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ISSUE 3: FeB/ Mar 2012

Free The Last Word On The Street

Labrinth We predict an Earthquake

CHEAP DATES IDEAS YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO MISS

80

pUT AN ink on it WHY WE ❤ tattooS

Paris FOR PENNIES 24-hour hotspots

REVIEWS  BLOGS  GAMING  STREET ART  STYLE  DEBATE


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OR


Contents Editor’s Letter

—3

Issue 3 Feb – MAR 2012

Foreword

—8

The Mission CHEAP DATES

The Mission CHEAP DATES

CLASS LOVER Take lessons in love

—9

MUSIC LOVER

If music be the food of love, play on

Making scents of it all

4 The List: top 10 events 6 The Big Question: the price of passion 8 The Mission: Valentine’s Day, sorted 14 Labrinth: a musical prodigy speaks to us — 30

Reviews ART

Art

Cookery course

Food tastes better when it’s cooked with love – but also when you know how to cook! Most courses are pricey; the best value is L’Atelier Des Chefs’ lunchtime Cook, Eat and Run, at just £15pp. You get to eat the meal once you’ve been taught to cook it, either in the dining area or to take away. 19 Wigmore St, W1U 1PH. www. atelierdeschefs.co.uk Burlesque cocktail mixing

ACTIVE LOVER Let’s get physical

Bring out your partner’s competitive side, and see if they’ve really got balls. Bowling can be a fun date, especially at All Star Lanes (above) with its ’50s décor and diner dishes. Make sure you check out the red-hot cocktail bar hidden at the back: the circular sofas and old-school lampshades demand you both cosy up. If you’re feeling adventurous, dress up all retro. If you go before 5pm, it’s cheaper: £7.75pp.

The flesh prince

Faye Robson cebrates the late, great Lucian Freud ‘Great British painters,’ journalist Martin Gayford wrote, ‘imitate the proverbial behaviour of buses’ – you wait decades for one, and then two come along at once. The same could be said of great painting exhibitions. David Hockney: A Bigger Picture (featured in our last issue) is currently on show at the RA, while Hockney’s near-contemporary, Lucian Freud, will be remembered in a show running at the National Portrait Gallery until May. With Tate Britain’s Picasso exhibition opening later in the month, fans of twentieth-century painting will be spoilt for choice. Lucian Freud Portraits claims to be the first exhibition concerned solely with his portraiture, but this is hardly limited subject matter. Freud

worked on scores of portraits over his 70-year career – numerous self-portraits, as well as paintings of friends and family, celebrities and strangers. What’s more, his paintings, whatever their subject matter, are characterized by a gaze so intimate and unrelenting, and a method of composition so painstaking and personal – so indebted to the observational demands of portraiture, in other words – that a show about Freud’s ‘portraits’ is always also something of a portrait of the artist himself, and his working methods. Alongside friends and family, Freud painted everyone from his Paddington neighbours the Lumley brothers, whom he met when they broke into his studio, to nudes of supermodel

Kate Moss and ‘80s clubland icon Leigh Bowery. Naked Man, Back View (1991-92), of Bowery, is a powerful example of Freud’s later, looser painting style and shows how the artist can render great expanses of solid flesh with the same complexity and dynamism that other painters would reserve for a large-scale landscape. Freud’s unusual compositional style also marks him out, with sitters ‘tipped’ towards the viewer, seen from above or accompanied by apparently disembodied legs or arms. The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition promises to be comprehensive in every sense – taking in sitters from the Duchess of Devonshire to Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, and also tracing Freud’s stylistic development, in broadly chronological terms, from his meticulous portraits of the 1950s through to the denser, more heavily worked canvases of his later years. Featuring over a hundred works loaned by institutions from all around the world, many of which have never before been shown to the public, the exhibition promises to be a fitting memorial to one of the twentieth century’s most committed and creative champions of painting. Lucian Freud Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, WC2H 0HE, Feb 9-May 27. £14. www.npg.org.uk

Tate Britain is weighing in on the discussion with an exhibition of

over 500 years of migration themed-art, from the work of wide-eyed sixteenth and seventeenth century art hopefuls from the Netherlands seeking English sponsorship, to pieces reflecting landmark political changes and escape from religious persecution. Some migrant artists choose to assimilate and perhaps even re-define the term ‘British art’ whilst others revel in cultural differences as a means of retaining their identity. Curator Lizzy Carey-Thomas has enlisted the help of Leyla Fakhr,

Most romantic art in London: Anything in the V&A – it’s just a beautiful place to wander round and discover beautiful things. Best Valentine’s Day: Homemade Glee-inspired Breadsticks meal with my boyfriend this year. Worst Valentine’s Day: My Dad once sent me a card, because the boy I liked didn’t – bit Freudian, bit sad. migration and personal freedom through America’s celebrated emblem of the latter, the statue of Liberty. Migrations, Tate Britain, SW1P 4RG. Jan 31-Aug 12, £5. www.tate.org.uk

In the studio: David Shrigley David Shrigley is best known for his dry, dark and witty drawings, which are published and exhibited worldwide. His new show at Hayward Gallery also features his sculpture, photography and animation, and is accompanied by a new book featuring speciallyrecorded tracks on 7” vinyl. Mr Shrigley answered our exquisitely formed questions while hard at work on his new ‘sort-of-opera’...

please, what would you be working on? Do you have an unrealised dream project? I think if there was something that I was desperate to do then I’d already be planning it. But a live-action film is a distinct possibility. How would you describe your studio in five words? A total complete f-ing mess.

You work in many mediums. Do you have a favourite? I suppose drawing is the most immediate, so if I had to choose then that would be my favourite. But all mediums are enjoyable. You have to enjoy every process. I feel lucky that I’m able to work in lots of different ways.

Can you tell us a bit about Pass the Spoon? What prompted you to start work on an opera? A composer (Dave Fennessy) asked me if I wanted to collaborate and as I liked his work, I said yes. I didn’t think being asked to work on an opera by a composer whose work I actually liked would happen twice.

If you had no public, no curators or gallerists to

Your fans really take your work into their lives, even to

the point of asking you to sketch their tattoos for them. Can you think of an artist of whom you’d ask a similar favour? If Arne Jacobsen was still alive I would get him to design me a house. Maybe I could swap the

favour for some drawings. David Shrigley: Brain Activity is at the Hayward Gallery, SE1 8XX, Feb 1-May 13. £8. www.southbankcentre.co.uk/shrigley Interview: Faye Robson

Epilogue 38 40 44 50

www.royalparks.gov.uk Scale the heights

Show the one you love you’ve really got their back. Experience the thrill and satisfaction of climbing together. Mile End Wall (right) offers about 1,500 square metres of climbing surface. Go before 5pm for a cheaper price (from £6). There are extra charges for hiring equipment.

A Lecture on Love

Get on your bike

Haverfield Rd, E3 5BE. www.mileendwall. org.uk

Indusfoto Ltd

www.tfl.gov.uk

Karaoke

Recreate the iconic love scene out of Ghost by attending a pottery class together. Shirley Stewart in Lewisham offers drop-in classes for £15 a session, or more centrally Kerry Hastings in Bloomsbury is £25. Better value, even if it isn’t exactly cheap, is a whole weekend course at Parade Mews Pottery in Tulse Hill for £65. www.shirleystewart.co.uk, www. kerryhastings.com, www. parademewspottery.co.uk Bollywood dancing

You may not be able to pull off moves like Jagger, but what better way to get closer to your date than learning to dance together. Salsa is oh-so obvious, so why not try hip-hop, street dance or even Bollywood dancing? Bollywood films are often about forbidden love, and as kissing is not allowed the only way to get down is with a song and dance. Drop into one of the classes (£11) and imagine you and your partner are in your very own musical. Tuesdays at Pineapple Dance Studios, or Thursdays at Danceworks studios. www. bollywooddancelondon.com.

Do it like Jay-Z and Beyonce and sing your hearts out to each other. Find out what your partner’s favourite love songs are in advance and start practising for your own private session. If you go on Sun-Thurs, a booth at Lucky Voice is half-price: just £20 an hour to rent a four-person booth for two. 173-174 Upper St, N1 1RG; 52 Poland St, W1F 7NQ. www.luckyvoice.com Classical

The London Philharmonic play Rachmaninov’s aching Piano Concerto No 2 amongst other works in a special Valentine’s Day concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Tickets start at only £9, with 50% concessions for students. The Barbican also stages a Valentine’s Day concert, but pricier at £18. For a more romantic setting, try the Valentine’s Day Concert With Love Poems conducted by John Landor in a candle-lit church (from £10). www.southbankcentre.co.uk, www.barbican. org.uk, www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org The Godfathers’ edgy brand of rhythm-and-booze-flavoured rock was out of step with the weedy indie bands of the ‘90s, but their recent reformation has seen them back on form. Their Valentine’s Day Massacre (£16) has now become an annual tradition. Expect no mushy sentiment, just murder on the dancefloor. O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield St, N1 OPS. www.o2academyislington.co.uk Opera

Bust a move: Bring out your inner Aishwarya Rai and Shahrukh Khan with a Bollywood dance class at Pineapple Studios (Tues) or at Danceworks (Thur)

Garden, you might be lucky enough to hear a budding opera singer showcased in the Piazza. Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD. www.roh. org.uk Retro

We’re big fans of the Last Tuesday Society’s decadent, retro masked balls. They celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb 18 (£20), with free dance practice beforehand – in the waltz, swing... and pole dancing. A cheaper option (£6/£5) is the Museum of London, which recreates a Georgian London pleasure garden on Feb 14, 6.45pm-9.45pm. Enjoy a night of dancing, drinking and decadence with an 18th-century girl band, watch poetry and theatrical performances, and design and wear your own mask. www.theorphanagedance.co.uk, www. museumoflondon.org.uk Jazz

Rock

Opera is all high emotions, but not always high prices. You can enjoy the grandeur of the Royal Opera House for free at lunchtime recitals. Make sure you book nine days in advance; the closest one to Valentine’s Day is Feb 20, at 1pm. Or, if you wander the cobbled streets of Covent

Jazz is all about syncopation and spontaneity. Show you’ve got that sexy rhythm by heading for a Latin American jazz bar. The Guanabara is central, and Tuesday’s Bossa Nova Lounge nights are free, with a mix of live music and DJs. Also on Tuesdays, the Bar Rumba has salsa classes before turning into a nightclub. For more mainstream, modern sounds, try the legendary Jazz Café in Camden. www.guanabara.co.uk, www. barrumbadisco.co.uk, www.venues. meanfiddler.com/jazz-cafe ❥

Style Study TATTOOS

Style Study TATTOOS

Love hurts: The his ‘n’ hers tattoos above are by the talented 22-year-old Emily Wood, who runs Black Heart Studios

Tattoo<: The Bac> Stor.. One in three of us have them. Stars flash them on the red carpet. How did tattoos graduate from slaves to celebs, asks Dominic Wells?

Editor and Publisher: —Kohinoor Sahota Editorial Consultant: —Dominic Wells Art Directon: —Bb/Teasdale Editorial Assistant: —Sanjeela Pahl

Author Roman Krznaric presents a veritable sin symposium on Feb 14 in which he will explain why the Greeks had six words for love, why jousting knights wore dresses, why Dutch fathers wore paternity bonnets, and why medieval Arab sex manuals recommended that ‘a moist kiss is better than a hasty coitus’. £15 inc. wine and nibbles. 81 Westbourne Park Rd, W2 5QH. www. idler.co.uk/academy

w

18 Music: Gaga’s video 22 Film: David Lynch and the best film festivals 26 Stage: Bedtime Stories 30 Art: David Shrigley Q&A 34 Gadgets: PS Vita 37 Blogs: the Date Guy — 40

Travel: Paris for pennies Fashion: tattoo you Photo-story: street dance Inside Job: how to be an Artistic Director

Get your skates on: Roll up to Hyde Park for romance – or for a group trip, the London Friday Night Skate starts at 8pm every Friday from Wellington Arch

‘Boris bikes’ may not be elegant, but they’re convenient, and you no longer need to become a member in advance: just put in your credit card at a docking station. And once you’re off, it’s certainly romantic. You could take all or part of the Thames Cultural Cycling Tour from the South Bank to Greenwich, which totals 28km, or just wheel around Regent’s Park or Hyde Park. If you keep your journey under 30 minutes, all you pay is your access fee, which starts at £1 for 24 hours.

Pottery class

Chapters

— 31

Portrait by Gary MacLennan, artwork by David Shrigley

Reflection (Self-portrait) and Girl in a Dark Jacket (Lucian Freud Archive); Girl with a White Dog (Tate, London 2012)

‘Freud painted everyone, from his neighbours to nudes of Kate Moss’

Migration is the scourge of many a politician. It has reached record numbers – the annual net figure of those migrating to the UK rose to 252,000 at the end of 2010 – and the difficult economic climate makes it a particular point of debate. Yet we’ve been a so-called ‘mongrel nation’ for centuries, in no small part due to Britain’s colourful history as an industrial pioneer and ruthlessly ambitious colonial power. Even the Royal family is a patchwork of European nationalities.

Once upon a time the royal parks were, well, spaces for just the royals to enjoy. These parks are perfect for lovers. The list is endless: row a boat, eat al fresco, fly a kite, even ride a horse. If that’s all a bit pricey, why not just go for a romantic stroll? We

Get inline for love

Best exhibition for a date: It’s not an exhibition, but a date at the Courtauld Gallery would be amazing – great collection!

Tola Ositelu looks at 500 years of Migrations in art

Stroll hand in hand

Ice-skating is a cliché; instead, impress your date with roller or inline skating. Don’t be afraid of falling, you have your partner to cling to! At Club Blue Room you can hire out skates and protective gear for just a tenner a day. The shop is in Marble Arch, which means you can

Faye Robson, Art Editor

Karen Hearn and Paul Goodwin amongst others to bring their own culturally and historically specific expertise. There are contributions from Jewish artists such as Naum Gabo, Piet Mondrian and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy who fled to England to escape the horrors of Nazi Europe; John Singer Sargent, the greatest American portraitist of his generation, who moved to London; and James Tissot, the French contemporary of the Impressionists who was greatly influenced by his 11 years in the capital. More modern names also feature, among them Steve McQueen, the artist now better known as the award-winning director of Hunger and Shame, who looks at the overlapping themes of

Marble Arch Tower, 12-14 Edgware Rd, W2 2EN. www.clubblueroom.com

Holborn, Bayswater, Brick Lane, Westfield Stratford City. www.allstarlanes.co.uk

Migration Nation: Keith Piper’s Go West Young Man (1987) and James Tissot’s Portsmouth Dockyard (c.1887)

A moving story

easily roll up to Hyde Park. For a romantic backdrop, skate alongside the Serpentine lake.

Bowl them over

If you’re happy to double-date with other curious romantics, the Peacock bar have a fun night out for you and your lover (or someone you hope will turn into that!). For just £19pp, a group of five or more will spend an hour learning to make three different cocktails, and then drink the results. They’ll also teach you some flirting, juggling and even burlesque skills, then you get a free burlesque show and DJs till the small hours. Any evening, but book in advance. The Peacock, 148 Falcon Rd, SW11 2LW. www.the-peacock-bar.co.uk

recommend waltzing through Regent’s Park’s brightly coloured flower beds, or in Richmond Park to get a glimpse of the deer.

