THE COSMOPOLITAN CUTTING EDGE ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE
Idris Elba’s unforgettable ‘Long Walk’
Disorder Boutique Birmingham an inside look
£3.95 (where sold)
Valentines Special Ideas for you!
Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour Review
PharRell Happy and hot at 40
EDITOR Mark Dwayne editor@ streetcredmagazine.com
really managed to stuff myself this Christmas. I planned not to, as usual, and have put on an obscene amount of weight so the profile pic you see on the editors note will not be coming down anytime soon as I feel that is my best look ha. Right now I am looking at Bootcamp Cambridge diets and ordered Insanity vids with the hope I get back in shape for 2014 as I have promised myself a well deserved break in the Caribbean. If I do not get my weight target I wont be leaving the country because going over to the beach with a belly is not exactly cool ha. Anyway Streetcredders how did you enjoy your Christmas? I am sure many of you relate to the first paragraph and feel just like me. Although the pop belly is there I am very thankful for the family Christmas meals had. Did I party? Sure did and I saw you guys enjoying yourself too. Took so many photos at different clubs, God Birmingham city nightlife was buzzing this year, we passed through TE Bar Boxxed and finally ended up in someones house slumped on their couch ha ha yes I sure brought in the new year with a bang, start as you mean to go they say. So up next is valentines the one day of love then we go back to hate and aggro ha loads coming up to look forward too as you will see in this edition guys. Always look to Streetcred as we are truly the eye of entertainment. Enjoy!
SUB EDITOR Gordy Munro PRODUCTION Daniel Riley daniel.riley@ streetcredmagazine.com PR & MARKETING Amanda Bowen amanda@ streetcredmagazine.com
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@MarkDwayneMDG1 @StreetCredMag /markdwaynemdg /streetcredmag Mark Dwayne MDG
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CONTENTS PAGE GRIMEY (5-12) - Romeo, Relley C, Smiths News, Danny Dyer, R Kelly and Mary J Blige Tour, Jay Z Gold, Obama Birthday Invite, Smoggy 50p concept. GRIMEY SPORT (14) VALENTINES SPECIAL (15-20)
GIG GUIDE (60-62) - London, Birmingham and Manchester picks. BACKSTREET BOYS & ALL SAINTS TOUR (63) MOTORS (64-65) - Porsche 911 Targa.
AMBITIOUS RECORDING STUDIO (22-23) BIG SCREEN (67-73) - Anchorman 2 review, Top 10 to look forward to. SWISH FASHION (25-31) - Disorder Birmingham, Clubbing 2013, Style CAREERS & EDUCATION (75) Queen- Jennifer Lopez PLAYLIST (32) STRICTLY COME DANCING (33-45) HEALTH AND FITNESS (46-47) COVER STORY (49-53) - Pharrell. CASSANDRA LONDON (54-55) ARTIST SPOTLIGHT (57-59) - Amica
GADGETS (77-81) - Gaming for Good, Project Christine. MR & MISS SC (84-87) - Camara Fearon, Idris Elba. REGGAE OR NOT (88-89) - Will & The People. TRAVEL (93-97) - Valentines Travel Ideas.
Word on the street
aMBITIOUS rECORDING sTUDIO pAGE 22-23
S W E N Y E GRIM Will SMith
S W E N Y E M GRI romeo romeo wherefore art thou ROMEO?
RELLey C’s valentines release
irminghams Relley C from X Factor sees her solo single released this Valentines day. Are you looking forward to the single? Are there any other artists from reality TV shows that you’d like to see release something soon?
caught up with Romeo at the premier of Home Again movie featuring Tatiyana Ali. Great guy and seems to be doing a lot of guest shows lately, it’s brilliant to see him back on the scene
Music adds 3.5bn to British Economy
Will Smith Tweets about his memory of James Avery
ome of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.
Eastenders is far from DIRE
r Diamond in the Ruff, Heartthrob Danny Dyer is the big talk of Eastenders right now. Never mind Kat And Alfie or the gay relationship stories this is what the women are watching Eastenders for. Wonder how long this will last, him being a part of the cast.
NEWS FROM THE SMITHS!
ere are the power couple Will Smith and Jada on Holiday this Christmas, maybe they have their ups and downs like anyone else but really could you see these guys falling apart? they are made for each other. Will also turned up to surprise Tyrese on at his 35th Birthday in Dubai. Apparently Mr Smith went on stage and stole the limelight from Tyrese but he really was chuffed about it, who wouldnâ€™t be?
ITS ON...R KELLY AND MARY J BLIGE ON TOUR TOGETHER.
he King and Queen of R&B have joined together for touring the states. This is definately big news and something true R&B fans have been waiting for, for a long while.
Lets hope this show comes to the UK. We know Mr Kelly doesnt like to do overseas very much “This photo was the last time we were together”
R KELLY STILL SELLS SEX
recent BET Awards performance by R Kelly truly resurrected his career. After The King of R&B saw that he still has fans he has once again released a controversial sex driven masterpiece by the Name of Black Panties. Sounding good, but lets say this is more for adults. Available on iTunes now.
Jay Z is going for Gold
ay Z has got the world in his hands already with owning the famous Nets Team and managing two of the worlds biggest names in music who are Rihanna and Kanye West. Mr Carter’s influence on young culture is so pwerful that his new quest to have his fans smelling of his own fragrance will be a walk in the park. Here is Gold by Jay Z ...what next?
Michelles 50th Birthday invite
o it was a star studded 50th Birthday at the Whitehouse for Michelle Obama which Streetcred was invited to but sadly we turned down the offer due to UK prorities. For those that missed out here is a shot of Beyonce who wowed the guests with once again dynamic and sexy performance of who run the world and single ladies.
We wish we was there really . ha
SMOGGY COULD HAVE 50P LAND IF DRAGONS TAKE ON CONCEPT
ts proven that Birmingham TV can create a storm , Channel 4â€™s Benefit street has not only made James Hunter St a site for tourist but has also made stars of the community. Smoggy has definitely caught the hearts of the viewers and the main talk with is idea of selling everything for 50p to help people who cannot afford the full price for items such as washing up liquid powder
and other household items. He is 50 p man and since the show he has had interest from companies who admire his work ethic and have given him work also. It is said that he is to appear on the Dragons Den with his business idea with the hope that the 50p venture will be a major business that will benefit the communities. Smoggy is now a household name and the one to watch in 2013
T R O P S Y E M I R G
It’s snow joke. Britain expects
ith Sochi just days away, Great Britain is gearing itself for some semblance of success this time around. It’s targeting a Winter Olympics best with UK Sport setting a minimum target of three medals. Britain’s best chance of podium finishes is in skeleton where World Cup leader Lizzy Yarnold and world champion Shelley Rudman are amongst the favourites. There are also high hopes of success in the new Olympic event of slopestyle in which freestyle skier James Woods is the reigning overall World Cup champion. The last time Britain won three medals in a Winter Games was in Garmisch in 1936. o
ss s Me k a e Br
Shan aze t ells
t was a tearful Cristiano Ronaldo who picked up the FIFA Ballon d’Or, for a second time, after being named the world’s greatest footballer at last years brash ceremony in Zurich. The Real Madrid star who scored a staggering 69 goals in 59 matches during 2013, also, almost singlehandedly, helped Portugal secure their place in this year’s Brazil World Cup finals by scoring all four goals in their 4-2 aggregate play-off victory over Sweden. In ending Lionel Messi’s four-year domination of world football’s top award, his 1,365 points in the voting put the Barcelona play-maker in second place, with Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery third on 1,127. An emotional Ronaldo said: “I have to say thank you to all of my Real (Madrid) team-mates and those from the national team. Without their efforts this “Get wouldn’t have been possible.”
n you hreer bike times BMX world !” Chief champion Shanaze Reade is urging Executive Ian more women to get on their bikes as the governing body, British Cycling, ad- Drake, said: “We know that British Cycling has a long journey dresses the imbalance between male ahead to change the culture of and female cyclists. our sport but we are heading in One of Britain’s most recognisable the right direction.” More than champion on two-wheels, Reid said: “It’s fantastic that more than 100,000 24,000 women have taken part in British Cycling sportives so far women have got involved in this programme. The more women that cycle, with a membership base which has increased by 19 per cent the more their friends, sisters and since the launch. mums will be inspired to do so too. 15
Valentines Special Gifts, Locations and more for the big romantic day...
