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Scene May 27 Issue 198

Maximo Park Stephen Graham Audrey Niffenegger


MUSIC

SPOTLIGHT

FILM

MUSIC NEWS

TV

GAMES

BOOKS

THE ANNUAL nadir of music has again come and gone. Eurovision was yet again a mass of cheese, wallpaper-paste-inspired make-up application and the utterly bizarre. Norway won with singer-come-violinist Alexander Rybak accompanied by bouncing backing dancers, whilst British contribution Jade

HIGH STREET PREACHERS

LILY ALLEN has made a political statement: she will continue to support Gordon Brown at the next election. Well that’s one vote at least after recent shenanigans.

SUPERMARKETS have decided to only display Manic Street Preachers’ new album Journal for Plague Lovers with a plain cover, for fear it would offend or scare.

COMEBACK CREDIBILITY came fifth. Most comments have been made, however, about how disappointing Graham Norton’s commentary was in comparison to Terry Wogan’s. Offers have ranged from almost comparable to disappointing because he didn’t talk through enough of the particularly dire offerings.

KATIE PAYS THE PRICE

KATIE PRICE has been dropped by her record label and is also splitting from husband Peter Andre. Oh, sorry, that’s not actually music. Or news.

THE BLUFFER'S THIS WEEK: E - GUID P

ain. Darkness. Small Spaces. No, these aren’t lyrics from another angst-ridden emo band, upset about their mothers forgetting to pack their lunches today, but some of the most common fears people experience. However, what about the simple fear of actually fitting in, and not looking like a ruddy idiot whilst doing it? If you’re tired of listening to the same old type of music, and want to impress that slightly stereotypical bunch of people who seem to define their lives by what they listen to, read this handy cheatsheet, and you’ll soon be able to fit into any group you wish (hurray!) It won’t cure your claustrophobia though.

Indie

The all-you-can-eat equivalent of music, because really, how can indie be defined anymore? If questioned on this however, the best response is to sneer derisively at your opponent. Indie fans pride themselves on their sneer, so it may be best to practice this before in a mirror. You should also look up bands with very obscure names that nobody has heard

LISTINGS

KATE MISSENDEN reveals all the latest news and gossip from the world of music

EURO-VISION

LILY ALLEN 4 GDN

CULTURE

of before and champion them, sneering at people who do not have the good music taste/time to know what you are talking about. However, if this band then happens to become very popular you should instantly drop them, claiming that they have “sold out”. The most important thing to remember is that if you are showing more than 5% enthusiasm for anything, you are getting far too excited and need to calm down a bit.

Drum and Bass

You like big beats and you cannot lie. The only things you really need are non-sensitive ears and a hifi system that plays the kind of bass that could contest Barry White after a rough night out. You should generally have quite a relaxed/ glazed atmosphere about you, which may or may not have something to do with the many *ahem* supplements you take. If ever asked by a fellow drum and bass aficionado about your views on Pendulum, quickly reply that they are definitely not

REFORMING galore is taking place - Doherty, Barat and Powell of the Libertines have played a couple of gigs together, Blur are thinking of embarking on a reunion tour, Spandau Ballet are putting in a sizable effort and Amy Winehouse is launching a comeback in St. Lucia. Unfortunately the only place that she seems to be becoming better known is the local hospital, due to regular fainting. Michael Jackson’s comeback saga also continues - he has apparently now decided to put back the start date of his residency and bring in the choreographer/director of High School Musical for his O2 shows. Great.

Laura Cress explains how to become an expert of any genre without ever listening to a single note

part of drum and bass culture (this is a trick question that drum and bass people spring on rookies to see how hardcore the are). Always remember – they aren’t a real Drum and Bass DJ if their name doesn’t end with a z.

Darkstep/ Drumfunk/ Electro /Jumpup/Breakcore You should be able to identify the difference between any of this and Drum and Bass.

Rap

Constantly remind people that you are from “the streets”. (It doesn’t matter what streets, if anyone questions what you mean, wave your Uzi around. If you don’t have an Uzi, make your hands into the shape of a gun and shout “Blat! Blat! Blat!” at them menacingly.) Essential gear includes trousers that let everyone see what underwear you are wearing if you are a boy, and for girls simply wear as little as possible with lots of bling (if

people aren’t permanently blinded when they look at you, you are not wearing enough).

Heavy Metal

You should be cautious of showering and bathing at all times –if you are unable to be smelt from at least a three mile radius, you are not yet a true heavy metal fan. Long hair is a must, as this comes in handy for head banging, where fans pretend to have fits to music. Moshing is your main form of dance, one that is filled with complicated rules of politeness. Basically, it is ok to elbow somebody in the eye to the floor, as long as you then quickly rush to help them up again for more elbowing to ensue.


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LISTINGS

LYRICAL RANT 'We don't need no education'... 'Yes you do' argues Jim Norton

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LAURA CRESS tells us why

VISION LOVES MAXIMO PARK .

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aving exploded on to the indie-guitar scene circa 2004, Maximo Park enjoyed a nation thirsty for Britpop version 2. Relying on the formula: cracking melody + singalong chorus x stage acrobatics = killer pop tunes. Paul Smith and co. built up a dedicated fanbase and the first album was nominated for a mercury music prize. But a genre-obsessed music industry soon became bored and opted for glowsticks and band reunions leaving Maximo out in the cold. The disappointing second album received a luke-warm reception and Maximo Park began to fade into afternoon festival slot obscurity. Until now; with the imminent release of third album, Quicken the Heart, the lads from Newcastle look set to remind fans why they were once one of the biggest indie bands in Britain. Vision lends a hand...

They have a lovely story about how they found their lead singer

by, “having a laugh about Bono and Bob Geldof who were on the telly.”

Nowadays there’s no originality when it comes to bands forming – they’ve generally either been friends for life or been created, forcibly so, through auditions, with no spontaneity and chance meetings involved. However, the same cannot be said for Maximo Park who found their lead singer, Paul Smith, by complete coincidence! Smith was in fact discovered by the girlfriend of drummer Tom English, in a club; he was singing along to Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. It was only the second time he had sung in public, with even English admitting; “when he first joined we didn’t know if he could sing at all; just that he was a lunatic jumping around in a suit, it felt like the last piece of the jigsaw.”.

They won’t let genre obsessed magazines stop them

They might be pretentious at times but they can still have a laugh at Bono! Smith sees the effect of his lyrics as an important part of the song, or as he says, “Before we focused on forcing the songs into people’s minds, but this time we have put more layers into our music. Making it more dense, almost like a pool of water; you can see the surface, but when you dive in there is so much more to it.” [That all this is said in seriousness is reason enough]. However, there’s no need to judge too harshly, as they still recognise themselves as, “a standard guitar band who write short sharp pop songs” and better yet, have in the past bonded with The Futureheads

DISCOGRAPHY:

2005

A Certain Trigger

2007

Our Earthly Pleasures

2009

Quicken The Heart

Smith knows about the sudden downfall that can be faced by bands suddenly championed by magazines such as NME. “We wrote music just to excite ourselves in a bedroom in Newcastle and all of a sudden we’re signing a record contract. It’s strange. There’s a certain process where all bands of our ilk are filtered through the NME and they either decide that they love or hate you and then you’re discarded or whatever. We just stick to our guns. We know exactly what we want to do.”

They’re putting the North-East on the music map - but not shouting about it. Unlike the Artic Monkeys who are Sheffield (and don’t you forget it) Maximo Park are more about simply making good music instead of worrying about the musical cannon. “It's just we’ve a lack of venues but it was kind of good for us because we didn’t want to be influenced by anyone and we ended making music for us.”

And the number one reason why Vision loves Maximo Park… Lead Singer Paul Smith can jump really high!

efore I begin, I must stress that I’m not a grammatical Hitler. I don’t pedantically peruse the daily newspapers berating any spelling mistake or sloppy syntax I find. In fact, I’m often oblivious to a misplaced semi-colon or apostrophe. But, what does set my irritation levels to throbbing vein status is lyrics that just don’t make sense. That is until I had my lyrical epiphany. My hatred had always simmered under the surface. Songs such as Sean Paul’s ‘We Be Burning’ and Timbaland’s ‘The Way I Are’ have always troubled my inner pedant, but I have put that down to the sad fact that perhaps I am old before my time and slang has begun to pass me by. However, recently a song became ingrained in radio playlists and cheesy dance floors across the nations stereos. ‘Take Me Back’ by Tinchy Stryder and Taio Cruz (the names in themselves seem to be the result of a drunken game of scrabble) includes the line “I’m sorry I misleaded you pretty lady”. A sweet lyric in essence, but a cringeworthy error all the same, especially considering it’s the chorus. How could a mistake from young Tinchy have gone unnoticed by a producer, a record company, and what seems to be hundreds of thousands of the record buying public? Surely someone could have mentioned “Erm…tinchy… I think you might…ahem… mean misled.” Maybe I’m missing the point and Mr Stryder is subtly demonstrating the state of education for kids from his background, or highlighting the problem of unnoticed dyslexia. Or perhaps he’s just an idiot. Either way, I began to listen to my music collection differently. Every lyric came under close scrutiny. Now, I’m not proud to admit this, but for the purposes of this article, I will concede that Fergie is a guilty pleasure. And whilst listening to the underrated gem ‘Fergielicious’, I realised that Will.i.am had spent a lot more time rapping than reading in his youth as he sang “T, to the A, to the S-T-E-Y, girl, you tasty.” So in search of more mistakes, i looked to the encyclopedia of useless information; the internet. I soon found myself in a world of lyrical OCD sufferers. It was here that my grammatical obsession was cut short by a vision of what I might become in the future. The following excerpt is a genuine article found on www. amiright.com: ABBA’s 'The Winner Takes It All' The Lyrics: The gods may throw a dice. Their minds as cold as ice. And someone way down here Loses someone dear. Why: Since the noun “dice” is plural, the singular being “die”, the phrase “a dice” cannot be correct; it would need to be “a die” to be correct. But then that wouldn’t rhyme with “cold as ice.” One can wonder whether the writer(s) of these lyrics were unaware that “dice” as a noun is obligatorily plural, or whether they knew that, but went ahead with “a dice” anyway to facilitate the rhyme.

FESTIVALS:

Submitted by: Renee Keener

> 13th June Isle of Wight > 25th June Glastonbury > 17th July Benicassim > 28th August Leeds & Reading

Poor Renee keener, she too probably had a similar experience to mine. But without anyone to stop her, she is now lost to the obsession. She can no longer even listen to ABBA without hyperventilating over obligatory plurals. She did stop me though and thanks to Renee I can now sing “I’m sorry I misleaded you” without even a hint of irritation.


