BEST PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR
9 772489 942003
Issue 7 01
As you can see Trisickle is now available to view online! Which is very exciting! We will be sending a lot of news your way soon. In the meantime I have a couple of positions available within the mag. Have a read and tell your friends. And most off all enjoy Issue 7 of Trisickle. Steph x
Job Vacancies Music Reviews Editor Trisickle is looking for an individual to take on the role of music reviews editor. You will manage a team of writers creating reviews across the magazine and blog. This would suit a student or someone looking for a further foot up the ladder in music journalism. PR contacts arenâ€™t necessary as I will be guiding you and sending on material to get you started. Arts Editor We are also looking for an Arts Editor to take our already amazing arts section to the next level. You will be in charge of a team of writers and illustrators making content for the blog and the magazine. There is artistic opportunity here for someone to take the arts section in a totally different direction may you wish to.
contact email@example.com or visit our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/trisickle
ev olving in the hands o e t ho s
Real culture lives and thrives through that of inclusion, constantly mutating and f new
group 'tri', those who constantly push and witness life's own
freedoms and the ‘sickle’, symbol of mortality, the gnarl some edges mutually felt by a
life's own progressive nature.
The ‘tricycle’, your first set of wheels, good feelings, the discovery of newfound
A paradox of freedoms gained and the danger
Trisickle is an exclusive urban culture lifestyle publication. We are
inspired by art, photography, music, action sports, filming, fashion and street culture. As a brand we represent the national urban community and our publication is the perfect medium for unique and creative members of this community to communicate their talent.
r e g u l a r s pop noodle 22 t r i - f o o l 2 9 mike lebowski 36 playlist 43 acdsleeve f i l m r e v i e w s 5 1 music reviews 61
OXJAM LISTINGS 24 M U S I C A P O C O LY P S E 38 12 Make Sparks Live
Designers Abigail_Latham illustrators Ross Campbell Carlyn williamson Martina Martin Adam Smith Music Writers Nick Sztymiak Alfie gallagher Jack Stoker Maks Andala Connor Oâ€™Brien Chris Popnoodle Matthew Slater Heather Fraser Chris Kelso Other Fraser McPherson Ben Macnair Films Nina Glencross Jillian Dingwall Chris Purnell mike lebowski Christopher Smail Antonia Landi
Te a m
Danny_Jackson Founder Steph_Cosway Editor & Music Editor Sheryl_Findlay Marketing Scott_Johnston Art & Design Head L a u r a _ Tu l l y V i s u a l A r t s E d i t o r Laima_Dance Photo Editor Sergio_Calvo MA Editor
Con t r i b utors
Words Connor Oâ€™Brien Layout Scott Johnston
What designs are you working on right now and in the near future?
Currently Iâ€™m working on an odd selection of products, clothing labels for a guy I did work for a few months ago, packaging for another fella I did work for last years end of year graphics exhibition work, a mix CD/wedding invite combo for a couple getting married in September, a few other slipcases and reorders of past designs.
What has been your favourite thing to work on so far?
Probably the 100th release for Big Scary Monsters, Iâ€™ve been a big fan of the label for the past four years and getting to work with Kev day to day is bizarre, I think I came up with something memorable for it as well.
have to understand I’m happy with the way things are at t h e moment but there’s only so far th e co mp any c a n g o li ke this
(until my hands fall off)
Are there any bands out there that you are particularly keen to work with?
The last release I completed features one of them, Tera Melos, I’ve been a huge fan for years and the promoter of the Birmingham show got in touch if I’d do the packaging for a sampler to be given out to the first 50 people, so I was pretty pleased with that. Other than that bands who’ve shaped what I listen to, do their own thing and don’t care what else is happening on the “scene”, Thrice, Radiohead, Glassjaw, Minus The Bear and The Dillinger Escape plan would be in my top 5.
What labels are you working with at the moment?
Currently doing a few jobs for Walnut Tree Records and a split release from Holy Roar/ BSM, I work with quite a lot of bands who are self releasing as I think I’ve opened a few windows for bands to release their own material in quantities below 500.
Your work load is huge, designing and producing every single case as well as managing orders, the website and various other tasks. How do you cope? It must be amazing seeing your designs sell and having the opportunity to work with bands that you love, how does it feel to be going from an unemployed graduate to having labels and bands asking you to design their packaging?
I’m not too sure, some days are 8am-2am, others there is a bit of a quiet patch so I can catch up on emails, updating the website/ facebook/flickr/tumblr, trying not to lose followers on twitter. I think it’s all about my to-do list making skills, I make at least one everyday, without that I’d forget so much. Having a sleeping pattern is pretty much out of the question, once I get into one I’ll end up having to stay up to the early hours finishing a job, not due to my poor timekeeping, merely because sometimes I take a few too many jobs on which all tend to have roughly the same deadline.
Pretty bizarre, reading about what people say about my work kind of boggles my mind, people saying I’m a “pioneer” and a “packaging guru”, before last year I’d never designed any packaging in my life and hadn’t ever worked with print before, so it’s quite a leap. Some labels have been getting in touch which I couldn’t handle the quantities they’re after which really bugs me, but I don’t want to run before I can walk. I’m quite content with the way things are gradually building up. Although as work builds up and with it being just me handling everything there are some days when I wonder if it’s all worth it and I think back to the year and a half without work, getting turned down for part time work as I have a degree and getting nowhere with design as I have no experience, it puts everything into context.
How do you come up with designs like the BSM 100 release which was ridiculously good, where do you draw your influences from?
With physical music sales dwindling people like yourself are extremely important when it comes to keeping people interested in actually buying a cd rather than just downloading it legally or illegally. How much of a role did this play in influencing you to start designing cd cases?
I realised it needs to be different, there’s no point in making packaging that’s just like anything anyone can get from a variety of manufacturers/websites at a much much cheaper price. I think the key is that most people who buy music physically these days are collectors, you don’t need to buy music, most people won’t listen to music from the physical format, but they still choose to buy it, so you need to make it worth their while really. People will buy digital, that won’t change, people will illegally download, that won’t
A range of places, the double pop out was inspired from waiting for the bill at a family meal and started folding a napkin and pretty much came up with the mechanism there, I couldn’t wait to get home to see if it’d work within the constraints of a CD case, it took a lot of prototyping but I managed to get it to work, it took about four months to develop to manufacture from then. Other areas I look at are other CD/music packaging, thinking about products I’d want to own myself. I also own quite a lot of pop up books, an interest that developed after the first pop up case, there’s so much engineering behind them. A couple of months ago I found out that Matt Reinhart (one of the best paper engineers in the world, who I own quite a few books by) featured me on his blog which was pretty amazing.
change, and I don’t think people who have a huge music collection will just be able to stop buying the physical product. After purchasing cd’s designed by you I feel a little disappointed when a cd arrives packaged in a plastic case with a basic booklet.
Would it be fair to say that the future of cd’s may rely heavily on new and interesting ways of packaging them as it seems people no longer value them the same as say 15 years ago?
I think so, it just needs the bigger music labels to realise this, of course they’re not going to care because they’ll be getting money from digital as well as physical, so it’s down to the independent labels really, who from my experience are all fans of the physical format and don’t want to see it die out, I think another aspect is the CD case on the whole hasn’t changed in almost 30 years.
It’s getting to the stage now that people actually look at me slightly funny when I inform them of a new cd purchase, what would you say to readers who perhaps aren’t exactly supporting the bands they love? I think with small bands who have full time jobs and work tirelessly to try and get music out there which they love and people love, if people can’t spend a tiny amount of their paycheque to help keep a band which they “love” to keep making music, but are willing to go out and waste countless amounts of money on other things then they need to rethink what they’re doing, people will happily spend £40 on a PS3 game or £40+ on a night out, but a tenner for a CD which is timeless is a waste of money? It doesn’t make sense to me, but I realise a lot of people don’t see the need for the physical product.
What do you think you’d be doing right now if you hadn’t started acdsleeve?
I don’t know, and I’m not sure I’d like to know. I couldn’t get a job at a supermarket 2mins from my house with five years experience in retail, so, probably looking for work still, after almost two years of being unemployed motivation was low, even trying to start acdsleeve was a struggle despite being no real overheads, convincing family and people at the jobcentre it could work and could be a way for me to be doing something I want to do.
Where do you see the company in
5 years time?
Bigger, better, more streamline, hopefully not being run from my bedroom, hopefully I’ll have worked with a lot more bands/labels I love. You never know I might have packed it in as running a business isn’t really for me but I’m going with it to see how far it can go, I’d be quite happy just designing the cases and not having to deal with everything else, it might get to that stage though, it’s not even been a year yet so it’s too soon to tell. Ideally I’d be overseeing projects with time to come up with new ideas and exciting custom work, which is something that I can’t do so much anymore as most time is spent sitting at a desk cutting, scoring, folding and gluing. You have to understand I’m happy with the way things are at the moment but there’s only so far the company can go like this (until my hands fall off) so getting things automated is the next real step that Kev and I are looking into currently.
people will happily spend £4 on a PS3 game or £40+ on night out, but a tenner for a CD which is timeless is people will happily spend £40 waste of money? It doesn’t on a PS3 game or £40+ on a make sense night out, but a tenner for a CD which is timeless is a waste of money? It doesn’t make sense
p h o t o s D a n n y Pa y n e
(pronounced alt-j if you want to vocalise it to your friends)
It’s a prematurely chilly evening in Manchester and, as I sit on an uncomfortable picnic bench outside The Deaf Institute, there is a sense of finality in the air. The dubious prospect of a barbeque summer is no longer on anyone’s lips and crisp auburn leaves have begun to adorn paths dappled by the shadows of deciduous trees. August is marching inexorably to a close, bringing with it the inevitable and agonizing end to another disappointing summer, and now is usually the time when I begin to chastise myself for the sunbathed afternoons squandered indoors playing Mario Kart or for wasting potentially productive mornings by sleeping well past noon. Fortunately, I have something to distract me from this cruel Autumnal reality- a band just beginning its lifecycle.
burgeoning and dedicated online fan base and a Radio 1 spot with Huw Peters, to recording at the BBC’s legendary Maida Vale studio, there is a lot of noise around the band with the strange name. Gus tells me, of the Maida Vale session, “It was pretty amazing. We’d just been watching The Horrors doing it last week, and to be in the same place was just quite amazing.”
