The University Times
ball MANIFESTO The Big
re you psyched? We’re pretty psyched, because the Trinity Ball is coming and in celebration, we’ve put together a tidy ball companion for your consideration. For those of you for whom this will be your first Trinity Ball, allow to impart some friendly advice. If you have a smartphone, download the HeyTell app which lets you use you phone as a walkie talkie. Failing that, get some walkie talkies. You’ll lose your friends and for some reason its useless trying to call them. Also, I really want to see thousands of people in ball attire shout “BREAKER BREAKER, THIS IS RUBBER DUCKY CALLING BIG DADDY, THAT’S A BIG TEN FOUR ON DANCING TO FAKE BLOOD, WHATS YOUR 20, OVER” during the course of the night. I plan to at least.
To get you in the mood then, we have some colour articles to get you into the ball vibe, interviews with some of the bands, and a rundown of the rest so you can decide to whom you’ll be flailing your limbs in bacchanalian ecstasy. Beyond the atmospheric musings, we also have, for the first time, an objective examination of the relationship between MCD and the Trinity Ball. They always get some flack for the line-up, and we appreciate the enormous amount of work that goes into putting on a party of this scale, but we also feel that we have the right to talk about the relationship, and ask questions about it, because it affects all of us. I’ll also take this opportunity to thank Hannah Clare Gordon and Kate Feehan &- ladies at the LA Academy for the phenomenal help they gave us in putting together the fairytale themed photoshoot. So without further ado, never mind the Ball Guide, here’s the University Times Big Ball Manifesto.
The Ultimate Ball Experience
15 The Line-up 2012
Back in my Day
The Special Relationship: MCD & Trinity
by Jack Cantillon
by Luke O’Connell
by Rory O’Donovan
7 Toby’s Ball Style
by Eoin Henessey
by Eoin Hennessey
Interview with Tandem Felix and Original Rude Boys by Shauna Watson
by Toby Evans
Once upon a Trinty Ball
It’s Not Easy Being Green
Ball Stereotypes by Katie Abrahams
Contributors: Editor: Tommy Gavin, Co-Editor: Aisling Deng Creative Director: Dargan Crowley-Long, Illustrators: Sadhbh Byrne, Jay McDonnell, Mice Hell. Photography: Martin McKenna, Writers: Jack Cantillon, Luke O’Connell, Rory O’Donovan, Toby Evans, Eoin Henessey, Shauna Watson, Katie Abrahams.
THE ULTIMATE BALL EXPERIENCE By Jack Cantillon
hey got it all wrong.
Who do they think they are? A handful of half decent headliners, throw up a few tents, do a hype video and they think they’ll have us all paying 80 euro a ticket? Have they read the papers lately? I’m screwed, you’re screwed, the whole country is feckin’ screwed. This is probably going to be your last Trinity Ball ever. You’re going to be singing “Waltzing Matilda” in Melbourne or “99 Red Balloons” (or whatever the the German national anthem is) this time next year. We need a plan. We need a party. We need to go out with a bang, something to tell the Enkelkinder about. Let’s blow the lot on Trinity Ball 2012 because Enda is not going to be thinking “let’s make a good headliner for the Trinity Ball an nonnegotiable” when negotiating bailout numero deux with the troika. It’s time for a ball, a real ball and I know exactly what to do. Firstly, we need cash. Let’s sell off all our unique disposable assets. The Book of Kells, Cobblestones and Aaron Heffernan should all raise a few quid. We must have a degree-printing machine somewhere around campus. We can use to this our advantage. Unemployed, no qualifications and barely a handful of brain cells but a rake of cash under the bed, Trinity College would love to have you. Medical degrees printed off for 2 grand a pop, English degrees for €500 and Business & Computing degrees for less then the price of the paper it’s written on. No brainer. Why stop there? We should charge for the use of the Campanile to play advertising jingles every hour on hour. Why the hell didn’t we sell the naming rights of the Pav before? I’d love to have a few Bav in the Rabo Direct Lounge. Remember that contraption
they had down by the Science Gallery that made words out of water? Let’s sell that to Coca Cola and just have it saying “Drink Coke’ over and over again. We should have a good few million at this stage. Just to top it off let’s sell the nursing building (sure it’s miles off campus and they’re all in Coppers anyway), rent out the Old Library for a few raves and tell all the residents on campus to vacate their apartments so we can get a few quid off the tourists in the springtime. Now, by my calculations, if everyone plays ball, we should have 37.4 million. It’s time to have some fun. Tickets. Let’s cut out the messing. Everyone is getting a ticket in Trinity this year. I don’t care if you don’t know the front side of a dress suit from your own backside. You’re having a ticket thrust into your claw for this year’s ball, on the house. It’s your last ball; you might as well come along. Now for headliners, with 37.4 million fumbling around in our back pocket we can probably afford to splash the cash a little bit. Beyonce, I don’t care that you want to spend time with your newborn, that’s nothing 5 million can’t sort out. Bon Iver, I know you just won two Grammy’s so you’re not exactly as ALT as you once were. Still though you might pop over to see us for a million. Jack White, we know you’ve disbanded the White Stripes, but for 3 million, do you think you’d be persuaded to give it another go? Same question to James Murphy re: LCD Soundsystem. U2 loves money, you can pop along for 4 million, just bring your 360 stage with you okay? Coldplay, don’t really like you but sure if you’re in town and you want two million, we can throw you into the mix. Calvin Harris, for 100k you can do a DJ set beside the queue for the jacks. James Vincent McMurrow you can busk on the way in for 10k. Grand, line up sorted.
