e f i l U H S gazine
Union Ma m a ll a H ld e ffi e Sh Issue 11 | March 2012
News | Sport | Lifestyle & Culture Fashion | Music | Film
This Month in
On the Cover Editor Tom Walton chats with Sheffield blues duo, The Blackbirds on page 16 about fish farming, politics and the future of the band...
Matt Cardle has The Last Word on page 30
The Usual 4 NEWS
Including news in brief and a student response on social networking
6 LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
A grizzly tale from an African safari, Designs of the Year and an interview with dancer Nisha Lall
11 I KNOW A GREAT LITTLE PLACE IN SHEFFIELD Ben Cater tells you why the Fat Cat pub is a must visit-place of the Steel City
12 THE BIGGER PICTURE
Charlotte Heather-Cray presents SHUlife’s monthly photographic competition
Album reviews, Aretha Franklin’s masterpiece I Never Loved A Man Like You and an extended Ones To Watch feature
A tribute to director Stanley Kubrick and an actor profile of Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Lust List and the nation’s original fashion icon - The Queen
A day out at the Ski Village for Winter Varsity, your guide to summer Varsity and a Q&A with the chairman of SHU’s rowing club
30 THE LAST WORD
Interview with Matt Cardle
Tom Walton chats with The Blackbirds on page 16
Fancy writing for SHUlife? Email email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org Meetings held on Wednesdays fortnightly at the Hubs
Nathaneal Sansam pays tribute to Stanley Kubrick on page 20
Introductions After a long winter, we’re relieved to see the mercury creeping back into double figures and can’t wait to welcome British summer time on March 25. Consequently though, that also means that we’re quickly moving towards the business end of the academic year and the start of many lengthy days spent in the library. This month’s magazine has a very musical feel about it, as we bring you interviews with two bands we reckon are set to make it big in the not too distant future and Hannah Bulmer catches up with X-Factor winner Matt Cardle in The Last Word. Elsewhere, be sure to have a rifle through our sport section as Jonty Bayliss fills you in on where to see some of the must-sees of Varsity 2012 - with Team Hallam look to turnaround a 4-1 deficit from February’s Winter Varsity. Other highlights include Rachel Wright’s look at the impact social media has on our lives, a tribute to A Clockwork Orange director Stanley Kubrick and the latest instalment of I Know a Great Little Place in Sheffield. We’re next back in late May for our final edition of the year, but over Easter there’ll still be plenty going on the website so be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds as always. Have a good’n... Kris & Tom
EDITORIAL TEAM General Editors
Kris Holland/Tom Walton email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Kay email@example.com
Kathryn Thorpe firstname.lastname@example.org
Corey Kitchener email@example.com
Lifestyle & Culture Editors
With Thanks Warren at Chuff Media, The Blackbirds, Vinyl Jacket, Nisha Lall, Will Jeffries, Matt Cardle
Mathilde Flannery/Jess Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Jonty Bayliss/ Dave Mee firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Visit us at
Sam Ginns firstname.lastname@example.org
Nathaneal Sansam email@example.com
for competitions, extended features, breaking news and more...
Sophie Sturch firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors Sean Robinson, Hannah Bulmer, Rachel Wright, Jessie King, Ben Cater, Charlotte Heather-Cray, Andrew Musgrove, Calum Rhodes, Natalie Wood, Dan Bylo
The views expressed in this publication are the views of the individual contributors and do not reflect the opinions of Hallam Union, its staff or officers. Advertisments do not constitute a recommendation by SHUlife or Hallam Union. All details are correct at time of going to print. © 2012
NEWS News in Brief with Kris Holland DON’T FORGET TO VOTE! Voting for Hallam Union’s next full and part time officers, student trustees and Union Council representatives is currently open. Voting closes on March 8, with the results announced on March 9 at 7.30pm in Bar Phoenix. Follow @HallamElections on Twitter for updates. VARSITY 2012 Hallam’s sporting rivalry with Sheffield University is set to be renewed once again this month as the two universities clash in Varsity competitions between March 21 and 28. Hallam trail Sheffield 4-1 after the Winter Varsity events. Follow @SHUlifeSport on Twitter for updates and the latest results from the competition. NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR HUSAS Nominations for the Hallam Union Student Awards (HUSAs) are open until March 25.The HUSAs form the pinnacle of the year for student activity groups at Hallam Union with awards ranging from society of the year to the coveted Steel City Achievement accolade with the ceremony set for April 23. DOUBLE VICTORY FOR MARKETING TEAM The marketing department at Sheffield Hallam University are celebrating a double win for their online prospectus at the industry’s top awards.The prospectus won the public sector education award and the Chairman’s Award at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Excellence Awards.
Historic Sheffield building Portland Works calls for investors to raise further £250,000 Words: Lucie Ellis Portland Works, a grade-two listed Victorian factory, has just four months left to raise £250,000 to ensure the survival of its industrial heritage through community ownership. Portland Works Campaign was set up by locals in April last year in order to block applications to convert the iconic factory from an industrial complex to residential use. It has until June to raise the funds needed to buy the building through community ownership and share offers. The factory, built in 1877, it is one of the last surviving examples from Britain’s industrial age which still houses metalworking businesses and is among the largest community share offers so far in the UK. Chair of the campaign committee, Derek Morton, said that buying shares in Portland Works would give people a say in the project and a social return on their investment. He said: “Portland Works represents much to be proud of in Sheffield – traditional skills, innovation, creativity and an iconic building with a unique history. “Add to this a community project that will
restore the building, retain the workshops as commercial enterprises, and add educational and visitor facilities and the result will be a fine resource for the city and a tribute to the cutlery industry.” The building, in Randall Street, Sheffield, is also beginning to deteriorate and work is needed to preserve it. Without investment the site will become unusable within a few years and the tenants will be forced to leave or close their businesses. Volunteers have raised £150,000 locally and are now appealing nationally to achieve their target. Stuart Mitchell’s family business has been making knives at the works since 1980. He thinks the factory is an incredibly important place in the country’s steel manufacturing history. He said: “This is a one-off chance to save something special from Britain’s industrial history, while still keeping working space for local businesses and artists. We need to restore the building to share, not only with the people of Sheffield, but with the people of the UK. “I urge people to purchase shares or make any donations they can to preserve this iconic piece of our history.”
