Issuu on Google+


Editorial

editor@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

When I first realised this was the third issue of the year, something didn’t seem quite right. Surely we’d only just seen the end of Summer? Well after the cold evenings, the short days and Bonfire night, I remembered that those days are sadly behind us and we’ve almost done half of our issues. So let this be a warning to you that time really does fly. But time flies quickly when you’re having fun, so let’s take as many positives out of this that we can. We caught up with Alt-J only days after their Mercury Prize victory, have delved into the realms of pop with reviews of both Taylor Swift and One Direction, and seen the traditional return of our much loved (and sometimes much loathed) TV series. It is our pleasure - and perhaps our duty - to showcase the best of what is happening in the entertainment world today so that hopefully you can enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed making it. So sit back, relax and immerse yourself in this newest copy of The Edge. David Martin.

Committee 12/13 Editor: David Martin Deputy Editor: George Doel Records Editor: Howell Davies Features Editor: Andrew Ovenden Film Editor: Barnaby Walter Culture Editor: Cally Beckley Live Editor: Megan Downing Online Editor: Tasha Onwuemezi Head of Design: Matt Timmiss Head of Relations: Dan Flynn Head of Publicity: Corinne Gurr Editor In Chief: David Gilani

Featured Contributors Ben Soper, Hannah Mylrea, Grace Pattle, George Doel, David Martin, Howell Davies, Natt Day, Harvey Brunning, Megan Downing, Simon Everett, David Tully, Mike Cottrell, Barnaby Walter, Jack Harding, Tom Saunderson, Sam Everard, Olivia Glaze

2


Contents

editor@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

What’s Inside Issue 10

Records Taylor Swift - Red One Direction - Take Me Home Lana Del Rey - ‘Ride’

Features Alt-J - Interview There’s No ‘I’ in Scene

Film Argo Skyfall

Culture Kindle Vs Book Assassin’s Creed

Live Conor Maynard at The O2 Academy Alt-J at Trinity Centre

Listings

6 7 9 10 12 14 16 21 22 26 28 30

3


Records

records@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

4

Parkway Drive - Atlas Parkway Drive continue to raise the bar for the hardcore and metal scene with their fourth album Atlas Defining an artist or a band’s sound can be very tricky in such a bloated industry. Especially now, where post-hardcore can be mistaken for postrock, metal for metalcore and genres going as far as ‘straight edge vegan hardcore’ (seriously). This is why it is so refreshing to have a band like Parkway Drive on the scene. The Aussie five-piece return on their fourth album Atlas; a little darker and slightly more experimental, but does this take anything away from their no nonsense sensibility? What is clear on the first listen of the album is that Parkway still retain what they know: massive melodic lifts and crunching breakdowns. There is still a sense of change and variety on the album, but this is not evident straight away. This album is a grower. Included on the album are hooks that are less obvious but a tighter sense of musicianship and progression as a unit. Opening track ‘Sparks’ does exactly as the title would suggest, kicking off with a string section and accompanying acoustic guitar. This crashes into Winston McCall’s distinctive guttural vocal and onto the tracks ‘Old Ghosts/New Regrets’ and ‘Dream Run’, which are both very similar and unmemorable. The album truly begins to pick up with the track ‘Wild Eyes’. Starting with a fading in of gang chants, the song

rises to a crescendo of grandeur reminiscent of stadium rock bands, and as a band who are known for brutality, the song still manages to work in that same vain. As a band, and outside of it (they are all keen surfers), Parkway are appreciative of their surroundings and in particular, nature. Where their third effort, The Deep Blue focused on the oceans, Atlas looks at climate change and our responsibility to try and change that. This doesn’t mean the album is preachy per se, but it could possibly be seen as such and in the process could put people off - especially if individuals are unfamiliar with the bands style. This style is only cemented on the closing track, ‘Snake Oil And Holy Water’. Its rapid blending of blast beats and cohesive guitar leaves you slightly dazed and wondering if it was really the ending, but weirdly, it works incredibly well. There’s a reason why Parkway Drive are as popular as they are among the metal and rock community. They are a no nonsense band. There are no gimmicks, there’s plenty of passion and this is evident on Atlas. One or two tracks seem to meander and just aren’t as memorable as expected, which in turn slows the beginning of the album somewhat, but Atlas will only allow Parkway to continue to raise the bar for any band on the hardcore and metal scene. Ben Soper


Build your career with Eaton... and build the technology of the future. The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is here, and with it the need for a robust and accessible EV charging infrastructure. Eaton meets that need with a family of EV charging stations specifically designed for use in the places where people work, shop, and play.

Eaton is a global diversified power management company. We help customers manage power, so buildings, airplanes, trucks, cars, machinery and entire businesses can do more while consuming less energy. As an integrated global company, we are unified in our commitment to powering business worldwide.

Our products and the employees who design and build them are part of making a difference in the world every day. If you’re ready to do something that matters, to do it well and to be encouraged and rewarded for doing it, then Eaton is the place for you. To learn more and apply for open positions, please visit www.eaton.com/careers. Eaton Corporation is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer: M/F/V/D.


Records

records@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

6

Taylor Swift - Red At only 22 years of age, Taylor Swift’s last 3 albums have already been huge commercial hits so will she be able to live up to expectations with Red? Taylor Swift has arguably been one of the most successful female pop stars of the past 5 years; her blend of country and pop combined with relatable lyrics has made her a huge success, especially in the teenage demographic. Her last 3 albums have been massive commercial hits, so she has a hard act to follow. But she’s done it. Lead single, ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’, has already been a huge hit. It’s everything Taylor’s fans want in a single, a catchy chorus and her standard exhating lyrics. It reached number 1 in the US Billboard charts and was in the top 5 in the UK charts. It was one of the songs of the summer and it’s not hard to see why. Album opener ‘State Of Grace’ sets up the feel of Red perfectly. The record passes through a few great tracks, like album name sake ‘Red’ and soft ballad ‘Treacherous’, until it reaches the first really great track on the album. ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ is arguably the odd track out on the album; but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad song, in fact it’s the complete opposite. It shows Taylor going in a more club orientated direction, and it’s honestly one of the high points of the album. It’s the closest thing we’ll get to Swift crossed with dubstep, and it’s great. ‘22’ is probably the most Swift-esque track on the album, with lyrics like “It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters, And make fun of our exes”. It’s a tune that’ll keep all her older fans happy. ‘All Too Well’ is another track that is reminiscent of Taylor’s Speak Now and Fearless days; however the sounds seems slightly more mature and the lyrics, although typically snarky and truthful, show that Taylor has grown up. This album also features two high profile collaborations, one with Ed Sheeran and one with Gary Lightbody (from Snow Patrol). Both are slow ballads, so it would have been nice to have one of the collaborations be a more up tempo track, having said that neither of the tracks are

bad. Both of these collaborations sound more like they are featuring Taylor Swift, than the other way around, but this works in Swift’s favour. The tracks may appeal to fanbases that Taylor’s not yet tapped in to, and provides a different take to her standard ballad. ‘Everything Has Changed’ (the track with Ed Sheeran) has already been a big success on iTunes, and seems like to be a future single, especially due to Sheeran’s huge fanbase in the UK. It’s filled with great harmonies and classic Sheeran guitar playing, so despite not being the most imaginative track, it’s lovely to listen to and will be adored by fans of both artists. Although the album is filled with great songs, my one criticism is that it’s just too long; 16 songs is too many for an album. Although most of the songs are fairly strong, a lot of them do sound very similar. There are too many slow tracks; we all love a classic Swift ballad but there’s only so many you can deal with in a 65 minute album. Tracks ‘I Almost Do’, ‘Sad Beautiful Tragic’ and ‘Begin Again’ are all very similar. They’re all decent songs, but did all 3 need to be on the album? Having said that, overall the album is great. It shows Taylor going in a new direction with star studded collaborations and ‘club beats’; without ever straying too far from her famous Swift sound. Hannah Mylrea


Records

records@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

One Direction - Take Me Home The 5-piece return with their second album but it makes for a disappointing listen One Direction are my Beautiful’, and have around to ‘Live While fan, I was excited to

guilty pleasure. I loved ‘What Makes You spent many a happy afternoon dancing We’re Young’. So, as a (not so) secret see what their new album would be like.

