flare to burn, with a sudden intensity
Generation Illustration The story of a Henna artist
Getting Published Setting The Foundations Life In Animation
ÂŁ2.49 Issue #1
Interviews: The Vaccines
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Dry The River
Feature Name Scott Mason
Welcome to flare Meet Your Editorial Team
Editor Jasmin Stopford Enjoys her friends company, being with her boyfriend and good food. Wants to be the weather girl after leaving University.
Deputy Editor Laura Richards Enjoys singing in the shower, yummy food and duvet days. Wants to be happy wherever life takes her.
Features Editor Rob Slade Enjoys listening to music, outdoor lifestyle and watching/playing football. Wants to run NME after University. Watch out Luke Lewis.
Art Director Ben Scott Enjoys amateur photography, football on the beach and throwing frisbees. Wants to write for menâ€™s lifestyle magazines soon after University.
Deputy Art Director Bodhi Maia Enjoys eating, travelling home and walking when itâ€™s sunny. Wants to see where life takes her after University.
News Editor Mitch Waddon Enjoys acting, writing and reading Sports Biographies. Wants to work for Sky Sports when University is finished.
Cover Photo: Sam Marsh Cover Artwork: Remy Nurse
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Inside Feature Features
Interview with Dry The River
22 21 Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Feature Name Scott Mason
The Vaccines Review and interview!
Live Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Some Like It Hip Hop
One For The Girly Girls
News City Of Lights
Up There: Falmouth
Benjamin Francis Leftwich
My Tattoo Addiction
An Audience with Jo
Features Setting the Foundations
Dry The River
It Flows From There
Life In Animation
Come of Age
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News Feature Features
Truro’s City Of Lights Words: Bodhi Maia Thousands of spectators lined Truro’s streets to watch the procession of lanterns for this year’s City of Lights. The parade, which attracts around 15,000 people, was a spectacle of withy and tissue lanterns handmade by students from local schools, colleges, and the university as well as professional artists and local community and youth groups. A spokesperson for Falmouth Univer-
sity said: “As well as working on their own lanterns, the students have worked in seven primary schools around the county and in weekend workshops, assisting artists, school pupils and members of the community.” Last year’s procession was the 16th anniversary of the annual event and the theme was Kings and Queens. It incorporated lanterns of monarchs such as King Henry VIII with light bulbs that
illuminated the three metre, and above, high lanterns. Blogger Canvas and Thread, who was at the head of the parade, commented: “I had the pleasure in building the queen of hearts and carrying her at the front.” The City of Lights Festival began in 1995 and is so named because it celebrates the beginning of the festive season by switching on the city’s Christmas lights. It has taken place every year since then to bring together and celebrate the local community. The procession ended in Lemon Quay and all the lanterns gathered there for public spectators to get up close and personal. The Quay came to life with music by a variety of local bands as well as local Samba bands. Towards the end of the night spectators enjoyed listening to Truro School of Samba, along with Steel Appeal from Newquay and their variety of wellknown songs.
By Popular Demand: Up There Comes to Falmouth Words: Rob Slade Audiences can now vote how, where and when films are shown in cinemas thanks to a new concept from the creators of award-winning British independent film, Up There. Most films have a distribution and release strategy whereby they know what cinemas the film will be released and shown in. However this was not the case for Up There, a British indie comedy set in the afterlife which recently won two awards in the Scottish BAFTA’s. For this new film directed by Zam Salim they took a different approach. In a new tactic, they decided they were going to let the audience demand where the film would be shown. Producer, Annalise Davis said: “We wanted to give the audience the opportu-
nity to control how and where they get to see the film. So the film is available at cinemas where audiences have demanded it, but also online.” As part of their release, they decided they were going to let the audience ‘demand’ the screening come to their local cinema through a button within the trailer. If there were enough people in a particular town who vote for the film to come, then it will be shown near them. Davis added: “We have had a great response online with over 68, 000 social interactions and over 22 million social impressions. So we’ve built up a really engaged fan base on our various social media platforms.” The audience also has the decision in which town the premier will be staged
which will be decided by which cinema has the most votes. In the end the film premiered in a place called Borehamwood near London on 12th November.
Feature Name Scott Mason
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Feature Feature Features
Setting the Foundations It’s all well and good having plenty of artists, musicians and photographers in Falmouth, but what are they studying? One of the answers to that question is the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Many universities nowadays will not let you start an undergraduate course without taking a foundation in your intended study area. It’s also a fantastic way to be introduced to the course you are studying and the university lifestyle. Originally founded in 1902 and previously named the Falmouth School of Art (and eventually granted ‘University College’ status in 2005) it was entirely based at the Woodlane Campus in Falmouth, but has now expanded and merged with the Tremough Campus, based just outside of Penryn. However, the Foundation itself incorporates a huge range of media into its curriculum. Graphics, drawing, painting, and textiles are all on the list for this course. Almost essential for any creative undergraduate courses, but it helps many students decide which aspect they want to further their studies in and where to specialise. For many universities, the Foundation often acts as a way to ‘weed out’ those who aren’t particularly as interested in the undergraduate courses as they possibly could be. It works both ways; some of the students may not particularly want to carry on their education, or don’t enjoy the university lifestyle. Both reasons are better for the entire course being free. Record numbers applied to university again last year, with the chance of being accepted significantly reduced. However, many students beat the odds against them, and secured their place
at their most highly coveted first choice universities. One such student is Ella Smith, who studied the Foundation course at University College Falmouth and decided to take an undergraduate course at Winchester University. Now in her first year of study, she spoke to me a little about the course that’s respected so highly by employers and universities alike. “I chose to do the Foundation because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after A Levels,” she said. “I chose Falmouth because it was a really nice area, and I thought it would be an interesting place to study.” Asked about the facilities, Ella praised specific areas of the campus. “The atmosphere was really lively and the library was a great place to work in.” Fantastic news when you really need to get your head down and focus on work somewhere. Originally from London and having been living in Hampshire for the last four years, Ella noticed that students on her course changed their art styles throughout the duration of it. “Because I was so far out [from London] there wasn’t that many galleries in comparison to being at home, so I ended up finding a lot of inspiration from library books and the internet instead. I’m more of a visual learner anyway,” she added. Falmouth itself is renowned for having a certain vibe about art and a huge music scene in contrast with its size. There are always exhibitions, open mic nights and showings occurring around town, every week. “You do notice that the styles of people’s art changes as they go through university. They start either not quite
WORDS: BEN SCOTT sure, or with a particular style and tend to come out with a completely different one.” However, you can’t please everyone with every aspect of the course. Ella noticed that her work areas were quite small and that certain courses were put together rather than given space that they might have needed. But when asked about how the course had helped her she mentioned that it had helped her rule out what she didn’t want to study, because the course covers a huge amount of ground. “From the Foundation I decided I didn’t want to go down the line of fashion. I wanted to stick more to drawing, more to painting,” she said. “Thinking back, I didn’t know what I wanted to do at the end of A Levels, and then I heard about the Foundation,” she added. “It was something that I was already interested in and could end up being what I wanted to do later on.” After finishing her foundation degree at University College Falmouth, Ella decided that she would continue with Fine Art at Winchester School of Art, in Southampton. She will be undertaking this degree for a further three years before graduating from her new University. There we have it. It seems that lots of students who are already very interested in art because they believe the way of life will be inspiration for their work, among many other things. The Foundation in Art and Design is just the key for kickstarting a bright future in creativity, now even more than ever.