But ∆ are no strangers to the recording studio environment. As long ago as 2009, they were working in Shoreditch with well-respected Universal procompleted a ducer tremendous set in front of an unusually numerous audience, no one in the band seems fazed in the slightest. “Manchester just gets us,” remarks keyboardist Gus One of the most exciting prospects to emerge Unger-Hamilton after I comment on from the North in recent years, ∆ (prohow the band’s escalating reputation cult nounced alt-j if you want to vocalise it to was reflected in the large crowd out to to your friends, but we’ll get to that later) see them today, but they remain resoarrange. have agreed to do an interview with lute in their modesty. “Tonight was really We take our me. They join me immediately after amazing to play in front of that sort of places, crowdtheir supporting slot for dream pop crowd,” Gwil Sainsbury, guitarist, reing around the favourite, Wild Nothing and, unveals, “but last night in Nottingham we damp bench, roll cigalike myself, the four members of were playing in front of three or four rettes and set up a couple the band, fresh faced and well people.” of mobiles as Dictaphones. We pruned, seem completely at joke about the Casio watches worn ease, and perhaps even Putting aside the apparent lack by everyone around the table, and lead enthusiastic about the of taste in Nottingham, the singer Joe Newman and I compare shitty interview, which momentum ∆ has been phones before starting the interview proper. I imagined would be acquiring in recent months much more diffiis undeniable. From a Despite the fact that they have only minutes ago
praise for the man, “and corded with him. It was in an old abandoned work sumably the studio house over two floors, and he didn’t have a atmosphere for ∆’s I’ll say it again, fuck it: booth and a mixing desk, he just had a comfirst single, ‘Bloodflood’, he’s got a good pair of ears, puter and the instruments, and downwas an altogether more and his ears are really in tune stairs there was a gazebo where you dramatic affair. The track, with our music.” The band’s punctuated by the band’s first encounter with Andrew was could just hang out.” characteristic skittish drums and after a friend introduced them in 2009, and they had an opportunity If a relaxed and unorthominimal, reverberant guitars, has dox recording envisomething of a brooding, slightly to record with him, resulting in the ronment was what menacing tone in its choral chantslow-burning, drum-brushed ballading and gloomy imagery. Scheduled ‘Matilda’. birthed ‘Matfor launch in October, Bloodflood will be ilda,’ then prethe first single released by music magazine/ The good fortune this break afforded Charsporadic distributors, Loud & Quiet and, with them is not overlooked, though. “The lie the B-side of fan-favourite ‘Tessellate’, it’s a amazing thing is,” Gus recalls, “he’s Andrew, reasonable shout that it will prove to be an imthe first producer we’ve ever worked who has portant stepping stone. with, and we just went down there since reand really hit it off with him. located to And it’s about time, too. As, unusually for a band His studio in Shoreditch was Brixton. “He these days, ∆ have been keen to keep a fairly low incredible, we were so survived the riots” profile, allowing their music to speak for themlucky to be able to Joe reassures me, selves before committing to photoshoots and go down and which is a good job, record labels. get a track because his work and resubsequent friendship “I think a lot of bands’ first instinct when they first with the band has proved start recording tracks is to get a MySpace page instrumental in creating the before you’ve really recorded any songs, and that impressive, if still relatively was our instinct, we were by no means different,” minor, catalogue of Gus explains. “But when we changed our name to songs which alt-j we had nothing really to show for it, and are awardstarted looking at our online presence ing the from a different perspective” band de“With the name change,” conserved attentinues Joe, “we had a lot tion. “I always of interest from say this of the industry, Charlie,
”begins Joe, clearly keen to spread
and we were a bit intimidated; flattered but intimidated, because we didn’t feel like we were ready to show anything to the industry. We’ve heard a lot of horror stories, and we know how fickle they can be. We were very, very cautious, and we still are cautious”
caution is, apparently, quite understandable. For such a young band, ∆ have had their fair share of (minor) dramas; from people misunderstanding their artwork (one of the band’s Facebook profile pictures containing a section of Martin Munkacsi’s famous ‘Kinder in einem Feriendorf’ photograph has caused some controversy) to the aforementioned name change. This now infamous incident was the result of confusion with, as well as incessant pressure from, U.S. garage rock band, The Films, who decided that ∆’s initial name, FILMS, was too close to their own, and threatened court action unless it was changed. “Yeah, when we played Live at Leeds, they put a picture of The Films and a biog describing them. But it was all good fun,” laughs Gwil with admirable good humour. Sensing an opportunity to satisfy my own burning curiosity, I ask the inevitable, if slightly rudimentary question about the reoccurring motif of triangles in the band’s artwork, music (“triangles are my favourite shape” is a lyric from ‘Tessellate’) and, most importantly, the new name.
“Well, to be honest when I wrote ‘Tessellate’,” replies Joe, apparently not bored at all with answering a question he must have been asked a hundred times, “it was about 2 years ago, and I just thought, ‘I do like triangles’. It wasn’t until months later that we needed to change the name. It was more of a coincidence than anything premeditated.”
“Yeah, when we were batting new names around, which was a fucking horrible process, because we were very happy with FILMS,” continues Gus, also apparently undeterred by the dull question, “Gwil had a Mac, and when you hold ‘alt’ and ‘j’ on the keyboard it comes up with a triangle, and that was it.” “And also, a triangle upside down,” Gwil adds, making a triangle with his hands, then inverting it, “looks like a vagina... which is good.” Wanting to have a name that looks like an upside down vagina will be my preferred explanation, but, female parts aside, the band appreciate that it was a bold move to reject the alphabet in favour of an unpronounceable symbol. “It was a risky strategy because people probably label us too pretentious, too much, too trendy, because triangles are ‘in’ at the moment,” laughs Joe. “But I think a lot of people wheel that label around without really knowing what it means” Pretenbeen
the actual music, then it certainly has worked. It is very difficult to find any negative reaction to the actual music of ∆, but I think that’s hardly due to the shield of an unusual name.
“I think there’s a very healthy amount of variation within our songs,” says Gus, “353, a new one, is quite a
tious or not, the name change has responsible for a good deal of the recent attention directed towards ∆. “Some people on Twitter have been like, ‘how the shit is a triangle pronounced alt-j?’, but I think it’s a good thing that people aren’t really criticising the music, they’re just having a go at the name.” Indeed, if the name change was a carefully calculated tactic to absorb any critical bombardment on
the four members. acterising much of ∆’s popwork. py, “We all listen to completely different music,” Thom “Me and Joe,” continues Gus, jazzy sort Green, drummer, pipes up. “I listen to a lot of “like a lot of harmony kind of stuff, of groovy metal, death metal; my drums are influlike folky stuff.” Equally, this influence song. But then, enced by metal drummers.” Not such is common throughout the music, but is another new one a surprising admission when especially prevalent in the updated intro to we played tonightyou consider the pacey Tessellate, which consists of an unaccompanied Fitz Pleasure, is just but considered choral chant. dirty; downright dirty.” rhythms Combine these with the blues charWith such varied music tastes and diverse styles prevaildrenched tones of Tessellate and ing in the songs, there must be some shared ground on the meandering Hand-made, with which the band can agree, in order to achieve a sort of its hypnotic and delicate harmocohesion. “We all like Metronomy” is met with nods nisation, and you have a band and smiles, and it is clear that the four members, that clearly doesn’t struggle who all met at Leeds University, are as much good in maintaining an eclectic friends as band mates. sound, thanks in no small part to the And, with a recent relocation to varied listening Cambridge, where the four now habits of live in a shared house, that is rather
a good thing. Not keen to commit to a Gorilla Manor/Brian Jonestown Massacre style ‘living space/musical commune’ situation, the band seem more excited about the prospect of making music while relaxing in good company. “It’s good that the boundaries have been blurred quite nicely between hanging out and band practice.” Add that to the family style meal times, with, of course, shared cooking responsibilities and a band book club, as well as the mysterious ‘∆ Fight Club’ (whereby, in order to relieve any tension caused by living together, and just to get better at fighting, the band travel to Jesus Green park in Cambridge to fight each other on
weekends) and you have an very interesting set up. Four good friends, with different tastes and aspirations, making consistently exciting music under a very unusual name. And fighting each other on weekends. ∆ are one to look out for, I think you’ll agree.