Take Me Home is the second album from tween heart throbs One Direction. After finishing 3rd in 2010s X Factor, 1D have been on their way to world domination, stealing the hearts of teenage girls everywhere and topping charts world wide. Single, ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, catapulted them into the limelight and they’ve been climbing the stairs to super stardom ever since. Their first album, Up All Night, was both a commercial, and surprisingly, critical success, spawning umpteen hit singles and being certified Gold in numerous countries. The lead single, ‘Live While We’re Young’, has already been a big summer hit. It’s catchy and relatable and everything else their army of teenage fans could want in track! Having heard this track before the entire album, I was eager to see what they (and their dream team of songwriters including Ed Sheeran and Tom Fletcher) would deliver. I shouldn’t have got my hopes up. The first thing to note is the abundance of auto-tune, it’s incredibly obvious on almost every track, and it’s not improving anything. It’s especially obvious on annoying ballad ‘They Don’t Know About Us’, where all the instruments seem to be synthesised. It sounds like a bad 90s song, not something from 2012. This is the worst offender for auto-tune; but the whole album sounds like T-Pain produced it. Second single, ‘Little Things’, is a good attempt at a ballad. It’s one of the strongest tracks on the album, no doubt because it was written by Ed Sheeran. It’ll undoubtedly do well, as not only is it a good track, but all the ‘directioners’ can imagine their true loves are singing it to them. ‘Over Again’ is, like ‘Little Things’, very obviously written by Ed Sheeran, with lyrics like “now she’s feeling so low since she went solo / hole in the middle of my heart like a polo”. It’s a nice song, with solid harmonies and may be one of the only songs on the album that will appeal to a wider audience. Sheeran has helped the boys go in a more mature direction, however this new found musical maturity doesn’t last for long. ‘I Would’ (written by Mcfly) is the track I was most excited about, and it’s not bad, but it’s not anything special either. It has the usual use of a repeated guitar riff with the vocals over the top and a catchy chorus (think ‘Live While We’re Young’ part II). It works, but it’s nothing original. The rest of the tracks blur into one, all with similar guitar riffs, lyrics and harmonies. The only notable tracks on the album are the 2 singles and the tracks written by Ed Sheeran. It’s disappointing, as the first 2 singles showed the album having real potential; however it just flopped. Album closer ‘Take Me Home’ is trying hard to be an ’end of summer’ song; but it just makes me want to switch to another track, not listen and reminisce. Undeniably this album will do well with One Direction’s huge teenage market, but probably not with anybody else. Sorry 1D, you’ve disappointed. Hannah Mylrea

7


Records Dud of the Month By Grace Pattle

Frankie Cocozza ‘She’s Got A Motorcycle’ Frankie Cocozza made a name for himself by being the resident ‘bad boy’ of the X Factor, causing a scandal by being kicked out of the competition for taking Class A drugs. His brief stint on the X Factor demonstrated what little, if any musical talent he possessed. Just when we thought we could forget he even existed he goes and prolongs the torture for us all by releasing his debut single ‘She’s Got A Motorcycle’. How this single has been allowed to be released I will never know but it makes me want to cry. It is 3 minutes of absolute awfulness. It is yet another banal pop track that is instantly forgettable. He barely even sings throughout, instead adopts a half talking half singing style with an ‘oh so alternative’ accent. Frankie demonstrates he could be the next Keats with such touching sentiments like “I need the keys to your heart, cause I ain’t touched it yet”.

records@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

8

Lana Del Rey - ‘Ride’ The sultry sounds of Lana Del Rey are back, with lead single ‘Ride’ from Born To Die- The Paradise Edition. Slightly more ‘downbeat pop song’ than her previous ‘slow, oh so slow’ singles, Rey is back with another great track, which may even convince those who previously didn’t like her album Born To Die, to give her another go. The song shows off the singersongwriter’s voice far greater than her other singles such as ‘Video Games’ and ‘Blue Jeans’. Her soul-saturated vocal is hypnotic and the accompaniment is flawless. The lyrics are meaningful and poetic, but this is something we have come to expect from this superb artist. Although the video has raised some eyebrows (issues of antifeminism and the glorification of prostitution) and the prologue and epilogue of the song seem an afterthought, the song is an all-American, blues triumph. Let the smoky tones continue... George Doel

M83 - ‘Steve McQueen’ Starting off in a trademark fashion of deep synths, rolling voices, and catchy drum beats, ‘Steve McQueen’ encapsulates the true spirit of M83 and the overall aura of their sixth studio album supremely well. The textured track recalls some of their earlier career success as the ghostly vocals are juxtaposed against the unrelenting pace, all mixed into a cloud of reverb. It’s not going to have the same impact that ‘Midnight City’ did, nor does it have the same pop credentials, but ‘Steve McQueen’ is a euphoric track that proves what the veteran band still have to offer. David Martin

With any luck this single will earn Frankie enough money for him to buy a big house abroad so he can go away and never come back. Please Frankie, for the sake of humanity, never ever sing again.

Little Nikki - ‘Intro Intro’ Little Nikki makes noisy, youthful, R&B, urban pop music; like Azealia Banks with more electro, like Rihanna but British. ‘Intro Intro’ is underpinned by a jumpy, synthy pop beat, complimented perfectly by Little Nikki’s cheeky rapping. Complete with it’s own air-sirens and accompanied by some huge drops, this is nothing less than a great club track. The 16 year old is currently working on her debut album and recently supported Rizzle Kicks on their UK tour. Listen along and I challenge you to not feel in the mood for a night out. Howell Davies


Records

records@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

9

Disclosure feat. Sam Smith- ‘Latch’ For anyone that has had ears in the house scene, Disclosure is probably a name that you’ve come across. Their remix of Jessie Ware’s ‘Running’ not only became a consistent feature at house nights over the summer, but it also got them signed and on tour with both SBTRKT and Annie Mac. With ‘Latch’, their debut release, it is easy to see why they have gathered such big-named backing so quickly. ‘Latch’ falls in a strange in-between space. Undeniably you can hear that it’s designed for the nightclubs, with a driving beat that underpins everything on the track. In the verses though, it is far closer to soft-house with euphoric synths that give the track a really light, airy feel. During the chorus it follows the standard ‘drop’ format; but even then it’s not really that overpowering and retains a level of thought often lost in other house tracks. Couple this with Sam Smiths’ live vocals; it makes this track fall more in to the vein of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and SBTRKT than Skrillex. The vocals are smooth and lend an R’n’B feel to the song - meaning it actually wouldn’t be out of place being played in your bedroom. Overall, ‘Latch’ is unlikely to convert you to house music if you’ve sworn off it and if you’re a hardcore house-head it’s unlikely to be your cup of tea. But if, like me, you’re willing to give it a chance - you’ll find yourself enjoying it, regardless of your genre biases. Nátt Day

