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BAD TASTE UNIVERSITY OF YORK CAMPUS MAGAZINE ISSUE 3 AUTUMN ’07


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great music, great food great vodka… …experience revolution york

tuesdays skint offers with n.u.s card VK £1.50 Rev Flavours £1.50 pint of carlsberg £1.50 2-4-1 on Revolution favourite cocktails Yorkshire Herald Buildings, Coney St, York YO19NA

T. 01904 676 054 E. YORK@REVOLUTION-BARS.CO.UK r

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BAD TASTE

Contents

Production Editor Duncan Piper Graphics Editor Timothy Ngwena

Lifestyle

Good Taste by Judith Connolly Hello Freshers! by Andreas Masoura What to expect from uni The Great Debate by Ilaf Scheikh Elard Flip York by Matthew Grum Capoeira on Campus A Brighter Leeds by Helen Citron Letter from Beijing by Ilaf Scheikh Elard A Graduate’s Reality by Missy Christey What to expect after uni York’s Little Gem by Laura Hastings

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Arts

Graphical Book Review by Marius Karabaczek York - Artwork by Timothy Ngwena The Heist by Alice Cox The Art of the Underground by Jo Beckett-King Art for all? Falling over the Dead: Arsenic and Old Lace by Helen Kingston This term’s DramaSoc highlight A Tale of Two Filmakers by Will Tribble and Nicola Carter York’s King of Comedy by Laura Payne An interview with Dan Atkinson

Fashion

Priestley’s Fashion Shoot Trick or Streat The Hideous Taste of Man by Rennie Hoare Helpful tips for blokes on campus

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Music

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What is Drum and Bass? by Hannah Welch I was a Cub Scout by Emma Robson Good Shoes by Emma Robson and Helen Nianias iSore by Tom Rodgers A look at music’s changing culture

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Features Editor Missy Christey

Photography & Graphics Matthew Grum

Head of Marketing Oliver Blair Good Taste Editor Judith Connolly Fashion Editors Kate Bevan & Sarah Graham Performing Arts Editor Charlie Bruce Music Editor Roxanna Darling Acting Sub-Editors Niamh Walsh and Helen Georgina Nianias Administrator Ola Jeglinska Contributors: Kim Middleton, Andy Young, Andreas Masoura, Ilaf Scheikh Elard, Helen Citron, Marius Karabaczek, Alice Cox, Jo Beckett-King, Helen Kingston, Will Tribble, Nicola Carter, Laura Payne, Rennie Hoare, Hannah Welch, Emma Robson, Helen Nianias, Tom Rogers, Tara Minshull, Alice Albery, Iain Smith, Anya Perse, Laura Wordingham, Chris Meads, Venetia Rainey, To'neill Hart, Tom Hole,Laura Hastings, Polly Pang, Gravity Control and Capoeira York With special thanks to: Priestley's Vintage Clothing (11 Grape Lane), Fantasy World (25 Main Street, Fulford), Capoeira York and Gravity Control The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of YUSU or of the editorial team. Every care is taken to ensure all information published is correct at the time of print. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Bad Taste Magazine cannot be held responsible for information provided by advertisers.

Cover by Matthew Grum If you would like to get involved with BAD TASTE please email info@badtastemagazine.co.uk. Alternatively, visit our website at badtastemagazine.co.uk

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Hello Freshers! By Andreas Masoura

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or those of you who decided not to turn around and head back down the M1 on seeing your dilapidated, cupboard sized room with minimal natural light, welcome to York. Whatever your first impression of York, one thing is certain: your mum will like it. Everyone’s mum likes York because it’s such a nice place. Mothers aside, you’re probably wondering what on earth there is to do in a tiny city populated mainly by old people. You’ll have completed your pathetic four hours of weekly lectures and your mind will search for entertainment. Well, in terms of clubbing, York is desert. It is drier than Jesus’ sandals. There are three clubs, Toffs, Ziggy’s and Gallery, which you should have visited at least a dozen times by now. These

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places will become your second home unless you choose to become an unsociable recluse. I suggest you don’t. If you’ve been put in a corridor full of losers (which is more than likely) do not despair. This will force you to venture forth and make other friends, perhaps controversially, from other colleges. Just avoid Derwent – the worst college on campus –and get involved in societies and college sport. For most of you, university will be your first exposure to consistent drinking. With the drinking comes an unwanted by product. No, not the danger of being taken advantage of by a sleazy post-grad (you will already have been equipped with standardissue rape alarms). I’m talking about Cheese music. Tolerating this has been my biggest challenge at university by far. By tomorrow, you’ll know the Baywatch lyrics word for word and will respond ecstatically to Bon Jovi in Toffs. The Hoff will BAD TASTE

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become your hero. Embrace it because you cannot fight it. York has the most bars per capita in the UK (with over 360) so you’ll be well prepped by the time you have to confront the barrage of Cheese. As a general rule, avoid Gallery on chav night (Saturday) and occasionally pop in to a York St. John night (Tuesday) because their women are very attractive, although perhaps intellectually challenged. Go to Ziggy’s on Wednesday. It’s a sweaty meat-market best enjoyed after a dozen trebles from Nags or Rumours. As a former member of the mighty Goodricke College, I feel it necessary to inform its current batch of inhabitants that the building is, in fact, listed. Goodrickers are privileged to be living in a prime example of ‘60s architecture. When you wake up tomorrow morning hung over like a bitch, with a chronic bout of cotton-mouth and you’ve


nailed some Powerade, you’ll notice you live in bird-watching heaven. Birds are beautiful. Constantly treading in shit is not. You will also notice a big lake, inhabited by these creatures. As well as providing an outlet for campus sewage (rumour has it the environmental fine is cheaper than annually cleaning the lake), it can form part of almost any drinking game. As a result, I swam the lake. It’s not advisable - I heard that a group of gimps recently tested the water and found cholera in there. Yuck.

the worst comes to the worst, Leeds is only a twenty-minute train ride away. It’ll be the best twenty minutes you will ever spend. And the women, oh my God… –

York’s abundance of takeaway action will become one of your nightly highlights. Whether you choose to snack on a dirty Chinese outside Gallery or embark on a brisk walk to Deniz’s burger van, there is no better way to end your evening. A distinguished chef, Deniz has provided us with the finest cheeseburger and chips to be found in Yorkshire. One more thing, be wary of Facebook. It dominates York and you will be judged depending on your profile. If you happen to be a huge sleaze, be careful or you will get caught out. If you are a serial womaniser and think, “oh yes, I got away without giving her my number” think again. The psychotic bunnyboiler will hunt you down and ruin your well tuned façade. Also be weary of the token fitty that lives your floor (if you’re lucky). Corridor politics are highly sensitive, so don’t shit on your own doorstep. York is a great place to party and study, so make sure you make the most out of what you have. The clubs are awful (especially if you’re from London). However, up here people go out to party hard rather than to pose and drown cheap women with cheap champagne. It’s certainly grimy, but I’ve had the best time of my life in York because of the people I met. I came to York with a Disney Land mentality but left a hero. And if BAD TASTE

