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Issue no . 00 3
For and by the students at London Met
Something for summer
Hot festival action
Meet Bastian Gründler,
Music is the best Cure
With improved par-tici-pation!
|media activities (verveZine & verveRadio) | democracy | student council | campaigning for change (24 hour library, black history month, LGBT history month | fighting for equality & diversity | student union annual elections charity work (rag week) | StARs (Student Academic Rep Scheme) 2nd hand book fayre | A.I.R (advice, information, representation) |societies|
Room TMG-65a Tower Building Holloway Road
us at Visit
How will you get involved with your union?
3rd Floor, HUB 2 Goulston St Aldgate
phone: 0207 133 4171
phone: 0207 320 2233
Òputting studentsÕ firstÓ
04 08 10 20 22 31 32
2010 SU Elections
The best results in years - though concerns still remain.
It’s that time of the year. The sun is out and all you want to do is hang out at the Heath instead of slaving over your books. Upside is; it’s almost over. In a couple of weeks, you’ll have all the time in the world to do everything and anything. The Heath, here I come! To all of you who are graduating and won’t be joining us at London Met after the summer; congratulations on graduating. To everyone else; we at Vervezine will see you after the summer. Hopefully, we’ll have some surprises for you when you come back after the holiday. We look forward to a new season where we’ll tell you all about the latest at uni, good artists, new trends and achievements in the world of sports. Remember, if you want to get involved and develop your student magazine e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the art director at email@example.com
Experience the most commercial of arts.
Medicine at the Rocket Belly Dancing Society
How to move with a purpose.
A Rocket event for the only important genre - good music!
Enchanted Fashion in an Enchanted Place
Lose yourself in a real-life wonderland.
Festivals for Summer Entertainment
The best places for summer music, both here and abroad.
Ellie Goulding Plan B Redwood falls Tankus the Henge
Erasing David Sex and the City 2 The Blind Side The Ghost Writer
I wish you all a great holiday and I hope you have fun in the sun.
Copyright © 2010. Published by the London Metropolitan University Student Union (METSU). All copyrights exist with the indicated authors, written under the Vervezine name and cannot be reproduced or altered in any way, outside of the magazine, without the respective authors express permission. This publication is for free, non-commercial distribution only. All views represented within the publication are not necessarily those of the writers, editors or London Met Student Union
Corrections and Clarifications
In last issue's piece 'Buy A Cheerleader, Save The Team', we accidentally credited James Canlas with writing the piece. That role was dutifully carried out by Christian Eriksson. In addition, one of Marta’s reviews was miscredited to Anthony.
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Isl a m ic
S ociet y
Up and down the obscure flight of stairs of London Metropolitan University – carrying without a halt my dedicated quest for societies – I have noticed that the shinier gems are hard to find and to hear about, and harder to find the right words to define its shine. I think that for this time, I finally caught something rather interesting and therefore will promptly share it with you. According to Babor (secretary and second year student in Biochemistry), the Islamic society has existed for as long as a few decades, tracing back to the society’s former group in the nineties. Since then, as the society has been changing regularly of ownership, the group is now held by two other students: President Tuly and Finance Officer Abu Bakr. Existing since the university was named University North London (UNL), the Islamic Society seems so far to be the most pro-active of societies. Although a very small number of people are officially registered, Babor insists that the society is open to all Muslims from all cultures, but also to everybody within the university. Babor, distant from the society’s long history, declares with a hint of happiness the society’s current full-on business and motivation. Mainly dedicated to provide help to Muslim students with work or jobs, the Islamic society tries to build good and valuable grounds to increase productivity. “In order for us to do more activities, more seminars, more lectures, more conferences, we need hands to help out.”
Unfortunately, the number of people inclined to help is small and Babor recalls that membership drives were easier when membership was 50p, “People were more inclined to join a society at that time.” Thankfully, some people are apt of generousness, as has been demonstrated a few weeks ago during the charity week. On duty to raise money for “Orphans in Bangladesh”, the overall week generated £900, but Babor remembers the good old days. “We raised £1500 last year. Although three years ago, with the help of the Students’ Union, the society raised around £10.000.” However good these figures inform of the dedication of the Islamic society, their other interest is also to arouse cultural commitment through talks and conferences. The most recent was an event presented by Murtaza Khan and Jalal Ibn Sa’eed through a speech entitled “The journey of Life and death”. Devoted to represent the majority of the Muslim community, Babor insists that the society do not hold any strict codes of practices and furthermore welcome any religious point of views. Nonetheless, in contact with the praying facility, they do encourage people to group and chat – avoiding imposing anything to anyone; they invite people to participate in any activities.
The More Things Change...
One surprise was the creation of a political party, of a sort. A number of students banded together to run as ‘Mission Met’, under a shared manifesto and resources, supporting each others’ bids for Council seats. Only two out of their seven candidates managed to win seats. The election also highlighted another question about participation. According to the university’s own research, London Met’s student body is more female than male and broadly distributed between White, Asian and Black students. However the dearth of female and non-Asian Union Executive members raised questions about how accurately the Students’ Union executive Committee represented the student body at large. Although this years’ election resulted in a more diverse Students’ Union, the Union has some way to go before it is representative of the university’s diversity. Vervezine interviewed SU President, Yeashir Ahmed, who raised the issue without being asked. He challenged critics and raised the important question of involvement, “Well, if you don’t like Bangladeshi people why don’t you get engaged” he asked, referring to low student participation. “Is it Bangaldeshi problem there is no candidate from other country or other side?”
Rishi Pancholi, Phillipe Giovanni Chiarella, Tarequl Islam Khan, James Canlas, Bonolo Jamarl Woracker, Yeashir Ahmed and Angelo Weekes represented London Metropolitan University at the National Union of Students (NUS) yearly conference in Gateshead. The delegates chose Aaron Porter as the 54th NUS President, succeeding Wes Streeting. Although a Labour party member, Porter threatened to give the government a fight over the Browne report into tuition fees. Wes Streeting still managed to hold the delegates’ attention. “You won’t see pensioners being ignored at this election because it doesn’t matter how old or frail they are, they will find a way to the polling station on voting day. The ‘grey vote’ is powerful, it is so influential. And the student vote could be the same.”
Student Union Elections are like Secret Santas – they come once a year and, while you know what you put in, you’re never really sure if you’ll get what you wanted. The Students’ Union elections 2009/10 resulted in weak mandates, an absenteeism in meetings that prevented quorum (required to pass motions) and the vocal fear of a hostile university. It made this years’ elections starkly different and, in this case very encouraging. 6.5% of the student population voted, a great increase over last years 1.5%. Over 30 candidates stood, bringing the Students’ Union (SU) to full strength. Ringing the changes:
The election results for the full-time officers are as below. Their manifestos are still available on the Student Democracy website. https://intranet.londonmet.ac.uk/studentservices/studentdemocracy
President Vice-President (North) Vice-President (City) Communication & Campaigns Officer Participation & Development Officer Diversity & Welfare Officer Welfare Officer International Students Officer Part-Time Students Officer Postgraduate Students Officer
Yeashir Ahmed Amir Ramin Richi Sethi Rishi Pancholi Tarequl Islam Khan MD Aman Ullah Elliot Agbon Abu >Empty< >Empty< Adikwu Lawrence Adoli
Yeashir Ahmed Samsul Hoq Muhammed Sadi Claire Locke Tarequl Islam Khan Angelo Weekes Sara Awayez Towfiq Ahamed Mohamed Mohamed Michael P. Young
Contact Email address
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org These candidates do not yet have email addresses. Students can contact the SU offices by ringing the city campus offices on 0207 320 2233. The North campus office can called on 0207 133 4171
09/10 Students Union Officers (Left to Right): Rishi Pancholi (Communications & Campaigns Officer), Richi Sethi (Vice-President North), Yeashir Ahmed (President), Tarequl Islam Khan (Participation & Development Officer), Amir Ramin (Vice-President City)
Concern surrounds the Browne report, which will not be available until after the general election. It is expected to recommend big rises in tuition fees and the interest rates on student loans, eventually leading to a US-style free market in education. Lord Browne was the head of BP until he stepped down after lying to the court.
Communications and Campaigns Officer, Rishi Pancholi, stated that, “there needs to be more policing of SU elections.” He said that he was “pretty sure” that candidates had canvassed in IT rooms (an act punishable by disqualification), although he added that he was not personally aware of such behaviour.
Fraud claims still dog SU
The 2007/8 elections were voided after the discovery of electronic ballot stuffing. While the 2008/9 elections suffered more from disinterest than sabotage, claims of fraud have risen again. Temidayo Israel, who has twice failed to secure the Presidency, confirmed that he had filed a claim of voting fraud with the Vice-Chancellor, Malcolm Gillies. The claims were made against another presidential candidate, Yeashir Ahmed. He told his Facebook followers: “AFTER DUE PRAYER AND CONSULTATION – I HAVE DECIDED TO FIGHT 4 D MANDATE GIVEN BY STUDENT VOTERS THIS ELECTION”. He said that he was “LOOKING FORWARD TO D MEETING WITH D VICE-CHANCELLOR AFTER EASTER IN REGARDS TO D ELECTION FRAUD ”. President Yeashir Ahmed said, “I have been given criminal allegations without any evidence. Well fine, people forcing [others to vote in a certain way]. Where are you then? There was a time for this complaint, why they didn’t complain that time?” Gillies ordered an investigation by the University Secretary and Returning Officer, John McParland. McParland told the Vervezine: “I have not seen or been provided with evidence of any fraud in the recent election.” The SU’s Deputy Returning Officer, Eddie Rowley, has stated categorically that there is no evidence that fraud has occurred.
Riad Jaman – 2nd Year History student Q1. Did you vote in the Student Union Elections? If so, are you happy with the outcome? I did vote, I am happy with the outcome, and I’m sure all of the candidates will do a good job... Q2. How do you feel about the allegations of fraudulent activity within the SU Elections? I wasn’t aware... Rudzani Moleya – Law Student Q1. Did you vote in the Student Union Elections? If so, are you happy with the outcome? I voted, and I only recently heard about the outcome, and no, I guess I’m not happy with it. Q2. How do you feel about the allegations of fraudulent activity within the SU Elections? Yeah, I think obviously there has been (fraudulent activity). I don’t know to what extent, but there has to be some kind of fraud, ‘cos a lot of people who haven’t campaigned are in the union now. My other problem is that they all seem to be of one ethnic group, and I’m not sure how you can be a student union and represent a whole university when all of you are from the same background, environment, or gender - it just doesn’t make sense. Angelica Dunkley – 3rd Year Law Student Q1. Did you vote in the Student Union Elections? If so, are you happy with the outcome? I voted Rishi Pancholi for Communications officer, but I was surprised that the president got his position back, seeing as lots of people were very unhappy with him, and he didn’t do much campaigning. So I think, maybe some fraud occurred during the election period. Q2. How do you feel about the allegations of fraudulent activity within the SU Elections? I think last year there was a lot of fraud, and this year they obviously haven’t sorted out the situation - it’s obviously occurred again, hence the president.
The G ener a l e lecTion :
They think it’s all over - but it’s not!