Stooshe - ‘Waterfalls’ So that annoying girl band Stooshe are back again with another single... and, strangely, people still seem to be buying their records. Now the 3-piece motown-chav band have released a cover of TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’ as their new single, which seems pretty wrong. One of the great songs of the 1990s has now got a new ‘twist’ but it doesn’t actually sound much different from the original. Soft brass and gentle guitars accompany the girls as they sing the enlightening lyrics. For younger generations who haven’t heard TLC’s version, this will be great as it’s a really brilliant song. As for the many people who loved it the first time around, Stooshe’s version doesn’t stray far from the original, so they are likely to disappoint. Howell Davies

The Vaccines - ‘I Always Knew’ The third single to be taken from sophomore album Come of Age, ‘I Always Knew’ is exactly what you would expect from The Vaccines (pun intended); Jangly guitar riffs, militant drums, and predictably throwaway lyrics (“’Cause it’s you / woah woah it’s always you / woah woah I always knew”), all wrapped up in an insatiably catchy pop chorus. Producer Ethan Johns steers clear of the expansive and polished reverb that dominated the sound of the band’s first full-length release What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, and the song is all the better for it; more raw, more engaging, more heartfelt. It’s not a song likely to convert any naysayers, but is suitably infectious to please those who are already fans of the West-London band. Harvey Brunning


Features

features@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

10

Alt-J ∆ Interview (03/11/2012) Megan Downing chats to Mercury Prize winners Alt-J ∆ Fresh from winning the prestigious Mercury Prize for their début album An Awesome Wave, I got to speak to Gwil Sainsbury and Thom Green from Alt-J prior to their performance at the Trinity Centre in Bristol for their reaction to winning the prize, their music videos and more. You’ve probably been talking about this for the past few days - The Mercury Prize - firstly well done! What were your initial thoughts upon nomination? Gwil: It was pretty weird; we were in New York in Starbucks just waiting looking on twitter and our label were at the announcement listening for the nominees. Because of the whole bookies favourite thing before the nomination, The Mercury Prize had come out of nowhere, but because of that whole pressure we’d already been asked about it by journalists so we were like ‘I really do hope we get a nomination now’ I suppose it was sort of ruined a little bit by the pressure, but it was still amazing! The Mercury Prize, every year, you watch it, you watch the shortlist, it’s the best thing! So how was the awards night? How did you celebrate? Gwil: Erm, well we got pretty drunk. Drunk to the extent that I didn’t remember our acceptance speech, I didn’t remember the press conference afterwards, I couldn’t remember who I’d really met and I stopped [drinking] really early! I stopped at about 1 oclock in the morning, I was like ‘I am done drinking’ but the rest of the band powered on all night. Thom: Yeah it was, I mainly drank just to be able to be more social, we had a bar around the corner and it was rammed and we went round there and everybody was being really nice and they wanted to speak to us but doing that for four hours, at one point I actually went to try and find somewhere quiet to sit down by myself. But I had the worst hangover yesterday, was just horrific and I actually couldn’t quite enjoy it cause I was so hungover, so today I understand it a bit more. If you were to choose one of the other nominees, who would it have been? For me it would have been The Maccabees. Thom: Being there on the night, because we saw

all the performances, I was blown away. The Maccabees were phenomenal. Gwil: We got asked this loads on the red carpet and I said The Maccabees or Django Django. We saw Roller Trio and Sam Lee and they were amazing, we all had the feeling of ‘it really doesn’t matter who wins because there’s such amazing bands here tonight’. How does that feel to have people you were aware of before you were in the spotlight saying that they love your music? Gwil: It’s an odd thing. The Maccabees for me are such a massive band that I’m in to. I met Orlando in Sainsburys after the award and I was really starstruck. ‘First Love’ was one of the first things I ever learnt on guitar and he’s just there, and he’s really small, I’m small but he’s small. I was just going to talk to you about how the song lyrics are very much influenced by art, film and literature. Can you explain the writing process and the inspiration behind it for our readers? Thom: If we’re lucky Joey over there has a few tracks under his belt already, the lyrics and then as a band we add our parts and it gets pushed and changed and it takes a long time to finish a track because you don’t want to put anything out that’s not 100% finished. Yeah they’re usually themed around things that inspire Joe or us a group. We believe the songs should be about things you know and you like and whatever that is is a good enough reason to write a song about it. That’s why they seem to be about books or films and things like that because that’s what we like. Going on to be specific, ‘Bloodflood’ is about Southampton isn’t it? I’m from Southampton University. What’s the inspiration behind that song?


Features

features@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

Joe: It references a rush of blood to the head, you know that Coldplay thing, and we switched it to a flood of blood to the heart. It’s basically about the adrenaline rush you get when you get scared, it’s that fear, fight or flight and it’s being in Southampton Common and being approached by unsavoury characters. Do you know a place called ‘the Cut’? Basically this place is along Hill Lane. You go from the north side of Highfield and you go under ‘The Cut’. Yeah, it’s about being approached there, there’s loads of graffiti. So yeah it’s about that. I can definitely relate to that. Do you plan to release more songs from An Awesome Wave, as singles? Gwil: Oh yeah, of course! I’m not 100% sure on what it is [going to be] right now. Something Good is at the end of it’s cycle. We should be releasing a track soon. Thom: It’s kind of cool, we’re really lucky that each of the tracks could potentially be singles. Gwil: I’ve always wanted Bloodflood as a single, but I don’t think it’s ever going to be a single, it’s not in the running apparently. It’s too slow for radio, not a high enough BPM, they have all sorts of rules. Moving onto your music videos, I know when I spoke to you before we were talking about Breezeblocks and the way that you asked for submissions of ideas. So what about the other ones where do the concepts come from? Gwil: It’s the same thing really but now instead of us having to put ourselves out there and ask people to do a music video for us, we have more people getting in contact with us. The last one we had was ‘Something Good’ which was one of the best ones. It’s really cool. And we’ve got a another one coming out soon as well. Can you really briefly describe the recording process for the album? Gwil: Apart from ‘Matilda’ and ‘Breezeblocks’, all of it was recorded in Brixton with our producer Charlie [Andrew] and before that Matilda and

11

Breezeblocks were recorded in Shoreditch in another studio he had and Matilda, Breezeblocks, Tessellate and Fitzpleasure and Handmade were all recorded before we had a record deal, I think! Actually Fitzpleasure wasn’t, Fitzpleasure was the first one with the signing. So we had a fair amount of the album already down and those are the same mixes that made it to the album. So in January this year we finished the rest of the album and got everything else down, it was only a month, maybe actually three weeks and we finished it in that time. If you were to give the readers of The Edge a tip on who to listen to at the moment, who you guys think are up and coming who would you suggest? Thom: I would suggest a guy called Mensah, he makes dub step and house but it’s mostly dubstep, I don’t think he has an album it’s all kind of on Soundcloud and it’s all just one offs. They’re produced extremely well and it’s really well written. Gwil: There’s one we say all the time which is Princess Chelsea, she’s from New Zealand and she’s just released her album here and it’s really good. I’ve only listened to it once but the Kendrick Lemar album, everyone seems to be talking about him, so check it out! I listened to it a few days ago and it seemed really good. Finally, what does the future hold for you guys? Gwil: Well until about September next year we’re touring pretty much straight and I’m sure after that we will be booking some studio time and start working on number two! So pretty standard stuff, [laughs] Nothing insane, just a standard career.