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HERE'S JOHNNY! Stefan Philpotts chats to up and coming indie three-piece JOHNNY FOREIGNER

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ith an album coming out this September, many people have become excited about Johnny Foreigner. Thus far they have been described as an up-and-coming 3 piece band (Alexei Berrow on guitars, Kelly Southern on bass and Junior Elvis on drums) originating from Birmingham, with a new sound that many have linked to that of Los Campesinos! However, they have very different views on these perceptions of themselves. Johnny Foreigner wasn’t formed like most bands, with most of them originating from different bands; Alexei originally being in Panda Love Unit, whilst Kelly was in Twisted. Johnny Foreigner was actually formed simply as a means to fill the time whilst in Panda Love Unit’s large rehearsal area. Eventually Kelly replaced the original bassist Daniel Boyle whilst Junior became involved due to knowing Daniel. The name ‘Johnny Foreigner’ was dreamt up ironically enough as a means of portraying their different sound and original difficulty in making gigs happen, as the phrase was originally a racial slur for these unknown foreign figures during older times who might invade and take over. Setting up gigs however is now no longer an issue with the hype that they find themselves surrounded by . When it comes to describing what they feel their sound is, they all agree that its difficult to label themselves, although Kelly jokes that ‘post pop-core’ would probably best fit them. Alexi meanwhile suggests that the best way to understand their sound

Pink is a rude bitch and sings like a basket case! would be to listen to bands such as Pixies, Pavement and Sonic Youth, although giving themselves a label would simply be a bunch of words that can be interpreted differently by a number of demographics. When compared to Los Campesinos! they are actually quite chuffed, and have actually been good friends with the band for quite some time. However, in terms of sound, they admit to maybe having similar album collections, where Los Campesinos! take on the more twee Belle and Sebastian sound and Johnny Foreigner take on

the badly performed rock solos. They also deny being part of a Birmingham music scene, as with Liverpool and Manchester there is often a sense of community, whereas in Birmingham it is often the case of a simple ego trip by attempting to form a music scene that ultimately fails. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t bands within Birmingham that they still support, with a mention being made of Calories, one of the support acts playing tonight, and Gentle Friendly, Daniel Boyle’s new band. On a less serious note I was able to get to know the band personally rather than only as a band. Junior reminisced on how Diana Ross had once asked him whether something could be done about the traffic volume outside when he was working as room service, whilst Alexei described an encounter with Pink whilst he worked at merchandise at an arena, describing her as a ‘rude bitch’ (stating I could quote him on that) who would carry a huge security team around with her so that no one was around during her sound check whilst she sang ‘like a basket case’. They’re also not ashamed to admit they would take up the chance to play at an arena any day, as the buzz they would get from it would be amazing. They also prefer spirits when it comes to alcohol (apart from Junior whose more of a beer man) and prefer Simon Pegg to Ricky Gervais, even though Ricky does have his ‘moments of genius’. Oh, and they think scotch eggs are far too dry to be enjoyed.

CULTURE

LISTINGS

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ired of those su bands with m pposedly hip ea and three chor ningless lyrics d riffs? have a listen to something Why not slightly more sophisticated and put on so m Recommende d Jazz - guaran e Vision those hipster teed to lift blues away in time for Summer:

VisionjazzPlaylist James Brown Sex Machine Desafinado Stan Getz Thelonious Monk Bright Mississippi Billie Holiday They Can't Take That Away From Louis Armstong What A Wonderful World Messin' With Fire Clare Teal Janis Joplin Summertime Jools Holland Mr Roberts' Roost Jaco Pastorius (Used to be a) Cha Cha

The Airborne Toxic Event The Airborne Toxic Event Out Now

Tori Amos Abnormally Attracted To Sin Out Now

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f you’ve ever spent a Friday night at The Duchess, chances are you’re already familiar with The Airborne Toxic Event’s over-emotional attempt at an indie power ballad, Some Time Around Midnight. Sure, it’s likeable enough after a few drinks, but unless orchestral intros and five minute slow songs without choruses are your thing, you’ll find it little wonder that this track has a tendency to make half the dance floor head to the bar, waiting for something to play that they can actually dance to. Even in the more upbeat numbers, such as Gasoline, Papillon singer Mikel Jollett’s dramatic delivery somehow still comes across soulless, which, along with his almost nursery rhyme lyrics (“She had eyes as big as porcelain plates/and skin as thin as paper drapes”) begs the question, have we found America’s answer to a certain Mr Borrell? Whilst vocally there are elements of Eddie Vedder and, admittedly only in a few places, Kings of Leon, the melodramatic feel and over-polished production (strings and all) reflects more of an influence from Bruce Springsteen than anything remotely current or exciting. The album, as a whole, lacks anything to hook the listener in and whilst it’s inoffensive enough at first listen, you get the feeling that one listen really is enough. The US seems to have a knack for exporting edgy and original talent, but if you’re after the next Vampire Weekend or Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I’d suggest you look elsewhere.

MARCUS GILBERT

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don’t think I will ever ‘get’ Tori Amos. I don’t know who she is for. She certainly has staying power, with her latest offering marking the tenth album of a career spanning 20 years. Her talent is obvious, and Abnormally is boosted by her swooping vocals. But it is all just a bit odd, really. The bizarre album art – from whips to a chameleon, any prop will do for our Tori – to the sinister quality of many of the songs, I don’t see who she appeals to. And this does not help a marathon album in which, at seventeen songs, the finishing line is rarely in sight.The album waits until track five to kick into something resembling life, with the optimistically named Not Dying Today supplying a surprise variation on the keyboard-driven melancholy. Not that we should be surprised at the lack of party poppers – this is a woman with a lot to get off her chest. Rape and a miscarriage have provided rich source material for her music in the past and you get the impression emotional toil is always bubbling away below the surface. Which is something I could happily do without. Computer scientists with goth pretensions will no doubt love it. But as one not up for jumping off that cliff just yet, it is an album I would happily forget.

WILL WAINEWRIGHT


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Albums... Manic Street Preachers: Journal For Plague Lovers Out Now

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fully converted disciple of the Manics’ incendiary, post-punk gospel, the idea of a new album comprised entirely of lyrics penned by the tortured mind of Richey Edwards, made me rather moist. Yet it also filled me with a deep sense of unease: was his fearsome intellect still intact just prior to his disappearance? Can the Manics still pull the glorious musical shapes required to do his words justice? These questions are both emphatically answered in the affirmative. For those musical hermits who have failed to gleen the back story of this extraordinary album, the lyrics have been taken from a book given to each of the three Manics by Edwards just prior to his mysterious disappearance

KATE

MISSENDEN

REVIEWS THIS WEEK'S...

in 1995.But only now have the Manics finally seen fit to make this lost classic, buoyed by their recent commercial and critical revival.Journal for Plague Lovers is the kind of album that it was impossible to foresee the Manics making again. As with their early material, the complex lyrics are twisted and manipulated to the point of inaudibility (incomprehensibility?) and that is the brilliant contradiction of the best Manics’ records. The marriage of classic three minute rock and roll songs with lyrics of unparalleled intellectual complexity, packed with poetic imagery and meaning.The joy of Journal for Plague Lovers is letting Richey’s words slowly reveal themselves, before then reading the lyric sheet the way it should be read, with an analytical eye and with Google at the ready. Sometimes though a line hits you instantly, simply through its emotional potency, such as “Bruises on my hands from digging my nails out,” in the ferocious Peeled Apples, or “She thought burnt skin would please her lover,” in She Bathed herself in a bath of bleach. But whilst the initial lyrical content is a matter of confusion, the quality of the songs is not, for it is the Manics’ best album in 15 years, one that is arguably surpassed only by their masterpiece, The Holy Bible. It is also an incredibly poignant album made with sensitivity and dignity, Richey’s memory and his work have not been exploited, but celebrated. And with the line “Wish me some luck as you wave goodbye to me, you’re the best friends I ever had,” closing the album, the listener is left heartbroken and emotionally exhausted by an incredible listening experience.

SINGLES

er first single to be released as a CD H cannot fail to impress.

Little Boots New in Town

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espite their first album, Colour it in, being written off by many critics for being too ‘lightweight,’ it's really not that bad. Wall of Arms is certainly even better. They’ve mostly binned the playful and youthful lyrics about toothpaste kisses, naïve innocence and romantic moments with the opposite sex. In its place The Maccabees have put a greater emphasis on more accomplished musicianship; the album is littered with hiccupy vocals, blaring horns, rolling drums, distant backing vocals and those trademark spindly guitar lines. The greater musical complexity is perfectly suited to the darker and more mature lyrics. Each song tells a tale with issues ranging from relationships, suicide (the excellent One Hand Holding), death (Young Lions) to the universal topic of love (just about every other track). The opening track and new single, Love You Better is a classic Maccabee’s track, meticulously arranged to be a sure-fire winner for die-hard fans. If you didn’t love the Maccabees before then you will now. However, by far the best track is the chirpy and upbeat One Hand Holding which perfectly demonstrates their improvements from one album to the next. My only quibble would be that with Markus Dravs on production there is a slight likeness with Arcade Fire (Can You Give It) and the otherworldly Bag of Bones seems like it would be more at home on the new Elbow album. Despite this the Wall of Arms is proof that the ‘difficult’ second album need not be so difficult.

RACHEL KNOX

The Eels My Timing is Off

Passion Pit: Manners Out Now

Slow, powerful electronic beats on the Tenorion (flashing Japanese sequencer for anyone who’s been a hermit for the last few months) underpin her distinctive vocals and a sharp chorus riff. New In Town sees Little Boots giving greater space to her vocals, likely to pull those somehow unconvinced by her previously released output under her spell. She has surpassed herself again with another fantastic single, bring on the long-overdue album. ollowing a temporary relapse into F happiness, the Eels

MIKE REGAN

The Maccabees: Wall Of Arms Out Now

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have returned to their roots of melancholy, tormented lyrics over gentle accompanying guitars. Half-sung, halfspoken husky vocals convey anguish, but in such a way that uplifts the entire track rather than stifling it. Neither backing riff nor lyrics are anything particularly inventive, but it’s still worth a listen if you want something smooth, melodic and relaxing. t sounds rather like James Bond met The IDarkness and decided

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or a band that originally started out as one man recording a couple of songs as a valentine's gift for his then girlfriend, Passion Pit have managed to cause quite a stir within the world of online blogs. These days its difficult not to come across someone praising them for their vibrant energetic sound, but with their debut album Manners just released can they justify the hype? I’m not going to beat around the bush, Passion Pit have produced quite the album. With essences of MGMT right down to the addition of children singing the chorus on the track Little Secrets, Manners is a blend of various elements which shouldn’t work, and yet they do. Procussion, synthesizers, even frontman Michael Angelakos’ high pitch voice manages to fit in, and to some extent makes the album what it is. And what is this album exactly? A collection of uplifting tracks that could be the soundtrack to anyone’s summer, even with the current weather we’re having. Sleepyhead and The Reeling are the real gems on the album. Sleepyhead opens with an oriental theme and then slowly morphs into a blend of electro and pop, whilst The Reeling has been touted by many as one of the singles of 2009 with its discoesque like sound. For a debut album, Manners definitely stands out and, with similar bands such as Metronomy and Crystal Castles recently succeeding with their releases, what better time for Passion Pit to emerge.

