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Issue 1 Spring 2011
A quick tipple
Film of the season
We meet Rugeley’s up and coming electronic pioneer
Warwick Ale Festival and a cocktail 101
And this seasons winner… Biutiful
What’s in ‘ere then?
Page 4: Rave in a Cave Page 6: Introducing : Auteur Page 8: Drinking the ale dry Page 9: Something sweet: Cocktails
Hello. How’re you?
A few words about our (very exciting)debut…
Well, here we are. Welcome, wilkommen, benvinguda and bienvenue. This is our ﬁrst time doing this sort of thing. Our ﬁrst magazine, that is. We should probably introduce ourselves, maybe let you know what we’re about, what to expect from our little magazine. We are ﬁve journalism students at De Montfort University — Andrew Dunn, Faisal Raja, Jack Jellicoe, Lucie Crouch and Terri Ann Johnson, and we have put together this publication to bring you the most interesting, diﬀerent, exciting bits and pieces the Midlands has to oﬀer. Aside from relishing the delights of our writing, we hope that we can give justice to a few little-known places, events, sports and opinions, plus a few more familiar things. You may notice that for a lifestyle magazine, there’s some pretty varied stuﬀ. We have a bit of a problem with a lot of lifestyle magazines out there since their idea of a lifestyle would lead you to look like Amy Winehouse, Bill Oddie, Pete Doherty or Lady Gaga. Eugh. We like to party, but we also like to eat good food. We like to be fashionable, but we also like to kick back somewhere grassy. You get the idea. We also like crazy eccentrics, and if you do too, you’re in for a treat. As we have such a plethora of bits, bobs and oojahs for you, TWENTYsomething has three sections — Crazy nights, Happy days and Weird weekends. All does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of stuﬀ we’re sure you’ll agree, so we’ll spare you an explanation. This issue has taken us on adventures from an evening Louis Theroux would envy looking for ghosts around the back of Belgrave Argos, to partying underground in Nottingham. From wild alcohol-fuelled nights to a relaxing day at Warwick Castle.
Page 10: Tinkling the ivory Page 11: Man versus herb Page 12–13: Adam Buxton: BUG
Page 14: Warwick castle Page 16: Lucie’s fashion extravoganaza Page 18: Safari park Page 19: Fitness with Faisal Page 20—21: Maiyango! Page 22: Biutiful
We also have an exclusive interview with electronic musician Paul Mansell, a.k.a. Auteur to talk about his new release, as well as a review of Adam Buxton’s show for Leicester Comedy Festival with a few words from festival organiser Geoﬀ Rowe. Most excitingly, we have the ultimate battle: East versus West, Derbyshire versus Gloucestershire…toe wrestling versus cheese rolling. A showcase of two of the Midlands’ weirdest sports for your raised eyebrow’s beneﬁt in this issue’s Weird Weekends. We hope that you’ll have as much fun reading it as we did making it!
Page 23–24: Battle of the weird sports
Get your glowsticks:
Nottingham’s intricate network of caves plays host to one of the
Terri Ann Johnson
According to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994: A 'rave' is a gathering of 100+ people, at which amplified music (wholly or predominantly characterized by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats) is played. Add to this a secret location; add to that your good selves and you get one spectacular rinse. Nottingham’s underground caves are not the city’s biggest secret. The caves are also home to one of the biggest nights out in the Midlands. Rave in a Cave is a student led affair often run in conjunction to club nights such as Stealth and Twisted Hearts Club. It offers an alternative to average club nights as it has an element of mystery in terms of location as well as the type of crowd it attracts. The night itself is presented mainly to students through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, perhaps even MySpace. Further to this, the Rave in a Cave is developed from Nottingham’s rich rave culture which means that there are various online groups and events which users can sign up to in order to get updates as to when the next big event will take place. A month’s notice is given for most of the events, giving guests a chance to plan for the event. On the Rave in a Cave Facebook page, details are provided regarding featured DJ's and attractions such as poi artists, lights, special sound equipment and more.
Rave in a Cave
biggest rave nights in the midlands
committed to the success of the project. The caves have also hosted a 1920s themed night called The Roaring 20’s, where the caverns and tunnels are transformed into a 1920’s prohibition style speakeasy. With everything required to make a time warp possible, from chandeliers to guests dressed as gangsters and flappers, The Roaring 20’s night is definitely worth checking out, especially if you enjoy fancy dress. Even though the crowds are varied, the night itself embodies a huge sense of society. This exemplifies the types of students and locals who are a part of the rave culture as opposed to the other mainstream nights on offer. Recently the location of the venue has moved to a more police friendly area, and tickets have been introduced for these types of events. This, of course, means that a fee is now incurred to indulge in such rambunctious frivolity. Though raves seem like a dying culture, it is important to point out that supporters are willing to do anything to keep the rave going strong. An offshoot of the rave scene has spanned a worldwide event called Teknival, a techno festival for those of us who love repetitive beats and sunshine. Teknival is a new worldwide movement of large free parties that take place randomly all around the globe. Teknival, while mostly unheard of in the UK, is similar to Rave in a Cave, but it is slowly gaining momentum here. The event is usually organized by the sound system community via word of mouth, flyers or the Internet. They occur mostly in Europe and the venue is usually far from residential areas and similar to most raves — they usually take place in empty warehouses, forests or fields. Teknivals can last for a number of days, or even several weeks, allowing for many musical styles to be represented. The event tends to feature musical genres such as electro, jungle music, trance and spiral techno. The music tends to be heavily underground as most of the musicians are amateur. It is an open invitation event, and an array of different DJs and musicians attend to play their music. The festival also attracts travellers who are supporters of the movement and this incorporates a real melting pot atmosphere. In April 2006, Camel Ford in Cornwall played host to Teknival. Approximately 2,500 people attended and the event lasted a total of three days. In 2010 the event took off in Pembrokeshire, Wales, again with the same number of attendees highlighting the success and popularity of techno festivals of this kind. Keep an eye or an ear out for this year’s Teknival, which will probably occur in the summer — perfect for letting of some steam. With the popularity of last year’s event, this one will be even bigger and better with lots of different DJs. Most importantly it is free, and definitely worth checking out.
The Twisted Hearts Club is another of Nottingham's student led endeavours, the carnivalesque escapade runs out of a night club in the centre aptly named Pandora’s Box. The night features a mixture of electronica, techno, dubstep and some chart. It features attractions such as glow in the dark poi, face painting booths and neon hula dancing. Twisted Hearts encourages its patrons to be wild and hedonistic, dress code to follow suit and is one of the most talked about weekly club nights in Nottingham. What's more its ﬁrst come ﬁrst served door policy means that the night has all the kids lining up around the block for a chance to join in on the fun, not to mention to take advantage of its abysmally cheap drink prices starting from as little as £1.50 a pint. It is heavily supported by many of the people that attend Nottingham's infamous Stealth club nights the institution which brings us performances by some of the biggest names in dubstep and electro including Magnetic Man and Katy B not to mention larger events such as The Detonate Indoor Festival. Stealth also plays host to one of the best weekend nights in the city. It runs every Saturday night and features two clubs, ﬁve rooms, two smoking areas and the best DJs Nottingham has to oﬀer. Consistently setting the bar after oﬃcially winning the Nottingham bar and club night awards Stealth vs. Rescue also provide guests with aﬀordable drinks as well as the coveted teapot of shots at a cost of £10. It is also the venue which Twisted Hearts creators have chosen to debut their latest oﬀspring toy box, another new night set to revolutionise the landscape of Nottingham’s party culture. All deﬁnitely worth trying at least once you won’t regret it.
Like this, but in a cave tions on how to deal with any police interruptions and an assurance that there will be help on hand from volunteers should anything go awry. Like an underground labyrinth, the caves are interlinked, taking you from one sub genre of music to another with shifting volumes. The caves themselves date back as early as 1868 and were previously used as tanneries, public house cellars and even as air raid shelters during the Second World War. The earliest reference to Nottingham’s caves was made by a Welsh monk, by the name of Asser, who referred to Nottingham as Tig Guocobauc in his writings; meaning ‘place of caves’. The city has more man made caves than anywhere else in the whole of Britain. Archaeologists are still investigating the fascinating maze of tunnels beneath the city to uncover the mystery behind their past. Housing over 400 underground caves, the city makes full use of them to attract tourists and special event planners. Admission to the caves is valued at £5.95 per person and allows visitors to explore excavated caves and the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the history of the city of Nottingham. The caves provide ample tourism for the city. However, over the past few years they have mainly been used to house Nottingham’s Rave in a Cave night. Blending this alternative night with the mystery of the underground caves, Rave in a Cave offers guests a truly sublime party experience. The caves are made of sandstone and there is plenty of dance-floor space as well as a choice of different rooms with different DJs and music. The rave atmosphere is achieved with strobes and glowing lights, fog machines, neon lights and a ridiculously large sound system, all designed to create the best night out ever. The various architectural elements are illuminated through the use of innovative lighting, which creates a strikingly eerie effect. Although there aren't any official competitions for fancy dress, ravers are encouraged to don costumes and pamper themselves. The costumes are unofficially encouraged, particularly for Rave in a Cave! As one of the best nights that Nottingham has to offer, Rave in Cave has definitely provided guests with a night they will never forget. Techno enthusiast James Mellors claims it was “the best rave I’ve been to since Rave in a Cave Summer 2008!” while fellow raver Matt Garnet warns people to be prepared to get a little messy. He said that he’d “never seen so many pissed up students in my life,” while also giving his congratulations to event organisers. Over the last few years the event has amassed many loyal followers who are
“The best rave I’ve been to since Rave in a Cave summer 2008!”