hether you’re out on a limb this year or ready to splash the cash, Birmingham has a range of restaurant locations for you to wine and dine this Valentines Day… Feature by Jonathan Maley
Edmund House 12-22 Newhall Street Birmingham B3 3LX
Branded Bull Steakhouse 175 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT
he fine Indian cuisine restaurant is a based in Birmingham’s financial district and close to an array of exciting bars. The multiple awards winning business hosts the very best in contemporary Indian flavour, topped off with a delightfully filled bar. For you and that special person, Asha’s will be taking bookings now. With a truly original menu designed to spice up your taste buds and set the scene for love, this is somewhere that blends the very best in Birmingham’s cultural offering. For further booking details call 0121 200 2767, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
f you’re looking to ‘moo’ your loved one this Valentine’s, why not treat them to seeing you participate in the Steakhouse challenge? In this challenge participants will have exactly one hour to eat a whole
72 ounce steak including sides… For bookings contact: 0121 643 59 68 or email: info@ branded-bull. co.uk
Bistro 1847 26 Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B2 5HU
12 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RS
ver fancied being lost in a sea of cocktails and to experience the very best in South American gastronomy? Then Bar Bodega is just the ticket. Water down your appetite with a handpicked range of wines sourced from the finest vineyards across the Atlantic and beers seen by those who dare to explore. Located in the hub of Birmingham’s centre and open 7 days a week, Bodega offers an alternative to dining out at a modest price! Bookings 0121 448 4267
ight on the doorstep of the romantic Great Western Arcade, the Victorian inspired restaurant is the ideal destination for vegetarian and vegan eaters
alike. A unique 6 course taster menu is available for booking now consisting of anything from cheese and pineapple to caramel popcorn labneh. Course starts at £36, per person For bookings, call: 0121 236 2313
Haughton Green in handmade boutique
nstead of traipsing the high street for the fluffiest bunny or seeking out the clichéd valentine card; why not treat your valentine the gift that has heart? Haughton Greene, an independent skin care company boast a range of chemically free products that have been chosen for you. Jason Horton, creator and owner of Haughton Greene says: “Exclusive for Valentine’s Day; Spoil your loved one with a delightful Haughton Greene Pamper Hamper! Containing Vanilla & Dead Sea Salts, Vanilla Body Butter, Vanilla & Soy Candle, Body Puff, 2 Vanilla Bath Bombs and Chocolate Hearts; this collection is the ultimate indulgent treat at £24.99.” Available now through www.haughtongreene.com or at Handmade Boutique, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham
Want to put the spice back into your man? Ultimate Hot Headz Chilli Hamper
he Ultimate Hot Headz Chilli Hamper for Him is the perfect gift for those manly enough to handle some serious heat. Containing a selection of chilli-based condiments and snacks, the hamper is bursting with dangerously hot products that will give any dish a massive kick of spice and flavour. Even the smallest amount of each of the products will bring your food and tastebuds to life. Be warned, this hamper is not for the faint-hearted! £36.49
Cocktail and Cupcakes Experience for Two
he Cocktail and Cupcakes Experience for Two will be a double treat for you and a guest to enjoy. The day will start with sharing tips between the group on how to make the best cupcakes whilst tasting some freshly baked ones accompanied with a cocktail. Then comes the creative part, decorating the cupcakes! £97.99
Nkuku Distressed Mango Wood Letters
istressed Mango Wood Letters. Hand crafted from mango wood, each letter is free standing but includes a wall hanging fixture should you wish to hang them. Ideal for spelling out words or names that mean something to you, these letters are perfect for newly married couples or other occasions such as christenings. £6.50 each
Feeling involved with your partner’s life is the key to long-term happiness
e’ve all sat and watched Mr and Mrs and joked with our half ‘it’s a good job we aren’t answering these questions’. But surely that begs the definitive question; how much do we know about our partner and ultimately, how much are we involved in what they do? Research states time away from your loved one is healthy for a long term relationship that can flourish and grow. If you are in your dating infancy it would not be wise to invade that special person’s space, yet how refreshing would it be to consider their ambitions and talk with them
regarding their hopes. By doing this, an unbreakable level of trust will be built. Whether we admit it or not, we all look to be involved in people’s lives, especially those we have fallen for. From here evolves an understanding regarding each other. Instead of talking about our day and what we have achieved, it becomes a shared conversation with invitations to find out more from our very own Mr or Mrs.
A room with a view Madame? Street Cred’s Valentine suggestion
The Electric Cinema Birmingham is the upcoming venue with bookings coming out of the ticket office’s ears (if it had any!). The former Charleston Picture House still feels and looks like something from a Martin Scorsese’ Blockbuster, with the original Edwardian feature’s recreating a that romantic feel to your evening. Sit back, relax on a Sofa, enjoy a glass of wine, the Electric offers a whole host of fascinating films from years gone by to the very latest action thriller. Two specially maintained viewing rooms that reflect a bye gone era in
oo late for a booking at that special Restaurant and you’ve tried palming your younger brother off to his mates for the evening in an attempt to create that ‘special evening’ , yet nothing seems to be going your way… Street Cred may just have the answer.
style, the staff at the Electric work hard to ensure your experience is one to remember! “We’re not a mainstream cinema, we’re an independent boutique picture house and that means every one of us that works here, simply, loves film!” For cinema bookings or information on upcoming information, Contact Sam@theelectric.co.uk Or call the box office on 0121 643 7879
oung people in Birmingham are doing so many positive activities especially on the music side of things.
Adam Ambitious is very passionate about working with young people and does various youth projects, a lot who have behavior problems.
Here we have a young ambassador for The Princes Trust by the name of Adam Ambititious Nightingale who has successfully ran his own recording studio in Birmingham since 2006.
Adams says 'i want to let people relax in a friendly environment and come out with a great product, i dont like to pressure people as that sometimes this can come out in the music, people come here because we are friendly and helpful but i do put pressure on when needed [laughs]
At only 28 Ambitious is seen as the no1 studio and engineer for the urban scene and very popular for producing a wide range of R&B, hiphop, Pop, Funky house, Grime and rock music.
Adam says that the music business can be
Words: Mark Dwayne. Adam realised his musical gift at tender age of 14 and knew that this was exactly what he wanted to do. He studied Music technology at Matthew Boultan College then set up his own home studio to then run a professional recording studio in the Works art Gallery Complex in City Centre Birmingham.
Many celebrities have passed through and worked with Adam such as Sway, Terry Walker, Usg, Platinum and K Koke. 'I was known as a DJ, Guitarist and garage Mc but by building my own studio I was able to do everything I wanted to do and more but my main aim is to help artists create great music.'
competitive and of course the social climate we are in makes it more difficult but he says that he runs his studio steady and people come back to him because it is at affordable price . Not many studios work at Adams speed and have an ear for all types of genres, help to write, engineer and master the track. It is pretty much an amazing skill for one guy.
Ambitious says he calls the studio that name for many reasons, being that he wants himself to grow as well as the people who work with him.
His vision is big and would like to be known as well as the producers who inspired him as a young man such as Teddy Riley, Pharell, Quincy Jones and Judge Dreddie.
If you know Adam he really is a nice guy and easy to get along with and you really dont find that in many recording studios, a lot can be too tence and scary but with Adam you get a cool welcoming atmosphere.
It hasnt been the easiest road for Ambitious recordings as he set up the business on his own and had to make it work for himself. In the early stages of building the studio sadly his equipment was robbed and was very hard to build himself back being that this business was all he relied on for income. This setback didnt stop him from wanting to do music for the community in fact it made him more ambitious.
Alongside the studios, adam launched his own online TV show where artists could showcase themself and of course it was a visual opportunity to see the many acts that he has produced in the country.
'I am an easy going guy' Adam smiles 'when i started this as kid it just felt right and I know this is what I need to do. Along the jorney there have been more postive than negative. I have met many great artists and had massive opportunities and every year im growing from strength to strength' To book time with Adam Contact: 07411006732 http://ambitiousrecordingstudio.com/
@ambitiousmusic Adam is currently looking for great artist/singers to work with and develop.