Writing about politics for a magazine is difficult work. After all, if a week is a long time in politics, then our production cycle probably counts as a geological epoch. So I’m going to skip the bits we all know about and go to something else. Out of all the world’s top countries, it’s only the UK and USA that prefers some clapped-out, undemocratic electoral system, fetishising ‘strong government’ and pretending that accommodating a variety of views, rather than one set of them, is somehow dirty. These are countries that bring up Israel and Italy as bad examples, conveniently forgetting to mention that both nations have massive problems quite unrelated to how they vote. Meanwhile, nations like Germany, France and Norway (ranked best place in the world to live) are wondering why they never get mentioned. I have previously said that memories of the previous Conservative government may slow hands eager for Cameron’s form of ‘change’ and I appeared to be right. You see, despite their claims of victory, despite gaining the most votes overall, the Conservatives failed. All the parties did. The electorate spoke and said ‘That’s what we get to choose from?’ In theory the Conservatives should have been able to create a 1997-style landslide; the conditions were certainly there. Instead, I think, they failed to convince that the ‘nasty party’ had been banished to the Hell of Eternal Recession. The nation turned to the Conservatives, but daren’t give them all the keys to power. Of course Labour lost, dipping below 30% popularity and out of Number 10. While everyone’s criticism of Brown being unelectable was strictly wrong (we don’t elect our PMs, only MPs), his assumption of Blair’s vacated seat was never going to please a nation that had quickly tired of Blairism. And the Lib Dems…they also lost. Their voter surge turned out to be a mirage of ballot boxes that, no matter how hard they tried, never came within reach. Now they are stuck between a hard place and an even harder place. Much of their base won’t even slip behind the bike sheds with the Conservatives, let alone into bed with them, but it comes to something when an outgoing Labour government can make an incoming Conservative one look like the better partner. OK, so they lost; but who won? Well, the public, to some degree (work with me; I’m trying to be positive here). The hurdle over which papers tried to boost their favoured parties became a long drop over which they flung themselves into irrelevance. From the Daily Mail’s pretend outrage over Clegg’s ‘Nazi Slur’ to The
Sun’s attempts to paint a rich, white, man with royal connections as Britain’s Obama, this wasn’t an election where the papers got to dictate the public’s choice. And that’s a good thing. There are other ways we may have won. Assuming that Cameron is honest in his ambition for cuddlier Conservatives (and he did offer serious concessions), a Con-Lab coalition will inoculate him against his own parties’ reactionary right. Certainly, a minority government and a new election wouldn’t have helped – we need parties to show us something new before we vote again. Besides, both parties have the incentive not to become the parties that destroyed recovery and consigned us to economic oblivion. In the end though, we simply don’t know how this will go. Like all governments, this one needs pressure to keep it honest, especially in the midst of a financial crisis caused by financial institutions, but left for us to pay. HOT TOPIC: This election is a big issue, with repercussions across all of society. How do you feel about the election? Email us at the usual address: email@example.com
Conservatives s ev i t a v r e s n o C
Quotes of the Campaign – some of my favourite lines to come out of the last month, in no particular order. “It is my job to see that Cameron fucking well gets into Downing Street”. - Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor, The Sun. “Look, my polling suggests that the overall impression left by Cleggmania will eventually be less than what remains of a hot slash on a tarmac road after 24 hours in a heatwave”. - Malcolm Tucker. “Students, get out of bed earlier if you want to vote”. Blogger Paul Staines “Mr Clegg was said to have came off the phone assured that it would be impossible to work with Brown because of his attitude towards working with other people.” from the BBC News website “When no party gets an absolute majority, the voters are saying they don’t love any one of us enough to give us a monopoly on power”. - David Miliband.
LIBERAL LA REBI L
Photographs by Jason Baughan
And then they came for me...
Remembering the world of Anne Frank
it. And it took me many years to get my confidence back and not to be shy and to be able to speak up. When two people were together I didn’t dare to open my mouth for many years after the war.” When studying history in the GCSE’s, I remember thinking that surely the rest of the world knew what was going on, how could they let this happen? Why didn’t they stop it? How did she feel when she was finally able to leave the death camp? “I’ve never met a German person who said they knew what was going.” She says that it was all “very well hidden. You were not allowed to listen to foreign broadcasts – only German radio which was censored. But on the BBC, they always talked about the death camps so it was well known over here. After the war I felt extremely bitter, not just against the Germans but against the whole world because I felt that they had let us down badly.” “We had to get up very early and stand in rows for two hours,” she tells us, describing a typical day in the famous concentration camp. “Then we got our liquid, either tea or watery soup, then we were taken to different work stations which varied from day to day, wherever they [the Nazis] wanted things done. It was always very physical work from the early morning without a lunch or toilet break until late in the evening. And then we went back to our barracks where we would stand again for two hours to be counted, and we were exhausted. Then we got our bread ration. By ten o’clock or so we’d go to our bunks. Sleeping was so uncomfortable – we slept on boards. There were lice and bed bugs. Before you started to sleep, it was nearly morning and you had to get up again.” Educational and gripping, seeing this touching performance gives you an insight into what the history books will not. The play is a moving message from history that shouldn’t be left behind, and I would strongly recommend anybody to take an evening out of his or her lives to see it.
I’m sitting in the front row of a school auditorium in Camden, ten minutes before the play is due to start. To my left is director Nic Careem who is busy fixing up a laptop which will project video images onto the stage, where drama will meet modern media. Written by James Still, “And then they came for me: remembering the world of Anne Frank,” shows the events of the Nazi reign through the eyes of two holocaust survivors. The story is narrated by video-interviews of the two survivors Eva Schloss (Anne Frank’s friend) and Ed Silverberg (Anne Frank’s boyfriend) that plays alongside the onstage performance. When the characters on stage self-reflect the horrific events, modern day Eva and Ed appears on the projector, explaining details of their experience hiding from the Nazis, and then life in Auschwitz.
After giving the cast their well-deserved standing ovation, we are all lucky enough to meet Eva Schloss herself, who bravely answers questions about her story and issues raised throughout the play. Looking up at Eva on stage the audience is taken aback by how somebody who had suffered so much is courageous enough to still talk about her life – a truly inspiring story. Eva and her mother were eventually discovered by the Nazis on her sixteenth birthday. They were taken away, beaten and sent to Auschwitz. Eva tells us about those who betrayed her and her family, “It was a Dutch nurse who pretended to work for the resistance,” she explains. “By 1944 it became very hard to find good hiding places. We were desperate to find a safe house and so this nurse came forward pretending to work for the resistance – but it turned out to be a trap.” Responding to the audience’s curiosity, Eva talks about being Jewish during the Second World War in a country that was so full of resentment towards her race; “people knew that I was Jewish. I was a very open and cheerful child but I lost all my confidence.” She emotionally explains what it was like to be constantly hated, not only by the Nazis but also by people on the street, “if you’re always told that you’re not worth anything and you’re like vermin, you eventually start to believe
c e s a i d: n r Wilde o sca
t d e m o m e n n k yo u u n d e r s t a n , “ Th t yo u thi ork of ar you.” a g r ea t w d ea d f o r it ’s
While the art world bickers about whether paintings or sculptures are more interesting and valuable, (Rembrandt or Da Vinci?), there is an art form generating the same excitement, if not more. An art form that adds yet another dimension to the word “appreciation” and which brings emotions that never die. It is the art form of posters. When your parents or grandparents were walking down the streets, they would have seen a variety of advertisements dressing up walls and billboards. What they would considered to be information, today’s collectors consider to be art. Who, in the early 20th century, would have believed something as simple as a poster would be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds now? Vintage posters is a somewhat underground art form, and maybe even looked down upon by other art enthusiasts. But when finding out that London’s Reel Poster Gallery sold a poster from the German film Metropolis for record-breaking £416.000 in 2006, you realise that it’s not a small business. “I think a lot of people, still to this day, are not aware that posters can be bought, that they are expensive and that they have some artistic quality to them. It’s a very emotionally driven thing,” explains Tony Nourmand of the Reel Poster Gallery. “For certain types of art work, for instance a Jackson Pollock painting, you need to have a certain level of understanding of the art world and how things are involved to understand it.”
When broken down, Nourmand’s words on emotions speaks for the whole genre. The deceptive simplicity of early to mid-20th century posters brings out feelings in people that paintings don’t seem to do. When looking at an old movie poster, your mind flashes back to the day you went to the cinema to see that movie. When seeing an old sports poster, you can feel the same excitement as you did in the crowds of that event. When finding an old travel poster, your memories of getting your first passport stamp from that same destination comes back. Can you relate to a painting in that way? However, you don’t have to be a collector to enjoy posters. Simon Dwyer, 49, of the Shaking Street Gallery, sells an overwhelming majority of his posters to people simply wanting to cover up their walls. And there is a clear reason why people chose posters rather than paintings. “People don’t want to put up a Monet or van Gough because it means nothing to them. Posters are an alternative to that; or going down to IKEA and buying some non-descript image, which is deliberately bland because it’s not suppose to raise emotions or controversy. Those buying posters want something more interesting,” Dwyer says. The debate whether posters or paintings raise the strongest emotions will always remain personal, but there is one clear distinction between the two: posters are there to sell a product. “Posters are the sharp edge of advertising. In the old days, if they didn’t deliver, the guy who owned the cinema didn’t get any money, and he didn’t eat. Vintage posters had to sell much harder than those of
today, because there were 4-5 times as many cinemas during the golden age, and they all competed with each other,” Dwyer said. What would come to revolutionise the poster industry was the birth of computers and Photoshop in the eighties. “In the sixties it was realised you didn’t have to use poster illustrators, you could use trendy designers. But Photoshop basically killed the designer,” said Dwyer. By that, posters became a product to sell rather than an advert selling a product. And Tony Nourmand is on the same track: “With for example graphic artists, photographers and film makers, today there’s not as much thought that goes into the work. For example, when I was a student doing photography, I had to save money to buy rolls of film; there was a cost involved. So every photograph I took, I had to think about to make sure the lighting was right etc. Today, with the digital stuff you just go click, click, click. “It’s the same thing with designers; in the old days, graphic designers would experiment with different things. A result that would take two weeks to come to, now people can do with the click of a button. This I think is really good, but one thing that’s missing from a lot of that is the thought process of ‘why you’re doing that?’ and ‘should you be doing that?’” Such thoughts went into most work up until the eighties. This is much visible effort in movie and travel posters, but also in advertising for sporting events. Posters tend to reflect the period they’re from, and sports posters are no exception.
The Uruguay World Cup of 1942 poster (pictured …) has an almost surreal feel to it, with the ability to bring out memories only the people who experienced it can relate to – and with no real caption, your imagination does a lot more work. Meanwhile the poster from England’s World Cup finals in 1966 (pictured …) has a way of summing up what the games were all about in an astonishingly simple way. Just as when it comes to old movies, the stars of the time were never more important than the game. And no matter if the narratives featured on posters are from movies, sports or travel, they all tell stories difficult to find anywhere else. They’re stories of a time more real and honest than that of today. Stories told through emotions lasting a lifetime. To see and learn more about vintage posters, visit www.reelposter.com, www.shakingstreetgallery. com, On May 13th, Chirstie’s in South Kensington has a vintage poster auction including some of the world’s most desirable football World Cup posters, estimated to up to £20.000.