Guests who sign up can call various phone numbers that are posted on the page, allowing them to find out more details regarding where the event will be held and information regarding a taxi line for transport. At a certain time on the evening of the event, ravers will also receive a text message with a telephone line to ring for directions. This number is often that of a taxi service, which will take patrons to an unknown venue. Previous locations have included the infamous tunnels by the industrial park and a takeover of a Laser Quest facility. The rave is usually free entry and there is often a bar, primarily selling beer. At the event, there will also be instruc-
— Terri Ann Johnson
up. You get this sleep-deprived sense of euphoria that immerses you.” If you’re under the impression that Mansell’s music is entirely the abstract product of synesthesia, too many beers and sleep-deprivation, as I must guiltily admitted I was, you are mistaken.
sations.” Grand aspirations then, but how does the music actually fair? Auteur’s debut came in the Albums form of January’s Reprise E.P. on • Dark Side of the Moon — Pink Floyd which the vivid image of a lone figure spinning a light in a • For Emma Forever Ago — Bon Iver snowy Bede Park contextualises • Handcranks — Bibio an expansive and solitary sound. • In Rainbows — Radiohead The sound of waves lapping • The Fountain Soundtrack — Clint Mansell a shoreline provides a geographical anchor in the sparse Influences moody soundscape of Can’t You • Cannock Chase See? feeling like the sound of a • Clint Mansell and Bibio distant memory clouded by the • Photography business of city life. Another of Auteur’s musical • His sister desires is realised on the E.P.’s • Sleep deprivation title track as a simple descendMusical recommendations ing bass sound is repeated to bone-resonating effect. • Teebs This solitary feel about Au• Metz teur’s music is one that gives • How to Dress Well you the feeling that sound is a • Brokenchord very personal thing for him. “I guess it is really, I do like • Koreless more band-y bands too though. “I’m trying to be more original with what I listen to. The his laptop being nearby, Mansell harpast few years I’d just been listening to bours an awkward relationship with weird takes on dance music, ambient and technology. electronic. I’m trying to branch out a bit He says Facebook turned his creative more. I think I could learn a thing or to station into one of endless distraction. from the greats — people like Miles “I don’t like that we seem to be in an Davis, Pink Floyd… people that have age where there’s this expectation of proved themselves already in music. people to be constantly social,” he ex“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I plains. don’t want to find this new cutting edge That’s not his only gripe with the instuff, and like the first time I came across ternet it seems. Mount Kimbie and James Blake, it was “If I could do the Auteur thing full brilliant, but you only find what’s haptime, it’d be great, but with illegal downpening in the scene at the moment. It loads and such it’s looking unlikely. stops you from making your own sound, “I’m not bothered if people download developing your own sonic identity. my music at the moment, because it’ll get “You get sucked into the scene of the my name out there and give people little time. sonic journeys to go on, but in the long “It can get a bit distracting when run it’s killing it for people trying to you’re trying to make make it in music. something yourself. “People would rather download it You find yourself just whilst posting inane statuses about Charmaking stuff to fit into lie Sheen these days. that scene, which is “I don’t like Charlie Sheen…” great if that’s what you He regains his train of thought: “I want, but I wanted to used to download stuff when I was at uni try and find my own at first because all my money was going sonic voice. on going out on the whole freshers thing, “I’ve been easing but aside from the ethics of it, I realised it my way into jazz rewas taking the fun out of music for me. cently, which is really “It’s not like when you’re flicking cool. Getting some through vinyl’s where you have the exideas from it. I’m liscitement of flicking through, or the excitetening to this guy ment of waiting for a rare record to arrive. called Bill Evans at the “You just don’t get the full experience, moment who just but then that’s just me.” makes this really cineMansell seems to be a man with a conmatic jazz. Teabag says scious drive to reconcile the sound of his parts of it sound like it introspections with a physical manifestaought to be out of a tion, and thoroughly enjoying it. He is Disney film.” however a man who is very aware of the Teabag is Paul’s fragility of success, very tentative about housemate who was his achievements for a signed musician engrossed in his lapwith an E.P. out and no shortage of ideas. top on arrival. Despite His new single, Velvia, is out in April.
Rugeley’s ambient adventurer Paul Mansell, also known as Auteur on sleep deprivation, happy accidents, and his dislike of Charlie Sheen
Auteur’s music is so good, even his own record label won’t believe there’s just one of him. It is however just him, and as I interview him while he sat in a hoody and jogging bottoms, I did not get the impression of the drive of two people. It’s not about drive though. It’s about reflection. “My label called me a duo on their website,” he grumbles with a laugh. He doesn’t seem overly concerned. The man behind Auteur is Paul Mansell, who explains the name is French for author. “There’s loads of stuff about it really, but basically I chose it because it’s like a movement for directors where they do everything themselves, which is kinda what I’m doing, and I don’t like music to be under my own name, so I went with that. Also rolls off the tongue quite nicely.” Mansell comes from a family whose endeavours are not exactly unheard of. He is the cousin of Clint Mansell who made his name as the singer of the idiosyncratic Pop Will Eat Itself, and more recently for scoring films such as The Wrestler and Black Swan. His sister Laura is also making her name as a clothes designer. He was also taught by a fellow electronic maestro, Bibio, at college. “I did music tech at college ‘cause it’s the only thing I really wanted to do. That’s where I met Bibio. He was a massive source of information from it all to be honest. “Musically, Bibio and Clint are two of my biggest influences. They went for what they were doing, they didn’t just roll over and do things for the money, they did it for themselves off their own backs. “Clint’s really good mates with Darren Aranofski. They met in New York and started geeking out over how they both thought most film scores at the time were crap. He met Trent Reznor there too, he cooked my Aunt and Uncle Christmas dinner one year. That was pretty cool.” At this moment he restrained himself from dropping any more names. “But yeah, they took the leap. I have respect for anyone that does that. I’m fully aware that I might fail at this, but you’ve gotta be inventive, otherwise there’s no point. “When I used to have Bibio as a tutor, we had massive chats with him about how he processes everything and he’d tell us certain records to check out. “One lesson he came up to me with a roll of tape and said ‘listen to this’ and we just made a load of random noises. It was brilliant.” Listening to Auteur’s Reprise E.P., the Bibio influence, despite Paul’s protestations, is audible. “He’s an influence throughout really… it’s not really apparent on the first E.P. I like to use a lot of noise and vinyl scratches to get a more organic sound. I think it makes it more personal as well to have those imperfections. That’s why I use all field recordings. “I’m influenced by my sister too though. I get a real creative buzz off her, hopefully she gets the same off me. She makes really amazing clothes.
Auteur’s top ﬁve…
“You get lost in the moment of crazy bass and dubstep. It becomes more of a physical thing in a club, like the bass drum kicks you in the chest. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
As I enquire about what he wants from his music, he tells me to hang on before presenting an A4 notepad with what looks like a sort of musical manifesto. “I drew this up to kind of focus on what exactly I wanted to do,” he says whilst scanning through before concisely listing his mission. “I want it to reference pop and club culture, where you get lost in the moment of crazy bass and dubstep. It becomes more of a physical thing in a club, like the bass drum kicks you in the chest. It’s just an amazing feeling.” “I want it to be immersive and reflective, I want people to be somewhere else when they listen to it. People should get a sense that they’re floating. Not quite to the extent of an aural out-of-body experience, I just want to recreate physical sen-
“They went for what they were doing, they didn’t just roll over and do things for the money, they did it for themselves oﬀ their own backs… They took the leap. I have respect for anyone that does that.”
“I did the music for her show the Midland Young Fashion designer awards, which was pretty cool. “It’s not just music though, photography really influences me. “I don’t know why, but photography makes me think of sounds. It helps me think really creatively, if I’ve got a camera in my bag, it helps me come up with all sorts.” A glance around his room reveals walls filled with vivid, often indecipherable abstract photos. I suggest that his music is like audio Lomography. “Yeah, audio Lomography,” he nods with a grin “…I like that.” “I just like Lomo stuff, like happy accidents, though I’d like to be able to take proper, good quality photographs. “I’d quite fancy to have my actual job and be a photographer.”
Auteur a.k.a. Paul Mansell The influence of photography doesn’t end here. Auteur’s upcoming release, is called Velvia, which also happens to be a type of film that makes colourful photos. “It’s a form of film used for nature photography, it’s basically just really high saturation. The main pad in that song is what I think about when I look at really highly saturated photos. “It’s a single with a bunch of remixes, I’m releasing it next month on a charity label called Musical Missionary who fund arts and music education for underprivileged kids. It’s out in about six weeks. It’s a really great project they’ve got going on.” I ask if there’s more than just photography that influences his music. He raises his eyebrows whilst pondering the almost instantanious response “Well… yeah.” He elaborates: “I love Cannock Chase. It’s weird, where I’m from, the town’s horrible, there’s just these power stations and not a lot else, but the Chase is beautiful. There’re some spots that are truly stunning. “I love the fact it can take on all these different forms — say I’m walking my dog and the sun’s coming through the trees, it’s just the most beautiful thing ever, but if it’s the middle of the night and you’ve had a few to drink, it’s horrible and you can’t wait to get out. I like that.” “It’s a great juxtaposition. It sounds corny, but the fact there’s nothing to do in Rugeley means we do stuff like stay up just to watch the sun rise. “Last summer we took a few beers and stayed in the woods ‘til like 6 or 7 in the morning and watched the sun come
2011’s Reprise E.P.
Drunk ‘em dry
Our beer lover Jack samples Warwick University Ale Festival
Warwick University Real Ale Society (WURAS) and The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have hosted an ale festival at Warwick University for the past 31 years now, yet nothing could have prepared them for the sheer demand that greeted them at their 32nd event. The festival, which takes place over three days, can be found on the first floor of The Copper Rooms at Warwick University, usually at the end of February. Entrance is £3, and any adult can attend. In fact, if you are a member of CAMRA, then you can get into the event for free! A selection of live music is provided, as well as a hog roast, and of course, a shed load of beer! Beer tokens are £5 (and Just a few of the many kegs emptied by thirsty festival goers this year a long queue) each, and, on With a selection of over a hundred huge – especially when half the space is average, you can get two pints per token. cask beers, 12 ciders and six fruit wines, taken up by barrels! The second night This year, the event took place over one would have thought that there proved to be even busier, and the organthe 17th , 18th and 19th of February, and it would have been plenty of alcohol to go isers had to cancel the final night, bewas a screaming success! By the time I arround, but it proved not to be. cause every single drop of beer had been rived on the first night, a one in one out The quality of the selection, if not the drunk dry! I'm told that this was after yet door policy was already in force, and it more beer had been ordered after the first overall quantity, was second to none was only 8.30pm. In total over 1,100 peohowever. Some of the more quirky night, even the reinforcements had been ple attended the first night, which is no drinks, this year, included Chocoholic, a drained! mean feat, as the Copper Rooms are not beer made with real chocolate, Skullsplitter, an 8.5% badman of an ale, and Knee Knocker, a dry cider that had been matured in rum casks. I avoided the Skullsplitter this year, as Here, at TWENTYsomething, we like brewed, and green hopped, Jolly I remembered the hangover from last year, but Chocoholic and Knee Knocker beer, and we appreciate brewers’ Green Giant is gauranteed to put really were quality, quite surprisingly. I work. This issue, we've done some hairs on your chest. An extremely rewould never have thought that chocolate special research for you — Here are freshing, malty and full bodied ale, and ale, and cider and rum, could be our top ﬁve local brews of the Midreminiscent of spring. such good mixes. They are. lands: My favourite taste from the festival, 4. Harvest Pale: This little number however, was an IPA from a small brew1. Bathams Bitter: Straight out of from Castle Rock brewery, Nottingery in Buckinghamshire. Rebellion IPA the poetically named Bull and Bladham is the current Champion Beer of was first brewed in a garage, would you der just outside Dudley from Delph Britain, and, I must say, it is well believe! I'm glad to say it didn't taste like golf clubs, or engine fumes, but actually Brewery. Sweet and slightly honey worth it. Harvest combines ﬂoral it had notes of red apples, and caramel, like, it’s one to keep an eye open and scents, with that citrusy taste of hops. amongst others. a space in your stomach clear for. light yet full of ﬂavour. A true winner. With the epic amounts of ale con2. Enville Ale: Enville Ale is a tra5. Everards Original: No list of ales sumed over the two nights of the festival, and the popularity of the event from year dional, pale yellow aﬀair. Enville from the Midlands would be comto year, one can guess that real ale is beth brewers have won many awards for plete without it. Now in their 5 gencoming increasingly popular, even eration of brewering, Everards are this beer, and they are clearly deamongst younger generations. one of the biggest brewers in Britain. served. The old nineteenth century Someday soon ale may re-experience Original is a celebration of that fact, it recipe is still going strong! it's golden heyday of popularity. As my favourite Hobgoblin T-Shirt says “What's is smooth yet full bodied and fruity 3. Jolly Green Giant: Annually the matter, lager-boy, afraid you might with a delicate hoppiness. taste something?”
