Sabaton and Alestorm Rock the LCR

By David Winlo

‘We are Sabaton! We play heavy metal, and this, is Ghost Division!’

These were the words I had been waiting to hear since before uni started. However, before all that came the Scottish metal group Alestorm. This was a band I hadn’t really been familiar with until a couple of weeks prior to the gig, but this didn’t matter. Alestorm have plenty of catchy sing-along choruses, all of which are about pirates of course, so tankard (actually bottle) of beer (actually cider) in hand, sing along I did. The excitement I’d heard in their studio songs was only added to by the live performance. I was particularly impressed by the new guitarist, who had all the songs nailed as well as pulling off some excellent solos. I also gained respect for Chris Bowes as both a vocalist and a keytar player, as I listened to his gravely voice and watched him play some impressive solos… whilst chugging a drink!

Alestorm’s set was bizarre – a fact which allowed for some of the humour which permeated the evening. Speaking to the crowd about the giant inflatable duck, and its banana-bodied counterparts on the banner behind the stage, Bowes explained: ‘you see, we recently went insane…’ I felt this cleared things up nicely. Sabaton’s set meanwhile featured as usual a large tank on which the drums were placed, as well as microphone stands decorated with fake guns and helmets. Both sets looked very impressive, and both bands used their space well, with Sabaton in particular moving around the stage for the audience’s benefit.

Now for Sabaton’s music: Sabaton are a power metal band from Sweden who sing primarily about historical conflict. WWI and WWII were both covered in a few songs, as were specific individuals who are sung about on the newest album, ‘Heroes’. One of these, Audie Murphy, was covered in the song ‘To Hell and Back’, had the whole audience jumping along to the beat. The whole band was on sparkling form, and there were moments of excitement, humour and audience unity, as we all sang along to fan favourite ‘Swedish Pagans’. My own favourites from the evening were Alestorm’s ‘Drink’, and Sabaton’s ‘Wolfpack’.

Image from Live Nation

KAOS Fashion Show 2016 – Pre-Show Interview

By Elizabeth Wigley

Kids Action Overseas (KAOS) is a charitable society here at UEA, and their ninth annual fashion show is being held on Sunday 6th March. Ahead of the show, I interviewed some of the committee to get an inside look as to how the show will be run, and what the society aims to achieve through the event.

For those who aren’t aware of KAOS, would you mind giving a brief explanation as to what their aims are?

We are a charitable organisation which raises money for free charities, such as Khandel Light, New Hope Kenya and New Hope Cambodia. We organise these charity events in order to raise money to improve the standard of living for children in these countries who are deprived and can’t fend for themselves.

Does the charity raise money for countries in particular continents or are you internationally-focused?

We concern ourselves with international countries, for example at Christmas we organised the Christmas Shoebox Appeal where presents were sent to kids in Romania.

What exactly does the money raise do for the children concerned with the charities?

Part of the money raised goes towards increasing education in the areas, so it contributes to building schools for the children, which enables them to get the standard education that they need. Some of the money also goes towards developing the areas they live in, which consequently improves the standards of living.

You are including student brands and society lines in the fashion show as well as well-known high-street names – why do you feel this is important?

UEA is such a diverse place so it’s great to get lots of people from a range of societies involved in the show. We feel it’s important that students can approach us and say they want to showcase their brands and promote what they have created. So, it’s a chance to display the talents of the university whilst raising money at the same time. Also, it’s an opportunity for the societies to promote themselves and encourage people to join.

You are including other societies in the event such as Royal Dance – do you feel this helps to promote your message and distribute your ideas throughout the university?

Yes we try and make the event as diverse as possible, so by having as many performers as we can this means there is something for everyone which all can enjoy. As well as this, by having so many different groups of people getting involved in the event it shows everyone pulling together and working as a team to raise money for these charities.

In what ways can students get involved in raising money for KAOS?

The best thing you can do is come along to the fashion show, have a look at what we do both in terms of the events and what the money raised does for children overseas. Also at this time of year we will be running elections for committee positions so if anyone is interested in getting involved in a deeper sense this is a great opportunity to put yourself forward.

