The Kaje is all about the arts: from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. If it has creativity at its core, we want to know all about it.
So, here it is! The ﬁrst issue of The Kaje. I have to admit that I never realised just how quickly the D-Day would arrive! Having worked in the arts since my graduation, a scary ﬁve years ago, I have come to the realisation that people seem to ﬁt into one of three categories when it comes to the arts; those who love to be ensure they are ﬁrst to discover something new, those who happily make do with what is easily accessible and ﬁnally those who have no interest in it at all. I am hoping that The Kaje will appeal to people in every category - with the intention of making the arts world easily accessible to all. We as a team, hope to inform, introduce and explore everything from the struggling to the celebrated. I hope you enjoy this, our opening issue and will continue to do so as the magazine grows and develops over time.
We are currently recruiting contributors from diverse geographical locations. Writers, photographers and creatives are all needed! If you woul like to be considered please do send along your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have to say a massive THANK YOU to all The Kaje team for ensuring our launch issue was a smooth process!
We would love to hear your thoughts about this issue. If you like, or even do not like what you ﬁnd, then please do let us know! Feature and Review suggestions are also welcomed.
Jeremy Williams Editor
The Kaje Crew....well, a couple of them anyway!
Constanitnos Kypridemos has a thirst to know the answer, to know everything. And so, he work on all aspects of The Kaje – writing features and reviews. email@example.com
Kim Harrell has always been a big fan of all things “live”, be it a small intimate production or a full blown festival, from the latest ‘too cool for school band to the cheesy pop of my misguided youth. firstname.lastname@example.org
Contents... 4. Nikki Sclair. “In a sense anything can be art...” 6. Alexis Gerred. “If it’s good enough for Elton John and Stephen Fry, it’s good enough for me.” 8. Blue Angel. “Everyone is human and we deal with human emotions, not just physical location.” 10. Christopher Hall. “One thing that we looked into was the couple that were twittering as they got married!” 12. Manna. “I can’t really write without it being somehow true.” 16. No Machine. “I try to avoid writing songs about love but still about 50% of it is still about love in one way or another.” 18. Kara Walker. “One of my earliest memories involves sitting on my dad’s lap in his studio in the garage of our house and watching him draw. I remember thinking: ‘I want to do that, too.’” 20. Kal Lavelle. “Energetic, Intense, Honest & Passionate” 22. Duotone. “It’s often confusing for people if they see you doing different things as they don’t know which to focus on.” 24. Liars’ Market. “I’m hoping it’s like riding a bike, you don’t forget how to do it.” 26. Temposhark. “I don’t know how I’d deal with the whole fame thing. It is really intrusive.” 28. WIN! 30. Alexandre and Victor Carril. “We didn’t look young enough and due to some of the scenes, we both had to be shaved all over.” 35. Forgotten Gems. Album: Shelby Starner ‘From In The Shadows’ Book: A.A. Milne ‘The Red House Mystery’ Film: Once 42. The Cookery Kaje. 45. A Word Of Advice.
46. Designer of the Month. Woollee.
48. Steal My Style. 49. The Way I Saw It. Dubai 50. Reviews.
Words: Jeremy Williams Images: Nikki Sclair
Nikki Sclair: Mixed Media Artist
”I think art today is seen in broader terms than it ever was before. There are so many mediums that are accepted as art today that in the past centuries haven’t been. In a sense anything can be art.” New York based artist Nikki Sclair is nothing if not diverse. “My Systems paintings series begun with the 1970’s Hippie Buses like the Merry Pranksters bus as inspiration, using bold colour and images and gradually became one system, where each object, although individual is affecting and touching and pressing and breaking and dripping onto something else. The colours are meant to push and pull against each other, using very bright and then very subdued. My mixed media sculptures generally each have their own 4
idea manifested via physical materials, which gives them similarities. And then my photos. I love forming double and triple exposures either while taking the photo, or afterwards by placing the negatives or photos on top of one another, and manipulating them. I prefer to make rather ambiguous images, that are nude but are not sexual, that may be a landscape but are not entirely peaceful, for example. I want to create one image from fragments of others, which slightly removes the literal element of photography.”
Art has been in the family’s blood for genera- the time and energy in to create. And create. Petions, even if it was only recreationally. “My riod.” grandmother (Mother’s Mother) was also artistic. More as a hobby, she painted ceramics. Masks, Her family’s support for her work is immediately clowns, ballerina, rabbis, each time she came evident upon visiting her home. Nikki’s father has to visit she brought new ones. Many times my created a studio space for her and proudly exhibfriends parents or aunts when I was young would its work throughout the house, ﬁlling the walls to fall in love with a piece she gave us and demand capacity. Nikki is happy to explain the meanings she recreate it. After my Mum died, though, she behind her pieces, exuding pride in her work but swore off her ceramics, which only makes me also willingly self-critical. cherish the ones I have even more. Neither education, family nor real world experiences have “My Mum, I think, detracted from her burning really saw my love passion for success in the for art when I was art world, though at the base young.” is a humble dream. “I’d love to have a studio in Florida, Unsurprisingly, Nikki has that’s the current dream. always been encouraged There is this one artist co-op by her family to pursue her in Florida where people walk natural artistic ﬂair. “My through and see the artists Mum, I think, really saw my love for art when I was at work. Each artist has their own private studio young. She signed me up for private art classes and art gallery. Every time I visit I stop by. That’d when I was six, called “Kreative Kids” with Donna be perfect”. Villa. That was really smart on her part, it really helped me understand the fundamentals at an I’d love to have a studio in Florida, early age.” With an artistic father, who himself dabbled in art as well as acting as a hobby and that’s the current dream.” a mother who had artistic interest (“taking adult classes with the same teacher. I have a few paint- With Nikki’s recently launched print collection (with one print raising £200 for the Bubble Founings, drawings, and poems dation UK at auction), it apthat she made before she pears everything is falling passed.”), Nikki was raised into place for the twentyin a perfect environment to something. However, as create a balanced adult with a young upcoming artist artistic ambitions. means the work has only just begun. “I take inspiraWith the extra curricular action from various sources tivities sorted, it was inevitathat change depending on ble that Nikki’s creative drive the medium I’m using and would explode further in an the topic. I would compare educational environment. Post high school came the inevitable difﬁcult de- the majority of my sculpture to that of the Surcision – to pursue a career in the increasingly realists that took advantage of found objects/ challenging arts or to get a normal job. Nikki mixed media, but the ﬁrst inﬂuence for my paintfollowed her heart and landed a place at New ings were actually the Hippie buses of the 1970s. York’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technol- It gradually began to resemble a system, where ogy. “Words can’t describe. The ﬁrst year was a each piece was affecting and changing somefrustrating period, where they basically re-taught thing else, and I began looking towards Kiki us basics, and I kept thinking, I know this! How Smith, Salvador Dali, and a few others. But Irvdid I get in here otherwise? But I feel like that ing Penn inspires my photography.” happens with everyone. They wanted; us to put
Words: Jeremy Williams
A L E X I S G E R R E D 6
You may well recognise West End Virgin Alexis Gerried from his recent attempt to conquer Eurovision. Having narrowly missed the opportunity to represent his country, Alexisfound himself snapped up to appear in the stage adaptation of Clayton Littlewood’s “Dirty White Boy: Tales Of Soho.” The Kaje managed to grab Alexis for a quick chat to ﬁnd out more. Have you been a fan of the Eurovision for a long time? We always used to watch Eurovision every year as a family when I was a child and we always used to really enjoy it! However we all lost interest when it became less about the music and more about the politics… You could have put The Beatles on the stage and we would have still ﬁnished near enough bottom. I think Lord Webber’s year was a great stepping-stone to make the UK an entry to be taken seriously! Were you very disappointed to have lost out? There is always going to be an element of disappointment but I was just honored to get as far as I did. Everything happens for a reason and there is a reason Josh will now represent us and support him all the way. He’s a great guy, incredibly talented and a good friend. GO JOSH! Are you worried that people may write you off as a failed Eurovision attempt? Not at all. I had the best experience of my life on that stage and I knew that the fantastic team around me would help me work so hard to feel that feeling once again. Things have snowballed since the show and I’m delighted to be in the fantastic position I now ﬁnd myself in. Instead, you will be making your West End debut. Are you excited? Extremely excited! It’s hard to put into words how much it means to me. I will give it 150% and just hope my performance does everyone proud. Can you tell us a little bit more about “Dirty White Boy: The Tales Of Soho”.. The whole thing originated from the MySpace blogs about the daily happenings around a shop called ‘Dirty White Boy’ in Soho which was owned by Clayton Littlewood and Jorge Betancourt. As you can imagine, Clay didn’t write about the milk-
man or how bad London transport was… he had far too much to talk about in the variety of ‘Sohoite’s’ that walked in and out of his shop. The blogs were so successful that they were turned into a cult, award-winning book that has now been adapted for the stage. The book carries you through a roller-coaster of emotions and storylines that is not only incredibly witty but tragic at times… which makes it really addictive. In all honesty I hadn’t read it before getting the role, but I haven’t put it down since. It’s a fantastic book. And if it’s good enough for Elton John and Stephen Fry (who both giving it rave reviews) it’s good enough for me. You will be taking on the title role – can you tell us more about your character? I would say I’m the stitch between the material. My character conveys the tone and the emotion through some very iconic song. In addition I take on a number of characters through out the play. What about the role appealed to you? Working with such talented people. Clayton has a great gift in writing and this has been proved through the reviews and celebrity endorsements. David Benson is an incredibly talented and versatile actor and the Producer, Director and MD all have a great amount of experience and credits behind them. For me, it’s got to be a recipe for a great show. A major bonus for me is that I am able to stamp my mark on this role as it’s open to my interpretation as I will be the ﬁrst ever to play it. The role is primarily that of a singer – where do your ambitions lie – in music or theatre? I love to sing with all my heart but I’m a performer. I always have been, even from a child. As long as I perform… I’m a happy man. What would be your dream role? Without a doubt Galileo in We Will Rock You… what better role than to sing the songs you love and grew up with every night. I hear there’s a sequel to We Will Rock You coming out in the near future… “Dirty White Boy: Tales Of Soho runs April 30 - May 23 Trafalgar Studies, London.
D I R T Y W H I T E B O Y 7
Blue Angel Urban Interpretation
“We realized that we shared a lot of the same musical inﬂuences and also that we were both looking for a new and exciting music project to work on. Jake seemed keen on developing a new electronic based sound – which was a bit of a departure from the type of music I had sung before. As a result we arrived at the conclusion that it would be great to work with each other and develop a new sound that would challenge us both musically.”
Words and Images: Jeremy Williams 8
The rain is pouring outside as I sit in the warmth of Angel’s Candid Cafe enjoying a relaxed latte with new London based duo Blue Angel. The location is not far from the fateful meeting place of producer/composer Jake Jansen and vocalist Bella Bennett. Had the two of them not been rehearsing in different rooms at the Backstreet Studios on Holloway Road, the chances are their paths might never have crossed. At the time Bella was rehearsing some songs to sing at a friend’s wedding, whilst Jake “was rehearsing there with a different band at the time, but I had some extra songs, which didn’t ﬁt in with that sound. I remember I had popped out to get a drink when I heard Bella singing in one of the other rehearsal rooms as the door wouldn’t close properly. I hung around for a few minutes, liked what I heard and then popped in to say hello. I guess if the door hadn’t been broken, we may never have met!”
“I guess if the door hadn’t been broken, we may never have met!” The chance meeting led to the discovery of the mutual liking of mojitos. Several drinks later, the seedlings of a collaborative project had been planted. Bella, who was more accustomed to performing live jazz was about to enter an electronically inspired world she knew little about. With a musical direction sorted, the project started to take shape. Two strangers in the middle of London had found their common ground. A passion for music would bring them together, but what did they have to say that no-one had said before. Neither Bella nor Jake are true Londoners. Bella hails from a “relatively sleepy” town and is enamoured with her adoptive home. Yet “in spite of the liveliness and opportunities that London holds, it can be a tough and sometimes isolating environment – and we really wanted to reﬂect this contrast in our music.” Using their surroundings as a mutual inspiration, the pair set to work on creating the music.
with the ﬁlm that it inspired him to put ﬁnger to keyboard. In order to express to Bella why the name related to their notion of urban isolation, Jake penned a “moving short story. After reading the story about two friends who used to meet up in the ‘Blue Angel’ pub to share their life-stories and memories – a meeting cut tragically short by the untimely death of the protagonist, the melancholy the story evoked ﬁtted with the mood of the sound we wanted to create.”
“In spite of the liveliness and opportunities that London holds, it can be a tough and sometimes isolating environment.” It was a story of another type that inspired the duo’s lead single “43 Days”. Filled with combating harmonies, the piano opening brews into an internalized war. The stark reality of a lost life is further explored in the stunning black and white Julian Bowman music video. Having read about yet another needless stabbing, this time on the number 43, a route Jake uses most days, he felt compelled to express his inner anguish at the everyday occurrence of needless violence in the city he loves. ���’43 Days’ was written because I used to catch that bus every day to work and the sheer randomness and apparent danger of something as mundane as sitting on a bus just highlighted the urban environment we now live in.” Far from trying to correct a situation, Jake and Bella are mere observers of a tragic situation. However, Bella stresses that though ‘43 Days’ will not right any wrongs, she hopes “that this single does cause people to stop and question unnecessary violence in society today – particularly the recent rise in knife crime.”
Whilst Bella and Jake can only record their own experiences of urban living, they are not afraid that their London lives will feel alien to people in different circumstances. Like everyone else, Jake says that they only “write about what we know. Wherever they are from or wherever they are living, I would like to think that people that However, Jake had one last ingredient to bring people could relate to the lyrical themes in our to the table. The deal had been done, they were music. Everyone is human and we deal with hunow to perform as a duo, yet in order to do man emotions, not just physical location.” so, they needed a name. “I have always loved the ﬁlm ‘Blue Angel’ with Marlene Dietrich and “43 Days” is out on May 3rd via 43 Records. wanted our music to sound like the melancholic www.myspace.com/blueangelmusic feel of that ﬁlm.” So strong was his connection 9
“I’m not too sure how much I’m allowed to tell you.” Words and Image: Jeremy Williams
Twenty-one year old Christopher Hall may still be in his ﬁnal year at the world famous Laban, but he hasn’t let that get in the way of his entry into the professional dance ﬁeld. Having made his debut for the Sebastian Rex Dance Group in 2009’s “God Cried Woof”, Christopher returns to the fold for “Naughty” this May. How did you get involved with the Sebastian Rex Dance Group? Last September, I auditioned for him for a dance piece he was creating. The piece was “God Cried Woof” which was put on at the Blue Elephant Theatre. After working with him on that project, he kept me in mind when designing his new piece “Naughty”. He sent me and the other dancers in the last piece an email to see if we’d 10
be interested in working for him again. Unfortunately not everyone could ﬁt the rehearsals into their schedule but there are a four of us who have returned for the Sebastian Rex experience. The experience? Tell us more... He’s a fantastic director and choreographer and has a great imagination, but it can be quite hard and sometimes surreal work. The way he creates a piece is so that his performers never feel 100% comfortable on the stage. For example, during one rehearsal we were given a movement by him and it was something that we all really loved doing as it felt really good, however as soon as we told him this he changed it straight away to something that we didnt! We soon learnt to keep our mouths closed after that!