Cocktails: A lesson
For those that prefer sweet to bitter, Terri has all you need to know
Terri Ann Johnson
As summer draws closer there is no better way to welcome the sunny days and balmy nights than with a cocktail or two. Cocktails are designed for one thing and one thing only and that is to get us high on life and Bob Marley. So consider this an education as we list a few classics and the best places to find them.
An old fashioned drink, this cocktail inspires feelings of 20’s nostalgia. cooling and perfect for early afternoon drinks with friends or girlfriends.
Served in a chilled cocktail glass with lemon rind. Best place: Leicester’s Time bar. Best time: Weekends lively atmosphere £6 per cocktail.
Porn Star Martini
• 1 tbsp vanilla sugar • 50 ml vanilla vodka • 25 ml passion fruit liqueur • 10 ml passion fruit puree • Fresh passion fruit to decorate • 50 ml champagne 1. Put the vanilla sugar, vanilla vodka, passion fruit liqueur, and passion fruit puree into a shaker. 2. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Decorate with fresh passion fruit pulp. 3. Prepare a small shot glass and ﬁll with champagne. 4. To drink, sip the martini and champagne and mix in the mouth
Porn star Martini
Girls, gather your girlfriends and don’t forget your purse this one is definitely one for the ladies! The Porn Star Martini is deliciously fruity and perfect for a sunny day of gossiping with the gals. Served in a chilled martini glass and garnished with half a passion fruit this cocktail is about one thing; refreshment. Best place: Nottingham’s cocktail bar Tilt. Japanese Slipper Best time: Cocktail hour • 1 oz Midori melon liqueur starts 5–7pm £3.50 per cocktail.
When you’re out on the town with the girls there is one classic cocktail that makes the night complete. The Japanese Slipper, it is perfect for dancing and cavorting, it tastes like melon heaven and it is amazingly refreshing. Served in a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a slice of honeydew melon. Best place: Leicester’s Fat Cats. Best time: Thursday nights free cocktail with meals and two for one all night.
Our top Midlands tipples
• 1 oz Cointreau orange liqueur • 1 oz lemon juice • Honeydew melon slice for garnish 1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. 2. Shake well. 3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 4. Garnish with a slice of honeydew melon.
• • • • 1 ½ oz Scotch ½ oz Amaretto Build the ingredients in an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes. Stir well.
The Don Corleone of cocktails simple yet effective this one is for the boys. Perfect for nights out with the fellas and sampling some Sidecar quality scotch or alongside a • 1 ½ oz bourbon, Cognac or Armagnac great meal. Served in a tum• ¾ oz Cointreau bler with ice. Best place: Birmingham’s • ¼ oz lemon juice Ha Ha Bar and Grill. 1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Best time: Weekdays 5–7pm 2. Shake well. cocktail hour £4.95 per cocktail 3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. plus two for one meals.
Tinkling the ivory
We investigate another legal high that’s getting up peoples’ noses
As the epidemic of a ‘new generation’ of legal highs is on the rise – people are being warned about the effect and consequences that lay within a new drug sensation called ‘Ivory Wave’. Formerly legal high Mephedrone was transformed into a Class B drug in April of last year and as a result many clubbers have decided to transfigure the legal high industry by experimenting through a different medium. Ivory Wave, which is also known as ‘Purple Wave’, ‘Ivory Coast’ and ‘Vanilla Sky’, is usually sold online as bath salts in packets of between 200 and 500 mg, for £15 each. Similarly to Mephedrone, it can be snorted or swallowed. tor, has warned residents in the United Kingdom of the drug and its’ effects. “I have seen several young people, both male and female; suffer from the effects of Ivory Wave which is usually sold on the internet as bath salts,” he said. “We don’t really know, at this stage, how dangerous this drug is but we do know that it can cause rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, constricted blood vessels, sweating and potential renal failure.” Dr Patel added that because the drug has only “recently” emerged, health officials are limited in their knowledge of its side effects when it is mixed with other substances. “The substance itself contains a lot of salt, and as a result people get dehydrated. “It is important that users get liquids and some food into their system.” “We want to warn people of the dangers of this drug and make sure they keep themselves safe.” Meanwhile, a 21-year-old man from Leicester, who asked not to be named, urged anyone contemplating trying Ivory Wave to have second thoughts. He snorted the drug before venturing on a night out into town with friends. “I paid £15 for a 250mg packet and took a few lines at home after drinking a couple of beers. “It was when we got into town, after a very brief high, that I felt very odd feverlike symptoms. “All of a sudden my temperature was going from one extreme to the other and I felt like I was going to throw up.”
Man versus herb
Me or the weed… The ultimatum posed to Steven Wakefield
Cannabis is a class B drug in the United Kingdom. Coventry resident Steven Wakefield speaks out about his frequent use of the drug and how it changed ‘what could’ve been’. Stephen told TWENTYsomething that cannabis led his time at university to a period of turmoil, losing his friends and long-term girlfriend in the process. Although he attended Huddersfield University and completed a course in Computing achieving a third class degree, he said that his time at university was a period in which he wishes he could ‘turn back the clock’. “My love for cannabis started in my first year at university. I was the usual student – going out and partying a lot,” he said. “I then turned to drugs such as cannabis and mCat.” The 24-year-old revealed that his dependence on cannabis resulted in him isolating himself from the world. “My love for cannabis grew over the months and I soon found myself smoking by myself in my room. “I began hating to socialise and this feeling of being alone in a sphere of emptiness was new to me. “I would sleep for hours on end and my work was usually done – but not up to the standard it could’ve been,” he said. “I also began neglecting my girlfriend of four years and this in turn ended the relationship.” At school and college level, Mr Wakefield achieved nine GCSEs as well as three A-levels in Mathematics, English Literature and Chemistry. However, he said he ‘solemnly regrets his time at university due to the timid use of his time. “I found that I was just scraping by each year, without really aiming for top marks in each module. “By the end of my third year, I was £1,500 down in my overdraft and realised this had to be paid off within a year before my bank started charging interest. “I wasted most of my student loan on cannabis, and I even began taking money from my friends. “I was ashamed of asking my parents for money because they paid for my university fees and accommodation,” he said. It was only when Steven got caught taking £20 from his friend’s room that he realised he needed help. “I saw the £20 note on the side of his laptop and I thought why not take it.
“I saw the £20 note on the side of his laptop and I thought why not take it. I lost all my morals and respect and in turn lost all my friends.”
“I lost all my morals and respect and in turn lost all my friends.” “I hit rock bottom when I realised most of my friends had disappeared out of my life. “I even lost my girlfriend because I chose to love the cannabis more than her.” Mr Wakefield moved back home after he completed his degree, and he said
“It was when we got into town that after a very brief high, I felt very odd fever-like symptoms”
Ivory wave's reported effects include initial euphoria, with other symptoms occurring up to a day after using, and lasting as long as a week. Experts say Ivory Wave does not seem to have a standard 'recipe', but has been found to contain the stimulant methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and the anaesthetic lignocaine. Dr J.M. Patel, a Coventry based doc-
While nausea is one of Ivory Wave’s side eﬀects, the packaging may also induce it The student revealed that he experienced severe “chest pains” and “breathing difficulties”. “I tried drinking plenty of water to see if that helped, but it didn’t. “I ended up having to be taken home by friends and being looked after for several hours.” The man said that he felt “increasingly anxious and paranoid” prohibiting him from being able to sleep. “I definitely won’t go near something like that again and I would advise people to stay away. “I believe I was just lucky to escape death,” he said. It has also emerged that the owner of a legal high head shop in Leicester banned the shop from selling the substance “several months ago”. The owner of Scorpion — who asked to not be named — told TWENTYsomething that his experience with the drug was “limited” but the emerging information regarding Ivory Wave’s side effects made him decide to stop selling the substance. “I know plenty of people who have experimented with this drug and as a result suffer an extremely negative experience. “Like any other legal high, it can be very dangerous to mix with other drugs but from personal experience with my customers — I choose not to put this drug up for sale on the market.”
with the ‘help of family’ he was able to get his life back on track. “I told my family about my problems and they were able to help me out. “My father paid off my overdraft fees and after nearly two years I have managed to pay him back.” Mr Wakefield is currently working as a computer technician for a local school in his area and was able to pay off his overdraft by working at a local supermarket in his area. “I realised that the consumption of cannabis is not addictive but can be addictive according to the personality of the user. “I was most definitely an abuser but there are others who just enjoy it recreationally. “I definitely regret it and if I could turn back the clock – my path to adulthood would be a lot smoother. “However, when surrounded by family and those who love me the most, I totally forgot about the stuff and was slowly able to get my life back on track.”