The show is being held this Sunday 6th March at 7pm in the LCR. Come along for a great night to raise money and have some fun! Buy your tickets at the link below, and to find out more about KAOS or to join the society follow the second link included.

 http://www.ueastudent.com/groups/kids-action-overseas-k-a-o-s/events/kaos-fashion-show

 http://www.ueastudent.com/groups/kids-action-overseas-k-a-o-s

Image from Facebook

The Flash Review

By Alex J Lee

‘The Flash’ follows the story of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), an ordinary police forensic scientist who gets struck by lightning and gains super speed. Drawing on the long and rich Flash mythos from DC Comics the series follows Barry as he becomes the Flash and goes up against a variety of super villains. Whilst ‘The Flash’ is a spin off from the DC series ‘Arrow’ the connections between the two are light, essentially just serving to create a wider universe for the characters to exist in. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy one completely separate from the other.

One of the greatest strength of ‘The Flash’ is that the series is not afraid to fully embrace the “comic bookness” of its source material – for example one episode features the Flash going up against a giant telepathic gorilla. At the same time, however, it balances the ‘out there’ concepts with real emotional human drama – in many episodes the story of Barry’s interactions and realtionship with Iris West (Candice Patton) and Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) are just as important as his fight with the villain of the week.

I think in many ways a comic book story like ‘The Flash’ is best suited to being told on TV as opposed to being told on film. A storyline within a comic tends to run over many issues building up to an epic conclusion and a film can’t fully capture that. A TV Series like ‘The Flash’ can drop hints and allow a story to build up throughout its 23 episode run. ‘The Flash’ delights in the twists and turns that its storytelling format allows with each episode building towards Barry’s epic confrontation with the Reverse Flash in the season finale.

‘The Flash’ is a superhero show and it’s very good at what it does. If you like superhero stuff this show is definitely for you. If you want a jumping-on point into the world of superheroes then I’d say give ‘The Flash’ a try. If you don’t care for superheroes at all then this show definitely isn’t for you.

Image from The Flash Twitter

A Defence of Mary Chapman Court

by Alex Lee

I live in Mary Chapman Court. Whenever I tell someone this I tend to get either a pained or sympathetic reaction. We have a reputation as the worst accommodation block! But I honestly couldn’t be happier to be living in Mary Chapman Court. Here’s a few reasons why:

* First of all, those rumours about bed bugs and cockroaches? Yes they are true but they were greatly exaggerated and in fairness to maintenance they were very quickly dealt with.

* We live so near to the city, seriously it’s a two minute walk to the market place/town hall! This is so handy for going to events that are happening in the city. It’s also super convenient whenever we need to pop to the shops, whether that’s because we fancy some retail therapy, we urgently need to get something or we are doing a weekly food shop.

* Sure, on campus you have a lake but in Mary Chapman Court we live right next to a river. We semi-regularly see ducks and swans swim past us! I know the first time that I mentioned to my mum that I was living next to a river she thought it was lovely!

* There’s only five (and some flats have even less) people per flat. The biggest benefit of this is that we all get several cupboards in the kitchen, no storage issues over here!

* Our post is delivered right to our door. No trips across campus and queueing up at the Post Centre for us! This is so convenient and so much less time consuming.

* Every flat in Mary Chapman Court has both a bath and a cooker! We’ve got luxury facilities over here! But honestly, I love that oven so much – I don’t know how I’d cope with just a combi-oven on campus.

* These flats are a lot roomier than any on campus. Our bedrooms are larger, our kitchens have an attached dining room area. We have space and it’s amazing! Whenever I’ve visited flats on campus the first thing that I have noticed is how much smaller everything feels.

(photo courtesy of: UEA Accommodation Facebook Page)

Hidden Norwich: House Cafe

by Alyssa Ollivier Tabukashvili

 

Half an hour early for the Ligature exhibition at St Margaret’s Church, we found ourselves opposite a cute little café called ‘House’. Although this was essentially in the city, it would not be considered a location familiar to most first years, and so its discovery is certainly worth mentioning.

As you might expect, House Café has a homely feel to it; as well as dining room-style tables to sit at, they have placed a sofa set and low coffee table for those seeking utter serenity. The décor also adheres to this style with fairy lights and a bookcase, potentially making it a cosy place to read and study.

They serve a great number of teas, made from loose-leaf, presented in a teapot for you to pour at your pleasure. I tried their liquorice root tea, as I have worked in tea and coffee for two years, and enjoy comparing the flavours to those where I worked. Many are put-off by liquorice tea because they believe it will taste like liquorice, which is commonly disliked. However, the tea definitely suited my expectations, which were similar to a liquorice and mint combination I’ve tasted many times.

House Café also offers generous slices of homemade cake; whilst the price is close to (or slightly higher than) Starbucks/Costa prices, there is no doubt that you get more from this one, and with the luxury of being homemade.