The Book Club (no relation!) hosts a Valentine’s edition on Feb 14 of its monthly Scratch and Sniff. Host Odette Toilette will take you on an olfactory journey through history and myth, speculating on the fragrance choices of Mata Hari, Catherine the Great, Byron and Don Juan, and examining the link between character archetype and perfume. £17 including glass of prosecco. 100-106 Leonard St, EC2A 4RH. www. scratchandsniffevents.com

Music Editor: —Ruth Saxelby Film Editor: —Neil Clarke Stage Editor: —Christine Twite Art Editor: —Faye Robson Gadgets Editor: —Nigel Kendall Contributors: —Manvir Mudhar, Tola Ositelu, Kymberlee Jay, Stephanie Keller

O

nce lovers carved their initials on even get a tattoo while taking a break from trees. Now they pierce them into shopping in Selfridges. ‘It sucks,’ says top their flesh. The rise and rise of the female tattooist Michelle Myles, ‘but tattooing tattoo is one of the most striking fashion is not as cool as it used to be. Now it’s as cool phenomena of the new millennium. It’s less as an Ed Hardy T-shirt.’ than a hundred years since a rape case was dropped because the victim had a butterfly Tattoos have been around since the cave paintings, so archaeologists tattoo on her ankle – clear reckon from ancient tools. A evidence, apparently, that ‘What next? Will 5,000-year-old mummy she was ‘asking for it’. But found in a glacier bears the where once parents forbade and Kate getting their teenaged children to matching tattoos?’ first known marks. Egyptian women tattooed themselves; get inked for life, now they Romans tattooed their queue up for the needle together. Justin Bieber and his dad recently slaves, just as the Nazis were to do to the Jews. both got tattooed, with the word ‘Yeshua’ – From the 18th century, sailors adopted the Hebrew for ‘Jesus’. habit from Polynesia and Tahiti – their words The sociologists Millan Kang and Katherine ‘tatau’ or ‘tatu’ meaning ‘to mark’. By the late Jones point out that ‘Tattooing is especially 19th century, 90% of the navy had tattoos, popular among teenagers and college each one a record of their voyages: an anchor students. At a stage when young people are for crossing the Atlantic, a turtle for crossing seeking to assert their independence, tattoos the equator. Criminal gangs adopted the may provide a way to ground a sense of self habit, and so too, bizarrely, did the aristocracy in a seemingly changing and insecure world.’ – though they were less fond of skulls than In England, 29% of 16-44-year-olds are tattoos of the family crest. Winston Churchill’s inked. In America, it’s nearly 40%. There are mother had a snake tattooed on her wrist. more than 1,500 tattoo parlours in Britain, five times more than a decade ago. You can But the recent fashion for tattoos has its

— 41

origins, according to Margot Mifflin, author of Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo, in the 1980s. ‘It was a real body decade,’ she says. ‘There was a lot of body anxiety. Women wanted to reassert control over their own bodies.’ The Rolling Stones released an album, Tattoo You, in 1981, which helped to set the trend for that decade. But we’ve come a long way from a rebel rock record to the Prime Minister’s wife getting a dolphin inked on her ankle. What next? Will and Kate getting matching ‘HRH’ (His/Her Royal Hotness) tattoos? Katherine Irwin, associate professor of sociology at the University of Hawaii, explains how this symbol of working-class masculinity has been appropriated and sanitised by the middle class: ‘They like to play with fringe identities without sacrificing their middle-class status. They get a tattoo thumbing their nose at society in a way that is so mainstream that it would be hard to push them out.’ Kate Moss kick-started the trend over here among models and actresses, who feared a tattoo would damage their careers. Far from it, the swallows that Moss got inked on her

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Editor’s Letter:

T

his issue has been the most challenging yet to put together. Our cover interview was scheduled to be a week before press day, and then got moved when Labrinth, like any rising music star, jetted off to LA to shoot his new video. The interview was rescheduled for 11am on the very day before we were due to go to press. Then he fell ill. Most of the issue has been put together listening to Labrinth’s debut album, Electronic Earth, on full blast. So, when it came to our cover feature, we didn’t want to lose him. After a nail-biting few hours, he pulled through to give us a lively interview for well over an hour. On top of that, our six-page photo-story also fell through! But our replacement proved even better. Kymberlee Jay and photographer Luke Rogers fulfilled a wish I’ve long had for The Book: to cover street dance in an expert and dynamic way. Get the lowdown on p44. Often my time is spent speaking with section heads, commissioning content, and editing copy. This issue, I managed to get some writing in too, covering Paris on p38 and compiling our Cheap Dates special on p8. Valentine’s Day comes around once a year, much like that awkward aunty who asks how your love life is going: if you don’t have a date then all the in-your-face roses are a stinking reminder. Yet, even if you do, where do you find date ideas? Our suggestions will raise your spirits without depressing your bank balance.

Whilst making this issue I’ve learnt that we really do have the most talented team, from Kirk, our irrepressible Art Director, to Neil, our witty new Film Editor – and how to put ten pages together at the last minute! Kohinoor PS. Thank you for all your positive feedback, and don’t forget to follow us on twitter @thebookmagazine.


—4

The List

5:/ Romance Feb 10

Alternative Arts

If The Artist has whetted your appetite for old black and white flicks, try the real thing. Casablanca is 70 years young, and still as fresh and zinging as when it was first released: it knocks every modern rom-com out of the park. You must remember this… but if not, just play it, Sam.

1:/ Potter tMar 31

The sets and props for the Harry Potter films were famously detailed. Now that the franchise has finished, all you Muggles can get a taste of the wizarding life, as Diagon Alley, the Great Hall of Hogwarts and Dumbledore’s office are opened to the publc in the long-awaited Harry Potter Studio Tour, near the somewhat less magical Watford Junction.

2:/ Holi Mar 8

The Hindu Holi Festival is an explosion of colour to celebrate the end of winter, where all social classes come together. The Orleans House Gallery in Richmond celebrates it each year (exact date not yet announced) with stalls selling delicacies and crafts, performances and, best of all, what is effectively a giant paint fight.

3:/ Flip

6:/ Free

The Great Spitalfields Pancake race is an excuse to eat a pancake or three and not feel guilty. Racers come in teams of four and often dress up. The fun starts at 12.30pm and raises money for London’s Air Ambulance. If you think this sounds flipping fantastic, register in advance at www.alternativearts.co.uk.

Ever dreamt of performing onstage? With the Barbican Weekender you just might. There’ll be young poets, beatboxing, and experts teaching you everything from opera to dance. Budding performers will get the chance to perform in the Barbican Theatre, and it’s all gloriously free.

Feb 21

4:/ Auction Mar 28

At a previous Bonhams Urban Art auction (there have been five in the last four years), Banksy’s Monkey Detonator went for £97,250. It’s funny how an ephemeral, illegal, countercultural activity can end up so in the mainstream.

Mar 3-4


The LisT

­— 5

7:/ Strut Feb 17-21

Twice a year fashionistas from all over the world come to Somerset House in their finest frocks. Autumn and winter collections will be unveiled, and highlights include Burberry, Henry Holland and McQ’s first fashion week show. All eyes will be on the Central Saint Martin MA fashion show, too, which launched the likes of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.

8:/ Drink Mar 17-18

Calling all craic addicts! St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17 and most pubs will be packed with revellers. The celebration continues the next day in Trafalgar Square with traditional dancing, street theatre, and Guinness. At 12noon, starting at Piccadilly, there’ll be a parade including marching bands, stilt walkers, and colourful costumes.

9:/ Watch tMar 1

House of Holland

NT Live broadcasts plays direct from the National Theatre simultaneously as far as America and Australia. For the price of a cinema ticket you can watch The Comedy of Errors, starring Lenny Henry, in venues that include the Covent Garden Odeon, Mayfair Curzon, and even King’s College, London’s Anatomy Theatre and Museum.

10:/ Award

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1/ JAN DEC 201

2012

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Feb 21

I’d like to thank God, my mother, my stylist... The BRIT Awards are back, and two winners have already been announced: Blur for the Outstanding Contribution to Music, and last issue’s cover star, Emeli Sandé, as the critics’ choice. It’s awards season all round: the BAFTAs and Grammys are on Feb 12, Oscars on Feb 26.

as... CGhrerenistm guide,ablteinngn,er gifts under

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­— 6

The BIG QUESTION

Q: A:

Can Valentine’s Day be priceless? By — Manvir Mudhar & Neil Clarke

YES: Manvir Mudhar says the best things in life are free As Valentine’s Day approaches, retailers rejoice. The paraphernalia, from cards to flowers, is in and moaning about the cost is out. You don’t have to buy into the hype, after all the Beatles did say money can’t buy you love. So here are a few tips to make your loved one’s heart melt without freezing your bank balance. Restaurants may hike up their prices on the big day, so prepare a romantic meal in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to be a master chef to make an impact: learn to cook their favourite meal. The BBC has some easy recipes to get your fire burning: www.bbc.co.uk/ good/occasions/valentines_day. Instead of just using candles and rose petals, try a picnic indoors or eating in your own fort built of bedsheets and pillows. What never fails to impress is a playlist for their iPod. Choose songs that mean something: your first dance or their favourite singer. A few ideas: Adele’s Make You Feel My Love, Sam Cooke’s Wonderful World, and the ultimate for girls, Dirty Dancing’s Time of my Life. If you’re planning to say ‘I love

you’ for the first time or a big proposal, make the delivery as exciting as your journey together. A treasure hunt is oh-so romantic: leave clues around the West End that lead to a memorable place for the both of you. It’s different, fun and adventurous. Or, create a scrapbook by gathering mementos from your time together – photos, letters and tickets – and stick them in with personalised captions. My ideal Valentine’s Day would be a stroll alongside the river, hand in hand, talking about the great memories we’ve shared and creating plans for the months ahead. To end the evening I’d love to snuggle up on the sofa and watch some classic romantic films with a bottle of wine. I have never been a fan of lavishly spending lots of money to create the ‘perfect’ Valentine’s Day. It is all about creating a unique day with that special person wherever you go and whatever you may do. There are hundreds of ways to celebrate the day without having to buy into commercialisation. The best thing about creating your own gift is that it’s not only affordable, it makes your day extra special and personal by creating a unique memory that you can both cherish together. These ideas may require planning, but at least that way the only thing you’ll be spending is time.

Only 1% 1% ofofwomen Only women are prepared preparedtotopay pay are fortheir theirdate’s date’s dinner ❤❤❤ for dinner ❤❤

Women spend £90 getting ready for their date ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

London has 33% more single people than in the rest of the UK ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

35% of students meet their true love at uni ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

2011’s most successful romcom, Bridesmaids, which is also now the tenth highest grossing rom-com of all time, made $288m ❤ ❤ ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

The total spent on Valentine’s Day in the UK..... ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤❤❤ ❤❤ ❤


The Big Question

NO: Cupid’s for stupids, says Neil Clarke

60% of men insist on 60% of men insist paying theirdate’s date’s on payingfor for their dinner ❤❤ ❤❤❤❤❤ ❤❤ dinner ❤❤ ❤❤ ❤❤ ❤❤

Men spend 10 times more on buying dinner and drinks ❤ ❤

Londoners spend 50% more on each date than other Brits ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

40% of uni students get their hearts broken there ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

2011’s most successful giantrobots-beating-the-hellout-of-each-other movie, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, took $1.12bn ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

...is £1 billion ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤❤❤ ❤❤ ❤

­— 7

Put a rosy glow in your cheeks rowing on Regent’s Park’s boating lake (£6.50 for one hour or £4.85 for 30 minutes), producing the mix CD you’ve made for the occasion. Tom Waits’ desolate reworking of Valentine’s, eh. Valentine’s. Waltzing Matilda, Tom Traubert’s There’s a word to strike fear Blues, should set the tone, then into the hearts of men. And throw in Cee Lo Green’s Forget their wallets. But never fear! You, Johnny Cash’s murderous The tyranny of prescribed Kate, the Smiths’ (selfcelebration doesn’t have to be explanatory) I Know It’s Over, all about shelling out for and the joyful nihilism of the overpriced Mountain Goats’ garage-forecourt No Children in ‘Nothing bouquets, and pride of place. screams those horrible Subsequently, to fleabitten-looking romance like get out of the grey teddy bears cold, you could assorted dead take in Woody carrying hearts, and packed-out things in jars. Harrelson trying restaurants. to out-bad Nic What’s more, Cage as a Women always say the Hunterian misogynist cop in it’s not the price of Rampart, before the gift that counts, Museum is picking up some but the thought no-nonsense fish free’ that goes into it. It’s and chips – check a brave man that out the Rock & takes them up on Sole Plaice, on it, but you are that man! If she Endell Street, off Covent buys into this commercial Garden, or Poppies in clap-trap, she’s not fit to be your Spitalfields. girl. So try the following day out. If she’s still with you at the end of Better yet, do all this on it, marry her. Singletons and the February 11 so that you can recently dumped may get a kick head along to Feeling Gloomy’s out of this too, either solo or with Love Will Tear Us Apart your mates. Valentine’s special at the O2 Academy Islington: expect Nothing screams romance like ‘speed hating’, tales of assorted dead things in jars, love-gone-bad, and lots of and what’s more the Hunterian miserabilist dance tunes. Museum, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, is free! You could stretch to a Finally, go home, cuddle up, medical double bill with the and pop on Andrzej Zulawski’s Wellcome Collection: marvel at Possession, for its combination Florence Nightingale’s of body horror and moccasins, check out the monstrously psychotic marital Japanese sex aids (…ignore the breakdown. And for Isabelle anti-masturbation devices), and Adjani’s astonishing, foaminggenerally feel a bit smug that at-the-mouth freakout in a you’re learning something and West Berlin underpass. Love not, you know, feeding each Actually it really, really isn’t. other spag bol, à la Lady and the Tramp, or whatever normal Valentine’s is dead. Long live people do for Valentine’s. Valentine’s!


—8

The Mission CHEAP DATES

Active Lover Let’s get physical Bowl them over

Bring out your partner’s competitive side, and see if they’ve really got balls. Bowling can be a fun date, especially at All Star Lanes (above) with its ’50s décor and diner dishes. Make sure you check out the red-hot cocktail bar hidden at the back: the circular sofas and old-school lampshades demand you both cosy up. If you’re feeling adventurous, dress up all retro. Go before 5pm, it’s cheaper: £7.75pp. Holborn, Bayswater, Brick Lane, Westfield Stratford City. www.allstarlanes.co.uk

up to Hyde Park (below). For a romantic backdrop, skate alongside the Serpentine lake. Marble Arch Tower, 12-14 Edgware Rd, W2 2EN. www.clubblueroom.com Stroll hand in hand

Once upon a time the royal parks were, well, spaces for just the royals to enjoy. These parks are perfect for lovers. The list is endless: row a boat, eat al fresco, fly a kite, even ride a horse. If that’s all a bit pricey, why not just go for a romantic stroll? We

recommend waltzing through Regent’s Park’s brightly coloured flower beds, or in Richmond Park to get a glimpse of the deer. www.royalparks.gov.uk Scale the heights

Show the one you love you’ve really got their back. Experience the thrill and satisfaction of climbing together. Mile End Wall (right) offers about 1,500 square metres of climbing surface. Go before 5pm for a cheaper price (from £6). There are extra charges for hiring equipment.

Get on your bike

Haverfield Rd, E3 5BE. www.mileendwall. org.uk

Get inline for love

Get your skates on: Roll up to Hyde Park for romance – or for a group trip, the London Friday Night Skate starts at 8pm every Friday from Wellington Arch

Indusfoto Ltd

Ice-skating is a cliché; instead, impress your date with roller or inline skating. Don’t be afraid of falling, you have your partner to cling to! At Club Blue Room you can hire out skates and protective gear for just a tenner a day. The shop is in Marble Arch, which means you can roll

‘Boris bikes’ may not be elegant, but they’re convenient, and you no longer need to become a member in advance: just put in your credit card at a docking station. And once you’re off, it’s certainly romantic. You could take all or part of the Thames Cultural Cycling Tour from the South Bank to Greenwich, which totals 28km, or just wheel around Regent’s Park or Hyde Park. If you keep your journey under 30 minutes, all you pay is your access fee, which starts at £1 for 24 hours. www.tfl.gov.uk

 


The Mission CHEAP DATES

CLASS Lover Take lessons in love

­—9

Music Lover

If music be the food of love, play on

Making scents of it all

Cookery course

Food tastes better when it’s cooked with love – but also when you know how to cook! Most courses are pricey; the best value is L’Atelier Des Chefs’ lunchtime Cook, Eat and Run (above), at just £15pp. You get to eat the meal once you’ve been taught to cook it, either in the dining area or to take away. 19 Wigmore St, W1U 1PH. www. atelierdeschefs.co.uk Burlesque cocktail mixing

If you’re up for double-dating with other curious romantics, the Peacock bar have a fun night out for you and your lover (or someone you hope will turn into that!). For just £19pp, a group of five or more will spend an hour learning to make three different cocktails, and then drink the results. They’ll also teach you some flirting, juggling and even burlesque skills, then you get a free burlesque show and DJs till the small hours. Any evening, but book in advance. The Peacock, 148 Falcon Rd, SW11 2LW. www.the-peacock-bar.co.uk A Lecture on Love

Author Roman Krznaric presents a sexy symposium on Feb 14 in which he will explain why the Greeks had six words for love, why jousting knights wore dresses, why Dutch fathers wore paternity bonnets, and why medieval Arab sex manuals recommended that ‘a moist kiss is better than a hasty coitus’. £15 inc. wine and nibbles. 81 Westbourne Park Rd, W2 5QH. www.idler.co.uk/academy

The Book Club (no relation!) hosts a Valentine’s edition on Feb 14 of its monthly Scratch and Sniff. Host Odette Toilette will take you on an olfactory journey through history and myth, speculating on the fragrance choices of Mata Hari, Catherine the Great, Byron and Don Juan, and examining the link between character archetype and perfume. £17 including glass of prosecco. 100-106 Leonard St, EC2A 4RH. www. scratchandsniffevents.com Pottery class

w Karaoke

Recreate the iconic love scene out of Ghost (above) by attending a pottery class together. Shirley Stewart in Lewisham offers drop-in classes for £15 a session, or more centrally Kerry Hastings in Bloomsbury is £25. Better value, even if it isn’t exactly cheap, is a whole weekend course at Parade Mews Pottery in Tulse Hill for £65. www.shirleystewart.co.uk, www.kerryhastings.com, www.parademewspottery.co.uk Bollywood dancing

You may not be able to pull off moves like Jagger, but what better way to get closer to your date than learning to dance together. Salsa is oh-so obvious, so why not try hip-hop, street dance or even Bollywood dancing? Bollywood films are often about forbidden love, and as kissing is not allowed the only way to get down is with a song and dance. Drop into one of the classes (£11, below) and imagine you and your partner are in your very own musical. Tuesdays at Pineapple Dance Studios, or Thursdays at Danceworks studios. www. bollywooddancelondon.com.