The all incriminating bag of mysterious white powder
Stephen Wakeﬁeld can now aﬀord to go abroad after kicking his cannabis habit
Behind the scenes
talking to festival organiser Geoff Rowe
As Leicester Comedy Festival celebrates its 17th year with the biggest event yet, TWENTYsomething caught up with Geoﬀ Rowe to see how it went behind the scenes, how it got started and what to expect from next year’s festival. “It’s been great, really good,” he beams. “We had about 370 shows, ticket sales were up over 20% or so on last year, there were loads of sold out shows and lots of new people from outside Leicester came to the festival as well which was brilliant. “Not all of the festival is like Michael McIntyre’s comedy roadshow but people were trying diﬀerent things out, giving less mainstream acts a go, so yeah, I’m really pleased.” Leicester Comedy Festival is one of the biggest comedy festivals in the UK. A quick Google for ‘comedy festival’ will support this with Leicester’s being the ﬁrst result. “We’ve been going for a long time,” explains Geoﬀ. “That’s a big part of it. I think what sets us apart is the huge amount of new shows, loads of comedians with new material. “There’s great scope to go and see something a bit diﬀerent, something that may not be what you’re used to. “We started the festival when I was a student at DMU doing Arts Management and it was actually the ﬁnal year project for my course. It’s now Cultural Exchanges, but it used to change every year. It was pretty successful as student projects go,” he laughs. “I’ve been doing it for almost 18 years, and well yeah, it’s a great job. There are a lot of worse jobs in the world I could be doing.” While the festival is on for only a few weeks per year, the organisation of it is year-round. Geoﬀ’s job is to keep up the hype and raise funds for the next time it comes around. “Milton Jones did a stand-up act at Leicester Cathedral a couple of years ago, which was the ﬁrst time anyone had done that. They’re really keen to be a part of the city’s culture. “They see their work with us as an important part of that so there’s various partnerships we’ve got with people that are a bit diﬀerent and quirky, and that helps to make the festival a bit diﬀerent and exciting. It takes time to form those sorts of relationships, so that’s a lot of what I do. “ You’d think that the organiser of one of the UK’s biggest comedy festivals would’ve seen a lot of acts, but he tells me this isn’t the case. “I don’t get to see many shows all the way through at the festival, I tend to have to skip from venue to venue, checking that everything’s all right. I really liked Paul Foot at the Crumbling Cookie though. “One of the more innovative acts of the comedy festival is Hotel of Comedy in Hotel Maiyango where four comedians stay at the hotel for the night and an audience of 30 people visit them in their room for 20 minutes for what we describe as a comedy experience, and it can be anything. “People have done it in the bath, people have done it in the bed… it’s one of the quirkier elements to the festival.” So what is there for next year? Geoﬀ tells me about how he scored sponsorship on the now ubiquitous name of channel Dave and plans to export a format called Comedy in the Dark to Denmark. He explains that Comedy in the Dark is a comedy show performed in the dark. I nod. “As for the acts next year,” he says, “it’s still early days.”
A short bearded man,
Adam Buxton is a small man. A small who goes by many names amongst which are Dr Buckles and Count Buckules, so the fact that I mistook him for an overzealous fan as he trotted down the stairs at Leicester’s Phoenix Square to centre stage could perhaps be explained by his mastery of disguise. The Count is perhaps best known as the son of travel writer Nigel Buxton, one half of the comedy duo Adam and Joe of Channel 4 and 6Music fame, though has been left to fend for himself since his partner in crime took a hiatus to direct his first film, Attack the Block. As luck would have it, this time off allowed Mr Buxton some time to flex his own creative muscles. For those familiar with the features of the 6Music show, there is be a welcome continuation of perfectly orchestrated comedic analysis of popular culture, often in the form of song (see his critique of the concept of Ratatouille on YouTube or his tale of a nutty man and his home in the whimsical Nutty Room).
Adam Buxton’s Show
several YouTube videos and a lot of laughs at Leicester Comedy Festival
SIBLY ILLEGAL LOVEMAKING IDEAS”. He then showed us the video he made for Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl which played on a non-figurative interpretation of the lyrics: “Aha, this my shit”, “this shit is bananas”. He explained: “Sadly they didn’t use it in the end. Said it wasn’t suitable, too literal or something.” After then breifly exlaining a few of his ideas for bad Russell Brand films, he showed us the first set of videos. “Before I begin,” he began, “Some people like to applaud when the pilot lands their plane safely. I like to give a round of applause after seeing something I like, so please feel free to show your appreciation to these videos.” Many of the videos were pretty unfamiliar to me such as Eskmo’s We Got More, others were were old (Röyksopp’s So Easy), and some were new (Everything Everything’s Photoshop Handsome), but it was obvi-
Still from Adam Buxton’s Nutty Room: A song about the dwelling of a nutty man The viewing of YouTube comments is usually only mildly anything. Mildly insightful (at best), mildly amusing, mildly enraging or mildly well informed. Adam’s characterisation of YouTube commentators however was beyond mildly amusing and left me with the achey set of facial muscles. He has approximately eight different characters in his vocal repetoir amonst which are the enlightened smug commentator, the nervy suggester, the enraged enlightened smug commentator, the bamboozled French man and occasionally, if you’re lucky, Sean Connery. “YouTube has become a gathering place for the addled and insane to vent to their extremely disrespectful opinions about other people's hard work,” he said in an interview with the Guardian. “Naturally, I gravitate towards this and read out some of the more unhinged comments left under our featured videos. “I'm so desperate to find the stupidest and least insightful diatribes that in the past I've actually spent more than six hours sifting through comments for just one video.” The joy he takes in the pathological seeking of online idiocy is evident from not only from the restrained chuckling evident on his face as he reads from Photoshop Handsome’s comment page and tells us: “shitzngigglez has this to say of it:,”switching instantly to a South London accent, “i fckn hate fearn cotton.” “Inspired stuff there, I’m sure you’ll agree,” he says back as himself. The show ended on a tale of his realisation that Grace Jones’ Pull Up To The Bumper may not have been entirely about driving, and the performance of his own euphamism-free, literally worded version. The show remained one of comedy (and hilarious comedy at tat), but there was a showcasing of genuinely very good musical cinematography and Adam Buxton’s wit is not confined to the surreal, but also the insightful.
Count Buckules hard at work at BUG BUG was less about Buxton’s perculiar characters though, containing just himself, a Macbook hooked up to a projector and a few of his favourite music videos. Having not really looked properly at the description of BUG before booking my tickets, the initial realisation of this was a little disappointing, but it wasn’t long before I realised my face was fixed with what ended up being a rather cramp-inducing grin that lasted for the rest of the show and ensuing hours. The show began with a length video of Adam riding through a city on his bike via helmet-cam. Before commencing to the video showcase, we were treated into a small insight into his life and projects as he scrolled through folders with names such as “NEW LOVEMAKING IDEAS”, “DARING LOVEMAKING IDEAS” and “POS-
“I'm so desperate to find the stupidest and least insightful diatribes that in the past I've actually spent more than six hours sifting through comments for just one video.”
ous through the comedy that Adam had a real love of their creativity. Such an appreciation from Mr Buxton should not be entirely surprising as he has directed music videos himself, including the lo-fi video for Radiohead’s Jigsaw Falling Into Place which utilised the helmet cameras he used in the show’s opening video. After showing us each music video, following a light polite patter of applause, Dr Buckles took a detour to the YouTube comments section.
A few of the musical treats on offer
Eskmo — We Got More Everything Everything — Photoshop Handsome Röyksopp — So Easy Arcade Fire — The Suburbs Adam Buxton’s interpretation of Pull Up to the Bumper
Geoﬀ Rowe (left) has run the festival since it started in 1994
— Andrew Dunn
A day for your inner
Castles are cool. You’ve known it since you were a kid. a day at Warwick’s
When you first catch a glimpse of the imperious towers of Warwick Castle, you know that you’re in for a grand day out. The sight of them from the road alone brings back nostalgic memories of my childhood, and the absolute adoration for all things medieval... that phase that most young lads go through, with swords and shields and the like. Anyway, seeing as “Britain's Ultimate Castle” is in our very own Midlands area, I thought I’d take a look and see just how ultimate it is. In a way, Warwick itself feels like a step back in time to the days of yore. From it’s tiny cobbled alleyways to its ancient timber framed buildings, this quaint little town is one of the most picturesque medieval settlements in Britain today. Historically, Warwick, and indeed, Warwick Castle, date back to 914 AD, a time of turmoil and war, where epic battles for land were commonplace. The fortifications at Warwick were strategically placed to defend against, in particular, the Danish invaders. Naturally, armed with this information, I had very high expectations as I made my way to the ticket office. Tickets, I’ve since been told, are cheaper if you book online. Typical! I ended up spending £14 on my student ticket, and £5.95 on my programme, chuck in a free dungeon tour, and, in my opinion, that’s not a bad deal, considering that the programme is a decent size, and not designed to fall apart within three minutes as some seem to be! However, if you are not fortunate enough to be a scrounging student, adult tickets are £16, while kids and OAPs get in for around £12. Onwards to the castle grounds, which, on the day of my visit were covered with a thick white frost that sparkled in the bright winter sunlight. Quite enchanting, but as nothing compared to the huge walls, the bulky gatehouse, and the simply awe inspiring towers that make up the eastern side of the castle. From the outside, the castle is as imposing as you can imagine. Simply by walking through the gatehouse, that tingling sense of awe is multiplied as you leave the real world behind. So far, quite the ultimate castle. Emerging from the second portcullis of the gatehouse, directly ahead of you lies the sprawling courtyard. Just shy of an acre of grass and
very own proves it.
