GUARDIAN STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2008
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW IN OUR ARTS PULL-OUT
GRACEGATE: WILL IT COST FLETCH HER JOB? Pages 6-7
HUNTING DOWN YORK'S CHIC STUDENTS
REPORTS CONDEMN UNI
IT'S OFFICIAL: YORK UNI FAILING ITS MINORITY STUDENTS > York's non-white students lagging behind in exam results > Uni only attracting HALF national average of ethnic minority applicants
EXCLUSIVE BY ADAM THORN FOREIGN STUDENTS at York are underachieving in their subjects compared to white underg raduates, an admin investig ation has revealed. T h e findings are backed up from a national investigation into the situation compiled at
York, which reveals that being from an ethnic group has a “negative effect” on achievement in the UK. York is also struggling to attract p e o p l e from ethnic backgrounds – with less than half the percentage that applies nationwide.
FULL STORY PAGE 5
your EXILED week
Tuesday February 5, 2008
QUOTE OF THE WEEK 3
couldn’t go near him
because he stank so bad.
Housemate of the student who fell off a roof into a wheelie bin
GOOD WEEK bad week GOOD WEEK
Living it up in New York
Hes. Road HOOKERS
Soon to be out of business?
the number cruncher Dollars it cost you for Brian Cantor to stay at the Radisson Hotel for a week.
Minutes of speeches at the Grace FletcherHackwood debate
Perecentage of ethnic minorities at York.
FINALLY SPEAKS AT YORK
BY DANIEL HEWITT
activist RIGHTS HUMAN Asma Jangahir has finally been able to make her visit to the University following her house arrest in Pakistan in November. The Special Rapporteur to UN Commission on Human Rights was due to speak at York last year but was unable to travel following the implementation of emergency rule by President Musharraf which led to her detainment. Jangahir, who once labelled as an ‘Asian Hero’ by Time Magazine, spoke in front of a capacity audience in the Physics Exhibition Centre. Vice Chancellor Brian Cantor welcomed the influential speaker.
Cantor spoke of the bravery and courage of Jahangir’s work in defending the religious and marital rights of both men and women in Pakistan. He said, “I am so pleased to host someone with such standing in the world. It is a massive achievement for the University to have you here.” Her speech focused upon raising awareness of the horrendous penalties Pakistani citizens face for issues such as adultery and religious conversion. She described how rape victims are accused of adultery and sentenced to death, whilst blasphemy, or conversion from Islam to Christianity, warrants the same punishment. be cannot “Intolerance
wiped out by intolerant means”, Jahangir said. “The value of freedom and human rights…are being undermined across the world.” Jangahir’s work as an outspoken defender of religious rights in such a repressive country has come at a cost. She regularly receives death threats, puts her own life at risk and as the events of November have shown, is an extremely unpopular figure with members of the current Pakistani regime. “My appeal is a selfish one - to appeal to your good selves to influence your government that if democracy is good for you, it is good for us. I have been fighting for it since I was 16 and I don’t want the next generation to suf-
fer.” One emotional member of the audience told Jangahir, “I am so proud of you. You're a source of inspiration to all Pakistani women.” Baroness Haleh Asfar OBE, a lecturer at the University, described what an honour it was for the University to welcome such “an outstanding human being. Asma has stood her ground when others would not. She is an example of a human being we should all aspire to be.” Jangahir was invited to speak at the Univeristy by Professor Mozaffar Qizilbash of the School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy.
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Tuesday February 5, 2008
STUDENT'S SHAKESPEARE PRODUCTION SCOUTED FOR COWELL'S ITV SHOW
BBC BOFF BY EMILY FAIRBAIRN
BOUNCY BARD'S GOT TALENT BY MARTIN WILLIAMS PANTO KING Will Seaward is set to appear on 'Britain’s Got Talent' later this year after being specially selected by ITV producers to appear on the show. The third-year English and History of Art student was spotted on YouTube performing his show ‘Bouncy Castle Macbeth’ at the Edinburgh Fringe and his work with inflatable palm trees and rubber sex dolls obviously impressed the show's creators. The act involves William Shakespeare’s Macbeth being performed live on a bouncy castle. The idea which came to Seaward several years ago when he sat reading
Shakespeare on a bouncy castle at a children’s party in Argentina. The cast have performed at the Birmingham Hippodrome as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to mixed responses, but after much persuasion, Seaward agreed to audition for Series Two of Simon Cowell’s hit talent show. “Our act is just like Marmite,” he said, “people absolutely adored it or completely despised it”. “Bouncy Castle Macbeth”, however, was too hot to handle for the studio audience, comprised mostly of school children and parents, and the PantSoc President was voted off by panellists Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden.
Presenters Ant and Dec were outraged at the decision and judge Cowell admitted that although the performance was “absolutely ridiculous”, the cast’s parents “should be very proud of them.” Seaward and the rest of the cast have been delighted to get this far though and enjoyed taking part in the competition, which offers the winner £100,000 and a chance to perform live at the Royal Variety Performance in front the Queen. The director of PantoSoc’s Peter Pan-tomime admitted that he has another project on the horizon, but has revealed that it won’t involve a bouncy castle as his body
cannot take “at least another hour of constant bouncing”.
h i c W h cs leci Polit is one turer r - w o r d s w e a f ro m away isciplia d nary?
HES. ROAD HOOKERS
BY TOM SHELDRICK
A SUSPECTED BROTHEL on Heslington Road has caused neighbouring students to fear for their safety. A note entitled ‘Neighbourhood Awareness’ was recently distributed to Heslington Road residents, raising alarm amongst the large student populace. The warning, from a local “family man”, concludes “I believe it is used as a brothel”, after citing incidences of “men coming and going at all hours.” Third-year Loren Miller was approached by a potential brothel client last year. “He pulled up outside our gate and shadily asked, ‘is this where Jenny’s massage parlour is?’” Laura Duffy, a second year Goodricker, said: “I live on the road and we got this note through the door just before Christmas. We asked our landlady what she knew about it, and she said that when she and her husband ran a newsagent on Hes. Road, lots of girls used to come in and clean them out of condoms.”
Just a ten-minute walk north of campus, Heslington Road is a popular area for second and thirdyears, and as such has a largely student population. Another local student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “You don’t expect it in a student area. I feel worried that a r e illicit operations going on nearby and am concerned about the kind of characters a brothel will attract.” Vision’s findings come after four people appeared at York Crown Court charged with trafficking women and laundering the profits of prostitution in December. One brothel is believed to be on Nicholas Street, off Hull Road – another popular student area. In June 2006, Vision uncovered a centrally-located York business that had been operating as a brothel. Local police have been unavailable to comment.
RORY BREMNER’S famous Tony Blair impression was put under the microscope by a York professor in a new BBC documentary. ‘The Voice’, presented by Electronics professor David Howard, explores the science behind the human voice. Howard took on the challenge of improving Bremner’s mimic of the former Prime Minister using expertise in electronic voice synthesis. The celebrity impersonator “was great to work with”, said Howard, “and I think you can hear the impression improve.” The show, televised last month, also featured stars such as comedian Jeremy Hardy and tenor Alfie Boe, and the show has turned Howard into a TV personality. However he did have to admit that “no-one’s recognised me in the street just yet.” The programme also analyses major political speeches of the 20th century and deals with issues such as overseas call centres and the changing of Britain’s speaking clock. Although Howard was disappointed that he himself was not imitated by Bremner, “apparently my voice is too non-descript”, he did get a free hair-cut out of the experience, since the “producers insisted”.
WHERE'VE YOU BIN? BY JASMINE PHILLIPS A YORK STUDENT met a stinking end as he tumbled backwards off a roof into an open bin. It was the result of a bungled attempt by him and a friend to enter his house after being locked out. Glenn Wray, an English and History student, was left reeking and incapacitated for days with cuts, bruises, strained knee ligaments and a severely torn thigh muscle following the 12ft fall from his garage roof. “It was the worst pain I have ever felt; my left leg felt as if it had been hit by a sledge hammer,” he said. Wray had returned home with friends from nightclub bpm in the early hours of Friday 25th January without his house keys. The third year student decided to climb over the garage to the back door which had been left open. An eyewitness described how a concrete slab shifted sending Wray plunging backwards off the roof and into the rubbish-filled wheelie bin. "We all just laughed because it seemed so funny”, said witness Josie Ronson, a third year Sociology student."But I couldn’t go near him because he stank so bad – it made me want to throw-up.” Wray remarked that he had been unable to move from his bed for three days and walked with a heavy limp for over a week. Remorsefully he noted “perhaps next time I’ll just take my house key out with me”.
student press BLEACHFIELD We read them...
Tuesday February 5, 2008
...so you don't have to
Thai Flyers Pot noodles have been replaced by Thai green curry as a student favourite, writes Redbrick. A study carried out by Birmingham University revealed that students are straying from their lazy stereotype and preferring to cook up the exotic Asian special. The survey also revealed that the average Birmingham undergraduate spends £250 a month on fashion and partying! So, that I guess could“burned all blame vealed the we student a Ryan, Seth, Marissa and Summer for our ever rising student debt!
Jim'll Fix It
The voice of Jimmy Savile is being broadcast from talking lampposts in efforts to reduce the number of burglaries, reports Leeds Student. Safety tips, recorded by the veteran DJ, are triggered when pedestrians walk through student dominated Headingley and Hyde Park as part of the crime-reducing campaign. One message says “Burglars nick allPORTERS the gear.have Don’t join ANGRY threatthat action club - against lock everything up.” ened a new UniverLeeds should consityMaybe pay scheme that they fear will leave in theback financial lurch. siderthem bringing Jim’ll Fix could be losing on It They to cut their crime out levels. £200-300 per month if when the
EMILY FAIRBAIRN AND MARTIN WILLIAMS ceive the full amount if they
> LANGWITH TO BE BOUGHT UP BY YUSU FOR FIRST STUDENT-RUN VENUE BY ANNA-CLAIRE BEVAN LANGWITH BAR is set to become the first ever YUSU run student venue, following proposals by Services and Finances Officer, Matt Burton, to buy out the ailing college bar. The idea was suggested after a Bar Strategy group, employed by the university, recommended closing both Langwith and Halifax by the end of the year. Burton said: “A student run bar could be great for Langwith and for the University.” However, he later added that, “YUSU are not in a position to take on Halifax too”, which would mean that the University’s largest college would be devoid of a social drinking area. Halifax President, David Sharp called it “an absolute
disaster for Halifax students” and has accused the University of “abandoning” them. “It’s not only the bar we’ll be losing; it’ll be our college identity too,’ Sharp added. With the closure of college bar JJ’s, Halifax students wishing to have a drink in the evening would be forced to cross the road and use unlit paths onto the main campus. Sharp said that these welfare issues would be “especially dangerous during Fresher’s Week.” After pleading Halifax’s case to a sub-committee, the firstyear President managed to delay the closure until the end of the academic year and is now trying to gather signatures to petition against the shutting of JJ’s. YUSU president Anne-Marie Canning insisted that: “Taking on this Langwith proposal
is not pushing Halifax to one side”, but has failed to come up with an alternative option. Having admitted that he will not be able to deliver his election promise of a student-run venue in the city, Burton has jumped at the chance to take over a bar on campus and use it as a “stepping stone” to the student venue on Heslington East. Whilst Sharp agreed that Langwith would be an easier venue for YUSU to run, he said that “the university has a duty to cater for students in Halifax, but instead they’re cutting them off.” Although the majority of the college chairs were in support of YUSU’s bid, questions have been raised over the impact it will have on neighbouring college bars. One college Chair, who wished to re-
main anonymous, said that it could come down to a “YUSU versus Colleges competition - and someone’s got to lose.” Langwith Chair Zach Pepper said that with their collaboration with YUSU “We hope to create a central space that all members of the University can use to run all kinds of events, and see the direct return of their ‘student pounds’ under the banner of ‘Your Union:Your Profit’.” A campus wide decline in sales last year prompted an assessment into how economically viable it was to keep individual college bars open when running at a loss. Both the University and the man in charge of deciding the fate of campus bars, Phil Kember, declined comment on the situation.
THE LIFE OF BRIAN
Business Clas to New York: s flight £4589.3 0 A week in a Five Star hote l: $2574.40 The life of Brian Cantor: PRICELE
Balls To That One first yearfinancial Exeter student has unfavourable initiative been ahead. increasing student goes One his porter, who loan has chosen to remain anonymous, said by importing French champagne. that, “Fireworks and Exeposé writesmay howstart”, one Geogifraphy put student into operation, the policy had a £5,000 turnover between October and January alone from selling the exclusive alcohol to the Devon community. The business was originally set up to sell cheap tennis balls but the demand for champagne was greater as the summer came to a close. Having being nominated for a Young Persons Business award, selling champagne definately beats a few shifts in McDonalds!
ni d by U e n o d n a
[Vision boffin estimate s]
R E L O C AT ED JAMES college were students Skinny dipping students hauled have been causing havoctheir in out of an Oxford canal following their digs. evictionnew from Bleachfield a nearby nightclub. Despite only having The Oxford Student reportslived how there a month they already passers-by called thehave police after started firedrunken and verbally abused spottinga the undergraduVanbrugh College ates frolicking naked in the cleaners. icy water. A University has reOne of thestatement boys attempted to evade rescue by swimming away from the police boat. One of the students admitted that he feels “quite ashamed” and has blamed alcohol for being “more dangerous than people give it credit for”.
PHOTO BY TERRY LI
BY ANNA-CLAIRE BEVAN AND JASMINE PHILLIPS VICE CHANCELLOR, Brian Cantor has once again been jet setting around the world on your money. The extravagant Cantor, who Vision last year revealed spent £90,000 “promoting the University”, just returned from a luxury trip to New York City. He and a team of top bosses had an all-expenses-paid weeklong trip to the Big Apple, staying at the Five Star Radisson Lexington Hotel in Manhattan’s fashionable East Side.
The plush hotel, which has recently undergone a 20 MILLION DOLLAR renovation, now boasts “32” widescreen TVs in every room”, “superior athletic facilities”, and “luxurious 300-thread count bedding”. The lavish accommodation of the York Vice Chancellor was once home to ‘50s Hollywood icon, Marilyn Monroe, and New York Yankees baseball player, Joe DiMaggio. “Since 1929, the Radisson Lexington Hotel has welcomed global leaders, star-studded celebrities, famous sports icons, business executives [and now Brian Cantor]”, said Brendan
Moraes, General Manager of the Radisson Lexington. Exposed only last year as being one of the biggest spending university bosses in the country, Cantor is continuing in his spendthrift ways, frittering away students’ cash. A University spokesperson said that: “One of the principal aims of the visit was to promote the new Department of Theatre, Film and Television and to establish contacts in the USA.” However, why it was necessary for Cantor to stay in such a high-profile, starstudded and extravagant hotel remains unknown.
Tuesday February 5, 2008
FOREIGN STUDENTS AT YORK: NATIONAL EXPOSÉ BY ADAM THORN FROM FRONT PAGE AN EQUAL Opportunities report released by the University has revealed that foreign students are underachieving at York – while also adding that far fewer students apply to our Uni than apply across the country. The report shows that just 7.6% of York students come from ethnic minority backgrounds – compared to the total national figure of 18.75%. With York's student populace estimated at 13,750, this would amount to barely over one thousand minority students. However, 'The Equal Opportunities' also reveals that foreign students aren’t performing as well as their white counterparts:: “The data indicates that for the last three years the proportion of successful students who have been white, has been higher than the proportion of white students in the finalists cohort. This indicates that white students are over-achieving relative to their representation. “Whilst some of the fluctuations in the data reflect small numbers in each ethnic group in the graduating cohorts, there is some indication that for the last three years, the proportion of successful completions from Asian and Mixed ethnic backgrounds has been lower than might have been expected.” The further national report, compiled at York, examines how students from minority backgrounds are struggling to achieve on their courses. The report states that: “being from a minority ethnic group was still found to have a statistically significant and negative effect on
YORK'S ETHNIC MINORITIES DRASTICALLY UNDERPERFORMING S T R O P E R 2 S T N E D U T S Y T I R O N I M Y T I 1000 S R E V I N 1 FAILING U
degree attainment.” The national investigation examined case studies from various universities around the UK to paint a national picture. One of its core findings was that: “The general ethos of an institution was perceived as important in fostering inclusivity, with potential impact on degree results. This related to the ethnic profile of students in an institution, but was not viewed as reducible to it.
"The vulnerability to racism, both past and present, of British minority ethnic students does not appear directly to be addressed by universities in an academic context. There is therefore a need for higher education institutions to consider and provide for students’ needs in the learning environment more, and to refer to these provisions in the institutional Race Equality Policy”. Meanwhile the percentage of for-
eign students that apply to York is also incredibly low, more than half the figures found in total across all UCAS applications. The report states that: “The York applicant numbers, which showed the same decline in 2005 as the rest of the sector (going from 10% in 2004 to 7.5% in 2005) remained low in 2006 at 7.6%.” One area in which the university performs strongly is in offers to students – which are similar amongst
both white and foreign students. The figures come less than a year after Vision exposed how over 40 students from the university ‘vanished’ from York after obtaining Visas allowing them to live in Britain. FURTHER DISCUSSION:
SEE CENTRE SPREAD
> YUSU PROPOSAL TO ALLOW MEN ON FEMALE BOARD
> EX-WOMEN'S OFFICER LEADS OPPOSITION TO MOTION BY RACHEL SYKES INFIGHTING HAS DESCENDED upon York’s Women’s Committee after a proposal to allow male attendance during committee meetings. The ‘Women’s Committee Open To All’ motion was put forward by Women’s Officer and Chair of the Women’s Committee, Laura Payne. The contentious proposal has split members prompting a large number to create a contradictory amendment to the bill in an attempt to preserve the committee’s women-only presence. Disagreements came to a head at the Union General Meeting on Thursday 31st January, when Payne officially submitted the motion. The proposal has sparked fierce opposition, led by former Women’s Officer and current Women’s Committee member Amy Burge, who denied claims that a female-only committee is discriminatory. Burge passionately commented that “a women-only space is a positive action to redress the discrimi-
natory balance between men and women, therefore it is not sexist.” She has reacted by setting up the Facebook group ‘We Support a women-only Women’s Committee,’ which currently has forty-three members discussing the issue. Academic and Welfare Officer, Grace Fletcher-Hackwood backed Burge’s countermotion, saying, “This is to combat sexism, not to encourage it.” Whilst both sides declined to comment over any resultant tension within the committee, both sides remain single-minded in their view. “It’s one issue, what you have to do is put it behind you and keep working on other things in a professional way,” Payne commented. “It shouldn’t have been discussed in the contentious manner that it was.” Payne believes her motion reflects an individual perspective, whilst Burge claims that if one member objects to this amendment then it should be discounted. Having to defend her motion against the dissent of her peers,
Payne is unrepentant: “This motion does not give men voting rights, it does not give them a place on the committee, it means they can come along and listen and contribute. That happens on every other committee for every other member of the union.” Training Officer Tom Langrish, and former Societies and Communications officer Colin Hindson have given Payne their backing, arguing that male exclusion from the committee functioned as discrimination and assumed that they did not care about Women’s liberation. Burge however is adamant that the committee needs to remain female exclusive, adding, “When all people are equal and no-one is discriminated against, there will no longer be the need for a women only committee or liberation officers, however we clearly haven’t reached this stage yet.” Voting on all motions proposed at the UGM opens on Monday 4 February, and will close on Thursday 7 February.
Tuesday February 5, 2008
GRACEGATE: VOTE ONLINE Photo by Juliet Burns
BLEACHFIELD BONFIRE BY DANIEL HEWITT RELOCATED JAMES college students have been causing havoc in their new Bleachfield digs. Despite only having lived there a month they have already started a fire and verbally abused Vanbrugh College cleaners. A University statement has revealed that the student “burned a small number of books” outside F Block of the Barbara Scott building, where James Chair, Chet Khatu, resides. Witness Ellie Whitwell, a resident of Block A, described how security staff used nearly “five fire extinguishers to put it out”. The first year Chair refused to comment on the incident or reveal the identity of the trouble maker, saying “Lets just call him Victor”. Bleachfield cleaners have also complained of verbal abuse from James residents who have resided in Vanbrugh since January. Vanbrugh Chair, Matt Oliver, has spoken out against such behaviour: “The fire was simply one moment of idiocy, but abuse of cleaning staff is completely unacceptable and it is something we do not accept.” Mike Waterson, resident of Donald Barron Block C which neighbours the James students has been less than impressed by their actions. “They are not even in Vanbrugh and they should remember that,” he said, “setting fires out the block is disgraceful especially, when it’s not even their building.” Oliver has denied that the incidents have hampered relations between the two colleges.
PORTER PAY DEBACLE
BY HARRY PEARSE
ANGRY PORTERS have threatened action against a new University pay scheme that they fear will leave them in the financial lurch. They could be losing out on £200300 per month when the unfavourable financial initiative goes ahead. One porter, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said that, “Fireworks may start”, and if put into operation, the policy could result in a porter exodus. The scheme, which is scheduled to undergo a reappraisal in July, aims to give porters a set wage but they will only receive the full amount if they complete a certain number of night shifts. However, the rota is drawn up centrally and if a porter is not allocated the necessary shifts, they will have to repay part of their wages. Labelling the debacle “a Hes Hall mess-up”, the porter said that administrators were “shooting themselves in the foot by contemplating such stupid things”. No official campaign has been adopted yet by those affected, but suggestions have been forwarded to make the Langwith lodge operate 24 hours-a-day to free up rota places for those wishing to guarantee their full wages. The Porter said that his fellow staff have drawn consolation from the fact that, “until July we’re safe” although, “after that, God only knows.”
Grace d o o w k c a H Fletcher
alance b in s g n a h e r u t u f Officer's ic m e d a c A & e r a Welf
BY ALEX RICHMAN YUSU MAY be forced to take the extraordinary step of ejecting one of its own, as Grace Fletcher-Hackwood faces an online poll on a vote of no confidence. The Academic and Welfare Officer has ignored calls for her resignation after it emerged that she punched a student during the campus event Club D on January 12th. The decision has now been taken out of Fletcher-Hackwood’s hands, with students able to vote on the YUSU website on the motion of no confidence proposed by the student in question, Dan Taylor, that would see her removed from office. One of Fletcher-Hackwood’s colleagues on the YUSU executive, Services and Finance Officer Matt Burton, admitted to Vision that the
prospect of losing a sabbatical officer was extremely serious: “There have been motions of no confidence put up against sabbatical officers in the past – I think the last one was about four years ago, but it didn’t succeed. “But I don’t know when, or if, there has been a time when a sabbatical has been no-confidenced successfully at York.”
VIOLENT The final public forum for debate on the issue took place last Thursday at a YUSU Union General Meeting. The importance of the meeting was demonstrated by the decision to involve two members of Doorsafe to oversee the event, and although no fists were thrown, few verbal punches were pulled during
the speeches. Dan Taylor slammed FletcherHackwood’s position on YUSU as “untenable”, asking the audience to recognise that while the sabbatical officer had performed good work in the past, her ability to do the same in the future has now been permanently damaged. “Do you honestly think that [Fletcher-Hackwood] has got any credibility when she’s campaigning for responsible drinking or against violence in a student capacity?” Taylor asked during his opening proposal speech. To address all of her detractors, Fletcher-Hackwood would have struggled to compose an adequate reply that lasted three hours, let alone three minutes. Her cause had been badly damaged by her original public apology,
a statement made to The Yorker which Taylor branded “half-hearted”. However, Fletcher-Hackwood appeared sincere at the microphone, with her first line reiterating that she was “so, so sorry for hitting Dan Taylor.” She detailed her shame at the events, and the emotional impact it had on both her, and her family. Indeed, the overtly passionate nature of her delivery appeared to only hinder her role in the proceedings as it saw scores of students moved to take the floor, both to dismiss her speech disdainfully as dodging the subject and to speak out against her equally emotively. Having returned to her own table, Fletcher-Hackwood could not bear to watch the majority of the speeches as more scorn was poured on the sabbatical officer.
Tuesday February 5, 2008
YUSU rep that hit student faces public poll to keep her job Sabbs and students round on ofﬁcer during debate
Joey Ellis YUSU's Student Devel-
opment and Charities Officer submitted a powerful written statement which was read aloud by meeting chair Anne-Marie Canning. Ellis told the floor she was "too emotional" to deliver the speech herself.
BETRAYED In a powerful speech, student Katy Hardman explained that she “loved Grace”, but was “deeply let down” by her actions. Concluding her case for the no confidence motion, Hardman explained that “in any other career, you would be reprimanded very very seriously for assaulting someone,” and that the outcome of the no confidence vote “should be obvious.” Newlyappointed Chair of the Club of PEP Alexios Mantzarlis echoed Hardman’s feelings of betrayal: “I am uncomfortable asking for her resignation, but she has critically undermined her role as a welfare officer.” However, although the thoughts of the students at large may hold the key to the vote, the turmoil of YUSU is equally fascinating.
The man at the eye of the storm called for Fletcher-Hackwood's removal, stressing that despite the good work she had done in the past, her actions had severely undermined her ability to do the same in the future.
Student Development and Charities Officer Joey Ellis took the courageous step of becoming the only YUSU member to give a speech on either side during the meeting. Submitting her words in writing for the meeting chair and YUSU President Anne-Marie Canning to read, Ellis apologised: “I have got something I’d like to say but I don’t think I can read it out, because I have been so emotional about this.” Ellis’ statement honed in on Fletcher-Hackwood losing the trust of York’s students: “If people, no matter how few, feel that they can no longer talk to [Grace] about their problems then this is unacceptable. “Despite my respect for the work Grace has undertaken this year and in previous years, I support the vote of no confidence.”
The Biology student gave an emotionally powerful speech, a symbol of many students' thoughts as she struggled to reconcile her loyalty to FletcherHackwood with her disappointment at her actions before finally calling for her removal.
Alexios antzarlis M The Club of PEP Chair
TURMOIL Since the meeting, further disquiet within YUSU has been hinted at. Speaking with Vision, Dan Taylor revealed that, in addition to Ellis, two other YUSU members were in support of the motion; however, he declined to reveal their identities. “This has divided YUSU,” reiterated Taylor. Fletcher-Hackwood’s supporters have expressed concerns over students’ future welfare needs without a dedicated sabbatical officer. Speaking at the UGM, Alcuin’s Vice-Chair of Welfare and Support, Tom Langrish, expressed the welfare team’s need for a leader and urged students to “forget all these rumours that [the workload] can be passed on”. AnneMarie Canning explained during the debate that the constitution deliberately does not define the process for
called for perspective, condemning the theatrical applause of the audience and attempting to focus the debate by explaining that Fletcher-Hackwood had "critically undermined" her ability to discharge her duties.
a replacement to demonstrate the severity of a vote of no confidence. Dan Taylor remains unmoved by the prospect, looking ahead to impending YUSU elections: “As Rich Croker pointed out, [Grace’s role] would be filled by the welfare officer-in-waiting. It’s more than possible to get an Academic and Welfare Rep in place by the start of next term, after the elections which we will be voting on anyway.” However, YUSU state that this is unlikely to be the case. Taylor also shrugged off the suggestion that he would feel personally responsible for FletcherHackwood’s removal: “I wouldn’t feel guilt, no, because I think this is a secondary implication of what she did. Let’s not miss the point about why this vote of no confidence has been lodged in the first place, it’s because she hit another student…and that’s what’s important.”