Do it like Jay-Z and Beyoncé and sing your hearts out to each other. Find out what your partner’s favourite songs are in advance and start practising for your own private session. If you go on Sun-Thurs, a booth at Lucky Voice (above) is half-price: just £20 an hour to rent a four-person booth for two. 173-174 Upper St, N1 1RG; 52 Poland St, W1F 7NQ. www.luckyvoice.com Classical

The London Philharmonic play Rachmaninov’s aching Piano Concerto No 2 amongst other works in a special Valentine’s Day Concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Tickets start at only £9, with 50% concessions for students. The Barbican stages Valentine’s Day Love Classics, which is pricier at £18. For a more romantic setting, try the Valentine’s Day Concert With Love Poems conducted by John Landor in a candle-lit church (from £10). www.southbankcentre.co.uk, www.barbican. org.uk, www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org

Retro

We’re big fans of the Last Tuesday Society’s decadent, retro masked balls. They celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb 18 (£20), with free dance practice beforehand – in the waltz, swing... and pole dancing. A cheaper option (£6/£5) is the Museum of London, which recreates a Georgian London pleasure garden on Feb 14, 6.45pm-9.45pm. Enjoy a night of dancing, drinking and decadence with an 18th-century girl band, watch poetry and theatrical performances, and design and wear your own mask. www.theorphanagedance.co.uk, www. museumoflondon.org.uk Jazz

Rock

The Godfathers’ edgy brand of rhythm-and-booze-flavoured rock was out of step with the weedy indie bands of the ’90s, but their recent reformation has seen them back on form. Their Valentine’s Day Massacre (£16) has now become an annual tradition. Expect no mushy sentiment, just murder on the dancefloor. O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield St, N1 OPS. www.o2academyislington.co.uk Opera

Bust a move: Bring out your inner Aishwarya Rai and Shahrukh Khan with a Bollywood dance class at Pineapple Studios (Tues) or at Danceworks (Thur)

of Covent Garden, you might be lucky enough to hear a budding opera singer in the Piazza. Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD. www.roh.org.uk

Opera is all high emotions, but doesn’t always have to be at high prices. You can enjoy the grandeur of the Royal Opera House for free at lunchtime recitals. Book nine days in advance; the closest one to Valentine’s Day is Feb 20, at 1pm. Or, if you wander the cobbled streets

Jazz is all about syncopation and spontaneity. Show your other half you’ve got rhythm by heading for a Latin American jazz bar. The Guanabara is central, and Tuesday’s Bossa Nova Lounge nights are free, with a mix of live music and DJs. Also on Tuesdays, the Bar Rumba has salsa classes before turning into a nightclub. For more mainstream, modern sounds, try the legendary Jazz Café in Camden (above). www.guanabara.co.uk, www. barrumbadisco.co.uk, www.venues. meanfiddler.com/jazz-cafe ❥


— 10

The Mission CHEAP DATES

Culture Lover Art and soul

Well red: Peter Ilic’s Little Bay restaurants are cheap, but don’t look it

Restaurants Eat your heart out

standard Chinese restaurant prices (mains average £8), and a spectacular view of Tower Bridge and City Hall, best appreciated by night. There are also branches on Charlotte Street, Highgate, Hampstead and Victoria. Dim T, 2 More London Place, Tooley St, SE1 2DB. www.dimt.co.uk French kiss

Food with a view

Most high-up restaurants are prohibitively expensive: Rhodes 24, Paramount, Windows at the Hilton and the Oxo Tower all have sky-high prices to match the views. Dim T (above) on Tooley Street, however, offers

If your appetite is whetted by our Paris feature (p38), we have a couple of central London faves. At Savoir Faire the Toulouse-Lautrec posters will have you thinking of berets, accordions and lingering trysts. Family-run, its motto is ‘affordable gourmet food’ (a twocourse dinner is £18.50). And Le Garrick is a real Tardis of a restaurant: tiny upstairs, with a spiral staircase down to a basement maze of pillars and tiny tables for cosy, intimate bistro dining.

FEELING GLOOMY Sad Songs To Make You Happy! Every Sat 02 Academy 2 Islington Feeling Gloomy.com

Savoir Faire, 42 New Oxford St, WC1 A1EP. www.savoir.co.uk. Le Garrick, 10-12 Garrick St, WC2E 9BH. www. frenchrestaurantlondon.co.uk An Aladdin’s Cave

There are two branches of the Souk, both near Covent Garden. It’s a Moroccan hideaway of cushions, low benches and drapes, and best of all it has a little private room that you can book for two. An all-you-can-eat ‘Feast Menu’ of various Mezze plates to share is £19.95. Souk Medina, 1a Short’s Gardens, WC2H 9AT; Souk Bazaar, 27 Litchfield St, WC2H 9NJ Sexy setting

Little Bay (above) is an eccentric mini-chain with four London branches. The famous chef Peter Ilic is behind the food, but prices are kept surprisingly low (every main course is £10.95), and the decor is gloriously over the top: opulent reds and velvets, with sumptuous booths for privacy. In the Croydon restaurant they have live opera on Monday and Wednesday nights. Little Bay Kilburn, Farringdon, Battersea and Croydon. www.littlebay.co.uk Dinner and dance

The food at the Penthouse is nothing special, though it has cheaper options such as burgers or fish and chips. The main attraction is that after dining you get free access to three floors of clubbing, with Leicester Square at your feet and the London Eye shining across the rooftops. The Penthouse, 1 Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA. www.thepenthouselondon.com

Evening With the Stars

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich (above) is offering a Valentine’s Day package that includes a themed Planetarium show, a chance to view the real stars through their 18-tonne Victorian telescope, plus a glass of Champagne and a red rose. It’s on the pricey side at £28, but so special. If you want to continue the theme, name a star after your loved one for £19.99 at www.universal-star-registry.com, or recite John Keats’s Bright Star – that at least is free. Royal Observatory, Greenwich, SE10 8XJ. www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory Nightie nights

You’re probably wishing you could get your date in (or out of) their underwear, but at Bedtime Stories being in your pyjamas can be just as fun. Head to a decadent East London townhouse (Valentine’s nights are on Feb 8-10, and the £25 tickets sell out fast), where you’ll drink gin cocktails and munch chocolates. The strict dress code is


The Mission CHEAP DATES

© Trustees of the Wallace Collection

Well hung: The Wallace Collection has 25 galleries of passionate 18th-century painting in a historic setting, all for free

nightwear, the more glamorous the better. Think silk, or add accessories like teddies, pillows, and blankets. Read what our Stage editor, Christine Twite, thought of this adult twist on pyjama parties on p26. 109 Mile End Road, E1 4UJ. Contact reservations@40winks.org Funny Valentine

Must have G.S.O.H.? Laugh your way into your lover’s heart with some of the city’s finest comedy. The show Love at the Bloomsbury Theatre (£8) talks about everything from duck sex to medieval seduction. The Comedy Carnival at the Clapham Grand is staging a Valentine’s Day Show. Dinner tickets are – yikes! – £55pp, but seated tickets are £15, and include entry to the after-show club. www.thebloomsbury.com, www. comedycarnival.co.uk

£7.50). It’s a participatory performance set in a dining room, where two performers conduct the evening. You can even send song dedications, with notes, beforehand. www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk, www. southbankcentre.co.uk

Poetry reading

Romantic plays

Forget foreplay: Little Pieces of Love has eight of them! Take your lover to a mash-up of eight short plays about love, all by new writers, at Southwark Playhouse (Feb 12, £10). And Love Letters Straight from your Heart (below), which had critical success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, comes to the Southbank Centre (Feb 2-14, from

Down under: Beneath Charing Cross is a vaulted, candlelit maze. Established in 1890, Gordon’s Wine Bar is London’s oldest

BArs

Make yours a double Get high

Art’s desire

Let your loved one know they’re pretty as a picture. The National Gallery hosts a special Valentine’s Day tour of its most romantic works. Or for all-round charm, you can’t beat the Wallace Collection (above), housed in a beautiful building and full of saucy works. www.nationalgallery.org.uk, www. wallacecollection.org

Feeling creative on Valentine’s Day? Have something special you want to say? Take your lover to the Poetry Café, There’s an open mic night every Tuesday, Leap up onto the stage above, Tell them they fit like a glove, And most of all, that you are in love. 22 Betterton St, WC2H 9BX. www. poetrysociety.org.uk/content/cafe Magic lantern show

The organisers of the Last Tuesday Society (see Music) are presenting a retro-tastic magic lantern slide show of antique French erotica on Feb 14. Tickets are £10. Little Shop of Horrors, 11 Mare St, E8 4RP. www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org

Most high-up bars are cripplingly expensive. Honourable exceptions include the Queen of Hoxton (above) and the Boundary Rooftop Bar (below) in Shoreditch. If you really want to impress, try the Vista overlooking Trafalgar Square, the Paramount at the top of Centre Point, or Vertigo 42 in the City – but stay for just one drink. www.theboundary.co.uk, www.queenofhoxton. com, www.thetrafalgar.com/vista-homepage, www.paramount.uk.net, www.vertigo42.co.uk Open a bottle

Tucked away down a little side-passage off Embankment Gardens, Gordon’s Wine Bar (above right) is easy to miss. That’s because most of it is underground, under the vaulted roofs of a former Champagne cellar. They take care over their wines, so even if you don’t know your Burgundy from your Bordeaux you can’t go far wrong, and by candlelight your table will feel intimate even when the place is packed. Gordon’s Wine Bar, 47 Villiers St, WC2N 6NE. www.gordonswinebar.com

Ticket to a musical

West End musicals are expensive. So your partner will know you really care if you give them a pair of tickets to something romantic like Ghost or Crazy For You – just don’t tell them you got them half-price. www.uktheatretickets.com, www. theatreticketsdirect.co.uk

­—11

At your feet: Panoramic views of the City skyline are the attraction at the Boundary Rooftop Bar

Step through the looking glass

Shoreditch is full of trendy bars and designer cocktails. Of all of them, we most love the Alice in Wonderlandthemed Callooh Callay. There’s something about disappearing into a wardrobe and emerging into a secret bar that brings a sense of Narnian wonder. Callooh Callay, 65 Rivington St, EC2A 3AY. www.calloohcallaybar.com Cosy up

Give it that pirate swagger at the Spaniard’s Inn, one of London’s oldest and most charming pubs, where dandy highwayman Dick Turpin used to drink and Keats wrote his Ode to a Nightingale. It has a huge garden, a roaring fire on cold nights, and lots of little nooks and crannies. It’s near Hampstead Heath for a woodland stroll with terrific views over London. The Spaniard’s Inn, Spaniards Rd, NW3 7JJ. www.thespaniardshampstead.co.uk Drink in a clink

Upstairs the Southwark Tavern is just like any other big, crowded pub. But downstairs, off a narrow curved passageway, is a warren of cosy little rooms with tables that they call ‘prison cells’. Get your relationship locked down here. 22 Southwark St, SE1 1TU. www. thesouthwarktavern.co.uk Compiled by Kohinoor Sahota


— 12

The Mission CHEAP DATES

A little goes a long way Love Britain wheat warmer, Paperchase, £8

Love Mug, McLaggan Smith Mugs, Selfridges, £10.50

EAT

DRINK

Lip tattoos in red hearts, Violent Lips, Topshop, £10

Penguin’s Poems for Love, www.penguin.co.uk, £10.99

SHOP

Prestat fine chocolate, Selfridges, £5.75

BECOME A MYSTERY SHOPPER WITH RETAIL EYES AND GET PAID TO GO OUT!

GO OUT, GET PAID!

From shopping to eating and drinking out, free memberships to health clubs and nights in hotels, mystery shopping is a great way to earn extra cash quickly and easily. It’s flexible to your busy lifestyle so you can choose the jobs you want, where you want, when you want.

Register for free at: www.retaileyes.co.uk/thebook

STAY

PLAY

BET


The Mission CHEAP DATES

Hearts & Daggers Man eau de toilette, Ed Hardy, Debenhams, £27

Kamasutra, Oxford University Press, www.ukcatalogue.oup. com, £7.99

Gone with the Wind DVD, www.amazon.co.uk, £4.39

Moulin Rouge DVD, www. amazon.co.uk, £3.99

Bow tie, Beyond Retro, £8

Doily heart card, Paperchase, £2.75

Pavé heart studs, Accessorize, £5

Double Take long wear lipstick, FashionistA, Superdrug, £7

15g red hearts confetti, Paperchase, £1.75

Twister, Hamleys, £13

Love wings sparkle stickers, Paperchase, £5.50

Mickey Mouse black and white t-shirt, www.truffleshuffle.co.uk, £23.99

Minnie Mouse triblend slash neck t-shirt, www.truffleshuffle.co.uk, £27.99

­—13


— 14

Cover Star LABRINTH


­— 15

INTO THE LABRINTH He produced the best-selling UK single of 2010. His own single, Earthquake, was a ground-breaking hit. How will Labrinth’s debut album score on the Richter scale? Dominic Wells catches a rising star

I

t is, to use his own favourite expression, ‘crazy exciting’ to be meeting Labrinth, the nutty professor behind such monster hits as Pass Out, Frisky and Earthquake. The former’s chorus of ‘get a toast of celebration, get a glass out/ and we can do this until we pass out’ became the party anthem of young Britain, the best selling UK single of 2010. And yet, with its crazy Nintendo keyboards over a drum and bass beat, and a bass line of just two notes, it was so left-field that the record label couldn’t see a single, let alone a hit. It was designated as a warm-up track for club gigs, until audiences started going mental for it. ‘It hurt, man,’ says Labrinth, nursing a very un-urban glass of red wine. He was only 20 when he recorded Pass Out, but had already been producing for years. ‘That song was something I believed in so much, but the industry were too scared.’ It made him even more determined to do it his way. Earthquake, the first proper single off his forthcoming solo album, starts with a lunatic lurching sci-fi synth (“Rerh-weeeee!”), proceeds with a massive, stomping beat – and suddenly stops dead two thirds of the way through for

‘I thought, I gotta read, study, learn the modes, the scales, the melodic minors. It took my knowledge to insane levels – I felt I was speaking a language that had no limits’ 


— 16

Cover Star LABRINTH

some a cappella monk-like chanting. It’s as mad and brilliant and epic a pop song as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. ‘You like the Gregorian chant?’ laughs Labrinth, still delighted at his own audacity. ‘That nearly didn’t go in. The song was finished, but I had a friend sleeping on the sofa, and she woke up to hear me singing that chant to myself. She said “I dare you to put that in,” and went back to sleep. By the time she woke up again, it was already recorded and mixed.’ We’re chatting at the Wood Green recording studio where Labrinth spends most of his life. So much so that, together with his manager of seven years, Marc Williams, he bought the studio restaurant we’re sitting in. Labrinth is a bundle of nervous energy, ideas whizzing off him like fireworks. He’s sickly today – he had to rearrange our morning meeting to the afternoon, and Marc warns me to keep questions short and to the point – but as he revs up there’s little sign of it. We end up talking for well over an hour about everything from religion and family to love and rioting, and always interlaced with music, music, music. A living Brit School Music is to Labrinth as water is to fish. He lives it, breathes it. His granddad was a pastor and former singer who released a country and gospel album called Rock of Ages. His parents are both musicians. He has eight brothers and sisters, all musical. Their home in Hackney was, he says, like a living Brit School. ‘My brother would come home with a bass and play a blues solo and I’d think, man, I gotta learn that. I’d be standing on the landing and in one room you could hear my sisters harmonising with their friends; in another, my brother rapping and cyphering; in another, my brother using his Cubase drums. It would be like, which class shall I choose to go into now?’ But it kicked into a whole new gear when he was 15. His mother, tired of her musical kids getting ripped off by the industry (Vultures, on Labrinth’s album, is written with that in mind), found Labrinth a trustworthy manager. Marc, a former musician himself, gave Labrinth the keys to his studio, and he pretty much slept in there for the next few years.

‘Literally that!’ remembers Labrinth. ‘If Oh, they do. He’s getting plenty of offers you have a thirst for knowledge it will take you from America, but remains sceptical. ‘The to places you never thought you could go. It Americans are businessmen. They love to make wasn’t just learning the instruments. I thought, money, and their formulas for making money I gotta read, study, learn the modes, the scales, have dried up, so they’re looking for more. All us the melodic minors. It took my musical artists in Britain, our problem is we’re not good at knowledge to insane levels – I felt I was turning our great sounds into business. That’s speaking a language that had no limits. It’s why I signed for Syco: they’ve got a silly head funny: there’s only 12 notes, chromatically, but [ie sensible] for marketing.’ it’s whatever sound you put on them, they In a wider way, he says, that’s the problem with Hackney, where he grew up. The Olympics become funk, rock or jazz. ‘It’s a bit like religion: Christian, Muslim, promised to revivify the area, but ‘having a big whatever. I don’t believe in religion, I believe in Olympic building costing millions in a place with no community centres, it’s almost God. God is life, not some guy in like taunting them. The riots were the sky. Life is the source of us. ‘A lot of artists, totally wrong, though. They were We just split it into categories: like, who could make the best riot, just like jazz hated classical, and they look good, like a playground fight. It wasn’t classical hated jazz. But why?’ sound good, political, they just thought it was Labrinth’s album is eclectic almost to a fault. Last Time has but have no real fun, like some violent snow day!’ There’s a lot of musical disco strings; Treatment has ’80s drive. You have creativity in the kids there, he synths; Climb Aboard chucks just to push yourself says, but it rarely gets harnessed. about everything into a jungle Plan B is one who managed to mix. There are killer tunes every day’ channel that energy. ‘He came beneath the magpie clutter, and up to me at an awards ceremony Labrinth’s voice is a surprisingly pure and soaring thing. He could have made a and said hi, and I said, “Oh, all right, hello Plan chart-topping ‘straight’ pop record: Beneath Your B,”, and he said “No, don’t you remember me? Beautiful, a simple, tender love song with Emeli It’s Ben!” And I’m like, “Oh god, you’re the Sandé guesting, is ample proof. But though same guy I saw rapping on stage with your own Labrinth is the first non-talent-show artist ever dodgy CD player that kept skipping!” He used signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco label, straight pop to work at this community project I was in.’ is the last thing on his mind. He wants to start a Plan B’s now about to release his own film, Ill Manors. Has Labrinth considered acting? ‘I’d love musical revolution. ‘I want to be remembered, to affect people,’ to,’ he says, ‘but it would have to be at the right he says. ‘Marc, my manager, says: “You can have time. You have to learn to walk before you can a Porsche with no motor.” There’s a lot of artists run. I’d have to study it.’ like that: look good, sound good, but no real drive. The seeds are there. He admires artists like David Bowie or Prince who create their own You have to push yourself every day.’ alternative fictional realities, and he likes to invent characters: one in particular, ‘Christopher Frisk’, Straight out of Hackney He worries that his next single, Last Time, the song has taken on a life of his own. with strings, will sound a bit, well, normal. ‘He’s been popping up on quite a few of my Perhaps that’s why he dreamed up the offbeat songs. I got him from watching all these ’50s sci-fi video which he’s just come back from shooting in movies on TV when I was young, where everyone LA, in which an alien appears to a lonely whizzkid talked in this weird way, these clipped, upper-class and whisks him off to see the world. ‘And the song accents.’ He’s the one who says ‘Frisky’ on the isn’t in 4/4 time like a normal pop song,’ he’s chorus of Tinie Tempah’s hit of that name, and eager to point out. ‘It’s in 12. I wanted to see if it who commands ‘Labrinth, come in’ at the start of Earthquake. could be done. I hope people notice.’