Some guffmonkey industry
asked me the other day if I had any suggestions on how to make an astonishingly mediocre band he was managing “appear...well, y’know...cool? Hip. What the kids and the press REALLY want to see nowadays!” After giving him a (somewhat deliberately caught out ) throat snortle, partially due to the absolute stupidity of the question but also partially because I felt him mini-flob into my earlobe as he splurted out the question, I sighed, turned around, politely encouraged to watch the band in question on stage again. There, on stage before me was a band performing what could simply be described as ‘UK indie-pop’ in the most standard of formats. A good comparison rip-off would be The Wombats before they got all serious and then forgot how to be fun. With a 38 year old frontman (who, oddly enough, also had a haircut that could be a fair comparison rip-off of The Wombats frontman) donning white trousers supported by white braces and white bowling shoes, I feared my answer to their manager might not be the most complimentary. Behind him stood an almost-topless bassist, his leather waistjacket periodically revealing his humongous nipples and Kermit the Frog tattoo. I can only presume the drummer’s day job was being a lookalike of that slick footy-player Francesco Totti, whilst their bassist would be more suited to the confines of a lab -studied by short men in white coats eager to explore those oddballs with extreme Twilight obsessions. After suggesting some antiwrinkle cream could be of use to the band, their manager, who from my facial expression had quite rightly guessed I wasn’t going to tell him all my opinions, I made my excuses and hopped on a bus to a see much better band. It did however get me thinking. Besides the musical style, what does make a band’s image or stage presence appear ‘cool’? I decided to
jot down some rules which may be of interest to you, or your wannabe-cool mate’s band, incase you/they, for
whatever reason, want to fit into this tricky category....
Your frontman does not need to introduce and secure a separate applause of each band member. We really don’t give a shit about your K-holed bassist- we’re just here cuz Vice magazine say you’re dope and we want to associate ourselves with you so that when you’re big we can say “We were there from the beginning man...but then you sold out and accepted a 150 capacity gig!!! Pfffft! Sellouts man! Sellouts!!!” *Always have a synth on stage, right next to your vocalist. No need to use it. Remember it’s just there for show.*When hopping around onstage, resist the overwealing urge to lean back-to-back against your fellow bandmates. You will merely look like you’re creaming your tightie-whities with a good ol’ spine-rub. Not cool. *Ensure one member of the band always wears something denim and doesn’t take it off. Ever. On a side note, refrain from wearing leather trousers. This ain’t the 80’s man. That was last year. *Immediately after the very last note of each and every song, make sure you all chuck your heads back and attempt to man-swig from your warm cans of Carling (in synchronisation). The Enemy actually sip tapwater from their beer cans, if you’re feeling wimpy and want to use their tactic... *Publically dis’ the venue you’re playing in and complain about the price of beer, even though you’re getting yours for free and we’re the ones whose wallets are suffering listening to your garbage. Once off stage, approach your manager (in full earshot of the audience) and complain that it was actually quite was “a tough crowd”. Then demand to receive double your agreed beer allowance for the night to give him/her something to do. *If you feel like you fluffed a riff, throw your guitar off and run around your drummer. *Now start to whack the cymbals with your palms like a sex-craving chimpanzee. This will guarantee you don’t look like the musically-challenged berk that we all really know you really are. *It’s compulsory to have medium-length, bedmessy hair with a full- buzzed undercut underneath, ideally with specks of dandruff showing, to prove you’re not well-off. *When applauded, you need not look at the crowd. Come on, be professional. And always remember, the only words you need to ungratefully mumble before tuning-up again is “Errr, yeah.....cheers lads.” *When selling your own merch, pretend like you don’t have any basic knowledge of arithmetic by asking another band member if he has change for £3.00 - right after we give you exactly £3.00, which is the price you literally just quoted to us for your totally useless home-demo VHS tape. We’ll never watch it either by the way.We have absolutely no idea why we even buy that shit.
The Best of This Yearâ€™s Festival
If you haven’t been before, does one month of continues gigging and events across the UK all in the name of charity sound tempting to you? Oxjam takes place in October every year in cities across the UK including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, London, Leeds and Bristol. Since its beginning in 2006, Oxjam has given over 40,000 musicians somewhere to flaunt their music and accommodated for over 800,000 at 3,000 live events. It doesn’t get much better than showcasing local talent for global change. To save you the hassle, we’ve looked through the hundred of events taking place and picked out the best from all over the UK. Take a look at our calendar for the best in musical genius that’s all in the name of charity.
By Heather Fraser
cheese Got the sweats. Got the cheese sweats real bad.
Ag on is i n g Au n t i e s Problems@trisickle.co.uk
My long-term boyfriend is in a band. I'm really glad they arestarting to book a lot of gigs and becoming well-known in our localscene but I'm worried girls are going to start Â I read on a forum that having a throwing themselves at him. How canbaby is a good way to 'get girls' I prevent girls fancying him? but how do I get a baby if I can't Rachel, Oxford get a girl? Is it possible to hire one? Honestly? I would just give up now if I Anonymous, Essex
I need a new pet. What should I get? Simon, Aberdeen
Interesting how you use the term 'need'. Why do you need one so badly? were you. The amount of poon Are you lonely? Are you fat? Or hairy? It's that boy's going to be getting. WOO! There are many ways to obtain a baby okay...I'll help. *pats Lucky bastard. I want to be in a band. Not without sexual contact. One way your fat hairy head* for poon though. The other one. Where is to adopt, but as everyone from Realise that you don't need an animal to keep was I? You're giving me the sweats. C'MON Madonna to Madonna's daughter to you company. There are I CAN'T DO EVERYTHING so many other clean and quiet things to keep the HERE. Oh yes, your boyfriend. Well, if you dead fetus attached to Madonna's you entertained on those don't want to leave him to lonely nights in. No no, I'm not talking about vagina are adopting, maybe you it like the soppy twat you are, then the only should vibrators YOU FILTHY way to make him do one better and steal one. Trust me, BASTARDS. I'm talking about sex dolls. That's repellent to women is to pretend he's gay. it's going to be the new fad. right, lube yourself up Yes, that's right. You're for a long night in with you and Betty, the There are many ways you can going to have to become a man. Some perfect plastic companion. accomplish this. One would be the sacrifices will have to be made. Your vagina,obvious Maybe set up a camera and film it for those for one. It's okay, they just give you grief in 'balaclava donned thief in the park' nights in alone, and the end Betty's locked away in the cupboard, wondering look, which, I'm not going to anyway. Don a beard (I hear hormonal what she did wrong. YOU lie, is SO 1996. You should dress as a tablets are quite easy to obtain these days), clown, that way they will never LOOKED AT STEVE WITH THOSE EYES BETTY, grow some balls (you may have to punch suspect you, and you will mentally scar I'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR IT. a few kittens) and scream 'YOU'RE A NO STAY IN THE CUPBOARD, YOU'RE NOT many children for years to CHEEKY PIECE' at any girl eyeing up your come. Bonus. In short, grab a child and COMING OUT UNTIL I KNOW WHAT TO DO man. Hey, WITH YOU. What? No, I don't have a sex doll run. Just make sure the woman you never know...YOU might get laid. called Betty. Shut up. Get you're stealing from isn't the one a dog. you're trying to sleep with.
illustration: Alfie Gallagher
I've been going to nudist beaches for a number of years now and I'm, quite frankly, getting bored with the sand between your bits and the ogles from the sidelines. Could you suggest other nudist activities? I like music, smoking, puppies and tango dancing. Norman, Edinburgh Well, first of all, I must applaud your freethinking nature. And here at Agony Aunt Towers, we understand the boredom with sand. So. I've gotta admit, I'm not sure how puppies and nudism could go together. But I can probably help you with the rest. Music is easy. I would suggest getting together with some other clothes-deniers and starting your own nudist clubnight. Smoking seems a bit risky, what with the closeness of falling ash to bits. Perhaps take up a pipe? Other things: Nudist scrabble? Just make sure you don't lose any bits..That could be nasty. Naked aerobics! Think of the freedom of movement! Naked rambling will lead to jail. Don't do that. I hope that these ideas help you in your naked quest. I would say send us in some pictures, but AA Towers has a new goldfish (his name is Frederico) and he's a bit puritan about this sort of thing.
My friend has recently started a band with his sister. They are a pop duo who sing mainstream pop covers, the latest being a sibling friendly version of 'Sex on Fire'. I'm beginning to think they look a bit dodgy, I have this idea to start a Halloween tribute should I tell him and risk our friendship or band, do you think we would get many bookings a year? let him get on with it? Samantha, Glasgow Anonymous, Glasgow My first thought on reading your problem Hmmm. Dilemma. The thing is, there are good sibling bands and bad sibling bands. was: are you a square? Bear with me on this. Are they in the Same Difference/Jedward I ask because in my mind, a square would think "well duh, obviously such a band would mould or are they more 2011's Colin and only get one gig a year". Johnny Greenwood? And (I feel this is HOWEVER! important) what IS their sibling-friendly "Sex on Fire"? If it's "SNES on Fire" then that Over here in the cool-cats corner (it's nice, sounds fine to me. I think we can all agree isn't it? Do you like our new shagpile carpet? the world needs more songs about familial Have a cocktail.) we're thinking that you're solidarity in the face of vintage video console on to something here, if you put a bit of dedication in. Obviously, you'd get a few combustion. gigs in the week of Hallowe'en, what with school discos, girl guide parties, that sort off Even if they are more Grimes than shebang. But then, there is also the emo-kid Greenwood, who are you to judge? Who birthday party market, which I personally cares if they look "dodgy" to you? Does he tell you look dodgy when you re-enact feel is woefully underrated. Are you willing Star Wars with your priceless My Little Pony to sing Panic! (no !, ?, ?!, I don't even know collection while naked? No. He does Princess any more) At The Disco songs for some Leia Pony's hair willingly, smiling because it floppy-haired kiddies with cake? I would be. If I was emo. Or in a band. Or didn't scare makes you happy. That's what friends are off children with my Wicked Witch of The for. And if you can't support his Osmond West-esque face. tribute band, then you don't deserve his friendship or the drinks he buys you when Go on. It'll keep you in guyliner, at least. SNES on Fire hits number one around the world. Let him get on with it.
ason Statham, the thinking Woman’s Danny Dyer is said to be taking on a new acting challenge in his latest Block-Buster, playing an accountant, called James Woods in his new release ‘The Accountant’.