HEADDEN FOR GLORY
BY EMILY HODGES
A NATONAL AWARD celebrating youth work in the community has recognized a York student as one of the most inspirational young volunteers in the country. Third year Hannah Headden is one of seven nominees in the 2025 year age category short-listed for the prestigious Young Achievers Award. She was nominated by YUSU Student Development and Charities Officer Joey Ellis for setting up and running a prison project volunteer scheme. The award organisers believe that Headden is one of a handful of young people that has “shown creativity and innovation in their volunteering” to inspire others. Her scheme, named ‘SWAP’ (Students Working Alongside Prisoners), takes groups of students to work with boys aged 15-18 in Wetherby Young Offenders Institution. The students run various workshops that include a mix of drama, music skills like MC-ing or using decks, and movement-based activities. “They’re young lads, they just want to mess around. The workshops let them have fun, in a controlled environment.” said the third year. “I’m really happy the project has been acknowledged – it’s still quite new, and hopefully this will let more people know about it”.
JEWISH CENTRE STILL KOSHER BY ALEX RICHMAN THE UNIVERSITY has moved to allay fears over the potential closure of Hillel House, York’s Jewish accommodation centre. Concerns had been raised after a set of proposals from Universities Minister Bill Rammell, accepted last week, advised university administrators to turn down religious groups’ requests for ethno-specific facilities. Speaking out against the growing tide of extremism amongst young British Muslims, Rammel said: “Britain technically is a Christian country with many secular features...If you expect that you would have the same response to your faith needs in Britain as would happen within a Muslim or Islamic country, [you] would be disappointed.” The advice could have dangerous implications for Hillel House, a centre supported by the Hillel Foundation which provides accommodation for four Jewish students and contains a specially-fitted Kosher kitchen. Rammell’s proposals criticised the segregation of students that follows the provision of religiously-specific facilities, claiming that the closed communities starved students of exposure to other cultures and fostered extreme views. However, University of York spokesperson David Garner told Vision that students using Hillel House should not be alarmed: “The University operates a policy of full integration in student accommodation within our control.” FURTHER DISCUSSION:
SEE CENTRE SPREAD
e all suspected as much, but two damning governmental reports have proven that the University of York is one of the most exlusionary institutions in the country. What's more, if you're not a white English citizen and you DO manage to get into York, you're practically guaranteed to do worse in your degree. And with the government looking to crack down on segregated university campuses, the pressure must surely be on those in charge to bring a more multi-cultural flavour to this frankly monotone university.
It's time to make a change and bring York into the 21st Century.
GFH GBH letcher-Hackwood has been left hoping for a saving Grace from her students after punching Dan Taylor.
Even YUSU are unsure whether or not they'll still have an Academic & Welfare Officer by the end of the week, a measure of how hard the battle between Taylor and Fletcher-Hackwood has been fought. Students were split down the middle during the UGM, taking to the floor in support of both sides.
Regardless of whether Grace is censured or sacked, this episode must serve as a warning to sabbatical officers.
Cantor fiddles while Campus burns
t comes as no surprise that while our bars are in danger of collapsing and our accommodation blocks are in danger of...well, collapsing, Brian Cantor's still managing to have fun. Less than a year after we revealed his extraordinary £90k expenses write-off, we've learned that while college chairs held emergency talks over bar closures, Cantor was larging it up in the 5-star hotel which once housed Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.
Next time you're whipping out your corporate cheque-book, Brian, perhaps you should spare a thought for the crises on campus.
YORK VISION Tuesday February 5, 2008
Adam Thorn: York University's Most Hated Man
GOODFATHER GONE BAD STUDENTS OF YORK, I’ve an announcement to make. I’m going to run for SU President in a few weeks. And it’s going to be great. Look, I know in the past I’ve upset some people, but understand that I’m only human. Lately I’m a changed man. Honestly. I’ve decided that from now on I will use my space in the media for good and not evil. I was only taking the piss out of all those different groups on campus to build up a readership. Now I’m going to preach important social and political messages about the world. Stop chopping down the rainforest! Stop shooting those cute polar bears! And don’t even get me started on Iraq. American tossers! And when I’m elected YUSU president, It will be the dawn of a new era for York students. So what am I going to do? Well I’m going give all
members of Yuppie society ‘the club of PEP’ new squash rackets, the Rugby club boys a subscription to FHM and perhaps even lessons in charisma for members of modelling group Fusion. Into Premiership football I hear you ask? Well, from the start of next year all JCRs’ will have Sky Sports. The sailing club will be given new boats (equipped with fancy Sat Nav systems so they don’t get lost again) and I’ll even pay to get Harold Bishop to vist the Neighbours Society. It’s open season with me. Sound ridiculous? Well of course it is. The point is that if I promise people the world then even me, campus’ most hated and obnoxious man, could get voted in. And that is exactly what campus politician Matt Burton (aka ‘The Goodfather’) did. Remember that brand-new ‘student venue in the city’ that he promised us last year? Well this week he admitted to
accused of ripping down his Vision that he has scrapped posters and cheating the rules plans to open it. Which (amazin a bitter slanging match. ingly) happened to come at a And when he did win, he savtime when everyone is talking aged his opponent in his elecabout fellow welfare officer tion speech. “He played dirty, I Grace smacking a student in wiped the floor with him,” he the chops. Talk about a good slurred into the microphone week to bury bad news. on the stage. Hang on, he just told us that Of course the Goodfather now he has wiped away his biggest tells us that he’s only ditching (and perhaps only) policy to the plans because he wants get elected. The truth then to get a student venue in Hes is that Burton has failed us. East. But then there was And while the rest of campus always going to be one there media seems to have forgotten anyway. His plan for a venue that – I haven’t. in the city was supposed to be A student venue in the city a stopgap to halt the ten year was so unrealistic as to be wait for the new venue to be almost impossible from the outset. built. Christ, if you beSo it’s time Matt GUIDE TO: PEP OF B CLU THE lieved the little diaBurton gave us an explanation grams he drew of it as to what the then it was bigger hell is going than the bloody on. And if he Minster. How the hell was one man can’t…well, supposed to fund an we should K WEE tank-up entire ‘arena’ on his E H T F BOOK O Grace Fletchown? er-Hackwood Well he certainly H IT SM Y NR BY HE with booze and thought he could, and set her on him. convinced enough And you wouldn’t like her people to manage to beat when she’s angry… candidate Mickey Macefield in the election. A candidate he
THE MODERN MAN
THE MUCKRAKER SAYS:
Dear Muckraker The main reason I was annoyed was because it was so obviously just written to annoy! Although I can see where you were coming from, it was just a little too contrived.
Surely the fact that Fusion actually hold auditions mean it isn’t that cliquey? I don’t see you ranting about Sweet Charity, or any other show on campus holding auditions. (It might be worth noting however, that I too laugh when the rugby boys strut out all greased up thinking they’re the shit.) Also, I’m still not quite sure what
has caused your obsesGeor sion with PPE students? ge I’d understand if the whole expresso/filofax/yuppie idea was funny, but it just seemed to me like you’re a little bit weird... has someone from PPE offended you? I did wonder, given your ranking of campus hotties, whether there was a deep and ultimately frustrated lust for Mr Smith?
You’ve made my day George! It’s always nice to hear from my biggest fan – though many people claim that title. It is true that I am obsessed with the club of PEP. I don’t know whether it’s their skills on the squash court or their long poneytails that do it for me the most. As for Fusion, well they promised they would hunt me down and kill me after my last column. Thankfully they bottled out – probably because they didn’t want to damage their peachy skin. Much Love,
Your biggest fan. George Taylor
YORK VISION Tuesday, February 5, 2008
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Tuesday February 5th, 2008
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all? Good will to Dear Vision,
glish Lit e 1st Year En porting on th r the night in fo in an Thanks for re m s sion, ok a homeles t Out’, York Vi student who to (‘Down and Ge k oc d. Bl te A la tu ke ra Goodric be cong and she are to 15/1/08). You rich and eserve of the rsity as the pr ve ni e U th e th om e Many se onnected fr creasingly disc in privileged, in ore vulnerable m d an er act e poor this student’s by realities of th d ne te ar he tly . ea gr ns io am at society. I curity implic hatever the se of humanity w h of your final paragrap is that in the for her ise og ol ap d My only regret an ared to relent pe there are t ap bu e sh k, le artic been very drun ve ha who would ay m le e op action. Sh cold sober pe y an m d an k un many very dr ss. n this kindne not have show Best wishes, ht Adrian Tellwrig
Don m ess w ith us !
Dear V ision What ex Thanks, Adrian. Many of our readers have expressed colum actly were a g providin n abou that agree you h similar sentiments, and we o t smack s of a Doncaster ping to ach homeless person some food and a warm place to stay m ieve is g uided, in the late for the night is a far kinder act than a pitying handjob st edit by writing obnox I have io out night awful an u after John St s York g attitud ion of Visio such a der for a guy from faults rown up in D og n?! Th e. and I g oncast at Ziggys. e entir atory enerall e e thin y rese r and can ac g nt the Howev people knowledge t er I str h there at the ongly a day too. re an place has m you w d expect to sent the fac any ould k t b t hat yo e ente now t u swan rtaine hat Do was a around ncaste d. If you’d mining the to r (a bo to of Brit Thanks, Carl. Obviously the article in question saw ain to wn focussed s were mu thered to d wn centre f c a o your or h Dono on m opinion n hea of th ore one of our writers expressing his on its r knees service base vy industry e surroundin esearch caster, and was not intended as part of a wider slur . d Conse g tow econo for?! for the last q ns) campaign against the area. We tried to convince few d my has see uently the e n shift c s souvenir t a some buy h and r d Doncaste e to es. W Andy to go back g e n e hat w ere yo ral area from Europe's longest runway, but his eyes glazed would Again if you u hop know had bo ing over and he sank to the floor, rocking back and forth t h th longes t runw at Doncaste ered to do and mumbling unintelligibly. some r has a ay in E dium sim n and sp urope) ort , a bra internation ple researc (the c al airp h you nd new alibre s complex ort and als of m mentio o a un ultimillion (with the n thes students it p iv e?! ’ll att I am a ract is ersity wait ound stabs ing to questio that n olutely infu ope nable) od ria , why n ing all oubt influe ted by the c not nced y of my olumn o self co , ntrol n ur views, an your pre-co n d ot to r Grow esort t arrogant sn ceptions of up. D o insu lts and obby attitud oncaster e. It’s threat Carl W taks . orrall
MIKE SIMS The Facebook group “Petition for Extra UK Bank Holiday” has attracted over 1,300 members after reports that a new bank holiday may be introduced in November. It is intended to remember serviceman and break up the current gap between Bank Holidays from August to Christmas. It seems like a logical, respectful commemoration a day after Remembrance Sunday and would act as a National Day to emphasise and reinforce what previous generations have done for us. On a lighter note, whenever parents/younger siblings/people who have jobs launch in to their usual “you-students-neverdo-any-work” argument, I always give a well-rehearsed reply. I tell them that unlike school, we don’t have the luxury of half term breaks. And I tell them that unlike those who have regular jobs, we don’t have the enjoyment of Bank holly wols either, for when they fall during term time we just plough through with gusto. It can be a long slog from coming back after the summer (even though, with this being York, it is October) up to the Christmas break, so never mind extra Bank Holidays, for us students any vacation scraps are heartily wel-
I LOVE... ...McDonald’s degrees. It was announced this week that branches of the fast food chain are to become exam centres to boost the basic skills of their employees. This does hold one advantage over doing exams in Central Hall, as your local Maccy D’s probably isn’t sinking...
of the Goodricke porters?
TABLE RAGE Just a quick venting of anger at those measly desks that are attached to some chairs in several Uni lecture halls (Langwith Rom 028, I'm talking about YOU). First off, they're so small and covered in graffitti and chewing gum that they are unusable. And they are ALL attached to the right hand side of the chair, making them discriminatory towards the Uni's left-handed population. I see it as a form of discrimination, as when a left-hander has to make notes(!)/doodle in the margin/ give their number to the girl next to them, they are forced to use their loins.
I HATE... … the ridiculous list of double-Z list celebrities who release fragrances. December was almost ruined by the constant bombardment of adverts on TV, but for those of us who thought it would die down after Christmas are quite wrong. The latest names to join the craze include Steven Gerrard’s wife, Paris Hilton’s mother (it’s true), “Samanda” off last year’s Big Brother (remember them?) and, if you want to smell like a racist Premiership bike, Danielle Lloyd. Who will it be next week – Brian Cantor? Dan Taylor? One
Above: The Bi g Brother releasing thei r fragrance.airheads
TOM SHELDRICK We've got a fair few copies of old issues left in the office. If it really did go tits up, and the printers sucked every last penny from our coffers, we could just distribute them around campus, right? Same stories, just a different date. One of our predecesors, Mr Byrne-Smith, had an 'AGAIN' stamp he used to wield regularly, most memorably with university exam cock-ups. None to report this time, but we have got all the old stories back and better than ever. A university chief (read: Brian Cantor, who else?) off spending our fees in NYC - tick. Issues of religious and ethnic integration - tick. The struggle for a Student Venue goes on, and, just as it looks like YUSU are going to get some praise for saving Langwith, we pull it out of the bag and reveal that everyone, you and me included I feel, but mainly Brian Cantor, has "abandoned" Halifax. Any sniff of a neglected porter, and we're on the scene, asking his cousin Alfie his feelings, using the word 'scandal' and turning it into a front page. Ironically enough, it was Grace who said it: "Notoriously excitable campus press". She must have been talking about us (again, who else?) A quick snippet from the Vision confidential file: mine and
Alex's election speech was all about "stories people care about." That's why they don't let us distribute your favourite campus tabloid in the library: because you'd just be forced to talk about what you read. And you're not allowed to talk in there. Another one would be the unwritten law: don't use the word YUSU in news headlines. Basically, if YUSU did it, it's not worth reading about. As AnneMarie almost tragically highlighted in her pleas for everyone to stay, nobody cared about 90% of the UGM. We, the student media, all too often accuse you lot, the wider student populace, of apathy, an unhealthy disinterest in politics. But YUSU love it - and indeed live it - and they still get slated just the same. Grace probably lives it more than anyone else, and that's why she hit the unbearable Taylor. But you know that. Because this time it was personal; whatever they say, this was Dan vs Grace. Everyone loves a scrap and, for the verbal rematch, there were bouncers. Anyway, go vote! Then we'll have something to write about next time. Till then, one of us is probably knocking on your window. Let us in, we need an interview.
COLUMNS STALLION IN SEARCH OF A
SIAN ROWE I
’m sitting in a piazza in Tuscany, the sun is setting in that way that it only does when you’re sitting in a piazza in Tuscany and I’m incredibly conscious that my arse is showing. No matter the country, some things never change. And while I should be reccounting my cultural tour of enough churches to bore Jesus Christ, I am instead concerned with the snogging couple to my left. Would it be wrong to hope they choke on each others tongues? Or at least get it on properly so I can start charging admission? Ladies and gentlemen, this is Italian lesson numero uno. These people like passion. Lots of ice cream covered, syllable a-plenty, let’s stare into each others eyes until one of us starts screaming passion. Call me a cynic, a doubter or just plain old heartless but at times, it isn’t half sickening. Thus, those looking for a ‘tasty’ (food pun intended) Campus Playboyesque romp will find themselves disappointed. While the aforementioned churches have left me as cultured as the good ol’ University of York would hope, the closest I have come to having a hot date is almost killing a poor boy on a shoddily driven Italian bus. He asked me for a coffee. I couldn’t understand a bloody word he was saying, and he looked about 12 years old. I’m still re-living the horror. And when things do go right it is, unfortunately, even worse. Girl meets Loveofherlife(tm) photographer at party. Girl speaks terrible Italian. Girl leaves for another city. Look for the Drama Barn adaptation coming November 2008, auditions to be held week 1. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to ‘International Relations’ (wink wink. nudge nudge), you should never believe what you read in the travel brochures. The French are not bed-hopping fiends but cheese-snuggling boys in farmer's caps. The Spanish are in their twenties and happily married with six kids and you can forget Pride and Prejudice; the English are perceived as pregnant teens, alcoholics, and pregnant alcoholics. Sorry about that. This brings me to Italian lesson number two. Forget the titular stallions - Italian men are so far more like kittens. Much like a gang of totty-starved York lads presented with a bevvy of tango-ed Leeds ‘beauties’, the Italian men come over all coy the moment an American lass swaggers into view. It just goes to show that feminism lives on and yes, getting your baps out can do wonders... A month in, with little more than a minor bus crash and longing glances in the back row of a Italian ukulele concert to show for it, I realise that the stallion hunt may take a lot longer than I had first thought. And thus, on the subject of international lovin’, it’s time to end with a quote from one of our European colleagues: "I only have one love. For now it is my luggage". I’m glad my luggage is big. At this rate, to find a stallion, I’ll have to resort to kidnapping.
’ve got the builders in. I wish that was a glib reference to an improbable bout of male menstruation, but the reality is far more painful. For the past few weeks I’ve been woken up at an ungodly hour by an unholy racket being made by two roofers fixing our shoddily constructed student house. I’ve now
cure the worst of both worlds by renting a property that is both ages away from campus, yet still awful to live in. There’s only one tiny glimmer of hope in my domestic dominion stopping me from strapping a sleeping bag to my back and camping out in the Russian Literature section of the library, and
My satellite wish come to learn, perhaps a little too late, that when you’re a student, your definition of the word ‘house’ is sorely tested by opportunistic letting agencies whose financial empires are built on making the gap between ‘how much you feckless undergrads are paying’ and ‘how much this bilious rebuke to architecture is actually worth’ as large as possible. Somehow I’ve managed to se-
that’s satellite television. After a day of lectures and seminars, there is no sweeter feeling than my fingers gliding over the remote control as I prepare to turn on, tune in and drop out. But what’s this? “No satellite signal is being received.” When I attempt to watch television I am greeted with the second-saddest six-word sentence in the world. (It is topped only by the
Tuesday February 5, 2008 breathtaking bereavement felt when told that “sorry, sir, the buffet is closed”) When I attempt to watch television I begin to plead, reason and bargain with a six-letter sentence and its useless plastic body. I begin to cry and smother the
"I begin to cry and smother the power lead with kisses in the vain hope that she’ll take me back" power lead with kisses in the vain hope that she’ll take me back. A student comes to deal with many hardships – resorting to caffeinated pills in lieu of sleep, noodles instead of food, and video games in lieu of essential reading that is required to pass your degree. However, a student is never quite prepared for the loss of Sky Sports after having enjoyed it for so many months (a stance I’m sure the philosopher David Hume would agree with if I ever bothered to read his book). Mercifully, the internet is still available in our crumbling humble home. I try to distract myself with
YouTube videos of ugly young women singing songs by Rihanna. It fails to work. I go back to check if the satellite is working again. It isn’t. I go back to my room, and try to amuse myself by singing songs by Rihanna. It fails to work. I go back a second time to see if the satellite is working again. It isn’t. The wires are all plugged in; it’s not their fault. I decide to stare at the window and convince myself that the dull terraced street that’s staring back at me is instead a sedate ITV drama. It fails to work. It does, however, draw my attention to the limp, impotent satellite dish perched slightly further from the wall than it should be. It’s not the wires. It’s the roofers. In the midst of their hacking and smashing and thumping and bumping, they have dislodged the last bastion of my sanity. As I write this, I am waiting. Waiting for the roofers. It is only dinnertime now, and the roofers come at dawn. But I will be ready for them. I yearn for the inevitable calumny of innocence. The roofers’ words will fall on ears as deaf as the satellite box’s when I pleaded for its mercy. They shall not get their cups of tea. They shall get wrath.
With the race for The White House hotting up and Super Tuesday finally upon us, we get the views of a bona-fide American...
LAUREN KELLY L
ast week, while waiting for class to begin, I overheard two of my classmates talking. As one began to regale the other of recent academic tribulations, I watched her conversational companion’s face shift into a look of excited recognition. He had spotted an easy target - his ‘friend’ was American - and no more than three words had spilled out of her mouth before he pounced: "so who are you going to vote for?
"You just make us want to take our absentee ballots and use them to give you hundres of tiny paper cuts all over your pasty British bodies"
Obama or Hilary?" Okay guys, we get it. You’re very excited about the next election, because America is pretty much guaranteed to have a ‘first’ in The White House come fall 2008, whether it be the first black president or the first female president. Honestly, this is a very exciting time for America, and while I respect that, I still cannot fathom why it is the only thing foreigners want to talk to us about. Well, I say talk, but really I mean bombard us with in the middle of a perfectly relaxing, well-rounded conversation. Maybe you want to share in an international community of political innovation. Maybe you think that as Americans, we aren’t able to grasp the gravity of the situation and so you think that it’s your duty to make us care about our country and culture. But really, when you have nothing better to say or can’t even wait two minutes to spring it on us, you just make us want to take our absentee ballots and use them
a Septic. to give you hundreds of tiny paper Give us a break, guys; why not cuts all over your pasty British stick to what you know and talk bodies, while singing something about the weather. maniacally ironic like “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” I DO care about who becomes president, and as a very proud member of the Democratic party, I am faced with an important decision. That decision, however, is mine alone, and even if you manage to pry it from my lips, I do not appreciate you turning it into my mantra or a stand-in for every belief I hold. If an American says he/she is voting for Hilary, he/she will NOT be particularly happy to be met with cries of “oh, so you’re a feminist then.” And it goes without saying that responses like, “so you’re not a fan of the blacks,” even jokingly mentioned, will not fly if you want to continue a conversation with this person. I’m not saying that we Americans don’t like to talk about or don’t care about politics; we’re proud of our right to choose. It’s just that we aren’t required to share that choice with anyone else, particularly foreigners too A non-dimpled Chad. We gather abrupt to think of he has something to do with the anything else to say to electoral process...
YORK VISION Tuesday 5th February, 2008
THE SKETCH. Cathartic letter writing comes highly recommended by Vision's resident agony aunt, Miss Agnus. This week's pick gave her much to ponder...
AGNUS AT YOUR SERVICE Dear Agnus,
A couple of weeks ago a dear friend of mine was subjected to fusillade of abusive remarks while enjoying the company of his fellow canoeists at a soiree put on by his boating club. As the vitriol worsened my esteemed companion began to passively object to the slanderous comments. On stating his case, he was savagely assaulted by his diminuative assailant and was admitted to nightline's secure ward where he endured a week of nightmares and soggy bedsheets. In light of these events I'm seeking psychological reassurance and advice on self-defence. Best wishes, A concerned friend.
Attacks from dwarfs are increasingly common these days, with recent figures suggesting that, on average our stunted cousins attack three people a year each! Efficient means of defence have sadly remained obscure. However, disciplines like boxing have a timeless appeal, while putting food in high places if a war of attrition is anticipated remains effective. Best of Luck, Agnus.
Who's VISION??? OFFICE WASTE DISPOSAL SUPERVISOR Thomas Michael Jack Son Sheldrick ANNUAL ETHICAL MERCHANDISE CORRESPONDENT Alex If-I-Were-A Richman HORSE-WHISPERER Anna-Claire-Joseph-Bev-Anne RIDICULOUS CORRESPONDENT Jasmine Bernard Craig James Frederick Phillips NORWICH CORRESPONDENT Rob Earnshaw Delia Canary Romans DERWENT CORRESPONDENT Emily Loved Bagpuss Fairbairn DOUBLE-AGENT Harry Dalrymple Gerard-Pease CHET CORRESPONDENT Dan Hugh Witt Hewitt FACTORY CORRESPONDENT Naomi Pullmy Lever COMEDY CORRESPONDENT Martin Freeman Robin Williams TRAFFIC CORRESPONDENT Sarah Go-Left-Then-Right-Then-Go-Stretton NICHE SPORT CORRESPONDENT Camille Fencing Afficionado Augarde
Vision apology We regret to inform our readers that the image of Toffs (right) is a fake. It may mislead readers in to believing that students actuallly visit the club. We have been asked by the establishment to point out that sadly this is not the case, as it is so empty it is closing down on Thursdays. Please accept our heartfelt apologies. >>>YOU-SUE SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT<<<
Don't smoke Shisha; it's just no use.
PRESIDENTIAL CORRESPONDENT Mike Ronald Regan VIDEOGAME CORRESPONDENT Mike The Sims DISCO CORRESPONDENT Juliet Burns Baby Burns UNLIKELY SURNAMES CORRESPONDENT Sean Absolute Hodgknonsense EXTERMINATION CORRESPONDENT Ben Rentakill Rayner UNSURE CORRESPONDENT Immy It-Won't-Oh-I'm-Not-Sure-Actually-Willetts IMMATURITY CORRESPONDENT Helen Nia-Nia-Ni Nianas CONSULTANT LEFT FIVE YEARS AGO AND CAN'T LET GO EDITOR Jon Bentham
Wow, it’s certainly been an actionpacked week for me! Despite a number of other recent adventures (such as a ghastly Christian Union lecture and a surprisingly calm Battle of the Bands) I’ve decided to focus this issue’s Inside Man on one of the very few pure personifications of sheer human happiness in this otherwise retrained emotional vortex that we call life – free cake. That’s right; having been trained in various MI6 negotiation tactics and general super sneakery, I was granted access to the mysterious and curious clan of LoveSoc. I normally intend to stir up a little controversy, but honestly, my English manners won’t allow me to say a single damning phrase about any organization that sits me down on comfy sofas and instantly asks how I like my hot chocolate. I hadn’t attended LoveSoc in the past because I have a persistent fear of venturing anywhere in which teenagers socialize in York – don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I could figure it out (I assume it has something to do with buying malts and bitching about Langwith while getting your groove on), but most of the society’s outings haven’t appealed to me because of it. That’s probably why it seemed like a nice evening in when I heard about Chillax, a society event being held in Derwent JCR. When I got there, my first thought was some slight remorse for the fact that things like this could never work outside of a university, as pleasant conversation and biscuits would be quickly raided by freeloaders (I can picture a scene in which cookies lay broken, tea spilled, and what was once James Blunt is replaced by satanic dance music). However, after I shook that off, I really enjoyed it. Everyone seemed genuinely happy and smiley (I saw at least one ‘free hugs’ shirt), people were talkative, and they even had a chocolate fondue fountain for those of us who get a slight tingle when we see chocolate being propelled into the air… Anyway, I’d recommend it. It’s not going to be high-intensity, but if you’re like me and you prefer conversation over locomotion, this might be the perfect crowd. Bring your best optimism and English manners for maximum effect. JB.
inside report inclusive/cliquey active/sedate
High grades, loaned money and time to kill? Lauren Cockbill asks: Is York the...
COCAINE CAMPUS? C
ocaine is generally accepted as the ‘champagne of the rich and famous’ - however, is it now becoming the ‘champagne of the students’ at York too? It seems that more and more university students are snorting cocaine to get their kicks as alcohol, cannabis and even pills just aren’t cutting it. So the burning question is ‘why do students feel the need to take an illegal Class A drug?’ Having spoken to various students, two themes seem to emerge: image and curiosity. “I did it with my friend who’s quite wealthy but that’s why she does it because she likes to show off her wealth. I tried it out of curiosity and also because it was offered to me. We did it in a nightclub toilet which is very classy. I felt a bit dirty snorting it off a toilet seat” - an anonymous student revealed.