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The Great Debate

improving presentation skills and performance at interviews. Alongside these benefits, debating helps to “explore thinking about issues” because one is facing “both sides of By Ilaf Scheikh Elard the story” – indeed, university is a ebating societies, like York time to discover oneself and one’s Union, are faced with the opinions. opinion that they are just a place for simulators and dissimulators, who Debaters can also be found in are not interested in truth when literature, defending freedom of debating but just in outsmarting the speech like John Stuart Mill. In enemy. When presented with this On Liberty, Mill argues the benefit reality, the President of York Union, of debate for individuals: “if the Maz Mufti, sighs. She sits back, opinion is right, they are deprived of but admits that “this can be true, the opportunity of exchanging error especially at competitions. You are for truth; if wrong, they lose, what sometimes required to argue is almost as great a benefit, the for points of view you don’t clearer perception necessarily hold.” and livelier impression But Mufti explains of truth further: “Debating produced by has various its collusion functions. It is with error.” But a great way for usually people people to explore automatically shut their opinion. their eyes, ears It can teach us and mouth when something. For being confronted example, you with an opinion have students they do not hold. of sociology or history who come York Union is trying to grips with key to change this. Each economic principles week, debates are that form the basis held covering a vast of an argument. This range of topics, from expands their basic the serious (“This house knowledge. Now, whether they believes that Britain should leave are just simulating it to just win a the EU”) over controversial (“This debate, or not, it is still broadening house believes that global warming their horizon.” is a myth”) to trivial (“This house believes that it is a flat.”) Usually, Mufti began debating at fifteen and debates are conducted in the British has gained her experience through Parliamentary style – a member of competing at the finals of the the proposition presents its case and Oxford Union schools contest and is then answered by the opposition. the Cambridge Union, as well as This first round is followed by a final winning the Rotary speaking award. exchange of arguments between both Asked about why anybody, especially sides and the debate is concluded by Freshers, should get involved in a vote of the audience. The team that debating, Mufti emphasises that has succeeded to change the most debating is an important skill. minds wins. It increases confidence as well as

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Last year, Mufti, a philosophy and politics student in her final year, got involved in the Union. Starting as a Speaker’s Secretary, she is now trying to publicise its interactive and energising nature. With various events, a growing increase in sponsorship and a more prevalent campus presence, York Union intends to recruit more Freshers this term. Next to the weekly debates, debating workshops and socials, the University of York will, for the first time, host an I.V. – its own debating competition. Approximately forty teams from the national circuit will be present and, moreover, the York Union will send teams to the European Debating Championship held in Istanbul, as well as the World Debating Championship in Thailand. Despite all this, some remain sceptical about getting involved in debating. They believe that debaters are merely hypocritical and spineless in their opinions. But Maz Mufti answers this allegation pragmatically, and sees the competitive element in a positive light: “it is a game. It is a competition. That’s the point. Just like in any sport we go in and compete for the university as best as we can, whether we believe in it or not.” To get involved, visit yorkunion. org.uk –


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apoeira is a unique Brazilian dance and martial art which dates back 400 years. Combining music, dance and selfdefence, it helps to increase agility, flexibility, strength, speed and coordination.

Capoeira was originally developed by slaves in Brazil. In order to disguise the martial arts aspect of capoeira, the slaves incorporated elements of dance into the movements. This allowed the slaves to continue the tradition of capoeira without arousing the suspicions of the slave owners. Despite the long tradition of capoeira in Brazil, it was for a long time associated with criminal gangs. Because of this, capoeira was illegal in Brazil for many years. Capoeiristas were forced to train and play in secret, and often had to escape at a moment’s notice from police raids. From this, capoeiristas often gave each other nicknames to hide their identity. This practise is continued today, and capoeiristas are often given nicknames within their club. Capoeira is played inside a circle of people known as the roda. The players perform kicks, jumps and acrobatics, depending on the style of capoeira, in attempt to demonstrate their skill and test their opponent. The play is almost always non-contact. Capoeira York was set up in March 2005, as part of the Brazilian Guardioes Brasileiros school. They currently have around twenty regular members attending up to four sessions a week. To find out more, go to capoeirayork.com

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A Brighter Leeds Words & photos by Helen Citron

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eeds is awesome. The clubs are better than Toffs, Ziggy’s and Gallery, as are the shops, museums and restaurants. I went there for a day, guided by an indigenous friend and attempted to see Leeds by daylight: something that many York students fail to do, unless they miss the last train back to York post Oceana. On emerging from the station I felt slightly lightly intimidated. Already I was confronted with the sense of a heaving metropolis – a far cry from the sedate pace of York’s city centre. Indeed, in terms of population, Leeds is the third largest city in the UK, surpassed only by London and Birmingham. However, the blissful sight of those inefficient purple FTR buses weaving their way through the streets put me at ease and I discovered

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that it is the perfect place for a calendars (it honestly has to be seen to be believed) to home-made lemonade, Saturday wander. there was plenty to catch the eye. Our first stop was the Corn Exchange, an impressive example of Victorian By this point, lunch was in order and architecture built in 1861. Converted we retraced our steps in search of a bite into a shopping complex in 1990, to eat. We happened upon Kadas Café it is hailed as the ‘Covent Garden of Lounge, situated on Crown Street the North’ but is, in fact, probably (near the station). A sign in front more reminiscent of Camden Town. announced that the restaurant served Shops like ARK and Exit, the small North African and Middle Eastern boutiques and stalls and a large groups cuisine. However, once seated inside, of teenagers dressed in retro t-shirts a cursory glace around was enough to and black jeans gave the whole place an establish that we were the only people Indie feel. A brief browse was enough eating and, more bizarrely, that we to establish that most of the wares were possibly the oldest people there were pretty overpriced, and we quickly (most were grimy teenaged couples installed ourselves in the complex’s smoking). As well as humus, kufta, central café for a much needed coffee. olives and the like, the café serves over The building’s high-ceilinged glass roof twenty different flavours of shisha. creates a large, airy space and it would We were seated in an upstairs room be easy to while away a good few hours on benches and cushions and were amused for at least a quarter of an of just people-watching here. hour by copious graffiti on the walls. However, it was time to move on Despite the down at heel appearance and I soon found myself in Kirkgate of the restaurant and the dubious market – the largest undercover legality of serving shisha to people market in the country where Michael clearly not over the age of sixteen, the Marks first opened his Penny Bazaar food was delicious and cheap – why no which was to lead to the foundation one else thought to partake in it is still of Marks & Spencer in 1890. Inside, a mystery. The café is definitely worth there was an amazing variety of food a visit, especially as nothing similar is stalls. A whole row was dedicated to be found in York. It is just a small to butchers, vociferous local traders example of the cultural diversity announcing deals like “five steaks for which goes to make the city so eclectic a fiver”. Certainly, this is the place and which provides visitors with a rich to come for cheap food and many array of culinary possibilities. bargains were spotted: two tubs of Philadelphia cream cheese for a pound. To walk off lunch, we headed towards Nice. Outside, in the open market, Leeds Town Hall – a striking grade there were still more treasures to be one listed building. As it is still used discovered. I found myself a watch for administrative purposes, we were for two quid, simply out of curiosity unable to enter but we paused at the as to how long it would last (it is still top of the steps to take in a pretty going strong). From electrically lit decent view over the city. Next to it icons of the Virgin Mary with in-built stands the Henry Moore Sculpture

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Institute. Like the Corn Exchange, this building is a remarkable architectural project which effortlessly mingles the city’s extensive Victorian heritage with modern culture. Formerly a group of neglected Victorian merchants’ offices and warehouses, they were converted in 1993 into gallery space. The Institute is an impressive artistic enterprise and it is worth venturing inside if only to experience its reflective atmosphere. Entry is free and every Saturday at 2pm there is a free forty five minute guided tour of the museum. We joined the tour and were lead through the various sections of the gallery. The Institute is dedicated to modern sculpture and it certainly helped to be in the company of an expert as we passed increasingly bizarre constructions. The Henry Moore Institute is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to considering the Leeds arts scene. Located next to it is the Leeds City Art Gallery. Containing works from artists such as Turner and Thomas Girtin as well as key contemporary works, it describes itself as holding ‘probably the best collection of 20th Century British Art outside of London’. In terms of theatre, Leeds also has a lot to offer. Most notable is the West Yorkshire Playhouse which houses two theatres, three rehearsal spaces, a recording studio and extensive technical workshops whilst The Grand Theatre, home to Opera North, is just around the corner. The central shopping district contains all the generic high street shops but on a huge scale, as well as quirky boutiques once you venture off the beaten track. The central district is pedestrianised and the wide streets make travelling around easy. Street performers give the centre a massive buzz and socialist campaigners and promoters give away free KitKats! Of course, there is a lot more to any city than can be discovered in one day. But I felt that I had experienced some of the best bits of Leeds and I’ll definitely be back for more chocolate. Leeds by Useful websites: itchyleeds.co.uk, leedsliveitloveit.com, cornx.net, leedsmarket.com, day is certainly worth a shot. – henry-moore-fdn.co.uk, wyplayhouse.com

