ISSUE 1: Oct / Nov 2011
TheLast Word On The Street
A Wild Weekend with
The Big Question Is uni worth the money? The Mission We try dating school The Style Study Secret history of hoodies
My First Cosplay, Kindle, job, opera & more... in our very first issue
E E R F
Student life, you only get one
so make the most of it Only NUS extra gives you exclusive discounts on top brands for all lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essentials See how much you can save for just ÂŁ11 at nus.org.uk
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Contents Editor’s Letter
Issue 1 OCT– NOV 2011
My 1st Editor’s Letter:
4 The List Hot dates ahead 6 The Big Question The NUS President writes 8 X-clusive Kelly raises the stakes 12 The Mission... To get a first date 16 The Reviews Music, Film, Stage, Art, Gadgets, and Blogs 36 Travel: Arty Venice 40 Fashion: Hoodies 44 Photo-story: Dress like Batman – in public! 50 Inside Job: in politics Editor and Publisher: —Kohinoor Sahota Editorial Consultant: —Dominic Wells Art DirectION: —Bb/Teasdale Sub-editor: —Nigel Kendall
Editorial Assistant: —Tina Hutchinson Music Editor: —Ruth Saxelby Film Editor: —Christabel Samuel Stage Editor: —Christine Twite Art Editor: —Susanna Davies-Crook
Gadgets Editor: —Nigel Kendall Contributors: Liam Burns, Max Colson, Helen Geraghty, Katie Haines, Stephanie Keller, Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski, Manvir Mudhar and Elizabeth Odogwu
The Book is published by The Book Magazine Limited. Printed by MPC Print Solutions. The publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the permission of the publishers. Liability: while every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers can’t be held responsible for the accuracy of the information.
have a confession to make: I’ve never read Hamlet. I know, I’m an English graduate, a theatre luvvie, and haven’t read one of the world’s best known plays. This issue is all about just that, fessing up to what you haven’t done and doing it for the first time. We asked all our writers to take the plunge and do things they wouldn’t normally do: single Tom is thrust into the middle of Carnaby Street and asks girls out on the street; Horror virgin Manvir squirms through Guillermo del Toro’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark; Opera-shy Elizabeth sees if The Turn of the Screw is torture; Oliver reveals what it’s like working for the Lib-Dems; and Helen gets down and dirty at her first whopper of a festival, Glastonbury. In this issue’s Big Question, the NUS’s President fearlessly asks: with fees increasing to £135 a lecture, is uni worth it? On page 7, we look at what else that money can get you. Such as 13 flights to fair Verona, or three Rihanna tickets. You might think that hoodies are a staple for rioters, yet the earliest recorded wearers were monks. Read about the symbolism behind the humble hoodie on page 40. Adopted by Beyoncé’s dad at 9, Kelly Rowland sacked him as manager in 2009. Since then, she has been forging her own Destiny. What’s behind the X-Factor judge’s poker face? We follow her to the Bahamas to find out. We’d love to know what you think of the first issue. Is there something you like? Love? Or hate? Do you want to write for us? Follow us on twitter @thebookmagazine, or like us on www. facebook.com/thebookmag. We hope our First issue encourages you to try something new. We’re your bi-monthly bible for the must-know goings on. We’re here to surprise, delight and provoke. Look out for us in campuses, theatres, galleries, and independent bars and pubs. Packed with information, but still gloriously free. Enjoy! Kohinoor P.S I will get round to reading Hamlet. Promise.
4:/ Coldplay tOct 24
The megastar band, who formed while students at UCL, are releasing their fifth album, Mylo Xyloto. They’ve worked with Brian Eno and have been inspired by unlikely sources, from New York graffiti to HBO series The Wire. There’ll be two separate covers, and a limited edition with a hardback pop-up graffiti art book. But no explanation of the title.
Get your freak on: the Last Tuesday Society’s Halloween Ball
If you got the chance to enter Tim Burton’s brain for an evening, it would probably look a little like The Last Tuesday Society’s balls. For the Halloween celebrations expect open coffins, decapitated teddies, masks and lots of feathers. Tickets from £20.
Following in the footsteps of Jude Law and David Tennant, Michael Sheen, best known for playing real-life figures, from Tony Blair to Brian Clough, turns his hand to one of Shakespeare’s most enigmatic characters. Head to the Young Vic, tickets from £10.
sOct 28 & 29
2:/ iPhone 5 Oct 7
As ever, details are under wraps and even the release date is guess-work, but it’s likely to be lighter and thinner than the iPhone 4, with a new operating system that connects straight to the Cloud so you can share content across all Apple devices. Should cost around £500 without a contract.
tOpens Oct 28
5:/ Boom Nov 5
The London sky explodes on Guy Fawkes Night – in a good way. South London has the best fireworks, including Battersea Park, Clapham Common, Wimbledon Park, Streatham Common, Crystal Palace and Blackheath. To the East, try Victoria Park; to the West, Ravenscourt Park; to the North, Alexandra Palace has recently been cancelled. Boo, not boom. Get Tweeted updates from #londonfireworksmap.
tOpens Nov 9
The only Leonardo more famous than DiCaprio comes to the National Gallery. Book early (students half-price) for Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, the biggest exhibition ever of his few surviving paintings. Even the Vatican Museum has only one, and that was used for years as a cobbler’s cushion.
Snoop! Scoop! Do it Doggy-style at the O2 arena
Snoop Dogg marks the release of his eleventh album, Doggumentary, with an O2 appearance, supported by a local lad who also has an animal-inspired moniker – Chipmunk. Let’s hope the Dogg can have his day, after being banned from the country in 2006. Tickets from £33.
For the Festival of Lights, which celebrates the victory of good over evil, Trafalgar Square will play host to a spectacle of colour with floating lanterns, garba dancing, and dhol drums. Celebrations begin at 2pm, and it’s free. If the weather smiles on London, 35,000 revellers are expected.
Lee Valley White Water Centre is the only Olympic venue the public can use beforehand. It offers white-water rafting, kayaking and canoeing on a 300-metre course with a 5.5-metre drop. Canoeing/ paddling is not for beginners: pass an assessment session for £10, £5 per hour thereafter. Rafting is £49 for a half-day.
7:/ Dating Nov 14, 28
Looking for love? Meet Mr or Mrs Right (or just Right Now) at Last Night a Speed Date Saved my Life in Shoreditch’s The Book Club. The flirting begins at 7pm and at just a tenner, it will probably be the cheapest date you’ve ever had. For extra tips, turn to p12 to see what happened when our writer tried his hand at street dating.
Until Oct 16
Pack your trunk and head to Trafalgar Square for Diwali
The Book —6
The BIG QUESTION
Is it really worth spending up to £135 per lecture? By —NUS President Liam Burns
A Guardian article earlier this year suggested that raising the tuition fee cap to £9,000 a year would mean students paying as much as £135 per lecture.
Clearly, this was based on a simplistic calculation, with lectures as the only expense (no seminars, no libraries, no buildings, no non-teaching staff, no sports or music facilities, and so on). But the point was illustrative rather than literal. The author argues: ‘With only 24 teaching weeks in the average university year, the quantity and quality of contact time a student gets is regarded as a key indicator of value for money.’ The question of how much a lecture is worth is a deeply worrying part of the government’s higher education funding reforms. The new system removes direct public teaching funding for all but certain subjects that are deemed to have strategic importance (mainly the sciences, maths and a few modern languages); and it puts the money in the hands of the student through sky-high tuition fees paid initially by state-backed loans and subsequently repaid by graduates. In so doing, the government asks us to assess how much a particular course is worth paying, and to make our choices on this basis. This represents a radical ideological shift in the nature of our higher education system, a world away from the experiences of the young Cameron, Clegg and Cable. The arguments against this are well rehearsed. Public funding of higher education reflects the fact that we recognise they are of value to our society, in addition to recognising the economic
benefits they clearly bring. Removing public funding represents a worryingly utilitarian approach to education, such that subjects only receive funding to the extent that they are seen as economically productive. This approach misses much of the wider value of education, and the state’s duty to support it. “Ourhigher Moreover, designing a system which aims education to place 100 per cent of the cost of a systemisa degree on the worldaway individual’s shoulders is deeply fromthe unfair. The 1998 experiences Dearing report into oftheyoung funding reforms pointed out that the Cameron, beneficiaries of our higher education Clegg and system were the Cable” individual, the state and business. It recommended a sharing of the costs between these three (with the individual paying least of all, at 25 per cent of the cost). The government’s reforms dismiss this compact entirely. And it makes economic sense for the government to invest in education and the expansion of places, particularly in the context of current efforts at driving our economic recovery. We are one of the few developed countries cutting education funding, rather than increasing it. The cut in the teaching grant will also hit many modern universities particularly hard: they tend to receive less research funding, and are less able to charge the very highest fees (or where they do, offering fee waivers). So, the question posed in the title is itself problematic: it assumes price variability
and a market in fees, and it assumes that the individual bears the full brunt of the cost of their education. But, there are alternatives: NUS argues for a progressive graduate tax model as a fair and sustainable way for the individual to contribute towards the cost of their degree. The principle behind a graduate tax is simple. You should be able to decide to study what you want to study, where you want to study it, without worrying about the different costs involved. You should then be able to choose to work where you want to work, without worrying about having to pay back debts as quickly as possible. If you are subsequently able to contribute more towards your education, it is fair that you do so, while those who are not able to should not. This eliminates tuition fees and all the issues associated with price variation, whilst also avoiding all talk of debt, which so many worry about looming over them. And it means that the amount a graduate contributes is fair. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, himself argued just over 12 months ago: ‘It can’t be fair that a teacher or care worker or research scientist is expected to pay the same graduate contribution as a top commercial lawyer or surgeon or City analyst whose graduate premium is so much bigger.’ A graduate tax model avoids this. The system Cable introduced just a few months after that speech does not. Is a lecture worth paying up to £135? We believe students shouldn’t be put into the position of having to ask that question. ● Would you pay? Should we have to? Have your say on www.facebook.com/thebookmag
The Big Question
University Lecture Cost £135 Total 1
Eight different ways to spend £135
Rihanna concert @ the O2 Cost £45 per ticket Total 3
Converse All Stars Cost £28 Total 4.82 Contraception Durex Performa condoms (24 per pack) Cost £9.84 Total 312
Pint of beer Cost £2.75 Total 49.09 Ryan Air cheap flight: London–Parma or Verona, Italy Cost £9.99 Total 13.51
Cosmopolitan cocktail (1 serving) Cost £6.50 Kindle Wireless Reading Device Cost £111
Cover Star Kelly Rowland
Appeal If Cheryl Cole was The X Factor’s queen of hearts, Kelly Rowland is the queen of clubs. Dominic Wells joined the dancefloor diva on a poker weekend in the Bahamas
Time. To face. The muuusic Cheryl who? Dannii what? When Kelly Rowland hit our screens, all previous X Factor judges were forgotten. Not only does she plough through a hundred emotions within minutes, she’s a fan of Wayne’s World. As she proved when she bowed down before new head judge Gary Barlow after his Take That gig, crying ‘I’m not worthy’ ...
ww, Kelly Rowland. Isn’t she of charity work. The event was staged in the sweet? Don’t you just love Atlantis Resort, a vast, watery complex of her cute nose, her mile-wide Aztec-influenced architecture. You halfsmile, those skyscraper heels? expect to open a door and find Dr Evil She hasn’t just taken Cheryl Cole’s chair on blackmailing world governments, one little the X Factor panel, she’s been supplanting finger raised to his lips, for one million dollars. her in the nation’s hearts. Kelly cries at songs. It even has a huge shark tank. The chips were stacked on a lit table on a She loves everything British. She rushes raised podium at the top of a backstage to save a girlband simply gigantic ballroom. The singer by persuading her to ‘She’s due. first celeb to swish in was Nelly, audition solo. with whom Kelly had her first But don’t just dismiss There wasn’t post-Destiny’s Child smash: Kelly as ‘nice’. She may not no dance 2003’s Dilemma. A female have quite the same fire in her moves Beyoncé official from the website belly and steel in her thighs as hosting the tournament Beyoncé, her former was doing that stopped him: she had to pin bandmate and adoptive sister, Kelly wasn’t the PokerStars logo to his but who the hell does? T-shirt. I saw she couldn’t Beyoncé even got pregnant to doing.’ resist giving Nelly’s rock-hard plan, just before her 30th — 50 Cent pecs an extra pat. Just to make birthday. But by the standards extra-sure the label was stuck of any mere mortal, Kelly is driven. You don’t succeed in the cut-throat on right, of course. music biz just by being ‘nice’. As Kelly says, ‘I And then, in glides Kelly. Gorgeous, don’t care who says what. I’m like, “screw smiley, pearly-toothed, ringlet-haired Kelly, trailing a cloud of happy-dust behind her. you, this record is great”.’ I witnessed this at first hand last year, She and Nelly kiss hello. As she sits down next when I spent a weekend with Kelly on to him, curling her long legs under the table, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. We were we get a flash of fetishistic black boots with there for a celebrity poker tournament in aid silver studs. Even by celebrity standards, of the amFAR AIDS charity; Kelly does a lot Kelly has a thing about shoes: she hasn’t just
Cover Star Kelly Rowland
Cover Star Kelly Rowland
Going all in Lady Gaga may sing about her p-p-poker face, but it’s Kelly who has all the moves. In a charity tournament she was happy to share a joke with Nelly, but when the chips were down, sheplayedlike her song: ‘I’ll be your commander...’
got a shoe closet the size of a room; she talks to them, too. And then in comes – no; it can’t be! But it is. There’s that ring through the nose, like a bull ready for the fight. Those dark glasses, to hide eyes as bloodshot as tonight’s tropical sunset. The tarantula hair that covers most of that great mortuary slab that passes as a face. Welcome to the poker table please, the one, the only, the legendary guitar hero, Slash! After this entrance, tennis champ Boris Becker and supermodel Joanna Krupa hardly get noticed. I watch Kelly intently. There’s a lot you can learn about a person from the way they play poker. Have they the balls to bluff ? Do they calculate the odds or work on instinct? If someone raises, do they crumble? Despite the lights, and the pressure, Kelly remained box-fresh, laughing and joking with Nelly. I quizzed her British backing dancers, there in the front row to cheer her on, fishing for some chink in Kelly’s shining armour of radiant positivity. They had nothing but love. Yep, Kelly’s just so, so nice. But the poker game told a different story. Kelly might be nice, but boy, can she stick to her guns. Slash had been bullying the table, raking it in, until, on one fatal hand, he chooses to mess with Kelly. Kelly v. Slash Slash bets the flop. Kelly calls him down. Slash bets the turn card, stronger. Kelly ain’t budging. On the final river card, Slash pushes all of his chips into the centre of the table. It’s do or die. If Kelly calls with the worst hand, she’s out of the tournament. Kelly looks over at the hairy manmountain, unreadable in his shades. She’s up against Slash, who partied so hard with Guns N’ Roses that he died twice! Slash, so cool he only needs one name! Kelly smiles, but her eyes say ‘don’t screw with me’. Without a tremor, Kelly pushes all her chips into the centre, and with a rueful shrug, Slash turns over his cards: a bluff. Kelly takes down the
The result was When Love Takes Over, the breakout club hit of 2009. When Motown president Sylvia Rhone, hanging out with Nelly in a recording studio, heard Kelly belt out those arpeggios in the next booth, she signed her. With Commander, in 2010, Kelly was crowned the new Queen of Clubs. Is that luck? Or, as the ever-devout singer would prefer to describe it, God? Or is that hard-nosed Kelly seeing an opportunity others might have missed, and going for it?
