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AN ALMOST INDEPENDENT MONTHLY MAGAZINE /DECEMBER 2009 Exclusively with The Belfast Telegraph on the first Tuesday of every month

Sébastien Loeb

Rallying's Schumacher talks speed, snails & Penélope Cruz

The Faces of Everest

Pain and joy, death and glory on the roof of the world

Hacienda Reborn

Putting the 'mad' back into Madchester

SHAUN WHITE’S XMAS GIFT World exclusive: Inside the secret mountain HQ of the world's greatest snowboarder

This magazine blasts through forests, races on ice-spikes, gets big air, and even cooks eggdumplings. All this and more – see page 5



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Enduring. Oris ProDiver Chronograph


STRONG STUFF Looking through the pages of this month’s magazine, it becomes apparent what a quality of hardness there is to the many characters who make our stories. Not in a belligerent, thuggish way, of course – these aren’t people you’d be afraid of meeting in a dark alley. More in the sense that men and women such as skier Aksel Lund Svindal, board ace Shaun White, mountaineers Reinhold Messner and David Lama, or any of those featured in our ‘Faces of Everest’ story have an extraordinary toughness about them that has enabled them to succeed in their particular endeavour – be that descending a mountain faster than anyone alive, scaling an 8000m Himalayan rock face, or as we have it in our Shaun White profile: “blitzing the finals with a double-cork 1080”. It’s this focused singularity of purpose that sets them apart and allows them to make the most of talents and physical attributes not gifted to lesser mortals. Because however easy the Flying Tomato might often make his mid-air artistry appear, the moves don’t come without hours, weeks, months of mistakes and dedicated training. As you’ll read on page 54 he has been assisted in his quest for snowboarding perfection by the creation in Colorado of a giant foam-filled pit that has enabled him to crash without catastrophe. How Svindal might have wished for just such a luxury at Beaver Creek (also Colorado), in 2007, when he shunted heavily and horribly in training. During the ensuing recovery time out, Svindal lost 17kg of muscle, but little more than a year later, he was able to take a World Cup title. Testament – you guessed it – to that quality of hardness. And that’s before we even begin to talk of ice speedway rider Franky Zorn (p30), who thinks nothing (well, not quite nothing) of being impaled on rivals’ spiked tyres, or breaking vertebrae in his neck. Nutters? No. Hard nuts? Most certainly.


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Your editorial team




Inside your tough-to-beat Red Bulletin this month…


10 PICTURES OF THE MONTH 14 NOW AND NEXT What to see and where to be in the worlds of culture and sport 17 WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT? Former Hollywood bad boy Robert Downey Jr took the scenic route to his current box office renaissance 24 WINNING FORMULA Hurtling through the air at around 90mph is all in a day’s work for a ski jumper. We consider the sport’s science 26 LUCKY NUMBERS With footballing fates being decided at the World Cup draw this month, we look at the numbers behind the ultimate battle 28 KIT EVOLUTION There’s no masking the fact that face protection is essential for ice hockey. But have 50 years toughened it up? 30 ME AND MY BODY He races a bike with spiked tyres and no brakes, on ice. No surprise ice speedway racer Franky Zorn has scars to discuss



34 AKSEL LUND SVINDAL The famously likeable Norwegian skiing champion may live for his sport, but he still finds time for Michael Jackson dance routines 38 SÉBASTIEN LOEB We meet the seemingly unbeatable six-time World Rally Champion armed with a bucketful of tough questions 42 HERO’S HERO Swedish DTM champ Matthias Ekström beat Michael Schumacher at the 2009 Race of Champions, but he still thinks the former F1 ace is the best 44 KRAFTWERK After 30 years, the elusive German keyboard kings are still en vogue 48 MESSNER MEETS LAMA The master of climbing meets the sport’s youngest-ever double European Champion 06

80 38



54 SHAUN WHITE Being one of the most talented snowboarders in the world brings many pluses, like a private half-pipe playpen on a mountainside 64 WAREHOUSE PROJECT We meet the trio continuing the Manchester musical tradition that started with the Hacienda




70 FACES OF EVEREST Hundreds take on Everest each year, and they all have stories to tell

More Body & Mind 80 CHRIS DAVENPORT The champion freeride skier from the US talks skiing as religion and reveals his Antarctic aspirations

82 GET THE GEAR Skateboarding never goes out of style. We show you what to be in and on 84 THE TOUR BUS DIARIES John, of Peter Bjorn and John, takes an alternative look at France, with golden gnomes, big baguettes and cuddly crowds 86 LISTINGS Worldwide, day and night, our guide to the ultimate month-long weekend 90 NIGHTLIFE We uncover Chicago’s hidden gems, discover glittering action behind a door in Brussels and go backstage with Belgium’s next big thing 96 SHORT STORY Thursday night brings a blast from the past 98 STEPHEN BAYLEY Contemplating The Beautiful Game

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Wisecracks and wisdom from the world of Red Bull and beyond. Tell us what you think by emailing

“You know what’s funny? In Belgium, ‘douche’ means shower”


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“Mountaineering begins where tourism ends. Mountaineering also begins where the fun ends. It’s cold. You’re scared. You might not know how you’re going to get back down. That kind of mountaineering will always be interesting”


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“It’s surf porn. Me surfing. Me talking about being me. Others talking about wishing they were me... and how I became me” K_\i\ËjXe\ndfm`\flkZXcc\[N_f@jAF9%@kjkXijjli]\iA8D@<FË9I@<E%K_XkËj\efl^_AXd`\FË9i`\e]fiefn

“There are things which are more important than making a good turn in the giant slalom, but there’s nothing more important when you’re actually doing it” 8BJ<CCLE;JM@E;8C_Xj_`jnfib$c`]\$jb` YXcXeZ\XccÔ^li\[flkfegX^\*+

“Just need to clarify one thing. Our team does not think or talk about going undefeated!” Le[\ijkff[%8d\i`ZXe]ffkYXccjkXi I<>>@<9LJ?[f\jefk[f[\YXk\





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Bullevard A heads-up on action and adventure from around the world


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WIZARDS OF OZ Aussie pals vie for 2009 world surf title Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson head into the final round of surfing’s ASP World Tour this month as the top two surfers of 2009. The surf at the Billabong Pipeline Masters will decide which of the Australians, who are good friends out of competition, will be overall champ. Fanning tops the rankings after nine of the 10 events; both men have three wins under their belt and their previous form at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii, off Oahu’s North Shore points at a fitting climax to the season. “I’m feeling really good, and I’m having fun,” Fanning told the Sydney Morning Herald, confirming all jealous prejudices about the life of the pro surfer. “It should be one heck of a showdown.” One tale that won’t get a happy ending is the story of Kelly Slater’s season. The nine-time former world champion, who

last year became the oldest man to win the ASP Tour, aged 36, recovered from poor performances in the first three races to put himself right back in contention with a string of fine results, including a win at the Hang Loose Pro in Santa Catarina, Brazil, in July. His chance of a 10th title ended last month, at the Rip Curl Search in Portugal, with a joint 17th finish. Even with the best-eight-from-10race results season format, the best Slater can hope for is to finish third overall. A third-place finish will be enough for Fanning to win overall, while Parkinson has to win and then hope/pray his rival finishes lower than third. Not even the most remarkable F1 season in living memory went down to the last stop: pro surfing, it seems, has the winning formula.

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PICTURES OF THE MONTH <dX`cpflig`Zjn`k_XI\[9lccÕXmfli kfc\kk\ij7i\[Ylcc\k`e%Zfd%<m\ipfe\n\ gi`ekn`ejXgX`if]J\ee_\`j\iGDO/' Jgfik@@_\X[g_fe\j%K_\j\jc\\b#il^^\[ jk\i\fËg_fe\jn`k_\i^fefd`Ze\ZbYXe[ Xi\`[\Xc]fiXccdlj`Z$cfm`e^jgfikj \ek_lj`Xjkj%nnn%j\ee_\`j\i%Zf%lb


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Top times on bottom of the world



ROBERT DOWNEY JR The former Hollywood bad boy now fights crime as both superhero and the world’s greatest detective. Just don’t ask him about the talking dog



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TRUTH ABOUT SLEUTH @ek_`jdfek_ËjJ_\icfZb ?fcd\j#;fne\pgcXpjk_\


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WINNING WAYS Have you got what it takes to be the best? The Combined Services Disabled Ski Team have – and they’ve achieved everything against the odds


The countdown has begun: in close to 1000 days, the world’s greatest sporting spectacle comes to the UK. The London 2012 Paralympic Games will be a chance for the best sportsmen and women with a disability to shine – and to celebrate, British Airways, the official airline partner of the London 2012 Games, has launched a competition called Great Britons to find and reward UK residents who are the best in their field. One group of winners are the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team, made up of Capt Martin Hewitt, Para, Sgt Mark Hutchinson, Royal Signals, Sgt Mick Brennan, Royal Signals, and Trooper Stevie Shine, Royal Tank Regiment, who are trying to qualify for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Russia. Each team member has lost limbs in Iraq or Afghanistan, or suffered a traumatic non-battlefield injury. “All the members of the team have suffered


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horrific injuries,” says their Chairman, Colonel David Eadie, “and their progress to recovery has been an enormously painful journey. “After rehabilitation, they’ve had to learn to ski, a process in which falling over is infinitely more painful than for an able-bodied skier. In order to be able to race at their current, competitive level, they’ve had to push themselves to an extraordinary extent. They’ve broken their good limbs and, in some cases, aggravated their original wounds, but their burning desire to prove themselves, to reach for a normal life and, ultimately, to win, is what drives them forward.” The Great Britons judges – and the voting public – were impressed by the ski team’s amazing determination and they have won flights to Europe to train for the International races to qualify for the 2014 Paralympic Games. Good luck to them all!




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World Snowboard Day is upon you It seems there’s a Day for every day in the modern calendar: witness World Talk Like A Pirate Day (arrrr-ticulate!) and World Maths Day (arrrr-ithmetic!). You’d be forgiven for scratching out weeks of your diary in protest, but don’t ignore the avalanche of goodwill thundering in for World Snowboard Day on December 20. The World Snowboard Federation, in collaboration with the European Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, has held the celebration every year since 2006 in an attempt to open up snowboarding to new riders. “Last year 30,000 people got involved,” says EuroSIMA’s Anne Schott. “Individual resorts can decide how involved they want to be. Some have committed to free passes all day, while at others you can simply pick up free waffles at the end of your run.” In Bydalen, Sweden, there will be free ski passes available for anyone with snowboard boots, while in Kiev, 20

Ukraine, free rental and free lessons will be offered to beginners. Spain’s biggest new snowpark, a 2.5km course at Cerler in the Pyrenees, will be inaugurated, with DJ sessions and free snowboard lessons for beginners. It’s all a bit of fun, but the spirit crosses cultural divides, with the Chinese resorts of Lianhuashan in Jilin province, and Wanlong in Hebei, involved for the first time, hosting product testing parties and screenings of Burton Snowboards’ The B Movie and Absinthe Films’ Neverland. But goodwill melts in the Channel, much to the dismay of British Red Bull snowboarder Scott McMorris. “I’m slightly disappointed there are no events in the UK,” he says. “I’ll be riding up on Glencoe, so why not take back your own local mountain? And if there’s no snow you can just pretend.” World Maths Day just doesn’t add up in comparison. nnn%nfic[$jefnYfXi[$[Xp%Zfd

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Red Bull Music Academy man plays Warp20


HARD & FAST Top performers and winning ways from across the globe

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THE FLY GUY Reigning ski jump World Cup champion Gregor Schlierenzauer reckons that in his sport, half the battle is won mentally. “To warm up for a ski jump, I’ll take a walk or go for a run. However, it’s even more important to warm up your mind,” says the 19-year-old Austrian. “I think about what I should do for the jump. I simulate it in my head. I don’t really feel scared when I’m jumping, but I have to respect the hill and observe the energy of the place. “A ski jumper needs a good in-run speed, and to time the take-off correctly. How you position your skis and body in the air is very important too. You must lean forward between your skis, and if you are too deep with your whole body you will cut the air, reducing lift. Likewise, if you know that the wind is behind you, then you can stand up a bit more to let it give you an extra push. All of these factors can cost you in metres at the bottom of the hill. “There are two different events in this sport: ski jumping, in which competitors tend to leap 120-130m, and ski flying, where jumpers can travel over 200m. Which one you do depends on what size hill you are competing on. I jumped a personal best of 233.5m in 2008 at Planica in Slovenia. It’s the biggest slope where you can do our sport. “When you get it right, you can be in the air for as long as 10 seconds, hurtling above the ground with an air speed of 90mph (140kph). When you land in front of an 80,000-strong home crowd of people shouting your name, the emotions inside are flying even higher. It’s an unbelievable feeling because you know, effectively, that you’ve just flown.” THE WHY GUY “If you compare ski-jumping equipment to the equipment that’s used in downhill skiing, you see two obvious differences right away,” says Dr Martin Apolin of Vienna’s Institute of Sports Science. “Skis for jumping are much wider and 24

ski-jumping suits are anything but tight fitting. But why is that? “A jumper’s speed is about 60mph (100kph) at takeoff. During his jump three forces are in play. First of all there is weight, FG. This is dependent on the total mass of the athlete, m, together with earth’s acceleration, G. “Two further forces occur from airspeed, namely lift, FL , and drag, FD. Both are dependent on air density, , which is impossible to change. The lift also depends on the lift coefficient, cL , and on the drag coefficient, cD. Additionally, both forces are reliant on the reference area, A. This is where the jumper’s shadow comes into play. “The reference area, put concisely, is also called the shadow area. It corresponds to the shadow the object would cast if parallel light shone on it, or if light shone against its flight direction. This explains why ski jumpers’ equipment is the way it is. “This shadow area is larger due to the wide skis and loose-fitting suits (cL and cD are also affected by this) and, consequently, FL and FD are bigger. The lift is increased and the flight trajectory is lengthened. In addition, the shadow area prevents gravity increasing the total velocity too much during the course of the jump. Nevertheless, jumpers still reach speeds of up to 90mph (140kph) on the landing hill. Without the special suits and skis, the flight trajectory would be shorter and the landing faster – and more painful. “Equipment is strictly regulated. If it were to be modified, one could theoretically jump further than 300m. It follows that ski ramps, designed for a maximum jump length of 240m, would have to be modified, otherwise the landing would be a shattering event for the athlete. Despite larger ramps, the jumping act itself would still be too dangerous, and with athletes’ health paramount, there are no plans for modifying ski ramps.” :_\Zb`en`k_jb`aldg`e^Ëj]c`^_kgcXej Xe[cXe[`e^k`d\jXknnn%i\[Ylcc%Zfd


The ski jumper’s lot is to leap 200m in a single bound, a feat most people would find impossible. A select few – both doers and thinkers – have it all worked out

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WORLD CUP DRAW Held on December 4 in Cape Town, the determining of the finals groups has all the pomp and drama – and old players in suits waving to the crowd – of the tournament itself. Here’s how it all adds up



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It is 50 years since common sense prevailed over broken cheeks and ice hockey masks became part of the goalie’s get-up. Here’s how half a century of shot-stopping has changed them


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It takes a certain brand of bravado to take a bike fitted with 3cm spikes on its tyres onto frozen tracks – the 39-year-old Austrian ice speedway legend has it in spades, and the scars to prove it


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Heroes Those who’ve reached the very top of their game


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AKSEL LUND SVINDAL What’s so great about skiing? Who’s channelling Michael Jackson on a glacier? And who’s to blame for the financial crisis? A champion skier has the answers to these questions, and so much more Words: Alexander Lisetz Portrait: Philipp Horak