Tell us more about “Naughty”...
Do you relate to the piece’s themes?
“Naughty” is a title for the evening as the performance consists of two parts: ﬁrst up there’s an acting piece called “$ellibrity”, then the dance piece “Modern Romance”. Both are created and directed by Sebastian Rex himself. Despite the fact that the actors do appear in the dance piece aswell, they aren’t linked in any narrative way just that they’ve been inspired by the last decade, the noughties.
Without a doubt I can relate to the piece. I think anyone who comes to see it will relate to some part of it. We are all effected by technology taking over our lives, sometimes even our love lives. The piece focusses a lot on the social networking of the noughties and it does comes across as being the villain at times. However, I do think that some good can come out of all this technology. It could be you’re homesick and you want to see your parents on Skype because you’re away at As a trained dancer, how do you ﬁnd working uni. Or perhaps, just to chat away on MSN for hours for free to your loved one who has to be with a mix of actors and dancers? out of the country for work for a while. So there Well to be honest, in the last piece it was a mix- are some good factors, but then I think it can also ture of actors and dancers too, so this time round become very dangerous if you become too reliit isn’t really that different. I think he likes to work ant upon it...I think nearly everyone is guilty of a with a mixture of both as it gives the cast a real little Facebook stalking incident!! diverse feel to it. It also allows us to interchange skills too as much of Sebastian’s work is about The piece is set in the noughties, can you acting, which dancers do anyway but through give us some insight to whom we might extheir bodies. However he likes to push it that bit pect to hear on the soundtrack? further so that we really have a character and feel what’s happening in the piece. In some scenes The music is great! They are all tracks from the I’m not even dancing, just acting which is really last decade, ranging from Amy Winehouse to scary as it is something I haven’t done in a long Lady Soveriegn and My Chemical Romance. A real mix and it really brings the piece together. time! The dance piece is “Modern Romance”, can you tell us what is it all about...
What would be your highlights of the noughties?
I’m not too sure how much I’m allowed to tell you. Sebastian really likes his audience to go in with a blank mind, no preconceptions. That way they are able to make up their own mind about the piece, so that there is no right or wrong way of interpreting it. Although I must say the title is a bit of a give away! It is about modern romances really, how they’ve evolved and how our lives effect our relationships. One thing that we looked into was the couple that were twittering as they got married! Crazy.
For me it has been a very major part of my life; moving away from home, completing my degree and starting my dance career. It has been a very busy few years, but I also think the election of Barack Obama was an iconic event and something that will always be remembered. With graduation just around the corner, what’s next?
Who knows! Some more dance work would be fantastic! I have also produced a few remixes for You play the Prince... artists like Blue Angel and Love Revue. I would love to do something more with that. I’m also curYes, that’s right, although its just a title really and rently putting together an EP and plan to put that is not meant to have any connotations. The nar- out there in the near future. I’ll just kind of see rative lends itself to me being the Prince. There what happens really. are three main characters the piece revolves around really: the Prince, the Princess (Lisette “Naughty” runs from May 11th to 29th at the Blue Elephant Theatre, Southwark, London Foster) and the Witch (Kate Chisolm). www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk 11
“The world is not th
“People will always compare. I do that when someone asks me what I thought, I just say it was a little bit of this and little bit of that.” Finland’s Manna is quite aware that as a female solo artist about to be launched into the currently female dominated British music scene that there will be inevitable comparisons. She accepts it but like many a musician does wish it were otherwise. “Obviously I want to make my own sound. It is easy to compare. It is better that people listen and make their own decisions.” The music press and blogs are already hailing her as a new PJ Harvey or Alanis Morrisette. Her raw sound proving somewhat refreshing in the current 80s electro climate. Clearly accepting of the Harvey likeness, her reaction to Morrissette is slightly different. “Alanis, I was surprised because I never listen to her music. I am not saying anything bad about her. I mean I remember her hits but she isn’t someone I have ever stopped and listened to.”
able to be working a and getting to know do festivals and gigs
“I grew up listening not saying my mus like them, but I love The Stone Roses a them. The British b of older.” Having m Finland at the age up in the age of B connected with som est, she found her m edginess and hones “To be honest I hav male-vocal music. I some reason I have more. I can’t tell yo Her connection with clearly taken effect. nalists are ﬁnding q with the heavy guita ally interesting. Som sounded like Kasab mind the ideas that gotten any horrible is ok for now.”
“Obviously I want to make my own sound. It is easy to compare.” For someone who d As for deﬁning her own position in the current climate, the Parisian born halfAlgerian, half-Finn seems unsure. “I don’t know yet. I hope I am in there somewhere.” She is aware that her sound is different to all the other girls out there, but hopes that this will allow her be found. She proclaims herself a big fan of “Florence and The Machine. I love her voice. The fact is, I am just getting to know the music here better. I was booked to support Marina and The Diamonds but the gig didn’t ﬁt my schedule. So now I am booked to support Ellie Goulding, which is very different but very good music. So I am just excited to be 12
parisons, Manna n expected off. Inste suggestion and trie reason behind it. H the sounds which in far from surprised b sons. “I have neve emotional lyrics an with raw sound. T be so obvious. Pop production. I like to there, something w skin. There are no do that, it is more gu
“I can’t really write w how true. That’s jus
hat big music wise”
Words alongside these girls w them. I cant wait to s.”
g to The Verve, I am sic sounds anything ed their music. Also and Elastica, I loved bands I love are sort moved from Paris to of ﬁve, Manna grew Britpop. Though she me of Finland’s ﬁnmusical home in the sty of Britpop’s ﬁnest. ve always listened to I don’t know, but for e listened to the boys ou who my idol is.” h male-led bands has “A lot of music jourquite a male sound, ars. It is actually remebody said to me I bian. I actually don’t people get I haven’t comparisons yet. It
and Images: Jeremy Williams I am not saying it is the right way. Everyone has their own way to work. It is all quite honest and raw, but there is still a hope and desire for life. Living life to the full and allowing all emotions. It is hard to describe emotions really, but I just try to be honest with my music.” Having been famous in Finland for several years, ﬁrst as an actress then a singer, Manna has had her fair share of positive and negative attention. Her 2008 debut album Sisters’ was slated by critics. At the time she was just an actress turned singer, who happened to be married to HIM guitarist Linde. Viewed as another celebrity cashing in on their situation, Mannas musical efforts were written off.
“When you are honest, you have nothing to hide. You can take it or leave it.”
Whilst in private her and Linde were in fact going through a divorce and Manna had been taken for a ride by her record label, who had allowed her no creative freedom with the record. It felt like her world was crumbling, but prompted her need for honesty. “At ﬁrst it is easy to dislikes obvious combe scared. But then, if you think about it, never writes the unwhen you are honest, you have nothing ead she embraces a to hide. You can take it or leave it. I am es to understand the what I am, I hope you like it. If you don’t, Having stayed true to well doesn’t matter. There isn’t any role nspired her, Manna is to play, it isn’t an act. I can then move by the male comparion all the time, musically and personally, er been afraid to mix just as Manna.” nd sensitive material Things don’t have to The brave decision paid off with the melodies with a soft self-penned “Songs Of Hope And Deo keep the edge sire” proving both a critical and comwhich gets under my mercial success on her home turf , ot so many girls who Manna is excited to broaden her horiuys.” zons with her UK release.
without it being somest my way of working,
“Songs Of Hope And Desire” is out on May 23rd www.myspace.com/mannamariam
The Album - OUT NOW! http://www.myspace.com/blamejack
“softly-strung melancholia with delicate harmoni and romantic-tinged meanderings” - Maverick “Blame Jack’s brand of summer-song folk brightens even the darkt day.” - Zap! Bang! 15
Athens born twin brothers Al and Emil Rivers have experimented together musically since the age of 13. Via ska, progressive rock and punk, the classically trained musicians have ﬁnally settled on psychedlic pop as their genre of choice. With debut single ‘Toast The Toaser’ set for release on May 10th, the Rivers twins took a moment to educate us about the Greek music scene. Greece doesn’t currently hold the best reputation for pop music - how would you describe the scene? Al: I guess it depends on the kind of pop music we’re talking about. If we’re thinking Britney Spears and Madonna type pop music then you’ve got some really great pop music in Greece that does really well. I’m thinking people like Despina Vandi and Sakis Rouvas. I wouldn’t really call that a scene though in the traditional sense of the word as it’s very mainstream stuff. A night at Bouzoukia (the venues where these artists perform at) can be quite fun though from what I’ve heard. It’s not really the kind of pop music I’m into. Alternative Greek Pop, Rock music and even traditional Greek music was very strong in the 60s, 70s and there’s even some cool 80’s stuff. Some of the best music I’ve ever heard and I’m not just saying that cause I’m Greek. Later I’m not really sure what happened. I’m thinking stuff like Dionisis Savopoulos, Nikos Xilouris, Mikis Theodorakis. There’s an endless list of names of people who made EXCELLENT music. It obviously helps if you can speak Greek though so you can properly get into the music and the words. If you can’t a re-
ally cool band to check out is Aphrodite’s Child who sing in English. It’s Demis Roussos and Vangelis’s ﬁrst band when they used to play together. I think they were quite big in the late 60’s. Emil: My latest experience with Greek pop music was a couple of months ago when I was invited to a ‘private’ concert of Sakis Rouvas featuring Ukranian singer Lenka in Athens. I was expecting a ‘Bouzoukia’ style staging but this was way more extravagant than traditional ‘Bouzoukia’ clubs. Like entering a Coliseum waiting for Gladiator to come out of the stands, everyone was anxiously waiting for Sakis to make his appearance. And when he did there was a roar from the ‘mob’ of both men and women from all different ages who were truly ecstatic to be there. The crowd was dispersed into groups assigned to tables reserved in advance with Whiskey and Vodka bottles on every table and ‘throwing ﬂowers’ were going round for 100 Euros a pallet. Rumour has it that a table tab went up to 9000 Euros when a celebrity sat with one of the groups and everyone around them began throwing ﬂowers at them [Crazy Stuff]. I wonder if the CRISIS is really as bad as they say it is in Greece?
Alongside Greece taken up residenc the UK - how hav scenes effected yo
Emil: We ﬁrst starte when we were 13. W punk and ska music really well in the gig we went to uni in th playing in a band an to progressive rock w which was quite exc open to experimen styles even if some o going over 8 minute our sound ‘psychede write a catchy tune it.
Al: I don’t listen to anymore but it has me as I used to liste I was a kid. It’s very is about love. I try to about love but still ab about love in one wa
I don’t think Portug ﬂuenced me that m nice to listen to live
band we are anymore. Every song on the record we’re working on at the moment has a different beat to it and it’s not even something we’ve purposefully tried to do. How did the name No Machine come about? Al: We used to rehearse at a studio in Reading called No Machine. I loved the sound of the name ever since I heard it (initially I thought it was spelt Know Machine). Then I really loved the concept when I understood what it meant. I guess it represents what we really love which is playing together in a band with real musicians. It’s about being real, natural, organic. Doing things with emotion. So tell us about ‘Toast The Toaster’..
tuguese red wine. But it’s very dark and depressing stuff. Most of the singers burst into tears at some point during their set. One cool artist that comes to mind that mixes Fado music with Electronica is a band called Naifa. Buraka Som Sised playing in a band tema is actually a really great band and We were really into they’re quite well known. They’re quite c and it went down Portuguese sounding and they mix their gs we played. When music with a lot African beats etc. from he UK we continued Angola (the former Portuguese colony nd our sound shifted where they have this dance called Kuduwith ska undertones ru). It’s a dance in which total strangers citing. We were quite meet each other on the dance ﬂoor and nting with different do this really sexy, full contact dance. of our songs started es… We like to call I mostly listen to music that’s produced in elic pop’. We like to the UK or the US and quite a bit of stuff that has an edge to that comes from Sweden and Denmark.
e, you have also ce in Portugal and ve countries music our sound?
much Greek music deﬁnitely inﬂuenced en to a lot of it when y melodic. 90% of it o avoid writing songs bout 50% of it is still ay or another.
Had the two of you worked in music before deciding to join a brotherly collaboration?
Emil: Toast the toaster is heavily disco inﬂuenced. We were listening to a lot of Nu-disco (DFA stuff etc.) two years back and really wanted to do our own take on it. “Toast The Toaster” didn’t come out sounding very Nu disco at all or even disco for that matter. It’s got it’s own great weird pop vibe which is great and our own unique sound. The word most people use to describe it is uplifting. And it really is uplifting. The video for toast will be out soon. It’s a really great animation video. I don’t watch that many music videos but it’s deﬁnitely one of the best music videos I’ve seen ever. And I’m not just saying that cause it’s the video for toast. Hear the single at www.nomachinemusic.com
Al: Yes. We’ve played in bands together since we were thirteen. Our ﬁrst band was a punk band which became a ska band. Our second band was a ska band that become a Progressive Rock/ Ska guese music has in- band. much. Fado music is over a glass of Por- Now we don’t really know what kind of 17
Social and politically charged art has a controversial curiosity to it. Like the driver that slows down when passing a crash, even the most turned off viewers canâ€™t help but look. Regarding this, the desire on behalf of the artist is usually to make a visual point using a socially shocking or upsetting but real topic to keep the viewer absorbed. In todayâ€™s art world where much is accepted, it is interesting ďŹ nd some artists still capable of alarming their audience to attention. Kara Walker is one such artist, who has managed to merge traditional style with pointed content that has amazed some and repulsed others.