What, then, is a wealthy student? How can spending fifty to sixty pounds on one gram of coke be justified on a student budget? Surely no student can be described as wealthy. We’re not in full time employment; our income is from
I’m from London; that’s what we do student loans, money from parents and/or part-time jobs. “The people who do it tend to be wealthy. By this I mean their parents pay for their accommodation so they use their loan and money they earn to pay for it” another student suggested. Not quite what Mummy and Daddy had in mind when they decided to help their children financially through university, it seems. Is it only students
from wealthy backgrounds that are indulging in the white lady? Is it a cultural mentality that began at private/public school and is now growing at university? Possibly so. Only last summer, 25 year old Lucy Braham was murdered by Oxford and former Harrow student William Jaggs, a murder which Braham’s father blamed on both Harrow’s and Oxford’s ‘drug culture’. William Jaggs stabbed Lucy Braham 66 times in a “ferocious and unrelenting” sexually-motivated attack at her home in north London. The Telegraph reported that the Old Bailey heard that the 23-year-old became a drug user at Harrow school, where his father was a teacher, and admitted developing an LSD and crack cocaine habit at Oxford that gave him violent sexual hallucinations. Nevertheless, surely cocaine is not purely restricted to the upper classes, after all
CAMPUS EXTREMISM? VISION DEBATE: Will new government
reports make us safer, or will they only damage free speech?
drugs are often associated with criminals and lowlives. “My school was a state comprehensive which admitted people from a variety of backgrounds. There didn’t seem to be a correlation between cocaine usage and wealth. I think private school student users would like to think cocaine is exclusive to them but it isn’t the case” another student commented. It seems that if the desire is strong enough, the price doesn’t matter. Perhaps then cocaine
They like the veneer of wealth
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We did it in a nightclub toilet which is very classy. I felt a bit dirty snorting it off a toilet...
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Tuesday February 5, 2008
usage amongst ‘wealthy’ students, who think taking it is cool, is a case of delusion. They like the veneer of wealth and the connotations associated with tak-
ing an expensive drug, but, unlike adult drug-fuelled parties in the city where waiters walk around with silver trays adorned with lines of coke, students are snorting the powder off dirty bog seats. Moreover it appears that if you herald from the capital you must be snorting the stuff: “I’m from London; that’s what we do.” Apparently, then, if you’re from London you do cocaine. I think you’ll find that no matter what the location, young people (school students, university students, young professionals) are doing cocaine, just as the drug is not exclusive to the private school sector, it is not exclusive to London. Let’s return to the motivation of curiosity. I’m curious as to what snorting Charlie would be like but not curious enough to actually take it. What is it, then, that is prompting students to venture towards coke? “Coke gives you more energy so you dance for longer, chat for longer and can stay up for longer. It
KENYA IN CRISIS
Roy Moore takes a look at the breakdown, and asks what caused it... P16
Tuesday February 5, 2007
Confessions ie b b a c a of
Those nice men and women that drive you home after one too many sambuccas have had enough. Each week VISION brings you another of their student exposing confessions.
also makes you feel less drunk so you can drink more and so party for longer. If people are bored it might perk up their night.” Students have gained a reputation for being party-animals. Being a student is a time in life when we have few responsibilities so we might make the most of this by partying hard. It seems natural, then, that we should want to be able to party longer; not end the night at 3am, but 6 am or even do an all-nighter. Cocaine can make this happen, according to students. Alcohol makes you happy, pills make you even happier but cocaine can make you party all night long! This is fair enough, but what are the risks involved with this hedonistic party life-style? We may not have many responsibilities regarding
others but we do have a responsibility towards ourselves. The reason users feel like they have lots more energy after taking a line is because cocaine stimulates the central nervous system. Snorting a gram of coke does not just give the user a burst of energy; the stimulation of the nervous system actually causes hyperactivity, restlessness, increased blood pressure and heart rate and a sense of euphoria. Whilst the ability to party all night may be desirable, some of the side effects are not. If cocaine is taken in large doses it can actually lead to heart failure and if it is taken for a long period of time it can lead to extreme paranoia, depression, malnutrition and impotence in men. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that taking cocaine whilst pregnant is highly dangerous resulting in low birth weight, birth deforms and even the baby being addicted to the drug. Apart from these health issues, the legal implications of taking an illegal substance need to be recognised. Being found just possessing a Class A drug like cocaine can land you in prison for up to seven years (not where you want to be heading after graduation). Furthermore, the university is well within its rights for kicking
The most devastating implication of all: cocaine in this country is fuelling the civil war in Colombia
ing to tackle the issue by uprooting the coca plants manually as mass spraying of the crops is proving ineffective. However this task is highly dangerous. The coca fields are scattered around the jungle and the jungle is the battleground of the rebel soldiers. Innocent Colombians employed to uproot the coca are in constant fear of rebel fire; to date 32 people (10% of the workforce) have been shot dead by the guerillas. So how does this relate to a user in England? “Every ounce of cocaine Europeans snort is tainted in blood.” These are the words of Colombia’s Vice President Francisco Santos. To put it in Alex James’ even more blunt words: “Every kilo that arrives in the UK, arrives in a tomb.” There was a big uproar on campus when the Viking Raid t-shirts were going to be made by an unethical company. It conflicted with the student conscience that Viking Raid was endorsing sweat-shop labour. Likewise this should conflict with the student conscience. Whilst snorting a line may give you the energy to party all night in York’s night scene, it is funding the deaths of thousands of innocent people - innocent people caught up in the cancer that is civil war..
Every ounce of cocaine Europeans snort is tainted with blood you out after being arrested for involvement with cocaine. Now for the most devastating implication of all: snorting cocaine in this country is fuelling the civil war in Colombia. Recently Alex James, former bass player of Blur, made a special report for BBC’s ‘Panorama’ programme. During his Blur days James admits to spending around £1,000,000 on champagne and cocaine. With those days behind him James set out to discover how cocaine is crippling Colombia. Colombia really is the cocaine capital as it supplies 80% of it to the rest of the world, in an industry which is worth over $50 billion. A large proportion of the money made from cocaine funds Colombia’s rebel fighters; it funds the planting of land mines, the destruction of the environment, kidnapping and terrorism. The government is attempt-
If you think you have a substance abuse problem, or merely wish to find out more about dealing with substance abuse, visit www.talktofrank.co.uk, or freephone 0800 77 66 00.
A while back I had two very dodgy punters indeed. I picked them up in town from a restaurant – Bella Italia, I think (but other restaurants are available!) – and was asked to drive this couple to his home in Monks Cross. They seemed a very mismatched pair, him in a funny blazer and in his late 30s and her in a skirt which made her seem half his age, I remember, and she only seemed to speak in response to him. She was very giggly, though, and so we set off. I often have couples making out on my back seat, and they were one of ‘em. I always just tune out to the squelchy noises and occasional little mumble, and tonight was no different. Half way through the ride, he began talking about work and scholarly stuff, and she just nodded like a dog. He was asking her about her recent essay, I’m not sure which subject, and she made the odd comment in response. When we pulled on to his street, he suddenly instructed me to pull up on the left, a good 50 metres or so from his house. He got out, and walked down the street, glancing all around. I was now alone with the girl, and asked her if she’d had a good evening. She seemed quite shy but intelligent, and we chatted about where’s best to eat in York. When I casually asked her about her studies she suddenly became very quiet and almost embarrassed, and mumbled something about getting good grades recently. Her older companion suddenly marched up to my cab, opened the door and gave her a nod, as if to say the coast was clear or something. It suddenly occurred to me that while she was definitely a student, he had the air and manner of being like a teacher, like a lecturer maybe. He was scruffy but in command, and she seemed respectful towards him. He shoved me a couple of notes and told me to keep the change, and they walked off down the street, him with one arm in his pocket and the other resting on her rear. They disappeared in to the night, and I’m sure her grades undoubtedly got even better after that! I saw her again a couple of months later, she was with a group of female friends and doing what students do, giggly and loud. Her lecturer lover was probably marking or something.
As told to Mike Sims
Tuesday February 5, 2008
Tuesday February 5, 2008
FACULTY THOUGHT CRIME? rently have an official list of banned speakers, but they do oppose those with extremist views. In May last year they condemned (and helped to prevent) a talk by BNP leader Nick Griffin at Bath University. It was, they felt, “naïve” and “dangerous” to allow a speaker who could provoke minority races. YUSU themselves sent a letter to Oxford University
The danger is thus that these individuals can appeal through scriptural knowledge and prestige to the unradicalised
it’s about the illusion of control. And much like new airport ‘random checks’, it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to ascertain that the government is projecting an institutionalised fear of Islam. This is the core hidden thesis of the report. It makes broad references to “cohesion” and “shared values”, explaining that these noble phrases should make our little lives a little safer. When the government talks about “shared values”, a little silver bell goes off in my head and conjures back the confusing and ethnocentric hoops which immigrants need to jump through in order to have their commitment to Englishness verified. And make no mistake, when the government refers to “shared values” they refer to their values – this isn’t about compromising or understanding others, it never was. The ‘scenarios’ described in the report illustrate this phobia perfectly – one such example presents the possibility of a staff member finding various leaflets that feature large portions of Arabic text, and advises to report this immediately as suspicious. The report dutifully informs that universities should have translators on hand in order to quickly make sense of it and assess whether or not it’s a threat. What a charming way to treat multi-lingual students. It’d be too easy to make cliché leftie comparisons about Big Brother always watching, or the duty for every good citizen in the Reich to report (not spy on, we swear) other citizens to the leader if they step out of line. Sadly, this
It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to ascertain that the government is projecting an institutionalised fear of Islam
Censored lectures? New policies suggest that guest lecturers could be banned from speaking at universities
new American influenced brand of ‘Watch Your Neighbours’ is all-too-often adopted by the British government as a cure-all for domestic worries. More cameras, spies and guns seems to be a familiar decision in the face of worry – although the government agrees that peaceful discussion is important, it also suggests (in another scenario presented in the report) that extensive background checks be performed if an academic speaker plans to use a name such as ‘Terrorist or freedom fighter?’ for their lecture. They hint that there’s a fine line between discussion and hatemongering, although the difference is not explicitly defined (and indeed, they recommend that universities have plans and procedures in place in the event that a student is arrested on campus for breaking this subjective barrier). This advice for combating extremism is comparable to previous limp government suggestions, such as hiding under a desk in case of nuclear war. This level of spying seems to pre-empt a British Patriot Act, whereby the government could legally spy on citizens via the internet, phone-tapping and other similar methods, all in the name of liberty. One of the particularly interesting sections of the report advised that all campus clubs and societies should be on the lookout for extremism developing within their organisation. When asked what he will personally do to combat and prevent extremism, Christopher White, who will head up the new QI society in York, said that “the second line of our constitution declares that ‘membership shall be open to any member of the university, as defined in the union’s constitution.’ We wouldn’t want to discriminate between our members on religious grounds and doing so would contravene the union’s constitution.” This government proposal reeks of saving
face, and is beyond any measure of reason and practicality. However, while it is readily accepted that no support should be given to any group proposing violence as a method of change, the reason why some people turn to violence is rarely because they are lunatics. More often, it
is in retaliation to some previous attack, and considering that Britain has frequently involved itself in violent attacks and wars in foreign countries, there is no shortage of reasons to be found in history. In this respect the governmental advice fails to understand why people choose violence, instead assuming the old stereotypes of us versus them, good versus evil. Without serious research into why many people
turn to extremist violence no amount of governmental advice will matter. One of two things is true for this document: either the government are knowingly publishing scare-mongering literature to use fear as a political tool, or they are incompetent. This latest piece of advice demonstrates ineptness at the heart of their political ideology, Should this be intentional then we can only expect more of the same, as those with the power look to consolidate their position. If it is not intentional, then the government are just inept at dealing with this kind of conflict. Either way, there is a clear misunderstanding within the government which desperately needs to be addressed if serious progress is to be made in preventing attacks. It is not about us versus them, the East versus the West, or their religion versus ours; we are all people regardless of our ethnicity and religion; our core is the same. While we may disagree about many things, we cannot talk about combating terrorism, or using any other synonym to connote a war-like state, without dividing ourselves. A people divided is a people fallen, and if we want to remain standing then we have to accept that each individual is different, not just each culture. Through this we can achieve a cooperation in diversity, which every ethnicity and culture will want to be a part of voluntarily, rather than creating governmental proposals to spy on very specific groups that don’t conform to our British version of cohesion.
This advice for combating extremism is comparable to previous limp government suggestions, such as hiding under a desk in case of nuclear war
he new guidelines issued by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills can be perceived to have noble intentions – after all, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone on campus who would be comfortable with the threat of violent attack. The idea to introduce guidelines in order to prevent this almost seem like a good idea, until you realise that the government ultimately doesn’t have the secret weapon to combat campus-created-terrorism; instead, it uses the tools of fear and panic at their disposal, and ultimately this new report is a sad reflection that they have nothing else to bring to the table. It’s worth asking “why is this report being published now?” Indeed, there’s no obvious reason to assume that we have more cause to be worried about extremism than we have in the last five years. In my personal experience at York, other than a few erroneous (and comedic) reports of a ‘cult’ on campus, the last thing on my mind is that there is a highly functioning and influential extremist group operating on our grounds. The thought that any extremism can be halted by implementing a few suggestions and guidelines is ridiculous; it’s akin (and certainly from the same school of thought) to believing airports can deter terrorism by implementing more shallow and ceremonial policies (like not allowing over 100ml of any liquid on board a plane, when less than 100ml of many poisons is enough to kill any person). Ultimately it’s not about our own safety;
criticising their hosting of another talk by Griffin. This was followed by a motion (which failed quocracy) condemning the BNP. FletcherHackwood told this reporter: “I just think it's really important for a Students Union to be aware… [that] the welfare of our students has got to be a higher priority for us than worrying about free speech issues.” Rammell further argues that universities have to be aware of the internal situation. Multi-faith chaplaincies, he suggests, should be considered an option, in order to prevent pockets of extremism forming. Such recommendations are unlikely to greatly affect York, although four places are available annually for Jewish students in Hillel House. P rev i o u s ly the Department of Education have urged vigilance on the
part of higher educational institutions. Not without cause, it appears. In July 2007 four Bradford University students received jail sentences for possessing extremist material. In their defence they pleaded intellectual curiosity. Yet between they had looked at bomb manufacture manuals, watched suicide bombers’ videos and vowed to fight abroad. Universities are now asked to monitor suspicious actions and be aware of Islamist Society meetings and events. Leaflets distributed on campus, say the new guidelines, should be translated into English and studied. This reflects fears over groups such as Hizb ut-Tahir, which David Cameron demanded a ban upon in Prime Minister’s Questions last year. With growing concern about its role on campus, a Newsnight investigation claimed that Hizb utTahir’s website “promotes racism and anti-Semitic hatred, calls suicide bombers martyrs, and urges Muslims to kill Jewish people”. Hizb ut-Tahir, it is only fair to point out, views itself as a non-violent organisation. With such polarised views, it is perhaps best that university authorities can read for themselves what pamphlets distributed on site are actually saying. Collectively, Rammell’s guidelines are intended to constitute a pragmatic method of fighting terrorism without greatly restricting civil liberties. Given the extremist’s natural politicisation, in order to fight radicalism a focus on universities may be crucial. Rammell’s concern has been to balance universities’ role as institutions that question and challenge the status quo whilst preserving society’s general level of freedom.
uccessful terrorism relies on an ability to create widespread fear. And for that you need planning. You need to negotiate the logistics of the attacks and match their frequency with a level of maximum ferocity. And to do all of this well necessitates a certain level of intelligence. Small wonder, then, that scrutiny of the disaffected has moved on from the nineteenth century focus on the oppressed, semi-literate proletariat. Speaking recently, Bill Rammell, the Higher Education Minister, outlined new ways in which universities can help prevent terrorism. Describing the extremist threat as “serious but not widespread”, he argued that an increased Government understanding of the terrorist mentality and operating methods necessitated a new set of guidelines. His first proposal is that universities draw up a national list of banned speakers. Similar to NUS (and YUSU) policy, this follows the principle that conveying inflammatory opinions ignites radicalism. Part of the reasoning for this is the importance of figureheads. Extremist Islamic ideology relies on a specific style of Koranic interpretation. If a radicalised individual has vast scriptural knowledge and a deep understanding of particular style of logic, he is arguably much better suited than the more moderate Muslim to articulate his case. Furthermore, the susceptible are more likely to be swayed by the oratical skills or the prestige surrounding this radicalised elite. The danger is thus that these individuals can appeal through scriptural knowledge and prestige to the unradicalised, successfully convincing a small proportion. The NUS doesn’t cur-
On January 22ed, the government revealed a new set of policies and guidelines aimed specifically at targeting extremism on university campuses. What does this new report suggest, and how does it relate to the University of York? Peter Saul investigates…
However, some people believe that this new report signifies a move away from personal liberty and academic freedom. Does this report really make us safer, or does it only intend to scare us? Joseph Burnham and Roy Moore discuss...
FebFeb 08 08 Issue Issue13 13
BLACK KIDS: FROM JACKSONVILLE TO HYPESVILLE PLUS: Madama Butterfly / READ Book Project / Battle of the Bands and more
Film Reviews Black Kids
READ Book Project
A confession. Yes, readers, I have never written an editorial before. Not, of course that you would be able to guess from the obviously witty and stylistically dazzling phrases that I am about to pour out. Please note sarcasm and lack of inflated ego. Thank you.
Feb 08 Issue 13
Scene Editor: Naomi Lever Music Editor: Camille Augarde Music Deputy: Michael Regan Film Editor: Andrew Nichols Film Deputy Editor: Alison Kjeldgaard TV Editor: Scott Bryan Culture Editor: Anna Wormleighton Culture Deputy Editor: Zoe Stones Books Editor: Samantha Cowley Books Deputy Editor: Harriet Jennings Listings Editor: Sophie Sabin
New faces are everywhere in this issue's Scene. Not only do we have a fantastic new editorial team, but we have all worked our little cotton socks off to showcase some of the latest talents and events out there. From upcoming theatre productions to new charities to the much-hyped 'next big thing', the Black Kids, Scene covers it all. Closer to home, Battle of the Bands is taking over campus. Even Vision has been overwhelmed by this juggernaut as our intrepid correspondent spends five days watching campus bands fight to the death. Or close enough. And if all that inexplicably fails to float your boat, we also witness the return of the mighty Listings Page! Scene sorts out your social life: aren't we lovely? Enjoy! All at Scene.
Camille Augarde and Mike Regan
battle of the bands monday
various genres, including folk, jazz and metal (and according to other news outlets: Ska!)”. Clad in pirate, straw, fur – you name it hats, the seven members are the chirpiest, most impeccable musicians to set foot on this previous throne of doom all week. The sense of both fun and commradery is immense, as they jig through MAGIC P songs such as ‘Herman Flibbles’ Jewish Bar Mitzvah’. Amongst the now ecstatic crowd I hear two rockers announce that this is the best band they’ve seen in their whole lives. Blimey! Unsurprisingly, they win tonight’s heat, whilst Hung come runners up. CA
Photo by Jan Weber
y trust in music, as well as life, had been somewhat restored by Wednesday. I actually find my long lost friend, happiness, during the performance of the first band, Porcelain Flamingo. Despite labelling it their “trade secret”, operatic interludes, angelic harand flutists are PORCELAIN monies colossal clues to the fact FLAMINGO that they are an army of music students. Fused with a talented chorus of shimmying girls is an electric guitar, a drum kit and a lyricist who reels off stories of times such as when ‘I shot your duck’. Who would dare knock such a perfect combination? Certainly not this audience, who vote them tonight’s winners. Just when you thought that even a parade of prancing Disney characters couldn’t make this carnival any more fun-filled, a siren announces the presence of Magicians Ghetto. Fronted by Napoleon Dynamite, on bounce seven scrawny, white students, calling themselves reggae sultans. Brilliant. Like cherryaded-up teenage boys in a music shop, they excitedly run between every instrument under the sun, and even give the saw (such a misunderstood and underused instrument) a whirl with a violin bow. For the first time in the competition, the first aid workers sit up, fearing for Goodricke’s floorboards which are shaking violently under the crowd’s skanks. The new dub-reggae kings of York have officially been crowned. Continuing with tonight’s ‘out there’ theme are POH-Nese, who pound Tuesday’s grunge-shaped mould to dust by starting each song with a computergenerated clip (kids today eh). Less original though are their choice of star – the Battle’s Mr PopularMAGICIANS ity and by now ego-maniac, GHETTO the guitar. The playing of it is completely faultless, yet sadly, a gaping hole in the vocal and melody department make a trip to the grotty toilets seem like a fun-packed day out at the seaside. Upon my return however, horror strikes, for oh, sweet Jesus, POHNese have launched into a ‘cover’ of Marvin Gaye’s sacred classic, ‘Sexual Healing’. This sampling of vocals over a somewhat incompatible tune means that the only thing twirling around to this band is poor old Marvin turning in his grave. CA Photo by Jan Weber
Photo by Jan Weber
n avid seeker of silver-linings, I slept well with the comforting assumption that at least Monday night had got all of the death-metal bands out of the way with. But then Tuesday arrived. Sadly, most of the crowd did not. Apparently expecting some sort of riot, the majority of the hall is instead taken up by first-aid workers. This is nothing short of hilarious, until the realisation kicks in that their presence is due to the large number of expected suicides that go hand in hand with some of the music that is to come. First up are the twosome who think they should win Battle of the Bands “because we have a really cool name”. It’s Mississippi Pink Winter - the most bizarre visual and aural blend ever to grace Goodricke stage. Caressing his acoustic guitar is a sweet-voiced creature who has stepped right out of SClub Juniors and into the audience’s hearts. Alongside him is a crazy, electric guitar playing man, who will proceed to spend the rest of the night savagely swinging his knee-length, crimped hair round and round… and round in the centre of the hall. “This song is about going to Amsterdam and getting high” he growls. Poor Junior looks set to cry. Not deterred by coming in last place in Monday night’s heats, Superfuzz are BACK. Well that’s what the audience are whispering. Singer Geoff on the other hand is keen to impress upon me that “actually, our songs are slightly different, we have a different drummer and we have a different name – Kilele”. When pushed, old clever clogs does then admit, “I guess we have hogged the competition a bit”. For some strange reason however, the band refuse to go the HUNG whole hog and come back tomorrow night under a new name and with me as their drummer. Hmph. The set is much the same as their last, but with the added bonus of a Pearl Jam cover, prompting some serious eye closure, snarling expressions, and pelvic thrusts. They are absolutely there at Wembley arena. Unfortunately, the audience are most certainly not, and once again vote them in last place. Next band, Hung, look set to shatter this rapidly emerging trend of brain-shrinking death-metal, as they bound onto the stage in Mr Men t-shirts and hair that’s not knee length. Hurrah! Oh wait, alas! For they announce that “everyone’s sick of indie bands - heavy metal is back”. Is it? Is it really? Apparently so, the mosh pit inform me by head-pounding in total agreement, man. Surprisingly, Hung are undoubtedly the most popular band of the competition so far, prompting the crowd, headed by the electric-necked guitarist from Mississippi Pink Winter to have an absolute field day. “We’re a great alternative to all the samey indie stuff Radio1 plays like The Hoosiers and The Fratellis”. I can’t argue with that, but still my ears weep for a bit of variation. ANYTHING. Distressingly, this is not provided by Tuesday’s fourth band, Phi. Oh well, at least amusement is provided by the fact that they don’t quite fit the visual bill. The singer looks suspiciously like blonde bombshell Lewis from Any Dream Will Do, whilst buttoned up in suits his band mates appear to be using Goodricke’s hall as a stop on their bar crawl to the Minster ball. Thankfully, Phi are bearable, and carry the aggressive-metal vibe off infinitely better than the cave men before them. Heaven smiles upon the room as Lloyd-Webber’s golden boy possesses a voice which doesn’t require immediate earplug insertion, whilst his band play their instruments competently, creating something resembling a- a- a tune. Tuesday’s heat is however whipped clean from the dark lords by happy chappies, Magic P and the Innuendos. The Innuendos describe themselves as “a bizarre fusion of Photo by Jan Weber
Photo by Jan Weber
t’s 8:30 Monday night and word in McQ's is that Superfuzz, the competition’s first contenders, are about to throw some shapes. Proudly preening their mohawks and flashing their wristbands, the punters flurry into the hall and prepare themselves for a night in a blood-tub. Superfuzz sell themselves as “a melodic rock band with funky drumming”. There certainly is something in this gang for everyone, whether you’re fond of feisty female drummers, moaning along to Smashing Pumpkin covers or dislocating your neck to guitarists’ ruckus. This crazy combination was clearly too much for one of their amps however, which conked out during the last song. “It happens at every gig” laughs guitarist, Will, in true rock'n'roll fashion. Next up are “canine-rock” trio, Low Flying Flag. Just as visually exciting as the openers, the boys have decorated their faces with black masking tape. Guitarist “Davo” has creatively chosen to stick his to his upper lip, which, sitting below a large mushroom of dark hair, allows uncanny comparisons to be drawn between him and either the 118 man or Adolf Hitler, depending on your thoughts on their performance. “Actually, it’s a homage to Red Dwarf, our favourite sitcom” he corrects me. Aha. LFF really are LOW FLYING FLAG utterly insane, going as far as to mesh their thrashing guitars with cowbells. This crazy combo goes down a storm with the Shetland pony-haired banging, ex-Slipknot members who have emerged from the Dark Side of campus especially for this aural awakening. The third contestants to take to the stage are The! Spoon? (& the) who, as well as being avid fans of punctuation, are fond of a lyric or two. Rebels to the core, they have smacked in the teeth the absurd rule that singing must feature in bands. Instead, The! Spoon? (& the)’s intricate blend of guitarbased clamour has poetry screeched over it. Despite wailing about Tanya the Terrorist and burning down the Reichstag however, the six boys appear to be quite content with their environment, explaining: “In our opinion, Battle of the Bands and Woodstock are the only things worth talking about on campus. Being able to play in a THE HERO STATUS big hall like this is a fantastic opportunity and one which we really value.” The final musical offering of Monday’s heat is “the comic book pop-punk band”, The Hero Status. The buzz in the Ladies is that the trio are Mcfly members who have got wind of Goodricke’s party and crashed it. Squealing, the gaggle of head-bopper clad girls who have been twiddling their thumbs in the corner during the previous rocky-horror shows, now surge to the front. Disappointed but certainly not discouraged by the reality that the band are actually residents of Derwent, they bop along gleefully to Toy Story samples and heart-wrenching yelps about the hardships of student life.