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It’s almost as hard to dislike Aksel Lund Svindal as it is to beat him in a ski race. This is how one encounter pans out: Svindal lies on an unmade bed in his hotel room – a colourful collage of skiwear, half-read Jo Nesbø crime novels and carefully arranged socks – and opens a video file on his laptop. In shot are Svindal and three team-mates on a snowy peak somewhere in the Chilean Andes, kitted out in racesuits, helmets and ski boots. The four begin a performance, fit for the stage, in which they dance along to Michael Jackson’s Beat It: “You wanna be tough,” they lunge, “better do what you can,” arms in the air, “just beat it,” and turn. The video, which they made for a laugh during the Norwegian ski team’s autumn training, is a minor hit on YouTube and elsewhere online. “My website,” Svindal says, “has never had so many hits.” There are plenty more moments like this that make perhaps the world’s best skier perhaps the world’s best-liked skier. Svindal has managed to combine the single-mindedness of the top sports star with the unaffected charm of everyone’s best friend. His rivals are powerless against both. Svindal is “the “nicest person I know”, says Didier Cuche of Switzerland. According to Austria’s Benjamin Raich, he’s a “super guy” – this, from the man from whom Svindal snatched the lead, in the very last race of the season, in the 2009 World Cup (Svindal had done the same to Raich in 2007). Alongside his three World Championship golds and four World Cup titles in separate disciplines, these are his greatest successes. The secret behind them, the thing that has taken him so far, is as old-school as it is simple: he’s mad about skiing. The fact that you can “come down a slope on skis faster than you can in anything with an engine”, is what makes the sport so fascinating to this 6ft 2in (189cm), 15st 6lb (98kg) man-mountain. He also loves “the moment you cross the finishing line and look at the scoreboard and realise you’ve

skied the fastest time. That feeling’s better than anything in the award ceremony.” But Svindal’s love of skiing isn’t just stimulated by slalom gates and split times. “In the summer, some friends and I shot a freestyle skiing video in the Canadian backcountry,” he explains. It shows Svindal on a fairly vertical deep-snow downhill. At one point he pulls off a 30m jump over a cliff. “It’d probably be better if my coach didn’t see the video,” he adds. Svindal switches off his laptop and turns on the TV. We’re sitting on the couch in his hotel room, a situation for which his passion for skiing is to blame. As it’s the day before the new season gets underway in Sölden, in the Austrian Tyrol, you’d think there’d be a million and one things he could do now to keep his head clear, but he’d rather watch the women’s race on TV. “Exciting, isn’t it?” he offers, after each split, or he takes a sharp intake of breath, or asks, “Do you see how Zettel’s not putting the same weight on each leg? You can tell she’s not fully over her injury yet.” (Kathrin Zettel nevertheless finished second in the giant slalom.) Watching a race on TV with Svindal is almost as entertaining as watching Svindal race on TV. His German is so good that he can make fun of the commentators’ slips of the tongue and their general banter. No detail escapes his analytical gaze. His enthusiasm is infectious. Even so, being both a star and a fan of skiing hasn’t given him tunnel vision. His list of other interests is almost as long as his list of skiing achievements. “Aksel is eerily intelligent,” says Rudi Huber, racing manager of Atomic Skis, Svindal’s supplier. He has something worth saying on almost any subject. International politics? “Obama’s Nobel prize came a bit too soon.” Business? “I recently held a management workshop on working as a team and motivation.” Entertainment? “I never miss Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus.” The economic crisis? “Human psychology is to blame. If it weren’t for the panicky reactions of many investors, the effects wouldn’t have been half as bad.” Music? “Thunder

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Road is Springsteen’s best work. “There are things which are more important than making a good turn in the giant slalom,” he adds, “but when you’re actually doing it, nothing is.” Svindal is a mature 26-year-old, and his maturity has been hard-won. He likes to be nice to the world, even if the world hasn’t always been nice to him. His mother, Ina, died when he was just eight. He later took her maiden name, Lund, as his middle name. “Her loss affects me to this day, even if I’m not that willing to think about how.” It has also made his relationship with his father, Björn, all the closer. “I’ve learned a bloody lot from him,” Svindal says. “About people, about sport, about business.” (Svindal likes the word ‘bloody’ when he’s looking for a superlative.) Björn, 60, is a passionate skier and, according to his boy, a “bloody clever guy” who accompanies Svindal to important races and meetings with sponsors and business partners. Svindal is also close to his brother Simen, two years his junior. Simen was a ski-racer himself; aged three, he learned to ski on Svindal’s skis and later on the two would compete in their first races together. Another knock to Svindal’s inner development came when he fell heavily during training in Beaver Creek, Colorado, in November 2007. He lost 17kg of muscle during his recovery, but not a single gram of morale; the following year he came back stronger than ever. “As a top sportsman,” Svindal explains, “you learn to listen to your body very precisely.” This is how he wins his constant battle with physical performance, fitness and health. “Eventually you start noticing even the tiniest change or impairment.” But then sometimes you have to ignore what the

“As a top sportsman you learn to listen to your body and eventually you start noticing even the tiniest change” body is telling you, like at that last race of last season in Are, Sweden, where Svindal stole the World Cup away from Benjamin Raich despite running a 40-degree fever. “I went straight from bed to the slope, without doing a warm-up. Your body gives 150 per cent at times like those. I was in bed for a week afterwards.” Twenty-four hours before the first race of the 2010 World Cup season, again Svindal’s body isn’t doing what Svindal’s head would like it to do. He is wearing a thick bandage around his left knee and he bears with composure the pain that any rash movement brings about. In front of journalists, he plays down any bother from this cartilage damage. In private, with his advisers, there’s talk of missing the race. “I’d have no problem on a smooth piste, but if I took any knocks...” he says, grimacing. Next day, he takes precisely the kind of painful knock he feared, during the second giant slalom run, ceding victory to Didier Cuche and booking himself a trip to the surgeon. Safe to assume that, after his op, he’ll go hell-fire after the competition… and no one he beats will resent him for it. NXkZ_Jm`e[XcXe[gXcj9\Xk@kXknnn%Xbj\ccle[jm`e[Xc%Zfd





The Interrogator


He’s won the World Rally Championship a remarkable six times on the trot and has laughed in the face of the world’s toughest roads. But how will he deal with the bumps and ditches presented by The Red Bulletin’s Interrogator…?

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Heroes, particularly in the egomaniacal world of motorsport, are not meant to be so breathtakingly... normal. Yet Sébastien Loeb, who has just been crowned World Rally Champion for the sixth consecutive time and has won nearly twice as many World Championship rallies as any other driver in the sport’s history [54], is really not into superstardom. He is constantly bemused by people picking over the minutiae of his genius, insisting that his life is actually quite mundane. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Frenchman can seemingly do anything he puts his mind to: he was a champion gymnast as a child – which is where he says he learned the poise and balance to keep a rally car on the knife-edge of control – and nearly won the Le Mans 24-hour race on his first attempt three years ago. This year, he came painfully close to adding ‘Formula One driver’ to his impressive CV as well. After a tentative plan for him to do the second half of the 2009 F1 season with Scuderia Toro Rosso fell through, he was earmarked for a one-off outing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of the year. But the sport’s authorities didn’t give him the necessary driving licence, which, with typical F1 hyperbole, is called a ‘superlicence’. Séb isn’t bitter though. Dominating just one form of motorsport is quite enough for him to be going on with. Which begs the question... Are you the best driver that has ever lived, in any form of motorsport? “That’s not for me to say. The truth is that you can’t compare drivers – or really any sportsmen – from different eras. There are too many variables. And however good you are, you can always be better. So, in a word, no.” Are you disappointed that you just missed out on being a Grand Prix driver? “Not really. In the end it was always only going to be a bit of fun. I never had any big ambitions in F1:


the chance to drive in a Grand Prix was just a present from Red Bull as a one-off. Look, I was under no illusions: I’m about a second a lap off the pace in a racing car. In F1 it would have been more. And I’m not sure I would have had the physical strength for it anyway. I worked hard on my neck, but I can’t say I would have been perfectly prepared. It would have been fun to try though.” So are you going to give F1 another go? “Not without a superlicence. It’s fair enough: I didn’t meet the criteria. To get a licence to race in F1 you need to have raced in a lot of the junior formulae, and I haven’t. So if they’re not giving me a licence now, they’re unlikely to do so in the future. The reason why I said yes to doing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the first place was that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Now that opportunity is gone, so that’s that. But I’d love to test an F1 car again if the chance came up.” Isn’t it about time you stopped winning? “No. I don’t think I’d ever get bored of it. Would you? When I get bored I’ll stop. That won’t be for a while.” Does driving a rally car ever get boring? “Long road sections can be boring. Driving around town can be boring. But you never get the chance to be bored when you’re on a stage. If you do, then I would say that you’re not trying hard enough.” Do you sing when you’re winning? “It’s better for everyone that I don’t.” You’ve tasted a lot of champagne, what’s your favourite label? “I love wine, but I’m not a huge connoisseur of champagne; it’s a different thing. I love any sort of champagne when I’ve won a rally, but I couldn’t sit down and analyse all the different varieties. I’m better on conventional red and white wines.” Wine or beer? “Both. Wine is something that I’ve become really interested in, so I’ll drink that during a meal. I’m particularly into Burgundies at the moment. Beer is for an evening out with friends. I come from


Words: Anthony Peacock

Print 2.0

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Alsace, on the French border with Germany, so we’ve got a good beer-drinking tradition.” Can you cook? “Of course I can – I’m French. My specialities are ready meals and anything out of a tin. But actually the one thing I can cook properly is rib of beef. It’s my favourite food. Saignant of course. The last thing you want is your meat cooked through.” Do you like frogs’ legs? “I think I last had them about 10 years ago. They’re a very French thing I know, but we really don’t eat them often – whatever you might think. I’ve not seen many in our cupboard recently. But they were OK. I don’t really remember what they were like.” How about snails? “I’ve had those more recently than I did frogs’ legs. They don’t taste of very much: mostly garlic. That’s another French stereotype...” Who was your first famous crush? “This is going to sound a bit sad, but my first crush was a moped. I was so wrapped up in those when I was a teenager that I didn’t really notice anything else – girls included.” Oh well. Penélope Cruz or Cameron Diaz? [Hesitates for a long time, giving the matter weighty thought]. “Penélope.” Do you believe in God? “I suppose I do, but I’m not church-going. I believe in something. Don’t ask me what because I don’t know.” If you could be reincarnated, who or what would you come back as? “If I could come back as an animal, it would be a bird. And I don’t mean a sparrow; I mean a proper bird. An eagle would do. If I had to come back as a person, that’s harder. There isn’t anybody who I would like to come back as in particular. Can I come back as myself and do it all again?” Tell us a joke... “I’ve got a terrible memory for jokes. If you really want to hear a joke, ask my co-driver, Daniel Elena. He’s always telling them. Some are quite funny.” Can you get on the Metro in Paris without people recognising you? “Sometimes, but generally it might be tricky. I wouldn’t say that being famous is a problem, because it’s recognition of your success and a sign that you’ve done well in the sport, but let’s say that you do have to change certain aspects of your life to deal with that situation. I can’t always do all the things that I want to do, but I still manage to lead a pretty normal life. Living in Switzerland helps.” What’s your most annoying habit? “There are a few that I could list, and probably many more that everybody else could, but my worst one is probably being late. Especially in the morning.” OK, sports quiz: how many rallies did [former female World Rally ace] Michèle Mouton win? Hmm. Two? OK, I’m not sure. [Correct answer: four.] What sort of passenger are you? “It depends on who’s driving. I’m not generally a nervous passenger, but I become one if the driver isn’t paying attention or – worst of all – is showing off. That’s what I really hate and unfortunately I’ve seen a lot of it. On the whole I’m quite relaxed though.” 40

SÉBASTIEN LOEB PLAYS WORD ASSOCIATION Citroën Can I have two words? My team France Erm... my country? But now I live in Switzerland. So let’s say ‘the country of my birth’. OK, that’s a lot of words but I can’t think of anything else Mud Three letters: R, A, C. The RAC Rally [as the British round of the World Rally Championship used to be known], is where you always have the most mud Gravel Sideways Michael Schumacher Champion Mountains Switzerland Speed Passion Abu Dhabi Grand Prix An awful lot of talk and cardiovascular work for nothing

What habit in everyday driving annoys you most? “People who don’t get on with it. People who dawdle when the road is clear. People who don’t pay attention. I find that those three things often go together.” What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done? “This is being published isn’t it? Let’s just say that I’m a man who believes in moderation. Although it’s true that I genuinely avoid taking undue risks in the rally car. I prefer to drive up to a certain limit and not go beyond it. That’s probably been a large part of our success over the years.” What’s the worst pair of shoes that you’ve ever worn? “Nothing that really stands out, but I’ve certainly had some bad items of clothing over the years and done things like worn trainers with suits. Being comfortable is the most important thing for me. So the worst pair of shoes I had was probably a really hard, formal pair – which I didn’t want to wear.” Have you ever had a stalker? “Not recently, but I’ve come across a few in the past. It’s much less the case now that I’m living in Switzerland than it was before, when I lived in France. Back then, there used to be two or three people turning up at my house every day and a sackload of mail, some of it normal, some of it mad. I once saw one fan pop up in my garden. Now, in Switzerland, it’s much quieter. I don’t think anybody has ever just turned up on spec at all, in fact. We’re quite secluded.” What’s your address? “Nice try.” What’s your phone number? “Next.” What’s your favourite sport outside of rallying? “I love winter sports: skiing and that sort of thing. But outside of rallying, my favourite sports are still motorsports. I’ve always loved karting.” What are your favourite road cars? “I’ve had a few of them; Porsches, Lamborghinis – they’re all good in their own way. I’ve changed them quite often to keep it interesting.” Tell us one fact about you that would surprise people? “I don’t like insects, especially big spiders. I don’t think I’d be at all happy living in the jungle, but in Europe it’s just about manageable.” You used to be a child gymnast: can you still pop a somersault? “Easily.” What makes you laugh? My daughter Valentine. Some of the things she says and does are absolutely hilarious. It’s better than any TV show. Maybe that’s why I don’t watch much TV.” What makes you cry? “I don’t cry easily. But sometimes I do through emotion rather than sadness.” What was the last text message you sent? “Just to a friend at home. Something so banal that I’ve already forgotten it.” Do you ever use your Legion d’Honneur? “Use it for what? It’s not the most practical of things. I’ve worn it once, when I was presented with it earlier this year, and funnily enough I can’t think




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of any other occasion when I might wear it again. I don’t get to go to many state banquets.” Who’s the most famous person you’ve met? “Michael Schumacher.” Vettel or Schumacher? “Vettel’s a great talent, but I think it’s a bit too early to judge him or compare him to Schumacher. Michael has seven titles. So I’ll go for Schumacher. For now at least.” How do you prepare for a rally? “Nothing special. I’ve done a few rallies, so it’s a fairly well-rehearsed routine. You make sure that you have a good recce, a good set of pace notes and a good night’s sleep. Having said that, my last title was the hardest I have ever taken. It went down to the last day of the last rally and that was stressful.” You broke your right arm in four places three years ago falling off a mountain bike: how is it? “It’s absolutely fine now, although it took me the best part of a year to get over it. It actually surprised me how long it took, but it was a really nasty break in my ball joint where the arm meets the shoulder.” Is it a bit silly having a mountain-bike accident when you’re a rally driver? “Yes. I didn’t feel too clever when I had to call the team to tell them what had happened.” What goes through your mind when you crash out of a rally? “It depends on the accident. If it’s a big one: ‘I hope we’re OK.’ If it’s a smaller one: ‘I hope we can get back in the rally.’ But luckily I’ve not had too many big accidents. I’d like to keep it that way.” What’s your favourite book? “That’s easy. The autobiography of my former boss Guy Frequelin: Pilote de Ma Vie [Driving my Destiny]. It’s available from all good bookshops. I think I’ve earned my commission now.” What’s your favourite cheese? [Another long pause] “I’ve actually completely forgotten what my favourite cheese is called. It’s strong, I know that. I like cheeses that taste of cheese.” What do you think of journalists? “It depends on the journalist. I’ve known some terrible ones and also some good ones. But they’ve all got a job to do, and on the whole they don’t treat me too badly.” Do you know the words to La Marseillaise [the French national anthem]? “No.” Who’s your favourite singer? “I really don’t have one. I’m not the most with-it person when it comes to keeping up with what’s going on with music, TV, and films. People will often talk about some celebrity and I won’t have even heard of them. With music, I tend just to listen to what comes on the radio or not bother at all.” Outside of France, which is the country you have been to most? “Switzerland, because I live there.” How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa Claus? “What, you mean he doesn’t exist?” I\X[dfi\XYflkJ„YXjk`\eCf\YXe[_`jZXkXcf^l\ f]n`ejYpiXZ`e^kfnnn%j\YXjk`\ecf\Y%Zfd