­— 17­

The Labrinth look You can see why acting would have to wait in line. As well as going into the restaurant business, Labrinth has started his own label for upcoming talent, Odd Child, and plans to diversify the brand into fashion. He’s already a brand ambassador for Reebok, despite the fact that today he’s dressed in a Lee denim jacket, Canterbury checked shirt and orange trousers, and Nike trainers. His dress sense is as unconventional and eclectic as his music. ‘All these urban artists, they all come out in dark clothes and dark glasses, but I don’t want to be put in a box like that. I’m looking forward to London Fashion Week. At the last one I went dressed in jodphurs – I don’t know why! – and Kurt Geiger shoes. But it seemed to work.’ His girlfriend is less impressed. ‘My missus is in the fashion industry,’ he reveals. ‘She’s always on at me about my clothes. Hopefully she likes my face better.’ He hasn’t made plans for her Valentine’s Day yet, which he confesses with what for the only time in the conversation seems like worry. But he has some simple advice for others: ‘Leave out the McDonald’s and the cinema. They’re great, but it’s too common, man, you gotta charm her. But the most important thing is just to be honest, and stand your ground.’ And that’s just what Labrinth is doing in the music business. Despite having signed to Simon Cowell’s label, he says he would never have considered going on a show like X Factor. ‘It’s Simon’s world. It’s not the artists’ world. That would make me a pawn. I want to move all the pieces on my chessboard. Syco micro-manage their talent-show artists, they basically say “bend over and do it”. For a singer, maybe that’s perfect. But for me, I need full creative control.’ Labrinth strokes his chin, as he often does when thinking. It makes him look much older than his 23 years. ‘The music industry is scary,’ he says, ‘but so is school. In Year 7, when you start Secondary school, you’re scared; but by Year 9 you feel you own the place.’ He smiles. ‘I feel like I’m in year 9.’ ● Labrinth’s debut album, Electronic Earth, is out March 19. The single, Last Time, is out March 12. He tours the UK Feb 23-28, playing KOKO in Camden on March 5

Twice the talent Producers turned artists

Bruno Mars Bruno Mars was signed by Motown in a deal that went nowhere. Despite his disillusionment he met Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine there, and they formed a producing and songwriting team, The Smeezingtons. In 2009 they were behind the in-your-face club hits: Flo Rida’s Right Round and Sugababes’ Get Sexy. A year later Bruno Mars released his own album, Doo-Wops and Hooligans.

N*E*R*D Before N*E*R*D made it big, they made hits for others. Kelis’s Milkshake, Britney’s Slave 4 U and Justin Timberlake’s Rock Your Body are just some; in fact there was a time when one out of five songs played on British radio were by the group. In 2001 they released their debut In Search of… They’ve never had quite as much success as the acts they produce, lacking a number one hit themselves in the UK.

Timbaland In 1996 Timbaland started out as a producer for Aaliyah, Ginuwine and Missy Elliot. He quickly became the go-to producer for all things R & B and hip-hop. So when Justin Timberlake, Madonna or Nelly Furtado needed a sound change it was Timbaland they called. He released his own album, Shock Value, in 2007, which produced two number one singles. He hasn’t given up the day job.

Trevor Horn Trevor Horn is the definitive producer of the ’80s with Dollar, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Seal, Pete Shop Boys and Marc Almond. He was later behind t.A.T.u.’s All The Things She Said. He’s also been in The Buggles (Video Killed the Radio) Star and the Art of Noise (Close to the Edit).

Mark Ronson Many of Britain’s female artists have Mark Ronson to thank for their success. He produced for Lily Allen, Adele and most famously Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album. Not content with just producing, he released Version in 2007 and asked his pop mates to be a part of his trumpet-tastic record.

MNEK This precocious producer has been making music since he was nine. He’d produced for Tinie Tempah, Duran Duran, and Diana Vickers by the time he was 16. He released his own debut single, If Truth Be Told, in November, two days before his 17th birthday. Labrinth, watch out!


­— 18

Music

‘All Waters is the most powerful love song you’ll hear this year’

Sweet smell of success

Perfume Genius has suffered to put his heart into his art, finds Ruth Saxelby The story of Put Your Back N 2 It starts with Learning, which is the album Michael Hadreas finally made after many years of hiding from it to become Perfume Genius. Released in 2010, it was largely written and recorded at his mother’s house in Seattle in a very simple, lo-fi way, evident in the faraway-ness of his voice and the gauzy sound quality. Learning was whispered close; a highly personal, confessional record that dealt with troubled memories, including the suicide of a teacher he’d had an ambiguous relationship with as a teenager. The fragility of the recording added a cracked beauty to the album, which made the past that Hadreas confronted all the more present. A series of emotional gigs followed, during which Hadreas was visibly upset as he performed. As draining as it must have been, all that release seems to have done the world of good for Hadreas, as Put Your Back N 2 It is the work of a changed man. Both sonically and emotionally, it

is bolder, clearer, surer. Its 12 songs, written with piano, guitar and some percussive flourishes, deal confidently with love, life and letting go. On the wittily titled Normal Song he celebrates new-found resilience: ‘No memory, no matter how sad / no violence, no matter how bad / can darken the heart / or tear it apart.’ Then, as if to address the outpouring that following Learning, on No Tear he sings: ‘I will carry on with grace / zero tears / on my face.’

encompasses – from fear to lust and defiance. ‘You would never call me baby,’ he sings on Hood, ‘if you knew the truth / but I wanted so long / for your love.’ It is on All Waters, though, that he stands tallest, exquisitely illuminating the cruel, everyday pain of homophobia: ‘When I can take your hand / on any crowded street / and hold you close to me / with no hesitating.’ Just over two minutes long, All Waters is the most powerful love song you’ll hear this year.

Perfume Genius writes love songs of every colour, painting with the many conflicting emotions it

The entire album plays out like a movie kiss, the magic of which is charged with the thousand tension-heightening moments leading up to it – moments of woe and misunderstanding that melt away the minute the screen heroes’ lips meet. Now more than ever, we need voices like Perfume Genius’s. There is a beauty and a release to be found in his words. On Put Your Back N 2 It, he peels back his skin to share raw truths that often go unspoken, and wears the scars with grace.

Put Your Back N 2 It Perfume Genius Release: Feb 20

Listen: www. turnstilemusic.net


Reviews MUSIC

­— 19

The Video Lady Gaga /Marry The Night

 Ruth Saxelby goes gaga

‘When I look on my life it’s not that I don’t want to see things exactly as they happened, it’s just that I prefer to remember them in an artistic way. And truthfully the lie of it is much more honest because I invented it,’ says Lady Gaga at the start of the Marry the Night video. At just under 14 minutes, it speaks to the grand history of music video as an event – not a promotional tool, but media as the message itself. When MTV launched in 1981, it showed standard rock videos aimed at a largely white audience. It took Michael Jackson’s 1983 Billie Jean, one of the first videos by a black artist to be the shown on MTV, to propel the station to the heart of mainstream pop culture. Later that

same year it was Jackson who, with his groundbreaking 14-minute Thriller mini-movie, reinvented the artistic possibilities of music video. Madonna followed suit in 1989 with her brilliantly controversial Like A Prayer video that addressed racism against a religious backdrop. In recent years, save for Kanye’s 35-minute Runaway music/fashion extravaganza, it’s been left to Lady Gaga to stretch the art form once again. The music video is Gaga’s spiritual home – a space in which she is free to live out her the skewed theatrical fantasies that rocketed her to global phenomenon status. The music itself is kind of beside the point: it is in the dramatic moment on film that Gaga lives. The initial setting for Marry The Night is an asylum, with a tear-

stained, post-breakdown Gaga recalling Winona Ryder’s troubled character from Girl, Interrupted. Both star and narrator, Gaga privileges the viewer with behind-the-scenes details, explaining that the nurses who wheel her down the corridor on a hospital bed are wearing next-season Calvin Klein and that she tipped their mint green hairnets to one side to make them look Parisian. Later – or perhaps before, the chronology is ambiguous – she channels Desperately Seeking Susan-era Madonna as a dancer on the make in denim and sequins. As with her idol, reinvention is the moral of Gaga’s story – to keep creating is to stay alive. Or as she puts it: “I’m going to be a star because I have nothing left to lose.” Video directed by Lady Gaga

Ghostpoet KOKO Feb 15

Sloping into the limelight with his debut album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam in February 2011, London’s Ghostpoet steadily won over hearts and minds with his wry tales of everyday troubles delivered in his slow, drawling tone. Minimal and moody skittering electronic beats provide the backdrop to Ghostpoet’s stories, leaving him plenty of room to stretch lyrically. Standout tracks Cash & Carry Me Home and Us Against Whatever Ever established him as a fresh talent worth watching, culminating in the album receiving a Mercury Prize nomination. Having spent last year on the festival circuit, the slow-motion MC should deliver a polished performance. (RS)

The Gig That Changed My Life Jeymes Samuel from The Bullitts on a Purple reign The gig that has had the most effect on me was when I was really young. I must have been nine or ten and my big brother took me to see Prince at Wembley Arena for his LoveSexy tour. He played all these tracks that I’d heard my brother and sister playing around the house. I remember he had a basketball net on the stage and was spinning a ball. He turned around, threw the basketball over his head and dunked it in. I was like, this guy! As a grown-up, every time I go to a gig I always compare it to that experience I had at nine years old and they never really match up. That definitely shaped the way I approach music and art and visuals, hence I start my shows with a short film starring Lucy Liu as she’s on my album. I will have those ideas and execute them without question, partly because of seeing that show and the freedom Prince had. There are little things I’ll never forget: he had a car, a white Cadillac or something, he came out on it and left the concert on it. It must have been built especially for the stage. It was the most amazing experience for a child to watch. I read an interview with Prince and he said that when he was ten years old his father took him to a James Brown concert and that literally shaped the way he saw performance and changed his life. That whole creation of a world with your album: that’s the freedom that I expected, having experienced that as a kid. If a five-foot man can wear heels and have a basketball net on stage and dunk the ball without even looking at the net, surely we can have an album with Lucy Liu acting on it.

The Bullitts' single Supercool is out Mar 4, and they headline XOYO on Mar 7


— 20

Reviews MUSIC

Tri Angle Records showcase Secret warehouse Feb 4

Ruth Saxelby, Music Editor Best date: I once got taken to see Joe Zawinul at Ronnie Scott’s in all its gorgeous, pre-refurbishment glory. It was a very special evening. Romantic playlist: One of my favourite producers is Hudson Mohawke and he’s famous for his Valentine’s Day mixes. This’ll be his fifth year in a row. It’s always a super sultry listen full of slow jams. Forget flowers; HudMo’s mix is all you need for a romantic evening. Best love song: Björk's Hyper Ballad because it’s silly and irrational like love. And it makes me feel like spinning around.

Gang Colours The Keychain Collection Release: Feb 27

The 24-year-old Southampton-based producer Will Ozanne, aka Gang Colours, is the latest act to have caught the attention of world-famous DJ and acclaimed tastemaker Gilles Peterson and his Brownswood Recordings label. While Ozanne cites the artist Basquiat and classic UK garage amongst his many diverse influences, he also has a penchant for the mellow, which is much in evidence on his debut album The Keychain Collection. The record takes

the ambient qualities of trip-hop and moody house whilst also drawing on the melodic sensibilities of pop. When it succeeds the results are something like a contemporary spin on the Art of Noise’s Moments of Love, as demonstrated on tracks such as Fancy Restaurant and Heavy Petting with its teasing, shimmering synths sprinkled in between the kind of syncopated rhythms that Timbaland has made a radio mainstay since the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, Gang Colours’ debut has a rough-draft quality. You can visualise where Ozanne is going and it looks from a distance like a splendid place. It just might take an album or two for him to get there. (TO)

From New Jersey hip hopper Clams Casino to shadowy Manchester producer Holy Other, Londonbased label Tri Angle Records put out some of weirdest, most vulnerable and genuinely thrilling music in 2011. While Clams is busy making beats for rising rap megastar A$AP Rocky, the rest of the Tri Angle stable will be getting together for a special label showcase tour that will take in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and, of course, our fair city. Balam Acab, OoOOo and Holy Other will all play live in the secret east London warehouse venue (details will be revealed to ticket buyers), with DJ support on the night from Romy (The xx), Karenn (Pariah and Blawan) and new Tri Angle signing The Haxan Cloak. Highly recommended. After all of last year's online hype, this is a rare chance to catch these acts playing live together. Which means it might be worth starting to queue now. (RS)

We Have Band Ternion Release: out now

London trio We Have Band follow up their bright and excitable 2010 debut WHB with a second album that’s an altogether darker, grainier affair. If WHB was the night of wine-andadrenaline fuelled excess, Ternion is the morning after with its blurry muddle of affectionate recollection, reflection and regret. While they’ve always had tautness to their energy – the result of natural push-and-pull tension between three singer-musicians who take it in turn to lead – it edges teasingly towards brittle on Ternion.

Musically, the territory they stalk is that of post-punk and industrial synth pop, the jaded cousin to the wide-eyed electro of their early years. The bittersweet Depeche Modeesque Tired Of Running is a particular highlight, with its emotional chord changes and hardnosed couplets: “Don’t you go misty eyed on me / Truth is we had it coming.” Smart, tough and seductive, Ternion is the sound of We Have Band wising up. (RS) We Have Band play Cargo, Feb 15


Reviews MUSIC

Nightlife

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Choke, every Wednesday at The Roxy Bar, W1T 1HJ, from £3 Everyone loves a good deal, and the Roxy sure delivers. On weekdays from 5-8.30pm, there are half-price pitchers. Do it like a dude with dance-friendly beats from hip-hop to drum and bass.

Feb 20

Having just dropped their long awaited second album Future This in January, London electronic rockers The Big Pink dive headfirst into a headline UK tour this February including this slot as part of the NME Awards 2012 tour. Future This finds them in anthem-making mode, with both Stay Gold and Hit The Ground (Superman) packing emotional weight behind those punchy hooks. The duo first made their name with their much hyped, much loved 2009 debut album A Brief History Of Love, so this London show will be a homecoming of sorts. Expect a sweaty bear hug of a show with lots to pogo to. (RS) Music previews by Ruth Saxelby and Tola Ositelu

Bad Sex, every Thursday at Proud Camden, NW1 8AH, from £3 Listen to home-grown Camden talent, all unsigned. Go before 9pm for free entry on the guestlist. DJs later in the night. Feeling Gloomy, every Saturday at O2 Academy Islington, N1 0PS, £4.50 Spending Valentine’s Day alone? What better way to mope than listen to five full-on hours of the saddest songs known to man at Feeling Gloomy. Remember to pack tissues. Wet Your Self 5th birthday, Feb 5 at Fabric, EC1N 3HM, £5 adv WYS, the Sunday club night at the ever-popular megavenue Fabric, celebrates its fifth birthday. French Electroclash DJ Miss Kittin is the icing on the cake.

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The Big Pink The Garage

Book Ahead: March Urban Classic

WU LYF

March 3

March 21, 22

A musical mash up: the BBC Symphony Orchestra meets the UK's urban scene. In honour of the Barbican’s 30th birthday, the two get together for a musical celebration. The evening includes Ms Dynamite, Devlin and MC Skepta and N-Dubz producer Fazer. The orchestra is conduced by Jules Buckley, who has recently collaborated with Basement Jaxx.

There was a lot of hype round this Manchester band last year but their debut album Go Tell Fire to the Mountain proved it justified. These guys are young but they have soul.

Barbican

Future Islands

Scala

March 6

This Baltimore trio makes heartfelt, electrifying synth pop that cuts to the core. See them once and you’ll be fans for life, seriously.

­— 21

Heaven

Drake

O2 Arena March 26, 27

Canadian rapper Drake, or Drizzy as he’s known, hit his stride in 2011 with second album Take Care. He’s worked with every leading lady from Nicki Minaj to Rihanna, and this promises to be one of those pull-out-all-the-stops shows. The tour also continues in Sheffield, Manchester, Glasgow, and Birmingham.