Christie's Images Ltd
Photograph provided by: Medicine Promotions
The men behind Medicine, James Crispin and Steve Cairns, were pushed to organise the live nights by their strong interest in music, especially live acts. Steve works as a DJ while James used to play in a band himself. “We want to put gigs on, it’s a passion,” both of them agreed. “It’s about getting music out there and giving people a good time,” James added. With the ability to metamorphose into a live music venue, the Rocket seems like the right choice for a night of guitars and spectacular stage performances. “It’s a cool venue,” Steve said, “You have good sound equipment in both rooms.” For them, to arrange a live night at a university campus “makes perfect sense.” The university has a diverse student population with strong opinions about what’s good music. Performances to suit everyone’s tastes seem like the logical choice. They are joined in the excitement about the venue by Black Market Karma, a band previously on the bill for Medicine. “Yeah I dig the place. Got a decent stage and it was good to see some pool tables. Sweet sofas too,” said Stan Belton, vocalist and guitarist, who enjoyed the chilled out atmosphere after performing. What the bands playing Medicine have in common is that they’re all appreciated by the organisers. A band doesn’t have to fit the bill; it just needs to be good. A claim to originality doesn’t hurt. “We have caught bands when they are on their way up to success,” Steve said. To find bands you have to merge yourself with the world of music; live with the constant flow of music in London; and to be found on the web that is worldwide. “You just have to keep your ears open,” James explained. “We find bands by a bit of referencing and some bands seek us up for a gig,” One of the bands that’s left a strong impression on the Medicine audience are the Rent Boys, who entered the stage at the Rocket in a somewhat unusual manner. As the guitarists played their first accords, a male voice joined in – but from where? The source of the vocals was nowhere to be seen. Slowly a body and microphone, belonging to the lead singer, crept out from under the stage while singing the lyrics. “The Rent Boys sound like five inadequate human beings trying to come to terms with an early dismissal from a recorder club as youths. It was that early musical exile that spurred us on to form a band that no one cares about,” said Rent Boy Simon Ashton. If they were dismissed from a recorder club, they were embraced by Medicine’s crowd. For Black Market Karma, playing Medicine was a most enjoyable experience where quality music was in focus. “We had a cool time playing at Medicine. We realised early on that James picked the bands because they played good music, not because of how many people they could pull. It was good to see and gave us a really good vibe,” said Stan Belton. That vibe will be brought back to the Rocket several times before the summer. On May 6th, Medicine will include bands such as The Standards and Humphrey Browne, and on May 20th the line up includes bands such as Dear Acetate and Crowns.
When the lights are dimmed and the room cleared, the Rocket’s back room changes into something incomparable. Instead of a quiet space to chat, it’s transformed to a place where you never know how long the party is going to last. The venue is filled with amps ready to enhance the clearest and loudest guitar notes, and the drum kit waits to be hit as hard as possible to give the right rhythm. The stage is the centre of attention and music is the medicine tonight. Music as medicine is the thought behind the name of the regular live music event at the Rocket. Every other Thursday students get ready for a night of rockin’ live music and the most creative stage shows prepared by the performers.
Feel the urge to put on some spandex? Think you look cool in a cape? Got super powers? Then we hope you attended the Super Hero party at the Rocket’s flirt! Event last month. 300 students enjoyed themselves dressed up as their favourite super hero – or perhaps as their own alter egos? – for an amazing night including classic student partying and a best costume competition. “Some of the costumes were amazing. Best dressed prize went to Cat Woman, who won a digital camcorder! The dance floor was busy all the way till 2am so it was a successful night and everyone had a great time,” said the Rocket manager Alex Massey.
they’d help sponsor the event, we were quite happy for them to be involved as they donated a cool prize [the camcorder].”
Massey also has a message for anyone wanting to enjoy fancy dress parties at the Rocket in the future: “If anyone has any cool themes they’d like to see at the flirt! nights, or just to stay up to speed with our latest and greatest theme nights and other events, follow us on twitter @londonmetevents. See you at the next flirt!”
The popular Flirt! nights at the Rocket have had a number of different themes, making each party special. Massey continued, “We love coming up with the themes, and had been planning to do super heroes for a while. So when Kick Ass - the movie said
Picture from: ? Credit: ?
: South America’s hidden jewel
As the academic year comes to a close there might be the odd few among us not so crippled with debts they can actually afford to go somewhere this summer. Backpacking has become hugely popular with young people over the last decade, spoiling the experience for many. You want to be a lone explorer, not at the back of a conga of tourists. Peru’s Machu Picchu has been so damaged by visitors trampling its foundations that it has been closed to the public. Thailand becomes more like Blackpool each year and Australia, well, everybody goes to Australia. So where does that leave us? Think different. Think adventure. Think Bolivia. Yes that’s right. Bolivia is possibly the best kept backpacking secret out there. Being landlocked has defused attention from ‘would be’ visitors but don’t let the lack of coast put you off. What Bolivia lacks in shoreline it more than makes up for in culture, value and excitement. La Paz, commonly mistaken to be Bolivia’s constitutional capital - a title owned by the equally interesting Sucre - is the most elevated administrative capital in the world at a height of 3,600 meters. Set in a basin within the Andes, ‘The Peace’ is a wet, cold, but unique metropolis yet to be descended on by the guidebook masses that swarm to other major South American cities. We’re not talking Sydney here; if you want sun, modern, and prices close to home, then by all means go east. But if the idea is real adventure, where you cannot only get by, but have a great time on a mere tenner a day appeals to you, then La Paz might be your holy grail. With a population of almost one million living amongst the clouds, La Paz is like no other city in the world with its mixture of downtown high-rises and colonial architecture and plazas. At night the city comes alive – but you might be so high on the altitude you don’t need a drink! But it’s not all hills and altitude sickness in South America’s poorest nation. Bolivia is truly one of the most geographically diverse countries on the planet. From mountains 6000ft above sea level to vast salt deserts and Amazon jungle home to endless animal, bird and plant species; Bolivia will surely become one of the hottest tourist destinations of tomorrow. So get there before everyone else. Even for the most experienced traveller the salt deserts of Salar de Uyuni are one of the most breathtaking and surreal aesthetic experiences Earth has to offer. A flat, snow white expanse of land half the size of Wales, with cacti infested islands, thousands of breeding flamingos and a beautiful volcanic backdrop is so stunning you have to remind yourself you are still on this planet and not an alien landscape. If you prefer to get your hands rirty rather than salty, then Bolivia caters for you too. Rurrenabaque is a forty-five minute flight away from La Paz, transplanting you from gigantic snow topped mountains to a scant grass runway, landing bang in the middle of the jungle. Not for the feint hearted. Not to be missed! And that is just where the adventure begins. Rurrenabaque is a small and friendly riverside town skirting the Amazon and offering dirt-cheap tours of the jungle. Pampas tours will have you catching anacondas and baby alligators by hand, swimming in the Amazon with pink dolphins and fishing for piranhas. Squirrel monkeys will eat bananas from your hand while they sit - perhaps even shit - on your shoulder and you might even see capybara and green mambas - the deadliest of all Amazon snakes. Insurance is recommended but useless. The Bolivian Amazon boasts over 1400 bird species so numerous you might get bored of seeing eagles, vultures and birds of paradise as you navigate what evidently is ‘their’ home by boat. If you’re more Mr. Danger than Park Ranger then there’s fun for you too. There’s mountain biking down the most dangerous road in the world or exploring the still active diamond mines of Potosi where a friendly and laid back guide will offer you the opportunity to blow things up with dynamite. You can’t do that down under.
The world-renowned Lake Titicaca lies on the boarder of Bolivia and Peru making the crossing between the two countries a fantastic experience. Famous for being the highest commercially navigable lake in the world at 3, 812 meters above sea level it is also the largest lake in South America. The Uros are Titicaca’s inhabited islands made of floating reeds and can be visited from Puno on the Peruvian side. Isla del Sol situated off Copacabana on the Bolivian side is one of the largest on the lake and is steeped in fascinating mythology, white sandy beaches and Inca ruins. In a continent that is rapidly modernising Bolivia is one of the few places where you can feel totally removed from the monotonous safety of home. The mix of Native American and Spanish culture makes it an intriguing historical destination with amazing architecture and colourful festivals of folk music and dance.
Bolivia Facts - Full name - República de Bolivia/Republic of Bolivia - Population – 9,000,000 - Currency - Boliviano - Spoken languages – Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
When to go
The best time to visit Bolivia is from May to October when the days are clear, dry and comfortable. The high tourist season is between late June and early September. This is also Bolivia’s major fiesta season, which means prices are generally higher as international tourists and many South Americans are travelling at this time of year. November to April is the rainy season when overland travel can become difficult and dangerous especially in the lowlands with numerous tropical downpours and landslides.
Who needs beaches?
Volunteering in Bolivia
Bolivia is the poorest country in South America with low levels of education and health care, making it an ideal destination to volunteer in. Opportunities include teaching, working on human rights injustices, helping the poor, aiding health care organizations and creating ecologically sustainable and socially accepted business. Organizations like Volunteer Bolivia provide a home stay with a Bolivian family and have a Spanish language immersion school. Visit www.volunteerbolivia.org and www.volunteerabroad.com.
Recommended tour guides
Koala Tours – Potosi Koala Tours are one of the oldest and best agencies operating the mine tours and will even allow you to let off your own stick of dynamite! Anaconda Tours – Rurrenabaque This company provide excellent guides, good food and the best equipment of all tour agencies providing Pampas tours from Rurrenabaque.
On the 10th and 11th of May, North Campus’ renowned stage- TMG-65 - will host a re-visitation of Victory over the sun. The opera is directed by LMU teacher and opera singer, Jacek Ludwig Scarso. Presented by second year perfoming arts students, this revival of the so-called “first Futurist opera” is a Russian tinted view of the Italian Futurist Manifesto, released in 1909. The aim, during the show’s course, is to explore the text of modernists. It also uses interdisciplinary performances and collaborative work to create the show, a mix of production and performance. If you miss that, then they will play again at the Holloway Art Festival in July. Victory over the sun was created in 1913 by Aleksej Kruchenykh and Mikhail Matyushin, depicting ‘the futurian’s conquest of the 10th land’ - an obscure dimension where two different crowds live. The sun is stolen from the sky and locked in a concrete box by “the New”, representatives of the righteous future. Although composed in the traditional, way with music, sets and actors, there is hardly any of the common material that build an opera. Instead, to understand the play you have to think of a cubist painting where things constantly intersect with one another. The narrative has literally no continuity and, although visually audacious, the staging is minimalist. As the play develops like the winding of a machine, heavy with meanings and interconnection of historical slots, it criticises the Futurist ideal of rejecting the past. Moving relentlessly towards an uncertain future, it expresses disquiet: deprived of the sun, visions of the new world are truly mad. Breaking with the standards of representation, the play is ambiguous and complex. And, as easy as it may to reflect on this type of abstract theatre, itis also easy to underestimate its complexity.
“I am not very keen of that idea of theater prescribing a solution for today. It should be about imagination and through that it should talk about society.”
Because the students base their work on finding cohesion between using the traditional theatrical tools and injecting modernistic themes and aesthetics. As well as challenging traditional theatre, the play also challenges the audience by taking risks in presentation and subject. Ultimately, a very fun play emerges, albeit a difficult one to judge. Based on intriguing madness, it conveys many of the criticism aimed towards modernity.