The balding star of such films as ‘Straight to DVD 1’, ‘Straight to DVD 2’ ‘Straight to DVD 3’ and ‘The Expendables’ ‘Crank’ and ‘The Bank Job’ told us: ‘It is great to play a character who depends
more on his ability with a spread-sheet rather than being a crack shot, or an ace fighter pilot. He has no love life, and spends his evening watching TV. It is a character study, and when he stumbles upon a secret that threatens to undercover corporate corruption, human trafficking and government cover-ups, he ignores it as it interferes with his on-line Dungeons and Dragons game on Friday Nights’.
In real life, James Woods is also a famed actor, known for Videodrome, and a recurring cameo in Family Guy. He was not available for comment.
Living up to his surname, Eric is to start a career as a professional Pickler. He says he will start with the usual Herrings and Onions, but will move onto other items as his expertise develops. The John Prescott for
the 2010’s said: ‘I am sick of people laughing at my mistakes as a politican. I am a Conservative, so it is expected that I will say unpopular things, but it seems that I can do this as well, as long as I can claim for it on expenses, it will be fine. Jars and Vinegar are quite expensive these days, you know’
rinning Scottish Tennis Player Andy Murray is to be sponsored by popular confectioners Murray Mints during his next few years as a professional sportsman.
The Tim Henman for people who don’t really care about sport, and just want to learn one name to seem k nowledgea ble about Sport said: ‘I was approached by Murray Mint in May, and have just signed along the dotted line. Murray Mints are the ideal mints for people who find Polo Mints to be a
bit of a rip off, because you pay more to have the middle removed, and don’t like the danger inherent in eating an extra strong mint. It is the ideal sponsor for me, with the name, and the fact that Murray Mint keep on going, like I do’ Tim Henman was approached by Werther’s Originals, but he turned them down, claiming he disagreed with their comfortable image, when in fact things went on behind the scenes that people don’t know anything about.
ory whipping boy who is not a Liberal Democrat, Eric Pickles has started a second career.
illustration adam smith
Aquarius I can tell... as you sit there reading this and winding your hair with your fingers, you’re thinking “It’s about time I shaved my arse”
Pisces We sense your boyfriend will finish with you this month, ironically at the local park under a sign that says “No Dumping”. Sucks to be you.
Aries Everything, everyone, everywhere. Ends. On the bright side, Primark has opened in Edinburgh.
Taurus You could be surprised by how quickly you fall in love with someone unexpected this month, you should maybe put your mothers old photoshoot pictures down.
Gemini Lead your girlfriend into a false sense of security, take her to a park under a sign that says “no Dumping”. Then dump that mad bitches ass.
Cancer Your star sign shares its logo with the Society of Addiction, ironically Cancer cures smoking... eventually.
Leo Here’s an actual star sign joke about Leo’s: Q: How many Leos does it take to change a lightbulb? A: None: A Leo would order somebody else to change it. Yup, we’re cringing too.
Virgo We realised that we’ve been hard on you Virgo’s the last bunch of Triscopes. So as an apology if you prove you’re a virgo, we’ll send you the next magazine free of charge!*
Libra * Trisickle will not give Virgo’s free magazines. Infact, the opposite will happen. Send us the money and we’ll maybe message you a thanks. But you Libras WILL get a free magazine.. **
Scorpio **Yeah, Libra’s won’t be getting any free magazines either, but you Scorpio’s...***
Sagittarius ***...can all fuck off. Oh and ‘Sagittarius’ is an anagram of ‘A Guitarists’. Not cool, but you’ll remember it.
Capricorn Yeah, we’ve run out of ideas so... Blah blah blah, all the usual shite.
" N o w, b r o t h e r s ,
this time next week? A love story, of sorts.
unless I bring you some revelation
It’s the listlessness, you see.
A form of nihilism that is bigger than bored yet better than nothing and not it the good way.
Let’s say the seven billion of us get our wish. Let’s say the Coyote finally catches the Roadrunner. Let’s say you’re ‘finally’ free. You’ve always been free- from the moment you hit the slab of a lightened room, whilst the Placenta stalks with lucid intensities and your mother defecates over the hands of a student Midwife- to the moment you die. Freedom does have a downside. All in all, that downside is that you are condemned to be free. You always make the choice through your lack of interest in existence. Don’t know what I mean? Here’s a good exampleDo you listen to every moron who chats to you? No, you choose to. If you don’t have the drive to play the language game, then cue the existential ennui.
This is the point. If I’m dissatisfied with my own existence, how the fuck do you feel? You’re still reading a column written by a twat that hates his own existence. Not that I care about you, because deep down I don’t even care about myself. So I went out to find a reason to keep going. And I found reasons. Lots of reasons that all stem from the one emotion that I hold closest to my heart: Sincere and unadulterated, hatred. This month I set out with one mission, to enjoy life by inflicting misery and spouting more hatred than an old 1920’s chimney fuelled solely on rightwing terrorists. I started simply, with an online advert on Gumtree that read;
Wanted: Person to help inflict misery on a generally plutonomic society that doesn’t care about us. I n e v e r g o t a r e p l y .
S a v e f o r o n e .
I t ’s s t a r t e d o f f w i t h t h e u s u a l ; we met up every Sunday for a month, setting different little pranks up and watching them unfold.
The First Sunday: Enter the Vagina-
This was a mutually agreed prank; there was a curios divot in a tree that I’d noticed years ago in the Meadows, Edinburgh. It could easily be dressed up to resemble those iron gates of life, so Carmen agreed that this was an exciting plan and using
Pink paint with papiermâché, we turned that divot into a massive 3 foot Vagina. Carmen brought her camera along and took pictures of the reactions of the general population as they passed by. It was truly hilarious. We parted with a handshake and agreed on the next again
Sunday. We spoke backwards and forth that night on Skype.
The Second Sunday: Do you smell something?
Carmen told me about a crate of Fart Gas she’d had in her room, perfect for spraying in very awkward places. It started with a little spray here, a little spray there- mostly in corner shops. With Carmen being the way she was, we ended up in the centre of a Hall Of Mirrors, in Camera Obscura.
Carmen took out a flip blade and stabbed the can, fart gas went everywhere. We hid and watched people vomit at the smell, unable to escape as they couldn’t find their way out. Again, we agreed on our third Sunday. Carmen informed me that she had some news, but our conversations on Skype went mad and we ended up talking about something else, Dwarfs with Knives, as I recall
if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?"
- 1 Corinthians 14
some points. The rest of the week, we spoke every night. Telling each other stories about our lives that we both knew were false. But a little white lie never hurt anyone. We finished the evening explaining our personal faults and with a kiss on the cheek, I watched her catch the bus as she watched the rain pour down my face. She even told me her good news. The Fourth Sunday: Indifference
Carmen met me outside a pharmacists, she had a box of Anti-diarrhoea medication. She ripped them all open and replaced the pills with laxatives, then placed the boxes back on the shelf. We never stayed for any aftermath this time; we walked around town, giggling at what would ensue. Telling each other stories of if’s and maybe’s. We were crying with laughter at
And it was at that point I had finally realized something about myself... ...the bitch had stolen my wallet.
illustration: Alfie Gallagher Layout: Scott Johnston
The Third Sunday: Legally illegal tender
I never received another email, nor did we chat online. I must admit feeling very worried that I wouldn’t see her again. But late on the Saturday night, I’d received an envelope through my door; it had the word ‘Sunday’ with a time written on it and inside- a beer coaster had ‘Waverly Station’ scribed into it. I met her on the train, where we spoke random things. She told me that we’d never see each other again, but that this month had really given her something to live for. We kissed. The train conductor informed me that it was time to vacant. I didn’t want her to go, and she didn’t want me to leave. But I had to. As I left the train, she grabbed my arm, seconds before the door closed and whispered; “The worlds a better place with you in it”. I passed her one last envelope and the train left the station. In it I wrote; “This month, for the first time in my life Carmen, you made me feel like I had the sun-shining on both sides of my face. Thank you.” It was strange, what had turned out to be a bit of fun had blossomed into something more important. For the first time in a long time, I’d let someone into my heart. Yeah, I’ll say it- I think I fell in love and I left Waverley station that day lost and alone.
