Photo: Oliver Todd
Deputy Nightlife: Oliver Wessely Nightlife Editor: Ben Huckle Deputy Music: Will Barnes & Nina Pullman Music Editors: Niamh Connolly & Eli Court
TV Editors: Morgan Collins & Keraschka Shunmuyam
Technology Editors: Dan Cornwell & Kirryn Mountford
Deputy Film: Tom Bonnington & Matija Pisk
Books Editors: Sophie Taylor & Philip Watson Deputy Books: James Carr
Film Editors: Maddy Pelling & Abigail Richards
Scene Editors: Alysia Judge & Jordan Lloyd
ELI COURT revealS all the latest music news and gossip
toxic advice ON THE 8th of January this year, power duo Jay-Z and Beyonce announced the birth of their baby girl named Blue Ivy Carter. The pair seem thrilled with their new responsibilites and have been given advice by none other than Britney Spears who told them to "embrace" parenthood and to just "do whatever you want to do." Who better to be giving advice then the mature, responsible and mentally stable Britney? I'm sure the happy couple were thrilled at receiving such sage advice. Concerned fans hope they don't take these words too seriously - "do whatever you want to do" coming from Britney could mean anything from shaving your head to attacking paparazzi with an umbrella. Britney confessed how hard being a mother can be in the music industry and hopes that Beyonce can learn from her experience. We are sure she was trying to be genuine but the happy couple should take this advice with a pinch of salt.
RUMOURS OF Adam Lambert's plans to sing with Queen have been floating around for months. The American Idol runner up recently told the Daily Star that he was going to sing with the legendary band at Sonisphere... but later denied this on Twitter. Lambert claimed he wanted to "pay tribute to Freddie Mercury and keep the band alive", however after backlash from Mercury fans arguing that he is irreplaceable, Lambert was quick to agree with the fans and blamed journalists for taking his words out of context. He has already performed with the
should m.i.a be forgiven?
remaining members of Queen during his time on Idol but for the time being there are no plans for Lambert and Queen to record an album.
m.i.a-ow MADONNA IS reportedly less than impressed by British rapper M.I.A who 'flipped the bird' during their performance together at the Super Bowl. Madge is said to pride herself on professionalism and felt the gesture was unneccessary, especially as she had not approved this during rehearsals. The unlikely pair collaborated on 'Give Me All Your Luvin' and Madonna felt upstaged by this unneccesarily inflammatory and offensive gesture that was seen by around 111.3 million US viewers. M.I.A defended her actions by saying that when adrenaline
out of order
kicks in it clouds her judgement. Despite this, she could still be heavily fined and critics feel it was a shameless publicity stunt, especially as there were children in the arena.
The King's Parade The King's Parade began as The Poubelle Booms, a duet between vocalist and guitarist Olly Corpe (Australian Idol semi-finalist in 2008) and keyboardist Sam Rooney. Last year, the band changed their name following the addition of bassist Tom English and drummer Chris Brent. Their latest song 'Vagabond' has over 15,000 plays on SoundCloud. Jennie Lees from Stray FM has described the quartet as "four talented musicians in their own right but when you put them together, they combine to make up one of the best bands I've ever encountered - and I've seen a lot of bands." High praise indeed! I caught up with Olly and Sam for a chat.
RATED THIS WEEK
CELEBRITIES ARE notoriously unpredictable and out of controlwhether it's Janet Jackson flashing her nipples 'accidentally' or Kanye West jumping on stage to steal Taylor Swift's thunder. Normal rules and social etiquette do not apply to celebs as their shocking and outrageous behaviour is what makes them so interesting. So, although it may not have been what Madonna was expecting, I'm sure M.I.A can be let off the hook...
WILL BARNES CHATS TO YORK'S LATEST UP AND COMING BAND
How would you describe your musical sound?
What do you think of the music scene in York?
SR: We like to call it "NuTown". It's a bit of a modern, more poppy twist on Motown.
OC: There's not enough stuff going on. Woodstock is the only good music event of the year (on campus). Stereo do some good gigs and so do Duchess and Fibbers.
What can we expect from the band in the future?
Olly, how did you find your experience on Australian Idol?
OC: We're hoping to release an EP sometime this year.
OC: It was a great experience; it really helped my performance and technique a lot and I met some great people and made some great contacts.
SR: Maybe in summer but we're still writing.
How did you come up with the name 'The King's Parade"?
What has been your most enjoyable gig so far?
OC: We all have nicknames in the band. Our drummer is "the king" and he always refers to himself as "the king". Then there's "the princess", "the duke" and "the baby". He thought it might be funny if we called ourselves "The King's Parade".
SR: Playing at the Summer Ball last year was great. One of the special highlights was performing a song on stage with Dionne Bromfield, Amy Winehouse's god-daughter, after plucking up the courage to go over to her dressing room to ask her.
And lastly, do you love Willow or avoid it like the plague? SR: When the moment's right you can't avoid it. OC: It's the best club in York; it's seedy but it's great.
UNDISCOVERED & FORGOTTEN COVERS Revolutionising songs has become a popular route that many artists and bands have embarked upon. With the Radio One 'Live Lounge' coming to fruition in 2006, covers such as Amy Winehouse's 'Valerie', Leona Lewis' 'Run' and Katy Perry's 'Electric Feel' have received considerable airplay on one of the UK‘s biggest radio stations, publicising and increasing their popularity drastically. So here at Vision, Niamh Connolly presents some of the best covers that have been forgotten & those rare, distinctive covers that still remain undiscovered.
SINGLES JORDAN LLOYD gives Vision the low down on the singles everyone is talking about...
Gotye - 'Somebody That I Used To Know' (feat. Kimbra) John Legend & the Roots -'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free'-
The collaborative album entitled Wake Up! is a mixture of soul, gospel and funk covers. Roberta Flack, Marvin Gaye, and Bill Withers are among the legendary artists that JL & the Roots attempt to enhance and update. The difficulty was actually choosing a specific song. However, Nina Simone's original 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free' from her infamous "Silk & Soul" album Wake Up! is a strong album of soulful, memorable covers, and the cover of Simone is a highlight.
Imelda May -'Tainted Love'-
Despite releasing her debut No Turning Back in 2003, the Irish jazz singer's hard work has paid off. Later... with Jools Holland has showcased her talent and her third album, Mayhem, has secured her a wider fanbase. Her cover of 'Tainted Love' was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1965, but more famously known as the best selling single of 1981 by the pop duo Soft Cell. Imelda May triumphs with her bluesy influence dominating the former pop song, creating a beautifully modern cover of a song written 46 years ago with a rockabilly twist that reinvents the track for 2012.
e l g i a n - Au s t r a l i a n singer Gotye’s newest offering with guest vocals from kiwi songstress Kimbra sounds like something Skins will sample in the near future with its Picasso style video and percussion echoing a tantalizing reggae element which pleases the ear as much as the video pleases visually. Don’t let the Skins reference detract from the dreamily effervescent quality of the lyrics, which have toppled Adele at the number one spot in Australia. If this single is any indication future success across the pond is on the cards for Gotye.
Missed You At The Show - 'Pretty Riddle' Rox -'Crazy'-
The London singer/ songwriter has been up and coming, creeping slowly up the ladder of the music industry for the past two years. Seal's 'Crazy' has been a popular cover song, with artists such as Alanis Morissette often attempting to match Seal's original success. Rox's version outshines any previous attempts as she delicately controls the song, releasing her soulful tones towards the end. Due to the song not being released as an 'official' single, it has had no airplay and is virtually unknown outside of her fanbase. However, its is definitely a cover worthy of your ears!
Vampire Weekend -'Everywhere'-
Perhaps one of the biggest songs ever written being beautifully covered. Vampire Weekend excel throughout the definitive 1988 Fleetwood Mac tune. They rejuvenate the song through a quirky vocal which splits Fleetwood Mac devotees between satisfaction and disappointment. The song has not received a significant publicity, however it's a worthy and interesting cover of a world renowned song. The Manhattan sowetto vibe transcends the fame of the original and making it all their own.
Nirvana -'The Man Who Sold the World'-
A David Bowie original that Nirvana successfully imprinted their husky rock-esque vocals upon. Lulu also covered the song in 1974, a cover that David Bowie produced, and sang backing vocals on. Nirvana received considerable radio airplay upon the release of the 1993, Unplugged in New York, where the track was recorded officially following their MTV 'Unplugged' appearance. This cover is memorable because it shows a rare side to Cobain, illustrating his talent beyond the resounding grunge that Nirvana had pioneered.
James Vincent McMorrow -'Higher Love'McMorrow is a part of the new breed of folk that has developed over recent years. He joins Bon Iver and Ray LaMontagne in his vocal approach, and 'Higher Love' does not fail to capture the vulnerable yet haunting quality of his voice. Still relatively unknown, this cover is a highlight and a contrast from the soulful 1986 original. This is a gentle and graceful cover that transforms the song drastically. A cover that captures relaxingly poignant lyricality and spirit.
aving been compared to Biffy Clyro and citing the Smashing Pumpkins as an influence, this Manchester based band blends heartfelt lyrics with a prominent bass and drum elements in this single which contemplates mortality, love and the nature of memories. What comes across most is the mature blending of strength and emotion, with an interestingly punkish sound occurring at its core. Missed You At The Show present an offering that transcends their influences to create a raw, unique sound that is all their own.