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suspects their affair and takes action to get his suspicions confirmed. But what will Golaud find out? The director, Joel Scott, explained why they chose the play for the final project. “Pelléas and Mélisande is Maurice Maeterlinck’s most famous show, however it is also been made famous by Claude Debussy when he developed the play into an opera.” The play proved to be an interesting platform for interpretation. “It delves into fatalism and symbolism which has proved to be a strong platform to develop the piece. The play draws on some of the world’s most well known fairy tales from Rapunzel to The Princess and the Frog,” Scott added. For the cast of Pelléas and Mélisande, the play proved to have several interesting aspects to explore and develop. “We wanted to explore the romantic and grotesque aspects of Pelléas and Mélisande and realise them in our own unique site specific interpretation,” said performing arts student Emma Brack, who hoped the audience got an exciting and original performance. “We wanted to give them a new immersive experience that tantalises all the senses, and a night they will remember.”
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It’s the end of the year. Finals are coming up.
For the 3rd year BA Performing Arts students, however, that means something a bit different. They have produced the alluring play, Pelléas and Mélisande. Pelléas and Mélisande tells the intriguing story of a woman, Mélisande, who loses her beautiful crown in the water, but doesn’t wish to retrieve it. By the water she meets a man, Golaud, whom she marries. The marriage faces grave difficulties when Mélisande falls in love with Golaud’s brother, Pelléas. Golaud
Sharn Rayment iRelationships Click click, add as a friend, Your privacy frustrates me. The request sits there for days, Until you finally decide, ‘OK’. I try to decode your response; What does it mean? You’ve logged in since, But not a word. I tell my friends, You drop it on yours. Mine will smile, Yours will frown. “Who?” they ask, “No way!” they say. “I haven’t seen her since...” “I didn’t know you spoke?!” And then you’ll say, “Yeah, we’re Facebook friends” Or “she follows me on twitter”. And just like that, you shrug me off virtually. Scorpio(n) Sneaking alone through the fence’s hole. Others may follow, they feel connected and strengthen by your motivations. But you want to achieve something on your own to feel the power of appreciation by the masses. Expeditious and ignorant to the danger, you move your feet on the hot stones; your ways were never meant to be easy. A friend you never need, they all so quickly turn into enemies and they risk to be pierced by your sting. Every minute you dance with them. You really are a dangerous star. Loyality is a traitor, You feel so cold die before you live. Laura Nunziante Night-time cocktail A kick in the neck from tequila, With a slap round the face from you. A punch in the back from vodka, And a battering on the ear too. A beer to make me feel lighter, Then a slip down the stairs with a bang. A cider that makes the room brighter, And a heel knifes my toe like a gang. Shots all round as I’m spinning, Then you pull me back down to the ground. Liquor on the rocks is a winner, As the beats in my head start to pound. Wine perhaps? Oh so sweet, As I see your head shake from afar. But a spritzer might be easier to take, When you’re lifting me into your car. The lying seasons T-shirt, vest top, hot pants; The sun shines and I choose to walk. Tights and a cotton skirt, But I’ll take a jacket, as I ought. A summer dress and umbrella. A cropped top and a rain mac. Like chalk and cheese, Yet we wear it with ease. Light until late, But it’s dark when I wake. April showers? “Not this year,” I say. Last week I sat outside to eat, I blamed the wind for the chill. Stop deceiving me weather man, I’ll have my summer whenever I will!
World War Chess PoeTRY
Gavin Crawford Lloyd George’s Haibun Dressed in splendour, top hat to toe. A beguiling ball of life, a cane of magic, the wily Welsh Wizard free-Wheels the show. Rigmarole foreign to his verbal dexterity, words his wizardry weapon. Diatribe riddled with charm, policy concocted in cauldrons of speech. The pulse of his brain akin to an orchestrator, of life. A flick of the wrist, a flick of his brain, a snap of his tongue, the Welfare State. Create. Up, down, left, right, 3/3, staccato, crescendo, sotto voce – he comes. Rags to riches to skirt hitches of women he beds. Lloyd George, the first Welsh PM, the last Liberal, a tale for a tail, so unimaginably well read. Two coat-tails, one coat One Churchill in his pursuit. Grab. Clutch. Miss. Dazzle. Boris Yeltsin’s Aleatoric Muddle Communism is Orange Juice, bring me the “Don”. Monsieur Perignon. Free-markets? A mixer. Yes. Fill it up and we’re done. Bill? What! I’m the President. It’s free. It’s on the “palace” Oh Bill Clinton. Yes I’ll see him. Maybe pour out some rum Dee- Dum Dee- Dum. I am the iambic drinker Some- Rum. Some- Rum. Some- Rum. Let’s sing a folk song. Bill. No. Not the bung. Cigars are your poison, now what’s that G8 raison? Sarkozy’s Villanelle – medieval French form Mr. Brown, England, I value our bond One Oreo please with my cup of tea I’ll treat you as my archetypal blonde Where is that power that you once donned? Gordon, R before S but S before T Of course Mr. B, you still run Le Monde Nous sommes un, don’t be fooled by the pond Rhetorically unified, a slice of Brie? Mr. Brown, England, I value our bond Europe, soon in my shadow, and then beyond Mr. B, do dress properly, not the khaki A simple creature, the meniscus of the conned My dear English boodle, you do make me fond The EU, with me President, I’m so glad we agree The world will staccato to the tip of my wand England, a fallen angel, now a junk bond France, the core of all matter, by decree Mr. Brown, England, I value our bond I’ll treat you as my archetypal blonde.
I am greatly honored to have the opportunity to serve once again. Thanks to all who have supported me in the past and continue to support me in my mission of making London Met the best. I promise that I will whole heartedly represent you all and ensure that your faith in me will not be wasted. The Students Union is a place of opportunity and aspiration for all students. We are aiming to provide a high quality service and to ensure that every student’s voice is heard. We the Union want you the students to come and join us!! Getting involved with your Union will enable you to experience the wide range of activities available which will not only enrich your life as a student; but also provide you with valuable skills, experience, and knowledge on how to better yourself as a person.
Good luck with your course work assignments and exams, have a great summer break and I look forward to meeting you all at freshers fair in the next academic year. Best wishes,
Yeashir Ahmed President
Dear fellow students,
President of the Students’ Union 09/10 & Student Governor
I would like to offer you a warm and sincere welcome to the third publication of VerveZine. I am Yeashir Ahmed and I am your current, and now also your reelected president of the Students’ Union for 2010/11.
Here, networking is the key to success and leads to an improved education and personal development. I urge anyone wishing to put their leadership and negotiating skills into practice, and who just really cares about the student life, to come and get involved with the Union. It will allow you to come and work as part of the dedicated team here at London Met. Being part of the Union team means not only will you be investing something into London Met Students’ Union, but you will also be taking away with you skills and knowledge that will help you to succeed in your private and professional life.
Student Council is made up of 46 seats where students from all areas of the University come together to form the governing body of the Students’ Union. 10 Seats – Executive Committee of Elected oﬃcers 6 Seats – Independent Student Council Members 13 Seats – Societies (aﬃliated) 13 Seats – Department Reps (StARs) 4 Seats – Co-opted members All students are welcome to sit as observers. With a new Students’ Union executive elected, this is YOUR chance to come forward and have your say to make the SU work for YOU. For more Mayinformation contact Eddie, firstname.lastname@example.org 20th
Student Council Meeting Tower Building 8th Floor Board Room (North Campus) – 4:30pm, Wednesday 5th May • The last Student Council meeting for the 5-8pm Clothes Swap @ HUB – academic year.
Friday, May 28th
Bring your old clothes and bag as many new clothes as possible for a ﬁver (£5) All remaining clothes will be donated to Oxfam Dress up as the peoples champion or an overly paid banker. In support of The Robin Hood Tax
Summer Ball 2010 Robin Hood Vs W@nk£r Banker Party @ HUB – 9pm til 2am The Rocket (North Campus) - 9pm - 3pm
Barnado’s Brazilian Carnival Flirt! @ The Rocket – 9pm til 2am An evening of fabulous entertainment, including Brazilian music, samba dancers, a live band and DJs. Plugin Baby @ The Rocket – 9pm til late - FREE Presented by the Rock Society. Come down to see live bands. All donations will be going to Oxfam Question Time @ London Metropolitan University (Graduate centre, North Campus) Want to know what your degree is going to be worth? Is London Met’s reputation going to get better? Will tuition fees rise? With the arrival of the new Vice Chancellor, Professor Malcolm Gillies, this is your chance to ask him directly, your concerns and questions in a lively debate. The question panel will include the President of the Students’ Union Yeashir Ahmed, a member from the NUS and various other staﬀ members. The last Student Council meeting for the academic year.
10 June 2010
The Boiler House (The Chimney) 91 Brick Lane E1 6QL 7pm - 11pm Tickets - £5 adv
e-mail: email@example.com for more information
Jewellery and Silversmithing
“We live in England and Rugby is a big sport,”
says Brad Webb
And I dare anyone to contradict him. Counting about 22.000 students, I dare you too to find more than forty people knowing that a rugby team is part of London Metropolitan University’s wall. The last season has finished with some highs and lows. With two really good wins out of seven fixures against none other that ultimate rival UCL it nonetheless ends in mixed emotions. Although enough to consequently restore the moral of the team and bring back confidence. Firstly due to the lack of attendance and the unfortunate leave of one of the player, the potential
of the team was small but hope remained. “The solution for a good team is to reach a great extent of comraderie,” says hooker Kenny Grant, and for us to agree. “Enhancing the bound of the team will lead to pull something out of the bag. We are a team of 15 and a squad of 25 players. When we play, we respond with a win and we do do. We will come back fighting.” The team was very uncertain and despite that the games’ results lacked positivity, Nick O’brien has proven the skills of a great captain: organisation and motivation led the team out of the tunnel and saw some of the players grow during the final games. Although the game against Westminster was cancelled, they won over Essex but with struggle to get barely fifteen players. Although quite resilient, they had a lot of more of experienced player and counted few good breaks. For the next season, the rugby team will be looking after the freshers’ fair to recruit new people, expecting to count an overall of 30 players. Growing in number and strength their aim will be to be ready in October with a whole team, an effective line up and also a good unity within team mates. With more players the team will make few more wins.
“O’ Brien did a very good job considering what he was up against, he was tireless, he didn’t give up and we have a lot of respect for him”. The team has to come together and has to be bounded. Although each year sees the arrival of new players we can but hope that most of the key players will be part of the next season. Finally, we feel that there should be more unity but also support on behalf of the students.
Cheerleaders get going!!
Player of the Month
They say playing a sport is not a hobby, but a passion. This is probably true for Nikita Kolomnin who played Badminton since he was a child. “When I started university,” he said “I thought of joining the Badminton club [by] chance. I started playing when I was six years old. Back then I suffered a broken arm, I couldn’t bear it and I was crying. By the age of 13, I started playing with my older brother who was always better than me and my task was to beat him. Now I can beat him with ease!” The hardest thing about badminton is, he said “Probably staying in control. You always have to be balanced and think two or three steps forward. You always need to have stamina.” From such a young age, he learned the art of competition. All the hard training and injuries he suffered paid off when he won his first title at the age of 13. He recalls how “winning the regional Moscow championship was beyond expectation. I thought I couldn’t win it and after that, I won all the competitions I have been involved with as a junior.” Nik has gone a long way since. Representing London Metropolitan University and winning has been just one of his amazing achievements so far. He truly is a living example of someone who shoots for the moon and even if missing it, will surely land among the stars. Nik’s Do’s and Don’ts in Badminton: Do’s 1. Always think of the next shot. 2. Be like a cat. You need to be soft, smooth and move silent. Don’ts 1. Try not to get the shuttle on your eye. 2. Never, ever CHEAT!