After much anticipation it is announced that The Hero Status are the heat’s runners up, whilst heavy rockers, Low Flying Flags, are the winners. Both bands will go through to week six’s semi-finals. CA
Photo by Jan Weber
ink your drinks and let loose your moshing hair: Battle of the Bands 2008 has arrived. The most talked about musical event of the year puts the cream of York University’s musical acts onto the battlefield that is Goodricke Dining Hall’s stage where they compete for the title of best band on campus. The Battle commenced last week in the form of five heats which plucked five winners and five runners-up to go onto week six’s semi-finals. Sucked dry of all blood, sweat and on some nights our sanity, Vision survived, and is here to tell the tale.
friday Photo by Jan Weber
ith just four bands appearing tonight a semi final place was certainly up for grabs and ‘Half a Dog’ seize their chance. They describe playing tonight as a ‘great experience’ and the audience clearly thinks the same about watching them: their set, including a cover of ‘Superstition’ can’t help but put a smile on your face. With two members from ‘Kayak Attack’, I expected Drum and Bass to be the order of the day, however Half a Dog induce a frenzy of foot tapping and funky dad dancing with gloriously vibrant jams and soul diva vocals and deservedly book a place in the semi finals. Next up are Juliet Bravo. I spent most of Juliet Bravo’s set trying to remember if Jonny Bravo had a wife. That’s how bored I was. Although my intense concentration was repeatedly interrupted by a piercing, unbearable wail coming from their lead singer, which rendered this band completely unlistenable. How they manage to go through is completely beyond me, they sound like the worst Nirvana tribute band you have ever heard. I guess they have more mates then their miserable on stage persona would suggest. For a band named after a character in a gruesome cartoon (apparently), Murderface Williams are surprising on two accounts. They are not the saddest people you have ever met and they are not a heavy metal band. There may be nothing complicated about their sound, blues riffs you have heard countless times before and lyrics that hardly strike an emotional chord, ‘my baby don’t love me, my baby don’t see me’ being the most noticeably dour. However ‘Murderface Williams’ are easily the second best band on show tonight. Unfortunately that is simply by virtue of then being able to play their instruments and sing in tune. Yet somehow they are eliminated. Unfortunately the week's action ended in a similar vein to the rest of the week. Megawatt Whinged Avenger, the band belonging to the President of BandSoc were a last minute addition to the line up in order to boost the numbers. Clearly BandSoc justifies its reputation as the preserve of tuneless, B.O. ridden heavy metallers. The bald guitarist waves his head around, wishing he had hair and the band bring out every heavy metal caricature you can imagine. Rock on. No Thanks. As I recover from tinnitus after MWA ‘s brain haemorrhage inducing set, I am left to reflect on the weeks proceedings. It must be said that the event is extremely well organised, the time schedule is as strictly adhered to as if we were at a German watchmakers' convention and Goodricke provides the perfect location. The only real criticism is the method used to choose the winners, it is so easily corruptible. With progression being decided by an audience vote the event has been dubbed ‘Battle of the fans’, a fact not gone un-noticed by Girl of Prey, ‘All our mates are off to Gallery so maybe we won't go through’. Luckily quality did prevail in this case but all too often it didn’t and some of the poorer bands on show went through to the semi finals.
I ACTUALLY FIND MY LONG LOST FRIEND HAPPINESS DURING PORCELAIN FLAMINGO
Photo by Jan Weber
Photo by Jan Weber
GIRLS OF PREY
thursday y friends are all at home playing Edward Ciderhands and I’m still here M with the ‘ Future Pirate Crew’ or whatever they were called, stuck in my head. Had Jab Jab been first I may have just gone home. But fortunately
they are not, first up are Kayak Attack, a band formed to ‘commemorate a terrible incident, that will never be spoken of again, an incident in which many people died’. With such eccentricities it is not surprising that Kayak Attack are by some margin the most unique band on show tonight. Their man on the computers is dressed in a lab coat and sizeable safety goggles, because of the dangerous equipment he is handling, and it wouldn’t be surprising if you needed an intensive training course to handle the instruments used to produce their intense brand of drum and bass. They are definitely different and it is a shame they don’t progress. Next up are The Tang, This is the Tang’s first gig, in fact they formed explicitly for Battle of the Bands. Unfortunately you can tell. The singer can’t really sing, and the others can’t really play. But that’s not the point. If this event encourages people who otherwise wouldn’t bother to pick up instruments and make music then it is fulfilling its purpose. From a band whose musical careers most likely start and end in Goodricke dining hall to one that it is easy to see commanding a stage far bigger. I am not predicting that ‘Girls of Prey’ are on their way to global mega stardom, but their music deserves to be heard by more than a bunch of semi pissed students here to vote for their mates. Their songs do not sound like they have been churned out of some magical indie song generator, they sound fresh and original. But it is their cover of ‘Souljaboy’ that cements their place in the semi final, and with the promise of more hip hop covers and an ‘us against the rest’ attitude they are a good bet to be crowned winners come Week 6. Quite frankly I would love to give Jab Jab more than a jab on the nose, Like most people here I unfortunately do not have the choice to flee to the bar and avoid watching the musical equivalent of a Newsnight report on Global Warming. Unfortunately I don’t have the choice to watch Quzmania instead, so I have the displeasure of listening to their horribly tired indie by numbers, straight out of that generator. Although they do branch out slightly, they have a song called something or other blues, but that was rubbish too. The night is rounded off by ‘Kid Gloves’, another ‘music department band’. The entry of entirely 'muso' bands has been criticised in some quarters. But at least they can play, which is more than can be said for some bands on the bill during the week. They are probably just deserving of their place in the semi final but the night belonged to ‘Girls of Prey’.
I WOULD LOVE TO GIVE JAB JAB MORE THAN A JAB ON THE NOSE
Photo by Jan Weber
HALF A DOG
KINGS OF LEON WEMBLEY ARENA 12-12-07
his lot don’t mess about. I seriously doubt that there is a single band out there at the moment who interact with the crowd as little as Kings of Leon do, with the largely unnecessary “We’re Kings of Leon” being their only offering. But who cares. Where other bands will fill the time with boring jokes and the occasional “Hello London!”, the boys from Tennessee simply churn out song after song of rip-roaring rock and roll. Old classics are intertwined with the inventive tones of most recent album Because Of The Times, whipping the Wembley crowd into a frenzy. The likes of ‘Four Kicks’ and ‘King of the Rodeo’ were written to be jumped along to, but there are plenty of slower numbers mixed in amongst the guitar solos and soaring choruses, perfectly delivered by front man Caleb Followill. ‘Milk’ has survived the transition to the arena circuit,
while‘'Arizona’ benefits from the psychedelic visuals. The more recent material goes down well with the band’s committed fans, but old favourites like ‘Molly’s Chambers’ and ‘Red Morning Light’ are still appreciated the most, with the already excitable crowd reaching new levels of mayhem who sing and clap along in even greater numbers. Closing with ‘Charmer’, a song no doubt responsible for sore throats for many fans and presumably Followill, Kings of Leon end an evening where they again proved their arena potential. Not that you’ll hear them shouting about it.
stage and proceeded to abuse all the senses with their thrash metal style drumming overlaid with random screams and what could only be badly improvised guitar/bass parts from the other overweight, untalented members. Support acts are typically of a lesser quality than the main band in order to make the headliners look good in comparison. By this logic Nine Black Alps should have been the best band in the universe. Whilst not quite reaching that standard they did however put on an impressive show. Opening with three songs from new album Love/Hate back to back they paused only briefly for their lead singer (eternally 15 year old looking Sam Forrest) to introduce the band before ploughing back on with a relentless set of perfectly produced grunge rock. So perfect in fact that you sometimes felt like you were listening to the CD which may or may not be a good thing depending on what you want to get out of the experience. Older songs such as 'Everything Is' and 'Unsatisfied' luckily gave the band the chance to let loose and demonstrate their incredible skill, reminding the audience that NBA can cut it live and do so with a unique sense of professionalism that sets them apart from many other bands on the scene.
NINE BLACK ALPS MEAN FIDDLER 15-12-07
LINKIN PARK sheffield arena 25-01-08
oing to a gig one expects to have a good time, hear some good music, maybe meet some nice people; one does not expect to fear for your life when threatened by three maniacs in matching jumpsuits and psychotic clown masks. Yet this is what happened when Kong took to the
n the year 2000 I was a small child in need of serious angst music. In the year 2007 I finally got to see the band that started me off on this quest for the catchy, rap enthused rock music known as Nu Metal. As the lights finally went out a light appeared behind the curtain that had hidden the band’s setup from view. Then appeared a silhouette of the band, including the legendary Mr Han, the DJ. As the band built up the sound accompanying the computerised drum track the tension was palpable. Then the curtain fell and the show began. Making good use of their three studio albums worth of worthy material the band produced a set to delight new and old fans alike. The mix of new emotional tracks like ‘Valentine’s Day’ and the old school heavy anthems such as ‘Crawling’ and ‘In the End’ brought together an audience who were of a surprising range. The crowd really was a great feature in this gig, singing the choruses with as much fervour and tenacity as Chester himself, which left the front man declaring this was one of the best crowds they had ever had. The band made good use of their mix of styles to keep the crowd entertained throughout a drum solo and various piano breaks by the rap artist that is Mike Shinoda. Overall this concert was a great place to see a band that I have followed for years and they certainly did not disappoint.
THE MOSAICS THE JUNCTION - YORK 26-01-08
don’t understand The Mosaics. The leadsinger is suited Interpol-style, the guitarist is a spotty Razorlight and skinny jeans man, and the bassist doesn’t quite pull off his Morning Runner, tramp style chic. They just don’t fit together. The only interesting thing about the band is the expressions of pain on the drummer’s face. “You’re my April, June and July”. Followed by “I’m caught in your landslide”. Dearie me. It’s lovely if you’ve got someone to blissfully swoon at. But with nothing more than a bottle of finest Frijj for company, The Mosaics seem like an even cheesier Maroon 5 or Bryan Adams with nothing to do but make a perfectly good night at the Junction a misery. That’s not to say that they’re awful, they’re just not anything good. Chocolate fudge brownie milkshake for a mere 48p from Somerfield and a night in are much more worthy of your time. They’re just…banana flavour. You can listen to them and they’re alright, but not quite tasty in a frothy chocolate fudge kind of way.
MANCHESTER ACADEMY 26-12-07
eople that go to Gogol Bordello gigs are a funny-looking bunch. They dress funny, they talk funny, and by the end of the night most of them smelt pretty funny (I realise this is a drastic and unfair simplification, many were relatively normal). This wonderful weirdness is reflected in the band themselves. Lead singer Eugene Hutz sounds like Borat, the violinist (yes, violinist) looks like Karl Marx on pills and the musical experience is unique. Live, Gogol Bordello are a real treat. The raw punk energy evident on their five studio albums is transferred to their live set, and then some. From the first stanzas of ‘Ultimate’, the opener on recent album Super Taranta, through to the finale of ‘Alcohol’ and ‘Undestructable’, the band have the crowd under their spell. Hutz’s performance is masterful but, not to be outdone, the rest of the band rise to the occasion and the show is as visually brilliant as the songs being showcased. The crowd responds, with ‘Not a Crime’ and ‘Think Locally, F*** Globally’ whipping the vast majority into a frenzy, but this is nothing compared with the reaction to the band’s signature song, the majestic ‘Start Wearing Purple’. Young and old jump, dance, mosh and crowd surf with the reckless abandon that every good Gypsy Punk should have, and the rest of the night is a fantastic blur, until the lights come up and its time to return to dark reality, until next time.
these new puritans
hold on now, youngster...
otly tipped by all the usual people, the debut album from Los Campesinos!, seven recent Cardiff university graduates with a fondness for excessive punctuation, have impressively long song titles (‘This is how you spell “ha ha ha, we destroyed the hopes and dreams of a generation of faux-romantics”’ an extreme example) is indie-pop of the best kind. That is, the kind that makes you want to dance around your room, rather than the kind that makes you want to smash up the CD in despair. The first song on the album is latest single ‘Death to Los Campesinos!’, an annoyingly catchy mixture of jangly guitars, drums, violin, and even a glockenspiel (an instrument sorely underused by most bands) which is guaranteed – and deserves - to be heard on dance floors across the country in the next month or so, along with previous single ‘You! Me! Dancing!. Singer Gareth Campesinos! vocals begin to grate after a while, with a tendency towards high pitched shrieking, but thankfully they are balanced out by Aleksandra Campesinos! vocals which are much calmer and easier on the ear (all members of the band have adopted the same surname, Ramones-style. Although they sound nothing like the Ramones). By the end, however, the album’s chirpiness begins to irritate – it’s probably best listened to in small doses, and never when you’re in a bad mood. However, they sound like they’re having fun and you can’t help but smile whilst listening to them.
n the early 90’s, everybody loved grunge. Yet for those who preferred to wash, whilst also getting mashed on halucigenics, there was Shoegazing. And with the return of its pioneers, My Bloody Valentine, comes a band in thrall to those days. These New Puritans are products of the same Southend art rock scene which spawned The Horrors. Yet whilst Farris and Co were shamelessly caricatured (one of them wore a cape) and had an inescapable whiff of joviality, These New Puritans have the substance to go with the style. With songs as tight as their jeans and beats that could induce a brain haemorrhage, ‘Beat Pyramid’ is not one for fans of music’s more melodic side. Basically there’s not much here for the scenesters, unattainable women are not within the Puritan’s remit, rather the lyrics focus on such bizarre subjects as Michael Barrymore’s masturbation habits ( MKK 3). 'Beat Pyramid'’s 16 tracks skip by in what seems like an instant. It does help that two clock in at less than 10 seconds. These songs work at their best when they are built around simple, almost mechanical riffs and Klaxonesque sirens, this occurs most brilliantly on C16, a track that the Prodigy would have been proud of in their heyday. It is somewhat unfair to bracket These New Puritans as art school, ‘nu gazers’, for they are so much more. This is a solid debut album, which is at times thrilling, if laden with more than a whiff of nostalgia.
BEDLAM IN GOLIATH - OUT NOW
wasn’t really in the mood for Mars Volta. Picture this. I had had lectures all day; I had had very little to eat; I had lots of work to do; I wanted to die. I was in such a bad mood that when I put on this CD to ‘cheer me up’, I was expecting it to do just that – I couldn’t be put in any worse a mood, could I? Well yes, I was. For those who are unacquainted with Mars Volta, they sound like crazed vampires in a space ship making a lot of noise. If that’s your sort of thing, then fine. But when you have a banging headache, empty stomach and exhausted body, their deafening music is the last thing you want assaulting your ear-drums. But this is prog-rock, remember; it’s supposed to be ‘a bit weird’. As for individual tracks – well, I can’t really tell them apart. A good bet is to start with ‘Wax Simulcra’ – the band’s latest single. It’s relatively accessible, and a lot more chorus-based than the rest of the album; and, at two minutes, is considerably shorter than the other songs on the album (anything between five and ten minutes long). If this album is going to turn you on, then I expect you already have it. However, if your normal habits include a regular dose of Kylie and Justin, then I strongly doubt you will appreciate Mars Volta’s psychedelic wailings. Especially not, if like me, you have had a bad day.
Joe Lean & the Jing Jang Jong 'Lonely Buoy' 18/02/08 With a clutch of brilliant singles, a spot on NME’s forthcoming awards tour and of course an appearance in the revered ‘We Love’ section of Vision, these fans of alliteration have quickly acquired ‘next big thing’ status. ‘Lonely Buoy’ exhibits the already established Joe Lean trademarks, jangly riffs, the most indie vocals you can possibly imagine and a song which somehow manages to stay clear of being twee. Whilst it is not as irrestibly brilliant as ‘ Lucio Starts fires’ it still cranks up the anticipation levels for their debut, whenever it comes.
Amy Macdonald 'Run' 03/03/08
Katie Melua is intensely annoying. So considering Amy Macdonald is touted as the next GMTV regular to become a success, I was not expecting much. Yet Macdonald is nothing like that women who banged the guy from The Kooks, she is actually not bad. She can sing. She can write songs and she may have what it takes to stick around for a while. ‘Run’ is sure to be a hit, and now we just have to wait for the crack addiction and the bulimia for this Amy to be truly taken to the nations hearts.
The Feeling 'I Thought It Was Over' 11/02/08
MATT COSTA UNFAMILIAR FACES OUT NOW
NEPTUNE OUT NOW
t comes as no surprise that singer-songwriter Matt Costa is linked with fellow Californian Jack Johnson. Both artists’ laidback strumming evokes lazy sunshine filled days, though Costa’s is decidedly more folksy. Bushfire Records releases his second album ‘Unfamiliar Faces’ following their re-release of his first in 2006. Beginning with the toe-tapping piano chords of the catchy single ‘Mr. Pitiful’ we are aptly brought into Costa’s light-hearted but tuneful world of songs. Beat driving guitar features throughout, guiding us through the various acoustic ballads and more pop driven songs, including ‘Lilacs’. These are happily interspersed however with those that present Costa’s definitive folksy edge. It’s impossible not to see a cowboy riding into an orange sunset as the harmonica solo sets in towards the end of ‘Never Looking Back’, likewise in the banjo filled bonus track ‘Lovin’’, which fittingly features the voice of some Southern Belle. ‘Miss Magnolia’ unmistakably reminisces Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’, complete with the sing-along ‘da da da du das’… With the exception of the terrible and clichéd ‘doctor doctor’ lyrics of ‘Emergency Call’ the album is good in its cheerful, foot-loose kind of a way; not hugely original but worth keeping if only for hippy summer listening.
THE DUKE SPIRIT
band tagged onto the end of Facebook favourites and Myspace music sections everywhere, because no one really knows them or cares. They’re called The Duke Spirit but beginning with ‘The’ and ending in ‘Duke Spirit’ doesn’t make them worthy of your top bands. With the release of their second album, ‘Neptune’, you should probably listen to them before committing yourself to such a blatant display of 80s grunge chic. Firstly, you have to get over their relentless stabs at copying at least four other bands at the same time on the first couple of admittedly bland songs on the album. But then it does become a “Sunken Treasure” as Liela Moss’ raspy Karen O-esque vocals on ‘Into The Fold’ suddenly push you into believing that The Duke Spirit aren’t all that bad afterall. So treat yourself to a swift dance around ‘cos it’s coming to a Toffs indie room near you.Melancholic Raveonettes/Kills style melodies, ‘This Ship Was Built To Last’, ‘Sovereign’ and ‘Wooden Heart’, with their simple lyrics and mournful 60s guitar riffs, are the closet classics of the album. If it seems like ‘Neptune’ isn’t your cup of tea, take Liela’s advice and “drink yourself through it”. It’s really not half bad though. So maybe stick to tea.
Can The Feeling really instigate the dreaded soft rock revival? Can they continue to put insanely hummable songs in our heads against our will? Well….. No, there is no danger of this overproduced, sluggish slog being any more than the song your dad heard on Radio 2 and decided to like because he thought you would be impressed by how hip and groovy he is. It’s OK, music’s balls remain very much attached, for The Feeling are going no further with songs like this.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 'Dig Lazarus Dig' 02/18/08 With ‘ The Boatmans Call’, Nick Cave made the transition from a bloodthirsty post punk artisan to the musical alternative’s crooner of choice. Whilst subsequent albums have cemented this position, ‘ Dig Lazarus Dig’ is the sound of a man trying and failing to recapture his lost youth. The tired riffs would not be out of place on a 1970’s hair metal album and Cave’s haunting croon has been replaced with the vocals of some poor hapless dustbin man whose dreams of pop stardom were crushed by a man with excessively high trousers. A real disappointment.
CAMILLE AUGARDE TELLS YOU WHY: Their E.P.
Despite being Hypesville’s most popular residents, the only musical offering to come from Black Kids has been a free four track EP. It’s called 'Wizard of Ahhhs', and if you say it out loud whilst gargling you sound just like the band’s equally as fun to say front man, Reggie Youngblood. Once the novelty of this wears off, try listening to the four magnificently titled songs: ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance’, ‘Hurricane Jane’, ‘Hit The Heartbreaks’ and ‘I’ve Underestimated My Charm Again’. A Motown-tinged blend of The Go! Team, Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips, and something extra that none of these bands have ever touched upon; it’s more satisfying than dreaming about smothering The Hoosiers to death with their own ridiculous hero outfits.
The Kids haven’t done their music homework. So there.
“So there hasn’t been a buzz this ear-piercing about a new band since the likes of Arcade Fire’s early days,” I casually comment. “Seriously?!” exclaims Reggie. “If you’re teasing me - if that’s just the way you flirt then I really don’t appreciate it”. King Kid is clearly under the impression that every muso under the sun is a raging nymphomaniac, for each one and their gran is itching to get a piece of them. NME have recently pinned them as one of eleven bands worldwide to keep your eyes peeled for this year, whilst each major record company you can name is racing to get the Kids’ scrawls on their dotted line. Switch on the radio, Black Kids: you’re big news.
Even Kate wants to sink her Nashers in.
London songstress Kate Nash recently covered Black Kids’ euphoric-pop anthem, ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance’, and then sent the band a message saying “I hope you don’t mind!”. “It was really sweet and utterly surreal” gushes bassist, Owen. For those whose ears the band’s probable first single has not yet graced, he explains that “it’s about watching the nice lady you’ve been showing your moves to all night go home with some two left-footed loser.”
They walk the walk:
Writing a song called ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance’ naturally requires checking the sleeves of Reggie’s psychedelic knitwear for these so called mammoth moves of his. Sure enough, during the sound check (for Black Kids are currently headlining the VICE Tour) he is spotted busting some earth moving, Thriller-esque shapes on the dance floor. Currently on tour and in the same quivering room are female band, Ipso Facto and male band, Friendly Fires. As Youngblood’s hips dislocate to infinity and beyond, the former come flocking like bees to the jam jar. Meanwhile, Friendly Fires weep into their G+Ts, eye up the ‘salsa lessons for absolute beginners’ advert on the wall, and wonder how many they could fit in before Valentine's day.
They don’t turn to The Libertines or The Smiths when seeking inspiration for song writing. Someone tell The Courteeners that this is possible. “I look to God and pussy, maan,” Reggie laughs. “And beer!” chips in Owen. “Anyone can spot the sexual references in our music because our songs are designed to turn a crowd on. I think this springs from being sexually repressed as kids as we all had very religious upbringings. Christian references are scattered here and there, but they’re in-references that only religious people will pick up on. We don’t like to preach”.
The six-piece hail from Jacksonville - the place that spawned Limp Bizkit. The cool factor scale just combusted.
Hollywoods hope, tragically lost Lauren Kelly reflects on a life cut tragically short...
THE FILMS THAT MADE HEATH LEDGER
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Ledger was warned that playing a closet-gay cowboy amounted to career suicide. In the event it was the role of his lifetime and one that gives us a poignant vision of how he might have grown old. Incidentally, if one wanted a definition what sets aside a star from an accomplished jobbing actor, one need look no further than the difference between Ledger’s performance and that of his screen lover and co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal.
A KNIGHTS TALE
in Roland Emmerich’s The Patriot, in which he portrayed the son of fictional American Revolution hero Benjamin Martin, and completed his first warbased drama. Next up was 2001’s A Knight’s Tale, which, while not being particularly historically accurate, displayed Ledger’s ability to gel with other youthful comedic performers and produced a glam-rock romp much edgier than 10 Things. This was followed by a string of less successful but experimental films which included The Four Feathers, The Order, Lords of Dogtown, and the undeniably ridiculous yet surprisingly awful The Brothers Grimm with A-Lister Matt Damon. While these films did not bolster Ledger’s acting reputation, they did give his resume a well-rounded, collage-like quality. It seems, however, that Ledger’s acting talents had not been
"HE WAS SO VISCERAL, HE UNDERSTOOD MORE ABOUT THE CHARACTER THAN I DID" -E ANNIE PROULX, AUTHOR OF BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
actor’s demise can be seen as a mark of fan dedication, I can only feel that it cheapens the memory and respect of Ledger’s budding career. Stepping effortlessly onto the scene in 1999’s trendy yet endearing teen flick 10 Things I Hate About You, Ledger secured a deep-rooted fan base with his broad smile, sparkling, mischievous eyes, and sexy Australian accent. And while this role was a particularly adorable one, it was of the calibre that often leads to bit parts on Buffy the Vampire Slayer or eventually (and perhaps even more sadly) Dawson’s Creek. Yet Ledger rejected such a familiar fame trajectory by pursuing roles thereafter that challenged his range and image. In 2000, he teamed up with fellow Aussie Mel Gibson
BY ANDREW NICHOLS
very girl remembers their first Heath Ledger moment. For those of us born before 1987, it was that moment in 10 Things I Hate About You, when he reclined against a beat-up high school locker, uttered, “Well, forget her sister, then,” and fired that cheeky smile, radiating sex appeal. Maybe it was something about his unkempt ringlets, or maybe it was his adherence to his native accent despite the movie’s Californian location, but there was something about Heath that drove us wild. Out of all the high-flying actors, actresses and singers-slashmedia-freaks, no one would have guessed that Ledger was the next to leave the glittering lights of Hollywood. With one film in midrelease and two films in their postproduction stages and due to be released in 2008, Ledger still had ample work challenges to look forward to. Critics have already hailed Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight as a disturbing psychological experience, and his contribution to I’m Not There was a distinctive step in a much more artistic and experimental direction. Yet this week the international film community suffered a heavy loss with Ledger’s death. The 28-year old actor from Perth was found dead in his SoHo apartment by his masseuse on Tuesday the 22nd of January, from apparently natural causes. The controversy swirling around Ledger’s death has resulted in a virtual circus of media attention and speculation. Any Google search will reveal intimate details of his masseuse’s reactions to the death, who was first contacted upon news of the actor’s demise (apparently - shocker - MaryKate Olsen has had a part in the web of confusion and blame), and his family’s desperate pleas for privacy and time for grieving. While the intense international attention paid to the
tested enough, for although he delivered procedural performances in all his previous films, it was 2005’s Brokeback Mountain that showcased his acting prowess. The now well-known tale follows two cowboys in 1960’s Wyoming as their love for each other develops into a deep and complicated relationship that spans decades and defies social taboo. The role of Ennis Del Mar tested Ledger on many levels, as well as transforming his image from charming teen idol to respected and in-demand performer. In addition to strengthening his acting chops on the set of Brokeback Mountain, Ledger met his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child (two-yearold Matilda), Michelle Williams, of Dawson’s Creek fame.
Perhaps this silly medieval rock-pic will not stand the test of time as one of Ledger’s finest movies. It is nonetheless a guilty pleasure to behold him as the cheeky squire who passes himself off as a knight; indeed, the general silliness of the conceit proves his ability to carry off a mediocre movie with charm and chutzpah.
Despite the fact that the two split just over a year ago, Ledger has proven himself to be a respectful partner and a very loving father, often seen taking Matilda to such New York kiddy hotspots as Central Park when not busy filming. 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU In recent The Taming of the Shrew must interviews, Ledger be one of the hardest plays in the had expressed sufferShakespeare canon to update to a ing from extreme lasmodern setting. But,as American situde resulting from high-school teenagers, Ledger and such a gruelling work his co-star, Julia Stiles, bring an pace, and it is this irrepressible jollity and sunny sexual hectic filming schedchemistry to the party as, respectively, the rebel with a dodgy ule that is believed past and the swot with whom he falls to have caused his in love. death on 22 January. Although first impressions may lead one to think Ledger’s career was hit-ormiss, this is deceptive in that it was still a developing career. The sheer number of films churned out by the actor over the last eight years is immense, and it was this attention to any and every project that - while possibly causing his death - made him such a hard-working inspiration. At only twenty-eight, he was still honing his ability to discern quality roles from fluff and paychecks. One can only wonder what kind of cinematic gems would have been in Ledger’s reach in the coming years.