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let t er from beijing Ni hao from Beijing! Although I have been to China before, this summer I finally had the opportunity to explore the country in depth. I was on the three-week “China Summer School Programme” of the Department for Innovation and Universities (former DfES), which two hundred British university students to China for them to explore the rich cultural heritage of the country, get to sent know contemporary China and engage with young Chinese people. I went to Beijing with the first cohort of students. I was the only Yorkie out there, but there were a number of studen other northern universities. Before arriving, I thought of Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong. He noted in his ts from and West’, that “students of Chinese culture and history are often overwhelmed by the scale and richness of what is laid outbook, ‘East them.” He was right. It was quite something to be surrounded by such a different culture, climate and cuisine. But there before much time to fart around. We were at Beijing Normal University to learn conversational Chinese – we had classes five dayswas not a week, from 8am to 12pm each morning. Outside of class, I was trying to apply the vocab that we learnt during the lessons. T he Chinese were quite polite when it came to our desperate and embarrassing attempts to speak their language. One has to know that the Chinese language is rather differe from Roman languages such as Latin or English, not only in script, but also in structure. For example, the syllable “ni”, as in “n nt (Chinese for “hello”), can be pronounced in four different ways. T he first one is a constant sound, which is high pitched. In thei hao” the voice falls (as in a command), in the third, the voice is raised (like a question), and in the fourth, one combines the latter second, first allowing the voice to fall and then rise. T his all seems rather complicated at the start. But if that was not enough, two by each of the different pronunciations is connected to a different meaning. So the student of Chinese can get in rather troublesome situati even when mispronouncing just one syllable. When we were for example practising to ask “can I ask you?” in Chinese, it happene ons, d that we mixed one of the four sounds, for “ask” and then instead said “can I kiss you?” Indeed it can be face-saving to know one’’”s Chinese . ‘ After our language instruction, we went on sightseeing tours to magnificent places such as the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen and the Great Wall. Moreover, rickshaw cyclists drove us through Hutongs, the back alleys that Beijing is famous for. We Square embarked on a number of cultural activities and went to see a play at the Beijing Opera, a performance of the national acrobatics team a cultural show at the celebrated Tea House. T here was also a day trip to picturesque Chengde, the summer resort which lies and the South. It used to be the summer resort for the emperors, not only because of its cooler temperatures, but also due to beautiful scenery and water world. Whilst getting to know the metropolis with its ten million inhabitants, we also spent to its a weekend in the countryside, trying to get an impression of the rural inhabitants, which still makes up two thirds of the total populat ion. Studying PP E back at York, I wanted to learn more about the legacy of Confucianism in contemporary Chinese culture, to understand the specific way to steady the development which China has charted for itself under Sun Yat Sen, Mao Tze Dung and its present leadership, and to study the Chinese economy – the ‘rising dragon’, so to speak. I achieved pretty much all of it. China is important, and it knows it. T he country is ready to take on more responsibility in the international arena. When talking to ordinary Chinese people, be it university students, shopkeepers, or expatriates, I found that they hope the 2008 Beijing games to show the best side of China – it is a massive opportunity for them. During my whole stay in Beijing, I found the Olympic people to be very warm and welcoming. I told them that we would give them a similar warm reception when they come to theChinese UK for the 2012 Olympic games in London. What a journey. Ilaf Scheikh Elard

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A graphical book review by Marius Karabaczeck

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A Graduate’s Reality By Missy Christey

Amidst the drunken ramblings on a Tuesday night, the overextended use of my overdraft on a Saturday shop in the Shambles and the occasional social gathering that I attend under the disguise of ‘social sec’, I constantly have to remind myself of what university is actually all about. University has become some sort of massive gap in between what I see as a happy childhood and a terribly scary real world. It is not a preparation, it is the opposite. Telling students that life is all about work, only for that to be the least of our priorities, is not the way one prepares someone for a 9-5 job. Two hours of English and History a week is like giving me a bag of really nice sweets for three years only to brutally take them away from me when it’s all over.

“50% of graduates regret their first job” This reality, year after year, is reinforced in my mind as I watch friends leave with 2:1’s and a handful of 1st’s, only for them to be sitting at home drinking cups of tea and talking to mum about what they want

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to do, a year down the line. As a third year, this horrifying future is not so far away. I will be the one scavenging off my parents until Mummy has had enough of washing my clothes. And then, I will have to face the fact that I need that rubbish graduate scheme job that everyone eventually enrols with. No wonder that 50% of graduates regret their first job. Of course by then, my ten grand loan will have gone up to twelve or fifteen. Even so, I will still find it hard to stop going out for drinks every night with my friends at Student Finance Directs’ expense. Suddenly, life will not be so great, I will have to pay for myself.

graduate level jobs. My best mate was captain of netball team, head of PEP at her university and the most confident and intelligent person I know (otherwise translated as a 1st!) She is still unemployed. That’s not lacking skill, its just maths. Or probability, to be precise. With figures like that it makes sense that most graduates are still sitting at home. Understandably then, one can’t blame these employers. With over 60% of students getting a 2:1 or above, life has got to be hard for the choosers, as well as for the beggars.

Now I’m not saying these people who haven’t got a job a year down the line are wasters, or that they didn’t do much at university. To the contrary. They are often those who took advantage of everything that uni had to offer. But they soon realise that even though they were head of ‘this’, president of ‘that’ or even editor of Bad Taste, it does not mean that they will just walk into their perfect job. The reality is that they will probably just be making cups of tea for some middle-management team. I took a GAP year and presently have many unhappy graduate friends. This is the complaint that I constantly hear from them. They can not deal with the Graduate’s reality.

However, there is hope at the end of this gloomy and terrifying tunnel. If you expect to walk into a well-paid, tailor-suited job, it is called “work experience”, it is called a “relevant CV” and it is called, dare I say it,“interview practice.” First decide what you want to do and tailor your societies around its relevance. Being a STYC is great if you want to go into communications, or for working with young people, but it is pretty useless for an accountant or an engineer. My best friend may have had a first class degree; she may have been head of PEP and she may have been extremely sporty, but when it came to event organising, these traits were worthless.