The staff were incredibly friendly and warm to us, and what almost concluded the homeliness to House Café was the family-business end to it: when enquiring about ingredients, the waitress addressed her mother.

I would undoubtedly return to this café, maybe call it a ‘date spot’, provided I was in the general area.

You can find them on their site: housecafe52.co.uk

And on social media:

Facebook: House Cafe

Instagram: housecafenorwich

Twitter: housecafe52

Side Pony Album Review

By Khalea Robertson

Side Pony does everything an album title should. It perfectly encapsulates the mood and atmosphere of Lake Street Dive’s latest offering: fun, simple, doesn’t take itself too seriously and a throwback to an earlier time. (If you’re wondering what a side pony is, the clue is on the album cover).

The four-piece band, whose members are all graduates of the esteemed New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, has stuck to its guns in this album with its brand of 50’s/60’s pop infused with some soul – courtesy of lead singer Rachel Price’s honeyed vocals – and a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll. The album’s opener, Godawful Things, is a solid representation of that style, though a fairly unremarkable introduction. For this author, the real highlights occur when the sass is turned all the way up. One need not look any further than Spectacular Failure, an upbeat number which relates the sad tale of Bobby, a young man who seems to have bitten off more than he could chew when directing his attentions to the song’s narrator. It’s a one-two punch of pure sauciness, as the following tune I Don’t Care About You Anyway offers lyrical gems like ‘If you feel the urge to see me/Well, you best pretend you’re blind’ in a two-finger salute to a recent ex.

The rest of the album gently takes you on a breezy Sunday afternoon stroll of bold romantic come-ons, declarations of adventures to be had and mild self-pity (perhaps best expressed in Mistakes which features a lovely plaintive trumpet). Thankfully, LSD successfully manages to avoid the oversimplified tropes of love, heartbreak and one-night stands that permeate mainstream radio.

If you are looking for mind-blowing originality, this probably isn’t the album for you. But if something relaxed, witty, well packaged and ripe for bopping along to or busting out your Hairspray-esque dance moves sounds like your kind of party, Lake Street Dive’s Side Pony is definitely your cup of tea.

Image from lakestreetdive.com

 

Pride, Prejudice and Zombies – Did it Have Bite?

By Emily Vause

Although I had wanted to see this film for a long time I did not have high hopes that it would go on to become a cinematic masterpiece. I went out seeking a good laugh and maybe a bit of a scare and in these respects it succeeded. After reading, and loving, Pride and Prejudice I was interested in what a few Zombies could add to the mix. What they did do is turn the Bennet girls into tough, feminist role models with Elizabeth’s main concern about marrying being giving up her knives.

If you have read Pride and Prejudice this film is an absolutely hilarious watch but even if you haven’t, the humour is not restricted to inside jokes for those who have read the book. Though there are a few, the humour in the film is genuine and had the entire cinema in hysterics. One character in particular had everyone in tears. There was not one scene that Mr Collins, played by UEA’s own Matt Smith, was in that did not make the cinema roar with laughter. If there is anything you watch the film for let it be his atrocious character and amazing acting.

Of course the sexual tension between Elizabeth and Darcy is just as clear in the film as it was to perceptive readers of the book. One scene in particular, I won’t say which but some may guess, had me in hysterics. It will not disappoint.

There are a few scary bits I warn, not so much for content but for loud bangs and jump scares that absolutely succeeded in their aim. That is not a deterrence from seeing the film however, in a way the horror adds to the humour in a great way.

I know there are a few Pride and Prejudice lovers out there who probably think the film just looks trashy, and I thought that when I heard about the book, but we are both wrong. Pride, Prejudice and Zombies is one of the funniest films I have seen this year and everyone needs the experience of Darcy angrily beheading trees in their lives.

Image from variety.com

Natural remedies for a cold

By Alyssa Ollivier-Tabukashvili

alwibbfjax8-anda-ambrosiniThe season is upon us; viruses are continuously circulating around campus and there is practically no escaping catching something whether it’s a cold, a cough, nausea or a stomach ache.

 It’s all very well using antibiotics and Paracetamol, but eventually your body becomes immune, and these medications have little positive effect on your body in the long-run. What’s more, GPs are increasingly aware of the uselessness of antibiotics when it comes to viruses, and even when prescribed, there is the high possibility of them killing the good bacteria in your system.So here are some suggestions of simple, natural and accessible – I say accessible because whilst homeopathy is most ideal, it is not the most affordable way to cure that irritating cold.