Photo - Martin McKenna
Let’s sell off all our unique assets. The Book of Kells, cobblestones and Arron Heffernan should raise a few quid.
The night itself. As you receive your complementary party bus to the venue you will go through a security check to make sure your carrying at least a shoulder. If not, you will receive, on the spot, an emergency naggin to tide you over. We’ll divide the tents into ways we actually assess acts. The Mainstream tent, where acts that everybody knows play songs that all sound the same and everyone feels like a Hotpress critic such is their deep understanding of the lyrics in a song where the chorus is repeated 17 times The ALT tent where no band will actually play but if they did play you wouldn’t have been there because by reading this article your not ALT enough to attend, sorry. The Power Nap tent, need a quick 40 winks to get you through the night just pop over here where we will also guarantee
the spoon from someone decidedly more attractive then you are. The “they’re not big yet but they might be, but they probably won’t be” tent here you can find all those acts that are probably shit but might just not be in one handy spot. Throw in guys indiscriminately handing out 50-euro notes (66, yeah?), a free bar and slides to take you from one tent to the next and we’re sorted. Once the night is finished, you’ll receive a chicken fillet roll, another naggin for old times sake and some young fresher who we convinced you’re the manager of the headline act. Let’s make this dream a reality. It’s only a bit of red tape stopping us, that and 37.4 million. At least now we have something tangible to demand from next year’s sabbats.
BACK IN MY DAY... In its long history, the Trinity Ball has forged memories that will last a lifetime, or are gone by morning. The following is neither. By Luke O’Connell
R YA N T U B R I D Y
n the days before I became the muchmaligned presenter of “The Late Late Show”, it might surprise you to learn that I actually did have something of a personality. I was a funloving youth, and had yet to adopt my smug, faux-witty, self-professed “old fogey” persona which the people of Ireland have come to hate. Many years ago, I was lucky enough to receive a ticket to the Ball and went, despite my now public views about Trinity being guilty of anglicising Ireland’s middle class. It made for a welcome escape from my time studying Classics at UCD, where my old buddies from Blackrock continued to bully me for being such a massive prick. My current squeeze, Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, was then a comely 1st year Science student, but it didn’t stop me ogling her across a crowded tent of whatever the dance music du jour was, imagining the day when I might one day feel her at the end of my emaciated, quivering member. Eventually, my palms frothy with the agonised sweat of what felt like one hundred years of solitude, I weasled over to this prize piece of
nubile flesh. “D-do you like this music?” I yelled over the noise, my oily saliva giving her ear a shower of a thousand wet willies. As she smiled fellatially, I wondered if she suspected that one day I would be paid multiples of Barack Obama’s salary for pandering to Ireland’s D-list. Did she know that one day I would write a bestselling hardback about JFK? I handed her an ecstasy tablet then which she ate from my hand like a grinning horse. I grabbed her then -- just as a beat dropped, as they say -- one spindly hand around her back as the other reached magnetically for her Hamilton arse. She swooned as I loomed, ogre-like, and we kissed, for what seemed like longer than an episode of the Late Late, although really it was no longer than one of my pointless interviews with another RTE hack. I bought her a few drinks, trying to get her as drunk as I could, and soon she was falling about the place as I steadied her in my arms. We spent the evening together, she and I, unable to keep our glistening hands off one another, dancing like young people do, shifting with abandon under the Campanile as I shoved
my shovel hand up her flowing, menstrual-pink gown and felt my forlorn shaft suddenly mimic the shape of my general beanpole physique. I could feel my virginity reaching for its jacket. But then I snapped out of it, returning to reality, returning to the hideous dance beats and Aoibhinn’s face so far
in the crowd and mine just another nobody in a sea of tuxedos. I would have to wait until I had become the soulless beast I am today before I would have a chance of wooing this sweetheart. But I will never forget that Trinity Ball, and the time when, just for a moment, in the reverie of that moonlit shag’s cusp, I felt alive.
A N N E D OY L E
ith a horn on me the size of Montrose Studios, I attended Trinity Ball in the 70s, hardly a novice to the seedier side of sex in which I would later revel. I had wanted, for some time, to get pounded ‘neath the stars in Ireland’s oldest college, and Trinity Ball seemed to me to be the most viable approach.
Knickerless, I pranced from tent to tent, my neckly silverware bouncing off my bust as I frolicked. A minute past six o’clock tomorrow evening seemed so far away and I could be as shagged and hungover as I liked. On the cricket pitch I bonked, and down by the Buttery I published a Ball Guide of my own for two Junior Sophisters who have since become very suc-
cessful in their chosen careers. My thirst for unceasing gratification was insatiable and
I saw little music in those few passionate hours.