Hero’s Hero: Matthais Ekström on

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Not many people get the chance to race head-to-head with their hero, let alone beat them. But the double DTM champion from Sweden has done just that

Like most racing drivers, it’s difficult for me to admit having any big heroes in this sport; what I will say is that I have an awful lot of respect for drivers who are consistent in their ability to stay at the very top over a good many years. Having a great year where you win races and take a championship, that’s nice, but to do it year after year is unbelievably tough. It isn’t enough to be a great driver: you have to surround yourself with a team of the right people; you need to have the right engineers, the right atmosphere and the right setup. If you have all of that, and you manage to retain the hunger and motivation to do it over and over again, then you have something special. And the best person who managed to achieve all of those things is Michael Schumacher. I wouldn’t say there’s a particular Grand Prix of Schumacher’s that stands out for me. Let’s face it, he has had plenty of good ones over the years, but the best is difficult to judge. I’ve experienced enough in motor racing to know that what we see on television or from the grandstands isn’t necessarily the whole story. I imagine the race he considers to be his best is not the one you would automatically think of when looking in from an outside perspective. I say that because the races where you utterly dominate are not always the ones you look back on most fondly: winning a race by a minute doesn’t necessarily mean you’re satisfied from a personal perspective. He’ll have had a weekend where he really needed to get behind the wheel and drag everything out of the car to get a result: it’s the performance not 42

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the winning margin that counts. During the summer, when Michael announced he intended to make a comeback, [as a stand-in for Ferrari’s injured driver Felipe Massa] I was surprised; I wasn’t expecting to see Schumacher ever again racing in Formula One. I must admit I was disappointed when it didn’t happen. My thinking was that if he did return, he’d still be better than the current F1 drivers, because he is so focused on detail. Wherever he goes, it’s obvious that he’s really pushing incredibly hard to ensure he has the best team, the best material and therefore always has the best chance to win. I’ve just had the opportunity to race against Michael again, at the Race of Champions, being held for the first time in the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing. There are always a lot of good drivers at this event and I always enjoy the challenge – even if we all say it’s just

for fun. Schumacher was, as always, quick and very, very consistent. Last year he and [Red Bull F1 driver] Sebastian Vettel beat [Le Mans 24 Hours winner] Tom Kristensen and myself in the Nations’ Cup final; the year before I beat him in The Race of Champions final. I look across at Michael on the start line and I think, “Why should I beat him? His driving is spotless.” A tenth of a second here and there isn’t a lot, but sometimes it is enough and driving against Michael is always a pleasure. I always pretend to be considering whether to come to The Race of Champions or not, but actually I’m never thinking about it. Just to summarise, I admire what Michael Schumacher has done in motor racing, but I don’t think he’s the greatest, most natural talent there has ever been in terms of sitting in a car and turning the steering wheel. I think there are others with the same level of talent, or maybe a bit more, but what makes him stand out is his ability to maintain motivation and have the personality and dedication to ensure he’s surrounded with the best team. He’s been better at that than anyone else. That’s what makes him a winner for me. Matthias Ekström races for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in the DTM (German Touring Car Championship), driving the Red Bull Audi A4 DTM. He won his third Race of Champions last month, beating Schumacher in the final for a second time. Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel won the Nations’ Cup event for Team Germany for the third year running. Jg\\[fm\ikfi\m`\n<bjkidËjj\Xjfe`ek_\;KD :_Xdg`fej_`gXknnn%dXkk`Xj\bjkifd%Zfd


Interview: Matt Youson


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KRAFTWERK Chuck Berry, the Beatles and then… a German four-piece with performing dummies and a penchant for pedal power? This is the story of the godfathers of modern music

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For the music fan on the lookout for something a bit different this summer, the Manchester International Festival had plenty to recommend it. There was Prima Donna, the debut opera by flamboyant singer Rufus Wainwright. There were Mercury Prizewinning rock types Elbow, performing a one-off show backed by the The Hallé symphony orchestra. Both special events, but ones that paled in comparison to the sights that greeted the capacity crowd who’d packed into the Manchester Velodrome to watch Kraftwerk. Having already asked the audience to wear special Kraftwerk glasses for a retina-embalming new 3-D lightshow, donned their Tron suits for Numbers, and let four mechanoid doppelgangers take their places for the traditional performance of The Robots, the German synth-pioneers unveiled a new trick in their ongoing vision of man and machine in perfect union. During Tour De France, four men on bikes raced around the Velodrome’s perimeter – they were Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff, Ed Clancy and Geraint Thomas, gold-winning members of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland cycling team at the Beijing Olympics. Not since New Order made a record about Ecstasy with Paul Gascoigne have music and sport come together in such beautiful harmony. It was a very Kraftwerk thing to do. No group in the history of pop are quite as elusive, mysterious, captivating or winningly eccentric as Kraftwerk, the godfathers of electronic music. And few remain as influential. As recently as 2005, after two decades of minimal activity and three decades since forming, the band were having their songs covered by Coldplay and U2, two of the world’s biggest bands. Every synthesiser band that has followed in Kraftwerk’s wake owes them a debt, but so too do musicians as diverse as Grandmaster Flash and Kylie, David Bowie and Beck – all four have proclaimed the ‘electronic Beatles’ as a key influence. This year, thanks to an uncharacteristic flurry of festival appearances, from Coachella in Los Angeles to Bestival on the Isle Of Wight, teenage techno fans

and middle-aged connoisseurs alike have been able to unite in their appreciation of genuine legends. Just as influential as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley or James Brown, they are perhaps the last of modern music’s founding fathers it is still possible to watch perform. The majority of their setlist might have gone unchanged in 29 years, but when you exist in a class of one that hardly matters. And thanks to some stunning digital backdrops and cutting-edge laptop technology, their live show is now the best it has ever been. The future has finally caught up with Kraftwerk – something that’s nowhere more evident than on the release of The Catalogue. A boxset containing all eight albums from 1973 to 2003 – including their imperial period quartet Autobahn (1974), RadioActivity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977) and The Man-Machine (1978) – all digitally remastered and repackaged to perfection. “I found new things,” Kraftwerk’s sole surviving original member Ralf Hütter, 63, said recently of the remastering process. “There is this cult of analogue or retro, but for us we have been around so long… We always look forward, with a certain continuum to the past.” Kraftwerk’s origins lie in the union of Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, two classical music students who met at the Düsseldorf Conservatory in 1968. Over the years, additional members would come and go to make up the classic four-piece line-up, but it’s this nucleus that would prove to be one of popular music’s most enduring partnerships – at least, it had done until last November, when Schneider suddenly announced he was off to pursue a solo career. (As befitted a band that can go 17 years between albums of new material, it had apparently taken four decades for musical differences to make themselves apparent.) “We have different opinions about many, many things,” said Hütter in 2005. “And that makes the music of Kraftwerk over 35 years interesting, because if everybody agrees about everything, it’s very boring. [But] when we first met, we talked the same language. We were two einzelgänger (loners,


Words: Johnny Davis

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mavericks), Mr Kling and Mr Klang. Two einzelgänger produced a doppelgänger.” Far from the buttoned-up, side-parted look of the classic Kraftwerk image, in those days Hütter and Schneider moved in Bohemian art circles, sporting long hair and leather trousers – Hütter was even partial to dropping LSD at shows by electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen. The pair resolved to reject their classical music teaching. “We came from this education of playing the piano and the music is written in notes that you have to play,” Hütter once recalled. “One day you wake up and say, ‘I need empty pages! I don’t want to write!’ So we tried to forget all the things we knew before.” Instead, they started making amplified music using keyboards, violin and flute; pursuing an improvised rock agenda for a while, and becoming subsumed in the German experimental music scene of the time, dubbed ‘Krautrock’ by the British music press. “Nobody in Germany knows this term,” sniffed Hütter. “This is a word we would never use. And we don’t eat sauerkraut. It simply doesn’t exist. If you find it in Germany, it has been brought in from outside.” The duo soon broke away from their peers, and moved towards electronic minimalism – adopting an unsmiling, deadpan image, part-inspired by British artists Gilbert and George. In 1970, they founded their own studio, Kling Klang, in a rented warehouse in downtown Düsseldorf. It would have no manager, no reception, no telephone and no mailbox. “We were able to shut out the distractions and define our own identity,” Hütter told Mojo magazine in 2005, during a rare interview. “Very lucky. We were in our studio, with the doors closed and there was silence. Now what is our music, what is our language, what is our sound?” (This hermetically sealed existence would endure, only increasing their mythical status. Almost nothing is known about Kraftwerk’s private lives. When one British journalist made it his mission to find Kling Klang in 2003, he was warned off by Kraftwerk’s record label before he’d even left London. Word had somehow reached the group.) In the years after World War II, Germany was in something of a cultural blackspot. Embarrassed by its recent past, teenagers understandably chose to look to elsewhere for their entertainment, to America and Britain – a trend that had endured into the 1970s. But Hütter and Schneider instead looked to Germany’s more distant past for inspiration– to directors like Fritz Lang, architects like Bauhaus and the nightlife of Berlin of the 1920s. They gave themselves a harsh, unfashionably industrial name (Kraftwerk means ‘power station’). They embraced travel, technology and futurism at a time when people still attached wooden fronts to their electrical goods, to make them seem less threatening. They built their own instruments, dressed in suits and ties and adopted chartered-accountant haircuts, at a time when glam rock was ruling the charts. And while the majority of German radio was in English, they sung in German. Astoundingly, they were an immediate hit. In 1974, their debut album Autobahn went Top Five in America, and proved similarly successful across Europe. Created using synthesisers, real-time traffic noises and synthetic drums, the LP’s glacially 46

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minimalist title track took as its subject matter a monotonous journey along the famous GermanAustrian superhighway. At 22-minutes it was in no danger of breaking the speed limit. Edited down to provide the year’s (if not the decade’s) most unlikely hit single, it announced the band perfectly. Set against a UK chart that included Gary Glitter’s Always Yours, Mud’s Tiger Feet and Abba’s Waterloo, Kraftwerk seemed beamed from another time, another planet. The notion they might have had their tongues gently placed in their cheeks was encouraged by an appearance on the BBC’s perennial 1970s pop-science show Tomorrow’s World. “Next year, Kraftwerk hope to eliminate the keyboards altogether, and build jackets with electronic lapels which can be played by touch,” suggested host Raymond Baxter. Kraftwerk’s next two LPs were paeans to such other modern-world wonders as the radio (Radio-Activity) and the train (Trans-Europe Express). David Bowie started telling anyone who would listen that Kraftwerk were his new favourite group, composing V-2 Schneider on his minimalist Low album as a tribute, and inviting the band to support him on tour – an offer they declined. “We met him when he played Düsseldorf on one of his first European tours,”




revealed Hütter. “He was travelling by Mercedes, listening to nothing but Autobahn all the time.” Kraftwerk sealed their cold, conceptualist image with Trans-Europe Express’ Showroom Dummies, and the track became an unlikely disco hit in America. Later, Afrika Bambaataa would sample Kraftwerk on his classic hip-hop singles Planet Rock and Renegades Of Funk. Grandmaster Flash would take to playing the six-and-a-half minute Trans-Europe Express in his DJ sets, uninterrupted. And the seeds of the Detroit techno movement were sewn when earlyadopter Kraftwerk-sampling DJs Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins, combined their records with black funk tracks. In 1977, Kraftwerk toured the world dressed in their mannequin outfits, creating outrage in Paris when they sent showroom dummies to a press conference, and stayed at home – arguably going one better than Raymond Baxter’s earlier prophecy. The following year’s The Man-Machine featured Kraftwerk’s most accessible music to date, scoring them a Number One hit in the UK with the deathless The Model. It was to mark the end of the group’s classic period, and they would never be so prolific again. Disappearing for three years they re-emerged with 1981’s Computer World – a love-letter to home computing (Homecomputer), pocket calculators (Pocket Calculator) and digital life (It’s More Fun To Compute) at a time when the idea of a computer in the home seemed pure science fiction – the first Apple Mac didn’t arrive until 1984; desktop publishing wouldn’t take off until 1989. In an era when surveillance paranoia and Big Brother jitters were at their height, the cover art – a PC with rendered images of the band’s heads displayed in yellow neon – would have appeared weird at best, scary at worst. Anyone attending their live shows around this time would have had their fears allayed, though; pocket calculators were

provided for the front row of the audience, who were then invited to jam along, making their own ‘spontaneous keyboard contributions’. Meanwhile, the Top 40 had finally got up to speed with Kraftwerk, and a slew of 1980s keyboard pop acts ushered forth: Depeche Mode, OMD, Human League, and so on. Michael Jackson summoned Kraftwerk to New York to discuss working together, but by then the band had established such a carefully constructed and unique worldview that any collaboration, even one with The King Of Pop, would have been impossible. Their singular vision was sealed in 1983 with one of Kraftwerk’s biggest hits – Tour de France. It’s no exaggeration to say that by this stage Hütter had become obsessed with cycling; regularly covering 125 miles in a day and proclaiming the sport the perfect fusion of Kraftwerk’s earlier ideas on the synthesis of man and machine. Accordingly, the song had samples of moving gears and cyclists’ breathing; supplementing its simple electro-percussion rhythm that still sounds like nothing else in popular music. The peerless 1991 album The Mix gently retooled their back catalogue for the house generation, a timely reminder of just who the real innovators were. From then on, Kraftwerk’s output practically ground to a halt. There were rumours they had disbanded, suffered multiple heart attacks or in, Hütter’s case, “had a bicycle accident and got a new head”. Long-serving percussionists Karl Bartos and Wolfgang Flür quit, frustrated with the rusty pace of work that seemed to be at odds with Kraftwerk’s image as robot-like paradigms of Germanic efficiency, a band who once claimed to put in a 168-hour week. Flür authored a hilariously silly autobiography Ich War Ein Roboter (I Was A Robot) in 2000, which suggested Kraftwerk’s early years were characterised not by restraint and a clean-living work ethic, but by groupies and pornfuelled orgies at Schneider’s mum’s house. (His bandmates hit the book with a court injunction, proclaiming him unhinged, and “a psycho”.) In 2003, Tour de France Soundtracks, which expanded the original cycling single concept over a whole album, represented Kraftwerk’s first new material for 17 years. It also coincided with renewed passion for touring; playing festivals and raves, now new generations of fans could experience Hütter and Schneider’s 35-year-old vision of the future. A new album is promised for 2010, the first without Schneider’s input. But by this stage, Kraftwerk fans know better than to hold their breath. Far better to make do with The Catalogue – a collection of albums without peer or precedent. Meanwhile, their standing among their fellow musicians only continues to grow. Al Doyle, member of the dance band Hot Chip, played on the same festival bill as Kraftwerk in Japan earlier this year. “All the bands made their own stage pass. I was quite proud of ours,” he explained. “Then I saw Kraftwerk’s. It was in 3-D, like an architectural programme. They’d got an architect to do it. They really do put that level of care into things,” he sighed. K_\:XkXcf^l\YpBiX]kn\ib`jflkefn1nnn%biX]kn\ib%Zfd




Ahead of his ambitious attempt to free climb Patagonia’s terrifying Cerro Torre, Austrian climber David Lama sat down with mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner, to talk skill, fear and death up high Words: Christian Seiler Photography: Manfred Klimek