Feature Name Scott Mason
It Flows From There... WORDS: LAURA RICHARDS The fashion industry is forever changing. Ideas, concepts and even garments get eaten up and reproduced so fast that nobody cares what was in season last year. Scott Mason, 19, took this perspective on board when he was asked by CANDID Magazine to produce a series of images for issue five of the online magazine titled ‘Illustrating the Industry’. CANDID Magazine is a free 3 monthly publication for visual arts ranging from fashion to music and film. The magazine is promoted as quirky, fresh and contemporary and currently has 29 subscribers on www.issuu.com. “I did a tongue and cheek sort of thing, showing models on a conveyor belt heading towards a waste disposal. This symbolises the coming and going of fast fashion which will always happen,” described Scott. Scott is a budding illustrator and photographer who is currently studying his second year of Fashion Photography at University College Falmouth. His eight page spread for CANDID Magazine landed him with an invite to the launch party which was held in London alongside London Fashion Week. Even though Scott wasn’t paid for his contribution he is chuffed with the exposure that helps him to get his name out there. He began to illustrate before he photographed, using his artistic flair as a practical method to get his ideas onto paper, for instance, planning a photo shoot. Illustrating became natural to him long before venturing to university. “Put me in front of a sketch book when I was young and I’d be entertained for whole days.” Now, a vibrant young man, he has taken illustrating seriously for just a short 3 months, mainly sketching people. Scott is inspired by illustrator Achraf Amiri, who heavily influences his own style. Limbs are exaggerated in length creating edgy, tall and slender portraits of mostly women, with the odd male thrown in. Furthermore, magazines, music and
people influence Scott’s work. If he sees something he really likes he will try to re-create it to be just as good as the original. He emphasised an aspiration to produce something that makes other people feel just like he does, in his own words, “like oh my God.” “If I’m drawing I like going with the lines. When I start I never know what I’m going to end up with. It could be shit, it could be good, you never know.” Scott goes on to reveal that he gets a thrill from the unknown of his illustrations and consequently manages to really express what’s going on in his head at that given time. However, he is the first to criticize his work and manages to see everything that is wrong with a drawing at the end. Through the artist’s eyes “Eyes are the most important part and they’re fun to draw. You start there and whole thing flows. “Draw the eyes and you can tell if someone is angry or happy, gives it a way to go.” Art is a means of expression, whether it is from a pen, brush, camera lens and so on; the platforms for art are endless. Sometimes it requires deeper thought. Scott describes how now and again he will subconsciously ask himself what the woman he is drawing would be doing or how she would react. “Women are more fun to draw. There’s
so much more that you can do than you can with men’s fashion. “In a women’s cat walk you can see all the dresses. It’s freer to draw.” Scott finds the fashion industry exciting as designers are always pushing the boundaries. The more he studies it the more he gets inspired. Twitter has proved a valuable avenue for Scott. He has managed to gain work through the social networking site via fashion magazine SLiNK who advertised for an illustrator to produce drawings that would correspond with articles. Scott lapped up the opportunity and sent his work their way. Doing small illustrations for web magazines like the above and CANDID Magazine is all a way for Scott to get his name into the industry, along with showcasing his work on his blog where he is known as Tall Boy. When asked where he wants to be in 10 years’ time he said: “I want to be at the top of my game and do something I’m proud of.” Scott currently does commissions and has received positive feedback for his sketches. Additionally he plans to branch out and start making posters and t-shirts.
*To contact Scott visit his blog at www.tallboyblog. blogspot.co.uk or through Twitter @ scottwmason.
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Generation Illustration Remy Nurse, 20, is an Illustration student at University College Falmouth who is known not only for her artwork but also for her skills at tattoo design and what she can do with a tube of henna at her disposal. Here, Rob Slade catches up with her to find out what started it all, what keeps her going and what the future has in store.
Feature Name Scott Mason Having studied Illustration for two years now, Remy Nurse sits across the sofa slurping tea from a mug. She starts to tell me how her Mum was the one who was responsible for being her inspiration. “My Mum was really into art and every Christmas or if it was someone’s birthday we’d all have to sit down and make a card.” She would watch her Mum creating her own art and making her cards and that was what inspired her to begin with. She tells me: “My mum was amazing, I always wanted to be like her.” From there things just gradually progressed and she picked it up more and more. For her Mum art was just a hobby, but she did regret not taking it any further which is why it makes her so happy that Remy has taken it forward. She was also influenced by her Granddad who used to make cakes for special occasions and his decorations would be near flawless. She would often help him with the decorating and this is where Remy believes she laid the foundations for when she later starts to use Henna. Remy often gets told by lecturers and friends that they can tell when something is her work because of her particular style. But she doesn’t agree with those comments. “I still don’t think I have a style, I know I like tattoos, I know I like quite real stuff, realism. But I don’t know, I’ve got so many different styles that I don’t think I have a particular one.” In fact Remy goes on to tell me that she doesn’t believe an artist or illustrator ever really finds their style for one particular reason: “It’s always changing and you’re always getting inspired by different things.” I am told one of the artists that have most influenced her is a guy called Shawn Barber: “He does like fine art paintings with people that he’s tattooed or that are really heavily tattooed. And they are so amazing.” Surprisingly, she also informs me that television star and comedian Noel Fielding has his own style of artwork. Fielding’s style differs significantly to Barber in that it is quite naïve and
expressive whereas Barber’s work is very atmospheric and quite serious. Remy tells me she likes Fielding’s style, “because he doesn’t really care that it’s not conventional art.” That seems to be what Remy Nurse is all about. Not doing something conventional but doing what she wants to do because of her influences and what she is feeling. In her first year she was as unconventional as you can get and actually used pig’s lungs for some of her artwork. She goes on to tell me about where she draws her influences from: “I think my main inspiration just comes from everything around me. A lot of my work tends to be quite personal, that’s when I work best. “If I shut everyone else out and don’t do something to just please someone but do something because it just needs to come out.” As with a lot of artists they spend hours over their artwork and Remy is no exception. She is quite a perfectionist when it comes down to it and really puts the work in: “It’s probably the thing that I really, really, enjoy but really, really, hate at the same time. If I’m really into a piece
or a painting, I’m really determined to get it finished. “With my best work there’s always a point where I’m literally about to chuck it out of the window or punch a hole in it or just get really angry with it. But once you get over that and then it’s all good and at the end of it it’s like you’ve really battled with it.” It is this attention to detail that makes her so good at henna tattoos. She first started when her flat threw a Diwali party in her first year of university. Since then she hasn’t looked back and now she has plenty of demand from people wanting her to work on them. She really enjoys creating them and she hopes to one day be a tattoo artist in a tattoo parlour: “I know I want to do tattooing but I think I’m not the type of person who can stick to one thing. I like to have a lot of different projects going on at the same time.” One thing is for sure, Remy is an artist with a lot of promise and everyone should definitely be excited to see what she comes up with next. For more on tattoos, Laura Richards reviews My Tattoo Addiction for Flare, on Page 33.