Karl Phillips and the Midnight Ramblers - 'Dangerous' (ft Sabrina Altan)
he Ramblers follow up last year's album with a single that fuses garage with punk, grime and dubstep influences, punctuated by the powerful vocals of Altan, whose melodiously enticing tone honeys a bittersweet offering by the foursome. Sure to make waves across the dubstep scene and boasting an impressive fusion of tones this single offers an exciting sampler which hints at great promise.
Bleeding Knees Club 'Nothing To Do' Love Song Covers that are... 'Hopelessly Devoted To You' The Civil Wars 'Dance Me
To The End Of Love' An admirable cover of Leonard Cohen, fuelled with harmonies from Joy Williams and John Paul White. The definition of a romantic song.
José González 'Heartbeats' Admittedly, not the most original suggestion as it is one of the most played covers. However, its beauty exceeds the popularity and revolutionises The Knife's original version.
Amy Winehouse 'Cupid' Miss Winehouse may be well known for her cover of 'Valerie', but it's her Sam Cooke cover of 'Cupid' that shines. The reggae vibe throughout the song is heightened by her soulful vocal, where the lyric, "Cupid please hear my cry" expresses the hardships of finding love.
pleasing single from the Aussie punk duo that showcases the best of their promisingly raw talent. The single is suggestive of Peñate style indie with a surf rock edge that echoes their cited influence The Black Lips with an acoustic twang that differentiates and adds interest. A party, feel good anthem that sneaks up and surprises you with its feel good factor and “replay-ability”. The duo's command of a surf-thrash garage fusion genre is inventive and innovative.
Reviews... leonard cohen
DJANGO DJANGO DJANGO DJANGO
jango Django represent a new breed of British bands that have caused a stir in the industry. It’s understandable to see why; the quartet who originate from Edinburgh embody an experimental sound that is foreign to the ears. Using instrumentals they begin the album with ‘Introduction’, creating a mixture of harmonious whistling combined with techno-tribal drums that are ongoing. Admittedly a vague description, but an accurate one at that. They epitomise the true essence of ‘New British Music’, providing a haven for listeners seeking something original. The album creates an unusual impact upon first listen due to the remote, distinctive nature that the band exemplify. At times they are so indefinable that listeners may find it a struggle to place them and the repetitive sound is at times off-putting. This is particularly notable in songs such as ‘Default’ where the electro sound dominates, creating a monotonous result. The consistent harmonies in 'Zumm Zumm' create a dazed effect on the listener, leaving nothing else to do but to sit back and embrace the relax-
-ing atmosphere that ‘Django Django’ emits. The album is dream-like; whether it’s the muted, subtle tones that play throughout or the synchronised elongation of words in songs such as ‘Loves Dart’. 'Wor' follows this trancelike effect, seemingly transporting the listener into a desert chase that is right at the centre of a Clint Eastwood Western. The tension rises gradually with the heightened notes of Vincent Neff ’s vocal merging with the recurring beating of the bell and drum. The band have achieved sounds that so many labelled as ‘new and upcoming’ fail to do successfully, and deserve to soar with this original and creative debut. NIAMH CONNOLLY
lana del rey
Born to die
fter the sensational success of the hit single 'Video Games' many fans were eagerly anticipating the release of Lana Del Rey’s latest album Born to Die. The 25 year old American singer, real name Elizabeth Grant, describes herself as a “self- styled gangster Nancy Sinatra” and has captured our interest with her deep and sultry voice and dark and often disturbing lyrics. Throughout the album she shows versatility and range with a unique combination of a retro voice and musical style infused with a modern vibe. Often the backing can be an unwelcome distraction from her voice, creating a lack of cohesion between the music and the vocals. Though each track adds new meaning and an extra dimension to the album ‘Born to Die’ and ‘Blue Jeans’ stand out as the most intriguing tracks, rendering the album memorable and captivating. It's downfall would be that each song is so darkly brooding and mysteriously gothic that it becomes tedious and leaves the listener wishing for some uplifting or energetic songs. However, Rey seems determined to stick rigidly to the sound that made her famous
t 77 years-old with his 12th studio album in a career spanning over forty years, there's more to the legendary Leonard Cohen than 'Hallelujah' and its seemingly endless melodramatic covers. Yet Old Ideas, as the title suggests, makes no excuses for addressing issues that commonly occur in Cohen's past work. Originally a poet and novelist, he gracefully deals with age-old lyrics of love, life and loss, with more than the odd reference to religion and mortality throughout the record. Old Ideas opens with 'Going Home' and the line, “I love to speak with Leonard”. By referring to himself in the third person, Cohen takes a self-satirising step back and shows that he doesn't always take himself too seriously. With one of the themes of the album being origins, Cohen and his guitar return to his fingerpicking acoustic roots on 'Darkness', before giving way to a full band for some uptempo fare which adds variety and interest. In the same vein, 'Crazy to Love You' finds this old master at his best,
accompanied by a lone guitar lamenting a failed relationship. The final track, 'Different Sides', doesn't quite feel like a goodbye with a fadeout over the chorus, giving the album a somewhat open ending. Who knows, Cohen might return, but Old Ideas makes no promises. The album may not offer the most accessible route for newcomers, but could spark some interest in Cohen's celebrated back catalogue. Yet Old Ideas is not searching for anything groundbreaking. In an age when innovation is upheld and venerated, what we have here is Leonard Cohen doing what he does, and doing it well. AILSA DANN
Maverick Sabre Lonely are the brave
F and appears afraid to try something new. Though her voice has a hypnotic quality that is strangely compelling it is also disconcerting at times, with a unique style that takes some getting used to. Critics have dealt the starlet some harsh blows and there has been a great deal of negativity following interviews that made her seem arrogant and overly sensitive. Although Rey has admitted that this may be her first and last album, Born to Die has already been named the highest selling album of 2012 so far. Fans should try to ignore all the hype and speculation surrounding the songstress and simply appreciate the unique beauty and soul behind her voice. ELINORE COURT
ollowing a whirlwind couple of years which has seen him collaborate with the likes of Chase & Status and Professor Green, and on the back of two top 20 singles, 21 year old Michael Stafford's debut record arrives cresting a wave of expectation and promise. Famed for his soulful and unique voice, this album more than lives up to the hype after years of work that has culminated in his being named runner-up in the Critics Choice category for this year's Brit Awards. Comparisons with the late Amy Winehouse will be inevitable, but Sabre tries to assert his own style on the record despite the obvious vocal likenesses. Lyrically the album is brutally honest and opinionated. "Memories don't leave, they'll never go, forever eating at your soul," is anthemically repeated throughout 'Memories' whilst last summer's chart hit, 'Let Me Go' is crisp and punchy during the chorus in Sabre's signature Hackney/Irish drone. Stafford consistently manages to construct melodies that are lyrically deep yet also chart friendly, although at times the verse becomes a little
more clunky, as shown at the end of 'Shooting the Stars', which is a shame for a song that describes how he was charged with, and subsequently cleared of assaulting a police officer during a street brawl. In general, the EP is flows and is well composed. 'Sometimes', 'Open My Eyes' and 'No One' are highlights alongside singles 'Let Me Go' and 'I Need' which spread themselves down the spectrum of soul, to hip-hop and a twinge of reggae fusion. Lonely Are The Brave presents a soulful hiphop combination not too dissimilar to Plan B, who took until his second EP to finally find a signature sound, Maverick Sabre is well on his way to the same. All in all, an accomplished debut, and with much more to come. OLIVER TODD
Diagrams FRED NATHAN TALKS TO SAM GENDERS, THE FORMER TUNNG FRONTMAN, ABOUT HIS NEW SOLO PROJECT SAM GENDERS, the former front man of experimental folk group Tunng, is back after a period of time working in a primary school with his solo project Diagrams. The same soft, Derbyshire tones that were the hallmark of his former band are still present, yet on his recently released debut album Black Light, you get a sense of a cleaner, crisper sound with an altogether more contemporary feel. The album has received widespread critical acclaim and ‘Tall Buildings’ was recently the single of the week on iTunes. Despite the praise, and clearly delighted about how Black Light has turned out, Genders is refreshingly honest and humble; “I am never completely pleased with something, or haven’t been yet; but I feel really lucky to have had the chance to make it. I loved making the album, and overall I’m really pleased with the response, which is really the hope. When you spend so much time doing something, it’s obviously really nice that people actually do take notice of it. It makes you feel like it was worth doing.” The album is richly layered and varied all the way through, Genders’s soothing voice the only real constant, which reflects the front man’s own personal tastes; “I definitely wanted those different shades, as most of the music I really like has got really fast, upbeat songs as well as slow downbeat ones. I like music that is eclectic.” It is unsurprising then, that his major influence growing up was the Beatles; “I especially loved Revolver; it is still one of my favourite albums. All through my childhood, I loved what they did, their mixture of pop but with experimental elements to it.” Black Light, compared to his work with Tunng, has more classic guitar
riffs and prominent drums, none more so than on ‘Appetite’ and ‘Tall Buildings’, whilst still retaining the electronic elements with which Genders is so familiar with. I asked him if he
"I FEEL LIKE I HAVE WRITTEN A SUCCESSFUL LYRIC WHEN THERE'S THREE WAYS YOU CAN INTERPRET IT AND THEY ALL KIND OF MAKE SENSE"
consciously wanted to move away from folk, or was it a natural progression; “I really like all that stuff, but I realised I had to be a little bit careful because when I made this album, if I was to just have guitar, my voice, and a bit of experimenting, you could quite easily have what sounded like a Tunng record. I’d done three albums with them and I was ready for a bit of change just in terms of writing and inspiration.” Whilst Diagrams is labelled a solo project, and Genders is the principle song writer and lead vocalist, he plays with as many as nine on stage. He agrees that “it’s my project in that I write the songs, and my plan was I’m going to make a solo record, but I did always envisage that I’d end up working with other people and now I couldn’t really call it a solo project.” Putting himself in the perspective of a listener or an audience member at one of his gigs, Genders wants to present his music in a creative way. “I’d want to see a band that I’d find interesting, to entertain me and keep me thinking, and one way of doing that is to have interesting musicians playing with you.” Genders is clearly a very down to earth person, who is not afraid of self-criticism; “I don’t see myself as a great performer especially, or I don’t think I’ve got the greatest voice or am
