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College Tribune Arts & Culture Supplement | 30.09.08
Siren Music the
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Another slice of Buckcherry pie buckcherry black butterfly
The LA rockers are back with their latest album Black Butterfly, following from the platinum success of their 2006 record, 15. Buckcherry have tried to maintain their hard living, take-no-prisoners style with this new effort, but have these tattooed riff rogues managed to keep their edge? Black Butterfly erupts with an explosive intro to an album that comprises of a helter skelter collection of live-sounding tracks, in which you can’t help feeling that these songs would be right at home on stage. Yet these post glam rock boys stick to their safe, by-the-book hard rock formula used on previous albums. Tracks to listen out for are the bump-and-grind Tired of You, with its simple AC/DC style riff and lyrics. Rescue Me launches you straight into the generic Buckcherry sound and shows they have some real energy. It is undoubtedly one of the better rockers on the album, but is let down slightly by its touchy-feely lyrics. The supercharged raw sound of lead guitarist, Keith Nelson, is evident on the track Fallout, which compliments the memorable chorus line before build-
ing up to an impressive guitar solo, making this one of their better-produced songs to date. The apologetic power ballad Don’t Go Away is reminiscent of 15’s Sorry and reminds us that these LA love boys have a melodic side, fit for popfriendly radio. Sticking to this method, in Dreams vocalist Josh Todd sings to a girl he’s afraid to lose. The sweet lyrics, accompanied by a series of mid-tempo beats, prove pleasant. The urgent chorus, where the guitar roars to life, reminds us of the days of glam rock. The guitar-driven Rose tells of a man looking for a fresh start. Its Black Crowes-influenced verses and catchy chorus make this a worthy road anthem that may see prominent radio air time. Other tracks worth a mention are the Dave Pelzer memoir-inspired A Child Called ‘It’, which has a Green Day feel to it and, if anything, allows vocalist Josh Todd to expand his subject matter to more pressing issues - all the while sitting behind a good bass groove. For fans of Lenny Kravitz, the post funk Too Drunk… gives us a blend of catchy guitar work
mixed with the self-depreciative lyrics the band are well known for. As for Aerosmith aficionados, Talk to Me will instantly stand out: With influence seen vocally and lyrically, especially with the Steve Tyler-style war cry “Love don’t mean a thing”. The closing track Cream offers somewhat versatile vocals and lyrics, with a soft intro that hits overdrive midsection before fading smoothly. Black Butterfly as a whole is a solidly-produced album, with a number of memorable fret-friendly songs. Yet it still lacks the out-of-the-box hits of its platinum predecessor. Answering the successful breakout of 15, Buckcherry seem to have stuck to previous formulas welcomed by fans. svzSIMON
fight like apes
The mystery of the golden medallion
under the radar
As is usual in the case of a debut album from a hotly tipped band, the expectations are high for Dublin fourpiece Fight Like Apes’ debut album. And, as usual, fans will listen with wariness as they judge a band’s first outing in a full studio. However, those fans can rest easy. All the tracks which established the band as live favourites and were successful on previous EPs have made the transition to a new, shinier method of recording. These established tracks, along with newcomers, maintain the band’s primary aesthetic of sickly-sweet synth hooks and abrasive bass lines. If anything, the high-end production gives the songs more clarity and bestows each track with a suitable amount of impact. The hodgepodge structuring of the songs is also
maintained, along with lyrics which range from sci-fi to toast. It’s not all 3-minute-wonders however. Unfortunately the band’s debut single Something Global pales in terms of energy and excitement when compared to other tracks on the album, as does Lumpy Dough. Alas, some will find the album too ‘quirky’ for its own good. If War of The Worlds excerpts and choruses of “suplex, backbreaker!!” don’t sound like your mug of milk then go listen to the DelaCoronas. Honestly, you’re probably an Arts student, there’s no need to be so serious. STEPHEN TUOHY
Remember Daniel Powter? Unfortunately for all you music lovers out there, this guy’s Bad Day didn’t follow through to an even worse night, because he’s back, attempting to steal the prestigious ‘Whinge of the Year’ award from James Blunt. “I’m hoping you’ll sing along/Though it’s not your favourite song” is a somewhat telling lyric from the first track, Best of Me (I’m really hoping that title was meant to ironic). This offensively bland ballad sets the tone for the rest of the album in which Powter, accompanied by those oh-somoving strings and dainty little piano chords, laments about loves lost, beautiful November skies, poor orphaned kittens stuck in a tree with a cold and no Kleenex. Basically, anything guaranteed to make his music the soundtrack to the ad
for the tear-jerking season finale of whatever hospitalbased melodrama is airing on TV3 this week. Producer Linda Perry’s good influence can be seen in brief flashes, and is let loose on the one bearable track; the edgy and electronic Am I Still The One. However, Powter’s insistence on writing his own material results in an album so filled with irritating naïveté, juvenile angst and high-pitched whining that even Gary Glitter would be left asking for something a little more mature. ROE MCDERMOTT
Upon the release of Doll Domination, their second album, the Pussycat Dolls still remain somewhat of a mystery. They look amazing, are incredible dancers, have great voices and are relatively scandal-free. And yet again, they fail to deliver an album that is anything more than mediocre. The brilliant When I Grow Up is not only the opening track but also the peak of the album. Rather than following this with catchy dancefloor fillers, they insist on singing melodramatic ballads. The idea of these five alpha females pining over their unrequited love is not just a hard fact to swallow, it also makes for a painful listening experience. Even the high profile cameos do little to save this album: The R. Kelly track Out Of This Club is perhaps the worst song on the whole record. The repetitive piano riffs