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It’s a late autumn afternoon in South Tyrol. The ripe grapes are being plucked in the nearby vineyards as two extraordinary mountaineers meet at Castel Firmiano, or Schloss Sigmundskron as it’s known in German, near Bolzano, Italy: Alpine pioneer Reinhold Messner, who celebrated his 65th birthday the day before, and shooting star David Lama, who, at 19, is the youngest double European Champion in the history of climbing. In November, Lama, whose mother is Austrian and father a Nepalese sherpa, flew to Patagonia intent on conquering the sheer stalagmite of a mountain called Cerro Torre (see next page) – with hardly any gear. Climbing legend Messner, whose latest book Westwand: Prinzip Abgrund [West Face: Sheer Principle] was published earlier in the autumn, has followed Lama’s nascent career with interest. The acclaimed conqueror of all 14 of the world’s 8000m mountains and the first man to climb Mount Everest alone, without extra oxygen, sees the next generation of climbing in young ‘Fuzzy’, as Lama is known: a superbly in shape, technically brilliant mountaineer whose skill will enable him to tackle far more difficult routes than Messner in his day. The conversation between Messner and Lama – a chat between legend and future-legend – takes place at the Messner Mountain Museum in Firmiano. RED BULLETIN: Reinhold Messner calls the Cerro Torre in Patagonia ‘the vertical wilderness’. David, why have you chosen to free climb this mountain? David Lama: The Torre is so beautiful. It could be the most beautiful mountain in the world. The attraction of free climbing it comes from the fact that no one has done that yet. It would be something new. You go out there and you don’t know what to expect. Reinhold Messner: The vertical arena of the Cerro Torre has an interesting dimension both historically and from the climbing point of view: no one has ever free climbed it. The question is: can they? David will tell us how it goes. It’s an interesting story because we don’t know how it will turn out. The weather in

Patagonia is bad. There are often storms and snow. Maybe you won’t manage it first time around, David. Maybe you’ll need three goes before you succeed. What’s the most exciting thing about this project? DL: What I’m interested in is how I’ll cope with three months of bad weather without a private life or distractions. My best friend Daniel Steuerer is on the team, but I’m sure that even we’ll get on each other’s nerves. But it’ll be a learning experience too. You can’t see this expedition as a purely mountaineering affair. There’s a bigger picture. How did you choose your Cerro Torre partners? DL: It’s important for me to be able to climb with a friend I get on well with. If you can’t understand each other instinctively on the mountain, you’ve lost already. So I don’t pick my partner based purely on the same climbing abilities I have myself, but rather on how our skills complement each other. The Torre is relatively easily to climb in the lower reaches and even a mountaineer who’s not exceptionally good can climb it there. I’ll do the second part of the job. RM: I think that’s right. There’s nothing positive about rivalry on the mountain. A friend who’ll step back and support him in the tricky summit area is a lot more important than a secret rival who might be a better climber, who might want to have been seen as the best once success had been achieved. How did you choose your partners for first ascents? RM: It was easy. I would get to know various people and then feel: this one’s the right partner. I’m grateful to them for a number of my achievements and I have to give myself credit for choosing them. Peter Habeler was the perfect partner to have in the Himalayas; he was extraordinarily quick and in great physical shape. Arved Fuchs was the perfect partner for the Antarctic expedition because he could navigate; ultimately none of the climbers wanted to go as far. But you’ve had differences with your partners at times, too. RM: Getting on with your partners is only difficult

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after the event. After great achievements, everyone wants to revel in the glory, and rightly so. What do you see competitive climbers like David doing for mountaineering? RM: I might not be totally at home with competitive climbing because it didn’t exist in my day, but I’ve watched a few of the competitions. It was a good idea to bring the contests indoors because that guarantees that all competitors have the same conditions. It was obvious to me that the best competitive climbers would switch over to alpine events. And it looks like the first generation of indoor climbers are now taking over the leadership in rock-climbing at an international level. They can take their newly learned climbing skills into another dimension on the mountains. DL: What were things like in your day? RM: We didn’t train. I was one of the first people to start trying things out on indoor and outdoor walls at home. But nothing compared to what my son, who now goes climbing indoors a bit, does. When did you first come across David Lama? RM: About five years ago, indoors. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that he’d climbed the Sagwandpfeiler [the incredibly select north face of the Eiger of the Eastern Alps in the Zillertal Alps]. It’s a wild crag, a terrible rock-face. And I thought: ‘Aha, now he’s made the leap into a new world.’ What do you expect of him and his generation? RM: They’re reinventing climbing as we speak. The generation before them had already done a lot of training, but only outdoors. The Huber brothers [Bavarians Alexander and Thomas, known for a number of first ascents] only trained on the mountain. Stefan Glowacz was somewhere in between; he won competitions too and then went off into the great outdoors for the sake of adventure. Where does adventure begin? RM: On a 2000-3000m face… when the climber has to be able to secure himself and find the route on his own. Where it all happens at once. How high can you climb? RM: As far as your fingers and sinews can bear your weight.

How far has climbing come? RM: I think we’re not far off the upper limit. Does what Messner says sound about right to you, David? DL: On the whole, yes. RM: Do you think of yourself as a rock-climber? DL: Absolutely. But you notice that there are more and more good people who’ve started out indoors from countries that don’t have the crags we do in Austria. RM: How old were you when you started climbing? DL: Six. I started on the crags and trained indoors at the same time. RM: I think gaining experience on the rock-face is a huge advantage, perhaps even in the mountains, in addition to technical training indoors. DL: That’s right. You can push things to the limit indoors… RM: …which you can’t do on the mountain. On the other hand, an indoor competitive climber has to be small and light because otherwise his hands won’t be able to pull his weight up. In the mountains, that can help you reach the very highest grade of difficulty. I’m curious to see when this generation will displace the current top climbers. I think it’ll be a while yet. You need a couple of years’ experience before you can go crazy on a 7000er. It doesn’t happen overnight. DL: That’s why you hook up with people who already have experience in high mountains and you climb as a team. Under the right circumstances, things can get going very quickly. RM: Sport is an afterthought when it comes to alpine mountaineering. Alpine climbing is pure adventure. It doesn’t matter if you’re stronger or weaker. The most crucial thing is what’s going on inside of you. You know this much: I can’t fall. It’s a serious matter, very close to the difference between life and death. Fear is a decisive factor. Is the psychology of the adventure changing? RM: No, the psychology is still the same. But fear sets in later. A new climber is quicker and needs less material and fewer provisions, which means less weight. That opens up a whole new world. DL: What do you mean? RM: Tomaž Humar, a climber from Slovenia, climbed the 4000m south face of the Dhaulagiri alone. I tried the same face with Peter Habeler. We gave up from fear halfway up. I can only take my hat off to such climbing skill and strength of will. David, what does the name Reinhold Messner mean to you as a mountaineer? DL: When I started mountaineering, the mountains were what dominated, not the sport, and Reinhold Messner was a name that instilled respect in any climber. The boundaries have shifted since then, but you’ve always got to view achievements in the context of the time and the opportunities available. When you look at things that way, his successes are still incredibly impressive. In his book, Messner writes about his advocacy for pure mountaineering. What’s your view? DL: It’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it that makes the difference. Anyone can climb Mount Everest today. Doing it without oxygen is another matter. We have to set our own challenges.



RM: All (my book) says is that I was vulnerable. And as I was vulnerable, the challenges need to be viewed in another light. I can climb anything not far off the ground, but can’t do the same a thousand metres up. David is right to say that the great mountaineers are the few who have reached the limits of their era. In my lifetime alone, the level of difficulty has gone up by six grades. That’s an enormous climb. There’s one thing we have to understand: every generation has its own limits, its own vulnerability. Serial ascents of 8000ers mean nothing to mountaineers if the route isn’t difficult with maximum vulnerability. When the Sherpas secure every metre of the way on Everest and every camp is a hut and every hut has a cook preparing food for the tourists, then that’s become a holiday. But it has nothing to do with what we both do: what David will do, what I have done. DL: All the aspects of mountaineering of interest to me are lost if things are done that way. RM: It’s tourism. Mountaineering begins where tourism ends. Mountaineering also begins where the fun ends. It stops being fun when you know you could fall 700m. It’s cold. You’re scared. You might be injured. You might not know how you’re going to get back down. That kind of mountaineering will always be interesting. I’m happy to hear David say that not many competitive climbers will move outdoors. Adventure is for the few. I couldn’t watch when Hansjörg Auer free climbed the Fish [an extremely difficult route through the south face of the Marmolada], but afterwards I begged him to give me his equipment for my museum. What goal is worth all the fear, stress, danger and exposure? DL: You’ve got to have personal goals. And I have to be taken with the goal myself. Danger plays only a secondary role in it all. I don’t go out there to risk my life. I’m out there to make a dream come true. Whether the dream is to free climb the Cerro Torre or just to climb it at all doesn’t matter. Everyone’s living his own dream. RM: I think exactly the same thing. You won’t get very far if tomorrow you start looking for a goal based on how useful it is. The focal point has to be an idea that you’ll carry through in your own way. You’ve got to ask yourself: have I got the right partner? Have I trained enough? Can I do it? But you’ve also got to ask yourself: do I have the right equipment? Do I have sufficient resources? If you want to take the route up Cerro Torre that Cesare Maestri took in 1970, you’re going to be hunkered down in Patagonia for three months. So risk isn’t the deciding factor? RM: Risks are part of the game, whether you’re climbing the Cerro Torre or the Sagwandpfeiler. Some rock comes loose and hits you on the hand you’re holding on with, you’ll fall off the rock-face. The trick is to avoid these risks. Mountains are risky places. Indoors it’s only hypothetical risk. If anyone thinks they can make the mountains safe, they’re kidding themselves. Mountains will always be dangerous. What are the tools needed to overcome the risks? RM: Avoiding risk is a matter of experience. And

coping with difficulties is a matter of climbing technique: you’ve got to be a better climber than the others. This is why the new generation of climbers can do things that we couldn’t; they can bring together their better climbing skills and maximum experience aged 25 and not at 40, like we used to. And at 25 you can climb completely differently to a 40-year-old; that opens up a whole world of opportunities. David, what excites you about being the first to tackle a route? DL: The new discovery; engaging with the unknown. There’s often no way back on first ascents. The rockface won’t let you go. You have to master it. If I’m repeating a route, I know how complicated what lies ahead is going to be and how I need to secure myself. If I’m tackling a level six, I don’t need to put down any placements [intermediate belay devices] that I might even need to do twice on a nine. The challenge is having to make these decisions alone. Mr Messner, why have you devoted your life to mountaineering? RM: I’m more interested in human nature than in mountains. When I’m on the mountain I realise what makes me tick: what frightens me; how I deal with the situation to make myself keep going higher; what’s my psyche doing to me at times like those? What is it doing? RM: I’ve noticed that danger often makes us very calm. As if it’s all happening indoors. And if it doesn’t work out like that? RM: Perishing on the mountain is often a release. No despair, somewhere far away or way up high. Would Everest be a challenge for you, David? DL: Not at all. RM: I said exactly the same thing when I was 19: I don’t go up there just to feel the snow under my feet. We felt snow under our feet without oxygen. But a good, young climber is sure to have no interest in climbing Everest in a single-file line. DL: Using an oxygen mask would be out of the question for me too. It’s not just about getting to the top after all. It’s about how you get there. K_\@=J::c`dY`e^Nfic[:lg`jfeEfm\dY\i-$.#)''0# 9ief#:q\Z_I\glYc`Z%M`j`knnn%`]jZ$Zc`dY`e^%fi^ I\`e_fc[D\jje\i#-,# k_\flkjkXe[`e^Zc`dY\i f]_`j^\e\iXk`fe_Xj aljkni`kk\eXe XYjfiY`e^Yffbfe dflekX`e\\i`e^1 N\jknXe[1Gi`eq`g 8Y^ile[RN\jk\ie=XZ\1 J_\\iGi`eZ`gc\T glYc`j_\[YpJ=`jZ_\i % ?\ËjZlii\ekcpglkk`e^ k_\]`e`j_`e^kflZ_\j kf_`jdfeld\ekXc ]`m\$dlj\ldgifa\Zk k_\D\jje\iDflekX`e Dlj\ld %=flicfZXk`fej Xi\Xci\X[p\o_`Y`k`e^ d\jje\i$dflekX`e$ dlj\ld%`k %K_\]`]k_ n`ccfg\e`e)'('%


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Action From snow to rock, we’ve got it all covered here




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The White Stuff

He’s the biggest name in snowboarding, the kid who won Olympic gold at just 19. But for Shaun White the challenge never stops. He’s aiming to raise the bar even higher by creating new tricks at a special secret training ground Words: Justin Hynes Photography: Adam Moran


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t isn’t hard to pick out Shaun White from the small coterie of pro-snowboarders being ushered through the entrance of Burton’s flagship SoHo outlet in New York. While the others, all branded hoodies, oversized jeans and retro sneakers, are ushered quietly to a table at the back of the store to take their places for a signing session, White’s entrance is a little less low-key, a little more Hollywood. Lit by the acid glare of two lighting crews and framed by the curious backward shuffle of three cameramen, White, wearing black skinny jeans, blazer and crisp white shirt, is immediately set upon by a trio of willowy PR girls. Clipboards are produced, names are checked, photographers herded towards the side of the signing area. Space is made beside White’s end-of-the-line spot for CBS, NBC and the other TV channels here to grab some time with snowboarding’s biggest star. White is oblivious. He slips into his seat beside fellow pros Mads Jonsson and Kelly Clark and after taking a careful, and eventually approving, look at the image of himself on the stack of posters in front of him, he looks up at the first kid to walk the line and smiles. The camera lights immediately flare again, lenses zooming in on the blushing kid, who thrusts a freshly purchased DVD under White’s nose. “You’re my idol, man,” the kid blurts, whatever opening gambit he’d carefully rehearsed deserting him. “Thanks,” says White with another smile, “and your name is…?” The line keeps moving, each one grabbing as much time as possible with White, each relating anecdotes of the first time they


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“I’m no longer the underdog guy. Now I have the pressure of people expecting me to do things, to be the best”

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“I don’t think I’ve ever felt that I’ve levelled off, I’ve always felt there was more to come”

saw White or the last time they met. A middle-aged dad tries to sneak back into the White end of the line for a third time, a kid-sized board under his arm for signing. Security gently admonishes him to give some other kids a chance. Argentinian Alex Ruiz emerges from the scrum of camera crews and photographers, clutching a faded pennant emblazoned with White’s name and now with a newly minted autograph. “He’s incredible,” he grins. “He’s achieved so much in such a short time. I don’t know what it is about him… he’s a very inspiring dude.” In the midst of it all White keeps smiling, keeps signing. It is what it is. But it’s different from how it used to be, different even from a few short years ago. Then, White was still a star, though in a comparatively small firmament. Four years ago, at the Turin Olympics, that all changed. While the major TV networks were following established flag-bearers such as skier Bode Miller, White suddenly exploded into public consciousness, an almost flawless final half-pipe run landing him gold at age 19. The crossover was immediate. While his contemporaries continued to channel the sport’s core sponsors into career success, White became an overnight industry, trading niche overachievement for mainstream sports superstardom, his image used to launch clothing lines for US superstore Target, his face fronting campaigns for American Express and Hewlett Packard, and his signature splattered across the covers of posters, books, DVDs, video games. Where once White was ‘The Flying Tomato’, a preternaturally gifted but slightly goofy flame-haired kid new to the tour and marking his territory, he’s now snowboarding’s elder statesman. At just 23, White carries the image of his sport on his shoulders. He’s spokesman, champion, poster boy and, for all his competitors, a very visible target. It’s a position he understands. “It’s a cool situation to be in,” he acknowledges. “I’m no longer the underdog guy. Now I have the pressure of people expecting me to do things, expecting me to be the best. It does push you to go further, to really be that guy. “If everyone’s betting on me to do well there has to be a reason, they must believe in me and you can’t back down from that,” he says. “Which, I suppose, is why the Silverton thing came about.” There isn’t much to Silverton, at least during the summer. There’s fishing, good hiking, mountain-bike trails. You 59



can ride the narrow-gauge railway of this old mining village to nearby Durango if you’re of a mind. In fact, on the surface, there isn’t much to Silverton in the winter either, unless you know what you’re looking for. When White came here in April, he knew exactly what he was looking for – reinvention. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt that I’ve levelled off, I’ve always felt there was more to come,” he says, thinking for a moment about his motivations for a simple idea that eventually came to be known as Red Bull Project X. “I’m winging it in a sense. I feel like I’ve got… I dunno, maybe I’ve just got more confidence in how I’m winging it. I have more accuracy in how I do it, now I’m calculating how I wing it.” The gut instinct and the urge to move forward is what led White to Silverton. A vague idea to head to this tiny, pristine backcountry Colorado ski area to shoot some film was transformed when Red Bull approached White with a different plan – a private half-pipe, a place to work on something new and, to assist in that, a foam pit, constructed at the end of the pipe into which White could safely dump all the ideas that had been fizzing in his mind for months. For the company, it was a massive commitment, both financially and philosophically. While never risk-averse in pushing the boundaries of sporting extremes, the idea of constructing a 3000m-high backyard playpen for a single member of its athletes’ club – akin to being asked by a racing driver for a private racetrack – was emblematic of both White’s status as an elite sports star and also his sport’s transition from teenage rampage to billion-dollar industry. The Snowsport Industry of America’s participation statistics showing that in 2004 half a million more snowsport visits were by snowboarders than skiers at US resorts. The figure has fluctuated since, as improved ski design has given the sport back cachet, but with upwards of six million boarders now riding US slopes, investing in White was irresistible. But not an easy desire to sate. Silverton, while not exactly remote, is no Vail or Aspen. Access to the single chairlift, deep-powder area is tricky. “There’s nowhere else in north America like it,” explains Aaron Brill, the man who developed the snowboardspecific mountain nine years ago. “It’s all expert powder. We restrict the number of riders on any given day. On a busy day here we’ll have 80 riders, Vail might have

