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eDitorial

editor@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

Edge Committee 12/13 Editor: David Martin

editor@theedgesusu.co.uk

Deputy Editor: George Doel deputyeditor@theedgesusu.co.uk

Records Editor: Howell Davies records@theedgesusu.co.uk

Features Editor: Andrew Ovenden

features@theedgesusu.co.uk

Film Editor: Barnaby Walter film@theedgesusu.co.uk

Culture Editor: Cally Beckley

So here we are approaching the end of yet another year. It might just be me but it seems to be that every year is even shorter than the last and the length of the festive period always seems to diminish. December is also the time for that persistent ‘end of year list’ and we at The Edge, would never want to hurt this great tradition, even if we do take an alternative stance on entertainment. We’re currently asking all of you what your top ten albums of the year are with results to be released in the New Year. If you want to have your say, check online.

Anyway enough of my pining let’s get to the content in this our fourth issue of the year. We’ve packed it full of Christmas in order to keep the spirit alive. We’ve got a collection of alternative Christmas songs for you to digest so you don’t need to deal with the latest X-Factor calamity. We’ve got a page of jolly Christmas albums for you to listen to and our Archive section takes a look back at the suitably scary The Nightmare Before Christmas. All that’s let to say now is enjoy the magazine and enjoy the holidays! David Martin

culture@theedgesusu.co.uk

Live Editor: Megan Downing live@theedgesusu.co.uk

Online Editor: Tasha Onwuemezi online@theedgesusu.co.uk

Head of Design: Matt Timmiss design@theedgesusu.co.uk

Head of Relations: Dan Flynn relations@theedgesusu.co.uk

Head of Publicity: Corinne Gurr publicity@theedgesusu.co.uk

Editor In Chief: David Gilani

vpcomms@susu.org

Featured Contributors Tom Saunderson, Howell Davies, Jamie McLean, Hannah Mylrea, Kat Mortram, Jamie Barker, Rebecca James, Lydia Cialis, Nátt Day, Sam Welch, Jan Kobal, Barnaby Walter, Ben Soper, George Doel, Cally Beckley, Emily Peters, Dan Flynn, Megan Downing

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Contents

editor@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

What’s Inside Issue 11

Records Christmas Albums Robbie Williams - Take The Crown Olly Murs - ‘Troublemaker’

Features Alternative Christmas Songs Joshua James Interview

Film The Master The Nightmare Before Christmas

Culture Taken Too Soon TV Our Boys

Live Lucy Rose at Joiners Mumford and Sons in Portsmouth

Listings

4 7 8 10 12 15 18 20 22 24 28 30

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reCorDs

records@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

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Out In Time For Christmas Sufjan Stevens- Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas - Volumes 6-10 Containing five reworked EPs, totaling fifty eight tracks, there’s a lot to listen to in indie-folk musician Sufjan Stevens’ follow up to his 2006 Christmas collection. The selection displays an amazing amount of variance, from his sweet folk affections prominent in ‘Vol.6 Gloria’, to the more aggressive electronic experiments found in ‘Vol.8 Christmas Infinity Voyage’. The real magic is that few tracks sound uninspired; each song has something interesting within. Even the many covers often come across as beautifully original (‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!’). The exception is ‘Vol. 7 I Am Santa’s Helper’, which contains a larger amount of classic hymns. Fortunately no single one is drawn out for too long, and tracks like ‘Mr Frosty Man’ manage to keep some excitement. Silver & Gold has something for many tastes and, surprisingly, contains a few songs that would fair just as well outside of the festive season. Although I feel that ‘Vol. 7’ produced far fewer stand out tracks than the others, the more traditional arrangements involving pianos and sacred harp singing have their purpose. With tracks like ‘Christmas Unicorn’, ‘The Midnight Clear’, and ‘X-mas Spirit Catcher’, this collection manages to capture a fair amount of what Sufjan Stevens is capable of. Tom Saunderson

Lady Antebellum On This Winter’s Night This sickeningly generic collection will have you puking tinsel throughout the festive season. With instrumentals which sound like karaoke backing tracks, the 3-piece American country-pop group work their way through 12 Christmas covers, including classics like ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow’. The brass accompaniment becomes exhausting after the first track ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas’, but it is thankfully given a rest for an unimaginative rendition of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. This stripped down, lazy version of a Christmas classic does nothing but make you want to press skip. It’s hard to convey how bad these instrumentals really are; this one being reminiscent of that S Club 7 track, ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’, from 12 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, that was a great track, but if Lady Antebellum are going to start making music like that of circa 2000, I don’t think I’ll be listening much more. It’s just so boring and generic. Perfectly ‘pleasant’, for background music, perhaps, but listening to music like this is definitely not what Jesus would have wanted on his birthday. 41 minutes of corny, American, Christmas frivolity which will leave you wishing it was January already. As they sing about how they’re “carolling through the night” on ‘This Christmas’, I thank the lord that I don’t live in their neighbourhood. Howell Davies


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Example The Evolution Of Man After emerging as the closest thing to England’s answer to Eminem in 2006, Elliot Gleave, better known as Example, releases his fourth studio album We have already seen a huge development in Example’s style and maturity; from cheeky underground rapper in first album What We Made to chart-topping vocalist in Won’t Go Quietly and then again in Playing In The Shadows, it was always going to be interesting to see how much more Example could evolve in his fourth endeavour. The answer, fortunately, is plenty. The album begins strongly with the track ‘Come Taste The Rainbow’ produced by dubstep artist Benga, incorporating a heavy rock rhythm. It is a relieving beginning to the album, reassuring fans that Example remains no conventional popstar, maintaining his roots in rap whilst showcasing his movement into singing. Whilst it is nothing new - there’s a very similar start to previous album Playing In The Shadows with ‘Skies Don’t Lie’ - it sets the tone for a consistent and a more prominently rock driven album. Example’s solid start continues with the anthemic, catchy tune ‘Close Enemies’ and experimental track ‘Perfect Replacement’ which utilises the dance and dubstep elements Example is more recently known for. Both rapping and vocalising, it is a satisfying start to an enjoyable album. However this dips a little with ‘Crying Out for Help’ and ‘Queen of Your Dreams’ where it becomes a bit ‘more of the same’ showing that Example is still vulnerable to the formulaic demands of the mainstream music industry. Nevertheless the album is quickly brightened up by the popular single ‘Say Nothing’ and chilled out track ‘All of My Lows’. The title track ‘The Evolution of Man’ is powerful, the first in the album that you immediately want to stick on repeat. It is a strange track for Example in many ways, wholly sung and with a guitar driven beat, it is a track one might expect more from a rock band. However, having already listened to opening track ‘Come Taste The Rainbow’, perhaps this is the sound Example himself envisaged as his ‘evolution’. The good times continue with the highlight of the album, ‘One Way Mirror’. It is fuelled by the same darkness as ‘Playing in the Shadows’ on the previous album of the same name and driven by an ‘XX-esque’ beat and guitar sound. With a catchy lead synth gradually coming into play, it is a track that almost makes you retract any

criticism about Example. There is no other artist that does it quite like him, and what he does he does well. These dark elements continue towards the end of the album in the tracks, ‘Snakeskin’, ‘Blood From A Stone’ and ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably?’. They make us rethink our perceptions of Example as an artist which is obviously an impressive accomplishment. Though there is another sense of repetitiveness in ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably?’, we can not moan for something new and then dismiss it when it comes. Though we would have thought aspects of these tracks, particularly ‘Blood From A Stone’ would have been more at home on a Slipknot album, it is an intriguing and potentially divisive transition from Example, for those pining for another ‘Kickstarts’. Barring the remixes available on the deluxe version, the album ends with popular single ‘We’ll Be Coming Back’ featuring Calvin Harris. A classic club tune, it was a wise move to end the album with this rather than the three dark tracks which preceded it. The Evolution of Man marks a strong fourth album from an artist who has already developed so much. It satisfies fans of previous albums whilst also containing something new. Though there are a couple of ‘albumfillers’ and the occasional sense of repetitiveness, it is hard to see what more Example could have done. An experimental and throughly enjoyable album. Jamie McLean