The prophecies have begun. All around the world the reports are flooding in people are taking fits, talking in tongues and having visions-out of body experiences and signs from God himself. We’ve managed to group together all these events,file the information and get the translators round. The findings are remarkable to say the least. All the evidence keeps pointing to one thingthe end of the world. The four horsemen of the apocalypse-Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Group, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group-are drawing closer to landing the destructive final blow to the world of music as we know it. Everything will be destroyed-us, them, vinyl-nothing will survive. That could pose to be a problem, after all we live in a world where the music industry is built and based upon the major lables. Whether you’re a venue, promoter, band, magazine, merchandiser-anything, it all relies upon being in the inner circle, approval and acknowledgement by the big boys that you are something. Every small, independant insert what you are here can make some money and get by but they never reach what they dreamed was possible until they become part of that machine. Its not selling out, it’s just how it happens. Everybody reckons that the traditional methods are outdated and that with new technology and new approaches to distributing and marketing music, that we don’t need this machine any more. The problem is that we won’t know that until we get to that point. It’ll take the majors, like Universal with their hand in film and many other pies, folding or pulling out before we know that’ll happen. In that respect, it’s like walking into a minefield. The internet is a both a wonderful, inventive tool tht allows hundreds, if not thousand of people to discuss ideas and to collaborate on projects-bringing together the best in the world in one room. It’s also a horrible tool that allows for anonymity and everything bad that we wouln’t do in the public eye seeps out-pornography, piracy, hateful comments and communities. That’s the issue right there-the internet allows anything at all. You can find anything online in those distant, dark corners. It’s a double edged sword.
Distribution will turn from shops handling it, to digital copies from the artist themselves. That’s fair, we’ve been doing this with services like Spotify and iTunes already for a while-no big shakes there. Ask yourself though, where did you hear about any of the music you listen to? Some was word of mouth no doubt, from friends and parents and services like Last.fm- but enough of it will be the big boys influence- the acts that make it to TV and radio. Wherethe influence of the corporations have boosted certain acts to the forefront. Marketing would change immediately. Take out the traditional media elements and you’re left with smaller bands organising street teams to promote and spray-paint their emblem on buildings city wide. It would be the underground coming up. You could walk past an advert for a band unless you knew what the logo meant. Whithout advertising how would we find new music to listen to? Artist releases happen every two to five years for some-and then many will have broken up.
Forums and independant magazines and websites will scour the web far and wide looking for new music and reviewing and recommending acts as they see fit. Myspace might take over again as the hub for hosting music, perhaps Soundcloud-it doesn’t matter. One site, magazine, blog or host willcome out on top and everybody will flock to it- they’ll at least be one bigger one and then several smaller. It’s the same problem we have with the current system of marketing in place-only decentralized. That’s not only going to be the sole change that we as listeners will see. Prices will be dictated by us, or at the very least fairer than they are now. Whichever format we end up listening to in future-whether digital or hard copy-will be more influenced upon trends in our behaviour and what our preferences are as a community. Artists would be far better off, not just financially. The old label world wouldtry to restrict them in terms of their musical style, or expect them to release music every two to three years-touring in between. The musicians would have more say and more input into what they do-they’d finally have an infrastructure where they can function independently, harnessing the contacts that they have for tours/merchandising etc. Communication and the lack of a hierarchy wouldbe the only issues with this new industry. With the rapid expansion of technology and the sheer scale of piracy nowadays on any digital medium-games, films, music, software-everything is being affected. The industry must make a changesoon if it’s not to revisit and rehash its past. They’re already up to their elbow in shitlet’s see what they propose to get themselves out of it.
I’m not even going to pretend that this isn’t going to be a rant.
Abbreviations need to fuck off. It’s not
that I hate all abbreviations, some definitely serve a purpose. Take dick would write “Répondez s’il vous plaît” in full on their for example – only a total dick invitations, so I am grateful that there is an abbreviation for this ridiculous and unnecessarily foreign sentence. However, this linguistical craze has gotten way out of control recently. I especially cannot cope with the popular phenomenon that I have entitled: ‘Abbreviation Lies’ or ‘using an abbreviation to tell people
you are doing something when, in fact, you are a lying bastard.’
This facebook conversation that I read a few weeks ago is a prime example of the Abbreviation Lie:
What the hell was that??
Imagine if you will, that all those abbreviations were factually accurate. You would walk into that room to find two girls basically having a seizure; they are rolling around on the floor covered in piss, their arses have fallen off and they are laughing laughing like maniacs whilst drinking Lambrini. I would be phoning the authorities to have them restrained and sectioned but instead, because they have used abbreviations, people already assume they are lying and that’s apparently okay. I suppose the problem I have is that laughing out loud as a result of something you have read is a rare and beautiful occurrence – an occurrence that people are becoming increasingly desensitised to because of this anti-semantic lolocaust. In my whole life I have only genuinely pissed myself laughing twice (one of them was a little bit because I had a bladder infection) and I don’t think I have ever got down on the floor and rolled around laughing – but if it ever does happen, the
moment will be ruined because no one will bloody believe me. They will simply add it to the steaming pile of lies that sits festering in the corner of our social networks. So the next time you are texting/facebooking/tweeting , spare a thought for the people who are genuinely covered in piss. Take a step back and ask yourself: “Am I really laughing out loud? Am I actually rolling on the floor laughing my ass off?” If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’, then, for the
love of God, just
put a smiley face.
p i s s t h o s e s u cke r s off. H o w y o u a s k ? W i t h 5 n i j a - f o o l p r o of S o n g s
you ins tead I m a g i n e y o u ’r e a r o c k s t a r. N o w i m a g i n e y o u r b a n d i s p l a y i n g T i n t h e Pa r k . B u t n o w i m a g i n e t h a t b e f o r e y o u t a k e t h e stage, you are handcuffed to a very attractive rock star of the opposite sex by a security guard who is trying to get you b o t h t o s t o p f i g h t i n g w i t h e a c h o t h e r. D o e s n ’t t h a t s o u n d l i k e a h i l a r i o u s p r e m i s e f o r a m o v i e ? N o ? I a g r e e . B u t i t ’s s t i l l a great movie. I saw the movie two days before I was set to interview the two leads, Luke Treadaway (Attack The Block, Clash Of The Titans) and Natalia Tena (Harry Potter, Game Of Thrones), and also director David Mackenzie (Young Adam, Perfect Sense). The press screening began at 7pm, moved back from 7.30. I shared the cinema with only two other people. They looked like journalists. Or perhaps graphic designers. Both wore dark rimmed glasses, skinny jeans, pencil thin scarves, and both had very fashionable beards.
The movie was fast paced, exciting and funny. It was everything one would expect from a great romantic comedy. Shot in four and a half days while on site at T in the Park 2010, David Mackenzie’s simple, documentary style direction worked well against the festival background and brought a natural kinetic energy to the whole piece. Natalia and Luke gave astonishing performances and brought real chemistry to their relationship. I found the central love story between the two touching, but not sappy, and romantic without being melodramatic. Support came from the very talented Sophie Wu (Kick Ass, Tormented), who had an out of place storyline, wherein she worked for a charity during the festival, but seemed only there to bring a happy ending to a jilted ex-lover at the end of the movie. Hilarious, and stand out performances came from Gavin Mitchell and Mathew Baynton, as a lovelorn rock star and his drunken manager roaming the festival after dark. I loved it, and I was excited to meet the people that made it.
Me: How do you feel looking back on the film now? David: I think it’s got great energy, and I hope it captures the spirit of T in the Park and festivals in general. For me, it feels like a livening an interesting thing, and I really loved the method of making it really, really quickly. It felt immediate and very exciting to think on your feet and ride the challenges of shooting in a live environment. It feels like cinema is moving towards a convergence of reality and drama, and it feels very now to be doing that. Me: What was the specific challenge of filming at T in the Park? David: Filming in an environment where you have eighty to one hundred thousand people wanting to enjoy themselves, who have all had a few drinks, and who are all in their own world is the challenge. We learned very quickly that if the camera was close to the cast, then people would crowd round us to check out what we were doing, so we kept the Me: Were you panicked by the short schedule? camera far away and shot with long lenses and David: There was definitely a fear that we wouldn’t get everything chose to be as low key as possible. done. After the second day when we did the two gigs back to back, they both went really well, and I thought we all came together. The Me: If you could be handcuffed to anyone for crew understood what we had to do, and the cast, who were carrying the day, who would it be and why? the whole script with them in their heads all the time, was really David: Em… professional. I suddenly had this kind of revelation where I went Me: And don’t say boyfriend, girlfriend, partner [SNAPS FINGERS]. Yeah, we can do this. It was really exciting. We or anything like that. were a day and a half in, and we had already shot twenty minutes David: Don’t say that? OK, you got me out of of the film because of the nature of the gig scenes, and I thought that one [LAUGHS] Em… Do they have to be we could shoot the other sixty minutes in two and a half days no alive? problem. That was a real brow of the hill moment for me. Me: No. David: Em… [LONG PAUSE] Me: Do you think keeping the adrenaline going was key to making Me: Or if there’s a couple, I’ll let you have two. it work? David: Em… [VERY LONG PAUSE] I’m horrible David: We all knew it wasn’t going to last long, and we were all at these questions. Does it have to be someone a bit jet-lagged fore two weeks afterwards, but we knew to keep of the opposite gender? the pressure on and it’d be fine. We did manage to get some sleep. Me: No, no, just anyone and why. Everyone got about five hours a night, which is probably more than David: Em… [VERY VERY LONG PAUSE] some people at the festival. For me, it was a real thrill because I had so much thinking on my feet to do. I sort of caught the wave of We’ll stop here, as David does take a very long energy and enthusiasm, and I really enjoyed the idea of coming up time to answer this, supposedly fun question. with a solution to a challenge within a minute. There was no room We will come back to David’s answer when for hesitation, and that kind of made me feel stronger, and that fed I ask the same question to Luke and Natalia, into itself. As soon as we all realized that we could all push it quite who I spoke to about being rock stars at T in far, then we started to enjoy it. So, the nerves kept us going to begin the Park. with, then the pleasure of doing it kept us going after that. Me: Do you miss anything being that quick? David: Well you do have that horrible feeling, but you have that feeling in life also. I felt very relaxed about the idea. There are definitely things we could have done differently had we taken more time, but it felt like the right thing to be doing - rather than trying to recreate the environment, which would have been, very hard, expensive, and it wouldn’t have had the tangible sense of being live and in the moment, which is very hard to fake.