Director - Jason Reitman
ou may not have heard but Juno is coming and it's going to be big. It's smart, it's fresh, it's unashamedly indie. It starts out Napoleon Dynamite-esque, a twisted version of reality and surreal but recognisable characters. However this belies the realism and heart of the film, which soon develops. Director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody create a film that defies convention and delivers stand-out performances from actors who clearly relish the chance to work on such an original and exciting script. Juno (Ellen Page) is a nonchalant, sarcastic 16 year old girl who weaves ironic pop-culture references into her daily speech. She maintains this approach even when faced with the daunting prospect of a teenage pregnancy. As entertaining and highly accurate as this dialogue is, it is the moments when Page allows this facade to drop, revealing to the audience and Juno herself that she is still just a child (who uses a hamburger phone and drinks Sunny-D), which really connect with the audience and make her earlier bravado all the more touching. Paulie, the father of Juno’s baby is perfectly played by Michael Cera, in pretty much the same role he played in both Superbad and Arrested Development: smart, awkward, sincere, serious and weirdly irresistible. But this is no bad thing; juxtaposed with the overbearing Juno it's a perfect match. The scene in which Juno tells her father and step-mum of her pregnancy is a perfect example of how this movie toys with the audience and their preconceptions of characters. Throughout Juno, Cody sets out these characters as 2D disappointed angry parents, yet the gruff exarmy father is slowly revealed to be kind and loving, and Juno’s nail technician stepmum is resourceful, supportive and endearing. When Juno decides against an abortion, for reasons as feasible as fingernails and pie flavoured condoms, she must rely on her plan B and find the perfect parents to adopt ‘it’ in the pennysaver magazine next to the exotic birds. When we meet the couple things don’t seem quite right. The woman seems anal and too perfect but Juno immediately has a connection with her jingle-writing husband over music and horror flicks. The conclusion will surprise and delight audiences, taking the film down avenues you won’t have expected. Just a word of advice: although I urge you to see this film, please don’t take your boy/girlfriend in this season of love. Or else the prospect of a teenage pregnancy may just become slightly less daunting and slightly more exciting than before.
CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
No Country for Old Men
Director - Mike Nichols
Directors : Ethan and Joel Coen
n 2008, psychopaths will be the new black. The major fight at this year’s Oscars is shaping up to be the Battle of the Maniacs, where the demented There Will Be Blood will shoot it out with Sweeney Todd and this, the Coen brothers’ latest, No Country For Old Men. Adapted from the Cormac McCarthy story, this is a sparse, measured tale of drug deals, Texans and homicidal veterans. With kudos for the most interesting serial killer weapon of choice, a cattle gun, there are echoes in this lengthy killing spree of Vietnam shellshock, mounting apathy and a stifling future. However, whilst straddling so many contentious issues, it seems at times to be about nothing at all. At once inspired and unearthly frustrating, every scene creaks with meaning and invites interpretation if only it weren’t often too difficult to care. No Country For Old Men follows Vietnam veteran Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin) as he happens upon a million dollars of drug money in the middle of a Texan desert. Inevitably he is not to escape this windfall scot-free and soon the most callous, badly coiffed psychopath in film (Javier Bardem) is right behind him. The Texas we see is always beautifully and carefully shot, but the land we experience is deeply poisoned. The sheriff himself is unable to decipher any motive behind the frequent and violent killings and maintains a bemused, if humoured, stance throughout. With Tommy Lee Jones as the sheriff disillusioned with modern America and seventeen dead bodies the film is a lesson in restrained and bloody minimalism. Blood baths aside, there’s something deeply disturbing about what many have told me is the Coen brothers' masterpiece. The core performances are ideal with Lee Jones continuing the role he has spent a lifetime perfecting. The supporting roles are well judged. Yet, despite its obvious merits and deliberating subtleties, by the final climax it was difficult to remain involved with either characters or plot. Maybe it was the freezing York January, but you could feel the Texan tumbleweed drift out of the screen and dull every person in the cinema. Whatever we felt No Country for Old Men promised, it slowly passed us by.
or those of you unfamiliar with American politics, Charlie Wilson was a congressman in the 1980s who secretly directed cash to fund Afghanistan’s resistance to the Soviet forces attempting to take control of the country. He was also a womaniser and a heavy drinker. Material like this definitely has the makings of an excellent film, but unfortunately Charlie Wilson’s War does not quite hit the spot. Wilson (Tom Hanks), a lover of whisky and women, is persuaded by wealthy socialite and intimate friend Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) to take up the case of the Afghans and fund their resistance. With vital help from the slightly crazed CIA agent Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Wilson is able to increase the budget hugely while also providing weapons that would be used to shoot down Soviet aircraft and drive the invaders from the country, courtesy of an unbelievable deal between Israel and Pakistan. All this while Wilson fights drug charges back home! The storyline might struggle to appeal to those who either don’t remember the event, aren’t interested in history or haven’t read the (quite obscure) book. Director Mike Nichols' attempts to give the film popular appeal with his all-star class; Tom Hanks does a decent job while struggling to portray the congressman’s self-assuredness and recklessness. Roberts, meanwhile, is woefully underused in her first acting role in three years, Hoffman is, once again, brilliant, both in terms of appearance and delivery, and he lifts the film every time he appears. Nichols also deliberately attempts to downplay the salacious side to Wilson, and apart from an opening, where Hanks shares a hot tub with three naked girls and then proceeds to snort cocaine in a limo, the viewer is led to a generally positive view of the likeable Texan, one that is probably both erroneous and unlikely to tempt the more fickle, younger viewer! For a movie with such massive potential in terms of both storyline and cast, it is over surprisingly quickly, leaving little time at all for reflection on events and not making enough use of its star assets. A solid, commendable effort, but ultimately a disappointment.
TORCHWOOD, TORCHWOOD, TORCHWOOD! Scott Bryan gets a little bit obsessed ...
TORCHWOOD PRE-EDITED VERSION: OPENING CREDITS Opening scene of people in bed / house being raided (EDITED OUT – Mass death of one person in bed) Gwen talks to woman in shock in hospital (EDITED OUT- Screaming and Swearing, lots and lots of blood) Captain Jack decides to ‘question’ woman (EDITED OUT- Woman tortured, mass screaming) Questioning other person in hospital (EDITED OUT- Accidental stabbing, baby run over by car) Team decide to leave the hospital (EDITED OUT- Explosion of hospital, man stabbed in front of family) Car chase. world saved, let's go out to dinner.
ay sex, man-on-man snogging, blood, gore, time travel, girl-on-girl snogging, killer aliens, nuclear warheads, torture… there’s only one drama on the box that somehow manages to link them all these things together without any eyebrows raised. The new series of Torchwood (Wednesdays, 9pm) started on BBC TWO a couple of weeks back, moved due to popular demand from BBC THREE from last year, and it couldn’t have happened soon enough. Captain Jack Hartness is back, so is the geeky chic Tosh, scrawny-face Owen and underconstant-threat-from-death Gwen, saving the world from under Cardiff ’s Millennium Centre which is at the centre of a rift which allows aliens to invade the planet. In a word... it is amazing, although probably the world's most implausible programme. For example within the first few minutes of the opening episode an alien blowfish causes havoc by taking a family hostage. After killing the blowfish the crew then happen to stumble into meeting Jack Hartness' (right) ex-boyfriend (who is an alien himself), before the ex-boyfriend drugs Gwen and leaves her in a cargo storage box, on a barge, with one hour to live before she suffocates. These farfetched stories though don't seem to stop any of the programme's excitement. They can say it's alien and leave it at that. As a result the scripts are inventive, the humour is cracking, the on-screen chemistry is explosive (like what Doctor Who should really be)… it’s my most recommended sci-fi programme to watch in years. It's rare for a TV critic to become so positive about a programme. I'm not that much of sci-fi fan at all may I add. I've never seen a full Star Wars film and my only affiliation to Star Trek has been the occasional remark of 'Beam me up Scotty' to me. But this programme is one of those shows which is geeky without making you feel like a geek. No science, no wooden sets... just great thrills. One point though. This year, due to the sheer amount of young people watching it on BBC THREE after the watershed (and after screaming statements by the Daily Express demanding what on earth the world is coming to), there has been a pre-watershed edited version of the show on BBC THREE which is shown the following day. I haven’t actually seen that version myself, but I’m guessing with the amount that has been cut out of the programme it would probably be about three minutes eight seconds long and would pretty much go like this:
So we’ve had Harry Enfield swearing, Neil Morrissey a perve… now Bill Bailey features in E4's Skins playing a parent of one of the cast. We’re dead excited. Information is tight regarding the new show (and I couldn’t get preview tapes) but apparently Tony survives the car crash, this series will be darker than the first and a character may die within the first few episodes. You have been warned.
NEIGHBOURS MOVE TO COMMERCIAL NEIGHBOUR
It's been twenty years since the show previewed on BBC ONE, and eighteen years since it was on its present slot of 5.35 just after Newsround... so it seems rather strange that Neighbours will no longer be in a slot that has been there since before we were born, and will instead be on a commercial network with (heaven forbid) adverts. Channel Five bought the rights of the show after a speculated £300 million eight year deal with Australian producers, three times more than the BBC currently pays for the programme, so whether this is a justly deserved transfer still remains to be seen. So is this really the demise of the poorly acted, wooden setted and madly plotlined but much loved Australian soap? Probably. In an attempt to bury bad news BBC One has promised a new weekday show to replace the soap starting later in the year called Out of the Blue, although for the present time it is unclear when the show will be starting and has for the time being been replaced by The Weakest Link. Meanwhile Channel Five will show the programme at 1.45 every weekday afternoon, followed by a repeat at 5.30pm. It will also then offer the next episode on its digital sister service Five Life and provide an omnibus on Sunday afternoons, directly after the Hollyoaks omnibus. Its another excuse to make Sunday lie-ins even longer.
MTV Flux- MTV’s attempt to join the social networking scene has failed. MTV Flux was a channel available on Sky which allowed viewers to choose music videos to be shown on TV online and interact with one another online at the same time. How logical. Unsurprisingly the channel suffered poor viewing figures, probably because all of their viewers were not watching TV and were online instead, or on better social network sites such as Facebook.
Bye blobs bye!- After more than three years on that backdoor channel, the BBC THREE blobs have called it a day. Quirky, lively and offbeat, these were the characters of the channel having a personality that the channel was never able to reflect in its programming. Will the new identity mean alas a new brighter horizon of better programming?
READ: A GOOD STORY
NAOMI LEVER finds a home for your old textbooks...
LISTINGS If charitable donations aren't your cup of tea Vision has some other suggestions for your old textbooks...
ne of the poorest, most remote areas of Africa, the Kigoma region of Tanzania may be idyllically located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, where chimpanzees, baboons and red-tail monkeys amble through huge tropical forests. Yet the dire state of Tanzanian education provides a grim contrast to this exotic paradise: the secondary education rate is 13%, while the aforementioned ratio of resources to pupils casts the J.B. Morrell in a spectacularly flattering light. READ International aims to change all this. York is one of eleven universities currently active in the READ Book Project: established in 2004, it was the innovative gap-year brainchild of Robert Wilson, then a student at Nottingham University. May 2007 saw him travel to York in order to raise interest in the project and highlight the discrepancies in educational systems that led to its creation. British print-happy government juggernauts commission new textbooks year upon year at the slightest tweaking of the syllabus, rendering the previous year’s still-shiny, barely-thumbed copies virtually obsolete. Yet in Tanzania, the same books that gather cobwebs in obscure corners of the library, are still key components of a secondary syllabus based on that of our own old O-Levels. “As it is run by volunteers, READ can send textbooks out for 50p a book, compared to the £11 cost to the Tanzanian government of a new book,” points out Miriam Hunt, Communications Officer for READ Book Project at York. The morals of such mathematics are irreproachable; accordingly, the foundation has been recognised for its groundbreaking work nation-wide, winning the prestigious title of Times Best New Charity in 2007, as well as the Dragons’ Den With a Conscience Award. If Duncan Bannatyne is impressed…
Despite the hordes of students who this week will be relishing the chance to prance round town dressed as international icons, solve murder mysteries and gobble pancakes in the name of RAG, getting the notoriously lazy creatures that we are involved in the practicalities of READ Book Project has thus far proved challenging. Spearheaded by Karen Cubbage and Kim Mirren alongside Hunt,
the York branch was only set up at the start of this academic year. Hunt concedes that attracting long term student support has been a problem, particularly considering the youth of the project. “As we were all new to role of ‘project leader’, the biggest challenge has been learning how to co-ordinate volunteers and fundraising. While people have been keen to get involved, getting their attention has not always been easy.” Karen Cubbage, the self-styled “Literary Acquisitions Officer – sounds much less boring than Book Collections Officer”, agrees that the youth of the project has hindered them slightly: “Unfortunately we were not established in time to be one of RAG’s charities for this year.”
ing the books to the Kigoma region of Tanzania, taking them to schools and libraries. They’ll be helping to distribute the books, and also to make sure that teachers can match them to the syllabus. I’m very, very excited about this opportunity to see the real situation in Tanzanian schools and feel like I’m making a contribution. And, of course, the chance to see the beautiful country!” Ten twenty-foot containers of books will be sent to over two hundred secondary schools across ten different regions of Tanzania, a venture that will cost over £7500, while the individual travellers need to raise £1500 each independently. Fundraising events, therefore, will be tantamount to READ’s success this year.
“MANY PEOPLE SAY THAT OUR CHILDREN DO NOT READ. WHAT WOULD THEY READ? WE HAVE ONE BOOK SHARED AMONG 10 PUPILS. HOW CAN THEY DEVELOP THE LOVE AND HABIT OF READING” – FEMALE TEACHER, MAYONI, IN ‘LIVING AND WORKING CONDITIONS OF TEACHERS IN TANZANIA RESEARCH REPORT’, HAKIELIMU, JULY 2006. However, she is optimistic about READ’s future, and points out that the project is steadily building a firm base of support on campus. “A few societies and sports clubs have really taken to us, particularly Dance Soc who allowed us to have a raffle and collecting tin at one of their events and have supported us in other fundraising ventures since. We have a hardcore team of volunteers, as well as those that help out with major projects – such as book collecting week, when it’s all hands on deck!” Quite literally; after all, it takes rather a lot of hands to carry the five thousand books collected last term from school to van. A fun experience? “It’s crazy and exhausting to say the least, and I don’t know what we would have done without Sat Nav! We visit as many schools as we can each day, collect the books, load up the van, go back to the storage company, and empty the van, all ready to start again the next day. And that’s just the book collecting side of things – fundraising and communications leaders’ days all are very different. And all this we have to juggle along with our uni work. It’s not easy and can be highly stressful at times.” Nothing makes the dog days of hectic toil seem so worthwhile as the prospect of overseas adventure. “This summer,” says Hunt, “eight volunteers from York will be deliver-
After last term’s Masquerade Ball took over Next Generation gym, a wealth of ideas are in the pipeline for this term, according to Cubbage. “We’re hoping to hold many other events, ranging from book sales, to cake sales and street collections. There are also plans for a massive fundraiser involving the dance clubs and sports clubs – but that’s all top secret for now!” Branching out is clearly an integral part of the charity’s ethos: Rose Blackie, READ International Book Project Co-ordinator says that, “Although books remain a key vehicle for our work, as our members have grown so we have grown in our thinking. Our vision for the future is about more than books.”
Cubbage concurs: “Our student volunteers also provide educational presentations at local UK secondary schools and offer school children the opportunity to become actively engaged in our process, encouraging them to fundraise, collect books from school store rooms and to learn about the development challenges facing countries like Tanzania. It’s our feeling that only through active participation will children appreciate and fully comprehend the importance of student volunteering, young social enterprise, recycling and global citizenship.” It may be a novel (excuse the pun) venture here at York and in need of much more participation, but make no mistake, READ Book Project is in it for the long haul. Their story is only just beginning.
For Posture Practice
York gets reading and writing SAMANTHA COWLEY
pparently these days, York is a hotbed of literary activity and so to celebrate this York Festivals is hosting its second annual York Literature Festival. There’s actually quite a lot going on with a host of book signings and readings from authors you’ve heard of but probably never read. Even the University of York is getting in on the act with a visit from Carol Ann Duffy (she of GCSE anthology infamy). The prolific poet will be speaking in the Jack Lyons Concert Hall on the 6th March at 7pm. Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, will be appearing at the York Central Library to read from her new Children’s book; Runemarks. For aspiring authors there’s plenty of advice floating around the city with Tracy Chevalier answering the mysterious question: 'What does a writer do?' and three veterans of the literary world (Nigel Forde, Alan Wilkinson and Jimmy Richards) will be offering advice on how to survive the modern world of writing. If you’re the kind of person who is constantly being asked for I.D. utilize your baby face and attend the Ghost Story Writing Workshop (8-12 year olds only - shame) and subsequent competition. Who knew York was so talented? Events start in February and continue through March. For more information head over to www.readwriteyork.co.uk
Blood Red, Snow White
orion CHILDRENS £9.99
nless it is central to your choosing a book I fiercely believe that you should not read the blurb. I didn’t however think I would start believing the same about the critic quotes. Andrew O’Hagan’s comment on McCarthy’s The Road almost destroyed the book by stating with iconoclastic certainty what exactly causes the post-apocalyptic nightmare of the novel. Luckily McCarthy won the Pulitzer Prize and his writing manages to defeat the folly of critics. The Road is haunting in its simplicity. McCarthy has realised that what seems to interest people about dystopian fiction is more often the minutiae of the characters’ lives -a voyeuristic testament to the strength of mankind. However, whilst ‘The Man’ and ‘The Boy’ of this book may be survivors, there seems to be little to live for. The world of The Road is one of eternal winter with no Father Christmas to thaw the freeze. It is a world where nothing grows and humanity exists only in these final two the rest of the survivors having turned to murder and cannibalism to continue their survival. Man and Boy even on the road are in search of nothing more than slightly warmer climes. There is no antidote, no salvation to reward their arduous trek and indeed the further they walk the further The Man seems from morality. However McCarthy won’t paint your entire day grey. The Boy, as old as the apocalypse itself, seems still to have developed a moral self no matter how misguided or impractical McCarthy does not warn, nor does he preach but displays a world where man is stripped of his aesthetics and shows humanity as we are, as we can be and as one day we may be.
he secret, and potentially sinister exploits of writer Arthur Ransom are perhaps not the most common of subjects for a children’s novel. Similarly, a book review of a novel by established children’s writer Marcus Sedgwick is perhaps not the usual fare of a student paper. But Blood Red, Snow White, although marketed for children, fits into the ambiguous “Harry Potter zone” – enjoyable for children, but with nuances that can be better appreciated by the older reader. Sedgwick’s protagonist is real-life novelist Ransom, and the novel details the time he spent as a journalist (and if some are to be believed, a Bolshevik spy) during the Russian Revolution. Ransom’s fictionalised voice convincingly pervades much of the novel, which is divided into three parts. The most technically interesting section of the novel is Part I, which, through a claustrophobic, fairytale style full of witches, princesses and magic (inspired by Ransom’s own Old Peter’s Russian Tales), details the riches, excesses and glory of the old order of Tsars. Parts II and III are more concerned with the bleak revolution landscape, reminding us continually of the atmosphere of threat and stagnancy. Part II is where Ransom’s story really begins, and the reader is transported with sudden clarity to St Petersburg, the urban environment assaulted by bombs and bullets. A colourful cast of historical figures drifts in and out of the narrative, revealing how seamlessly Ransom weaves together historical reality and fictional creation. The reader is placed inside Ransom’s subconscious, and we learn of his youthful characterisation, overwhelmed by events happening around him. We feel Ransom’s fear, his loss of ideals, his hopelessness, and most importantly, we feel when he falls in love. Blood Red, Snow White is powerful and emotive not only as an exploration of a political and social transformation, but also as a particularly touching love story. Ransom falls in love with Trotsky’s secretary, Evgenia, and the developing attraction between them adds a level of humanity and tenderness to a novel that may otherwise be a straightforwardly atmospheric evocation of a tumultuous period of European history. A sense of desperation pervades Part III as the story rushes to its thrilling denouement, and the reader’s heart truly races as Ransom risks everything in his exhilarating quest to rescue what is most dear to him. A compulsive and at times exhausting read, Blood Red, Snow White concisely twins historical commentary with a persuasive and touching love story.
EMILIE ROOHAN VISION CATCHES UP WITH CAULFIELD...
he Catcher in the Rye, a novel of alienated youth follows sixteen year old Holden Caulfield in his attempt to find meaning in a world full of ‘phoneys’. Taking place over 48 hours, we see Holden chainsmoking his way through escape from private school to his going underground in New York. This sojourn is marked by a series of incidents that fail to alleviate his angst. Half-heartedly accepting the offer of a prostitute in a run-down hotel, the sight of the young girl depresses him and he pays her to leave. A date with a pretty ex-girlfriend only frustrates him when she cannot relate to his disillusionment, and rejects his fanciful proposition of elopement. Where he is able to indulge his fondness for scotch, its effects only increase his loneliness and depression. Holden, a literary prodigy with a strong sense of morality, displays erratic behaviour and impulsively spends. His self-destructive tendencies arise through a weary cynicism at the values upheld by American society. Dark reminisces on the cruelty and ignorance of his former school peers explain his contempt for the education system. Holden’s psychological battles throughout are coloured by the premature death of his much loved brother Allie. It is love for his younger sister that leads to the final shift of mood. Seeing Phoebe riding the carousel at the local fair, his melancholy lifts and our moody protagonist feels ‘so damn happy all of a sudden’. The novel’s close sees Holden in contact with psychoanalysts and considering a return to school, an aptly modern resolution to this record of existential teenage angst.
TO DANCE OR NOT TO DANCE Northern Ballet Theatre's new production of Hamlet is coming to Leeds. Anna Wormleighton talks ballet and the Bard with dancer Chris Hinton-Lewis
t’s the first class of the day for the dancers of Northern Ballet Theatre’s forthcoming production of Hamlet. There is an atmosphere of serenity as dancers, cosily wrapped in thermal clothes and shoes that look like giant marshmallows, gently limber up for the long day ahead. A peaceful hubbub murmurs in the room as they chat during the splits, probably about the obscene amount of broccoli they scoffed the previous evening. Yoko Ichino, a slight, middleaged Japanese lady, with a baggy T-shirt and legs like Twiglets, wanders amongst the company of forty dancers. A slight wobble on a plié or a leg that’s not suitably stretched is picked up on, yet she jokes with the dancers with a smile and mischief that’s evidently infectious. Ichino, the company’s ballet mistress who is married to the Artistic Director, choreographer and creator of Hamlet, David Nixon, has danced opposite the likes of Rudolf Nureyev, Helgi Tomasson and Antony Dowell. With an intensive and highly successful career as a ballerina behind her, Ichino, however, has clearly not lost her passion and sense of fun for the dance.
who’s always pursued,” Chris claims. “This is an opportunity to have a powerful man at the centre of it all.” It’s certainly an opportunity for him, having danced with the company since 2000 and played many a principal role in that time and previously with Israel Ballet. But Chris goes on to identify an inherent technical difficulty that Shakespeare’s Hamlet presents to a ballet company. It’s a dramatic world that’s predominantly masculine and yet, any ballet company is comprised of at least fifty per cent women. “In our production then, the women will have a stronger influence – more of a presence – than they do in the play.” Georgina Roberts is Chris’s Ophelia and I ask him whether he has one female dancer that he especially likes to work with. “Er…no, I don’t have a particular leading lady. Different roles will call for different women, and some have been tall, some small and fiery, some chosen on their power. If the girl has confidence in you as a partner though you can start concentrating on each other and the look”. Coyly, Chris does let on that it’s special when, in the past, he has partnered his dancer girlfriend, Martha Leebolt. “It was totally different because we had more of a connection.” But this ballet really allows Chris to concentrate on his own character, the isolated Hamlet, who is one of Shakespeare’s most notoriously difficult creations. “He’s screwed!” Chris exclaims, going on to question how you portray the famous “to be or not to be” speech through dance when the emotions are so fluctuating. Through keeping Shakespeare’s text in his bag during rehearsals though, Chris ensures he remains as faithful to the original as possible. “If we’re doing a scene, I’ll go away and read Hamlet’s dialogue. My character is changing every day. When I started, I thought I was doing it right, but the more I do it, the more I have to make it bigger.” With the help of co-director Patricia Doyle who brings a wealth of acting experience to the
production, Chris feels he is getting rapidly closer to the essence of the Prince. Aside from the physical drain of eight-hour days, the company will be going on an extensive thirtyweek tour of the UK, also taking other pieces besides Hamlet. But Chris is optimistic about the prospect. “On tour, you get Monday off and you don’t have to get up early!” Having been immersed in such a physically demanding job since the age of sixteen when he attended the English National Ballet School, I ask Chris whether there’s anything he dislikes about his profession. “It’s a good job – I’ll miss it when I have to stop. But you wouldn’t want to do it for nothing. It hurts too much!” Already this year, he’s had an injection in his foot and two operations. But it doesn’t look like Chris will have to stop anytime in the near future since he’s physically fit and a powerful and sensitive dancer, and so the roles keep being offered to him. “The choreographer for this production [Nixon] is here all the time and he knows how we dance so will choreograph to our strengths. But you’ve got to be pushed – in any job. I want to be pushed and to be challenged.” What better challenge than to dance the title role in an adaptation of a play that famously sprawls over a vast four and a half hours. And what better challenge for David Nixon than to adapt a Renaissance piece of drama, grounded so firmly in language, into a bold and radical piece of dance theatre set in one of the most turbulent decades of the twentieth century.
DANCING'S A GOOD JOB, BUT YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO DO IT FOR NOTHING - IT HURTS TOO MUCH! Perhaps this is partly because the Northern Ballet Theatre offers something slightly different from the average classical ballet company. Whilst it would never call itself “contemporary” in style, it aims at blending classical ballet with drama to tell some of history’s most powerful narratives through the medium of dance. Excusing himself from the “jumps” section of the class, principle dancer Chris Hinton-Lewis, currently dancing the title role, comes to talk to me about how Hamlet has evolved in its move from drama to ballet. David Nixon has set it in the early 1940s with Hamlet returning from war to find his hometown occupied by Nazis. It’s unusual, for one thing, to have a ballet named after a man when we are so used to the likes of Coppelia, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella in which the softness and aesthetics of the female dancer are the main appeal. So, how has having an adolescent soldier affected the dynamic of the ballet? “It’s very old-fashioned to have a story of a weak woman
Northern Ballet Theatre’s Hamlet will run at the Grand Theatre, Leeds from 1623 February 2008. Box Office 0844 848 2701.
here’s an abundance of plays at the moment being written on the topic of sex trafficking. And whilst most of these can be classed as edgy because of their basis in first-hand experiences, we might be surprised when Puccini’s 1904 opera, Madama Butterfly, speaks just as loudly about the industry, despite being written over a hundred years ago. Tim Albery’s stunning new production, performed by Opera North and conducted by Martin Pickard, serves as a moving testament to the twenty-first century women still being sold off to rich men. Madama Butterfly tells the story of a fifteen-year-old Japanese geisha in Nagasaki, Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), married off to an American lieutenant, Pinkerton, who takes the marriage vows far less seriously than his bride. In this production, Anne Sophie Duprels plays Madama Butterfly in a powerful performance that succeeds in capturing the vulnerability, but also the worldliness, of our heroine. Talking to Assistant Director Maxine Braham, I ask how she and Tim dealt with this challenging role. “The role is gargantuan!” she claims. “Often, you get mature (usually large) women playing the part and then you get into the business of having to suspend disbelief. While Butterfly needs a mature voice, you don’t want a sound that’s lived.” Duprels, with her slim figure, physical buoyancy, and pure but steely voice, clearly has the magical mixture of these qualities. The traditional view of opera as a genre that is not intended to be believable is redundant here as Albery has concentrated on emotional truth. Other outstanding performances to note are Peter Savidge as Sharpless, the fatal messenger, on account of his richly warm voice and sympathy towards Butterfly, and Ann Taylor in an excellent portrayal of Madama Butterfly’s maid and closest ally, Suzuki. Madama Buttefly continues to be one of the most frequently performed operas, yet Albery’s production seems definitive in its fidelity to Puccini’s vision and score, combined with a fresh take that draws out the modern relevance of the Butterfly story that will ensure that it continues to be performed all over the world and resonate so strongly.