Colin Crosby’s crazy Haunted Leicester
Our eccentric guide takes us to the paranormal
“Haunted Leicester” is known as one of the most popular of the many guided walkes devised and led by Blue Badge guide Colin Crosby of Colin Crosby Heritage Tours. As we ventured into Leicester city centre, a group of 15 people gathered around Colin, eagerly anticipating the bloodcurdling experience that lay ahead of them. Tickets were set at an all time low cost of just £4 as overly excited middle-aged men and women rushed to give their money to the man of the hour. I felt slightly out of place, but was hoping that the experience would be enough to make my heart fluctuate. Just before we set off, the nonchalant Mr Crosby posed us the question: “Do you think I’ve ever seen a ghost?” My first impression of the tour was completely nullified as he timidly answered his own question: “…I don’t know.” The technique seemed plausible though — the fear of the unknown directed at a group of ardent ghost fans searching for things they so badly want to see. In this case, the £4 fee would seem much more justified. As we set off on our two-hourlong tour, we made our way through the lonely and eerie streets of Leicester’s half-forgotten old town, where, according to the website, “many ghosts are said to lurk.” Among the sites we visited was Leicester Cathedral, where a memorial for Richard III after his death at the Battle of Bosworth is kept. His ghost has ‘supposedly’ been seen in nearby streets. The Leicester Castle area and the historic St. Mary de Castro Church were also on the list of visiting sites. Our curious guide managed to cover a great deal of history as he gave visitors a deep insight into the ghosts that lurk in the Leicester streets, but where Mr Crosby
Warwick Castle is one of the most complete and intact castles in Britain today gravel, dominated, not just by the sheer cliff like walls, but also by the mound at the far end, and of course those two monolithic towers. Under the left hand wall stands the main halls of the castle. More large stone buildings, but this time adorned with quite ornate carvings and designs. We’ll come to the interior of these buildings shortly. My first thought, once arriving in the courtyard, was to try and get a perspective from a higher vantage point. I don't know why I suddenly felt this urge, other than the possibility that the my child like self was telling me to see, all at once. So, like a kid that has had too much Coca Cola, I set off for the mound, my head turning every which way to catch the sights. Once atop the 20 metre high hillock, I found a sensational view of the courtyard, and through the gates in the wall, a view of the River Avon that has to be second to none. A massive trebuchet lies next to the river, while slightly further down, I can just make out the jousting arena, and the boathouse. Unfortunately for myself, jousting tournaments are only held in the summer months. By this point I had just remembered that my dungeon tour was about to start. I had to make my way all the way back to the gatehouse where the tour began. Annoyingly, you have to have a photo of you and your partner taking turns at beheading each other with foam axes before they will let you go on the tour. These photos are then offered to you at an extortionate price as soon as you emerge from the dungeon. Seeing as I didn't have a partner, they took a picture of me, on my todd, with my head in the stocks. I laughed at the end when they asked if I wanted to buy it. Anyway, the tour itself was definitely worthwhile. It features live actors depicting the characters of jester, torturer, cook, and judge. As ever, a fair amount of audience participation
is expected, and the jester picked on me especially, again for not having a partner. It’s almost as though it is a crime to be alone at Warwick Castle! Strangely enough, you start heading upstairs at the start of the dungeon tour, which feels like it might be historically inaccurate! You will be met by the various dungeon minions (or actors) who tell nasty tales of how bad life was for your average pauper on the street. The black death being quite the most gruesome, although the torturer has his quirks. I’ll admit to jumping three feet out of my skin as he emerged from a corner, and aggressively invited me into his chamber. Not the most pleasant place, I can assure you! I’ll leave the tour there for now, as I wouldn’t want to ruin it for any prospective visitors. I will say, however, that the labyrinth of lost souls can get painful if you walk into the mirrors! Emerging back into the bright daylight, it takes a while for the eyes to adjust. After the rigmarole of the dungeon, I thought it was time to see the living quarters. The castle management have installed a waxwork exhibition of the castles inhabitants during the 1890's in the living quarters. It sounds as if these particular inhabitants were rather keen on the parties, and as you meet each waxwork, a little more scandal is revealed... The living quarters lead directly into the state rooms, which are all huge. Displays of knights and medieval weaponry scatter the walls, while quaint music from a lutist is played from the gallery in the Great Hall. You can also take a peek at the Chapel, the Red Drawing Room, and the Dining Hall, which is, again, huge. Other attractions at the castle, that I did not have time to fully explore include The Mill and Engine House, which have recently been refurbished. The Kingmaker, and Dream of Battle exhibitions that are housed within the towers, and, last, but not least... The Princess Tower. I have no idea what happens in The Princess Tower myself, but I'm told it's a big hit with the ladies! So, in essence, I actually had a really great day out at Warwick Castle, and, I am even coming round to the idea that it might just be 'Britain's Ultimate Castle' after all.. I would rate Warwick Castle as a four and a half star day out for a young family. A great way to pass the time over the weekend or during the holidays!
The ﬂamboyant Colin Crosby
seemed to fail was the passivity of his tour. Although he attempted to include a number of activities to keep the group entertained, much of the focus was on talking, talking and a lot more talking. Perhaps this reflected the age group that the man was targetting. The group slowly but surely managed to walk approximately two miles around Leicester City Centre. Not one time however, did we actually get close to one of the sites — the group unconsciously listened to the great perils of the Newarke Palace Theatre, but also hoped desperately to at least get a glimpse of the happenings inside the building. As a group, we were also asked to sing a slow and haunting hymn in order to awake the spirits that lay in the courtyard of the church. The honest truth is that I did not ‘feel’ anything. I did not ‘hear’ anything. If anything at all, the fear of the unknown was still present. The walk was quiet and our tour slowly decreased in size as the night grew darker and people lost interest. This didn’t stop the flamboyant Mr Crosby though as he sucked in his gut and continued the tour with much enthusiasm. The ghost walk itself was at least interesting — and the methods used by Mr Crosby were interestingly antiquated. As I walked away from the tour, I felt as if I had learned much — albeit passively — but the experience left much to be desired.
— Faisal Raja
Lucie runs through this year’s spring and summer trends for boys
This spring and summer male trends are classically sticking with the nautical look, laced with preppy and retro looks to give the classic look an edgier feel. So what are our key looks? January’s chino is still set to be a big deal, turning the ankles up will instantly give your look a summer vibe and allow that cool English breeze to get to your ankle’s boys! To get technical go for a peg cut, drop-crotch and carrot cut’s have been marching down the catwalk. As for shorts knee length and slim cut are back in, giving your look a nautical and retro feel. Footwear this summer is definitely centring on the espadrille and sailing shoe (to you and me that’s a loafer with cord round the edge). However if your slightly put off by the espadrille and many are, then opt for the classic laced pump, in a lighter colour. Be wary when wearing socks with these shoes though. Always, opt for a white or grey light cotton sock to match the light cotton of the shoe, anything heavier will look too chunky! Brogues will also still be lining the rails of shops, accompanied by brogue boots for a more sophisticated look. Worker boots will still be in but probably slightly impractical in the summer heat. Surprisingly the short sleeve t-shirt is attempting its comeback this season, though if it will be seen on anybody other than
and girls alike from espadrilles to floral dresses and back again
This season spring and summer trends are focussing round the 70’s boho-chic style. Everything from huge floppy hats to floral jumpsuits to an espadrille wedge will be gracing our streets with their presence! Wide leg trousers will be replacing the classic skinny jean this summer, with floral and ethnic patterns. Team these with a plain top to make sure you don’t over do it nobody enjoys a pattern clash. A higher waist is also essential for the on trend girl this season. This will be gracing trousers, shorts and maxi skirts, which is perfect for the curvier lady! Now there are no excuses for a muffin top. Chino’s will also be staying in fashion so don’t throw them out yet girls! To add a summer twist to your look turn up the hems and create a Capri styled look. The jumpsuit is also set to make a comeback this summer as well. Again we’re seeing floral patterns and even some animal print going on. But be careful with animal print, they should always be teemed with subtle tribal accessories and as much simplicity as possible otherwise you run the risk of becoming Kat Slater. Make sure you choose a cut to fit your body shape, larger ladies should opt
Martin Mills, 23, Bar Worker.
Which shop do you like to buy your clothes from? “Anywhere to be honest, as long as I can aﬀord it! Topman, I work in New Look so I get a good discount from there, Primark, River Island, anywhere I can get something reasonably cheap!” Whose your fashion Icon? “I think it’s a bit diﬀerent for guys, girl’s love looking like celebrities and models but it’s not as easy for us. I think that if you follow fashion intently there’s an assumption you’re gay so I don’t really look at anyone and think ‘you look good’ I just sort of go into shops and dress in what I want”. Is there anything you’d never wear? I don’t know, probably just baggy jeans, really really baggy jeans and trainers or something. It’s not a good look!
Topman model is another matter entirely. Most of the styles are print crazy and in summer and pastel tones. Be aware, they are almost impossible to pull off, however if teamed with a knee length plain short’s, pump’s and some Wayfarer sunglasses you can’t go too wrong. T-shirts as always are in, crew neck cuts
Jess McCall, 19, Media Technologies Student, De Montfort University
Jess, who’s your style icon? “I think I would say my style icon is Kate Moss, she always looks amazing and I love her clothes for Topshop! It’s stylish and simple but out there as well, it’s retro and I quite Like That. Which celebrity do you think always looks awful? “It has to be Lady Gaga, she’s terrible. She’s actually tragic it’s painful to watch! It’s way too much. If you had the biggest budget in the world where would you shop? “It has to be Topshop. Fuck Chanel, I just want Topshop! I always go in there and want everything! But usually can’t aﬀord it so I end up in Primark!”
for a cinched in waist and wide leg trousers to flatter their shape, and the more petite girl should go for a plain fabric with a tapered trouser to lengthen the leg. Hit fabrics this season are the floaty, silky chiffon range. These are perfect for summer and they flatter all sizes and feature heavily with light floral patterns. Perfect for ladylike elegance on hot summer days. Maxi dresses are also coming back this summer. Floaty and floral will be cool for the long summer days and to add a touch of glamour to an evening look, there are plenty of fitted asymmetric styles to be found. Aim for a darker colour for the evening, teemed with statement earrings to set of the cut of the dress. Fabric’s this season are all about visual texture. Knitted, crocheted and lace fabrics will be featured a lot which goes hand in hand with the 70’s vibe. Beige and pastel colours are also set to be a hit which works well in the summer for a fresh elegant look. Tassel’s will also instantly update your look to fit in with this style, as well as distressed fabrics to hit home the retro and authenticated styles. As for accessories the satchel is going to keep on performing well, updating itself with hints of tassels, crochet and embroidery to add to the boho-chic look. Oversized floppy sunhats are also set to be a big feature and are also seriously
Rob Mills, 19, Architecture Student
Where do you like to shop? “I’d say the generic answer anywhere really, but honestly I’m quite fussy. I like clothes from Jack Wills and Superdry, so reasonably preppy I guess, if that’s the right word? Where would you never shop? “Primark. It’s got to be. Just for the fact the quality is quite bad plus they get made in all sorts of unethical shops across the globe, so I don’t really like it. What’s unique about your style? “I like to customise some of my things, like roll my sleeves up and make it look a bit diﬀerent, you never want to look exactly the same as someone else. Sometime’s I pin my trousers, just things like that really! What do you think about the stigma that well dressed men are gay? “It’s a true fact that it’s there deﬁnitely. Clothes do have quite a big impact of ﬁrst impressions I think especially in our society so I guess it is there. I don’t really let it bother me as I know I’m straight so what’s the problem?
will emphasise a nautical look, with plenty of nautical prints to be found in store. Otherwise the big trend for men’s tops this season will be darker earthier colours, veering away from the classic white summer tee. Simple guts and raw fabrics are big to emphasise this rugged look. As for accessories Ray Ban sunglasses will still be a big hit. Styles such as the Aviator and the Wayfarer are both classic and solid looks. For edgier looks go for a club master or the iconic-John Lennon small round lens glasses. Hats are also coming back this season, seeing the return of the Trilby amongst other designs. The key thing to do when buying a hat is to firstly, make sure the hat matches your style. Don’t buy a Trilby if you like to wear tracksuits or a suit itself. It won’t work. Go for something casual to dress down a shirt and trousers for those summer evenings spent in the pub. The Fedora is also set to be big this summer, opt for a darker colour and a woven fabric to avoid looking like a 1960’s salesman. Many styles this season also have small feather details in the side, but beware, always opt for a smaller feather as you don’t want to look like you’re a pimp fresh out of the 1970’s. One thing to avoid is just trying too hard. The most stylish men are those who do it effortlessly. Buy items you like and feel good in, and pull them off with confidence. If your clothes match your personality then you’re sure to win! And remember, wear sunscreen.