Me: What’s it like to be a rock star? Natalia: It’s wicked! It’s the biggest buzz ever. You are making everyone dance and move, and to make people happy like that is one of the greatest things ever. Luke: I love making music. I loved the process before we shot the film. We had three weeks to work on our fictional bands, and I got to write songs and play stuff with Eugene Kelly (The Vaselines), who is such a talented man. That was a joy. Then to play on the NME stage at T in the Park festival was a boyhood dream come true.
having twenty minutes to shoot a scene before we’d move onto the next scene, then the next scene, and the next. We had to get through so much a day that you didn’t really have time to stop and be terrified
Me: You weren’t terrified? Luke: I was just terrified of getting it all done in four and a half days. Natalia: That was terrifying. Luke: But playing the gigs up there was one of the least terrifying scenes to do. That’s just playing music, and that’s fun and joyful. Some of the other scenes I found much harder. Me: What was the hardest scene to film? Luke: The hardest part of it all was the countdown during the three week rehearsal period before the shoot. We had that horrible dread feeling that we were counting down to D-Day. I remember we were sat in Glasgow the night before having a dinner, our last meal together kind of thing, and then the next four and a half days at the festival were just a blur of moving from one side of the festival to another, and having twenty minutes to shoot a scene before we’d move onto the next scene, then the next scene, and the next. We had to get through so much a day that you didn’t really have time to stop and be terrified, you just had to go with it. Me: You both sing and play instruments very well in the film, and your rendition of Tainted Love is incredible. Have you always been interested in music, or was it just for the film? Luke: I’ve played instruments all my life, and I was in a band when I was a teenager and stuff. I haven’t really been in a band for the last few years, but I am writing songs. One of the songs I wrote I played at my audition, I had written a couple of months before, called You Instead, and they ended up using that in the film, and ended up calling the film that, which was weird, but lovely. I’m just carrying on and writing songs at the moment, I don’t really… [TRAILS OFF] but Natalia is in a brilliant band called Molotov Jukebox. Natalia: Yeah, we played T in the Park this year, which was one of the seventeen festivals we’ve done, with two more of them to go. Now we’re concentrating on a tour to Uruguay then back to Brazil – cause we did a tour of Brazil and we smashed it there.
Me: So, what’s better? Being an actor or a musician? Do they compare? Can you compare them? Luke: I love both. I love acting and I love playing live, and I wouldn’t want to have to choose between the two. Me: But I’m making you choose. Luke: Oh, you’re making me choose [LAUGHS]. Natalia: I’m not going to. Who do you love more, your mum or your dad? It’s the same thing. Me: Mum. [LUKE LAUGHS]
Natalia: I’m not doing it. Me: I chose my mum. Why can’t you chose acting or music? Natalia: No. Luke: I’d rather play music then for the rest of my life. Me: Why’s that? Luke: Because with music you’re in control of your own creative outlet, whereas as an actor you are interpreting someone else’s script or following someone else’s ideas, and as a musician and a songwriter you’re in control of your own creativity. Me: [LOOKING AT NATALIA] And you’re not gonna decide? Natalia: No. Me: I can’t make you decide? Natalia: No, it’s not gonna happen. I love both. Why limit yourself? Me: Coming from a musical background, I am guessing being on stage at T in the Park wasn’t as daunting as it could have been. Did you take inspiration from anybody’s stage moves, or practice your own, so you wouldn’t get up there and not know what to do with yourself? Luke: Weirdly, that was the thing that was least rehearsed, wasn’t it? Natalia: Yeah. Luke: I remember the night before we shot those scenes going up to the festival, and realizing that we hadn’t actually rehearsed what to do on stage. I remember being sat in my hotel room in the Sandyford Hotel in Glasgow, which was a tiny little bedroom, and stood in front of the mirror with the guitar and going – right, I better come up with some moves. I think it was probably a good thing not to have planned it too much. We had been in the rehearsal studios, and we had practiced the songs, so what ever came out on stage just happened naturally. On the night I wasn’t thinking - right I better do this move at this point, then this. That would’ve been rubbish. Me: You obviously get on very well together. Did you know each other before the film? Natalia: No. Luke: We first met each other at the screen test, then we lived together for a day and spent the evening hanging out and having a few drinks. Then we met up at the rehearsals and had three weeks of getting to know each other there. It was a fastly forged friendship, but being handcuffed to someone will force you to get to know them pretty quick.
Me: Were you worried that you wouldn’t click, and you would have to be handcuffed
to the person as well? Natalia: When I first got the script I hoped whoever was playing his character wasn’t an arsehole. Obviously. Luke: Yeah, when you hear the name you do quickly go – right who’s that person? I’m slightly worried. Natalia: Yeah. Luke: But then we met on the plane on the way up, didn’t we? Natalia: Yeah!
“ B e i n g y o u t o
h a n d c u f f e d t g e t t o k n o w
Me: I noticed in the end credits you are both credited with “additional dialogue,” so I imagine there was quite a lot of
improv. Where you comfortable with that? Luke: That credit is as much about us as it is for the whole cast. Huge credit should be given to Gavin Mitchell, who played Tyko, and Mathew Baynton… Natalia: Genius. Luke: Who played… what was the manager called? Natalia: Bobby.
Luke: Bobby. They basically wrote all their scenes together, and I think they are the funniest scenes in the movie. Natalia: None of that was there in the original script. Luke: No. Their whole storyline didn’t exist. They just went off and filmed those scenes with a second unit as we were doing
our stuff. But for our stuff, everyone was chucking ideas in. Some things made it to the final edit, and some didn’t. There was a big group collaboration really, using the original script as a jumping off point at the beginning of rehearsal, and then we developed it and took it off in different directions.
t o s o m e o n e w i l l f o r c e t h e m p r e t t y q u i c k .”
Me: Do you enjoy working like that, or do you prefer learning your lines and sticking to the script? Luke: It depends on the script. Sometimes you get a script and you go – that’s ready to shoot, that’s good to go. Natalia: I’m not gonna touch anything. Luke: And that’s fantastic, because you can always rely on the script and your only job is to think about how to make it work. But sometimes you see a script and you think it’s a great idea, great premise, but it needs some work and some ideas chucking around. Natalia: Lets add to it, now. Luke: Yeah. I think David was a brilliant director to work with in that sense, because he gave you a lot of freedom and confidence to try things out, and he was open for everyone to throw ideas into the pot. I do like working that way. It’s very creative and freeing. Natalia: Yeah. Me: In your opinion, why should people see the film? Natalia: Even though it is your standard romcom story line of two people in a bad predicament and coming through it together, it’s cliché, but it has great music, it’s really funny, and it’s shot in a way that’s never
Luke: We met in the departure lounge at Heathrow on the way to do our screen test. We got on really well, and I didn’t worry for a single moment after that.
been done before. You’ll see it, and it’ll make you want to go to a festival, and make you remember what it’s like being at a festival. Luke: It’s got a lot of energy. The fact that we did film it at a real festival in four and a half days will hopefully capture the essence of what it’s like being at a festival. You have some performances from amazing bands throughout, it’s funny, hopefully you’ll get involved in the love story of it all and you’ll want these two characters to get together, and if you went to T in the Park in 2010 then you definitely should go as you’re probably in it, and it’ll be a good game to spot yourself. It’s a fun entertaining film. So if you want that kind of film, go and watch it. Natalia: And it’s not massively long. Let’s say you go to the cinema and see a two hour film and it’s not good - well, you’re stuck there. This is a good eighty minutes, and it’s fast, and fun, and it’s good. Luke: Hopefully.
You’ll see it, and it’ll make you want to go to a festival, and make you remember what it’s like being at a festival
Me: Final question, if you could be handcuffed to anyone for the day, who would it be and why? Natalia: Yes! Good one. Me: And don’t say boyfriend, girlfriend, partner or anything like that. Luke: Yeah. Natalia: OK. I would be handcuffed to a guy called Doug Stanhope. Me: I interviewed him! Natalia: He’s fucking amazing! I’m so glad someone else knows him. He’s a comic God. I met him on BBC 4 when me and my band were doing a live radio session with him, then the BBC took us up to the bar and I got to know him and his girlfriend Bingo, who is hilarious. We were all on the same wave length – it was amazing. He got us tickets to his show, and me and the band opened for him on his last night in Leicester Square – it was amazing! Him on a rant is amazing! That is who I would love to be handcuffed to. Luke: I don’t know. My mind is full of so many ideas. There are political leaders of the past I would like to sit down with and talk to,hundred thousand votes in the bin, and I’d pick them back up so there are a lot of philanthropic reasons forand save us all from the horrible reign of George W. Bush ever people I would like to be handcuffed to, butbeing in charge of America. Natalia: Yeah. let’s keep it light… Me: Well, let’s go one serious and one light. Me: Hitting our readers with the hard stuff, they’ll love it. Luke: OK, so Natalia’s was the light one.Natalia: Get it out there [LAUGHS] Serious one – let’s go for… hard – this is soLuke: Where is this being published again? [LAUGHS] Me: Don’t worry – not in America. Our readers will love that. hard. Natalia: George Bush, and punch him in theLuke: I may end up regretting this. face. Just pick someone you would like toNatalia: Get a good legal team [LAUGHS] punch in the face. Me: You’d have to punch yourself to get hisNow, back to David with his answer to the same question. After two whole minutes of silence, I said… arm up to punch himself. Natalia: Totally worth it. Sarah Palin? Love to Me: It can be anyone. punch her in the face. Luke: I’d like to be handcuffed to the personDavid: Em… [VERY VERY LONG PAUSE] counting the election votes in the 2000Me: Even if it’s a hero of yours. US election, where they through away fiveDavid: [LONG PAUSE] OK, Orson Welles on one hand and Marlene Dietrich on the other. That’s a horrible answer. I am really no good at these ones.