Text: Nikki Sclair Images: Kara Walker Image of Kara Walker: Cameron Wittig
Narrative in Side-View 18
Themes of social, cultural, and racial stereotypes dominate Walker’s stylistic cutouts. Applying the ideas of power, repression, and sexuality in a historically recognizable form of artistic text she is able to address the overall human experience using a visual exaggeration of historical content. Her main media choice, cut black paper in silhouetted narratives, has been typically considered a “women’s art” in its earlier history. The Victorianstyled silhouettes she uses grew from the popular eighteenth century French tradition. Usually life-size, they are displayed by Walker on stark white walls. Her largest U.S. exhibition at the Whitney Museum, titled, “Kara Walker: My Complement, My Oppressor, My Enemy, My Love”, featured images of a woman crouching, who appears to be defecating babies. A man ﬂoats in the air nearby by his enlarged genitals, helplessly. Walker emphasizes the woman’s large breasts and exaggerates the buttocks. The broadcasting of these stereotypes has enraged even local artist communities. Betye Saar, a fellow artist and African American, publicly criticized Walker for “propagating negative stereotypes” (washingtonpost.com).
an artist just like Dad”.
Having an artist for a father creates a direct artistic lineage by which we can associate her early inspirations. Born in 1969 in California, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia with her family at age thirteen, when her father, artist Larry Walker, accepted a new job position at the state university. While California showed a stronginﬂuence of local black power and pride, the South was less welcoming. The geographic difference in social treatment came as a shock to the teenager, and subsequently became a running theme in her work. By 1994 she had a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, and became the youngest recipient ever to receive the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” Grant. This was the beginning of her contro“I pretty much decided then and versial work.
there…that I was an artist just “You keep creating a monster like Dad” that swallows you.” An African American herself, Walker predominantly uses traditional silhouette portraiture and blends it with harsh scenes of suggestive stereotypes. Her strong points of view relate her experiences as a Black American and artist. She describes growing up, “One of my earliest memories involves sitting on my dad’s lap in his studio in the garage of our house a n d watching him draw. I remember thinking: ‘I want to do that, too,’ and I pretty much decided then and there… that I was
The polite, genteel techniques that Walker uses contradict her grotesquely stereotyped subjects. One source called her work a “‘Gone with the Wind’ set in Gomorrah” (nytimes.com) Yet her images differ from other race-based works in that they allow for everyone’s pain, black and white. They admit the baggage of racism and slavery is carried by all, and the weight of history shared. And the nakedness felt by uncensoring these images is what makes viewers uncomfortable. When addressing her themes, Walker has said, “…as soon as you start telling the story… You keep creating a monster that swallows you. But as long as there’s a Darfur, as long as there are people saying, ‘Hey, you don’t belong here,’ to others, it only seems realistic to continue investigating the terrain.” (whitney.org). www.sikkemajenkinsco.com
“I have great hair. Oh no, La Roux’s has taken that coveted crown!”
Kal Lavelle Words: Jeremy Williams Images: Levi Miller
London based, Irish born singer/songwriter Kal Lavelle had already supported James Brown, The Beach Boys and Ireland’s ﬁnest Damien Rice before packing her life into a suitcase and heading for pastures fresh. Leaving behind a burgeoning career, Kal found herself starting from scratch in a new location. However, Kal has grasped every opportunity with two hands, ensuring that her British fanbase is rapidly increasing. With her debut ‘ofﬁcial’ EP pencilled for release in 2010, The Kaje grabbed a quick chat with Kal to see what else is on the horizon.
Your reputation was rapidly growing back in The music industry is very electro heavy curIreland, what prompted your London reloca- rently, do you have any interest in experimenting in the ﬁeld? tion? I came for a number of reasons; to ﬁnish my ﬁnal year of my Media Degree, to pursue my music career in a bigger city and to save a failing relationship. We thought the move might save us - it didn’t! The Beach Boys, Damien Rice and James Brown are just a few of the acts you supported whilst in Ireland. How did you ﬁnd them all? The Beach Boys were a pleasure to support - so many different harmonies that effortlessly ﬁtted together and melodies to die for. As for Damien Rice, he came up to me after I played and complimented me on one of my songs. I was in awe, Damien Rice liking one of my songs?! He was a bit of an idol for me; they say ‘never meet your idols’ but I was lucky, he was very nice. Supporting and meeting James Brown was one of the most amazing things to happen in my life. It was lovely that he took the time after a long and energetic performance to chat to me. If I can perform like him when I’m 60 odd, then I’ll deﬁnitely be tearing up the dance ﬂoor in the old peoples home!
I mostly listen to electro music. I love The XX, I Blame Coco, Ellie Goulding, Amanda Blank, all great electro acts. I satisfy my electro craving through a side project with my very talented friend Sarah Nag. Currently we’re in the studio in the process of producing new electro delights. So watch this space. We’re called ‘Suppress Undress’! How would you deﬁne yourself as an artist? Energetic, Intense, Honest & Passionate. The music market is currently saturated with female soloists, what would you say makes you stand out? I have great hair. Oh no, La Roux’s has taken that coveted crown! Well, I guess I’m as honest as they come in my songwriting. I speak for a generation of mute romantics. Failing that, my mum says I’m great so I’ll take her word for it! Can you tell us a little bit more about your forthcoming EP...
The new E.P will be the ﬁrst ‘proper’ release I’ve done. I’ve had some super people working on it, namely the mucho talented Julian Simmons, Because I was so stunned when I meet them, who has produced lots of cool bands, like SunI wasn’t in my most articulate state but I think ny Day Sets Fire, Mamas Gun (who just had watching them was lesson enough that if you are a number 1 in Japan) & The Guillemots (Who passionate and work hard you can achieve any- were nominated for a Mercury Music Prize.) thing. The artwork for the E.P will include a portrait of me, painted by the brilliant John Lee Bird (http:// As a guitarist you also toured with Michael www.johnleebird.com). Flatley’s “Feet Of Flames” - do you enjoy being part of an ensemble, or is the solo act Are you ever afraid of honesty in your lyrmore your thing? ics? Did any of them offer you any good advice?
I was a musician playing someone else’s music on that tour, the music was truly beautiful but I much prefer playing music that I have created and that speaks from my own heart. I would be willing to add more members (if I meet the right ones) to play with but I really enjoy the freedom that comes with being a solo artist. I guess it suits the independent streak in me, that I can go anywhere and play a gig at the drop of a hat.
I think one of the reasons people like my music is that they can tell that I’m being 100% honestIt’s probably easier for me to pour my heart out in a song than it is in real life, so if you want to know what’s going on in my head download a tune or come and see me play! www.myspace.com/kallavellemusic
from seasoned session musician to multi-tasking soloist.... Words: Jeremy Williams Images: Tom Oldham
â€œI like being at the back of the stage, without the prî‚łure of talking to the audience of being the focus.â€? Under the pseudonym Duotone, Barney is taking the big step towards centre stage. Duotone, an interesting play on the combined effect or his skills as a musician and as a performer summarise the project perfectly. But given that his name is already known, why has he not simply released the material under his own name?
“Partly because I am Barney Morse-Brown with all these bands and partly because I wanted to hide behind something else. People can’t see you wearing a different hat. It’s often confusing for people if they see you doing different things as they don’t know which to focus on. So I think I wanted to step away from me as a session musician and give myself another label to work under. On the singer/songwriter circuit, there are lots of people I can think of who use their name. It just doesn’t do it for me. Not that I don’t like my name, but it doesn’t reﬂect my style of music and I wanted something that did do that. The cello, the guitar and all the loops, so Duotone does that for me.”
“I just want to get my own little voice heard and give it a shot.” “I’ve been writing songs since I was 18 or 19, I’ve always written and recorded my own stuff along the way. I’ve never put my own stuff out to the world to this extent, so its not really born from working with other bands. That you see people going the solo route having worked with big bands, its more just because it is a passion of mine. I feel I’ve got my own things to say.” The name Barney Morse-Brown makes ring bells for a few people. Having been involved with The Imagined Village since its early days, the cellist has also worked closely with both Eliza Carthy and Chris Wood on their respective solo projects. “I’m very much a musician who likes supporting other musicians in terms of playing in their bands. I like being at the back of the stage, without the pressure of talking to the audience of being the focus. There are times when I do like it, but I feel at times I am more suited to ﬁlling that type of role. I think that it just feels like a good opportunity to experiment and feel what that shift from the back to the front of the stage will do. I just want to get my own little voice heard and give it a shot.”
grief of his situation. “Its hard to say because some of the songs, there’s one of the songs on the album that I wrote back in around 2001. So I’ve lived with some of the songs for quite a while. They’ve been recorded and demoed. It felt like a good time to put them all down, not spend too long over doing it as I knew the songs in and out. And what happened in my life at that point, I just felt like I needed to get it done. I needed to move on, not emotionally, but just to mark it, that point in my life and my life with my wife. Now I feel like I can creatively advance. Because music is such a big part of my life and it was such a big part of our life that it can easily hold me down and keep me in one state of mind. And that state of mind, that I was in, wouldn’t be very useful for me in the long run. So now that I have got it down, I feel I can move on creatively.”
“The music allows me to meditate in a way.”
Having freed up his creative voice, Barney is now hoping the record will prove to have broad appeal as he takes the material on the road. “Although I have lived with the songs for many years, I am the only one really that knows them. Yes, we’ve sold a few hundred CDs so there are people who have heard them, but I feel like I’ve got a job to do now. I’ve got to put that album out in a positive way.” Despite the often tragic connotations on a personal level that the songs hold, Barney is conﬁdent that in the live arena the material takes on a new lease of life. Able to detach himself from his own intentions, Barney ensures that his thoughts become accessible to those around him. “I don’t need to dwell on that fact of its subject matter in the live arena. The music allows me to meditate in a way. There is a lot of space in the performance. It is quite therapeutic and healing for me to do that. It is just nice getting feedback and responses that are quite different to what the Having performed as his alter ego since 2007,the song is about. So in the performance. It is quite project currently centres around debut album therapeutic and healing for me to do that. It is “Work Harder & One Day You’ll Find Her”, just nice getting feedback and responses that which was recorded in a week last year. Not are quite different to what the song is about. So long before, Barney had lost his wife, the musi- I think that it can only beneﬁt me to work hard cian Kate Garrett. The loss had an impact both and play the songs.” personally and professionally for Barney, who suddenly felt compelled to record his thoughts. “Work Harder & One Day You’ll Find Her” is out now. The album’s tracks are not all born out of the www.myspace.com/duotoneuk 23
Words & Images: Jeremy Williams
Every year there are thousands of arts projects that are not realised, many due to ﬁnancial issues. For a long time, “Liars’ Market” remained one of the unmade. Penned by former National Theatre stage manager Ernest Hall, the piece was not another victim of the recession but more upsettingly that of ill health. Having retired from his position as Artistic Director for the Liverpool Everyman, Alan Dossor was excited at the prospect of directing his old friend Ernest’s piece, having fallen in love with the work on the very ﬁrst reading, but unexpected illness forced Alan into permanent retirement. As he recuperated, Jamie Kenna, who had read in all four of the piece’s staged readings, decided that the end should not be nigh. Instead, he set to work ensuring that once Alan was ﬁt again, the show would go on. Thankfully his faith and hard work has come to fruition, with Alan back his rightful director’s chair and the “Liars’ Market” about to open at the London’s Union Theatre. The Kaje was lucky enough to speak to the three determined men...
ERNEST HALL - WRITER:
Elated and scared!!!
What prompted you to write a story about lying?
Has it been rewarding to have a leading man who has pushed so hard for the staging of the piece?
I found the idea of four people consistently lying to each other amusing and was interested in exploring how each lie tightened the web around them. The project nearly never came to fruition, did you ever reach the point of giving in?
Of course rewarding - but also essential. It wouldn’t be happening otherwise. What made you choose Alan Dossor as the director of the project?
Yes. It went into a drawer for a year!!
I showed Alan the ﬁrst draft ages ago when we were both on tour with one of his productions (I was stage How do you feel now the piece will ﬁnally be manager). He liked it enough to work extensively with me on it and agreed to direct it. So, actually, he chose staged? me. best version. We hope the audience enjoy it! ALAN DOSSOR - DIRECTOR: “Liars’ Market” marks your return to directing af- What is it about the piece that brngs you back to ter a period of recuperation, Are you looking for- the realms of a director? ward to the challenge ahead? I have loved this play since the ﬁrst time I read it Yes, very much so. I’m hoping it’s like riding a bike, and have awaited an opportunity to stage it for sevyou don’t forget how to do it. However, I’m very much eral years. That, coupled with my desire to get back looking forward to the ride. to work. When Jamie approached me to direct it seemed an obvious choice. You have been involved with the piece since it’s conception- how has the production evolved over Can you tell me a little bit more about the intenthat time? tions with the piece? The production doesn’t begin to evolve until the rehearsal process. However, the play was changed a lot since we ﬁrst began work on it which is normal for a new play. The ﬁnished article we feel is deﬁnatley the
The point of the journey when working on a production is that your not truly steering it until you’re sure which direction it should go. My intentions are to get it to the place it deserves to be. I can.
JAMIE KENNA - ACTOR:
You performed in the initial rehearsed readings of the piece, was it through this that your passion for the piece was sparked?
You have been instrumental in bringing around the staging of “Liars’ Market”, what about the piece do you connect so closely with? There s nothing more exciting as an actor than the opportunity to work with good new writing. I instantly connected with this piece, because it’s brilliantly written and has such depth to it. The piece was put on hold after director Alan Dossor fell ill, did you ever worry that the piece would never be performed?
Deﬁnitely. It has a fantastically clever plot line, brilliantly observed characters and excellently written dialogue. All of these factors would spark a passion in any actor for a piece. Can you tell me a little more about your character Max?