Birmingham Fashion Boutique promises disorder this coming Spring/Summer
ake a stroll down Birmingham’s bustling High Street, and you’ll be hit by the major retailers of Boots, Starbucks and many other household names. Take a turn up the historic Needles Alley, and you’ll be greeted by a completely different shopping concept, dedicated to breaking the boundaries of commercial retail. Disorder ltd. fashion boutique sits loud and proud as an alternative offering to its surrounding competitors. Located bang in the Cities centre, the store embodies everything that makes Birmingham stand out as a capital of culture in an unavoidably artistic landscape. Despite Disorder’s stand out of the crowd appearance, many independent retailers have struggled with their identity and have been swallowed whole by the fashion clothing giants. How it has survived is a question continually answered by store owner and curator Mark Howard. “We are different to what else is around. You take a walk down New Street or near to us here, nowhere
else is showcasing original art based material.” Praised by the likes of Mary Portas for an unrivalled take on fashion retail, the Birmingham business has been heralded as one of five reasons to visit
Birmingham. “Disorder Boutique has its’ own menswear label, specializing in truly ground breaking tailoring, made in the city itself and it combines art with graphics giving it an inconceivable edge. A beacon to those who love creatively made clothes with design integrity.” States the store’s website
whilst Vogue Magazine boasted: ‘A very special shop even by world standards, you must pop in next time you are in Birmingham!’ On the face of it, Disorder’s philosophy is as much about art, as it is fashion. As you walk through a myriad of graffiti style depictions, each and every garment reflects the vibrancy and soul of something that has been created through imagination and applied with ambition. This coming Spring Summer will play witness to the multi Award winning outfit’s growth from a little known independent store, to a truly recognised name. Mark divulges to Street Cred what the current range is all about: “W’eve been here since 1998 but it has been the past five or six years we’ve really come to life. What we are all about this year is showcasing our art and showcasing that 90% of what we make is done here, in Birmingham.” Visit Disorderboutique.com 14 Needless Alley, Birmingham, West Midlands B2 5AE
STYLE queen of the YEAR
jennifer lopez She still has the figure, THE ASS and yes she is quite easily the worlds best dressed female celebrity. She is not just Jenny from the block but she knows how to do it glamorous for sure Check out these variety tailor made dresses that anywoman would die for.
BEYONCE PRIVATE MASQURADE PARTY Its great to see how the rich and famous get down, here we have exclusive shots of Beyonce at her mates private celeb party where there was no more than 80 guests having a great time just like we would. In attendance was Jay Z solange and Tina Knowles
SWISH@ARCA BAR Oh yes Swish Clubbin as always was on top form with our Mark Dwayne as host and Mista Smoove, Malia Mystikle Blue and Soundboy coby on the decks. This has become the Midlands no1 fortnightly classics party supported by Street Cred.
FUNKALISCIOUS@BAMBU A one off Funkaliscious House and Garage reunion took place at Bambu on the 13th of December which had special guests luck and neat Richard Blackwood as celebrity guests. Now this was chic at its best and the biggest comeback for a party last year. We hope Funka will be back again.
URBAN REWIND@BEL AIR On Boxing Day we decided to go to Urban Rewind at the Belfry and what a class night. Djs Aycee 3 Style and many more showed you why this is is the Midlands no 1 old skool event. Take a look at the pics!
OFFICE PLAYLIST Sub Focus Turn Back Time The drum and bass professionals have kicked 2014 off with a bang! This feel good anthem already makes it feel like summer, with enticing vocals and a smash and grab drop that will liven any office up and guarantee to keep that floor filled
PHARRELL HAPPY There is nothing like a feel good, upbeat tune to drive away those Monday blues, and Pharrell has hit the nail on the head with this one. Loved by many in the Street Cred office, this tune has featured heavily in the last month.
City and Colour Of Space and Time
KATY PERRY ROAR
With City and Colour arriving to tour here in Birmingham later this month, a certain contributor new to the Street Cred ranks was keen to express their love and respect for the solo artists work. Now touring with the Canadian’s fourth solo album, Dallas Green aka City and Colour is the chilled performer to get involved with this month
Pitbull v Kesha Timber Let’s be honest, it’s an infectious sound and uplifting track to blow away those January blues. Did anyone see Olly Murs tweet asking if the song was called Tinder? Suggestions were that the Essex Boy was having fun on the popular dating app James Vincent McMorrow Cavalier With Grammy award winner James Blake highlighting the success found in merging strong vocals with experimental, electric sound – McMorrow’s second album would appear to be dedicated to replicating that achievement. His track cavalier particularly reflecting the good work of Blake’s inventive exploits
Last months cover story, Katy Perry, has seen Roar stay inside the top 20 for 20 weeks! Catchy tune and a massive hook means there are very few people that don’t know this song. Good on you Katy!
ANGEL HAZE FT SIA BATTLE CRY This raw and rampant track will engage the attention of all who listen…whether you’re driving home or getting up for the day, Haze’s timely collab with Sia brings the very best in female vocals for some time
Bruce Springsteen High Hopes The King of rock and roll is back and back with avengance. Now with his record tenth number one album, High Hopes is the perfect tribute to the tireless performer. Take note when a Mancunian cabby driver tells you he’s the best you’ll ever see live, Street Cred has duly noted.
Words: Jonathan Maley hen the curtain is raised on the night of a live performance, so is the bar. Years of preparation and an unrivalled dedication were showcased to an expectant audience. The greatest dancers hailing from all corners of the globe are witnessed, in awe, by eyes fixed on the beautifully elegant females and the physical strength and prowess of the males. With all that in mind, it was little surprise that when Strictly Come Dancing kicked off their tenth live tour in Birmingham, Mark Benton received the biggest cheer! Now in its tenth year, strictly’s unrivalled success has grasped the hearts of an audience, who have ensured the Ballroom buoyancy has now surely become a global
phenomenon. Up for yet another National Television Award, the BBC’s show stopper isn’t showing any signs of taking its foot off the pedal; The Phoenix was ever present to witness the tour’s opening extravaganza. First arrived the dancers, dressed to impress and with moves that befit the name Jagger, their tireless energy shone through. True to the television series, then came the presenter Lisa Reilly; last year’s dark horse and family favourite. Reilly was keen to boast her joy at being invited back this year to present. “It really is wonderful to be here Birmingham, and I just know we have a show for you!” Then, just before the contestants themselves, the judges! Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood full of expectancy and whit, wide smiles and raised eye brows. The three men throughout were never short in expressing, in many cases, their overwhelmed praise but in some, their outright disdain. Despite the judges sharpened knives, little deterred the spirit of this year’s dancers in ensuring their partners success. First on, Deborah Meaden and the ever impressive RobinWindsor who waltzed and whirled their way across the stage. (continued...)
STRICTLY COME DANCING
STRICTLY COME DANCING
STRICTLY COME DANCING
STRICTLY COME DANCING
(continued...) They notched a respectable seven and eight, yet falling at the first hurdle, Revel Horwood, who awarded a lowly four! Then, well of course it had to be televisions very own Mr Funny Mark Benton and the irrepressibly beautiful Iveta Lukosiute. They burst onto the stage with a tribute rich in South American flavour and modern dance. Or at least, that’s how they justified their moves to the judges with Iveta stating; ‘We’re just too ahead of our time, trust me, in years to come people will all be dancing like this!” Despite the judge’s comments, the strictly debutant amassed huge applause when he ripped off his multi-coloured shirt at the end of his opening dance. This revealed a subtly made t shirt which read, ‘MAKE SOME NOISE’! Fantastically choreographed throughout, the sheer pleasure of each star with their respective partners was noticeable. Speaking exclusively for the first time to the Phoenix, Mark Benton said: “It’s great for people like me, and last year Lisa to get on that stage and just have a really good time.” Benton was quick to cheekily remark that now he is a professional dancer, the skies the limit for where he will go from here. The popularity of each contestant was evident. Reels of statements flying from every audience seat made for a toxic atmosphere. You felt part of something special with every passing moment. If the afore mentioned atmosphere needed any more encouragement, it was certainly boosted by the arrival of Ben Cohen; who entered the arena with his hugely talented dance partner Kristina Rhianoff. Praised for their transparent chemistry and flawless routine the couple watched on as the judge’s votes placed them well and truly top of the table. It seemed, the competitive nature of the show was now truly underway, with Cohen amassing a first time seen 29/30 from the score cards.
STRICTLY COME DANCING
How fitting it then was to see the BBC’s very own temptress of morning television Susanna Reid took to the floor with her British Dance act Kevin Clifton. A fiery, sensually Spanish themed performance enticed the audience. The judges now appeared more at ease with their generosity in voting. Another mesmeric flash of scores arrived. Reid was in the mix with a mighty matched 29, Cohen now looking over his shoulder. The art of dance is seen as a unique form of expression which employs a universal body language that everyone understands. Something the show’s next act were not short nor shy of. Enter Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer. Reassuringly bright with a frantic tempo to their tap dance exposition, the pair found themselves the target of criticism for their footwork. Improvement will have to be made for the pair to claw their way up the league table. From ballet to contemporary, from hip-hop to salsa, oriental to flamenco, dance has certainly enjoyed something of a renaissance lately. Perhaps the couple who most embodied those very rituals, so intrinsic to the success of the programme was the arrival of most awaited when miss Strictly herself; Abbey Clancy with the dangerously talented Aliaz Skorjanec. “It’s just amazing to be here Birmingham and I love you all” A typically sweet and emotionally empowered statement from the 2013 champion. The double A’s hurtled into the lead with full marks from the judges. This was food for thought for the on watching audience who have yet to decide the fate of who wins Birmingham’s opening tour date. Abbey may well have been content with her score and deservedly so but there was still Natalie Gumede and her very own Russian rebel, Artem Chigvintsev to make their mark.