Features

features@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

12

There’s No “I” in Scene If you play in a band, you will undoubtedly have come across a promoter who has asked you not to play any other local show a fortnight either side of the one they are giving you. 95% of bands adhere to this rule, and are let down by the other 5% who ignore it. The five per cent can usually be characterised in the roughly the same manner. First and foremost, they’ll play every show that they can get their hands on, playing two or three different small venues in the same week. Second, they’ll turn up, play their set and be packed up and out of the venue before the next band is on. Third, they will be utterly convinced that their band is fantastic and that there is not a venue in the land that they could not simply walk into and convert every patron to their sweet array of funky classics. If this sounds like your band in any way, I implore you to disband immediately and spend your time more wisely, guitar-masturbating in your bedroom where you can do no harm to those around you. Even when a band plays a show for free, it costs both the venue and/or the promoter money to have them on the bill. The average small shows that you are playing will cost somewhere between £100 and £300 to stage after venue hire and petrol money for the headline acts. That half hour of stage time you consume is costing the promoter between £20-£100. You may have noticed that relieved look on their faces the moment their show breaks even, that’s because it rarely happens. In all honesty, very few people want to come down early to a gig to watch you murder ‘Suck My Kiss’ or ‘All The Small Things’. The promoter will do everything they can to get the gig into local listings, flyer everywhere possible and plaster social networking with updates about their shows - the fear of losing a lot of money will drive all this leaving you worry free. If every band managed to get just ten of their friends to turn up to their shows and stuck around themselves to watch all the other bands play, there would be plenty more venues and shows for you to ply your trade at. Aside from very few exceptions, a band cannot sustain playing a gig every week without venues losing

money. Venues driven into aggressive pay-to-play tactics (sell at least 20 tickets or you’ll never play in this town again) will always win out over the smaller venues that put on bands for their benefit and for the sake of the scene. If you have to promote your show aggressively one night so as to not lose your venue, it is likely that you will completely ignore that little pub gig down the road you have planned the next day. This is unfair to the second venue and all the other bands on the bill who have tried to promote the show and who will usually stand around watching your band regardless of what they think of you. You may be able to win over a new fan or two, but without offering the other bands a similar opportunity, you have essentially stolen from them. If you fail to deliver in terms of attendance, you will very quickly see gig offers drying up. The easiest way to get onto the line-up of your dreams is to promote every show you do to the best of your ability. This is much easier if you limit yourself to two home-town shows a month at the very most. Your friends won’t hate you for cluttering up Facebook with constant event invitations and the venues won’t hate you for constantly turning up and playing to empty rooms. If you can get twenty or more people down to every show you play, you will very quickly find your reputation growing and you will be offered better and better support slots. You will also find that promoters are far more willing to pay to get you at their venue. In this country there are hundreds of bands that are working towards forming a sustainable cottage-industry for themselves, all of them happy to play their music to appreciative audiences and thankful if they can achieve this without losing money every time they load up their van. If you are in one of the many bands guilty of abusing this industry that so many people care about, then in my eyes you are partly responsible for the decline of many great bands that have simply been unable to afford to continue. Always think carefully before accepting a local gig; the prospect of small venues closing their doors for good is a reality.

Simon Everett


Features

features@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

13

Affordable Opera on Your Doorstep Opera is probably the least fortunate of the performing arts when it comes to reputation. It is haunted by stereotypes and misinformation, some of which are exploded beautifully in this recent blog post by Independent journalist Jessica Duchen. I have to admit that it’s a form of performance that I’ve only recently discovered myself - although in the past I’d caught the odd light opera for a review, I’d never made the jump to the full-blown form in spite of always having meant to.

What held me back? Money. That, and fear of not enjoying myself. Although deals and cheaper seats do exist for the opera, they can seem harder to find than those for theatre. There’s also the nagging question of ‘What if I don’t like it?’. The majority of us have seen theatre in one form or another from an early age, at school or with family for example. We have a rough knowledge of how it works and what to expect, and, even when we don’t like a particular piece, it is working within a set of familiar boundaries. Going to the opera for the first time may seem like more of a risk – potentially, it involves paying out to see something which you have no experience of and may completely hate. Now, however, there’s a cheap(er) way of introducing yourself to this art form and you won’t have to

travel far at all to do it. The Met: Live in HD is a scheme by the Metropolitan Opera in New York, one of the world’s most renowned opera houses, to introduce new audiences to the art. Performances of a diverse selection of shows from The Met’s season are beamed to cinemas all over the world, the nearest being Southampton’s very own Harbour Lights at Ocean Village. As well as access to free downloadable cast sheets and synopses, subtitles are provided on-screen and cinema audiences are treated to interviews, trailers and features both in the run-up to the start of the show and in the show’s intermission. There are two options for watching the shows. The concession price for the live broadcast is £25 which, whilst cheaper than going to see an opera on stage, possibly doesn’t sit well with a student budget. More affordable, however, are the Encore showings on Monday afternoons which provide an exact replica of the live Saturday night experience. £15 here will get you all of the perks of the original performance including the full intermission of 30 to 40 minutes – plenty of time for a breather! The Met describe their Live in HD programme as ‘a perfect, low-risk way to introduce a reluctant operagoer to the art form’ stating that ‘opera, when it’s presented at the highest level both musically and theatrically, appeals to a very broad audience’. I went, I saw, I recommend. David Tully


Film

film@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

14

Argo

The movie about a sort-of movie

By Mike Cottrell. Love him or hate him, you’d be a fool to deny the ambition of Ben Affleck. Riding on the wave of stardom that came from his acting career and an Oscar-winning screenplay in the form of Good Will Hunting, he tried his hand at directing and with it found a brilliantly fresh new voice. Clearly a man who truly loves cinema, he has pushed his creative boundaries time and time again and with this his third directorial effort, Affleck cements his status as one of the most talented directors in Hollywood today. Following the brilliant Gone Baby Gone and The Town, Argo sets out to prove Affleck isn’t going to play it safe. A true story (though hard to believe) of a recently de-classified CIA operation the action takes place in the 1970s during the hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran where 6 delegates found themselves in hiding in the home of the Canadian ambassador, unable to reach any help. A CIA operative Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with the idea of producing a fake Canadian sciencefiction film that is holding a location scout in Tehran, thereby enabling the 6 trapped Americans to fly out without being apprehend as American spies.

Initially this film feels like a tough political thriller with a script so tight that Aaron Sorkin would struggle to top, which then moves into fast paced espionage territory and concludes with an incredibly tense finale that grabs you by the throat and pushes your comfort level to breaking point. The middle of the film could easily have damaged the movie beyond repair. It follow’s Mendez’s trip to Hollywood to set up this fake picture with the help of the hilarious Alan Arkin and John Goodman. This section more closely resembles an all-out comedy, providing a brilliant satire on the fickle nature of Hollywood film-making, as Arkin sneers when asked if he thinks the plan can work “you could teach a reese monkey to be director in a day.” In spite of this observation, credit in the success of this film lies hugely on Affleck as he somehow succeeds in bringing these hugely contrasting genre elements together into a fantastically entertaining piece of work. While the result may to some seem jarring and a little forced, for me this was a brilliantly crafted and perfectly performed period piece that never had a dull moment. Long may you continue Mr. Affleck.

Directed by Ben Affleck. Distributed by Warner Bros Pictures. Certificate 15. In Cinemas Now.