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One For The Girly Girls... Don’t want to be a surfer chick? Laura Richards explores Falmouth’s high street treasures and discovers the owner’s secrets. Let’s take a stroll. On your left we have some surfing shops. If you look to your right, you will be delighted to see there are more clothing stores for surfers. Walking down the high street in Falmouth you will be surrounded by surf shops, some would say appropriately so. These stores include many high street names such as; Sea Salt, Animal and Fat Face. But, just because we are by the sea side doesn’t mean every young woman out there has to be a surfer chick. Before you think about heading to Truro for garments more to your taste or plain and simply girly, take a wonder through Falmouth’s large selection of independent stores, you’re sure to be taken care of. Anything from vintage wear to the best party frock you’ve ever purchased, this small town has big aspirations!
Local shop owners are aware of how vital their stores are to the local community. Susan Faithfull, owner of woman’s fashion shop Dizzy was extremely proud to be a part of this describing how she hears girls walking past saying how they love the shop. She said: “I bring a lot of happiness.” Susan has owned the shop now for just over a year and revealed how her 15-year-old daughter is the inspiration behind Falmouth now being graced with Dizzy’s presence. “When we looked down it was all just sort of surfing shops and we thought, well actually, could do with more of a fashion shop.” She goes on to describe her shop as the high end fashion of Falmouth and compares Dizzy to high street name Top Shop. Selling a variety of garments ranging from unique party dresses to print t-shirts and wet look leggings, the
French slippers in 44 Church Street Ideal to keep your feet cosy in winter. independent shop caters not only for young girl’s needs but any female needs. Susan emphasised: “We get all sorts of custom, from the very young right up to the old. They’ll buy scarves and things like that; jewellery, handbags or dresses!” The shop did used to offer a very generous discount to students; however, everything available in the fashion store is now discounted by 10% in order to benefit everyone in the local community. Therefore, Dizzy is your glamorous stylish girl’s bargain – one not to be ignored! Michelle Smith, a local girl aged 22 said: “I think it’s a great boutique with unique styles and taste for everyone. Every girl should have at least one item in their wardrobe.” Reversing a little back down the high street, Rita Taylor, owner of clothing shop 44 Church Street reveals how she likes her quirky and vintage finds for her widely lead student market. The shop has always been aimed at students and Rita prides herself on tak-
Feature Name Scott Mason ing a real interest in her customers and orders stock not only to their taste but to fit their price margin too. She goes on to explain that a number of students in the town are vegetarian; 44 Church Street caters for them with Misco Girl’s vegan satchel bag. Not only does Rita cater to special tastes but she’s also picked up on the vintage trend. She explained: “I found a company that does handpicked vintage so I’ve started to pick a few bits that are almost new, but vintage.” For that reason, be sure not to miss 44 Church Street’s bargain vintage bags and scarves for your collection. Ladies working together Both stores attend the UK’s leading trade fashion exhibition at Olympia London called Pure. The event is held twice a year, lasts three days and is open to buyers and sellers. Both Dizzy and 44 Church Street, work together in order to ensure a variety of choice, selecting different brands for each store and therefore creating two very different fashion shops in the small town. Not only this, but both Rita and Susan revealed that they will only order between six and ten of each item in order to ensure that you don’t bump into someone wearing the same thing. Rita said: “It means not everyone is going down to the local club or whatever in the same dress!” The beautiful thing about Falmouth is it is full of small independent shops that really care about how you look. It’s time to ditch your typical high street names and take a look in what the town has in store for you.
Fashion shop ‘Dizzy’
“When we looked down it was all just sort of surfing shops and we thought, well actually, could do with more of a fashion shop.”
Vintage boutique ‘44 Church Street’
In December 2012, Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) launched a new campaign in the town “Shop Local – Think Falmouth” to encourage residents and visitors to think ‘local’ when it comes to shopping. Another reason to check out the delights of Falmouth before running off to Truro!
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Getting Feature Features
Photography student Sam Marsh revealed to Bodhi Maia how to get work published after having his own photography featured in Vogue Italia. To get published you have to explore every avenue and not give up.” These were the words of photography student Sam Marsh when talking about how to get your work published. Currently studying his BA Honours at University College Falmouth, Sam, 19, has had several pieces of his work printed in magazines and online. “I e-mailed my work to various magazines and websites but didn’t have much luck. I started looking at different areas to send my work and discovered Vogue Italia.” Vogue Italia offers the opportunity for new and experienced photographers to set up a portfolio on their website, where it will be examined and possibly approved by the editorial staff to be published in Vogue magazine or displayed on PhotoVogues’s archive. Being persistent is the key to getting your work out in the public domain. Sam estimates that for every 20 images he sends to various websites/magazines only one will be accepted, even when he believes he is submitting his best work. Sam, who takes inspiration from various different photographers, explains how important it is to always ask why someone turns down or criticises your work and to try and take the criticism constructively. “I enjoy getting criticism because it improves you. If no one gave anyone
Feature Name Scott Mason criticism, or if people ignored it, everyone would just carry on and everything would be average.” Getting the right feedback is vital to help improve your work and the best way to achieve this is to compile views from a variety of people as it gives a more accurate result. “I want to hear multiple opinions to form on overall opinion rather than one opinion that could be wrong.” During college, Sam was lucky enough to have his work published in Fuzion magazine, although he admits he was at an advantage due to “industry links”, but he has since gone on to publish a lot more off his own back. S-xpress, a college run magazine, used one of his photographs as their front cover and they also featured his final major project. Sam’s interest in photography began at an early age, although he didn’t act on it until he was older. “Ever since I was little I remember going on family days out and always being the one with the camera taking photos.”
