clubs would lose star players, millions of pounds and the support of fans across the nations. Not only are the clubs less known in these countries anyway, but they have already failed to capture the imagination of most of the rugby population.
"Despite all of this there would seem more disadvantages in not following the Anglo-French breakaway." The English and French rugby movements have had serious talks in forming their own tournament for themselves to play in. The French have said outright they will not be taking part in any cross border competition unless the English clubs are involved, so there is believed to be a new
deal designed any day now. If this were to be the case it would be a much more hotly anticipated competition. As it stands now, the French and English clubs are the backbone of the Heineken Cup and a competition tailored just for them would be a different level of rugby no matter who was to qualify. One would assume this would mean better advertising, luring higher profile stars to Europe and more importantly, bigger ticket sales for all matches. So, would this new competition damage Pro 12 rugby? Most certainly. The league would lose millions and not just in advertising, but ticket profits would plummet and money being pumped into the clubs for players and coaching staff would also take a beating. If the clubs don’t come aboard, their future looks bleak, however it would all be on English and French terms which, as one can imagined, would not sit well with the Celtic and Italian teams. Unfortunately it seems it has all come down to money, a big reason for the crumbling of the Heineken Cup in the first place. For me, the Heineken Cup is an all-
"it doesn't matter what country you are from, or what club you support you want to see rugby flourish and not falling apart at the seams." round thrilling and entertaining competition, which highlights new players just below Test level. However, any breakaway would mean more power to the clubs above the national bodies like the RFU. Power to the clubs has always been an incredibly important aspect in English sport. Despite all this, the Scottish and Italian clubs are in the weakest position and stand to lose the most. As a rugby lover, it doesn’t matter what country you are from, or what club you support - you want to see rugby flourishing and not falling apart at the seams. Perhaps all parties should try to reach a compromise to keep the competition afloat.
11th - 17th October 2013
Performance of the week
Tweet of the week @GazzaOfficial
Adnan Januzaj - The 18 year old put in an excellent second half performance, scoring two spectacular goals in Manchester United's 2-1 win over Sunderland, releasing some of the pressure on David Moyes. Tipped for stardom, Januzaj now finds himself at the centre of a tussle for his international future, with England one of the many nations interested.
'Finally on Twitter will keep everyone up to date... Looking forward to getting to know you guys and showing you the real Gazza!!'
Daniel Sturridge has had an impressive start to the new season, and do not be surprised to see this continue when England take on Montenegro on Friday night. The Premier League's top scorer is 5/1 to score the first goal.
Photo of the week
The lighter side of sport
Things to look out for this weekend
1. Leyton Orient have banned their players from playing Fifa 14 on a matchday after a dip in form. The Os started the season in scintillating fashion, but have failed to win a match since the release of the game. 2. Swedish TV rearranged a second division match due to a clash with the programme Pop Idol. GIF Sundsvall player Kevin Walker prioritised his dream of becoming a Popstar over his day job, but fortunately the TV channel switched the game to avoid a clash.
1. Sebastian Vettel has the chance to wrap up his fourth world title this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix. The German will secure the honours if he finishes first and rival Fernando Alonso crosses the line lower than 8th. 2. England's firepower. For the first time in a while England have five fully fit strikers to choose from for their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro.
3. Novak Djokovic will look to retain his Shanghai Masters crown and win his second tournament in a row.
1. Which British tennis player won a singles title at the 1976 French Open?
Zinedine Zidane's infamous headbutt has been immortalised in this new statue in Qatar
Online this week
2. Which English Premier rugby side play at Sandy Park? 3. Who scored more goals for Manchester United: Andrew Cole or Dwight Yorke?
James Kinsey Reluctant Crossword Editor
4. How many NFL games will Wembley Stadium host next year? 5. Who has taken more Test wickets, Dale Steyn or James Anderson? Tuesday debate: David Morris and Tasha Son debate whether Joe Hart should remain as England's number one.
The Redbrick Crossword
Presidents Cup: Thomas Dodd reviews America's Presidents Cup win.
James Kinsey Reluctant Crossword Editor
This week's prize is a candlelit dinner with our Dep-ed, Charley Ross Completed crosswords to be submitted to the Redbrick office, located in the Guild basement
Please complete this form before you hand in your completed crossword to the Redbrick office. Name: Email Address: Phone Number:
1. Sue Barker 2. Exeter Chiefs 3.Andrew Cole 4. Three 5. Dale Steyn
Top 5: After three Burgess brothers were called up to England's rugby league squad, Claire Sackman picks her favourite sporting siblings.