“In 2006 there were 290,000 graduates from the UK alone, all competing for only 90,000 graduate level jobs” The reason for all is this angst boils down to the simple truth that the real world is harder than you think. This is not an understatement when considering that in 2006 there were 290,000 graduates from the UK alone, all competing for only 90,000 BAD TASTE

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“60% of students get a 2:1 or above”


because of skill shortages. Yup, if you want the job you deserve, it’s not “66% of companies down to what position you hold in face problems filling what society. If you want the job nothing shows willingness more graduate vacancies than doing it for free. It seems because of skill an obvious statement, but you shortages” would be surprised how many people go through three years Relevant societies are not the only of university without doing a key factor however. My other friend full days work. – wanted to be a lawyer. She finished a Masters at Oxford; ran the Law Society there and got a 2:1. Perfect candidate? She was refused jobs in eight firms and blamed it on her 2:1, “shit, I should have got a first!” Wrong. The interviewer corrected her: “actually, your interview should not have been the first time you stepped into a law firm.” Law Society may have shown interest, but it did not confirm skill or knowledge of how chambers run. With so many people doing degrees these days, employers are aware that 66% of companies face problems filling graduate vacancies

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Graduat

ion

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Priestleys ‘

Models: Tara Minshull and Alice Albery Photography: Matthew Grum and Iain Smith Stylists: Sarah Graham & Kate Bevan Hair & Makeup: Anya Perse All items from Priestley’s Vintage Clothing, 11 Grape Lane York, Y01 7HU

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Leggings, boots & belt: stylist’s own

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Leggings & boots: stylist’s own

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Stockists of labels not available anywhere else in York York’s only Dj specialist record shop. With a range of genres inc...

Recently described as the best sport fashion label in the Sunday Times style magazine Award Winning Brand in the June issue of DJ magazine. Also stockists of: Lee Jeans LBT jeans & more

10% Student Discount on all non sale clothing with a valid student card.

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HOUSE, FUNKY HOUSE, ELECTRO, HARD HOUSE, TRANCE, HARDCORE &MORE We also stock record bags / boxes cd walets & other Dj accesories including items from: UDG,ORTOFON,DMC, TEHCNICS, KAM, GEMINI & SKULLCANDI.

EQ is situated just off stonegate on Hornbys Passage & behind New Look on Blake street Tel: 01904 641 720

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Shoes: stylist’s own, jeans: model’s own


York by Timothy Ngwena BAD TASTE

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The art of the Underground By Jo Beckett-King

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raffiti has long been recognised as an outsider form of art. From hip hop to guerrilla politics, its affiliation with subversive forces means that it has firmly positioned itself outside of mainstream visual arts. It has been used for decades as a means for groups to establish themselves outside of accepted attitudes and principles. It is the chosen art-form of the subculture, allowing the creator to work outside of, and often in marked opposition to, conventional art institutions. In York, groundbreaking graffiti may not be on every street corner, but if you look hard enough there are some hidden gems to be found The nature of graffiti means that it broadcasts indiscriminately, regardless of whether or not the passer-by is interested. More often than not, a graffito is something which is happened upon, rather than sought out. A pair of handcuffs used to be stencilled onto a ATM in Market Square. The political message of this particular image does not take much decoding. Graffiti does not criticise. Instead, it has an extraordinary capacity to convey a message almost instantaneously through visuals alone, and to a mass audience. During the recent ‘Save Our Porters’ protest, one of the major methods of action was a campus-wide graffiti campaign which exploited this potential to broadcast a message quickly and effectively.

propagandist material. In this sense, graffiti and advertising have much in common. Like advertising, graffiti is designed to grab the attention of the viewer, and divert the individual’s thoughts to something completely unrelated. While the two may be poles apart ideologically speaking, both employ similar methods of communication to propagate an idea or product.

Of course, graffiti need not necessarily have a political impetus behind it. “Ah Good the Sea” is a familiar sight to those who regularly pass through Thief Lane. It is not a grammatical sentence. It is written in chalk. If it appeared on a seaside pier or the side of a ship it may still seem a little odd, but such a setting would at least complement this curious collection of words. On the side of a house next to a field of grazing horses, it is just odd. Without evidence of any technical skill or any effective visuals to admire, all that would usually remain of an artwork is a concept, except here there is no concept. The text is out of context. Written on a brick wall in York, it is nonsensical, seemingly pointless and a little bit funny. That is all, but I’m This immediacy of impact is what glad it is there. renders graffiti so powerful. It has often been employed as a means Elsewhere on campus, we find of inciting political activism due “Nige”. This is the tag of a man who, to its potential for disseminating presumably having realised Nigel

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was not a name that would grant him any form of credibility outside of an office environment, opted to shorten his name. He then appropriated the Nike logo and his name became cool. Except the name Nige will never be cool, and its pairing with the Nike swoosh only seems to highlight the fact that his name is Nigel. Maybe he knows that, maybe not, but either


way, it is an excellent tag. Perhaps nonsensical graffiti art is becoming a trend. “Tulips 4 Badgers” is written next to a Caffè Nero in town. Why someone felt the need to spread this incitement to a wider audience is unclear, but it has undoubtedly caught the attention of passers-by, albeit only momentarily. An urban curiosity, graffiti has both an effect on the environment but it is also affected by the public space in which it is created. While the demographic encountering a piece of graffiti is primarily determined by its location, the placement of a work into the public sphere invites a considerably large and diverse potential audience compared to predictable gallery crowds. In the introduction to his book Wall and Piece, Banksy refers to the motivation behind his work, stating: “Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.” Evident in this introduction is a fierce contempt for authority, and this challenge to existing power dynamics has become a recurrent theme in his work. The fact that it

is illegal is of course a fundamental component, as it further removes the work from established art institutions and accepted social conventions (yet that is not to say that I condone it). Banksy’s success can, of course, also be attributed to the reliable formula of bold visuals combined with conceptual thinking. Through his anonymity, he has successfully managed to cultivate an enigmatic and almost mythical persona, utilising a style that has undeniably had a profound effect on subsequent graffiti art. Yet in York, a set of birds are stencilled onto the glass at the City Screen terrace. This work is tailored to its surrounding environment and works as a purely aesthetic design, lacking the political edge that is present in much of Banksy’s work – there is still room for originality.

production of most contemporary art, it will always retain a freedom inaccessible to art exhibited in galleries. Outside of regulated environments, it is not controlled by the same political and economic limitations. If the graffiti artist is not asking you for your money, then what is [s]he asking for? Your attention only, please. It is refreshing, although rare, to stumble upon a work that challenges your principles or actions. Often, however, your attention is diverted to something which is simply unexpectedly beautiful. Whether political slogans or inexplicable musings, the artist is only asking for a momentary glance at his [or her] labour, or in some cases, the chalk scrawls left on a brick wall. –

But Banksy’s political critiques and witty pranks have secured him international fame, rather than notoriety; his subversion is celebrated, and he has, to some extent, been initiated into the art establishment. If even Banksy has been adopted into the commercial art world, what hope does graffiti have as a successful avant-garde art form? As graffiti is not subject to the same determining factors affecting the BAD TASTE

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Falling Over The Dead Arsenic and Old Lace By Helen Kingston

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or those of you who have enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine, the bizarre spectacle of watching a dead body being awkwardly passed through a window can once more be experienced in the production Arsenic and Old Lace. Joseph Kesselring’s madly energetic play, set in 1930’s New York, is being brought to life in the Drama Barn with physical comedy, dry wit and dead bodies; a job undertaken by director Danie Linsell and producer Ed Duncan Smith. A film adaptation of this wonderful play was released in 1944, directed by Frank Capra and staring Cary Grant as Mortimer – DramaSoc think their production will be a pretty good competitor.

his engagement, he discovers that between going to church and drinking lots of cups of tea, they have been calmly killing people. Twelve old men, now hidden in the cellar, were all victim to decidedly involuntary euthanasia, poisoned by a deadly concoction of elderberry wine laced with arsenic and just a pinch of cyanide. But all Mortimer wants to do is sort the situation out and get hitched. On the Roger Kirk sofas one rainy afternoon, I met with the director to discuss the production and comedy in general. Vibrant and emphatic, Linsell discussed her love of physical comedy and some of her unique approaches to the rehearsal process. By opening night, the cast will have rehearsed in increasingly smaller practice rooms. This is to ensure that they have a heightened awareness of their physical performance and the performance space (vital for the intricacies of physical comedy). This will prepare them for the performances in the Barn – an apparently ideal space for the living room setting of Arsenic. Her arguments against snobbery towards physical comedy were incredibly convincing. Undoubtedly, it is one of the great truths of life that watching someone fall over is very, very funny.