and tacky lyrics are a perfect example of everything that can go wrong with a love song. Snoop Dogg’s appearance on Bottle Pop is quite unremarkable, begging the question of whether you had imagined their musical chemistry on Buttons. To be fair, the urbansounding Britney-esque Takin’ Over The World, with its harmonised vocals is a stronger point. Perhaps they should take some advice from Britney; get messy, parade in the tabloids, join rehab and get some proper inspiration. As it stands, these girls are a long way away from achieving Doll Domination.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Demented tripping Sebastian Clare caught up with the Peakin’ Trippers at Crawdaddy for the launch of their single Tin Tin A demented chicken struts and jerks about the stage, squawks into the microphone, pours half a can of lager over his head, then flings his tambourine on a high parabolic arc into the audience. As introductions to a band go, this is surely up there with the most surreal and intense of them all. Animal rights activists need not fret however, the ‘demented chicken’ is none other than the Peakin’ Trippers’ exuberant front man Scott O’Neill, who explains his unorthodox nickname. “It’s just the way I dance on stage; with a bit of energy, giving it loads – bit of Jim Morrison, ya know?!” The Bray five-piece have just released their debut single Tin Tin, and played Crawdaddy for the single launch. The band is excited to have sold out the Harcourt Street venue. “It’s our first proper single launch – we recorded songs before, but we just kinda gave them out at our gigs”, reveals chief songwriter and guitarist Dave Butler, whose support vocals provide a useful foil for Scott’s more manic, uninhibited stage antics. “We’ve played here before, but this is our first-time headlining”, adds understated bassist Shay Fogarty, “We’ve been gigging quite a lot, for the last year and a half… It’s just starting to kick off now. We played to about a thousand people at Summerfest, which was amazing. Supporting Mundy as well, we were delighted with that.” The Peakin’ Trippers have their origins in secondary school where, three years ago, Dave and Scott first discussed forming a musical outfit. Dave elaborates; “Yeah, we kinda started when we were 16. We were in fourth year and we were doing this play, so
we decided to take up the guitar and it just went from there really.” The band also cites a variety of figures they de-
“It’s just the way I dance on stage; with a bit of energy, giving it loads – bit of Jim Morrison, ya know?!”
rive influence from. Eric Clapton, The Band, Kings of Leon… The list goes on. And as for the name? Scott provides the account of its genesis; “I was sitting in Dave’s cousin’s house one day and Dave was about to head off to Thailand. He was reading this map of things to see, places to go, and he just says ‘ah look, this bar’s called the Peakin’ Trippers’, and I thought ‘oh that’s a cool name’. We’d had a few ideas with some really shit names, but this one just fits.”
»»The Peakin’ Trippers play The Student Bar tonight.
»»Tin Tin is available to buy from all good record stores.
Alice in chains
paperwork The Chicago band follow up their 2006 debut, Beautiful Seizure, with Paperwork, a genre-straddling experimental album with elements of electro, pop, rock, and free-jazz. There is an evident sense of humour about it that separates it from typical experimental music and it is undeniable that this trio are talented musicians. The music is refreshing and playful. Africa Just Wants To Have Fun is a good access point to the album; upbeat and close to what you might find in the indie mainstream. This is not an album for the conservative or faint of heart, and few of the songs have the traditional chorus or verse. Instead, the music goes through phases of intensity using pace and volume to dramatic effect. This is one of the remarkable but also problematic features of the band. These are not solidly structured songs – at times it seems that all that is holding a song together are the drums and bass. Occasionally, it seems that the
Tin Tin has received widespread critical acclaim, with publications including Hot Press, HeraldAM, and the Irish Independent all praising the single for its strength, catchiness and distinct sound. The band is resolutely down-to-earth about media input however, and is determined to take such acknowledgements in their collective stride. This represents an arrival, not a breakthrough to superstardom. As Shay points out, “This is more of a calling-card; we’re saying ‘here we
are’”. Scott recognises that media attention, while welcome, pales when compared to the rollicking live shows that are their bread and butter; “It’s great to get in the media as well, but when you’re at the gig you see it faceto-face, and it’s just deadly.” Dave identifies quite accurately that since Aidan Coughlan became the band’s manager, the prospects of the Peakin’ Trippers have brightened considerably, to hitherto inconceivable levels. “Since we got a manager, it’s gone amazingly well. He wants to just let us develop and I think we are developing.” The fact that they chose to go with Aidan reveals considerable maturity. Shay discloses that, prior to picking him, the Trippers were offered a generous contract. “Yeah, two or three years of management and then we’d be signed to a record label - the thing was though that the deal seemed too constricting. Seemed to be too much too fast. Now, though, we’re all pulling in pretty much the same direction.” The effervescent collection are typically mischievous when quizzed about how they see their future. “Death metal song next!” yells Scott cheekily. Shay chuckles, “Might become DJs for the next few weeks. Just for the next few weeks. Bit of house music on the decks.” However, the band’s sterling lead guitarist, Cillian, has the definitive answer: “Barbershop.”