Film

film@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

15

Rust and Bone

Dazzling and Mesmerising

By Mike Cottrell. Anyone who saw Jacques Audiard’s internationally acclaimed 2009 feature A Prophet will know how intense his particular brand of story-telling can be. While his work to date has spanned a variety of genres, they have always retained a hard hitting visceral impact that embeds the story in the mind long after the credits roll. Rust & Bone is no exception to this rule, combining a harsh and often violent realism and a tender romantic heart that doesn’t stray into the area clichéd melodrama. This is a film of very real beauty. The story centres around the lives of two strangers from entirely different worlds who find themselves brought together. Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) is an unemployed single father finds himself responsible for the care of his estranged 5 year-old son and enters the world of underground bare-knuckle fighting in order to earn money, while Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) is a marine wildlife trainer who is scarred by a terrible accident while performing with a group of killer whales. These two lost souls find what is best described as an emotional dependence on one another rather than a fairy tale romance.

The major success of the film lies in the realistic portrayals of these characters and the courage that Audiard has to show them as deeply flawed human beings that don’t conform to our expectations of a traditional love story. It is a rollercoaster of an experience that rises to moments of transcendent beauty. There is a mesmerising scene where Stephanie returns to where he accident took place and dances with a whale through glass. At other times, the film twists into wince-inducing violence that pushes the enjoyment of the film but always manages to remain honest to the characters it is depicting. If one criticism can be made of it, it can be found within the sub-plots that pull our attention away from this central relationship - the thing that powers the feeling of the piece. But this is a minor faulting to a film that has a dazzling sense of style without seeming over-stylised and a visceral realism without seeming forced. It is a film that doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable subject matter but remains a film that looks to the heart and comes from the heart.

Directed by Jacques Audiard. Distributed by StudioCanal. Certificate 15. In Cinemas Now.


Film

film@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012 FILM OF THE MONTH

Skyfall

16

FILM OF THE MONTH

Mother has been very bad By Barnaby Walter, Film Editor. As I’m sure you have already gathered, 2012 is Bond’s 50th anniversary, and Skyfall really marks that landmark with style. It’s the best Bond film for years, even better than Daniel Craig’s fantastic debut Casino Royale back in 2006. I was one of the few people who actually rather liked Quantum of Solace, but that picture looks like a mess next to the sleek and sophisticated Skyfall.

blond hair is perhaps the scariest thing cinemas have seen this year. Bardem plays him with very camp mannerisms, and there is a delicious scene where he starts to caress Bond’s torso and legs. Any dated homophobia that could have resonated within the scene is removed by a quick-witted exchange between the two that suggests Bond himself may not be a stranger to the odd gay fling.

The film begins with an awesome action sequence, followed by Adele’s theme song. Her voice perfectly suits the tone of the film, and the song is a vast improvement over the car crash Jack White and Alicia Keys served up in 2008.

Silva has a vendetta with M, the details of which are menacingly revealed in a chilling confrontation in MI6’s new headquarters (they had to relocated after he blew up their old offices). After this, the stage is set for a spectacular series of showdowns.

The best thing about this entry, superbly directed by Sam Mendes, is that it places Judi Dench’s M centre stage. Dench has been in seven bond films and she has beautifully turned her character into an iconic figure in the series. Her matriarchal role has provided humour and tension, especially in her one-to-one scenes with Bond. I’m not the only reviewer to say this, but one could easily read something oedipal in their relationship; a delicate character-string that is vigorously plucked when the villain of the film refers to her as ‘mother’.

Mendes, who is famous for his dark domestic dramas such as American Beauty and Revolutionary Road, handles the action very well, and his regular collaborator in cinematography Roger Deakins gives the film a great look. The best scenes are those set in Scotland in the third act, and Deakins’s keen eye for colour, mixed with some brilliantly staged explosions, turn the Scottish highlands into a burning landscape; an intoxicating, powerful mixture of intense browns and smokey oranges.

Ah yes, the villain. The threat to Britain, and to M personally, in this movie is Silva, an ex-agent turned bad. He is played gloriously by Javier Bardem, whose

Skyfall may not be high art, but it’s popular entertainment at its very best. I really don’t know how it could have been better.

Directed by Sam Mendes. Distributed by Sony Pictures. Certificate 12A. In Cinemas Now.


Film

film@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

Blu-ray & DVD Review

17

by Barnaby Walter

Killer Joe Killer Joe, written by Tracey Letts, adapted from his own play, is one of Friedkin’s most exciting works to date. It isn’t as good as The Exorcist (it’s hard to find a film that is) but it does contains a sense of twisted beauty evocative of that 1973 film. The story is a simple one. A young man (Emile Hirsch), his father (Thomas Haden Church), and his father’s second wife (Gina Gershon) plan to kill the young man’s mother. They want her life insurance. Debts could be paid off, people would be happier; they find it hard to find a reason not to go through with it. They don’t fancy killing the woman themselves, so their hire Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey), a contract killer and police officer, to do the work. It’s uneasy, hard edged, and contains a scene that you will probably never forget. Dir: William Friedkin. Entertainment One. 18. Out now.

Arthur Christmas Ardman, the Bristol-based company who are best known for their stopmotion Plasticine animation, seem to have effectively transferred their skills to CGI. Arthur Christmas, their second computer-animated feature, is a fun-filled festive treat and retains that very British feel Ardman’s old cartoons had. The plot features Santa’s youngest son Arthur (James McAvoy) trying to deliver a present to a young girl in Cornwall who, by mistake, got left off the Christmas delivery schedule. He needs to get the present to her before she wakes up on Christmas morning. It doesn’t have the same Christmassy charm as The Polar Express, but it has a stronger story and great characters. Dir: Sarah Smith. Sony. U. Out now.

The Dark Knight Rises This trilogy finale is even messier than The Dark Knight, and that film really was in need of a script-tighten. Written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan, with involvement from David S. Goyer, it’s far too long and borders on the pretentious. Powerful scenes rest on a shaky foundation structure, and at times that structure doesn’t hold. Around the middle things start to drag. I have to confess, in some scenes I was very close to not caring who mastered fear or toughened themselves up through pain or gave power to the people. It all felt too much. This house of many cards is a very fragile one. It’s highly watchable, and Tom Hardy is a fantastic villain, but The Dark Knight Rises isn’t as intelligent as the makers think it is. Dir: Christopher Nolan. Warner Bros. 12. Out 3 December.


Film

film@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

18

Archive Review

Batman Begins (2006)

The one that started it all By Jack Harding. There was a time when you couldn’t even mention “Batman” without having to bare some idiot’s rendition of “na na na na na na na na na na na na”....And if it wasn’t that then you were left with little more than images in your mind of a crusader chasing down clowns and cats and penguins with a touch of goth or a ridiculous pair of tight wearing tits “kapowing” their way through a horde of heavies. But, in 2004, director Christopher Nolan changed that. Forever. Opting to look beyond 40+ years of erroneous tv and film portrayals of the Dark Knight, a then relative unknown Nolan and Dark City scribe David S Goyer set their sights on a string of gritty comics that had been ignored by Hollywood for far too long. Comic book nuts the world over will be quick to tell you that Batman Begins was heavily inspired by Frank Miller’s groundbreaking Year One run back in the mid 1980’s. And they’re right, it was. Miller’s crime embroiled noir angle was a far more rational one that focused on the man behind the myth and a city in decline. It set the tone for a host of riveting Bat books but Nolan and co-writer Goyer took all this material and made it not just their own but something else entirely: a moody, earnest and somehow believable piece of modern fiction and film that relied little on explosions, baddies and brawls but more on a profound, onion like plot and a strong predilection for character development.