Name: Nikita Kolomnin Age: 23 Sport: Badminton Course: BA Accounting and Finance Amazing Fact: Revises 3 days before exams and still manages to get “As” Ad Astra Per Aspera: To the stars through hardships
Should it finally be allowed to intervene?
How does an umpire cope up with Andy Roddick’s aces having a record speed of 155 mph? How would you know if it really is an ace or if it went outside the line? Seems impossible doesn’t it? Well...no. Meet Hawks Eye, the revolutionary video technology that is being used in tennis, rugby, cricket, and ice hockey. This is the modern way of solving the problem of speed and accuracy. Now the big question is: Why can’t we have it in football? It may seem like having this technology would have prevented France from going through to the World Cup by showing Thierry Henry’s blatant cheating that blew Ireland out of the water. Or perhaps the infamous “Hand of God” of Diego Maradona for Argentina that sent England home in tears from the 1986 World Cup. The same technology will also serve as the fourth official of the game. But is it feasible to allow technology to do the job that the hired linesmen and referee were paid to do? There is a very thin line between success and failure. A line that determines who is the winner and who is the loser. One mistake of the referee and lines man would always cost so much in terms of heartaches, money and reputation. During the past couple of years, FIFA tried to solve these imprecisions in football. Some of the renowned sport personalities and critics were in favour of this technology as to solve the ever- growing inaccuracies of some of the match officials’ decisions. Those who are on the opposite side of the debate argue that technology will ruin the very soul of the sport by replacing “humans” by “machines”, thus stepping away from the very culture of the game. The recent Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea is a perfect example of misjudgements by the officials. Refereeing is not an easy task, especially being a linesman. They are expected to unmanageably judge off sides and on sides. They have to look in two completely different directions at the same time; where the ball is being passed from and where the potentially offside player is. There would always be errors in judging this. It is not fair for these people to be blamed by managers like Sir Alex Ferguson about their incompetency whenever his team loses. If technology was used in the match, would it disallow Drogba’s goal as he was allegedly off side? This same technology would have shown that Federico Macheda’s goal would be disallowed as everyone who was behind the goal saw that it was a patent hand ball. What about the obvious penalty that was not awarded for Park? Will this have changed the face of the game? Unlikely. Or maybe not? No certainty exists in football, but from whatever angle you look at it, Chelsea outplayed Manchester United for most part of the game. Let us also remember that implementing the technology means changing the rules of the game and any changes require a green signal from the
On your marks… Get set… GO!
International Football Association Board (IFAB). James Canlas While the association has been very cautious about The much-awaited London Marathon is hit the street this matter, the main question is whether allowing last month and this time it wasn’t buttery because video technology would move the game forward or Flora was not sponsoring the world’s most popular make it even worse. road race after 14 years of association. Instead, Virgin had recently signed a contract of 5 years as the main I personally think this is a grey area of football. sponsor to fund and promote the event. It can be useful and at the same time disastrous. What would happen to the after match debates on Since it started in 1981, the event saw the number of the telly and papers? What about the sport pundits participants greatly increased from 6,000 to around being jobless with nothing to talk and argue about? 35,000 and it has become one of the most highlyThe technology might even kill the excitement that anticipated, largest gathering of both athletes and we, fans get from it. The essence of the game itself non-athletes from all over the world. Each year, more is to always show both sides of the story and officials than a million people pucker around street corners deciding in case there are disputes but I honestly do and pubs to witness the event, making it not just a not know if technology will be up for the job. sporting event but a public party. Only time will tell but in the meantime, we should all This is not just any other marathon though. Since be careful what we wish for. its inception, the event became an opportunity for participants to test their physical, mental, emotional well-being and their determination to raise money for their chosen charities. This saw many stories of inspiration, triumph and heartbreaks all in one event. In fact, it is also the most fruitful marathon having successfully raised £315 million so far. To attract more attention and raise more funds, some of the runners dress up in fancy costumes. This has been the tradition proving that it is also a way of having fun while doing something worthwhile.
Think you know your sports?
Want to win a chance to have a free training session with the university football team? How about the sound of one on one free badminton training session with Nick Kolomnin? All you have to do is simply answer these questions! London Met currently ranks what place in the 2009 BUCS League? 1. 2. 3. What is the name of the London Club which famous stadium sits just behind London Met North campus? In the Sports commentary (Vervezine Issue no. 001), who is the subject of criticism? Who is the London Met University Basketball captain who led the team to victory during the recent National Championships held at Crystal Palace? What is the most watched sport in the world?
All answers should be emailed to the sports editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org The first three to email all the right answers will each win one of the prizes above. So what are you waiting for? Send the answers now before it’s too late! Good luck!
LONDON MET EMBRACES BELLY DANCING
Ladies, it’s time to take your shoes off, let your hair down and embrace your inner goddess waiting to be unleashed! With summer amidst us, belly dancing is the ideal exercise to tone up and to show off your new found talent. Lessons are held at the dance studio every Monday evening, so if you haven’t given it a chance, make sure you do, it’s worth it! Despite many theories and debates on its origin, most evidence points the finger toward the Middle East and Africa. It evolved from being a dance ritual that enticed muscular control in preparation for child birth to a secular folk dance performed by Arab women. However no longer it is confined to the world of burning sand, the ancient art form is spreading like wild fire in the western world. Whether you prefer traditional Egyptian, Turkish or even Gothic belly dancing, they all share a basic concept: Fusion.
1. Breathe & feel the moment: Breathe through the movement; pay attention to your feet, belly, pelvis and breath. Stay in the moment by living in your belly and pelvis, feeling your feet on the ground and sensing your breath flow past your nostrils and lips. 2. Let go of tension: Think loosey goosey! Watch yourself in your body; are you tensed? If you’re not having fun in class you’re missing the whole point. If your body is stressed, your body will too. Make joy your first focus and some magic will then happen with your movement; it flows easier and feels better. Beautiful Belly Dance looks good, but feels better. 3. Dance without ambition or competition: As Rosina-Fawzia Al-Rawi says in her illuminating and heart warming book Belly Dancing; Unlock the secret power of an ancient dance; “Dance without ambition or competition”. Judgment of self and others is such a joy killer. If these thoughts come up to you, pay no attention and shift your focus on better things, like how it feels to have your feet on the ground, are you holding your posture up correctly? Simply listen to the music and lose yourself in it. 4. Create community: Make friends. Don’t isolate yourself in class. Get to know like-spirited women. This brings greater meaning to your dance. 5. Really learn the feet, they are your foundation: Don’t brush over the feet as unimportant. They are your very foundation of which your hips and whole body depend, like the base of a pyramid holding up the entire structure. Feel the earth with your feet, live on your feet.
It appears straightforward because of the natural movement we are accustomed with; however beyond the roots, this form of dance movement requires discipline and control. Every detail counts. Your hip thrust, upper and lower body undulation, snake arms, shimmies, how you position your arms to your finger tips all count (Starting to get technical? Don’t worry once you grasp the technique behind the steps you’ll pass with flying colours). Its main aim is to isolate different parts of the body by moving them independently in a sensuous pattern. The great thing is, once you’ve grasped the basic steps, it’s a wonderful medium for individual interpretation and role playing. You can let your imagination have full rein. So have no fear. Don’t be threatened by Shakira’s hips that don’t lie, anyone can be just as good, you just need to practice. What adds icing to the cake is that body shape and size is simple insignificant. It can be embraced by all so leave the thinking behind and let your body speak for itself.
6. Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your teacher, it always serves everyone. And remember, you are a paying customer!
What a year it’s been once again for the London Met tennis teams, both the men and the women won the top divisions of their respective leagues and in the team championship tournaments held in Sheffield the ladies triumphed in the final and the guys cruised to a whitewash against Leeds. A week later was the individual championships and, once again, the London Met lads were a dominant force, clinching both the singles and the doubles titles. Undoubtedly, the star was German Bastian Gründler, who along with Oliver Kalaitsis retained their doubles crown. But Gründler didn’t stop there and also seized the individual title from the number one ranked player and fellow London Met student Matjaz Jurman. Gründler, from south-west Germany, talks to Vervezine about his tennis idols, the challenges facing a tennis player, what to expect now he’s graduated and his final swansong at London Met. How does itfeel to be University champion of the UK singles and doubles? I’m really happy, for me it was a lovely ending of this whole chapter in my life, It’s nice way to round it off and say goodbye to England, I kind of say it’s like my retirement. That won’t be it with tennis though; right now I’m applying for jobs in the tennis sector. I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old, It’s always nice to be confronted with what you love and tennis is absolutely my passion. How’s the tennis season been for you? We know London Met swept the boards everywhere. The season is over as it started in October, We won the league again which qualified us for the knockout stages held from February to March and mid March was the final tournament in Sheffield where we met Leeds in the final. We’ve been champions for the last 6 or 7 years and we won again, meaning we qualify for the European Championships in Portugal this July.
Is it difficult to play against fellow London Met people; does it make you more competitive? It’s a little easier, you know your opponent very well because you train and practice with them all the time and you also know them as a person so you can know how he’s going to react and maybe come up with something. Preparation wise it a little bit easier than having a guy you don’t know, what kind of game he’s going to put onto you and how he’s going to play. I like to know my opponent rather than not knowing him before the match starts. You are big fan of Roger Federer; who are your other tennis idols? When I grew up my big idol was Andre Agassi, he’s such a big character. I was shocked reading his autobiography and the revelations about taking meth drugs, sometimes the public doesn’t have to know everything, things like this are not supportive for sport or for tennis. I saw him when I was 7 and then Boris Becker when I was 10 or 11 and he was so gigantic, amazing, a huge, big athlete, he was such a personality and did great things and inspired a tennis boom in Germany, similar to what Federer is doing right now in Switzerland and all over the world. Does being from the same part of the world as Roger Federer make it closer, more real somehow? He lives really close to me and I play in the same club he grew up in. I’ve not played against or with him but I have met him twice. For instance with guys like Agassi there is this distance, that gives it something extra when you admire them, they are unreachable, but with Federer, he’s the same age as me, from a town just over the boarder, he’s not so unreachable even though he is the biggest tennis player in the world and probably the best ever. What does the future hold for Bastian Gründler? Will you be going to the European Championships in Portugal? I don’t know, it all depends on my work situation right now, since I’ve finished university I’m applying for job positions and I have no idea where I’m going to be, or what I’m going to be doing. As for the future I’m looking to get in with big sponsoring companies that look for people who played tennis but also have an academic background, for distribution or even marketing, promotion and sales. I’d like to get into those companies as a former athlete. Winning the BUCS Championship wont probably directly help with this but is a nice thing to have on my cv.
What about personally, how do you feel about your efforts this season? For me it was a very happy ending at London Met because I finished my dissertation and my academic degree by the end of February. It was topped off by winning the team championships and then the individual championships, where I was able to defend my doubles title with Oliver Kalaitsis and also beat our number one player Matjaz Jurman, who’d won the singles for the last 3 years. It was a real London Met affair the whole tournament. London Met had two teams this year, is that likely to continue? We had a lot of players, but funding has been dropped. Lots of financial cuts means we cannot afford that many players anymore. Which is sad as London Met has such a strong tennis history.