Style and grace personified, the couple truly stole the show. TEN! TEN! TEN! We have a new joint leader. A statement of intent had been made. The second half saw the voting play in the audience’s hands. The judges could comment but couldn’t score their opinions, as to who would be crowned king and queen of the second city. As ever, the sequinned embroiled couples competed passionately, as if the great Vaslav Nijinsky himself was judging their every step. With each couple having danced twice, the voting system was then closed. True to form, Benton and Iveta won the imagination of the crowd with their, shall we say experimental style. Elsewhere the competition rose and rose between the show’s finalists, Natalie, Susanna and of course miss Clancy. The decision was made, the votes were in. Reilly was ready to announce who was the leading light for the show’s performance. Sadly for Nicky Byrne his positive attitude and style didn’t flatter to deceive. He, Cohen and Benton were out of the picture. It was now down to the television finalists to see who would be crowned as Queen of the Ballroom, and unfortunately for Deborah Meaden, the Boardroom appeared more suitable as she too was cast aside by the audience’s thoughts. “NATALIE!” Screeched the proud vocal chords of Lisa Reilly. Rapturous applause erupted from the on looking fans. Clancy was beaten, a feat worthy of high praise whereas Susanna looked on admiringly as the contestant’s respect was for all to see. So what did we learn? The band sounded terrific and the art directory that went into the production was flawless. Each and every team conducted themselves admirably and did little to deter the audience’s enjoyment of what has become an immeasurably popular franchise. Strictly, come back next year; you’ve done yourself proud!
APPEAL - Can you help?
he girlfriend of Birmingham man Ed Fox who is 27 and seriously ill with a very rare form of blood cancer is appealing for potential stem cell donors to come forward to help save his life. Ed, who is a keen volunteer and advocate of human rights, was diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus driven lymphoma and hemophagocytosis just days after moving to Belgium
last May to be with his girlfriend Katrien, who he describes as the love of his life. Since May, Ed has been undergoing heavy chemotherapy to hold back the illness whilst he waits for a suitable donor, which is proving difficult. As well as being by Ed’s side during this heart breaking time Katrien has been raising awareness via the internet, the local media in Belgium and has set up a page on Facebook: “Red Ed-Word Stamceldonor” in this desperate plea to save her boyfriend’s life. Momentum is being gathered with people like Derren Brown, Ross Kemp and The Good Men Project all supporting Ed’s cause and helping raise awareness, however we are not out of the woods yet. Katrien explains, “The chance of a match is barely 1 in
50,000, but without the help of a stem cell donor the love of my life is going to die. That is why I hope as many people as possible will register. It doesn’t take more than donating some blood and if it doesn’t help my Ed, it might help some other unfortunate soul”. In almost all cases the Epstein-Barr virus causes Glandular Fever, Ed explains “However, with me it caused an aggressive form of cancer and on top of that I have a rare complication from which 50 percent of the patients die within a year”. Ed’s friends in the UK are also doing all they can to raise awareness and help find a donor. One of Ed’s closest friends Alex Walker says: “We used to talk about our hopes for the future and what we really wanted to do with our lives. I recall those conversations fondly. The best friends make you believe you can do anything; Ed has always made me feel that way. Ed will always stand up and be counted for what he believes in. He has never been afraid to believe what may be against the grain.” Despite dealing with the hardest thing he’s ever dealt with in his life, Ed continues to look on the bright side. Ed says, “Chemo wasn’t that bad, I’ve had worse hangovers. Sometimes I have tough days, but I know that I can count on my girlfriend, family and friends.Katrien and I haven’t been together for that long, so what she is doing for me now is undescribable.” You can help Ed in two ways. If you are in good health and under 55 years old you can register as a donor with the Delete Blood Cancer Trust at www.deletebloodcancer.org. uk or the Anthony Nolan Trust at www.anthonynolan.org. They will send you a free do-it-yourself swab/spit-it, which will be used to analyse your DNA and test for a match. You can also join his online campaign www.facebook.com/ edneedsyou
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‘I call Pharrell ‘Foreal’ cause he’s the truth’ - Jay Z
PharRell PASSION AT 40
harrell Williams was born in 1973, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, fashion designer and famous for his production crew The Neptunes. I remember going to the MTV Awards in Barcelona a few years ago and caught up with this guy at the airport and thought wow you look good for your late 30’s not only do you look good but you look younger than you are. I’m sure many of you are looking at the pics and saying surely this guy cannot be forty. It really isn’t all about just youthful looks with this guy though, let’s be real you think of Pharrell you think proper music and one thing for sure this guy doesn’t fail in that area. The Neptunes and N.E.R.D producer known for reinventing and creating many famous artists, when we say re invent look at Robin
Thicke for instance. He had just an ordinary steady career in R&B music but when Pharrell is involved in the production of any artist you know that you are about to rise into superstardom. ‘I just do what I do. It’s not something that should be revered as something that’s great. I think my music follows the trends of the collective conscious and I truly admire everyone that I work with’ Since Pharrell has come back into the scene in 2013 he has been involved with the remarkable success of the Jay Z Magna Carta album, and has 3 straight no 1 hit singles which are ‘Get Lucky’ with Daft Punk, ‘Blurred Lines’ with Robin Thicke and in my opinion his best to date is ‘Happy’ which went to no 1, fell off and then took the spot again.
COVER STORY As writing this article the song is on constant repeat in our office and has been a motivation for our staff in the mornings.
‘If you got a great record people will feel it,’ explains Pharrell, ‘that is the publicity stunt in itself’
This guy shows that with passion you can be who you want to be, we know he prides himself on making great music first and foremost and that is something artists need to take out of his books.
Very rare you find an amazing singer-songwriter, producer and performer in R&B on top form in all areas. This is why he is known for charging minimum one million dollars to write and produce a song.
‘I just do what I do. It’s not something that should be revered as something that’s great.’ 51
Pharrell Williams is the dream producer to work with if you’re an artist as many have said when it comes to a studio session with the guy he is very motivated and makes you feel amazing. Just think of the top artists Pharrell has made hits for...Jay Z, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Nelly, Beyonce, and Britney Spears among others. Top caliber names in that list but there really isn’t any reason why Pharrell Williams wouldn’t be great how could you not be if you was nurtured by the
legendary Teddy Riley. ‘I’m just very thankful. And I say that a lot because that’s the most important message Even at the early stages of his career Pharrell was well ahead of his time producing for the biggest names even then such as SWV, Mase, N.O.R.E and Blackstreet. So with everything we know about the top recording artist what can we expect in the future? Pharrell is for music lovers and keeps the listeners interested in sound. Expect soundtracks for
‘I wanna be a kid forever... I don’t wanna grow up’ The Amazing Spiderman 2 and many film scores, a tour with Bruno Mars and very big collaborations. We didn’t expect this but it looks like Pharrell is the artist we have all been waiting for in our generation.
I’M Happy about that. WORDS - MARK DWAYNE
Cassandra London Hi Cass, how are you? Hi Mark, I'm good thank you! So looks like you have been singing for a while. Tell me when did you recognize your gift? I realised I had a voice when I was 14, I was away on a family holiday at haven holidays in Hastings and entered a talent show and won. Where was the first place you performed and what was the most memorable for what reason? Hahaha my first performance was at the talent show in Hastings. My most memorable I would have to say was with the amazing Susan Cadogan (who is best known for her lovers rock hit 'hurt so good'. She invited myself and he other singers on the night on stage to sing with her, it was a beautiful moment. What is your story? Do you have something to offer? My story...wow. which one? Lol I do have a story but it is rather long for a first interview. Let's just say it's been difficult (like it is for most people) and I have overcome a lot to get to the start of my new journey. I have lots to offer, at first as it stands now, I offer a unique sound to music, positive and uplifting lyrics in an industry over ridden with sex and violence. I see you are working on a debut album, tell me what are the subjects we can expect? Everything I write I have been through, so you can expect real life experiences and you can also expect to relate to some of my lyrics as we generally go through the same things.
What song means the most to you and which one do you feel will make the best impact? The song that means the most to me.... I can't answer that as it changes day to say and sometimes minute to minute, they are all personal to me. I cannot predict which song will have the biggest impact as I generally get mixed reviews as to which song is their favourite. Although I have been told 'Why does it hurt so bad' has given a few people goosebumps.