Now 19, he used to attend motor sport events where he would take photographs using a simple compact camera. He soon realised that he wanted to achieve higher quality images and this was where it all began. After buying a Canon 450D at the start of his National Diploma in photography, Sam began photographing the races. “Photographing FIA GT wasn’t what I originally expected so I explored different genres of photography, ranging from architecture to fashion, throughout my two year college course.” This unravelled his passion for fashion, beauty and portrait photography and led him to UCF. “I just like creating images people enjoy looking at … I feel my photos are aesthetically pleasing and I like to please people. “I enjoy making images from the planning and research to the final piece … It is such a good feeling to see a final piece knowing all the work that has gone on behind it.” Sam puts a lot of energy in to his
photography and thrives when he is pleased with the outcome. He prefers working with film cameras due to the energy that goes into them and the high quality they give. “It slows you down and makes you think when you are shooting. You have to wait to see what you get when using film, which is exciting. When using analogue you have to handle it, it is raw. “You get a much better quality print from film; digital can’t hold its own against film.” Currently, Sam is working on his selfdirected assignment based on the Miss Haversham Poem. He is using the first three words (beloved, sweetheart and bastard) as inspiration to create a singular cinematic image. Once he has finished university, Sam hopes to do an internship abroad or become a photographer’s assistant. “When you pull it off you get a feeling of success and everyone likes the feeling of success.”
Miss Havisham Poem by Carol Ann Duffy Beloved sweetheart bastard. Not a day since then I haven’t wished him dead. Prayed for it so hard I’ve dark green pebbles for eyes, ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle with. Spinster. I stink and remember. Whole days in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall; the dress yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe; the slewed mirror, full-length, her, myself, who did this to me? Puce curses that are sounds not words. Some nights better, the lost body over me, my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear then down till I suddenly bite awake. Love’s hate behind a white veil; a red balloon bursting in my face. Bang. I stabbed at a wedding-cake. Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon. Don’t think it’s only the heart that b-b-b-breaks.
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Feature Name Scott Mason
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Vaccines The Vaccines have certainly Come Of Age in the last year. Their second album developed a maturity as they decided the direction they want to take as a band. We got the chance to speak to half of them about how they have accomplished so much.
WORDS: BEN SCOTT A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize the agent as foreign, destroy it, and “remember” it, so that the immune system can
Feature Name Scott Mason The huge four piece band from West London have only been around for two years, but they’ve certainly set the bar. Freddie Cowan and Pete Robertson answered plenty of questions for us, before the first gig of their new tour in Plymouth. How did you all get together? Freddie: Justin and I were kicking around a bit, and one of our friends suggested we started a band together, the three of us. I was playing bass, Justin was playing keyboard; none of us were playing our first instruments, we were always kind of messing around. We wrote a song and really liked it, and thought Justin and I seem to have the same ideas and the other guy didn’t, so we split. Then we were looking for a bass player and Arni had played with Justin in a previous life, and we had a drummer who quit as well, and then met Arni and Pete. We were all really lucky that we just clicked straight away. Obviously apart from the two who decided to leave, the first people we looked for just, clicked. At what point did you think we can go somewhere with this? Freddie: Straight away. Didn’t know where or how far, but you don’t think like that. You think, I can see this working, I can see us headlining the Bath Festival or something like that. Pete: As Fred said, that wasn’t really part of the agenda for us. Getting there, or going somewhere was being able to finally make the music we wanted to make without any expectations from the outside world. We’ve all been playing in bands for a long time before, and a couple of us found ourselves making music we didn’t want to make, because paying rent becomes an issue. Freddie: (laughs) That’s what everyone spends their whole life doing. Pete: Yeah man, exactly. We all kind of got sick of that and wanted to have the freedom to make music we wanted to make. So initially, when the four of us got together, that was when we thought… Freddie: Yes we can. It was more about doing something we cared about and for the first time in our lives, it’s yielded return. It’s a lesson I guess, that
if you can do something with honest intentions, it’s probably the best way to do it. We felt a certain hype about your first album. Did you feel the same way? Freddie: We were right in the middle of it. When our album was number one in the UK, we were in New York, and no one really knows who we are there. You’re kind of in the eye of the storm, you’re not really thinking about the perception of the band. I don’t believe in the concept of ‘hype’.
“The best thing as a musician is variation” Pete: We were kind of aware of it; we didn’t feel it. It’s only situations like [being interviewed] that the ‘H’ word ever got mentioned, as just journalists ask us that. We were all like “I don’t fucking know,” you know? It’s nice that people care, but we had more important and interesting problems to address. Freddie: We’re past the point of [hype] being relevant to only certain people. I think we were one of the last bands to be referenced as hype, because of the speed at which things moved online. But everything’s online now, the CD must be 30 years old and will be a defunct format soon. The internet gives you instant access to stuff and people were interested in what we were doing, and people wanted to hear it.
You started out with YouTube… Freddie: I don’t even know who put it on there, we just did it, recorded it in a basement. We were busy touring, figuring out who we wanted to be in the band and what we wanted to do, even the way we look now is so different. While people are dealing with the things you did six months ago, you’re thinking about what you’re going to be doing in six months time. Do you prefer playing festivals or headlining tours? Freddie: The best thing you need in life as a working musician is variation.
The studio sows creative seeds, when you’ve done a few months of festivals, you’re ready to get back in the dark, you know what I mean? Then when you’ve done a few months in the cold, the winter’s come and gone and you want summer. It’s seasonal. Pete: Even in touring life you get support tours, and when you’re doing your own tours you think, “shit, next week we’re going to be playing a fucking stadium in St. Petersburg.” Then you do two or three weeks playing these huge arenas and then you miss the sweaty, intense club circuit. Fortunately we’re in the position where we’re playing places like this in the UK and sub-1000-capacity rooms in Europe, and some places in the States. We get to do it all. Freddie: This is my favourite time to be in our band; festival run is done and to do this kind of size show… we feel so lucky. England crowds are the best, so I enjoy them much more. Do you have a most memorable gig? Freddie: Stade de France was amazing because it was so big, and because of the lighting and the raised seating in the stadium you could see everybody. Pete: There was Reading… Freddie: I watch videos back of Reading and I think, you’re having too much fun. You see me like, (shouts) yeah!