She hesitated momentarily when considering the biggest selling point of the play. “It’s the characters themselves”, she decided. Kesselring, the playwright, thoughtfully developed every character, however minor their role: the police officer who aspires to become a playwright forces the agonised Mortimer to listen to his painful script and Mortimer’s delusional brother is convinced he is Teddy Roosevelt. He has every intention of digging the Panama Canal in the basement, his character bringing much of the comedy to the set. Yet the issue of self-certification, which, along with euthanasia form the more serious ideas within the script, is hugely compelling. Just as macabre plays must have lighter moments to prevent audiences descending upon the Samaritans, Comedies often have darker issues to balance themselves.

Wikipedia, the ever delightful encyclopedia, says on the topic of physical comedy: “Whether a pratfall (i.e. landing on the buttocks), a silly face, or by walking into walls, physical comedy is a common and rarely subtle form of comedy. It is a clownish exploitation of movement,

This production of Arsenic and Old Lace looks to be a fantastic night at the theatre and a good example of a comedy that will actually make you laugh. Showing at the Drama Barn on the weekend of Week 7, tickets will be available at Vanbrugh Stalls during that week. –

The plot is wonderfully ridiculous. When the Basil Fawlty-esque protagonist, Mortimer, visits his elderly aunts to inform them of

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the most primordial human medium of expression, which predates language and the introduction of cerebral elements to humor such as cultural tradition, erudition and word puns”. Linsell explains that “physical comedy comes under the umbrella of physical theatre – highly visual theatre – where the script is almost secondary to the action, of which mime is a prime example.”

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A Tale of Two Filmmakers By Nicola Carter

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neezing pandas. OK go on treadmills. A computer animated hippo singing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’. YouTube is fantastic for watching things that are both pointless and gratifying. For me, it’s a bit like using a teaspoon to pop the metal film of a new jar of coffee. It’s thrilling, but I’m not sure why. Watching YouTube is a guilty pleasure, and next to Facebook and doodling in lectures it’s the best form of distraction. Or so I thought. I’ve found that even more satisfying than watching random stuff on YouTube is creating your own random stuff to upload!

describe my own creations. My other favourite directors include Danny Boyle and Guillermo del Toro - I’m a fan of things edgy and gritty, though I adore Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz: two quality comical spoofs and I’ve always been interested in making the kind I dream of making one day. films. When I was younger I used my Dad’s camera and spent hours Out of the films I have made, the one messing around making stop motion which most people have commented animation: films about a militia of on has to be ‘Wuthering Heights’. hat-wearing rabbits storming the I saw the original music video for Lego airport armed only with Jelly the Kate Bush song, thought it was Baby grenades. The best part for me, hilarious, and wanted to re-create its however, was watching the reactions fantastic crapness. During filming of my family and friends as I we had no tripod, so the camera premiered my work. They smiled and was steadied on an upturned bench. laughed – in hindsight, possibly as a The windswept black and white nervous cover-up. Nevertheless, it sequences were created using my made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. mum’s office fan. This film seems to Later I got into acting and theatre be the most popular, even with fans and so for a long time lost interest in of the genuine video (luckily I haven’t filmmaking. It wasn’t until recently been slated, despite having my Kate that I re-discovered this love affair. Bush dance ‘the robot’, and cameos from copulating lions and tigers…) I made the first films for ‘Carter and Co. Productions’ with my brother, I’ve also filmed ‘Team X-Treme: Richard. We have a similar sense of Hardcore Free-Running’ with some humour, cultivated from the likes of my Writing and Performance of Bill Bailey, The Mighty Boosh and course-mates, including Will Tribble Peep Show which is probably why our - the creative ‘Jedi master’ of movie films are comical in a slightly bizarre making. It’s great to hear new ideas way. Some films are a homage to my and work with people who are as favourite movies, the first recreating enthusiastic as I am. We filmed this the ‘slow walk sequence’ from Kill movie on campus, and it’s worth a look Bill. A lot of what Tarantino does is just for the free-running Langwith ‘tongue in cheek’ - a good phrase to

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duck. I’m never working with him again though. What a diva. At the moment I’m just exploring what I can do with shooting and editing and generally having a bit of fun. I’d eventually like to get together a team and direct a short film. Who knows what the future holds? Watch this space, or YouTube: tinyurl.com/ysmtb6 It’s better than a sneezing panda, I promise you.


By Will Tribble

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impy though it sounds, I can pinpoint the moment when I realised I wanted to make films. I was about thirteen, channel-surfing Sky Movies, and I stopped on a film called Baron Munchausen; specifically, the most beautiful film-scene ever made. A gigantic shell rises in the middle of a fountain in a Baroque drawing room, opens up and Uma Thurman is standing there semi-naked, not in a cheap titillating way, but just like that painting of ‘The Birth of Venus’, angels flying around her. This was one of Hollywood’s biggest financial failures ever made. Right then all I knew was that it was the most amazing, clever, weird and gorgeous things I’d ever seen…and it involved Uma Thurman with her clothes off. I wanted to make stuff like this. But no-one else around me at the time did. My friends were either uninterested or lazy, so I started going to a little club at a local church. It was here where I was roped into making a short film that involved me and other early adolescents filming a bloke and his friend painting walls with buckets of fake blood, wearing Guantanamo Bay prison outfits. It was a horrible introduction to nobudget filmmaking. I never saw the finished film. Later, I went on proper film courses. I did lots of runner jobs, working from seven in the morning until ten at night, unpaid (obviously). But I managed to get people interested in my new, stupid, badly-written demonic clown-based movie. George, this film student from the film club, somehow got hold of the script and kept turning up at my house to do ‘test shots’ with his shiny camera and weird devices he’d made himself, like a tracking shot buggy made from an old pram. We ended up making a

vaguely presentable short film. This was not what I was expecting at all. Later, the manager of a band called Ndubz approached George and asked if he’d make a music video for them with whatever crew he wanted, which included a load of his university mates and me. The video we made managed to stay number one on Channel U for five months, as did the second video. It is genuinely weird thinking about it: we edited the films in a tiny council flat with a Poodle running around our legs and filmed bits of them in my house while my mum sat next door doing her tax returns, and they actually went somewhere. Since I’ve come to university, I’ve been doing stop motion and weird little experiments that take ages and may or may not look good. I once tried filming some stuff and then printing every individual frame on pieces of paper, messed around with them, then filmed the paper again. It took a lonely, antisocial week in my room to do five seconds, but it looked damn good. There’s probably an easier way to do it. Then again if it was easy maybe it wouldn’t be worth doing. Big up the University of York Filmmaking Society, of which I’m Post Production Manager. Meetings on Mondays in L/047 at 8:15, see yorkfilm.co.uk –

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Dan Atkinson: York’s King of Comedy By Laura Payne

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s a York graduate and budding comedian, Dan Atkinson is the man behind campus comedy nights, The Other Side Comedy Club at the City Screen Cinema, and Freshers’ Week comedy. Chances are, if you’ve experienced comedy in York, you have met the man himself. Departing us – regrettably - for bigger and better things, I ask him what’s next, what’s past, and what’s going to happen to comedy in his absence? Tell us about The Other Side Comedy Club. I set it up five years ago, and it’s great, I love it! It always sells really well and there are always lots of people there. I moved to London last year to seek fame and fortune, and passed the club on to another promoter from Leeds called Toby, who’s a nice man – quite large, but nice with it. He runs it now and by all accounts it’s still good, but just not quite as good as when I ran it.

first year it’s just horrible. You keep going, and you keep dying. Kent. Any gig in Kent is just horrible. You have to adjust your material to suit them, so what you would normally do ironically with a twinkle in your eye you end up doing seriously just to please them. Then you have to have a shower when you get home. What about your time at the University? I was in James. It was horrible, like prison. You live with the people on your corridor, and one of them was a big, fat, obnoxious Yorkshire man with a stash of porn under his bed. There were two girls we never saw, an American Christian, and someone who is now an Economics teacher.