1. Famous Irish whiskey (7) 3. Why did the Mexican man throw his wife off the cliff? (7) 4. Nickname for the liquor made from wormwood (10) 6. 'The builder... the walls' (9) 8. Frozen water added to a drink (3) 10. To drunkenly give a serville display of exaggerated flattery or affection, typically in order to gain favor. (4) 15. Gratuitously large fierce men outside bars (7) 17. Drinking bill or check (3)
2. A non alcoholic beverage combined to a drink (5) 3. Alcoholic liquor (colloquial) (6) 5. Paralytically merry (5) 7. Poisoning resulting from a nip from a slimy reptile (9) 9. Stella Artois made this classy (kinda) (5) 11. 'Why's the ___ gone?' (3) 12. Drunken picture of oneself (6) 13. Essential to be added with 3 across. (4) 14. The darkest coloured grape fermented delight (3) 16. Don't get into an unlicensed one of these on a nightout (5) 17. To __ on freshers (4) 18. Saturday night fun at the Guild (3)
~1`2`=``~~y~7 ~~~`~`~~~0``` ~t~`~`~~5~`~` 4`````````~~` ~`~`~`~~`~~~` ~`~~~`~~`~r`` ~~~-~~~~`~`~` 3````q`~~~`~` `~~`~`~~w~89` `~~~~`~~`~~`~ 6````````~~`~ `~~~~~~~~~~`~ `~~~~e``````~
11th - 17th October 2013
Joe Hart Debate P29 - David Morris and Tasha Son discuss whether Joe Hart should be England's number one
Loughborough hit back to deny Brum The University of Birmingham men's 1sts kicked off their season with a tough match against rivals Loughborough. Josh Hunt
The Birmingham Men’s second team went up to Leeds and won BUCS gold on penalty flicks against Manchester’s first team. The match itself finished 2-2 after extra time. Birmingham scored all five of their flicks, with their goalkeeper, Ashwin Raj, saving Manchester’s first, handing Brum the victory. Early on in the game it looked like a different story. Manchester were dominant, keeping hold of possession, whilst Birmingham struggled to gain a foothold in the game. Indeed it was Manchester who had the first clear-cut chance of the match from a short corner, which Raj saved sharply. This was to become a theme throughout the game. Birmingham’s Men’s hockey 1sts made a solid start to their 2013-14 BUCS Premier North campaign, with a 2-2 draw against fierce local rivals Loughborough at the Bournbrook pitches. On the back of a reasonably successful campaign last year – a respectable fifth place finish in the league coupled with defeat at the hands of Sheffield Hallam in last year’s Championship final – Birmingham entered the new league year full of hope, with Head Coach Steve Floyd targeting league honours for his young and talented side. On another day, Birmingham would probably have come away from this game with all the spoils, having dominated Loughborough for long periods of time, but, ultimately, a lack of conditioning and fitness saw the visitors come back to earn a welldeserved draw from two goals down. The first half was a very tactical affair, both sides having sustained periods of possession, but struggling to break down their opponent’s stubborn defence. Forward Nick Bandurak was kept mostly under wraps by Loughborough’s well-drilled centre halves, and neither side were able to fashion any real chances. It took until midway inside the first half for Birmingham to get their first shot on goal, but a well-worked penalty corner routine resulted only in a routine save for the away team’s keeper. Eventually, however, Brum did manage to find the opener, though it came during a rare spell of Loughborough control. Moments after, Birmingham keeper Ashwin, making the step up from last year’s Trophy
winning 2s, made a remarkable double stop to keep his team on level terms, the home side broke quickly down the right hand flank. With Loughborough unable to get defenders back in to their attacking circle, Bandurak found himself unmarked to fire a ferocious shot right into the top right-hand corner of the goal. A final sustained five minute spell of pressure from Birmingham failed to result in a second goal, but Coach Floyd could have had no complaints about his side’s performance as they reached halftime. The second half started exactly where the first half left off. A combination of Birmingham defensive pressure and mental errors from the visitors meant that Loughborough barely had a touch of the ball before falling two goals down early in the second period. Brum’s second penalty corner of the evening was injected by Welsh U21 international Patrick McDowell, who then got himself in the right position to divert a wayward shot home from close range. For much of the rest of the half, it looked like there would be no way back for Loughborough, who lost on two of the three occasions they faced Birmingham last season. Bandurak and Will Byas continued to pose the biggest threat going forward, but last year’s Championship runners up were not to get another shot in on the Loughborough goal. That was to prove costly in the last 15 minutes, as Birmingham’s fitness levels began to drop. It was 2-1 when Birmingham were opened up down their right-hand side, Loughborough’s impressive number ten fizzing the ball across Ashwin’s goal, to find his centre forward unmarked at the far post. From only a yard out, he made no mistake. From then on in, a second goal seemed almost inevitable, though the away side had to wait until the final hit of the game to find it, when their second penalty corner of the match ended up with the ball cannoning past Ashwin’s outstretched right arm. Despite the late collapse, blamed on a ‘combination of fatigue [and not reacting] well to a couple of decisions that didn’t go our way’ by fullback Chris Way after the match, this was an encouraging opener for Birmingham’s men. Another run to the BUCS Big Wednesday will be a big ask this time around, but it’s clear that this inexperienced side is set to achieve great things in future years.