Comment: Is social networking ruining your life?
ow many times a day would you say you check your Facebook? More worryingly, how many times an hour? My guess, if you’re anything like the average young-adult, it’s probably quite a few. Social media has become an addiction that many can’t seem to wean themselves from. I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard people say they’re going to delete their Facebook, yet they are always online the next day. I know a lot of people decide to deactivate their account during the exam period so they don’t get tempted to check on their updates, but they normally last about three days before they’re back online talking about how boring revision is. Cameron Pierson, an interactive media with animation student, said: “I decided to deactivate my Facebook because I realised how much time I was wasting on it. You spend hours just looking at the news feed, without actually achieving anything except learning what people had for breakfast and that another one of your school friends is having a baby.” In a seminar recently, my class were asked not to use their phones or go on Facebook. There were a couple of blank stares and sighs. I could practically see the terror in those students’ eyes. No Facebook for an hour and a half? Crazy.
updates, liking statuses and tagging photos. But think - in five years from now, who’s going to remember all the witty statuses we wrote? Who’s going to care? Yet, even though we are aware that Facebook isn’t important in the grand scheme of things and many of us complain about it, we all still check it a few times a day. Law student Leonie Davies said: “I love Facebook because I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to and you get to see photos you wouldn’t normally have access to.” Second year journalism student Amber Stainrod said: “I had to use Twitter for a
uni project and I hated it at first, but now I’m growing to like it. I check my Facebook all the time still, but I prefer Twitter, because there aren’t as many attention seekers on there.” I have to say that the happiest and most fun people I know are the ones who barely check their Facebook. They might update it every couple of months, but they’re never online. I strive to be more like that, because if we’re all sat on Facebook talking about how bored we are and how we wish we had more money, we might just miss out on all the exciting things in life.
Dave & Nick By Dan Bylo
Actually, what’s crazy is the habit we have all gotten into of constantly checking
Words - Rachel Wright
Lifestyle & Culture Travel
This Is Nature
’m torn between disgust and curiosity as I sit next to my father, watching a Thomson’s gazelle calf being eaten alive by a small pack of cheetah cubs. “This is nature,” says our guide, Eli, but it does little to console my crying mother and sister in the back of our safari 4×4 on the acacia-speckled Serengeti. Tanzania’s most famous national park is indeed a harsh place to grow up for a Thomson’s calf. As with wildebeest, Thomson’s herds do not wait for their young to learn slowly. They either grasp the notion of walking in four or five minutes or they’re left behind. And as the baby’s bleating mother looks on in the far reaches of this sparse landscape, it’s difficult not to feel a tug on the heart. “I think we should head back for now,” says Eli and as we travel over the rough, gritty terrain that leads back to camp Ndutu, the dusty setting becoming a blur as each of the five people in the car contemplate how precious life in Africa’s backdrop is. This is our fourth day on safari in Tanzania
Words - Tom Walton Photography - Nick Walton
“At this time of year, wildlife stretches as far as the eye can see – from scavenging hyenas and vultures, mating lions to wildebeest duelling over prospective mates.”
and after visiting Lake Manyara national park we’re in the Serengeti viewing ‘the greatest show on earth’. It’s February and the annual migration is in full flow, with (collectively) over two million zebra, wildebeest and Thomson’s moving between the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro conservation area – our next stop. At this time of year, wildlife stretches as far as the eye can see – from scavenging hyenas and vultures, mating lions to wildebeest duelling over prospective mates. Camp Ndutu is located in the south east of the Serengeti’s plains and is made up of 20 chalets and a main building which hosts a restaurant, bar, shop and internet facilities. There’s a campfire for socialising with current Ndutu tenants and staff in the evening and you’ll often see wildebeest, giraffes and (on the rare occasion) even elephants moving across the front lawn of the well kept camp. On the four-and-a half hour journey between Ndutu and Ngorongoro, we stop at the Massaii-run Olduvai Gorge Museum, which overlooks the gorge itself. This vast canyon, otherwise known as ‘the cradle of mankind’ is where the first traces of
Lifestyle & Culture
evolution were found and the museum gives a fascinating insight to its story, with photographs, fossils, artefacts and information on the groundbreaking scientific discoveries. The friendly Massaii volunteers are happy to show you around and tell you about the history, as well as trying to sell you the odd necklace. There’s an air of excitement about entering the majestic confines of the Ngorongoro crater on the Lerai descent. Famous for its abundance of wildlife and panoramic views, the crater is a must visit in Tanzania and despite the throng of visitors that come every year, it covers a large enough area (116 square miles) for you to avoid feeling trapped in a tourist hotspot. Over our two days in the crater we’re surrounded by swamp, thorn scrub, grassland and over 25, 000 large
mammals including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, black rhinos, giraffes, waterbucks, spotted hyenas, jackals, zebra, wildebeest, water buffalo, wild dog, warthog Thomson’s gazelle (dead and alive), monkeys, baboons and an incredible variety of bird life. The impressive void has shown us nearly every form of wildlife we’ve spent the last few days searching for, apart from the last member of the ‘Big Five’ – the leopard. We leave behind our sister jeeps to trawl tree-lines and gullies for a mere glimpse of the spotted wildcat. Still it remains unseen. Every bristle in the grass and rustle of the trees provokes sharp head turning and then suddenly there’s an unnatural jolt from the jeep and we slow. “Punctured tyre,” says Eli, “we all need to get out.” Before Eli tends to the puncture he hands me a 15 inch machete and answers my
puzzled look: “In case of beasts.” Great. It’s a long 15 minutes before we return to our search and admit defeat within an hour. We stop for one last photo session on the road that leads to the steep, rocky exit of the crater and notice two jackals stalking one of the thousands of flamingos that cover the shallows of one of the crater’s watering holes. I ask Eli: “Are they hunting?” He replies: “They will try, but they are stupid, they will never catch a flamingo.” No sooner as he has said this, three different jackals appear from nowhere in a Batman-esque fashion. In a split second a flamingo is plucked from the water in the snap of a neck. This is nature. This is Africa.
Lifestyle & Culture
Alexander McQueen is taking on Alexander McQueen for the top spot as both Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress (below) and The New York Metropolitan Museum’s Exhibition Savage beauty are nominated, though Mary Katrantzou is definitely a nominee to watch.