The Rumble Strips Not the Only Person

to offer a counselling service - in short, it’s certainly not the predictable tedium of their previously girls-andbeach-themed chirpy output. There’s greater depth and variety to both instrumentation and vocals, with even the brass getting a chance to shine in the middle. With something this energetic, positive and triumphant, The Rumble Strips have become one to look out for. his is electro-pop at its finest - 1980s elecT tronic beats and firing

STEFAN PHILPOTTS

La Roux Bulletproof

vocals which barrage the listener throughout. The duo of fronting androgynous singer, Elly Jackson, and backing synths, Ben Langmaid, are reinvigorating electro-pop with their striking mass of hooks and quirky lyrics. One to make you sit up and take note, although their self-confessed narcissism could work for or against them in the future.


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Maximo Park and The Grammatics

22/05/09

Leeds Academy

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You may have noticed we’re not the Noisettes” The Grammatics lead singer Owen Brinley, tells the audience gathering for Maximo Park at Leeds Academy half way into their set. And he’s certainly right – compared to Shingai Shoniwa’s playful, cheeky performance we have instead a very different kind of front man - fragile, arty, the only similarity being his surprisingly high pitched voice. Suddenly pulling out as support to Maximo Park due to illness, The Noisettes don’t seem to be too missed, as Brinley starts shouting lyrics from Justice’s party classic “We Are Your Friends” with everyone (albeit not immediately) joining in. Whilst alternating sometimes between a strange mix of audience participation and unsettling, mini epics of prog rock, somehow The Grammatics seem to pull it off, and leaves the audience buzzing for Maximo Park’s set. And what a set. Bursting onto stage in his typical bowler hat and suit, Maximo’s front man Paul Smith launches into fan favourite The Coast is Always Changing without a minute to lose, pulling the kind of dramatic facial expressions that wouldn’t be lost in a heart wrenching scene of Romeo and Juliet. But the band isn’t prepared to just la-

Sonic Boom Six York Fibbers 10/05/09

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n Sunday I eagerly trotted off to Fibbers, suitably excited about the evening to come. However to my surprise I was greeted by an empty room, as Comply or Die, local ska-punk band, played. Although they describe themselves as ska-punk their actual style seemed much more traditional punk, with out of time riffs that have been heard so many times before. The crowd obviously agreed with me as the room was still empty apart from the token guys trying to start a pit.

DJ Hazard

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or those of you with a taste for the bass, York has been spoilt for choice recently, with Breakz bringing us some of the finest DJs on the drum and bass scene. On May 16th Ziggy's played host to the legendary DJ Hazard, well known for his amazing technical ability and classic beats. MC Pean, representing Subdub of Leeds, introduced Hazard with his slick and flowing style. As Hazard broke into his renowned track Machete the atmosphere was electric and as the bass dropped it was clear to the crowd that they were in for a truly explosive evening.

However, it was soon over and the mighty Random Hand came on. Their set was brilliant as they thrashed out catchy ska-punk tunes with a good brass element, intermingled with witty banter that was an excellent warm up for Sonic Boom, with the crowd shouting for more. Sonic Boom Six powered through their set in their usual style - playing almost an entire album back to back, giving the crowd no let up. This was the first time I had heard the City of Thieves album, yet I am of no doubt that the live version will not differ greatly from the recording, as it was a very tight performance. Full of samples and desperate lyrics about the state of society, Sonic Boom Six gave the crowd chance to reconsider things whilst having a damn good dance. The gig ended with some sing-a-long classics such as Piggy in the Middle leaving everyone in Fibbers drenched with sweat, buzzing and begging for more. LOUISE COTREL-GIBBONS

Ziggy's

16/05/09

Hazard was supported by several other DJs including the well known Illtrak, who, to the crowd’s disappointment, mistakenly cut short Hazard’s set and proceeded to give a substandard performance. Compared to Hazard’s original, gritty style of drum and bass, Illtrak produced a cacophony of pop rehashes dampening the end of what was a spectacular night. The cranky bass sound system provided us with impressive bass and bouncy Breakz, however the sound could have been more evenly distributed with the volume maxed out to create a truly manic rave.York hasn’t seen the last of big names with the ‘ambassador of bass’ Benga making an appearance at Ziggys on the 30th of May. This is definitely a night not to be missed as Benga’s solid rhythms have a place in all dubstep nights. The underground music scene is clearly making its mark on York, keeping all you hard core D&B fans raving. CARLY FETCH & AMY RICHARDS

CULTURE

LISTINGS

zily churn out their commercial hits one by one, fusing the old with some of their newer songs from their recent album Quicken the Heart. Their latest single, The Kids Are Sick Again is the best received from the new album, with everyone punching the air singing “The kids are sick again/Nothing to look forward to.” This is certainly not the case for the people at the Academy tonight however, as just when they seem to be running out of steam, Maximo Park pull another classic out of the bag and play Girls who Play Guitars. “Sorry for pulling all those Freddie Mercury moves there” Smith apologises, and although there’s no way he can be put into the same league as the legendary Queen singer, there’s something about the charismatic Smith that makes it hard to look away as he gestures to the crowd. Finishing off with one of their first songs, Apply Some Pressure, Maximo Park have managed to pull off the kind of feat echoed on a smaller scale by their earlier support act – able to gain the kind of huge audience participation whatever they play, that points towards a band that have gotten over the troubles of that difficult third album with ease. LAURA CRESS

Art Brut Duchess

30/04/09

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ith their painfully NME uniform of check shirts and skinnies, and the loving relationship between Stop! Motion’s bassist and his toes only interrupted by an occasional 3-minute burst of uninspiring background indie-pop, Art Brut’s first support act were hardly an electrifying opening to the night; however, post-punk revival rockers Robocop Kraus annihilated the previous attempt to warm up the crowd. The discussion over their singer’s moustache was only just dying down when the headliners exploded onto the stage and proceeded to throw away their set list, choosing each song based on loud suggestions from the floor. Clearly aware that he was playing to a devoted fanbase, frontman Eddie Argos took a stroll out into the club mid-song to involve the masses, sparking a very tiny and somewhat incongruous mosh pit as well as stressing out their understandably anxious roadie. The band, looking like a bunch of regular Duchess misfits, managed to save two of their best songs for the encore despite the crowd’s demands: the drunken slurring along to Direct Hit was inevitable considering the number of £2 sambuca shots consumed, and Good Weekend’s infectious guitar riff was the perfect end to an almost-flawless gig, albeit with the noticeable lack of one of their best tracks, Pump Up The Volume. Their latest release, the Frank Black produced Art Brut vs. Satan, is a worthy followup to 2007’s mind-blowing It’s a Bit Complicated. The new album’s first single, Alcoholics Unanimous, contains the quintessential punchy lyrics and melodic guitar lines of any Art Brut track, and is definitely worth a listen. SUZY DODD & JAMES STOVOLD


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ne of the most recognisable faces in British cinema, it was his distinctive appearance that secured Stephen Graham him his big break. Accompanying a friend to auditions, Guy Ritchie selected the unknown actor to play Tommy in the blockbuster Snatch because he “liked his face.” Graham has subsequently risen to widespread acclaim, staring in This is England, Gangs of New York and The Dammed United. His career has been marked by roles which explore gritty and criminal elements of society, most notably in his portrayal of Combo in This is England. This role won him a nomination for a British Independent Film Award. Talking to Graham it is obvious he uses his life experience and upbringing in Liverpool to allow him to relate to the characters he portrays. However he is quick to counter those who criticise him for playing a limited range of characters: “I’m never going to play Mr Darcy, you know what I mean, but I try and pick parts that you can get your teeth into. Hopefully I make my characters very different from each other. Although some people might think they are a similar type of person I still try to start off with a different sense of identity with each of them.” It is obvious Graham has a passion for the faithful portrayal of Britain’s recent urban history. For both This is England and his new film Awaydays, Graham immersed himself in research of the working class of Thatcherite Britain and speaks passionately of the period. “It was a hard time to be growing up and working ‘cause jobs were getting lost left, right and centre. You’d see great people in your community - smart, well dressed, twenty three, twenty four, like you know, who you looked up to from school, doing an apprenticeship. Then you’d see them a few months later on the street asking for a quid, it could be that drastic you know what I mean, you were just lucky to get through it.” Although keen to draw on his childhood experiences when preparing for roles, when I asked if he felt he could relate to some of the more unsavoury characters he played or if there was some-

By Dr Kiri Diva

Gangs of New York (2002)

LISTINGS

thing in his personality that allows him to empathise with them, for a second Graham gave me a glimpse of the intimidating aggression that has made him such a success. “So your saying I’m an aggressive psychopath? ‘cause that’s what your basically saying, you’re calling me a psycho, you’ve just said I’m a nut job!” Before slipping seamlessly back into his mind mannered demeanour, “There’s nothing that resonates within me for those characters, I have a bit of sympathy for them, I can’t really empathise with them ‘cause it’s not the way I think but I get to understand how they think.” His attitude towards acting is as straightforward as you would expect from his on screen performances: “you just believe, you know what I mean, when you was a kid shooting your mate with a gun when you was five, if he didn’t die you’d say you shot him, you just believe in what you’re doing and try and put everything into it.” Awaydays, his latest project, portrays the formative years of two boys in Liverpool who find a sense of belonging through joining the local football firm which Graham’s character, John, is the head of. However, Graham is quick to distance Awaydays from films such as ‘Football Factory’ and ‘Green Street.’ “In those films you just see people fighting and you have no idea why they’re fighting, whereas in this story it’s a rite of passage, it’s about two boys growing up and the gang isn’t necessary a gang, it’s a sense of family, community, belonging. It just so happens that the football hooliganism is a background, it could be anything it could be crown green fucking bowls, it’s just something that unites them.” The calibre of Graham’s performance in Awaydays, as well as those in This is England and Gangs of New York, has led to his fame spreading to the US. There he is in high demand and held in high regard by no less than Martin Scorsese, who cast him as Al Capone in a new TV series, Sunset Boulevard, without audition. He is also starring in Public Enemy, a Michael Mann film starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale which is tipped to be one of the biggest films of the summer. It seems it is no longer possible to talk of Graham as a rising star as it seems his rise from been a self-confessed “snotty nosed Scouser” to an established actor on both sides of the pond, is complete.