an incredible guitarist. I see myself as a songwriter.” Therefore, it is no surprise that his lyrics are very thought provoking and poetic. Be it tales of late nights spent in motorcades on ‘Ghost Lit’ or the motif of snow on ‘Night all Night’, every word and idea is meticulously thought out. “It is really nice when you can tell a bit of a story, and I do try and do that. But I like ambiguity in lyrics, when something is ambiguous it can trigger the imagination. The lyrics I am most interested in are those when I’m not quite sure what they mean. I feel like I have written a successful lyric when there’s three ways you can interpret it and they all kind of make sense.” The album cover of Black Light is a beautiful creation, as is his website design, both rich in colour whilst contrasting the natural world with angular lines and shapes. I wondered how important artwork is to him. “I’m quite artistic myself" says Genders, "and I find it hard not to have an opinion about that kind of stuff. If the art is good, it ties in well with the music. Chrissie Abbott has done all of the artwork so far for the album and the website. She has taken elements from different lyrics for the front cover and it has turned
"I DON'T SEE MYSELF AS A GREAT PERFORMER ESPECIALLY, OR I DON'T THINK I'VE GOT THE GREATEST VOICE OR AM AN INCREDIBLE GUITARIST. I SEE MYSELF AS A SONGWRITER" out absolutely brilliant.” It becomes apparent when listening to Genders sing that he has a very British accent, rare in a culture of British vocalists singing like they are from Los Angeles. He stresses that “people should not do this, that or the other when it comes to music. I know singers who sing with an American accent who are English and are great. You can’t really have rules about what you do, because if you make up rules, usually someone comes along and breaks them.” However, he feels that what he has is unique; “For me personally, I do
like singing with an English accent, especially a Derbyshire accent where I come from. I remember the moment when I consciously noticed about 15 years ago that I was softening my vowels ever so slightly, sounding less English when I sang. It was at that time I made a deliberate decision to try and sing with the normal accent I’ve got, which I think is nice to do.” Diagrams have a few European dates lined up on their forthcoming March tour, and I asked Genders how audiences tend to differ on the continent, if at all. Genders states “it is quite a different and really quite nice experience really. You get treated really well in Europe in general and every place has its own character... and good food! About three quarters of the places we’re playing in Europe I’ve played before and have asked the agent to go back.” I then asked what he all time favourite gig was, and he struggled for a definitive answer. “The Paradiso in Amsterdam is special; crowds in the Netherlands are great. The Avalon Stage at Glastonbury with Tunng was also amazing. But I’d probably have to say the first Diagrams gig at the End of the Road festival, which was really great. I’ve been really lucky to have some fantastic experiences.” Finally, I asked what the future held for Diagrams and Genders seemed genuinely excited about the March tour and the prospect of “some festival dates that are starting to come in now for the rest of the year, and maybe some more touring. I’d love to jump back into the studio and make a second album, but I probably have to do a few gigs first! I am really looking forward to making a second album eventually; I’ve got lots of ideas.” The future looks bright for Genders. He was a pleasure to interview, a normal bloke who has made a captivating record that is both quirky and accessible, and crucially popular with the listening public. You cannot help but get the impression that Diagrams is a name you’ll be hearing a lot more of in years to come.
LIVES... SHY FX 02 ACADEMY, LEEDS
ver the past twenty years, Shy FX has become a household name in the fields of both jungle and drum and bass. He has released over 350 tracks including 'Shake Your Body', which reached No. 7 in the UK Singles chart in 2002. He founded his own record label, Digital Soundboy Recordings, in 2005 and has also produced two tracks for Dizzee Rascal as well as remixing Plan B's chart-smashing "She Said". It therefore came as no surprise to see him given the prime 1-2 am slot for last week's Hospitality Drum and Bass event at Leeds' O2 Academy. After the pounding bass of DJ and producer Wilkinson had sent the crowd into a frenzy, Shy played a few of his more recent works alongside some of the
TAMING THE SAVAGE 03/02/12 more famous releases from his extensive back catalogue, in the first half of his set. Tracks such as 'Don't Wanna Know' and 'The Message' were well received by many a late night reveller. Interestingly, what was more impressive than the bass which reverberated through your heart at times was the junglist hip-hop beats that got the whole crowd moving. In addition, the sweet, soulful and lush vocals on many of the tracks provided the audience with yet another source of enjoyment. However, what really distinguished Shy FX from all the other DJ's that night was his decision to include tracks and samples by Bob Marley and UB40 around halfway through his set. This was met with almost universal approval and temporarily turned the evening from a club night into a gig. He ended his set with some of his more famous tracks including 'Original Nuttah' and 'Everyday' to keep the audience dancing away until past the scheduled two o'clock finish. Despite not really being a drum and bass fan, I really enjoyed watching his set. It was just a bit of a shame the other acts did not include as much variation to keep the crowd entertained throughout. WILL BARNES
tereo’s small but intimate standing area was packed out for this gig, as it seems many have taken Vision’s advice when we said they were a band to look out for. From the start the band caught the audience’s attention with their obvious musical talent combined with catchy riffs and upbeat songs. They played with a professionalism beyond their years and more than once did I forget this was an unsigned, relatively new campus band. One first year audience member, watching for the first time, went as far as to say they sounded a "bit Arctic Monkey-ish", surely a compliment given the faultless performance of a multi-award winning band, as well as suggesting that Taming the Savage are fulfilling their goals of producing a indie/rock/pop sound. In fact the band’s sound is surprisingly hard to pin down; they range from the impressive and fastpaced solos in tracks such as ‘Kissing in the Rain’, to soft acoustic numbers such as ‘Figure You Out’, sung and strummed by a solo Josh Savage, with a slight Simon and Garfunkel-esque quality to the light-fingered guitar accompaniment. The band was formed in what might be termed the usual way; informal jamming sessions in 2010 led to playing at
friends house parties, which led to slots on York’s small but lively set of music venues. The band has impressive music credentials with both singer/ songwriter/guitarist Savage as well as bassist Rob Stonehouse currently studying music, which perhaps accounts for the discipline and well-polished end result of a Taming the Savage gig. More than anything, with guitars and fans only inches apart, it is the last few moments of the night which summarise their achievement so far. Calling for a vote from the audience as to which out of their most popular tracks ‘Castle Walls’ and ‘The Alarm’ should be the last song, the response was overwhelming. I screamed for ‘The Alarm’, an unbelievably catchy tune belayed by the lighthearted and student-appropriate experience of waking up to an early alarm clock. Like a true crowd-pleasing group, they ended up playing both anyway. NINA PULLMAN
THE Black Keys
CLWB IFOR BACH, CARDIFF 26/01/12
ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON
he last time I was in the crowd for Canterbury they were supporting British rockband YouMeAtSix at Cardiff University Great Hall. On that occasion, they warmed up the crowd and put a brilliant show on, and this time was no different. In a short space of time the band have progressed from supporting such big names as Enter Shikari and Twin Atlantic to playing hundreds of shows as the headline act around the UK and Ireland, including their own gig at Clwb Ifor Bach, a smaller, darker venue with a distinctly grungier, cramped and intimate atmosphere. I didn’t arrive in time to hear support band Straight Lines, so I’m unaware of how the crowd responded in comparison with Canterbury, though a number of people were sure to have attended purely to see them play due to their wellknown status in the local area. In true character, Canterbury put on a perfectly executed, energetic live show. Initially the crowd were a little reluctant to engage and had to be drawn out of their shell, but as the band interacted with their audience vigorously, everyone became more relaxed. Perhaps it
D was the alcohol, but either way everyone got moving eventually. As for their performance, the band were pretty much on point despite the lack of a keyboard which is something that features heavily on a number of their tracks. However, they substituted it for a brilliant harmony between themselves and the crowd which in my opinion gave even more life to the already vibrant performance than any instrument could have done. Vocals by frontman Luke Pebble and vocalist Mike Spark still held as much appeal as they did on their first album Thank You, suggesting the promise of future albums beyond the 40,000 downloads they have already amassed. Their new songs, played from their forthcoming album hinted towards another catchy and infectious work, just as good as the last. They have received air-time from Radio One as well as rave reviews from Rocksound. Their first album is also available free from their website and it would be foolish to miss out. CHANNON MAGGS
espite releasing seven stellar albums over the last decade, it’s The Black Keys most recent offering, El Camino, that has earned them commercial success in the UK and three sell-out nights at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace. Support act British rock band ‘Band of Skulls’ open the nightwith ‘Sweet Sour’; the composed beat of the drum, slippery harmonies on vocals, and rocking guitar riffs provide a suitable build up for the night’s main act. Despite toeing the line between moody and just plain uncharismatic, the band receive a decent reaction from the crowd, with many singing along to older tracks such as ‘I Know What I Am’. Leaving behind a good energy, Ally Pally is ready for the ‘The Black Keys’. The Black Keys started their set with the incredible ‘Howlin’ For You’ and the crowd went appropriately wild; people around me were genuinely roaring. The beat is infectious, the mood is hot. Though the majority of the set list was based on the two most recent albums, fortunately the band did not neglect their older material. Dan Auerbach (vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums) are left alone on stage to perform older songs and remind us that
sometimes less really is more; the beautifully stripped quality of their duet demonstrates their powerfully addictive melodies. The night ends with the furiously paced ‘Lonely Boy’, which has everyone dancing and gagging for more, and they do not disappoint with their encore performance of ‘Everlasting Light’, ‘She’s Long Gone’ and ‘I Got Mine’. The feisty, fast, rock and roll quality of the finale is enhanced by an impressive lighting sequence on set, and the whole crowd are dancing without inhibitions. The Black Keys communicate through their instruments and blues-y, booze-soaked melodies, encapsulating the very essence of what rock music should be. ANITA KOWALCZYK
All roads lead to Willow Ben Huckle, Oliver Wessely and Alysia Judge investigate bars a little off the usual student track... For most students the first thing to do after begrudgingly hauling yourself out of bed following a night out is check Facebook. This often means an instant barrage of photos depicting numerous questionable antics. Some dance moves do exceed others in embarrassment, the question is, which moves rate the worst in terms of the cringe-factor?