Batman Begins is less about the Bat and more about the man. DC’s flagship hero doesn’t even appear on screen until half-way through the film and the word “Batman” is only said 10 times. This is a briliantly conceived blockbuster that leaves all that revel in the comicbook subgenre firmly in the shade. It is carefully engineered and achieves a steady balance between form and content; the lighting, the photography, the decor- at times it looks like Blade Runner. And like Ridley Scott’s rain soaked classic, Nolan’s Batman Begins boasts both a stimulating score (by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard) and some truly memorable turns from an uncanny cast. This wasn’t just the film that spurned one of the best and most talked about trilogies in recent years, but also the one that signaled the big-time arrival of, arguably, the most gifted director of his generation. And he has a crew of equally gifted disciples in Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy and composer Hans Zimmer. It doesn’t get much better than this See it. Then see it again. Batman Begins is available on BD & DVD. Last month’s Archive piece was erroneously credited to Barnaby Walter. The correct author was Jack Harding. The film section of The Edge apologises for this error.


Culture

culture@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

Taken Too Soon T.V

20

Sam Everard examines the T.V shows that were taken off the air much too soon It is the fate of a huge number of TV shows to be cancelled. This can be after a few seasons, one season, even a few episodes. In many cases, the show is crap. There’s nothing else to be done than humanely take it out the back and shoot it in the alley. However, there are equally a number of tragic cases where even shows with a dedicated fan base and rave reviews aren’t safe from the axe. These are the shows that were cut down in their prime:

Firefly Joss Whedon had enjoyed success with fans and critics alike with his series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it’s follow-up/spin-off Angel, but wasn’t so lucky when it came to his next project. His brilliant space-western Firefly was cancelled after one series, and only 11 of the 14 episodes they made were even aired. To add insult to injury, the episodes that were screened were shown in the wrong order. It’s incredibly difficult to understand why the studio heads at Fox didn’t see the potential in the show. The writing is witty and engaging, the universe that characters inhabit is astonishingly well presented, and the cast is phenomenal. Nathan Fillion still hasn’t found the recognition he deserves even now, but he should’ve found it 10 years ago: his Malcolm Reynolds is an excellent creation, the cowboy swagger of Han Solo taken to a new level.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Aaron Sorkin, despite having serious influence after having created The West Wing and winning a screenwriting Oscar for The Social Network, hasn’t had the best of luck in television. Sports Night was cancelled after two seasons, but Studio 60 didn’t last any longer than it’s initial run of 22 episodes. Like a more weighty 30 Rock, the action takes place behind the scenes at a once-successful late-night live sketch show and all the politics and drama that come with it. Unfortunately, poor audience figures ensured the show was killed at the end of its first season despite some cracking writing, Sorkin’s trademark walk-and-talks, and winning performances from a stellar cast of regulars and high-profile guests. Time magazine may have put the series on its list of ‘5 Things That Went From Buzz to Bust’, but on the same list it featured the PS3 and a little something called Blu Ray, so we’ll ignore their judgement for now.

Email in culture@theedgesusu.co.uk with T.V shows YOU think were taken too soon.


Culture

culture@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

21

To Kindle or not to Kindle? Olivia Glaze asks this question in the Kindle era

As the new Amazon Kindle HD and Paperwhite e-reader went on sale last week for the first time in the UK, I thought that it was only appropriate to join in with one of society's hottest debates. To Kindle or not to Kindle? According to an article by The Guardian, most are the former, with Kindle e-book sales over taking Amazon print sales for the first time this year. And can we be surprised? The Kindle is light-weight, sleek, can be read in any weather, can hold hundreds and hundreds of books and my personal favourite, it is oh so secretive. The reader alone knows which guilty pleasure they are indulging in, a particular advantage for those members of society who want to be able to read 50 Shades of Grey without feeling the eyes of every commuter on the tube scrutinising their every reaction or expression. So I fully understand the Kindle craze, you can read almost anything, anywhere and at any time. Perfect for the traveller, the student, the business man, the list is practically endless. But not perfect for me. I am one of a dying breed, those who are not ashamed to stand up and say, 'I hate the Kindle'. A phrase like this is rarely heard in an age obsessed with technology, and a time where everyone has to have the latest Apple product and

scream from the rooftops how our lives will never be the same.  But yes, it is true, I can think of nothing worse than the devilish Kindle. In all honesty, the whole thing baffles me. The traditional romantic scene of snuggling up on a cold, rainy evening, with a cup of tea and a good old fashioned...Kindle? I think not. Don't pretend that you don't love the smell of an old or new book, we all know that there is nothing quite like it, and it's perfectly normally to flick through the pages and give it a good sniff. But smelling a Kindle? Not only would you look like a weirdo, you'd also be horribly disappointed, unless of course the smell of plastic gets you going, each to their own I guess.... But a Kindle has no character, no individuality, and once again technology is causing us all to look the same. Obviously I'm fully aware that most of you will be reading this thinking, 'This girl is crazy, she needs to get a life or better still a person to love rather than her book collection.' And yes, you're probably right. But for those of you who have a secret book traditionalist inside you, desperate to get out, know that you are not alone. There are some of us fighting on the side of the humble book in the war of the words, and who really would rather lug War and Peace around instead of becoming another technology clone.


Culture

culture@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

22

Assassin’s

Come the autumn months, the pedigree of the video-gaming market get set to release their latest venture. The longevity of franchises such as Halo and Call of Duty have placed their names at the top of the year’s most anticipated lists for over ten years now. Yet in 2007, breaking from the first-person shooter mould, we were given a breath of fresh air with the arrival of Assassin’s Creed, a sprawling period action-adventure saga that used the backdrop of historical, political and religious conspiracy to create a wholly unique narrative driven gaming experience that has earned its place among these industry heavy-weights. With that reputation established, Assassin’s Creed III nonetheless has a lot to prove. Since the series hit a dizzying high in 2009 with Assassin’s Creed II, there has been the sense that the franchise has been running on auto-pilot, resting on the laurels of that game’s Renaissance setting to produce a number of enjoyable but inferior spin-offs. Now once again in fresh territory,

with the promise of a conclusion to the ‘trilogy’, the series feels like it can breathe once more. Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, players now take control, for the majority of the game, as native-American assassin Connor Kenway. With this new playground comes a new set of features to play with which on the whole work brilliantly and cement the joy of the gameplay that the series has become known for. The game features the familiar thrill of leaping across buildings and performing missions in key towns but for the first time lets you loose in the wilderness, with the smoother free-running control system allowing for seamless movement through forests and the new ability to hunt animals. The introduction of a strong economic system within the game means there is the option to sell goods you catch and a sub story that sees you aiding the construction of a colonial town. All of this helps the world feel alive and thriving, in a game that gives you plenty to sink your teeth into. Also still strong as ever is the simple combat sys-


Culture

culture@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

23

Creed III tem that is as blood-thirsty and satisfying as ever, with a host of new weapons and assassination techniques to try. Gameplay is only worthwhile if you invest in the story and this is a fact Assassin’s Creed has always taken seriously. On this occasion the story takes its time in the early hours to invest your interest in the characters and the setting, something that here runs dangerously close to being boring and as such the story never has the immediacy or power that ACII had. Like previous instalments, the game also has sections in the present day where series constant Desmond is embroiled in a plot that is fuelled by the historical narrative. More so than before there are interesting thematic parallels between the two settings which provide a sense of relevance to the ideas of the story that break the confines of a set historical period. Despite this the modern day episodes are by far the least interesting portion of the game, even though this is the most fleshed out they have been in the entire series and as such there isn’t quite enough investment in them to make us feel the full impact of the conclusion to the story.

Yet when this game is at its best, the story does manage to thrill thanks to some great writing, beautifully lush visuals and epic scale, making an engrossing and above all enjoyable action game, one that may not be the pinnacle of such a strong franchise, but certainly a worthy addition to it. Mike Cottrell. Assassin’s Creed III is available on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and Microsoft Windows.