Pictures by: Richard Lea Hair/HRP newsteam.co.uk
Mary, Anne, Caroline, Charlotte, Victoria, Margaret, Diana. These are the names of the seven princesses who lived and died in the historic State Apartments of Kensington Palace. The latest exhibition “Enchanted Palace” is a tribute to the mysterious princesses, unlocking their secrets and giving a magical insight in their lives, their sorrows and their fashion. Some of the most exquisite designers such as Vivienne Westwood, William Tempest, Stephen Jones, Boudicca, Aminaka Wilmont and Echo Morgan have contributed to the spectacular installations and display their own interpretation of the royal designs alongside originals from the Royal Collection. Stepping into Kensington Palace, it almost feels like getting on a ghost train. “Here’s your map, now go ahead and find the names of the seven princesses. “Good luck!” the lady handing out guides tells me. Walking up the creaky stairs to the first installation, with quiet whispers accompanying me, it really felt as if I travelled back in time and found myself in a whole different world. Aminaka Wilmont’s creation kicks the exhibition off with a bang. Their midnight-blue “Dress of Tears” One sparklier than the other, countless hats and headbands are tangling from the ceiling like small
in an Enchanted Palace
– which is actually not really a dress but a jumpsuit – floats over a huge bed and is all over embellished with crystals and sequins glistering on the fabric as if it were real tears. “That is supposed to be Queen Mary floating to heaven”, a guide explained. Queen Mary II actually died in that very bed. Leaving the room with goose-bumps, the next one up is Stephen Jones’s contribution. chandeliers made out of feathers, satin and velvet. In the middle of the room, on the head of Sir Isaac Newton, a red velvet headband decorated with a crystal red apple, suggested William Tell’s legend (well, the girly version of it at least). And there it is; the exhibition’s highlight. Vivienne Westwood’s piece, a “Dress for a Rebellious Princess”, is placed halfway on a stairway giving the impression of a princess, who is just preparing to run away into liberty. The dress is made out of a heavy, rumpled fabric, in a red stain-like print and its voluminous cut makes it almost looks like it was made for a princess that rather enjoys crawling through muddy grass than dancing with her Prince Charming. I couldn’t help think about how a real princess would have felt wearing such a dress. It must have been a nightmare to always wear delicate gowns, not being able breath or – god forbid – stain yourself! In the next room, maidens, or actors dressed up as maidens, start circling me. “Her Majesty! Her Majesty”, they yell, but it doesn’t
According to Boudicca, the installations should demonstrate the clockwork that drove the palace and the daily routine of court life. However, it also gave the impression of how the princesses must have felt back then, being caught in their cages with only time being able to release them eventually. After that short flash of futurism, entering the “Room of Dancing Princesses” feels like stepping into a dark and mysterious forest from long gone fairy tales. An amazing place and the kind of forest that made a hardcore city-girl like me cry out for a camping trip. A birch forest sets the scene where Princess Margaret’s wedding tiara and an original brown gown of hers is displayed in crystal-like cases. A little deeper in the forest, a stunning white lace dress, which belonged to Princess Diana, is arranged between the trees. The feathery waist-belted perfection is exactly the gown a princess is supposed to wear. Leaving behind some more rooms filled with origami-inspired dresses, fur coats and military jackets – everything very this season – the exhibition
sadly comes to an end and the names of the seven princesses are revealed at the exit, where their shadows are projected on the walls. Leaving through Kensington Garden, I felt just as if I were one of the seven – for a moment at least. But beware; after seeing the dazzling designs, a sudden urge for some serious high street splurging may overcome you – who wouldn’t want to look like a princess after such an enchanted experience?
take them too long to realise that it’s not me they’re looking for – I guess I should have worn something a little more glamorous. Besides kooky servants, this is also the place where Boudicca’s metal “dresses” are floating from the ceiling and fast forward me in a Fifth Element meets Star Wars kind of era.
ViVien of Holloway
Photography by: Kwame Mensah
Holloway Road, the dominion of fast-food retailers and tat-shops, seems an unlikely place to find a fashion boutique. But five minutes away from London Met, sandwiched discreetly between a tile emporium and coffee shop, is Vivien of Holloway -a leading retailer in 1940’s and 50’s glamour. From the outside, with its understated banner and white shop front, the store more closely resembles a motorcycle showroom than anything else. But all of that changes when the door opens: The first thing that hits me is the sound of Ska and Northern Soul; I overhear one of the assistants singing Althea & Donna’s “Uptown Top Ranking”, and I’m sold. It kind of feels like I’ve been transported back in time, to the late 70’s, 2Tone records scene. The shop itself is bright, colourful and airy, and resembles what could only be described as a Synesthete’s dream. To my right, a long railing that’s crammed to bursting-point with gorgeous, authentic 50’s-style swing dresses - Polka-dots, floral, and strawberry prints in a veritable plethora of colours leap out, begging to be owned. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that these pieces were Vintage – irreplaceable one-off’s; dresses steeped in the memories of idealistic, American teenagers on the way to a prom or drive-in.
But, luckily for us, Vivien of Holloway is one of the leading London designers of Burlesque and Rockabilly fashions, with plenty of dresses to hand with new styles added on a regular basis. One of the shop assistants, a glamorous woman with flawless make-up, sashays past me looking like she’s just stepped out of a Hitchcock picture. I ask her for some information on the store: “Everything is manufactured in our London warehouse,” she informs me. “So, no, we don’t use slave labour.” This is incredibly good news. In an industry so saturated by cheap labour, it speaks volumes for a designer to take the leap and produce ethically sound clothing at an ethical price. The clothes tend to retail between £59 for dresses alone, and £25 with an added bolero on top. Vivien’s also stocks a range of dresses for special occasions – weddings and more formal events. In fact, many of their dresses could serve as stylish wedding dresses in their own right, and at £89 it’s a mere fraction of the usual cost. Boasting impressive press highlights like Elle and Grazia, and with fans including Kate Nash and Paloma Faith, you know you’ll be getting real style and quality for a competitive price. All in all, Vivien of Holloway is a real gem, and comes highly recommended.
A girl might find herself reluctant to try harem pants. They seem too casual, almost like sweat pants; and who in their right mind wants to wear sweat pants outside of her flat? At first, they could only be found on the runway: there was no high street option for a girl to try out. But slowly they began to trickle down through the fashion hierarchy and now they can be found at a variety of high street stores. When worn with heels or wedges and a button-down shirt, they portray a nicely polished image and can even be worn professionally.
American Apparel has a great pair that is not too extremely streamlined with a high waist and a drop crotch, fitted at the ankle. They’re not too out there for a girl who just wants to test out the style and they come in black, as well as
printed and tye-dyed. Urban Outfitters also carries a variety of styles; the best of which is their Silence & Noise harem pant. This pair is also high-waisted but billows out at the hips then tapers down the leg. They’re the perfect statementmaking pants. The best part about harem pants? They’re extraordinarily comfortable. There’s no reason not to try them out. Enjoy!
What's in your handbag
CHARLOTTE, 19 Honestly, I usually don't know what's in my bag. I know that I have standard things like my phone and home keys, but the rest is just a mystery. I always carry a huge, huge make up bag with basically everything in it from perfume to eyeliner. For some reason at this moment I have anti-aging cream and a spare earring... ROBERTA, 20 I'm a journalism student so I have a notebook and pens with me all the time. Usually I carry my camera too. Actually, there is a lot of paper in my bag; receipts, notes I took in class and flyers. It makes it almost impossible to find anything else. In the middle of that mess, I need to have my glasses case, lipgloss, and definitely a brush. SARAH, 22 Two phones, two notebooks, two lipglosses. One of the lipglosses has a little light in it and a mirror, so I can put my make up on even in the middle of the night. I like to have a mini London A-Z Guide with me, you never know when you could get lost. My must-haves are an umbrella, fashion tape and lucky charm my dad gave me.
MADDIE, 18 I never empty my handbag completely, so I always find unexpected things in it. It is awfully heavy because of the tons of random coppers at the bottom that I can't be bothered to gather. I have my gym clothes, make up, a mirror. I have my purse, and sunglasses even on rainy days, because I always hope the weather will change. CASSIE, 20 One thing that can never be missing is a bottle of water and some food; sometimes it is just a cereal bar, sometimes a baguette. I don't go anywhere without my PDA, I am completely in love with it. It's supposed to be warm, but I keep gloves and a hat. TIFFANY, 19 I am a very tidy person, so I don't really carry around too many things. During the swine flu terror months, I got used to having hand sanitiser – just can't live without it. I usually have plasters for emergencies. It is essential to me to have notebook and a pocket calendar.
Be M andatory in
But don’t be fooled by the glamorous lifestyle it portrays. The average worker makes only $60,000 a year and that isn’t including retirement or any benefits. There is nothing protecting them after they test positive; once that happens, the game is up! Last summer an unnamed porn actress tested positive for HIV and ‘The Aids Healthcare Foundation’ filed complaints and sued the production companies she worked for. They have started a petition (filed on 17th Dec) which the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health have until June to make a decision. The petition wants to change the state law; making condoms mandatory in filming and test actors more regularly. The president of the foundation Michael Weinstein announced “we will not stop until there is a policy of requiring condoms to be used in porn.” It is actually safer to be a prostitute in Nevada than to make an adult film in LA. A legal medical article written by Corita R Grudzen and Peter R Kerndt revealed that not a single sex worker has contracted HIV since mandatory condoms were introduced in Nevada brothels in 1988. Prostitution has been legalised in Nevada and abolishing it as a crime has reduced risks considerably.
K erris G ibson
Practically every man watches porn, it’s a given. Women will deny it, but most of them do too. When you think about the videos you’ve seen, can you remember the last one you saw where protection was being used? “People who enjoy viewing adult films do not want to see people using condoms,” says Larry Flint, publisher of monthly American porn magazine ‘Hustler’. Be that as it may, the influence that it’s having over young people and the porn industry is unhealthy.
Nielsen NetRatings show that in Europe one in four teenagers between the ages of 12 to 16 look at porn. In the UK it’s six out of ten. Young people watch porn, this is inevitable. Because porn doesn’t practice safe sex they have been lead to believe that ‘bareback’ is sexy. As if the first time isn’t scary enough, when it finally comes to the initial act, they don’t understand what they should be protecting themselves from. You’d think that with all the money and charity work that has went into preventing AIDS and HIV in less economically developed countries as well as funding life saving treatment, we’d pay attention to our own sexual health at home. The fact of the matter is that it’s severely taken for granted.
Original Photograph by: Kerris Gibson Photograph edited by: Mehmet Mulla
Actors in the adult filming industry, by the United States’ law, have to take a monthly HIV and STD test and prove that it is negative before they go on set. It is argued, this will protect them from contracting aids by fellow employees. However, all that this does is put their mind at peace and bide time for another four weeks; it doesn’t change the fact that their contracts require them to have unprotected relations with whoever they’re told to. The biggest porn making industry in the world is situated in Los Angeles and it keeps growing. Roughly 300-500 people join every month and there are more jobs in this sector than any other. 6000 workers, 1200 actors produce 4000-7000 adult films a year in LA.