The product design category is seriously competitive this year, with defibrillator packs, a lightweight carbon fibre wheelchair, quirky lighting and speakers. Though not quite as ‘cool’ as all the above, we found it hard to choose a winner between a learning thermostat (above) and Hassani’s landmine aid (right).
designs of the year
Words - Mathilde Flannery
The Design Museum’s Design Awards are - if you allow me to be so bold to say so – the Oscars of the design industry, and a splendour to witness. The awards aim to showcase the most innovative and progressive work being produced from around the world. They cover seven categories, at least one of which is bound to be of personal interest - from graphics to digital design, fashion to furniture, architecture to transport and finally product design. As ever, a high-profile judging panel has been put together to pronounce one person victorious in an awards ceremony to be held in April. The first and arguably most import thing to note is the selection process, whereby industry figures are asked to give nominations from which a final selection of work is made. This guarantees a more diverse exhibition for the Design Museum than perhaps some of the pay-to-enter award shows we see throughout the rest of the year. There is no doubt that the exhibition of these selected designers is an eclectic and, at points, an intimidating mix of the beautiful, the useful, the obscure and the downright strange. So here’s a sneak peak at just a few of our favourites...
Lifestyle & Culture
Architecture... All of a sudden we found ourselves becoming awfully proud of our Yorkshire affiliations and have no doubt that the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield should win.
Furniture... At first it appears like the furniture section is simply an abundance of chairs and one sofa. However, if you look hard enough you will find the most organised, proportioned, and transportable wardrobe ever. Perfect - now where to put one?
Transport... Not only have we come over all green and started lusting for the new Renault Zoe (bottom right), which is released in 2013, we also want the powersthat-be to install a whole host of these French Autolibâ€™s (below) which will allow us to drive them.
Lifestyle & Culture
Eight minutes stage time with Nisha Lall
Words & Photography - Jessie Jing
rom the sunny days of Chance to Dance at the Peace Gardens to the very first Mass Jai-Ho Bollywood dance for Sheffield Music City Festival 2009 – Nisha Lall has been involved in Sheffield dancing for a considerable amount of time. She started dancing from a very early age – through self-teaching and watching different dance programmes – and took up her first dance class at the age of 19. Since then, Nisha has trained in Salsa, Bellydance, Bollywood, Latin and Ballroom – with her current progress of studying contemporary dance. She has also recently become the in-house teacher for SHU Bellydance society. Alongside her dance company, Aim To Dance, she is completing her dance degree, and performing around the UK with her troupe, ASHAY. The dance group are well underway in their preparation for their upcoming dance show in October, Interlock. The show is a fusion dance show that provides an array of different dance styles – portraying their similarities while still maintaining their varieties and uniqueness. It’s a show developed from one of Nisha’s previous dance acts, The Beat, back in 2009. According to Nisha, the Interlock show delves deeper into the reasons why so many people around the world dance, as well as showing different styles. Is it to celebrate? Is it to connect to each other or our
emotions? Is it for glamour? Is it something that is innate in humans? In other words, Interlock visually narrates the story of a dancer – any kind of dancer. The various styles that will be covered in this diverse show include Bollywood, classical Indian dance, bellydance, contemporary/modern dance, street dance, salsa, and according to rumours, even Morris dancing. Nisha, who has had training in most styles, will be the creative director and main choreographer of the show. Besides her and ASHAY, there will also be guest performers on the night. Further details of the show - including ticket details will be released later this year. To Nisha, her source of inspiration comes from her class members and troupe members: “A lot of my inspirations come from the people that I meet. It could be someone dancing, something someone has said or even a simple action.” Her inspirations will allow her to continue developing and learning as a dancer, teacher and choreographer, with her hopes of passing on those inspirations to others. For more information about Nisha and her dance company, or to keep updated with news about the Interlock show, visit: http://www.aimtodanceandcreate.co.uk.
Lifestyle & Culture
I know a great little place in Sheffield...
Words - Ben Cater
The Fat Cat Photograph by Ben Cater
The Fat Cat
n difficult economic times where consumers are being thrifty with their cash and cautiously tightening their belts, the appreciation of real ale has experienced a somewhat surprising resurgence. Chesterfield is a prime example of where pubs have been rejuvenated under a Brampton Brewery format, serving an array of pints including Golden Bud and Brampton Best - both of which are locally brewed. This principle is also evident in Sheffield, where Thornbridge Brewery have recently opened their new in bar Dada (formerly Trippets). Sheffield is also home to The Fat Cat, the first real ale house to come to the city. This old-fashioned public house, situated by Kelham Island, has a traditional, warm and friendly vibe that people - whether visitors or seasoned regulars - simply respond to. Given that the local area surrounding this quaint old pub isn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing, early reservations are understandable and you’d be forgiven for walking past this place. However, if you choose to look past the pub’s surroundings and venture inside, you’ll soon put any doubts to rest. The busy walls in the two fire-lit snugs are covered from top to bottom in posters, old mirrors, pictures and awards, towards the back of the building lies a beer garden with plenty of seating and outside heating - perfect for all year round. Combine the cosy atmosphere with impressive food and drink options and it’s easy to understand why The Fat Cat is a regular in the AA Good Pub guide. The pub serves good wholesome food including options such as steak pie, Ploughman’s lunch, cheese and onion, broccoli and cheddar pasta to name a few all at very reasonable prices for students on a budget. The steak pie is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a hearty meal. If it’s a snack you want then the miniature pork
pies go down a treat with a pint of Pale Rider - Champion Beer of Britain 2004 and one of ales produced by Kelham Island Brewery, which is just next door. At £2.40 a pint on cask, Pale Rider and the other ales on offer here represent good value for money and great tastes. The Fat Cat offers something different to students - it’s a far cry from pyjama
parties, silent discos and celebrity appearances. Instead, Monday nights are curry and quiz nights, with offers on selected beer. It’s somewhere to chat, laugh, relax on the rare occasion you might not feel like a ‘big’ night. There’s something special about The Fat Cat - it’s well worth a look.