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­— 22

Film

Tess for success

Saris and sherwanis replace bonnets and britches.Neil Clarke on a novel adaptation

Lesbian road movie. Madchester. Selfreflexive Tristram Shandy. Ultraviolent noir. Given the eclecticism of his mammoth filmography, if anyone were going to transpose Tess of the d’Urbervilles to modern-day India, it’s not wildly surprising that Michael Winterbottom would be the man. Yet this update and relocation of the 19th century classic doesn’t seem a maverick choice for long. Winterbottom has described lives in India as ‘just beginning to change with the forces of mechanization, industrialisation, urbanization and above all education’, a ‘similar moment’ to what Hardy was describing in regards to life in England. And India still retains the social conventions which mean Trishna’s unmarried relationship with Riz Ahmed’s wealthy businessman, Jay, must remain hidden within the public sphere. Opening a Hardy adaptation with its male lead bombing around a Rajasthani desert in a Jeep with his mates might seem a step too far, but in fact it gives the story a recognisably vital modernity that a ‘bonnets and britches’ version might lack.

Winterbottom brings a vibrant sense of place, as well as time. This is his third film shot in India (and his third take on Hardy, after The Claim and Jude). A western director will always attract accusations of exoticising the landscape and people with an ‘occidental gaze’; but, whatever. The leads are as luminous as the cinematography – perhaps almost too ravishing in the case of Freida Pinto, whose role is frustratingly if necessarily passive – while Ahmed, reunited with the director after The Road to Guantánamo, makes his condescending yuppie more likeable than he perhaps should be because, well, he’s Riz Ahmed. The story may not always be allowed the space to breathe it arguably requires, as it shuttles from one (unequivocally gorgeous) location to another, and a last-act lurch into full-blown melodrama sits uneasily with the naturalism and improvisational dialogue which otherwise characterise the film. While very much operating under the auspices of melodrama throughout (forbidden love, bedridden parents, etc), Jay’s slide into tyranny doesn’t quite ring true. Even the final actions of the eponymous heroine can’t quite escape

‘The leads are as luminous as the cinematography - almost too ravishing in the case of Freida Pinto’ unintentionally straying into bunny-boiler territory. Ultimately, deference to the original novel becomes detrimental in that the somewhat abrupt ending doesn’t seem quite worthy of the story up to that point. But still, there’s a lot to love here, not least its stars, as well as its refusal to sanitise its various Indian locations. Also, there’s a fruity, scene-stealing turn by Roshan Seth, and you have to add points for the use of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the soundtrack. Following on from last year’s Jane Eyre and the Wuthering Heights that controversially cast a black actor in the lead, Trishna makes another great way for nineteenth-century heroine addicts to get their fix. Trishna is released March 9


Reviews Film

Lynch mob

Film Festivals

Dominic Wells on four decades of being Wild at Heart

For the last four decades, each new generation of film-lover has re-discovered David Lynch and claimed him as an utterly fresh voice. Now it’s your turn. The BFI Southbank is hosting a month-long retrospective that includes ten of his wonderfully infuriating, elliptic, hypnotic, hallucinatory, sexually violent and wilfully contrary works. There’s his feature debut, Eraserhead, about a man terrorised by his mutant baby, made when Lynch himself had just become a father. That daughter, Jennifer Lynch, grew up to make Boxing Helena, in which a woman’s limbs are sawn off one by one by her boyfriend to keep her close. There’s Blue Velvet, still Lynch’s most perfect film and the last with a truly coherent narrative. He cast Isabella Rosellini as a masochist in thrall to a psycho (played by Dennis Hopper). Then Lynch married her. There’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which will make no sense at all unless you’ve seen Lynch’s bizarrely successful TV soap opera on acid, Twin Peaks. And even then, not much.

­— 23

International Student Film Festival, Feb 3-5 A first for London: a festival devoted to student films that deserve a wider audience. Workshops, networking events and awards will accompany 200 screenings of tomorrow’s talent, all at the University of the Arts. Human Rights Watch Film Festival, March 1-30

Lost Highway is an allegory on the Karmic Wheel (as he eventually revealed to me in a reluctant interview); Wild At Heart reinvents The Wizard of Oz as a Nicolas Cage road movie; Mulholland Drive and the deliriously demented three-hourlong film-within-a-film-within-adream, Inland Empire (above), both attack Hollywood’s treatment of young starlets. Also showing are his three mainstream Hollywood films, Elephant Man, Dune and The Straight Story. If you can call ‘mainstream’ a black and white movie celebrating a one-time circus ‘freak’; or one where a fat, syphilitic sci-fi villain gets his kicks by pulling out a specially fitted

heart-plug from young boys at the moment of orgasm; or a true-life movie about a 73-year-old’s travels on a lawnmower. Lynch trained as a fine artist. He entered cinema as a chance to make ‘paintings that move’. If the gift of linear narrative ever was on his Christmas list, he’s obviously been a very naughty boy. And that’s why now more than ever, when most movies are made only if they can be sold with one line, or even title, Lynch remains a gloriously free radical. David Lynch: A Reputation Precedes is at BFI Southbank, SE1 8XT, Feb 1-29. www.bfi.org.uk

The Ritzy and Curzon Soho bring to life human rights abuses. Most of the screenings are followed by discussions with the film-makers. It's the rights stuff. 26th BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, March 23-April 1 The UK’s longest-running queer film event is back, and bigger than ever. The programme is announced on Feb 23, and always draws some heavy hitters as well as shorts, including the winner of the £25,000 Iris Prize.

5th BFI FUTURE

FILM FESTIVAL Sat 18 – Sun 19 February

BFI Southbank London SE1 Waterloo

bfi.org.uk/futurefilm

Media Partners

Join us on

BFI_FFF 2012 Ad_The Book 181 x 116_ FINAL.indd 1

Get your pass to the ultimate film weekend packed with screenings, workshops and masterclasses

Unleash your creativity 19/01/2012 15:47


— 24

Reviews FILM

Rewind

A classic scene revisted Film: Ninotchka (1939) Director: Ernst Lubitsch

Sally Phillips, comedienne turned script-writer, on the Great Garbo The Decoy Bride, the film I’ve written starring Kelly MacDonald and David Tennant, is a modern attempt at a screwball comedy: full of banter and longing. One of my all-time favourites of that genre is Ninotchka, nominated for four Oscars in 1939. Greta Garbo plays Ninotchka, a humourless Russian official in Paris who is ‘corrupted’ by fun in the form of the dashing Leon (Melvyn Douglas). Garbo gives good ice-queen, which I love even more now there’s such pressure on actresses to be ‘likeable’. In many rom-coms the female characters are melted before the film starts. If you begin with teeth and smiles it’s hard to know where to go from there. They advertised Ninotchka with the strapline ‘Garbo Laughs’. This is the scene where it happens. Leon is determined to make Ninotchka crack a smile – he hits her with joke after joke, each told increasingly badly, all met with Garbo’s icy deadpan. Finally Leon tips his chair over and falls flat and then… Ninotchka throws her head back and roars. I love this because as a female comic I have been in that situation such a lot, with men trying to make me laugh. Someone on a date told me a shaggy dog story for what felt like three years. And it was fairly obvious how it was going to end from second five. I sat it out (I thought politely), but at the end I didn’t laugh. I said, ‘It would have been better if...’ and I came up with a different ending I thought was better. He just said, ‘You’re a monster’. And stormed out of the room. If he’d tipped his chair over and fallen on his arse perhaps we’d still be together….

Like Crazy Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones Release: Feb 3

Melancholy piano. Sun-kissed cinematography. Improvised script. Much about this film screams hipsters’ delight – a teen Blue Valentine? – yet it’d be a hard heart that would decry this transatlantic love story as an exercise in cynicism. Director Drake Doremus has attempted to immortalise star-cross’d young love in an unabashedly heartfelt way. Like Crazy’s delicacy, and the unforced chemistry between Anton Yelchin (AKA Walter Koenig redux) and Felicity Jones won the film Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize – and Jennifer Lawrence (freaking awesome in Winter’s Bone) is in it! (NC)

Young Adult Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson Release: Feb 10

Calling a film ‘Young Adult’ inevitably connotes some kind of Freaky Friday/17 Again body-swap concept comedy, or Never Been Kissed back-to-high-school deal – which is unfortunate as the actual premise is nowhere near as laboured. Instead, Charlize Theron is just the school bitch who, post-divorce, goes back to her dead-end hometown to belatedly reclaim her former BF. Who is now married. And whose wife is pregnant. The result appears to be a commendably deadpan and understated character study of a monstrously stunted woman-child, marking the first collaboration between director Jason Reitman and scriptwriter Cody Diablo since Juno. Advance word suggests that though it is not necessarily as likeable (think a sociopathic Romy and Michele conflated into one character), this off-kilter character study will be its equal. (NC)

Chronicle Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell Release: Feb 1

Superhero movies. They’re still going, right? Three high-school boys gaining superpowers at least provides a slightly alternative, Misfits-style spin on a genre that ordinarily offers few surprises. Oh, and it’s a found footage number, which isn’t new (paging Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield...), but might bring some visual élan to proceedings. It’s hard to avoid the impression that Chronicle amounts to little more than a small-scale, US-set Akira – and what’s more, an American-

style Akira preceding the live-action remake which continues to loom ominously in pre-production, like a giant freaky mutant with lots of toes. Nevertheless, there’s undoubtedly fun to be had with the ‘What would you do with superpowers?’ premise, and the answer clearly isn’t going to be rescuing kittens from trees. (Tagline: ‘Boys will be boys.’) Dane DeHaan’s character, sitting in a junkyard and nonchalantly crushing a car with the power of his miiind, looks to be the one to watch. Carnage ensues. There might not be anything wildly original about Chronicle’s constituent parts – and coming from a first-time director, this is something of an unknown quantity – but it looks like it’s going to provide a fresh take on creaky old superpowers. (NC)

Martha Marcy May Marlene Elizabeth Olsen Release: Feb 3

‘X meets Y... on acid!’ is a lazy critical shorthand, but sometimes a film seems to demand it. In detailing the psychological repercussions of time spent with a rural cult, the alliterative Martha Marcy May Marlene unavoidably recalls shades of Funny Games US, Winter’s Bone and, inevitably, Deliverance in its Catskills community (though, sadly, sans Burt Reynolds). MMMM has received almost universal praise as the calling card

of a director worth watching (Sean Durkin, with his first feature), and for Elizabeth Olsen’s performance – though not all have enjoyed its memory/dream/reality structure. A nominative horror film whose chills derive from its sense of paranoiac dread is worth cherishing, and, while seemingly slightly too willing to hide perceived shortcomings behind an ‘indie’ tag, it makes a troubling meditation on identity, memory and abuse. (NC)


Reviews Film

A Dangerous Method Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender

Woman in Black Daniel Radcliffe

David Cronenberg’s Jung/Freud biopic shares with his two previous thrillers a star: Viggo Mortensen, though sadly without the naked knife-fight. And ubiquitous co-star Michael Fassbender probably won’t do a Shame. (You know.) Aside from such disappointments – and Keira Knightley’s dodgy Russian accent – in production values alone, A Dangerous Method appears to be a step up from the cartoon grit of A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, though the chocolate-box Swiss and Austrian

Fifty years ago Hammer Films introduced crimson blood, heaving bosoms and lecherous vampires to scandalised critics and a titillated public. A few years ago the studio was brought back from the dead with a mandate to produce a more sophisticated kind of chiller, with mixed results. Their remake of the vampire chiller Let The Right One In was decent, but failed to bite off a huge chunk of the box-office. The Resident fared less well. So there is a lot riding on The Woman In Black. It stars Daniel Radcliffe, who also needs to transfuse new blood into his career after wrapping on the Harry Potter series. He plays a lawyer forced to confront the supernatural, so it’s a change of hairstyle, anyway, even if not a complete change of scene. Janet McTeer is on hand to lend actorly heft; the screenplay is by Jane Goldman who also wrote Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class; and the original novel has already been successfully adapted to the stage. (DW)

Release: Feb 10

locations are perhaps a surprise from the director of, say, Videodrome. Cronenberg occupies a slightly uncomfortable position between auteur and pretender to David Lynch’s crown as king of Hollyweird. His earliest films were body-horror B-movies, and the jury’s out on whether his overtures toward more conventional, straightforward biographical filmmaking are a relief, or whether this newfound conservativism sits awkwardly with a man who found fame blowing up heads. (NC)

­— 25

Release: Feb 10

Neil Clarke, Film Editor Favourite rom-com: It might stretch the definition a bit, but I’m going to say Julie Delpy’s perversely sweet 2 Days in Paris. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like child-size condoms. Favourite romantic scene: Pretty much any of Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement. Except for the trench warfare. Anti-Valentine’s Day movie: Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf ? Worst Valentine’s Day experience: Receiving an anthropomorphised plastic ‘Hug’ from a senior school girlfriend. Which looked like a poo with a face.

Film previews by Neil Clarke and Dominic Wells

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor Release: Feb 10

It scarcely matters that this so patently amounts to the Indian What Happens in Vegas when it appears to tick all the boxes required of a comedic romance. After losing his job, Imran Khan (the Indian Kieran Culkin?) drunkenly becomes engaged to Kareena Kapoor (...in Vegas). The mismatched couple then spend the ten days until they can get an annulment having to put up with

each other, with, obviously, comic results. Filmed in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and India, the Hindilanguage Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (‘You and I’) is a shiny and colourful romantic odd-couple movie. We all know the drill: uptight, slightly nerdy guy falls for free-spirited (and, in this case, microscooterriding) girl. There may well even be a happy ending involved. (NC)

Book Ahead: March Bel Ami Release: Mar 2

R-Patz plays the amoral bounder who variously ravishes and betrays Uma Thurman, Kristen Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci, in this bodice-ripping adaptation of de Maupassant’s ‘history of a scoundrel’. Studio executives duly fret about alienating Twihards. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Release: Mar 2

Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner, improbably clad in leather, play the grown-up fairytale characters as tooled-up witchhunters bent on revenge. From the director of Nazi zombie movie Dead Snow. Expect splatter. John Carter Release: Mar 9

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom stories get cinematic in a movie looking to recall the Star Wars prequels. Make of that what you

will. The fabulously-named Taylor Kitsch stars, and Willem Dafoe plays a four-armed, green Martian. It’s the part he was born to play. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia Release: Mar 16

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ruminative Turkish police procedural, co-recipient of Cannes’ Grand Prix, no doubt combines its uncanny beauty with customary opacity in its observation of a group of policemen searching for a corpse. Could be extraordinary. Could be a bit of a drag. Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life Release: Mar 23

Werner Herzog strikes again, on sombre form with a documentary regarding two convicted killers, one sentenced to life, and the other, death. Herzog’s spirit of inquiry is surely a natural fit for an investigation into not only murder, but also institutionalised execution.


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Stage

Pyjama drama Christine Twite puts on her nightie for some Bedtime Stories ‘What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?’A week before visiting Bedtime Stories I was sent this riddle, and told I could gain entry only if I gave the correct answer. I was also warned, ‘A dress code of jimjams and nighties is strictly enforced by our highly trained pyjama police’. We were helpfully informed that we could change at the house to avoid the embarrassment of roaming the Tube in our nightwear. And that is how I found myself knocking at the door of the huge townhouse of David Carter, acclaimed interior designer, somewhere in the vicinity of Stepney Green. I was greeted by the man himself, a stick-thin vision in a tricorn hat and regimental coat who, on approving my riddle answer, welcomed me inside. After slipping into my nightwear in the ladies’ dressing rooms, I went downstairs for the pre-event reception. This was the most decadent slumber party I had ever attended. The house was revealed as an Aladdin’s cave of gold filigree: think Regency extravagance with a modern twist.

The reception is surreal: you meet your fellow revellers, women in their most glamorous or flouncy boudoir outfits, men in neat pyjamas and silk dressing gowns, whilst having Hendrick’s Gin cocktails poured into your china teacup. After time to mingle, we were divided into groups and ushered into different rooms to hear tall tales from professional storytellers. Each night is themed from ‘Greek Myths’ to ‘Valentine’s Nights’ for Valentine’s Day. On the night I went it was ‘Guide to the Perfect Relationship’, where we were offered a host of exotic stories from around the globe detailing quests for love from both fairytales and real life. These being tales for adults, the storytellers weren’t afraid to go into more intimate details, much to the amusement of the audience.

truly to unwind – or maybe that’s the cocktails? – which is handy since interaction is encouraged. At the close we were all ushered back to the main room, where prizes from Benefit Cosmetics and LK Bennett were handed out for ‘Most Glamorous Nightie’ and the like. Serenaded by an acoustic guitar we left the house way past our bedtimes, but with enough Hendrick’s Gin inside us to make it a speedy trip home.

‘Sipping cocktails in china cups, this was the most decadent slumber party’

Changing your clothes and sitting in darkened, intimate surroundings allowed the audience

If you look for this event online you will find little evidence of its existence. Bedtime Stories remains something of a secret, purposefully building on the mystique. For something truly different, and touched with magic, there is no better event in London. Bedtime Stories, 40 Winks, E1 4UJ. Tickets £25. Valentine’s Nights, Feb 8-10; Tales from India, March 14; Adventures in Adultery, March 21. info@40winks.org


Reviews stage

­— 27

Theatre with balls Tola Ositelu hails cab driver turned playwright Ishy Din

Until recently Ishy Din was a black cab driver on the mean streets of Middlesbrough. But in 2008 he came down to London, attracted by the free Developing Artists programme run by theatre company Tamasha. He lived in a backpacker’s hostel in Camden, and sat up at night writing. So impressed were Tamasha that at the end of the course they commissioned a full script from him then and there – the first time since the programme’s inception in 2004 they have done so. The resulting play, Snookered, brilliantly captures the life of young British Muslims in Northern England, whose voices are so often overlooked on the stage. What really sets Din’s work apart, and lets it stand up for itself, is his ear for masculine banter. It is the complex relationship between a group of men which forms the basis of the play. Snookered is set in

a pool hall, where these blokes are meeting on the anniversary of their friend T’s death. As the evening goes on, stories are told and secrets revealed. Din is happy to admit that Tamasha’s support has been crucial. The company specialise in investigating personal stories of cultural difference, and were behind the smash hit film East is East, which focused on 1960s racial tensions through the perspective of a mixed-race family in Northern England. Its director, Iqbal Khan, is now directing Snookered. Snookered got critical raves even when performed as a work in progress at the Gate’s Propeller festival in 2010. It’s now receiving its London premiere at the Bush Theatre, a venue long famed as a melting pot for talented new writers. It’s a great time to go: the Bush has just moved to a glossy

new auditorium, and acquired a new Artistic Director in the shape of Italian/Palestinian theatre director Omar Elerian.

working on the second part of a proposed trilogy for Tamasha. It seems like he has clocked off the taxi meter for good.