I set out with four friends in my fathers old tux, smoking a marijuana stick outside the Dart station before we entered the grounds.
he Trinity Ball is a great occasion for community and solidarity among the college staff and students and beyond. It is an invaluable part of student life which is cherished across the spectrum of Ireland’s third-level institution. It’s hazy to me now but I can just about remember going to one in the 70s when I enjoyed a dance and a boogie as much as the next man. I set out with four friends in my father’s old tux, smoking a marijuana stick outside the Dart station before we entered the grounds. We were not
long in the gate when I turned around to say something to my friend Tom and I realised they were nowhere to be seen, lost in the vast crowds. Of course, this was in the days before mobile phones but I did my best to locate the lads. It was all in vain, however, and no matter how hard I looked or how many people I asked, there was no sign of my friends. I looked everywhere for them but it was as if they had deliberately cut me loose! In the end, I decided to do my best to enjoy the night anyway and spent the evening wandering around alone. Initially,
I made a half-hearted attempt to gain some new friends from the student body but this proved fruitless. Was there something wrong with me, I wondered? I have battled with a deep sense of solipsism for much of my life, and then, as I pushed through the happy and high students, camaraderie in full swing, whooping and wahooing, I wondered would my life always be so. Was I condemned to walk the lonely street, the only street that I had ever known? I promised myself that
one day I would make things different. One day I would make people like me. I would have the last laugh then. As I left the Ball, alone again naturally, I found my friends, giddy on the evening’s gaeity. “Where did you go off to, Gaybo?” they asked, but I sensed that I was being had for a fool. I turned to the young man who I had considered my best friend and, with all the vitriol and strength I could muster, looked him straight in the eye and told him to shag off.
hate the Trinity Ball and everything that it stands for, but I was happy to hear that a woman I was throwing the shag into in the 70s had gotten me a ticket, not long after the outbreak of the Troubles when I still had some time on my hands for cavorting with women. After a couple of pints, I got a bit rowdy and decided to stir things up
a bit, because I am always game for a laugh. I yelled “Fuck the provost! Fuck the provost!” but it was misinterpreted by a group of West Brits and Brits alike who attempted to join me in a chant of “Fuck the Provos! Fuck the Provos!” It was a cause of deep shame for me for some time but I took solace in the fact that I was kicked out for starting this loutish, if anti-republican, ruckus.
THE SPECIAL RELATIONS
Prior to the days of the MCD organised Trinity Ball, the annual event was a huge financial burden on the college. Now that they are involved, where does the balance of power rest? Rory O’Donovon found a curious lack of transparency surrounding the relatioship.
f you were asked to seriously consider it, what one question would you ask of those responsible for organising the Trinity Ball? I did consider it and I began trying to ask them: Why are tickets so bloody expensive? Once I reflected on this question, I was led to wondering who exactly is in charge of the ball. Should my questions be directed towards the Ents Officer? The SU? Or some higher college authority? In fact, the organisation that hold the answers to all of our Trinity Ball related questions, is an external one: MCD. Described in last year’s TN Ball Guide as ‘the country’s most successful event management firm’, MCD are unquestionably giants in their field. They have successfully organised some of the biggest concerts this country has ever seen, they run one of our most popular festivals – Oxegen – and they own and manage some of Dublin’s most renowned venues – The Gaiety, The Ambassador, The Olympia and one perhaps more familiar to many Trinity students – The Academy. Suffice to say, MCD are certainly qualified to manage Europe’s largest private party, but does their involvement maximise the value we, the students and the university, get from the Ball? My original question about ticket prices was left to one side unanswered as my curiosity was captured and I began a relatively unsuccessful quest to find individuals who were sufficiently qualified to
give me some insight. A former Ents ‘crew member’, agreed to tell me about their experiences of Trinity Ball organisation: ‘Not that I’d have anything particularly bad to say about them,’ they told me, ‘but I would certainly be very careful with what I was saying, they’re extremely sharp these guys.’ And that was effectively all that they said. MCD are notoriously litigious. They have been known to react forcefully and rapidly to anything that could negatively affect their reputation – with the most infamous incident proving to be their legal dispute with boards.ie over comments posted regarding the 2006 Oxegen festival. The former Ents crew member advised that people would be ‘very careful’ with what they told me. I hoped they wouldn’t be too careful. Next I was directed towards the experiences of Karl McDonald, who co-edited last year’s TN Ball Guide and, in doing so, was exposed to the influence MCD have over anything related to the Trinity Ball. Karl told me he was initially a ‘little worried about working with MCD … within college they’re unpopular, which I never exactly thought was fair considering how difficult it would be to do it on the scale they do it at without them.’ In the struggle for editorial independence Karl noted that ‘even though it’s free advertising, they really don’t need you. The ball sells out regardless’. Whilst the team behind the Ball Guide were striving towards
Photo - Martin McKenna
something ‘with a bit of intelligence and personality’, it became clear that ‘is not exactly what they’re looking for’. In a meeting with MCD, Karl tells me ‘they asked for approval over everything we were putting in, in the guise of helpfulness, but I couldn’t really have said yes to that, as I’m sure they were aware.’ Eventually, Karl ended up ‘personally guaranteeing that there wasn’t going to be anything negative written about the acts themselves’. Karl described the scenario as resulting in a ‘balancing act’, between what they wanted to print and ‘what we thought MCD would veto’. MCD are, essentially, the providers of a college service that has been outsourced – should our ability to criticise them be stunted?