Charlotte Heather-Cray presents
The Bigger Picture
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Music Album Reviews
For more album reviews please visit www.shulife.co.uk
Words: Andrew Musgrove Emeli Sande Our Version Of Events Virgin Emeli Sande has been quietly making a name for herself over the past few years, penning songs and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the industry. When she scored a number one hit with Professor Green with Read All About It, the anticipation for her first solo album intensified – and it does not disappoint. Written entirely by the Aberdeen-born
Sande, Our Version Of Events is a variety of quirky, happy, romantic and heartbroken tunes, in which the lyrics appeal to all areas of a young adult’s life. You’ll be stopping yourself from singing on the bus when listening to Next To Me. You’ll be thinking of that ex when you hear My Kind Of Love. And you’ll be left truly astonished with Read All About It, Part 3, which is a slower version of the
Professor Green hit, but undoubtedly a better version, and one of the best songs on the album. The industry today lacks true song writers, and Sande emphasises just what a shame that is. With 14 fantastically-written songs accompanied by powerful piano and heart-stopping vocals, Our Version Of Events proves just what a talent she is.
Field Music Plumb Memphis Industries
James Vincent McMorrow Early In The Morning Vagrant
Of Montreal Paralytic Stalks Polyvinyl
Despite having been around since 2004, Field Music have always diverted away from mainstream success, with their blend of obscure vocal harmonies, fragmented lyrics and dreamy melodies being blamed for this shortcoming. But it’s this individual creativity that has allowed the Brewis brothers the freedom to make their fourth album, Plumb. From the moment Start The Day Right breaks in, the record unfolds into a multi-layered mosaic masterpiece, equally glorious, flamboyant and captivating. And even as (I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing closes the album, it remains as relentlessly experimental, deeply mesmerizing and beautifully written as ever – a true testament to what effect creative freedom can have.
Folk minstrel James Vincent McMorrow is currently best known for his tenderly beautiful cover of Steve Winwood’s 80s classic Higher Love, which appeared on a TV advert for LoveFilm. But the Irishman is sure to become a star in his own right soon enough thanks to Early In The Morning, a brilliant collection of acoustic tunes. Sparrow And The Wolf is a rollicking Mumford & Sons-style hoedown, From The Woods!! showcases McMorrow’s otherworldly falsetto perfectly, while the astounding We Don’t Eat is positively epic. Singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen these days, but James Vincent McMorrow is worth every penny.
Of Montreal founding member Kevin Barnes has often been charged with accusations of self-indulgence. On the group’s eleventh effort, Paralytic Stalks, this is particularly evident - the final two tracks measure in at over twenty minutes of atonal nonsense, pointless whispering and a painful string section. However, there is redemption elsewhere on the album. We Will Commit Wolf Murder and Dour Percentage are bright, melodic pop songs laden with anarchic twists and turns - a better example of how Barnes’ vocals and the band’s bizarre sound can fuse. Ye, Renew The Plaintiff bounces along with of charm, personality and a guitar solo, before the album jumps headfirst into its own absurdity. Avoid the final two tracks and you’ve an honest, innovative record.
Masterpiece Aretha Franklin I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You
Words - Natalie Wood Illustration - Sam Ginns
Released – March 10, 1967 Label – Atlantic Producer – Jerry Wexler Tracklist
retha Franklin has a voice that has made her famous, from gospel to soul, from jazz to R&B. And with a career that spans over 50 years, the woman truly has it all. She has influenced many top artists over the decades, had a lot of her singles covered numerous times, won 18 Grammys and she’s still going with her own record label. When I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You was released, Franklin was only 25 years old. Yet it’s this album that has won the singer the most attention, reaching number 2 in America within weeks of its release. Franklin has many well known hits on this album. It gives us her true essence and feeling. She doesn’t just stick with soul – songs like Good Times and Save Me have an upbeat jazz influence to them, making them very catchy and showing she can successfully branch out into other genres. She also takes us back to her musical roots by singing gospel in A Change Is Gonna Come. The lyrics are almost religious to
listen to. She sings about being able to carry on with life and knowing what’s beyond the sky when we die. Out of the eleven tracks on the album Franklin co-wrote four of them, but the other seven are so perfectly matched to her they may has well have been written by her. Every song gets better each time you listen, from the raw power of the opening track Respect to the confessional love song I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You). None of Franklin’s songs would work without the emotion she puts into each and every one. She puts a feel of personal experience into the album that puts the listener at ease and shows they’re not alone. For a young 25 year old to gain this trust through an album showed the world her experiences and passion for music were true, and that there’d be more to come as long as she kept living. The album’s most famous song, Respect, became a big hit not only in the music world – reaching number 1 in the R&B Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100 – but with feminist and civil rights movements throughout the US. Its lyrics helped empower women, thanks largely to Franklin’s performance. She sang the song as a strong, confident women who
1. Respect 2. Drown In My Own Tears 3. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) 4. Soul Serenade 5. Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream 6. Baby, Baby, Baby 7. Dr Feelgood 8. Good Times 9. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man 10. Save Me 11. A Change I Gonna Come
demands respect, something that for a black woman was unheard of at the time. This made her a star, and added to the big success of I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You. If you want an album full of songs with lyrics that mean something, great rhythm and soul and a voice that belts out those songs with true passion and feeling, look no further than this. It’s truly Aretha Franklin’s greatest album.
Ones to Watch
rom a sleepy town in Northumberland comes Vinyl Jacket – a band who are quickly making waves for themselves with quirky tunes and snappy lyrics, proving that the fun in making music is still very much the remedy for success. They’ve had a storming 2011 with bigger things expected in 2012 – that is if you can better playing at Glastonbury, where Tom Robinson of BBC 6 Music described the quintet as his “favourite band of the last year”. They also opened the main stage at Newcastle’s Evolution Festival last May. Once you listen to a few of their tracks – especially Painting Stations and my favourite Koala (which won Manifesto’s single of the year) – you’ll see just why they’re held in such high regard. They’ve already recorded four live tracks for Huw Stephens at the BBC’s famous Maida Vale studios and are following that up with a live show at Stephens’ Valentine’s Day gig at the Social in London. Next month also sees the release of their third
Words - Andrew Musgrove single Red Light, and the band hope the hard work they’ve put into the promotion of this new release will pay off. The band are very energetic onstage, and band member Andrew Roberts tells me that he is looking forward to the single release on the March 3. “We always try to put a lot of effort into gigs in Newcastle so that the strong following we have here are continually seeing and hearing something new and entertaining. With the coming release we’ve never had such a high level of creative control over a gig so it should be something to behold.” The single itself, written by Ben Dance, is as catchy as the previous singles, but you get the feeling there is something special about this one. Ben explains: “It’s based on two conflicting ideals surrounding what it means to have a meaningful relationship with a girl. The song deals with issues of promiscuity and the ensuing temptation to fall in line.” The song certainly has lyrics most can relate to and Ben admits that was the aim. “The song acknowledges many personal
experiences,” he says, “but is written in a cryptic fashion intended to reflect the cryptic nature of licentiousness itself.” A brilliant thing about this five-piece is their ability to tap into a variety of subjects but to do so in an uplifting spirit, as the chords behind the lyrics get you tapping your feet, bobbing your head and ultimately listening with a smile. The band hope to carry on into 2012 with more live gigs in front of bigger audiences, while introducing a new train of thought with every new single they release. Things are certainly looking good for Vinyl Jacket, so keep an eye out for them and let them remind you that the fun in making music is instrumental in success. The Red Light single launch is on Saturday March 3 in Newcastle, when the band will be turning the space at The NewBridge Project in to a UV spectacular for one night only.