boundary between experimental music and simply irritating noise is breached. For example, you may feel your migraine flaring up at the beginning of Tension Loop. That said, Paperwork offers alternative music to make you smile and dance! With that in mind, along with their reputation for being a great live band, catch them at Whelan’s on the 19th of November. CLAIRE SPELMAN
Fresh from the success of their first album, Facelift, and follow-up EP, Sap, Dirt became Alice in Chains’ most successful album. Released sixteen years ago this week, it went Quadruple Platinum and received resounding praise from all corners. What made Dirt such a success? Well, above all else, its context; Dirt was released a year and five days after the best known grunge album of the era - Nirvana’s Nevermind. Fellow Seattleans Alice in Chains had a more cohesive sound while remaining raw and gritty, traits that defined the Seattle Sound of the early nineties. Dirt, entirely written while the band was on the road, opens with a bang with Dem Bones’ hard guitar riffs, front man Layne Stayley’s haunting voice and guitarist Jerry Cantrell screaming duet. Dem Bones is just one of six songs on the album that deal with Stayley’s chronic substance abuse, and his struggle would ultimately lead to his death. If you think all this moaning about drug addiction will get dull, you’re wrong. What Dirt does is put many faces on a complex problem, much like Stayley himself and the band as a whole, whose music is the work of consensus as opposed to Nirvana, and more like the
work of that other great Giant of the Seattle Scene; Pearl Jam in their early years. The fifth track, Rooster, is about Jerry Cantrell’s father and his experiences as a member of the 101st Airborne, whose nickname was Rooster, fighting in Vietnam. The video for this song features Cantrell and his father talking about Vietnam, and stock footage of the conflict there. The video also features a fictionalised representation of Cantrell Sr in Vietnam interwoven with the band playing. The song itself is based around eerie guitar-strumming and almost choral singing, with Stayley’s voice again raw and haunting. In typical Alice in Chains form, its leaden, slow progression builds louder and more intense with the chorus line of “They come to snuff the rooster... you know he ain’t gonna die.”
Another track to pick out would be Down In A Hole, which again uses the eerie voices of the two leads, lyrics of introspection and soft guitar-picking fused with heavy riffs. One of the finest tracks on the album, this is not to be missed and is definitely one of the band’s defining movements. Dirt ends with the track Would? which relies on hefty drums and bass in tandem, which along with Stayley’s vocals were the band’s stock and trade. Dirt is the best representative of Alice in Chains’ work and one of the finest examples of the Seattle Sound of the early nineties, and of the entire genre of grunge. If it’s not in your collection it should be.
Siren Music the
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Not Doing things by half Stephen Shannon, production master, technical wizard and founder member of Halfset, finds time to discuss the finer points of their longawaited second album with Sebastian Clare and The Mailmen It has been three years since the release of their debut album, Dramanalog, and Halfset have finally returned with Another Way Of Being There. Shannon explains this gap; “It just takes so long for us to find the right kind of thing we’re looking for with a song. It starts off in lots of different directions; sometimes it might start off with a little electronic beat or kind of a harp.” Evidently, the group are perfectionists, unwilling to compromise regardless of time pressures. “It takes so long for us to layer a song up into something we’re satisfied with that it often takes about three years for an album. We’re not career musicians per se, so we just wanna make sure that something is right and we can stand by it.” The band were prolific in their creative output too, compiling an extensive catalogue before deciding upon the final tracklist of the record. “We wrote fifty pieces of music for the album and we treated them all equally until we got to the final stages, literally six or seven weeks ago, where we made some really drastic decisions and let a lot of songs go.” Halfset’s unique sound owes a lot to the idiosyncratic nature of their songwriting methods, as Shannon reveals; “It starts with a basic musical idea that we all find appealing – it might be a little synth line or something written with a harp. We’re really crazy about some old instruments like a Fender Rhodes piano from the Seventies or a Farfisa organ built in the late Sixties, you know, lots of weird instruments, and we find a sound or two on those that we adore, then we start building the music around that and we all start being inspired by it.” Their dedicated, almost-obsessive approach to recording is reiterated by Shannon. “We have a little house in Leitrim – we go down there we elaborate on the idea repeatedly, we only stop to eat and sleep! We just keep on playing the same idea, keep building on it for long periods of time.” He laughs, “Sometimes it leads to slightly psychotic episodes because of the repetition of it all!” In the interim period between albums, Shannon built his own studio, Experimental Audio, where he worked with Adrian Crowley, Carly Sings and Crayonsmith, amongst others. Given that close involvement with other art-