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records@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

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Robbie WilliamsTake The Crown

Robbie returns with his ninth studio album; his latest effort to bring him back into the charts as a solo artist, and to show he’s still got it Robbie’s personality is written all over this album, the title itself and the cover art of a golden sculpture of his head more than succeeds in portraying his self-respect and confidence. Of course, this is one of the qualities loved about Robbie and I had to smile all the more when I read the titles of the songs which demonstrate his maturity; ‘Candy’, ‘Be a Boy’, ‘Shit on the Radio’ and ‘Hey Wow Yeah Yeah’ were some of my favourites. The album opens with ‘Candy’, which has recently become Robbie’s first number one in the UK since ‘Radio’ (2004). This hit, however, does not sound like the usual Robbie; it is introduced by brass instruments, it’s upbeat, and is lacking his usual aggression, more like Olly Murs than anything. This difference may be due to Gary Barlow having a hand in creating this song, perhaps taming Robbie into this old man singing about a vain girl (ironic much!). The album then moves on to ‘Be a Boy’ which begins beautifully with a saxophone solo and is followed by chanting which is very similar to Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’. Again Robbie’s traditional, truculent musical style is subdued creating this unusually tamed song in which he argues that he’s still young at heart and that his age has not affected his music career (if he says so!). This song is catchy, however, and has been composed brilliantly, making me want to agree to whatever he says so long as this quality of music continues. As the name promises, the next track, ‘Shit on the Radio’, contrastingly delivers a piece of classic

Robbie; the use of the electric guitar, drums and keyboard brought me back to the days of ‘Let Me Entertain You’ and ‘Rock DJ’. His range is shown off, some of which impressed me as I never knew he could hit such notes. The only downfall was that the chorus has identical chanting to that of ‘Be a Boy’; it works as a part of the song, I was just a little annoyed that the two tracks been placed right next to one another with this similarity. The album’s standard drops on the song ‘Into The Silence’, which has a much slower, boring pace than the others. This is not my main complaint though, the problem is one particular note during this track which Robbie just does not reach. As a result, my house mate winced and I almost spilt my cup of tea (damn it Robbie!), so I was fairly disappointed. Following this ‘Hey Wow Yeah Yeah’ utterly destroys the standard, with lyrics suggesting Robbie could not be bothered to think of any. His voice is distorted and the track is more noise than music. Thankfully the final track ‘Eight Letters’ saves Robbie’s album; it is beautifully written using a piano and strings, and gives him the needed romantic and emotional song. All in all, Take The Crown begins amazingly, throwing hits one after the other and showing styles of music Robbie is not usually related with. Despite the great start and finish, the midsection filler tracks lets the album down. Not bad for a ninth album and definitely worth a listen! Kat Mortram


reCorDs

records@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

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Olly Murs - ‘Troublemaker’ Olly Murs is back, and he’s pretty much a big deal now he’s got Flo Rida rapping on one of his tracks. ‘Troublemaker’ is the lead single from Olly’s third studio album, Right Place Right Time, and it’s everything you could want in a lead single. It’s catchy, got great guitar riffs and has Olly’s classic cheeky-chappy lyrics and vocals. The video is great too, showing Olly’s encounters with the ‘troublemaker’ as she gets fired from various jobs for causing trouble. And of course Olly ends up coming to the rescue of this unfortunate girl. It’s cliched, yes. But it works. The only bit slightly off about the video is Flo Rida rapping in a billboard. Aside from Flo Rida’s billboard antics, the single and the video are great. This single will do well, and dare I say it, this could be the track that helps Murs crack America. Hannah Mylrea

Rudimental – ‘Not Giving In’ ft. John Newman and Alex Clare After storming the charts with their first single ‘Feel the Love’, Rudimental are back with ‘Not Giving In’. As with the first single, Rudimental stay true to their soulful roots, but balance this out with another dance-floor hit – with John Newman and Alex Clare contributing to the track. After a soulful start, the whole track is upbeat and energetic with a catchy chorus and impressive vocals throughout. The use of trumpets adds a spring in the step to the whole track. An impressive blend of dancefloor hit and soulful music from the Hackney based band looks to again be a winning formula. Already premiered as Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record In The World’, ‘Not Giving In’ and ‘Feel the Love’ both act as promising signs for Rudimental’s album which is due for release in early 2013. Jamie Barker

The Script - ‘6 Degrees of Separation’ Whilst this new album #3 has signalled The Script’s desire to move in a different direction, featuring rap and urban tracks, this harks back to ‘Breakeven’ and ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ - it’s a ballad, and it’s not at all bad. It’s nothing special, and it’s certainly not something new from the band, but it’s pleasing to listen to, and I like the lyrics, particularly the chorus, where it works through the emotions that everyone goes through in a break up, in an interesting way. This won’t be a song that goes down as the best that The Script can offer, but as a second single when compared with their first ‘Hall of Fame’, I think it shows what their album is like and gives a true sense of their past as a band as well as the direction they are heading in. Rebecca James


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Gabrielle Aplin - ‘The Power of Love’ Despite launching her music career by posting videos of cover songs on Youtube, Gabrielle Aplin has since become known for her own song writing talents. However, her latest venture, ‘The Power of Love’, covers the Frankie Goes to Hollywood hit from 1984. Aplin’s version was chosen for the 2012 John Lewis Christmas advert. Past adverts have featured relatively unknown artists and propelled them into the charts; and this year is no exception. ‘The Power of Love’ was released on 10th November 2012 as a digital download, and has reached number 36 in the Official Chart. But can Gabrielle Aplin get to number one by Christmas and compete with the success of the original song? Gabrielle Aplin is accompanied solely by piano, as well as strings in the chorus, although the strings can’t be compared to the instrumental in the original song. Aplin’s acoustic version begins with a simple piano part and is mellow throughout. Her soft vocals bring emotions to the song that are absent in the ’80s track, and she manages to create a haunting yet beautiful sound. Although not a typical Christmas song, Gabrielle Aplin’s cover of ‘The Power of Love’ is an excellent accompaniment for the advert. Aplin deserves the recognition that always comes with featuring in the longawaited, much-loved John Lewis Christmas adverts. Lydia Cialis