Ones to watch
Turn on the Birds The Blackbirds
“I hate it when you do an interview and they don’t explain your quotes properly. Someone once asked us what we thought about X Factor and we chatted about it for ten minutes. In the interview it only said ‘it’s s**t’ underneath the question. It made us look like right idiots,” says Mark Flaherty, peering over a pint of Carling as we wait for Tom Matthews, the second half and guitarist/singer of The Blackbirds. Flaherty, the band’s drummer, doesn’t speak in spite - he’s merely pointing out a valid grievance of giving interviews. No pressure, then. After forming little under a year ago, the blues duo’s visceral kicks and licks that spin tales of riversides, relationships and current affairs are beginning to light up the epicentre of Sheffield’s music scene. There’s a zeal to their grizzly guitars and
“Some people play football on a Sunday - we play in a band on a Friday and Saturday. It doesn’t really matter how far it goes, it’s just what we do,”
Turn On The Birds
untamed drums – they’ve got a sound and approach that lodges itself into the darkest caverns of your mind. With strong Steel City roots, Matthews (22) and Flaherty (24) formed a little under a year ago out of other local acts Cut Your Wings (Flaherty) and Shot Dead (Matthews) before making their debut live at the Frog and Parrot during last year’s Tramlines festival in July. Their music tastes are varied, with Matthews obsessing over Fleetwood Mac and early blues artists such as Robert Johnson while Flaherty hits slightly heavier with Metallica and Led Zeppelin, also stating he’s “a massive Dylan fan.” Their influences ooze out of their songs - it’s story-telling blues that’s keeping up with the times, as Matthews explains. “I like having a dialogue in the music rather than just having me making stuff up - like story songs. We’re getting a bit political
now though - we just wrote a new track about the Iran conflict and it’s basically me saying ‘please America, don’t f*****g kill us all.’” They’ve both been heavily involved in Sheffield music for the best part of the last decade, while working other jobs in the meantime - Flaherty quit college and pursued an apprenticeship doing “CCTV and house alarms and stuff ” before quitting to concentrate on music. “It didn’t have the flexibility I needed – you can’t be on call all the time and be in a band at the same time.” Matthews, on the other hand, worked several jobs before heading to Newcastle University where he’s currently studying construction management: “I’ve had loads of jobs, me. I’ve been a labourer, tree surgeon, a plumber,” before Flaherty interrupts laughing: “Tell them about the fish farm,” and turns to me: “Make sure you get this in…” “I was changing the sex of fishes for a bit at a trout farm. Male trout die in the winter because they’re asexual and most trout can change between male and female, but not all of them. So in the autumn, to save the fish from dying, I injected them with this hormone which saved them. I lived on the trout farm for about two months with gypsies out near Chesterfield - it was a right laugh.”
Despite the front-man spending a lot of time in Newcastle while studying, the band are tight unit. They’ve got a blues sound with a feral rock undertone and they’re becoming increasingly influenced by politics as Matthews explains: “I’m left but I hate Labour. They aren’t left anymore, they might as well be Lib Dems. I’m more socialist. I vote Green, I like all the environmental stuff, it’s important.” Flaherty adds: “I’m not that politically influenced but personally think that every candidate since Thatcher has been s**t. I’m more concerned about this division between the world, with people saying ‘we need this much money, we need that.’ It might be a bit communist but I just don’t get why people can’t share? I didn’t get people fighting in the playground at school and I don’t get it all now. Just f*****g share it out – you’ve got oil, we’ve got money, what’s the issue?” With a sound that isn’t far from the now heavy-hitting, record-shedding blues combination that is The Black Keys, they are perhaps a band that have a niche to set them apart from the pop cyborgs that dominate the UK’s top ten charts. Even if they do, it’s not the most important thing to The Blackbirds. They’re here to make music primarily, anything else that comes their way is a bonus, as Matthews points out: “Some people play football on a Sunday, I play in a band on a Friday and Saturday. It doesn’t really matter how far it goes, it’s just what we do,” before Flaherty interjects: “Don’t get us wrong, I would
give my left bollock for us to get signed but it’s not why we do it. I don’t want to be famous, I have no aspirations for that. I’m not materialistic at all - I don’t need loads of money. I would be happy on the basic. All I want to do is play music and if it can pay my rent and get me a pint on a Saturday afternoon then that’ll do me. We aren’t chasing anything and we aren’t running around trying to get signed. I just want to do what I love for a career.” It’s a romantic idea but the life of a guitar band is not what it once was in an industry that’s dictated by talent and award shows. It’s something Matthews knows all too well: “Dance and electro has taken off in a big way. The drummer in my old band is touring Europe now, drumming with DJ’s and he’s charging £500-700 a night. Guitar bands are lucky to command even £100 and that can be between five or six people. DJ’s don’t even need a record or CDs anymore, there aren’t any overheads - they just turn up with a memory stick, play some songs for a few hours and f**k off.” But as the economy continues to look precarious, unemployment rises and the nation remains indifferent or, in most cases, angry at the coalition government, Flaherty feels that it’s time for a band to stand up and be counted during an increasingly bleak economic climate: “There is no one big voice of this generation. It does need something. Let’s face it – it’s not going to come from Adele, is it? She’s too busy rolling round in the deep and complaining about not getting a modelling contract! I’m not saying that it’s us or whatever. As long as we can play our music to people that are interested then that’s all that matters. I would rather play to ten people that love it than 100 people that aren’t that bothered.” The Blackbirds have edge and a sound that cuts through the decades yet are astutely tuned into a modern age. Get with the times and turn on the birds.