Kelly v. the world Either way, she’s now at the top of her game. She keeps jetting off for gigs, and is taking a break from X Factor boot-camp to tour with Chris Brown until October 2. Motivation earned Kelly her first solo platinum plaque this August. Her third solo album, Here I Am, Kelly v. her manager People tend to think Kelly’s a pushover, just won good reviews in the US, but she’s taking because she played second fiddle to Beyoncé no chances: Kelly’s been adding uptempo in Destiny’s Child. As 50 Cent said this songs and remixing tracks to that London summer, after Kelly’s Motivation stormed the club vibe, and will release a UK version of the US charts and steamed up Youtube, ‘She’s album in November. due; she’s so due. She’s the most underrated And she’s even become a model, which is female soloist in the game. There wasn’t no apt given that she judged Bravo’s The Fashion dance moves Beyoncé was doing that Kelly Show in 2009. She’s the new face of P Diddy’s Empress perfume, which she plugs, along wasn’t doing.’ But, says Kelly, Beyoncé was a born with Best Buy’s Smartphones, to her 1,252,343 followers with the leader. Right from the age of same chirpy Tweets that she nine, when they would ‘I was not bestows on every event in her practise on a stage set up in the garden by Beyoncé’s intimidated by twice-blessed life. ‘Cardiff is beautiful!’ she Tweeted in June father, Kelly realised that Slash, uh-uh, of her X Factor debut. ‘I’m ‘Beyoncé had this big, overlooking the water & so booming voice and I had this not at all.’ thankful to be where I am. tiny, sweet voice, but Beyoncé There is no God like my God!!! and I just got on so well together and thankfully they saw the potential & no fans like MY fans.’ Mind you, she also calls the O2 ‘beautiful’, so her taste compass in me.’ You’d think it would hurt to see Beyoncé may be slightly faulty. straddle the world while Kelly struggled to sell But then, that’s so Kelly. I left her, that records. Kelly claims not. All the same, in weekend in the Caribbean, as bubbly at 3am 2009, she sacked her manager. And that as a freshly opened bottle of Cristal. She was manager was Matthew Knowles, the man playing roulette in the resort casino for teeny who adopted Kelly at ten when her single tiny ladylike stakes, never going for the mother was struggling, and who managed numbers, just betting on black. When she her even after Destiny’s Child split after eight won, she would clap her hands together and jump with delight. ‘I won!’ she’d gasp with an years and 40 million album sales. Kelly had no plan; she just felt she needed excitement not commonly witnessed outside to make her own Destiny. She’d been trawling of seven-figure lottery wins, beaming at her London clubs for a new sound: ‘The UK feels bodyguards as though hitting this simple onelike my second home,’ she said at the time. ‘I in-two chance proved beyond doubt, yet love clubbing here – there are so many cool again, that fortune smiled upon her. producers and DJs.’ And she found it while And you know what? She’s right. It does. out dancing in Paris, in an instrumental by DJ And even we cynical Londoners can’t help smiling with her. l David Guetta. Kelly immediately grasped the song’s Here I am is out on Nov 6, and the single Down for potential, and begged Guetta to let her sing it. Whatever on Oct 31 pot with a pair of Kings. Ladies and Gentlemen, Slash has left the building. ‘I love Slash,’ Kelly tells me, when we get a chance to chat. ‘That hair, that hat! But I was not intimidated, uh-uh, not at all.’
Cover Star — 11 Kelly Rowland
No, No, No, remixed by Wyclef Jean, gave Destiny’s Child their first of many platinum singles in 1998, selling over a million copies. Kelly didn’t get her own solo platinum hit until this summer, with the sexed-up, slow-grinding Motivation.
At the New York’s Club 4Sixty6 in August, the God-fearing Kelly’s top slipped up to reveal her right nipple. Unlike Janet Jackson, she just casually shrugged off the media furore. ‘Hope you enjoyed the show,’ she Tweeted afterwards, ‘and didnt mind the peekaboo LOL!!!’
‘I did have a situation like that (a casual fling),’ says Kelly. ‘In London. And it was cool. But generally, that’s not how I get down.’
Not everybody knows that Kelly’s first father was a drunk whom she last saw when she was six. This summer he tried, finally, to get back in touch – Kelly is thinking it over. Her second father was Matthew Knowles, who adopted her when she was ten, and whom she fired as her manager in 2009. …X Factor tears Jade Richards, a 21-year-old from a council estate in Scotland, had Kelly weeping. “I had a dream,’ gasped Kelly. ‘This is crazy, I’ve been thinking about this song [Someone Like You] all weekend... and you came and sang that song so beautifully.’ Not to be outdone, Louis Walsh cried too.
Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski is looking for a first date, and he’s armed – with a dating coach. Men take note. Ladies beware.
ere she comes now: bare- Once I’ve assimilated Quinn’s rules shouldered, brunette, cool but about body language and ways of talking, bookish, walking up a sunlit she pushes me out on to the streets of Carnaby Street. We have never London. Terrifyingly, it seems, flirting isn’t previously met, yet I’m going to walk right something that can be taught in the up, stop her, smile, and say: ‘Hey…’ abstract: practice makes perfect. Quinn’s There are just a few things I have to direct approach to teaching and her remember first: get about a metre in front bisexuality give her an edge (instant results of her, make eye contact, appear confident and empathy being her two great assets), and make the conversation specific to her but she mostly adheres to philosophies by commenting on her clothes, what she espoused in Neil Strauss’s The Game. might be up to, or even her accent. With Alongside such films as Hitch and this dealt with early, I’ll Magnolia – in which Will be able to move on to ‘To my surprise, Smith and Tom Cruise a teasing conversation play date doctors – this she doesn’t slap where I can be unafraid bible for pick-up artists of disagreeing with her or me in the face’ has kick-started a whole presenting an alternative industry around men point of view (‘A Man U fan? Really? That’s (and a few women) seeking professional disappointing.’ That kind of thing). Within help with their barren love lives. minutes I’ll have her number, and KAPOW! It’s a disturbing book, in many ways. a more successful love life will be mine. Among its more controversial views are that women who seem uninterested can be Learn it by heart unaware of their own true desire (whatever That, at least, is what dating coach Hayley happened to ‘no means no’?), and that Quinn is trying to teach me. Young, bright- women prefer men who dismiss, disagree or eyed and self-assured, Quinn has a list of contradict their own opinions. A quick poll clients that stretches from successful among female friends who’ve been hit on businessmen to individuals with socially with familiar lines showed me that many debilitating conditions, including autism women are wise to this trend. and Asperger’s. She helps them all to Other than the small matter of the way interact with the opposite sex. I’ve never I look, talk and behave, two further had a problem with talking to women but... obstacles stand in the way of Quinn’s flirting? There are rockets that are more attempt to make me a Casanova. For one playful and subtle. thing, I’m a proud feminist who believes
Carey On Flirting Tom combats shyness – and a lack of interest in any girl who’s not Carey Mulligan (far left) – to go ‘prowling’ in Carnaby Street with date doctor Hayley Quinn (left and previous page).
that gender is essentially a social construct developed to further the hegemony of a patriarchy which has perverted the course of western civilisation for millennia. Try flirting with a mouthful of that. But I also have very low tolerance for people I find irritating. Mention your gap year, how spiritual you feel, anything to do with U2 or ask me ‘what I’m thinking’ and you will fill me with venomous hatred. Combine this with the fact that a major criterion for a future girlfriend is being Carey Mulligan or Audrey Tautou and you should feel sympathy for Quinn’s plight. ‘What sort of women do you find attractive?’ she asks. ‘I really like beautiful eyes,’ I say, concealing my predilection for film stars. This answer isn’t quite red-blooded enough, and Quinn gives it short shrift. ‘Slim...? Petite?’ I venture, gaining a little more approval. And then, in a blur of nerves and disbelief, it’s time to start our ‘prowling’ – a predatory but apt word for what is essentially a team effort to hunt down Carnaby Street’s prettiest women. Putting it to the test I’m as guilty of noticing and appreciating attractive strangers as any member of the human race, but having a coach beside me and a very definite purpose to my scouring makes me feel dishonest, especially as Quinn had provided me with a ‘cover story’ about she and I being working journalists on a lunch break. I suddenly remember all the alarming phrases and ideas that I’d skimmed over while doing my research – ‘plausible deniability’ being a particularly disturbing priority, ensuring that your use of PUA (pick-up artist) techniques remains secret. Quinn helps by pointing out women I might like to approach, and though I truly want to run away, she eventually encourages me to muster up enough of something that passes for courage. I walk straight up to a bookish young woman with excellent dress sense, and, as Quinn instructs, compliment her on her light brown cardigan. To my surprise, she
doesn’t slap me in the face. Instead she seems friendly, flattered even! This is a road to Damascus moment. Result? Over the next five minutes I laugh, joke and speak with strangers on the street with something approaching ease. As long as I don’t bring up music, film, politics, class, books and careers, I actually like most people I remember. Busy women, rich women, demure women… literally anyone I fancy is approachable. Even when I am overcome by the rules (eye contact! Stature! Tone of voice! Be teasing!) and feel that my lumbering body and speech make my attempt to ‘flirt’ unsubtle, not one woman cowers, walks away or calls the police. I even get one phone number. Just as I’m about to change my view of pick-up artistry, however, Quinn asks me why I hadn’t taken the number of one brunette I’d been chatting to for a while. ‘She had a boyfriend,’ I explain, somewhat crestfallen. ‘When she says “boyfriend”,’ Quinn explains calmly and patiently, ‘I want you to think “dog”.’ Maybe I’m pathetically old-fashioned, but this is a step too far. And deep down, it’s this philosophy – this predatory approach to socialising – which smells bad to me. If you’re reading this and it doesn’t, I almost envy you, for a life of amoral sex with beautiful people awaits you. In fact, after my session I stuck around
What not to say
to see another man (whose name I’ll not share to save his girlfriend heartbreak) acquire the numbers of one professional model, a complete set of Swedish twins and a host of other stunning women. It felt seedy: each woman (except, presumably, the twins) thought she was special and valued to be approached in such an extraordinary manner, but was actually just another social conquest. As a male feminist with a love life as thrilling as the recent 23rd revision of the Dewey Decimal System, I’m aware that an initial moral discomfort with commodifying women has become an unwillingness to make plain any kind of sexual desire until I’m certain of reciprocal interest. It’s not inherently sexist to fancy the opposite sex, so this kind of tuition could be helpful. But I don’t want it to change the real me. So though I’ve noticed myself unashamedly meeting the eye of beautiful women on tube trains, adding little teases into my conversations and sprinkling Quinn’s other techniques into my day-today life, I still much prefer the pick-up strategy put forward by a feminist blogger reacting to ‘gaming’: ‘Shake my hand. [Say] “Hi, my name is…” Treat me like a human being. Avoid seeing women as conquests and men as competition.’l Hayley Quinn is an expert in relationships, seduction and dating. She offers dating master classes, and one on one tuition, to help you to have the love (and lust) life you want. Full details online at www.hayley-quinn.com
‘If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?’ Britney take note. ‘Are you a parking ticket? Because you’ve got fine written all over you.’ Perhaps if you wore a traffic warden’s uniform. ‘Do you have any raisins? No? How about a date?’ Your intended conquest is more likely to think you’re nuts.
‘Is it hot in here or is it you?’ You’re not the rapper Nelly. Though you may end up with a plaster on your cheek. ‘Are you as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside?’ They’re more likely to think serial killer. ‘What’s your sign?’ Groan. Leaves you wide open for the come-back: ‘No entry.’