Just to be left alone for a day. Or go to the Zoo. I like animals, I like cages and I like misery, so the Zoo has everything for me. Describe to us your perfect date. 1066. It was pretty much the foundation of our wonderful country. I don’t mean to sound Nationalist about it, but we have a lot going for us and 1066 was the beginning of the whole thing. So there we have it. Although we haven’t lost him completely, York’s greatest comic talent is moving on. Luckily for us, he has left us a legacy of comedy, and successors to keep it alive. Time will tell how well they do so, but one thing is for sure - Dan Atkinson’s shoes are big ones to fill. –

Where can we see you now? I come back to The Other Side at least once every two months, and I usually double Leeds with this. I can’t afford to be precious about where I go, but And your best gig? I’m in the North quite a bit. I like it up My last night at The Other Side was here - the crowds are always really good. really special, but that was more from London crowds are a bit standoffish a social point of view. The comedy because they’re spoilt for choice, but up wasn’t of an exceptionally high standard, here people just go ‘Argh, I love laughter but it was a good laugh! It’s usually me!’ The simplicity of Yorkshire folk about improvising as well; if you start makes them so endearing. improvising and it all goes with the flow, the audience get really into it as well, and What’s the wildest thing you have ever that’s a good night. done? Belfast was fun. It took me three days to I turned up in Edinburgh with one set of recover from Belfast. That was a great clothes for four days. At the end of the gig! four days I ended up developing - there’s no polite way of saying this - some sort And comedy at the University… of cock rot. I got back on the train and I’m not doing comedy at the University fell asleep on my left arm. When I came any more. Well, I’ll come back and do it, round my left arm was numb and I was but I’m not doing it every time. There’s breathing heavily, I thought I was having a guy called Dan Nightingale who has a heart attack and was going to die on taken it over; he lives in Manchester, the train. Then I got into a taxi in York so it’s just easier for him to get there. I and fouled the taxi. Then I spent three was going up and down in a day from days in a bath. London, which was nine hours driving, and however nice York is I’ll end up If money was no object? dying in a car crash, which is no way to It would be an abstract concept – ha! go. That’s fucking clever. Your worst flop? Loads. When you’re starting out that

What would be your best birthday present?

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Photography : Matthew Grum & Iain Smith Special effects: Matthew Grum Stylists: Sarah Graham & Kate Bevan All outfits from Fantasy World, 25 Main Street, Fulford, York, YO10 4PJ Corpse Bride: Venetia Rainey, Grey Dress: To’neil Hart, Breakdancers: Gravity Control

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The Hideous Taste Of Man By Rennie Hoare

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he problem with compiling a York fashion Bible is that not only do some of the students look as though they have taken their fashion advice straight from the Old Testament, but also that the broad range of fashion reference points make finding a commonality rather hard. The growing influence of NuRave, as well as more established Indie and classical styles of dressing, mean that the typical student’s wardrobe has become particularly eclectic. Despite all of these seeming hindrances, a definitive guide of do’s and don’ts can be compiled.

jackets springing up over all parts of campus so avoid making York look like the Grease set by not wearing dead cow. Once the jacket has been sorted out the rest of the wardrobe is left to be filled. Next stop? Trousers. The fact that jeans will go with almost everything does not mean that they should, and at the very least there should be a considerable difference in the pigmentation, if jeans are all you are willing to wear.

draining. Really bright summer colours such as yellow should still be avoided, but this is a chance to wage an individual battle against the onset of permanent pewter skies. Cold weather accessories are the final part of the basic essentials. This will include a hat, a scarf and some gloves. These seemingly commonplace items can wreak havoc on even the bestintentioned outfits, with the hat causing particular difficulty. This problem arises from the inescapable reality that hats, in any form, just do not suit some people. If you are someone who makes any item of headwear look as though it has been placed there as an aesthetic punishment, then just do not wear a hat. The alternatives - having an umbrella if the worry is rain or wearing a hood if insulation is the predominant concern – will easily suffice.

The super-skinny trouser leg looks as strained a trend as the fabric from which they are constructed. This is not to say that it is completely out, but this is one to stay well clear of if you are purchasing new clothes with any long-term view in mind. That is not to say that there is a need to go back to the incredibly unflattering baggy clothes of the late 1990s, but just that a slight bit of room for your legs is a must. Long scarves have been so overused during the summer that a move Shoes are a serious chance to add a towards a more classical cut is much bit of finesse to any outfit. It is with needed. The use of rich autumnal these items that you can have the colours is great for the scarf, but chance to accentuate a colour you to try to extend this to your gloves are wearing, or just to add a bit of would be a mistake. Dark gloves and flair. Choosing shocking footwear a selection of scarves are the perfect merely for comfort is inexcusable. way to bring together the must-haves You just need to search for a pair for this winter. – that fulfils both style and practicality. Owning at least three pairs of shoes will ensure that you will be prepared for any event, whilst also having the added benefit of allowing for drying time after any unfortunate puddle/ swimming in the lake incidents.

The first and most important part of any autumn/winter outfit is the coat. This will be the main thing that you wear around campus, and when it comes to evenings out, is an essential part of your attire. Just having a practical fleece is not enough; it may keep you warm, but the added warmth created through utter embarrassment in donning this most unflattering of garments will mean that overheating is a real and dangerous possibility. The University sports shirts are a particularly favoured substitute for a At this time of the year, the jumper. This is a shame, as it means interference of weather means that that the chance to branch out into a dark colour will be particularly brighter and more exciting colours is practical as it will not be irreparably drowned in a sea of ill-fitting nylon. damaged by the first sign of rain. The jumper that you wear is a chance Leather is always good bet, but a to inject some serious colour into treated waxy material may be a better your whole ensemble. This is rather a choice. In recent months there has dour time of year, and dressing solely been a surge in the amount of leather in monochrome can be particularly BAD TASTE

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number of different genres: Techno, Breaks or House. The general rule for the sounds is the bigger and badder the better. However, there are also more ambient liquid styles such as Photek and Aphex Twin which have wide audiences. Some tunes have vocals and are song-structured (think ‘Tarantula’ by Pendulum), but other tunes are straight beats.