ists, how does Shannon view the Irish music scene as a whole? “It’s changed a lot alright. I can certainly say that in the last five or six years that bands have become big news again. A lot of bands now can and do attract a huge audience on the live circuit and people are more live-music orientated. Venues are full of punters, and that influences a scene a lot as well.” He adds a caveat however; “Although the music scene is very healthy, I would prefer to see a lot more original music coming along. Something where the emphasis is on creating an expression that is an individual one.” Halfset embarked on producing an ambitious audio-visual project to accompany their new album. “For the ten songs on the album we got together with ten film-makers. We didn’t want to make a music video per se, we wanted to create an artistic expression of someone else’s interpretation of what they heard in the song, so we’re releasing a DVD with the record, with all those interpretations.” The project has an added twist during their live shows. For the album launch, on the 27th of September, each film was played behind them on stage while they performed the album from start to finish. Halfset unquestionably represent an eclectic live experience. “We all jump from instrument to instrument but there are certain things that we just cannot physically do – we’ve only got two arms!” The band solved this impairment by using a laptop to make up the shortfall. “Whatever we can’t put our hands on, we run from the laptop. Some synth lines or synth bass.” Shannon continues, “When I’m on stage I have a synth, an omnichord, a laptop, a sound mixer, a guitar, a bass, and a glockenspiel all around me. I’m reaching for different instruments all the time - it’s hectic!” Presumably a lot of rehearsal is needed for ensuring that the finished article comes off without a hitch? “It’s a bit of a juggling act, and we needed to rehearse an awful lot, because in any given song I may change instruments about three times, depending on what’s needed. It’s kinda crazy, I tell you! It is a bit like rehearsing for a circus act sometimes – but when you get it right it’s a real buzz.”
»»Another Way Of Being There is out now
Just a m Mundy
Mundy talks to Fiona Redmond about his love o inspiration and his part in THAT anthemic summ “Tom Dunne from Today FM did a live broadcast from Roisín Dubh in Galway and he asked me would I sing Galway Girl with Sharon Shannon.” Mundy coolly explains his widely successful collaboration, in covering the song Shannon originally did with American folk-rocker Steve Earle. “So we sang it together and the next night loads of people called into the show to request for it to be played again. Shortly after that I got her up on stage sing it with me in Vicar Street while we were recording my live album.” This record sat firmly at the top of the Irish chart for five weeks, a fact which leaves Mundy unfazed. “People just really seemed to take to the song,” he states simply. P e r h ap s Mundy is most popular for his part in creating the anthem of the summer but this artist is no one-trick pony and already has his new album in the pipe-
line. “I’m very excited about my new album,” he admits. “I’m still in the process of adding a few backing vocals and mixing it but it’ll be out in the new year, hopefully before summer. I’ve just to figure out the right time.” This album is the first that he has recorded in Ireland, and he makes the point that there is definitely a feeling of home with this record. He mentions the dedication required to be successful in his profession; “Inspiration is a spontaneous kinda thing that happens to you and it never seems to come from the same place. This spontaneity is something that you always have to be aware of, be switched on to. If you don’t take advantage of it you only have yourself to blame. You could be driving your car but might have to pull over to the other side of the road to take an idea down. I think you have to actively take up the offering.” This devotion stems from back when Mundy was younger and took his songwriting seriously enough to earn a place in the prestigious Ballyfermot Rock School. Although he admits that, like most students, attendance wasn’t his strong point, he admits to learning a few tricks there. Perhaps studying music alongside many other budding young Irish musicians helped to carve Mundy’s distinctive traditional sound. “It’s great to be able to use your roots and where you come from in your music, it does make a big difference,” he says of this
College Tribune | september 30th 2008
of squalid bars, spontaneous mer single. influence. Mundy is also candid about his desire to create a purely traditional album covering Irish folk songs; “I think that’s something that I will eventually have to do because there are so many beautiful folk songs that need to be revived and kept alive. It’s definitely something that I’ve thought about.” His interest does not just end with Irish traditional music. Mundy recorded his third album, Raining Down Arrows, in Texas and confesses that it was his interest in country music that brought him there; “I was basically influenced by a lot of country - basically Americana and
There are so many beautiful folk songs that need to be revived and kept alive. It’s definitely something that I’ve thought about Indie music which was fused with a country style. I saw this guy doing a gig one night in Chicago and I asked him did he record albums. He did and we stayed in touch by email. I didn’t really have a big budget at the time but I told him that I had a bunch of songs that I wanted to record and so I flew over to record them with him. We did three songs as an experiment and they sounded really good.” The importance that he stresses about having to take inspiration as it comes is truly evident here; “I definitely wouldn’t have been able to
create the same sound in that record otherwise.” He has played alongside some of the worlds biggest acts such as Neil Young, Van Morrison and The White Stripes - “That was amazing, it was an honour to be asked to do it” - and yet he confesses that his favourite venues to play are smaller, intimate ones. “I’m a big fan of just playing in a rotten, dirty, dingy bar,” he laughs. “In particular, I played with Sharon Shannon and a bunch of people in a place called the Boogaloo in London and it was simply just a bar with a jukebox. You know you could even smell stale beer but it served its purpose because it’s all about atmosphere really.” Mundy strikes you then as a singer who really enjoys playing live most of all, and it is at one of his concerts that fans are most likely to hear his new material. “I’ve a song called Fever at the moment,” he continues, “and it’s probably one of my favourites to do live. I just like the lyrics and I love the sentiment to it. It’s good fun.” Mundy is evidently one to be watched. And yet for those of you who are just interested in the next Galway Girl, don’t despair; “I’ll definitely be collaborating with Sharon again,” he promises, “we’ve talked about doing a bunch of songs together.”