‘It’s a high-wire exercise in joy, setting off explosions of twinkling gold coins like Sonic the Hedgehog in spin mode’
Art of glass
Ruth Saxelby finds Rustie’s first album a shattering success On the cover of producer Rustie’s debut album are two crystals, angled to form an archway through which we see three suns – one real, and two reflections. It’s a wonderful piece of scene setting: the crystals speak of something both ancient and futuristic. The opening title track continues the theme, its crystalline fanfare bringing to mind a soft breeze blowing through the Fortress of Solitude, Superman’s Arctic crystal palace. Rustie is part of the loose and easy group of friends who make up the Glasgow collectives/ labels Numbers and LuckyMe, both of which have given underground club music a muchneeded, neon-coated kick over the last 18 months or so. Pal Hudson Mohawke released his debut album Butter on Warp Records two years ago, and now it’s the fresh-faced Rustie’s turn.
Like HudMo before him, Rustie is changing the whole game with Glass Swords. It’s a head-rush of an album from start to finish, cartwheeling through fantastical scenery that owes as much to yesterday’s celluloid dreams of the future as it does to today’s augmented landscape. Rustie is a man of few words – he’s a shy wee bairn – but with Glass Swords he’s created his own language that has an incredibly sensitive grasp on the multiple realities of the modern world: the material, digital, and our own internal, imaginative worlds. So while the swagger and bounce of hip hop, grime’s jagged edges and the rainbow lucidity of p-funk are all clear influences, the non-linearity of the internet and the immersivity of gaming are just as important to his sound. Rustie Glass Swords Release: Oct 10
Listen: http://warp. net recordsrustie
Glass Swords is an album that’s best appreciated through headphones: many of Rustie’s sonic aerodynamics would be missed without total submission. City Star opens with pixel-perfect shooting stars before skydiving off a cliff into a groaning chasm of screwdriver bass. Flash Back is a high-wire exercise in joy, swooping through the inside of your head, setting off explosions of twinkling gold coins like Sonic the Hedgehog in spin mode. After Light plays with fire and ice, somehow turning classic peak-time club builds, breaks and rushes into something intensely poignant. From the most delicate, spider-silk fine chimes to the filthiest alien bass, Rustie’s command of his language is total. Long after the silvery final track Crystal Echoes has faded, the jet flumes remain in the air, vibrations of the energy that Rustie packed into those 46 minutes. There’s a slight agitation too, the twitchiness that follows intense stimulation – an aural form of screen burn. It’s exhausting, addictive and emotional, not unlike this constantly augmenting reality, rippling ever wider with things we cannot help but share. Glass Swords is an album for now, this ever-stretching present that we’re really only just starting to get our heads around.
The Video Nicki Minaj feat. Rihanna/Fly Ruth Saxelby discovers that the colour of irony is pink
Not every artist can pull off thigh-high dominatrix boots, a sky-high hairdo, and a bright pink bodice. With Nicki Minaj, however, you don’t even blink. In her most ambitious video yet, duetting with Rihanna on the latest cut from her Pink Friday album, our favourite manga Barbie steps out of a sleek black car into the surreal chaos of a suburban plane crash. Her glitter-ringed eyes are full of sadness as she sees a stray flip-flop, a burnt passport and an empty swing – the only remnants of the lives now passed. Like her surroundings, Nicki’s dress is covered in shrapnel and twisted
wire, but she ain’t no victim. ‘They got their guns out aiming at me,’ she flows but with two cameras fused to her dress, it’s Nicki who has the haters in her sights.
Rihanna sings: ‘I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to thrive’, the subtext is one not just of survival but of transcendence in the face of domestic violence.
More than any other rapper, than any other superstar, Nicki Minaj gets irony. This is a woman who can choose a still-smoking plane wreck as the backdrop to a song called Fly, poignantly resonant in the context of the tenth anniversary of 9/11; who shows her vulnerable side then, video game-style, defeats male, masked attackers with her hair in a zebra mohican; and who dresses like a cartoon character in order to say the realest things. And she couldn’t have picked a more perfect co-star for Fly’s resolute chorus. As a peaceful, radiant
Nicki Minaj’s biggest strength is her ability to create a glossy, provocative world that demands attention in order to hit the audience between the eyes with lines like ‘I hear the criticism loud and clear / that is how I know the time is near / so we become alive in a time of fear’. As the video draws to a close, pink flowers spring from the scorched ground to cover the plane in hope and glory. Even the sun has a pink glow to it. The inference is clear: Queen Nicki’s reign is here.
patten Glaqjo Xaacsso
Spectrals Bad Penny
London producer patten (he doesn’t do the capital P thing) has been lurking at the edges of the internet for a little while now, making experimental electronic music that’s as richly textured and cacophonous as the imagery on his website. After two limited-edition releases through music/art collective Kaleidoscope, patten’s debut album proper GLAQJO XAACSSO has found a home with London label No Pain In Pop, whose previous releases include Forest Swords, Grimes and A Grave With No Name. It’s a mighty record, humming and bustling with the absurdity of life, and recalling early Aphex Twin and Actress in the process. For the full patten experience, you really need to catch his immersive music live – clock his website for dates.
The love songs by 21-year-old Louis Jones, aka red-headed singer/ songwriter Spectrals, don’t so much pour as slope out of him, almost lackadaisically. There’s a grubby charm there, his lazy drawl the perfect match for his swing-heavy garage rock ballads. All 11 of the songs on Bad Penny, his debut album on Witchita, are apparently inspired by his relationship with his girlfriend. Admirably or foolishly, depending where you’re standing, he doesn’t shy from recording every shade of that love, from the highs to the heart-grazing. You Can’t Live On Love Alone, a tender little head-inthe-clouds ditty, in particular gets the cheeks a-glow. If ever there was an album made for kicking up crunchy autumn leaves with your belle or beau in tow, it’s this.
Release: Sept 27 Label: No Pain In Pop
Video directed by Sanaa Hamri
Release: Oct 17 Label: Witchita
Flying Lotus the Roundhouse
Oct 22 www.soundcrashmusic.com/ flying-lotus-exclusive-full-liveshow
At only 27, LA producer Flying Lotus is already three albums deep into a career that has marked out as a true innovator and scene pacemaker. In 2010 he dropped his third album, Cosmogramma, as well as the relentlessly rhythmic Patten+Grid World EP on Warp
The Gig That Changed My Life Elizabeth Sankey from Summer Camp
When I was growing up, Blur were my favourite band. I had loads of posters of them from Smash Hits but I refused to put them on my wall because it was never a romantic thing for me. I didn’t fancy them; I wanted to be their best friend. The other day my mum said she’d found a letter I’d written to a radio station saying they should play more Blur. I have no recollection of doing it! By the time I was old enough to go and see them play they weren’t doing it any more, but then they came back and did the Singles tour around 2000. My sister got me tickets for my birthday. She wrote ‘Blur tickets’ in blue nail varnish on pebbles, one letter on each pebble, and put them in my Kickers ‘My sister wrote school “Blur tickets” in shoe-box. It blue nail varnish was really sweet.
on pebbles and put them in my shoe-box. It was really sweet’
Seeing them live was amazing. Wembley was this huge oblong room; it felt like it went on forever. I remember the darkness of being in the gig and, when we left, all these men were yelling at us to buy T-shirts. It seemed kind of scary and a bit dangerous but really exciting at the same time. I also remember the feeling of being a fan and thinking, ‘I’m a bigger fan than everyone else here.’ I really wanted them to notice that I knew all of the words. After seeing them live it felt like they were definitely my band now. It’s really funny now being in a band because I never thought I would do it. At the time I was just happy to have idols that I could put on a pedestal. Summer Camp’s debut album Welcome To Condale is released on Oct 31
Records. Ever true to form, this October he’s switching things up with a don’t-sleep-on-it live show at The Roundhouse. A collaboration between FlyLo and visual label ANTIVJ due to be performed only three times this year (London, Paris and LA, baby), it’s set to be an audio-visual treat of the highest order.
DRC Music Kinshasa One Two Ruth Saxelby, Music Editor First single: Charles & Eddie’s Would I Lie To You. One of my wiser pocket money purchases. First album: Now Dance 92 on double cassette. I memorised all the words to Shanice’s I Love Your Smile. First popstar crush: Joe from New Kids On The Block. I knew we were meant to be, if only the NKOTB tour would stop at Melton Mowbray. At the time I was just happy to have idols that I could put on a pedestal.
Release: Oct 3 Label: Warp
Back in July, Blur frontman turned opera producer Damon Albarn led a group of largely London-based producers on a five-day recording trip to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The producers – Actress, Kwes, T-E-E-D, Dan The Automator, Jneiro Jarel, Marc Antoine, Richard Russell, Rodaidh McDonald, Alwest and Remi Kabaka – worked with local Congolese musicians to make an album to raise money for Oxfam’s work in the conflict-ravaged country. Albarn is an old hand at such collaborations, but the result is startlingly fresh.
MOBO Awards Oct 5
Now in its 16th year, the MOBO Awards were set up to celebrate music of black origin. While there’s some debate about this year’s show – namely over Brit School pop star Jessie J’s five nominations – its impact on raising the global profile of black British artists including Ms Dynamite, Estelle, Chipmunk and Craig David can’t be underestimated. This year
celebrates both mainstream and underground, with massive acts including Tinie Tempah, Katy B and Adele nominated alongside rising stars Rizzle Kicks and Wretch 32. Brilliant to see grime king Wiley getting his dues too. Jason Derulo will co-host in Glasgow, with performances by Jessie J, Alexis Jordan, Katy B and 90s boy band, Boyz II Men – reason alone to get excited.
Join freeB and ing discover amaz bican! stuff at the Bar Are you 16–25? Into theatre, art, music, film or dance? Grab yourself a ticket at the Barbican with freeB! !"##$%&'%(%)#)*#"'+&,%'-+#)#%./"%01234%5#("%/67'% 8+(89'%,"#885%+("7%8/%,(''%:,;%!/"%(%'8("8<%&8%7/#'=98%-/'8% 5/:%(=58+&=>;%?:,<%@&6-+A B+&=C%/.%&8%('%(=%&=D&8(8&/=<%."/)%:'%8/%5/:%'/%8+(8%5/:% -(=%#E,6/"#%8+#%)/'8%#E-&8&=>%(=7%7&D#"'#%"(=>#%/.%("8'% #=8#"8(&=)#=8%5/:9"#%#D#"%6&C#65%8/%.&=7%&=%/=#%,6(-#;% F89'%(%-+(=-#%8/%7&'-/D#"%=#G%,(''&/='%/"%&=7:6>#%/=#'% 5/:%(6"#(75%+(D#;%H66%5/:%=##7%&'%(=%/,#=%)&=7;%H=7% )(5*#%(%6&886#%'#='#%/.%(7D#=8:"#;%
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Book Ahead: November Red Hot Chili Peppers
Nov 7, 9, 10
RD Got Me Burnin Release: Sep 25 Label: Polydor
Having thankfully streamlined their old name, Ruff Diamondz, London girl group RD are making a play for the charts with their debut single Got Me Burnin. A love letter to the sweet seduction of the dancefloor, it packs a tidy little hook over a winding carnival rhythm. Produced and co-written by Rinse FM’s Geeneus, man behind Katy B’s beats, it definitely wouldn’t sound out of place on On a Mission. Which is definitely a good thing in The Book’s book. Hold tight, London, it’s time to dance. Previews by Ruth Saxelby
Even without original guitarist John Frusciante, the Chili Peppers live are definitely hotter than the real thing. Tinie Tempah
Wembley Arena Nov 10
This has certainly been a good year for Tinie Tempah: winning two Brits, an Ivor Novello, and now playing Wembley Arena. Emeli Sandé Koko Nov 29
After writing successful hits for Cher Lloyd, Leona Lewis, and Cheryl Cole it’s time for this Scottish singer’s star to shine. With her spectacular voice and sassy style, we’re looking forward to the album Our Version of Events.
Packed full of Scratch theatre, music gigs, parties and the best new shows we have seen out & about.
Every Thur, Fri and Sat Night This season we have some amazing artists creating work at BAC. Look out for: Little Bulb, Made in China, Subject to_change, Paper Cinema & lots more. To ﬁnd out the full programme go to
www.bac.org.uk and check out our online brochure. Ticket prices range from Pay What You Can - £10
I ♥ Notting Hill Arts Club Dave Swindells has
documented London’s club scene since the ’80s, and has just published a photo-book, Spirit of Ibiza ’89. He says YoYo at the Notting Hill Arts Club (above) is one of the best weekly clubs around: it has everything from hip hop to UK funk and rough-edged house. Try to get on the list in advance. www.nottinghillartsclub.com, www.daveswindells.com Show us your club snaps! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BAC is a short walk from Clapham Junction BAC (Battersea Arts Centre) Lavender Hill SW11 5TN Box Ofﬁce 020 7223 2223
‘Freida Pinto, George Clooney and Ralph Fiennes are just a few of the guests lending sparkle’
Christabel Samuel celebrates the looniness and George Clooneyness of the 55th London Film Festival
travelling across cities and countries. Weisz also stars in the closing night’s gala film The Deep Blue Sea, a story about the capriciousness of love set in 1950s Britain. Another huge gala screening is George Clooney’s hotly anticipated political satire The Ides of March. Clooney loves the LFF, and his little roped-off area at the closing night party a few years ago was the hot ticket – especially with ex-squeeze Lisa Snowdon there.
Lights! Camera! Action! The 55th BFI London Film Festival, starting on October 12, is the capital’s most star-studded fortnight. Over the course of 16 days, 13 world premieres, 204 features and 110 shorts from 55 countries will take over our city.
But the LFF is best as a showcase of hidden talent. This year, The Artist is a brilliant homage-cum-parody of Hollywood’s silent era. We Have a Pope is a touching and humorous story of one man’s crisis of faith – a man who, unfortunately, just happens to be the newly elected Pope.