Tell me about some of the producers you are working with and how you got your management deal?. I am working with Monnei Lamar from Bacpay records, I have worked with Monnei on and off for a number of years and will continue to work with Monnei for as long as I have a musical career. I am also working with Dillie from Stingray records who I have a nice catalogue of songs building up. Currently I am managing myself with help from trusted experts. Youâ€™ve been through a lot of trauma personally, do you feel your bad experience helps you to be creative? Definitely, as a child I would escape reality with music. It definitely sparked my creative streak. What do your children think of your music? They have the songs they like and the ones they don't care for haha they are brilliant little Simon Cowells hahaha. Music business is quite a lonely road when starting out, would you say you have the support from the people that matter? Hmmm.... support is definitely important. I would say I have support from those that matter, my family are supportive, without them music would still be something I wanted to do. Where would you like to take your career? Wherever possible, the sky really is the limit, I won't apply pressure to myself to be what people want me to be... or start grinding on a lamp post hahaha in order to get popularity but I will work hard to be better each time. I will let the most high (God) guide me on this journey and see where it goes So youâ€™ve been in the studio a lot and your sound has got you recognition at the BEFFTA awards. Tell me how did you feel when you got such amazing news. It was amazing performing at BEFFTA 2013, I was on after Starboy Nathan, it was incredible. Along the journey of being an independent artist, what are the highs and lows? The highs are definitely the live performances, and
the lows are I guess working with unprofessional people, although I don't have that issue any more, fingers crossed. I know you are very much into woman power and not into all the sex sells kind of thing. Tell me more about your views on women who feel they need to do that to make it in the tuff industry. I think it's sad that young girls show off their body before their mind is developed enough to realise the implications that they will have. If you are fully aware of what it is you are doing and still want to show off your body, good for you. But impressionable minds are minds I believe aren't ready for such decisions. What do you think people like about Cass? Lol I dunno, you tell me. Hahaha What would you like people to know about you? I'm just a regular person trying to be on the right path and I sing quite well too. They can check me out on facebook.com/clondonmusic, Twitter - @clondonmusic, reverbnation.com/clondonmusic and my first single is available for download on iTunes and all other good online stores just type in Cassandra London and you can purchase it, my second single is available for download on Stingray stores just type in Cassandra London and poof!
his months spotlight interview features a new unsigned duo from Stoke-on-Trent called Amica. Amica consist of two best friends called Rachel and Jack. They were interviewed earlier this month by ViewMyGig for this feature.
What artists or who inspire you? J: The main artists that have inspired me growing up were Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson because their voices were so good, and MJ was such a great performer! R: When I was younger, I always wanted to be in steps or the spice girls so I guess they inspired me at that age. Now, no one in particular does, just all the people out there in the same position as me and Jack that are out there fulfilling their dreams.
For the readers can you tell us a little background information about you and what you do? We are AMICA, as you know ;) haha! If you haven’t heard of us before, we are a Duo from Stoke-onTrent, made up of 18 year olds, Rachel and Jack. We came together as a Duo around about September 2013, and we are best friends that met when studying at college.
Do you just sing or can you play any musical instruments? J&R: We both just sing, however, we are both attempting to learn to play the guitar. It’s not working out too well haha! J: Rachel’s dad has also had a ukulele for Christmas and apparently they’re easy to play so we might have a go at that!
How old we’re you when you first developed a passion for music? Jack: The first show that I took part in was aged four years old and I played bob the builder in a local show, which was pretty funny looking back on it. Rachel: I’ve been singing since I can remember and its all I’ve ever loved doing. The first time I sang for people was in a primary school show where I played Mrs.Buckett in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
If you could make music with any artist past or present who would it be and why? J: That’s a tough question because I like so many different artists and different genres of music. However, some artists that I think would be cool for us to collaborate with are Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, and I think Birdy would be cool too. R: There are so many artists out there that I could pick! I would definitely have to say it would be
tournament for Soccer Six ‘Next Generation’. So far in 2014 we have some gigs planned for various places in the UK which will be announced soon! We are also attending the next Soccer Six in February. Where do you see your musical career heading in the next 12 months? J&R: Hopefully within the next 12 months we will be signed by a management company and also have some record labels interested in what we do. We hope to have gained a larger fan base and to enjoy the great things that are to come!
someone with great charisma and really good stage presence. People like Jessie J, Bruno Mars and Conor Maynard spring to mind. Have you any plans to release a single or an album? What would your 1st album be called? J&R: Yes we plan to in the future, hopefully in 2014, but the plan for the moment is to continue posting regular covers and to be consistent on the gig front. Ooo we have never thought about an album name before. J: When we were coming up with our band name, Rachel suggested ‘The Doritos’ for a laugh, so whatever it is, she’ll be having no say in it ;) Have you done any live gigs. Have you any gigs planned in the future? J&R: Yes since we joined together in September we have been very lucky to have performed at some great events. We did everything from local Christmas light switch on’s to food festivals all of which were live gigs. Our personal favourites have been the 02 Academy Islington, St. Helens Christmas light switch on and also a celebrity football
Would you enter a TV talent contest for example The X Factor? J&R: Yes. We would definitely give The X Factor and other talent shows a go to get our name out there; we’ll just have to see what happens in the future. Who would you say your style of music and or voice is similar to? J&R: I would say our style of music at the moment was pop. In the future this could change but we are happy with what we are doing at the moment. We don’t really know who are voices are similar to, if we were honest, that is really difficult to answer. We hope to have unique voices, but if we do sound similar to someone else, we hope they can sing! Haha!
What makes you different from other unsigned artists out there at the moment? J&R: I think it has got to be that we are a boy/girl duo and right now there is barely any out there.
ViewMyGIG first found you on twitter and the first video we watched on YouTube was your cover of Story of My Life. What are the benefits of being able to upload yourself on YouTube? J&R: I think that the benefits that YouTube gives artists nowadays is fantastic with artists such as Justin Bieber being discovered by a record label from uploading his covers, so I think it gives you a good deal of publicity. I believe you are currently unsigned at the minute but you seem to be doing very well promoting yourselves.How have you been able to get involved in live gigs and Soccer Six. J&R: Most of our gigs have come through Social Media, we try to promote ourselves at any possible opportunity. Things like Soccer Six lead to great contacts for us in the future with are directly involved in what we want. As an unsigned artist yourself do you have any advice to give others who want to make it in the music industry? J: I’d just say that if it’s something that you are sure you are passionate about and that you love doing at every spare opportunity that you get then you should go for it. You only have one life so there is no point living it with regrets, if something means so much to you, then you’d work at it until you get it. R: I totally agree with Jack. Passion is really important because it’s what keeps you going. Being an unsigned artist it can sometimes feel like you are getting nowhere as it is a lot harder to get gigs and a fan base. The more you work the more it pays off. I also think promotion is a key part of it, getting your name out there is important.
What’s next for you then? J&R: As we mentioned earlier we are attending Soccer Six again in February. We are also touring with ‘Lads On Tour’, attending some of their tour dates which are not yet confirmed. Also, more covers are definitely in order and we will be posting them a lot more and a lot more regularly. Finally you are a member of ViewMyGig. What do you think of VMG and how does it help you? J&R: We think so highly of VMG and are really thankful for all the support they have given us. We can’t wait to work with them in 2014 and think that what they are doing for unsigned artists, like ourselves, is amazing. The way they have promoted us and are always in contact with us is great and the fact that they came from Stoke-on-Trent (where we live), we just find funny ;). We hope to always be in contact with them. Interviewed by ViewMyGig - @viewmygig Follow Amica on Twitter - @OfficialAmica
Gig Guide - London John Newman - 6th February - O2 Shepherds Bush Empire 23 year old rising star John Newman whose critically acclaimed debut album Tribute recently reached the number 1 spot on the album chart, performs at the Shepherds Bush Empire as part of his nationwide tour.
Taylor Swift - 1, 2, 4, 10, 11 February - The O2 Seven-time Grammy award winner Taylor Swift brings her blockbuster show The Red Tour to The O2. The North American part of her tour saw Taylor play to more than 1.36 million fans and was joined on stage by special guests including Jennifer Lopez and Ellie Goulding, so itâ€™s one to look out for!
Avicii - 21st February - Earls Court One Following headline performances at EDC London and Creamfields this year, Avicii will be returning to the UK once again to wow fans with his True Tour at Earls Court One.
bRIT aWARDS - 19th February - The O2 Set to be the biggest BRITs yet, the event will again be hosted by television presenter James Corden live at The O2 on Wednesday 19 February 2014. It is the fourth time The O2 has hosted the BRITs, which has also extended its relationship with ITV for another three years.
RUDIMENTAL - 13/14th February - O2 Academy Brixton
Following their sold out show at O2 Academy Brixton in October and with two UK #1 singles with the giant Feel The Love and Waiting All Night, Rudimental are back with their carnival-esque live show, complete with extended Rudimental family of players and vocalists â€“ to the masses.