By Andrew Nichols

Career In Pictures

Snatch (2000)

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This is England (2006)

Awaydays (2009)


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Sun, Sea and Sandler

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DAVID ELLIOT looks forward to the must-see films this summer

Sitting in an English garden, waiting for the sun...” The British summer is, it i s well recognised, an especially pathetic season. Sane people, of course, choose to escape this soggy hinterland to the warmer, chavvier climes of Zante or Faliraki, that is once the epically late York holidays eventually roll in. The movie lover, on the other hand, retreats indoors to watch trashy sequels and ill-advised book adaptations. Summer 2009 is a good time for said movie lover. The first heavy-hitter to land a punch is the arbitrarily-titled Terminator: Salvation (June 3). With the choice of McG as director casting a potential shadow on its credibility, not to mention quality (he is best known for the defecatory Charlie's Angels movies) the early verdict from the States is not an overly positive one. The lack of Schwarzenegger-shaped shenanigans is worrisome; only Christian Bale’s infamously angry involvement is a cause for hope. The other effects-heavy robosequel of the summer, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 19), offers a more Technicolor spin on a similar tale. The insanely hot Megan Fox and the insanely not Shia LaBeouf return to interact unconvincingly with a greenscreen, but no doubt Michael Bay’s indulgent yet entertaining direction will provide us with enough jumped-up car chases and hectic fights to take our minds off it. Pixar’s Up goes head to head with Fox’s Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - at least in America. While the third Ice Age installment will be released worldwide simultaneously, UK audiences have to wait until October 16 to watch Pixar’s undoubtedly superior picture, a full four and a half months after it hits the US. Ice Age could do with the breathing space, however, given the less than impressive The Meltdown and its lackluster voice cast. Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the cinema (and national consciousness) with Bruno on July 10, this time hopefully with a less imitable accent. Rumours abound that Cohen deliberately shoehorned in some NC-17-rated content in order to score some cheap publicity stateside, which seems entirely in keeping Cohen’s

(somehow acceptable) casual anti-American prejudice. Not quite competing for the same crowd is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 15), in which we all pretend to be surprised by the plot twist that DUMBLEDORE. BLOODY. DIES. The vintage British cast is superb, as we’re regularly told, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that the three principals, despite being nearly a decade older than when the series started, still act like they’re barely out of playschool. Funny People (28 August) sees Adam Sandler and the goofball school collide with Seth Rogen of the Geek Clique, a scenario in which the charisma of both actors will, with any luck, cancel out their irritating self-consciousness (the plot centres around a dying veteran comedian’s relationship with a sprightly up-and-

SCREEN GRABS

News and views from the world of film

Who you gonna call..... again? Ghostbusters 3 is apparently due to begin shooting this winter. According to Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray is finally on board and a script is in the works. Now, I’m a huge fan of the original and I do have a soft spot for the sequel but is it really necessary to turn it into a trilogy? Especially given how creaky the story sounds (a new generation of young hip Ghostbusters are being trained for battle) and the rumour that cardboard cut outs Alyssa Milano and Eliza Dushku are going to star . I think this might a case of hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

The Cannes film festival has just had its finale and it’s been a fairly uneventful year. Pixar’s newest film, Up opened proceedings (the first ever animated film to do this) and received a very positive reception. Almodovar’s Broken Embraces and Tarantino’s much anticipated Inglourious Basterds were received well if not rapturously. Perhaps some smaller films will emerge after the glamour and hype has drifted away.

The Return of Don Quixote

Andrew Nichols chats to the cast of the new British blockbuster.

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LISTINGS

Cannes gets Animated

- AWAYDAYS -

fter the success of This is England British film once again ventures into the rich seam of film potential of the Thatcherite era and the experiecnes of its disenchaanted youth. Although Awaydays is about a firm of football hooligans Nicky Bell, who plays the lead Paul Carty is quick to distance Awaydays from such films as Green Street and Football "It's about friendship, it's about love, it's Factory, about finding yourself and taking yourself to another place, it's about trying to relate to things that are happening in the world at the time and going along with it in the wave of what it was. It's not about hooliganism, it's about trying to find out who you are." Attention to detail was the key to establishing realism and believability in the film. Nicky explains how this led to a raw uncompromising film, "if we could feel what them young lads were feeling: the drugs, the music, the violence" then the cast could really relate to the characters and create an authentic experience. "People have said this films brings home what happened in their youth, it speaks to them honestly, really makes them think. Why did we do this? What was

CULTURE

the point? Why did we go fighting people? Why did I lose my best mate?" The results are certainly an impressive account of a hugely relevent episode in Britain's recent history.

Terry Gilliam has announced that he is going to give his long planned project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote another go. His first attempt in 2000 which was famously plagued by budget cuts, scheduling issues and devastating storms had to be shut down and was recorded in the fascinating documentary Lost in La Mancha. It’s not all bad though as apparently the long interim has allowed him to make improvements to the script. Here’s hoping that this time he finds a bit more success.

Battleship set to sink In a massive kick to the bollocks of originality, Peter Berg (The Kingdom, Hancock) is in talks to direct an ‘epic naval action adventure’ based on the classic board game Battleship. This follows news that Ridley Scott is to direct a film based on Monopoly. What’s next? What will Hollywood make when they’ve finished with board game movies and their inevitable sequels? How long will it be before films based on snack foods and cleaning products start going into production? Personally I think 'Mr Muscle' has superhero blockbuster written all over it, only you know they’d choose the new pumped up version rather than the old weedy one.

CHARLES RIVINGTON


MUSIC SPOTLIGHT

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Charles Rivington plunges into the metaphysical depths of the human condition...

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ynecdoche (pronounced SihNECK-doh-kee in case you were wondering), New York is writer Chalie Kaufman’s directorial debut. Like many of his other works (which include Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) it is a bizarre yet cerebral film which explores the brain and the creative process. However, whereas those films focused primarily on the comedy of their characters, Kaufman’s latest, whilst frequently amusing, is

fixated on their humanity. In fact, there are few films that I can think of that encapsulate the human experience (the gut wrenching heartbreak, the confusion, the hilarity, the looming inevitability of death) as well as Synecdoche, New York. The film focuses on the life of a hypochondriac theatre director named Caden Cotard (a predictably perfect Philip Seymour Hoffman) whose latest project involves an ever growing set in a warehouse in New York, peopled by a huge cast playing ordinary people as they go about their lives including actors playing Caden and his friends and associates. Predictably, this is a Charlie Kaufman film after all, reality and fiction begin to merge and things become rather confusing. This might sound self indulgent (it is, deliberately so) but the point that I think some audiences will miss, and which many critics have missed, is that Caden Cotard is not

first and foremost a theatre director or a thinly disguised Kaufman, he is primarily a human being. Caden Cotard is an everyman in the sense that he’s just about as neurotic, confused and scared as everyone else and is impossible not to identify with and it is this which makes the film so incredibly powerful. The supporting cast is also excellent, particularly Samantha Morton and Michelle Williams as two of Caden’s love interests and Diane Wiest is as charming and fascinating as ever in a small but very powerful role. The music from Jon Brion (who composed the scores for Magnolia and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is equally perfect, creeping into scenes to subtly complement the mood. Synecdoche, New York is an emotive and fascinating exploration of humanity, a bit of a head trip and the best film of the year so far. Go and see it.

elick Dir. Henry S e n i l a Cor

elopfurther dev of e ’s n m o Burt ment of so ector of Tim as, Coraline ir aracd e ch th r o m in ro the m e Christm y or b ef B ed re ic o a ic rt ular Nightm ung girl (v ters, in pa her ory of a yo y b st e e ing and d u th si ig s a ll te the intr brushed en ft to o , r o g) o d in nn tric neighvers a Dakota Fa be eccen , who disco ts to n rs re a ea tasticalp p c ap bours (fan workaholi erything ev e n a er h th w y Dawn orld ’ is more ly voiced b another w er Mother th s ‘O er em Jenh d se d n whim. It French a perfect, an on her every y so ers) sf e d ti n n li u sa a ra S to o nifer happy and it is: C y e, gl u tr in nce e se b this seem whose pre too good to er side of is in rk e a chd sh u e m at th th s es provid discover s too late t relief and realise , gh li fe li ed ct d fe nee per ark nger. nishing from the d to apply fi terrible da I G C at f th o ct se fa ely e in u th The u en m g o and e away fr k ta t n o o n s its eeriti sphere. o o es of stop-m scary atm ctly balance touches do rk fe o er w p ith a a e , ts n ce li sen hat se Cora s fantasy w tthis is, in es tention to detail is w comedy; it ic f d o re sh ed p a y at d tl at a e age anim its sligh ness with genius. Th it is the f your aver . Although o e, ty in n d li o a y ea en re h er a rd f a o e ev touch peal to Coralin magical g will not ap eld, and is athtaking ive. able nature tanding in its own fi film: thebre particularly impress ts lm u alike. is fi o n d e ly rl re f th child certain other wo first half o adults and htly rm ig a sl ch While the lt to fe lf sure nd ha ly, the seco re specmoved slow was potential for mo e it u q t ere was no rushed: th enes which venture sc d ave allowed a h r o la ls a cu ta srollahzadeh time would re o M . d Sara Pourna realise

F

✰✰✰✰✰

Star Trek

Y

Dir. J.J. Abrams

ou don’t need to be a Trekky in order to enjoy this new, fast paced, action-adventure blockbuster. It starts off with the death of James Kirk’s (Chris Pine) father and Kirks own birth and quickly shows the childhoods of both Spock (Zachary Quinto), the ever logical half Valcan, and Kirk, the human daredevil. Soon they are on the Starship Enterprise's maiden voyage, battling an evil and slightly insane Romulan named Nero (Eric Bana) from the future in order to save federation planets, which includes the Earth. The action is exciting, well choreographed, and carefully split between the the stunts and fights of the actors, and those of the starships. These are well interspersed with slower scenes which move the story along and add a bit of light relief making the film enjoyable and not too intense. However the aliens present in the film were very unrealistic and looked uncannily like

people with tattoos, paint or just pointy ears; luckily they all spoke English, though apparently this is expected in Star Trek and just adds to the charm. Another slight annoyance was with the cinematography which involved annoying amounts of camera shake in the fight scenes which made things a bit hard to follow as well as many unnessasary track and pan shots. The budget was obviously massive with many spectacular sets, effects and props (like Kirks pretty cool gun) but perhaps a bit more could have gone to the costume department Even with these problems it was awesome and thoroughly enjoyable to watch. A must see if you are a fan ofstar trek, and highly recommended if you aren’t.

✰✰✰✰✰ Mike Warren

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Vision's Top 5...

Most Pretentious Films 5. Juno - In 2004, Zach Braff set a new benchmark in mainstream twee with his low budget, low concept, high word count indie flick Garden State. Three years later, Juno moved in on Braff ’s turf. While undisputedly funny, it was quirky and unpretentious in a self-conscious way that served only to propel it in the opposite direction. It dealt with issues, sure; it also featured Velvet Underground’s I’m Sticking With You on the soundtrack 4. Donnie Darko - Donnie Darko is not a bad movie. In fact, it’s a very, very good movie. But that doesn’t absolve it of its crimes: that it revolves around a wilfully confusing time-travelling plot and is irritatingly highbrow in its philosophical musings. Enjoy Donnie Darko, of course, just please don’t be one of those people that relentlessly evangelises it purely because they understood it at all. 3. The Matrix Trilogy - Admit it. You can describe what the Matrix is.Morpheus was talking out of his ass when he said that you couldn’t. Fortunately, the Wachowskis soon realised on what thin philosophical grounds their movie was based, and wisely sought more weighty material to patch up the hole. Unfortunately this didn’t just result in the incredible action scenes we all know and love; it also gave birth to the Architect. 2. Hulk - As Sam Raimi was soon to learn with Spiderman 3, loading a popular superhero with inner demons doesn’t necessarily lead to a coherent and watchable movie. Of course the results of this angry self-reflection varied. Raimi’s Peter Parker discovered Bryllcreem and Step Up, while Ang Lee’s Bruce Banner smashed sinks, beat up dogs and had arguments with his mutant dad. All this might have been forgiven had the movie actually been good; unfortunately, it really wasn’t. 1. Revolver - Disregard the fact that Jason Statham looks like the hideous lovechild of Patrick Bateman and Lemmy. All you need to realise is that Guy Ritchie thought that, with some artful camera angles, a faux-intellectual script and acting featherweights Statham, Ray Liotta and (for God’s sake) Andre Benjamin, he could somehow rejuvenate an exhausted genre that had been firing blanks ever since Goodfellas.