You Instead is out on general release on September 16 2011. Visit www.YouInstead. com or www.Facebook. com/YouInstead for more information. View the trailer for You Instead on Youtube: HYPERLINK "http:// www.youtube.com/ watch?v=RQEuiXeOhb8" http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=RQEuiXeOhb8
In a better place in better place
i n ne r
this year’s foreign language film at the Academy Awards, Susanne Bier’s latest misery fest In a Better World is a lot more ambitious than her previous intimate dramas Brothers and Open Hearts. Her first film as a director since her disastrous English language debut Things We Lost in the Fire that starred Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro, Bier returns to her Danish roots and the world she knows. The result is her best film in years: an ambitious, sprawling family saga that crosses continents and tackles everything from high school bullying to bomb making. In a Better World centres on two young boys living in an idyllic Danish town, Christian (William Jøhnk Nielsen) who has recently lost his mother to cancer and is rapidly turning into a sociopath and the shy Elias (Markus Rygaard ) whose father Anton (Mikael Persbrandt) is working as a doctor in a refugee camp in Sudan.
In a Better World works very well as a taut thriller, keeping its viewers on the edge of their seats. One scene in particular involving two ten year old boys, a homemade bomb, a car and a woman running with her daughter makes your hair stand on edge. There is a lot of emotion on display, but that is true in a lot of Bier’s work, she is always trying to get underneath the surface of her characters and crack their stoic Norse exterior. In a Better World is the same, all the characters are so calm, with their emotions tucked up safe inside where they belong, and only towards the climax do their facades start to crack0. In a Better World is a complex and fascinating piece of cinema, the kind Hollywood very rarely make anymore, unless of course they’re actually remaking a European art house hit. Highly recommended. Christopher Smail
The Salt of Life (Gianni e le donne) Do you know those days that are just a bit ‘meh’? Nothing really happens but you’re still not bored enough to do something about it. Uneventful, I guess, is the right word to describe it. Well, that’s what ‘The Salt of Life’ is like. Armed with a potentially entertaining story to tell, this film is a bit of a let down. The cast is good, the setting is pleasant, the soundtrack is very good – so what is the problem? Gianni Di Gregorio, director, writer and main character of the film, sets the viewer up for an interesting story. We meet Gianni, a fifty-something stay at home husband who is less than happy with the way things are going. He lives in a virtually love-less marriage, prepares breakfast for everyone while his wife and daughter are too busy to spend any time with him, and all he is left with is a long list of errands to run. Any favour a woman asks him to do he will do, and it is soon clear that Gianni, as lovely as he is, is sick of it. Cue the main theme of the film: Gianni decides to get back into the game. But what does that actually mean? Clearly, he does not get what he wants from his marriage, but are we really watching a movie about an oldish man desperately trying to have an affair with younger women? It is needless to say that the film does not lack cringeworthy moments.
The film switches between scenes of Anton working in the red dust heat of sub Saharan Africa and his son and wife back home in the cool, ocean breeze of the Scandinavian seaside. Shots of the dying and diseased African have a harrowing quality to them but are hardly original, anyone who occasionally tunes into the BBC or has seen Fernando Meirelles The Constant Gardener will be rolling their eyes as they have seen it all before. Though a lovely contrast emerges in its style between the first and third world setting: one moment you’re experiencing the corruption and poverty of the scorching African continent the next you’re diving into an ice cold lake at a doctor’s summer house in rural Denmark. In a Better World explores some pretty hefty and dark themes: how people deal with their grief, the way parent’s decisions can reverberate on their children and the nature of revenge. Trust a Scandinavian filmmaker to find the melancholy in everything. Anton, portrayed by Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt is a fascinating character. A man of few words. Watch with captivated awe as he teaches Christian and Elias how to handle a bully. Performances by the adolescent actors portraying Elias and Christian are highly proficient, in particular Nielsen as Christian. He showcases incredible emotional maturity and oozes so much vile from his little 12 year old boy body. The older actors are equally accomplished with seasoned Scandinavian stars Ulrich Thomsen and Mikael Persbrandt putting in subtle turns.
For a comedy ‘The Salt of Life’ is almost tragic at times. The humour is scarce, and very rarely laugh out loud funny. But it is so well done that you can almost forget about the lack of character development. Instead of obvious puns and bad jokes, this film relies entirely on situation comedy. Sometimes it’s cringy, sometimes it’s just unfortunate, but it is entirely funny and always works. The biggest surprise is in the soundtrack. It is very well written and has the potential to lead a whole scene. Ratchev & Carratello have truly hit the nail on the head here – the music is entertaining, well written, and just leaves you wanting more. It is a shame that a film that has the potential to be very good ended up to be, well, not so good. The main problem with ‘The Salt of Life’ is that character development is unheard of. All the characters – whether it is Gianni’s mum that relies on her son whenever her housemaid is not around, or his daughter, who gets back together with her old boyfriend just to realise that she isn’t happy – stay absolutely the same throughout the entire film. Not even Gianni, who is clearly like a block of clay just begging to be shaped and moulded, shows the slightest sign of change or realisation. This is absolutely fine for the first half hour, as the viewer eagerly awaits the main plot point where everything will change, and things will go wrong but they will also be funny and eventually lead to a happy end, but as the film goes on it dawns on you that this film simply does not go anywhere. The ending is simply baffling and feels a bit like a cop-out. And so we leave Gianni as desperate as he was before and neither he, nor the viewer, is any wiser. All in all this film has all the right ingredients to make things work, but the storyline is bland and gets repetitive after a while. Fifty-something stay at home dad, looking for action. Antonia Landi
The Guard T
Jack Stoker 52
c a re e
of brothers Martin and John Michael McDonagh have taken a very similar route over the last ten or so years: both began their screen careers with critically acclaimed short films, Six Shooter and The Second Death respectively, before eventually moving on to write and direct full length features. Younger brother Martin wrote and helmed the heavily-praised In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell alongside Brendan Gleeson, and, in the wake of its critical and commercial success, a number of similar Irish crime capers (as they shall henceforth be known) have since emerged from the Emerald Isle. The eldest McDonagh, perhaps aiming to outdo his brother, has released the latest film to fall into this category. The Guard stars (once again) Brendan Gleeson, this time as Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a cynical, drug taking, casually racist and altogether “unorthodox” small-town police officer working in a sleepy Irish village in Connemara. Boyle’s mundane day to day routine is rudely disrupted by the discovery of a murdered local and the bizarre, seemingly occult, circumstances surrounding the crime. The subsequent unearthing of a plot to land a substantial amount of cocaine (allegedly half a billion dollars worth) on the sandy Irish shores provides a handy segue for straightedge F.B.I agent, Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle), to enter the scene and assume his improbable position beside polar-opposite law enforcer Boyle. The narrative, however, is largely overlooked and remains underdeveloped for most of the film. The baby-step progressions that are made seem rudimentary and largely formulaic, with the storyline existing only to provide an adequate backdrop for the amusing banter which makes up the meat of the film. Fortunately, the razor-sharp script, and Gleeson’s superb application and timing of the witty one-liners fed to him throughout the film, is so effective that the absence of any coherent or engaging narrative is scarcely felt. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to keep you entertained, and some of the action sequences and more serious scenes bring enough tension to the film to justify the unlikely storyline. You cannot help but feel, however, that McDonagh has missed an opportunity with The Guard. There seemed potential beyond simply a laugh-a-minute comedy caper in his debut, with promising relationships skipping proper development (the Gleeson/Cheadle relationship is sadly underutilised) and genuinely interesting characters going mostly unexplored. For instance, the principal villains of the piece, the three traffickers responsible for the pending drug deal (played by Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot and Mark Strong), almost provide an interesting subversion of the baddie paradigm. Whether discussing their favourite philosophers or announcing their hatred for dishonest coppers, there are hints at a less contemptible and more sympathetic nature beneath their grizzly exterior, but further examination does not come, and the audience is left frustrated and confused. This is emblematic of the film as a whole, and, though The Guard is a well acted and excellently scripted film, with more laughs than anything else you’re likely to see this year, you can’t help but feel that McDonagh could have made a film which could have made you think as well as laugh, and, until he does, perhaps he will find himself remaining a little longer in his brother’s shadow.
G u y P he n i x
K a t h r y n Llo yd
Antony L ake y
K atie Rowlands
martin camp bel l
Vo l t e rgeist – B urn t and B uried WHO YOU GONNA CALL…
Let’s make no bones about it, Voltergeist’s debut album Burnt and Buried is a triumph for Scottish dance music. Glaswegian maestro Shaun Dowse (a.k.a – Emotiquon) has been producing dub-step and techno albums up and down the country for close to a decade. Now in late 2011 we get to finally behold his own labour of love and it was worth the wait.