Birmingham - Gig Guide TNA Impact wrestling - 2nd February - NIA
BEYONCE - 23/24th February - LG Arena
TNA Impact Wrestling returns to the UK in 2014 for the Maximum Impact VI Tour - hitting Birmingham’s NIA on 2 February. The first wrestlers to be confirmed for the Maximum Impact VI Tour are; TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray, British superstar Magnus, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, Austin Aries, Manik, James Storm, Gunner and Gail Kim. More worldwide wrestling stars will be added to the roster shortly.
NeWTON FAULKNER - 20th February - O2 Academy Birmingham
The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour starring Beyoncé is returning to the UK and stopping off at the LG Arena. Not one to miss!
Double chart topping, multi-platinum selling, Brit nominated, acoustic guitar virtuoso Newton Faulkner released album Studio Zoo in the summer of 2013, and is bringing it on tour up and down the country!
RIZZLE KICKS - 22nd February - O2 Academy Birmingham Platinum selling duo Rizzle Kicks’ new criticallyacclaimed album Roaring 20s stormed into the chart at no.3, providing a much needed blast of their signature irresistible pop. The band are making an eagerly anticipated return to the live circuit
The Fig Leaf Wars - 14th February - The Edge Ever since Adam and Eve first covered up, there has been mystery between the sexes - genders grew hidden agendas. Come and see Dick and Fanny uncovered this Valentine’s Day as they dance, argue, love and struggle in endless comic and tragic permutations.
Gig Guide - Manchester MIKILL PANE - 14th February - Manchester Academy The 27 year old London rapper continues to accelerate through the UK scene. With a wit, charm and candidness that’s both refreshing and damning, the man formerly known as Smife has risen from the flame not just sounding but looking original too.
STRICTLY COME DANCING LIVE - 6/7th February - Phones 4U Arena
SKINDRED - 2nd February - Manchester Academy
It’s back for a 7th sparkling year! This multi-million pound production stars Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood & Bruno Tonioli Strictly Live’s formidable judging panel. They will be on hand to give their feedback & all important scores to this year’s celebrity contestants and the professionals.
British Ragga Metallers Skindred launch their campaign for their much anticipated new album “Kill the Power” on DoubleCross Records with the announcement of a full UK Tour with Special U.S. Guests Chicago’s SOil & L.A.s Viza.
ADAM KAY’S BUM NOTES - 1st February - The Lowry With a string of sell-out tours and Edinburgh Fringe seasons, Adam Kay’s cutting-edge, darkly humorous re-imaginings of pop and rock classics have gained him a cult following across the UK.
RUSSELL BRAND - MESSIAH COMPLEX - 17th February - O2 Apollo Manchester Keeping in line with Brand’s comedic style, the tour, officially named Messiah Complex will be a dissection of various social and religious figures and the reality of their lives through comparisons of each other.
BACKSTREET’S BACK B ringing their 2014 headline arena tour to the UK, Backstreet Boys commence the worldwide promotion of their new album “In A World Like This” at the LG Arena in Birmingham on 26th March, culminating at the Manchester Phones 4u Arena. Supporting the boys on the UK dates of the world tour are one of the biggest and best loved UK girl
bands of all time, All Saints, who are reforming especially for this tour. The band were last in the UK for the “NKOTBSB” 2011 tour, the band return with Kevin Richardson, marking these dates as the first they have done with all original members in nearly 10 years. Announcing the UK dates, the band said: “Last time we were in the UK
we were living in a house together recording our album, which was incredible. Our last UK shows were with NKOTB and we had a fantastic time - the reaction was out of this world. We can’t wait to come back and blow you away with our own full headline show. We’re really excited for our UK fans to see us again as a five-piece. The original Backstreet’s back!”
We’ve got 2 pairs of tickets to the Backstreet Boys and All Saints concert at the LG Arena on 26th March. To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer this simple question.
Which member of Backstreet Boys has rejoined the group for this tour? Send your answer, along with your name, address, and contact number to email@example.com. Competition closes 23:59 on 16th March. There is no cash alternative.
t the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today (13 January), Porsche is presenting the latest addition to the iconic 911 sports coupĂŠ family: the 911 Targa. While enthusiasts will recognise cues from the classic Targa concept, pioneered by Porsche in the late 1960s, this latest model is the first to combine state-of-the-art open roof technology with the distinctive coupĂŠ appearance. Just like the legendary original 911 Targa model, the new model features a characteristic wide bar in place of the B-pillars aft of the doors, a movable roof section above the driver and passenger, and a wrap-around rear window -- with no C-pillar. But, unlike the classic models, the roof segment of the new Targa can be opened and closed at the push of a button. When the button is pressed, the fully automatic system stows the roof top behind the rear seats, providing a real spectacle. The rear-biased Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive fitted as standard is a further typical dynamic Porsche feature, and guarantees that the latest 911 Targa also offers optimum driving dynamics on all road surfaces and in all weather conditions. With these features, the new 911 Targa presents itself as a high-quality, innovative reinterpretation of the classic first edition from 1965. The model shares a great deal in common with the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet models; up to the window line, the technology and body of the vehicles is virtually identical. The combination of the wide rear body that is typical of all-wheel drive 911 models, the Targa roof bar and the dome-shaped rear window create a low-slung profile that gives the latest 911 an extremely sporting appearance.
PORSCHE 911 TARGA RAISES THE ROOF AT DETROIT AUTO SHOW
ANCHORMAN 2 Review If you were in a glass case of emotion since the first film, itâ€™s time for you to love lamp once again!
TEN MOVIES TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2014
BIGSCREEN wORDS by Antony Brown
fter losing his job to his wife, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) re-assembles his old news team and moves to New York, where they become an integral part in a huge new phenomenon; the world’s first 24-hour news channel. The original Anchorman is a cult phenomenon; a comedy classic that has only grown in popularity since its initial release in 2004. It is, quite easily, one of the most quoted films of all time and for almost ten years, people from all over the world have been heard uttering the legendary words of the Channel 4 News Team. Unfortunately, the immense success of the original put everybody involved in this sequel in
a very awkward situation; either they make an inferior sequel and disappoint millions of people from all over the world or they make a worthy sequel that honours the original whilst also taking fans on a hilarious new journey. Fortunately, this sequel falls into the latter. Director Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and Co. have defied the odds and delivered a sequel that is just as good as the original – if not better. The comedy is relentless and bombards you from the opening scene until the closing frame, leaving you in a laughter induced state of exhaustion. McKay truly knows how to utilise the talent at his disposal, enforcing a largely improvised style of comedy in which he rolls the camera and films the magic that the cast forge out of nowhere. It’s remarkable. Once again, the cast
are all fantastic. They sink into their characters and hold nothing back, convincing you that these ridiculous, well-groomed, unintentionally chauvinistic men really exist. They are sexist, they are racist, they care about nobody but themselves and most importantly, they are absolutely hysterical. Will Ferrell, as always, knocks it out of the park. He has taken the character of Ron Burgundy and created a legendary, instantly recognisable cult figure. With his hair, his fine suits and his exquisite moustache, Will Ferrell no longer exists – Ron Burgundy is his own man. Paul Rudd also deserves special recognition for his portrayal of Brian Fantana. There are very few characters in this movie that entice more genuine laughs than Fantana and all credit goes to
Rudd and his unparalleled comic timing, once again proving himself to be one of the best comedic actors working today. David Koechner also returns as Champ Kind and, whilst he is the least funny of the entire
That was the brilliance of the character; his dialogue was kept to a minimum but they made every word that came out of his mouth count. Unfortunately, this time around he is featured far more prominent-
group, that is through no fault of Koechner. His character hasn’t reached the prominence of the others, forcing him to take a back seat as Ferrell and Rudd do their thing. Having said that, Koechner is given more to work with this time around, providing more laughs than he did in the original and, whilst his character will never be as popular as the others, he is still a harmless and welcome member of the team. In addition to this, Steve Carrell returns as the fabled Brick Tamland and once again baffles us with his astonishing stupidity and childlike naivety. Brick was one of the highlights of the original film, turning up every so often during a scene and saying something unexpectedly hysterical.
ly; he even has his own subplot involving his courtship of Kristen Wiig’s female version of himself. Clearly, this was done with the best intentions by everybody involved as they saw it as giving the fans more of what they loved in the original, but by doing so, they have sucked some of the life out of the character. Sure, there are still a lot of
laughs created at the hands of Brick Tamland, but he is unquestionably overused in the sequel and some of his dialogue falls flat. Even so, Steve Carrell is still an irreplaceable member of the team and plays a significant role in some of the biggest laughs from both the original and the sequel. There is enough “new” in the sequel to prevent you from feeling like you’re watching the first movie all over again, but there are also more than enough references and throwbacks to the original to keep longtime fans happy – including an absolutely ballistic, no-holdsbarred version of the infamous news team brawl from the original, featuring some of the most shocking and joyously silly cameos I have ever seen. It’s brilliant. Will Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues go on to be a cult phenomenon like its predecessor? Will people still be quoting this movie ten years from now? Only time will tell. However, one thing is for certain – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is kind of a big deal. 9/10
t’s the start of a new year and one of my favourite things to do is to look ahead at what the upcoming 12 months has to offer in
1. 12 Years a Slave This movie tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man in the antebellum United States, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. 12 Years a Slave is already being hailed as “a game changing movie event” by The Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers and “one of the best films ever made” by Black book’s Daniel Hardy - That alone should excite even the most difficult to please film fans.