NSHIP: MCD AND TRINITY praise for the MCD relationship. Former Ents Officers Darragh Genockey and Ed O’Riordan expressed sentiments not dissimilar from the quote I got from current Ents Officer Chris O’Connor – ‘MCD manage the ball fantastically and it would not be the same without them’. Surely the Ents Officers would know if the arrangement was best for students? Their arguments are convincing: The ball sells out every year now – it is a huge success; MCD have the capacity to attract acts that Ents Officers would struggle to; MCD have financial liability if the Ball was to be cancelled for any reason. By now my curiosity was aroused, but not to excess. There were some small evident disagreements, some displays of authority and some suspiciously cagey responses to my requests for on-the-record information. But many refuted any negatives of the arrangement quite sincerely and, on the surface Trinity Ball was undoubtedly now a hugely successful event. Then it suddenly hit me – no one had mentioned money.
MCD are notoriously litigious. They have been known to react forcefully and rapidly to anything that could negatively affect their reputation...
Former Ents Officers seemed an obvious source of information and one I spoke to told me that ‘it is difficult to work with MCD… but they have made the ball commercially viable’. They went on to say that ‘there should be a better working relationship with the Ents Officer and MCD – mainly they shouldn’t just hand you a
list of confirmed bands.’ While last year’s TN Ball Guide asserts that the Ents Officer ‘puts forward proposals and aspirations’, it won’t come as a surprise to many that this Ents Officer at least claims to have had little influence on the line-up. But other former Ents Officers were unequivocal in their
MCD, Ents, the SU – surely there was a financial aspect? Reliably informed that SU accounts are open to student perusal I sent an email to the college authorities requesting to see the Trinity Ball accounts related to Ents and MCD. Within minutes I got word that my request had been flagged and enquiries were being made into what my angle in gaining access to them was. An hour or so later I received a reply stating : ‘I can tell you that the Ball makes a surplus and the surplus is distributed to the CSC, SU, DUCAC, Publications and the GSU’. A week later, my persistence in gaining access was rewarded as I was deemed entitled to a little more information – namely that ‘The SU makes €37,942.50 off the Ball’. A request for annual accounts relating to a particular aspect of the SU was met with a vague description and one figure.
Transparency? By now, what I really wanted to know was to what extent MCD profit from the Ball – effectively, how the division of profit is weighted. Is it unfair to assume that an event the SU essentially hold the rights to, should result in at least the lion’s share of the profits being spent on things that benefit the union, and the university? I was getting the impression I wasn’t going to get anywhere with my enquiries. There was certainly something suspicious happening behind the scenes. My misgivings were confirmed by an SU insider, who told me they believe ‘there is definitely something to how secretive they are being about the accounts. They don’t want the relationship being discussed.’ The source concluded ‘the amount of money made from the Ball is potentially a lightning rod of controversy’. * MCD have made the Ball ‘viable’ and ‘profitable’ – so everyone keeps telling me – but at what price to us? Whatever the truth that lies behind the mystery may be, there is something extremely skewed about the balance of power that exists between Trinity College and MCD. As the guardians of the Trinity Ball, a lucrative Trinity franchise, the college authorities responsible for it have a clear duty to ensure that in any arrangements, it is the students that reap the benefits. MCD may be a powerful and seemingly capable partner, but surely any individual in this college, as those being provided with (and paying for) a service, have the right to criticise and question them? Indeed, surely they have the right to make demands of them? This article has concluded with a lot of questions left unanswered but I am willing to bet that someone who reads it can answer them – and should.