From World Cinema to Treasures from the Archive there is a hefty programme to be screened at Odeon Leicester Square, BFI Southbank, Ritzy Brixton, Curzon Mayfair and many more venues around town. There is a lot to choose from, but The Book has whittled down a handful of gems.
Gandhu sees a young Bengali man slip into a life of porn and drugs in order to escape his slumdog reality. Unlike conventional Indian films Gandhu is a hardboiled and angry examination of frustrated youth.
The opening night gala (not open to the public, but you can stand by the red carpet and gawp) will be Fernando Meirelles’ 360. Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Weisz, it follows the interconnected encounters of strangers
Nick Broomfield is the original documentary provocateur – from whom Michael Moore and Louis Theroux sprang. In Sarah Palin - You Betcha! he charts ‘Mama Grizzly’s’ bid for the White House. Another original documentary, Dragonslayer revolves around skateboarding
veteran Josh ‘Skreech’ Sandoval, who spends his days drinking or getting high while his girlfriend Leslie aspires to go to college. Finally, all ages will enjoy Tales of the Night. An enchanting product of contemporary French cinema, the beautiful silhouette animation mashed with 3D effects isn’t just visually stunning, its six charming stories promise sharp dialogue for a real treat. There is also a host of panel discussions and free events over the fortnight. 100 Cult Films, for instance, is presented by Xavier Mendik and Ernest Mathijs, who range widely from The Sound of Music through Italian cannibal movies to Japanese animé. This time next year, one of the LFF’s hidden gems may make their list 101. The fun for the film-goer is in trying to spot which. Perhaps it will be the LFF’s annual Surprise Film, to be screened on October 23? It’s truly a world-class fortnight: do book early, the big tickets sell out. David Cronenberg, Dexter Fletcher, Freida Pinto, George Clooney, Michael Fassbender and Ralph Fiennes are just a few of the guests lending sparkle, but the real star of the LFF is the movies themselves. The 55th BFI London Film Festival, Oct 12-27, prices from £10.50 to £18 (concessions available). www.bfi. org.uk/lff
Horror Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Manvir Mudhar takes a first trip back into the dark side
than chilling. In fact, the trailer scared me more than the film itself.
Horror has never been my film genre. After watching Red Dragon at 15, I had nightmares for years. I promised myself I would never watch another. But fear has a way of pulling you back in….
Alex (Guy Pearce) and Kim (Katie Holmes) move into an old family house, once owned by a famous artist, and start to refurbish it for the arrival of Alex’s daughter Sally, whom his ex-wife has rejected. In the ’70s, you could have understood them not realising the house nursed hidden ghoulies, but after so many similar horror movies since, could they not have been suspicious?
I had heard terrifying things about the original 1970s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, so I was expecting the modern version, produced and co-written by horror maestro Guillermo del Toro, to be even more of a challenge. I nerved myself up to go. The result, however, was more atmospheric
Either way, it’s left to young Sally to discover the hidden basement that the adults somehow
overlooked, where she receives the unwanted attentions of some creepy goblin-like creatures. ‘Sssally,’ the sinister whispers come slithering through a vent. ‘Sssally, I want to be your friend.’ First-time feature director Troy Nixey keeps the action moving, and the creatures are truly horrifying: I had to squint every time they came on screen. They are small, quick and animalistic, their whispers haunting and disturbing. The human performances are less satisfying. While Holmes and Madison progress to become stronger characters, Pearce plays a small part and we don’t see as much development. Overall, I’m not sure my first foray into horror in years will tempt me back – don’t look for me in the queue for Paranormal Activity 3 on October 21 – but it will satisfy those who dare to step into the ‘dark’.
Christabel Samuel, Film Editor First film that made you cry: Highlander (1986). Connor MacLeod's wife dies of old age whilst he, immortal, remains widowed and heartbroken. First poster boy: Brandon Lee as The Crow, brooding over my headboard. First film you walked out of: Only recently, when I attended the premiere of The Green Lantern. First film star crush: James Mason in Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1959). Debonair yet utterly stubborn was appealing me.
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A classic scene revisted Film: Jaws (1975) Director: Steven Spielberg
Samuel Clemens, director of The Lighter, gets bitten
They say inspiration can come from anywhere. The acting bug bit me after watching Jaws. And it took a big bite. The monologue by Sam Quint (Robert Shaw) when he talks about the USS Indianapolis, still gives me chills today. Prior to this, the men share a wonderful bonding session. They drink, laugh and enjoy the adventure. But when Quint is asked about an old tattoo, he recounts the story of the ill-fated vessel bombed by the Japanese during WW2. The surviving men were left for dead in the water, slowly being picked off one by one by sharks. He says: ‘Eleven hundred men went into the water, 316 men came out. The sharks took the rest.’ This scene instantly turns the mood darker. I doubt Quint would have retold this tale many times in his life; he is opening up his wounds. This is the most ‘talky’ part of an action film, which makes it that bit more powerful. Unlike today, the camera hardly moves. It’s just a great actor, with great lines, speaking the truth of
Release: Oct 21 www.sonyclassics.com/ restless
Mia Wasikowska plays a terminally ill girl who falls in love with a boy whose hobby is attending funerals. But Enoch (played by Henry Hopper, son of the late Dennis Hopper) has an interest in death that is far from anti-social. He can see dead people, and befriends the ghost of a Japanese WW2 pilot. Director Gus Van Sant has long been a master of character-driven drama, and is adept at coaxing great performances from young casts; this film is carried off with a similar panache.
We Need to Talk about Kevin
Release: Oct 21 Trailer at http://dai.ly/pFFOas
Kevin is a sociopath and a killer. He’s also just a teen. Scottish director Lynne Ramsay examines the aftermath of a high school killing spree. Kevin’s mother Eva, played by the inimitable Tilda Swinton, writes to her estranged husband in an attempt to grieve over Kevin’s actions. Swinton’s gaunt visage embodies the horror of a woman haunted by her son’s atrocities. Ramsay’s probing question reverberates throughout: could Eva have prevented Kevin’s massacre or was he always destined to be malevolent?
those lines. The result? Golden. What follows is full-on action, with the shark attacking, so this scene is a rare moment. It isn’t a plot driver. It’s the calm before the storm. This inspired me to pursue film and acting, and to create a distinctive narrative style for my new film The Lighter. Jaws is the greatest horror film ever made. Show me one person who wasn’t scared to swim in the sea after watching it. That is the power of a performance.
Based on the bestselling novel, We Need to Talk about Kevin has been compared with The Omen or The Village of the Damned, but is all the more chilling for being credible.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg Release: Oct 26 www.tintin.com
Blistering Barnacles! It has taken almost three decades for Steven Spielberg to develop this project. Expectations are high: this is his first animation (with the help of Peter Jackson's production company), and he is a big fan of the Belgian adventure series. There were 23 Tintin comic albums published between 1929 and 1976, so The Secret of the Unicorn can afford to plunder from three stories: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure. The film depicts Tintin's first encounter with Captain
Haddock, on the trail of his ancestor's fabled treasure. A host of British talents lend their voices, including Jamie Bell as Tintin, Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock, and the old Simon Pegg/Nick Frost double act as the Thom(p)son twins. Jackson will direct the sequel, and the third film will be co-directed by both Spielberg and Jackson. Clearly Tintin is a franchise that the Hollywood greats do not intend to drop and judging by the promising fan reviews, Spielberg and Jackson may have struck gold.
Release: Oct 26 www.raonemovie.com
Bollywood may be known for its singing, but it has its share of superheroes, most recently Krrish. The latest is RA.One, played by its biggest star, Shahrukh Khan. This highly anticipated big-budget flick will definitely be a hit in its homeland India. Will it cross over to Western audiences? The soundtrack includes original music by Akon, and Sony is already planning to develop a game. The plot itself is shrouded in mystery, but Khan’s costume looks like a hybrid of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit with a dash of neo-tech from Tron. The film also stars Kareena Kapoor (an offspring from the
famous Kapoor clan). Plus, as the film is co-produced by Khan’s own company there is a lot at stake for the man. Cashing in on the
Book Ahead: November
Blood in the Mobile
Release: Oct 21 www.bloodinthemobile.org
Next time you buy a mobile, you may have just funded a war in the Congo. Frank Piasecki Poulsen’s documentary explores the West’s involvement in the Civil War. He travels to the town of Bisie to observe child labourers toiling in the illegal mines, overseen by armed guards, and warns: ‘The war will continue as long as armed groups can finance their warfare by selling minerals [for our phones].’ Poulsen asks uncomfortable questions about consumer responsibility and corporate morality. Much like the ‘blood diamonds’ from Sierra Leone, here we are confronted with ‘blood mobiles’, and companies are unable to guarantee their raw material sources. Poulsen's style is confrontational: he takes a lot of personal risk in this film, which will make for engaging viewing.
In Time Justin Timberlake,
Black Power Mixtape
Perfect Sense Release: Oct 7
Release: Oct 21 Trailer at www.imdb.com/title/ tt1592527/videogallery
Before rap, there was Black Power. This underground political movement in 1960s and ’70s America was demonised by the press, which presented its leaders as criminals and hate-mongers. But this documentary presents an alternative picture.
A few years ago, documentarist Goran Hugo Olsson stumbled across a stash of contemporary footage, shot by a Swedish journalist, in a basement. He immediately recognised its worth, and has now stitched together the candid interviews with revolutionary leaders Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis and, er, Harry Belafonte, with new commentary from Erykah Badu and Talib Kweli.
Perfect Sense revolves around an unlikely love story between scientist Susan (Eva Green) and chef Michael (Ewan McGregor). Alas,
Release: Oct 14
Release: Oct 26 www.anonymous-movie.com
If you’re expecting scholarly insight, you’re unlikely to get it
from Roland Emmerich, the director of Independence Day and Godzilla. But this thriller has all the makings of a palpable Shakespearean hit: it promises political intrigue, illicit romance and sexual danger, with Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson lending heavyweight acting support.
After shining in The Social Network, Justin Timberlake wins the lead in the latest high-concept sci-fi flick: the ageing gene has been switched off, and in an overpopulated world, people must pay to stay alive. The Rum Diary Johnny Depp,
What’s with the sudden rash – excuse us – of plague movies in October?
Thirteen years after Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and six years after he paid for the 150-foot cannon that blasted Hunter S Thompson’s ashes into the sky, Johnny Depp films the late writer’s final book. Bruce Robinson, the man to whom we will forever genuflect for Withnail and I, writes and directs.
Release: Nov 4
London Young Film Festival
Film-makers under 26 Release: Nov 8-13
their romance blooms amid a terrible epidemic that robs people of their sensory perceptions. They say love is blind. I didn’t think they meant literally.
Release: Nov 1
Release: Oct 21 www.contagionmovie. warnerbros.com
The result is revealing and provocative. If you didn’t know the CIA and FBI deliberately helped flood the ghettos with drugs, watch it and weep.
‘Was Shakespeare a fraud?’ asks the film’s tagline. Anonymous follows Rhys Ifans as Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, whom some historians believe wrote Shakespeare’s plays as a means to gain power over the masses.
Another Brit-flick, Retreat has the easy-on-the-eye pairing of Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton (above) as a couple isolated on a deserted island – until a man (Jamie Bell) is washed ashore, babbling about a terrible airborne plague… But the big daddy is Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. The former arthouse director has helmed what looks like another slick and tense thriller starring Matt Damon (all together now, Team America fans: “Maaatt Daamon!”) and Kate Winslet, with added wattage from Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Laurence Fishburne. These make perfect timing for Halloween.
In cinemas across London, including the Roxy, Coronet and Curzons, 100 films will be screened from over a dozen countries. All are by directors under 26 years old. There are also workshops, lectures and networking events for those who want to make films, not just watch them. www.lyff.org.uk Rockstar Ranbir and Shammi
Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri
Release: Nov 11
AR Rahman soundtracks the story of a musical legend in the making. Ranbir Kapoor stars, and his great-uncle Shammi makes what sadly became his final appearance. Wuthering Heights James Howson, Kaya Scodelario Release: Nov 11
James Howson plays the first black Heathcliff in Emily Bronte’s classic. It's more as Bronte intended: Heathcliff was a Liverpool foundling and a ‘dark-skinned gypsy in aspect’. Cathy is played by Kaya Scodelario, better known as ‘Effy’ from Skins. Previews by Christabel Samuel
Stage ‘We hear screams of rape and violent banging’
Theatre – in a flat? Christine Twite attends an unlikely stage for the sex trade Roadkill is not the kind of play where you sit in a darkened theatre and calmly watch the action unfold. It isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s not even in a theatre. Instead, you literally follow a girl moving to the UK from her native Nigeria, and of her enslavement into the sex trade. Having met outside Stratford East theatre, the audience is shown onto the minibus that will take us to the site of the performance. Just as the bus is pulling away, two people hail it to stop: one, a young black girl of about 13, is bubbling with enthusiasm about the new city she is in (Edinburgh, not London, since Roadkill premiered at last year’s Fringe Festival); the other is an older, sophisticated lady referred to as the younger girl’s ‘auntie’. The girl chatters away happily to us all about her home in Nigeria and her new life here. The bus finally pulls up by a seedy-looking house, into which the audience are ushered to sit down in the cramped and dingy living
room. Then the real drama starts: the girl enters but does not notice us; we are like ghosts, silently witnessing the horrific events that unfold. You see her final moments of happiness, dancing to Beyoncé until a man comes along and takes her to a different room. We hear the screams of her rape and the violent banging: she comes back shaking, broken, with blood all over her dress. It only gets worse for her from here. We are moved into her bedroom, where we watch how her ‘auntie’, viper-like, makes her believe that her only hope is to work here, that the world outside is worse, that she’ll send her earnings to her parents back in Nigeria. To us observers it is all too obviously untrue; yet the girl is terrified into obeying. There follows a series of encounters with other men, usually portrayed through their sickening voiceovers as they ‘rate’ her performance online. One punter offers her a chance to leave – until ‘auntie’ reveals that
the girl is underage, and says she’ll out him as a paedophile. At another point we dare to hope as a policeman enters. Surely he’ll realise what’s going on? But again ‘auntie’ lies well enough. There is some redemption by the end, but nevertheless sitting through this is almost too much to bear. The audience members avoid eye contact with one another. At points I had to stop myself from getting up and leaving the room. But Roadkill’s horror is warranted. Brushing the issue under the carpet will not make it go away. Afterwards, we sit in silence on the bus back to the theatre, struggling with our inner thoughts and feelings. Roadkill is tragic, horrific, but transformative: I know that every person on that bus was changed forever. Roadkill plays at Stratford East, Oct 28-Nov 20, www.stratfordeast.com, E15 1BN
Opera The Turn of the Screw
London’s Little Opera House in 2010, it is home to a repertory season of in-house productions by the Olivier Award-winning resident company, OperaUpClose.