Fashion faux pas
Summer time for some reason always brings out the worst of the fashion faux pas, let us start with the classic. On no level is it ever okay to wear socks with sandals. The sandal is a summer shoe and it designed to keep your feet cool, and look wonderful in a gladiator or Havana ﬂip ﬂop. Please don’t ruin them. Some poorly paid underdog designer has spent hours upon hours designing them without socks. Leave the sock in the drawer, be dangerous and go barefoot. Please. One of this season’s big looks is the espadrille for men and women. But guys beware! Only wear these shoes if you know you can work them. If they suit your style you can look awesome in them, but if your not usually a Topman fan or if you don’t wear a turned up Chino, then stay away from this Spanish shoe it is better to be safe than sorry.
practical to shade you from the sun (sunburn is never a good look). Scarf’s worn as bandanas and a general accessory will also add a hippy vibe to any style. If you’re not sure where to wear them try wrapping one around a bag or the brim of a descent structured hat. As for sunglasses girls there are so many brilliant styles, which can be worn this season. Anything from the classic Ray Ban Aviator and Wayfarer to large soft tinted lenses are sure to be a winner. Aim for rims with paler shades to stay on trend and match the softer shade of this season’s outfit. As for footwear gladiators in soft fabrics and metallic tones are always a winner. Wooden wedges are set to be big, ideal for the day with a cheeky floral maxi dress, or for the more daring lady amongst us, try them with short shorts or a jumpsuit. Espadrilles are also going to be big, try a crochet fabric in a light shade to create a bohemian look, ideal for the beach! If we cast our minds back to the early 90’s I think we can all remember the jelly shoe. Yes ladies the time has come, the jelly shoe is set to return! Though this time without the plastic fruit dangling from the shoe. Try a bright colour to jazz up a darker outfit. Also remember to wear these bad boys in as blisters will happen. Enjoy.
18 Africa on your doorstep: Courtesy of West Midlands Safari Park
Lucie’s epic African adventure
As the warmer months approach it's awesome to get outside of suburbia and onto the wilder side of life. TWENTYsomething went on an adventure around the West Midlands Safari Park and had a whale of a time. “Are you ready to SAFARI and come face to face with some of the fastest, tallest, largest and cutest animals around? Then come to West Midland Safari Park, voted ‘Most popular tourist attraction in the West Midlands’ by children and parents from the region.” West Midlands Safari park is perhaps one of the Midlands’ best kept secrets. Over shadowed by Twycross Zoo and other tourist attraction such as Warwick Castle, it remains a less known attraction. Over 100 acres of safari park holding 165 species of animal creates a wonderful experience for anybody, from the average family to whipper-snapper with a car. Plus it gets you out into the sunshine and away from Facebook. It’s not a free day out though (unless you’re under three) prices are all about £13 but that doesn’t exactly brake the bank, plus parking is free! There’s a ‘meet and greet’ where you can actually get close to the smaller animals, part of the ‘African village’ discovery trail which delves you into the world that these animals live in naturally. After you can take a trip about the reptile house but it’s not for the faint hearted! Snakes will be the least of your worries when you enter the newly built arachnid walk-way, housing over 50 diﬀerent species (thank god for glass barriers). To lighten the mood after this you can take a trip to the sea lion theatre. The specially designed auditorium enables the magniﬁcent creatures to show oﬀ their well practiced tricks. You can again get closer to the animals themselves by buying your own ﬁsh to feed them at Sea Island. Adventureover to see the hippo’s in their natural environment and crash their feeding sessions, which is a rariety as the hippo is one of the animals
Our man Faisal is a
Dear fellow people of the world: Health and fitness has always played a major role in my lifestyle as it allows me to be in good physical shape while elevating my concentration level. Society’s attitude towards health and fitness has changed over the past few years and the world we live in today is conductive to a sedentary life. As the Blackberry hype increases and children continue to spend the rest of their days playing computer games – health and fitness takes a backseat and suffers as a result. You know you need a change in your lifestyle when: • There is pizza left in the fridge, which you eat for breakfast (oh the horror!) • You sit on the sofa playing PlayStation 3 all day. • You are content to get in touch with family and friends via the Internet rather than physically going to their place or even walking a few miles. While all these bring much convenience and satisfaction – they are a great disadvantage to your health and fitness. Health and fitness is certainly essential to ensure not only your physical being, but also your mental and emotional well being. When you are healthy and physically fit, you do not only feel good but you also look good and can handle your daily routine better. As a result of feeling better about yourself, I’ve learnt that you tend to look at the world in a different perspective. You do not mind too much about the negatives and instead you become inclined to focus on the positives. It does indeed take a lot of discipline and determination to stay fit and healthy. It is important to think about the downside of ignoring your health and fitness as you will surely suffer in the future. Fortunately for you, technology is also making it possible to bring you all the activities and resources that will uphold your good health condition and physical fitness. Whether you want to get lean and mean or as fit as a fiddle – follow these steps and you will be on the path to success.
it’s Faisal, and he’s ﬁt!
man with a fitness plan. For you. Fatty.
Faisal’s Favourite Foods to AVOID!
• Reﬁned Sugar: Besides staying away from table sugar and candy, watch for added sugar hidden everywhere. Learn the many diﬀerent sugar names and check all packaged, canned and processed foods, such as cereals, prepared meats, bakery goods, jams, etc. • Grain Products: Avoid reﬁned grain foods. Also eliminate cakes, pies, doughnuts, cookies, croissants, muﬃns and all pastries and snack foods such as chips, most snack mixes and buttered popcorn. • Fats and Oils: Limit saturated fats and reﬁned vegetables oils. Eliminate food with trans fats and other bad fat. This includes margarine, lard or partially hydrogenated oils found in cookies, cakes, pastries, doughnuts, chips, fried foods, candy and most chocolate. • Meats, Poultry and Fish: Eliminate red meats high in saturated fats and other fatty cuts of meat – ribs, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, bologna and other packaged meats, plus most hamburgers. Also avoid fried ﬁsh, meats and poultry, as well as poultry skin. • Dairy and Eggs: Cut out cream and any cream products, such as full-fat cream cheese, sour cream, cream sauces, whipped cream and ice cream. Limit the use of butter, eggs and full-fat cheeses and eliminate whole milk, 2% reduced fat milk and whole milk yogurts. • Excess Salt: Average salt consumption in the U.S. is 10-15 grams a day. The National Academy of Sciences recommends 3-8 grams. To cut your salt intake in half, limit table salt and avoid chips, salted nuts and popcorn and most prepared, canned and packaged foods. • Liquids: Avoid all sodas, milk shakes, fruit juice and fruit drinks and greatly limit or totally eliminate caﬀeine and alcoholic beverages.
You probably won’t see this, but if you do, SAVOUR IT
least found in zoo’s and wildlife parks across the country. To really get your heart racing there are rides within the park as well, making it seriously good value for money compared to Alton Towers which is a minimum of £25 to enter. The Venom Tower Drop plummet’s you 30m straight down to earth which is sure to get your heart beating and your lungs screaming! Just make sure you don’t eat a good half hour before you try this out. As the weather turns towards summer you can cool down with the park’s newly invested water ride, costing over one million pounds to build. The Zambezi Water Splash will soak you wherever you sit, so don’t try and hide in the corners of the raft, there are no holds barred on this ride. After if you’re feeling peckish there are a range of cafes and restaurants, the best being the Botswana Burger Company. It’s located in the centre of the park and won’t break the bank either. Or to save funds there are hundreds of picnic table’s littered about the park, all in beautiful spots to sit and eat. The park is open from 10am to 5pm daily, from February 19, the rides only being open during the warmer months. Children over 3 are £11.99 to enter and adults £13.99. Concessions (for all you lucky students) are priced at £12.99. You can also book birthday parties for groups and include two tour guides for every ten guests. For general inquires please email the park found at www.wmsp.co.uk enjoy your trip!
Faisal’s running cannot be doubted, but his fashion sense is somewhat questionable
Running with Faisal
Strong legs, strong lungs, strong will. This is the portrait of a typical distance runner. The good news is that you can be a runner, too — like me. What’s the point in running? Running carries with it the same benefits of all cardiovascular exercise: helping to reduce stress, strengthening the heart and lungs, reducing risk of certain diseases, increasing confidence, brightening your mood, helping you to sleep better. It is also a great way to burn calories. How many calories do you burn running a mile? Conventional wisdom says that, for every mile you run, you will burn 100 calories. But other factors play into the equation as well, including your running speed and your body weight. My personal training indicates that I lse 150 calories per mile but generally speaking, a 135-pound person will burn about 100 calories per mile. Obviously, the faster you run, the more calories you will burn. Starting to run… Running can be stressful on your body, particularly on your leg muscles and knees. But you can minimize your risk of injury with a few simple tips. Make sure to stretch before and after every run. Walk briskly for at least 5 minutes at the beginning of each run. Once you feel your body starting to warm up, do some gentle stretching exercises. Focus on steady, continuous stretches and avoid bouncing through the stretch. If you are new to running, here is how you can work up to a 30-minute running routine.
Beginners Running Routine: 30 Minute Run
Step one For the first week you want to focus on running for 20 minutes. Run one minute, followed by walking for a minute and a half. Repeat this process eight times. Follow this
— Lucie Crouch
routine three to four days during the week. Step two During the second week you want to focus on running for 21 minutes. Run for two minutes, followed by walking for one minute. Repeat this process seven times. Follow this routine three or four days during the week. Step three During the third week you want to focus on running for 24 minutes. Run for three minutes, followed by walking for one minute. Repeat this process six times. Follow this routine three or four days during the week. Step four During the fourth week you want to focus on running for 28 minutes. Run for five minutes, followed by walking for two minutes. Repeat this process four times. Follow this routine three or four days during the week. Step five During the fifth week you want to focus on running for 30 minutes. Run for eight minutes, followed by walking for two minutes. Repeat this process three times. Follow this routine three or four days during the week. Step six During the sixth week you want to focus on running for 39 minutes. Run for twelve minutes, followed by walking for one minute. Repeat this process three times. Follow this routine three or four days during the week. Step seven During the seventh week you want to focus on running for 31 minutes. Run for fifteen minutes, followed by walking for one minute. Then once again run for 15 minutes. Follow this routine three or four days during the week. Step eight During the eighth week you want to focus on running for 30 minutes straight. Follow this routine three or four days during the week.