SENSIBILITIES Toby Evans shares his tips for going above and beyond the simple tuxedo
he need for a guide to men’s dress for Trinity Ball is a seemingly superficial one considering that Trinity Ball is considered to be a black tie event. Therefore it should be simply… Wear black tie. However, seeing as the majority of Trinity students are known for pushing the sartorial envelope, we have put some tips together catering for the conservative to the newfangled. For those among you for whom the last word in elegance is a tucked in shirt and matching socks, you are best advised to stay firmly within the boundaries of tradition. Our recommendation would be to buy or rent a dinner jacket in either black or navy blue along with trousers of the same colour. Shirts should either be white (and by white we mean white) or ivory coloured. This is a simple, elegant look that may not turn any heads, but will definitely allow entry into the ball. The more daring should opt for a properly fitted double-breasted jacket. They only really suit the very slim or sportsmen looking for a betterproportioned posture. The doublebreasted jacket offers a tidy alternative to regular jackets whilst still retaining a traditional flourish. The shift will remain as elusive as an Irish summer if you do not have a real bowtie. Clip-ons are a definite no. Clip-ons should be the sole preserve of those lacking opposable thumbs. As for ties, solid colour ties are better than any patterned tie. If you choose to wear that pink and yellow floral number belonging to your father that you so often eye up on Christmas Day, you will regret it. For the more adventurous we recommend splashing out on some colourful accessories. A coloured tie, with matching socks is always good. Although patterned waistcoats will make you look like an extra of only fools and
horses at the wedding of your illegitimate daughter. A small bow tie is preferable, as they are much sharper, and in turn neater, than the over-sized Mickey Mouse option. In the shoe department, simply keep to plain black shoes, polished of course. And on the subject of maintenance, we cannot stress the importance of a crisply ironed shirt, and freshly steamed/ pressed jacket and trousers. It will only take you 10 minutes to do so, or else you could ask you mother the night before the ball to do you a solid and iron and press/steam your various garments. It makes all the difference. If you are determined to inject a bit more colour into your get-up, a red velvet smoking jacket with black lapels adds a debonair air to proceedings. Don’t be tempted by the siren song of a white jacket, you’re not Humphrey Bogart and never will be. Contrary to any evidence you may have gleaned from reality television stars, a t-shirt with a suit drawn on is neither funny nor clever, even if you do think it makes you seem edgy and devil-may-care. A waistcoat is a nice addition to any suit, the simpler the better. It will also provide that much needed extra layer of warmth that you will so greatly appreciate come half four in the morning, (when your mot is wearing your jacket). If you go for the waistcoat option we highly recommend that you wear it correctly. Commit to the waistcoat, wear with all buttons done up, and sufficiently tightened at the back. Accessories should be understated; a pair of cufflinks looks nice against a white shirt. Anything goes in the cufflink department, as long as they are actually cufflinks and not safety pins. You’re not in a Sex Pistols cover band, and if you are, the cause has already been lost. Brown Thomas has a large selection of pricey, but attractive cufflinks, otherwise TK Maxx in Stephens Green Shopping Centre is a surprisingly reliable source. If there is one thing that you should most definitely take away from this guide, it is this: WEAR A CAPE. No longer the sole preserve of Kings and Queens both royal and drag, the cape will elevate you to a realm of sartorial nirvana. A good range can be found at HYPERLINK “http://www.cloaksofireland.com/”http://www.cloaksofireland. com/. A cape adds so much to any outfit. Not only will it transform you into a untamable wildebeest of fashion, but it will also provide a much needed weather shield for you and your squeeze, should the elements turn against you on the night.
ONCE upon a
TRINITY BALL Make-Up by the LA Academy
SLEEPING BEAUTY Dress, Monsoon €169.00 Garland, models own Clutch, Fran & Jane €99.00 Bangle, Fran & Jane €25.00 Model - Michelle Judge
EVIL STEPMOTHER Dress, Monsoon €199.00 Necklace (worn as bracelet) Fran & Jane €75.00 Ring, Fran & Jane, €29.00 Model - Emma Sutton
ARIEL Dress, Fran & Jane â‚Ź499.00 Model - Fiona Sharkey
MAD HATTERTop Hat, Harlequinn Waistcaot, Harlequinn Rings, Harlequinn Bag, Harlequinn Sequinn Skirt, Om Diva, New designers collection. Shoes, models own Shirt, Americal Apparel €66.00 Model - Sarah O’Malley ALICEDress, American Apparel €66.00 Necklace, (worn on wrist) Fran & Jane €40.00 Pearl Necklace, Fran & Jane €69.00 Fur Jacket, stylists own Shoes, models own Watches, models own Model Anna
CINDERELLA DressCouture Boutique â‚Ź250.00 Shoes-models own Model Grace Healy
GRETEL Cape, Harlequinn Dress, American Apparel â‚Ź39.00 Petticoat, American Apparel â‚Ź76.00 With special thanks to Eddie Rockets, SouthAnne Street, who provided the beautiful location for this photos to be taken. Model - Sophie Hersey-Smith
SNOW WHWITE Dress, Monsoon €169.00 Garland, models own Clutch, Fran & Jane €99.00 Bangle, Fran & Jane €25.00 Model Ciara Ní Chuirc
THE LINE UP 2012
FRIENDLY FIRES The three piece tropical pop/disco house group, known for their energetic live shows, are bound to please, as hits like “Skeleton Boy” and “Jump In Pool” get feet moving instantly. After their brilliant December show in the Olympia, it’ll be a welcome return for the three lads.
MARINA & THE DIAMONDS Presumably to make up for Jessie J’s woeful performance last year. Marina (and The Diamonds) is like a cross between Ellie Goulding and Bats For Lashes. While this may be the case, Marina falls short of both aforementioned acts.
MARS! That song alone can describe my days in transition year i.e. very hectic and disorganized (but more as a result of drinking than anything else). He hasn’t come out with anything particularly good since the Fix Your Accent EP, but Fake Blood should still put on an interesting and very danceable set.