David Elliott


MUSIC SPOTLIGHT FILM

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TELEVISION

MIKE REGAN'S

RELEASE THE

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here are two types of television; there is the cultural and the educational, or there is the trashy and cheap. Some shows are condemned to be filed under the latter moniker, and the best of these celebrate this truth. And the worst of these try to be something they are not, cue ‘Beauty and the Geek’. The premise of the show as far as I could glean from one viewing, is that there are a series of pairs, containing one ‘beauty’ and one ‘geek’. They have to perform a series of supposedly character building tasks, with the aim that they will “change in their ways”. But what are they supposed to be changing? It’s not like they are a set of sex offenders, there just a bit dippy or a bit nerdy. Though apparently both these virtues are frowned upon it seems, and as a result this show will mould our contestants into acceptable social beings. But these types of people are not acceptable social beings, that is why they make for good television. , ‘The Hills’ is centred on a bunch of spoilt, awkward brats, but it is all the better for it. I want to see cringe worthy manipulated social situations and attractive Californians in their bikinis being utter bitches, please don’t make them into nice people. My second gripe is with the title. The ‘geeks’ are just people with bad eyesight, honestly there is nothing nerdy about some of them at all, they just wear glasses. Although the guy called Mario who looks and dresses like the computer game character would definitely have been bullied at school... and rightly so. Similarly the description ‘beauty’ is a somewhat inaccurate way to describe this shed load of sluts. I know beauty is subjective, but some of them were absolute hogs, honestly, the one that won looked like Vanessa Feltz! The plump perma-tanned trollop got $250,000 because she stopped acting like a twat and started being nice to a Geek, for essentially that is what the contestants are supposed to do. That simply isn’t fair, nobody would give me that much money if I did that. Furthermore, the pretty girl isn’t going to go into school and start being nice to the spotty kid with glasses. It just isn’t going to happen. There are social hierarchies, stop trying to break them down. The programme tries to be both moral and trashily entertaining... Paradox? Non?

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got lucky the other day. I wish. I had a spare quid which by some sheer coincidence was not going to be spent on booze or Sainsbury’s Taste the Differences sausages (it’s a thing I have, whack that on my Nectar card and smoke it). So I gave it a go on the National Lottery. I haven’t done it for a while to be honest; you get excited when you are 16 as it is the only thing that is now legal and you are guaranteed to obtain on a frequent basis. You also think that you are going to win. Win BILLIONS. But after 58 times when you fail to get even a smarmy tenner you end up spending it on penny chews once again, or vodka, or Happy Chicken. Now before I move on may I just stress that a proportion of the money all goes to good causes and helps society and underprivileged kids, it’s a beacon of hope, saves britain in deprived areas yadda yadda yadda. So I’m not going to be cynical of the draw themselves. Its mint. But have you actually seen the show? Opened your eyes and glared at the flickering BBC iPlayer at 10.35pm on that idle Wednesday or somewhere afterwards on a Saturday night? I tell thee, and I tell thee sweetly. The show is mindfuck alley, and you are up for a bouncy ride. The French have their own variation of the lottery. Oh yes they do. The show lasts approximately 36 seconds. Women comes out. Speaks French. Machine reveals itself. It whirls away. The balls come out. She reads out the numbers in french. World rejoices. AU REVIOUR! But no not in the UK. Not only does the opening titles involve vaults, lazers, applause, flying machines and the voice of the balls but Ladies and

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Gentlemen... It’s Judy Etchingham (*chokes on food*). Who? Oh look here comes Daniel O’Donnell. OH MY GOD HERE COMES TIM VINCENT. What follows is six and a half minutes how good causes money is helping achieve the spurring enlightenment of the human spirit and before even the word ‘draw’ is uttered into one’s mouth a G list celebrity gets summoned into shot. Last week they had Richard Fleeshman, yes that’s right THE RICHARD FLEESHMAN. He spent what seemed to be nine min-

"456th time this ball has been released since June 29th 1999. Kill me now." utes talking about his new CD (which is available in all major department stores and independent shops), before an action sequence of applause and self-wallowing tripe. C’mon we need to zee the balls Judy (etc.). I’m clutching my ticket and sitting on the seat like I’ve got mild constipation and I don’t need to know about what this new single means to them and whether they draw their inspiration from Elton John. I just want to see whether I can win a billion quid. The machines roll into view. Its a machine, I’ll be honest with you. Bits come in and bits go out. But by any reason they

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hype it up like its the next space mission. Tonight’s machine is Excaliber. Unleash Avengence. Here comes Typhoid. Then before they can proceed with their automatic blender they have to contact ‘Mission Control’, i.e.a little balcony at the top of the studio who will be overseeing the festivites to make sure that it doesn’t break the Geneva Convention or something. However all that is revealed when the camera zooms to this area one of the audicators seem to be ringing for a pizza while the other one seems to have fobbed off for a piss. Then the rando irreplaceable lines between the presenter and ‘Mission Control’ ARE WE CLEAR TO PROCEED? YES WE ARE PLEASED TO PROCEED. Fuck me. The balls start whirling. Here it goes. Here comes my money. The announcer and the climatic tension music are ready to role. Dur-dur-durdur-dur-durrrr... It's 43.. That’s the 43rd time that this number has been released since 2005 and £43 million has been given to good causes since I last ate my breakfast. Durr-durr-durrdurr-durr.. Six... Six rhymes with twix that not covered in chocolate looks like sticks, 456th time this ball has been released since June 29th 1999. Kill me now. Why the commentary?! Is someone from Spalding keeping a journal of every statistic? I don’t care how many times the number 35 have appeared. But its someone’s job, someone duty in life, to keep a note and research every bloody sum. It’s just too much. It needs to be boring. It's how things are just suppose to work. ‘And here is your weather... WITH LAZERS’. ‘Here is Derek with the business and financial news... UNLEASH THE PIGEONS’!

SCOTT BRYAN

SCREEN GRAB - BY MARTIN WILLIAMS AND JIM NORTON

Who's pressing Amanda Holden's buzzer?

Sir Alan gets back from the toilet.

Top Gear eat imaginary corn-on-the-cob.


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GAMES Vision's top Brutal Badasses Kevin Day and Chris Craddock reveal their favorite all-time hardened heroes.

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will quite happily admit that whilst I find most enjoyment in a deep, challenging and thought-provoking game, I am also a stickler for cliche-ridden macho action games. Therefore, how can I choose any other character but Augustus Cole of the Gears of War series? Seriously, look at the guy - he is pumped to the max. He can probably crush someone's head w i t h those biceps. Prior to t h e events of the first

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Classics: Legend

Zelda: Ocarina

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here’s definitely a danger in trying to write something new, in a short review, of a game revisited so regularly and in such great depth, generally from the dizzy peak of a 100 greatest list. Nevertheless this is the games page, and for one week only the legendary Craddock’s Classic has been outsourced, so the attempt must be made. The very fact that Ocarina of Time manages to overcome its ridiculous plot is a towering testament to its quality. The series’ recurring protagonist, Link, together with his fairy companion Navi, is tasked with stopping the dastardly Ganondorf from getting his thieving gypsy hands on the Triforce, a mystical item that will give him dominion over all creation. And this is Nintendo, so, naturally, Link has to save a princess along the way, using a not so natu-

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olid Snakehas to the biggest bad-ass of all-time. The man simply has everything you could want. He is always the underdog in every fight (my favourite being fighting a giant walking tank with a rocket launcher or going hand-to-hand with a cyborg ninja) but always comes back wanting more. Yet, most importantly, he always maintains a sense of humour. The best example of this stunning wit is when he shoots down Liquid Snake’s helicopter and after the explosion says, “that takes care of the cremation.” You don’t get any better than that. Snake destroys other games characters like Mario and Link, who do good for good’s sake. This guy is given a mission and he does it. No questioning why or who he fights. If you stand in his way he always kills you, whether you be an undying vampire or some crazy psycho bitch it doesn’t really matter. This legend of a man cripples his best friend by throwing him into a minefield and beats his identical twin brother to death with his bare hands. What more could you want? Maybe defeating an entire Russian special unit, oh wait he does! In short, Snake’s determination, ingenuity and distinctive charm all culminate into a video game hero that people just love to play as. I mean, there’s no other video character I’d rather watch open a can of whoop-ass and no one else can save the world like Snake.

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ral time travelling ocarina. Get past the padding however and you hit the real meat of the game, a titanic monument to production that has arguably not been replicated to the same extent since. Almost every facet of the game, from the cinematic cut-scenes down to the fight system, was utterly revolutionary at the time. The extensive integration of Koji Kondo’s fantastic music into both plot progression and gameplay was a masterstroke matched only in immersion value by the coherent, consistent fantasy world that Nintendo effectively gave you free reign to explore. Everything in Ocarina of Time is seem-

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game it's revealed that the 'Cole Train' (as he is often known) played as a defensive lineman in a game called 'thrashball'. I don't even know what that is but it sounds pretty fucking awesome to me. Cole talks a good game too - providing gamers with one of the most memorable moments in Gears of War 2. Deep into Locust territory, Delta Squad come across a microphone which the Train uses to his best talents and calls out to the Horde: "You grubby-ass bitches are goin' down! Like way down-- dead down... so down you don't even know which way is up!" For those that think Cole is all talk and no action, I need only point out his single-handed attack on a Locust ambush. In one fluid movement, he effortlessly slices a locust in two with his chainsaw, pivots, sticks a grenade into another and finishes his flourish by popping a third enemy's head with a lancer rifle. Now that is badass.

ingly tailored to fit what anyone could want from a game. Crucially, that is as true now as it was whenever it was released 11 years ago.

David Elliott

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Chris Craddock suggests five games that can revive any woeful gathering

1.

Singstar 2- Please take it from my personal experience that this game doesn’t revive parties but instead makes them. Everything about it is perfect for the ideal get down. Yet the main reason why this game tops my chart is because it is the only one that gets better the more alcohol that is consumed. Slurred lyrics and strained vocals, it just can’t get any better. Who needs to go out to have fun anyway.

2. Buzz - Coming in at a close second on my list, Buzz is fantastic

game to play with a large group. One of the best features of this game is it takes photos of unsuspecting victims in some of the worse poses imaginable. Completely justified when you look back on them.

3.

Rock Band 2 - This can and has made parties (obviously not the best ones) and with a wide list of epic songs to rock out to, sleep is often rendered unnecessary. However, this game requires some skill to successfully play and therefore may cause untold frustration to drunk trying to drum along to Livin’ On A Prayer.