Elizabeth Odogwu’s first opera hits a high note
Manifest Destiny, first performed in 2005, explores how two young lovers battle their beliefs and destiny during the terrorist attacks of September 2001. A world premiere of Daniel Slater’s version of Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth follows in November.
Elitist, stuffy, expensive, and a formal dress code are just a few of the preconceptions I have about opera. In my jeans and flip-flops I suffer a last-minute panic attack, feeling woefully underdressed for my very first opera. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Here at the King’s Head, even the performers are dressed in
jeans, hoodies and leather jackets. The King’s Head is a busy pub theatre in the trendy heart of Islington, and is apparently the first of its kind, dating from Shakespeare’s time. It is far from intimidating, and draws a mixed crowd. In line with its re-launch as
I’m here for Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, about a young governess who becomes increasingly obsessed with the idea that ghostly visitors are haunting the children in her care, which triggers a tragic downward spiral of events. Director Edward Dick’s complex and contemporary interpretation is performed by a small but impressive cast who belt out notes as if they might shatter the foundations of the tiny stage. Admittedly, I find it hard to keep up with the action or to decipher every word. However, Katie Bird’s haunting vocals and stand-out performance as The Governess, alongside the top portrayals of Miles and Flora by the young Saul
Friend and Skye Houston, alternately excite and unsettle as the ghost story winds to its inexorable conclusion. The King’s Head Theatre is not alone in striving to make opera accessible. East London creatives Go Opera are also carving out a new opera audience by identifying and tackling the factors that deter young people. ‘We were frustrated that a large proportion of our peers see opera as unappealing and inaccessible,’ says Dominic Kraemer, CoCreative Producer for Go Opera. ‘We promise that our productions will last 85 minutes. Our opera won’t ever exceed the average ticket price of a ticket to the Odeon.’ My first opera moved me in a way that I hadn’t anticipated. I’ve discovered an art form that, though new to me, is surprisingly accessible. I’m hooked. I can’t wait to see a larger-scale production in the future. Manifest Destiny plays in rep at The King’s Head Theatre until Oct 31. Tickets from £10. www. kingsheadtheatre.com, N1 1QN
Spotlight: Kate Prince Christine Twite talks to London’s first lady of street dance
She’s choreographed for the BBC’s So You Think You Can Dance, the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony, the recent movie Streetdance 3D and directed the sell-out show Into the Hoods. We caught up with her to get the lowdown on her new show, Some Like It Hip Hop. What was the first performance you saw that made you think: this is what I want to do? As I kid I remember sitting down in front of the telly watching MTV, and being completely mesmerised by Janet Jackson. It was around the time her single Nasty was released. I loved her: she was a strong, sassy woman. Michael Jackson was good, but Janet just had something about her, and her routines. What was the next step? Did you go to stage school? I didn’t go to stage school. I did a lot of dance as a kid, but not
street dance. When I went to senior school there was no dancing at all, so I spent my time choreographing little routines. I directed a play and choreographed fashion shows for the other students. But then I thought: what would happen if I put the play and the dance together? I took a show up to the Edinburgh Festival; it was crazy, 13 of us sleeping on the floor, but it’s the kind of passion you need. And I guess I’ve been doing similar stuff ever since. Some Like It Hip Hop is a fusion of theatre and dance. Some Like It Hip Hop draws on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. If Shakespeare were alive today, would he be rapping? Totally! Shakespeare is such a lyrical poet; he would have been a rapping genius. He’d really appreciate the deep skill of rappers today, too.
How would you entice someone to come and see Some Like It Hip Hop live on stage? Today we are all so obsessed with computers and mobile phone technology. It rules our lives. There is something special about watching something live and in person. The impact and energy can be really inspirational. You’ve taken hip-hop dancing to the West End with Into the Hoods, and onscreen with Streetdance 3D.
What’s next? Hip-hop in the UK is getting a lot of exposure at the moment, but is still massively underfunded. My company, ZooNation, was the first ever hip-hop company to be appointed resident company at a big institution [Sadler’s Wells], which is great but work still needs to be done. We need to keep pushing forward. Some Like It Hip Hop, Sadler’s Wells, Oct 20-Nov 19. Tickets from £12.
My 1st Christine Twite, Stage Editor First play that made you cry: It has to be The Seagull by Anton Chekhov. It doesn’t get easier now I know the ending – I still cry every time I see it! First play you walked out of: Actually, I have never walked out of a play. Roadkill (see review, p24) was so harrowing, I came close. First play I fell asleep at: RSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well with Judi Dench as the Countess. It was really slow-paced and even Dame Judi couldn’t stop me from nodding off for a few scenes.
Desh Sadler’s Wells
Dance Marathon Barbican
‘Desh’ is the Bengali word for ‘homeland’, and unsurprisingly is created by someone who knows the land intimately: Bangladeshi Akram Khan, choreographer extraordinaire. Khan is best known for his beautiful style, which mixes the rigour of kathak, Northern Indian Classical dance, with the experimentation of contemporary dance. Khan trained in Bangladesh, but after appearing at 14 in the worldwide tour of The Mahabharata, staged by RSC director Peter Brook, he moved to London and trained at De Montford University. Since then he has set up his own Akram Khan Company, now resident at Sadler’s Wells. His work is sought after all over the world, and he even worked with Kylie Minogue on the choreography for her 2006-7 Showgirl tour. DESH is a solo piece, in which Khan returns to his cultural roots in Bangladesh. He has an amazing production team to support him, including Oscar-winning Chinese visual artist Tim Yip (production
As part of Dance Umbrella, Canadian collective bluemouth inc. brings us Dance Marathon, a show inspired by ‘dance marathons’ in Depression-era USA, where dancers competed to be the last couple standing in return for sizeable prizes. In light of our own ongoing economic turmoil, bluemouth is reviving this ‘sport’ for the 21st century. You’ll be led to a secret location and given a bib with your dance number on, after which you can dance the night away with the crowd. There will be a chance to learn the box step and lindy hop, and even an Iggy-Pop-off where members of the audience are invited to crazy dance to win the hand of a dancing partner. Bring dancing shoes and comfy clothes – this is a genuine contest. Just don’t stop moving or the referee will call you out! Dance Marathon, Barbican, EC2Y 8DS, Oct 13-16. Tickets £25 from www.barbican.org.uk
designer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Indian writer and poet Karthika Nair, and Olivier Award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook. Khan describes the piece as being about transformation – of body, land, identity and memory – while examining the contradictions of Khan’s own British-Asian identity. It looks like this will be a fascinating production. DESH, Sadler’s Wells, EC1R 4TN, Oct 4-8. Tickets from £10, from www. sadlerswells.com
are delighted to offer 5 lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to Office Party.
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Calling all 24-hour party people: let yourself be entertained by legendary cabaret artists Ursula Martinez and Christopher Green as they invite you to their scandalous Office Party. After sell-out runs at the Barbican Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe, get ready for the most wonderfully experimental party on offer! Anything could happen, and it probably will.
To enter email your name and number to: email@example.com. Office Party - From 4 October - 21 January Product Solutions Head Office, Islington, N7 9EF (Adjacent to the Pleasance Theatre) www.officepartyshow.com T&CS: Competition closing date is 31st October 2011. Prize consists of a pair of tickets to Office Party, valid Sunday Thursday in November 2011, subject to availability. Prize is non-transferrable. There is no cash alternative.
Dance Umbrella Across London Oct 1-29
Dance Umbrella is London’s premier dance event, a contemporary dance festival that takes over the capital every October. It’s been going since the 1970s, and has made its name presenting a range of affordable and free-to-view events in unusual spaces. This year is no exception: Dance Umbrella have secured the final run of performances by seminal choreographer Merce Cunningham’s company. Cunningham died suddenly two years ago and his dancers have decided they cannot go on without him. This will be their swansong. But if something a little more unusual and quirky is more your style, check out Square Dances by Rosemary Lee, taking place in four major squares in London. Two hundred dancers will arrive, perform and move along to the next site. You can catch just one square, or make a day of it and follow the dancers from one square to the next. There’s also a series of events celebrating Candoco, a dance company formed of disabled and non-disabled dancers creating contemporary work. It is 20 years old this year and has never been so popular, memorably performing at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Dance Umbrella, across London, Oct 1-29. www.danceumbrella.co.uk
Kick off the comedy month in low-key, off-kilter stylee with the After School Comedy Club (Oct 3, www. camdenhead.com), a monthly night in a Camden pub that promises “silly, surreal, weird, offensive, intelligent” comedy outside the mainstream. It’s free, and your art skills can win you booze. Demetri Martin (Oct 15-16, www. leicestersquaretheatre.com) is almost certainly the funniest Greek-American lawyer son of an Orthodox priest on stage this month. Martin has a show on Comedy Central entitled Important Things With Demetri Martin, has released a comedy CD/DVD entitled These Are Jokes, and published a book entitled This Is a Book. This is his first UK show in years, mysteriously not entitled His First UK Show in Years. Fans of Peep Show (aren’t we all?) will welcome Dobby’s – sorry, Issy Suttie’s – first hour-long show since 2008 (Oct 21, www. thebloomsbury.com). Suttie is also an accomplished musician: expect a mix of songs, stories and romance. Less well known, though not
Saved Lyric Hammersmith Oct 6-Nov 5
Until 1968, British theatre was a very strange beast. Nothing could be staged without the official approval of The Lord Chamberlain, a government officer. This led to some ridiculous rules, including the banning of improvisation, on the grounds that it could not be officially pre-approved. Theatre, in short, had no freedom of speech. Then Edward Bond’s Saved came along. The censor banned it in 1965. Unbowed, the Royal Court exploited a loophole in the law, premiering the play as a ‘theatre club’ instead.
The play does have some disturbing scenes – most famously where a teenage gang stones a baby in a pram – and contemporary critics were mostly appalled. Yet the violence is not mindless. It all forms a social commentary with a resolutely positive ending. The ban caused uproar and, together with Bond’s next play Early Morning (also banned), helped turn the tide against censorship. For the last 25 years, Bond has refused permission for anyone to stage Saved, which makes this production by The Lyric Hammersmith one of the most anticipated of the year. The Lyric will also be staging three of Bond’s one-act plays, two of which will be directed by Bond himself. Saved, Lyric Hammersmith, W6 0QL, Oct 6-Nov 5. Tickets from £12.50, from www.lyric.co.uk
for long, is Imran Yusuf. The winner of Edinburgh 2010’s Best Newcomer award, his lyrical street-slang has caught the eye of BBC3 for a forthcoming pilot. Catch him while he’s still small enough to play a pub night (Oct 22, www. crackcomedy.com). And here comes trouble! Michael Moore, the Oscar-winning satirist behind Stupid White Men and Fahrenheit 9/11, makes a rare live UK appearance (Oct 24, www.lyric. co.uk). Ex-CNN presenter Larry King is playing on Oct 2, too (www. apollovictorialondon.org.uk). To think that we only sent them Piers Morgan. So much for fair trade.