It was a ropey start for Timothy “Labrinth” McKenzie when his track “Let The Sun Shine” made ears bleed around the nation but with the release of “Earthquake” he has gone up a notch on the music-snob-applause-o-metre. Despite his chart progress, his association with Simon Cowell puts him bottom of the ‘cool’ list.
COSUMER LOVE AFFAIR
CASHIER NO. 9
Good innocent four piece Irish band who have played their fair share of decent gigs including Oxegen, the Hotpress Academy and of course, the Trinity Ball. Their sound is a cross between Bombay Bicycle Club and Mumford & Sons and the result isn’t too shabby!
Regular listeners of Phantom should know this band like the back of their hand. Cashier No. 9 have come a long way since they released their debut album, To The Death Of Fun. They now play sold out shows and even have their own YouTube Vevo page(!). They have been known to be a bit dull on previous performances, but hopefully this won’t be the case for their Ball show.
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It’s not easy being Green.
lmost five months have passed since Stephen Manderson, a.k.a. Professor Green, released his sophomore album, At Your Inconvenience. While there are already discussions about a new album, he’s still touring and releasing singles from his second record. “I’ve got so much work to do on At Your Inconvenience; we’ve still got a f ew more singles to release and we’re releasing in America this year, the first single being ‘Nightmares’ with Royce Da 5”9. We’ve got to do a video for that.” The man is obviously keeps himself busy. Professor Green has come a long way since his days on Mike Skinner’s label The Beats (of which he speaks of in quite a negative light). On his first mixtape, Lecture #1, Green mainly talks about smoking weed, getting drunk
and popping pills. However on the new LP, it’s obvious he’s made some drastic changes to his life style choice. “I was high out of my box, I’ve kind of reigned that in a little bit. I’m more professional these days. I was a young chipper back then, I was 21 years old. I could do it all and then wake up the next morning and have a smile on my face. Now I do 3 days and I’m like ‘Uhhhhhh, why did I even bother?’” At Your Inconvenience even explores much darker territory that Green never would have discussed before. On the track “Today I Cried”, Green talks about all the repercussions of fame and on the song “Astronaut” he tells the story of a rape victim who turns to heroin abuse for comfort. When asked about why he made this change Green simply says, “I just continue to write about my experience”
Although, the lyrics have moved direction, the beats haven’t changed. There’s still a huge variety, from tracks which sample the Pixies, to songs produced by drum and bass legends Camo & Krooked. Like all of his records, there’s still a huge Jungle influence. “I’m an old school Junglist mate. That was the first music I got into. That was the scene when I first started hanging out and playing on my estate. It’s important for me to give a little nod to that”. Green has also expressed interest in working with Mike Skinner and Skrillex on the new album although he says he’s only spoken to Skrillex over Twitter. However, he did reveal that he’s in the process of working with Raf Rundell of The 2 Bears and Hot Chip. Not only is there talk of work with various producers, but Green has showed interest in working with different artists for the new album. He says that a collaboration with Ed Sheeran will definitely happen, and he’s “just waiting until they get the right track”. This is Professor Green’s second year performing at the Trinity Ball and he seems to have enjoyed it last year. “It was wicked. There was a bit of an issue with sound. Katie B was on and she basically set the place on fire. Quite literally. But we sorted it out and had a good one. Obviously I’ve got more material out in Ireland this time so I’m looking forward to it”. When I mention that Jessie J said it was one of the most difficult gigs of her life he says, “I didn’t find the crowd that difficult. I was quite drunk myself. So I was in a better place for it than she was”. After I inform Green that his former touring companions Rizzle Kicks will also be playing this year he laughs with delight and says “I’ll tell you what they are, they’re fucking brilliant. We had such a good time on tour man. They were a part of one the best headline tours I’ve done so far. They’re wicked man”. Their drunken shenanigans can be seen online through Green’s YouTube page
and hopefully be palpable during their performance. With the line up of this years ball having a quite a lot of British hip-hop artists (i.e. Rizzle Kicks, Labrinth, Dot Rotten), I asked Green what he thought of the scene today. “I think it’s really healthy at the moment and there’s good acts coming through. It’s a weird situation though; I do worry a little bit. This happened with guitar bands, A&R were signing every guitar band and in the end they all went to shit. I do worry a little bit that the same thing could happen with our scene. We’ve got to a place where our music is accepted and it will always be welcomed. I’m not sure if it’s going to work out for everyone. There’s 24 people [major label British hip-hop artists] signed at the moment. That’s a pretty big number if you think how many radio stations will actually play our records. But you know, it’s good for a little while. It’s exciting. It’s good to see such a healthy scene because we’ve never had it before. This is the first time in history”. It’s clear though that Professor Greene has made quite a transformation even since his first album was released. Early interviews suggest that Green was always a bit of a kid at heart, however during our conversation I feel as if I’m listening to a performer who has matured as an artist. When asked about how he finds fame, he simply says, “There’s a lot to think about”. When asked him whether he still is having fun now that he’s considered a big artist, he said “it’s a different type of fun now. I’ve got so many responsibilities. Life is different in general for me now.” Although his attitude towards life has changed dramatically, Green still sounds as if he’s only at the early stages of his career, and he’s still putting on good live shows and still making good music. So has Green got anything planned for Ball? “Same as always; lots of energy and good banter”. Obviously not everything has changed.
hey fought off tough competition to reach not only the final of the Trinity Ents’ Battle of the Bands, but also the stage of the 2011 Trinity Ball. With the launch of this year’s Battle of the Bands competition, The University Times looks back on the whole experience with David Tapley from Tandem Felix. UT: There was tough competition in the Battle of the Bands final last year, how did you feel when you guys won?