4.

Mario Kart - It doesn’t really matter which one; they all achieve the same general effect. It’ll have everyone screaming at the T.V. and swearing at that fucking blue shell that always takes them out. It’s a brilliant game that can create a brilliant party. The only reason it's so low on my list is because it may cause irreversible damage to friendships but that’s a price worth paying.

5. Halo 3 - Either stick your friends with plasmas or bash their

skulls in with the butt of your gun, it’s all fun. Explosions, aliens, a superman killing machine, Halo 3 has everything and if that’s not your idea of good party then I just don’t want to know you.

Reviews%

Kevin Day sums up new gaming releases in one line because two is just too many Afro Samurai (PS3, X360): Mediocre hack ‘n’ slash redeemed only by its stunning visuals and a grand performance by Samuel L. Jackson. Space Invaders Extreme (NDS, PSP, XBLA): Take Space Invaders and add TECHNO TECHNO TECHNO! Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball (XBLA, Wii): Holy shit! Pirates! Ninjas! Dodgeball! But the best ever game concept fails epically in translation.


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at the completion of a book hen I was 16 I read an ters enegger admits that it was Niff incredible book. I have through writing her new read a lot of amazing only that she was able to stop el nov daz both books but this one was r Henry The “mooning around ove zling and haunting at once. re.” Cla and rey Time Traveler's Wife by Aud Inevitably time travelinNiffenegger is a book of such has its drawbacks and ling uty bea and credible complexity of the book will refans it. n that I have never forgotte the amputation ber mem r Several vodka-filled years late ry’s feet as possibly Hen of Vias y acit cap ent in my omnipot m, the most horrific moment sion Books Editor I, on a whi of the novel. This aspect site looked up the author’s web an of the novel had always and sent an email requesting t bothered me as seeming tha by lied rep interview. She an unnecessarily macabre evening, without the help of d- but Audrey explained rea agent (quelle surprise!), n it was necessary for ily offered her time, and eve - the structure and inher of g kin thin thanked ME for s tegrity of the novel as .they just don’t make author a whole: “I am interlike that anymore. ested in setting up For those of you who remain rules for a book, and vTra e Tim The unenlightened then letting things ellers Wife is at its heart a lovet happen which are tha story. The twist however is se ly the direct result of tho Henry, our hero, is random So if you have an involun- com par is. rule forwn thro ably down and uncontroll e, tary time traveller plopped west, sons drawn to wards and backwards in tim the Mid in ter win in ed nak ter es be the American wri which understandably mak eventually there’s going to e Edward Gorey, famous for girl his h wit dy” stea “going frostbit but some problems with ghoulish illustrations. challenging. Confusing, yes, ia. Henry is very his erm oth hyp and gger becomes most ks. ene s Niff it works, oh how it wor resourceful, but this event lead n discussI had always thought of the to a period of foreknowledge of enthusiastic whe her two of on idea uni this the did ing ere “wh t n nce tha questio r- death, and some accepta talents: “Words and imrtrait come from?” as being tho trol his fate, but has con ’t can he y's Self Po ed, e triv r are precise in different con s d age u A oughly mundane and gs.” thin h a to make the best of ways. In combination, they yet when dealing with suc We were getting along swim- have a marvellous range of k boo tive gina ima and g dazzlin sidering of mingly and I was con possibility; you can have immersed in a whirlwind some form of pen-pal ing gest sug t things going to wn dra elf made a very differen praise I found mys - relationship, but then I and in the text. ally visu on tran ct this very question. And the sur ted fatal mistake. I feel a dire e: The best illustration com prising thing, I really wan n the ption is necessary her upo s scri and r, exp eve and how ts r gge men ene to know. Niff , what are we to exor Audrey as I now know her : The film adaptation is due for words.” So multi-talented does not seem to know herselfI release this year. Have you been pect from this debut and, as se e; who blu t the elis of nov out from e process “it cam ase involved in the filming of yet only novel was a nation was drawing, and the phr e much? peo t tha k boo a cam ler, ' tsel wife bes al 'the time traveller’s they if e. n Nop eve of n rd dow hea ple have into my head. I jotted it e had the pleasure of and began to imagine who thes r Bana and have not c Eri themselves. Her thei it t g wha din and rea be, people might Rachel McAdams Fearful SymHer el nov lives might be like.” are said to be tak- new sounds every bit as creary T h e ing the lead roles- met as its predecessor: it “is a process do you feel they tive story, set in present-day st of writing will do justice to gho don’s Highgate Cemetery. Lon of tion itself howcrea r you of young American ever seems the characters A pair Julia and Valentina ns, twi less rather of Henry and Poole, inherit a flat bordering romantic Clare? t the cemetery from their aun than I had I don’t know. don Lon to e com and Elspeth, imagined. in it. The book follows Surprisingly A frosty re- to live encounters with their odd r thei Audrey did ception to say urs, their struggle to not write her the least. The neighbo and be independent masterpiece big screen grow up discovery that their r lying on a tarada pta tion and thei become a ghost and tan rug in the of Niffeneg- aunt has in the flat”. Niffenegmiddle of a field ger’s debut is stuck is crafted in is ger’s description of corn as I has novel Atheis tic terms that plis sim e sam the but , ned in envisio due out Atheis t or theist? ept time acc to s der rea wed allo le t. rather the who August of plausible. Sometimes boiled process this year; travel as W r . are i tin down to a rather s u f f i c e things just does not like film Both. g or drawi So she ng? simple combinato say it of not t s, (at leas tion of “lots of cofdoes not adaptation els), and it has A ll’s f her own nov fee and rewriting”. seem likely that she False. air in love a said that considering be to What a n re. mie Interestingly the pre frighte d war. true work is will be attending the ; her most famous or fal ning id her for disjointed composiy sorr feel F r eve veli how Tra se? lm ad ea. Time er- I do a p tion of the novel reflects its e the author-sells-rights-to-novel- entitled The t a D t lled e i spe p o mis e n she “Th e n er: Wif s ord d s to be ler’s ratic chronological And w s. Whose b or the orig ps and-then-loses-input seem if she “traveler” a considerable in o ho’s di manuscript evolves in jum her ask I e. rectin ok are we ta al book? them mon ugh com thro a es ing tim g the m lking a and starts. I wrote the end I found it at all intrusive to have number of L o o rdbout? v v e at fi ie? out her email-but rega has r t first, then parts of the middle. tha s y t stor S a pt s o ada e r i m eon gge g som ene h e Niff from rey k t p Aud wor , e d ople sa her own less do know writers who y so; I oes it exist? of extraor’t been so finely crafted to would beginning to end, but I can answers is a writer she E and -b s, ion n’t kno ens The o dim and o k ks- br y dinary beauty w, mys enjo ’t seem to do it that way. I wor didn c i “I e y: n estl n g hon is te t e i qui Wif u elf. n h er’s eac r vell g g Tra y e shin fini Tim e, o r e r t a eren scene by scen w diff y d A ver o i has n ood r b k of th g into ig hea it. Hollyw book that will haunt a d e do. I a n t one as I go”. d tha c b h gs h e le e 21st vil? e, bu d re notions about thin When Audrey says she likes It was a learning experience, as you. that’s aders. Fatal t probably g on, f rati o t r gge o r e exa no a b is s it t u o rite ok des re. for dis to re-w ign, k- they say”. aNiffenegger’s second she tells me she has been wor Vision After this temporary set- novel Her Fearful 'Her el o nov ng r N fort o V ing on her upcomi com e u mor i o sion!* se? for last back I move ont els Symmetry is due Fearful Symmetry' for the able ground, her graphic nov umn. rs aut hou this ng ase ndi rele Spe rs. yea ter *Discl pain seven m and artwork. A talented gger’s (And the film vertually aimer Miss each day locked alone in a roo as novelist, Niffene l wel e as Tim in asked N The only of t exis sion stuous with people who this qu iffene gger a graphic novels The Ince ress Traveler’s Wife in w as n estion entu your imagination may seem ot ac. ask Sisters and The Adv , with August!) I n whe and g ntin dau e littl e won great acclaim hav raccha her ses mis her if she

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A Stitch in Time Vision's Jennifer Keogh talks to author AUDREY

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Take 5 Mills and Boon Novels

Victoria Lovegreen

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Coraline Neil Gaiman £6.99 HarperTrophy