Coming up in Performing Arts Showstoppers Winter Showcase 23rd November-24th November Jazzmanix Winter Concert 24th November-25th November Medics’ Revue Fifty Shades of Gray’s Anatomy 27th November-1st December Brass band, SUphil have winter concerts on the 1st, as well as SUSO on 1st and the 2nd of December.


Live

live@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

24

Joshua James at Unit (5/11/12) Tom Saunderson went down to Unit to catch Joshua James. Read what he thought of the gig. First up was Vicki Musselwhite, a local musician armed with an acoustic guitar and a damn good voice. We quickly settled down as she began. Her songs tended to be quite slow paced and deliberate, with a strong soulful voice. Despite warning us that her next song was only a few days old and apologising in advance if she forgot the words, ‘Liar, Joker, Thief’ was quite possibly the best of her lot, with engaging lyrics and emotion throughout. Franklin & James were next on, a local duo kitted with acoustic guitars and a lot of charm. They lifted spirits through their upbeat vocals, heavy strumming, and friendly demeanour . There was a real sense of brotherhood between the two, both voices working together well. It’s hard not to smile when the duo take so much pleasure in performing. “Does anyone remember Sophie Ellis Bextor?” A single “yeah!” came from the crowd (okay that was me. I had a crush on her. Fight me), and a fun cover of Spiller’s ‘Groovejet’ began, infused with a satisfying country twang. Finally, Joshua James and his band took to the stage. Two electric guitars, a bass, and a drum kit. The minimalistic atmosphere of previous acts quickly faded as we were greeted by an unrecorded song entirely new to me. With a crowd of still only a handful, it would have. Joshua’s facial expressions showing just how lost in his music he can get. Performing for one person, or one hundred, it’s no different. If anything this turn out contributed to a truly intimate setting. A hasty transition into ‘Queen Of The City’ left no time for applause. The new single sounds like a more traditional rock song, and contains one of his catchiest hooks. ‘Surrender’ was next. With an almost waltz like rhythm, the disco lights made sense for a split second. Maybe Joshua felt the same way as he stepped from the stage into the emptiness of the dance floor, slow moving with his guitar. ‘Weeds’ is one of his many songs that manage to contrast pretty tones on the surface with depressing concepts (“Didn’t anyone mention hate is all we show?”). The instruments faded towards the end, leaving Joshua to sing in solitude bar the supporting humming from Evan. In this instant the silence of the crowd became apparent, hearing every sound. They finished the song up by seamlessly integrating a small portion of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’.

The band all pulled their weight. Lawrence, the drummer, had injured his hand earlier in the tour, but this didn’t hinder his ability to provide both soft and heavy percussive elements. Isaac (bass) and Evan (guitar) provided solid backing vocals throughout. The band really showed merit during the powerful breakdown of ‘So Did I’, layering all their noises and creating a heavy ambience. In case there was any doubt about the darkness that is often present in his music, the next song ‘Shine Wyoming’, inspired by a young boy kidnapped in Wyoming on Christmas. Slow and stirring, expect this to be released as a B side soon. Joshua busted out the harmonica, ready for ‘Ghosts in the Town’. A song about leaving behind an old life and beginning anew. With clean string melodies and an outro so soft and sincere it was hard to stay dry eyed, he displayed once again that his voice is one of his finest weapons. ‘Coal War’ started and the band managed to inspire the crowd to join with the percussion through stomping and clapping. I imagine this is what it’d feel like to be part of the stereotypical gospel choirs you see in film. The heavier part of the song reiterated how Joshua’s soft voice can transform into a passionate scream when it needs to. The set was concluded, rather appropriately, with the final song of Willamette Mountain; ‘Feel The Same’. I think the event was truly summed up in the moments following the performance. As people lined up to buy merchandise and exchange words, it became increasingly clear that the music had really connected with the few present.


Live

live@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

26

Conor Maynard at the O2 Academy, Bournemouth (2/11/12) Calling all Mayniacs! Megan Downing went along to watch the male solo artist that is on everyone’s lips, Conor Maynard at the O2 Academy in Bournemouth. Upon arrival to the venue there were already at least 100 girls queueing in the freezing temperatures hoping to catch a glimpse of the the singer turned heart throb Conor Maynard. A few of the (almost psychotic) Mayniacs had been there since 6am. Scared and slightly concerned for Conor’s safety, I went into the venue to chat to him. Sitting in on his soundcheck demonstrated that he is still a normal 19 year old guy. As he fooled around with his band mates, it was clear to see that he is just an ordinary teen, enjoying an extraordinary lifestyle. The support acts were dreadfully cringey highlighting the target audience of this gig (I was in fact stood next to a crying 12 year old. Lucky me). G23 music played a selection of tween pop and rapper PW joined him. It made me want to vomit when StarBoy Nathan sang ‘Come into my Room’. It was inappropriate. I was praying for 9pm to hurry up so we could get to the reason everyone turned up.

nicely into the acoustic section of the set. Conor and his band took positions on stools and sung a medley of songs including ‘Drowning’ and two covers ‘Starships’ (by Nicki Minaj) and ‘Diamonds’ (by Rihanna). He played another more personal track (one of his favourites) ‘Just in Case’ accompanied by his piano playing skills. It was beautiful and truly demonstrated his credibility as a singer and also a song writer. The second half of the set included more tracks from Contrast including ‘Lift Conor Maynard opened with my personal favourite Off’; a track co-wrote with Pharrell Williams. It is even from his debut album Contrast, ‘Animal’. Risqué sexier live, it has a definite Justin Timberlake vibe to it. lyrics and a snarling grimace made his performance rather sexy for a 19 year old. After a brief chat to Another situation based song followed, all the prethe crowd he led nicely into his second single pubescent girls screaming at Conor in agreement ‘Vegas Girl’ pulling out some sweet dance moves must be fantastic liars, how has a twelve year old whilst every girl in the room swooned. He really experienced the relationship troubles Conor sings of has turned into quite the teen heart throb, even a in Glass Girl?! Some were even crying! Astonishing! hint of eye contact would send a wave of screams Finishing the main part of the set with ‘Better Than through the crowd. I must admit feeling very ‘fan- You’ he went off stage briefly before coming back for girl’ upon receiving a wink during ‘Can’t Say No’. an encore. He sung his other two singles starting with the song that catapulted him into stardom ‘Can’t Say ‘Mary Go Round’ was preceded with an introductory No’ (fit with obvious flirting with the crowd) and the situation, this song in particular being from Conor’s night ended on his latest single ‘Turn Around’ even own experiences. Another slow number was next - minus Ne-Yo it sounded great. I left Bournemouth a ‘Pictures’. A song penned by Frank Ocean. This led more committed Mayniac. Big love for Conor Maynard.


Live

live@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

27

Preview: Frank Turner at the Guildhall (29/11/12) David Martin tells our readers why you don’t want to miss our very own Wessex Boy return to the Guildhall this Novmber. Frank Turner has become something of a phenomenon in recent years, and despite only releasing his first album Sleep Is for The Week in 2007, the prolific folk singersongwriter now has four studio albums to his name and has recently finished recording for his next album, due out in March 2013. The Winchester born-and-bred artist's most recent album is a very local affair, with songs such as 'Wessex Boy' and 'English Curse' giving you an insight into the talented writer's mind with his punk roots clearly showing and standing out. It was indeed these raw, natural influences that secured his position at the Olympic opening ceremony. Frank Turner returns back to Hampshire once again to showcase his unique blend of folk and punk music at the Guildhall.