Freddie sent Justin a text before our interview to apologise for how nervous he was in rehearsals! If you could collaborate with any artist…? Freddie: Neil Young. He’s amazing, I don’t think there’s anyone who has such a clear idea of what their tools are, to do what they do, and he just knows what he is and does it again and again, never losing his vitality. He’s just as important now, and making music just as good. He’s so unwavering, like a force. I saw him live and the energy coming off him is just incredible. I don’t think he’d give me the time of day but, he’s amazing. Continued on page 20...
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The Vaccines play at a crowded Plymouth Pavillions, the first stop of their 2012 UK tour. Who are you listening to at the minute? Freddie: I’m into Here We Go Magic’s new album, I’m listening to this Neil Young album that he did on tour with Sonic Youth called Will, and like I was saying it’s just this force that goes on for… every song is like, 12 minutes long. More tracks than particular bands. I like Dr. John’s new album, Ice Age – is it called Ice Age? Pete: No. (shouts) Google! If you had your own festival, which three headliners would you have? Freddie: Oh, Nirvana on the Saturday. Neil Young and the late 70’s Crazy Horse on the Sunday, and someone really exciting… like Kid A, Radiohead. Pete: Same for me? Yeah. Let’s call it a collective. A Vaccines festival. Any funny stories from touring? Freddie: We’ve had some amazing experiences. You still looking up the album name? Pete: Yeah. Lockdown. Freddie: I think that’s it. Anyway, we had Debbie Harry from Blondie come see us, at our first New York gig… Oh a
After this interview, Freddie posted a Spotify playlist on the band’s Facebook page, of what they listen to before a show. funny story? I’m sorry. We were playing a TV show called David Letterman in New York. We were sitting in our dressing room and someone opened the door, as people do and you don’t pay much attention, and did a doubletake – it was Lady Gaga. In underwear. Wearing a Batman mask. She was singing the Batman theme tune, you know, nanananananana… and she realised it wasn’t her dressing room and left. Pete: After about 10 seconds. Just for long enough for everyone to realise what was going on. We wanted to ask what your favourite pasty filling was? Freddie: Beef mince probably. And onion. Pete: Yeah, classic man. Freddie: And ketchup. Pete: Yeah, don’t fuck around.
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Benjamin Francis Leftwich Bodhi Maia interviews the singer-songwriter at the Princess Pavillions. “When I get on stage the adrenaline carries you through because you know there is nowhere to go, you have got to perform.” These were the words of acoustic singer songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich when he performed at Falmouth Princess Pavilion. Benjamin first discovered his passion for music at an early age when he picked up a guitar and began to play. At first he decided to give up, but it didn’t take long for him to try it again and within a few years he was writing his own music. “I started when I was ten. I can’t read or write notation, so had a couple of lessons then quit, and picked up again when I was 13 or 14, and I kind of taught myself from there.” The successful release of his first EP, A Million Miles Out, in October 2010, led Benjamin to record and release another EP, Pictures, followed by his debut album in 2011. The 23-year-old from York wrote and recorded his album during his last teenage years. The inspiration for the album came from “normal growing up things like first year of college, partying, girls, not looking after your body too well.” “I think you are inspired by the things that are happening around you like every day shit, what happens in the middle is a really personal thing and the song comes out at the end.” Having released Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm, on June 20th 2011, he
then toured the UK until the beginning of November when he begun touring America. During his 2012 UK Tour he had two support acts touring with him, Joe Janiak and Marika Hackman, also acoustic singer songwriters.
“Springsteen is my hero” The schedule for the tour is packed with gigs, leaving Benjamin without much time to relax, sometimes leaving him exhausted. He tackles this by taking 45 minutes before every gig to shower, warm his voice up and chill on his own. “Every day, I get a bottle of water and put a straw into it and blow through it for 15 minutes solidly, and that is basically like giving my lungs a run.” Benjamin, who had another 4 track EP released at the end of November, has certain routines he does daily and once on stage he lets the adrenaline take over. But not every gig goes smoothly as it only takes a couple of people to ruin the vibe. “I did a gig in Munich last week and everyone was really quiet, but there were two Russian dudes who were just ruined, [they] sat on the stage and I was freaking out so much.” Describing himself as a pacifist, Benjamin finds it hard to “have a go at someone” or ask the audience to calm down. “We were playing in Glasgow once and
some dude was like, ‘fucking play Wonderwall,’ and I was just like, ‘fuck you.’ And then everyone laughed and it was all over… but I think if there’s a couple of hundred people who you know are on your side then it’s a bit easier.” Benjamin reveals that staying in touch with friends from home is what “keeps me sane.” His best friend of 13 years lives on the tour bus with him and he also describes his tour manager as “one of my best friends.” Being away from home isn’t all bad when you are performing lots of gigs and festivals and meeting new people. Although Ben claims not to get star-struck, he once had an awkward encounter with artist The Tallest Man on Earth and admits he wouldn’t know how to act if he met his idol Bruce Springsteen. “Springsteen is my hero but I think if I met him I’d just be like, ‘calm down’. If I knew it was going to happen I think I’d just spend a week sitting in silence preparing myself.” Mike Skinner from The Streets and Benjamin have already collaborated once, although Benjamin seemed hopeful in recording another track with “one of the best bands in the world.” But when asked who else he would like to collaborate with, the answer was inevitable. “I guess Springsteen but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.”
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An Audience with Jo Caulfield
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Comedian Jo Caulfield’s tour, Better The Devil You Know, brought the radio and television star to Falmouth’s Poly theatre. Mitch Waddon looks at her career so far and talks to Jo about the tour, her marriage, and the validity of the chicken pasty... Not everyone would feel comfortable admitting to a complete stranger that they dyed their hair. Yet when Jo Caulfield answered the phone to me for our interview, it was the first thing she mentioned. It initially struck me as peculiar that a person who I was speaking to for the first time willingly shared that they were getting their hair coloured. But then that’s the sort of person Jo Caulfield is: confident, open and quirky. Jo’s tour, Better The Devil You Know, headed down to Falmouth in November. And the star of many comic television shows such as Mock the Week was keen to talk about her experiences. “I’d forgotten how interesting it is going around different parts of the country,” she said. “I’m quite lucky in that I find towns interesting whatever they’re like so even if they’re lacking amenities I find that interesting as well. “But in terms of the show it’s great fun. I love it. I really like the show I’m doing so I look forward to doing it every night. Sometimes things will happen that’ll make you go ‘Oh that’s really interesting because that’s just tonight that this particular person came.’”
career in comedy was, by her own admission, something she just fell into. “Comedy was something I was always interested in but not in the way I am now because I didn’t have any idea you could do it as a job. “It certainly wasn’t anything I thought about doing until a friend of a friend did an open show. I did think ‘how do you get to do this’ and he said ‘well you just go and ask.’ I couldn’t believe that you’d be allowed to do that. It wasn’t like you had to pass an exam or be interviewed. They’d say ‘yeah you can do five minutes and if you’re funny you can do another five minutes.’” It is hard to decipher if Jo feels she needs to be a comic in all situations or is just a naturally funny person. Either way talking to the presenter of ‘Jo Caulfield won’t shut up’ was a light and entertaining experience. Her detail when sharing funny memories and answering questions about her profession was matched only by her enthusiasm.