Madama Butterly played at Leeds’ Grand Theatre on 18 and 22 January 2008.
A tale of two philosophers
Eminent philosophers Professor Bill Brewer and Dr. Helen Steward met as students at Oxford in 1985 and have recently moved from academic positions there to the universities of Warwick and Leeds respectively. They talk to Anna Wormleighton about being philosophers. Where did you two first meet and what were your first impressions of the other?
H: Probably in the pub or in Wadham bar. I think I always thought you were frighteningly intelligent…until I realised otherwise! (raucous laughter from Helen.) B: I was a third year undergraduate and Helen was a second year undergraduate. And it’d be true to say that the majority of our interaction didn’t involve Philosophy! But we did talk a bit about work. I remember some discussions of Hume… H: I remember asking you about the difference between the Type and Token Identity Theory and realising that you hadn’t really got it straight either!
How do people react when you tell them you’re a philosopher?
Do women philosophers get as much respect as men?
H: Good question. No. I think the answer’s no. I don’t feel I’ve been disrespected or treated badly or anything, but I do think that men are more interested in reading one another’s work than they are in reading women’s work! And that means that some women philosophers who I think are tremendously important, get ignored. B: My feeling is, sadly,
Dr. Helen Steward: "I think that male philosophers are more interested in reading one another's work than they are in reading women's."
A LOT OF PEOPLE GET QUITE FRIGHTENED BECAUSE THEY DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT PHILOSOPHY IS
H: Something to the effect of “Ooooh, you know, very intellectual!” That kind of reaction. Do you get that or is it just women that do? B: Oh no, I do get it, but I often wonder (maybe it’s my paranoia) whether it’s condescension masquerading as respect. H: I think a lot of people get quite frightened because they don’t really know what Philosophy is. I think they think you might be able to take a view on their life and they don’t like that!
Have you ever had some really cutting criticism of your work?
Professor Bill Brewer: "I once had a deliberately hurtfully critical review in the TLS."
H: Yeah. Yeah, I have. Quite often, it’s implied rather than actually said. I once finished a talk to a group and then some of them just got up and left, without saying anything, and I felt very humiliated. It seemed their way of saying, “What a load of bollocks”. B: I did have one really, really – and I think it can only be described as – deliberately hurtfully critical review. The way I came across it was really painful. I was in the college Senior Common Room and I picked up the TLS and saw, unexpectedly, this review of my book. I sat with lots of other people (including philosophers) and read it. As I got through it, I just wanted to curl up more and more. It was quite painful.
What do you most dislike about philosophers? H: They can be very careless with one another’s feelings without realising it. They can be quite unpleasant in debate without meaning it often. And another thing I don’t like – and it’s becoming very common – is that people don’t care that much about conclusions – they only care about arguments. B: Yeah, I think both of those are right, and related in a way. The humanity of the individual can be put to one side. It’s also true that a lot of my closest friends are involved in philosophy, but there are definitely some problematic features.
WHAT NOT TO MISS THIS JANUARY... Sweet Charity, Central Hall, 79 February. University of York Central Hall Musical Society present this raunchy, moving and funny musical about Charity, a dance hostess. Go to witness some of campus’s hottest talent…
Stand-Up Comedy Night, York Theatre Royal, 9 February. Some of the UK’s and world’s best comedians descend on York for the night, including the likes of Norman Lovett, Robin Ince and Nick Doody. Students only £5!
the answer is no. In certain respects a conscious effort is being made though as I think there is a growing concern about it.
Bill Brewer will be talking at York on 28 February and Helen Steward will be at York on 8 May.
Cruel and Tender
battle rages in a far off country; an entire city is turned to dust. Amelia can’t sleep as she waits for news of her husband. He’s a great general who seems to have won a decisive victory. But when his motives are revealed, his wife is driven to desperate measures to protect him and hold on to his love. Drawing on Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, Martin Crimp’s Cruel and Tender is by no means a play fixed in the past. His modern equivalent crashes into the present, plunging us into a world we ourselves inhabit and recognize as our own. The Greek Chorus takes the form of a housekeeper, physio and beautician. The threat? Global terrorism, which must be eradicated by Amelia’s husband, the General. I meet director Cheryl Gallacher over croissants on a rather rare sunny morn in January. On the play, she remarked with considerable thought, “it’s quite terrifying how Sophocles’ concerns about political expediency, violence, corruption and betrayal are still as potent as ever. What we see is a world in which ministers preach moral absolutes whilst committing adultery. This is not a world of good and evil, there’s no right and wrong, the victim becomes the perpetrator. We discover we are unable to reconcile extremes of belief with the muddy reality that stares back at us”. Premiering at the Young Vic Theatre in 2004, the play of war and terror was received to high acclaim. Resonant as it was then, I ask Gallacher how she plans to bring the play even further forward into 2008? She takes a sip of her espresso and ponders, before replying: “The continuing War on Terror still provides a license for words such as “threat” “security” and “terrorist” to be bandied around. I think fear is starting to increase now “Iran” is being introduced into the discourse. I don’t think anyone wants another “Iraq” and it’s the consequences of such interventions which we see so explicitly in Cruel and Tender.” Finally, I ask Gallacher what her production has in store for us? “The style is a fusion of Greek and the Modern. Crimp, although British, is often considered to be a European playwright. European theatre often holds physicality, choreography and movement in the same high esteem as language. I think the amalgamation of Greek verse and physical theatre will prove to be a very exciting combination indeed”.
Cruel and Tender will be showing in Week 7, Friday to Sunday. Tickets available from Wednesday-Friday of Week 7, Vanbrugh stalls, 12-2pm (£3 Friday, £3.50/£4.50 Sat/Sun).
Whose Life Is It Anyway? Drama Barn, 15-17 February. Drama Soc presents Brian Clark’s film-made-play about a man fatally paralysed from the neck down in a car accident.
Mahler and Tchaikovsky, Central Hall, 5 March. University of York Symphony Orchestra combine with outstanding 'cellist Tim Lowe to play Tchaikovsky’s Roccoco Variations, and the orchestra tackle one of Mahler’s most impressive pieces.
Chic Beat Discotheque, Leeds
familiar mantra stumble to mind lato warned us to 'beware the er the devil you know". Do "bett the barrenness of a busy life'. on the other hand, find yourself He obviously didn't live in you, an advance ticket to "Tire-D" with in the city that never sleeps (or Rock V a Hard Place"? For "A . and York); and it's RAG week to boot you who have come over of those rent diffe a It would have been quite and now shudder at oge Scro all a story if he'd been able to go to a gander at your take the c-word, "Blagathon" or dress up in a toga at veritable smors' week two next e a Greek-themed event. Well mayb gence to be indul selfof ord - gasb he wouldn't have been quite as excit sy chips by moonchee like ed scoff to fail can't ed by the latter but you light. Get up and line the pockets be inspired to philanthropy by this of the Greater Yorkshire area. SS lot; dressing up and parading being See the winsome joy it ever was. below for our RAG rundown and let
week 5 TUESDAY Charity Fair Goodricke Hall
05.02 Free 10am-3pm
Exactly what it says on the tin. Campus charities, RAG beneficiaries and general York nice people urging you to give to good causes. Also in attendance will be college merchandise reps urging you to contribute to their funds. Giving all round then.
Blagathon Derwent Bar
Although the word "Blagathon" sounds much more intriguing and exotic than "Charity Auction", this is still part of the RAG festivities so come and "blag" something. Prizes are many and varied; if you fancy a last minute train fare to London there's a pair of tickets to England's game at Wembley. If you fancy Heidi Klum you can get your sweaty mitts on her hoodie. The Deal or No Deal tickets and signed picture of Noel would be my choice.
Ghost Walk Jorvik Centre
In case you'd managed to forget that York is the Viking capital of the Western World and said to be haunted, you can come and rediscover all that heritage at this hallowed event. Reported as one of the best bits of RAG week, the ghost walk takes you to York Brewery's Bar where a murder mystery will unfold. Crime's a jolly affair these days, with live music and a finger buffet no less. I'm game.
THURSDAY 07.02 Viking Raid 2 Goodricke
Yes, it's the second coming. The only (barely) legal modern way to storm York. Don your infamously ethically sourced Viking Raid T-shirt and get dropped in town to be cattle-prodded through 8 bars and end up in one of York's premier nightclubs. So, £7.50 well spent? Don't worry, it probably covers the cost of the T-shirt. And your principles.
Valve Leeds Union
Wags V Footballers £3.50/£4otd Vanbrugh
No, not a low-rent reality TV special examing whether Footballers or their "Wags" are a bigger money pit; it's a RAG week late licence. With an extra 50p off the ticket price for AU members it could be the best charity bargain of the week. If you're still not convinced, listen out for the whisperings that the Vanbrugh Football team might be parting with their kits. Now that's sweet charity.
Idioteque £6adv/8otd St Lawrence Working Mens 10pm This is York's newest music night's second event boasting Metropolis (live hip-hop), DJ Nonames (dub-step) from Foreign Beggars, Royce Rolls & DJ Yenz, Alphabetix and Bambooman. If you know who they are you're probably already going. If you don't maybe you should run along post haste for antiToffs education in droves.
RAG Parade York
Usually more 'raining and (determinedly) grinning' than raising and giving. The climax of RAG week has taken on an 'Around the World' theme; apply to your college for the continent of your costume. Then proceed to charge around the streets of York shaking buckets and generally making a racket. It's sounding more fun by the minute.
RAG Bash Derwent Bar
Apparantly a continuation of the fun and frolics of the RAG parade into the early hours. Wear the same rags as at the parade and meet the rest of the world in Derwent Bar. Tunes will be provided by Samba York and the world renowned DJ Thuggles.
£13adv/+otd Winter Concert 10pm Jack Lyons Concert Hall
Metropolis presents the Valve Soundsystem at three of the Leeds Union venues - Stylus, Pulse and Mine. Featuring Andy C, LTJ Bukem and other collections of consonants, it's the perfect place to make light work of developing tinnitus.
Dvojak, Schonberg, Vaughn Williams, Zimmer, Ravel. If these names don't mean anything to you maybe you should check out the stylings of the University of York Concert Orchestra.
One of the omnipresent Gatecrasher's nights. Resident DJ is one Filthy Rich (KissDaFunk). Having a nickname in brackets does denote a certain credibility. Throw it down here until 3am every Monday.
week 6 MONDAY
Sometimenever City Screen Basement
Waiting for Godot York Theatre Royal
Kerrang! calls them 'challenging', bbc. co.uk says they know how to fill a stage with their 'awesome riffs' and 'perfected harmonies'. High praise indeed and it's dirt cheap.
Comic Absurdity from Samuel Beckett. Voted the most significant English language play of the 20th Century in the National Theatre's Millennium poll, Godot's on from the 12th-16th so you won't have to be waiting for very long.
Hot Chip £15 Leeds Union Refectory 7.30pm
My Fair Lady York Theatre Royal
Based on the play by George Bernard Shaw, this production is by the York Light Opera Company. See a Cockney flower girl become a lady, learn the proper anunciation to rise above the rest and dance all night. Opera's always an interesting twist on an old classic, and it's a steal at five pounds. Playing until the 23rd. Loverly
You should probably go.
The Way, the Wind and the... £3 York Minster 7.30pm I would do well to direct you to the York Minster website for this one as their description is nothing short of priceless. Think wandering, gamelan, empty naves and general Minster madness.
The Other Side City Screen Basement
£8/7adv The Hoosiers £12.50adv 7.30pm Leeds Union Refectory 7.30pm Purported to be 'one of the most authenSelf-styled as 'XTC, Supertramp, Talking Heads, Sinita and a set of rusty spoons cling-clanging their way through the britches of Jeff Buckley' it's worth a look if you don't already know them just to hear how that would sound. Established new band gracing one of Leeds' many Union venues. They'll be at the Uni's venue one day. Keep the dream alive.
tic comedy venues in the country' as oppose to all the imposters, The Other Side offers laughs even after the RAG rush. Take the trip underground to see the next Jimmy Carr, Ross Noble or Ian Cognito, who've all entertained here in humbler days.
27th February Sum 41 Leeds Refectory
Fairy Liquid York Railway Institute
Any production named after washing up liquid is worth a mention in my book. On until the 16th and with custard pies, sing-alongs and a ghost scene you''ll get the £4 back in fun. Suitable for ages 3 and up. I'm sold.
Hark back to the days when you knew baggy cutoff jeans and having your wallet attached to a chain on your jeans was cool. Enjoy the teenage rebellion and try and forget that the lead singer is married to Avril Lavigne.
Something a bit different for a preTuesday night activity. Daily fun.
Al-Quiz! B. Henry's, Alcuin
£1 per team 7.30pm
The confirmed best quiz on campus in this unique cocktail bar. Cash prize, Toff's Q-Jumpers, the time of your life. Frequently packed, come early to avoid major disappointment.
WEDNESDAYS University Concerts £3 Jack Lyons Concert Hall 7.30pm
Wide range of acclaimed orchestras and musicians.
THURSDAYS Live Jazz Durham Ox
Comedy The Edge, Wentworth
Jazz The Edge, Wentworth
This weekly live jazz and easy listening night promises fine food and an open fire. Very nice after a trying week I'm sure.
Legendary comedy night from YUSU in The Edge three times a term. Next coming in weeks 5 and 8.
Live jazz from University musicians and performers on most Thursdays. Should cost money.
Live Music City Screen Basement
New live bands Monday to Friday. Check website for who's playing when.
MORE.... 9th February Chinese New Year Gala Grand Opera House
Presented by the York Chinese Students and Scholars Association. A night of acrobatics, kung-fu fighting and fabulous performances will ensue. The picture of the dragon on the website is quite enticing.
13th-17th February Jorvik Viking Festival York
Eyes to the website www.jorvik-vikingcentre.co.uk/festival2008 for the full lowdown on the viking antics; battles, craftsmen and perhaps an authentic raid. With the promise of special guests, my fingers are crossed for Thor himself.
All times, prices and events correct at time of writing. Vision cannot be held responsible for any poor nights out as a result of reading this section. Learn to make your own fun.
Tuesday February 5, 2008
Having lived in Kenya, Roy Moore has his say on a national breakdown
THE KENYAN CRISIS: WHO'S TO BLAME? F
ollowing elections over a month ago, Kenya’s streets are still in chaos. Riots and protests have destroyed local businesses and houses, leaving over 800 people dead and 300,000 people homeless. Towns have been shut down because of the looting and violence which has all been a result of the alleged fraud in the Kenyan Presidential election. Opposition leader Raila Odinga claims that incumbent President Mwai Kibaki stole the election through a series of fraudulent actions. First it’s claimed Kibaki bribed current Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to stand against his ally Odinga in order to split their votes before the election, and then there are the more direct allegations of electoral fraud suggesting Kibaki stole the election. One of the biggest problems now is the way the violence has turned ethnic. Kenya is a deeply diverse country, made up of 42 tribes, all of which give a different identity to the citizens. The ing tribes supportKibaki have attacked those supporting Odinga, and vice versa, and neither leader has denounced the violence done to their opponent’s tribe. It seems an all too typical standoff in Africa, leaders vying for power at the people’s expense, and it is the people who must pick up the pieces now. I worked with a couple of charities while I was in Kenya last year, and they have become shelters for people caught up in the conflict. Even just getting food is a problem, as one boy went out to get some beans for everyone and came back
beaten and stabbed, and had to be stitched up back in the house! Unfortunately that is the nature of politics in Kenya, the leaders think of their bank account rather than the people. These tensions have been building up over many years, as thousands of people have been reduced to begging, children live and sleep on the streets, all because of the failure of the top politicians in and out of Kenya. Even the student’s life is split between studying and looking after several of their brothers and sisters, as the whole family live in a house no bigger than our rooms on campus, as they try to earn the money to pay for their education. Students, however, are the lucky ones as they get an education. Many can’t afford the fees charged even in high school, and some parents can’t afford to send their kids to school and need them to work to pay for the simple necessities like food. The broken promises of Kenya’s politicians make a deep impression on you when they become so regular, though the hostility has still come as a surprise as the country has been a beacon of stability in Africa. Stability in African terms, however, is much more relative than our own. It often meant a one-party state with a history of corruption and fraud, as has been part of Kenya’s history. It would be hasty to place all the blame on the Kenyan’s loyalty to their tribes or corrupt politicians, as the history of the country shifts some of this
We left them with nothing, so how cou ld they grow?
responsibility elsewhere, namely to the British government. During Kenya’s colonisation, our government used to put down protests and rebellions with extreme violence, killing 5000 people on one
occasion, as they were part of the rebel group Mau Mau, who were part of the Kikuyu tribe, Kibaki’s own tribe. It’s interesting how history repeats itself, as Kibaki is now facing an uprising from people demanding democracy. The British eventually allowed independence and Kenya became free in 1963, just 45 years ago. Like many fledgling African states, Kenya needed to borrow money to survive. From an intial borrowed amount of £8.5bn, Kenya has so far paid back £25.5bn and still owes £3.5bn more due to extortionate interest rates. It now spends 22% of its national economy on debt repayments which have halted any plans to improve the health and education of its people, leaving 56% of Kenya’s entire population in abject poverty (living off less than 50p a day). Most African countries have seen military coups, often sponsored by the UK, to overthrow leaders who had brought progress to their country. Those replacing them were military dictators who ruled selfishly and ruthlessly, often resulting in mass murder and genocide. Within ten years of Kenya’s independence, half of the African states were ruled by some
form of military government. Of course the British government of the time didn’t care much for that, so long as their businesses were making money they were happy. One example of this is in Uganda, Kenya’s neighbour and also a former colony of Britain. The progressive government of Dr. Milton Obote began to nationalise UK businesses in the country so that Ugandan companies would have a chance within their own economy and the Ugandan economy would become more stable and independent. The British responded with a military coup putting Idi Amin in charge of the country. Amin went on to kill 400,000 people, but the British businesses were ticking over, so who cared? The very real human cost of such Western hypocrisy though, can still be felt today. However, today’s government have no ties with the people responsible for the situation in Africa. Slowly Britain has progressed from its ideology of ‘might is right’ to at least trying to bring some form of democratic governance to many of its former colonies. And now British politicians are involving themselves in trying to resolve the conflict. Indeed while the international community call for sanctions, Foreign Secretary Dav-
id Miliband noted that this will not put pressure on Mwai Kibaki or any other Kenyan leader, but will only hurt the impoverished citizens who often foot the bill for the failings of their politicians. Perhaps this is a sign of a promising future in diplomatic relations. Hopefully this sort of thinking can be encouraged and developed, so that free elections become the norm in former British colonial states, rather than the exception. But if we continue to blame the tribalism and corrupt ploticians then we can at best cure the symptoms of the disease, and only pray it doesn’t come back. Without tackling the root causes we will never be able to prevent crises like this from happening again. Debt relief is the only way in which Kenya, and so many other countries, can finally become truly stable. Without such a burden, there will be less of a scrap for resources, and with the economic growth Kenya is capable of will also come the demand for better representation. Britain still has a responsibility in this, having left the country with nothing. But perhaps there is hope that promises will be fulfiled and that African nations will be allowed to develop for the people of Africa, rather than strangled for a few rich men’s already bulging pockets. The crisis in Kenya has already hurt so many people, but it can be turned into an opportunity to rebuild something better.
nue if we conti he tribto blame t orr upt c d n a m s i al en we h t s n a i c i t poli cure the t s e b t a n ca symptoms
Tuesday February 5, 2008
Gender Bender >STYLE
Hannah O'Shea and Sarah Stretton attempt to bust our rose-tinted Disney ideals in a bid to offer shy men and insecure women a happy ending...
However, this is obviously not prescriptive to all women. Aside from the “modest” (read timid) female, some women are portrayed as “aggressive”. Heidi Muller goes on to say “There are aggressive women out there, those that call the shots in dating and can’t be messed around with, but they are rare and few”. Yet why should a woman who makes the first move be seen as some form of predatory beast rather than simply confident or astute? And is it this stereotype that prevents more women from doing the same? We asked our volunteers,
Cupid's Cock -ups
100% agreed that we are STILL confined by gender roles
ent the "My ex sp ng sick ei b ay d whole e was out because h ore; he bef the night day watch e th t en sp h his it w y ll te ing ." little sister
‘If you saw a woman walk over to a man in a bar would you applaud her or criticise her?’ Out of the women we asked was opinion divided by an almost 50/50 split, a division of opinion which hinged largely on what the woman was wearing. If the woman was ‘trashily’ dressed our volunteers said they would be critical, however, if she seemed approachable and friendly they would applaud her confidence. How women present themselves through behaviour and dress thus seems integral to how we judge them. It may be possible that not approaching men represents a fear of female, rather than male, censure and rejection.
the alcohol induced variety) can be empowering and should be celebrated in men and women alike. So here are a few examples of when guys are given the lead and manage to truly cock up Cupid’s plan to encourage you to find the courage to bite the Valentines bullet and take the (For lead. further fememinine power ment whack on “Cant’ Hold Us Down” featuring Lil KimClassic confidence booster without any of that crazy bra burning business.)
Women fear female rather than male , censure and rejection
Despite adfrom verts companies as such DatingDirect.com who propagate such slogans “Same as new game, rules” which encourage to women take a more assertive role datthe in ing “game” it seem would that many women are still unwilling to take this risk. Often factors such as female insecurity and fear of rejection force many women to
take a backseat in relationship politics. Out of a random poll of twenty female students at York University 65% said that they would not or have not asked a guy out. Astoundingly 100% of all females asked agreed that we are still confined by gender roles. This suggests that despite the advent of feminism and equal opportunities when it comes to relationships female students still prefer their man to, be a man. According to Heidi Muller relationship correspondent for Askmen. com “While the female gender has undergone so many evolutions in society, one would think they would be as aggressive in their dating life as they are in every other aspect of their life”.
nless you were brought up by Germaine Greer, chances are that you will have experienced a childhood indoctrinated with gender stereotypes. Disney films such as Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, or Action heroes and Barbie dolls paint a picture of carefully differentiated male and female roles, whilst ‘Love’ as a concept is still predominated by ideals of feminine sentimentality and masculine chivalry. Even in the twenty first century the traditional roles of men and women seem as far removed from one another as Pete Doherty is from sobriety. Yet, with Valentines Day just around the corner, can we transcend the stereotypes of our childhoods and take our prejudices to rehab?
So on the surface, the only options available to women are the stereotyped extremes of sexual predator or meek maiden. Yet these concepts are unrealistic and ill-fitted for student life, within which men and women must fight tooth and nail side by side for that last coveted queue jumper or key text… Perhaps in light of this there is something wrong in viewing confident women as sexual predators. In the words of Miss Aguilera why is it that: “The guy gets all the glory, the more he can score, while the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore”? Confidence (though perhaps not of
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P18 s Back...
The Birth of the Playboy
P19 VIKING RAID
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S N O I S S E F N OF A CAMPUS PLAYBOY CO
Tuesday February 5, 2008
Vision's ladies man reflects on his first time...
VISION'S VIXENS and their
John Smith’s moustache away and responded, ‘honk-honk the gravy boat is about to dock’. ‘Shut-up you berk’ she said, ‘my name is Chelsea Sheppard and tonight you join my flock. Meet me in The Shadows.’ I sat back down at the table and evaluated what just happened, I turned to my mate and said ‘Andy…. I’m in man’. A few hours passed and we finally got in to The Shadows. She soon spotted me. She marched on over and gave me a slap right round the face, ‘Don’t you know you should never keep a lady waiting?’ ‘Sorry’ I replied. ‘Now buy me a VK orange’. I obliged and we strutted down to the dancefloor. I was her pole as she ground up against me. She grabbed my hands and placed them on her arse. Suddenly I was possessed by
Once my willy even found its way into my brother's tepid leftover readybrek
cookie jar. I was a determined young 15 year old, hell bent on getting my end away. Me and a few friends decided to go out to town to a few pubs and bars with the hope of ending up in The Shadows nightclub. Tonight would be the night, everything was in place, my shirt was unbuttoned exposing the chest that caged my racing heart, my fragrance: Hugo Boss, and my pants: tight and white. We went in to the first pub. I frowned and put on my deepest voice, ‘a pint of John Smiths please squire’ I nervously asked. We sat down in the corner, slowly sipping this frothy ale. Then suddenly out of nowhere in strutted the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. The longest legs in west Yorkshire, lumps in the right places, and eyes like windows into the pit of a wild sex starved beast. This mature firecracker was probably about 20 but I felt compelled to introduce myself. It went against everything I had been taught: don’t talk to strangers, and don’t play with fireworks. But fuck it, this woman emits sex like a bonfire radiates heat and my marshmallow needs toasting. 'Good-evening’, I said. ‘Hello’, she responded. I got a little closer. ‘I would like to bathe you in gravy, you’re one fine looking piece of meat. My potatoes are crisping, you wanna give me a roasting?’ SHE whispered in my ear. I was blushing. I wiped my
oday I share with you a tale crying out to be written. I am literally inundated with questions regarding my first time with a woman and why I chose to lead the life of a serial lovemaker. Today readers I answer your call, ‘I’m gonna shag two birds with one connie’ so to speak, in a story I think we can all relate to. Today I lay down the ace nestled in my sleeve, Friday 18th April 2003, the day the campus playboy lost his virginity. I suggest you sit back and put the cristal on ice as I share with you the confessions of a campus playboy. For a man, having sex for the first time is always going to be a nerve wracking experience. For me a woman’s vagina was like an enigma wrapped up in a mystery. A hairy rubiks cube you could put your willy in. When I was a boy I used to put my willy in any warm crevice I could find, I even fashioned my own vagina out of a toilet roll stuffed with warm damp tissue. Once my willy even found its way into my brother's tepid left over ready-brek, but let me assure you not even porridge oats can recreate the real thing. I had watched porn religiously, in theory I was the greatest lovemaker in the world, in my head when my comet hit the surface of the woman’s vagina her clitor-saurus roared. However as we all know, no amount of porn can prepare you for the first time you raid the
the spirit of a young Patrick Swayzee. We must have dirty danced for 2 hours. Both wheezing and sweaty we sat down on the couches and chatted. I found
out she went to Manchester University and studied History. Just as I was about to tell her about my life she muttered the words every man wants to hear, ‘Chelsea Sheppard’s pie needs filling. I think you’d better come back to mine’. With that she scooped me up and took me back to her house. Her mum was working nights at the hospital so the master bedroom would be the setting of our love making. She took all her clothes off and then undid the remaining buttons on my shirt. She kissed my chest and licked my nipples, ‘the pleasure train is a-coming, choo-choo, next stop euphoria’ she said. She set about giving me pleasures I’d only dreamed about. Then suddenly she rolled off me and lay on her back, ‘are you gonna return the favour or what?’, ‘yes ma’am’ I replied. I poked and prodded the dam thing but the code to the safe still remained a mystery. She then grabbed my hand and told me to ‘turn the dial clockwise’. I did, and it worked the door flew open and I got a right good look at the goodies. She said that ‘Chelsea hadn’t been hit that hard since the blitz, except when the Luftwaffe managed to crack open St Paul’s Cathedral’. With that she leant over the bed and pulled out a Tupperware box full of sexual toys, she whipped out a condom and slipped it on my donger. We were ready. I stared at her and her cathedral and contemplated the task at hand. Meanwhile, whilst I was contemplating she grabbed the old lad and shoved it in her bun case. We were now making love. I wriggled about on top of her with no rhythm or idea. I was literally and figuratively like a fish out of water. She then advised me, ‘imagine
the motion of the ocean, tonight your willy’s a wave and my vagina’s the beach. Let the wave crash on to my beach.’ Six minutes later the tide came inside her vagina. I was out of breath so I just laid on the beach. A few minutes later I looked up at her and she smiled. ‘I love you’ I muttered. She let out a raucous laughter that drowned out the sound of my heart breaking. 'This is hilarious!' and then she said the one thing I will never forget. ‘This will be ideal for my article.’ ‘Your what?’ I cried. ‘Memoirs of a mistress, I write it in the student newspaper’. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, ‘you’re going to document our sex life?’ She nodded as all of the colour drained from my face. Then totally unexpected she said the following, ‘I saw something special in you tonight, you’ve got potential, shag as many women as you possibly can. But just remember having sex is easy, making love is hard’. With that she tossed me her Tupperware box full of condoms and metaphorically passed on the baton. ‘Now fuck off ’, she said. On the way out of her house I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. There was a wild crazy smile on my face. I didn’t recognise the man standing back at me….. The playboy was born. I’ve been the campus playboy you’ve been a captivated reader. PS: A message to my biggest fan: the campus feminist. Baby what’s the problem? I suggest you bring a bottle of wine and your dildo round mine and we’ll see if we can’t make you secrete some of that golden syrup.