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“Maybe I’ve just got more confidence in how I’m winging it. I have more accuracy in how I do it” 8000. It’s designed for people who love to ride. There’s no easy way down.” And no easy way in either. After weeks of heli-bombing the mountain with 11kg charges to flood the area chosen for the half-pipe with avalanche debris, pipe specialists Snow Park Technologies began the onerous task of shaping what would become White’s proving ground. “It was a big ask,” says Snow Park Technologies’ Corley Howard. “It took six or seven days to build, with three CATs running 12-, 14-, maybe 16-hour shifts.” And then came the foam pit, to be erected at the bottom end of the pipe, a 30ft (9m) long, 20ft (6m) wide cushion into which White could pour all his creativity. “The pit itself was 8000lb (3.6 tonnes) of steel,” adds Snow Park boss Frank Wells. “The ski area is seven miles from town, so in the end, after the build, we had to drag it up there on a loader with skids, during a snowstorm. It was the only way.” Until Project X, foam pits had been the preserve of skateboarding and motocross, a soft-landing incubator for new tricks, a risk-free testbed. In snowboarding, it had never been tried. “The benefits were huge,” admits White. “Normally if you go to somewhere

like Park City (Utah) in the half-pipe, the sun hits one wall in the morning and the other wall in the evening, and if I want to learn a trick on one wall, when it’s not all icy and pretty gnarly, I have to wait until a particular time of day, but by that time of day every member of the public has been through there. And it’s snow; it’s not concrete or wood. It’s snow, it melts and changes and it becomes sloppy and you can’t even ride the thing. “That was an amazing thing not to have to contend with. I could go ‘Wow, I’m just going to take my time today and hang out until one o’clock when I want to hit the wall,’ and then I could just go out and do what I wanted to do.” If there’s been one criticism levelled at the prodigy in the past, it’s been a lack of invention, his ability to link existing tricks into judge-pleasing runs deflecting from an absence of innovation. “I think some people have questioned whether Shaun has been an innovator in his career up to now,” admits US Olympic snowboard coach Bud Keene. “He certainly has done everything that anyone has ever done way better and bigger than anyone, and in that way he has pushed the sport. But an innovator? Not up until now. Now he is. The things he’s doing now are definitely pushing the sport further and faster that it’s ever been pushed… and it looks awesome.” It’s an analysis White, surprisingly, concurs with. “I definitely feel that. There’s four different ways of spinning in snowboarding, the regular way, the back-side way and then switch regular 61


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and back, which are kind of like hitting lefty if your right-handed. I remember putting those all together into one run and it was like, ‘Wow we can’t believe he put all that in one run’, but those had all been done before. “Really, I was just very good at taking all those tricks and mastering them, putting my own stamp on them sure, but they had been done. My talent I guess was being able to nail them, put them together in a run and land them all the time and not make mistakes.” In Silverton, for the first time White would go further, attempting to push not just his boundaries, but those of the sport. “I remember attempting these tricks and the first ones were just hideous! I had it in my mind that I would do a full flip and then rotate this way or that and then add something else and I was just completely wrong. It was just awful. “So I had to completely redo all the rotations and figure out how they worked. I had a wish list in my mind of the kind of tricks I wanted to do, just wondering what if? What if I kept flipping, what if I added another element. And then you start thinking, well, is there a way to land it? “That was the luxury of the foam pit, because you would never try it otherwise, you would just beyond hurt yourself.” After the high tech of the pit build, the crucial element ended up being the lowest tech of all – a thin line of plastic tape stretched across the middle of the foam. “If I was on the other side I was in. But then the question was ‘how far in?’ 62

“I had a wish list in my mind of the kind of tricks I wanted to do, just wondered what if?” because you don’t want to go too far, that’s dangerous. But with this I could know every time if I was in that ‘money’ zone.” The money shots arrived quicker than expected, despite the fear of taking the tricks out of the relative comfort zone of the pit and onto the half-pipe for real. “Man, I was terrified,” he admits. “It could have been all over. All it would have taken was for me to throw the trick and panic halfway through it. I would have severely hurt myself. I know from past experience of learning tricks that you have to commit yourself totally or it will be bad. The first one I went for it was ‘flip, flip’ and I hit my butt and I was so relieved, just sitting there thinking, ‘Oh, man, it worked, I got out of it unscathed.’ That gave me so much confidence. I knew it was going to work. It just snowballed after that – a trick a day.” White stands up now, demonstrating the rotations, rattling out the names of the new moves and then pauses, frowning slightly. “You know, this is definitely the first time I’ve taken the initiative to learn something totally new and it feels great. Forever, I’ll be the first one to do these tricks. “I can’t describe how it felt the first time I landed the front-side double-cork 1080,” he says. “I’d done it, I’d invented a new trick and I was sitting there just

shaking. I knew right then it was something special. I was so excited.” So much so that the debut of a couple couldn’t wait. In August, White took his new creations to the New Zealand Open, blitzing the finals with revolutionary back-to-back double-cork 1080s and stringing together a run described by the event organisers as some of “best and most progressive riding ever witnessed”. On the cusp of another tilt at Olympic gold, it’s exactly where White wants to be. “I really had to psych myself up to attempt these things. I’d hold my breath and try it, but now it’s just something that just feels part of my run. I think that maybe that’s the difference between me and other guys. I don’t just want to do the trick; I want to have it as mine. I don’t feel comfortable just saying I can do the trick, I want to own it. Having that going to the Olympics is a great feeling.” White went to his first Olympics as a nascent star and emerged a commodity, traded into something possibly greater than the sport he arguably now defines. With that comes the pressure to repeat the feat. The secrecy surrounding his Silverton experiments has only served to balloon that expectation. He, though, is unmoved by the weight of expectation. “If there’s an increase in pressure now, it’s fine,” he insists. “To be honest, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in that same position. I don’t ever remember being at a competition and not being one of the guys to beat, so I don’t feel that there’s more of a burden now. It’s good for me to feel that too, always feeling that I’m a threat to the competition and if not the guy, then one of the guys to watch out for.” In the end, what White was doing was returning to the core of who he is as a sportsman, and that has given him a platform he never thought possible. “So many people do this and lose sight of what it was that put them in that position,” he insists. “I don’t think I’m the kind of the person to take my eye off the ball, the real prize. It is such a beautiful thing to go back to that. I’m a snowboarder, that’s what I do. It was fantastic that the original thing that brought me here was what underwent the most dramatic change. Because I’m good at this sport. I do this on a level that very few other people can do it at. “Now I sit back and think: ‘Hmmm, y’know, if I had that foam pit again… knowing what I know now, then this what I’d really like to do...’” =fidfi\XYflkJ_XleN_`k\#jc`[\ fm\ikfnnn%j_Xlen_`k\%Zfd


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Deep House The Warehouse Project continues a proud Manchester club tradition that began with the Hacienda. Tom Hall met the trio pushing dance music from the ground up Photography: Nick Ballon

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“It’s kind of like putting on a festival every weekend really”



arking on a Friday night in central Manchester is a challenge. Finding a spot for your car, plus around 1800 friends, might be considered folly. “I don’t like doing things by halves,” says Sacha LordMarchionne, one third of the creative team behind Manchester’s Warehouse Project. It’s 7pm and he stands in a rapidly emptying car park in the underbelly of Manchester Piccadilly train station. Soon this space will be transformed into the city’s most adventurous club venture since, well, that one from around 20 years ago. Lord-Marchionne was there too. But more on that later. The Undercroft car park off Store Street isn’t the identikit piss-stained, concrete soul-vacuum found in the heart of most cities. That familiar crew of tramps, skateboarders and a late-running family scurrying back to their lonely looking Mondeo won’t be reclaiming the tarmac tonight. In fact, bar a few oddly out-of-place posters that advertise a mysterious after-afterlife of post-4am nightspots, the bright lights beaming onto exposed brickwork show the venue is spotless. Stranger still, once emptied of its usual petrol-guzzling tenants, those imposing cellar arches, shadowy enclaves, and expansive open spaces of this disused air-raid shelter give it real atmosphere. Lord-Marchionne, 37, has been joined in this latest venture by co-directors Sam Kandel, 30, and Kirsty Smith, 27. Kandel claims putting together parties is all he knows how to do. That straight-up Manc delivery doesn’t initially let on that this concept was originally his idea in 2006. Smith, being slightly younger, brings a bright enthusiasm to the trio. They met in the early 2000s while working at notorious Manchester nightspot Sankeys, which Lord-Marchionne then co-owned. “Once you’ve booked the top DJs several times, for the same venue, the same crowds, the same four walls… You can’t take it to another level,” he says. “But in 2003 I did the first legal warehouse party in the north for 10,000 people and got the taste for transforming a derelict space into something a bit more exciting.” In 2006 they decided to branch out from permanent venue-based nightlife

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by creating one-off events with stellar line-ups and the feel of a thrown-together underground party. The Warehouse Project, a series that takes place every weekend between September and New Year’s Eve, was the result. As we stroll through this quiet, secret world, there’s no hint of the mayhem that’ll unfold later. “It’s kind of like putting on a festival every weekend really,” says Smith. “It’s a bit scary to think about it like that. But it just falls into place every week. I don’t know how, but it does.” “We initially found this 3000-capacity venue, the old Boddington’s Brewery, that dictated how big this thing was going to be,” explains Kandel. “We actually had the concept way before the venue. It was quite an organic process.” “But the brewery was right next door to Strangeways prison,” continues Lord-Marchionne. “So you’d have the prisoners all raving at 5am to techno music and drum and bass, which wasn’t really acceptable. We’ve relocated it to where we are today since 2007. The walls are 12ft thick. We haven’t had any problems.” Tonight, DJs will fill the three cavernous main rooms with the forwardthinking instrumental weird-hop of Luke Vibert, the shimmering electro of less widely known noisenik Wisp and influential dance music pioneers Rephlex Records DJs. Finally, the real coup will be a set from Richard D James, better known as Aphex Twin, a sonic terrorist and cultural enigma responsible for pushing dance music to some of its furthest reaching manifestations. There is a ban on photographing him at all times during tonight’s show. It’s a demonstration of the tight image control that’s seen him, in a strangely inverse way, rise steadily to national treasure-like status. That’s if you take your treasure as a bikini-clad, transgender, bearded psychopath, as he was once famously depicted in a music video. Lord-Marchionne talks about him with childlike fascination. “The weird thing about Aphex is the whole mystery. The mystery of who he is just creates this atmosphere. I looked at his website years back and it actually 67

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bars , lighting rigs and speaker stacks transform the spaceâ&#x20AC;?


One In, One Out The Warehouse Project is part of Manchester’s long clubbing tradition, brought about by personalities as loud as the music Sankeys

The Hacienda


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disturbed me. It was genuinely scary. I was quite nervous when I met him. But in person he’s the nicest guy you could imagine. There’s something special about the fact he could be sat next to you in the pub and you’d never know. But when he walks onstage everyone’s like what’s going to happen now? And we want that kind of excitement every time.” What’s happening now is a soundcheck. And Richard D James is a guy in a plaid shirt and messy bowlcut hair. But the noise coming from the speakers vibrates the room like he’s helming a heaving ship about to capsize. Tonight’s line-up is typical of the Warehouse Project’s discerning eye for new talent and genuine crowd-pulling big-hitters. A look further into this year’s season sees established mainstream acts like La Roux and Friendly Fires mixing it week-in week-out with more underground acts like Toddla T and DJ Mehdi. It’s

Twisted Wheel

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proved massively popular, with every night a sellout. Manchester’s inseparable history with the birth and development of dance music means any event looking to earn its place in that lineage had better come up with the goods. But LordMarchionne and Kandel weren’t only fans of Manchester’s late ’80s and early ’90s clubbing heyday, they contributed to it. “The first night I put on was in 1994,” says Lord-Marchionne. “I got the venue because it was on a Monday when all the clubs normally shut. It was called the Hacienda,” he says, smiling knowingly. “Ideally, I should’ve hired a club of about 200 people and learned how to promote,” he says. “But no, I went and hired the 1500-person Hacienda. I had no headline DJ, just a guy from Ashton, who, when I was going around flyering, said he owned some records. I told him brilliant, you can put them on then! Naively, I thought this is going to sell out

no problem at all. But with a month to go, we’d hardly sold any tickets. So I spread this rumour that Take That, M People, and this massive list of Manchester acts were playing!” Lord-Marchionne pauses and stifles a laugh at the ridiculousness of that situation. “But I got 800 people on a Monday night and scraped by. That was July 4, 1994. I’ve still got the contract pinned on my office wall at home.” Since then, Lord-Marchionne has developed a reputation for working closely with local authorities to create edgy projects within a safe environment. “Those relationships are a massive part of what we do,” says Kandel. “I don’t think anyone else in Manchester would be allowed to do this kind of thing.” It means tonight’s logistical headaches unfold with the full approval of Manchester council. As the bars, flatscreens, speaker stacks, portaloos and lighting rigs go up in record time around us, the environment has been transformed within a couple of hours. All except for a BMW parked right in the middle of the dancefloor. Chins are stroked, brows are furrowed and roadies laugh about what on earth can be done. Suddenly a confused and slightly embarrassed-looking businessman appears, fumbles his keys and swiftly removes the offending object. From 10pm, the venue starts to fill. It’s a young crowd largely made up from Manchester’s student population. At around 1am Aphex Twin unleashes a dazzlingly complex, beautiful and at times quite terrifying headline DJ set, while lasers and visuals add to the chaos. But Lord-Marchionne, Smith and Kandel are nowhere to be seen. They’re out on the door, keeping an eye out. “We’ll stop before people get bored,” says Smith. “This will stop at the point that people least expect it to, when it cannot get any better. You’ll never see a half-empty Warehouse Project.” The future looks exciting for now. So does Lord-Marchionne see the Warehouse Project joining that list of great Manchester musical institutions? With Sankeys he’s already got one in the bag… “I’m not sure my name is on that list,” he says humbly. “I was really fortunate to know Tony Wilson. What an absolute genius. And Manchester is different to every other city because it produces these eccentrics who get these mad ideas running. I think it’s the attitude people have here, they’re just more up for it...” He cringes for a second. “Actually please don’t write ‘Up for it’. I’ll sound like Bez.” @]pflËi\lg]fi`k#Z_\Zbflkn_XkËj_Xgg\e`e^ le[\i^ifle[Xknnn%k_\nXi\_flj\gifa\Zk%Zfd


FACES OF EVEREST The eternal desire to climb the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest mountain has lured hundreds each year, some to their deaths. Mountaineer and author Andy Cave explains its beautiful, fatal attraction Photography: Jozef Kubica 70


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“CLIMB FOR THE FUN OF CLIMBING AND DO IT ONLY FOR YOURSELF” Ed Viesturs, who reached the summit of Mount Everest six times