Toodleoodle” and “oompah oompah” play the mice in The S Coraline, the h e ikh’s Stabl best-seller from e V irgin by Sh Girl British author aron Kend that Neil Gaiman. rick the S The p re f e certainly heikh It hero r expla re d , of th would c a fandeserves n l o b i a s s u t e o h t rathe r ry ta ing p he m to her h as he g ave r sel o l fare. f u Kaliq lo playing e is the e r s o t r w ea pr s fa First published in 2002, Coraline is is th Al’Faris Sheikh P dash- b ther and otect her lises that e currently enjoying a revival in interest ble g local sh i.Our he rince wefore he camake her from her r thanks to the recent film animation. It is there irl Eleni. y Calistan oine c ith her. T n truly enfeel loved lassic his n joy be i O s not the first of Gaiman’s novels to be transstah b ound invol o , o f i a v n s e g co l th t t v ferred to the big screen - in 2007 Stardust hear ed in th o be horse urse s e tender he playboy is a true was a hit at the box office - and you can disap you say! is encoun -play i age as goo lover; a m becomes n understand why. Gaiman’s imagination is mom point! It is And it do ter I e this lite d as any to oral mesent o ratur s e be fou c cape, s l so vivid that his often nightmarish imagery n e ’ a t this p r from ur he e . n h Y d i o o n seems designed for the cinema experience. her, retty girl ro set ey the l nuendos. wever, th u cannot h e i It comes as no surprise then that Gaiman er tr owever s that he w s on e kes his w An examp e riding o o began his career writing graphic novels, and unlov ubled souhe is a ants ms; wild, wi men like le: ‘Kaliq Coraline itself was produced in this way folher ed and l. Left fe rath- I aster!’ Fo lling and his horse c h lowing its initial release. the h ruel fath unwantedeling t have cho r that rea e’s their s a m son a he be sen t orse er w by urn Although a children’s book, Coraline c b s l h o e t h r i n r a M s o t e cing a i n ly ills an as on owns ent n g a lot to teach the rest of us, especialm have c may e i i e d h r g c a B o u s mo f oon n an re b a i t s h e ovels ly in today’s world of instant gratification. pas r Arrle e w . o g l n g age Drawing on the simple notion of the grass s i o his The Fdelaide Co id ds, the or a being greener on the other side, Gaiman f n by A u m l o a s s t as it on flower retty a propo atisfies n spins a fable of the perils accompanying p e c f o o s o inn pin me and s ated that As par t d for an alternate life that may at times seem so Not as and Boon s s back in ti the . e e r t d u is c oncer ne tion, no appealing. d Mills ging sends ’s. Emma, se n a c c c u colle er ‘eroti elivall When Coraline Jones finds herself arran early 1900 manor ho ing e c i d p t the S even hot this book aving her new house during a rainy sumin bored H to the in the large as a bur n nd i s their al stories’ scenes s ather mer, she decides to go exploring. But what maid rd Riggs, h r herself a ow Mistre t o r u x fa s e e a o t c s e n sen n the she discovers when she steps through of L ion to bet er shop. Hhat His ss, e bee this is he realises th e. The w the stu at ers o would hav d storylin gh an a forgotten door is not quite what she ambit er own flo so...well t on T I e n r e r t n is u ms ing red g h beau wha l and jad g, altho ok is had expected: a parallel universe, in open habout doin lls and Boith t -h y e w b a h a y Trish de ith ad a nig i typic ical settinof the bo wearwhich her sinister ‘other mother’ and to go ere the M Sleeping w to ht of s whom he ha d o W r n t o y t e t e s iz d l ! r h s i n z m i e. a li n o h is w comes in men seem es. ‘other father’ are determined she will 1910’s ate p e, bo tainly nth earlier. ng passion demon intric inaccurat ut by the m this Wylie magic ome young o poor wag he forever. Along with her trusty cat as stay s w t c o o r o e y r ates th s rld of rWhen ver ad died t apart f nt u hands solution t mind, for rk, a M Coraline must fight to return companion, o t il c in ls c a h nd play th a r a book t ing ample, bu on my a top 5. can defi nd Boon, wo e be he he does no joys her wo an home and save her true parents in e w e x c it e h r i n n s t h k n m r a it s e o f a r v e i f ly v la s T nd Th the process. one o obser he ma ery raunchy be mixed articu ent goal a writanal efinitely in cha has a ere is one p ar rangem of outcom Chilling to both children and adults d a t e n r s n d a t i e cters M . Alex h it to c cele but th whom the esired tha the Coraline acts a reminder of the alike, a e v r e r r b o som ing 10 w r with be most d Riggs has and Bo 0 years of a t e them e-worthy ba e amazingly universality of fear, but shies away from d d l M n o r , y u n t o i o e a lls u’re in L you kn wo becoming clichéd through its originality of each o s both try r between for a aster. ow t scene: her m premise and tight structure. Coraline is an in cosmtreat! Picture hat their ther and the to convince there is re m the opolit endearing heroine, and Gaiman’s prose is stay st lationship th selves that project the million-p an Dublin is rictly sparing and lucid but always on the mark. o u t p o y rofessio time will pical Alex F f playboy nd hotel nal. The simplicity and matter of fact it female rich male a bit o zgerald, wh architect plot lin and lo The the telling, along with its comic eleof style f help o need u e w p h ly a w s tion, c ments, give this book a charm mirroring alls Me with his decoing upbrinith the rath beennspiced It is n that of its chief character, but Gaiman is not ot until rrow O’Conn ra- fact t ging of Mer er unusual hat row ell they m afraid to address certain broader and more eet fac . differenc she refuses and the Temporary Doc e th e t sophisticated issues - indeed Coraline has em affe s between th o let the Surprise Fathertor life, especially as ct her t e two been noted by critics for its use of Freudian o he o f o much is as handby Lynne Marsh some as ever. Th . theories of the uncanny. all e sexual tension builds througho brilCoraline’s ut the novel With all the hosp but Jan holds ou liance has not gone unrecognised. ita l dr am t, at as le as on both British t for a good while; for an It is the winner of 13 literature sh television Mills d American she needs to tell e has a secret and Boon would awards to date, and prompted hi m e l th t at be missing out t he i l is the father of he on the Independent on Sunday to sing lie u r child! m e a r did not get on th a trick if they r e i Definitely a chee ive f re is all th other Cha e, e bandwagon describe it as “Delicate and t i s sy r e and release thei plot line, but no g n n. Th of Lila’s b ess Jasmin ri r own series of a extraordinary, it reads like k m a wo rs e M medical romance ma inc ory than something Alice in Wonderland crossed in the sub-st is wife Pr ky in their dentcons s e one of the best. s; and here is c i n c cocted by “Casua Th with Stephen nd h d been lu and coinc amPri a James a s lty i ” H the one-time refo e male lead is s r a script writers. Th ho h rangement njoying a bly King”. f thi w o Meliss e y e b n Dr Beck Braxto rmed bad-boy hospital setting ge ar love and e presuma n heroi ion ahead a n who has turn Gaiman adds a final twist i r e do h es t d i n’ t ed really ad his life around ma ecis er, ente sta, ere in an d that much to to the end of his story, and la Co s a tough dh of her fath ht, ly w sex life, inv ment of the xpecti L become a doctor d decided to the storyline, ap ig at ha nt se nti . it is deft touches like these art from story, With the de ncess over nDuke pa case the se ome reader a realist ring hospitals he After transferthe odd momen s l n which help to establish him e i f a pri f her. y ’r t of adreno d a o f l u t o s o R u u old local LA hosp arrives at his e aline as the doct com hed to the ught up in ory p e sex. If y act you wo is e t as one of the great children’s b ita s l wh e or er h e an t he s a d finds himself wo mor etro she nurse team have ut th , in f e is c authors of the moment. You to work nd is bralia. As sh igh society nd, ing ’d hate this nd Boon, b steamy a gorgeous nurse rking with the to gether to save a Ja can imagine those awards of h r best frie t you ll Mills a bout the Aust d r f pa n a o tie i nt h woman who had n, the , c u a a lw e o but as a champi will just keep on coming. e whir ted from h nder with for hate finitely less en the main there on to this h t heart thirteen ye broken his new genre of M gs air para oby Wi s de nes betwe n p i i e ar l s s s ag e t e o. ed e s d u Ja ic f i al n o Mills cannot believe th and Boon Roman n, T with e ab x sce r true o not ces it is one firema mitting he struggling how se ters (but d ) and mor itment. Beck has change e way in which of the best. e d t m c s a i m u a d, r m o b an e o o s d , c the fate ev to that brought hi who f Lila ll are ip and Toby m back in her him. told love o with a Duke iety? sti e, friendsh v n c o e o u l t pe ns his rank i he com l, and could able for her conquer al ut it is suit e love does edictable, b this r u Yes tr ll a little p em such as ve to it is a within a g uld ever ha ss or y o is onl a woman w ing a prince sen, novel between be scle-bound e u s m o o a h c g with elopin

Isobel Shipp


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OUTSIDER Art FROM THE INSIDE ANDREW NICHOLS DISCUSSES THE KOESTLER TRUST WITH PRISON ARTIST, DEAN STALHAM

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nyone who has read A r t h u r Koestler’s groundbreaking novel Darkness at Noon cannot help but be shocked by the depiction of the physiological effect of incarceration; it was perhaps the author’s repulsion at the idea and effects of confinement that led him to found The Koestler Trust, a charitable organisation that aims to help offenders and other detainees to lead more positive lives by motivating them to participate and achieve in the arts. The Trust has grown in stature and it is now the biggest charity in the world for offender art, with the annual Koestler Awards receiving over 5,000 entries in 52 different art forms including graphic design, film and wood carving. Entries are judged by experts from the respective fields and the winning entries are exhibited each year. This year’s exhibit is taking place at the Southbank Centre, an indication of the respect the Award scheme now receives. Although this may seem like a naive, idealised, leftwing initiative, that removes the punishment element of incarceration, the experts seem to agree that the arts are a valid means to achieving lasting rehabilitation amongst inmates. Anne Owers, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, claims the beauty of the Koestler Awards is that “For the very first time, prisoners have something they can be proud of and where they show they can achieve something,” she says. “You first have to get prisoners to believe in themselves.” I spoke to one former inmate who is testament to the success of the Awards, Dean Stalham. After serving three and a half years in prison and winning several Koestler Awards for writing for the stage and mixed media he has continued to work in the arts. “Since my release in 2006 I’ve had four plays on, two at the Union Theatre Suffolk, I’ve had a reading at the ICA [The Institute of Contemporary

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Arts] and just recently I’ve had a poem emblazed across 24 posts at the Chelsea Flower Show.” The project at the Chelsea flower show was commissioned by The Eden Project to raise awareness about homelessness. It featured spraypainted images by Stalham of homeless people emblazoned across several boards, and a poem by him adorned the posts of the installation. Since speaking to me the project has won a silver medal at the show, testament to the skills he developed with the help of the Koestler Trust. When speaking to Dean he kept returning to the issue of confidence, he recalls when he won his first award, describing the effect that the handing out of the award in the prison had on him. “It’s great for self esteem; it gives you good encouragement and a link to the outside world.” In order to spread that confidence amongst the inmates partaking in artistic endeavors the Trust runs a mentoring scheme, which Dean describes as “a stepping stone into society, helping you access further education, galleries, and all that sort of stuff. They pair you up with a mentor who is an industry professional, in whatever field you are in. They take you to two meetings inside prison and then ten meetings outside of prison over the course of a year, by which point hopefully you are confident enough to continue on your own.” However the work of the trust does raise certain moral issues. Recently London’s Royal Festival Hall was forced to remove a piece of art purchased from the Koestler Trust after the artist of the anonymous pieces was revealed to be a convicted child sex killer, Colin Pitchfork. Many would argue that due to the magnitude of his crimes Pitchfork relinquished his opportunity to have work publicly displayed, and the pleasure that having work appreciated can have. However the work was displayed anonymously and thus any offence caused to the victim’s family must be blamed on the newspaper that revealed the work's author rather than the trust. The moral dilemma that faces us is whether it is possible to separate the beauty of a piece of art, and admire the talents of the artist whilst

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still deploring his crimes. In a way the creation of the art removes the ability of the public to demonise some offenders as evil, destructive individuals, only capable of evil and brings the sometimes unwanted realisation that they are normal people, who may have done terrible acts. This issue is complicated by the very name of the trust we have been discussing, Arthur Koestler, a well respected and renowned author was himself suspected of raping and beating several women. Although both men perpetrated horrendous acts of depravity Koestler is considered a genius and Pitchfork is considered a menace and inhuman. Ultimately the aim of the Koestler Trust is to reduce the number of victims of crime, although there are no quantative figures of artists reoffending rates, prison leaders feel that education of prisoners is key to bringing down reoffending levels. The former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Lord Ramsbotham is convinced “of the immense value of the arts to the rehabilitation process”, with figures from a 2003 Home Office Report that suggest that 37% of the prison population had a reading age of under 11 anything that can give confidence and skills to inmates, or allows inmates to work through psychological problems can only be congratulated. “Without this opportunity to show our art, many of us would have no incentive, we would stay locked in ourselves as much as the walls that hold us.”