A tribute to Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) Words - Nathaneal Sansam
s this March marks the thirteenth anniversary of his death, it’s worth looking back over the films of Stanley Kubrick to see what innovations he made in his features and whether or not there are any common themes in his incredibly diverse body of work. On the form of cinema, Kubrick once said “a film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning - all that comes later.” It’s a quote that I’m sure will
put many people in mind of films like A Clockwork Orange (1971) or perhaps the sardonic ending music of Dr. Strangelove (1964). But Kubrick’s talk of moods and feelings runs counter to his reputation for cold and mechanical film-making, lacking in emotion. That said, the best of his rather limited work (just twelve movies between 1955 and 1999) rank as the most iconic and influential films ever made. Born in the Bronx, New York in 1928, Kubrick grew up interested in only two things - chess and photography - the latter of these leading to a job as a freelance photographer at Life Magazine in the late
Forties. From there, he began to make documentaries and film shorts before making the jump to feature length films with Killer’s Kiss in 1955. After a troubled production working with Kirk Douglas on Spartacus (1960) he came to the conclusion that in future he needed to have total creative control over his films, moving to England a few years later where he would film all of his later work. His films are all different from each other in terms of genre, time-period and narrative but there are many ideas and motifs that unite them. Film critic Roger Ebert talked about what he called a ‘Kubrick
‘Kubrick (right) on the set of Spartacus with (from left), Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons and Peter Ustinov’
innovative use of Back projection and Matte painting to create many of the future environments, many of which were copied in later sci-fi works Star Wars (1977) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978). In Barry Lyndon (1975) Kubrick used camera lenses originally developed by NASA for the moon landings to capture scenes by genuine candle light without back-up lighting. Kubrick was also one of the early users of the Steadicam, and developed a special ‘low mode’ for the various fluid tracking shots that followed Danny around the Overlook Hotel. Kubrick’s cinematic innovations have influenced the ways in which characters feeling and emotions can be expressed, and his innovations have created new ways in which the progression of moods can be expressed and portrayed on the screen. His work has influenced all the mainstream film genres in some way and helped forge modern-day cinema. While many might still feel his work to be too cold and technical for its own good, that emotion is within the coldness itself.
“A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning - all that comes later.” Stanley Kubrick
Stare’, where an unravelling or unbalanced character, such as Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980) or Alex in A Clockwork Orange , are shown in close-up with their heads tilted down and eyes tilted up looking off screen. In terms of film score, Kubrick used pre-recorded classical or popular music, often creating an ironically pessimistic juxtaposition with what’s on screen such as when Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again plays at the close of Dr. Strangelove. But the one thing that is absolute throughout Stanley Kubrick’s work is technical brilliance of his films. In 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the director made
Actor Profile - Joseph Gordon-levitt Words - Rachel Wright It’s fair to say that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s acting career has exploded over the last few years - starring in hugely popular films such as Inception, 500 Days of Summer and 50/50. Looking back on his early work in 3rd Rock from the Sun, who would have known that the innocent long-haired boy we knew as Tommy would grow up to be one of the most hotly anticipated actors of this generation? With Gordon-Levitt starring in a number of new films this year – including Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained and Lincoln, we take a look at some of his achievements so far.
500 Days Of Summer 2009
This is a story of boy meets girl. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Tom Hansen, greeting card designer and romantic who falls hopelessly in love with new assistant Summer Finn. Levitt’s performance in this film is thoroughly believable - we are drawn in as we follow his journey from the warm beginning of his blossoming young romance to the bitter-sweet end as Summer ends the relationship with him. We empathise with Tom’s genuine heartbreak, yet laugh at his dark humour and bitterness about the situation. Levitt’s on screen persona really emerges and he creates a character we can’t help but immediately warm to. Although this was a Fox Seachlight independent film the characters, cinematography and perfectly casting brought this, and Joseph GordonLevitt, into the mainstream. - - ->
Anyone who hasn’t heard of this film must have been hiding under a rock for the past two years. Chris Nolan’s spectacular won an incredible amount of awards including four Oscars, three BAFTAS and six Critics Choice Awards, among others. The film confused many cinema-goers with its complex story line despite undoubtedly being the biggest film of 2010. The film deals with the idea of being able to manipulate other people by getting inside their dreams and either stealing or planting information. An all-star cast joined Gordon-Levitt in this blockbuster, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, Dileep Rao and Cillian Murphy.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance in this film was both believable and brilliant. The film was inspired by a true story and follows Gordon-Levitt’s character, Will, a 27-year-old who finds out he has a rare form of genetic cancer. The film tackles the difficult subject of cancer in a very honest way, and is both heart-breaking and hilariously funny at the same time. It won several awards, including a National Board of Review (NBR) award for Best Original Screenplay. This film is well worth the watch if you haven’t already seen it. Starring Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anna Kendrick, this shows off Joseph GordonLevitt’s talent at its best. 50/50 will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 26.
list Meet the Messenger A messenger is the best way to complete a casual day outfit, especially if it involves a lecture or two. £39.99 Zara
Sweet in Sweats A printed sweatshirt goes along way. Layer with a shirt for preppy, t-shirt for casual or simply wear on its own. £28 Topman
Time to Check This check strap watch is the perfect time piece. £225 Burberry.
Tighten Up Every man needs a belt and there are few nicer than this worn slate grey number. £45 AllSaints.
Love the Levi The 511 slim is the only way to wear your jeans. £90 Levi.
Buy the Boot The Desert Boot is an early spring/ summer staple and can add fun colours to the simplest of wardrobes. £42 Asos.
Words - Mathilde Flannery
For Her Go for Gold Wear long chain earrings to add a boho edge to any outfit. £9 Pret a Portobello.
Sixties Sparkle There are few labels on the high street that can rival French Connection and this sequin number proves it. £260 French Connection
True Trench With such temperamental weather no British woman could be without one. Double Button Trench £59.99 Zara
Fight for a Flatform These pink polka-dot Mary Jane Flatforms are an absolute treasure. £30 Asos.