A favourite for up and coming bands, Stereo is one of York's premier live music venues. Situated on Gillygate, a strip criminally under-appreciated by York students, it's a must visit for anyone wanting a night time drink and decent music.
Sat on the corner of Swinegate, Bar Esperanza describes itself as "sexy, cosy and stylish". The newest bar in York offers the customary array of drinks, alongside an extensive cocktail menu that oozes class and sophistication.
Distance from Willow: 644m
Distance from Willow: 94m
The 'Knee Jerk' Goon Factor: 7 Drunk Factor: 6
Situated at the end of Micklegate the recently refurbished establishment, once known as rock cafe 'Monteys', is back running 7 days a week, bringing in customers with hearty food and rocking cocktails.
Located in the same dingy back alley as student favourite Dusk lies Blue Fly. Frequented by David Gest, this glossy, glass ceilinged bar is just a stone's throw from Willow with quality drinks deals and decent music.
Distance from Willow: 834 m
Distance from Willow: 58m
The 'Dead Fly' Goon Factor: 8 Drunk Factor: 9
DRINKING GAME OF THE WEEK BATTLESHOTS
> Pizza boxes clogging up your recycling? > Fancy yourself as an Admiral of the Shots?
The 'Baywatch' Goon Factor: 10 Drunk Factor: 10
This game generally conforms to the rules of the original Battleships concept. Just 2 Pizza boxes, a sharpie, and a prodigious number of shot glasses filled with a drink of your choice provide all the ingredients for a retro start to the night. Normally a fairly simple concept, the challenge here relies on your ability to remain logical as your opponent opens fire on your liver.
FILM As Daniel Radcliffe hangs up his Hogwarts robes for good, Vision maps his career so far...
H O T Harry Potter Saga (2001-2011) Radliffe made his name in the Potter films, and deservedly so, bringing as yet unrivalledmagic to our screens.
David Copperfield (1999)
Aged just ten, Daniel Radcliffe made his screen debut as the Dickensian hero... little did he imagine a decade later he would be one of the most famous people on the planet.
Director's Cut: Stanley Kubrick
RORY MCREGOR reconsiders Stanley Kubrick and sets out to prove there is a film from this controversial artist out there for every category of film fan, recasting this often misunderstood director as one of the greats with universal appeal.
The Philosopher: The Budding Comedian: A Clockwork Orange Dr Strangelove or: How (1971) I Learned to Stop WorryUpon release, this film was considered a glorification of ing and Love the Bomb extreme sexual violence and (1964) was subsequently banned, earning it the gauntlet of Kubrick’s most controversial work. However, this is a simplistic take on the film and disregards the brilliance of the directing, acting and the moral messages the film explores. Is it better to choose to be evil or conditioned to be good? Decide for yourself. Not for the faint hearted or easily offended.
This Cold War parody film is often seen as one of the best comedies of all time and it’s easy to see why. The hilarious and often bizarre nature of the film is strengthened by the performances of Peter Sellers and George Scott as the exaggerated General Buck Turgidson. Aside from being sidesplittingly funny, it is a biting political satire on the Cold War which will, most importantly, get you thinking as well as laughing.
C O L D
Our Oscar Predictions With award season well underway, the film world is turning it's head towards the upcoming Oscars. Matija Pisk predicts this year's winners....
My Boy Jack (2007)
Daniel gets marks for effort in this clunky, sentimental World War I drama.... but lost the performance battle in the end.
Best Picture: The Artist Best Director: Michael Hazanavicius - The Artist Best Actor: George Clooney - The Descendants
December Boys (2007)
A well intentioned but sickly sweet coming of age drama in which Daniel stars as the orphan Maps.
A disturbing tale of a man’s insanity induced by the isolation of his new job. Kubrick, a master of imagery, brings us the iconic scene with the tricycle down the winding corridor. Originally met with mixed reviews, many complained that Kubrick removed some of the elements which made King’s book so frightening. Reconsidered in later years, it is now thought of as one of t h e scariest films of all time.
The Thrill Seeker: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
As far as war films go, this is simply amazing and incredibly unique. Tonally different, the film moves effortlessly between comedy and horror with a visceral clarity. Kubrick's intention here is to pack a punch, and boy does he. Not your normal gungho brainless action outing for the thrill seeker, Kubrick has an important message to convey about the Vietnam War. I defy even the most macho of men not to be left feeling emotional.
The Tailor of Panama (2001)
Eleven year old Daniel has a bit-part in this gritty film adaption of John le Carré’s spy novel. Blink and you’ll miss him.
The Scare Seeker: The Shining (1980)
Best Female Actor: Viola Davis - The Help
Success of the Sequel? Good news for fans of Bridesmaids (2011), Horrible Bosses (2011) and Star Trek (2009). Sequels of all three are in the pipeline, as production companies anticipate the return of a tried and tested revenue stream. The allure of commercial reward always has to be weighed up against the risk of alienating audiences loyal to the original. Will we be back for more? Watch this space!
Nous ne somme pas amuses... Director Jean Du Jardin's The Artist won critical acclaim at the box office in January. His next project Les Infideles is already proving controversial. A raunchy advertising campaign has, surprisingly for some, seen the French getting hot and bothered. Find what all the fuss is about later this month...