Faisal: 2.5 stars
My colleagues and I were shown into our booths by the waiter, a kind and welcoming man, whose sole focus was in providing us with a ﬁrst-rate three course lunch. The quiet atmosphere was aided by the fact that we were the only customers in the restaurant. There seemed to be something odd about the situation — between an enthusiastic maitre d' and an overly attractive waitress, we were being catered to and given a large amount of close attention. The lunchtime menu contained an array of foods from a pan fried sea trout to a slow roasted blade of beef. To be a little diverse – I chose the vegetarian option – something which I wholeheartedly regret. For the starter I decided to take on the buﬀalo mozzarella, ﬁg and red onion tart fused with crisp roquette and parmesan salad while for the main course I consumed a Thai curry of selected seasonal vegetables with tandoori paneer combined with saﬀron braised rice, sweet chilli and lentil cream. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. The buﬀalo mozzarella was insipid, the crisp roquette uninspiring and the red onion stood out like a man wearing short shorts on a warm summer’s day. This combined with the relatively sweet ﬁg and parmesan salad was unable to suit my taste and to ﬁnish it was a challenge in itself. In contrast to this, the Thai curry combined with sweet chilli and seasonal vegetables was tolerable. This was predominantly down to the saﬀron braised
rice with its rich texture and ﬂavour which appealed to me the most. I chose not to embark on purchasing a dessert as the preceding courses failed to satisfy my needs and the £16.50 price tag for a two course menu already seemed overly expensive. As the great French poet Jean De La Fontaine once remarked: “A hungry stomach cannot hear” — for I am restless when my taste buds are not scintillated. Many people argue that hunger is one of the few cravings that cannot be appeased with another solution. Admittedly, the food was little to be desired, but the decor and interior design was a desolate distinction. This is perhaps what made my experience slightly better and left me leaving with a slanted-smile on my face.
The team face a gruelling task: Reviewing Leicester’s Maiyango
As I settled into the lusciously comfortable booth in Hotel Maiyango, I found myself commenting to my friends on the décor of the room. The Moroccan styled drapes throughout the restaurant were easy on the eye, and certainly a break from the drab and grey winters day outside. On the downside, however, there were no other patrons in the restaurant for us to enjoy our surroundings with. This, in turn, made for a flat atmosphere in the room, and, no matter how hard the wee little French waiter tried, he could not lift the mood. The lack of business and atmosphere is by no means Maiyango’s own fault, however, as the whole world and his dog have been tightening the proverbial waistband for a couple of years now. I do feel that if we had all been plush enough for an evening meal then we would have had more company. Being the cheapskate students that we are however, we could only afford the lunch menu. Now, the second disappointment of the afternoon came just shortly after, when the exuberant (and ever-so-slightly annoying) waiter told us that we may not have any cocktails at lunchtime! Again, being students, we struggled to understand this strange way of life. Thankfully, however, beer and wine were still on the menu! This leads me to the food itself, which most of us found to be sublime. For myself, I had settled on a little known Chinese lager to whet the appetite, in preparation for my starter. Lovely it was too, but, to me, beer is always lovely. As for food, I had opted for the seasonal vegetable and herb soup to start, which arrived in a stylish bowl which had a huge brim, but very little volume for my actual soup. It certainly struck me as being too little in too large a vessel. For my part, I don’t particularly mind how stylish the plate is, just what is on it! The soup itself, despite the small ‘Nuevo’ portion size had some incredible flavours, but I must admit that my palette couldn’t detect anything specific. However, the flavour on the whole was fantastic. The only other slight misfortune for the dish was the accompanying ‘smoked chestnut tortellini’ which served as a substitute crouton. The tortellini, while a nice idea, was just the wrong flavour, and, for me, it actually clashed with the flavours of the soup. I would have preferred the tried and tested method of a plain old, simple toasted crouton! Moving from the debatable starter, and onto the main course. I had chosen to indulge myself with the slow roasted blade of beef, accompanied by shallot and thyme jus with herb rosti and buttered spinach, and I am incredible pleased with my decision. Again up the tasty shallot jus like a dream, and made for a very good accompaniment the perfectly cooked meat. I must admit that I haven’t had as good a piece of beef in a very long time, and I doubt that it shall be a very long time until I experience that again. Originally, we hadn’t planned to have a third course, but 3 of the 5 of us were tempted after our mains. For myself, and my sweet tooth, I couldn’t resist the gravitational pull of the dark chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream. I am able to report that it was mega tasty! Despite the slight wait due to the technical details of creating a fondant, I found myself again to be enjoying the décor of the room as I waited, ad of course my colleagues fine company! A three and a half star rating from me, though this could easily be switched for a four or a four-and-a-half were it not for a couple of small things. As I said the waiter was slightly over zealous, and we could’ve done with a slight atmosphere to accompany our meal. Other than these issues, however, I would like to thanks Maiyango for a lovely time.
Lucie: 4 stars
“Maiyango Restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner service. The ambiance of the venue is relaxed yet sophisticated. At lunchtime we are able to cater for parties who have limited time making Maiyango perfect for a business lunch or corporate meeting. A two course lunch is priced at £22.95 and Lunch is served from 12pm until 3pm Monday to Saturday. Dinner is served from 6:30 to 9:45pm Monday to Saturday and 6:30 to 9pm on Sunday. The dinner menu is priced at £34.95 for three courses and provides the perfect environment to relax and unwind. The hotel & restaurant builds a luxurious, rich Moroccan theme with its decor and souq like booths, which easily nestle you in to a gloriously comfortable atmosphere. So much so that after a glass or two of wine standing up again seems an impossible chore. Their fusion of Thai and traditional cuisine juxtaposes well with the ambiance of the restaurant. For a starter I had a delicious Gressing-
The luxurious Moroccan themed bar served on fancy and stylised crockery, but this time with a portion size much more to my liking, the food looked amazing and fit for a king. Taste and texture-wise the blade of beef seemed to have been cooked to perfection. I know it’s a terrible cliché, but the meat melted in ones mouth! The herb rosti soaked
Terri: 4 stars
The restaurant itself is exquisitely decorated to encourage feelings of intimacy. The seating comprises of cove like booths which are adorned with Moroccan themed cushions deep and soft enough to allow you to sink into another world. Overhead lanterns are strategically placed amongst rich luxurious sheets evoking a ‘genie in the bottle’ type atmosphere perfect for any type of occasion or company. Maiyango was a unique experience. Our waiter was polite and prompt and provided excellent service, always ensuring we were well supplied. Having clinched several awards in recent years, the evening menu was understandably a little pricey, though the restaurant also oﬀered a more affordable lunchtime menu which offered guests two courses at £16.95 or three courses at £19.95. To start, I indulged myself in a Gressingham duck terrine served with a pineapple salsa and toasted brioche, beautifully placed on the plate the two complimented each other perfectly. The terrine was extraordinarily rich
with strong ﬂavours combined with the tartness of the salsa, while the brioche added a new dimension to the dish giving texture. All together an amazing start to my dining experience. The main dish followed promptly and this time I chose to have the roasted blade of beef with a shallot and thyme jus served on herb rosti with buttered spinach. The beef was superbly roasted falling apart like butter on the plate, the herb rosti was delectable the texture was crunchy and perfumed with ﬂavours that perfectly highlighted the beef. The shallot and thyme jus complimented the beef in the most perfect of ways an excellent choice and I enjoyed every moment of it. At this point I decided to opt out of dessert having had my ﬁll of all that was right with the world. The evening menu is costly but the restaurant doesn’t alienate guests, instead they oﬀer an aﬀordable lunch menu with a variety of choices which change from month to month. This is surely a place worth leaving the house for.
ham duck terrine with a pineapple salsa, combining the smooth subtlety of the terrine with the sharp and exotic ﬂavors of the pineapple. I then moved on to braised Guinea fowl breast with raspberry jus and sweet potato puree. The jus brought the somewhat dull ﬂavours back to life, though not quite enough. The Guinea fowl breast was also naturally fatty but little was done to avoid it becoming oily. I caved to have a desert to ﬁnish oﬀ the meal, ending with a violet crème brulee with a dark chocolate sorbet, by far the best pudding I’ve ever had out of my mother’s kitchen. The crème brulee ran the risk of being perhaps overly ﬂavored but instead used the violet as a subtle over tone, perfectly suiting the caramelized brulee. The dark chocolate sorbet was reasonably rich and the desert could have done without it. The lunch menu was a tad expensive for a TWENTYsomething’s Wednesday lunch, but would provide a meal for a special occasion you really wouldn’t forget in a hurry.
Andy: 4 stars
My fellow TWENTYsomethingers and I stepped into Maiyango from the drizzly February afternoon and two thoughts hit me: These guys have put a lot of eﬀort into building an atmosphere, and I am probably under-dressed. As our friendly French waiter seated us, the incense smells that wafted into our heavily cushioned alcove pushed any worries of scruﬃness far out of mind. I went for the terrine of Gressingham duck which came with toasted brioche and mango for starters followed by the lamb . As someone whose evening meal often comes from an Asda Value tin, I do not consider myself a food expert, but every ingredient of the terrine went so well together it was impossible not to appreciate the chefs’ work. For the time we were there (aside from the seating) our waiter seemed constantly frustrated that our decisions took longer than three seconds and didn’t make too much eﬀort to hide it. When I asked for the cheese board to ﬁnish up, there was a pause, a glare and a non-plussed ‘okay’. It wasn’t even my ﬁrst choice, but a lot of the desserts did not cater to my nut allergy. C’est la vie. Our impatient waiter was however oﬀset by a very patient and talkative waitress who assisted. Were it not so expensive (my lunch and two drinks were £31), I would be glad to return. Do Asda do tinned terrine?
Hotel Maiyango: The question that puzzled us — What does Maiyango mean?