He is an East End lad who has disserted from the army during the war. He has ﬂed to Bradford and found a niche lifestyle. He is a strong powerful, maIt was a worry, because initially there was talk of West nipulative character who always tends to get what he End runs and then it lost momentum. However, we are wants. However, his family means everything to him. delighted it is ﬁnally getting the run it deserves. Hope“Liars’ Market” runs until May 15th at the fully the West End ambition is not dead and buried. Union Theatre, Southwark, London. www.uniontheatre.org
Rob Diament a.k.a Temposhark is buzzing. Only the night before I spoke to him, he had been a central part of the ICA Fundraising Gala Party at Camden’s Koko. Currently riding high in the build up to the release of his second album (and ﬁrst solo venture) “Threads”, Rob had a brief insight into the world of Ellie Goulding, the girl of the moment. “I am really happy that I didnt have that pressure. I do my own thing and I run my own label. If that were me, I have no idea how I’d be. I would just enjoy it and have a laugh. I am quite a sociable person so I’d deal with it ok. But I don’t know how I’d deal with the whole fame thing. It is really intrusive.”
doing really well on the college radio charts, we are already straight in the Top 20.” In fact, it is the internet that Rob credits with their growing global fanbase. “I love the internet for that, things like Last.fm. It is great to hear what people think and how it is effecting their lives. I don’t know how people hear about you if you aren’t being publicised in a certain territory. It’s what I love about being a musician at this time. Because even if you don’t necessarily make as much money from the music, you have to become a brand like Gaga for that, people can hear you easily all around the world. For example, there is a guy who has already got the album in India. He says he can’t buy records in the small town he’s in, but he’s listening to me illegally over the internet. I just wrote back to him saying its great. I ﬁnd that amazing.”
really proud of eve love the creative pro made my mark in so
“There is a guy w got the album in he can’t buy reco town he’s in, but me illegally over
The past two years more personal chan a duo, Temposhark is ﬁrst album was me a I grew up with at sch doing music for now graphic design. He u he was having a lot graphic design so h that full time. I have project on my own, as thing started with jus “I don’t know how I’d deal with the whole fame thing. It is really It is clear that Rob’s life has changed a lot the piano. So it didn in the last few years. From writing songs using the name. Also intrusive.” in his bedroom to authentic electro-pop I was on the front co the live band is the s Rob might currently have the “advan- star, Rob is still clearly full of ambition don’t have Luke. So tages of anonymity,” but all thst could and drive. His almost uncontainable exwe have Leila Mac change if ‘Threads’ continues to build on citement is infectious, made even more great for the group.” the solid foundation laid down by 2008’s appealing through a gracious humble“The Invisible Line”. Though still relative- ness and appreciation of his fortunate The recording proce ly unheard of in the UK, the then British situation. “My life is so different to what it former partner-in-cr duo achieved acclaim for the record over was then. I am travelling the world now fold. Now with full c the other side of the big pond. “I am go- and have a different circle of friends. The me a songwriter is has moved away fro ing back to America to do some shows drive that makes over there. I wasn’t expecting it all. the same. Its thanks to iTunes and I ’ m the internet. We are
erything I’ve done. I tronic music. “We added some live inocess. I feel like I’ve struments in a way we didn’t on the ﬁrst ome small way.” album. The ﬁrst album was all electronic, but this time we have done both. So Mawho has already this (Richet) who plays drums live for me, n India. He says has also done it on the album. The same goes for Mark (Ferguson), who plays ords in the small the bass on the record. Which is great.” t he’s listening to Though Temposhark is primarily Rob, the r the internet.” recording line-up now echoes the group Temposhark’s live group sound. s has also seen far nges for Rob. Initially Luke’s departure may have completely s now just Rob. “The changed the outlook for Temposhark. Inand Luke (Juby), who stead of a shared vision, Rob is back to hool. Luke’s stopped expressing his own thoughts. A form of w and has gone into therapy. “It is kind of like a diary for me, used to do both, but to make sense of my life. Songs remind of success with the me of a time in my life, which is why I he’s ended up doing like music really. It is almost like a phoe just continued the tograph. A memory of a time.” Perhaps s originally the whole it was the healing aspect of expression st me songwriting on that prompted many of the decisions he n’t seem strange me made on follow up album “Threads.” o, for the ﬁrst album over on my own. But “I actually wrote the song Threads, which same apart from we is where the title came from. I’d been tryo now on keyboards ing to ﬁnd an album title for ages and cFie, a girl which is couldn’t ﬁnd one that ﬁtted. Originally it was going to be called ‘Fireworks’, then when I wrote the songs ‘Threads I knew ess has altered since that would be the perfect name. I really rime Luke left the like the idea, like on the ﬁrst record, of creative control, Rob how music can really connect peoom the use of only ple. But also of how everye l e c - one is interconnected in the world. I
thought the title ‘Threads’ linked to that theme, which has been a central theme for Temposhark. Also the record is kind of quite sad, in some ways, compared to the ﬁrst record. I think the ﬁrst record is slightly angstier, in that we’ve just arrived, we’re here kind of way. Whereas the new record is the break-up album in many ways. A lot of the songs are about the end of a relationship and the start of a new life. The song “Threads” sums up the time which I went through. It is quite an important track.”
“A lot of the songs are about the end of a relationship and the start of a new life.” “There is a song as the end of the album called ‘The Last Time I Saw Matthew’, which is a song about a friend of mine who died and if I play that then I still get upset. I haven’t played that one live yet. It is a really powerful track. I like the fact that the rest of the album is really produced and has loads of electronics on it and then you just have that really honest, simple track at the end. Also, on the album it isn’t me playing the piano on that track. It was the guy from The Gadsdens, who are this cool indie band. It was Simon from The Gadsdens who played it. I heard him on piano at a gig and I was just blown away so I asked him to play it.” With the album recorded and ready for release, Rob has found himself back on the road. “I think once I’ve written them, I’ve got rid of the emotion that made me write them in the ﬁrst place. Then when I perform them they become something else again. I don’t necessarily think about the words and I why I wrote them. They just become a performance.” “Threads” is out now. www.temposhark.com
To e n t e r, send your name, address a n d a n s we r t o t h e k a je @ t h e k a je. c o m
SIGNED TEMPOSHARK CDS!!! Question: What was the album ‘Threads’ going to be called originally?
SIGNED POSTER!!! Question: What was the name of the short ﬁlm the Carril twins worked on before ‘Give Me Your Hand’?
NO MACHINE T-SHIRTS & SIGNED SINGLES!!! Question: What country are No Machine from?
DELUXE EDITION BLACK SABBATH CDS!!! Question: Who was the Black Sabbath frontman after Ozzy Osbourne?
The New Single Out May 3rd 2010
VICTOR & ALEXANDRE CARRIL Tempestuous Twins
Words and Images: Jeremy Williams
“We are always bickering, though we didn’t know this till we were told.” 30
Fate. A simple four letter word. One which has very funny ways. I have no doubt in my mind that the Carril twins had no clue a few years back that they would become ﬁlm stars, let along be sat opposite me in the ofﬁces of Peccadillo Pictures on a sunny April day Alexandre, an aspiring architect and Victor, a wannabe fashion designer had never intended to be actors.
with only the twins portraying the ﬁlm’s subjects. “He interviewed us at great length. He wanted to ﬁnd out about our deﬁning characteristics, to distinguish the differences between the two of us. When he had found what he was looking for, he picked out one characteristic each and blew it up to become the central feature of the characters we would be playing. The ﬁlm is a crossroads between what was cherry-picked from our identities and the journey Pascal had when he when he They concede that they are ‘creative types’ but was growing up. Pascal projected himself more acting had never been their goal. Yet all that on the character of Quentin.” changed in an instant. Renowned in their local Parisian quarter, the arty Le Marais, for their con- Pascal told me to immerse myself in stant bickering, the pair had caught the eye of the emotion of anger. Just to hold it ﬁlm director Pascal-Alex Vincent. Pascal had in until it was needed. Then when we always intended to make a ﬁlm about a sparring pair and knew he’d found his subjects. Victor re- were ﬁlming, he would tell me to let calls that Pascal had a “lightning bolt moment. it go and project it. I know I have an He was sat having a coffee outside a little cafe edge, but for the ﬁlm it had to be exwhen he saw us two arguing in the street. We aggerated. are always bickering, though we didn’t know this till we were told. He always says that he was so With similar mentalities and many shared life taken aback that he actually spilt coffee all over experiences, it was soon evident that Pascal himself.” Pascal was not backwards in coming would have to tune into two opposing emotions. forward and seized the moment to bag himself For Alexandre, Pascal enhanced his “overt the pair. violent edge”, an extension of of the quality that had ﬁrst got the pair noticed. Though neither The ﬁlm is a crossroads between what Alexandre or Victor were previously aware of was cherry-picked from our identities how they were perceived, Alexandre can easily and the journey Pascal had when he relate to the emotions expressed. “Pascal told me to immerse myself in the emotion of anger. was growing up. Just to hold it in until it was needed. Then when we were ﬁlming, he would tell me to let it go and Upon being approached to appear in Pascal’s project it. I know I have an edge, but for the ﬁlm short ﬁlm “Baby Shark”, the twins didn’t come it had to be exaggerated.” close to hesitating when he suggested they explore the acting world. “We were raised in an ar“I didn’t really relate to my character in the same tistic area, so we were never afraid to try new way. Pascal wanted me to explore my softer things. Yes was just a natural response.” The side, allowing my performance to be more gamble paid off, with “Baby Shark” achieving a vulnerable. He is immature and not in touch nomination for the notorious Palme D’or award with his emotions.He really grows throughout at the Cannes Film Festival. Knowing he was the ﬁlm, embarking on a journey. In many ways onto a good thing, Pascal saw no reason to walk his sexual adventure forces him to grow up. away from the twins who had captured his imThough at the end of the ﬁlm he doesn’t say agination. Instead, he proposed a second project anything, for me that was the point he was clos– a feature ���lm, “Give Me Your Hand”. “Pascal est to the real me.” Victor may feel distanced had always intended to make a road trip ﬁlm, but from his character Quentin but he realizes that he needed to ﬁnd his subjects. The journey was this is due to the symbolic nature of his characto be a cross-section between the characteristers journey. “The ﬁlm is set over a road trip, it tics of our real identities and stories and Pascal’s is far more condensed emotionally than real life. own journey”. In order to do so, Pascal needed to We did have similar experiences but not over study his subjects at great length. The ﬁlm would the same period of time, so real life is not so be a mélange of the three personalities, 31
comparable to the ﬁlm’s journey I was already twenty when we were ﬁlming, which meant I had grown up more than the seventeen year old I was playing. He was fresher and more juvenile than I was in reality.”
We didn’t look young enough and due to some of the scenes, we both had to be shaved all over. Their real ages did not hinder the twins emotional immersion into their roles, but their mature physicality caused unforeseen issues. “Both us were twenty years old but wanted Pascal needed us to play seventeen turning eighteen. We didn’t look young enough and due to some of the scenes, we both had to be shaved all over. Due to our dark hair and the remaining stubble on our faces, we were covered with extra make up to make us look younger than were.”
There is no such thing as an actor as all people do act in real life to a degree. Pascal’s decision to represent the tempestuous twins’ relationship has garnered mixed feedback at the screenings. Alexandre believes that “between Quentin and Antoine it is about them as twins and their issues. But the characters of not representative of all twins. There have been many twins after screenings asking if we are like that in real life, so we say ‘yes to a degree’. In response we always ask 32
them the same question. Most of them will say that they aren’t and ﬁnd it hard to understand the dynamic of our friendship.” However, Victor strongly disagrees. He feels Pascal had intended the ﬁlm to be more a comment “about two men who don’t get along rather than a story about twins. It is just two men disagreeing not necessarily twins.” “There is no such thing as an actor as all people do act in real life to a degree. If you watch a ﬁlm and see people acting, it might be a closer representation to who they are in real life than they may be when you meet them. Actors when they act are subconsciously are truer to themselves than they may realize.”
It is like childsplay. Though the thought of performing for a living had not previously crossed their mind, the pair both agree that perhaps acting is a skill everyone has but are simply unaware of. By playing extensions of their real life personas, Alexandre feels that they had simple undergone “a journey of selfexploration and experimentation. It is like childsplay.” Having ﬁnished ﬁlming “Give Me Your Hand” nearly two years ago, the twins remain nonchalant about whether careers in acting await them. Alexandre assures me that “we are open to doing more of course, but we are not really in the acting circuit. We don’t go to casting calls because we have other ambitions outside of acting. If we are
approached to act, then we will. It takes too much time to go to castings, but if Stephen Frears were to call me up, then I wouldn’t say no.”
There are no barriers between elements of creativity. Both are however determined to stay in the creative world. As soon as ﬁlming ﬁnished Alexandre took some time out in Argentina where he “ended up making a short ﬁlm with local kids, then Victor joined me. It was a complete reversal as my role was behind the camera.”
Even if I work really hard it never gets boring. Meanwhile Victor has recently established fashion label IS NOT DEAD alongside Mazel Virginie and Laurence Charbit. He concludes, “the fact that there are no barriers between elements of creativity, it feels like a holiday. It just doesn’t feel like work. Be it acting or designing it never feels like an effort. Even if I work really hard it never gets boring.”
“Give Me Your Hand” is distributed by Peccadillo Pictures. Truly compulsive viewing, the dynamic between the Victor and Alexandre is at times explosive viweing. As eighteen-yearolds embarking on their debut in the adult world, the pair are naively excited and competitively scared. For details of screenings visit www.peccadillopictures.com.
YOUR A DV E RT COULD BE HERE.
Would you like to make a change in your life? Would you like to achieve more than you are now? Is there something missing in your life but youâ€™re not quite sure what? Would you like to earn a living doing what you love?
Sometimes things get forgotten that really deserve to be celebrated. Each month we will be taking a look at an album, a book and a ďŹ lm that warrant a revisit. If you have any recommendations then send them through to email@example.com
Words: Jeremy Williams
Sometimes you stumble across an album that moves you so deeply that you can not wait to tell all your friends about it. But then, after a few too many plays the record sinks to the back of your collection and gets forgotten about for all eternity. Yet sometimes, the connection to the record runs so deep that it never leaves the top of the pile.
“From In The Shadows”, an album I ﬁrst heard nearly a decade ago is still as frequently played today as it was when I ﬁrst got sent it by my friend Nikki, who is based in New York. Having initially sent me “Don’t Let Them”, the only single I believe Shelby ever released, I fell in love instantly with Shelby’s voice and so I wrote back asking her to send the album should she ever ﬁnd it. Soon enough the album came tumbling through my door. I was completely captivated by Shelby and moved me immensely by the emotional display, most notably on ‘You’m a song to which my own personal would further grow as I matured. Having co-penned ‘Poppyock!’, a play about an odd couple, my co-writer Lynsey Mellor and I needed to ﬁnd a song whose lyrics summarised our characters inner frustration. I didn not hesitate in my suggestion. “You don’t belong here. You are so different from me” cries Shelby. Her inner torment at the relationhip between her father Ray J. and his new wife expressed explicitly, As a pair of twentry year olds we could not ﬁnd the words ourselves, as Shelby had said them all so much better.