The Woman in Black
Dir. James Watkins
Jasmine Sahu is suitably scared by Radcliffe's latest venture It’s been six months since the last Harry Potter, a relatively short space of time, given our long acquaintance with the boy-who-lived. Daniel Radcliffe’s decision to return to the silver screen so soon is thus fraught with danger. Can he shake off the wizard, or will he being wearing circular spectacles to his grave? As if this were not enough pressure, The Woman In Black is also an adaptation and a Hammer Horror production, meaning that there are just as many book and horror fans to appease as there are Potter groupies to shake off. The stakes, frankly, couldn’t be higher. It is with great pleasure, therefore, that I announce the film’s almost flawless success. There’s barely a flicker of Harry in Radcliffe’s performance. It is an excellent portrayal of grief as a subtle, lingering sorrow etched into every movement of his face. Clearly all those behind-the-scenes tips from stars like Michael Gambon have paid off. Radcliffe grows in stature by the minute, so that even the appearance of Ciarán Hinds as Mr Daily can only compliment rather than overshadow his performance. The film is equally successful in creating that vital scare-factor. It’s hard
Dir. Roman Polanski
arnage captures 79 real time minutes of the meeting of two well-to-do couples in a New York apartment. Discussing an assault on the host's son, it soon descends into claustrophobic tension as the action unfolds in one room.Tears, vomit and full blown arguments follow. The comedic and domestically dramatic scenes generate an authenticity we've come to expect from the director of Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist. With perfect comic timing the three well known names, alongside Christoph Waltz, execute the situation with the realism and lack of glamour required. Kate Winslet excels as Waltz’s long-suffering wife, and Jodie Foster is similarly captivating as the driving force for the meeting, against the meagre protestations of her husband (John C. Reilly), the character perhaps the most difficult to sympathise with out of the four. The enclosed setting of the film echoes its origins as a play, The God of Carnage, and this connection is hard to escape throughout - the translation from stage to screen appearing slightly tenuous at times. Despite this, the constantly heightening drama and the strength of the characters as identifiable individuals definitely places Carnage into the category of interesting and attentiongrabbing viewing. RACHEL LONGHURST
Dir. Michael Sucsy
hen Paige (Rachel McAdams) is thrown through the windscreen during a car accident, her blissfully artsy lifestyle with young, bohemian husband Leo (Channing Tatum) is jeopardized when it is revealed that she's suffering from amnesia. The film makes the point of stating, twice, that the plot is “inspired by true events”, although this luke-warm, inert romantic comedy cannot rightly be described as possessing excessive plausibility. However, unabashedly sentimental, The Vow pulls at those heart-strings, so it's sure to get your lip quivering and tears dripping down into your pop-corn. While pretty-boy (and useless in most other respects) Channing Tatum is woefully miscast as Leo, the evercute Rachel McAdams puts in yet another solid performance. Having said that, it's not one of her greatest films, and I certainly won't be putting it alongside Mean Girls or The Notebook in my own DVD collection at home. Released in time for Valentine's day, The Vow is best described as a great film for girlfriends who want a good old cry and boyfriends who are prepared to hold their hands and sit through nearly two hours of romantic drivel. HELENA KAZNOWSKA
to believe that this is just a 12A. Admittedly, there’s very little gore but The Woman In Black more than makes up for this in creepiness. The cinematography was beautifully crafted for the purpose. Everything is awash with a melancholy blue with a plethora of haunting shots of the deserted marshland surrounding the house. Overgrown with ivy and dressed with as many broken dolls and crumbling portraits as could be crammed into its dark corridors. Indeed, I think the Adams Family would be proud to call it home. It was impossible to view this eerie backdrop with indifference, since the music and camera movement were both perfect at stretching the tension to breaking-point. Having at least a basic grasp of the conventions of haunted house horror, I did find myself predicting almost every scare before it happened, but I still jumped regardless. If you’re looking for something to see this Valentine’s Day, this would be a fantastic choice. No, honestly, there are so many excuses for hiding in someone’s shoulder you’ll find yourselves closer than ever before! If I were to criticise anything in this film (aside from the mysterious disappearance of Ciarán Hinds’ Yorkshire accent, and the unexpected tarmac road in Victorian England), it would be the lack of originality. Whether this is really grounds for complaint however is questionable. The anticipation of events was half the thrill and I did enjoy it immensely. Hard-core Horror fans might complain, but for the rest of us I will merely say, make sure you don’t watch this alone. Jasmine Sahu
A Dangerous Method Dir. David Cronenberg
What's on at
Dangerous Method is a highly speculative film about the (sexed-up) history of psychoanalysis. Words like "transference" and "countertransference" pay lip service to the field's nascent theory, but clearly the real focus of the movie is the erotic appeal of Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein, the patient/colleague/bit on the side of Jung (Michael Fassbender). Her first appearance as a young woman suffering from hysteria is marred by details which add to the aesthetic appeal of the film but do nothing for it as a serious piece of cinema. Nevertheless, after a tediously predictable and extended build-up, Jung falls for her artfully dishevelled hair and rather bizarre accent, signifying she is a Russian speaking German. When Freud (Viggo Mortensen) appears on the scene things get slightly more interesting, but not much. Even before our introduction to him, cigar in mouth, and the discussion of psychoanalytic precepts with Jung, it is evident that this Freud is little more than a caricature of the famous figure. Just before the credits roll the film manages to show up its own shortcomings, a biographical insert revealing the real Spielrein's death in a Nazi concentration camp, and we have to wonder if Keira Knightley in suspenders has really done her life justice.
Coriolanus For those of you who don't fancy a Rom Com this Valentine's Day...showing during February
Les Emotifs Anonymes (Romantics Annonymous) French Comedy Showing during February
N O I S I V TELE ! y e n o M e h T e M w o h S our lentless reality star and why
eteoric rise of the ta m e th s se us sc di er in rd Ga an Si their bank balances. addiction to their lives fuels
ethenny Frankel: author, natural foods chef and self-declared ‘motherpreneur.’ While she may not be a household name this side of the pond, stateside she is the wellknown face of a string of reality TV shows; 'The Apprentice: Martha Stewart'', 'The Real Housewives of New York City' and 'Bethenny Getting Married?' to name but a few. With reported earnings of up to $120 million from the promotion of her ‘Skinnygirl’ brand, her very own liquor company and a New York Times bestseller under her belt, just how did Frankel manage to turn her 15 minutes of fame into annual earnings that exceed the likes of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie? Fans say it’s a combination of her ‘no BS’ attitude and witty one liners, but, like it or not, behind that Hollywood smile lurks a savvy business mind that has allowed Bethenny to transform herself into a moneymaking brand. Irritating as it is, she and other multi-millionaire celebrities (think Paris Hilton and co.) have made a name for themselves from doing, well…very little, or as they would have it, for ‘keeping it real’. But just how 'real' is amassing a fortune from no discernible talent other than a willingness to have your personal life played out in front of the cameras, and, of course, us, the voyeuristic public? Recent years have seen an exponential rise of the reality TV star; a strange celebrity cohort that are making millions on the assumption that we at home want to
Nibblets of the crunchiest TV news this week... Pop crooner Christina Aguilera has reportedly signed on for another season of NBC's singing competition show, The Voice.
tos, she now also has numerous reality shows to her name. Advertising campaigns, book and fragrances are just a few tricks from her money-laundering repertoire designed to help her amass a personal wealth of around £60 million. Nowadays there is a never ending stream of double D list celebrities fighting for the crown and the girls of ITV2s The Only Way Is Essex are prime contenders. Despite a BAFTA win and legions of ‘reem’ fans, the permatanned cast of TOWIE are said to have been unhappy with the reported £50 per day they received while filming the show. Yet they certainly manage to compensate for this elsewhere; magazine deals, product endorsements and nightclub appearances supplement their income nicely. Being drooled over by middle aged women in Tokyo on a Friday night may not be the most pleasant of money making ventures, but Joey Essex certainly doesn’t seem to mind. It may annoy the hell out of you, but it would seem that the reality star is here to stay. Their ardent thirst for fame and wealth will always keep us entertained and their accountants happy. With copycat shows springing up all over the place it is obvious that there is scope for an unlimited flutter of fame-hungry wannabes ready to make their name - when will it all end ?
know the ins and outs of their daily lives. And sadly, it would seem that this assumption is correct: Kim Kardashian, previously known for very little, other than that her father represented O.J. Simpson at his infamous trial, is now a worldwide celebrity. Even her rise to fame came as a result of a sex tape made with singer Ray J in 2007. Rather than the video being the source of years of embarrassment and trips to the therapist, as one would expect, the tape proved to be Kardashian’s meal ticket. In 2011, she was named the world’s highest paid reality star, with earnings of an esti-
keeping " r o f s u o m a 're f
mated six million dollars to her name. Following its release, Kim went on to become a television personality, model and businesswoman. The internet has also proven to be a lucrative source of income; per tiny tweet she makes colossal payments of up to $10,000 from sponsors. She has successfully managed to brand her own name, making profits of at least 18 million dollars from her short-lived (72 days to be exact) marriage to Kris Humphries, Our very own national not-so sweetheart Katie Price, a.k.a Jordan, is yet another example of ''celebrity'' gone mad. While she is of course a very talented poser of near-naked pho-
TV Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage farm headquarters has been damaged by a fire that broke out in a kitchen. Nobody was harmed in the blaze, however cookery courses have temporarily stopped. Desperate Scousewives, Channel 4's answer to TOWIE, is rumoured to be facing the axe after just one season because of a lukewarm reaction to the show from the public. The Only Way Is Essex stars are being forced to give producers 15% of their earnings related to the TOWIE brand, including appearances and photoshoots. The new rules advanced after Amy Childs and Mark Wright left the show and became media magnets. Here at TV, we couldn't help but laugh at The Sun's hilarious allegation that Mark Wright is going to audition to be the next James Bond. Is the only way Bond? David Walliams has allegedly been banned from poking fun at Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent. Is Simon's ego starting to get in the way of entertaining us? Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy has been renewed for a second series. After its disastrous attempts at humour in the first series, we're not too sure this is such a good idea...
Remotes at the ready - our tv picks for the week Think you know your crème brûlées from your custard creams? This show should definitely satisfy your appetite.
asty... You so T of Taste
Monday, BBC2, 7.30pm
Sexy Davina McCall and a million pounds... what more could you ask for? MPD is back and it's bigger and better than ever.
Broken Britain at its best. Drunk, violent and covered in vomit... and that's just the girls.
M Not to
Friday and Saturday, C4, 9pm
what's fresh FOR 2012? TOO Hot 2012 looks set to bring us some amazing TV. With some old favourites coming back, alongside a crop of new goodies, the wonderful world of the small screen has never looked so enticing.
1. The Sopranos of Middle Earth returns for its second season. We're anticipating diabolical scheming, incestuous behaviour and firebreathing dragons! (Sky Atlantic, 2012)
Sookie, Bill and Eric will be back for season 5 of the sexiest, most explicit vampire show around. Think gratuitous nudity, fang-banging and the occasional death. (FX, Sept 2012)
GOSSIP GIRL With Gossip Girl's identity recently revealed in the tabloids (we won't spoil it for you) there has been much anticipation for the sizzling US drama's fifth season. Catch it on ITV 2.