Mumford & Sons - ‘Lover Of The Night’ Mumford & Sons are one of those bands absolutely everyone has heard of; there is literally no escaping them. ‘Lover of the Light’, the latest single from Babel, is unlikely to stop this from happening. If anything it’s quite likely that this track will reincarnate ‘Mumford Mania’. It’s pretty much everything you would expect from a Mumford & Sons song. The first verse has just Marcus Mumford, a piano and a guitar to create the mood - not unlike their overplayed hit ‘The Cave’. Admittedly, this time to shake it up a bit they’ve introduced their banjo a bit earlier so the escalation to the chorus is far more noticeable than previously. There’s also a use of trumpets which definitely gives you a clue that this is one of the bigger, more anthemic of Mumfords’ songs. Of course, the chorus in itself is one of those massive ones that basically is designed to inspire a mass singalong. It’s not particularly clever, nor is it original but it’s euphoric and will easily inspire 20,000 people at the O2 to sing “so love the one you hold/ and I will be your goal/ to have and to hold/ lover of the light.” The thing about ‘Lover of the Light’ is that it feels all too familiar. It has the same slow build, big chorus, slow breakdown in the middle before building up again for the final crescendo. It has the same instruments, it has slightly different lyrics which conform to the same feel-good, emotional mood they go for on all their tracks. It, quite frankly, is a Mumford & Sons track through and through, which means if you’re a fan, you’re going to enjoy it… But if you’re not, you might just want to move on because there’s really nothing new to see here. Nátt Day


Features

features@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

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10 Alternative Christmas Songs Sam Welch reveals our 10 Christmas songs guaranteed to mix it up this year. Well boys and girls, it’s getting to that time of year again where all around us the same old Christmas songs get played on what seems like infinite repeat. There are of course some good traditional tunes that we all look forward to hearing, but on TV adverts, shopping centres, radio; there is seemingly no escape from them. It is without further ado The Edge presents (in no particular order) a list of the best seasonal songs you may not have heard, in the hope of bringing something new to your Yuletide aural experience. This is by no means a definitive list since pretty much every band has released a Christmas song at some point, so it is likely there are some amazing songs missing from this list, in which case what do you feel has been left out?

Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler – Christmas Day (I Wish I was Surfing)

Reuben – Christmas is Awesome

At first this may seem like an unlikely pairing, but after just a single listen you’ll wonder how this isn’t a solid gold classic already despite the fact it was only released four years ago. The best comparison is probably to a modern day updating of the timeless “Fairytale of New York”, with the two singers taking verbal swipes at each other over the top of jolly music. Tales of sleeping with other people, record collections set on fire and car wrecking all get a mention in this dysfunctional tale, but the charisma the two singers bring together give the feeling that everything is going to work out just fine.

The mack daddy of all Christmas rock songs, the story behind the release of this attempt to write the heaviest Christmas single ever seems to summarise the misfortune blighted career of the underrated Surrey three-piece. Initially gaining a high level of interest on YouTube and throughout the music press, the song failed to stir support from any major radio stations. The dream definitively ended after the wrong registration data was submitted to iTunes, disqualifying it for entry into the charts. It’s still a great tune with brilliant lyrics though, and tell me you don’t want one of those disgusting Christmas jumpers they wear in the video. Despite the members now having parted ways it even spawned a cover from collaborator and long time friend of the band Frank Turner. Tellison – Good Luck It’s Christmas London indie-rockers Tellison released this slightly melancholy track last year. This is the musical equivalent of cuddling up with a warm mug of cocoa in front of a roaring fire, and if you want to do just that the track is still available as a ‘name your price’ download from their bandcamp page.

What can you do when you’re a musical couple, such as Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler of Ash, that isn’t as twee as sending a joint Christmas card to your friends and family? You release an entire joint Christmas album of course. This upbeat cut sounds like a forgotten Beach Boys b-side, and despite the fact they may be singing about escaping some of the more traditional elements of Christmas it’s a wonderful way of introducing some festive cheer to your playlist. The Hives & Cyndi Lauper – A Christmas Duel

Skindred – Jungle Bells Anyone familiar with Welsh ragga-metal act Skindred will probably be amused by this song released on a seasonal compilation album back in 2005, while others may be left scratching their heads at the bizarre fusion of styles. The song starts with a mangled version of ‘Jingle Bells’ while lead singer Benji Webbe chatters over the top, it sounds like something you might hear coming from a novelty Christmas decoration. You know the kind, gaudy foot-tall Santa with some kind of rubbish motor to make it gyrate in a clunky fashion. It does get much better from that point though, and there’s no denying it’s a good fun listen.


Features

features@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

to Freshen Your Seasonal Playlist Lemmy Kilmister, Billy Gibbons & Dave Grohl – Run, Rudolph, Run

Blakfish – Missing You (The True Meaning of Christmas)

Thus far I’ve tried to steer this list away from covers but the original Chuck Berry song isn’t one that generally gets regularly played, and the sheer musical talent in this group is too much to ignore. The band is formed of mutton-chopped, gravel-throated Lemmy of Motӧrhead fame, Billy Gibbons (one of the humans beneath the beards of ZZ Topp) and all round legend Dave Grohl of Nirvana, Foo Fighters and many more. This straight-up rock ‘n’ roll tune is probably what Santa himself sings as he belts across the sky on Christmas Eve; this version made all the more Christmassy by the fact that Lemmy already sounds as if he’s already had one too many eggnogs as he slurs his way through the entire song. Excellent.

Brummie four piece Blakfish known for their vocal harmonies and math-rock style released this free download in 2009 just for fun. Despite some decidedly dodgy singing and a key change that would make even a Eurovision entrant cringe, the multiple lyrical nods to classic Christmas songs and catchy hooks (not to mention the fact they’re clearly enjoying themselves a great deal) make this essential listening. Although now sadly defunct, with 3/4 of the band now in &U&I and lead singer Sam Manville now in Hymns, the song is still available for free from a dedicated part of their old website.

#Tags – Christmas (I’m Not the One You Want) Local boys and The Edge favourites #Tags brought this one out last year and it’s an absolute cracker, pun completely intended. Tongue in cheek lyrics about having to return a lover’s unwanted Christmas gift start off the song before giving way to an incredibly catchy chorus that you’ll no doubt be humming all year round. A little warning though, the song does contain more than twice the daily recommended allowance of cowbell so not advised for those highly allergic to funk.

The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) Often unfairly forgotten or overlooked as a novelty band, people tend to forget what a creative powerhouse Justin Hawkins and co. can truly be. Their trademark over-the-top style works wonders for this offering, with not one but two guitar solos and an entire school choir involved. Possibly more well known than most mentioned here but no list would truly be complete without it.

Eels – Christmas is Going to the Dogs Eels have found a musical niche with this track to say the least, a Christmas song from the perspective of one of our canine companions. “We’d rather have chew toys than Yule logs” sings Mark Oliver Everett in the chorus, and why question the strangeness of that statement when you can just sit back and enjoy this wonderfully jaunty number?

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Features

features@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

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“I looked at horses but they don’t do much” An Interview with Joshua James

As the final UK tour date promoting his new album From The Top Of Willamette Mountain nears, we talk to Joshua James about ghost hunting, the album making process, culture, and even farm life. First things first; What’s the tour been like so far? The tour’s been great so far! I mean really, really great crowds, good sales of merchandise, the people seem to like the new record and the new songs, and the travel’s been really easy in comparison to what we’re used to in the states, which is long drives. The drives are shorter than what we’re used to, so in that sense it’s been really great, and good crowds, it’s been fun. We’ve seen parts of the world we’ve never seen before. You’ve been doing a lot of couchsurfing, how’s that been? Yeah for the most part, we’ve stayed in a hotel three, maybe four nights. I love couchsurfing. I love meeting people from the area to show us around. Sometimes we show up really late after the show and have to leave at noon, one, two-ish so don’t see as much of the town as we’d hoped, but I just like that interaction so much better than a hotel. Hotels are just very depressing for me, so in that sense I always love couch surfing so it’s all good..