“I never thought that I was speciial, but I hear I used to be” sighs Shelby Starner on the heartwrenching ‘Empty Mind. Her direct approach to lyricism exemplary of a girl wise wise beyond her years. With her evident elooquence, it is little surprise that “You” ended up on the soundtrack of the eloquent teenage drama Dawson’s Creek, yet even this did not convert the critical acclaim to sales.
“Shelby could sing all the songs from “The Wizard of Oz” by the time she was three.”
Destined for a career in music, Ray J. assures me “Shelby could sing all the songs from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ by the time she was three.” When Alanis’ ﬁrst record came out, I would play guitar and she would sing all the lyrics.”` As a young teenager Shelby was “constantly writing in her journal, be it poems or lyrics” and it was these musings that translated into her debut record. With her parents divorced and a dislike of her one step-parent, Shelby used her songs to express her emotions. The sheer honesty of her lyrics is doubled with a heartfelt vocal delivery Therefore comes as a big surprise when ﬁve that transcends genre and send shivers down the minutes into a conversation with Ray J. Starner, spine. A unexpected development of her twelfth father of the late Shelby, when he reveals that birthday present, a session at a recording studio, “Shelby was never really happy with “From In Shelby’s original recordings a world away from The Shadows”. She envisioned herself as more the album that was released. of a rocker. Craig Street (Norah Jones, k. d. lang, Cassandra Wilson, Charlie Sexton) produced Add into the equation that “From In The Shadows” the album, he’s a jazz producer and he pulled would be the only release from the tragic child her away from her rock sound. She liked it but singer and the album’s merits are multiplied. Her two years later she wasn’t happy.” unreleased second record was to be produced by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and would have Launched at the peak of bubblegum reﬂected her maturing rock tastes. Yet unhappy pop, her contemporaries were too busy with the control her record company had cancer in schoolgirl uniforms and demanding the discovery that her mother was suffering with cancer, Shelby retreated from the industry. Shel“Hit Me Baby One More Time”. by descended into a battle with bulimia which Critically acclaimed at the time of it’s 1999 re- would cost her her life at the tender age of 19, as lease, “From In The Shadows” was a relative she was about to start college. commercial failure. Launched at the peak of bubblegum pop, her contemporaries were too Upon listening to the record and re-examining busy in schoolgirl uniforms and demanding “Hit the album’s artwork, it is strangely haunting to Me Baby One More Time” or talking about their ﬁnd a ghostly presence and an ethereal quality “Genie In A Bottle” to be taken seriously. But to Shelby’s vocal performance. Shelby appears Shelby was “was a kid who was 14 turning 15. to be consistently evaluating life through her lyrWho would believe that the lyrics would come ics, and this externalisation of emotional expresout of this girl’s mind?” Her emotional honesty sion is uniquely moving. proving that she was “wise beyond her years”. “From In The Shadows” is out now. www.theshelbyproject.org
Words: Rachel Jacobs
writing a crime novel?
I was walking through Sainsbury’s when I noticed that The Times had a free book with the newspaper. For me, this is always a sign that it is going to be a good day. Ripping the plastic open on the bus and discovering what I was about to read was almost as exciting as discovering the book itself. It was a collection of long lost mystery stories. Then I realised that I recognised the author.
But he wrote Winnie-the-Pooh! A.A. Milne writing a crime novel? But he wrote Winnie-the-Pooh! I was a little sceptical at ﬁrst. I often ﬁnd that an author acclaimed in one genre fails when they attempt a different genre. On the positive side, “The Red House Mystery” was written in 1922, four years before Winnie-the-Pooh. This novel very helpfully comes with an introduction, written by A.A.Milne, on how and what he believes a detective story should be. He sets out a formula detailing how, in his mind, a detective novel should run its course. This formula was acquired over the years from his reading of crime novels. His novel, “The Red House Mystery”, then proceeds to follow this formula faithfully. The book becomes part of his argument. After reading his introduction and then his book, one, as a reader will formulate an opinion as to whether his formula works. For me it does. As a reader I was continually guessing what was coming up, sometimes accurately but occasionally not. A.A. Milne provides the reader with just enough information to keep them guessing throughout the novel.
A.A.Milne’s years as a writer and assistant editor at Punch. It also reﬂects his deep love of the genre. He’s obviously a keep detective enthusiast, a lover of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Well, if you’re a detective enthusiast then that’s mandatory. But there is such a thing as taking your obsession a little too far. His characters not only assume the guise of a Sherlock Holmes who can not work without his faithful Doctor Watson but they continually refer to themselves as holding these respective roles. They even occasionally directly quote lines from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous text. Characters referencing other literary characters is engaging but it can become a little over indulgent at times to hear two characters who are not Holmes and Watson, refer to themselves in this way in the guise of nicknames.
This novel was marginally successful but four years later this was eclipsed by the Winnie-the-Pooh success and since then has been virtually forgotten.
A.A. Milne is most famous for his Winnie-thePooh children’s books but this was not his only accomplishment. He was a writer. He dabbled in all forms of written text from ﬁction to non-ﬁction, children’s stories, poems and plays. It was due to his world wide acclaim for his Winnie-thePooh books that certain of his other accomplishments have been lost or forgotten. At the time it appears the novel was marginally successful but four years later this work was eclipsed by the Winnie-the-Pooh success and since then has been Mark Ablett’s long lost brother from Austraila, virtually forgotten. Hence the reason for Vintage Robert, is murdered in a locked room. Anthony Classics republishing the novel and using The Gillingham arrives to discover the body at the Times as one method of reminding England of same time as the Ablett’s cousin Charles. An- A.A. Milne’s other literary accomplishments. thony perceives that the investigation is not as straight forward as the police seem to assume Should this have happened? Well, its not in the and sets out on his own investigation of the mur- same league as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and it der, involving his friend Bill in the investigation as doesn’t have the same gritty realism of Raymond his faithful Watson. Through a serious of esca- Chandler, but he has a distinctive style of prose pades, dodging Charles, the police and anyone and his narrative ﬂows seamlessly in all of his else who happens to be present they engage in books. In particular “The Red House Mystery” ﬁnding hidden tunnels, rowing in a lake in the has a beauty and charm all of its own. It’s a little middle of the night and a succession of other ad- naïve but if you love the genre it will make you smile and keep you engaged. It is not long and ventures. therefore it is deﬁnitely worth a read. It’s a light read, engaging and witty. It reﬂects Published by Vintage Classics 39
Words: George Mathioudakis
A prophetic title, “Once” is here to remind us that once in a while, you get a ﬁlm out of nowhere that surprises you and reminds you the magic of the movies. “Once” tells a story of a street performer, a busker, that communicates to the passing crowd his feelings and despair about the love he once lost. A Czech girl, an immigrant who is selling roses in the street hears him, and expresses her admiration for his voice and his songs. And one of the greatest stories starts to play out in front of the audiences eyes. Their growing bond spoken through song.
life, rather than actors) works very well given the anonymity of the roles they undertake. “Once” could not have worked if lead by the A-list stars. Unassumingly normal, the pair are refreshingly everyday, increasing the relateability factor. Both Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová are subtle, real, and genuine in their understated performances. They easily convince as two friends strengthening their relationship.
Without doubt one of the most delicately beautiful and emotionally uplifting soundtracks of Forces you into contemplation after recent times. you’ve seen it. The dialogue is simple yet effecTwo people, ignored usually by the crowds that pass them by, show tremendous talent not only in singing and playing their instruments but in learning the lessons of love through their songs and lyrics. We never learn either of their names. There is no need to. They are just two people, could just as easily be you and me. We never see them in a soppy love story. Those are for Hollywood, real life is never like that. That just is not how the world works. Instead we see them singing some amazing lyrics to one another and that is enough.
tive, but the majestic is left for the songs which easily dominate the scenes in which they are present. “Once” boasts without doubt one of the most delicately beautiful and emotionally uplifting soundtracks of recent times.
Written and directed by former The Frames lead singer/bassist John Carney, it is clear that Carney has a passion for observation. “Once” steers clear of the intrusive. In a Big Brother obsessed society, Carney has captured the feeling of following a stranger you meet down the street without ever really imposing on their world. His approach feels like a documentary. He is here to remind us that we are watching these people, to “Once” is one of the movies that forces you into listen to them and enjoy their relationship. contemplation after you’ve seen it. Upon watching, the audience will enjoy a very independent The observational documentary effect is only enlittle movie, complete with not so steady camhanced by the camera work. For the majority of era work. As with many ﬁlms of its ilk, the shaky the ﬁlm, the hand-held effect is simple yet used screen can be uncomfortable, but persist, the to good effect. However, Carney is to clever to magic of “Once” comes afterwards. Post-ﬁlm, leave the viewer in a state between reality and when you put all the scenes that you experiﬁction. The last scene is perfectly executed. enced together, you form a beautiful story, told in Using a crane, the camera ‘ﬂies away from the the most interesting way. scene providing an ending so complete, yet so full of craving to ﬁnd out what became of our ﬁc“Once” could not have worked by tional pair.
the A-list stars.”
Using unknown actors (and I use the term actors lightly – the two leads are in fact musicians in real
“Once” (Icon Home Entertainment) is available on DVD.
The Cookery Kaje
with Alex Rippon & Rachael Preece Food is an amazing thing that makes most of us go weak at the knees with just a whiff. Get it right and you touch on a peace of heaven. In the ﬁrst of our culinary articles we provide recipes that would give even Joe Calzaghi a punch of ﬂavour along with a touch of sophistication to impress your friends and family. Spring brings with it a vibrant and ﬂavoursome invitation into the kitchen. Offering seductive tastes such as aromatic rosemary, meaty monkﬁsh and fruity rhubarb. Each month we’ll be searching high and low for some of the best seasonal recipes for you to try out at home. But to make it that bit special why not add our “posh pickings” and “drinks delight” to ﬁne dine guests or that special someone.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup You will need: 4 Red peppers – halved and deseeded 1½ tsp Tomato puree 1 Small/medium onion – diced ﬁnely 200ml Vegetable stock 1 Small Potato – diced 1 tbsp Vegetable oil 200g Chopped tomatoes Preheat grill to its highest setting, once hot place peppers on a baking tray skin side up. Cook them until the skin starts to turn black. Remove from the heat and place them in a plastic bag for around 10 mins. After 10 mins remove the skin from the peppers and throw away. Slice the ﬂesh of the pepper roughly put to one side. Add the oil to a frying pan and gently fry the diced onion until soft, then add the potato cook for a further 2 mins. Add tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, veg stock and peppers to the pan, bring to the boil, and then simmer until the potatoes are soft, it’ll take about 12 mins. Pour the contents into a blender (remember to take care when blending hot food). Once blended, serve.
Image courtesy of home-gourmets.blogspot.com
Lamb Chops served with New Potatoes, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Red Wine Jus You will need: 4 200g/7oz Lamb Chop 2 garlic cloves 3 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only) 1 tbsp olive oil 6 stalks purple sprouting broccoli 16 new potatoes
250ml/9ﬂ oz Red wine ½ Beef Stock Cube 1 tbsp tomato puree 25g/1 oz butter Freshly milled salt and black pepper
Add the lamb chops, garlic, thyme, olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper to a bowl and allow to marinate for ten minutes. Gently wash your new potatoes rubbing any loose skin away with a damp cloth. Place in the bottle of a steamer and add a pinch of salt and cover with water. Trim the end off your purple sprouting stalks and rinse then place in the top of your steamer. Turn on your steamer on and allow your vegetables to cook. Heat the red wine in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Then crumble in the stock cube, the tomato puree and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and allow to reduce for 4/5 minutes. Place your lamb chops in the griddle pan over a medium heat and allow to cook for 4/5 minutes turning occasionally. This will leave them still pink on the inside. If you want them to be darker leave them in for longer. Remove your red wine jus and stir in the butter to give a glossy texture.
Rhubarb and Orange Tartlets You will need:
300g Shortcrust Pastry 3 Eggs 135g Sugar 2 Oranges
Image courtesy of nami-nami.blogspot.com
110ml Double Cream 350g Rhubarb Icing Sugar
Roll ready made short crust pastry and place tin in the centre, cut out a circle for the base of the tart. Grease the tin and place the pastry inside. Wash and peel the rhubarb, this helps to get rid of any stringy bits, ﬁnally place rhubarb on a baking tray and sprinkle with a little icing sugar. Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper big enough to cover the pastry base. Fill the casing with cooking beads or any dried beans or seeds. Put the rhubarb (covered) and the tart base in the over, cook at Gas Mark 6 for 15-20 mins. Reduce the oven temp to gas mark 3. Drain and keep the juices from the rhubarb, remove the paper and beads from the base and scatter with a few pieces of fruit. Whisk the sugar and eggs until pale in colour. Combine with the zest and juices of the oranges. Whisk the double cream until it form soft peaks when the whisk is removed. Gently fold in with the egg mixture. Pour mixture on the tart and bake for a further 30-40 mins. Remove and cool. Pile on the remaining rhubarb chunks and ﬁnish with the rhubarb juices.
Following the success of God Cried Woof and Toy Boy & Living With... Sebastian Rex Dance Group and Acting Like Mad return to the Blue Elephant with a double bill of two new works exploring trends in the last decade.
11-29 May 2010 www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk 44
“To laugh often and love much, to win respect of intelligent persons and the approbation of children, to know even one life has breathed more easily because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Success is different things to different people. It could be a brand new car, a big house, being wealthy or it could even be helping someone to ‘breathe more easily’. But have you thought about your personal deﬁnition of success? Are you heading down the right path? How do you even know what the right path is?
Jason Newton jason@thekaje,com Grove Hill Coaching www.grovehillcoaching.com
When did you last sit down and really think about whether your life is heading in the direction you would like it to take?
Some may say ‘But I don’t have time to sit down and think about this because I have a job, family, social life and far more important things to consider.’ And of course, people have busy lives. But think for a moment - what is it costing you every day not taking steps to achieve what you want in life? You could look at it this way - every day that you are being emotionally, physically and mentally drained by a job that doesn’t inspire you to be what you want to be is one day less in the job that you have always dreamed of having. Wouldn’t you like to feel inspired? Cynics may call this idealism, but so what if it is? Why can’t we have the life we have always dreamed of? What’s to stop us at least trying? Yes, there may be many practicalities preventing us from initially achieving our goal, but with work and sustained effort, isn’t anything possible? If you were to fast-forward to your rocking chair at 85 years old for example, would you like to look back with happiness at having done the things you have always wanted, whether they have ‘succeeded’ or not, or would you prefer to look back and think ‘I wish I’d written that book, changed my job or travelled the world’? What about today for example? However small, what steps are you taking today in order to achieve your personal success? And if you are not doing anything about it today, what is stopping you?