“I immediately felt physically sick, but also excited.”
When asked about the name of her tour, Jo was very honest in her answer. “It’s was our (Jo and her husband, Kevin) tenth wedding anniversary. We got married in New York. We didn’t want to pay for a wedding but we thought we’d make it more glamorous by going away and getPerforming is something many people can ting married. only dream of from a young age. Yet Jo’s “I then found out by talking to somebody in the audience that we were meant to do loads of paperwork to make it legal in this country. So we’re not really married! We thought we’d been married for ten years and it turns out we’ve been single for ten years. It’s a weird thing to find out but also
“It wasn’t like you had to pass an exam...”
seemed like a good time for an appraisal of my husband. So then I had material and stories about how I was judging him to see whether we should continue. So that’s why it’s called ‘Better The Devil You Know’ because in the end we decided, mostly out of laziness, that we should stay together. “It was the weirdest feeling because I immediately felt physically sick, but also excited. I sort of went ‘Oh now this is interesting’ and you can’t help but kind of have a little fantasy about your new single life. In the end I thought it sounded far too exhausting, and there was a lot of tele I want to watch.” Jo’s frank honesty in the title of her show was a lesson to aspiring comedians: The best comedy is rarely scripted and the skill required has been honed by Jo for many years. It takes a rare breed of quirky to willingly enter a debate about the validity of chicken pasties (“Is it really a pasty? I don’t think it is.”) But once again Jo proved, just like her hair colour, that all may not be as it seems on the surface.
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Dry The River
Words: Rob Slade Photos: Kat Waters This five piece band coming out of London have been earmarked to go on to do big things on the music scene. Since forming in 2009 the band have drawn comparisons to Mumford and Sons and Fleet Foxes. The bandmembers were working on different projects when Pete pulled them all together and they set out to do something different. They moved on from their punk rock background and went down the acoustic, folk avenue leading to a lot of early success. Having only been together for six months the band were offered the money to make a go of it full time. Since then they haven’t looked back. Read on to hear what Pete (Vocals) and Scott (Bass) have to say about festivals, power tools and pasties. If you had 10 words to describe your style of music, how would you do it?
Pete: A folk band that thinks it’s a heavy metal band. People are always a bit surprised when they hear the record. The record is a bit more folky and we wanted it to be a little bit different. Then live, we’re climbing up on
“We were wasted, we tried to saw a plastic clock in half. We sawed a broom handle in half, and we found a box of tea bags and we sawed that in half with a power saw" speakers and jumping off Jon’s drum kit and throwing our hair around. Do you have a stand out gig? Pete: Maybe Reading, Reading was amazing because we grew up round there and it’s probably the biggest crowd we’ve played to. Scott: Oxford Gathering Festival, the front row from where I was looking looked about 14 years old, every one
Scott (left) and Pete (right) playing in London.
of them and they just screamed after every song. They would be screaming our names and it felt like you were in One Direction or something. Do you go out much after shows? Scott: We try yeah, it’s been a bit tame after the last tours. For the first week I partied for 5 days straight and that kind of got to me. I came basically to the end of my tether, I just couldn’t face it so that Monday I just crashed. Pete: If it’s anyone it’s usually me and Scott who go out. Scott: If anyone who was at the show sees you out that’s always kind of a fun thing. People coming up to you and being like, great gig. That always makes you feel like a big deal. Do you go out much after shows? Scott: We try yeah, it’s been a bit tame after the last tours. For the first week I partied for 5 days straight and that kind of got to me. I came basically to the end of my tether, I just couldn’t face it so that Monday I just crashed. Pete: If it’s anyone it’s usually me
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and Scott who go out. Scott: If anyone who was at the show sees you out that’s always kind of a fun thing. People coming up to you and being like, great gig. That always makes you feel like a big deal. As a group of 5 mates on tour you must have some funny stories? Pete: On one of our first tours we went out to Stornoway. We got out there and did this show in a bar there. Afterwards they closed the doors of the venue but just let us hang out in there and they gave us free Jäger all night so we were pretty wasted. Scott: Wasn’t that the same night that in that hostel they let us roam free? Pete: It was under construction. Scott: They had left all the power tools out, so we started playing with the power saw cutting stuff up.
Pete: We were wasted, we tried to saw a plastic clock in half. We sawed a broom handle in half, and we found a box of tea bags and we sawed that in half with a power saw and it perfectly cut all the bags inside down the middle and then we closed it and put it back on the shelf. Scott: Somehow we got away with it, I think they made the mistake, never leave power tools around anywhere near a band. Which three acts would you pick to headline your own festival? Scott: Foo Fighters I think because they are such a brilliant festival headline band. Pete: I’d have someone that would never normally get to headline so you could be like, ‘you’re headlining a giant festival.’ Someone really
obscure… Arcane Roots. Scott: We could have Biffy Clyro support Arcane Roots. Sigur Ros were good when we saw them at latitude a few years ago. Pete: We’ve just given the most boring answer ever, we’d probably have Foo Fighters, Biffy and Sigur Ros. That’s Reading Festival, well done. If we had a festival like Reading we’d book all of Reading’s headliners and make a similar amount of money. Scott: I’d call my festival… Reading! Finally, what’s your favourite pasty filling? Pete: I actually like the old steak and stilton. Although if the readership’s Cornish then we’ll just say the Cornish. You shouldn’t fuck with it. Scott: Yeah maybe like a sweet one, I’d have like jam in it or something.