I read on your blog that one of the first nights here you were staying in a place with ghosts. Did you encounter any in the end? Oh yeah we went ghost hunting in Stockton-onTees! It was great, we were up really late. Uh, I didn’t feel any ghosts, didn’t see any ghosts, didn’t hear any ghosts, but it was an eventful night, our drummer hurt his hand that night and it stretched out for the whole tour, and it was kind of the kick-off couch surfing experience of the tour. Our couchsurfer host Heather, in Darlington, was really kind. It was a really great stay, nice and warm and she was very accommodating. But no, I didn’t see any ghosts. How do you guys find walking around in this kind of a society? Like the culture clash. It’s easy to get along with people, but there are obvious intricacies. Obviously the accent barrier can be intense sometimes, I found that more in Ireland than anywhere else. Especially when we went to Belfast, there were a couple of people after the show that I literally could not understand what they were saying to me. So that was a little hard, but apart from that, culturally speaking I feel like people we have associated with have been kind good people. It hasn’t been a hard adjustment for me at all. I feel like we’re the five guys travelling with easy going, easily compatible individuals so it hasn’t been that crazy. It’s more the landscape, the structures and


Features

features@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

the towns are so different to what I’m used to in Utah and the mid-west. It’s been great. So is this the first time you guys came to Europe? Me and Evan have actually been to London one time for 2 weeks or so, but never really toured the UK, this is our first UK tour. How about the rest of Europe? Never. This is our first time out of the US that is ‘touring’, we’ve played Canada a few times here and there, but never really ‘toured’ anywhere other than the US. On ‘Willamette Mountain’, I guess you drew quite a bit of inspiration from the landscape. Are they any key differences in inspiration for this album and your previous? I felt that although there are still those dark undertones, especially in the lyrics, it does seem a lot more upbeat. Yeah it does seem more upbeat, a little more happy maybe. I think that I was just in a different place when I wrote songs for this record than during the time I wrote songs for the old record. I wonder if I was trying so hard to paint a specific portrait of a theme. With this new record I kind of let the songs live how they were written, I let them be produced how Richard [Swift] wanted to produce them. It was just a more natural process than slaving and tiring over a song, which in my opinion can be a bad thing for a song. You mean to make it sound a certain way? Yeah, you have a certain mission for it and you try so hard to accomplish it, and it’s not really working but you still just push it to that place maybe it was never meant to go. With these songs it was such a quick thing. We recorded the song in such a fast manner that that’s it, that was the song, move onto the next. It was a different process than I’ve

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ever worked with in the past, and I liked it. I prefer it to the way I’ve done in the past, which is, like I said, slaving over it. Overthinking it often times. Overdubbing so many… whether it’s vocals, guitars, percussion, whatever the case is. So you much prefer the straight take approach? As it sounds more natural? Yeah, here’s the song, put a couple things on it, let it live, you know? You mentioned Richard Swift what was it like working with him? He’s the current keyboardist of The Shins, a Singer/songwriter, and produced a bit before as well. It was great, I mean it was amazing working with him. He’s kind of a force unto himself. He does what he does. He hears things a certain way. He’s very particular about how he wants things, but it was awesome because I feel like I’m the same way with records I produce. It was nice to let him take the reins and take control over it. In that sense I loved working with Swift, it was a really fun time Franklin & James have just finished so I don’t want to keep you much longer. I’ve got a small question: If you could have any one animal to add for your farm, what would it be? Any animal in the world. If I had a bigger farm… we looked at alpacas. I looked at horses but they don’t do much. Alpacas would be really fun. I’d probably say alpacas. Like beautiful llamas! Yeah, and they don’t spit at you! But even then, in comparison to goats, when I went and looked at alpacas with my wife on my birthday, they don’t want a relationship with you. Goats want a relationship with you. That’s what I think I like about goats so much. Like dogs and cats, they want a relationship with you. But alpacas would be fun in that you can shear them and spin the wool, we took a spinning wheel class, my wife does it a lot more than I do, but she spins wool and we knit hot pads. To be honest, what we have now is probably more than enough. The five ladies in the goat area, they have three kids, so we have eight goats living with us right now. It’s a lot to take care of. My lady back home, when I’m doing my fantastical music journey, she has to take care of it all; milk the goats, feed the chickens, pluck the eggs. Tom Saunderson and Jan Kobal


Film

film@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

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The Twilight Saga:

Breaking Dawn Part 2

Fangs for the memories By Barnaby Walter, Film Editor. I am aware I was one of the voices in the shrill chorus of hate that greeted the first part of this two-part Twilight finale. And I do not regret that. It was one of the worst films of 2011. But while Part 2 isn’t exactly one of the best of 2012, it is still a standout entry in the series. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (to give it its full, verbose title) is a very good picture – a strong, confident and very entertaining finale to a franchise that has been far more interesting and diverse than many people would like to admit. This film opens up with an beautiful opening title sequence set to a lush rearrangement of the many music themes the series has had. We are then thrown into the new world that Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart, better than usual) – or, as we should say, Bella Cullen – is now inhabiting. She is a vampire and is enjoying her newfound strength and speed, and having sex with her husband Edward (the ever dreamy Robert Pattinson). Meanwhile, her school crush, the wolf boy Jacob, is attracted to her toddler daughter (who is half human, half vampire). He has formed an attachment with Renesmee (I know, what a name) that will become sexual when she reaches adulthood (which isn’t as far off as it seems, since she grows at an alarming rate). But all is not sound in love and vamps. The Volturi – a sort of vampire government – mistakenly believe the Cullen family have illegally turned a child into

a vampire, so they start their march to dole out punishment. To stand up to them, the Cullens join forces with their wolf mates (Jacob’s family and friends) and gather their relatives from abroad. The threat of violence hangs in the air, and when the Volturi arrive, headed by the creepy Michael Sheen and icy Dakota Fanning, things do get a little explosive. Bill Condon made a wreck of Breaking Dawn Part 1, but here he directs with an assured hand. The highlight of the film is a brilliantly handled and very audacious twist. I won’t give it away, but if you haven’t read Stephanie Meyer’s novel upon which the film is based, you’re in for a real punch in the stomach when it’s revealed. In some scenes the comedy works (a high point is a surprisingly homoerotic scene between Bella’s dad and a naked Jacob), but in others it makes some of the serious scenes unintentionally hilarious. But unlike last year’s offering, this doesn’t derail the film as a whole. I make no apologies for singing the praises of this film. It’s fast paced, exciting and ends the series on a warm note which should send all Twihards home safe in the knowledge that their favourite book series ended on a big screen high. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it’s made for a specific audience, and it’s clearly done with love, hard work, and comes off very well indeed.

Directed by Bill Condon. Distributed by Entertainment One. Certificate 12A. In Cinemas Now.