As to Din, he is spending 2012 as writer in residence at the Manchester Royal Exchange, and

Snookered, Bush Theatre, W12 8LJ, Feb 28-Mar 24. Tickets from £10. www.bushtheatre.co.uk

A Midsummer Night’s Stream Get live theatre on your laptop. Christine Twite presses Play

Live comedy Live at the Chapel, Union Chapel, Feb/March 4, £16 The comedy nights on the first Saturday of every month at Islington’s fabulous church venue are always great. On Feb 4, the line-up is headed by The Inbetweeners’ Greg Davies. Andy Zaltzman – Armchair Revolutionary, Soho Theatre, Feb 6-11, £10-15 With his customary rapid-fire delivery, Zaltzman tackles all the world’s big political problems with rather more (intentional) laughs than you’d find in PM’s Question Time.

Put off by West End prices? To update the children’s song, ‘verily, verily, verily, verily, live is but a stream’. Now you can get theatre in your room for a fraction of the ticket price. Digital Theatre (www. digitaltheatre.com) has just released Josie Rourke’s smash hit Much Ado About Nothing starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate (above). Stream online or download directly from their

website from £4.99. The site boasts a range of other productions, from RSC to the Royal Court.

behind-the-scenes glimpses and more. The Comedy of Errors, starring Lenny Henry, is on March 1 (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk).

Even the Royal Opera House has recently started streaming shows such as Stiffelio or La fille mal gardée via www.opusarte.com. But if you fancy venturing outside, then digital trailblazers The National Theatre continue to ‘stream’ their productions around the world in cinemas – offering

Or you can visit the V&A (www. vam.ac.uk). Its National Video Archive of Performance now stores 280 productions, and to celebrate its 20th anniversary it will screen one every Sunday until Mar 25, then again Apr 15-June 17. Each will be introduced by a member of the production or a V&A curator.

Adam Riches – Bring Me the Head of Alan Riches, Soho Theatre, Feb 13-March 17, £10 A fast-paced hour of audience interaction, a death-defying Swingball routine, and Riches’ many comic characters won this show the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award last summer. Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, Hammersmith Apollo, Feb 18, £35 The first UK date for Kevin Smith, cult director of Clerks, and his alter-ego Jay. Sold out, but will be recorded for their wildly popular ‘SModcasts’.


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Reviews STAGE

The Devil and Mr Punch

Barbican, EC2Y 8DS, Feb 2-25, from £16. www. barbican.org.uk

Christine Twite, Stage Editor Romantic theatre ideas: The spellbinding Wilton’s Music Hall. It’s the oldest surviving Music Hall in the world. What not to do on Valentine’s Day: Don’t see Romeo and Juliet. Seriously, if they hadn’t died they’d be in the divorce courts within a year.  Best Valentine’s Day: Some modern dance followed by an Italian meal. Worst Valentine’s Day: Badly directed opera followed by sushi. Two of my main hates.

The Barbican’s theatre team have a knack of signing the best theatre productions well ahead of anyone else. They are on to another winner with the madly brilliant The Devil and Mr Punch by Improbable, which bills itself as a ‘tragical comedy of manslaughter and love’. Punch’s violence and

comedy is explored in surreal circumstances, which include a dénouement in which, instead of Punch being tried for his crimes, the very act of creativity is put in the dock – and the whole show goes to Hell. The show’s director and designer, Julian Crouch, was behind the set designs for Jerry Springer:The Opera, so expect brilliant dramaturgy (apprently including fine crafted puppets in amongst the performers). Expect crocodiles, sausages, dogs and a gin parlour piano. And no small children!

Tales of Hoffman Coliseum, WC2N 4ES, Feb 10-Mar 10, from £26. www. eno.org

You’ll probably be acquainted with the works of E.T.A. Hoffmann without even knowing it. His surreal and romantic stories have inspired ballets such at Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and Delibes’ Coppélia, and even some of Freud’s theories. Rather than merely staging one of the Hoffmann tales, operetta composer Offenbach (best known for writing the can-can) decided to create what can only be described as a meta-opera. Hoffmann appears on stage singing three stories to a rapt tavern audience who really should be round the corner watching Don Giovanni. As he narrates, his tales are realised on stage, and reality and fantasy intermingle. Young American soprano Georgia Jarman plays the love interest in all three stories, which bubble with macabre humour. This opera deserved its five Olivier Awards the first time around; its revival has been long awaited.

The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey At Battersea Arts Centre 2 ­ 25 Feb 2012 | 7:30pm Live Animation for Adults Raging storms and supernatural forces prevail over one man’s almighty quest to get home. Homer’s cornerstone of literature is vividly told with beautiful illustration and masterful puppetry. !"#$%&'(")%*"$#"+,&-(&."/&01,&"213,"&2&#4" set to a captivating live score from exceptional musicians.

‘Fragile and beautiful’ The Guardian ‘Spellbinding’ Time Out (on Paper Cinema’s Rock Charmer)

5$+6&(#7"89:4"89;"+1'+#"<8=">,&?$&@#A"

www.bac.org.uk | 020 7223 2223 B!C4"D-?&'.&,"E$%%4"D1'.1'4"FG99":5H A Paper Cinema and BAC co­production Co­commissioned by Parabola Arts


Reviews STAGE

The Recruiting Officer

Donmar Warehouse, WC2H 9LX, Feb 9-Apr 14, from £10. www.donmarwarehouse.com

State of Emergency: Desert Crossings

Rich Mix, E1 6LA, Feb 24, from £8. www.richmix.org.uk

Rich Mix does exactly what it says on the tin, bringing together cinema, music, performance and festivals. Desert Crossings, on for one night only, is created by South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma of Vuyani Dance Theatre in collaboration with a team of UK producers, and uses five dancers of different cultural backgrounds. Maqoma’s modern dance piece is inspired by the similarities between our Jurassic Coast and the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, once part of the same great continent Pangaea but now torn apart. Maqoma says: ‘The choreography resonates with ancient traditions, belief systems and mythologies emanating from mosques, churches and ancient caves from the origins of mankind to Timbuktu, and beyond the Jurassic Coast…’

In Basildon

Royal Court Theatre, SW1W 8AS, Feb 16-Mar 24, from £10. www.royalcourttheatre.com

The Only Way Is Essex may have shown us the glitzy side of the county, but this February the Royal Court is going against the grain and bringing a more measured response about what it means to be part of the Essex community. In Basildon is written by David Eldridge, an Essex boy born and bred, and follows a family gathering at the death-bed of Len, a Basildon stalwart. As people meet, memories are discussed, and Basildon’s history is fashioned into a kind of myth. The Artistic Director of The Royal Court, Dominic Cooke (of Enron and Jerusalem fame), is directing, in what will be one of his last productions: he retires from the role in early 2013.

The talented Josie Rourke has recently been announced as the new Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, taking over from Michael Grandage. Rourke just had a smash hit in Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing at Wyndham’s Theatre, so should take on the light-hearted tale of The Recruiting Office with ease. The play tells the story of Captain Plume, as cocky as he sounds, and his various conquests both on and off the battlefield. She has already attracted a sterling cast, including Mackenzie Crook and Mark Gatiss, who both writes and acts in the BBC’s Sherlock.

The Sea Plays

Old Vic Tunnels, SE1 8SW, until Feb 18, from £21. www. oldvictunnels.com

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Book ahead: March point lurking behind this interactive theatre night, but we’re just looking forward to winning!

Elektro Kif Southbank Centre Mar 2-3

Follow the all-male cast of electro dancers as they mix breakdancing, disco, vogue, popping and locking. Tao Gutierrez’s equally eclectic music mixes techno with electro house, afrobeat, sampling and classical music. Moon on a Rainbow Shawl National Theatre Mar 7-27

Your typical British kitchen-sink drama, but set in Trinidad. Errol John’s play follows Ephraim, a man with big ideas and a wish to escape his dead-end job overseas. Ten Out of Ten Oval House Theatre Mar 15-17

A night of party games where you are guaranteed to get full marks for everything you take part in. We suspect there is a philosophical

After Miss Julie Young Vic Mar 15-Apr 7

Patrick Marber is known as a director of London-centric movies such as Notes on a Scandal and Closer. But he is also an acclaimed theatre director and writer, and here he updates Strindberg’s Miss Julie to the post-world-war era. The Most Incredible Thing Sadler’s Wells Mar 25-Apr 7

Javier De Frutos is the most scandalous of choreographers. Most famously, the BBC cancelled showing his Eternal Damnation Of Sancho for depicting pregnant nuns and wild sex. Sadler’s Wells are putting on the marginally less risqué, but highly acclaimed production The Most Incredible Thing, which Frutos created in collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys.

French’s Theatre Bookshop In February 2010 The Old Vic purchased a series of old National Rail tunnels beneath Waterloo Station, and created one of London’s most evocative and innovative spaces.Where classical repertory rules in The Old Vic’s plush main theatre, in these damp and dusky surroundings there is freedom to experiment. The Sea Plays is a collection of three one-act plays – The Long Voyage Home, Bound East for Cardiff and In The Zone – by the American dramatist Eugene O’Neill, which recall his experiences of life as a young merchant sailor. The first is set on a fogbound ship, the second on a Second World War vessel in U-boat infested waters, and the final on dry land at a seedy bar on the London docks. The tunnel setting is sure to be well used by director Kenneth Hoyt. Stage previews by Christine Twite

Plays • Musicals • Biographies Technical books • Audition material • DVDs ...and much, much more! 52 Fitzroy Street London W1T 5JR 0207 255 4300 (phone) | 0207 387 2161 (fax) theatre@samuelfrench-london.co.uk

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Reflection (Self-portrait) and Girl in a Dark Jacket (Lucian Freud Archive); Girl with a White Dog (Tate, London 2012)

Art

‘Freud painted everyone, from his neighbours to nudes of Kate Moss’

The flesh prince

Faye Robson cebrates the late, great Lucian Freud ‘Great British painters,’ journalist Martin Gayford wrote, ‘imitate the proverbial behaviour of buses’ – you wait decades for one, and then two come along at once. The same could be said of great painting exhibitions. David Hockney: A Bigger Picture (featured in our last issue) is currently on show at the RA, while Hockney’s near-contemporary, Lucian Freud, will be remembered in a show running at the National Portrait Gallery until May. With Tate Britain’s Picasso exhibition opening later in the month, fans of twentieth-century painting will be spoilt for choice. Lucian Freud Portraits claims to be the first exhibition concerned solely with his portraiture, but this is hardly limited subject matter. Freud

worked on scores of portraits over his 70-year career – numerous self-portraits, as well as paintings of friends and family, celebrities and strangers. What’s more, his paintings, whatever their subject matter, are characterized by a gaze so intimate and unrelenting, and a method of composition so painstaking and personal – so indebted to the observational demands of portraiture, in other words – that a show about Freud’s ‘portraits’ is always also something of a portrait of the artist himself, and his working methods. Alongside friends and family, Freud painted everyone from his Paddington neighbours the Lumley brothers, whom he met when they broke into his studio, to nudes of supermodel

Kate Moss and ‘80s clubland icon Leigh Bowery. Naked Man, Back View (1991-92), of Bowery, is a powerful example of Freud’s later, looser painting style and shows how the artist can render great expanses of solid flesh with the same complexity and dynamism that other painters would reserve for a large-scale landscape. Freud’s unusual compositional style also marks him out, with sitters ‘tipped’ towards the viewer, seen from above or accompanied by apparently disembodied legs or arms. The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition promises to be comprehensive in every sense – taking in sitters from the Duchess of Devonshire to Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, and also tracing Freud’s stylistic development, in broadly chronological terms, from his meticulous portraits of the 1950s through to the denser, more heavily worked canvases of his later years. Featuring over a hundred works loaned by institutions from all around the world, many of which have never before been shown to the public, the exhibition promises to be a fitting memorial to one of the twentieth century’s most committed and creative champions of painting. Lucian Freud Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, WC2H 0HE, Feb 9-May 27. £14. www.npg.org.uk


Reviews ART

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Migration Nation: Keith Piper’s Go West Young Man (1987) and James Tissot’s Portsmouth Dockyard (c.1887)

Faye Robson, Art Editor Best exhibition for a date: It’s not an exhibition, but a date at the Courtauld Gallery would be amazing – great collection!

A moving story Tola Ositelu looks at 500 years of Migrations in art

Migration is the scourge of many a politician. It has reached record numbers – the annual net figure of those migrating to the UK rose to 252,000 at the end of 2010 – and the difficult economic climate makes it a particular point of debate. Yet we’ve been a so-called ‘mongrel nation’ for centuries, in no small part due to Britain’s colourful history as an industrial pioneer and ruthlessly ambitious colonial power. Even the Royal family is a patchwork of European nationalities.

over 500 years of migration themed-art, from the work of wide-eyed sixteenth and seventeenth century art hopefuls from the Netherlands seeking English sponsorship, to pieces reflecting landmark political changes and escape from religious persecution. Some migrant artists choose to assimilate and perhaps even re-define the term ‘British art’ whilst others revel in cultural differences as a means of retaining their identity.

Tate Britain is weighing in on the discussion with an exhibition of

Curator Lizzy Carey-Thomas has enlisted the help of Leyla Fakhr,

Karen Hearn and Paul Goodwin amongst others to bring their own culturally and historically specific expertise. There are contributions from Jewish artists such as Naum Gabo, Piet Mondrian and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy who fled to England to escape the horrors of Nazi Europe; John Singer Sargent, the greatest American portraitist of his generation, who moved to London; and James Tissot, the French contemporary of the Impressionists who was greatly influenced by his 11 years in the capital. More modern names also feature, among them Steve McQueen, the artist now better known as the award-winning director of Hunger and Shame, who looks at the overlapping themes of

Most romantic art in London: Anything in the V&A – it’s just a beautiful place to wander round and discover beautiful things. Best Valentine’s Day: Homemade Glee-inspired Breadsticks meal with my boyfriend this year. Worst Valentine’s Day: My Dad once sent me a card, because the boy I liked didn’t – bit Freudian, bit sad. migration and personal freedom through America’s celebrated emblem of the latter, the statue of Liberty. Migrations, Tate Britain, SW1P 4RG. Jan 31-Aug 12, £5. www.tate.org.uk

David Shrigley is best known for his dry, dark and witty drawings, which are published and exhibited worldwide. His new show at Hayward Gallery also features his sculpture, photography and animation, and is accompanied by a new book featuring speciallyrecorded tracks on 7” vinyl. Mr Shrigley answered our exquisitely formed questions while hard at work on his new ‘sort-of-opera’... You work in many mediums. Do you have a favourite? I suppose drawing is the most immediate, so if I had to choose then that would be my favourite. But all mediums are enjoyable. You have to enjoy every process. I feel lucky that I’m able to work in lots of different ways. If you had no public, no curators or gallerists to

please, what would you be working on? Do you have an unrealised dream project? I think if there was something that I was desperate to do then I’d already be planning it. But a live-action film is a distinct possibility. How would you describe your studio in five words? A total complete f-ing mess.   Can you tell us a bit about Pass the Spoon? What prompted you to start work on an opera? A composer (Dave Fennessy) asked me if I wanted to collaborate and as I liked his work, I said yes. I didn’t think being asked to work on an opera by a composer whose work I actually liked would happen twice.   Your fans really take your work into their lives, even to

Portrait by Gary MacLennan, artwork by David Shrigley

In the studio: David Shrigley

the point of asking you to sketch their tattoos for them. Can you think of an artist of whom you’d ask a similar favour? If Arne Jacobsen was still alive I would get him to design me a house. Maybe I could swap the

favour for some drawings. David Shrigley: Brain Activity is at the Hayward Gallery, SE1 8XX, Feb 1-May 13. £8. www.southbankcentre.co.uk/shrigley Interview: Faye Robson


Reviews ART

Picasso and

Kinetica Art Fair

Tate Britain, SW1P 4RG, Feb 15-Jul 15. From £12.20. www.tate.org.uk/britain

An epic history of Picasso’s reception in Britain and his influence on British artists, amply illustrated by over 60 paintings from the Modernist master himself. Worth a visit for the ‘other’ artists alone: David Hockney, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and Ben Nicholson among them. From theatre designs for Diaghilev to The Weeping Woman, this could be the art blockbuster of the year. (FR)

tSong Dong: Waste Not

The Curve, Barbican Centre, EC2Y 8DS, Feb 15-Jun 12. Free. www.barbican.org.uk

The Chinese adage ‘wu jin qu yong’ – ‘waste not’ – is given its fullest expression in this sprawling installation by avant-garde Chinese artist Song Dong. A vast array of over 10,000 domestic items, hoarded by the artist’s mother over 50 years, is arranged around a traditional Chinese house. A meditation on family history in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. (FR)

To enter, email your name and number before Feb 19 to: offers@thebookmag.com

Situation

Love & Hate

This new gallery, devoted to the work of ‘YBA’ Sarah Lucas, is an unusual venture in the age of bigger-is-better gallery spaces (White Cube, we’re looking at you). Four new installations are planned for 2012, each built around Lucas’s confrontational, bodily work and with events curated by the artist. (FR)

Stolenspace in Brick Lane, the masterminds behind some of the best street art shows in London, present Love & Hate, a group show focusing on the joy and mourning of Valentine’s Day. Expect works by some of street and urban art’s heavy hitters: Miss Van, Jeff Soto, Word to Mother and Chloe Early. (SK)

4 New Burlington Place, W1S 2HS, from Feb 16. Free. www.sadiecoles.com

Sponsored by

The Royal Academy of Arts presents the first major exhibition in the UK to showcase 21JanuaryDavid Hockney’s landscape work. Vivid paintings inspired by Yorkshire landscape, 9 April 2012 many large in scale and created specifically for the exhibition, will be shown (Twenty Twelve) alongside related drawings and films. www.royalacademy.org.uk

stolenspace, E1 6QL, until February 26. Free. www.stolenspace.com

Terms and conditions of competition

Competition tickets valid for Friday evenings only. The Galleries will be open until 10pm but the last admission is at 9.30pm. Tickets valid from February 3 to March 16. Subject to availability. Travel and additional expenses not included. No cash alternative.