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Life In Animation WORDS: Jasmin Stopford It is a common dilemma amongst teenagers to find themselves unhappy with their education choices. Whether they have opted out of further education all together, chosen the wrong course, or are just unsure which career path it is that they wish to pursue further, it is hard to decide the rest of your life when you are only in your teens. However for 19-year-old Digital Animation student Ben Bromley, Pixar’s classic ‘Toy Story’ provided the inspiration for the University course he wished to take and he hasn’t looked back since. “I have definitely been drawing since I was a kid. I used to watch Toy Story when I was really tiny and just draw Woody and Buzz all the time. I used to watch so many films and especially Star Wars. I would go up to people and show them my drawings of the characters and I just knew that that was what I wanted to do just because I loved drawing so much.” Although he has achieved his place at University College Falmouth as a Digital Animation student now, there was a time where Ben still had to endure courses that weren’t right for him but also pick up new skills and try different things. “For my GCSE’s I took Art and Graphics, and in college I did a national diploma in Art and Design so I had a go at character designs on that course. I knew I wanted to go this University because in year ten I did my work experience here as a student and I got to spend time doing animation.” Ben’s hard work, motivation, and hunger for his hobby are the key aspects driving him closer to success. “Some of my work will take about six hours but not in a row. I will spend like an hour on a piece and then I will like it enough to continue it on another day. A
Rita Ora, drawn by Ben Bromley
lot of the drawings I do are from just browsing the internet, maybe I will have seen a film like IRobot and think the robots look really cool so I will be looking at other people’s drawings of them. They will have obviously changed the robots a bit so then I want to take bits and change them and make my own version so movies are my main inspiration really.”
“I like having my work look spot on, some of the drawings I have done, they look terrible and I will screw them up. I want it to be perfect” Personal Goal Even if it didn’t him interest at the time, for example the Graphics GCSE, all of Ben’s previous experience and inspiration from current artists enables him to strive on and develop what he loves. “I like a few comic book artists, there is a guy called Alan Moore who did all of the drawings for the ‘Watchmen’ comic book and I thought they were all really cool so again I copied a lot of his work.” Going through the stages of researching and then refining previous artists’ work finds Ben setting himself extremely high standards, standards that he abides by by not settling for anything less than perfect. “I like having my work look spot on, some of the drawings I have done, they look terrible and I will screw them up. I have drawn Mila Kunis and I think it looks exactly like her. That is when I will be happy. I want it to be perfect.” Having grown up with the passion for what he does and knowing where he wants to get in the future, it is only normal that Ben is so selective over his work. Having put so much groundwork in, he can’t afford to let himself slip below average with the decreasing amount of jobs around. “In the future I want to work for a company like Pixar, same again just doing character designs or making storyboards for a film. What I want to be? I want to have my name in the credits for a film, that is what I want, that is my goal.”
From bottom to top: Rihanna, Zooey Deschanel, Wentworth Miller, Christian Bale and Mila Kunis. More of his work can be found at www.benbromley.tumblr.com
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Live Feature Features
Benjamin Francis Leftwich s
Princess Pavillions, Falmouth WORDS: ROB SLADE PHOTOGRAPHY: BODHI MAIA
Singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich continued his mammoth UK tour earlier this month entertaining a packed hall at the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth. The Yorkshire-man played his fourth tour date after a busy summer playing Reading and Leeds, the Green Man Festival and supporting Lana Del Rey at the iTunes festival. But he seemed fresh-faced on the evening as he charmed the crowd with personal anecdotes throughout the night. The support consisted of Joe Janiak and Marika Hackman who set up the evening nicely providing some catchy melodies accompanied by their own respective guitars. However nobody could hide the fact that there was only one man the audience wanted to see and as the audience slowly built up, so did the anticipation. Unsurprisingly he kicked off the night with one of his most well-known songs, Pictures, much to the delight of the audience. This was followed by a mix of tracks from his album Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm including, 1904 and Shine. The crowd were also treated to a new song called Manchester Snow from his upcoming EP which is due to be released towards the end of November. With the exception of a few songs, Ben spent most of the night playing with his band who are all good friends of his. They played a range of guitars, drums and keyboard and unbelievably a typewriter for one particular song. An incredible amount of emotion was poured into the songs Ben performed as he shared their meanings with the captivated crowd. The emotion was so intense that people in the audience could actually be caught with tears running down their cheeks. They brought the set to a close and the audience responded with a rapturous response and demanded an encore. Sure enough Ben re-emerged for two more songs and ended with the popular Atlas Hands which was the perfect ending to the night and was emphatically received by the sell-out crowd. In an uncommon move from artists, he announced he was going to come out front after the gig to meet and greet the audience which inadvertently resulted with him being swarmed by fans in the small entrance hall. But this was a nice touch and showed that he cares about his audience. Ben now goes on to play across the UK before heading to the US and Canada to tour throughout November and December.
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Ben thanks the fans for their support and listening after an encore at a packed Princess Pavillions.
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Some Like It
Hip Hop Words: Jasmin Stopford After the extensive success from Kate Prince’s ‘Into the hoods’ hip hop musical, it could already be anticipated that her follow up production of ‘Some like it hip hop’ would follow in the same footsteps. Having written, choreographed, and directed the West End show herself, Prince has excelled in generating yet another fast paced, energetic, and phenomenal performance. While the storyline loosely mirrors that of Billy Wilder’s 1959 comedy ‘Some like it hot’, Prince has incorporated her own twists (the women are the ones that dress as men for a start). The story follows main characters JoJo and Kerri who disguise themselves as men after getting kicked out of their fictional city for having too much ‘fun’, a city where
books are banned and women are only eligible for the simplest of jobs. Such rules enforced due to the Governor (Duwane Taylor) who creates a world of darkness after losing his wife. The show powerfully overturns major themes from the past such as men being superior and women unable to work, rather suited to bearing children and settling as housewives. The women in the show have the fitness and ability to keep up with the men which enables them, story-wise, to also stand up to them. Prince’s ability to channel certain themes and attitudes through dance enables her to send messages out to the audience of what is right and wrong just like the sexism issue in the story of women not being able to work and be-
ing inferior to men. The strong cast, of just sixteen Zoonation Academy dancers, are astoundingly flawless with their ability to quick change, rearrange the set, and to simply dance for the duration. The small dialogue leaves only the narrator to carry the story and the music to carry the dancers. The dancers’ strong physique, stamina, and energy, enables their precision and proves that this refined version is polished to a tee. For their first UK tour and having already been nominated for multiple awards, the Zoonation cast of ‘Some like it hip hop’ and Kate Prince herself are bound to reel in appreciation and success throughout.