Book ahead: November A British Subject Arts Theatre uNov 2-Nov 26
Imagine being locked up for 18 years for a crime you didn’t commit. A British Subject tells the true story of just that: Mirza Tahir Hussain arrives in Pakistan, 24 hours later a taxi driver is killed, and he’s found guilty of the murder. Nichola McAuliffee, whose partner was the only journalist to visit Mirza, writes and stars in this powerful political play. The Comedy of Errors The National Theatre, Olivier uNov 22-Jan 17
Lenny Henry proves you don’t have to be a hardcore thespian to perform Shakespeare. He received an Evening Standard Award in 2009 for his Othello. Now he’s playing Antipholus of Syracuse. Lenny and director Dominic Cooke both make their National Theatre debut. The Westbridge Royal Court Theatre uNov 25-Dec 21
The Pitman Painters Duchess Theatre Oct 5-Jan 21
The Pitmen Painters is a little gem. Written by Lee Hall, who gave us Billy Elliott, it’s based on the true story of a group of miners between the wars who decide to start painting – with magnificent results. Having already won numerous accolades, including the Evening Standard Award for Best New Play, it takes up residence in the West End. Reminding us all about the great power that art has to regenerate, it should be compulsory viewing for government ministers cutting back on arts funding. The Pitmen Painters, Duchess Theatre, WC2B 5LA, Oct 5-Jan 21. Tickets from £20, from www. nationaltheatre.org.uk
Judging by the success of recent alumni of the Royal Court’s Unheard Voices Writers Programme, Rachel De-lahay is one to watch. Hammaad Chadry and Alia Bano, before her, both won acclaim. Set on the streets of South London, The Westbridge follows two families from different backgrounds. Whilst this may be in the Court’s smaller upstairs venue, it has big potential. Orpheus in the Underworld Young Vic uNov 30-Dec 10
Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a Greek myth, or that it’s opera. Comedian Rory Bremner has translated and updated the story for a media-savvy, celebobsessed world. If that’s not enough, it’s only two hours, sung in English, and there’s the promise of a can-can dance with the God of Wine, Bacchus. Cheers to that! Previews by Christine Twite
Art Frieze V. Moniker
Susanna Davies-Crook and Stephanie Keller fight for the right to a-a-arty
Oct 13-16, Regent’s Park, NW1. Advance tickets from £20, via www.friezeartfair.com
The inimitable Frieze once again returns to Regent’s Park on October 13-16 for the ultimate art world spectacle. Amid the annual mêlée of curators, collectors and the generally curious, 175 exhibitors from 33 countries jostle for visibility, illuminating London internationally for four days. In addition to the artists selected by their effusive gallerists on hundreds of stalls, Frieze Projects is the one to watch. It’s the second under Sarah McCrory, a dynamic young curator with a reputation for championing emerging artists who go on to become internationally known. Her 2011 selection includes commissions from Peckham's very own LuckyPDF and Berlinbased art/tech pioneer Oliver Laric, new work from multimedia artist Christian Jankowski, and Bik Van der Pol’s live scoreboard that responds to the environment. Frieze Film has also commissioned five new works from artists including cult Californian Lutz Bacher.
Frieze is a labyrinthine network of booths with white stud walls that brings together the work of 1,000 artists in its sprawling interior. It’s easy to lose your bearings, though a redesign this year by architects Carmody Groarke may just help, and a few rounds of ‘guess the price’ can while away the time while you mistakenly pass the same gallery stand for the fourth time. It’s definitely not for the cash-strapped novice looking for an arty pressie; but for the wannabe curator, aspiring artist or serious young collector looking for an international overview of contemporary art, the sizeable admission fee is more than worthwhile. Other art fairs and pop-up events may ride on its coat-tails this week, but without Frieze, they wouldn’t exist.
Oct 13-16, Village Underground, EC2A 3PQ. www.monikerartfair.com
For its second year, Moniker Art Fair returns to east London's Village Underground as the anti-Frieze. While the fair was conceived in its
infant stages as a ‘street art fair’ and is sponsored by Montana spray paint, the movement of street art into galleries in the past few years has turned Moniker into a more general art fair of new contemporary art. Free and open to the public, Moniker boasts the likes of pop surrealists Luke Chueh, street art legend Ben Eine and photographer Cheryl Dunn, by galleries including Camp Barbossa, Shea and Ziegler, Le Basse, Andenken, Able & Baker and Producciones Graciasaella. The highlights will be the pop-up project spaces created by visiting artists who exhibit their work as imagined in their own environments. This year features Australian duo Dabs & Myla, Thai wonderkid Beejoir, German painters Jay bo and Pho and American shutterbug Alex Fakso. Keeping it street, the critically acclaimed German pair Herakut will also paint a large wall on Great Eastern Street during the fair. Moniker may still be small, but it’s a breath of fresh air compared with the overhyped (and over-priced) Frieze. Stephanie Keller writes for blog.vandalog.com
Locked Room Scenario Ryan Gander/Art Angel
Until Oct 23. Londonewcastle Depot, N1 7SL. Tickets £4, www.artangel.org.uk What strange tales are unfolding in a mysterious east London warehouse? Katie Haines takes a Gander
Don’t take the title of Ryan Gander’s latest commission for Art Angel too literally. This locked room scenario won’t have Sherlock Holmes stroking his chin in the corner with a cold-blooded murderer at arm’s length. And yet you can’t help feeling like an
undercover detective as you witness Gander’s latest project. The scene is a warehouse, in the empty back streets of east London. In Secret Cinema-fashion actors are used to greet visitors or pose as passers-by. A limited number of us were released at a time to wander through a meticulously constructed web of corridors and spaces. Our minds raced as to what could be happening, or was about to happen, around each corner and
closed door. In total we found 30 works of art, each like clues waiting to be pieced together. Ryan Gander has spent the last decade being unpredictable. His work has ranged from writing to film to sculpture, and earned him solo shows and awards across Europe. His recent London projects include curating a group show at Limoncello Gallery where he piled works by 38 British artists into an area the size of a common room. All the pieces had to be black and white and the gallery was pimped out with the thickest-pile bright-white carpet I’ve even bounced across; so wrong it was almost right. Then there’s his monthly Night School at the ICA, where Gander invites speakers on any topic of their choice, from a designer moaning about the geometry of chairs to a plinth holding a young actress. Such events give you a great opportunity to encounter the sharp, measured and Cheshire-accented host, the artist and storyteller, Gander himself.
Susanna Davies-Crook, Art Editor First time I got net.art: Clicking through Olia Lialina’s My Boyfriend Came Back from the War and then spending hours with the remixes. First time art made me cry: Reading texts from feminist Californian artist Suzanne Lacy’s Three Weeks in May and In Mourning & In Rage. First time I spent a whole day in an exhibition: The video and performance art pioneer Joan Jonas, in California. First transcendental experience: James Turrell, the American artist concerned with light and space, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
In the studio: Oliver Laric HowlonghaveyoubeeninBerlin? Four years.
Oliver Laric opens three shows in October: at Frieze, SUNDAY Art Fair and Seventeen.
What do you love about it? Very little hierarchy and it still hasn't arrived yet.
Laric is fascinated by the networked possibilities of the internet age, formulating works from found imagery, digital reproductions and 'pop' culture. 2000 Cliparts is a fast-paced compilation of the icons offered with most software packages in the '90s, strobing together to form a portrait of stereotyped humanity. Laric’s appropriation of them draws a comparison between popular imagery, high art and the value of multiples. 2000 Cliparts was soon shared across hundreds of blogs, though it has yet to match the 500,000 Youtube views of his 787 Cliparts (2006), an audience major galleries struggle to pull in.
What's your studio there like? Domestic. Describe a working day ... Emails, news, gym, protein shake, lunch, work, coffee, work, dinner, book. What's the best bit of tech in your studio? Akai MPC 2000.
Laric operates out of his Berlin studio, where we pinned him down for a quick-fire Q&A during his hectic pre-Frieze period…
What does your dream working environment feature? Big budgets. Whatartists/collectives/individuals have inspired your work?
Bach, Bausch and Beckett. What relaxes you? Food. What stresses you out? Food in Berlin. When do you work best? Post frustration. What distracts you most? Procrastination. What are you working on at the moment? Naming an orchid and registering it with the Royal Horticultural Society in London.
Oliver Laric is showing at the Frieze and SUNDAY art fairs, Oct 13-16, and Seventeen gallery Oct 12-Nov 12. www. friezeartfair.com, www.sunday-fair.om, www.seventeengallery.com
SUNDAY Art Fair
Ambika P3, NW1 5LS, Oct 13-16. Free. http://sunday-fair.com
Sluice Art Fair
The Music Room, W1K 5AB, Oct 15-16. Free. www.sluiceartfair.com
Minotaur Steve Lazarides
The Old Vic Tunnels, SE1 8SW, Oct 10-Nov 4. £5 (£65 if eating!). www.oldvictunnels.com
After the successful Hell’s Half Acre (above), street art pioneer Steve Lazarides returns to the tunnels for a mythologically themed art maze and, er, Michelin-starred pop-up restaurant. The street artists creating work inspired by the legendary half-man, half-bull are Stanley Donwood, Conor Harrington, and Antony Micallef. SK
Sluice is the latest art fair to capitalise on the buzz around Frieze. Created by artist Karl England and curator and critic Ben Street, it showcases young artist-run galleries and not-for-profit spaces including London’s Space In Between gallery and the ALISN (Artist-led initiatives support network). Workshops, panel discussions, performances and screenings will place in the open-layout space in Mayfair. SDC
And there’s more! Also in the same week as Frieze is this international art fair, now in its second year, which began in Berlin. Taking over 14,000 square feet of space beneath the University of Westminster, it showcases 20 young galleries uncer its triple-height ceilings, offering the chance to see works by Ryan Gander, Oliver Laric and Christian Jankowski as well as emerging practitioners – this time for free! Cocktails will be mixed from recipes by Ryan Gander (see previous page), and on the Friday evening artist Bedwyr Williams hosts an Art Pub Quiz, while artist David Blandy holds a 'Duels and Dualities' tournament. SDC
Victoria Miro, N1 7RW, Oct 12-Nov 12. Free. www.victoria-miro. com
This is former Venice Golden Lion recipient Doug Aitken’s first London show since 2003. Installed across both floors of the Victoria Miro gallery, the exhibition fuses pop with collective history through a blend of media to encourage a fragmented gaze on the present. The text works question the language of advertising and the production of meaning. SDC
Reclaim the Mural
The Whitechapel Gallery, E1 7QX, until Dec 4. Free. www.whitechapelgallery.org
Ever wonder who creates the murals you see dotted around London, and how and why? Commissioned by the Whitechapel Gallery, the Work in Progress art collective has spent a year documenting mural-making from conception through to completion, including dialogues with housing associations, muralists and the public. They have also put together an online map on the Whitechapel Gallery’s website, with pop-up pictures of London’s murals, inviting the public to send in their favourites. SDC Previews by Susanna Davies-Crook and Stephanie Keller
Framed Shoreditch isn’t just the undisputed champion of trendy bars with secret entrances, it’s also the best outdoor, free-range urban-art gallery in London. We love this riot of colour on Turville Street, by Malarky & Billy and Dogboy (photo by Mallarky). There’s another frieze round the corner. Seen a great piece of street art? Send us your pics! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Book Ahead: November Leonardo: Painter at the Court of Milan
National Gallery Nov 9-Feb 5
The Other Art Fair
Royal Academy of Art This is probably your only chance to buy an original work by a worldclass artist. Thousands of handpainted postcards are for sale at £45 each – can you spot the masters? Last year's included Tracey Emin, Jake Chapman and Peter Blake. www.royalacademy.org.uk
This year’s mega-show is the most complete exhibition of the great master’s rare surviving works ever held. www.nationalgallery.org.uk
Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art From Germany
Terence Conran: The Way We Live Now Design Museum Nov 16-Mar 23
Collector Charles Saatchi’s taste – and money – defined the Young British Artist movement of the ‘90s. His colossal exhibition space off the King’s Road is always fun to wander round and gawp at. Gesamtkunstwerk ('total body of work') features 24 recent artists. www.saatchi-gallery. co.uk
With Habitat, the furniture chain he founded in 1964, Terence Conran brought design to the masses. The shops are no more, but their impact lives on. www.designmuseum.org
Nov 18-Apr 29
Barge House, Southbank A hundred talented but unrepresented emerging artists have been selected for this new art fair. Get ‘em while they’re hot. www. theotherartfair.com
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Don’t visit the library – carry it with you. Nigel Kendall assesses the eReader revolution I saw a man on theTube the other day reading a book. It was a paperback, three inches thick, around 1,500 pages. When he put it back in his bag and slung it over his shoulder, I saw him wince. I was also toting some pretty heavyweight literature: the complete works of Charles Dickens; a few forgotten Wilkie Collins novels; a couple of Dostoevskys; and a War and Peace, among others. All stored in an electronic book that weighs less than a small paperback. We are in the middle of a publishing revolution, as the electronic reader comes of age. Most prominent is the Kindle, produced and sold by Amazon. It’s a sleek machine with a nicely tactile rubberised finish and a display which – like all eReaders (as they’re known) – uses real ink to display text with a precision and clarity almost equivalent to the traditionally printed word.
Unlike the LED screens that are used in mobile phones or iPads, eReader screens are nonreflective, so can be read (like paper) in bright sunlight. They only display in black and white (for now).
So what’s the alternative? Sony’s Reader range has been around for a few years, but its list prices are high. Shop around online for a good deal, or sacrifice build quality and feel and buy one of the many budget machines, such as the Bookeen.
The Kindle comes in two models, one with a 3G connection built in, the other without. The big advantage of the former is that you don’t need a computer to acquire new books. The machine connects directly to Amazon’s Kindle store, where you can search among over 500,000 titles. A typical book takes around three seconds to download.
None of Sony’s machines in the UK currently has built-in connectivity, so you need a computer to plug them in to. Having done that, though, you can shop where you like, heading to online eBook stores to compare prices. Of Sony’s machines, I love the forgettably named PRS-350, which has a touch screen, is smaller than a paperback and doesn’t have the keyboard that clutters up and enlarges the Kindle.
'You can search among 500,000 titles, and a typical book takes around three seconds to download.'
But the Kindle ties you in to Amazon for purchases, and is limited in the file types it can display. The most popular are files that end in .pdf, .mobi, and .epub. Of these, ‘epub’ is the one that is becoming the MP3 of e-publishing. And the Kindle cannot read epub files.
You may think that any eReader is a luxury, but students with course work that requires any books printed over 130 years ago will almost certainly find them for free at sites such as Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org), since they’re likely to be out of copyright. After 30 free books, your machine will have paid for itself. And your shoulders will thank you forever. Kindle is available from amazon.co.uk, £111 and £152 (3G). Sony PRS-350 costs up to £150; shop around. The Bookeen is available at Waterstone’s, £111
Game Boy Nigel Kendall comes down with a bad case of sequelitis
Looking down the release schedules for major games between now and Christmas gives a severe case of déjà vu. Here are some highlights: Gears of War 3 (Xbox360); Resident Evil 4 (PS3/Xbox360); FIFA 12 (all formats); Uncharted 3 (PS3); Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox360); Batman: Arkham City (PC, PS3, Xbox360); Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (PC, PS3, Xbox360).