3. The Raid 2 The Raid (2011), an Indonesian action-thriller written and directed by welsh born filmmaker Gareth Evans, is one of the greatest action movies ever made. This year sees the release of the highly anticipated
terms of film. From hardhitting dramas to megabudget blockbusters, here are ten movies to look out for in 2014.
Release date: 10th January, 2014.
sequel and, if the trailer is anything to go by, The Raid 2 looks like it’s going to be even more insane than the original. We’re in for one hell of a ride. Release date: 28th March, 2014 (TBC)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel are one of the best, most profitable production companies in the world today. In the space of a year, they have made two of the top five highest grossing movies of all time – The Avengers (2013) and Iron Man 3 (2013). Their movies are so consistent that it has reached a stage where I and millions of others are automatically excited by the mere prospect of a new Marvel movie. Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks to continue the companies unbelievable run and comic book fans can rejoice! For The Winter Soldier looks amazing. Release date: 28th March, 2014.
TOP 10 2. The Wolf of Wall Street Legendary filmmaker, Martin Scorsese, returns with this epic, three-hour biography of Jordan Belfort; a wealthy stockbroker living the highlife whose life crumbles in a whirlwind of crime and corruption. Initial reviews for this movie have been absolutely brilliant and let’s face it; Scorsese is one of the most consistently great directors of all time, so I’m sure we’re in for another classic. Release date: 17th January, 2014.
5. Transcendence Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s long time Director of Photography, makes his directorial debut with this big budget science fiction movie starring Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman. Transcendence tells the story of a terminally ill scientist who finds a way to download his mind into a computer, granting himself immortality – but at a cost. He is no longer the same person and, eventually, he becomes more powerful than he could have ever imagined, triggering a race against time to stop him - Intriguing. Release date: 25th April, 2014.
For 2014 7. X-Men: Days of Future Past The X-Men send Wolverine back in time in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an incident that results in doom for both humans and mutants. Bryan Singer returns to the franchise he kicked off with this action-packed, time travelling extravaganza that brings together the cast of the original X-Men (2001) and X-Men: First Class (2011) into one huge star-studded cast. This is shaping up to be the superhero movie event of the year. Release date: 22nd May, 2014. 9. Interstellar Christopher Nolan makes his highly anticipated return to the world of cinema with this sci-fi epic that follows a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer
6. Godzilla Plot details are tightly under wraps for this big budget reboot of the Godzilla franchise, so I canâ€™t tell you anything in terms of story. However, a young and hungry director, an amazing cast and a truly breathtaking, visually striking trailer all seem to suggest that we are in for something truly special. Godzilla looks absolutely amazing. Release date: 16th May, 2014.
8. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Rise of the Planet of the Apes was the surprise hit of summer 2011 and has since acquired a large and loyal fan base. This sequel is set eight years after the original, in a post-apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by the simian virus where survivors trigger an all out war on Caesar and his growing forces. A dark and chilling trailer for this movie debuted in late 2013 and it was absolutely mesmerising. It looks a lot darker and more action-packed than the original. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is shaping up to be the Aliens to
the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. Christopher Nolan has never made bad movie. In fact, he has never made anything less than a great movie, so expect big things from this one. Release date: 7th November, 2014.
10. The Hobbit: There and Back Again After the intense cliff-hanger that brought The Desolation of Smaug to a close, it is impossible not to be excited for this one. With the colossal dragon Smaug on the loose and hungry for blood and with war looming, There and Back Again promises to be an immensely epic
Rise of the Planet of the Apesâ€™ Alien. Release date: 17th July, 2014.
conclusion to another great trilogy from Peter Jackson He was born to make these movies. Release date: 19th December, 2014.
CAREERS & EDUCATION
Shehneela is breaking career taboos on all fronts
ne person who’s making their own massive waves, during this month’s football transfer window is Shehneela Ahmed, as she is on the front-line of wheeling and dealing, as the game’s first qualified Asian, female agent, cutting deals for players up and down the country in an industry that, for so long, has been seen as a male domain. As the first Muslim woman to qualify as an FAapproved football agent, though, she’s not just in it to get players contracts, but she also sees this as her mission to open the Premier League to a generation of British Asian stars, on the pitch, and encourage more from South Asia to be more involved in the game-from the field of play, to the terraces and into the boardrooms. Seen by many as a pioneer in her career choice, Shehneela, a solicitor, said she was not intimidated by the prospect of stepping into the male-dominated world of the transfer market. She said: “After dealing with criminals all day, dealing with high-profile footballers isn’t such a big worry
as people make it out to be for me.” She is hoping that her appointment will encourage more women from ethnic backgrounds to follow in her footsteps. 40-year-old Miss Ahmed is looking to inspire parents from South Asian backgrounds, to put sports up there as a traditional career choice on a par with law, medicine or the family business. “I want to prove to ethnic minorities and females that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything,” Shehneela beamed. With players of Asian descent representing only eight of the players in the Football League, perhaps Miss Ahmed’s appointment will speedily improve that figure in the very near future.
GADGETS & GAMING WORDS by DANIEL RILEY
GAMING FOR GOOD Generating over $10million for Save the Children through gaming.
Project christine Razerâ€™s surprise unveiling at CES 2014 is a modular behemoth.
t can definitely be said that gamers seem to get a pretty bad hand dealt to them by the media, especially when there is a new controversial game release (see GTA V recently for that) or atrocities committed in the “real world” by people apparently addicted to violent games. All gamers seem to get tarred with the same brush after event like these, but for “The Worlds Best Gamer”, Athene and hundreds of thousands of other gamers worldwide, the stigma of “being a gamer” is something they are actively working hard to abolish. Gaming for Good is an initiative that grew out of the Gaming for Good movement that started in the AtheneLive commu-
nity. Now, it is a platform where gamers can get new games by donating to charity. All revenue from the website goes directly to the PayPal account of the Save The Children charity, and in return, donators get points which allow them to purchase
been donated by supporting developers and publishers, to help aid this great cause. T o
games from the huge online catalogue. The games that are available on the website, have
date, Gaming for Good has raised over $10million for Save the Children, and raised the profile of gam-
ers working for the greater good into the mainstream, with Athene getting airtime on a number of major American news shows to explain the Gaming for Good movement, and all the good work that he has personally seen happening for himself in the field when he joined the Save the Children effort in Africa. Gaming for Good, alongside other charitable initiatives like the Humble Bundle which has been featured before, are really helping people all around the world, and many thanks must go to all of the donators, be it for their time, money or software, to enable the gaming community to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
roject Christine is a revolutionary new concept design that will change the way users view PCs. It will allow any user to build and customize his or her PC in any configuration without any prior technical knowledge. Further, as new upgrades come to the market, the same PC can be easily and quickly upgraded without additional technical assistance and without the fear of incompatibility or obsolescence. Project Christine’s modular design allows users to easily build their PCs by allowing them to select and install modules on-the-fly, whether it’s a CPU, GPU, or memory and storage configuration. The PCI-Express architecture of Project Christine automatically syncs components. Need more graphics processing power or storage? Easy – a user can slotin additional graphics modules and add more storage by either swapping-out the existing storage drives or adding more modules. Equally exciting, Project Christine is able to run multiple operating systems that the user may require. The modularity of Project Christine makes it perpetually customizable, offering plug-andplay upgradability as new and improved technology evolves, ostensibly eliminating the need to replace entire systems.
Modules connected to the PCIExpress backbone can be added in any order or combination, featuring up to quad-SLI graphics, multiple SSD and RAID storage components, I/O and even power supplies, ensuring maximum flexibility. The cable-less design of each sealed module is entirely self-contained and features active liquid cooling and noise cancelation, which allows Razer to factory overclock components without voiding warranties, safely and quietly. The system also features a touch-screen LCD display that indicates control and maintenance information. “Project Christine is a new concept design that will revolutionize the way users view the traditional PC. This is the first gaming system that is able to keep pace with technology and could allow consumers to never buy another PC, or gaming system, again,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. “We have a history of bringing incredibly innovative concept systems to market and it’s fair to say that Project Christine is a very exciting new prospect for future development.” Obviously as this is just a concept we don’t have a release date or price point, but considering the hardware they’re talking about, and knowing Razer’s pricing, your wallet could take a hit!