Film of the season
I have always been a big fan of writer/director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. His films are evidently poetic and emotional, as reflected in titles such as 21 Grams (2003) and Babel (2006). In his innovative piece of art, Biutiful, Inarritu continues his exploration of the human condition through a different medium. Rather than using a multiple cast of characters like his previous works, his main focus here is on one man’s struggle through life. Javier Bardem — who made his claim to fame in the critically acclaimed motion picture No Country for Old Men (2006) — gives a towering performance as Uxbal, a man struggling to raise two small children, providing for them through the underbelly of the Barcelona underworld. He lives on the edge of a criminal life dealing with illegality and counterfeit products only to keep his family together. (Maricel Alvarez). This makes his journey towards safety and security for his kids almost impossible. However, nothing is more genuine and special than a father’s love for his children which leads him to discover that the answers to all of his problems are closer than he thinks. While the plot time is relatively short (no more than a couple months), the film is very long winded with a run time of approximately two hours and twenty minutes. The story is told in three different languages (none of which happen to be English) but the aid of subtitles enhances the viewing – taking in the words to visualise the ‘biuity’ and ‘meaning’ that lay behind them. I would argue that the only fault of this beautifully crafted motion picture is that the direction is rather erratic at times. However, this is countered with the outstanding cinematography and the superlative acting ability of the cast. It is evidently clear to anyone who watches the film that Mr. Bardem’s performance anchors the film. His work is a model of restraint - investing in the role with an affecting and sad-eyed dignity that keeps the story grounded. Attempting to embody the powerful idea that ‘one person can truly make a difference’ becomes an instant challenge, as there is a danger of coming across like some empty symbol. Yet, Bardem’s Uxbal is a man, brave and strong, hurting and vulnerable. He is able to symbolize the harsh realities and the “biuty” of the most complicated and multidimensional character of the year — leading to the film’s Best Foreign Film Oscar Nomination. In the end, Bardem has helped director Iñnarritu to create his masterpiece; a film that almost any viewer can connect with and enjoy.
Meet the Toeminator
Paul Beech on why toe wrestling never made it to the Olympics
Frankly, I believe this to be quite the strangest sport that I have ever encountered in my life. Strange, indeed, but also incredibly entertaining, and all for a grand cause! Toe Wrestling achieved it’s current popularity in the mid 1970’s when a chap called George Burgess decided that the English needed a sport at which they could win! So, without further fuss, Mr. Burgess organised the first World Toe Wrestling Championships, which were held in Wetton, Staffordshire. Since then, the location has changed, but the rules remain exactly the same. The tournament is currently held at the Bentley Brook Inn, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and all are welcome to attend, or even compete! Unfortunately, Mr. Burgess’ vision of a worthy sport that the English are good at, has been trampled on the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In 1997, the organisers applied to make the sport into an Olympic game, but unfortunately they weren’t given any support from the IOC at all. There is still hope, however, that a successful (if unofficial) demonstration of the sport at next year’s Olympics in London may change all that. Since the move from Staffordshire to Derbyshire, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream have sponsored the championship, and all proceeds of the event have been donated to the ‘To Wish Upon a Star’ charity, which provides holidays for seriously ill children. As I said, a worthy cause. Regular contenders in the World Toe Wrestling Championships include Alan ‘Nasty’ Nash, and Paul ‘The Toeminator’ Beech, both of whom have won on multiple occasions. This year’s championship is due to take place on the 25th of June. Both the heavyweights of the men’s tournament will, again, be going for gold, but, as ever, only one can win. We caught up with The Toeminator himself this week, to see if he could provide an insight into the phenomenon of toe wrestling. TWENTYsomething: “So, Paul, how are your preparations going for this year’s championship?” The Toeminator: “Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it, it’s been me and Alan for the last decade or so now, so, to be honest with you, I’m hoping for hope to get our own back by doing an unofficial demonstration in London 2012, maybe that will gice us some more support. I will say that we had some German contestants once, and they absolutely loved it. There is still hope!” TWENTYsomething: “You and your wife have won the double crown (men’s and women’s champions) both in 2005 and 2008. Tell us, does Heather ‘Mrs. Toeminator’ Beech still compete? The Toeminator: “Haha, I dared her to compete the first year, she was quite funny about it all, before she won the title. But yes, she still competes, and she will be by my side come June 25th. We hope to get our third double this year.” TWENTYsomething: “What is your entrance music?” The Toeminator: “I’d love to say I had a theme, but we don’t really do that in this type of wrestling.” TWENTYsomething: “Thanks for your time today Paul, best of luck come June. TWENTYsomething will be backing you!” The Toeminator: “Thank you! See you there.”
The Oxford dictionary deﬁnes the word cinema as “a theatre where ﬁlms are shown for public entertainment.” The distinction that lies between the commercial realm of cinema (Showcase and Odeon) and the Phoenix Square Cinema is that the latter is solely ‘independent’. While the café and digital gallery play a major part in the structure of the Phoenix Square, the cinema itself is something of its own — leaving viewers feeling like they are sitting in the comfort of their own home. The innovative and sophisticated interior design is exactly what a corporate cinema is not. One will not ﬁnd themselves struggling to get to their seats as the extensive leg space allows easy access while the over-sized ‘terracedhousing-esque’ style chairs allows for comfortable viewing. Waiting for the ﬁlm to start was an exciting occasion in itself as the sophisticated atmosphere was aided by relaxed chatter from numerous people in the background. The subtle sophistication is made paradoxical with the image of a man sitting behind me with a beer in his hand. However, the beer is in a beautifully designed glass – and all of a sudden – the paradox vanishes. My colleague sits next to me with a cup of tea at his dispense while a woman sits in front of me eagerly sipping a large glass of white wine. I lose all focus and I forget what my purpose of being in this building is. It takes a while before my state of mind is back to operating normally as I realize I am sitting in the heart of the Phoenix ‘Independent ‘cinema. The term ‘patiently waiting’ is Biutiful in reﬂecting how I feel at this point time.
Paul ‘The Toeminator’ Beech
“His work is a model of restraint — investing the role with an aﬀecting, sad-eyed dignity that keeps the story grounded”
When he is diagnosed with cancer, he becomes even more fraught and desperate to provide for his children. Yet he receives no help from his unstable prostitute wife from whom he is separated, Marambra
Javier Bardem as the troubled Uxbal
some fresh blood for the sport. As far as preparations go, there’s not an awful lot I can do, once I tried to lift weights with my toe, but it got too painful.” TWENTYsomething: “So you have won four championships, and Alan has 6 now. Do you think you can knock him off his throne this year?” The Toeminator: “Yeah, of course I do. I know the stats are stacked slightly in his favour, but over the years, we’ve been very closely matched. Alan, as scary as he looks, is a good opponent, and always a gracious winner, and that’s all I can ask for in a rival. I feel that this year is well and truly mine though.” TWENTYsomething: “So, Paul, just how big is your wrestling toe?” The Toeminator: “Hey, listen, you don’t get to be called ‘the Toeminator’ for nothing, you know! I’ll be honest, it is larger than average, but I still need to get it in better shape before June.” TWENTYsomething: “Do you think that Toe wrestling has a future, internationally? I’ll refer you to the failed attempt to get the sport into the 2008 Athens Olympics.” The Toeminator: “Yeah, that was sad, the IOC didn’t give us the time of day back in 2004. I understand that we are a relatively new sport, but to be Toe Wrestling had its application as an Olympic sport brushed aside like that. It turned down in 1997 when the IOC couldn’t decide hurt us all! Next year we whether it was a summer or winter sport
Say cheese (rolling)
Gloucester’s contribution to the world of wacky sports
Terri Ann Johnson
Grown men running down a steep hill chasing after a wheel of cheese is not something you would expect to see on an average summer’s morning. That is of course, unless you live in Gloucester, a county which has become famous for its eccentric outdoor games. The Cooper’s Hill cheese rolling and wake is an annual event usually held on the spring bank holiday at Cooper’s hill. The tradition of cheese rolling which originated some 200 years ago has long been popular with natives of the quiet southern district but this is no small town pie making contest. and safety concerns. Following safety issues, the event was cancelled in 2010 however it has since been revived just in time for the summer. The Races comprise of 4 downhill races (3 races for men, 1 race for women) and 3 uphill races. The uphill categories are as follows: a) boys under 12, b) girls under 12, and c) open to all comers. The Master of Ceremonies (in the white overalls) is in charge of starting each of the 4 downhill races. The 15 runners (maximum) enter through the side gate at the top of the hill and sit on the steep bank. The Master of Ceremonies then welcomes the guest who has the honour of releasing the round of cheese and he or she sits (positioned centrally at the top of the hill) with the cheese. The Master of Ceremonies then says: "One to be ready, two to be steady, three to prepare (at which time the cheese is Once the things get rolling competitors tend to concentrate launched), four to be off more on staying upright rather than on chasing the cheese (then the runners lead forward chasing the cheese down the hill). event last year due to the high numbers The first participant to reach the botof participants and the potentiality for it tom of the hill wins the 7 pound of cheese. all to go wrong. There are however limitations on the Such, however was the fervour of number of runners and for safety reasons cheese rolling fans because the competithe number of participants in each race tion was held anyway, unofficially in a has been restricted to 15. different location. This has hopefully Cheese rolling has not however had a helped pave the way for plans which steady path, like the cheese itself, it has have been made for 2011's event. found its course bumpy and not without Cheese rolling will indeed be back this obstacles. year on Saturday the 11th of June to be A victim perhaps of its own popularity exact and spectators will now be required as well as its fairly loosely organised structo pay £20 for an adult ticket and £15 for ture, many have criticised the sport as minors. being reckless and indeed dangerous. The decision to charge spectators for The hill drops at a near 70 degree tickets has been met with a few disagreeangle, then shifts to 50 degrees. It then ments, but the fact remains that the event plummets again while levelling out and has grown in recognition over the past then falls before abruptly flattening at the few years and the safety of participants bottom. and spectators are a priority for the event The sheer speed and weight of the organisers. cheese is an obvious indicator that care Despite the cancelation of last year’s must be taken in the execution of the Cheese Rolling the 2011 event looks set event. Furthermore, the competition itself to be one of the most well received so already has a history of casualties. far; here’s wishing good luck to all those It was this concern which led those looking to participate in this year’s running the competition to cancel the event.
“In reality the cheese is rarely caught… it reaches hair raising speeds of over 70mph”
Cheese rolling has become the reason thousands of tourists and locals alike gather around Cooper’s Hill every year in hopes of participating in one of the most dangerous and exhilarating pastimes. Expect high speed drama from this alternative, fun day out; never a dull moment! The aim itself is for competitors to race and to beat a roll of very strong mature double Gloucester cheese as it is launched down the hill. The 7lb cheese itself can reach speeds of up to 75 miles per hour and thus can prove to be very dangerous trying to catch up with the elusive cheddar. What is the prize then for such valiant efforts you ask? Well, the cheese itself. The first person to cross the finish line is crowned not only champion of the cheese run but is himself awarded the very cheese he chased. In reality the cheese is rarely caught before it reaches the finishing line as it is given a one minute head start. It reaches hair raising speeds of over 70 miles an hour. This however is not unfamiliar news to Chris Anderson, the 2009 winner and six time champion of the cheese rolling competition. Today; the cheese itself has been produced by Miss Diana Smart from Churcham, Gloucester since 1988. She remains the only person in Gloucester who makes double Gloucester cheeses by hand using traditional methods. In 2009 around 15, 000 spectators crowded a space meant to occupy 5,000 people, raising several health