Film

film@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

FILM OF THE MONTH

The Master

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FILM OF THE MONTH

There will be fuss By Ben Soper. Paul Thomas Anderson is a directors’ director, who, for the past fifteen years or so has been writing and directing the films he wants to make. These films don’t comply with a specific genre and this is what makes his films so polarising amongst viewers. Starring Joaquin Phoenix and a regular collaborator of Anderson’s, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master is an interesting portrayal of human submissiveness and group paranoia. Naval Veteran and sex-obsessed drifter, Freddie Quell (Phoenix) after returning from the war with post traumatic stress disorder, is uncertain of his future, this is until he is tempted by The Cause and its charismatic leader, Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman). It is the interaction and relationship between these two characters that’s at the heart of the film, which at the same time also has you questioning the mental states of both characters. Through Hoffman’s unsettling but subtle role as a cult leader, it is his character who always has the mental edge over Phoenix’s Quell. When the camera is on Hoffman he exudes impressive confidence, but underneath this exterior is an unsettling and manipulative performance which will have you squirming in your seat. Phoenix on the other hand plays his hooch-swilling role with a Marlon Brandoesque broodiness, which at any point could crack into a fist fight - it really is nice to see him back

on form. However, it’s Amy Adams’ performance in particular which really caught my attention. She plays Dodd’s devoted wife. Hoffman’s character is manipulated and twisted by Adams’ hard no nonsense exterior so much, you get the sense that she calls the shots; an out of character performance to which acclaim should be lauded. From a directorial standpoint, the film looks beautiful: everything from landscape shots to simple dialogue sequences jump right off the screen and this is indebted to the cinematography of Mihai Malaimare Jr. and Anderson’s use of celluloid film and not digital. Jonny Greenwood’s score is chilling, offsetting and obvious in a good way, matching the mood and strange nature of the events unfolding on the screen. However, this strange mood coupled with the films low-narrative drive makes The Master one of Anderson’s least accessible films, so for newcomers and even for fans the film will split opinion. What The Master does offer however is fantastic central performances from the cast, an incredibly interesting look into group, family-like behaviour and the paranoia involved with that, but most of all, mental health - most specifically the mental health of troops after World War II. This is not Paul Thomas Anderson’s best film by any stretch and it will have people walking out of cinemas, but I myself left the cinema baffled as well as impressed, my expectations met.

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Distributed by Entertainment. Certificate 15. In Cinemas Now.


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Sightseers

Bloody English Countryside By Barnaby Walter. Ben Wheatley’s film Kill List won him critical praise and attention. I quite liked it, but felt that in its attempt to be shocking and different it lost control and sacrificed its own intelligence for weird scares. Sightseers, Wheatley’s latest, is an offbeat, amiably dark comedy about a couple in their thirties who go off to see rural England in their mobile campervan. Tina (Alice Lowe) is in her mid-thirties and is still living at home with her mum. Her dog died the year before (in bizarre and hilarious circumstances) and her mother has never quite forgiven her. But things look a bit better for Tina when she falls in love with Chris (Steve Oram) who whisks her off on a romantic tour around Worcestershire. When a guy drops a Cornetto wrapper during a ride at a tram museum, Chris becomes upset. How could someone do something like that? So when he is reversing the car and campervan out of the carpark, he “accidentally” squashes the bloke under his many wheels. This gives way to a series of murders the couple commit, with Tina trying to work out where she stands on the whole thing. At one point she muses about the difficulties of killing people, and Steve, who is dragging the mangled body of a man he has just smashed into a rock, responds ‘He’s not a human being, he’s a Daily Mail reader’.

It’s a more disciplined picture than Kill List and Wheatley’s debut Down Terrace. The plotting is tighter, the comedy hits more than it misses, and the darker side of the humour has all the more impact because of it. Some have compared Sightseers to Terrance Malick’s film Badlands, and although Wheatley’s style is obviously very different, there is something true about this comparison. Both films contain lost souls who arguably find purpose in killing. They are also both romances, and the love Tina feels for Steve is played out rather beautifully. One could envisage difficulties in making a film that involves its audience connecting with serial killers, but the script (written by the two leads) intelligently makes sure we are both unsettled by our knitwear-clad killers and drawn to them. If watching Kill List was, as Tim Robey in the Telegraph commented, like having your head shoved down a rabbit hole, Sightseers feels like a tour around a bloodied wonderland by two very mad hatters. The premise is stretched to its limits, even if the film is only 88 minutes long, but for the majority of its running time it is a funny and memorable reminder of how twisted British comedy can get.

Directed by Ben Wheatley. Distributed by StudioCanal. Certificate 15. In Cinemas Now.


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Here Comes The Boom

Funny and surprisingly violent By Kat Mortram. Directed by Frank Coraci, who last worked with James in Zookeeper, this sports comedy shows us a school teacher who must save the music program and his friend’s job by raising $48,000 and the easiest way to do this is by professionally fighting. The plot shows us how he builds himself up to reach this goal and how many friends he helps and makes along the way, and ultimately becoming the hero to all. Despite its 12A certificate, the fight scenes in this film are particularly graphic, especially in the final fight where moments of James being thrashed and beaten senseless made me wince and avert my eyes as the blows kept coming. He even

Blu-ray & DVD Review

throws up after his first win, in the face of his opponent. I admit this was hilarious, but difficult to watch. Throughout the film there are quips and jokes which keep the audience entertained and it balances this with more serious moments. Overall, the film is unfortunately corny in places and unnecessarily vivid in its violence in others, as well as having a weak plot; simply to raise money to save the school. It is successful, however, in entertaining and one James should be proud of, considering the film’s weaknesses. Directed by Frank Coraci. Distributed by Sony Pictures. Certificate 12A. In Cinemas Now.

by Barnaby Walter

Brave This is a sweet little picture set in glorious Scotland about a young Princess who doesn’t want to be forced into an arranged marriage. Her mother, the Queen, tells her that she must marry one of the suitors from three local families. None of them appeal to her. She is more interested in practicing her already superb skills at archery. In a fit of rebellion, she pays a witch to put an enchantment on her mum – a choice that, as any self-respecting Disney viewer will know, will have disastrous consequences. Although I don’t think it will go down as a Pixar classic, this is still an immensely enjoyable treat, and features some stellar voice talents including Kelly McDonald as our feisty heroine, and Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly as her parents. Brave is gentle, well-made and very enjoyable. Various directors. Disney. Certificate U. Out Now.


Film

film@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

Archive Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Have a very scary Christmas By George Doel. Tim Burton’s (although directed by Henry Selick) film The Nightmare Before Christmas, released in 1993, is the ultimate Christmas film and arguably his greatest piece of work. Christmas films come and go, some favourites include Home Alone, Die Hard, Gremlins, and The Santa Clause, but only a few stay with you after the final credits. Nightmare is one of those films. Set in the fictional world of Halloween town, the film follows the character of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, who every Halloween scares children in the real world to celebrate the festival. However, Jack becomes tired of this yearly endeavour and upon discovering Christmas Town, falls in love with the holiday and decides to turn his attentions to this instead, usurping the role of Santa Claus to disastrous consequences. What insues if the perfect mix of children’s horror and Christmas cheer. The stop-motion animation is a delight to watch, as Halloween Town is brought to life, which is both enchanting and haunting at the same time. Jack’s role as both protagonist and antagonist is believable and his child-like naivety makes him one of my favourite children’s films characters. His figure is imposing yet delicate, scary yet wonderful.