ORIGINAL RUDE BOYS
Photo - Robbie Blake
DT: Funnily, I actually missed the announcement! While the judges were deciding there was an incredible ‘80s tribute band busting out You Can Call Me Al and Footloose and all that. I ran to get some pizza after that... We were in the dressing room and a friend of mine congratulated me. I thought he was referring to the actual performance, but it eventually clicked. It was a great feeling, we felt we had
ailing from Dublin’s north inner city, The Original Rudeboys have only been playing their combination of acoustic guitar and rap for 11 months, and have already played such major festivals as Oxegen and Leeds Music festival. Their debut album, already in its final production lines, is set for release in March of this year, so it’s no wonder they’re included in the lineup for this year’s Trinity ball. Their first single Stars in my Eyes reached the number 2 spot in the iTunes charts and has nearly 400,000 views on YouTube - an impressive feat for the Dublin lads who still remain an unsigned band. Speaking to lead singer of the band, Sean “Neddy” Arkins tells The University Times about how hectic the past year has been. “Yeah, it’s been pretty crazy. We didn’t expect to become an actual band at all, we just filmed a video and then stuck it on YouTube and it all went from there.” It was that accidental spiral that brought them to where they are today, being not only listed as one of the main acts to play Europe’s biggest formal outdoor party, but holding their debut album launch at the Grand Social in
played really well so it was good to get a pat on the back for it. UT: Was Trinity Ball the biggest gig you’ve played at to date? DT: In magnitude: yes. However, it was quite early so most of the tuxedos and frocks hadn’t arrived yet. We were enjoying all the free fruit/Tayto in the backstage area so it made no mind to us! Towards the end of our set people started to watch. Great night: slept like a baby. UT: Did you have any famous musician encounters back stage or during the night? DT: We brought along a few CDs to hand out to the A-listers. The best encounter was when Evan (bassist) and Fiachra (drums) broke into The Streets dressing room and gave Mike Skinner a CD. He said he’d listen to it, probably listens to it in his Starlet every day. We also stole Professor Green’s brown bread. Tasted like cardboard. Dublin. At the event, the band will also unveil their new fulltime line-up; which is set to include a drummer and a bassist. The shake-up, Ned explains, is mostly for practical reasons, such as filling large stages at festivals, but particularly because at live shows the band found it hard to play each essential instrument themselves. “When we were offered to play festivals, it was a no brainer that we played with a full set up. At Oxegen, we couldn’t exactly stand on stage with an acoustic guitar and a ukulele. The backing has always been there, with friends filling in as session musicians, and now two of our mates will play fulltime. It’s weird because usually it’s just the three of us who play all the instruments – we played all of them on the album – but we’ll always be the ‘original’ Original Rude boys!” Support for the album launch includes Consumer Love Affair, another act announced to play Trinity Ball in April. Speaking of his favourite acts the band has played for to date, Ned seemed fonder of the Irish acts they’ve supported. “We’ve had the pleasure of supporting 50 Cent, The Game and Eminem, and it’s equally amazing to say we supported them, but the coolest definitely has to be
UT: If you were to give one piece of advice to the winners of this year’s competition, what would it be? Make sure you annoy all the celebrities. Make sure to tell MCD you have an eight person film crew and get all yer loved ones in. Make sure to make loads of noise on stage. Make sure to have a few alcohols. Don’t doubt yourself. Stay true. UT: What’s next for Tandem Felix? Some recording, part-time dog walking scheme, reinstatement of the Felix Book Club, maybe get around to writing some songs and stuff. I myself am actually working on writing music for a children’s show called “Sausage Dog”. It’s a show about a dog and his escapades. He’s a real nice lad. It’s got some Tandem Felix elements about it but all in all it’s quite cool and breezy.
Damien Dempsey. He was so down to earth that it was just like chatting to one of our old friends.” The Rude Boys’ debut single Stars in my Eyes was written in just 15 minutes, and they find that “the songs that seem to be most popular are the ones we haven’t spent a lot of time writing.” In regards to the lyrics of their music, the majority of The Original Rude Boys’ songs are laden with messages that Ned explains are usually issues that mean something to the band; “If I see something happening on the streets or something that connects with me I’ll write it down and then present it to the lads and we’ll develop the idea further.” The lads, who have been compared to a mix of Ray Lamontagne and The Streets, say they ”are absolutely looking forward to playing at it. Two or three friends studied at Trinity and they went to the ball each year and each year they wouldn’t shut up about it so we’re really exciting to see what all the fuss is about! If you can’t wait until the ball to see what all the fuss about The Original Rudeboys is, check out their debut album This Life released on the 23rd March.