Voltergeist fall into that much abhorred musical category of Intelligent Dance Music (or “Brain-Dance” to quote Aphex Twin’s unofficial moniker), but the main difference between this outfit and its often redundant contemporaries, is that Burnt and Buried does display some undeniable moments of genuine intelligence. Introductory track ‘Boogu Yagga’ rises and swells with ghostly groans and the distant, hypnotic pulse of a compressed kick drum almost betrays the moody pathos to be found later on in the album. Voltergeist’s range of influence in evident, there’s even elements of Detroit techno thrown in for good measure. But it never sounds uneven or thrown together, there’s real mastery at work here. It’s only after luring the listener in with ‘Boogu Yagga’s twinkly digital snyth and punchy bass popping that Voltergeist reveal their true colours. Burnt and Buried slowly blossoms into a work of elegant contrast. ‘Pork Chops’ shows a much more antisocial facet of Dowse’s personality. Its startling snare claps and off-beat time signature couldn’t be more of a departure to its predecessor and owes much more to the shifting aesthetics of electro-pioneers Autechtre than to ambient oldies Leftfield. Title track ‘Burnt and Buried’ continues this new experimental complexion, plumbing the bleak, algorithmic depths of other electroacoustic genres. We just about verge on melodrama too with the unexpected orchestral inclusion of sweeping violins that carry the listener far off into the firmament. It’s ambitious stuff. Before you know it images soon begin to conjure in the mind’s eye. Dowse clearly seeks to have his music resonate on the similar level to a William Gibson or George Orwell novel. So Voltergeist offer us two sides of the coin – one side portraying a technologically dominated, dystopian society, and the flip - of one lost in the mindless, drug saturation of dance culture. In doing so, Voltergeist present the listener with a unique paradox, one communicated through the medium of music, one that takes us from deep navel gazing to sparkling clarity - from eerie scepticism to tribal joviality. Amidst robotic croons of “Science has failed us, science betrayed me!” Burnt and Buried ends on the same cautionary note it carries for most of the album. This paradigm is at the very heart of Voltergeist’s life-force.
Other highlights include centrepiece ‘Inna Self Made Net’ - an obscure portmanteau which hits us like some kind of introspective nightmare where the listener is transported to the shore of an Ibiza coastline, contemplating the pros and cons of walking out into the middle of the ocean. It’s five tracks later we see Voltergeist’s strange blend come together though. In ‘John Canoe’, the mystery protagonist’s story is brought to light through haunting voiceovers layered over some significantly more accessible beats. Dowse’s roots lie in Deep House but his approach lies firmly in the anarcho-punk DIY attitude when it comes to writing and selfpromotion. Voltergeist’s album was entirely written and produced on a MacBook Pro and Dowse exercises his own resourcefulness to fulfil the Voltergeist vision – saucepans were even used as a percussive device. It seems Intelligent Dance Music just found its first real justifiable member… Chris Kelso
Forest Fire – Staring at the X
Every band strives to find the right name. One that clicks and sticks in the head; a catchy little snippet that does its best to sum up the character of the band. Alliteration is popular – especially alliteration including the letter F it seems. Foo Fighters, Fleet Foxes, Franz Ferdinand, Fiery Furnaces, Frou Frou and on and on. I’m sure you could think of a few more off the top of your head right now. Funeral For A Friend. Friendly Fires. See? Now you can add Brooklyn’s Forest Fire to your list (you do have a list, right?). The double F’ers are set to release their second album Staring At The X in midOctober. The band’s previous album Survival was warmly received and named as the best of 2008 by French taste-makers La Blogotheque (beating out the likes of Fleet Foxes and Friendly Fires). Staring At The X, if all goes to plan, should meet the same acclaim if not surpass it. Taking cues primarily from folk music, but expanding far beyond that, the album is a short but punchy work of what has been described as ‘cosmic Americana’ clocking in at just under 35 minutes. There’s ambition, experimentation and a noticeable yet natural progression from their previous work – all things you’d want to see from a second album. The opening track ‘Born Into’ clearly marks the band’s intent and sets the tone for the album. While it follows the standard layout for an indie-folk track it’s the elements used to construct the piece that elevate it from being oft-visited territory. The melody that we’d expect to be played on a finger-plucked acoustic is substituted for a buzzing synth line. The folk-country staple of steel guitar is instead a wailing distorted solo. The vocals of Mark Thresher and Natalie Stormann harmonise sweetly but with a Velvet Underground style sneer. On album centrepiece ‘They Pray Execution Style’ the band step even further away from the traditional folk mould. Starting with a wall of shoegazy distortion and Stormann’s ethereal vocals then slowly introducing a popping bass and handclap style drums it even dips a toe into what could be described as Italo Disco territory. This year has seen a few artists successfully experimenting with the boundaries of folk music, perhaps most notably EMA and Chelsea Wolfe, but from the sounds of this it seems Forest Fire may be right up there with them. Fraser McPherson
Vampires is a rich release, full of gorgeous sonic textures – neatly bending and blending different instruments in a folk setting. There’s no lack of ambition in this album although it weighs in at just over forty minutes, there’s clearly been some work go into it. There are strong, creative arrangements throughout, however things feel a bit hit and miss on what could’ve been a great album. Opener “Sophia” sets the tone with a great contrast between the male and female vocals used on the track, where the male vocals struggle to put together pleasing rhymes, often coming across as forced with too many syllables and awkward plosives present, the female vocals are buttery in comparison – rich and angelic in beauty. Things become a bit more upbeat with “And There Will Come A Time” which continues marching on in a layered folk fashion. Third track “Come Back To Me” scares me, sounding more like a eulogy than anything else. It’s a track I’d skip for that very reason, but it’s placement on the album is to get that very reaction no doubt. Next track up “Manor House Girl” doesn’t strike me as anything special, it continues down the same path we were headed before “Come Back To Me” without adding anything in particular to the proceedings. “The Circle Game, Again” takes us back to that dark place we briefly visited before, but with a difference. There’s something softer about it this time, something pleasing. Next track “Heartwrenched Confessional #3” shows a little magic in its arrangement, that sparkle of “Sophia” and what I associate with Adam coming back to the forefront. “Sickle Moon” is another down-tempo number, with interesting, dark and gloomy lyrics – it’s another strong track. Closer and eponymous track “Vampires” is his pièce de résistance, or weighing in at over eight minutes it should’ve been. It ultimately comes in a little underwhelming for me, with “Sophia” acting as the highlight of this album. It’s an orchestral, big band finish to an album that aimed for the moon, and landed among the stars. Matthew Slater
John Foxx And The Maths – Evergreen Rockburn – Finkin This year seems to have seen somewhat of a loose 90s rock revival. London based Yuck paying tribute to the likes of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr and Teenage Fanclub being possibly the most notable example (perhaps along with Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins meets indie pop from The Pains Of Being Pure A Heart). Glasgow’s Rockburn may not be paying full on tribute to the 90s with new single Finkin but it’s not hard to hear a little bit of Oasis or Semisonic in the music and even a hint of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder in the vocals of Stephen Baxter. The track marks a conscious departure from the thumping four to the floor blues rock sound that they’ve cultivated over the past few years and brings a more subtle touch to their song-writing. Fellow Bellshill boys Teenage Fanclub were noted fans of cult 70s power pop group Big Star and judging from Finkin I wouldn’t be surprised if they had some influence on Rockburn too. The track is a fairly by the numbers approach to pop rock but the jangling guitar line and breezy melody is one that’s primed to get stuck in your head.
For lack of a less cringey cliché, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, there are instances where this phrase is a little bit too simple. In the case of John Foxx And The Maths, 80s synth pop is still at the very heart of their music but, unlike other 80s stars who reunite and play all their old material, the Ultravox legend is constantly releasing new music. Having inspired the likes of Gary Numan and contemporary acts such as the Klaxons, John Foxx and The Maths are back with ‘Evergreen’. The lyrics, like a lot of Foxx’s material, create a very vivid image in your mind as the traditional synth pop gives a very nostalgic feel, very appealing to 80s music lovers as it is something new and fresh with that same 80s vibe. So perhaps the fact that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks isn’t always a bad thing. Nina Glencross
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Teenage Tide Summer might now be over (some may argue it was never really here at all!) but dreamy indie pop outfit Letting Up Despite Great Faults are holding close that warm summery vibe in their latest single ‘Teenage Tide’. Soft and light on the ears, thoughtful lyrics tell of the magic and drama of teenage relationships through wispy vocals carried by jangling guitars and a steady fuzzy bass. There’s no need to overcomplicate things, simply, it’s just a good indie pop tune with everything done to good measure, from the distortion of the guitars to the vocal harmonies and light underlying synth melody. A lovely bit of shoegaze for your listening pleasure. Nina Glencross
Make Sparks - Your Heart’s on Fire ‘Your Heart’s On Fire’ creates a confident beginning for the new single by up and comers Make Sparks, who hail from Dundee. To call them up and comers is infact an understatement. Having previously supported Feeder, Attack Attack and Sucioperro, and off the back of their T in the Park performance, the band are now embarking on their own extensive headline tour next month. The title track is tinged with cracking harmonies, cheeky off beats and an incredibly catchy chorus. You’ll find yourself clapping along right through to the b-side ‘Apollo! Apollo!’. A shyer and more subdued tune with an equally as infectious chorus. The catchy melody and defined guitar are key to this song’s success. Pick up the single from October 3rd and look out for a rather ‘explosive’ music video in which ‘sparks‘ most definitely fly. Heather Fraser