Whilst many people may be turned off at the idea of a musical, the film seamlessly moves from witty dialogue into song. The music is just as evocative as the images and the songs will be in your head days after you’ve watched it. You won’t find the Boogeyman singing a blues-styled song to Santa Clause anywhere else. All the characters, although obviously grown out of children’s nightmares, are endearing and are wonderful to behold. As all good children’s films should, Nightmare is for the adults as much as it is for the children. Whilst the kids will be in awe and inspired by the world in front of them, adults can enjoy the comedy and marvel at the magnificent animations. With more charm than Edward Scissorhands and more substance than Corpse Bride, Nightmare really is Burton’s masterpiece. Many films may come close to having that key Christmas moment. From Die Hard (Yippee ki yay mother f****r and ‘Now I have a machine gun’) and the The Snowman (With its iconic coundtrack), to It’s A Wonderful Life (The Bridge scene we all know) and Love Actually (Lincoln and Knightley with those cue cards). However, Nightmare has the whole package. Fun, scary, and beautifully made. A true masterpiece.

Directed by Henry Selick. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios. Certificate PG. On blu-ray and DVD now.

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Culture

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Taken Too Soon TV: Part 2 Following on from the last article on TV shows that were taken too soon, here is another take on the shows that should still be gracing our TV screens. Featured in this part is a one season wonder and Joss Whedon's best creation of all time - I hope you all agree with me on that one. From one season to seven, these shows are incredibly different but are similar in that they faced the axe way before their time, especially the first one: Flashforward  Adapted from a novel from Robert J. Sawyer,  Flashforward  follows a number of people in the aftermath of a physic event. Everyone on the planet blacks out for two minutes and seventeen seconds, where they dream of where they will be in six months time. The series focuses on the main characters, namely Joseph Fienne's Mark Benford, as they try to prevent the future they have  foreseen.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer One of the greatest shows of all time. Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the biggest francises in TV history - with novels, video games, comics and a spin-off series in  Angel.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the film, came out in 1992 and was written by Whedon. He felt the film was crafted in a different way than he intended so aimed to rectify this with the TV show that started four years later, in 1997. Buffy Summers is the vampire slayer that must go through the obstacles every teenager faces whilst defeating vampires, demons and the 'Big Bad' every season. To put a long story short, the show was amazing: the writing was hilarious, the cast were superb and it was groundbreaking in its approach to vampires, high school and the female action hero. The show's fanbase was, and still is, huge, with the show gaining an average of 6 million viewers per episode. In 2003, we were left without the Scooby Gang as the show was taken off the air. The show was not actually cancelled by its network, the cast and crew decided it was the right time to finish after seven seasons. The story decided to carry on a Season 8 in comic form by Dark Horse Comics. Cally Beckley.

The plot was intriguing, albeit ridiculously farfetched but the twists and turns always kept you on the edge of your seat, willing the characters to alter their fate. However, some didn't feel the same as the show was cancelled by ABS after just one season. It gained mixed reviews and was struggling with its American audience, even though internationally it was a big hit. Facebooks groups were made against the cancellation to no avail as the show was officially taken off the air in May 2010, after only 22 episodes.


Culture

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culture@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

Performing Arts Curtain Call Nominations Hailed as the ‘Oscars of the South’, the Daily Echo’s Curtain Call gives out numerous awards every year for the best in amateur dramatics. This year sees SUSU’s Performing Arts being rewarded with an astounding 15 nominations. Congratulations to all the nominees from everyone at The Edge, we wish you all the best of luck on the 25th January. Here are the nominations. Best Newcomer Alexander Curtis, Samuel Dobson and Joel Jackon – Theatre Group’s Vindice

Best Director of a Musical or Opera Alex Bowen – Spring Awakening

Best Choreographer Vicky Caves and Sev Goddard – Showstoppers’ The Wedding Singer

Best Actor in a Shakespeare Play Cam Bevan – Theatre Group’s Macbeth

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical Mark Hill – Showstoppers’ Spring Awakening

Best Actress in a Shakespeare Play Emma Real-Davies – Macbeth

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Stephanie Amies – Spring Awakening

Best Supporting Actor in a Shakespeare Play Jez Roberts – Macbeth

Best Musical or Opera Showstoppers’ Spring Awakening

Best Director of a Shakespeare Play Alex Bray – Macbeth

Best Musical Director Alex Clements – Spring Awakening ‘We are ecstatic at today’s nominations from the Daily Echo Curtain Call Awards. We are really proud that the hard work Performing Arts members put into their shows is being rewarded. It is an exciting time for the PA and we wish all individuals and production teams the best of luck.’ Performing Arts Officers 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 Best Actor in a Musical Toby Hasler-Winter – The Wedding Singer Jez Roberts – Spring Awakening Best Actress in a Musical Emma Bryant – Showstoppers’ Sunday in the Park with George

Production Of The Year Showstoppers’ Spring Awakening Photo by Jon Haines


Culture

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Our Boys at the Duchess Theatre Emily Peters shares her views on Our Boys from the Duchess Theatre

It’s not often that I feel the need to well up in public, but I couldn’t help myself in the closing scenes of Jonathan Lewis’ play, Our Boys, last weekend. The play considers both the physical and psychological impact of life in the armed forces, and unsurprisingly struck a chord with its Remembrance weekend audiences. Although originally produced in 1993 and set against a backdrop of the Northern Ireland Troubles, Our Boys is far from limited to its context, and translates well to a contemporary audience. Based largely on Lewis’ own experiences, the play narrates the stories of five servicemen and one Potential Officer whose lives have been severely altered by their time “in the field”. As the play progresses, it becomes apparent that for many soldiers, the emotional impact of service runs deeper than any physical wound. The play boasts a stellar cast, including Lewis’s Laurence Fox, Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill and Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis. But if you’re expecting to encounter a Neville Longbottom or a Rory Williams in this play, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Darvill plays a highly convincing East End soldier with a chip on his shoulder, and whilst Lewis’ character shares Longbottom’s naivety, that’s just about all they have in common. The play marks Matthew Lewis’ West End debut and he rises to the challenge with humour

and conviction. Even Fox leaves behind his usual middle-class role, instead portraying a West Country Casanova with a traumatic past. But these wellknown faces certainly don’t overshadow the rest of the cast: Lewis Reeves, Jolyon Coy and Cian Barry. Like Lewis, Reeves makes an excellent West End debut with his portrayal of Ian, a soldier recovering from a gunshot wound to the head. The progression of Ian’s character is something to look out for, with Reeves essentially playing two characters: the Ian before recovery and the Ian afterwards. The entire play is set in a single bay of the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital in Woolwich, in the spring of 1984. Changes in setting are not felt to be missing however, and scene changes add to the authenticity of the play, with stagehands dressed as hospital orderlies. Therefore, much like the characters, the audience never leaves the hospital, allowing Lewis to fully put across the physical and emotional entrapment of his characters. Undoubtedly, the play is one of extremes, switching between light and shade in a matter of seconds. Fox’s character, Joe, is perhaps the best example. Whilst Joe might seem the most ‘together’ of all the characters, an intriguing twist allows Fox to flip the character on its head in the play’s final moments. Like


Culture

culture@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

Joe, Cian Barry’s character, Keith, also encapsulates these two extremes. Barry’s portrayal of Keith’s humour is faultless and his delivery of lines such as: “Apparently those disabled parking tickets are like gold dust”, will definitely tickle your funny bone. But beneath all the military banter there’s an unsettling seriousness that gains momentum as the play progresses. For me, Barry’s ability to switch from humour to vulnerability, to portray light and dark

side by side, captured the essence of the whole play. Our Boys might not be the most polished piece of theatre, but it unquestionably portrays the nitty-gritty of life in the armed forces. Both poignant and comical, Our Boys is a fresh and inspiring play with a highly convincing and sympathetic cast. You can catch the show at the Duchess Theatre until the 15th December.