What Is Drum & Bass ? By Hannah Welch

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rum and Bass (or Drum ‘n’ Bass/ DnB) is a type of electronic, grimy dance music: it’s music that gives you a buzz and commands you to dance like a raving headless chicken, forgetting about everything and everyone around you amidst the fast broken beats and heavy baselines. Like most other genres of music, Drum and Bass has many subgenres including Darkstep, Drumfunk and Electrostep. It emerged in the early 1990s as a result of the UK Breakbeat, Hardcore and Rave scenes in which DJs and producers blended Reggae bass lines, Hip Hop, Jazz, Breakbeats, Ambient music and Techno. So, like most music, its roots are eclectic and widespread, but the original term used for Drum and Bass, ‘Jungle’, became associated with crime, forcing some producers to drop the Reggae sound of earlier Drum and Bass. It is generally considered an underground musical style because of its anti-record company style, banging out a variety of alternative meaty tunes. The genre is characterised by fast tempo (160-180 bpm) broken beat drums with heavy, intricate basslines. Without this beat it would be classified as any

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The main pioneers of Drum and Bass are DJs such as Fabio, Mickey Finn, Grooverider, Aphrodite, Andy C, Urban Takeover, Roni Size, DJ SS, Brockie, Mickey Finn, Kenny Ken and Goldie. In recent years, Drum and Bass has hit the charts and gained popularity in mainstream club circuits, with DnB artist names being heckled at DJs across dance floors. The most famous of these artists is The Prodigy, who have more of a techno vibe. I personally see The Prodigy as the Godfather of Techno/DnB music and they never fail to get me raving (I didn’t even notice when my shorts fell down in the the Reading Festival dance tent!) This is the hypnotic effect of Drum and Bass; you become controlled by the pumping sounds. Drum and Bass techniques and elements have also been used by many other artists and bands; for example, undertones of the genre can be heard in songs by bands such as Slipknot, Missy Elliot and Incubus. Let yourself be absorbed by Drum and Bass. Let the music drain through your body, disabling your thoughts and enabling every inch of your buzzing torso to become a hyperactive, flailing dance machine. Let the heavy beats take control. For more info about Drum and Bass, check out these websites: breakzdjs.com (Campus Society), bbc.co.uk/1xtra/drumbass freakin.org (York-based) York’s Drum and Bass Scene Breakz is the University of York’s Drum and Bass, Breaks and Hip-Hop society which hosts some of the finest alternative music nights on campus and in York. I spoke to Nick Ward–Foxton, a Breakz resident DJ, to ask him about

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his experiences with Drum and Bass and the York scene. How did you get into Drum and Bass? I got into jungle in the late ‘90s listening to Nicky Blackmarket, DJ SS and Goldie tape sets. Lost it for a while but came back into it strong in around 2001/2 when LTJ Bukem, Bad Company and Dom and Roland started making some awesome tunes.


with a driving beat, but in other forms it can actually be very relaxing too. There are so many quality producers of Drum and Bass right now and so many subgenres that it’s easy to find something perfect for any time of the day.

The Moving Shadow CDs were a huge factor as you could easily buy the best dance compilation CDs of any genre for only £3 in HMV… bargain!

Who are your favourite DJs / producers? Easy. DJs: Andy C - the best there has ever been! Friction, LTJ Bukem, Marky, Mampi Swift, Chase and Status, DJ Craze and the Scratch Perverts. Producers: Chase and Status, Nero, Bungle, Commix, High Contrast, LTJ Bukem, Sub Focus, Phetsta, DJ Die, Benny Page, Fresh, London Electricity, Noisia, Nu:Tone, Logistics and many, many more.

What do you like about it most? I guess the main reason why I listen to it so much is the fact it can satisfy any mood. Obviously if you want to have a good stomp it’s perfect dance music

What is Breakz about? Breakz is about giving something different to the people of York Uni. We battle in the constant but futile war on Cheese at York by delivering highquality nights based on talented DJs and

MCs. Our music policy is eclectic to say the least but expect Breakbeat, Dubstep, Hip-Hop and of course Drum and Bass at our events. We also do a lot for the promotion of other nights which we feel deliver quality alternative Dance music in York, and we’re always looking for new people to help us spread the word. Where are the best places to go in York for Drum and Bass nights? Breakz nights, of course! Besides that, nights run by the Soulspun crew are always top notch (recent guests include Nicky Blackmarket and the Foreign Beggars, who headline places like Fabric on a regular basis). Besides that, Tinitus run a fine monthly night at Cert 18 which is always popular and always has great headline guest-DJs. Do you think the underground music scene of Drum and Bass needs to be better publicised at York? Yes. At the end of the day it’s a quality scene and more people should be aware that it is there for everyone to enjoy. There is always the hardcore few that go to every night and love the music and the scene for what it is, which makes it special. You know you are going to a place which is not going to be fancy. It may not even be a club, but the atmosphere and music you are going to get will be a hundred times better than you can get in any of the other “clubs” in York. Everyone there is friendly and just out to have a good time, and not just students either - people from all walks of life. They understand how to have a good time, which is the most important thing. So if you have never been to a Breakz or Drum and Bass night in general, give it a try - you won’t be disappointed! –

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I Was a Cub Scout

aged thirteen and fifteen respectively in the local skate park, going on to “play with one another’s bands and By Emma Robson becoming friends”. Descriptions of their music are more than abundant, but as William puts it, they “make sounds and hit things”. Popular comparisons include parallels with The Postal Service, which they say is “quite nice”; another comparison with an emo-slant being with Death Cab for Cutie, which William states is “flattering, because I like them”. They make a conscious effort to elude clichéd genres – because although they would “love to be big [like a band like the Klaxons] we’re not going to do songs like that just to fit in with everyone else.” Instead they play their songs “because we like them – and if or a band comprised of only animated drumming complements everyone else does then that’s cool”. two members, who self-profess the synth-effects that feature so How refreshing. to being “quite trampy-looking”, prominently. On stage and in person, Theirs is the kind of music that makes the delightfully and reminiscently- Todd and William come across as me sing until I have no voice left and named I Was A Cub Scout sure know just so charming, conveying not a hint come home with sore feet after a how to draw a crowd and play one of haughtiness: asthmatic William ridiculous amount of dancing. With hell of a show. Playing in York’s very puffs on his inhaler before taking to an album due out in 2008 and new own Fibbers, the size of which makes the stage and their set is punctuated singles lined up for 2007, this isn’t them feel “in with the crowd”, I Was A with pauses in-between songs the last we’ll hear of I Was A Cub Cub Scout exude the kind of empathy sufficient enough for them to detail Scout. And what do they want for the and interaction with the crowd one an anecdote or two from previous future? “To appear on Jools Holland, expects of a band far more advanced gigs. Prior to their set, both Todd or at least be invited to watch his New in years. Frontman Todd Marriott and William watched their support Year’s Eve programme.” Quite simply, is merely seventeen, and drummer acts from the audience. Some gigthey like what they do and they do William Bowerman nineteen, yet attendees recognised them; others it well. They are a band who wants they both convey the confidence – didn’t. I Was A Cub Scout manage to achieve great things, in their own note confidence, not arrogance– of to reconcile being at once Radio 1 way – and I reckon they just might a band convinced of their right to DJ’s Steve Lamacq’s hot tip for 2007, get there, having a lot of fun whilst perform. Which they prove they Levi’s Ones to Watch, and Todd and doing so. – deserve. William for Nottingham who can “show off to their friends [that they Simply put, their music is, quite are] supposedly the next big thing”. frankly, addictive. Listen to ‘Pink After their Fibbers gig, William and Squares’ and you’ll be hooked. Todd stayed for the indie club night, Contagious beats blend effortlessly alternately chatting with fans and with the breathily engaging vocals dancing their tooshes off. of the oh-so adorable Todd, who darts between singing, operating foot By their own admission, I Was A Cub pedals, twiddling complicated dials Scout find it “really odd” to be playing and playing the guitar, keyboard such prestigious shows as Download, and drums throughout their set - Leeds and Reading, with Todd saying talents far beyond those gained at with incredulity that they were Cub Scout camp. William grins his audience members at such festivals way through entire songs, whilst his aged fourteen. Todd and William met

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drifting in and out of the room also suggested that they didn’t think that what they had to say was of any importance. Drummer Tom Jones (!) didn’t even show up, saying he didn’t think he’d have anything interesting to say.