Mad Men is back for its fifth season. Maggie Smith... Need we say more? (ITV, Sept 2012)
Luck promises to be a fusion of Boardwalk Empire and The Godfather combining the shady under-
world of gangs and gambling with the grimy subculture of horse racing. (Sky Atlantic, Feb 18)
The supernatural drama returns to BBC Three for a fourth series. Michael Socha has joined the cast full time as werewolf Tom and we love it...
Can they survive the hard faced ad. industry whilst keeping that 60s charm? (Sky Atlantic. March 2012)
6. Think Glee for adults. A Spielberg creation, Smash follows the making of Marilyn Monroe the musical, and the lives of the cast and crew. (Sky Atlantic, early 2012)
A bit like the X-Factor, but with a twist. Contestants are only judged on their voices and with Jessie J as a judge it looks promising. (BBC One, 2012)
This show takes being a bi*ch to the max, Apartment 23 is based on the hate-hate relationtionship of two roomies trying to get one up on one another. (E4, 2012)
The writers of Downton Abbey are reviving Titanic. Unlike the film version, the ITV retelling will involve untold stories of the passengers. (ITV1, 2012) Two girls from utterly different backgrounds struggling to make it in the Big City. A bit generic we know but it's fun nonetheless. (ITV1, 2012)
The third generation of crazy teenagers are back with a bang, after kicking off their seasonly antics with a Skins first: a holiday to Morocco. Something is bound to go wrong...
The booze swigging, permatanned party animals return for more raunchy shenanigans. Whether anyone will want to watch their borderline pornographic debauchery is another story...
VISION looks over the latest television
SuperScrimpers Monday 8pm, C4
s students, we try to save a few pounds here and there. However I donâ€™t know if I could go to the same extent that the people on SuperScrimpers, have. Letâ€™s just say these people take "the thrill of being thrifty" to the next level; who in their right mind would use half a lemon and some sugar as a hand wash when they could take a trip to Poundland? This show makes me question whether or not I want to be that awkward person in the middle of ASDA buying nearly-off food just so I can save 50p. The only part that I found mildly helpful were the tips on how to ingeniously get salon perfect nails for under a fiver. Whilst I was sceptical about the idea of using paper-
hole reinforcers to make French manicures, I have to say I was swayed by how easy (and good) it looked. However, I draw the line at putting talcum powder on my eyelashes to make them thicker. After watching this show, unfortunately, I will not be joining the ranks of the SuperScrimper. I will, however, be utilising some of their tips in order to save some money for extra nights out in Willow.
Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy Thursday 10pm, E4
oel Fielding's Luxury Comedy is a sick and twisted journey into the mind of a doped up mad man. Visually striking, this strange concoction of whimsical storylines and peculiar animations had me strongly questioning whether I had taken some kind of illegal hallucinogen. Set in a weird and wacky alternate universe, Noel Fielding tries slightly too hard to navigate us through his ludicrously psychedelic mind. Hugely disjointed and just plain crazy, it felt like I was trapped inside a five year old's nightmare. It didn't really seem to have a plot and Noel's random and abnormal looking characters
had me baffled rather than laughing out loud; I just didn't get it. Outlandish and stupid, you'll either find yourself immersed in the madness hooked on whatever mania incucing narcotic Noel unassumingly slips you, or confused and freaked out at the weirdness of it all. Me? I think it is easy to say that this hefty attempt at foolishness had me wanting to turn off immediately. Those who loved The Mighty Boosh might like this quirky offering from the raven-haired comedian, it's different, eccentric and darn right weird. Watch with caution.
The Jeremy a kyle show us Jezza really go didn't need to his stateside with l confrontationa y ilt talk show, a gu me pleasure for soer and a hangov cure for many. ns Will the America 'get' him?
so not Morgan Collins
The Bees - Carol Ann Duffy: The Poet Laureate's first collection of poetry since her appointment; an anthology bursting with a lyricism which has got everybody buzzing. Tiny Sunbirds Far Away - Christie Watson: Details the comingof-age of a young girl, Blessing, when she is pitched into the political strife poverty of a new life in the Niger Delta.
With celebrations for Dickens's 200th birthday underway, Sophie Taylor interviews screenwriter, Sarah Phelps on her recent BBC adaptation of Great Expectations, whilst desperately avoiding the urge to ask for Douglas Booth's number.
even the writer's knowledge of how events are going to end.
Q: Why do you think Dickens is still so popular today?
A: I wasn't pressurised to take anything out. I knew very clearly from the start what I wanted to do. It is such a huge book with so much going on, so my process was to describe the story in one sentence and stick to that angle. So, for Oliver Twist my sentence was: "The orphan child comes home." For a writer, this sentence is a light which guides you. My shining sentence for Great Expectations was: "A boy who sells his soul and binds it back by becoming a man." In such a large book, you can easily become distracted by hoards of this, that and the other.
A: Well... he's readable. I suppose my first answer has to be a question - is he so popular or does he just lend himself so well to adaptation? It's definitely hard to imagine not having him as part of the canon; not having him would be like not having Jane Austen. I think his success stems from his often furious engagement with the world as he saw it; thefrankly lunatic plotting, his ability to cut away verbiage and address inequities as he saw them, with a fast engagement with the prejudice towards children as a core to his work. Q: How did you feel when you were approached to adapt such a classic piece of literature? Were you nervous? A: Not at all. I approached them actually. I wanted to write the screenplay very much. I'd adapted Oliver Twist for the BBC and enjoyed it and so I badgered them for four or five years. The stars eventually came into alignment and I was able to do it! 'Classic' as a term is sometimes a little subjective, almost as though it's been invented to sound intimidating. I didn't allow that to bother me. I just found the prospect exciting. Q: Who is your favourite Dickens character?
Pure - Andrew Miller: A historical novel immersed with the ghosts of PostRevolutionary France, set with the backdrop of the Les Innocents cemetery in Paris. Blood Red Road Moira Young: The first book in what The Guardian describes as a "dystopian trilogy for teens", telling the adventure of Saba and her quest to rescue her twin brother from an evil sandstorm.
A: I think I'd say Miss Havisham. She's just so rich; rich in the sense that there is so much to explore in her character. I also love Nancy, and Bill Sykes. Overall, I think that my favourite Dickens character of all time is London, if that makes sense. Dickens wrote about place and atmosphere so well, with such sprawling description. I especially loved his depiction of the marshes at Satis House; his language is so haunting and vigorous. Q: To what extent would you say a soap, such as EastEnders, is similar to Dickens? A: I wrote 97 episodes of EastEnders, which was hard work but a lot of fun. Anybody who watches EastEnders would agree that it does not show a true depiction of London, similarly to Dickens. In terms of those engaged, and the avid fans who hang on every word with such attention to detail, the world of Dickens and the London of EastEnders are not dissimilar in their collected fanbase. Both Dickens' world and the world of soaps seem to have this culture of expectation and delayed gratification in which the audience are teased, tantalised and satisfied, often without
Q: Did you feel under pressure to stay true to the plot of Dickens?
Q: You obviously have a clear idea in your imagination how the end product will appear. How different was the reality for you on screen? A: I was always very decided on place and clear on how Satis House would appear. We were fortunate enough to have on our team the set designer David Roger, who is a gilded genius. Satis House was astonishing. There were so many minute details that even the camera couldn't possibly pick up. The final set made my skin prickle. Every single dead fly had been put there with a pair of tweezers. It really was like a ghost house- and absolutely horrific to imagine Estella, this little girl, living there on her own with Miss Havisham, required to bear witness every day to the havoc of what love has done to her. Whenever anyone says to me, this is a comic novel, I simply can't understand them. I just don't see the comedy. It is a savage, cruel and brutal book, with a beating heart of grief and loss.
BBOC (BIG BOOK ON CAMPUS) Now All Roads Lead to France Matthew Hollis: A poignant biography following the final five years of Edward Thomas's life, a soldier noted for his bravery and extraordinary friendships.