Coming Up in Performing Arts SUBB Christmas Concert - 2nd December Theatre Group Comedy of Errors - 5th to the 8th December SUStrings Christmas Concert - 8th December SUSingers & SWO Joint Winter Concert 2012 - 8th December Concert Band Winter Wonderband: A Concert Band Christmas - 9th December Chamber Choir Winter Concert - 9th December StageSoc StageSoc do Panto 3 - 11th December

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Live

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Preview: Foals at the Cellar, (6/12/12) George Doel explains how the Foals gig later this year is not one to miss. The indie quintet from Oxford, famous for tracks such as ‘Hummer’ and ‘Cassius’ are back with a new tour to coincide with the release of their third studio album, Holy Fire, due to be released February 2013. Going for a more intimate setting whilst trying out their new material, this is a great chance to catch the band when they play at The Cellar on the 6th December. Their previous two albums, Antidote and Total Life Forever,

achieved both critical acclaim and chart success, the latter of the two was even nominated for the Mercury Prize, although beaten by The xx’s debut album. Playing a range of old classics and new material, this is a great chance to see one of Britain’s most exciting bands play on a small scale. From the upbeat ‘Baloons’ and ‘Mathletics’ to the more chilled ‘Spanish Sahara’ and ‘Blue Blood’, this is not a gig you’ll want to miss.

Lucy Rose at The Joiners (15/11/12) Lydia Cialis went along to The Joiners to catch Lucy Rose on her latest UK tour. On the twentieth night of her tour, Lucy Rose’s gig at The Joiners was “the one with the most character”. Despite a few technical issues that were not-so-subtly glossed over and a glitch resulting in Lucy Rose cleverly transposing the guitar part as she went, the night was a success. Lucy Rose then fought her way through the crowd to the stage. ‘First’, the appropriate first song of the set, showed off her sweet vocals and vulnerability. For anyone in the crowd unfamiliar with Lucy Rose’s music, there is no doubt that she won them over from the start. Lucy Rose and her

band played the familiar favourite ‘Night Bus’ and songs from the new album Like I Used To, including ‘Shiver’ and ‘Place’. The latter, with its alternating acoustic verse and loud chorus, enabled the band to really let go without overshadowing the singer. From first seeing her live at Bombay Bicycle Club’s 2011 gig at the Guildhall, it is clear she has come a long way. Lucy Rose seemed comfortable with the audience, stating she felt like she was singing to family and friends. She was so comfortable in fact, that in response to a fan’s cry of “you’re amazing”, Lucy Rose admitted she was “just winging it”. She went on to sing a couple of new songs. ‘The Fire’ was among the best, played acoustically and sung beautifully. In Lucy Rose’s typically shy and self-conscious way, we were warned that it might not sound very good due to “the guitar always sounding out of tune”. However, the performance went without a hitch. At the end of the gig, Lucy Rose met fans and sold unorthodox merchandise such as jam and tea. Throughout the show, it was clear that she really appreciates how lucky she is to do what she’s doing.


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Mumford and Sons at Portsmouth Guildhall (22/11/12) Mumford and Son’s Portsmouth leg of their ‘Gentlemen of the Road’ tour can be summarised by the atmosphere in the venue just before they came on. The Guildhall was buzzing with excited fans from every age group. The venue was the place to be, with its intimate nature really emphasising how big the band have become. Judging by the reaction to this gig, it doesn’t seem likely that there will be many more, if any, opportunities, to see Mumford anywhere smaller than a stadium after this tour. Support act Dawes ran a competent set in a similar folkesque vein to Mumford. Often, the band’s songs fell straight into the middle lane, with lyrics that ranged from the nostalgic and cliché to the frankly cringe: “It’s a little bit of everything” fired out the devastating couplet of “So pile on those mashed potatoes, And an extra chicken wing.” Despite this, the band often came into their own, and seemed deserving of the golden support slot that many bands would kill for, for example, the philosophically driven ‘When my time comes’ was sublime, and its combination of a sing along chorus with smart lyrics was received rapturously by the audience. The first hour of Mumford’s set was packed full of hits; the band storming through Babel, ‘I Will Wait’ and ‘Winter Winds’ within the first four songs. The variety of high-quality album tracks that the band possess in their canon were played with such passion and perfection that the high spirits never faltered. Along with established tracks such as ‘Little Lion Man’ and ‘Dust Bowl Dance’, a notable highlight was new track

‘Broken Crown’, with its menacing lyrics and instrumentation silencing the, often annoyingly talkative, audience. As a band, Mumford and Sons held the stage well, not over performing to, but at same time not ignoring, their audience. Marcus Mumford’s vocals were crisp and, to quote

“A near perfect performance...their live gigs will always be a treat” the middle-aged woman stood next to me, “just like the record”. It’s a testament to the band that they didn’t have to rely on onstage trickery to engage their audience; the subtly decorated stage with light bulbs and candles worked well as an accompanying background to the music rather

than distracting one from it. The band came back to play a two song encore of ‘Sigh No More’ and ‘The Cave’. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the night. Support Band Dawes and the ‘comedian’ Piff the Magic Dragon also came on at some point, successfully setting the world record for most on-stage plaid. Overall, this was a near-perfect performance from a band who should be recognised for still playing such intimate English venues when their new album sold 600,000 copies within its first week of American release. As long as the band continues to create engaging, anthemic songs, their live gigs will always be a treat, this show being the proof of that. Dan Flynn


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live@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

Preview: Spoken Word Tour: Scroobius Pip at the Cellar (12/12/12)

Maxïmo Park opened, unusually, with a slower track ‘When I Was Wild’ - the first track off their fourth album, The National Health - before breaking out in to the albums’ title track. Within a minute of the track, frontman Paul Smith had jumped, bounded and scissor kicked his way in to the audiences’ good graces. When the opening riffs of ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ where heard by the audience, the entire gig kicked in to the next gear which resulted in the crowd just as enthusiastically jumping around as the band themselves. There were, however, more sedate moments in the set - all of which came from when Maxïmo Park played their newer material. Despite the newer songs still having the same energy and translating just as well live - the fantastic ‘Hips and Lips’ with its’ slithering beat and powerful chorus failed to provoke half as much of a reaction as it should. But the band didn’t let this deter them and gave these tracks just as much energy and enthusiasm as the rest—and one day you can tell the crowd will give these tracks the same reception they give to the older material. Another highlight was, of course, ‘Going Missing’ given my attachment to the song and I was happy to find that they did not disappoint in the slightest. The staggering 23 song setlist finished up with the fantastic ‘Our Velocity’ which was the best closer they could’ve chosen as not only was it perfectly executed, it had the crowd giving every last bit of energy they had. Overall Maxïmo Park proved exactly why they haven’t fizzled in to the indie-generation obscurity like some of their peers. Nátt Day

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Megan Downing enthuses over Pip’s next UK tour where he is hanging up the guitars and drums and stripping it back to basics. Gone are the days where you would only hear about Scroobius Pip as one half of a duo. After embarking on a string of festival performances to play his solo album Distraction Pieces, with a full band, merging the elements of spoken word with a punk-rock performance he is back to what he is perhaps best known for, his spoken word. Scroobius Pip is a poet. A talented one at that and despite his excellent performances at festivals this summer, it will be great to see him back in the smaller venues. His unfailing wit and charismatic stage persona is something that makes him all the more entertaining. He is playing at the Cellar in Southampton on 12th December. Make sure you buy a ticket and at only £10 you'll be mad to miss it!