It hurts. Anybody who climbs above 8000m without oxygen and says it doesn’t is a liar. I take six steps and then bend over my ice axe, resting my head in the snow. Babu Chiri Sherpa and my client David are doing exactly the same. A few minutes later we are standing on the summit of Shishapangma (8013m), exhausted but euphoric. The white teeth of the Himalaya run off to the curved horizon, dividing the green hills of Nepal and the endless desert of Tibet. Perhaps a longing to be close to such spectacular scenery combined with the potent sense of achievement is what drives humans to scale the world’s highest peaks. To the east, the Himalayas butt into the wideshouldered giant, Everest. I had never attempted the peak; Babu, however, had climbed it seven times without oxygen. Maybe one day. Why does Everest persist in luring people? Although the media seem obsessed with the risk and loss bound up with mountain climbing, clearly this is not what motivates mountaineers themselves. Look at these portraits of climbers returning from the summit of Everest; look at the exultation on their faces. Yes, they look tired. The combination of sun, wind and cold has roughened their skin and they will be dehydrated. More than anyone, they understand the risks involved, and they look relieved to be back on terra firma. They have a serene aura, a glow of fulfilment, perhaps a longing to savour the moment before returning to routine everyday life. Their expressions may surprise non-mountaineers. The truth is that the thought of standing on the highest point of the earth (8840m) is a dream for many climbers. Today, with a modest technical ability, the mountain is achievable. In the spring of 2009 alone, 338 people reached the summit, some of them with limited mountaineering experience. For various reasons, in recent years the odds of climbing the peak have

improved dramatically. Above 8000m on Everest, almost everyone breathes bottled oxygen, and the bottles used now are significantly lighter than their predecessors. Most use the Poisk system, originally manufactured for Russian fighter pilots. Each season a small army of Sherpas carry the oxygen bottles, placing them in camps for the clients. They ensure ropes are fi xed from bottom to top too. Without their crucial work, very few people would reach the summit. Also, the clothing available for today’s mountaineers is made with sophisticated designs and hi-tech fabrics, and the weight of equipment such as crampons and karabiners has been dramatically reduced. Vitally, experienced leaders run logistics from base camp, making use of detailed weather forecasts via the internet, allowing them to advise climbers higher on the mountain. Choosing the right weather window to go for the summit is critical to success. The images here convey the scale of the mountain. The landscape evokes awe, even Everest base camp, which houses scores of tents, looks insignificant perched on the edge of the vast Khumbu glacier, surrounded by snaking moraines and rock walls. Higher up the mountain, rows of peculiar-shaped ice penitents provide a testament to nature’s constant ability to surprise us, the ever-changing light breathing life into this chaotic frozen world. The walls of the Western Cwm are lined with lethal hanging ice-cliffs, the valley floor is a crumpled glacier riddled with crevasses. Here is something so much bigger than human existence. Sights such as this fill us with wonder, as powerful in their own way as music or art, and their potential menace teaches us respect and humility. To climb on Everest is to tread through history, myth and legend. The feat of Hillary, Tenzing and team, making the first ascent in 1953, has enshrined certain features of that particular climb into mountaineering folklore, such as the ‘Lhotse Face’, the ‘South Col’ and the ‘Hillary Step’. The real romance and mystery, though, is reserved for the story of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine in 1924. The two men were attempting Everest from Tibet via the north col. The last known sighting was on June 8, through a gap in the clouds, just a few hundred metres from the summit. Every climber has a view on the fate of Mallory and Irvine, on whether or not they reached the summit. In 1999, American alpinist Conrad Anker found 73



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Mallory’s body on the north side of Everest, but without his camera. Scientists believed that the film in the camera could have been developed, which might have solved the mystery. Irvine’s body has never been recovered. As the saying goes: ‘The first time you visit Nepal, you go for the mountains, you return for the people.’ Despite the influx of western visitors, the people here welcome you wholeheartedly, and on the mountain, they are committed, capable and superb team players, repeatedly putting their own needs second to those of the visitors. The loads they carry are staggering. To spend time with the Sherpas is an opportunity to try to understand their spiritual connection with these mountains. For these people the highest peak is called Chomolungma meaning ‘Goddess, Mother Of The World’, or ‘The Mountain So High No Bird Can Fly Over It’, according to Tenzing Norgay. Perhaps the strong bond they feel with the mountain explains why they look so relaxed in photos, perhaps that and the fact that it is a familiar terrain for them, the place where they earn their livelihoods. A successful Sherpa can earn around $4000 for two months’ work on the mountain. Maybe for Westerners, climbing mountains fills a void that exists in normal life, a spiritual and imaginative need. Climbing Mount Everest, then, is less about conquering a physical thing and more about restoring the spirit. Less about national ambition and more about something deeply personal, a triumph of the will shared with your climbing team. For Chris Burrows, a cancer survivor photographed here (see page 71), you imagine this is a very personal journey. The normal route up Everest, via the South Col, is not a technically difficult climb by today’s standards, but it still commands respect. The debilitating effects of altitude reduce the ability to make rational decisions. If for some reason oxygen equipment fails high on the mountain, the consequences can lead to high-altitude oedema, potentially lethal. The persistent cold grinds people down, and high winds on the final day

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can mean failure, as well as frostbite to any body part exposed. Despite internet forecasts, weather can change quickly up there. If a storm does come in, you have to rely wholly on your team-mates; there are no organised rescue teams on Everest. In 1996 a single storm killed eight people and it didn’t differentiate between clients, guides or Sherpas. In the spring of 2009, five people died on the mountain. Mountaineers have to accept the risks involved and put in place strategies to minimise these risks. Good mountaineers go boldly into the mountains, not blindly. And yet on Everest, in the Western Cwm specifically, the hazard from collapsing ice-cliffs, known as seracs, and avalanches is impossible to control. When returning from the summit, you are not safe until you have negotiated this spot, known on calm days as ‘the valley of silence’. It stands between you and the sanctuary of base camp, the final hurdle. Legendary Sherpa Babu Chiri, my climbing companion on Shishapangma, fell into a 30m crevasse here and died. He was unroped and out taking photographs. For many, climbing Everest will be considered pointless, but its attraction will never fade. Perhaps the desire to climb so high is bound up with human will to explore, to push the boundaries – something to be accepted, not scorned. To climb any mountain is to take a risk. If human beings had never taken risks, we’d all be sitting in caves, living like beasts. Perhaps George Mallory understood the motivation and inspiration of most climbers when he wrote: “What we get from this adventure is sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money.” About the author Motivational speaker Andy Cave has pioneered some of the most difficult mountain climbs in the world, leading more than 20 expeditions to the Himalayas, Patagonia and Alaska. Aged 20, he quit his job as a coalminer and climbed the north face of the Eiger in Switzerland. He is the award-winning author of Learning to Breathe and Thin White Line. J\\dfi\Xknnn%Xe[pZXm\%e\k


More Body & Mind Boards, baguettes, the best music and more…




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Hangar-7 Interview

Chris Davenport When he was young, he wanted to be a ski-racer, like his dad. But then Chris Davenport discovered the thrill of extreme skiing on the steepest slopes in the world and has never looked back. Next stop: Antarctica

RED BULLETIN: American kids are supposed to dream of big-league baseball and football. So how come you ended up on skis? Chris Davenport: I sucked in skiing with my mother’s milk. I first stood on skis aged four in New Hampshire in the north-east of the US. I was really lucky because my family had a small ski-lodge and we spent every weekend in the mountains. My father had skied in college so it was no surprise that I ended up going to a ski academy too. I knew from an early age that I would either end up working in a ski resort or as a professional skier. When did you decide you’d rather freeride-ski than race? I was in a college team with my dad. My brother and sister were already competing in the World Cup. But I couldn’t get to that level and I was just burned out after years of racing and was no longer enjoying threading my way between poles. So I stopped racing the clock and started going to the mountains with friends just to have fun. We discovered how cool it was to jump off cliffs and plough through fresh powder. In 1994 I moved to Aspen and was invited to take part in a freeride contest. I was completely blown away by the competition format straight away. Negotiating a mountain in your own style is just the best! I knew immediately that this was my future. Two years later I was World Champion, and now I’m just glad that it’s still the focal point of my life and that I can make a living from it. What do those precipices feel like? It’s almost impossible to describe it to someone who hasn’t been there. Like you can’t describe sex to someone who’s never had it! I’m not really a person of faith, but when I’m with my buddies 80

on a mountain on a wonderful, safe day and we can negotiate a perfect slope, then it feels like a religious experience. Suddenly there’s this crazy energy raging inside of me. It feels like someone up there is gifting me these glorious moments and I thank Him for them. I’d call the feeling spiritual and unique.

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As unique as the project you’re about to embark on? Yeah, we’re going to explore the Antarctic on skis. I was there last year, but we had trouble with our boat and had to call the trip off. But I saw enough mountains and slopes to decide that I would come back this year with my own boat and crew. The Antarctic is one of the last undiscovered skiing regions and yet it has so much to offer with its wonderful mountains and unusual nature. I’d like to make a documentary to show the beauty.

But it’s a beauty that’s threatened by environmental pollution… That’s true, which is why conservation is one of my greatest concerns. And it’s also why we’re going to sail to Antarctica and climb the mountains using nothing but our own brute strength. Humanity has shut itself off from nature more and more over the last couple of hundred years and has stopped looking out for it. We travel by car and plane, ride escalators. This means that man atrophies more and more, with a negative impact on his psyche. I notice it when I’m in the mountains. Nature’s peace and quiet just makes me happy, but I get stressed when I’m stuck in a city somewhere on airless public transport, surrounded by masses of people. You’re just tucking into egg dumplings. What’s going to be on the menu during your expedition? We’ll want for nothing in the Antarctic because we’ll have a kitchen on board, and a cook. Good food is one of the best things in life. I’ve been a vegetarian for more than 20 years and pay great attention to having a healthy, balanced diet. That’s really important for my body, but also for my inner equilibrium. I’m certainly not a friend of fast food. And do you cook? I’ve been travelling a lot in recent years, so I haven’t been much use in the kitchen. But when I’m at home I enjoy going to the market with my family and buying the freshest food. There aren’t that many things I can make, but at 38 I’ve finally got the hang of pasta and my three kids like it. ?Xe^Xi$.`em`k\jX^l\jkZ_\]\XZ_dfek_%@e AXelXip`kËjk_\klief]=i\eZ_dXeGXlcGX`i\k% PflZXej\\Xcck_\)'('^l\jkZ_\]jXk nnn%_Xe^Xi$.%Zfd%=fidfi\`e]ffe:_i`j# ^fkfnnn%Z_i`j[Xm\egfik%Zfd


Words: Christoph Rietner Photography: Philipp Horak

Print 2.0

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Get the Gear

New Tricks Skateboarding changes with the fashions and the seasons, but it never goes out of style



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Peter Bjorn and John’s Tour Bus Diaries

Day 1/Tourcoing The first thing I saw when we got off the bus in Tourcoing was a baguette. I could not believe my eyes, but the first person I met was walking past me with the world’s longest piece of bread under his left arm. Now there was no doubt. We were in France. You might sometimes see a baguette in Sweden. But in the past 25 years, people have been mostly walking home with hard bread or maybe Sweden’s own, miniature version of the baguette – Pain Riche – under their arms. When I was a kid, I thought that Pain Riche was exported to Sweden from an old bakery in Paris. But when I once asked a French friend of my parents if he was as much into Pain Riche as I was, he just looked like (as we say in Sweden) a question mark and frowned. After some breakfast at a nice spot I walked around the small town for a bit and spotted two more baguettes and some youngsters secretly smoking something behind a shed in a schoolyard. Our man in France (le Jerome) recommended we take the subway into Lille, and, since Bjorn’s birthday was coming up, Peter and I went there 84

to buy a present. Lille seems like a very nice city and, since I am crazy about bread, I was blown away by all the amazing bakeries. I had to purchase a pain au chocolat and Peter bought something similar, but twice as big and with more sweet stuff on it. I spotted a little design store and, after spending seven seconds in the shop, we had found the gift. Of course Bjorn should have a golden gnome for his 53rd birthday! The mission completed, we went back for dinner. The dinner was interesting and the gig went well. The drummer from the great support act Ex Lovers played the bongos on Young Folks and he was one of the best bongo players we have ever had. And believe me, we have had many. Day 2/Paris Last time we stayed in Paris we had a day off. Not good. We ended up in a very happy, decadent state and I think that the French police are still looking for us. So this time we took it easier. I tried to teach a French woman to speak Swedish, which was hard. She wanted to know how to say: “Where can I find a Swedish man

without a moustache?” and there are no good words for that in Swedish. We hung out at the venue, La Maroquinerie, and got some food. The wine was good, but not as good as the gig. A couple of years ago when we played here, we did a fantastic concert but this time I think we were even better. Like the last time, we felt like we were making love to the audience. (Well, not everybody... hmm... how can I describe it... the people felt like some sort of a big imaginary creature with soft fur that you want to hug and hang out with at an amusement park in Hawaii. Maybe.) Day 3/Saint-Lô Apparently, this city was destroyed during some war and I think that this town feels more Finnish than French. There are some cool concrete church towers from, like, the ’70s and a pub called Le Scottish, but I would not buy an apartment here. Our back-line tech from England wants to, though. He found a castle for €450 including a gardener and four chickens. Before the gig we had snails, oysters and bottles of wine at a cosy restaurant called Paul et Roger. Peter had never eaten snails before and, like my first time (two weeks ago), he couldn’t get the slug out. He managed to break the shell


Ah, France: smell the baguettes, chat up the women and connect with your screaming fans. The Swedish band’s drummer (and our sometime columnist) John Eriksson reports from their recent tour

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and squirted the garlic and parsley butter all over his favourite sweater. During our show, young French kids had a big mosh pit in the middle screaming “woooaaauuaa!” I think that was what they shouted. It was a bit hard to hear. After the gig we had a short band meeting where we decided to go to Moscow. Since it was Bjorn’s birthday we had to get a little bit drunk so we went to a local disco that didn’t accept people having fun. If we moved or sang along to a tune, a guard came up to us and asked us to keep it down. It felt like going out in our hometowns in the north of Sweden. This evening we also celebrated Spin magazine giving us the title ‘world’s best Twitters of the week’! That was quite funny since we had only started doing real twittering a week ago. The day ended in the bus, we fell asleep watching the amazing movie Anvil. Day 4/Rennes The final day started with a good crêpe and ended with something very far from crap because we did one of our best shows ever. We played like masters and our crew, the French crew and the audience were monumental. It’s hard to explain but some nights everything just feels perfect. =fidfi\`e]f#ifZbfm\ikf nnn%g\k\iYafieXe[af_e%Zfd




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From snow to surf, here’s a rundown of the best action from around the globe FC RED BULL SALZBURG V LAZIO ROMA 02.12.09


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Efn`e`kjj`ok_p\Xi#k_\:c}j`ZX `jk_\Y`^^\jkliYXedflekX`e Y`b\\m\ek`e<ZlX[fi%Dfi\ k_Xe*''ZpZc`jkjkXb\kfk_\ Z`kpËjjki\\kj`e\`k_\i[fne_`cc fiZifjj$Zflekip[`jZ`gc`e\j% Hl`kf#<ZlX[fi


K_\j\Zfe[jkfgfek_\Nfic[ :lgZXc\e[XikXb\jk_\jb`$ aldg`e^XZk`fekfEfinXp% K_\Zfdg\k`k`feb`Zbjf]] feJXkli[Xpn`k_e`^_k aldg`e^Xe[Zfek`el\j`e k_\[Xpc`^_kf]Jle[Xp% Kife[_\`d#EfinXp

02 - 06.12.09 K_\d\ekXb\kfk_\:fcfiX[f jcfg\jkf[fYXkkc\`eJlg\i :fdY`e\[#;fne_`ccXe[ >`XekJcXcfd[`jZ`gc`e\j% 9\Xm\i:i\\b#LJ8


IBU BIATHLON WORLD CUP 02 - 06.12.09 K_\jb``e^Xe[j_ffk`e^ZfdYf k_Xk`jk_\Y`Xk_cfenfic[Zlg _XjY\\e`e\o`jk\eZ\]fidfi\ k_Xe*'p\Xijefn%D\eXe[ nfd\eZfdg\k\j\gXiXk\cp# Xj`e[`m`[lXcj#Xe[`ek\Xdj% {jk\ijle[#Jn\[\e