GADGETS AND GAMING
UK TOURâ€“APRIL 2014 with full USA live band and special UK support DJ E Double D
Sunday 20th April 2014 @ The Drum 144 Potters Lane, Aston, B6 4UU (0121 333 2444)
Miss STREET CRED PRESENTS
Camara Fearon Seventeen year old Camara already has an achievement list longer than most people twice or three times her age, but what is next for this months miss street cred?
eventeen years young and Miss Camara Fearon is ready to set the stage alight. At the tender age of nine this edition’s leading light made her stage debut at the little known venue called the Hackney Empire, London. Today, Miss Street Cred is dubbed an award winning multi-instrumentalist… And take it from us this girl is a star in the making. Our very own award winner has blossomed into a beautifully talented
teen about to embark on a journey of tour dates and performance … and to think the year has only just begun! For someone so young you’re running out of space in that trophy cabinet? “I know, I started at a really young age and was given the opportunity to perform by the late Tony Lee Fielding His impact on my performance lead to me
performing at the Empire, it was incredible!” You’re a busy bee right now aren’t you, what’s it all about? “I do a great deal for youth empowerment and encouraging young, London teenagers to express themselves through music. Many of them come from difficult backgrounds so I think it’s important to find that common ground, which music gives you.” I understand you’re a spirit of London stateswoman? “If there’s a passion there, we’ll find it and that’s what the Spirit of London Awards are about. We go and mentor different age groups across London and give speeches in schools. We get a terrific response from the community.” Modelling, singing, acting, you name it Camara has turned
her hand to it and all in such a short space of time. The stage is her home and her presence is profound. The ‘Hackney hunny’ prodigy isn’t one to be unnerved by meeting celebrity figures either. This month’s miss Street Cred has even been praised from the man at no.10, Downing Street that is. For someone so young, you don’t seem shy of motivation? “I lost a dear friend through knife crime and sadly that is something many people in London can say has happened. I work with a unit called ‘street Wyze’ who dedicate their time to those in the Dagenham and Barking districts. It is such activities that make the work a reward because
you’re not sitting their feeling sorry, you’re out and making a difference.” Juggling A-levels around a busy schedule must be hectic, right? “It is so hectic! But I love it, It’s what I chose to do. I moved secondary school to college at Chigworth, in West Hatch and they’ve been so supportive” So why should we be keeping a close eye on you lady? “Watch this space, I’m working hard to get a single released this summer and other supporting material. It’s all go-go-go and sometimes only a few hours sleep but it’s what I live for!”
MR STREET CRED PRESENTS
IDRIS ELBA I
n playing a world icon so soon after his death would be a daunting task for anybody, but for Idris Elba, taking on the role of Nelson Mandela proved cathartic and hugely self-inspiring. In fact, for the British actor, best known over here for his role as TV Detective, Luther, the idea of playing the great man almost proved too overwhelming to take on. Londoner, Elba, spoke recently about how he nearly turned down the role of Mandela after thinking it was a joke when he was first asked. The actor, now one of Hollywood’s most wanted leading men, also talked about how ere he felt when, whilst at the world premier of the biopic; ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,’ in Leicester Square, it was announced that the freedom fighter had passed away: “I nearly turned the role down when I was offered it. I just didn’t think they were serious when they
asked me. I thought that Morgan Freeman must be available for the role. But when it became clear that it was me who was their first choice I became very nervous. I began to think that if I mess this up, then that’s it for me. At the premier, it was crazy. There I was, in Leicester Square, my family and close friends in attendance to be part of the biggest night in my life and then and it ended with the announcement that Mr Mandela had passed. It was bitter sweet. Everybody there was stunned. everything just went silent. It was weird,” he said. In playing alongside Naomi Harris, who plays feisty fellow ANC member and Mandela’s first wife, Winnie, Elba is unfailingly charismatic as he dutifully walks us through an extraordinary journey. The Emmy winner Idris star is also working on the heavily-anticipated film version of the BBC hit ‘Luther’ which, as he says, “Is getting there.”
Mr & Miss SC
REGGAE OR NOT?
WILL & THE PEOPLE A lready creating a storm in their hometown, Brighton popsters Will & The People is about to hit it very big this year after kicking-off their 2014 by bringing their own, inevitable style of reggae to an eagerly awaiting British public. Basing their music on a ska-style influenced, the reggae-loving party band has already got the ball rolling kick-starting their tour in Newcastle-UponTyne, before taking in major towns and cities, including Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Swansea and Bristol, with their unique blend of danceable tunes and fun, lo-fi approach to pop videos that makes them endearing to their growing band of followers. Hailing from Brighton’s Institute of Modern Music, a haven for young, progressive talent, they base their easy-listening, chart-ready sound around artists like the late, great legend that is Bob Marley and the reggae-enthused sounds of The Police Frontman, Will Rendle, says that the guys are having the time of their lives and as long as their audience are having a great time, we’re having the time of our lives; “Who wouldn’t love travelling the world making
music with their friends? To think, we started off just having fun in a band with your mates. That said though, we are now managing to hold it together and to be professional, while still enjoying ourselves.” Will, who has ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ tattooed on his forearm, continues: “Thank to my parents, I’ve been listening to Bob Marley since I was a child and loved listening to it ever since. I just loved his
REGGAE OR NOT
sound. We are a live band and we always love playing live. Wherever we play, our gigs have always been fantastic. We have been spending a lot of time in the studio recently, making a new album and it is hard work. But, seeing thousands of people mouthing the words to your songs, live, is incredible. The door is always open to reggae-loving party band Will & The People. They know their way around todayâ€™s music scene and say it isnâ€™t an illusion. They are having the time of their lives. Things are really coming together and they feel like they are making progress and taking things in a new direction. The act of gigging, touring, and of seeing their fan base grow has had a great impact on Will & The People and you best see them before they finish their UK Tour, in London, in March.
ic t n y a a m w Ro eta s G dea I
s we approach February 14, why not celebrate Valentine’s day in Paris. You can spend a magical evening in the most romantic city in the world with a dinner cruise on the Seine with your love, a gourmet restaurant or an unforgettable evening in a cabaret. Dare to romance in the city of love and lose yourself in its streets to exchange tender kisses . Meet in front of the “ I love you “ wall in the Jehan-Rictus Square, or on the Pont des Arts where are attached lovers padlocks. Paris is full of ideas to say “I love you”. You can go on a boat ride on the Seine, or enjoy a glamorous and special evening by attending the wonderful performances at the Lido, or the Moulin Rouge.
TRAVEL LOGBOOK If you are thinking of going further afield, you can cruise on the brand new Royal Princess, which departs from Fort Lauderdale, for a sevennight Eastern Caribbean round trip cruise that calls at Bahamas; St. Thomas, USVI; and Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles.
ven during Valentines, everybody likes a bargain. That’s why people will also look for special ski deals, to resorts, with special offers and great savings to chalets, hotels and apartments. At many resorts, especially throughout February, you can get great offers, including ski chalet deals, forever updated cheap ski holidays on a regular basis and you can be sure that the prices you are looking for are the very latest available. The are also some great group deals
On the Royal Princess their is a variety of restaurants, many cabins with a private balcony, and even a wedding chapel for weddings at sea make this ship a perfect place to spend Valentine’s Day.
that can often be combined with other deals to suit your budget and the size of your party..
You can enjoy a skiing holiday in February and take advantage of the excellent mid-season ski conditions. There are usually some February ski deals for early and late February but remember that one of the peak dates of the season is half-term and falls in February. Whether in Europe, or in the USA, find your perfect Valentines break on the slopes, a wonderful spas, a bottle of champagne when you’re done. Choose your St. Valentine’s day on the piste.
ROYAL PRINCESS CRUISE
on’t leave plans until the last minute, plan ahead for something truly special and memorable to seduce your valentine. why not treat them to a romantic weekend away in one of the many top hotels an extensive array of Valentines treats that will fulfil all desires.
Why not treat the one you love to a romantic getaway for two a little nearer home, in Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds, enjoy a bottle of wine with a mouth-watering dinner and overnight accommodation in Blackpool, or escape with a loved one in one of the award-winning hotel and spa, in the picturesque Lake District.
here are some great ideas for Valentine’s Day in London too. You can find love on the dance floor and impress your date with mindblowing moves in one of the capitals fantastic nightclubs and wine bars-or maybe just dance alone in the corner. Discover some of the best shops in the world by immersing yourselves in designer fashion stores, restaurants and the world-famous ‘theatre land’ where the stars come out to play. Alternatively, why not just stay at home, cuddle up together with the one you love and let your romantic imaginations run wild?