BALL STEREOTYPES Katie Abrahams runs through some of the more predictible Trinity Ball attendees
THE BESS WOLF PACK Where to Find Them:
ou don’t find the Wolf Pack, they hunt you down. Female attendees of the Ball are the helpless prey to the prowling self-imagined connoisseurs of seduction, and their execution of sniffing out the most vulnerable, sloshed target are as impressive as it is inexorable. Once you’ve isolated yourself from the mass crowds, you may be at risk of a BESS Wolf marking you as a potential conquest. The ubercouth aesthetic of a seasoned BESS Wolf dovetails with their uniquely pompous approach. Deviating from the standard method of attempting to obscure moral dysfunction, and the near-certain truth that you are a merely a bet, the BESS Wolf flaunts his vice with bold enterprise. He can eviscerate your resolve with his charms, gift wrapping his shamelessly extant motive in sustained eye-contact, knee caresses, and killer lines such as ‘’I’ve a girlfriend, but she’s in Arts in UCD…and of course, she’s not as beautiful as you.’’ If you see these libidinous marauders gallivanting about the grounds this year—and you’ll know when you do—prepare for a breathtaking insight into a rare species comprised of the lusty hubris associated with a TCD business degree, and the contents of The Game. The denouement of the Wolf Pack’s hunt often results in the capturing of Self-Absorbed Drunk Girl.
AMUSING ANECDOTE GUY Where to Find Him:
ne is most likely to find this effusive, happy chap outside a performance tent, where he will mosey over to
you for a smoke and a storytelling opportunity, which reels you in with its masterful, easy blending of being both relatable and offbeat. Amusing Anecdote Guy is typically cuddly and hirsute like a bear with smiling, glassy eyes and an apparently insatiable desire to make you laugh. In a microcosm where everyone is under the influence of something, he becomes a metaphor for the deep communality of humanity; you bond over what seems like everything. Your former neighbour was his cousin’s best mate, isn’t this so amazing!? The shelf-life of this jocular, magical friend is, sadly, usually about thirty minutes at most. You’ll enjoy a cigarette or five, promise to add each other on Facebook even if one of you doesn’t have an account and the other seldom logs onto theirs, and perhaps head to the next performance tent together. Once inside, Amusing Anecdote Guy either mysteriously vanishes without a trace, or is carried away by the ebb and flow of moshing Ballers. You will never see Amusing Anecdote Guy again. However,
mind. Teamed with the vexed ruminations of how, hey, the attention isn’t on her, we begin to see the true expression of the she-demon within. Don’t be fooled by the communicative, mascara-rimmed eyes and gut-wrenching performance worthy of the finest, gold-plated award; she has no genuine desire for your condolences, peptalks or advice. This tornado of female neuroses gets her egocentric kicks from attention full stop, Illustration : Mice Hell rather than maintain a sense of standard on the form said attention comes in. The funreplacement babysitter for thedamental, and dogged need he will occasionally crop up in remainder of the evening, you for attention . conversations or your mind’s are a better person than I. If the night has failed to eye, as you wistfully recall his provide her with this, the introductory tale-telling, which resulting last hour or so of cemented a finite friendship being in Narcissistic Drunk with enduring novelty. Girl’s company is a test of steely nerves and saintly tolerance. No longer quelled by the effects of bounteous Where to Find Her: quantities of port audaciously plucked from Daddy’s drinks cabinet, mingled with the botlumped on a step or tle of Grand Cru her parents bench in suitably proudly presented her with as histrionic fashion, Where to Find Them: a pre-Ball treat. She is revisfeigning a level of inebriaited by the entirely wearisome tion and meekness beyond and super-magnified sore hen it becomes veracity, with legs tellingly points of her life, which are evident to the semi-spread in the desperate then vocalised via snot-accasual passer- hope she will be set upon by cented caterwauls to everyone a member of the BESS Wolf by that this poor individual’s around her. The complaints every sensory stimulus is lacer- Pack. of which range from ‘’I’m so The antithesis to the jubilant ating, and induces lachrymose spastic, I had 5 resits last sumrevellers around her, Selfand logorrhea, we should feel mer *bawl*’’, to ‘’He’s such… Absorbed Drunk Girl begins sympathy for this Baller. For *sniff*….a fucking…*sniff*…. to crumble as the curtains of these unfortunate dotes, you dickhead’’. The lattermost may be an entirely unarresting her Ball experience approach being somewhat ironic, since and insignificant presence com- drawing time. Her friend’s the lending of a sympathetic pared to the colossal black spi- talk of taxi-ordering begins to phallus is what most self-abders which proceed to burst out filter into her auditory realm, sorbed yet terrifyingly needy and the prospect of mulling of the wall behind you. If you Self-Absorbed Drunk Girls over missed opportunities feel the philanthropic calling maniacally seek out on this for self-validation that night to designate yourself as their enchanting night. begin to swirl in her tired
THE WILD-EYED BAD BUZZER, WHO GURNS OCCASIONALLY
SELF-ABSORBED DRUNK GIRL, SHEDS CROCODILE TEARS
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