Grove Hill Coaching specialises in motivating people to achieve their personal success and to be what they want to be.
Some people may say that they don’t want to plan their life like a business meeting and that they enjoy having a more ‘organic’ approach to life where things happen to you and if that’s working for you, then good luck to you. But what if it isn’t? What would you like to do about it? If you believe in the maxim that ‘if do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got’, then perhaps an alternative way forward could work for you.
DESIGNER OF THE MONTH
SCARVES IN SUMMER!?! Woollee. Summer Wraps
Words: Constantinos Kypridemos Images: Jeremy Williams
The scarf – most people only reach for them taxing changes. during those harsh wintery months where the The quality of Woollee. products is second to temperatures plunge below zero and watching none. The wool mix used is durable and soft to your breath steam up as you breathe is fun. But the touch, you ﬁnd yourself looking for a reason did you know that the humble scarf dates back to wear a Woollee. Another nice touch is that the to the time of Romans – granted they were not products are machine washable – ok maybe that woollen, and used more for cleaning than keep- doesn’t sound useful, but how many of us acing warm, but that’s not the point. tually fancy hand-washing clothing on a regular basis? From it’s most reThe ﬁnal part of the cent humble begintrio of fundamennings in 1783 as the Duke of Krakow’s tals is the ﬂexibility of use. Take the Black medical accessory English Ribbed scarf, to combat a sore throat, and then for instance, it’s easily place alongside that well known a casual shirt/jean scarf of Tom Bakcombo on the way to er’s ‘Dr Who’ which dinner. It also will not was based on the be out of place with a Duke’s own designs suit waiting to go into a from centuries back. meeting. Yes, some of Their history is a the products are a litlong one (no pun tle speciﬁc to certain intended) and often scenarios – the rainoverlooked, particularly with the multibow coloured, tassled, tude of accessories elastic scarf probably that are available wouldn’t sit well in a nowadays. business meeting. Or, the children’s combo, Now a new small has a set life span, but designer is aiming these are the excepto change all that. tions not the rule. Woollee. has three fundamental elements to Here at The Kaje, a number of the team own their work: a Woollee. scarf or scarf and hat combo, and All the scarves are made by hand, no ‘ifs’ or no one is disappointed with the products. As ‘buts’. Every item is therefore individual in it’s an accessory for any occasion, even during a own way. cool summer evening, Woollee have hit the right mark. They have also priced all their products for With this individuality comes that added value el- around £15, and that is nothing in today’s market ement – Woollee. will make your scarf to order, with prices always on the increase. whether that’s a change of colour, increase the length or width, add some decoration, or anywww.woollee.co.uk thing else you can think of. And surprisingly this will not increase the price, for all but the most 47
STEAL MY STYLE: Maria I work for a charity called VSO, I am not your average looking charity worker but I thrive on creating beautiful things in everything I do whether it is singing, cooking, sewing and especially in how I dress. Fashion from the 1920’s to 1950’s excites me, it proudly speaks independence while oozing with femininity and grace. My look is created from an eclectic mix of vintage, designer, eBay and charity stores bargains! Accessories change everything, shoes are my world they are the ﬁrst things I put on when I get dressed in the morning. When I am singing my clothes are an extension of the mood I want to create, I sing big band, swing style jazz you can ﬁnd me at www.myspace.com/intlmaria Enjoy!
Hair: I get my hair done at Something Hells by ‘Miss Betty’. She
D A Y
is amazing, recreating the rockabilly look perfectly, each time I visit her I leave there feeling like a femme fatale.
Glasses: Bought from Klasik, again another Spitalﬁelds market ﬁnd. They are a modern take on the fabulous 50’s eye glass with deep red frames, they get a lot of attention! Lips: Mac red matt lipstick and liner. Never leave home without it! Neck Scarf: LK Bennett, pricey but really worth it. 100% silk black with a white trim, ﬂawless. Dress: I found this at Sptialﬁelds market, made by a local designer,
it’s such a feminine, freeing dress to wear that is so Grace Kelly and chic.
Belt: Patent white leather, this was an eBay bargain! Perfect for drawing attention to my best feature – attention here’s my in teeny waist!
Shoes: I adore these brogues, a very good modern version of a 1940’s ladies brogue shoe perfect for lindy hop dancing and jazzing up any dress.
Earrings: These are a 1930’s gem I found at an antique market. A drop earring mix of pewter and pearl. Blouse: Cream silk, tuxedo style blouse by Monsoon with a pretty black bow. Can be worn in so many ways, I enjoy making the wholesome look sexy. Gloves: Original vintage ladies white gloves, wearing these makes me feel glad to be a woman. Pearls: My very own string of pearls. This necklace was a gift from my darling husband for our anniversary. Pearls are classic and timeless and I love wearing them. Skirt: Beautifully cut to enhance a woman’s ﬁgure, where curves are essential. The thick black satin material I like with its high waist, delicate trim detail and the little ﬁsh tail at the back. Stockings: This look always has to be completed by the classic Agent Provocateur seam stockings. The champagne colour almost looks like your not wearing any which is then revealed by a black seam. Shoes: These were a charity shop ﬁnd, gorgeous cream leather with a black bow, so feminine with a peep toe. If you’d like to share your style tips then send two good quality images to firstname.lastname@example.org Make sure you include a breakdown of your items and why you love them!
N I G H T
THE WAY I SAW IT:
Each issue we take a look at a potential travel destination, by asking you to show us the way you saw it. This month, Rob, a 31 year old software developer from North London takes us to Dubai. If you would like to show us where to go, then just send in four images from your favourite destination to email@example.com
Clockwise From Top Left: Deira (The Old City), Trading Boats, 4x4 Dune Bashing, Camel Safari 49
REVIEWS:ALBUMS Feldberg “Don’t Be A Stranger” Kitsuné 4/5 With two successful solo albums and songs being used on “The OC” and for Apple’s Iphone American launch, Eberg (aka Einar Tönsberg) was doing very well on his own thank you very much and then while looking for a female vocalist for a speciﬁc synch, he met Rósa Birgitta Isfeld. And it is Rósa’s voice that is one of the prime reasons you really should listen to Feldberg’s debut album ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’. Her delicate bluesy, soulful leanings add a sense of drama, grace and depth to what may initially seem like a collection of superﬁcial pop songs. Icelandic duo Feldberg sound like a Super 8 ﬁlm of Norwegian acoustic kings and queens, the Kings of Convenience and Ephemera, having a cup of tea with the Mummers and Shout Out Louds while older sibling Manna “Songs Of Hope And Desire” KHY Suomen Musiikki Oy 4/5 Mariam ‘Manna’ Jäntti is a singer-songwriter born in Paris to a Finnish mother and an Algerian father and now based in Helsinki, Finland. She manages easily to blend musical elements from punk rock to soft dreamy folk. Manna’s sound seems to transcend generations. With a very rough and sexy vocal, lovers of PJ Harvey and Kate Bush will adore her rock meets pop sound. Comparisons can also be drawn with Ladyhawke’s retro eclectic sound. Duotone “Work Harder & One Day You’ll Find Her” Garrett Brown Music 3/5 Skilled cellist Barney Morse-Brown is Duotone, adopting a pseudonym that is appropriate to his role as singer/songwriter on debut album: “Work Harder & One Day You’ll Find Her.” The release is dually delicate and emotive, as Duotone beautifully blends stings and guitar to express different moods routed in the themes of loss and love. Morse-Brown prior to Duotone trained as a cellist at the Royal College of Music and has experience playing the cello professionally in a variety of different capacities including Eliza Carthy’s band and Chris Wood’s well received “Handmade Life”. This experience permeates the album, where cello and guitar are used to express the emotional heart of each individual track. It also succeeds in placing the album ﬁrmly within the folk music
Belle & Sebastian sneak in shots of vodka when nobody is looking. Highlights include the honeyed ambience of opener ‘In Your Arms’, exquisite new single ‘Dreamin’’, which will be on the next Kitsune Maison Vol 9 compilation and the fantastic, insanely infectious riff and chorus of ‘House Of Fun’, which is the only song I know that can makes the banjo sound cool! Some may ﬁnd the album a tad too cutesy as in the unashamedly twee ‘You & Me’, but the huge pop sensibility throughout this song and indeed the whole album makes the entire album so heartwarming and hopeful, you end up wanting to be wrapped up in its optimistic, quirky pop-laden glow. Some bands make big music. The bigger and more macho, the better. Feldberg don’t because they know there is no need. They give you big choruses in a quiet way. I, for one, hope it stays that way. Alex Borg Manna is very honest and intense. She manages to effortlessly navigate her way through different musical genres experimenting with different sounds. The haunting “She Moves” describes moving on from the demons she thought had gone then segways into the edgy pop sound of “Some Girls, Some Boys” which talks of ﬁguring things out. Manna puts her heart on the line as she openly dissects her personal history in order to mould a musical future. The unashamed attempt pays divdends as “Songs Of Hope And Desire” is a rewarding and unforgettable listen. Rachael Preece genre. At times I felt that the vocal could be more expressive as it failed to move me for the majority of the tracks with the exception of ‘In the Evening’- where the variation in vocal dynamic brought a sadness and personal tenderness to the lyric. With regard to the remaining seven tracks, it was strings and guitar that engaged my attention and expressed the melancholic tone that unites all the individual tracks on the album. For example the contrast between the wavering strings and the melodic plucked guitar on ‘Golden Hair Saved My Life’ perfectly balances dejection with hope. “Work Harder & Some Day You’ll Find Her” is a promising ﬁrst album that is wistful and hopeful in tone. It effortlessly draws you in with the beautifully crafted string arrangements and delicate percussion. Katie Meehan
Temposhark “Threads” Paper & Glue 3/5 “Threads” is Temposhark’s follow-up to 2008’s “The Invisible Line” and shows a distinct move away from some of their darker pop of songs (i.e. ‘Not That Big’). With the 70s glam electronic stomp of ‘Irresistible’ and the already hugely successful ‘The World Does Not Revolve Around You’ opening, Temposhark mastermind and lead singer, Robert Diament, clearly sets out his manifesto of giving the listener huge choruses and pop hooks by the bucketload. One new direction is the electro pop R&B fusion of ‘Bye Bye Baby’ and ‘Stuck’, which have already proved hugely popular with coverage on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF”. The ﬁrst time I played these two songs, I remember thinking they were as superﬁcial and vacuous as the programmes they were soundtracking and yet after a few listens, the odd combination of Justin Timberlake meets Depeche Mode in these songs
somehow sticks in your head, as it transpires they are fantastic pop songs with huge hooks that just smack you in the face! The standout track on “Threads” though is the Morgan Page remix of the title track whose funky, insistent electro hooks lift the Fray-like original into a massive dance anthem, which I can already hear blasting out of clubs this summer. Piano ballad ‘The Last Time I Saw Matthew’ is one of the more delicate and personal moments displaying a level of humanity and sincerity, which is difﬁcult to ﬁnd elsewhere here and other than relatively weak songs such as ‘Green Lights’ and ‘Fireworks’, that would be my only criticism – sometimes, it all feels just a bit too slick. However, as evidenced on this album, with their huge talent for hooks, choruses and electro pop, it is just a question of time before Temposhark become phenomenally successful. Alex Borg
Funki Porcini “On” Ninja Tune 3/5 “On”, is the latest offering from the imagination of James Braddell a.k.a Funki Porcini. For those of you that don’t know, a porcini is a type of mushroom which (until very recently) was speciﬁc to the Northern hemisphere - Boletus Edulis formally. It’s not ‘that’ kind of mushroom by the way. Completely edible, a favourite of the gourmet chef, and this album has moments where it truly lives up to the porcini name. Braddell has kept his trademark down-tempo rhythms, mixed with breakbeat
and jazz. ‘This Ain’t The Way To Live’ has a stonkin’ great dirty beat, with a creeping melody over the top - you can’t help but think you are lost for a moment, blindly following that melody. ‘On An Inconsequential Afternoon’ is a sedate, peaceful build, leaving you imagining that it’s a warm sunny afternoon, with your feet up, enjoying a cold drink.
Petter & The Pix “Good As Gold” Gung-Ho! Recordings 4/5 When I was initially asked to review the latest offering from Petter and The Pix, “Good as Gold”, I have to hold my hands up and admit that my response was ‘who, what?’ However after a little research and a lot of listening, I began to feel slightly disappointed that I hadn’t previously discovered this little gem. It turns out that Petter and The Pix are a Swedish seven-piece band fronted by 30 year-old, musician/singer/songwriter Petter Winnberg. Their new album Good as Gold forms the follow-up to their acclaimed 2008 debut “Easily Tricked”.
state to be able to totally enjoy “Good as Gold”, and by the end of track two – ‘In The End Of The Day’, I was entranced. Petter’s haunting yet soothing vocals, along with the captivating guitar riffs and instrumentals, somehow manage to lure you into another world.
On the ﬁrst listen, I thought to myself ‘Oh, I don’t think I like this,’ but you will not regret giving this album a chance, it is most deﬁnitely a grower. At ﬁrst I imagined that I would need to be in some kind of mesmeric
Listening to “On” is like listening to a ﬁlm soundtrack, and the story line is a dreamy inrigue. Deﬁnitely worth a listen, even if you don’t like your funky mushrooms. Constantinos Kypridemos
The one disappointing factor comes in the shape of ‘Stuck in Between’, a weak Afro/ Jamaican sounding effort, that doesn’t really seem to ﬁt in with the other tracks. In contrast though, the album makes up for the one shortfall with numerous highlights including the upbeat opener ‘Never Never’ as well as the opposing ﬁnal track, the enchanting and wonderful ‘The Last Time’. The press release says that the UK will get chance to get used to Petter & The Pix, I sincerely hope that the UK relishes in their talents for years to come, this reviewer for one, will certainly be championing their cause. Katherine Rippon
Keane “Night Train” Universal/Island 4/5 In the six years since their debut “Hopes And Fears”, Keane have sold 10 million albums worldwide and yet, although they are now one of the world’s most successful bands, they are also one of the few who have dared to take some creative risks and succeeded.
cally well on both the Rocky-inspired ‘Looking Back’ and the epic, gospel-like rhythms of hook-laden ‘Stop For A Minute’. Another standout is ‘Ishin Denshin (You’ve Got To Help Yourself)’, a subtly, addictive electro-pop cover of the Yellow Magic Orchestra song, which features Japanese baile funk MC Tigarah. The only weak point here is the more traditional Keane style of ‘My Shadow’, which may have worked well on earlier albums but seems somewhat lost on this more challenging collection of songs.