Lust Have Fatman i-dock When retro meets 21st century tech, something magical happens. Just take a look at the iTube ValveDock valve amplifier and iPod dock from Fatman. The good news is that it sounds as good as it looks. See www.fat-man.co.uk for stockists.
The games industry has learnt many lessons from Hollywood over the years; sadly, the one it seems to have taken most to heart is, if you have a prize-winning horse, make sure you flog it until you’ve killed it. Then flog it some more. Thankfully, there is a twig of hope poking out of this bog. I hear great things about a Japanese title called Catherine, which fuses adult erotica with puzzle-solving nightmares. The trailer will give you the creeps (http://bit.ly/qkWZRA). Thankfully, gaming is no longer all about consoles. The iPhone and iPod Touch changed all that, and gave Nintendo’s touch-screen DS a good kicking into the bargain, selling titles once available only on the DS for a fraction of the price via the Apple app store. What consumers got (and Nintendo mostly didn’t) was that games could be a way of killing time, rather than an end in itself. Soon, an entire industry sprang up, offering quick fixes in all genres, from puzzles to sports, to games of skill with a cartoon twist, such as Angry Birds.
M11P+ ME Electronics
Darth Vader Alarm Clock Lego
£34.99. From: www.advanced headphones.co.uk
£26.49. From: www.firebox.com
At some point you’re going to need to wake up early in the morning. Few things are likely to put more of a spring in your step than whacking Darth Vader on the head. What’s more, this Lego version of the intergalactic incarnation of evil is fully manoeuvrable, meaning you can manipulate the way he looks more frequently than George Lucas does.
Nigel Kendall, Gadgets Editor
First video game: Easy. Space Invaders. Trousers weighed into now-fashionable half-mast by 10p pieces, I’d hit the arcade. After a shrewd investment of several hundred quid, I could ‘clock’ the machine four times before dying.
Continuing the ‘launching strange creatures’ theme is Catapult Madness (£0.69), riding high in the iTunes chart, in which you launch peasants off a castle rampart to repel invaders. Ragdoll Blaster 2 (£1.99) involves a cannon and puzzle mazes, but the idea of making you chuckle while you play is also there.
First console: When the Atari 2600 with proper arcade games came along in 1977, I had to have one. Then came the 1980s rebirth of the arcade, and I lost interest until I saw Sonic the Hedgehog on a Sega Mega Drive. Speed! Colour! Graphics! And a great platform game!
In among all this quick-fire tomfoolery, it’s heartening to see a true classic in iTunes top ten. Bubble Shooter is that game where you stop the bubbles descending by making lines of similarly coloured bubbles. It’s free, it’s hopelessly addictive, and it’s one case where familiarity does not breed contempt. Perhaps the big boys should take note.
First bad gadget decision: A Philips flatscreen (old-style) TV, on sale for £500. Advertised as ‘future-proof ’, this TV was about as future-proof as my grandma. Rendered obsolete by new connectors and its inability to play NTSC video tapes, this TV made me happy just once – by exploding shortly after its fifth birthday.
Enjoyable though the noisy whirl of London life may be, there are times when you will want to make like Simon and Garfunkel. These high-quality in-ear phones not only allow you to be alone with your music but act as sound-deadening earplugs so you can, if needed, enjoy the sound of silence. They contain a microphone compatible with most modern handsets, including iPhone and BlackBerry.
App Market Evernote www.evernote.com
Make notes to yourself, store pictures, websites, receipts, anything and your notes will sync across all devices. Particularly useful if working on a big project with lots of things to remember. Terrific for lecture notes. Free, but paid version has extra features.
Blogs Big B
Behind the Blog
Sometimes the simplest ideas work best. Here’s how you can dress your blog for success What Katie Wore started as a dare: Katie, now 28, had to wear a different outfit every day for a year, without buying anything new, and her boyfriend Joe, 29, would blog the results daily. His wry comments on her quirky, colourful style caused Grazia to feature them across three pages, after which it’s been listed in 20-odd major publications. They now get 6,000 hits a day. What makes a successful blog? Joe: We never intended it to be much more than a way for Katie’s parents in Fife to see her every day! Blogs that do well are those that don’t get started with a commercial goal, they feel more genuine. Doing it daily was a rod for my back, but it probably helped: some people tell me they read it at the same time every day, with a digestive. Katie: You need some unique angle or perspective. Making it task-driven is good: like the man writing 1,001 rules for his unborn son. Be witty, keep it short, and get some photos. Do you make money from it now? Joe: If you want to make money, go into banking! Don’t think about blogging as a career, just think about
what you enjoy doing, and write about it. That said, if you want to monetise your blog, join some sort of affiliate network like Skimlinks, they automatically turn your links into affiliated links to make a few quid; then chat to specialist media brokers who send ad inventory to blogs. Bullfrog Digital are good guys. Katie: People do send me clothes now, and I get invited to a lot of events, which is nice. I work in advertising, Joe in digital PR, so we’re very aware of how a lot of brands are deliberately targeting bloggers now. When you’d finished the dare, you kept on going. Why? Katie: There was an emotional connection with our followers that I hadn’t expected. They begged us to continue. I had teen girls saying they were picked on at school because they didn’t dress like anyone else, and that I’d given them the courage to keep going. A woman who’d had chemotherapy said she’d worn black for a year, and I gave her the confidence to wear colour again. Joe: Because it makes my girlfriend happy! Getting sent shoes is every woman’s dream. It’s like all her birthdays taken care of.
Whoever thought blogging was just for young people clearly hasn’t read Amitabh Bachchan’s Big B. The 68 year-old actor, who shot to fame in Sholay, blogs almost daily, and tweets regularly. On Big B you’re greeted with an in-your-face pic, bursting with colour – what else would you expect from a Bollywood superstar? – and can scroll down to numbered entries. The grammar may not be perfect, but if you know Bachchan’s unique intonation, you begin to read each line with it in mind. In January 2009 he hit headlines writing that Slumdog Millionaire portrays India as a ‘third-world, dirty, underbelly developing nation’. We’re loving his most recent entries that include a behind-the-scenes look at ‘the most complicated and hardest job’ of hosting the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, musings on the ‘spell-binding’ Godfather, and ranting about, er, chest pains.
The Tyro Theatre Critic
Until recently this blog was called The Teenage Theatre Critic. Now Robert Walport has reached his twenties the name has changed to The Tyro Theatre Critic, but his reviews are as prolific as ever. The site may be a standard blogspot creation, it lacks visual excitement and all that jazz, but the lengthy reviews are worth delving into. The reviews are all accessible, and never afraid to tell it as it is. In a review of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, starring Daniel Radcliffe, he laments: ‘It all just feels a bit fake.’ And he opens his review of Catch me if you Can with: ‘[this] might well be the most painfully conventional and unoriginal new piece of musical theatre I’ve ever seen’. As Walport has now moved to the Big Apple, to study a Masters degree, expect more entries on the best Broadway productions. Will this Brit love Broadway?
Running from Camera
This proves that a blog can be made on just about anything. In one entry a man is running in a park, in another he’s running in a train station, and in the next on a beach. You get the idea. The premise is simple: ‘I put the self-timer on two seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can.’ Taken all together, these wild dashes are like quirky postcards of Dutch cities. Reviews by Kohinoor Sahota
Follow the tweeter Fresh from the humiliation of not being understood in America, Twitter virgin Cheryl Cole has turned for consolation to social networking, but is finding it equally hard to express herself: @cherylcole: Btw I’m gutted I can’t use my little yellow men faces on here.. They help me express what I’m saying... Which naughty Conde Nast staffer set up the Twitter account which pokes fun at the publisher’s elevator conversations? It currently has 90,000 followers and growing: @condeelevator: Girl #1: ‘There should be an elevator that only goes to Vogue. Just up to the 12th floor and back down.’ Girl #2: ‘Totally.’
The Art of Venice 24 Hrs:
Dominic Wells paints the town red – and yellow, and pink, and green...
9am: Venice is known for the art of love:
Casanova lived here, couples honeymoon here, and at one time up to 11,000 prostitutes serviced the city. It is, however, equally wonderful for the love of art. Beat the queues by starting your day at the Doge’s Palace: you’ll see an extraordinary gilded ceiling, one of Europe’s largest, with frescoes by Tintoretto, Veronese and Bella; and pass over the famous Bridge of Sighs, christened by Lord Byron, not as a lover’s lament, but because it led to the prisons. Oxford and Cambridge also have their very own Bridge of Sighs, supposedly named after the sighs of exam students, but neither looks as spectacular or has the picturesque view on to the lagoon.
11am: The great painter of the city itself, with its Palazzos built right onto the water’s edge, was Canaletto. Put yourself in the picture with a gondola ride. A romantic half-hour will set you back an eye-watering 80 euros. Instead we crossed the Grand Canal from Campo del Traghetto, just five minutes from the Palace. This still gives the thrill of experiencing Venice the way it’s meant to be seen, and amazingly costs only half a euro. Just don’t expect any singing. 11.10am: The Peggy Guggenheim Museum has long been the main reason
to cross over to the southern tip. It’s one of the most important collections of modern art in the world, including major works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Magritte and Pollock.
The Book Travel
installation with a title like a lost Muse album: The Crystal Resistance.
5pm: Continue with the Arsenale, a
15-minute walk away. The Serenissima fleet was built here, and it housed 2,000 workers a day, but now its 50,000 square metres are given over to such peaceable pursuits as an electric chair covered with butterflies, an exhibition on Sicily’s Mafia, or slowly melting Roman statues made from wax. It makes the Tate Modern look drab.
6pm: We ambled back towards St Mark’s Square along narrow winding streets, poking our nose into the little artisanal shops to admire the Murano glasswork and the Carnival masks. Il Canovaccio on Calle delle Bande supplied the masks for the Tom Cruise film Eyes Wide Shut. 7pm: And now to fill our stomachs and
lighten our wallets. We dined at the
Westin Europa Regina, near St Mark’s
Square, with scenic views of the Grand Canal at sunset. The restaurant has a 70-euro seven-course tasting menu, each dish inspired by an exhibit at the Punta della Dolgana. It starts with four silver boxes, each housing a cube of watermelon, feta cheese, melon or raw tuna, inspired by Donald Judd’s sculpture. It continues with giant spoons of scampi, a burnt-out car on a yuka root, a “poker game” of ravioli, and ends with a sorbet made with liquid nitrogen. If you’re on a budget, like any starving artist would be, individual courses are available for 12 euros each.
Well worth an hour’s wander. 12.15pm: And, since 2009, there’s a newcomer: the Punta della Dolgana, a
massive space converted from the old customs house, currently showing a remarkable exhibition of very modern works entitled In Praise of Doubt – from quietly disturbing sculptures of bodies covered in white sheets, to the ‘look at me!’ of a horse, high above your head, with its head stuck in the wall.
1.15pm: Back across the canal on the cheap gondola, we ate lunch in La Colomba,
just off St Mark’s Square. Its walls are festooned with paintings and sketches from hundreds of impoverished painters, Picasso
and Chagall included, who paid the bill with their art and not their wallet. Try claiming to be the new Tracey Emin or Damien Hirst, or a main course will set you back over 25 euros. 3pm: And now for the main event: the Biennale, which until November 27 turns
Venice into the world capital of modern art. Start at the international pavilions at the Giardini, three stops away by boat. You won’t possibly have time to see them all, but you can’t miss the upturned tank on whose tracks an athlete jogs as though on a treadmill: a commentary, on American military imperialism. And you shouldn’t miss the Swiss pavilion, which Thomas Hirschhorn has turned into a thrilling
10pm: Finally, we strolled round the corner to unwind with a Bellini, the delicious peach and prosecco cocktail named after the Venetian painter, in the place where it was invented: Harry’s Bar. Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles and Truman Capote were regulars. 12 midnight: And so to bed. The Locanda Art Deco has unique pieces of
art deco furniture. At 90 euros a night, it’s cheap by central Venice standards, so you can practise the most important art of all: saving money. Liaisons Abroad specialise in arts events and off-the-beaten-track restaurant bookings, www. liaisonsabroad.com
The Book TRAVEL
Accessories to put you in a Venice frame of mind
From left to right: 1. Steal a march on next February’s Venice Carnival (www. carnevale.venezia.it) with a mask, available all over Venice. 2. A Facebook status doesn't say ‘I’m in Venice’ nearly as well as a personalised postcard. Get a paint-your-own set of 20. www. nationalgallery.com, £5. 3. Get this arty umbrella-ella-ella. www. exquisiteumbrellas. co.uk, £24.50 4. Locate all Biennale exhibitions and fringe events. www. biennaleapp.com, free.
5. At high tide, the water laps right up into St Mark’s Square. Make a splash with these Havaianas sandals. www.havaianas-store. co.uk, £18. 6. Watch the classic chiller Don’t Look Now, before you visit Venice. Then you’ll understand why a red hoodie is a must. Wombat hoodie £23.99 from www. worknleisure.co.uk 7. Protect yourself from the Campanile bell in St Mark’s Square with the Ministry of Sound ear-plugs. www. themp3company.co.uk, £9.99.
The Book Travel
m standing on a muddy slope in torrential rain in the middle of a diverse crowd wearing wellies. Welcome to Glastonbury. Experienced festival-goers have taped their luggage to sledges. One man takes his shoes and socks off, stands shin-deep in the mud and tries to get enough traction to push eight crates of beer up the mud slide. Each time the black clouds part to taunt us with a few seconds of sunlight, everyone cheers in unison.