BILLABONG AIR & STYLE 05.12.09 @fli`Gf[cX[kZ_`bfmXe[KiXm`j I`Z\Xe[Xi\Xdfe^k_\nfic[Ëj kfg(-jefnYfXi[\ijZ_fj\e kfZfdg\k\Xkfe\f]k_\dfjk `dgi\jj`m\Y`^$X`iZfek\jkj ^f`e^%K_\Zfdg\k`k`fegcXpj flkfeXaldgfm\iXe\efidflj b`Zb\i#^`m`e^Zfek\e[\ijcfkjf] X`ik`d\kfj_fnf]]k_\`ijb`ccj% 9\i^`j\c#@eejYilZb#8ljki`X

STURM GRAZ V FC RED BULL SALZBURG 5.12.09 K_\Ôijk_Xc]f]X_Xi[$]fl^_k 9le[\jc`^Xj\XjfeZfd\j kfXZcfj\n`k_knff]k_\ jkife^\jkk\XdjkXb`e^kfk_\ g`kZ_[\k\id`e\[]fim`Zkfip% LG:8i\eX#>iXq#8ljki`X



RED BULL MOONLIGHTING 05 - 12.12.09 8e\m\ek]fijli]\ij]iljkiXk\[ Ypk_\c`d`kXk`fejf][Xpc`^_k% Knf_l^\c`^_kkfn\ijn`ccX[[ kfk_\^cfnf]k_\]lccdffe Xccfn`e^E\nQ\XcXe[ËjY\jkkf ZXkZ_nXm\jiXk_\ik_Xejc\\g% 8lZbcXe[#E\nQ\XcXe[

RB LEIPZIG V FC SACHSEN LEIPZIG 6.12.09 @ek_\cXjk^Xd\Y\]fi\k_\ EF=MFY\ic`^XJ•[c\X^l\ n`ek\iYi\Xb#I9C\`gq`^cffb k_\jkife^\if]k_\cfZXcj`[\j# _Xm`e^_X[XZfem`eZ`e^jkXik% JkX[`feXd9X[#C\`gq`^# >\idXep

FIS SNOWBOARD WORLD CUP 06.12.09 9fk_d\eXe[nfd\ekXZbc\ k_\gXiXcc\c^`XekjcXcfd Zflij\#`eglijl`kf]Xg\i]\Zk jZfi\%:lii\ekGJCnfic[ Z_Xdg`fe9\eaXd`eBXic`j jli\kfglklgXjkife^Ô^_k% C`dfe\G`\dfek\#@kXcp

DAKAR RALLY 01 - 17.01.10 K_\XeelXc\e[liXeZ\ X[m\ekli\]figifjXe[ XdXk\lijXc`b\_\X[j kf8i^\ek`eXXe[:_`c\% @kËjefkXn`ek\iYi\Xb]fi k_\]X`ek$_\Xik\[% 9l\efj8`i\j#8i^\ek`eX


BIATHLON AT SCHALKE ARENA 27.12.09 Dfi\k_Xe,'#'''jg\ZkXkfij _\X[kfk_`jXi\eXkfn`ke\jj k_\nfic[ËjY\jkY`Xk_c\k\j YXkkc`e^]fiXcXk\:_i`jkdXj gi\j\ekf]Xn`e% >\cj\eb`iZ_\e#>\idXep

ASP WORLD TOUR 08 - 20.12.09


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)'%()%'0 K_\]flik_\[`k`fef]k_`j XeelXc\m\ek_fefli`e^Xcc k_`e^jjefnYfXi[j\\j YfXi[\ijkXb\kfk_\jcfg\j `edfi\k_Xe)'Zfleki`\j ]ifd@Z\cXe[kf:_`eX% :fdg\k`k`fej#c\jjfejXe[ [\dfejkiXk`fejYi`e^kf^\k_\i gifjXe[XdXk\lijkf]lik_\i Xe[Z\c\YiXk\k_`jjgfikËj ^ifn`e^^cfYXc]fccfn`e^% Nfic[n`[\

ASP WORLD TOUR WOMEN 08 - 20.12.09 K_\9`ccXYfe^GifdXibjk_\ ÔeXc\m\ek]fik_\Y\jkf] k_\nfic[Ëj]\dXc\jli]\ij `eZcl[`e^G\ilËjJfÔX DlcXefm`Z_Xe[8ljkiXc`XËj JXccp=`kq^`YYfej% ?fefclX9Xp#DXl`# ?XnX``#LJ8 

RED BULL FREESTYLE BMX 12 - 13.12.09 K_\Y\jkfeknfn_\\cj^\kkf j_fnf]]k_\`i]fid`[XYc\jb`ccj `ek_\]i\\jkpc\Xi\eX%Kfg eXd\j`eZcl[`e^M\e\ql\cXËj ;Xe`\c;_\ijaXdn`k_cfZXc i`[\ijXjAXgXej\\jn_Xkk_\ 9DO\c`k\ZXei\Xccp[f% :_`YX#AXgXe

FIS SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP 12 - 13.12.09 8jk_\Zfdg\k`k`fedfm\j kfk_\\oZ\cc\ek]XZ`c`k`\j `e?XiiXZ_fm#Zfek\e[\ij feZ\X^X`e]XZ\`eZi\[`Yc\ aldg[`jkXeZ\jf]Xifle[ (+'d#ÔijkXke`^_kXe[ k_\e`e[Xpc`^_k% ?XiiXZ_fm#:q\Z_I\glYc`Z

FIS SNOWBOARD WORLD CUP 13.12.09 8]k\ik_\Y`^X`iZfdg\k`k`fe b`Zb\[f]]`eCfe[fe\Xic`\i k_`jp\Xi#9XiZ\cfeXXe[ JkfZb_fcd^fk`efek_\XZk`fe Y\]fi\Zfek\e[\ijdX[\k_\ ki`gkfJ\flc%N`k_k_\Ô\c[Xcc cffb`e^kfj_fnf]]e\nki`Zbj# \og\Zkjfd\\oki\d\X`iXZk`fe% J\flc#Jflk_Bfi\X

FOUR HILLS 03.01.10 K_\g\elck`dXk\jkfg`ek_`j _`jkfi`Zjb`$aldg`e^ Zfdg\k`k`fe%N`k_aljkXifle[ kf^f#efe\f]k_\aldg\ij n`ccnXekkf[`jXggf`ek% @eejYilZb#8ljki`X

FIS FREESTYLE SKI WORLD CUP 21 - 22.12.09 K_`ji\cXk`m\cpe\n[`jZ`gc`e\# af`e`e^k_\Fcpdg`Zj]fik_\ Ôijkk`d\e\okp\Xi#g`kj]fli jb`\ijX^X`ejk\XZ_fk_\ife Xjcfg\c`kk\i\[n`k_fYjkXZc\j Xe[aldgj%8e[k_\ilc\jXi\ j`dgc\1Ôijkkfk_\Yfkkfdn`ej% @ee`Z_\e#@kXcp

ICE SPEEDWAY SANTA CUP 26.12.09 K_\eXd\JXekX:lgdXpjfle[ [\Z\gk`m\cp]\jk`m\]fik_fj\ n_fXi\eËk`ek_\befn#_fn\m\i k_\i\Xc`kpf]iXZ`e^n`k_jg`b\[ n_\\cjfeXkiXZbf]k_`Zb`Z\ `jXepk_`e^Ylk%:_Xdg`fe =iXebpQfie`jflkkfj_fn n_p_\Ëjfe\f]k_\Y\jk% Jkidjle[#Jn\[\e

FIS SKI WORLD CUP 28 - 29.12.09 C`e[j\pMfeeZfek`el\jkf [\]\e[_\iNfic[:lgk`kc\# Zfdg\k`e^`eYfk_jcXcfd Xe[^`XekjcXcfd[`jZ`gc`e\j% C`\eq#8ljki`X

FIS SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP 31.12 09 - 01.01.10 K_\i\n`ccY\efiffd]fi]lqqp _\X[jX]k\ik_\E\nP\Xi#Xj k_\d\e^\kjkiX`^_k[fnekf Ylj`e\jj#cXleZ_`e^k_\dj\cm\j `ekfk_\n`c[Ycl\pfe[\i`e glijl`kf]dXddfk_[`jkXeZ\j% >Xid`jZ_#>\idXep

RED BULL UNDER MY WING 18 - 20.12.09


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NIGHT SPOTS Stay warm this winter with a choice of parties, gigs and club nights to dance the night away



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DUB 2 DUBSTEP TOUR 03.12.09 ;lY#i\^^X\Xe[[lYjk\g Z\c\YiXk\k_\`iZfee\Zk`fej XkXdlj`ZXc]Xd`cp^Xk_\i`e^ k_XkËjkfli`e^k_\LB%K_\ YXjjn`ccY\Y`^XjjkXk\$ f]$k_\$Xikjg\Xb\ijYcXjk flkf]]\i`e^j]ifd;Aj#c`m\ YXe[jXe[D:j#`eZcl[`e^[lY i\^^X\ifpXckp:_Xee\cFe\ Jfle[Jpjk\dXe[c\X[`e^ [lYjk\gg\iBifd\jkXi% K_\IX`eYfnNXi\_flj\# 9`id`e^_Xd#<e^cXe[


1LIVE CROWN 2009 03.12.09 K_\gfglcXi>\idXeiX[`f jkXk`fe_Xj`em`k\[`kj c`jk\e\ijkfgXjjal[^\d\ek feXZkjiXe^`e^]ifdifZb\ij IXddjk\`ekfk_fj\\lif gfggfj\ij:XjZX[X%8cc n`ccY\i\m\Xc\[Xkk_\jkXi$ jkl[[\[9fZ_ldYXj_% AX_i_le[\ik_Xcc\# 9fZ_ld#>\idXep

MATTHEW HERBERT 04.12.09 K_\ZcXjj`ZXccpkiX`e\[LB gif[lZ\iXe[Zfdgfj\i c`b\jkf[fk_`e^j[`]]\i\ekcp# ZfdY`e`e^gfc`k`Zjn`k_[XeZ\ Y\XkjXe[i\gif[lZ`e^_`j _fd\$dX[\jfle[jfejkX^\% :fg`\jf]K_\Jle#ZileZ_`e^ Xggc\jXe[`eÕl\ek`Xcefm\cj Xi\Xdfe^k_\iXe^\f] fYa\Zkj_\cg`e^_`dd\i^\ Xd\jjX^\n`k_k_\dlj`Z% DfoX#DXeklX#@kXcp


THE VISMETS =fi^\kXep<lifgfg gi\ZfeZ\gk`fej#k_\j\9\c^`Xe ifZb\ij[\c`m\iX_Xi[# gjpZ_\[\c`Z^l`kXi$[i`m\e jfle[%8e[k_\pXi\XYflkkf _`kCfe[fe#fegX^\0'%

DRUMAGICK 05.12.09 ;ildXe[YXjj`j^\kk`e^ XCXk`ei\`em\ek`fek_Xebj kf9iXq`c`XeYifk_\ijAI;\\g Xe[>l`c_\id\Cfg\j#n_f dXb\lgk_\`em\ek`m\;A& gif[lZ\i[lf;ildX^`b% 8ZZfdgXe`\[YpXc`m\Ôm\$ g`\Z\YXe[Xe[gc\ekpf] YXjj#k_\`ij`jXjXdYX]fi df[\ie[XeZ\Õffij% >cXqË8ik#GXi`j#=iXeZ\

BILLABONG AIR & STYLE 05.12.09 9\i^`j\cJkX[`ld`j_fjk`e^ XeelXcYfXi[\ijËYXkkc\ 9`ccXYfe^8`iJkpc\k_`jp\Xi% 9lk`kËjefkaljkXYflkjgfikÆ X]k\ik_\k_i`ccjf]k_\9`^8`i j_fn[fne#n_`Z_n`ccY\gcXp\[ flk`e]ifekf]k_fljXe[j# Jn\[`j_ifZb\ijK_\?`m\j Xe[9\ic`e_`g$_fgg\ijB%@%Q n`ccb\\gk_\X[i\eXc`e\^f`e^% 9\i^`j\cJkX[`ld# @eejYilZb#8ljki`X

MAJOR LAZER 05.12.09 NXekkfj\\k_\fe\$Xid\[# _fm\iYfXi[`e^#mXdg`i\Xe[ dfejk\i$Y\Xk`e^#AXdX`ZXe ]fid\iZfddXe[fZi\Xk\[ Ypjlg\ijkXi;A&gifZlZ\ij ;`gcfXe[Jn`kZ_6K_\e_\X[ kfIfkk\i[Xd]fiXj_fn k_XkËjefkkfY\d`jj\[% ?fc9XqXi:li`\lo# Ifkk\i[Xd#?fccXe[

JOE SHANAHAN K_\dlj`Zgifdfk\i]ifd :_`ZX^fkXb\jpflfeXm\ip g\ijfeXckflif]k_\n`e[pZ`kp% =ifdXi\e\^X[\_fk[f^jkXe[ kf^i\Xki\Zfi[j_fgjXe[ _`j]Xm\aXqqm\el\fegX^\0)%


YOU CLUB 8dX^e\k]fik_\Zffc\jk `ek\ieXk`feXc;Aj#k_\d\^X PflZclY_XjXjg\Z`Xce`^_k ]fi\m\ipb`e[f]ZclYY\i% =i\eZ_B`jjXe[>XpK\X;XeZ\ ]fijkXik\ij#fegX^\0+%



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WOMB ADVENTURE 09 05.12.09 Mfk\[fe\f]k_\nfic[ËjY\jk ZclYj#NFD9^\kjY`^^\i]fi `kjXeelXc\okiXmX^XeqX%@kËj [Xqqc`e^c`^_kj_fnjXe[jlg\i jfle[hlXc`kp_Xm\nfek_\ZclY jfd\^ff[]i`\e[j#`eZcl[`e^ k\Z_ef[lf:c`Zb):c`ZbXe[ Z_`ZcXY\cB`kjle„% DXbl_Xi`D\jj\#Kfbpf#AXgXe

ASOBI SEKSU 07.12.09 E\nPfib$YXj\[`e[`\hlXik\k 8jfY`J\bjlAXgXe\j\]fi ÊZXjlXcj\oË Xii`m\`eCfe[fe n`k_XgcXp]lcn`ebXe[k_\`i fneYc\e[f]AXgXe\j\gfg% :Xi^f#Cfe[fe#<e^cXe[

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TODDLA T 08.12.09

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The Green Room

The Vismets are Coming


Bombastic and brash, Vismets have got Wembley on their minds as they introduce Europe to their hard-charging psychedelic rock. Nick Amies went backstage in Brussels to gauge their progress

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Resident Artist

Indie City


Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indie music scene was shaped in large part by music promoter Joe Shanahan and his legendary venue, Metro. Who better to take us on a tour of the windy city?