Singles Of The Month
The bold and unashamedly 80’s direction of 2008’s “Perfect Symmetry” dividThe incredibly positive response to their ined both fans and critics used to Keane’s creasingly large live shows has reinvigorated melancholy, epic melodies, however the Keane and although they have moved on from eight songs on the “Night Train” EP written in between gigs on their recent world tour takes this the ﬁrst two albums, the new sound still has Tim RiceOxley’s majestic melodies, Richard Hughes’s powerful experimental direction and develops it even further. rhythms and Tom Chaplin’s rich, powerful voice at its This is most evident on Keane’s two genre-busting col- core. Consequently, the ‘Night Train’ EP is full of surlaborations with Somali/Canadian rapper K’Naan, which prises and creative progression, but it is essentially the you could initially imagine being a recipe for disaster if welcome sound of three friends enjoying making music they had gone down the ‘rent-a-rap’ route that many oth- together. Alex Borg ers have gone down. But the truth is, it works fantastiCharlotte Gainsbourg “Time of the Assassins” Because Music Sit back and smile as Serge and Jane’s daughter is here to make the sun shine even brighter with an effortless breath.
Hawksley Workman “Meat” Isadora Records/ADA Global 3/5 Multi award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman’s eleventh album ‘Meat’ is a broken heartshaped, ragged emotional journey full of surprises. Written in England, Canada, America and Sweden, these songs show the creative wanderlust of an artist who doesn’t shy away from his instincts. Musically, Hawksley Workman does what he likes when he likes. With inﬂuences such as the late Mark Linkous from Sparklehorse and Tom Waits, Workman is a curious mix of angry, bluesyrock, lyrical panache with contemporary electronic twists and a sense of humour. Although there is nothing here as beautiful here as the wondrous ‘O You Delicate Heart’ from last album ‘Los Manlicious’, the closest is undoubtedly the sparse delicacy of piano ballad opener ‘Song For Sarah Jane’ and the lovely ‘Baby Mosquito’, which I would imagine is the ﬁrst ballad written about a beloved mosquito.
The Bang Bang Club “Chemistry” BPM As summer is dawning, John and Daveare determined to ensure that everyone gets in the mood to party with their infectious breed of pop.
The simmering epic that is ‘You Don’t Just Want to Break Me (You Want To Tear Me Apart’)’ is also glorious. Giving the Pixies’ Frank Black a run for his money for sheer screaming ability, Workman does so like a possessed, broken-hearted lunatic and although he essentially screams the title repeatedly for the second-half of this eightminute song, he still somehow makes it sound exciting. Other highlights are the breezy, guitar pop of ‘(The Happiest Day I Know Is A) Tokyo Bicycle’ and the stilted, chaotic rhythms of ‘Chocolate Mouth’ but on the down side, other songs like ‘(We Ain’t No) Vampire Bats’ and ‘And The Government Will Protect The Mighty’ simply pass you by and the meat-and-potatoes clunky rock of ‘French Girl In LA’ is just awful. As you may have noticed, another curious thing about this album is the number of song titles with parentheses. Is that really necessary? Ultimately, ‘Meat’ is a slow burner, which will reward you (in time). Alex Borg
REVIEWS:LIVE MUSIC Laura Marling Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham 4/5 Since the release of 2008’s “Alas, I Cannot Swim”, Laura Marling has gone from strength to strength. Although to be fair she started off with a Mercury Prize nomination, you would think that the pressure of expectation would tell but it seems not. This year Marling has already released the album “I Speak Because I Can” and she is expected to release her third album in October this year. The quiet, reserved onstage appearance of Marling, is odd, particularly in comparison to the strong, vibrant vocals that she delivers on a track by track basis. Clear and precise, poetic lyricism together with distinctive vocals infuse the performance from the very beginning. Through nearly ninety minutes of bliss, Marling takes you by the hand through big band numbers, acoustic solos, quietly stomping feet, and then all the way back to the folky rock sounds that bely her indie background. The band lining up behind is a mixed group, with Pete Roe on a variety of instruments and Boy And Bear’s Jake Tarasenko and Tim Hart. With two ﬂat caps between the group on stage, it would be easy to pass Jenny Owen Youngs o2 Academy 2, Birmingham 3/5 Brooklyn’s Jenny Owen Youngs is a conﬁdent yet unassuming ﬁgure as she takes to the stage at the sold out o2 Academy 2. Dazzled by a brilliant blue light, Youngs keeps the conversation to minimum and focusses steadfastly on the task ahead - to entertain with her simple yet effective compositions. Relatively unknown on these shores, Youngs has a tough task ahead of her. It is never easy to present previously unheard tracks to an audience who wants to sing and dance. However, Youngs succeeds due only to her easy going attitude. Reminiscent of KT Tunstall, Youngs’ is inoffensive but sadly forgettable. Her material enjoyable upon listening but forgotten the instant she sashays into her next
them off, but Marling’s band tracks have an eagerness, that drives you forward. Once they leave the stage and Marling is alone she becomes more questioning in her tone, and the night takes on a peculiar hue, until the band are back. At one stage doing ‘Night Terror’, she announces that she has no ﬁddler, but that she doesn’t to lose the ﬁddle solo - and so she whistles the solo for the crowd! Quite an interesting turn of events, and the crowd thoroughly appreciate it.
formidable on any stage.
It would be too easy to arbitrarily compare her vocals to other female soloists. However the mixture of Alison Krauss-esque clarity of vocals, the boldness of KT Tunstall and the ability to hold the audiences attention through a story, like a certain Seth Lakeman, make Marling
Laura Marling is one of those artists whose use of striking melodies and characteristically poetic lyrics, makes for an evening that could be easily described as out of the ordinary before she even is in the building. Her distinctive vocals infuse the performance from the very beginning, and her presence is soothing on stage to be the soul and the mind. Constantinos Kypridemos song. Nevertheless, the crowd warm to Youngs and she responds with occasional conversation attempts. The quirky, lopped “What Beats Within” appears out of nowhere and suddenly Youngs shows that she knows what is needed to make it. The uplifting vocal is rousing and soon enough there isn’t a still shoulder in the house. Youngs may not be a remarkable songwriter, but there is something in her presence that compels. Barely a soul moves position during her set, glued to the spot instead of desiring a drink. Few performers have the ability to command complete attention, but despite her ﬂaws Youngs managed to have cast a spell without barely moving an inch. Jeremy WIlliams
The Courteneers Hull University, Hull 4/5 They’ve been away and they’ve been working, but they need to know if we still care. The cynic in me would say that The Courteeners new album, “Falcon”, wasn’t going to be a masterpiece. The latest offering lacks a certain amount of uniquity and vigor, styles which seemed so evident in the band’s ﬁrst effort, the goldselling “St. Jude”. After the gig had been postponed (for unknown reasons), and the lack of ‘stand-out’ tracks on the latest release, I have to say that I entered Hull University’s Asylum nightclub with a degree of trepidation. Support act Detroit Social Club did nothing to waver my fears, and produced nothing but warbelling lyrics and lingering guitar vibrations, performing to only a handful of keen Courteeners fans. However, the moment The Courteeners stepped onto the stage my fears were hurled as far across the campus as humanly possible. When frontman Liam Fray Elaine Paige The Town Hall, Cheltenham 3.5/5 With a career that has spanned over four decades, Elaine Paige is keen to point out that there are rarely any ﬁrsts left for her. The Cheltenham Jazz Festival is one. The musical superstar is leaving behind all the big show numbers for the night and instead embracing her love of all that’s jazz. Dressed in just a simple sparkly top and black leggings, Paige seems relaxed in approach. Accompanied by ﬁve musicians, Paige skips the razzle dazzle and focusses instead on the music. The approach is appealing but leaves Paige open for criticism. Some performers shine as soon as the spotlight pointed in their vague direction. Captivating without any effort. Paige falls not into this category. Vocally she rarely falters, but she initially lacks any true connection with her wanton audience. As she swiiftly works her way through a collection of standards, with occasional pause for stitlted chat, the evening gets off to a slow start. It is when Paige recalls her meeting with the late Queen Mother that a sudden sparkle in her eyes appears.
leant into the microphone and struck the ﬁrst cord on his guitar, I was instantly reminded why I was there – to see one of the best live bands of the moment. Cavorting was greeted with a riotous reaction from the crowd and sparked a chain of anthemic offerings, some old, some new. What followed were exquisite performances of ‘Will It Be This Way Forever?’, ‘Good Times Are Calling’ and ‘The Opener’ to name but a few, but the time the set-list reached Liam’s acoustic foray, (renditions which included ‘How Come’ and ‘No You Didn’t, No You Don’t’), the anti-crowd-surﬁng bouncers were able to have a breather. It was clear that minds were beginning to wander and mobiles began to spring out from pockets. Fortunately this didn’t last for too long and we were returned to what The Courteeners do best. Finishing on a high with ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ and ‘What Took You So Long?’, the lads seemed to be reluctant to leave the stage, I for one was reluctant to the leave the Asylum nightclub. Katherine Rippon Having woken up the actress within, Paige is alive and unstoppable. The Queen Mother, an avid Cole Porter fan, had been to see Paige in ‘Anything Goes’ back in ‘89. Upon meeting with her Majesty, Paige curtsied and got cramp. Upon retelling her debacle, Paige is clearly ﬁlled with joy. With a spring in her step, she launches into a consumately performed, character driven rendition of “I Get A Kick Out Of You”. Via an enjoyable but uninspiring visit to The Great American Songbook, Paige reaches Noël Coward’s catalogue. Climazing with a comically inspired, emotionally connected, three character treat “Mad About The Boy”, Paige manages to fully break down the fourth wall with her audience. Having passed a swift hour and half without pause, Paige draws proceedings to a close with a charged rendition of “Cry Me A River” before returning for the encore of “Grow Young”. Paige may have taken a while to warm up, but a slow burner rarely fades. She may not command an audience’s undivided attention as Elaine Paige, but give her a character to play and everyone turns to putty in her hands. Jeremy Williams
REVIEWS:THEATRE Les Misérables (Boublil & Schönberg) The Hippodrome, Birmingham 4.5 “Les Misérables” is celebrating its 25th anniversary by taking to the road for a touring production of the critically acclaimed show. With over a 10 year gap since the Birmingham Hippodrome last hosted the show it’s been a long wait. Adapted from Victor Hugo’s novel by Alain Boubil and ClaudeMichel, and brought to the West End by Cameron Mackintosh the show ﬁrst opened at the Barbican Theatre on October 8th 1985, it’s 25 year West End run is a testament to the popularity and durability of Les Mis. Set against a backdrop of 19th century France, Les Miserables tells the story of the life of Jean Valjean from the day he is released on parole, after serving 19 years for stealing only a loaf of bread. There are many twists and turns to his tale and the audience rides a rollercoaster of emotions as his story unfolds. We experience the love between Valjean and his adopted daughter Cosette, and then her love for the young revolutionary Marius. The ongoing tension between Valjean and Jalvert, the merciless ofﬁcer of the law trying to track him down. And the pure spirit of human nature as the students lead the revolution in the hope of a better life singing the “music of the people who will not be slaves again.” There is Hair (MacDermot, Rado, Ragni) Gielgud Theatre, London 4/5 When Hair ﬁrstly premiered in Broadway in 1968, it was deﬁnitely the dawning of the age of musical, making things a bit more underground, keeping it mainstream (as much as possible) but also providing the hippie generation with their own musical anthem. After almost e2 years, “Hair” is back, and a new generation can discover a soundtrack of an iconic generation. Bringing the original revived Broadway production cast to the West, Cameron Mackintosh (theatre producer) has once again showed his wits and has staged a musical in the West End, that I would not be surprised if it runs for quite a few years. The cast are oozing with talent and energy and most of the audience ﬁnds themselves actually quite tired by the end of the ﬁrst act, as their brain and eyes are hungry to absorb anything they
even some comedy sprinkled in by the “Master of the House” Thenardier and his buxom wife. The leading man John Owen-Jones has already proven his worth starring in the West End version, and has been voted ‘Best Valjean’ and ‘Best Les Mis Performer Ever’ in a worldwide online poll of fans of the show. With his strength of character and enormous stage presence he could almost carry the show on his own. The surprise of the evening and deﬁnitely worth a mention is Gareth Gates as Marius. Better know for “Pop Idol” and “Dancing on Ice”, I must admit to being slightly apprehensive as to how he would fair. Although no rival to Owen-Jones he played the role of Marius well, proving himself a versatile performer, capturing the audience with his emotional performance of “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.” With new scenery and staging inspire by Victor Hugo’s paintings and a multitude of songs known worldwide, this is one show not to be missed! Kim Harrell “Les Misérables” continues to tour the UK alongside it’s London West End Residency: www.lesmis.com
see on stage. A bit out-dated, but with music that still gets mostly everyone’s foot tapping, “Hair” is a musical experience that needs to be seen, heard and experienced. So energetic, to the point sometimes that it feels like you are visiting a theme park, it takes you from its ﬁrst minute to a journey of drugs, sex, racism, sexuality, religion, astrology and everything else that the 60’s generation felt they needed to raise their voice over the puritan society that was the norm at that time. And if you are seated at the stalls, remember to run up on stage at the end and dance with the cast under the sound of “Let the Sun Shine”; it is surreal, but also so so much fun!! George Mathioudakis
Wicked (Schwartx & Holzman) Apollo Victoria, London 5/5 “Wicked” was recently named ‘Most Popular Musical’ at the Laurence Olivier Awards 2010, and having seen the show, this reviewer can certainly see why. The show started life as a novel “Wicked; The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by Gregory Maguire, and was adapted into its musical play format by Stephen Schwartz. It is based around the untold story of the wicked witch of the west and gives the audience a completely new slant on the classic tale of “The Wizard of Oz” and why those infamous ruby red slippers are so important. Alexia Khadime takes on the role of the Wicked Witch of the West, whom we learn is called Elphaba. There have been some less than kind comparisons between Alexia and Idina Menzel, the star of the original Broadway version of the show, but this is far from the truth. From the moment Alexia launches into her opening solo “The Wizard and I” the audience is hooked. Her portrayal of Elphaba is both heartfelt and moving. You ﬁnd yourself secretly rooting for her character, even though it is inevitable she becomes wicked. Or is it? Respect (Lutz Hübner) The Door, Birmingham 4/5 For such a simple stage, ﬁve actors and small venue “Respect” makes a very big impact. Hugely dynamic and completely real, this compelling true story has you glued to your seat every minute of the hour and half duration, unable to take your eyes off the life like depiction of a horriﬁc crime of passion and culture. “Respect” has the right mix of humour from Sinan (Simon Silva) the humorous go along friend, , anger from Chem (Naoufal Ousellam), of the main characters who murders Elena (Rebecca Loudon), after arguing., but by far the glue that held the production together and help it make complete sense were the roles of realness from Ulli (Jessica Clark) the loyal friend whom narrated and gave the point of view from the two attacked girls and that of Kobert (Tim Wyatt) the psychologist who facilitated the story of the two boys involved.