My First Festival Glastonbury Helen Geraghty gives it some welly
Four and a half hours later we’re muddy, wet and tired. Although this is my first festival, I’ve had plenty of time to steel myself for the unglamorous parts. Don’t expect to shower more than once, if at all. It’s surprising how quickly you become accustomed to rolling around in your own filth, even after a lifetime of washing and straightening your hair daily. The toilet cubicles are traumatic. After queuing for 15 minutes I am handed a jug of water. I open the door to confront a hole in the ground, and an enormous, stinking pit clearly visible down that hole. The jug of water? That’s for washing down anything that misses. I don’t miss. Friday’s steady drizzle keeps Glastonbury soggy and sticky. Warm, flat, rainy cider and an anorak are the essentials of the day. Crowd-surfing by Cage the Elephant and quirky dancing and singing by delightfully bizarre New Yorkers Darwin Deez kick off the festival. U2 later play a triumphant Glastonbury debut, unfazed by protestors letting loose a 25ft balloon reading ‘U pay tax 2?’ Lo-fi indie rockers Yuck are my favourite new music find. Glastonbury experts Coldplay mix new material with crowd pleasers to give an exhilarating headliner performance on Saturday. Fireworks sparkle, burning lanterns fly, the pyramid stage and the sky are bathed in yellow light and Coldplay suddenly burst into Yellow. Sunday morning I wake up sweating profusely as the hot sun beats on the tent. Cold War Kids are the perfect soundtrack for collapsing on the now dry mud. Glastonbury is huge. No matter how big you expect it to be, nothing will prepare you for your first time. In front of the Pyramid stage, the crowd stretches on forever, especially during Paul Simon and Beyoncé’s performances on Sunday
evening. And they go wild: Beyoncé’s show attracted none of the “we don’t want your sort of music round these parts” comments that her husband Jay Z received a few years before. A couple of things I learnt: 200 baby wipes are not enough; for sleep, make sure you pack ear plugs, an eye mask and set up camp next to the only old guy at the festival planning to spend the next four days sitting on his camping stool reading The Guardian.
Festivals abroad: Voodoo Experience City Park, New Orleans: The Raconteurs, Snoop Dogg, Blink-182, and Fatboy Slim. Oct 28-30 Personal fest, Buenos Aires, Argentina (indoor): The Strokes, Goldfrapp, and The Kills. Nov 4-5 Rhythm and Vines, Waiohika Estate, New Zealand: Calvin Harris, Pendulum, and Grandmaster Flash. Dec 29-31
Does the humble hoodie deserve its bad press? Ruth Saxelby looks at the fashion history behind the hysteria
ay Z wears his at the airport, Madonna slips into hers after yoga and Tinie Tempah has his own range. The hoodie, a fashion staple for the young (and young at heart), is back in the spotlight following the London and UK riots in August. Against a catwalk of burning buildings and looted shops, the hoodie once again became a symbol for David Cameron’s ‘broken Britain’.
Back in 2006, with ASBOs being handed out left, right and centre, Cameron’s fashion commentary was: ‘For some the hoodie represents all that’s wrong about youth culture in Britain today. ‘It’s parallel to For me, adult society’s response to the hoodie shows how far we terrorism... we are from the long-term answer to put things right.’ were told to
look out for people with veils’
Such remarks have helped fuel a prejudice against hoodie wearers. ‘I’m from Tottenham, but I go to uni, I made myself good and got a job,’ university student Jake Manu told BBC News on day three of the UK riots. ‘But if I wear like a hoodie and walk in the road, they’ll just call you, check you and search you – that’s a breach of your human rights.’ Is it fair to demonise this simple, versatile urban garment? Or, if we take a look at its history, might we want to hug a hoodie instead? To cover the head is a transformative act – it alters the way one is perceived by others as well as the way one perceives the world. In his exhaustive book Hats: Status, Style & Glamour, eminent fashion writer Colin
McDowell charted the history of the hat back to the 11th century, observing: ‘Over the centuries the hat has been pre-eminently the item of dress that could best proclaim – quickly, effectively and dramatically – the personality and status of the wearer.’ The simplest of hats is, of course, the hood. It was first worn in medieval times when covering the head was a sign of modesty and respect, as well as an indication of status. The rich and powerful opted for more and more elaborate headwear, while peasants wore basic hoods that protected from the elements. The hood is also strongly aligned with solitude and solidarity. Monks and nuns have worn cowls and habits for centuries. The most modest of garments, the cowl negates the vanity of individual expression, so creating a uniform of solidarity. What’s more, like blinkers, the hood frames the face, focusing the eyes forward and down, creating an intimate sense of personal space: exclusion from the world. The modern hooded sweatshirt was born of practicality, a cheap garment produced for labourers working in cold New York warehouses in the 1930s. Sports brand Champion lays claim to extending the popularity of the hooded fleece sweatshirt for ‘football teams on the sidelines’: it kept players warm while they waited to get on the pitch. Solidarity came back into play, as the colour and design of the sweatshirt signalled the wearer’s team. Having started in sport, the hoodie began to infiltrate popular culture in the mid-to-late ‘70s, gracing the pumped-up shoulders of
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THE NEW SUSTAINABLE FASHION REVOLUTION by Saﬁa Minney
with Emma Watson, Vivienne Westwood, Orla Kiely and many more Released to coincide with London Fashion Week, Saﬁa Minney - the founder of People Tree - the pioneers in Fair Trade fashion presents a guide to a more ethical, diverse and creative approach to the fabulous world of style and fashion.
INCLUDES STUNNING PHOTOGRAPHY AND INTERVIEWS WITH TOP FASHION FIGURES "Every page turns the conventional view of the fashion landscape upside down, gives it a good shake and (charmingly) disposes the offending idea in the nearest trash can. Instead we are offered just about the most inspiring alternative models... imaginable. And this is genuinely liberating." From the foreword by Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle
PHOTO: JONATHAN ROSE
TO ANY NUS CARD HOLDER
With thanks to Kayt Jones, Rankin and Nick Knight for All Walks Beyond the Catwalk campaign imagery
Sylvester Stallone in Rocky and playing its part in the birth of hip hop and b-boy culture in the Bronx, New York. Cheap, comfortable and now with added Hollywood lustre, the hoodie finally had street cred. The actual word ‘hoodie’ didn’t come into usage until the 1990s, according to Jonathon Green, the UK’s foremost slang lexicographer. In terms of its association with criminality, Green explains, ‘There is a crossover point, in the mid-‘90s, when reports of gang kids in the US note that they are wearing hoodies. E.G. a criminal journal in 1996: “It appears from the testimony that pulling up one’s hoodie prior to committing a crime was a distinguishing practice of Latin King members.”’ Green further found that it was only around 2000 that the word ‘hoodie’ evolved to refer not just to the garment, but also to its wearer. Contemporary usage in the UK implies ‘working-class, probably male, with heavy assumption – unfair or otherwise – of criminality’. ‘When you’re young, everyone knows that you follow the fashion trends or what’s going on in your area as a way to fit in or not have any trouble come towards you,’ explains young writer Christian Adofo. ‘I think in light of recent events, it’s almost a parallel to when terrorism was at the forefront of current affairs. We were told to look out for people of a particular faith or race, people with veils, people with a beard – told to be a bit wary or suspicious. I think the parallels with that now are completely related to the hoodie.’ So while today’s hoodie wearers are the latest ‘other’ in the firing line, all the original associations of hood-wearing still hold true. Status is gained by emulating celebrity icons for whom the hoodie is the ideal off-duty, pap-friendly outfit. There’s solidarity to be found in the hoodie’s signalling of belonging: a part of one group of people and apart from another. But above all, there’s solitude to be savoured in wearing a hoodie: a haven from the elements, the environment and the world at large. Christian is hopeful that the current hostility towards the hoodie will pass: ‘I think just using that as a symbol for being underprivileged or someone that’s in poverty is quite an ignorant argument. The way I see it, it’s just a piece of clothing. People of a young generation aren’t, and shouldn’t be, marked by what they wear.’ l
From monks to Chipmunk
Monks originated this fashion trend, wearing long hooded robes called cowls (no relation to the X-Factor judge). This medieval hoodie also gives cappuccino coffee its name – after the colour of the ‘capuchin’ (Italian for ‘hood’) of the Capuchin monks.
Much like a monk’s cowl, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s hooded robe gave the Star Wars character an air of mysterious, saintly dedication in keeping with his status as a Jedi Master. All together now: ‘These are not the droids you seek.’
Where American rap had bling, the British grime scene adopted the humble hoodie as its uniform. Chipmunk was one of its standard-bearers, releasing his debut album heving won the MOBO Best Newcomer the year before.
In the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood, her chosen attire is both modest and bold. The covering (and uncovering) of the head highlights the sexual morality of the tale. Later given a memorable twist in the Venice-set chiller, Don’t Look Now.
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial put the ‘hood’ into ‘brotherhood’. Both Elliot and his brother Michael wear hoodies in the famous cycling scene, with E.T. hooded by a blanket, showing their togetherness as they escape the police.
Cementing it as a desirable symbol of youth, fashion chameleon Madonna struck this hoodie-up, bubblegumblowing pose a while back. This pic resurfaced recently, accompanying news of her opening a Hard Candy gym.
The movie that made actor and writer Sylvester Stallone famous also did a lot for the humble hoodie. His boxing underdog Rocky Balboa wore a grey one to train in, lending the hoodie some sweaty sex appeal and an air-punching montage.
A goodie in a hoodie. Amidst the media panic surrounding hoodies, with wearers being banned from some shopping centres, the Archbishop of York gave a speech urging people not to judge a book by its cover while wearing a hoodie.
Of course, it was left to Lady Gaga to take the hoodie to its most ludicrously logical conclusion. Subverting ideas of attack and defence, she had a hoodie custom-made for a recent photo-shoot with knives sticking out of it.
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N I K AC
B K O
r e h p a r g o t o , ph n o C c i m o At his first C n finds a place where Max Colson belong outsiders ca
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‘I’m dressed up as Sora from Kingdom Hearts. He’s the hero, he’s compassionate towards his friends, and he’ll do whatever it takes to save his friend Kairi.’
ou haven’t lived until you’ve shared a Docklands Light Railway train to Custom House with a man hiding in a cardboard robot box, sundry manga maidens with purple or pink hair, a Sonic the Hedgehog, and some seriously baffled commuters. The biannual London Comic Con turns the drab ExCel centre, usually home to conventions of paper-clip manufacturers, as well as the featureless spaces around it, into the biggest fancy dress party of the year.
May’s event, documented in these pages, attracted 60,000 visitors. The next event, suitably close to Halloween, is on Oct 28-30. There are signings and talks by comic artists, stalls full of video games and toys, and free hugs in the foyer. But the real attraction is your fellow attendees, whether underdressed to impress or in full-on Cosplay mode. Blessed are the geek, for they shall inherit the Earth… London Comic Con, Oct 28-30, tickets from £10. www.londonexpo.com
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‘I’m Larxine from Kingdom Hearts. I like her because she’s pretty fiery and she has a notoriously short temper. I made this costume for myself today; I’m pretty quick!’
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‘My name’s Josh. It took me two weeks to do my costume. I wanted to go as Amy from Sonic for the sheer randomness.’
‘I’m Jigsaw from the Saw horror movies. He’s one of the few characters I actually find funny.’
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Inside Job Parliamentary Researcher
1st Parliamentary Researcher —Oliver campion-awwad
Oliver Campion-Awwad, 24, studied English at Bristol University. He landed his first job, as a Parliamentary Researcher for the Lib-Dems, in April 2009, after volunteering for five months. He lives in Brixton, south London. How did you first decide to work in Parliament? I was avoiding working on my CV after leaving university by watching every series of In The Thick of It, and realised that I could do that. I don’t mean I want to be sworn at in elaborate ways by overwrought political staffers, ‘It can be but I did realise working in this area would interest me. dangerous.
One MP was attacked with a samurai sword’
What exactly do you do? An MP’s office has several key roles. I’m a researcher: I help with Westminster issues, I try to get debates tabled in the House. There’s a case-worker who helps MPs to help constituents with their problems. A diary manager – an MP might see 100 people in a week. And a constituency organiser. How can people get one of these jobs in an MP’s office? You start by doing volunteer work. Help out with campaigns, going door to door. Join your local political party. Doesn’t volunteering favour the middle-class who can afford to work for free? That is a problem. On the other hand, improving access costs money in salaries, and the public says MPs are spending too much. On page 6 we talk about the new cost of university. Do you feel bad the Lib-Dems broke their campaign promise? Looking at alternatives, this is the best deal we could get. The key point is that only the
people on the highest salaries pay everything back. On a low salary – like mine! – you’d actually be paying less each month with the new system, even if your nominal debt was greater. How has being in Coalition changed things? Is there in-fighting? A Labour line is that this is a government in conflict. But look at the ten years under Blair and Brown! The Lib-Dems as a party like to encourage debate, it’s mad to pretend that because we all wear the same colour we all agree. Even to the point of Nick Clegg getting splattered with blue paint recently by an angry Lib-Dem supporter? You just have to laugh it off. John Prescott punched the guy when he was egged, Clegg behaved with more dignity. That said, it can be dangerous. Last year Labour MP Stephen Timms was stabbed during a constituency surgery; one Lib-Dem MP was attacked with a samurai sword. So where next? Do you want to be PM? I don’t even know if I’d want to be an MP! It’s a difficult life. My MP works 80-100 hours a week. You have 50,000 people who think they’re your boss; it’s hard to keep them all happy. For jobs see www.w4mp.org
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12 – 27 October 2011
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