David Hockney, Winter Timber, 2009. Oil on 15 canvases, 274 x 609.6 cm. Private Collection. © David Hockney. Photo: Jonathan Wilkinson.

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS:

Art-meets-science-meets-robotic taxidermy in this three-day international event devoted to artists experimenting with new technologies. Now in its fourth year, Kinetica has a significant addition to the programme of talks, events and weird and wonderful displays: ‘Oxygen’, a scheme enabling emerging artists to sell alongside more established practitioners. (FR)

Kinetica Art Fair. Photo: Alex Robertson

Ambika P3, NW1 5LS, Feb 9-12. From £8. www.kinetica-artfair.com

The Three Dancers, 1925. Tate © Succession Picasso/DACS 2011

Modern British Art

Waste Not © The Artist and Tokyo Gallery + BTAP Courtesy Barbican Art Gallery

— 32


Reviews ART

­— 33

Book Ahead: March Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude

National Gallery Mar 14-Jun 5

Voted the nation’s favourite painter, JMW Turner had his own hero – Claude Gellée, a seventeenthcentury landscape painter. Island Stories: British photography from 1945 to the present

Victoria and Albert Museum Mar 16-Sept 19

With scads of new gallery space recently opened at the V&A, expect a year of great shows from one of the world’s oldest and most significant photography collections. This display of around 70 photos focuses on diversity in the UK since the end of WWII.

Tate Modern, SE1 9TG, Feb 9-Jun 5. From £8.50. www.tate.org.uk/modern

Ragamala Paintings from India: Poetry, Passion, Song

Dulwich Picture Gallery, SE21 7AD, Jan 25-May 27. From £4. www.dulwichpicturegallery. org.uk

This is the first UK show to concentrate on ragamalas – the miniature paintings, often accompanied by poetry, inspired by musical ragas that flourished in India until the 19th century. Twenty four of them will be on show, well-timed for Valentine’s Day with their concentration on love and devotion. (DW)

The biggest exhibition of Kusama’s work yet in the UK juxtaposes her intricately beautiful paintings and drawings with the better-known immersive environments – rooms in which mirrors, repetition and obsessively-patterned surfaces are used to evoke ‘self-annihilation’. A spectacular show. (FR) Art previews by Faye Robson, Stephanie Keller and Dominic Wells

Framed Visit Ion Square, Hackney (E2), to catch this life-sized, wheat-paste print by artist/ activist Swoon. This visceral image – part mortal woman, part river goddess – could be a portrait of Swoon herself, who has staged performances on sculptural rafts afloat the Mississippi and Hudson Rivers. Seen some great street art? Send it to pictures@ thebookmag.com

Spencer Finch

Lisson Gallery Mar 21-Apr 28

This artist’s mind-bending works – part sculpture, part décor, part conceptual exploration of human perception – are also spellbindingly beautiful. Difficult to explain, impossible to resist. Gillian Wearing

Whitechapel Gallery Mar 28-Jun 17

Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing caused a stir last year with Self Made, in which members of the public played out their most private memories and fears. The (extreme) film appears again in this major 20-year retrospective. Christian Louboutin

Design Museum Mar 28-July 1

Famous for their sexy red soles, and for prices as sky-high as their stiletto heels, Christian Louboutin’s magnificently impractical shoes are celebrated in an exhibition that takes in 20 years of pushing fashion boundaries.

The Passing Winter 2005 © Tate

tYayoi Kusama


­— 34

‘Pay for goods and services by touching your NFC phone at paypoints’

By the pricking of my thumbs… Nigel Kendall predicts what will be hot in 2012 My big tip for this year is just three letters: NFC. Not Neasden Football Club or Nantucket Fried Chicken, but Near Field Communication. If you regularly experience the delights of London’s transport system, you’ll be familiar with one application of the technology in your Oyster Card. Now it’s coming to your phone. New phones from Samsung, LG, BlackBerry and others already contain dedicated NFC chips. Search in your settings and you can turn the chip on. Frustratingly, you can’t yet do anything with it. But all that is about to change. All of the UK’s big mobile phone companies (except 3, which is sitting peeved on the sidelines) have agreed a common standard for the new technology, which essentially turns your mobile phone into a digital wallet. Once you turn on your phone and type in your PIN, you can pay for goods and services by touching it at wireless paypoints. Whatever you spend will be added to your phone bill. The big plus of the NFC system for retailers is that it’s a common payment system, so they don’t need to build their own digital checkouts. This could

prove a boon for small retailers without the money to build their own systems, while big retailers will undoubtedly use it to learn more about customers’ purchasing patterns, enabling them to tailor special offers to your shopping basket. Key to the success or failure of NFC will be security. The plan at present is to offer guarantees similar to those provided by credit card companies so that in the event of theft or loss of your phone, you’re covered. I’ve seen NFC in action in Nice, where it’s been on trial for over a year and is used for everything from transport tickets to extended captions for historic monuments. It’s impressive and it deserves to succeed, though it may need a push from someone like Apple to get it going. Talking of Apple, this is going to be a big year for the kids from Cupertino, the first without its charismatic founder Steve Jobs to mesmerise the gadget-hungry masses. No one knows anything about Apple’s plan for the year, but my tip would be an iPhone 5 in March or April, complete with NFC chip that will channel payments through iTunes.

I know the iPhone 4S has only just appeared, but its launch was delayed by six months after the Japanese earthquake (Apple is a big user of Toshiba/Fujitsu memory), and Apple is known to be working on NFC projects. Who knows, NFC may even appear in the iPad 3, which I’d expect at around the same time. A double whammy of hot new products will help make the absence of Jobs feel less profound. Another factor governing Apple’s thinking may well be a rebound for Microsoft in the mobile market. The latest version of Windows Mobile differs from all its predecessors in that it actually works, and it looks designed rather than regurgitated. Xbox integration will be a big plus for some, as Cloud services spread beyond the land of exotic nerd-dom and into the mainstream thanks to on-demand library services for games, books, video, TV and more. Finally, as the Olympic Games finally land to squat in their east London nest, expect the BBC to be pushing its mobile services as never before, encouraging us all to join in as viewers and Tweeters on our pocket-sized devices. Time to get those thumbs in training.


* Data on file, referring to E-P3, Olympus Inhouse Test, June e 2011.

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— 36

Reviews Gadgets

Game Boy

Belkin Go N300 DB Travel Router

Nigel Kendall has the inside track on Sony’s new handheld

£59.99, www.belkin.com

Hardcore game players will already have put a big red ring around February 22 in their diary. That’s the day when, three months after Japan, Sony releases its latest handheld video game console, the PS Vita, in the UK. Starting at £229, the Vita will, like an iPad, be available with wifi only, or wifi plus 3G (add £50). The machine features a high-definition 5-inch touch-sensitive screen, with dual joystick and thumbpad controls, and an intriguing touch-sensitive pad on the rear. Games can be bought as downloads or on special memory sticks, like the Nintendo DS. The console also boasts a camera, Bluetooth, GPS and built-in gyroscope. The portable gaming market, once dominated by Nintendo, has been transformed by Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, whose main appeal lies in killing time on trains or in waiting rooms. Angry Birds is huge, but a deeply involving gaming experience it is not. This is where Sony hopes to fill a gap. Existing PS3 owners will even be able to continue to play their PS3 games via wifi. At the time of writing, Sony UK is not granting UK reviewers access to the console. So I approached a seriously games-obsessed friend in Japan for his opinion. Here it is: ‘I think it’s a great system – it’s surprising what a difference the large screen and dual analogue sticks make. Obviously it will be compared a lot to smart-phones, but I find it very difficult to play full games on a smart-phone whereas I had no problem enjoying Uncharted and Ridge Racer immensely on the Vita. ‘The built-in GPS and location tracking is a cool feature, too, that I can foresee a lot of possibilities with (it is already being used in Monster Radar and the built in ‘Near’ app).’ As the console develops, it could acquire features and apps associated with tablets or smartphones. It will ship with a web browser built in, but why not email or Twitter at a later date? The lines are blurring, just as they have between PCs and tablets, phones and cameras. By mid-2012, with PS Vita, Nintendo DS and Apple iPod touch, there will be a machine to suit exactly the type of games player you are.

It’s an annoying fact of modern life that many hotels have replaced the rip-off fees once charged for phone calls with rip-off fees for broadband. Worse, each device – phone, iPad, laptop, iPod etc – can require its own connection. Not any more. This little wonder takes a wired broadband connection and makes your own private network, leaving you facing just one rip-off broadband charge instead of several.

Lust Have

Olympus E-PM1 PEN camera £356, amazon.co.uk

There’s a trend at the moment for digital cameras to look like proper cameras, and few do it as well as the PEN, with its changeable lenses and well built body. It is, of course, a fully featured digital camera equally at home snapping on the run or in an expert’s studio. It also shoots movies in HD. Pricey, but you get what you pay for.

App Market

Nigel Kendall, Gadgets Editor Romantic gadget gift: Retrieve his or her humiliating records of childhood from their parents’ VHS collection, digitise them on a PC using VHS converter cable (around £15 from Amazon), re-edit them with a soundtrack, then burn a DVD. They’ll either adore you, or storm out forever, leaving you with fond memories and top-notch blackmail material. Best Valentine’s Day:  On Valentine’s Day in Japan, where I lived for many years, it is a woman’s duty to buy chocolate for every man they know. It is the man’s duty to eat said chocolate and then return the favour on March 14, if he is romantically interested. We could learn from them.

Art Studio app for iPad, £1.99

BlackBerry Bold 9900 from free with contract

The latest version of BlackBerry’s professional-class Bold mixes the classic keyboard with a wonderful touch screen. It’s wider than the previous model, making the internet more visible, and the latest version of the operating system is, I’m happy to say, considerably simplified. It is NFC-ready for touch and go shopping (see p35 if you don’t know what I’m talking about). All this and BlackBerry Messenger too, for those top-secret billets doux. A truly excellent smartphone.

Short of cutting off an ear, what could be more romantic than creating a custom art work for the object of your affection? This is the best art program on the iPad, mixing expert tools with guidance for beginners so in no time you'll be creating hand-made digital paintings and emailing them to your other half.


— 37

Blogs Student Bloggers www3.imperial.ac.uk/ campus_life/studentblogs

World Shakespeare Festival Director’s Blog www.thedateguy.co.uk

Behind the Blog The Date Guy must be the best site out there on dating in London: it’s comprehensive, funny, and has intriguing titles such as ‘The Things I Used to Do With My Granddad Date’. It’s run by a mysterious figure who’d rather keep his real name secret, but is 28, lives in Victoria, and makes his living through creative writing. So, Date Guy, why the mystery? When I started my dating site, in October 2010, it seemed a pretty shameful thing to do. Now people I know are starting to find out about it, which makes things tricky. One date idea I’ve done loads of times is ‘spontaneously’ looking at puppies in Harrods. If your date happens to read about that on the blog, it kind of kills it. What gave you the idea? I was ghostwriting dating articles, 400 words where you’d have to fit in a particular SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) phrase six times just to link you to other sites, and they were terrible. I thought I could do it well if I did it for myself. What have you done to increase traffic? I have this theory – a bad theory, which I wouldn’t advise anyone to follow – that if you create something really good and put it into the world, then it will take care of itself. I started off writing a post a day, and got to 65 before I started to flag: I was getting only about 20

hits a day, which was deflating. I’ve just come back to it after five months off, and traffic was building even when I wasn’t writing anything. I think it just takes time for Google to find you. Now I get 15,000 hits a month, with 3,000 unique users. I’m going to keep it up weekly from now. Does it make money? I don’t have any ads on the site. The yield is low, and I think it looks cheap. I am writing an e-book on dating, and I hope people will buy it through the site. I used to offer one-to-one phone counselling about dating, which was profitable and easy, but I’m giving that up. I think anything useful I have to say about dating I could put in my e-book. What would you say to would-be bloggers? Find a niche. Pick something you’re passionate about, that you feel you could easily write 100 articles on. People sometimes email me to say ‘You’ll run out of ideas’, but they’re wrong: London is infinite. I only have to walk down a street in Shoreditch to find a new date idea. The theme of our issue is Cheap Dates. Any advice? There’s a whole section on my blog of free dates. See the puppies in Harrods, take a night-time walk in Hyde Park, or climb the lions in Trafalgar Square. The Thames Clipper is a great cheap date. Take a flask of alcohol!

www.rsc.org.uk/explore/ blogs/world-shakespearefestival-directors-blog

The World Shakespeare Festival will celebrate the playwright with over 70 productions, as a key part of the London 2012 Festival. It’s all get set, go on the bard’s birthday, April 23, but reading about the Olympian run-up to the event is interesting stuff. Deborah Shaw, the director of the festival, has blogged about her trips spreading Shakespeare as far as China and Baghdad.

For a real taste of university life, read one of Imperial College’s 12 bloggers. The site is a bright, brilliantly designed blog. What else would you expect from one of the world’s leading universities? Recent posts include Tess, a first year, talking about work experience, and Reuben, a second year, on what the halls of residence meals are really like. Expect tales of everything from all nighters to revision. Reviews by Kohinoor Sahota

I Married an Irish Farmer Follow the tweeter Fashion changes fast. To keep up with the trends and insider information, especially during Fashion Week, follow the blogging sensation Susie Bubble: @susiebubble: At Elite talent show which is just a pre-final warm up... It’s like Eurovision w/ more countries!

http://marriedanirishfarmer. com

Get in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day with this taste of Irish charm and food. Imen previously worked in TV and film, and swapped the fast life in America to become, as she puts it, ‘a farmette’. There is a nostalgic quality about the site: with the ruled lines under the text it’s like we’ve delved into Imen’s notebook, and the pictures are shot so softly it’s a hazy memory of comfort food brought to delicious life.

As 2012 marks the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, get a bit of (spoof) royalty into your life: @Queen_UK: The New Year’s honours are announced. Also awarding New Year Dishonours to Cameron, Clegg and Miliband. Follow us on:

@thebookmagazine for updates and exclusive offers.


— 38

Travel PARIS

24 hours in Paris: Cheap romance

Short of Monet? Kohinoor Sahota explains how to find passion in the City of Lights, without lightening your wallet

3pm:

W

e all know Paris is the city of romance: in the finale of Sex and the City, Big and Carrie reunite here; in Moulin Rouge, Your Song is sung as the Eiffel Tower twinkles in the background; and, er, Paris Hilton’s sex tape was aptly titled One Night in Paris. Travelling often means your wallet will be lighter than your heart, but for all its luxury and glamour, it is possible to do Paris on the cheap. Here goes!

7.45am: Start your day off in St Pancras International station, where you can perform your own romantic clinch 3pm:

in front of the 30ft statue of lovers. Casually mention that Day’s statue is a meeting of different cultures, a French woman saying goodbye to her English lover. The statue was supposed to show the couple kissing, but was deemed too risqué. 8.30am: On the Eurostar you can be in Paris in less than two and a half hours. And if you’re under 26, don’t forget that you can get a cheaper rate. The views are nothing special, so have eyes only for your partner. You can buy a heated breakfast for about a fiver, but it’ll taste better if you bring a flower to lay on top.

12noon: Arrive at the Gare du Nord terminal. You’ll want to head straight to your hotel to drop off your bags, but taxis are pricey and have long queues: tell your lover you’re going for the authentic touch by taking the Metro. It’s cheaper and more efficient than London’s Tube. 12.30pm: Passion won’t cost you a thing, and your journey could always end here, in the bedroom. But try to save that till later – Paris awaits. How best to take it all in? The Eiffel Tower’s a bit obvious. And do you really want to stand where Tom Cruise 6pm:


Travel PARIS

proposed to Katie Holmes? Instead, take the metro to Havre-Caumartin station for the Printemps department store. It’s a temple to shopping, with an astonishing art deco dome, but you’re really here for the best threesome ever: your partner, you, and an eyeful of Paris. Hidden on the ninth floor is a cheap rooftop café, Le DéliCieux, with a 360-degree view of Paris. Just try to avoid the fourth-floor toilets, where spending a penny will cost you €1.50.

­— 39

5pm:

3pm: Walk south, to the Tuileries gardens.