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et’s face it, to the uneducated (slightly ignorant), indeed, typical student, The Vagina Monologues is assumed to be an hour and a half of women talking about shagging. Of course I knew it was an internationally successful production, often featuring ‘celebrity’ guest performers, (Denise Van Outen, Carole Smilie et al), and perhaps this contributed to my vision of some sort of post watershed Loose Women. In fact it would be fair to say that I had entered into the theatre anticipating a gimmicky, moderately sensationalist production to alternately snigger at and be mildly shocked by. As the boy swigging vodka towards the back would suggest, I was not alone in this sentiment. But I was wrong. The pro-

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duction, staged by the Women’s Association as part of the international ‘V Day,’ initiative, a “global movement to stop violence against women and girls”, raising money and awareness through creative events, had a simple premise. No set, no soundtrack, no obvious costume, simply a cast of women, discussing their experiences. Beginning upbeat and punchy, with the three narrators compelling the audience to consider their own perceptions. This was particularly memorable when the question ‘What would your Vagina wear?’ was followed by an extensive list of genuine answers from genuine woman. The performance then moved rapidly into monologues, which provided the backbone of the play. Performed with a commitment to character and script that was particularly admirable in such a young cast, covering such sensitive issues, they flitted rapidly from light hearted and humorous to touchingly sad. The upbeat, if bittersweet, ‘Little Coochie Snorcher that could,’ contrasted with the moving account of a Bosnian rape victim who left the audience with a staggering sense of pathos. The ability to transform the atmosphere of a room so drastically within the space of five or ten minutes is impressive, and was something the cast had in abundance. That said, while the performances were strong, I found myself a little too uptight and English for the script. I was unable to fully appreciate the whimsical references to the metaphorical ‘autumn field songs,’ sung by, yup, Vaginas. And while it was a crowd pleaser, the, ahem, climax of the show; a five minute multiple orgasm performed by the entire cast was a bit cliché for me. My companions and I left the theatre inevitably dumbstruck, the silence broken with a resolute ‘Well that was good.’ Once past the cliché and occasional implausibility, the script, augmented by fine performers, had actually taken us for a ride on the proverbial ‘rollercoaster of emotions.’ So while I won’t be pondering ‘what my Vagina would wear’ any time soon, I will be recommending that readers seek this show out. Just don’t be expecting Loose Women with the 'c' word, and probably leave the vodka at home.

By Emily Brunwin

STRICTLY COME OPEN DRAMA BARN DANCING By Emily Hodges SUCCESS By Ruth Gallie

y ednesda g . ople, W y dress, e p t Ziggy’s s y evenin o om fanc course, out, I spent m y the s f n o a , pen Drama Night saw the Barn reaching full capacity last e d m n ight les, a night nce b week, as students crammed in to see Drama Soc. Reduced. for sing the standard n llet perfor ma allet might s le ip b tr a The cast of 101 Ways to Pretend you’re Not Forty (this tead of atching the b night at the and it’s cers in t u B any. A ents, yal, w week’s production in the Barn), gave their audience a slick run atre Ro l Ballet Comp for most stud me. But if any ed to e h T e e oya of sharp and funny sketches parodying every play performed, or par y ti at th us choic are pre gham R pend m to be performed, by Drama Soc this year. Bir min like the obviold nor mally s happen if you m had The skits varied from an explicitly incestuous satire of not see ot where I wouwed what can t h ig n Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge to Joe DiPietro and tainly n y evening sho t for a change. dance before tosure about n l m n u a r , e o r g s ic ss wa ew thin Jimmy Roberts’ musical, I Love You, You’re perfect, Now diffe with cla dn’t hav ger, so I ething do som ly experiences en I was youn r mance. I nee nt it acted as Change, condensed into about five minutes. The strong cast of h a e perfo evening me ompletely My on et lessons w nine kept their audience laughing (occasionally edging towards th m o fr e c ll been ba ch I would get e set-up of th of ballet, and de up of three hysterical laughter) throughout the entire performance. One th a u ld e m r m s o f s u how particularly memorable moment, was the image of Dan Wood, h, beca ction to the w . The show wa The amount o g u o th ried clothed in a giant horse costume, hip-thrusting his way across trodu ers like me style. e were kept in n t w c o fe e r the pe le to newcom ach with their t the audienc off their hug the stage in a hilarious spoof Peter Shaffer’s Equus. accessib rfor mances, e t not only tha ny could show The succession of the sketches deviated slightly, when n e a a p p e e t c r m m n o o sh instead of giving a preview of 101 ways, director and he Da mes ffered ance c o d ‘T n e d o n th ti a t ’ ies tha varia costu producer, Max Tyler and Lee Tyrrell-Hendry, presented alanter ted, but e plain interes f talent too. night, ‘Gfor mances. Th ncers themWaiting for Godot, the pantomime version. The Beckett e th f lo o range o st two pieces red-back per was on the da with just a so parody proved to be yet another highlight. a r d p s fi m e , u r e c m le h fo r p fo T Although the barn was heavily populated by memre sim eant all the es were perfo the lead per cing. e w ’ e s Hou bers of Drama Soc, the jokes were not lost on those tage m of the danc ld go to ith their dan s u o ty h p s m e y rais pernd w jorit and e less local to the drama scene, particularly as the play mpany pecial p pellbou The ma selves. on stage, and s ole audience s o finish, the coith a playful, reached its climax: the improvised musical. On the h T r w e . w e c ’, e c n e s n e m n s a th o d spot, the group answered the audiences’ request to eping et to c te Syncopatio and their pre the e y k s r a w fo t ers e bes devise a musical based on the theme of Jurassic Park ed ‘Eli to the stage otted around he th ll a r, c e v e e c How ely pie and moved on the dancers d how to life. T ce with the opening setting of the roof on a French chateau. v li a d of eb le s dien for me The action escalated from a feud between the infamous eme. Thg with the rest ought the who ces had the au ing th s u c h r ir n n g c Attenborough brothers to a spontaneous me, alo of the stage b ling perfor ma ated, and lau comic tu s o c in dazz edge raptor rap and ultimately a can-can from the fascin of the more wns entire cast, singing to the theme tune at some etween the clo b o f Steven Spielberg’s popular dances masters. g f in o r film. and vening nce to e ty li a A qu a cha d the inment, enterta nice dress, an how s a n n a o uc put eling yo r houssmug fe your hungove llet s a toward e next day? B first s mates thot be everyone but t, might n for a night ou the t though go; judging by ne left a it e everyo iv n g faces as ight just be fu g in il sm , it m e tr a e the th as well.

T

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LISTINGS

What Not To Miss . . DRAMA SOC DOES THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR

Friday-Sunday, Week 5, 7.30pm Tickets £3.00 - £4.50 The Drama Barn Head down to the drama barn for Drama Soc's weekly offering, a satirical tale of corruption in Tsarist Russia.

ZAMAR GOSPEL CHOIR

Friday 29th May £3.00 Admission Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall Zamar gospel choir performs music from both sides of the Atlantic, ranging from traditional spirituals to gospel tracks. The choir, with a smaller semi-chorus, numbers around 50 singers who are often accompanied by piano and other instruments

LANGWITH ARTS FESTIVAL

30th May 2009, 10.00am-5.00pm Free Admission A day of performances and workshops from yorks finest artistic talents, with a variety of music, dance, poetry and art work, all absolutely free! Bring a picnic and chill out for as long or as little as you like.


MUSIC

SPOTLIGHT

FILM

TV

GAMES

BOOKS

CULTURE

LISTINGS

20 questions ewen macintosh Most famous for his role as Big Keith in The Office, Ewen Macintosh has succeeded in making scotch eggs funny. He was born in 1973 and has appeared in some of Britain's best-loved comedies including Little Britain and Lead Balloon. His current project, Toyboize, is a comedy series about a ficticious band.

1) When were you happiest? Probably childhood Christmases

2) What's on your mind?

That’s a very Facebooky thing to ask...

7) Who are your heroes?

Woody Allen, Bill Hicks, Kenny Dalglish

8) What were you like as a kid?

3) What are your strengths?

Very into books, acting and all that nonsense.

4) Scotch eggs or Creme Eggs?

9) What would you like to achieve in the next five years?

ment... Come find me- twitter.com/ewenmacintosh

10) And before you die?

16) What’s your guilty pleasure?

I got to grade 5 on the clarinet!

Creme!

5)Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Mr Methane

6) Favourite TV programme of all time?

Can never choose between Twin Peaks and The Larry Sanders Show

Write a successful sitcom and film.

Watch Liverpool lift the Premiership title!

11) What are you scared of?

“I’d never join a club that would have someone like me as a member”

12) Who would play you in a movie of your life?

18) What would the world be better without?

It’s tough isn’t it? Pitt or Clooney, Pitt or Clooney?....

13) Who’s the funniest person you know?

The home of Indie music in York thinks this Manchester three-piece could be as good as THAT OTHER BAND. Probably not, but they have already supported Oasis and The Enemy this year. Should be a good ol' romp.

Friday

29

IDIOTEQUE Fibbers Doors 10.30pm-3am Tickets £3.50 advance (from Vanbrugh stalls Wednesday, Thursday, Friday week 5) or £5 otd DJ’s include: SIMONSAYS [idioteque] Daniel Sitkin [idioteque] Horatio [UYR] idiotequeyork.co.uk

breakzdjs.com

WAX: ON Saturday 30th May At Leeds Uni’s Union Doors 10.30pm – 5am Tickets: £15 advance plus booking fee DJ’s include: Erol Alkan Boys Noize People Get Real Caspa

19) What are you most proud of? Not ruining The Office! (Some would disagree!)

14) What was the last album you listened to?

20) Tell us a joke.

Lincoln by They Might Be Giants- for me it’s their masterpiece

picks of the weekBREAKZ & BASE PRESENTS BENGA Ziggys Doors 9pm to 3am Tickets £5 from Yourshop

Toughie..... Questionnaires?

I am surrounded by clowns!

I am into this twitter thing at the mo-

TWISTED WHEEL Fibbers

17) Favourite quote?

Running out of ideas.

15)How do you relax?

28.05 - 06.06 Thursday 28 Saturday 30

The occasional cigar....

Sunday 31

HYENA LOUNGE COMEDY CLUB PRESENTS IVAN BRACKENBERRY Basement City Screen York

Tuesday 02

THE JOY FORMIDABLE Fibbers, Think Pete and the Pirates. Punchy pop peddling Welsh three piece should provide standard up-and-coming-fare, but a lot has been said about this band in recent times, mostly good.

Satuday

I got complimented on my parking the other day. Someone left a note on my car windscreen, it said “Parking fine.”

Interview by Will & Martin Williams

Wainewright

Scene Editor Jenny McLarney

06

SING-A-LONG SOUND OF MUSIC

York Opera House The hills will be alive with the sound of York's baby boomers going mental to the tune of the mother of all musicals. A singathon orgy. Avoid.

THE HOMECOMING York Theatre Royal, until June 20. Think dark. Think sinister. Think really... long... pauses. A Pinter classic.

Music Editors Laura Cress Kate Missenden Music Deputy Stefan Philpott Film Editors Charles Rivington David Elliott Film Deputies Mike Warren Sara Pournasrollahzadeh TV Editor Scott Bryan Games Editors Chris Craddock Kevin Day Books Editor Jenny Keogh Books Deputy Victoria Lovegreen Isobel Shipp Culture Editor Emily Brunwin

LANGWITH ARTS FESTIVAL Saturday 30th May Norman Rea Art Gallery 10am-5pm

Culture Deputies Emily Hodges Ruth Gallie Listings Editor Will Wainewright

Scene 198  
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