 Lemons and ginger are a blessing to us all; they keep your immune system running, the latter helps immensely with nausea, and together with honey, they make an excellent hot beverage. Keep these two ingredients in your food stock at all times, you never know when a virus will hit, and there’s no reason why you can’t drink them regularly to keep yourself healthy.You can also put lemon on a lot of food, especially spinach or fish (both great for the immune system), and this helps with maintaining that antibacterial, antiviral diet. What’s more, lemon also cleanses your liver.

 A meal with fish, spinach and lemon, as mentioned above, is amazing because it contains all the nutrients you want to keep your immunity up (with the added bonus of clearer skin). This is thanks to vitamins (C, A and E), protein, zinc, magnesium and other minerals that they are strong in.And on the subject of vitamin C- there is the evident oranges; freshly squeezing your orange juice gives you the ultimate dose of citrus required. Freshly squeezed beats carton juice because the processes involved in the latter often destroy the fruits’ nutrients.

 To unblock your nose, and clear those nasal passages, carry out inhalations. Get a large bowl or bucket, fill it with boiling water and put a towel over your head and the bowl, breathing through your nose. If you have some, add a few drops of tea tree oil.If you have access to additional nutrients, iron will help your body rejuvenate and give you the energy required to heal.So keep a stock of lemon, ginger and honey. Increase your spinach and fish intake, and spicy foods always help fight the cold.

 Remember: these remedies will help relieve simple and mild colds but if your illness lasts a long time, you develop a chest infection or have an underlying medical condition ALWAYS see your Doctor.

Image from Unsplash by Anda Ambrosini

Amnesty International Protest in The Hive

by Natalie Froome

 

If you happened to wander through the Hive yesterday, you will probably have seen the UEA Amnesty International society and their hard-hitting protest installation. The stall was designed to raise awareness about human rights abuses, and caught people’s attention by having Amnesty Soc member Josh in a cage surrounded by silhouettes representing the 91 prisoners still in Guantanamo bay.

One of our editors had a chat to Amnesty members Susanna and Faizal about their campaign. They explained that Obama had pledged to close the infamous camp 7 years ago, and yet still has not fulfilled that promise. With the upcoming US election, attention has moved away from the torture and human rights abuses that went on at the camp and the remaining prisoners have been forgotten. 779 prisoners had been taken there during it’s 14 years of operation and only 8 had ever been charged with a crime.  While raising awareness, at the stall the society were also promoting a petition asking the US government to keep to their word and close the camp.

You can find the petition at avaaz.org

The Amnesty International society are planning more petitions and a viral video later in the year. To keep up with their work, check out their facebook page: Amnesty International UEA.

Deadpool: Usual Marvel or Inspired Deviation?

By Jonny Walczak

New releases to the Marvel Cinematic Universe have become like public holidays. We get them every year, it’s more or less the same thing each time, but everyone seems to get together and turn out for it. It’s as enjoyable as it is exploitative, but you can’t help but feel you’re going through the motions more and more with every passing year.

Deadpool seemed like an opportunity for Marvel Studios to shake off the shackles of conveyor-belt filmmaking. After all, Deadpool is a self-referential pan-sexual that seems to find a sick pleasure in pretty much everything and everyone. It’s not the slightest bit surprising that Deadpool was one of the most anticipated films of the year.

Despite an inspired comedy there for director Tim Miller’s taking, Deadpool turns out to be largely uninspired. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s script attempts to deride the tropes of the genre – a handsome leading man, a British villain, the CGI character – yet mostly opts to conform to them too. Take Deadpool’s antagonist Ajax: played by Game of Thrones graduate Ed Skrein, the film uses Ajax to poke fun at well-spoken villains that lack motivation – Ajax still ends up being just another well-spoken villain that lacks motivation. Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool is perfectly passable and very charming (as anyone would expect him to be) but he never finds the anarchy that made Deadpool iconic.

The entire production is entrenched in this mire of ‘just fine’. Miller attempts to maintain this tonal fluidity between action, comedy and tragedy, but because we have to have the Marvel™ climax between good and evil, the director is forced to conclude on a confused, anti-climactic note. Even the cinematography only really scrapes the surface of what a filmmaker can do with visual comedy.

None of this makes Deadpool a poor watch – there’s a lot of fun to be had throughout and enough action-packed fun to whet the appetite of most moviegoers. This doesn’t stop me from feeling that the film was achingly disappointing and a missed opportunity for the Marvel Studios to prove it’s not interested in simple conveyor-belt filmmaking. The tragedy here is that Deadpool, such an anarchic oddity, has decided to conform to the universe around him.