Hand Crafted You’ve never had a pair of sun glasses so well looked after, handmade and beautiful. £299 Cutler and Gross.
Britain’s Oldest Style Icon: Her Majesty Words - Corey Kitchener
ou may not automatically think of 85 year old Queen Elizabeth II as a style icon. But on the contrary, Liz not only wears trends -she also sets and inspires them. As the Queen begins her tour of the UK in honour of her diamond jubilee, SHUlife takes a look at all the trend boxes Her Majesty has ticked off.
Handbags The boxy styles available of handbag this season can all be traced to the style the Queen has picked throughout her life. Incidentally, fellow boxy handbag lover Victoria Beckham’s carrying technique (perched upon the elbow) is based upon the Queen’s.
Headscarves Dolce and Gabbana based an entire collection around the outfit choices favoured by the Queen when on holiday at Balmoral. The Italian design duo sent models down the catwalks with knotted headscarves in heritage prints teamed with quilted jackets and wellingtons. Luckily for Ma’am, headscarves are back in fashion and feature in the current collections of Rochas and Dior.
Hats Listed as a style icon by maverick millinery lover Anna Dello Russo, the Queen loves nothing more than a wide brimmed hat, held in place with an enormous hatpin. Hatpins are always present to prevent embarrassing losses of headwear in the wind (she’s a practical sort our Queen).
Colour Blocking Fashion editors constantly refer to ‘colour blocking’ – mixing and matching primary colours, or wearing one bright shade head to toe. Although magazines speak of this as a recent trend, it’s a style Ma’am has always worn: take the canary yellow ensemble she wore to the Royal wedding last year, which she paired with white gloves, perhaps hinting at the ladylike trend which began this summer. Ahead of the game her majesty is.
Royal Fashion Trivia A practical feature of the Queen’s wardrobe is the sewing of weights into her hemlines to prevent dresses and coats blowing up in the wind, or riding up when exiting cars)
When the Queen drops her handbag from her elbow to her hand, carrying it low to the ground, it means she’s had enough of the engagement and is signalling to her staff that she is ready to make a swift exit.
Sport A day out at
The Ski Village
Photograph by Andrew Musgrove
Andrew Musgrove watches
However, the Ski Village, situated on Vale Road just outside of the city centre, does more than an adequate job in giving you the taste for the real thing. I took a trip to watch the closing event of the 2012 Winter Varsity, and despite the annihilation of Sheffield Hallam’s ski and board team, the venue itself presented the perfect atmosphere for a night out. Hallam went into the event on the back of a 3-1 victory in the Ice Hockey, but as expected Sheffield University came back with a vengeance and ran out 4-0 winners on the night, with relative ease. Sheffield Uni went straight into a 2-0 lead on the slaloms and Hallam failed to really pressure their city rivals. The freestyle event followed and as the night went on the tricks became more adventurous. Unfortunately for Hallam, it was Sheffield University pulling them off. The crowd lapped up the front flips, 180 and 360 spins, cheering when the tricks were landed and wincing in pain when the participants crashed and burned. University of Sheffield ran out comfortable winners, but there was all-round respect
for all performers and the atmosphere was a friendly, jovial banter as the crowd partied on until the early hours. The ski slope is open to the general public who wish to get to grips with skis or boarding - with tuition available at prices beginning at only £11.40 off peak for adults or £9 for us poor students. The slope itself is one-third of a mile and once at the top of it, you have the privilege of enjoying some of the best views of city. At night, it’s something to behold. But it’s not just snow-related activities on offer. If the thought of having your feet locked into two planks of plastic isn’t your thing then why not go bowling or enjoy a round of lazer tag – effectively a friendly version of paintball without the bruises. Quad bikes are also another option, and in the autumn yet another attraction will be added – an adventure playground, which offers you the chance to swing round like Tarzan. Responsibly, of course. Once you’re all worn out pretending you’re Eddie The Eagle, a new bowling prodigy or even Jason Bourne, you can settle down for a meal and a pint in the restaurant – which offers top quality food at good prices – all while looking over that fantastic view of the Steel City.
Photograph by Andrew Musgrove
ow, it’s not quite the Alps, but then Sheffield isn’t exactly Chamonix.
5 must see Varsity events 1. Football at Hillsborough Stadium
Words - Jonty Bayliss
Usually playing home to Sheffield Wednesday football, this match will see Hallam and Uni go head to head in the headline event of the whole of varsity. You never know if the outcome of Varsity will have been decided by the time the game comes around so it’s always a tense affair. With thousands turning out to support and match officials including the likes of Howard Webb the game really does feel like a Premier League fixture. Always a good day out and with plenty of chances to drown out the voices of our rivals - it’s going to be a fun day. Date: Wednesday March 28 Venue: Hillsborough Stadium Time: 14:00
3. Rowing at Damflask
An earlier start but with views like the on to your right, is there a better way to start your Saturday? This is an event the University of Sheffield With the Rugby team being in fine have had more success in over recent years but with the effort form all season and the UniverSheffield Hallam’s club has put in sity of Sheffield always boasting a strong side, this encounter will not with training, I’m sure they won’t fail to entertain. Last year Hallam disappoint and this is one where we could really upset the black and gold won the fixture 17-9 so with an side of the city. even stronger side this year, we will be hoping for Hallam to come Date: Saturday March 24 away with victory. Get yourself Venue: Damflask, Loxley, Sheffield down to Don Valley and get behind the team and I’m sure they (right) Time: TBC will do you proud.