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Watch Feature Features
The Campaign: Review Mitch Waddon takes a look at one of the hottest and funniest film releases of the year, starring Zach Galifinakis and Will Ferrell. The timing of The Campaign’s release could not be more perfect. The on-going race for the White House in America between Obama and Romney has left a void for a political comedy and a micktake of the electoral system; a void The Campaign fills in brilliantly. It could have backfired, of course. Any politically based movie is going to come under scrutiny, especially in an election year in the same country. And politics is hardly a laughing matter. Yet this comedy, written by Eastbound & Down writer Shawn Harwell and by Chris Henchy, embraces the controversy of political affairs and spins them into a well-crafted story which the audience feel comfortable laughing at. Will Ferrell plays Cam Brady, a lacklustre and uncaring congressman who is more concerned for his mistress and hair than policies and supporters. As expected with any Will Ferrell role, Brady is embarrassing, awkward and very funny to watch. The man who has
played so many iconic characters once again steps up and gives a complete and hilarious performance. The opposition: Marty Huggins. Played by the brilliant Zach Galifianakis, Huggins is the tourism director of the town, and teams up with the deviant and cunning Tim Whattely (played by the fantastic Dylan McDermott) to take on Brady and take office in North Carolina’s 14th district. The chemistry between Ferrell and Galifianakis makes this film a success. The pair both use increasingly deceitful and underhanded tactics to get one over on the other, with hilarious consequences. The incredibly funny confrontations between the two, including Brady punching a baby and a dog, will keep the audience laughing for hours after. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Will Ferrell film without some memorable quotes to keep us entertained long after the movie
is over. Galifianakis deserves boundless praise for his performance. The hangover star steps into the role of a devout Christian with home issues perfectly, and it is a real credit to say that the Campaign will be more remembered for his role than Ferrell’s contribution to the film. The calibre of comedy, however, will leave those looking for smart political satire unimpressed. Although the audience is treated to the Moch brothers, a clever parody of the Koch brothers, it isn’t sophisticated or clever. But the movie is laugh out loud, easy to watch, and downright entertaining. Verdict: A very funny and easy to watch movie that highlights the comedic elements of politics. Overall Rating - 8/10
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My Tattoo Addiction: Review Laura Richards sat down to watch Channel 4’s documentary, which highlighted some of the negatives to ‘getting inked’. Personally as a young woman the thought of investing in a tattoo has crossed my mind several times but after watching Channel 4’s documentary My Tattoo Addiction I have to admit the blood and needles have put me off. Nevertheless it’s not all about the gore and pain; it’s the drunken nights in Ayia Napa, race hate symbols, and past relationships that leads to the handful of people Channel 4 follow to later regret their tattoos. The film focuses on the “not so good” aspects of being branded for life with one tattooist from Wales, Dave Fleet, admitting that around 40% of his work is covering up unwanted or poorly finished body art. On the contrary, the documentary also delves into the lives of the artists themselves; those who are talented as well as the culprits that willingly tattoo “your name” or worse onto the bum cheeks of drunken holidaying youths. It is estimated that there are over 20
million tattoos in Britain alone making us the most inked up nation in the whole of Europe – that’s not bad going for an island! The 47 minute film (without adverts) primarily documents in a case study format giving the viewer an insight into the stupidity of individuals who didn’t quite realise tattoos are permanent. We begin with Matt, an ex-holiday rep who finally decides that “fantasyboatparty.com the world’s best boat party” was a bad idea and seeks Fleet’s help to transform the monstrosity.
“Once you pop you can’t stop” On the other end of the scale we meet Carl, a man you somewhat feel sorry for. After his relationship deteriorated he found a new lease of life in the form of US pop star Miley Cyrus and is now covered head to toe in portraits, album
titles, song titles and her name as the result of his tattoo obsession. Just around the corner in St Austell is 24-year-old Austin Scott who already has 14 tattoos. One of which is a scorpion on the left hand side of his face/ head. The troubled teen that spent time in foster care and has served 3 terms in prison revisits the tattoo parlour to add a symmetrical scorpion to the other side of his face; at least both his ex’s names are now covered up and no longer a permanent scar. He went on to defend his tattoos by saying, “once you pop you can’t stop.” Personally, I think My Tattoo Addiction sets a different example and highlights that getting inked up doesn’t just disappear like the Pringles in the cylinder tub – they’re for life. Verdict: A very informative documentary exploring the lives of tattoo addicts.
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Everything Everything Words: Ben Scott
It’s almost here. ‘It’ being the newest record from Everything Everything (or EE), titled Arc and the second album from the much loved Manchester boys. Gaining an impressive fan base from their first album ‘Man Alive’, their style is quite unique and equally as delightful. Often dropped into many genres at once, the indie-rock-synth-pop band have amassed quite a hype around this release, and when looking back at the first album, it’s easy to see why. Having already released ‘Cough Cough’ and then ‘Kemosabe’ from Arc, the style seems to remain intact, with an upbeat undertone that gives the high pitched vocalist, Jonathan Higgs, the quirkiness it seeks. Now all that remains is the release of the album to see if this follows on. EE also announced a follow-on UK tour which is now all-but sold out across the country. We’re expecting big things from the boys this year, so stay tuned.
Come of Age: Review Ben Scott reviews the release of the newest album from The Vaccines. Will it suffer from the dreaded ‘second-album sydrome’? The Vaccines haven’t been around long. Their first album only came out two years ago, in fact. They carry a certain hold over their music, over their stage, that only comes with experience. And that experience is growing. The second album to come from the West London boys, Come Of Age certainly promises a move away from the style of music that they quickly gained a huge fan base for. A ballsy move, indeed. But they definitely seem to have grown up. The first track of the album No Hope was also the first single they released from it. Zane Lowe piled on the praise when earned first play on his station, and it’s easy to see why. Less sombre, more of an upbeat anti-mood melody, The Vaccines get it right from the get-go. The album continues fantastically, I Always Knew and Teenage Icon particularly uplifting and foot-tap-inducing, with
lyrics that you can’t help but blurt out only a few times after hearing them. It’s fantastically indie rock stuff. I Wish I Was A Girl particularly, is a twangy downbeat melody, reminiscent
“More of an upbeat antimood melody, The Vaccines get it right from the get-go” of a moody 60’s record. It’s a fantastic track with spikes of electric guitar goodness, but again, feels out of place alongside the first half of the album. Come Of Age isn’t all bells and whistles though. A few of the tracks stick out for the wrong reason, that being they are more or less opposite of the kind of tracks I described. Sure, their debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines had a few slowed down tracks there, but these feel more out of place for the change of direction that they even put in the album name.
From that point, it seems that the whole album takes a nosedive emotionally, with more real subjects brought to the focus, than the feel good flavour that heavily factored in the first half. The track that stands out now is Bad Mood, for bringing back a pinch of riff heavy melody to an otherwise sordid affair. For that reason Come of Age isn’t the hyped up indie mega-hit that The Vaccines would have wanted it to be. It’s a sentimentally confused collection of tracks, under a promise that the band had matured, so to speak. It’s not all bad news, as most of the tracks are extremely well written, upbeat and catchy. It’s just a shame the delivery doesn’t carry quite the right message. Don’t let that put you down, Come Of Age is a fantastic record. There’s just a few tracks that seem to be on the wrong album.