The Louvre is here, but it’s horrendously crowded, expensive, and dauntingly huge. Instead, head to the Orangerie (€5 for under 26s). Recently refurbished so it lets in natural light, it was specially built in the 1920s to house Monet’s giant paintings of water lilies. It also has works by Picasso, Cézanne and Matisse, and Rodin’s sculpture The Kiss stands outside. Impress your partner with the trivia: the couple fell in love whilst reading about Lancelot and Guinevere, and, despite being called The Kiss, the lovers’ lips are yearning, not actually touching. 5pm: Most cafes in this area are

overpriced tourist traps. Le Fumoir (6 rue de l’Amiral de Coligny) will save you Monet. You can people-watch outside or get cosy on one of the leather sofas indoors. For romantic inspiration, poke your nose into the library at the back and dig out some poetry by Verlaine or Rimbaud.

6pm: The Seine comes alive at night, with the buildings bathed in floodlights, and the Eiffel Tower in the distance sparkling with 20,000 bulbs. Take a stroll across the Pont des Arts, or, as it’s known for star-crossed lovers, the Bridge of Lovers. In recent years couples have been putting padlocks onto the bridge and throwing their keys into the river, showing their everlasting union and sticking up two fingers to the authorities that are annoyed by it all. 7pm: Head to the student-packed Marais district, and the Table des Gourmets where 6pm:

for a set meal of just 18 euros you could be sitting under the vaulted roof of a 12-century chapel. Or, if you want a wander and mingle, head south to the Latin Quarter, also a popular student hangout and heaving with cheap bars and restaurants for dangerous liaisons. Don’t plan: just walk hand in hand up the rue de la Parcheminerie or Xavier Privas, or nose around the rue Galande or rue Dante, seeing which of the many candlelit restaurants have the best ambience that night.

9pm:

9pm: Spend the rest of the night bar-

hopping and bopping – many of the bars here have dancefloors. Just across from the Notre Dame on the Rue du Petit Pont is Polly Maggoo, with a ’60s style mosaic on the outside wall and dancing inside. Or you might stumble across Piano Vache on Rue Laplace, a great little hole-in-the-wall venue with bands, popular with everyone from students to Johnny Depp. But our favourite must be the Caveau des Oubliettes. Delve down the tiny stairs, past prison shackles (‘oubliettes’ means ‘dungeons’) into a cave-like basement alight with dancing, booming bass, sexy saxophones, and an 7pm:

open mic slot at the end that means anything could happen and probably will. There’s not much room to move, which gives you an excuse to squeeze in close to your partner. Drinks are cheap, and you don’t even have to pay to get in. 12midnight: A lot of Parisian bars close

around 2am. Not around here. The Caveau stays open till 4am. So make your way back to the hotel whenever you’re ready to make your own sweet music. And as they say in Casablanca, you’ll always have Paris. 9pm:


— 40

Style Study Tattoos

Love hurts: The his ‘n’ hers tattoos above are by the talented 22-year-old Emily Wood, who runs Black Heart Studios

Tattoo<: The Bac> Stor.. One in three of us have them. Stars flash them on the red carpet. How did tattoos graduate from slaves to celebs, asks Dominic Wells?


Style Study TATTOOS

O

nce lovers carved their initials on even get a tattoo while taking a break from trees. Now they pierce them into shopping in Selfridges. ‘It sucks,’ says top their flesh. The rise and rise of the female tattooist Michelle Myles, ‘but tattooing tattoo is one of the most striking fashion is not as cool as it used to be. Now it’s as cool phenomena of the new millennium. It’s less as an Ed Hardy T-shirt.’ than a hundred years since a rape case was dropped because the victim had a butterfly Tattoos have been around since the cave paintings, so archaeologists tattoo on her ankle – clear reckon from ancient tools. A evidence, apparently, that ‘What next? Will 5,000-year-old mummy she was ‘asking for it’. But found in a glacier bears the where once parents forbade and Kate getting their teenaged children to matching tattoos?’ first known marks. Egyptian women tattooed themselves; get inked for life, now they Romans tattooed their queue up for the needle together. Justin Bieber and his dad recently slaves, just as the Nazis were to do to the Jews. both got tattooed, with the word ‘Yeshua’ – From the 18th century, sailors adopted the Hebrew for ‘Jesus’. habit from Polynesia and Tahiti – their words The sociologists Millan Kang and Katherine ‘tatau’ or ‘tatu’ meaning ‘to mark’. By the late Jones point out that ‘Tattooing is especially 19th century, 90% of the navy had tattoos, popular among teenagers and college each one a record of their voyages: an anchor students. At a stage when young people are for crossing the Atlantic, a turtle for crossing seeking to assert their independence, tattoos the equator. Criminal gangs adopted the may provide a way to ground a sense of self habit, and so too, bizarrely, did the aristocracy in a seemingly changing and insecure world.’ – though they were less fond of skulls than In England, 29% of 16-44-year-olds are tattoos of the family crest. Winston Churchill’s inked. In America, it’s nearly 40%. There are mother had a snake tattooed on her wrist. more than 1,500 tattoo parlours in Britain, five times more than a decade ago. You can But the recent fashion for tattoos has its

­— 41

origins, according to Margot Mifflin, author of Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo, in the 1980s. ‘It was a real body decade,’ she says. ‘There was a lot of body anxiety. Women wanted to reassert control over their own bodies.’ The Rolling Stones released an album, Tattoo You, in 1981, which helped to set the trend for that decade. But we’ve come a long way from a rebel rock record to the Prime Minister’s wife getting a dolphin inked on her ankle. What next? Will and Kate getting matching ‘HRH’ (His/Her Royal Hotness) tattoos? Katherine Irwin, associate professor of sociology at the University of Hawaii, explains how this symbol of working-class masculinity has been appropriated and sanitised by the middle class: ‘They like to play with fringe identities without sacrificing their middle-class status. They get a tattoo thumbing their nose at society in a way that is so mainstream that it would be hard to push them out.’ Kate Moss kick-started the trend over here among models and actresses, who feared a tattoo would damage their careers. Far from it, the swallows that Moss got inked on her


— 42

Style Study TATTOOS

back became the emblem for her Topshop clothing range.

Tats all folks

Angelina Jolie is the US’s trend-setter. She’s had a life-long love of tattoos: her shoulder bears the coordinates of where in the world she adopted or gave birth to her children. But if people follow her style, they don’t always heed her romantic advice. After splitting with Billy Bob Thornton, she endured five painful trips to have his name lasered off. ‘I’ll never be stupid enough to have a man’s name tattooed on me again,’ she said. Johnny Depp famously had a similar problem, though a more elegant solution. After he split up from Winona Ryder, his co-star on Edward Scissorhands, he had his ‘Winona Forever’ tattoo altered to ‘Wino Forever’. More prosaically, Kate Moss’s tattooist, Saira Hunjan, says that a friend recently asked her advice: ‘So should I turn my ex-wife Ana’s name into “banana” or “anal”?’

7,000BC

3,000 BC

The oldest, most mummified tattooed man is not in fact Ozzy Osbourne, but Ötzi The Iceman, found in 1991 in a glacier of the Ötztal Alps. He had 57 tattoos, which predate previous finds by more than a millennium. Proving that some trends remain the same, he had a tattoo of a cross behind his right knee.

In Greek and Roman times slaves and criminals often had tattoos on their forehead (as in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, above), which was a clear way of saying if you had something on your mind. Slaves with tattoos could not become citizens. The Nazis borrowed the custom, tattooing their Jewish victims.

787 AD

1891

The electromagnetic tattoo needle was patented in New York by Samuel O’Riley. The twin-coil version used today was invented in 1899. It was so heavy that it was attached to the ceiling to take the weight off the tattooist’s hand. Modern versions drive the needles into the skin between 50 and 3,000 times an hour.

1981

The Rolling Stones sealed the place of ink in popular culture with their album Tattoo You, their last to reach No 1 in the US charts. It also won a Grammy for best cover design. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards fell out over the title – but only over the word ‘You’, which was added later, not the ‘Tattoo’.

2002

2004

2005

The first recorded use of henna, a temporary type of tattoo, was in Crete. It’s now become most popular in Asia. Whilst some Western bridesto-be wear ‘L’ plates, in the east it’s common to have henna parties. The designs have become more intricate in recent years, adding glitter, and different colours.

0AD

Cheryl Cole has ‘Mrs C’ tattooed on her neck; Rihanna got matching stars with Chris Brown; Britney Spears got pink dice to go with K-Fed’s blue dice. The relationships have died, but a tattoo is forever. Joanne Raine from Darlington has more cause for regret than most. She got her boyfriend’s name tattooed in Chinese on her midriff when she was 19. They have since split up. But that’s not the worst of it. She recently found, when getting a takeaway, that the tattoo actually spelled ‘Supermarket’. Perhaps the impulse is easy to understand. It’s become just a small step from doodling your boyfriend or girlfriend’s name all over your exercise book to getting a tattoo artist to doodle it on to your skin. Cautionary tales aside, where there’s love, there will be ink. Emily Wood, the 22-year-old owner of Black Heart tattoo studio in Epsom (who did the tattoos on p40-41), says: ‘Our strangest but also most romantic tattoo request was a young man who wanted a swallow carrying a heart, and a banner reading “Marry me?” on his hand. I have seen him since, and, thankfully, she said yes! My husband and I do also have matching tattoos. I have a “W” on my hand, and he has an “E” on his, and we have each other’s names on our legs.’ And when America’s greatest Power Couple stoke the trend, you know it’s not going away any time soon. Beyonce and Jay-Z got ‘IV’ tattooed on their ring fingers to commemorate their wedding day, on 4/4/08. The message is clear. If you like it then you should have put a needle on it...

The Council of Nicaea under Pope Adrian I banned tattoos, as had Leviticus and the Prophet Muhammad. The great 18th century historian Edward Gibbon described the council’s acts as ‘a curious monument of superstition and ignorance, falsehood and folly’. Did he have a swallow tattooed on his lower back?

Don Ed Hardy went from studying fine art in Yale to producing art on people. In 2002 he started a now wildly successful clothing line based on his retro tats. Other designers to co-opt tattoo designs include Rodarte SS10 collection, H&M’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo range, To Die For and TUK shoes.

When Angelina Jolie got a Bengal Tiger on her back in 2004, it made actresses less nervous about tattoos. In Tomb Raider (2001) Jolie had to have them covered – the make-up proved insufficient, so they were digitally erased, frame by frame – but by Wanted (2008, above) they even added to her dozen-odd tats.

Tattoos’ move into the mainstream was complete with the launch of reality TV show Miami Ink. It followed not just the lives of the needle jockeys, but questioned customers about the personal stories behind their tattoos. It launched several spin-offs: LA Ink, London Ink and now NY Ink.


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Edited by Michelle Langford

Edited by Lincoln Geraghty

ISBN 9781841503998 Paperback | £15.95, $25

ISBN 9781841504650 Paperback | £15.95, $25

ISBN 9781841504155 Paperback | £15.95, $25

This addition to Intellect’s Directory of World Cinema series turns the spotlight on the award-winning cinema of Iran, with particular attention to the major genres and movements, historical turning points, and prominent figures that have helped shape it. A wide range of genres are presented, including Film Farsi, New Wave, War film, art house film and women’s cinema.

From bleak Expressionist works to the edgy political cinema of the New German Cinema and the feel-good Heimat films of the postwar era, Directory of World Cinema: Germany aims to offer a wider film and cultural context for thefilms that have emerged from Germany - including some of the East German films recently made available to Western audiences for the first time.

Directory of World Cinema: American Hollywood lays out the cinematic history of Tinseltown - the industry, the audiences,and, of course, the stars - highlighting important thematic and cultural elements throughout. Profiles and analyses of many of the industry’s most talented and prolific directors give insights into their impact on Hollywood and beyond.

Intellect is an independent academic publisher of books and journals, to view our catalogue or order our titles visit www.intellectbooks.com or E-mail: orders@intellectbooks.com. Intellect, The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol, UK, BS16 3JG. Telephone: +44 (0) 117 9589910.

Coming soon: Istanbul, Vienna, Madrid, Las Vegas and New Orleans.


Photography by Luke Rogers for Bang Boom Creative

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 44 Photo-story Street Dance


Photo-story STREET DANCE

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Crews Control With a dance-off at the indigO2 and the Street Dance 2 movie, b-boys have never been bigger. Kymberlee Jay, top choreographer, says why

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I began street dancing at 11 in and around a local community centre. I never had any formal dance training, and consider myself a true student of ‘the Lino and Boombox’. I began because some of my friends were doing it and I wanted to be cool. I was a terrible dancer starting out, though; I had three left feet for about four years. When everything finally clicked, I realised there might be a place for me in this culture.


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Photo-story STREET DANCE

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As to what exactly this culture is: street dance is an umbrella term referring to dance styles practised outside of a studio and formal educational institution. Usually these styles were pioneered in the streets and nightclubs. Early street styles date far back as the ’20s: pioneers include Josephine Baker, Fred Astaire and The Nicholas Brothers. Now the term generally consists of dance styles, from b-boying to krump, created from the ’70s onwards often by disenfranchised communities without formal training. It was believed that only ethnic minorities in deprived areas could do it and that there wasn’t any technique or skill required to be a street dancer. The US opened people’s eyes due to artists like James Brown and Michael Jackson.

actually a significant amount of technique required in order to perform street dance correctly. As there is still no formal education or accreditation process, it’s very difficult to set standards for practitioners to meet before they go out into the big wide world and call themselves professional dancers. This means that anyone and everyone can indeed be a street dancer, but that the true foundation is constantly being diluted. Reality TV and films have made the genre a very popular and lucrative concept through their wide-reaching exposure. They have made street dance acceptable for all the family, which is great. The issues arise when they claim they have the best

s

Nowadays, in the UK we have recognised that street dance is relevant to all ethnicities in all communities via the power of reality TV. What we haven’t managed to grasp, however, is that there is

‘A significant amount of technique is required’


Photo-story STREET DANCE

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Photo-story STREET DANCE


Photo-story STREET DANCE

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‘This is the elite showing dance pieces reality TV producers could only dream of getting their hands on’

talent featured, when in the grand scheme of things most performers on the show are simply average. The majority of viewers watching on a Saturday night then believe that the participants must be the best that the country has to offer. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Street dance has become hugely simplified, with the majority of the ‘wow’ factor coming from cleverly edited music and lots of synchronised arm movements. The groove, soul, funk, spontaneity, flair and true ability to interpret a beat has unfortunately been lost through reality TV. By creating Serious about StreetDance in a prestigious venue we have managed to change this and other negative perceptions. Many true street dancers ‘moonlight’ doing musical theatre or commercial TV gigs and I wanted to open up a high-end platform where they could perform what they really wanted. The event gives the hardworking and

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talented performers on the scene an opportunity to show the world what they can do without the restrictions usually imposed from the likes of directors, choreographers, and so forth. This is the elite showing dance pieces reality TV producers could only dream of getting their hands on. Serious About StreetDance grows every year, and this year is no exception as we have the top three UK dance crews all headlining: Flawless, Plague and Boy Blue Entertainment. It’s phenomenal to have all three of the heavyweights and pieces that have never been seen before. All of the dance styles are represented in an exhilarating three-hour show with over 200 artists – showing the true potential of a dance genre that is yet to be discovered in its entirety here in the UK. Serious about StreetDance is at the indigO2, March 16. Tickets from £13. www.superbadevents. com. Streetdance 2 opens on March 30


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Inside Job ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Artistic Director —SEAN HOLMES

Sean Holmes, 42, is the Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith, which has one of the youngest, hippest audiences in London. Here he has directed some of the most provocative plays of the twentieth century, including Sarah Kane’s Blasted and Edward Bond’s Saved. He also produced Ghost Stories which successfully transferred to the West End. Before joining the Lyric in 2009 you directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Donmar Warehouse and the Old Vic. What made you decide to work in theatre? ‘If it is not It was at university I first saw a production of Edward Bond’s enjoyable, Saved. The play was incredible. why are we I then knew I wanted a career directing but didn’t really doing it?’ know how it worked. Do you need to take a course? Like many directors of my generation I didn’t actually train on a directing course. It’s only recently that directing courses have become available, but are still not by any means obligatory. I did English at university, where I saw and took part in a lot of student drama. Which directors have influenced you? As an Artistic Director, I have huge respect for the work of Dominic Dromgoole [Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe]. I worked with him at the Oxford Stage Company, where I directed about seven shows for him. He has a great philosophy about theatre work: if it is not enjoyable why are we doing it? He passed down this sense of fun and anarchy to everyone in the company, and encouraged going down the pub after work to chat. He made sure everyone had a shared purpose. What’s your advice for someone who wants to get into directing? Directing is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to put in years of work to build up your

experience. Usually the career path of a director, myself included, involves a lot of assistant directing at the beginning, which gives you great on-the-job training. It’s good to work in one institution for a while to hone your skills and get to know a theatre well. Many directors start in regional theatres, which allows for experimentation away from the spotlight of London. Loads of my contemporaries did the same – Rupert Goold, Marianne Elliott, Dominic Cooke, Rufus Norris. How does the role of Artistic Director differ from directing in general? As an Artistic Director you have the challenge and excitement of making sure the whole company is running well, and going to management meetings even when you’re busy rehearsing a new play. What’s new for 2012 at the Lyric? We’ve got a great line-up. If you’re up for a challenge then Three Kingdoms is your show; it’s coming in May. British writer Simon Stephens has teamed up with a German art-house director and an Estonian designer in a new play exploring human trafficking and the vice trade. The actors are from three countries and three languages are used, producing a great tension. It is very exciting! Sean Holmes directs A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at the Lyric Hammersmith, King Street, W6 0QL Feb 11-Mar 17. Tickets from £12.50 Interview: Christine Twite


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