2. Rugby Union at Don Valley Stadium
Date: Sunday March 25 Venue: Don Valley Stadium Time: 14:00
4. Lacrosse at Abbeydale Sports Club
5. Swimming at Ponds Forge After last year’s disappointing loss of 118-142, Sheffield Hallam will want to bounce back and re-claim their Varsity title. It was the first time in 10 years Sheffield Hallam had been beaten by their rivals so it’s sure to serve up plenty of action on the day. Venue: Ponds Forge International Sports Centre Date: Friday March 23 Time: 10:30 – 13:30
A sport which offers up a combination of skill and violence in a fast-paced game which never ceases to entertain. If you haven’t watched a game of lacrosse before it is a must-see event. I had the privilege of watching the lacrosse team earlier this year and they didn’t disappoint. Venue: Abbeydale Sports Club, Abbeydale Road, Dore Date: Wednesday March 21 Time: Women and Men’s 2nd: 14:00; Men’s 1st: 16:00
Row your boat
e are very privileged at Sheffield Hallam University to have so many sports clubs on offer. However, these sports clubs wouldn’t work without committees being in place in each of them. These boards are made up of dedicated students who, while studying a full-time course, are committed to running and making our sports teams successful. SHUlife sat down with Will Jeffries, chairman of the Rowing club, and asked him what its like to manage both your passion and your studies. What is it like being chairman of your club? It’s a real privilege to be the chairman of the rowing club. I am leading a dedicated and enthusiastic committee who are eager to improve members experience and the clubs overall performance. As chairman, I have the opportunity to implement various changes and improvements that I know will really progress the club. Having been a part of the rowing club for three years I know from experience what being a new member is like and what areas needed altering. I really feel that this year we begun
Words & Photography - Jonty Bayliss Illustration - Dan Bylo
In the know - There are 36 ratified sports clubs running through Hallam Union - Hallam’s unbeaten Varsity streak stretches back ten years - Water training is held at the Damflask resevoir on Saturday and Sunday mornings - The rowing club also meet meet at the Pearson Building on Collegiate Campus for circuit training on Monday evenings at 9pm
a dramatic change for the better - much of the hard work has been done and now we are entering the height of the race season we will see how the fantastic work this year pays off on our performance. What difficulties do you find running a club? The role can certainly be time consuming and that is the major difficulty. Managing my degree, being club chairman as well as maintaining my own training can certainly take it out of you but there is no doubt it’s worth it when I see club members enjoying their training and racing. What is the best bit about being involved in a sports club? As I said before, as chairman I love receiving feedback from other members who are enjoying their time with us. It’s really satisfying to find others are appreciative of the effort the committee has gone to this year to ensure everyone gains the maximum benefit that the club can offer. As an athlete, there is nothing quite like making a boat move quickly in a crew made up of your best mates. When training it can be a real boost when you
slog it out on an erg next to your team mates and you all improve your previous scores whether it’s a 2km or 16km. I think most of all I enjoy the social aspect of the club - my team mates are what gives me the lift I need to push myself further or the knowledge that even after spending so much time together training in a week we can still all meet up for a drink and have a laugh. After all, there’s no I in team. What does Varsity mean to you? We share our boathouse facilities with Sheff Uni and so the clubs get on well together. However, the rivalry that Varsity provides us with never completely diminishes and now that we are in the run up to the big event the competitiveness increases with it. Sheff Uni are of a similar ranking to us which makes it all the more important that I see the club win this year. All of our other races consist of large numbers of other clubs and crews so Varsity is the only opportunity we have to race one on one. On a personal level, it is a matter of pride that we win Varsity this year having lost as a novice and been unable to attend last year. Sheff Uni has several very good senior men crews to our one which is all the more reason for my crew to leave them in our wake. I know the other three members of my crew are eager to take the Sheff Uni guys on which just gears me up even further, and I know it’s the same for every other crew we field. How do you think you can improve on last year’s result? Last year we did not perform well enough and this year we have athletes that are far fitter, stronger and better drilled. We have
lost Varsity for several years running now but that’s all about to change. We have trained hard on and off the water up to and above 10 sessions a week and sometimes 3 sessions a day. It can be tiring and painful but we can see the finish line now and will only train harder in the run up to our victory at Varsity. What have you been doing this year to make sure you achieve this? We have done far too much this year for me to explain it all to you here but I can emphasis some of our main improvements. In the 2011/12 season the club has become substantially more organised and focused on our aims for future performance. This year we have a coach, Ian Allen, who’s input and dedication has been invaluable in improving our athletes fitness and technique when on the water - by Christmas, I was considerably fitter than I was at the height of the race season in the previous year. We have a far better training program and schedule and have attended and will be attending far more races than previous years. What do you hope to get out of varsity? Varsity is always a good event. To be a part of the rivalry between the clubs on the day is great. I hope that all the members enjoy themselves when we do race but most of all; I hope that we achieve the victory we have been striving so hard for this year.
The Last Word with
Words - Hannah Bulmer
After triumphing on a little show called the X Factor in 2010 (some of you might have heard of it?) Matt Cardle has gone from strength to strength, with his debut album Letters charting at number two, establishing himself as an artist on his own merit. Hannah Bulmer had a chat to the singer-songwriter about his past, present and future. So Matt, what have you been concentrating on the most at the moment? Mainly the release of the third single from my album, Amazing. I’ve started writing some stuff for the second album too but I’ve got the tour starting on the 28th February which is what I’m most looking forward to. I’ve toured last year with the X Factor but it’ll be good to go out there with my own stuff. So when you were writing your album Letters, what were your main influences? Loads of different things really! Every situation I’ve ever been in or anything I’ve ever come across. Were you aiming for a certain genre with it?
Not really. I don’t think that’s something you can aim for – it just came naturally! Hopefully I might end up going in a different direction for the next album though. Gary Barlow wrote one of your songs didn’t he? Yeah, that was really good. He came up with Run For Your Life which he thought was right for me, and we saw it as perfect for the first single. When it comes to the album you were pretty much given free reign weren’t you? Do you think that sets you apart from other artists that have resulted from X Factor? Yeah I was really lucky with that. I hope it does a bit! Is the negative stigma which may come from the X Factor something that you find hard to get rid of? Is the show something you’d rather not be associated with now? There’s no doubt that the X Factor is an amazing platform to start on. It did great things for me so I’d never go against it. I think a lot of people like to think I don’t like the show but I’ve no idea why.
What has been your number 1 highlight since winning the X Factor in 2010? Quite a few things – writing the album, it going to number 2 in the charts, then when it went platinum that was amazing. The X Factor isn’t where you first started in music was it? You were in some bands before? Yeah I was in three, plugging away to try and get into the business for about 14 years before I even thought about X Factor. In no way did it happen overnight for me. After a certain comment from One Direction’s Harry Styles to you after you’d won the show, I’m sure a lot of people would want to know... has your success made things easier for you with the ladies? [Laughs] No not at all – it’s still a struggle! Finally Matt, what’s your ultimate dream for your career in the future? Just to keep on recording really. Sell millions of records. I really do want a long career in music.