ontrary to the idea we may already have of Philip Larkin, as the grumpy reclusive poetlibrarian, this novel was written by a 21-year-old Larkin as a student at Oxford University, which is likewise the setting of Jill, his first published novel. Originally, Jill was published by Fortune Press, a publishing house which then specialised in producing gay erotic fiction, But disappointingly this is not the long lost homoerotic fiction of Philip Larkin; that would have made for an even better BBOC. Jill is the story of an Oxford fresher during the first year of World War II, offering the reader a rich account of academia in wartime Britain. The novel follows John Kemp's obsession with his fictitious sister named Jill and also his relationship with his roommate Christopher. In an attempt to convince Christopher his life is in-
JILL by Philip Larkin
teresting, John counterfeits letters from his fake sister and leaves them around their room. This obsession is then transferred to a girl in her midteens that happens to look a bit like his imaginings of her. Larkin's protagonist depicts the true spirit of the British nation: embarrassment and confusion. John Kemp is awkward, sometimes to a humorous effect, and sometimes he comes off as just plain weird. His first arrival at University and first interactions with his peers, invites us to a situation all too familiar for some students today, a scene of sitting dazed and confused, clutching cups of tea. But whatever happens, we can be comforted by the fact that you didn't make such a mess of things as our protagonist here (providing you didn't start your year by stalking young girls). Worryingly, although some of the
actions of John Kemp make him seem something of a psychopath, he remains an endearing character. His constant obsessions about his fictitious younger sister and the stalking of a girl in her mid-teens are all pretty strange, but it's really a story of an outsider struggling to find his own identity at University. Jill invites its readers into a familiar life of a famous student town of cyclists and coffee shops. For all of John's myriad oddities he is a character with sympathetic traits. In picking up this book the reader will be taken into the odd world of John Kemp and follow him through the friendships and challenges of his new life. Failing that, it is one for the Oxford reject to read and whimsically dream about what could have been. Ben Gibson
LITERARY EVENTS IN YORK
Caught in a Bad Romance
n epic Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century." You'd think these words - the very first lines of the blurb on the back cover - would have served as a fair warning. And yet I ignored the inkling that foretold a trite storyline and a predictable ending, having faith in the several shining recommendations I'd received, and picked up The Obscure Logic of the Heart regardless. The novel certainly didn't disappoint. My expectations, that is. Needless to say, when my room is inspected later this week, someone isn't going to be happy about the massive dent in my wall that's resulted from the amount of times I've thrown this book against it. Anil is a privileged and spoiled budding architect whose career is propelled by his father's wealth and influence. Lina is a physically blessed and presumably intelligent (I say 'presumably' because we're never given any evidence of her perpetually lauded intellect) picture of female submission that falls in love with Anil in their final year at University. But most notably he is a Sikh and she is a Muslim, and this provides the central conflict of this 'epic' - as the blurb so aptly calls it - of forbidden love: her parents, devout followers of Islam, do not approve of the match. By forcing her to choose between her family and the man she loves, Basil uses Lina to explore the notion of forbidden love whilst also expanding the theme of immigration and cross-cultural relationships. But the 'star-cross'd lovers' forge on, maintaining a surreptitious relationship through correspondence across continents, choosing love over notions of duty despite Lina's consternation arising from her own religious beliefs - because they're quite plainly destined for each other.
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Priya Basil, however, fails to adhere to one of the most fundamental rules of creative writing in this respect: 'show, don't tell.' The pair’s chemistry and inevitability as a couple are never felt; we are simply expected to believe they exist because we're told it's so. (Of course, it's a wellknown fact, as Anil keenly observes whilst remembering their first meeting, that if someone's name spelt backwards is the same as yours, you're meant to be together). Defying this notion is the fact that throughout the novel they don't even seem to like each other; both are consistently stubborn and unwilling to make compromises for the relationship to run smoothly. This repeatedly results in heated arguments, which rather than adding heat and pace to the narrative makes the central raltionship appear inconsistent. Indeed, I would question the nature of why both choose to remain in each others company at all, both confirming and subverting the nature of love at first sight. This it seems, is the true strngth of Basil's authorial voice; in weaving together the complexity of the political and the personal world she both redeems and reaffirms her skill as a writer. This means that whilst we may not agree with her characters their is no denying the tenacity of her craftsmanship. As the novel concludes, it appears to redeem itself of its shortcomings; not seeming as though these obviously unsuited individuals will end up together after all. But a surprise twist at the end ruined everything, breaking boundaries not through literary merit but to an extent which truly inspires fear at the cost of repairing my wall. Conclusively, should this novel be picked up, wear a hard hat to avoid the damage you may inflict.
York Stories: As part of the York 800, the festival celebrating the 800th anniversary of York as a self-governing city, the City Council is requesting records and stories about people, places and events in their home city, where they will be immortalised by being 'digitally inserted into the city walls'. Whatever that means. York Script Factor: At the York Theatre Royal, the final of the poorly-named literary equivalent of the X Factor - the Script Factor - sees short scripts written by local writers performed spontaneously without rehearsal and with script in hand by local actors to an audience. There is subsequently a vote on the audience's favourite piece. Afterwards, there are opportunities to meet and talk to the winning writers. York Mystery Plays: A world-famous part of the city's cultural heritage for centuries, the York Mystery Plays 2012 will see perhaps its most grandiose performance to date with the biblical story of God, a man and a woman and the epic battle between good and evil - spanning from Creation to the Last Judgement-, being performed against the magnificent backdrop of St. Mary's Abbey in Museum Gardens from 2nd-27th August. Philip Watson
The Book Review:
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files for $100billion IPO
nternet entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and stock market traders alike are waiting with baited breath for one of the tech industry’s largest ever entrants to begin trading on the stock market; on 1st of February Facebook officially filed to go public. Facebook began life, as many are aware, with Mark Zuckerburg in a small Harvard dormitory. It launched in 2004 and has seen unprecedented growth ever since. Yet few seem aware of what Facebook has since become and, indeed, what it intends to be. After filing its Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the biggest since Google in 2004, Facebook has sought to ‘sell itself ’ to potential share buyers. It has, as a result, laid itself bare for them and the figures are quite incredible. The filing shows that as of December 31st 2011 Facebook can proudly state it has 845million active users. It also proudly states that, on average, there are more than 483million active users per day. That, in perspective, is the population of the United Kingdom 7.7 times over, logging into one single website on one single day. But so what? Facebook has a lot of users, we knew that. What makes that a business? Facebook doesn’t really sell anything - there’s no membership, no optional pay-as-you-go extras, so what does it have to offer? Well, quite simply, Facebook offers what Facebook has. And what Facebook has, is information. As it happens, this information is gold. Facebook’s revenue for 2011 totals,
according to their filing, $3,711,000,000. Of that, $3,154,000,000, or approximately 85%, came from advertising. Advertising on Facebook is so popular because of how specific the ads can be - there’s nothing companies love more than to get their product in the faces of the people they’re targeting and the information Facebook has on you, location, gender, age, etc, allows them to do exactly that. As Facebook’s user base has grown, however, so too has the criticism. Many critics are quick to point out privacy issues with the website, although Facebook has reacted after a number of stories began hitting the headlines. Other critics have an issue with the concept of a company having control over the ‘private’ information of almost a billion people. Conspiracy theorists perhaps, but maybe they have a point. Despite this deepseated criticism, users continue to flock to the well known social network. As Facebook indicates, its mission is to grow further and it will be looking to expand into countries relatively under represented on its
Inject some tech into your love life!
site at present. Countries such as Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Russia and South Korea are all acknowledged as a target for growth by the filing. More users easily translates into more profit, something potential investors will be keen to hear. But unusually, Facebook, via Mark Zuckerberg’s personal letter to investors, continually reiterates its ‘social agenda’ avoiding any direct reference to profit, or to profitmaximising methods. “Facebook was not originally created to be a company” he begins, “It was built to accomplish a social mission.” He also continues this message further, stating “We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.” Such claims feel like they’re coming from a social enterprise rather than a soon-to-be publicly traded company on Wall Street. Whether such claims will scare off or reassure investors that Facebook knows what it's d o i n g will remain to be seen. One thing’s for certain though, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding this filing and a lot of people are set to make a lot of money.
5 WAYS TO ENJOY LIFE MORE WITH TECH! 1. www.bbc.co.uk/food A huge recipe database and the ability to search by several ingredients at a time makes this is a great website both for inspiration and for helping to clear out leftovers. 2.Wired A great magazine with a diverse range of technology-related news, suitable both for those with a casual interest and full-on geeks. Get it online, in app, or on paper. 3. Blogs The internet is big; there are lots of people writing about lots of things. Find a blogger or two that you enjoy and start following. The Vision blogs are a good place to start!
4. Google Alerts A simple but useful Google-based tool that lets you track current events, celebrities, sports teams and so on. Enter keywords and receive an email notification every time Google thinks something you’d like is posted on the web. 5. RedLaser If you do have to leave the house to shop, make sure you bring RedLaser, a free app for iPhone, Windows Phones and Android, You can scan most barcodes to check prices - useful!
Games of 3 p o T is h s w ie v re n lex Ferguso
Missed the boat on buying your Valentine the perfect gift? Amazon offers next-day deliveries, and this might just be the best belated romantech gift ever. This USB 2.0 Hub allows your loved one to connect multiple devices through a single USB port, as well as simultaneously illustrating through its romantically red floral arrangement just how much you love them. For as little as £9.99 and with no extra software needing to be installed it's both fuss free and economical. A real treat for your significant other! Available here: http://amzn.to/wJM7dn
A staple on pretty much everyone’s GOTY list. The story is immeasurably superior to Oblivion; nothing feels like a chore. Of the dozens of hours I played on the game, I spent a lot of time wandering around the vast world that Bethesda created just simply to explore. The new skill system is not perfect, in that as you level up monsters will become tougher with you regardless as to whether you level up through combat or non-combat skills. And of course, it’s still full of bugs (but what Elder Scrolls game isn't?). Skyrim is a wonderful game though, in which players will lose many hours exploring and enjoying the beautifully created world.
Arkham Asylum came out of nowhere and Rocksteady has pulled out all the stops for the sequel. Somehow they managed to make the previous brilliant game almost perfect with the sequel Batman: Arkham City. A genuinely touching story with a shocking ending, Arkham City is one of the best games of the year. However, I felt that Rocksteady tried to pack in a few too many villains this time. Most of their stories felt rushed, and the Catwoman sections felt unnecessary. Having said that, Arkham City really is a phenomenal game, the world is well designed and the gameplay and story mesh together very well. Let’s hope Arkham Planet will be just as good.