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PSYCHONAVIGATION RECORDS XMAS PARTY 18.12.09 @kËjk_\Ylj`e\jj\e[f]k_\gXikp j\XjfeXe[GjpZ_feXm`^Xk`fe I\Zfi[j`je\Xicp('p\Xijfc[% N_pefk_Xm\XgXikp6K_\cXY\cËj \Zc\Zk`ZkXjk\jiXe^\]ifdifZbkf \c\Zkife`ZXYp@i`j_Xik`jkjXe[XZkj ]ifdXifle[k_\^cfY\%Fek_\e`^_k# k_\jfle[kiXZbZfd\jZflik\jp f]J\XeHl`eeXe[8[\p_Xnb\# n`k_cXY\cfne\i;AB\`k_;fne\p af`e`e^k_\]lefek_\[\Zbj% K_\Kn`jk\[G\gg\i#;lYc`e#@i\cXe[

THE HORRORS 18.12.09

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FAKE BLOOD 19.12.09 9i`k`j_;AXe[gif[lZ\iK_\f B\Xk`e^_XjZfd\Xcfe^nXp j`eZ\_`j[XpjXjfe\_Xc]f][XeZ\ dXjk\ijK_\N`j\^lpj%8j=Xb\ 9cff[_\ËjY\\ej\kk`e^[XeZ\Õffij Xc`^_kn`k_kfg$ZcXjji\d`o\jf] jfd\f]k_\Y\jk`ek_\Ylj`e\jj% Jk`]]B`kk\e#9\c]Xjk

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World’s Best Clubs

All Bar None Brussels’ starched collar and high-heeled set meet outside an anonymous façade downtown. But don’t be deceived, You is actually for everybody 94

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MORE BODY & MIND JACK BEATS 19.12.09 9\e`>f]D`ofcf^`jkjXe[JZiXkZ_ G\im\ikjËGcljFe\dXb\lg9i`k Y\XkdXjk\ijAXZb9\Xkj#n_fXi\ ^`m`e^Y`ik_kfk_\e\ok^\e\iXk`fe f]_flj\jfle[jn`k_`eÕl\eZ\j Xj[`m\ij\XjIX^\8^X`ejkk_\ DXZ_`e\Xe[IX[`f_\X[% 9Xjjf#?\cj`eb`#=`ecXe[

RED LIGHTS FLASH 23.12.09 K_\8ljki`Xegleb]fli$g`\Z\# Zfej`jk`e^f]8ek`$:_i`jk$@Xe#:_i`jk$ F]]#N\ie$8`iXe[:fejkXek$@e#Xi\ fekflin`k_k_\Xek`Z`gXk\[e\n XcYld=fiPfliJX]\kp% IfZb_flj\#JXcqYli^#8ljki`X

SUNBURNT CHRISTMAS 25.12.09 K_`jdXjjbe\\j$lg`jXeXeelXc jdl^$`e]fiXcck_fj\clZbp\efl^_ kfZ\c\YiXk\:_i`jkdXj[Xpn`k_ X99HXe[XY\\ifek_\Y\XZ_% 9fe[`9\XZ_#8ljkiXc`X

KORNÉL KOVÁCS 29.12.09 K_\ÊYlj`\jk;A`eJn\[\eË_Xj ]fle[k`d\kfkXb\_`jYc\e[f] _flj\Xe[k\Z_efXcck_\nXpkf k_\cXe[f]k_\i`j`e^jle% Df[lc\#Kfbpf#AXgXe

THE FILLS MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVALS 29.12.09 - 01.01.10 J\k`eXeXkliXciX`e]fi\jk Xdg_`k_\Xki\XYfm\k_\>i\Xk FZ\XeIfX[#Xj]\jk`mXcj^f#k_`j `j`[pcc`Z%K\Z_efcf^p_Xj^`m\e X_\cg`e^_Xe[#k_fl^_#YpnXp f]k_\^`XekjZi\\ek_XkXccfnj \m\ipfe\kf^\kX]ifek$ifnm`\n f]k_\dlj`Z#XikjXe[Zfd\[pXZkj k_XkkXb\kfk_`jjg\Z`XcjkX^\% <ijb`e\=XccjIfX[#Cfie\#8ljkiXc`X

NYE 2009 31.12.09


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DFA MEETS HORSE MEAT DISCO 31.12.09 E\nPfib:`kpËj;=8I\Zfi[jZfd\ kfCfe[fekfd\\kk_\Z`kpËjÔe\jk i\m`mXc`jkj#?fij\D\Xk;`jZf%K_\ i\jlckn`ccY\X[flYc\$n_Xddpf] [`jZf^cfipgclj;AK`dJn\\e\p# k_\dXeY\_`e[ZlckiX[`fj_fn 9\Xkj@eJgXZ\%?XggpE\nP\Xi% :Xi^f#Cfe[fe#<e^cXe[



A story by Nick Amies

The Changing Man Sometimes the past can catch up with you when you’re not expecting it…

Rituals are central to any tribe’s culture. Most ancient civilisations built their social calendars around worshipping some god or other or giving thanks for their crops not failing. Some just liked to sacrifice the odd virgin for no particular reason other than that’s what they usually did on a Monday. We normally reserve that little ritual for a Thursday or Saturday night. Saturday nights are Warehouse nights – almost without fail. No weekend is complete without a visit to the spiritual home of cheap beers, cheap women and fantastic tunes. Everything from Northern Soul, through Madchester to the current soundtrack of our lives. While the Saturday ritual is about celebrating the music that drives us on, Thursdays are about attitude. It’s about 1995. It’s about having a laugh, being a lad. It’s about having the time of your life. It’s about pushing yourself to experience it all, drinking what you like, taking what you like, working enough to get the cash to blow it over the bar and leave a wet stain on an alleyway wall. On Thursday night bad behaviour comes as standard. You throw cheap beer over each other; you throw cheap beer over yourself. You sway out belligerently into the street to the next bar, the next club. You roll around in your designer shirts, your retro trainers; you smoke, you sing your songs – Oasis or Blur or Whoever – who cares? You flirt with housewives, you cheer couples having public sex in the seedy corners, you hold self-made score cards up at the birds, 96

‘Thursday nights are all about attitude. It’s about 1995. It’s about having a laugh and being a lad’ hoping they find it either charming enough to service you at the end of the night or outrageous enough to give you an angry reaction that will drive you into the embrace of further chaos. You’re out of control but it’s OK – because everyone is. Sing after me: “I’m free… to say whatever I like, if it’s wrong or right… it’s alright…” One of the few drawbacks of cheappint Thursdays is that the women’s toilet is not the only one with a queue stretching out of the door. I’m contemplating using the alley beside the pub when a husky voice grabs my attention. I turn around and see a familiar face, although one that is older than the memory I eventually match it to. I forget about my near-critical bladder situation and squeeze myself over. “Karen?” Karen Andrews – the slightly puppyish little cousin of a classmate at high school, now a curvy, gorgeous young woman – breaks off from her loud exchange with a girlfriend and looks at me questioningly. After a moment, realisation flickers in her brown eyes and a heart-breaking smile creeps across her face. “Danny?” Daniel Jones – the scrawny, mulleted fifth-former who she once had a crush on,

now a slightly heavier, shaggy-haired beer monster – smiles back, thankful his compromised eyesight has not just helped him to make a tit of himself. “Wow, you look great. It’s been a long time.” “It has,” she smiles, in a genuine way and not in that pained ‘Oh God, how long do I have to talk to this bloke before I can make a run for it?’ way that some girls do. “My, haven’t you grown?” The sarcastic tone is not hurtful but it reminds me, not to state the obvious again, if I want this conversation to progress. “Are you just visiting or are you in the city now?” Location, location, location. Is she still an out-of-towner or someone I could bump into from time to time? It’s a good question and one which is less creepy than ‘Where do you live?’ “I moved here just before Christmas,” Karen replies. “I couldn’t handle it out in the sticks anymore. Plus I work in the city now; I’m a vet’s assistant. I love animals.” She gives me a quizzical look. “Do you have any?” A commotion in the direction of the bar catches my attention. My comrades have given up on imbibing lager and have now decided that pouring it over each other is more fun. Much cheering and copycat behaviour is ensuing. “Yeah…sometimes.” At that point, Karen’s slightly more rotund friend returns from the toilet and gives me a look that suggests she’s going to punch me in the face. Please don’t tell me this is her lesbian lover. “Danny, this is Amanda. My flatmate.” Phew.


MORE BODY & MIND “We’re late, Karen.” Amanda’s stare never leaves my face. “Right. Hey, it was great to catch up, Danny. Maybe we’ll bump into each other again.” Bump. Grind. Slide. Whatever. I’m flexible. “Wait!” Much too urgent, Daniel. Foot off the gas… That’s better. Breathe. Try again. “Where are you heading? Maybe I can buy you a drink in… wherever it is you’ll be later.” Amanda sighs audibly and angrily. Karen hesitates and thinks, looking to the ceiling in a totally cute way that suggests she’s waiting for an answer from God himself. “Err… Pulse, maybe?” “Maybe I’ll see you there.” I stand there long enough to watch Karen’s behind wave goodbye through the flimsy satin of her short party dress before fighting my way frantically back to the war-zone at the bar. “Boys, we’re going to Pulse,” I gasp to my soaked comrades. “But first I really need a slash.” Pulse is a nightmare to find anyone in at the best of times. Dragged out over four floors in one of the thinnest buildings in the northern hemisphere, getting around the place is like trying to slide up a fireman’s pole while someone fires strobe lights and lasers at you. It’s a cross between Studio 56, the Death Star and a neon-lit mine shaft. Trying to find someone who may not even be in there is something I wouldn’t normally recommend. All the cave-like booths and dark antechambers start to look the same after 30 minutes of searching and it can lead to a certain level of psychosis. But this is no normal quest and I am quite willing to lose my mind in this twisted Danny in Wonderland nightmare if it gives me the brief opportunity to see Karen Andrews again. As I stumble further down the rabbit hole, I ask myself why. As I descend these life-threateningly ridiculous stairs for the umpteenth time, I realise that something happened in that brief exchange back at the pub. The bravado has slipped, the ladishness replaced by something alien. I’m as nervous about actually finding her, as I am excited at the prospect. It’s clear that her schoolgirl shyness is a thing of the distant past and that, during our brief exchange back in the Orchard, she exuded a sexy calm and confidence unseen in the usual exchanges with women. The more I think about how she handled herself and how I dealt with the situation, the more I come to realise that she was in control. I’m beginning to wonder if this pursuit is such a good idea and whether I’m actually ready for the challenge when I exit the helter-skelter on level three and walk straight into her.

“There you are. I’ve been looking for you.” She’s been looking for me? “You promised me a drink and now I’m thirsty.” See? All shyness out of the window. The new Karen Andrews is quite a proposition. Am I up to the task? “Well, if you’ve been able to find a bar on your travels, lead me to it and I’ll gladly make good on that promise.” My mouth takes the advantage before my brain can answer. My legs appear to be in league with my gob as I’m suddenly following that gloriously animated backside into a dark, distant catacomb. At a bar I have never seen before Karen orders a vodka and tonic and I ask for a beer, getting some poncey Spanish bottle with a lime in the top that costs three times as much as a pint in return. I’m about to ask her about her cousin when she comes straight to the point. “Why didn’t you ever ask me out in school? You knew I fancied you.” Because, Karen, I was a stupid, stupid boy who was afraid of being called names by other stupid, stupid boys. And now I’m hoping that I don’t turn out to be

‘I’m willing to lose my mind in this twisted nightmare if it gives me the chance to see Karen Andrews again’ a stupid, stupid man. “The only thing stopping me back then was the age difference,” I admit. “It was a big deal then, remember? Would you have gone out with a second-year when you were in the fifth?” Karen does that heaven-gazing pause for thought again. “Second-year boys wouldn’t have had the equipment necessary,” she smiles. “Fifth-years on the other hand…” She moves closer and presses herself against me. It’s like someone has attached small electrodes all over my body. She tilts her face towards mine. “Is the age difference a problem for you now?” My hand, throwing its lot in with my mouth and legs, ignores the maelstrom in my head and gently strokes a stray curl from her face, pushing it behind her ear. “There’s no problem here at all.” After about 10 minutes of passionate kissing, during which it’s made very clear that the most daring place my hand can go is on her backside, Karen breaks off and steps back. She smiles sweetly at me. “I have to find Amanda. I have the only key.” I snake an arm around her waist in preparation for pulling her back towards

me, but find that she’s remarkably sturdy for one so petite. Again, the message here is that I’m not going to get what I want. “Are you going to come back?” “I’ll be here somewhere… around.” With that, she’s gone. I stand gobsmacked for a second until legs and brain make their peace and I’m surging out of the darkness into the fluorescent chaos again. But she’s definitely gone. What the hell was that all about? Was that revenge for not making my move almost a decade ago? Am I supposed to now foster an unrequited longing just like she did when we were barely adolescents? The sound of a collapsing table and the smashing of multiple glasses snaps me back into the club around me. There in the wreckage lie two of my posse, wrapped around each other, laughing hysterically. A couple of black-clad bouncers emerge from the disapproving bystanders and haul my friends to their feet. As the lads are dragged to the exit, I sadly decide that there is no better time to end this night than right now. I spend the next day scoffing paracetamol like they’re Smarties and scouring the phone book for Andrews, K. I harass the five total strangers who have never heard of Karen before trying the Yellow Pages for veterinarians. After being told by three stroppy receptionists that they won’t divulge any personal information regarding their staff, I consider pestering Karen’s parents. It’s then that the headache behind my eyes and the growing sense of my own desperation combine to convince me that she left without giving me her number for a reason and that I should stop this needless telephoning and lie down in a dark room. Before I succumb, I make one last call. “Ugh?” “It’s me. Did I seem different to you last night?” “Ugh?” “Different. You know? Not myself.” “Ugh?” “Forget it.”

About the author Nick Amies is a freelance journalist and author working out of Brussels, specialising in music and popular culture for a number of international publications. He completed his first novel, Mersey Paradise, in 2008 and is currently working on his second, the Britpop-era follow-up, She’s Electric. 97

Mind’s Eye

A New Kind of Sport Stephen Bayley ponders the changes in how and where The Beautiful Game is played Dubbin is a mixture of wax, oil and tallow traditionally used to soften and condition leather. It’s a medieval hangover and footballers used to put it on their boots. These were the days when football boots were not made with Formula One composites and graphics. They were brown. Players used to be 35-year-old part-time plumbers or painters called Bert or Stan. They got changed in cold, wooden huts with bare lightbulbs in the shadow of the gasometer and took their single set of kit home to be washed in the boiler by a red-armed wife. Football used to be local, tribal and amateur. Now it is global, branded and professional. The players are no longer pale, grim-faced, indestructible, saltof-the-earth clunkers in woolly socks, but an amazing new category of hypertrophied assets, often tanned as leather once used to be. Football has leapt the species barrier and is on a steep evolutionary path none could have predicted a generation ago. Naming rights, logo-tracking technologies and appearance fees have replaced sentimental local associations. To what extent sporting principles have been compromised is not the subject of this story. The best evidence for this is not just Ronaldo preening on giant poster sites anywhere clothes are sold, but the

‘Players are no longer pale, grim-faced, indestructible clunkers in woolly socks’ stadiums where the game is played. A football ground might once have been a muddy patch, with standing-room only and a corrugated iron canopy the only concession to the conceits of architecture. Now, the design of stadiums has crazy vectors of its own, as strange and unpredictable as the evolution of the game itself. In architectural terms, it’s a journey without maps: with every new branded stadium more queasily transgressive of decorum than the last, stadium architecture is also a competitive sport. To what extent architectural principles have been compromised is not the subject of this story. All stadiums, at some point, refer back to the greatest, if most repulsive, exercise in architecture-as-brand: Albert Speer’s Deutsches Stadion, built for the Nazi rallies in Nuremberg. Speer could not make up his mind whether his inspiration came from the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens or the Circus Maximus in Rome, but the classical language was indisputable. Its exact contemporary in style and purpose

was Werner March’s stadium for the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Redesigned in the ’70s, the Olympiastadion is now the home of Herta BSC. “Of course” is redundant in this sentence, but the modern stadium has its origins in America. Here, in Kansas City in 1983, a group of architects working for a big practice once known as Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum, created a subsidiary called HOK Sport. Major League Baseball was the first client base, but HOK Sport soon started working for NFL and hockey too. Credits include Oriole Park in Baltimore, and Yankee Stadium in New York. Europe’s virgin innocence was tempting and HOK Sport redesigned Wembley (although, as is the mediagenic way, the landmark arch was namechecked to Norman Foster, the Ronaldo of building design). HOK Sport also reworked Wimbledon, spent £430m on Arsenal’s Emirates and is designing the 2012 London Olympic Stadium. In full conformity with the culture of branding which it serves, HOK Sport renamed itself Populous at the start of the year. In 2010, coruscating new stadiums, part sports pavilions, part advertising, will be available for Valencia and Espanyol. Promoters of the Baltic Stadium in Gdansk are currently looking for naming rights. State-of-the art in this voodoo is the Allianz Arena in Munich, a shared ground where the commercial vanity of an insurance company wholly subordinates the culture of the resident football clubs. Allianz’s architects, Herzog and de Meuron are currently working too on a new development in Portsmouth with a football stadium at its centre. And it was Herzog and de Meuron who designed the Beijing Bird’s Nest of 2008. Widely admired by the credulous, one thoughtful critic, the distinguished engineer Chris Wise, said the Bird’s Nest was “intrinsically ugly” because 100,000 tonnes of steel was wastefully employed. Wastefully employed? Maybe that’s a metaphor of modern football. Stephen Bayley is a former director of the Design Museum in London and an award-winning writer




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