Illustration by Alexander O’Rourke
Hot Summer Talent
Vervezine thought we would give you a run down on a bunch of fantastic talent to look out for over the coming months. First on our list is Redtrack, a three piece from Essex, who recently appeared on Hollyoaks, the indie pop trio always get people dancing and involved in their shows, and having recently just got signed to a record label, the Redtrack world just got interesting. Reading Festival is only a few months away, and even though this is about new music for the summer, there is one mainstream band worth talking about that has caught everyone by surprise this summer and that is Arcade Fire. An unusual selection for a headliner at such a festival as Reading Festival but it will be interesting to see what the band have their sleeve for this event slot over the summer. Arcade Fire has been around for a few years now, with great albums such as Neon Bible and has performed with the likes of David Bowie. However, are they headline material? The band have near enough been considered ‘cult’ since they came but even with the shock headline slot, which sort of echoes what Glastonbury did with Jay-Z, it will be nice to see that a band like this has been given this opportunity. Next is Jazica, an electro group from Southampton, gaining exposure from BBC 6 Music Radio, crafting their sound around synth machines and energetic performances, this band are currently touring the UK and hitting London over the coming months. There are some artists that you just accidently stumble on because you just happen to be there at the right time, we discovered a pop artist called Twigs in a small bar in Angel, a petit Camden child who sings flirtatious pop songs with a minx of a performance. The final talent we are going to talk about is posthardcore band called Reykjavik, a post hardcore band from Kent, who are part of a small genre which is normally dismissed these days as screaming, but with strong riffs and horse face masks (seriously) Reykjavik are a fantastic band to witness live.
Call Me Animal
The weather is almost here for swimwear, shorts, sunglasses and dads in Speedos, but just because the weather is getting warmer, it’s not the only thing that is hot this summer. With numerous festivals going on throughout the summer with mainstream bands headlining all of them, we need to remember that July and August are the best time for new music.
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Newest band Call Me Animal has been slaying the Camden scene for a while now. Rumoured to be the best new band around in central with their modern sixties style rock and roll music. Their songs ooze influences of The Rolling Stones, The Clash and many more from the punk era, but with their own twist on it and their name says it all, Call Me Animal are wild beasts at heart.
Goes Urban @ the Rocket
Possibly the largest society at London Metropolitan University, the Urban Music Society held the biggest, loudest and funkiest event of this year at the Rocket. More than 300 students attended the event where a bunch of talented students took on the stage to show their singing, rapping and dancing prowess. The event was touted as the most successful event this year attracting not only their members but also other students who appreciates urban music. Abby, a second year International Hospitality Management student said “I think these kinds of events are fun. It is my first time and since I am a fan of funky, hip-hop and rap music, I came down to check it out.” Although most acts went to stereotypical hip-hop slash gram artist type of tune, Sharon Rose, a third year law student incredibly sang two tracks including hit ballad “Listen” of Beyonce. She earned the loudest cheer of the night, in fact, many wants her to try out on X- Factor. Kuksy McDuncan, the president of the society was overwhelmed by the amount of support given by the students to make the event a huge success. He said, “The event is a platform for students who have passion for music to showcase their talents. I am so delighted that this has become their chance to show what they can do and the fact that we have the largest number of turn- out, this night proved that London Met students have many to offer not just by academic means.” Performers include the Cheerleading Society and a special rap number by Ernest Andreyevich Reid and Lawrence Jackson.
Pictures: Glastonbury 2009
Isle of White
The Isle of White Festival has a backline of history ranging from the likes of the Who, Jimi Hendrix and many more, it has been around for what seems like centuries forever providing us with unique, strong line ups and once again 2010 is going to be a fantastic year for it. The Strokes, Jay-Z and the Beatles legend Paul McCartney as headliners, and if that doesn’t warm your toes check out the rest of the line up, with Blondie, Florence and the Machine, Calvin Harris, Biffy Clyro, Spandau Ballet and Doves all confirmed to play.
Reading and Leeds Festival
Reading and Leeds Festival this year has become a sort of reunion event which the likes of the Libertines and Blink 182 reforming this year and playing the festival. Arcade Fire is headlining, which I think everyone was surprised about but it will be interesting to see what the band have got hidden up their sleeve. The festival itself has grown and grown in popularity over the years and with the headline it has booked this year, which Paramore, Guns and Roses, Queens of the Stone Age and many more, Reading and Leeds Festival will soon become the nation’s number one festival.
Free love, peace and naked hippies, think what you will about Glastonbury but no matter what gets thrown at it, the festival is still ploughing through, having shredded it’s ‘John Lennon, war is over’ label, it has now moved up into the mainstream along side the rest of the big events of the year. This year it has legend Stevie Wonder closing the weekend and U2 playing their first time at the festival having been rumoured for years. Dizzie Rascal, Muse and many more are confirmed, but Glastonbury is just about the music its is about the atmosphere to the place, with face painting and the sacred place to get out-of-your-mind drunk while staring at the stars at 3am. Glastonbury is the all rounder when it comes to festivals and we hope it is still here in years to come.
Download Festival always is allowed to boast of heavy rock line ups to burst your ear drums, and this year is no exception, taking the more classic approach to the line up this year, with the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Aerosmith, and AC/DC headliner, also the Deftones are playing even with one of their band members in a coma, and Slash will be debuting his solo work at the festival.
T in the Park
2010 seems to be an exciting year for T in the Park Festival, with Eminem confirmed to headline on the Saturday night, sharing the bill with Muse and Kasabian (which hopes to take the band to the world wide stage after this event). This festival not only has a decent set of headliners on the main stage, but also a great selection of entertainment throughout the festival, with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Prodigy, Madness, David Guetta and Jamie T all printed on the bill to play.
The days are getting warmer; the evenings getting longer and everywhere you go there is a faint rhythmic tone piercing the night air. It can mean only one thing - festival season is upon us again. And with Britain now hosting more festivals than there are weekends in the Summer, we have decided to look further a field to find out how the rest of Europe measures up in the outdoor musical experience stakes. Here’s our pick from the rather extensive list. Enjoy.
Picture from: Benicassim Credit: FIB Archive / Oscar L. Tejeda
Exit Festival, Serbia
In terms of pure aesthetic beauty and sprawling architectural grandeur, Serbia’s Exit Festival, which takes place at the Petrovaradin Fortress on the banks of the River Danube each July, is very hard to beat. First held in 2000 as a reaction to Slobodan Milosevic’s repressive regime, Exit festival reached its maturity in 2007 when it was named ‘Best European Festival’ at the UK Festival awards. Set over 25 stages and attracting an eclectic mix of international music acts, Exit’s 200,000 strong crowds is spoiled for auricular choice. This year’s headliners include The Chemical Brothers, Faith No More, Missy Elliot and Royksopp. With Pendulum making a welcome return to the festival circuit and those early pioneers of LA Punk, Suicidal Tendencies also set to make an appearance, Exit has something for every musical taste. But make sure to pack comfortable footwear for this one. With medieval cobbled roads to deal with, and steep pathways leading from the Fortress down to the River, blisters and sprains can cause as many headaches here as the ubiquitous festival hangover. (8th - 11th July, £85 – 4 day weekend pass)
Situated roughly half-way between Barcelona and Valencia along Spain’s Mediterranean Coast, Benicassim hosts a musical orgy like no other on the Iberian peninsula. Over 150,000 party-goers descend upon this sleepy fishing village each July for an event which has come to be affectionately known as ‘Glastonbury-del-Sol’. The emphasis here is most definitely on Indie/Electro music, with this year’s list of headliners confirming as much. Kasabian, The Prodigy, Ian Brown, Leftfield and The Cribs are all confirmed to play with Two Door Cinema Club and Mumford & Sons among the less wellknown acts that are set to shine at ‘Europe’s Biggest Beach Party’. Although a nine day camping pass is included in the price of your ticket, it may be worth investigating alternative accommodation options. With all the action taking place between 5pm and 8am, and afternoon temperatures topping 40, it may be worth booking into a local hotel. For €10 you can get a room with A/C, warm showers and a comfortable bed. What better way to prepare for a long night of partying? (15th – 18th July, £160 – 4 day weekend pass includes 9 day camping pass)
As Denmark’s premier music festival, Roskilde has grown to become one of the main players along the international festival circuit. Only a few months younger than our own Glastonbury, it too celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The organisers have arranged an extra special line up to mark the event. Motorhead, Alice in Chains, Gorrilaz, Jack Johnson and Muse hold true to Roskilde’s signature mix of heavy guitar- based rock with more main stream commercial acts, while some of the smaller stages will host Afenginn, Beach house and the Bear Quartet, to name but a few. But birthday parties and a stellar line-up are not the only things which Roskilde has in common with Glastonbury. Over the years this festival has shared the same misfortune with weather conditions as our own pre-eminent musical gathering. Though last year’s event was the hottest, and driest, on record, the history books show that rain, often torrential, is almost a given here. The savvy traveller should pack for every eventuality which, in extreme cases, may even include scuba gear. (1st – 4th July, £197 – 4 day weekend pass includes 4 day warm-up pass 27th-30th June)
Rock Werchter, Belgium
Belgium is not usually the first place you think of when planning your summer festival route. However, this may be about to change. From ‘I Love Techno’ to ‘Pukklepop’, Belgium now boasts an impressive list of top-notch summer festivals. But sitting proudly above them all is one name familiar to every music aficionado, Rock Werchter. Held on the side (literally) of one the country’s main thoroughfares, Rock Werchter is the unofficial point of pilgrimage for Belgian music fans. Taking place over four days in early July, this festival is a ‘back-to-basics’ affair which seeks only to be judged on its musical merit. Old school favourites like Green Day, Pearl Jam, Faithless and Rammstein are joined by relative newcomers Vampire Weekend, Empire of the Sun and the Gaslight Anthem to ensure that most generation gaps are adequately spanned. And, with The XX rumoured to be going live with Kytemans Hip Hop Orchestra, there may still be some surprises for even the most seasoned Festival goer. (1st – 4th July, £164 – 4 day weekend pass)
TA NKU S
With a rapidly growing fan base, there is a new act whose name will without doubt be on everyone’s lips in very near future. We met Jaz Delorean, the front man of Tankus the Henge in Soho and joined him for a camomile tea and a couple of stories. When asked to describe the sound of Tankus the Henge, he paints a vivid picture of going to the circus and falling in love, then the whole circus tent falls down and the band keeps playing. The depiction is definitely very accurate. There seems to be nothing boring or ordinary about this band. With six members who all play more than one instrument, there can be a lot of noise when the band gets together. The motivation has always been to get people dancing. “People worry too much about everyday things. At a Tankus the Henge gig I want them to forget all that and go to a different world and have fun,” Delorean said. Their look is inspired by a funfair where the
four of them used to work together and Delorean still operates a steam-powered ride. He lists his musical influences as everything from Edith Piaf and Tom Waits to Abba and Gogol Bordello. Even the name has a colourful story behind it; Tankus was the name of a ship his great great grandfather was trying to sail to England from the Mediterranean, but which unfortunately sank on the way because of the overwhelming weight of the thousands of shillings he was collecting on the bottom of the hull. There is another motivation for making music besides entertaining. “I want to change the world. I’m a strong believer in smiling and talking, it could have solved a lot of problems.” There seems to be something to this philosophy. “And I’d like there to be a Tankus the Henge record in every house”, he added, laughing. With their catchy tunes and fun rhythms, it would certainly help people smile more.
They returned recently from a gig in Albania, where they were sent by the British embassy to represent England at a festival dedicated to the beginning of summer. They plan to return to Albania later this summer. “It’s a beautiful country, and people really know how to dance there.”