STUDENT STunners James Matthews
YEAR: COLLEGE: STATUS: SUBJECT:
1st Halifax Single PPE
GET THE LOOK:
Malin Siaen Nordby
YEAR: COLLEGE: STATUS: SUBJECT:
3rd Derwent Single Politics
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Trainers: TK Maxx (£30)
Trainers: Lacosste (£140)
Trousers: Topman (£20)
Jeans: H&M (£30)
T-Shirt: Topman (£10)
Shirt: Oasis (£10)
Hoodies: 1- H&M (£10) 2- River Island (£25)
Mac: New Look (£20)
Hat: Stolen from friend (£??)
Bag: Calvin Klein (£150 on sale)
How do you feel about being picked as our student stunner?
What are your favourite things about York?
What is your opinion on the Grace-gate scandal?
What is your opinion on the Grace-gate scandal?
I thought it was a joke at first, but it's really flattering.
I think that the situation has been covered by campus media in a bitchy manner., which is unnecessary and petty.
Centralised campus, you meet people you know and friends everywhere.
I haven't heard about it, and I wouldn't care if I had.
Tuesday February 5, 2008
Helen Nianias puts campus style into boot camp...
Thankfully, there is an alternative. Instead of the fairly useless girly look to which so many of us feel wedded, the idea of wearing useful, powerful, even slightly aggressive clothes seems so much more appealing, especially against
the boxy, hard-edged architecture of campus. The recent revivals of denim, biker chic, and the rise and rise of model Agyness Deyn (left) proves that, more than ever, we need a style that is actually useful. Some revelation indeed. Discarding the ballet pump, the no-frills school of fashion points us towards the perennial childhood favourite – Doc M a r t e n s b o o t s . Te a m e d with a pair of tight jeans and big t-shirt, (or lycra short-shorts if you’re Deyn… but how many of us are?) this look stops just short of skinhead, and allows you to actually get on
with your life, instead of wondering if your skirt is blowing up behind you and exposing your knickers. The thick soles also mean that you are high and dry above any flooding you may encounter (probably a lot, realistically). Another successful exponent of this look was Lily Allen circa. 2006. In her prom-dresswith-high-top-trainers get-up, she looked as though she could play a show, have her photo taken and then get into a fight. All in one outfit. With the leather jacket having caught on like wildfire, the next logical step for spring is the more lightweight denim version. Having merited an entire photoshoot in a recent issue of Dazed and Confused, this fabric is set to be huge for Spring/Summer. With the functional connotations of the material, a denim jacket can pretty much be flung on over anything without the slightly fussier conno-
tations of a cardigan. Urban Outfitters were selling them for the obscene sum of £50 over the summer, but a really good jacket can just as easily be found in a charity shop for about a tenth of the price – saving you money and railing against the “hundred-pound-punk” nightmare. If the boxy bomber style seems too much like something a naff uncle might
w e a r, T o p s h o p ’ s Marc Jacobs inspired swing jacket provides a pared-down version of the same idea Lumberjack shirts are another massively popu-
VikingRaid! Immy Willetts on what the Vikings did for us...
Strange as it may seem, our Nordic ancestors were not only fiersome on the battle-field, but also dominated the style stakes. I'm sure they fought with a knowing swagger because, as Trinny and Susanna would claim centuaries later, 'what you wear changes how you feel'. Its the norse equivalent of power dressing. You think it was just ‘coincidence’ that placed the ‘Jorvik Viking centre’ so conveniently behind Topshop? More like a geographical joining of two fashion emporiums! The ‘Viking’ look is probably not one that has taken off on the catwalks, and can only be emulated in moderation. I think the line can pretty easily be drawn at the unkempt facial hair and armour. There is always the danger that you’d just be unwittingly displaying your allegiance to ‘Medieval re-enactment soc’, where the likelihood is that you’ll be coerced into some sort of battle outside Langwith, when all you wanted to do was make a ‘stylish’ entrance into your seminar. You should keep your fabrics
tough and basic – think wool, leather and fur. Fur can be fake, vintage or brand new, whichever way inclined you are. Fur jackets look amazing but can be difficult to pull off with the 50’s glamour associations they come with, but teemed with messy hair and a grubby dress the jacket can be balanced out. All colours should be kept earthy and muted; the sparkle can come from perhaps a gold-studded belt, this should create a really interesting contrast between a grotty looking dress and some garish gold accessories. Hair length permitting, you could always experiment with some Scandinavian plaits, and with the rest of the outfit they should loose their schoolgirl connotations. We have examined the comparison between ‘armour and fashion’ before – it’s literally embodied in the contrast between an Anglo-Saxon shield and a large statement handbag. Some shield-esque ones can be found at Topshop, or go to York’s vintage haunts for a cheap leather tote to complete the look. Wear-
lar and practical item and look amazing with denim. A bit of an early morning “what the hell do I wear?” lifesaver, these shirts are hardwearing and, to use a phrase fashion magazines never tire of using, “bang on trend”. The plaid theme continues with skirts, jackets and scarves. Looking like a picnic blanket has never been so brilliant. This punky look is not only stylish, but empowering, lightly nodding towards the Sex Pistols, early 90s feminism and festival chic. The strong lines and practicality of this image is almost enough to make me want to crop my hair and reside permanently in bovver boots and useful shirts. For this term at least, femininity can go to hell.
Denim jacket, Topshop, £40
Doc Martens, www. cloggs.co.uk/docmartens, £59.95
Plaid jacket, 3.1 Phillip Lim, £475
Steal His Style
Hardwearing leather in dress form will create an interesting contrast. This one was found on ebay.
ing rough clothes with an edge shows that beauty isn’t necessarily achieved through looking vulnerable in a floaty dress. .
Biker boots will carry you through the upcoming York Viking festival in style. Office, £95.
This faux-fur jacket will soften up the hard leather look. French Connection, £35.
Picture courtesy of xposure.com
York isn’t really the best place in the world to wear ballet pumps. I hate this so much, but it’s a fact. It’s perpetually drizzly, muddy and the campus is ankle deep with goose shit. Flimsy slippers and floaty chiffon may look picturesque against the “stunning” backdrop of Central Hall, but you’re probably freezing cold, sliding all over the place on your slippery shoes and doing desperate battle with the North Yorkshire gales.
Missy Game II Mid trainers, Adidas, £45
Picture courtesy of stylefinder.com
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Tuesday February 5, 2008
JUMPED UP Arriving with the New Year are the latest trends and if Vogue is to be believed one of the hottest new looks for this season is the all-in-one. Whether it be the more traditional jumpsuit or the slightly raunchier playsuit, this spring they are heralded as our latest wardrobe staples. Their beauty is that they can be worn during the day with layers underneath and adapted for going out, with accessories, tights and heels topped off with a waist cinching belt to create that much desired waspish silhouette.
However, the practicality of the all-in-one should probably be called into question before rushing out to make an impulse purchase. Admittedly, when I first heard the word
Anna Wolstenholme jumps head first into Spring/Summer 08's hottest new catwalk trend some out there that I do quite like and the practicality of not having to worry about coordinating my entire outfit in the morning does seem appealing. However, whether I’d be brave enough to wear one whilst walking down the high street is another question altogether.
‘jumpsuit’ my mind conjured up images of a cross between a car mechanic and Elvis. Trying not to be too deterred by this, I did a little investigating and some do look pretty good. The ease of transferring this look from the catwalk to everyday life may, on the other hand, prove a little more difficult. The first problem arises with the fact that even though a playsuit is a top and shorts combined it doesn’t disguise the fact that many of them are only marginally less revealing than hotpants… only fantastic if you have the legs for it. The full length jumpsuits do avoid this problem and with their loose fit are probably a lot more comfortable. There are
The playsuit probably comes into its own a little more when it comes to the night scene as I can imagine teamed with some heels there are people out there who would be Sonia Rykiel
able not only to pull this look off but actually make it look pretty damn good. Unfortunately, I can foresee yet a second issue arising; the fact that to go to the toilet you would literally have to get more or less completely undressed. Personally, I would find this quite a major irritant at the best of times. Overall, I reckon it would be advisable to think carefully before plunging head first into this trend. Saying that, the jumpsuit is one of those items that will inevitably be big this season, so if you’re brave enough and think you canpull it off then make a statement and jump to it!
SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY? Demi Kraithman investigates the craze du jour for “celebrity” perfumes. Are they scentsational or literally eau de toilet?
They can pout. They can pose. They’ve figured out how to put OK Magazine on speed dial. They get photographed. Wearing clothes! Or not, sometimes. Oh yes, there’s no denying that our “It” Girls are a talented bunch. And that’s not all – no siree. Not content with simply being famous for a living, these lovely ladies have been gracious enough to share with us mere mortals the very essence of their beings, allowing us a rare glimpse into the profound depths of their souls. In marketable fragrance format. Although personally favouring J’Adore by day (fresh and flirty) and Jean Paul Gaultier II by night (oh la la!), in the name of journalism I relented, and bravely ventured down into the murky mire of celebrity perfumes. Little did I know the extent of the horrors that lurked in wait ....
Jade Goody: Shh They say a dog resembles its owner. Such comparisons might easily be applied to the publicly shamed ex-Big Brother “star” and her first offering to the perfume world; both being as they are brash, tacky and seriously lacking in any kind of subtlety. “Sweet and enduring,” goes the blurb, and by heck, they’re not wrong. A ludicrously sickly version of Prada Tendre, its undeniable staying power is most unfortunate. Is it minging? Do I even need to answer that?
Paris Hilton: Heiress My initial reaction upon smelling Paris’ latest fragrance was one of uncontrollable visible and verbal disgust, which, in eliciting a snigger from the sales assistant at least provided one entertaining moment in my relationship with this perfume. But that’s where the good times ended. Although perhaps exacerbated by my hangover, this was literally nauseating. A disturbing mixture of fruitiness and sweetness that just doesn’t work. And is that sambucca in there? Wrong on so many levels.
Katie Price: Stunning Wearing Jordan’s fragrance I felt a mixture of heady jubilation; that it had somehow activated the liberation of my inner bimbo, and fear; that I would surely be attacked by a passing army of ants in search of traces of the honey and syrup that this perfume suggested could be found oozing from my pores. Perhaps more suitable for the under 16s, it’s the perfume equivalent of her wedding dress: sugary in the extreme. Depressingly predictable, but admittedly not unpleasant.
Coleen: Coleen Although seeming at first distinctly rather average, once it settles down the inventively named Coleen from err, Coleen, of famous footballing fiancé fame, is actually rather sumptuous. Fruity yet feminine, it’s a dead ringer for Clinique’s Happy and undoubtedly a grower, evoking fresh from the wash laundry. It’s a shame that it’s tacky packaging, bizarrely resembling a shampoo bottle, lets it down. A good effort nonetheless, this is a serious contender in the day-wear category.
Intimately Beckham: Night Quite fittingly, it’s the latest contribution from queen of the “It” Girls, Mrs Beckham, that reigns supreme over the other wannabes. Without doubt the best of a bad bunch, this is grownup, incredibly sultry and sharp with unexpected depth. Sexy bottle too. Snob that I am I'd still be embarrassed to buy it myself, but this problem is easily remedied by some heavy pre-Valentine's Day hinting to the menfolk. A surprisingly impressive diamond in the rough.
Tuesday February 5, 2008
FOOD&DRINK the Hot Lover's Luncheons list
Carina Topham and Emily Hodges play Cupid and solve all your Valentine's Day dilemmas.
Hotter than a steamy night in.....
Pancakes Today is Shrove Tuesday, better known as Pancake day - so no better time to get out those frying pans and practice flipping those pancakes. Follow this student friendly recipe for pancake success. -2 cups of plain flour - 2 cups of milk - 2 eggs Simply, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until there are no lumps.
CHINESE NEW YEAR The food-related celebrations continue with the Chinese New Year starting on 7th of February. The Spring Festival lasts for a fortnight, so lots of opportunity to get a taste of the Oriental.
Colder than an awkward first date...
A quick guide of restaurants to wine and dine that special someone on Valentine's Day.
f money is no issue, or you are just out to impress, then the place to go is The Living Room. This classy restaurant has food to match its stylish yet unpretentious décor and a constantly changing beer, wine and cocktail menu means that there is always something new to try. As if the food and drinks weren’t enough, the restaurant overlooks the river, providing the perfect backdrop to a romantic evening. The Living Room has a special valentine’s menu costing £35 per head, a little pricey maybe, but definitely worth it. If the living room is too expensive for your budget then more
affordable options include Nineteen and The Olive Tree. Nineteen is a sophisticated little gem nestled in the heart of York . Situated in one of York’s oldest buildings you cannot help but fall in love with the building and the food. If you manage to get a table make sure you ask for the window table as it provides a lovely view of Grape lane. The Olive tree, which is opposite Clifford’s Tower, provides an exciting and fresh array of Mediterranean food. They are offering three courses, including a special valentines gift for £24.95 per head – a bargain ! For the more adven-
If the idea of sitting amongst ranks of loved up couples in a crowded restaurant and feeling a strangers knee bristling against yours for several hours seems less than romantic, then why not avoid the hustle and bustle and go for a quiet drink instead?
If you've got the cash to flash try 'The Biltmore Bar and Grill' on Swinegate. With a laid back retro atmosphere this bar offers privacy and, most importantly, champagne. Ranging from £33 pounds to a staggering £300 per bottle this will certainly impress. The bar also offers more budget champagne cocktails for around £7-8 pounds each. If you are after somewhere with more variety 'The Parish', a renovated Church on Micklegate, is another good option. Offering a wide variety of cocktails at around £5, this bar has the budget and environment to please. With relaxing mood lighting, and a more secluded upstairs area this bar allows you to relax and enjoy each others company without being overly pretentious.
To really impress - Spinach Cannelloni
Onions Last summer’s severe weather has ruined farm stock of onions, causing the price of the vegetable to rise.Onions have been particulaly effected because the rain caused them to grow mould from the inside out. The price of onions is expected to go up in the next couple of weeks, so stock up on your onions now!
turous among you El piano is a must. With its laid back and eclectic interior this restaurant will definately give you something to talk about ! El piano provides a fusion of Mexican and Spanish style food, which is great for sharing with a date. Don’t be put of by the fact that all the food is 100% vegetarian because if you do you will miss out on some of the tastiest vegetarian food in York.
Drinks for 2
6 cannelloni tubes 200g ricotta cheese 125g fresh spinach 1 egg 15g plain flour 1 garlic clove 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 onion 300g passata 2 teaspoons mixed herbs 125g mozzarella cheese Mix together the ricotta, spinach, egg, flour and chopped garlic to make the filling. For the sauce, heat the oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion. Add the passata and herbs, and simmer for 5 minutes. Fill the cannelloni tubes with the filling. Put the tubes in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the sauce and grate the mozzarella on top. Cook for 45 minutes at 190°C/Gas Mark 5.
Indulge with - Chocolate Pudding Base: ½ pint warm milk 75g dark chocolate 100g margarine 100g sugar 150g self raising flour ½ teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoons cocoa powder Chocolate centre: 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 50g sugar ½ pint boiling water Mix the sugar and margarine, and add in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Melt the chocolate and add the warm milk. Stir until well mixed. Add the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. For the chocolate centre: In a jug add a small amount of boiling water to the cocoa and sugar and make a paste. Add the rest of boiling water and stir. Pour the first mixture into a greased glass dish and slowly pour the hot mixture over the top. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
Made for sharing - Cheese Fondue ½ bottle white wine 1 garlic clove, peeled 450g cheese, grated – Cheddar, Emmental, Gruyère 1 tablespoon cornflour To dip - One French stick cut into cubes, sticks of fresh vegetables (carrots, celery, radish) Put the wine into a heavy based saucepan with the garlic. Heat until almost boiling, and then take out the garlic. Add the cheese and the cornflour and stir into the wine. Keep stirring until all the cheese is melted and the mixture is thick. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a heated bowl to serve and then use forks to dip in the bread, vegetables, or whatever else you want to dip!
YORK VISION Tuesday January 15, 2008
DAY TRIPPER Cara Bendon braves the cold in Durham.
FANCY A DANISH?
Kendal Moran discovers the delights of Denmark in glorious Copenhagen.
nder an hour away from York, Durham is perfect for a laid back day out. Smaller than York it provides an antidote to the much favoured day trip to Leeds and would make a very romantic Valentine’s Day. As the train draws into the station you see an impressive sight: the beautiful Cathedral coupled with the imposing ‘Castle’ College. The Cathedral can be visited for a donation towards its upkeep and the courtyard of Castle College is open to the public during the day. Within a couple of minutes you find yourself in the city centre which mainly consists of little shops and cafés. Hire a boat for £7 an hour (plenty of time) and row leisurely down the river Wear, then grab a coffee at one of Durham’s ubiquitous tea shops. Brown Sugar - a student favourite boasts oversized leather sofas, delicious treats and treat prices, though it is rarely quiet as it is an unofficial who’s who of the university most days. There are plenty of other coffee shops close to the river including the tiny Café Continental which has a nice atmosphere and huge portions of cake. As for nightlife, Durham is definitely not the place to go for clubs, my friends there proudly tell me that their equivalent of Ziggy’s, Klute Club is ‘The Worst nightclub in Europe’ (according to FHM) second only to one in Denmark which burnt down! It does however have a coffee-table-sized-dance-floor appeal and cheap drinks too. Its rival club Loveshack is comparable to Toffs, with funky décor and animal print armchairs and is generally over the top and fun. From York, Durham is too close not to visit, a great day out and home in 45 minutes!
you wonder if the locals ever openhagen’s fascinating sleep. If you get a chance howhistory, beautiful archiever don’t hesitate to ask one, tecture, old-fashioned you would be hard-pressed to charm, and adored monfind a Dane who is anything but archy make it the perfect fairyfriendly and helpful, speaks tale, weekend get-a-way and porimmaculate English, or for that tal to the rest of Scandinavia. matter stunningly beautiful! Most guides say that its best visited in the height of sumAlthough mer where Copenhathe stunning, gen is the stylish Danes The famous ‘Mermaid’ stat for largest and come out in ue, a major attraction harmost cosforce, stripvisitors to Copenhagen same mopolitan ping off and bour is based on the 1989 city swimming in fairytale as Disney’s d’. mai Mer le Litt Scandinaor bathing film, ‘The via all the in the pubmain sights lic areas, but are within it is equally walking distance of each other. appealing at Christmas turning These are set within a mosaic into a snow covered winter wonderland with magical charm, of canals, old architecture, and statues complete with highlightChristmas ed in agemarkets, outn is linked to age enh Cop ing copper. door ice-skatcity of Malmö dish Swe the Places of ing, and many huge Oresund bridge the by interest ‘hygge’ (cosy/ ch is the longest road. whi include friendly) cafes rail bridge in Europe and the stock and bars in exchange which to conw h o s e sume Glögg protruding spire depicts three (their unique and scrummy dragons entwined, the Radhustake on mulled wine). pladsen (Town hall), the Rundetarn (Round tower – a great You will find that there is always lookout over the city), Amaliensomething to do in Copenhagen, borg Slot (the royal palace), and daylight hours can be spent my favourite fairytale building shopping, eating, and sightseeRosenborg Slot ing, however where the fun-loving the crown jewDanes don’t Around one quarter of els are held. stop when the the entire Danish populaOf course no sun goes down tion reside in Copenhagen. trip to the (no matter how city is comearly it happlete without pens or how a compulsory wet or cold trip to the statit gets). The Danes definitely ue of the Little (and I stress litknow how to party; restaurants, tle) Mermaid on a canal tour, a cafes, bars, pubs, and clubs stay tribute to Denmark’s most notoopen all hours often making
rious resident H C Anderson, or a trip to Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amuse-
Your stay in Copenhagen would be incomplete without a trip to its ‘free-state’ of Christiania, an old army barracks which was created into a hippie commune by around 700 free spirits in the 1970’s. Here you can amble through the streets absorbing the quirky new homes, enjoy a variety of relatively cheap and scrumptious eats (including vegan choices) and even cheaper beer. You can also purchase hand made crafts or bask in the harbour however
Pet er Sch mei che l exManchester United goa lkeeper, Lars Ulrich drummer of metal band Metallica and Jac ob Chr isti Jacobsen the founder an of Carlsberg Brewery wer e all natives of Copenhagen.
ment parks in the world. You will also find the Strøget or walking street a great attraction, placed amongst these magnificent buildings its the longest pedestrian
Many Danes, espes, cially younger generation . lish Eng g din stan out ak spe
II, head arg rethe Queen M Danish monar-e of the des in the centr chy resicity. She attended of the iversities, includn five un bridge and is a s wa ing Cam ar tist. It acclaimedings that accomh her drawthe 1977 Danis’s panied of JRR Tolkien s. R in g edition f The O L o rd
my favourite chill out is to absorb the amazing, but smoky atmosphere during the weekly Sunday Jazz Jam. No matter what you choose to do in Copenhagen you are sure to be entertained. This enchanting Danish city has something to offer everyone.
E Easyjet (www.easyjet.com) fly from London Stansted to Copenhagen. Spring return fares start at £38.96. Book early.
shopping area in Europe, For a cost efficient but safe and however BE WARNED Copenhasecure Youth Hostel in the centre gen is normally ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world so expect to delve into your savings Cop enh age n Alt hou gh t if you're aspiring to come experiences some of the leas , home with souvenirs! Howvariable weather in Europeg ever, if your looking for a it is also known for bein an slightly cheaper, retro look one of the coldest Europe your quest can be accomcities. So grab your woo m! plished by wondering down lies and wrap up war the Latin Quarters and one of their many side-streets, packed with boutiques and of Copenhagen try the vintage shops. Another Kroner Sleep-in-Heaven hostel (Check saving advice would be to utiout www.sleepinheaven.com for lise Netto when peckish and the their strangely sheep-orientated Student
Even though it’s so expensive, Copenhagen is considered to be one of the bes places in the world to livet!
Durham Cathedral Photo: Cara Bendon
House when parched (discounts with a student card).
website). Close to the central train station, it offers beds from approximately £13 per night with breakfast and bed linen provided at an extra charge. Internet access however, is conveniently free.
Tuesday 5 February, 2008
Campus' most passionate sports writer
Robert Romans Talks to BBC Sport's RAY STUBBS on life at the BBC and why Mark Lawrenson should dye his hair blonde...
Reading’s Dave Kitson may feel that the FA Cup is a waste of time for his club, but for others, the romance of the FA Cup continues to blossom. The excitement and magic of the FA Cup will always continue to embrace football fans and in particular, BBC Presenter Ray Stubbs. Stubbs’ affinity with the cup began during childhood, “My earliest memory was going to Coventry City’s old ground Highfield Road when I was about 12; Tranmere drew 1-1 and won the replay ; it was my first away game.”. Stubbs has also scored in an FA Cup match, “I scored a goal for Oswestry Town in the FA cup, but we lost 2-1 to Northwich Victoria” he told Vision. Whilst the FA Cup holds some special memories, he regards the day the Hillsborough disaster happened in 1989 as, “The darkest day in the history of the Cup”. Sunday afternoon television at the beginning of winter usually involves the BBC covering an FA Cup tie from a non-league ground. The BBC’s coverage of these games is something that Stubbs thrives on; “It has been a real highlight for me over the last few years. I love the early rounds of the cup, 1st and 2nd round especially; you really feel an entire community is onside for their team.” says Stubbs, “You really feel an entire community is right behind their team. We usually go the night before, try and go out in the town or wherever. It usually rains or it is windy; this season we did it without a studio to try and create a feel for being in with the crowd. It was freezing at Torquay, I got soaked at Harrogate Railway but it was terrific. The FA Cup is alive and very well.” Whilst the FA Cup does appear to be a focal point for clubs like Havant and Waterlooville, there are clubs, particularly Premiership ones that treat it with apathy. “It’s not a priority for some clubs. I can see their point as staying in the Premier League is the be all and end all for some.” says Stubbs. If you need any evidence, just ask Reading striker Dave Kitson. The consensus among football fans is that the FA Cup has lost its competitive edge and now appears to be something that can only be won by the “top four” clubs in the Premiership. This is something that Stubbs disagreed with. “The so-called 'top four' have dominated the competition since the Premier League began but don’t forget Everton’s success in 1995. Manchester United or Arsenal are going out. Assuming they both win I guess Liverpool and Chelsea might be drawn against each other or the winner of the United - Arsenal tie in the 6th round.” He commented,
“Portsmouth or Middlesbrough on their day might worry anyone they are up against, so it’s open for someone to have a good shot of playing in the final, like Millwall and Southampton did. If someone could beat a big gun in the final, imagine the reaction; West Ham nearly did”. Prior to entering the media, Stubbs was a professional footballer. He began his career at Tranmere Rovers, a club that he is proud to have served, “I was high on enthusiasm, but low on ability.”, he reminisces, “The Tranmere manager said it might have been different if I didn’t have a parachute strapped to my arse. I was very proud to have been on the books at Tranmere. I loved my season at Bangor City; I was awful for Oswestry, and won loads in the Sunday League on the Wirral; great times”. Unfortunately, as Stubbs presents the Final Score on BBC1 on Saturday afternoons, he can’t attend Tranmere’s matches, but would he work if Tranmere got to a major cup final that the BBC were involved in broadcasting? “I would definitely like to work because it would mean I could jump all over club Physio Les Parry and manager Ronnie Moore.” He said, “I used to clean Ronnie’s boots. The tradition was that the older pros would tip the apprentices at Christmas for cleaning their boots; Ronnie said ‘Have a drink on me’, and gave me an envelope with a tea bag in it”. Apart from presenting Final Score, Stubbs also presents Match of the Day. “It’s just a great honour” said Stubbs on what it is like to present the flaghship programme of the BBC’s Saturday night television schedule, “We have all grown up with this programme”. Not only is it an honour for Stubbs to present shows like Match of the Day, but also a privilege to work alongside pundits like Mark Lawrenson. “Lawro is great company; we have worked together for a long time; he’s a mate. I would like to think all my colleagues are friends by now.” He said, “Garth Crooks is barking mad; sitting next to him on a Saturday afternoon is an experience, he is shouting and screaming as goals go in and he is one of the most enthusiastic guys I know. Don’t ever think John Motson is an anorak; ok, he knows the lot stats wise, but he’s great company too.” Italian Fabio Capello has recently been appointed England manager following the sacking of Steve McClaren. Appointing another foreign manager has sparked controversy, although some fans think that Capello is the man to turn around England’s fortunes. What did Stubbs think about Capello’s appointment?