Valve took Portal, something that was perfect as a four hour mini-game and made everything bigger and (mostly) better. The new puzzle mechanics are intuitive and well thought out, although towards the end of the game there are so many bits to a puzzle that it can get a bit overwhelming. Of course, Portal’s signature humour is back in droves for the sequel with a fantastic performance from Stephen Merchant. Despite the fact that many of the later puzzles seemed impossible, whenever I did solve them I would always kick myself for not seeing the simple option sooner; one of the reasons Portal 2 is so addictive. Genuinely, a fantastic game.
The Ting Tings chat to Rachel Pronger Y
ou’d be forgiven for wondering where the Ting Tings have been recently. A couple of years ago it was virtually impossible to walk into H&M or switch on the TV without hearing a snippet of their distinctive jerky dance pop. Whether you liked it or not, infectious singles such as 'Shut Up And Let Me Go' and 'That’s Not My Name' became fully integrated into the noughties pop vocabulary with remarkable speed as Katie White and Jules De Martino went from struggling musicians to Ivor Novello winning, Glastonbury conquering pop stars apparently overnight. Of course it wasn’t overnight really, it never is. Both members of the Ting Tings had had their own brushes with the sharp end of the music industry; White in failed girl band TKO and De Martino in a number of rock and dance outfits, as well as a failed venture together, Dear Eskiimo, another pop dance act with DJ Simon Templeton. After Dear Eskiimo flopped, White worked in a clothes shop to pay the bills, whilst the pair gigged by night, part of the buzzing Manchester music scene centred on Islington Mills. The rest, to steal a threadbare cliché, is history. The Ting Tings were eventually snapped up by local then major labels, catchy singles were released, high profile festival slots and awards followed and they toured the world. Now, nearly four years after their mega selling debut We Started Nothing, the Ting Tings are finally releasing a full length follow up, Sounds From Nowheresville, at the end of this month. Usually record labels keen to capitalise on a successful debut try to rush out a second record before the buzz dies down. In the fast moving music biz, delaying a follow up record can be a real risk, so when I catch up with De Martino in early February, a polite and articulate interviewee despite being fully ensconced in what sounds like a gruelling press junket, I’m keen to find out what took the Ting Tings so long. “I think with the first record being successful we fell in love with touring, not just the shows, which are brilliant, but we actually fell in love with travelling,” De Martino explains. “As Katie says, for a girl from Wigan who flunked out of school... it’s tough and she didn’t study and she didn’t think anything was going to come of her creativity, and as she always says, she’s gone round the world six or seven times and she's seen countries she would never have been able to see without music and that has a big effect on you. Of course it’s all very well to say a year and a half later ‘come back home, you’ve got to make another record,’ but if you’ve got the chance to go to places like Indonesia, China, all these places that you’re just never going to see... We knew what the option was for us; it was like ‘why would we want to make another record?’” The experience of touring a successful album has obviously had a profound effect on the band. De Martino talks ex-
tensively and with quiet passion about the experience of playing in Jakarta- “we were onstage in front of 7000 people who couldn’t speak any English but knew every word of our songs from the beginning to the end... I guess that says it all really”and highlights that even when the duo were writing and recording they never really stopped performing live, heading off on a mini tour every few weeks to keep up the momentum. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the eye opening experience of being on the road, the band were reluctant to return to Salford to record the second album. Did they consciously decide to isolate themselves? “Yeah, maybe,” De Martino concedes thoughtfully. “Maybe not consciously, but we wanted to move away from what we were doing in Manchester. Islington Mill is a great place and we still go back there, but it’s a place where our
It was like: 'Why would we want to make another record?' friends, lots of artists, base themselves.” “The problem is that we’d spent three years there as part of a scene, doing parties getting advice, writing our first album, and when the album took off we just felt really rotten about going back there. It just felt kind of wrong to do that, to relive that same thing. It was such a fantastic experience going from absolutely nothing to seeing the world...” De Martino falters slightly, “do you know what I mean? It would just never be the same and we didn’t want to ruin that memory.”
To avoid ruining that memory De Martino and White chose to record in Berlin and Ibiza, an experience they clearly relished. Life in these famously hedonistic cities sounds blissfully rock and roll, recording sessions punctuated by visits to art galleries, partying with friends and clubbing, but when De Martino gets talking about Sounds From Nowheresville it becomes clear that he regards the creative process with almost po-faced sincerity. “We didn’t want to make a record that was so immediate and so kind of disposable. We wanted to make a record that meant a lot more in terms of content... That’s what was important about the sessions when we were recording it, everything had to be quite organic, if any of us had the intention of writing a hit record, of setting the world alight again, if anyone had that intention we just didn’t go to the studio.” Once again the experience of touring appears to have been all conquering, having a direct impact on the direction of this second album, a jukebox mishmash of different styles rather than a straightforward dance pop record. “I’ve got a particularly large record collection and there’s no way I can carry that on the road with me for two years, it’s impossible to do.” explains De Martino, “So everything became digital and I am now a fan of the digital age but I was pretty anti when we were first starting out. Now because of that option you’ve got with mp3 players and laptops I tend to make my own albums up, my own playlists, so when we made this record I had this vision of making it more into a playlist than an album. If you listen to this record there are a lot of influences in there. There’s a song called “Day To Day” that reflects Katie, where she was brought up and the sort of music she was listening to, The Spice Girls and TLC, it was really
important to her to have a record that reminded her about why she started in music- those records that she loves, those types of bands, listening to radio and going to school. It was important to us to find songs that were covering our influences.” Clearly the pressure of following up a ubiquitous mainstream success must be pretty galling, particularly if you have a reputation for being a bit contrary. Aside from resisting their label's request for a second album, The Ting Tings reportedly deleted their first set of demos for Sounds From Nowheresville apparently spooked by the record companies rock solid conviction they’d written a hit. It’s clear that De Martino is highly uncomfortable with the idea of serving a label, hardly surprising given the way they’ve been stung in the past. “Even though we are signed to a major label we are an independent outfit who make our own records, do all our own videos”, De Martino insists. "We come to the label for help with distribution and obviously creativity on their front with press and stuff like that. But it does stop there with us, it’s really about our desire and if that desire is not strong then we don’t make a record.” Despite the open reverence for the creative process, it is clear that The Ting Tings feel no need to paint themselves as tortured artistes. “Our lives right now are very happy and we’re very lucky” De Martino says as we wrap up, “but I don’t think it makes much sense unless we make an album we’re truly happy with. And I think we’ve done that.” The sense of self assurance is unmistakable. Like it or not, The Ting Tings are back; you can batten down the hatches all you want but if you ask me, resistance is futile. The Ting Tings - Sound of Nowheresville is released on 27th February 2012 on Columbia Records.
. . . S N O I T S E U 20 Q
r o F g n i l w o B with Soup 1. What would be your X-Factor audition song? I would think '18 and Life' by Skid Row... Or maybe 'Mr. Jones' by Counting Crows... No way I am getting past the audition, so I might as well do it in style! 2. If High School really never ends, what clique to you belong to now? The good one that gets all the bootie! 3. Weirdest experience on stage? I'm in a rock band... The whole thing is pretty weird. 4. If tomorrow you became world rulers, what would be the first thing you did? Appoint someone as world manager so we could just drink beers and watch home improvement shows on TV. 5. Snog / Marry / Avoid: Debbie Harry, Jared Leto, The Girl All The Bad Guys Want Snog - Debbie Harry Marry - TGATBGW Avoid - Jared Leto - Not that I have anything against the guy... I just don't want to hump him! 6. Chicken soup or tomato? I am more of a stew guy... maybe a nice minestrone.
7. Best year of your life so far? 1985? 2003 - My first baby was born...Grammy Nomination... And BFS had our first hit... Big year. 8. If you could be any cocktail, what would you be and why? Miller Lite - Because I would be delicious, refreshing and get ya drunk (eventually). 9. Are you partial to a bit of air guitar? I can honestly say, I have never "air-guitared" unless mimicking Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. 10. Who would you least like to be stuck in a windowless jail cell with? Queen Latifah
American Pop-Punk four piece Bowling for Soup are best known for Tracks declaring their lust for 'The Girl All The Bad Guys Want', recapturing their inner teenager in 'High School Never Ends' and chronicling a time-looped mother trapped in '1985'. Based in Texas, the Grammy Nominees (who will be not so gracefully gracing York's very own The Duchess on 29th March) offer their lead singer Jaret Reddick to divulge his opinions on Soup, English Mustard and why he is, in fact, a Banjo. 11. Describe BFS in five words Really Awesome Dudes That Rule. 12. Do you have any pre-performance routines? See question 8! 13. You've just fallen into radio-active waste, what is your new superhero name? Captain Awesome. 14. Best fan mail ever? Chris once got naked pics from a fans mom... We put them up in the van... She seemed very nice.
15. Your life's worst hangover so far: How? What? Where? When? Why? 16 years old, my brothers apartment... Got drunk on Coors Light... Didn't drink beer again for over 10 years! pretty sure I had alcohol poisoning... I don't recommend this! 16. Do you know what a 'two way' is? Yes I do... I wrote that sh*t! 17. If you were a guitar, what kind would you be and why? I'd be a banjo... I have no idea why... But that is a fact! 18. Spotify: yay or nay? Yep... I'm in! 19. Texan BBQ sauce or English mustard? BBQ sauce for sure... I am not an English mustard fan.... 20. And finally, in your opinion, does the music make the band or the band the music? The band makes the music... good music can't turn a**holes into nona**holes... But there are some a**holes that make great music!