A GOOD AND HONEST VENUE
Being able to walk out of a pub or venue and feeling completely satisfied is a very rare thing. There is usually at least one little annoyance, even in the best pubs. The music being too loud or there not being any music, the beer being over priced, the wrong crowd, bad food, rude bar staff, the list could go on forever. So I didn’t hold my breath as I entered the Flowerpot, a small, often overlooked pub and venue in Kentish Town. The pub itself has quite a cult following as it is owned by the same man who ran things down at the late and great Nambucca in Upper Holloway. What surprised me at first was the free entry, which is their policy every night, no matter who is playing. The next thing that caught my attention was the prices. Most venues seem to charge through the roof for a can of beer, but not the Flowerpot. They charge a modest £3 for a pint, a great price in this location. We then took our seats and waited for the first of two live acts that evening. However, our conversation was stopped short by a man called Jay, who turned out to be not only the manager, but also the headlining act of the night. He welcomed us to his pub and offered us to join in the free BBQ in the back garden. The
show itself was fantastic, it was intimate and full of energy; everything a show should be. They have live music every night from all walks of life, so you’re sure to find something you like. If not, just pop down on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon for the free BBQ! It’s only a five minute walk from Camden Town Station, so make the most of the good weather and get down there! Flowerpot 147 Kentish Town Road London NW1 8PB 02074856040 www.flowerpotlondon.com
Ellie Goulding topped the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll, won the Critics’ award at the Brits, despite only having released two singleds. Her debut album will decide whether she will end her 15 minutes of fame and fade away, or continue her career as a 'star'. Her album Lights is a collection which passes my expectations. To her fans, this will be a blessing for their starry eyes (and ears) that will lift her status exponentially. Maybe not to the level of Lady Gaga, but definitely towards the level of Florence Welch, whose vocals may also not be to everyone’s taste. Ellie Goulding is a good vocalist and is enjoyed because her music is “poppy and fresh”. There are, however, moments when her ‘endearing cuteness’ moves on to uncomfortable irritation for many listeners. She clearly has a lot of influence from artists like Marina and the diamonds, Paloma Faith and N-Dubz, which guarantees a sense of modernity to prevail. Songs like The Writer and I’ll hold my breath will provide the listener with more of what they enjoyed with Under the Sheets and Starry Eyed, while Wish I Stayed is a well placed highlight, full of percussive light keys, which help keep people interested.
Redwood Falls, a brand new band from South East London, are practically a baby in the music world, having only formed a few months ago. They have been hidden away, delaying the time when they actually hit the stage for the first time, perfecting their songs to ensure their releases are flawlessly magnificenct. The band formed around the exciting Bexleyheath/ Dartford music scene which boasts of packed, intimate gigs in small venues by promoters such as I (Heart) and little indie clubs like Club Sushi. Redwood Falls play a selection of blues rock songs and occasionally whack out an Elvis show tune from time to time in their set list. www.myspace.com/redwoodfalls
Plan B’s new album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, has stormed the charts and managed to capture the number one spot since its release. The album itself marks a self-invention by the London rapper. Indie influenced rap is nowhere to be found, a sharp-suited rapper with soul and Motown inspired rhythms up his sleeve has emerged instead. The album tells the story about Strickland Banks, his time in jail and the reasons for his imprisonment. It’s hard not to be carried away by the stories and the melodies on the album. The Defamation of Strickland Banks is filled with catchy tunes. The single Stay too
long is only one of the songs that catches the listeners’ attention. Songs like Prayin’ and The Recluse have the power to make anyone want to go back and listen to soul albums from the 1960s. The album is a sure hit for the London rapper. With The Defamation of Strickland Banks, Plan B has created an album for any fan of fetching melodies.
ERASING DAVID (2010) Laila Lala
Can you live a normal life without leaking personal information with every step you take? Erasing David, the new Greenlion Production, covers this topic with a self-experiment. David Bond tries to disappear from the surface of earth for 30 days. Following him is top investigating team, Cerberus. “It was really stressful to disappear. I definitely went through a phase where I saw everyone everywhere”, says David in a Q&A session after a preview screening at the FreeWord Centre in Dalston. When he saw the wall Cerberus had put together with information about him, he was shocked. The ‘wall-of-death’ as he calls it covered everything, from information about his family to used train tickets. “If I had felt that Cerberus stole my privacy, I would have had someone to be angry at. But they didn’t. It was already gone before they started looking.”And what can we learn from this? Is it really impossible to be a citizen of modern society without compromising parts or all of your privacy? understanding of what you bought, demographic details can be recorded and used to create a mosaic of your day-to-day activities. Legislation still needs to catch up with technology. With millions of CCTV cameras, otherwise personal information is always being collected and even more so online. Facebook is a leading example of how we compromise our own privacy. By signing up to the page, a contract is agreed to, exchange personal data for a little bit of software. Even after deleting your page, your information will be kept. So after knowing all this, wasn’t making a film about himself the biggest compromise on privacy he could have made, David Bond is asked by the audience. “Yes”, he says, but he’s also very proud to be in it.
Especially in British culture, everyone is used to answering a few questions about private details when e.g. signing up to the NHS or just a Tesco Card. Even giving out your postcode when buying a shirt reveals more than you know. Combined with an
Sex“Carrie On” City 2 and the
Premiere: 25th, May 2010 Directed By: Michael Patrick King Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker - Carrie Bradshaw Kim Cattrall - Samantha Jones Cynthia Nixon - Miranda Hobbes Kristin Davis - Charlotte York Chris Noth - Mr. Big Our favourite four New Yorker girls are back on the big screen. From Friday 25th of May, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are back to brunching, marriage and a whole lot of fashion. 3 years have passed since Carrie’s and Big’s wedding. All of the girls are still happily married (Samantha to her job instead of the man of her dreams), but a few things have happened. Charlotte appears to have a second daughter and Carrie is about to write her next book, this time about life not only in a relationship but with a ring around the finger. The follow up takes place in New York as well as Dubai, where Samantha is planning to open up a PRoffice. One of the girls wants to adopt a child (or so says general gossip about the movie). With Carrie busy writing and being a wife it probably won’t be her, but we’ll only ever know from the 25th. But while you are waiting for the release, actress Kim Cattrall can be seen in Noël Coward’s English classic Private Lives which is playing at London’s West end Vaudeville Theatre (404 The Strand, WC2) until 1st, May 2010.
UPCOMING MOVIE RELEASES - MAY/JUNE MAY
May 1st Le Fear (2010) (London) Release (2010/I) (limited) May 2nd Neighbor (2009) May 7th Furry Vengeance (2010) The Special Relationship (2010) A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Dear John (2010/I) May 8th Clouds Fly West - Oblatsite letiat na zapad (2010) Telefone (2010) May 14th Last Night Robin Hood May 15th Geography of the Hapless Heart May 17th Capture Anthologies: Love, Lust and Tragedy May 21st Hippie Hippie Shake Letters To Juliet May 24th Carlo Of The Living Dead The Many Lives and Deaths of Giovanni Lombardo Radice May 28th Sex and the City 2 Tooth Fairy The Losers Bedroom Confidential Black Death Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time May 31st Pimp
June 2nd 184.108.40.206 June 3rd Release June 4th Death at a Funeral June 11th Greenberg June 12th Masterpiece
Noel Coward’s fantastic comedy about love, lust and volatile relationships has been brought to life once more by former National Theatre artistic director Richard Eyre. The play, which is currently running at the Vaudeville theatre, has managed to appeal to a contemporary audience despite the obvious domestic violence subtext that lies very close to the surface. At one point in the play, Elyot claims in a casual tone that “certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs” however this does not detract from his appeal. It begins with ex-husband and wife (Amanda and Elyot) both honeymooning in the south of France in adjacent balconies. This leads them onto rekindling their love and in what can best be described as a melodramatic manner, they flee their spouses. Kim Cattrall successfully manages to discard her famous identity of Samantha from Sex and The City. She first appears in a white towel and blond curls releasing a Monroe like quality of a woman confident with her exuberant sexuality. From the second act onwards, Amanda giddily skips around the stage
in silk lingerie and bare feet, visually signifying her promiscuous nature. Matthew Macfadyen is brilliantly cast as the upper class Elyot, playing the stereotypically camp character in a masculine and harsh manner. He is an expert of comic timing and uses the sharp dialogue to his advantage. Macfadyen together with Cattrall convey a believable chemistry that is as sexual as it is sadistic. There are hilarious supporting performances from Lisa Dillon as the wonderfully irritating Cybil, demonstrating an incredibly pre- feminist portrayal of a woman. And Simon Paisley Day as the ever faithful Victor, who’s journey through the play results in a near mental breakdown whilst ‘fighting’ Elyot that is reminiscent of an angry Basil Faulty. Rob Howell’s set for Amanda’s Paris apartment is as flamboyant and off balance as her erratic relationship with Elyot. This is demonstrated during a memorable moment in a fabulously choreographed fight scene in which the cleverly designed floating fishbowl springs a leak. Overall, the combination of the talented cast and Coward’s sharp witted script results in an impressive performance. Although written over 80 years ago and throughout comically depicts violent relationships, Private lives still manages to appeal to a 21st century audience. It raises many questions about the dynamics of love and the importance of sex in a relationship and ultimately leaves us questioning, what does the future hold for people who deeply love each other yet cannot get on?
Kim Cattrall & Matthew Macfadyen
Grey, cold and hostile – these are the words that come to mind thinking back to Roman Polanski’s latest work The Ghost Writer. The film adaptation of Robert Harris’ novel tells the story of an author (Ewan McGregor), stereotypically poor and lonely whose name is never revealed. He is called to polish the memoirs of the controversial exPrime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). Sounds rather unspectacular, but there’s a catch: the ghost’s predecessor has been found dead on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard. Was it suicide? Or was it murder after all? A nail-biting chase begins when Ewan McGregor starts to look for answers and Adam Lang, who is clearly modelled after Tony Blair, is accused of human rights violations. To make matters even more complicated, Lang’s spouse Ruth (Olivia Williams), who is not very amused by her husband’s affair with his assistant (Kim Cattrall), makes herself a home in the author’s bed. Who would have thought that the life of a ghost could be that nerve-racking? Ewan McGregor nails the role of the slightly faceless, yet charming author and Pierce Brosnan convinces as the brisk politician with a dazzling smile and more skeletons in his closet than expected. Thanks to Polanski, The Ghost Writer, with its strong characters and edgy dialogues, is a welcome alternation to the typical by-the-numbers US thriller.
THE BLIND SIDE
Based on a true story, The Blind Side pictures the rocky journey of Michael “Big Mike” Oher (Quinton Aaron). He was handed from one foster family to another because his mother had more love for a shot of vodka than she had for her son. At the age of seventeen, Mike is sent to a through and through white, Christian school in Tennessee, where his massive figure, his moderate performance and having the ‘wrong‘ skin colour mark him out as a perpetual outcast. One day, Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), the typical blonde southern belle and head of the picture-perfect Tuohy clan, picks Mike up from the street and gives the runaway a caring, new home. Soon the Tuohys discover his extraordinary football talent and when he starts playing for the school’s team, a national hype around him arises. He has every major college football team scrambling over him. After slowly improving his grades, Big Mike
eventually accepts a football scholarship from the University of Mississippi. The very last scene shows the real Michael Oher joining the Baltimore Ravens where he started his unbelievable football career. The Blind Side is full of emotion and hope that rather aims at amusing the viewer than at evoking pity and guilt. Sandra Bullock’s performance lifts The Blind Side from average crowd pleaser to Oscar-worthy adaptation.
VerveZine Issue No.003
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