“He will be accepted if results go ok. We just have to qualify for World Cup 2010; it’s just a sad indictment on those that run English football that an English coach wasn’t deemed up to the mark. I think we should have an English coach, but I am right behind Mr Capello.” Stubbs is also a keen supporter of Sport Relief. In 2002 he was dropped 100 feet onto a pile of boxes, in 2004 he was suspended from a crane and swung into a giant ball of dung and in 2006 was tied to a post and bombarded by 15,000 bouncy balls, “I love all that stunt stuff and being a fantasy stunt man thing. Sport Relief is an excellent initiative.” In 2007, Stubbs took part in Comic Relief does Fame Academy and made it to the last five before being struck down by a throat infection. Despite his illness, he still performed twice on the night before being voted out by three of his fellow students so he could go home and recover. Had he recovered from his experience? “I didn’t have a voice to start with so no recovery was necessary. It was a great laugh. I smile when I think of it and singing live on BBC 1 eight days in a row was ridiculous”. And whilst we’re on the subject of charity, what did Stubbs think about Vision’s suggestion that his BBC colleague Mark Lawrenson should grow another moustache for charity? “Great idea, and bleach his hair too. Go for a serious porn star look; his stage name could be Bleachy Lawro”. Excellent idea. Finally, a lot of football fans in this country feel the game is in decline and Stubbs was asked what could be done to improve the English game. His response was, “Make Garth Crooks Minister for Football!”.
Right: BBC Presenter Ray Stubbs.
Charitable case: Have you seen this man? He's called Bleachy Lawro.
Which influential u n ive r s i t y football player recently mistook his g i rl f r i e n d ' s laptop for a urinal? The player in question was so sozzled that he liberally doused her keyboard, thinking the lid he'd just lifted was the toilet seat. We just hope the recent BUSA champion wasn't as careless with the victory champagne...
Want to be the next Victoria Beckham?
John Motson: Knows his stats, but isn't an anorak. Nice guy too.
In that case, get yourself to the Wags V Footballers on Friday 8th February, at the end of Week 5. You even get 50p off with an AU membership card and if you are lucky, you might even bag yourself a player from the University men's football team! Who wouldn't say no to that? Tickets available in YOUR: SHOP week 5 and Vanbrugh Stalls Wed-Fri Week 5.
Fencers foiled by Durham lunchlady THE FENCING team were left fuming after a strenuous away match in Durham ended in famine. The hosts are required by BUSA regulations to feed their away teams, but a fixture pile-up saw Durham playing two home matches in one day. When York's side, their second opponents, went to collect their dinner they were turned away, as "the away fencers [had] already been served." One disgruntled sportsman bemoaned the wastefulness of Durham's catering staff: "It wasn't even as if they'd run out of food - I saw them chuck out a bunch of leftovers!"
Got any juicy gossip for me? Email me at: Larry@Yorkvison.co.uk
24 SPORT BY CHARLOTTE COOKE The University of York’s trampolining club has grown hugely in the past two years. This has been helped by the formation of a new committee of enthustic individuals, who have put in a lot of effort to restore the professionalism in the sport, while maintaining a great sense of fun. As part of the changes made they have recently given their uniform a face-lift. So they’re now seen as a blur of grey and black as they bounce through the air in their brand new matching leotards, shorts, t-shirts and hoodies. This fresh wave of professionalism and confident new image has obviously paid off, as so far this academic year, the team has returned from competitions in both Warwick and Bristol with some very promising results in all ranges of ability. As the main competition season begins, the
Tuesday February 5th, 2008 University of York Trampolining Club is anticipating two away fixtures; a weekend away in Cork for the Irish Trampolining Open, and their annual friendly with Cambridge University, where they will enjoy a weekend of riverside pubs and punting. This weekend they are off to Nottingham to compete in their biggest competition of the year, the BUSA (British University Sports Association) competition, where they’ll be bouncing for a chance to qualify for the National Finals. We wish them luck here and are eager to hear about their success. The members of University of York’s Trampolining Club are known to work hard and play hard; quite a trait as they train four times a week! They were unmissable in Warwick as they represented York by dressing in yellow for a social whilst there. Not all practice sessions are about competition preparation and training
- they are great fun and anyone is welcome to come along for a bounce. After the addition of a “rig” to the club’s equipment; triple and double somersaults are made easy(er!), so I am told; as you can be harnessed to a bungee attached to the ceiling, giving you longer in the air.
GOING ON LEAPS AND BOUNCE
If you’re after a great source of exercise and a good time, York University Trampolining Club might be a great option. Or even if you just want an excuse to be amazed, go along and watch!
RUGBY FEVER HITS VISION AS WE PREVIEW THE SIX NATIONS Scrums, scraps and surprises: Andy McGrath looks at the Six Nations after the opening weekend Even as bitter tears of disappointment splashed into my pint at the Deramore, I knew that Wales's defeat of England just served to make this year's Six Nations all the more entertaining. It was always clear that the 2008 edition will be desperately close: the divide in quality between the competing nations has never been so slim. This was underlined by Wales’s victory at Twickenham; “a game of two halves” if ever there was one. In the opening half, England looked resolute in defense and positively exciting going forward, with backs Tindall, Balshaw and Strettle all carving open the Welsh defense with penetrating runs. Yet, the last thirty minutes were characterized by a string of sloppy passes and silly decisions – a Wilkinson miss-pass and charged down Balshaw kick among the stupidest - as Brian Ashton’s bulldogs lost their heads and practically gifted a fired-up Welsh side a historic victory. Deservedly gored by the press, they must pick themselves up and beat Italy next week. If young guns like Haskell, Cipriani and Vainikolo fulfil their promise, victory could yet be salvaged, though it's a big ask now. After this shock, momentum and confidence are firmly with the Dragons. Buoyed by a coaching partnership of Shaun Edwards and Warren Gatland, they will be expected to beat both Scotland and Italy at home (Feb 9 and 23) before crunch games away
to Ireland and favourites France. It would be a big surprise if Wales repeated their victorious of Grand Slam campaign of 2005, but they’ve definitely got off to the perfect start. The final match of the campaign, away in Paris, could be decisive. With home fixtures against biggest rivals Ireland and England, France will be fancying their chances, but as we saw at the World Cup, they are wont to shoddy displays at exactly the wrong moments. Moreover, they have picked several young, inexperienced players, who will have to find their feet very quickly in the always-physical and volatile Six Nations matches. Meanwhile, after an average World Cup, Ireland will be seeking to re-assert their position as title challengers: despite the wealth of talent they possess in the backs, they haven’t won the competition since 1985. On the other hand, for the first time in years, fellow Celts Scotland look rejuvenated and, despite their opening defeat to France, they will be looking to put their wooden-spoon performance of last year far behind them. As for the Italians, they will be hoping to grind out a win or two against the home nations, coupling rock-hard defense with strong kicking. This Six Nations is likely to be decided by home advantage and gritty, see-saw games. The only thing that is certain, as we saw this weekend, is that nothing is certain; no victory is assured.
SIX PLAYERS TO WATCH DANNY CIPRIANI (ENGLAND)
Touted as Jonny Wilkinson’s successor if not usurper, Cipriani oozes flair and quality. There are questions over his physicality and ability to handle pressure. Still, he’s been out with a Cheeky girl and slept with a transsexual who used to be called Darren… and he’s only 20. Tabloids and rugby fans alike, keep an eye on this Londoner. Also look out for Wasps teammate James Haskell, who could be one of the players of the tournament.
PAUL O'CONNELL (IRELAND) This lock is a colossus of the Irish lineout, but also loves to batter defences with his powerful running. At 6'6" and 18 stone, he takes some stopping too. Following Ireland's mediocre World Cup showing, O'Connell will be among the players expected to lead them to a top-three finish.
DAMIEN TRAILLE (FRANCE) Everything about this speedy centre is about scoring tries - even his name is pronounced "try". The French team has undergone a reshuffling, but Traille - often underrated because of playing alongside the more explosive Jauzion - remains a defensive rock in the centre, and a firebrand in attack.
GAVIN HENSON (WALES)
Is Gav still with Charlotte Church? More importantly, Henson is letting his rugby do the talking rather than the tabloids. The Ospreys centre has rediscovered his golden touch to claim a spot in the Welsh team. He has great vision and surprising pace, but can sometimes try too hard. Still, whatever happens, he can go home and worship a buxom Church. Amen to that.
SERGIO PARISSE (ITALY) Haven't heard of him? Argentineanborn Parisse is the newly-appointed captain of an Italy team which seems to be quietly bridging the gap between themselves and the original Five Nation members with every passing year. The number eight, who plys his trade for Stade Français, is key as a man-motivator for Italy. Quite the Italian stallion, he's also posed naked for magazines and is also going out with the current Miss Europe. Bellissimo...
NICK DE LUCA (SCOTLAND) De Luca is one of the jokers in Frank Hadden's pack: uncapped, he has impressed enough at centre for Edinburgh to be granted a baptism of fire against France. A strong runner, he has sometimes been exposed in defence. Nevertheless, a very exciting prospect for Scottish rugby.
Tuesday February 5, 2008
CANDIDATES EMERGE FOR AU PRESIDENCY
Tom Sheldrick asks: Is this the greatest cup competition on earth? ‘The Black Stars’ vs. ‘The Super Eagles’. Sunday night’s Africa Nations Cup Quarter Final between Ghana and Nigeria probably didn’t need a bigger billing, and yet it got one anyway. But these colourful nicknames are far from being the only way the Africans have brought a new vigour to international football. The colour, of fans face-painted with their national flags, players, especially the Ivory Coast with their orange shirts, and even the ball, is unavoidable and unique. The stadiums have only been half-full at times, but the volume deafening, beating drums punctured by piercing horns. These guys have an insatiable appetite for football, and even more, for the street party. Ghana’s capital Accra has been the epicentre right from the opening ceremony - where the celebration of dance felt like practiced African custom, rather than the choreographed and falsified display we’ve got used to seeing from the European nations.
And the football isn’t half bad either. If South American players are all the rage in Spain and Italy, it is the Africans who are rapidly becoming flavour of the month, or season, or decade, in England, with over 30 English-based play-
ers representing their countries here. Anyone who watched Tony Yeboah, the first African to star in England, at Leeds in the mid-nineties will remember that Africans have a bit of a liking for headline-grabbing goals. A willingness to take people on and strike from distance produced stunning goals from household names Muntari and Kalou in the opening matches. Nearly three goals a game were scored in the 24 group stage matches, as the tenacity, and technique of the midfield battle failed to stem the end-to-end action. I was left breathless after the first two days. But the thing is, it keeps on coming, unlike the Six Nations which gives you enough time off to, I don’t know, repatriate a Tongan or two between games. I know the rugby boys get bruised a little bit, but they don’t play in 33 degrees very often. Sorry for my cross-sport diversion, but, while I’m on it, these guys have also got it right with the timing of the matches, with final group games kicking-off simultaneously, rather than the staggered made-for-TV approach that arguably robbed Ireland of Six Nations glory last year. I never thought I’d say this, but there are things to learn off the African football au-
thorities I feel. It seems everyone back here’s tried to tarnish it; Sepp Blatter calling for the tournament to be moved to June to fit the interna-
BY ANDY MCGRATH
tional calendar. The problem is, to continue the rise of African football, it needs to be integrate into the global system, but this would mean tarnishing the Africa Cup of Nation’s we’ve got. Besides, it’s dangerously hot in the summer months. This time, Blatter, pipe down and enjoy the football for once. And besides, sign an African player and you know what you’re getting - supreme physicality, ability and will-to-win, and normally a lower price-tag, but he goes away for the best part of a month every two years. Arsene Wenger, ever the man for talent-spotting - so much so maybe Simon Cowell will give him a call next time he bids to spot some proper talent in the music industry - went one step better, and got Emmanuel Adebayor. The fact that his nation, Togo, hasn’t qualified for the premier African competition might just make the difference in securing Arsenal the Premiership title. But the reality is that African football has been dogged by corruption and off-the-field trauma. Black-market ticketing has left many stadiums half-full, whilst
We are barely halfway through the year, with flagship sporting events Varsity and Roses still to look forward to. Nonetheless, there are already several students vying for the position of AU President. It is thought that current AU vice-president and college results guru Jack Kennedy would be the most natural candidate for the job. In an exclusive chat with Vision, the likeable third-year student agreed that "it would be a natural step" before affirming that he is "unsure" about whether to stand for the prestigious role. He may be unnerved by last year's result, which saw vice-president Nick Hassey beaten by Jo Carter, whose policies of constancy were preferred tragedy has struck the Zambian camp in particular after 12 supporters were trampled to death in June. Continued whispers of corruption did hang over the opening week. Staff from both Benin and Namibia claimed they were offered substantial sums to throw games. What would have been the point? Namibia and Benin, along with Sudan, were so far off the pace they would hardly have been able to affect the ties anyway! And that is still a problem with African football, somewhere where this tournament lags behind its European equivalent. Once we reach the quarter-final stage, and the big boys go head-to-head, that’s when the real business gets underway. It’s difficult not to draw com-
to Hassey's promises of change. Kennedy hasn't got long to decide: the crucial vote will happen in early March. Meanwhile, an insider has pointed out several other potential rivals for the job. Our influential source pointed to York University Boxing Club president Alex Lacy, John Raines and campus hack Chris Collinson as challengers for the AU crown. For now, the focus in the AU corridors of power will be firmly set on another Varsity victory, before the massive test of Roses. Current president Jo Carter will be hoping to finish her spell in charge by triumphing in Lancaster this May. If succesful, it would be the first away victory in the competition since 2002. parisons between African football and the continent’s development. Football, or rather soccer, is the global unifier, exemplified by Didier Drogba’s appointment as UN Ambassador, and the tournament’s certainly fostered a growing African identity and confidence. I think we’ve sat up and taken their football seriously, now let’s do the same with their economic and social plight. We have finally given them a World Cup to host in 2010, and the South Africans, as well as putting on a bit of a show, will have the chance to improve their infrastructure no end. But in the mean time, there's 2008 to worry about and the Euro Champs. Austria-Switzerland, you’ve been warned, you’ve got a lot to live up to.
SPORTS ROUND UP
With the season drawing to a close, all of York’s netball teams can have reason to be happy with their efforts so far and can look forward to Varsity and Roses with optimism. The first team yet again came close to gaining promotion, eventually finishing joint second, level on points with Huddersfield and Teesside. Beaten just twice all season, the side can count themselves unlucky not to have finished higher in the league, especially having only been narrowly beaten by eventual winners Newcastle. The recent 39-29 victory over Teesside has, however, given the team plenty of confidence and made them all the more determined to succeed in the approaching Varsity and Roses competitions, according to captain Amy Smith. Smith has expressed frustra-
tion at certain decisions going against the team, with the side victims of the recent BUSA reshuffle, as well as the fact that only one side can get promoted out of each division. In the same division, York 2nds have struggled in comparison to the first team and suffered a lot of bad luck, but can still be very happy with their efforts. Having narrowly overcome York St Johns last term, they recently managed a comfortable win, beating the same team by twenty points, which is evidence of the improvement that they have made. The third team, meanwhile, gained special praise from Smith for the way they have played. Smith said: “The 3rds have done really well, especially as the team completely changed this year, and so it's a great thing for the future of the club to have such strong up and coming players”. She points to their 38-31 win over Newcastle 4ths, who were
top of the league, as their best result and clearly sees it as an indication that netball has a bright future at the university. The first and second teams have also competed well in the Northern Universities Netball League, especially considering that they have to play top sides such as Liverpool and Durham. Smith clearly has reason to be content. “Overall I am pleased with the club and we have improved so much”, she said, “but disappointed with some unlucky losses and decisions, especially as we have deserved to be promoted so many times since I have been here”. She is determined, however, not to let this distract them from challenges still to come: “We are not dwelling on the bad parts and looking forward to Varsity and Roses, which we are training really hard for”.
Photo by Alex Papushoy
Netball Teams can look ahead with conﬁdence BY TOM JACKSON
Tuesday February 5th, 2008
FORMER KINGS OF CAMPUS HUMBLED BY LIVERPOOL BY HARRY COLLINS
YORK 3 - 5 LIVERPOOL
photo by robert romans
Wakefield found himself unmarked and fired the ball in to take the lead. But Liverpool once again came back, just before the halftime whistle to keep the scores even at two apiece. After a brief half-time interval, the third quarter saw Liverpool’s constant bombardment of shots at fresher goalkeeper Ben Robinson, finally rewarded with them taking the lead. Again it was number 100 who took the initiative to break through York’s now strengthened defence, with an excellent low to high shot. The fourth quarter was to follow suit, with Liverpool taking advantage of some poor York clearances and defensive deficiencies. Number 100 would again find the goal with a brilliant quick-sticked goal from a deceptive crease feed that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a premiership match. As the clock ticked down the York heads dropped, allowing Liverpool to increase their lead to 5-2, with a bounce shot that goalie Robinson will be kicking himself for not saving. Harry Collins finally managed to capitalise on a poor Liverpool clearance with a shot to the lower left corner, but it was a case of too little, too late as the final whistle blew leaving Liverpool victorious 5-3. Whilst York will rue missed chances and at times lacklustre play, their squad continues to move from strength to strength. With few players leaving at the end of the year, they look to be a promising prospect for the inaugural year of BUSA men’s lacrosse next year.
• PROMISING PERFORMANCE DESPITE DEFEAT York take the lead (above)
THE CURRENT MEN'S LACROSSE SQUAD Leahy
Remaining Lacrosse fixtures
Richardson GK% %
With the loss of their entire starting line-up last season, York men’s lacrosse knew that they would find this year difficult. Currently lying mid-table, this game would prove to be challenging for both teams, with Liverpool eventually overcoming a tough York resistance to claim the victory, 5 goals to 3. The game began much as it was to go on, with the first quarter tightly contested resulting in a 0-0 draw at the interval. Winning the first face-off, York went straight on the offensive, but as was the case in much of the game, they were to lose the ball through sloppy passes and some poor decision making by a rusty looking attack. Liverpool however, soon found their feet and capitalised on some loose defending by York, with only keeper Ben Robinson stopping them from finding the back of the net. The second quarter proved to be the most exciting of the game; York taking an early lead with top goal-scorer Rich Ramsbottom increasing his tally for the season to ten. Liverpool quickly responded, a solo effort from their impressive number 100 levelling the scores. With York’s attack beginning to find its stride, they began to test the shaky Liverpool goalkeeper, who somehow managed to stop some powerful shots whilst being saved by the post and crossbar on more than one occasion. Eventually York’s pressure was rewarded when Harry Collins drew an illegal check upon himself, resulting in a one minute penalty for one of the Liverpool players. Exploiting the man-up play, Jack
06/02/08 Sheffield University (A) 13/02/08 Newcastle University (A) Collins Hull University (A) 20/02/08
eli-eli % capt
Francis jones whittingham
FIVE STEPS AHEAD - THE UNIVERSITY SPORTS CENTRE Best Case Turned into a boxing ring for Dan Taylor vs. Grace Fletcher-Hackwood:
Brian Cantor has a funny turn and decides to pump money into the centre, making the facilities the best-equipped in the country
The England football team therefore come to York to train. “What’s a university?” asks every single squad member, except Theo Walcott, who busies himself with an Action Man
The York football first XI are promoted for a third year in a row and the AU drowns in a flood of cheap lager and body fluids.
After Hes East is built, centre is made building of historical importance. "Look how bad it used to be" says Spokesman.
worst case York stake the centre on Varsity victory and lose. De-evolved YSJ students celebrate and throng in.
Lawrie Sanchez appointed Sports centre manager after he i impresses Brian Cantor by steering the Vatican City football team to a 1-0 win over Lapland.
Sanchez sacked after further cost-cutting. Muhammed Al-Fayed buys the centre off YSJ.
Sports Centre building is taken down brick by brick and reconstructed at Clifton Moor. It reopens as " 'arrods". Brian Cantor buys a fake llama hair jacket and a 10% share.
With the University lacking sports facilities, the Langwith college bar is turned into a new sports centre. Drinking becomes a sport, but no one competes as no one uses the Langwith bar.
Tuesday February 5, 2008
YORK 2 : 1 LEEDS: match report
GOULAND MAKES HIS MARK
PLAYER RATINGS YORK
Tireless tackling, made vital interceptions
Johnny McWilliams Resolute and brave defending Andrew Rixon Defensive rock, dominant in the air Henry Smith Often outmuscled going forward
BY ANDY MCGRATH
Derby matches don’t usually have so much at stake, but this was crunch time - victory for league leaders York over Leeds 2nds would secure an unassailable six-point lead in the Northern BUSA Conference 3B with one match to go, while defeat would throw the promotion race wide open. York started the stronger of the two, as captain O’Shea headed just wide inside the first five minutes. However, Leeds hit back with an effort from outside the box, which Emmerson saved well. Perhaps inevitably, considering the blustery conditions and the importance of the match, the rest of the half was scrappy.After Tom Wilson tested the Leeds keeper with a curling free-kick, the best chance of the opening half fell to Leeds, as the opposition striker split the defence only to see his effort gratifyingly clunk off the right post and away to safety. The home team's greater passion and superior workrate was evident though - Matt Witherwick and Andrew Ramsden were dynamos in midfield, scrapping all match-long for possession. After the halftime break, York began to turn the screw. Gouland, Wilson and O’Shea all tested the Leeds keeper. Tantalisingly, a few minutes later, stalwart captain O’Shea then spurned the best chance of the match, beating the offside trap only to fire into the side netting from five yards out, with the goal gaping. Still, with Leeds pushed back into their half and being ground down slowly, something had to give. The pressure was duly rewarded after sixty-five minutes: McWilliams whippedinapinpointfree-kickandstrikerMarkGouland, aconstantthreattotheLeedsdefence,rose majesticallytoarrowtheballintothebottom-leftcornerof thenetforaclassyopener. Nowchasingthegame,indisciplineand frustrationcreptintoLeeds’sgame.Five minuteslater,theyfellfurtherbehind.With thewindbehindhim,TomWilsoncurled inafree-kicktwentyyardsoutfromthefar leftof thepitchandthegoalkeeper,whothus farhadkeptLeedsinthematchwithseveral importantsaves,couldonlyflapcomically at thin air à-la Paul Robinson, as the ball sailed over his head and into the back of the net. However, a defensive lapse saw Leeds grab a goal back – a bolt from the blue after York’s domination of the second half. With fifteen minutes left, the opponents suddenly regained their hope remaining verve.Still,Yorkpressedforwardinsearch of the knockout punch; more gilt-edged chances from O’Shea and Murrills were spurned.
Andrew Emmerson Solid and assured in goal Shaun Evans
Tom Wilson Battled hard for possession Matt Witherwick (STAR MAN) Beating heart of the team Andrew Ramsden
They don't call him Rambo for nothing
Alex Cooper Constant nuisance down the left Dom O' Shea (c) Led side well, despite missed chances Mark Gouland
Took first goal well, always dangerous
O'SHEA: I MAY QUIT FIRST XI
BY ROBERT ROMANS
Inspirational 1sts captain Dominic O’Shea has admitted to Vision that he is considering his future involvement with the University football team. When asked if he intended playing University football next year, O’Shea responded, “At the moment I’d love to play uni football next year but there are other options I want to consider because I want to play at the highest level, so it’ll be a while before I decide. Either way, the team will be strong next year and I’m sure it will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season”. Speaking after the 1sts won promotion for the second time in two seasons, O’Shea admitted that the 1sts recent promotion was a bigger achievement than their last, “I think this year is a bigger achievement; last year was great but we relied on another team slipping
up last year because we bottled it in the last game. But this year we’ve been incredible and when we needed to produce big results we delivered every time” he said, “Our record is one that deserves to win the league, to play 10 and win 8, draw 1 and lose 1 is impressive and our defensive record is impeccable too. Plus the fact we were playing in a higher league adds to it being a bigger achievement.”. Last summer was a major transitional period for the 1sts as O'Shea lost a lot of players, but was confident his new look side would mount a title challenge, "It’s hard to tell when we’re going through the trial period and looking for new players but I was confident once we got a squad together that we could mount a challenge for the title." He continued, "We won’t lose many players at the end of this season".
road to promotion This year's BUSA campaign has been marked by tight, tense matches. Facing several away matches, York consolidated their position with some gutsy results in their tricky first half of the season,
before galloping away for victory with a string of clean sheets and home victories - indeed, all five home games resulted in three points for the league champions.
P There was a lucky reprieve for York in the dying embers of the match. The Leeds winger tore down the left flank and delivered a cross to his striker, in front of an open goal. However, he somehow contrived to get a faint touch on the ball, skittering it right and out of play, when it would have been much easier to score. That haunting miss was to be the last significant piece of action. When the referee blew the final whistle. fans, players and (seemingly) Carlsberg cans erupted joyously. At times, they had ridden their luck but, after a gritty and passionate performance, York 1sts had earned the victory needed to top the BUSA table and gain promotion. Delighted captain Dominic O’Shea was full of praise for the team: “Promotion is no less than we’ve deserved this this season. We’ve worked hard but have also shown quality throughout the team, from clean sheets at the back through to creating and scoring goals going forward.” And it didn't end there ei-
ther. On the crest of their euphoric promotion wave, York won their midweek “dead rubber” 2-0 away to Durham to make it six BUSA wins on the
trot, while heartbroken Leeds fell to dismal defeat against bottom-placed Bradford, increasing York’s lead at the top to nine points.
THE TACTICS BOARD
Leeds Trinity 2nd
BUSA Northern Division 3B 17/10/07 24/10/07 31/10/07 07/11/07 14/11/07 21/11/07 28/11/07 05/12/07 26/01/08 30/01/08
Northumbria 2nds (A) W 2-1 Trinity & All Saints 1sts (H) W 2-1 Bradford 1sts (A) D 3-3 Leeds 2nds (A) L 1-3 Durham 2nds (H) W 3-0 Northumbria 2nds (H) W 3-2 Trinity & All Saints 1sts (A) W 2-0 Bradford 1sts (H) W 1-0 Leeds 2nds (H) W 2-1 Durham 2nds (A) W 2-0
Tuesday February 5, 2008
RAY HAS HIS SAY S T R O SP ď€ş W E I V P23 R E T IN
UP, UP, AND O'SHEA!
FOOTBALL 1STS SECURE A SECOND PROMOTION IN 2 YEARS... ...BUT UNCERTAINTY ARISES OVER INSPIRATIONAL CAPTAIN'S FUTURE
BY ANDY MCGRATH The York football first XI has secured a second consecutive BUSA promotion after claiming victory in an enthralling encounter against title challengers Leeds on a blustery day at 22 Acres. After a cagey first half, the game exploded into life, as a fired-up York side took control. Goals from Mark Gouland and Thomas Wilson put the home team in
a strong position, before a cheeky Leeds equaliser against the run of play made for a nerve-wracking closing minutes. The winds of fortune were blowing for York though, as the opposition missed an easy chance minutes from the end. However, the promotion celebrations have been tempered by uncertainty over star O'Shea's future involvement as a university player.
FULL STORY: Page 27
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