Image from Deadpool Movie Twitter

Frank Morris Illustration

by Natalie Froome

 

UEA Literature first year and freelance illustrator Frank Morris tells us about his work and what it’s like to juggle freelancing and studying full time for a degree!

  • Tell us a bit about how you got into illustration and developed your own style?

I have always enjoyed drawing. My great aunty is an artist and we would often draw  together when I was very young. My style changed when I was about eleven and discovered the black pen. My style has evolved from hundreds of hours of doodling and sketching. I have also taken inspiration from Illustrators such as Stuart Patience and James Jean.

  • Why did you choose to come to UEA and study Literature instead of going to art school?

Well, I have always been quite academic as well as artistic. I did an Art Foundation in London when I finished my A Levels, but in the end I didn’t feel studying art was quite for me. I have always enjoyed studying Literature and my course’s year abroad in America appealed to me at the time.

  • Is it difficult to manage your illustrating work alongside your university studies?

Yes it is, but it wouldn’t have to be if I was more organized. I took a gap year after my art foundation to travel South East Asia and as a result it has taken some time getting used to academic life again. Also, my illustrative style means that it takes me many hours to finish one piece so finding the time is quite difficult to be honest. This is something I would like to improve.

  • What advice would you give to anyone undertaking freelance work alongside a degree?

I would say doing freelance work during a degree is very beneficial for a few reasons. Firstly, you have quite a lot of free time and don’t necessarily have to get a job. Also, you can use the university as a tool to help you. I have just applied for a £500 grant from the Enterprise centre to start up my own T-Shirt line and this would not be possible if I was not doing a degree. Also, if you come from a big city like me to a smaller place like Norwich, you will find that there are many more possibilities for you as a young artist just starting out. However, it is important to be organised and make sure you do the work set for you from your degree subject as well. It is all about finding the balance.

  • Where can people find your work?

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/frankmorrislondon

Moosey Art Gallery – http://mooseyart.co.uk/frank-morris-prints

You can also find a few of my limited edition tote bags selling at the Dandy Horse Coffee House in Norwich on Magdalen Street.

(image courtesy of Frank Morris, at https://www.facebook.com/franksillustrations/?fref=ts)

The Man in the High Castle Review

By Charlotte Gaines

Amazon proves it can compete with industry heavyweight Netflix in this gripping and slick political thriller.

The Man in the High Castle is set in a dystopian version of 1960s America, which has been partitioned into three areas after the defeat of the Allies in World War II. The 10 part series follows Juliana Crane (Alexa Davalos), who finds herself in possession of an illegal film and must leave her boyfriend Frank (Rupert Evans) to deal with the ruthless authorities in Japanese controlled San Francisco. On her journey to the neutral zone with this film, Juliana encounters Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank), a member of the resistance against the Greater Nazi State in New York, who is transporting mysterious goods of his own. Meanwhile, top Nazi and Japanese officials each work to eliminate resistance to their regimes and take total control of the divided states for themselves.

The task of showcasing not only the 1962 novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, but one of the biggest ‘What-Ifs’ in history fell to executive producer Ridley Scott and showrunner Frank Spotnitz, who previously worked on The X-Files. Scott’s previous adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel came in 1982 with cult classic Blade Runner, with the atmosphere of both forays immersing the viewer in the worlds of the author.

The Man in the High Castle is Amazon’s most-watched show since their original series development program began, overtaking favourites such as Transparent and Bosch. It has already been commissioned for another series, which is due to air later this year. If you love shows like Mad Men and House of Cards, then you’ll find much to love in this series too! The speculative history is presented in a striking yet surprising way, using grand cinematography and perfect pacing to create an engrossing parallel world which keeps the viewer intrigued throughout.

Despite its setting, the show also has something to say about the world we live in today, asking questions about prejudices and exploring the disturbing allure of fascism and totalitarianism. However, The Man in the High Castle seems over-reliant on exposition at times and the complexity of the plot can sometimes overshadow character development. Nevertheless, a solid script, great acting and the captivating premise of the show more than makes up for these pitfalls.

If you find yourself with a few hours to spare this semester, then I’d highly recommend you sit down to watch The Man in the High Castle. With only 10 episodes, it’s ideal for binge watching too!

Amazon currently offers students free Amazon Student membership for 6 months so it’s more than worth your while to sign up! You’ll get access to hundreds of other TV series and films on Prime Video, plus Prime Music, Prime Photos and unlimited One-Day Delivery on millions of items!

Image from amazon.com