» Mundy plays The Academy on th the 9 of October
A sideways look at The Script The Script, by The Script, is an example of everything going on in the music industry today. It lacks a general sense of any originality, and we’re not just talking about the title of the album. It cannot fit into any particular genre but fits perfectly into the bin. Perhaps this is a little hasty. Who are The Script? They’re three dudes from Dublin who sound about as Irish as Idlewild sound Scottish. More than likely, your little sister is already listening to them, helping them get to number 1 in both the UK and Ireland. As Anglo-American as possible, The Script appeal both to the unimaginative commercial radio stations in this country and are inoffensive enough for the larger foreign markets. Lead singer Danny O’Donohue manages to find the nigh-on-nonexistent middle-ground between Maroon 5 and Dave Matthews Band in the broad musical spectrum. So We Cry is a song about crying... but at first listen it sounds like hip-hop aping Bryan-with-a-Y McFadden’s style of musical authorship. It doesn’t really offer much except replayability (yes its a word), and the fact that the 9-to-14-yearold demographic will buy/pay to download it. You’ve probably already heard the song but can’t quite remember the words - here are some of the inspiring lyrics: “Mary’s ambition was to be a politician/She been
dreaming about it since she was a girl/She thought that she could go on and change the world/Always trying to pave the way for women in a man’s world.” Obviously this is a song written in a parallel universe where there was no 2nd Wave feminism and white pasty guys from Dublin can rap. Talk You Down, the second track, makes creative references between the demise of a relationship and suicide. Enough said. Another example of the band’s groundbreaking style is their second single, Before the Worst, which features Danny repeating the name of the song over and over...The third single due out shortly must have resulted in some tricky thinking from the band members as, unlike We Cry and Before The Worst, the title cannot simply be repeated ad nauseum until the music stops or the listener gets bored, mostly because the title is too long: The Man Who Can’t Be Moved. This single is representative of what makes The Script such a powerful and memorable band, like Razorlight or the Plain White T’s (they were the Hey There Delilah guys). Who? You won’t need to buy or download this album because you’ll hear it everywhere. You’re probably listening to it right now.
from 1st October 2008 Wednesday 1st October: Crystal Castles, Academy, €21, doors at 8pm Subtle, Whelan’s, €15, doors at 8pm
Friday 3rd October The Charlatans, Academy, €34, doors at 8pm necro, Button Factory, €17.50, doors at 7.30pm One Day International, Whelan’s, €15, doors at 8pm
Sunday 12th October Dragonforce, Ambassador, €33, doors at 8pm This Will Destroy You, Whelan’s, €14.50, doors at 8pm
Saturday 4th October Art Garfunkel, Vicar Street, €60, doors at 8pm The Melvins, Button Factory, €24, doors at 7.30pm Lir, Whelan’s, €15, doors at 8pm Monday 6th October Bodies of Water, Whelan’s, €14.50, doors at 7.30pm Tuesday 7th October Bon Iver, Tripod, €28, doors at 8pm The Blackout, Academy, €24, doors at 730pm Thursday 9th October Mundy, Academy, €25, doors at 7pm Jape, Button Factory, €15, doors
Friday 10th October Super extra Bonus Party, Andrew’s Lane, €10, doors at 8pm
Monday 13th October The Stranglers, Ambassador, €34, doors at 7.30pm deUS, Tripod, €28, doors at 7.30pm Tuesday 14th October Funeral For A Friend, Academy, €25, doors at 7pm The Divine Comedy vs. Duke Special (Amnesty International), Vicar Street, €30, doors at 8pm n ed’s choice: Bon Iver in Tripod on Tuesday 7th October
Siren Music the
College Tribune | september 30th 2008
Blazers of g Heather Landy caught up with drummer nick Hodgson recently to discuss their new album, the excitement of festival season and sharing the bill with the legend that is Sir Paul Mc Cartney They exploded onto the music scene like an influx of fresh air. Their debut album, Employment sent pulses racing with its excitable beats and catchy lyrics and now The Kaiser Chiefs are back to impress with their third album, Off With Their Heads, their follow up to Yours Truly, Angry Mob. Who would have thought that it has been three years since The Kaiser Chiefs first rocketed up the charts and formed a mass ensemble of loyal fans. Twelve years ago The Kaiser Chiefs were conceived, in the middle of the Brit-pop era. Bands like Suede, Blur and Pulp were already making waves in the charts. The music scene was one where British music took on a new leash of life and began to shed the skin of its 80’s past, re-emerging as something interesting, vibrant and different. It was all about being cool and setting a new scene PostThatcher. However, for the Kaiser Chiefs it took a good while until they achieved the recognition they deserved. Nine years to be precise. “Me, Simon and Peanut, we met at the same class at school about nineteen years ago. Me and Simon were always into bands, but Peanut and I weren’t exactly the best of pals. His dad was really influential though, because he had a guitar and he allowed Simon to have a drum kit. A friend of mine knew Ricky and he was our front man. He was just a front man. A singer, an extrovert. “Then we met Whitey, the opposite of Ricky but very cool in clubs. We would go to the same clubs in Leeds, doing the Britpop thing, he was always there and looking supercool. I used to always ask him, ‘Will you be in my band?’ and he used to say ‘Yeah, yeah,’ and it just meant ‘No’. I asked him, ‘Can you actually play guitar?’ and he said ‘Yeah, I am fucking brilliant.’ He wasn’t. His friends would go ‘Yeah he’s fucking brilliant, he’s better than John Sayer.’ One day he brought a guitar down the club and he went ‘Oh, I’m lefthanded.’ I thought it was another lie but he is actually left-