Pleasing Soles By Emma Robson & Helen Nianias

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irstly, apologies for our ridiculous pun, it was just too good to pass up. The thing is, they are pleasing souls – loveable, engaging, yet lacking the kind of spark you expect from a band so undeniably “Indie” – and so undeniably now – that The Fly announces they have completed “their departure from Planet Potential onto the slopes of aceness”. Good Shoes, fronted by singer Rhys Jones, the chattiest of the group, affirms that they are just nice guys who have, somehow, to the great astonishment of the band’s members, made it big. Jones, who eloquently and earnestly mumbled his way through the interview, conveys none of the swagger we expected from the writer behind such jangling, singalong songs as “Never Meant To Hurt You” and “The Photos On My Wall”, which have been raucously received up and down the country by too-cool kids with carefully crafted hair and skin-tight jeans.

The four-piece band draw on experiences from their upbringing in Morden, South London, which they credit as being “not the sort of place you want to take your kids to/ Fifty pound shops/ And nothing left to inspire me in”. And yet, incongruously, Morden is perhaps their greatest inspiration. It is when discussing their return to Morden earlier this year to play a free gig in the local bandstand that their excitement about their fame is prevalent – it was their “best gig”, with Jones gleefully announcing, without a trace of irony, that they were even in the local paper. Forget Glastonbury, Good Shoes are just so anti-scene it hurts. Perhaps this is what they aspired to achieve - simple, unadulterated adoration from the people in the places that mean the most to them.

As much as we are loathed to admit it, this comes across in their music. The regularity, the duh-duh-duh-duhduh pattern that punctuates almost all of their songs is dancey, catchy, but is it anything noteworthy? The Talking Heads, The Jam and so many others have done the same thing for years. Why should Good Shoes be so highly revered for doing the very same? Why should we listen to them? Seemingly, and frustratingly, the answer is, “I don’t know.”

Trying to provoke excitement and unbridled enthusiasm, we asked Rhys about the band’s recent European tour supporting the Kaiser Chiefs. What was it like playing in front of thousands and thousands of people? “It was alright really.” Weren’t they nervous? “No, because all you can see are the first twenty rows, the rest are a blur.” Thinking about it, all Good Shoes seem to care about are these first twenty rows. The Morden bandstand gig illustrates this: they don’t want the groupies, the thousands of admiring fans or the interview. They just seem Interviewing a band is difficult at the to want a few people having a bloody best of times; trying to make sure you good dance. Shame. – can make someone say something funny and interesting that will translate well into print whilst being more than slightly obsequious can be tricky. The problem with Good Shoes wasn’t trying to get them to shut up or stop being arrogant (the problem that we imagine plagues Razorlight interviews,) but to get them to say anything even remotely cocky. When asked why people should listen to them, Rhys said “I don’t know, I just don’t know,” an answer that didn’t just crop up the once. The fact that various members of the band kept BAD TASTE

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iSore By Tom Rogers

"I

arena and was playing Kelly Clarkson at top volume. I say Kelly Clarkson, but my only point of reference was the tapping of a hi-hat escaping from his headphones, changing every few minutes in tempo and rhythm in time with the changing tracks. By the time I got to York the constant hissing and tapping had caused similar effects to a long spell at the hands of the Gestapo. I had lost the power to smile.

f music be the food of love, play on” opens Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but right now I’m feeling a little out of love. For me to say this is a big deal; I mean, I’m a DJ and a singer so music has always played a large part in my life, but recently I’ve just started I assure you that I’m not normally such a miserable git, but I have to ask, what has happened to music to cause to feel… well… unfulfilled. me so much annoyance? The answer is technology and It all started about six months ago. I fashion. Music technology has become more widespread was sitting on a train station platform with the introduction of the iPod, closely pursued by just outside Manchester waiting for various other MP3 and digital music players. Gone are a train that was late (surprise!) when the days when music lovers would slip a 45 onto their around the corner came a group of turntable and listen to T-Rex in their bedrooms. I can kids wearing the latest in sports fashion: new trainers, now leave the house and carry 10,000 songs in my joggers, hoodies and Nike socks. How did I know the pocket, something that would have required a removal make of their socks? Because they were pulled up to their shins with their joggers tucked inside, I can only assume to protect their tender ankles from the fresh northern winds that hit Manchester so frequently. They were of course Chavs, Scallies, Charvers or whatever else you want to call them and, as intimidating as they looked, they weren’t doing anything wrong, so I sat back, relaxed, and ran through different ways of performing a citizen’s arrest in my head. I had only got past the conventional rugby tackle and clothesline wrestling move when my thoughts were interrupted by a sharp, tinny, tapping noise and some muffled lyrics. One of the [insert relevant term here] had got his mobile phone out and was playing music over its inbuilt loudspeaker. Now don’t get me wrong, I like Akon, but nothing is more annoying than an amazingly loud but completely unrecognisable and muffled public performance from a speaker that was originally designed to bring us the Nokia ring tone. Eager to get away from the noise I got onto the carriage ahead of the Chavs and took my seat. It was then that I discovered something van in the late 90s. Mobile phones have now jumped almost as frustrating as on the bandwagon, integrating MP3 players and other the Chav’s 21st century media software into your handset. It seems that the focus ghetto blaster. The has shifted from the music we are listening to over to guy in front of me what technology we use to listen to it. Male fashion guide was listening to website, ManChic, claims that “the ultimate fashion icon his iPod, not itself, iPod, is now a fashion obsession”. With thousands u n c o m m o n of accessories to go with your iPod, including neck straps aboard trains. and cases from top designers, it seems that what our This bloke, iPod wears is as important as our own clothes. In fact, h o w e v e r , Levi have just released a range of jeans with a designated s e e m e d pocket – the perfect size to hold an iPod. What more set on could a man ask for? replicating This is nothing new; music has always been closely linked a concert

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to fashion, with each new style of clothing accompanied by a new genre of music. However, it seems that something at the root of socialising has become something hugely antisocial. The only reason the Chavs played their music so loud on the train platform is because they wanted everyone around to realise how cool they were for having a phone with that capability. What they seem to miss is that music is not about the number of people that notice

you or how you look when you are listening to it. It is about finding new bands, artists and genres and truly enjoying the sound. People are more afraid to listen to music that doesn’t fit their style than ever before. Try telling a Chav to pause their So Solid Crew greatest hits and try a spot of Arcade Fire, but make sure you have someone saving you a place in the queue at A&E before you even try. This month, don’t buy that Louis Vuitton iPod belt holster – use the money to buy some music you wouldn’t normally try. Some may be rubbish but some may change your life and, after all, isn’t that the truly great thing about music? –

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York’s Little Gem Coffee Culture By Laura Hastings

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estling quietly amongst Goodramgate’s haphazard façade of fancy dress, locally bred artwork, and charity shops, the medieval front of Coffee Culture is easy to miss. However, once discovered, the warm aromas and light atmosphere are captivating, not to mention the freshly-baked carrot cake and inviting stairway. Three floors, narrow rooms, low beams; this is not a café conducive to waitering, yet staff seem happy to bustle up and down with hot and cold beverages – homemade milkshakes, local ales, a strong Java coffee - as well as a selection of paninis, wraps, baguettes, soups, sandwiches, and all-day breakfasts worthy of a royal hamper. The specials board offers goods for the sweetertoothed, which are an indulgent incentive to stay a while longer, as is the possible vacancy of the first floor window-seat. Abstaining from the puddings is never an option. Plumped pillows overlook the street below and provide the perfect view for the practiced people-watcher. If a cosy chat is a more enticing prospect, then the top floor sofa is ideal. There is certainly no target clientele here, with young professionals, ageing shoppers, and enamoured tourists making it a regular haunt. It is real value for money – the owners have not added the regular tourist trap mark-up, as this little gem is out of the typical centre for York coffee-ing. Pick your moment right and this could become a veritable caffeine  retreat. –

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Bad Taste Magazine: Issue 3