Preview: The Vaccines at the O2 Academy, Bournemouth (30/11/12) After the release of their second album Come of Age, The Vaccines are embarking on an extensive UK tour to play the new tracks to their devoted fans. They will be gracing the stage of Bournemouth's O2 Academy on Friday 30th November. The whole tour is sold out, so if you were lucky enough to get a ticket you can look forward to a night of brilliant music from the London four piece. After the extreme success of debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines they have really taken the concept of 'the difficult second album' into reality. Come of Age has received mixed reviews but I can assure you, after seeing them at Reading Festival this year, you will not be disappointed. Megan Downing


Live

live@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

28

Alt-J ∆ at the Trinity Centre. Bristol (3/11/12)

Megan Downing caught Alt-J ∆ fresh from their Mercury Prize win on their latest tour. Mercury Prize winners Alt-J graced the stage of The Trinity Centre in Bristol. The support band were a three piece female band from Liverpool called 'Stealing Sheep'. I'm not one to usually enjoy female vocal harmonies [insert chart pop rubbish girl band here] but these girls bought something new and unique to the table. Emily Lansley on electric guitar bought a twanging country element to the ensemble. Their set was really interesting with the use of minimal instruments and beautiful voices leading to a warm reaction from the crowd. Next up were the reason everyone in the venue turned up. The four piece that started out making music in student accommodation at the University of Leeds - Joe Newman, Gwil Sainsbury, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Thom Green. They are, of course, Alt-J. They opened with the 'Intro' from their debut album An Awesome Wave before playing an elongated version of 'Tessellate' including the choir-esque interlude that precedes it on the record. Joe Newman humbly thanked the crowd before introducing their latest single 'Something Good'. The beautiful piano element in the song really shone through in the live setting, with Gus Unger-Hamiltion on the keys accompanying Joe's completely flawless vocals. It's hard to imagine

these guys not performing when it looks this natural. 'Dissolve Me' and 'Fitzpleasure' came next and as each song was individually performed it would really hit home how incredible An Awesome Wave truly is. Each song has it's own element of brilliance. The 'Tra la la' section of 'Fitzpleasure' is now synonymous with the band and was met by a chorus of 'Tra la la's from the crowd. Half way through the set we got something new and very exciting. Joe explained how they would now be playing an unexpected, very innovative mashup of 'Slow' by Kylie Minogue and 'Still D.R.E' by Dr Dre feat Snoop Dog, aptly dubbed 'Slow Dre'. An unlikely pairing I hear you cry! Well it completely and utterly worked. It demonstrated the band's uniqueness and versatility. The later half of the show included singles 'Matilda' and 'Breezeblocks' but the highlight for me had to be 'Bloodflood'. The song has a special resonance as it is about Southampton Common and the fear of unsavoury characters when alone. A familiar experience for all of us. In traditional style they finished the main part of their set and filled their encore with a really great track that appears on the deluxe edition of An Awesome Wave called 'Hand-Made'. Just Gus on keys and Joe on vocals, it was beautifully performed. The rest of the band came back and the same way that An Awesome Wave comes to a fantastic close, they finished with 'Taro'. I had a perfect evening.


Live

live@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 10 - November 2012

29

Dog is Dead at The Haunt, Brighton (3/11/12) Dog is Dead have come a long way since their school days together in Nottingham. This five piece have recently released their debut album ‘All Our Favourite Stories’ and it is filled with soaring guitar rifts that echo the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Bombay Bicycle Club. They are full of energy on stage and are bound to get you bobbing along to the effortlessly catchy guitar rifts. What makes this band stand apart from others is their use of harmonies. They really make use of every single band member to create an extremely full sounding vocal. Brighton’s The Haunt was an incredibly intimate venue, which worked hugely in their favour, as it literally felt as if they filled the room with their harmonies. Another thing that sets them apart from others is the use of instruments; its not everyday you see an indie band with a saxophone. The way they use the sax sparingly makes it all the more interesting and surprising when they do. The set had a particularly ‘young’ feel about it, so much so that I genuinely felt a little too old to be

there. The whole gig felt as if it could have been held in a school hall. This feeling was not helped by the fact I was stood next to drummer Daniel Harvey’s Mum, who was dancing so enthusiastically and screaming ‘Dan over here!’ throughout. However, this was such an endearing sight I couldn’t help but smile. She was clearly the proudest Mum on earth that night. Stand out track of the evening was ‘River Jordan’ which the band announced was the one that crowds usually went ‘ape shit’ to. Brighton did not disappoint and lived up to the band’s expectation. It was definitely the stand out track of both the album and the night. The gig itself though seemed incredibly short. It seemed that the gig was over almost as suddenly as it began, leaving me feeling somewhat unfulfilled. Whilst their talent is undeniable I think that there is still a sense that they This marked my first time in Unit, and I must say the venue is a bit unconvential. After walking up some stairs, taking a few turns, we found ourselves in a small box, with a small stage and a small bar. Quaint. Grace Pattle


Monday

Tues 19

Listings

November/December Sunday

Saturday The Coronas @ The Joiners

24

25

Rihanna ‘Unapologetic’

Feed @ Portsmou

Tues

Stooshe ‘Stooshe’

26

Start Christmas @ West

Buttercup @ The Nuffield (-23rd)

Alan Davies @ Portsmouth Guildhall

Ben Howard @ Southampton Guildhall

Sunday 1

Tues

Monday 3

2 Gary Numan @ Southampton Guildhall

Disclosure @ Roxx

Scissor @ Portsmou

Monday

The Nutcracker @ The Mayflower

Saturday

Little Mix ‘DNA’

Rhod Gilbert @ Southampton Guildhall

Ke$ ‘Warr

Alaba @ O2 A Bourne

Kea @B

Saturday Joey Negro @ The Cellar, Southampton

Sunday 8

The Overtones @ Portsmouth Guildhall

Lemar @ O2 Acadmey, Bournemouth

Monday 9

Band Of Skulls @ Southampton Guildhall

451 @ The Nuffield, Southampton

will.i.am ‘#willpower’

Tues 10

Green ‘¡Tr

Ran @ O2 Ac Bourne


Wednesday

sday

20

Thursday 21

Sisters uth Guildhall

Friday 22

Mumford & Sons @ Portsmouth Guildhall

Gambit (12A), Momentum Pictures

der uth Guildhall

27

Your Shopping t Quay

4

Thin Lizzy @ O2 Academy, Bournemouth

29

Christmas Lights Switch-On @UoS

Frank Turmer @ Southampton Guildhall

Wednesday

Thursday

The Vaccines @ 02 Acadmeny

30

5

6

Rizzle Kicks @ Porthsmouth Guildhall

11

12 Orbital @ O2 Academy, Bournemouth

The xx @ Portsmouth Guildhall

7

Jools Holland @ Portsmouth Guildhall

The Man With The Iron Fists (18) ‘Universal Pictures’

Thursday

Wednesday

sday

Trouble With The Curve (12A) ‘Warner Bros.’

Friday

Seven Psychopaths (15) ‘Momentum Pictures’

ane BIC

ncid cadmey, emouth

28

Treasure Island @ The Nuffield (-13th Jan)

ama 3 Academy, emouth

n Day ré!’

Starlight Express @ The Mayflower (-8th)

Friday

Thursday

Great Expectations (12A), Lionsgate

sday

$ha rior’

End Of Watch (15), StudioCanal

Wednesday

sday

23

The Muppet Christmas Caroll (U), Park Circus/Disney

Friday 13

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12A), Warner. Bos Nativity @ Southampton Guildhall (-15th)

14 Code Name: Geronimo (15), Studio Canal



The Edge (November 2012)