handed.” Twelve years later, on the cusp of the release of ‘Off With Their Heads ‘and already there is definite buzz surrounding this, their third album in three years. But are we to expect definite change this time around? A more obvious transition from their second album and a complete detachment from the first? “I think it’s a return in attitude and approach, but not a return in music. In that sense it’s more like the first album, but in another sense it’s not like either.” Off With Their Heads definitely shows The Kaiser Chiefs drifting away from their Ruby days and with the addition of the likes of Mark Ronson, Lily Allen and rapper Sway, The Chiefs seem to want to hone a more mature and refreshing sound. Nonetheless, the old influences are still there, lurking amidst all the new
We just feel more free, and it sounds more groovy. But we didn’t go, ‘This is what we’re gonna do’. It just grew.”
musical output which should keep fans happy and not dishearten those already loyal to the Kaiser set. “No. There’s definitely a direction, there’s definitely a lot of factors that have influenced it. We just feel more free, and it sounds more groovy. But we didn’t go, ‘This is what we’re gonna do’. It just grew.” Along with Mark Ronson, the lesser-known Eliot James also stepped in to give a hand at the production process, with Andy Wallace helping with some of the mixing process. Wallace has worked previously on Nirvana’s global smash, Nevermind and with LCD Soundsystem, and those experiences would definitely explain the darker edge to this album. A very grunge, hard rock feel reminiscent of Nirvana and Soundgarden, which just about compliments the electro vibes that pulsate throughout most of the album. This is definitely an album of contrasts with Half The Truth featuring rapper Sway, but the album all ends in a wave of ambience and there is no dramatic ending. It seems that The Kinks have sprinkled some fairy dust on the final track to the album Remember You’re A Girl. Strangely enough, David Arnold, who is best known for his string arrangements for the Bond Theme, makes an appearance on the track Like It Too Much, which in some ways shakes up the musical balance. Arnold’s presence inevitably raises the burning question; would the Kaiser Chiefs ever be inclined to to submit a Bond theme themselves or be a part of the process? “We suggested it. We’ve got the perfect songs, but they won’t have us. We’re not crap or boring enough. I don’t understand Jack White and Alicia Keys doing it. We’re
College Tribune | september 30th 2008
glory not bland enough. I mean, Jack White’s not like that at all.” The first single taken from the album, Never Miss A Beat, has Kaiser magic written all over it. It’s unmistakably catchy, with a very interesting video to boot, and will surely be another one of those festival favourites like Ruby or Oh My God. This begs the question; are Irish festival audiences better than their British counterparts? “Yeah definitely. Affecting a lot of gigs recently is health and safety. You’re not allowed to mosh or stage dive and things likes that. I think the Irish fans don’t really give a fuck about any of that!” The Kaiser Chiefs love to perform to the masses, and Oxegen and it’s British equivalent T In The Park seem to be the festivals where the they feel most at home. Nick Hodgson seems quick to dispel any myths surrounding Irish crowds and their behaviour though. “I think it was at T In The Park, and there was so many people pissing openly, two lads pissing on each other openly. Even Irish crowds are not that bad!” Every band dreams of being whisked off to the US and enjoying super-stardom. Is that something The Kaiser Chiefs would be hoping to achieve rather soon? “I don’t know. Who wouldn’t want it? It would be nice. But you can’t aim at it. Things that are very popular are often things that are the most boring, I find. If there’s a good TV programme that you like, the stuff that I like, it is slightly obscure. Not mainstream. Things like the Mighty Boosh. They’re going mainstream. We’re a bit like that. We don’t plan success, it just happens. It’s kinda weird. There would have to be a big change in attitude in America [for us to be successful there].” This year, Liverpool celebrated being bestowed with the title of City of Culture for 2008. In line with the colourful festivities, The Kaiser Chiefs were lucky enough to grace the bill with the legend