The only rival to Alexia’s crown is Diane Pilkington. She adds just the right amount of light heartedness to the show, playing the ditsy yet lovable Good Witch Glinda. The song “Popular” encapsulating her persona perfectly. This aside it is Elphaba who most deﬁnitely steals the show and all the best songs, aside from “For Good”, the ﬁnal sad and poignant duet she shares with Glinda. A well deserved standing ovation was delivered by the afternoon matinee crowd. And this reviewer is not embarrassed to admit to going straight out and buying the soundtrack CD, to sing along to all the songs. Kim Harrell The cast has changed since the review, with stars of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s talent searches taking to the stage. Rachel Tucker (“I’d Do Anything”) taking on the role of Elphaba, and Lee Mead (“Any Dream Will Do”) will be playing Fiyero. More details can be found at www.wickedthemusical.co.uk
“Respect” tells the story of Chem, a young man born to immigrant Turkish parents in Germany and his friend Sinan. The setting is a snapshot of these four young people’s lives that took a devastating turn when Elena is murdered and Ulli left for dead, and it’s down to Kobert to ﬁnd out what has happened. The stage is simple and effective and the performances gripping and chillingly realistic, that leaves the audience wanting to delve deeper into the minds of the two young men. The scenes of the murder was shocking but not repulsively horriﬁc and almost respectful to the all parties concerned. “Respect” was dynamic and interesting. It is worth a visit, in such an intimate venue with a close proximity to the stage, it gives you a very real feeling of actually being in the play, making it all the more powerful and moving. A very emotive piece. Eleni Kypridemos
Sutra The Rep, Birmingham 3/5 Un-narrated contemporary dance can be nightmarishly uncomfortable when the choreography and the themes are truly difﬁcult to grasp, but Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s latest work is something completely different. Quite simply, every member of the audience will take away a different interpretation of the hour long performance. The piece revolves around the relationship between Ali Thabet and Shi Yanzhi, a young Shaolin monk (about 10 years old), and the effect that their game has on sixteen fellow Shaolin monks and twenty-one wooden boxes (produced by Anthony Gormley). At certain parts of the performance it is almost as if the small actions of the duo are having more serious and consequential reactions. Fusing the very distinct movements of the Shaolin temple with those of a contemporary dancer was never going to be easy. However, the real heart of this piece, from start to ﬁnish, is the ‘east meets west, west meets The Power of Yes (David Hare) Lyttelton, National Theatre, London 4/5 “It’s like a ship which you’re being told is in apple-pie order, the decks are cleaned, the metal is burnished, the only thing nobody mentions: it’s being driven at full speed towards an iceberg.” As I approached the National Theatre, I must confess that the prospect of going to see a play about the ﬁnancial crisis did not ﬁll me with joy. However David Hare’s dynamic and riveting play was so incredibly engaging that I actually felt disappointed that it ended after only 1 hour 45 minutes. I wanted the central character known as ‘the author’ (played by Anthony Calf – the character a representation of David Hare himself) to keep ﬁring off probing questions, because as the play progressed I gradually found myself beginning to fathom the causes of global ﬁnancial crisis, which I see as a miracle in itself. The sharp and fast paced delivery of the dialogue and humour infused into the script prevented the piece from becoming a lecture on the biggest ﬁnancial crisis since the great depression of the 1930s. Much more complex than ‘blame the bankers’ line, the
east’ juxtaposition with those boxes being key. You would never think that twenty-one boxes could actually achieve so much! They formed an island, a tower, a path, the backdrop to a crypt and a whole host of other images. This continuous interaction kept everyone engaged, watching the monks physically moved the 8 foot high cofﬁn-like structures around the space.
out this piece.
Amongst these frequent changes the movements of the monks, the music and ultimately the set up of the stage created an environment which was completely individual. The set looks stark, the monks seem very serious and there is a hushed awe in the audience – nothing is what it seems, and humour percolates through-
As a piece ‘Sutra’ is complex, and difﬁcult, but the incentive of real life monks alone would attract a crowd. However Cherkaoui and Gormley have been intelligent enough to go beyond this and the focus is quite deﬁnitely what the boxes are going to do next! Constantinos Kypridemos play regresses back to the algebraic formula for eliminating risk developed by Myron Scholes in 1973, with Hare going on to interrogate academics, bankers, journalists and bankers. The notion of ‘toxic debt’ and how it was repackaged and sold on is explored through the acronym S-L-U-M-P (for sub-prime, liquidity, unravelling, meltdown and pumping) scribbled onto a chalkboard by character Howard Davies (ﬁrst chairman of the FSA) and unravelled on stage through the action. The stage is populated with people in suits (more aptly mainly men – as there are only three women in a cast of twenty) with a large electronic screen suspended from the ceiling. The set evoked a sense of the business world effectively, and allowed the audience to simply focus on the characters and subject matter of the piece. At times, due to the fast pace of the play and amount of information to take in, I found myself a little lost in facts and there could have been more “show” as opposed to “tell”. However the incompetence and arrogance of the ﬁnancial world depicted is emotive and powerful and pulls you right back into the action, leaving the audience feeling an acute sense of injustice and anger at how a ‘creed of greed’ spiralled out of control with devastating consequences to the global economy. Katie Meehan
Newcastle, Australia (15) Peccadillo Pictures 3/5 They say that you should never judge a book by its cover, with “Newcastle, Australia” proving that the point carries when it comes to ﬁlm artwork. At ﬁrst glance, the Dan Castle ﬁlm is a typical glossy superﬁcial teen coming-of-age drama. Set in the glorious Australian sunshine, it promises a good looking cast in beach attire and enviable amounts of sunshine and surf.
To a degree, the assumption is justiﬁed. “Newcastle, Australia” is jam-pak full of slow motion surf shots and late teen nudity. The script at times lacks imagination and loses punch, most notably in the obvious relationship choices. Not only does the ﬁlm explore unprotected ﬁrst time sexual activity, but also thee breakdown of a previoiusly unseen relationship. However, there is also more to “Newcastle, Australia” than initially meets the eye. Based around three brothers; self-destructive former surf champion Victor (Reshad Strik), wannabe surf golden boy Jesse (Lachlan Buchanan) and gay alternative non-surfer Fergus (Xavier Samuel). The sparring brothers have all made very different life choices, but their bond is evident throughout. In choosing three stereotypes to focus his story around, Castle has ensured that the ﬁlm can truely explore the realms of brotherly love and how closely tied to hate it can sometimes be. Avatar (12) 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 4/5 For a ﬁlm that was in James Cameron’s mind for the last 14 years or so, Avatar didn’t turn out too bad. It the short time it has been out, relatively, it has already grossed in excess of $2 billion, the release of this DVD will only add more to that pot without doubt, and there are also plans for a re-release of the ﬁlm in cinemas over the summer - just in case you missed it in 3D! Not to mention the emergence of the inevitable sequel. The plot is quite simple really. A disabled exmarine takes his dead twin brother’s place on a mining expedition to a distant moon. His DNA allows him to bond with the genetically engineered Avatar and to inﬁltrate the Na’vi. He falls in love. Learns that there are more things to life than guns and grenades. And then cue the action... Avatar is certainly an epic. With a running time of over 160 minutes, before any extended editions, means that there are lulls in the action - there all but has to be.
Yet for all the merits of the brotherly love dynamic, “Necastle, Australia” has a lot to answer for in its obvious storylines. Subtelty is clearly a word unknown to Castle. The most weak centreing on the brewing romance between Fergus and Jesse’s super talented surf pal Andy (Kirk Jenkins). There is deﬁnitely no shortage of sideways glances as the pair grow closer. Their bond iunbelievable and lacking depth. A tender moment beneath the stars is spoilt by clumsy wording. As astronomy turns to talk of masturbation, the storyline fumbles. Intertwined with older brother Jesse’s loss of virginity to beach babe Debra (Debra Ades) in the same tent as pals Scotty (Israel Cannan) and Leah (Rebecca Breeds), the scenes lack tenderness and emotional connection. Yet, somehow Castle manages to turn proceedings on their head. Taking the entiirely unengaging and making it compelling and captivating. As Victor and his cronies arriive on the scene, the surf hots up and the brothers’ rivalry comes into play once again. Never appearing friendly in their approach to the battle, the brothers are fearless. The twisted consequences blowing all the half-hearted coming-of-age tales out of the water. Had Castle opened “Newcastle, Australia” with its unexpected twist, the end result would have been far more rewarding for the viewer. Cutting to gritty storyline and removing the sap, the cast are allowed to prove their skills but a little too late in the day. Jeremy Williams It comes in at an unexpected point, just as the action starts to get going unfortunately. However, as with nearly all Cameron ﬁlms there is more than one theme running past the viewer. Most usually this is a love theme, ‘Titanic’ most notably but also ‘True Lies’ and even ‘Terminator’ back in the day. Another central theme is mother nature and our relationships with Her, is at every turn. The marked difference between the inside of the mining operations and the world of the Na’vi only reiterates this. In some ways the struggle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ resonates with a Tolkien-esque quality, and in both titles that is a struggle to ﬁnd the impossible balance between nature and industry. The draw of Avatar will evidently continue in it’s DVD guise, no one is going to argue about that. The ‘reality’ of Cameron’s world is ingenious and continuously draws you in, and will do so for many years to come. Constantinos Kypridemos
The Kreutzer Sonata (18) Axiom Films 2.5/5 Edgar (Danny Huston), a rich successful man meets free spirited pianist, Abby (Elisabeth Röhm). Their sexual chemistry takes centre stage and soon Abby breaks up with her boyfriend, gets pregnant by Edgar and the story forwards to them being married with kids and living the norm and routine life. But Abby is not happy – her spirit is deteriorating, and Edgar feels like he is losing his “prize”. To make Abby happy, he introduces her to Aiden (Matthew Yang King), a talented violinist which asks her to perform with him Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata. Edger though builds up in him a raging jealousy which explodes in the most dramatic conclusion. Based on a book by Leo Tolstoy, which was based on Violin Sonata No9 by Ludwig van Beethoven, it is fascinating to learn about how this remarkable piece of music has provided so much history and so much inspiration throughout the years. Paintings (1901’s Kreutzer Sonata by René François Xavier Prinet - pic below), plays, ballets, music etc. have found this piece of music fascinating and have told numerous stories surrounding it. Bernard Rose, the director of this little independent ﬁlm, is a fan of Leo Tolstoy and after tackling “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” and “Anna Karenina”, he took over a less known one, but still quite powerful book from Tolstoy regarding a ﬁrst person account on jealousy in its most raw form. Clandestinos (15) Peccadillo Pictures 2/5 Directed by Antonio Hens, Clandestinos is a homoerotic terrorism themed ﬁlm. It attempts to express the politcal unease and present day controversy of the basque territory, whilst also encapsulating a very odd love story. It features a young adolescent called Xabi (Israel Rodriguez) who right from the outset, comes across as a deeply troubled and somewhat turbulent character. The opening scenes are set around a young offenders correctional facility in which Xabi and friend Joel (Hugo Catalan) are inmates. Using, what comes across as a very pathetic effort to beat up and restrain prison guards, the two manage to ﬂee the site with an Arabic tag a long, Driss (Mehroz Arif). The group soon get on the road and head to Madrid, where Xabi plans to meet a long lost love known as Iñaki (Luis Hostalot), twenty years his senior. It later develops that Iñake is heavily involved with the left wing terrorist group ETA. The re-
His choice of cast is interesting; Danny Huston narrating half of the movie is a bit pedantic and provides a level of boredom in the movie that should not have been there. The story is more than enough to keep the viewers intrigued and the music to keep the viewers emotionally active, but something keeps lacking. It may be the handheld camera throughout the movie, the Dogma-esque feeling that is has throughout, or the sound mix that is easily noticeable missing. It all adds up to a feeling of voyeurism from viewers to characters, which after a while loses the majority of interest but leaves just enough to keep going. Danny Huston and Elisabeth Röhm as the tormented couple play their roles with a little uncomfortable-ness at ﬁrst, but ﬁnd their way into the role and by the end of the movie, as a viewer, even though you never really liked these characters, you can absolutely feel what they are going through and are relating with Edgar’s jealousy and Abby’s trapped character. Bernard Rose uses a lot of close ups and fast changing images; and with the combination of the hand held camera direction gives you eventually the ﬂy on the wall viewing experience that what you are watching is an intimate encounter of a married but trapped to a routine couple. Overall, the movie is not bad. It feels bad for all the wrong reasons, but contemplating it afterwards, it is a good encounter to have on your local video store; trying to ﬁnd a bit more layered movie than “Transformers”. George Mathioudakis lationship however has left its mark on the younger of the lovers as he sets out to impress and revive the lost romance. The boys meet up with a couple of girls during their trip on the road and it doesn’t take long for Driss and Joel to hook up with them. They eventually arrive in Madrid, where things take a turn for the worse. When Iñake fails to show for the meet Xabi takes into his own hands with Driss’s help to carry out a terrorist attack. The end is ﬁlled with a few twist and turns of which I’ll keep secret in case any of you plan on seeing it for yourselves. The narrative is a little broken throughout the ﬁlm with very amateur acting but with still a glimmer of hope. It is without a doubt a piece of euro-cheese but if you like a lighthearted easy to watch ﬂick with homosexual tendencies then this could be exactly your cup of tea. Alex Rippon