Maximo Park at Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth (10/11/12)


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Rizzle Kicks at the Guildhall (9/11/12)

Megan Downing went along to Southampton’s Guildhall to watch Rizzle Kicks. It appears the novelty of the two likely lads is wearing thin. Having nearly forgotten about the gig, I reluctantly dragged myself down to the Guildhall to see Jordan Stephens and Harley Alexander-Sule; the duo that make up Rizzle Kicks. Unfortunately I missed both the support acts, Little Nikki and Mikill Pain but heard good things from those stood around me. Both of my previous experiences with Rizzle Kicks have come from festivals; Radio1’s Hackney Weekend and Bestival. The two lads bounded on stage with so much energy I was wondering if they would (and if they physically could) maintain this throughout their set. If i’m perfectly honest I found the set exceedingly average. This isn’t due to a lack of talent I just feel that Stereo Typical has run it’s course and having seen a pretty much identical set twice before I found myself getting bored and thinking I could simply listen to the album back in the comfort of my own home. Having said this there were some distinct benefits from seeing them live. For example their trumpet player was extraordinary and really enhanced the songs. At times he would play jazz solos where the boys would just dance around. I definitely appreciated him as a musician. Other touches were the 007 theme tune they like to throw into their set as well as a version of the Beastie Boys classic

‘(You gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)’. Another element that I hadn’t seen before was there version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘You Need Me I Don’t Need You’. The audience was made up of children and their parents. I was in fact the tallest within my initial surroundings, at 5ft2 this is a very rare occurrence at gigs. Having said this it was good to see young people going out to see live music and I’m glad Rizzle Kicks have influenced this, if this means that in the future they will spend their money seeing local bands then I can’t complain. Their set included most of their songs from their debut album Stereo Typical including hits such as Fat Boy Slim produced ‘Mama Do The Hump’ which received unanimous praise from the crowd, and their latest single ‘Dreamers’. I definitely enjoyed their live performance of ‘Prophet’, I have to admit to it being one of my most played songs on iTunes. They also played a brand new track entitled ‘That’s Classic’; from a first listen I was relatively impressed. Overall I felt that it wasn’t a complete waste of my time yet I can’t admit to being blown away by the boys. I’m afraid the novelty of Rizzle Kicks has worn off. Lets hope album number two will reignite the fire for them.


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live@theedgesusu.co.uk theedgesusu.co.uk - Issue 11 - December 2012

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Jake Bugg at the Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth (12/11/12) Dan Flynn went to see the UK’s most talked about newcomer to see what the hype is all about. When I was 18, I divided my time fairly evenly between being an awkward bastard, revising for my A-levels, and thinking that being able to legally drink alcohol was absolutely mental. This is why, when Jake Bugg stood before me performing a perfect rendition of his hit ‘Two Fingers’ just two songs into his set, despite only just being able to legally buy a pack of fags, I stood there thinking to myself ‘you need to sort it out Dan, first Bieber, now this. That ground breaking concept album that you definitely could make if you wanted to isn’t going to write itself’. But then something happened; I just couldn’t get the word ‘overrated’ out of my mind. Findlay were supporting, who were great. The audience were captivated from the offset with the band’s pitch perfect vocals and blend of fast tunes reminiscent of The Black Keys, with slower Amy Winehouse-esque (yeah, I said it) numbers. Despite the instrumentation being undeniably stellar throughout, it was the vocals and stage presence of the band’s female lead singer that impressed me the most. There is no way, that the impressive aesthetic attributes of said lead singer have influenced the positivity of this review at all, no way at all. So this brings us back to the main act. Jack Bugg’s entrance was effortlessly nonchalant to say the least and as he coolly sauntered on and grumbled something into the microphone it was disappointing to see that the rude crowd continued to let out a low distracting grumble as he began to play. But it was when he began to play that he got everyone’s’ attention. His unique, Miles Turner (Miles Kane and Alex Turner, (trademark Dan Flynn)) voice was startlingly engaging and his meek, static performing presence only added to the allure. It was the best gig ever, for two songs. Now before it seems like I’m just being controversial and calling him boring, let me restate the age-old mantra that taste in music is subjective; and this gig was subjectively a little bit boring. The acoustic songs that comprised the middle of the gig reminded me of ready salted crisps; fine and impossible to criticise, but bland and shit when you’ve got a pack of Thai Sweet Chilli in your hand (the good songs are Thai Sweet Chilli, by the way). Many songs lacked a necessary individuality that would have prevented them from blending into each other. Unfortunately it often seemed more like I was watching Jake Blunt than Jake Bugg.

Other highlights came in the form of ‘Taste It’ and ‘Seen It All’, both of which held the high level of energy and catchy witticisms found in the instrumentation and lyrics of “Lightning Bolt’; unfortunately such rays of light just made one question the dull fog that surrounded them. Jake Bugg is clearly a very talented person; no 18 year old who can write such insightful lyrics and sing like with a voice that suggests world-weariness well beyond his years could possibly be called anything else. I just feel that as time progresses, so will Bugg; as he learns how to write songs that consistently hit the heights that he only reached with the opening and closing two songs, his gigs will improve too. The gig was like a sandwich with really, really good bread but just cheese in the middle; it needed more bacon and other meats.


monDaY

tues 3

listings

Rhod Gilbert @ Southampton Guildhall

December

Joey Negro @ The Cellar, Southampton

8

Lemar @ O2 Acadmey, Bournemouth

Alaba @ O2 Ac Bourne

Kea @B

sunDaY

saturDaY

Ke$ ‘Warr

tues

monDaY 9

451 @ The Nuffield, Southampton

10

Green ‘¡Tré

will.i.am ‘#willpower’ The Overtones @ Portsmouth Guildhall

Band Of Skulls @ Southampton Guildhall

saturDaY

sunDaY 15

Frequency @ The Union

Ran @ O2 Ac Bourne

monDaY

tues 17

16

Ellie Go @ Southampt Stone Sour @ O2 Academy

saturDaY 22

Music At Christmas: London Show Orchestra @ Portsmouth Guildhall

Davy Jones’ Locker @ The Nuffiled (-29th)

sunDaY

monDaY 23

Dap @ O2 Ac

tues 24


WeDnesDaY

sDaY

$ha rior’

4

ama 3 cademy, emouth

ane BIC

5

6

7

Treasure Island @ The Nuffield (-13th Jan)

Jools Holland @ Portsmouth Guildhall

Seven Psychopaths (15) ‘Momentum Pictures’

Foals @ The Cellar

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

tHursDaY

FriDaY

11

12 Orbital @ O2 Academy, Bournemouth

ncid cadmey, emouth

FriDaY

Rizzle Kicks @ Porthsmouth Guildhall

WeDnesDaY

sDaY

n Day é!’

tHursDaY

The xx @ Portsmouth Guildhall

13

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12A), Warner. Bos

14 Code Name: Geronimo (15), Studio Canal

Nativity @ Southampton Guildhall (-15th)

WeDnesDaY

sDaY

18

tHursDaY 19

FriDaY 20

21

oulding ton Guildhall

ppy cademy

sDaY

25

Nine Black Alps @ Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

Life of Pi (PG), 20th Century Fox

END OF THE WORLD

WeDnesDaY

tHursDaY

FriDaY

26

27

28


The Edge (December 2012)  

Fourth issue of the 12-13 year, featuring Christmas.

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