that is Sir Paul Mc Cartney. “We’d met him before. He’s brilliant, he’s the best. I can’t say enough good things about Paul McCartney, I’m not gonna lie. When we were with him, you have to pinch yourself, it’s weird. The support is ok, his crowd aren’t our crowd to be honest. But his show afterwards was phenomenal. It was amazing, better than ours! It’s always gonna help, being from Liverpool, playing to Liverpool.” Seeing as they hail from Leeds, it was only right to sneak in one question that wasn’t related to music. Are they big footy fans? Nick laughs in response, “I saw Leeds last Saturday and they were flippin’ brilliant. My favourite alltime player is Fabian Delf; he’s from Bradford and he’s 19. My favourite players are the ones that play now.” As 2009 looms, it is imperative to know what the future holds for the cheeky quintet from Leeds. Have they a master-
plan? “Not really. It’s just nice to see what’s going to happen. When you make an album, you are just watching and waiting to see what happens, and so far it’s gone down extremely well in Australia. We’ll definitely tour a lot. “The more interviews you do shows
In Britain, you’re not allowed to mosh or stage dive and things likes that. I think the Irish fans don’t really give a fuck about any of that!” you’re still relevant. If you’re in demand, then you’re doing it right. And we’re still doing it right.” In relation to gracing the Irish stage; “Yeah, I’m sure but I don’t know when. But we don’t tend to leave many places out. The Point is a good venue. But what is going to happen? You know health and safety is taking over. Health and safety has no place in rock and roll!” It seems that Off With Their Heads ticks all the right boxes as regards energy, sound and spirit. The Kaiser Chiefs have made sure that they do not fall into that ‘Chelsea Dagger trap’, suffering the fate of The Fratellis who have had to endure playing to crowds who only recognise one song. The Kaiser Chiefs nearly experienced just such an ignoble fate with Ruby, their number 1 smash hit. Hodgson seems grateful that Ruby was a smash but, of course, they want another hit like Ruby – a hit which would
definitely position them as a group worthy of success, and not a one-hit-wonder band. “Well, Ruby did that, and then let’s try and get a bigger one on the next album. We don’t want to stand still. But we’ve still got Ruby....” However great the success of Ruby, their last album failed to grab the attention of critics and fans alike, and it seemed for a brief moment in time that The Kaiser Chiefs were facing what many new and exciting bands have had to face; the problem of ‘second album syndrome’. Has this stumbling block in any way deterred their spirit? Evidently, not. Off With Their Heads is a piece of musical extravagance where musical genres are played around to create music that is a symbiosis of the old and the new. Could this be the calling card for transatlantic success? Only time will tell. Long live the king(s)!
» Off With Their Heads is released
worldwide on Monday 13th October and in America on the 14th. The first single from the album, never Miss A Beat, is released on the 6th of October.
Siren health the
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Feeling the outsider Psychologist Colm Hackett, speaks with Aoife Ryan tells the ins and outs of Asperger Syndrome In Ireland alone several thousand people are affected by Asperger Syndrome. It has support groups dotted throughout Europe and infamous figures of the past such as Einstein, W.B. Yeats and Isaac Newton are thought to have suffered from it, yet not many people can define Asperger Syndrome and it was only officially standardized as a diagnosis in 1994. Despite the impact it has on our society, it remains an almost unknown case for those not directly impacted. “Unfortunately Asperger’s hasn’t received the attention it probably should have decades ago”. Colm Hackett is a practicing psychologist in Dublin with both experience and a keen interest in Asperger syndrome and the progress in its treatment. Only recently have diagnosed sufferers been in the media spotlight, such as an ex- contestant on “America’s next top model”. “It can be difficult to sum it up in an all-encompassing manner, which is probably why it can be left to the side sometimes, but Asperger Syndrome effectively is a neurodevelopmental disorder which inhibits normal social interaction and physical agility. People with Asperger’s come across as emotionally unavailable and distracted. Their awkwardness is compiled by this lack of social skills and their physical clumsiness. There is no delay however in cognitive development.” According to Hackett, sufferers can understand the emotions of others, but they cannot connect this to real life situations. “I remember hearing once a description of an Asperger Syndrome that has stuck with me since; empathy is a word that seems to have been crossed out in the Asperger’s dictionary. I think now, having experienced more cases, that I would change this. It’s not that empathy has been crossed out but rather that every other word around it has been highlighted, leaving empathy in the shadows of their mind.
Aspergers: Suffers are characterised by difficulties in social interaction “People with Asperger’s can become fixated and obsessive on certain subjects, leaving them able to retain vast amounts of knowledge on the narrow subject they so idealise. Some things they may ignore, but those that grasp their attention gain very concentrated levels of it. The cause is thought to be genetic. Research has shown that nine times as many men suffer from it as women.” This obsessive behaviour is a strong focus for all those involved in the research of Asperger’s. Their intense preoccupation is now thought to have been directly linked to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). “Many people who suffer from one, also suffer from the other as it turns out,” states Hackett. “An early signal in childhood or even infancy is when the child sits and plays with his train for example
for an ungodly length of time without any break in his concentration-total obsession.” Hackett asserts that in terms of treatment, there is no one treatment for Asperger’s. “It can’t be cured but rather dealt with positively”. Should it be viewed as a difference rather than a disability, as so many carers and sufferers alike are now saying? Hackett believes so. “An independent lifestyle can be maintained if the correct attitude is taken by those around the person. Encouragement and support are key, as any trained therapist or psychologist will say.” Lack of facilities in Ireland, as with nearly any mental condition, proves a serious impairment in the progression in treatment and research. The burden is therefore placed on the parents. “Diagnosis alone can take years. Imagine
the stress of having someone tell you that your child is perfectly fine when you feel an innate sense that something is out of the ordinary. Although treatment in adult years can help, it is needless to say much more beneficial if you begin as young as possible. Parents find here that mainstream schools simply don’t have the resources. “If a diagnosis isn’t provided, and the parent detects something wrong, most likely in the social aspect, extreme worry can be caused. I had one young mother come to me convinced she was doing something wrong because she felt her child was so emotionally detached. She blamed herself.” The lack of eye contact, continual hand movements and full body movements are other symptoms recognisable for Asperger’s. “People do have a problem coming to terms with the
The Folklore of Heath Aoife Ryan destroys some of the most commonly held health myths fried foods are bad for you: k All not necessarily true if you use vegetable oil and don’t drown the food for extra flavour Stress makes your hair grey: your genetic make-up decides whether you’ll be a silver fox or not, not anxiety levels.
more k The vitamins the better: vitamins are commonly misused and taken as a form of medicine. Many need
to be taken through food in order to be absorbed. Larger amounts in reality are not better for you. In fact, too much can be toxic so the motto here should be easy does it.
There are more common colds around winter: summer heat allows them to multiply more. However, your body is less capable of defending itself in winter.
your face will help to k Feed k Cleaning cure acne: cleaning it too often cold, strips it of essential oils and your body will overly compensate. is the iron vegetable: it k Spinach had been published in a report in the late 1800’s that spinach contains ten times the amount of iron that it actually does and the label has stuck. It really only has a marginally higher iron content than most. Food allergies make you fat: they actually make you lose weight because your body can’t absorb the foods.
a starve a fever: this old adage will most likely make you weaker. You still need your nutrients and liquids.
in the dark ruins k Reading your eyesight: it will strain your eyes but it can’t affect your eyesight in the long term. gum k Chewing takes years to pass through the digestive system: it can’t be digested for nutritional value but it will pass through the system.
syndrome as those affected can come across as self-centered and insensitive if you don’t fully understand the effects of what they suffer from. For instance, during a conversation they cannot gauge the reaction of the listen and may continue to talk about their interest even if the listener is clearly overwhelmed or bored. I recommend reading the novel ‘Daniel isn’t talking’. Even though it is more centered on Autism the frustrations experienced are similar. It can be hard to be empathetic towards someone who does not appear to understand the word themselves.” Cognitive behavioural therapy is a widely used form of treatment for Asperger’s that addresses specific impairments and improves stress management. The Irish group Aspire (The Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland) raise awareness through conferences and seminars, encourage research and have a telephone helpline. One of the most highly praised forms of treatment, known as the Tomatis method, is used by the Irish foundation Cluas. This method teaches those affected to listen, rather than just hear, by way of an “electronic ear” with programmed voices which reinforces the desire to communicate. “Education on a societal level and on the level of the family is essential”, emphasises Hackett. “Bullying and exploitation are prominent problems for the Asperger community. Language is used differently by Asperger sufferers; their speech can be jerky and change in rhythm and they quite often take literal interpretations. Humour is another thing they approach from a different angle.” Despite the vast amount of work that still needs to be covered in the underdeveloped research of Asperger’s, the recognition of it as a universally diagnosed syndrome and the beginning formation of support systems are steps in the right direction.
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Breaking into the style scene
BAG IT Biker jackets Luella’s 2009 collection Girlier, prettier and more mystical than ever. Sherbet, pearls and granny chic. Yum!
With a stylistic gift, Kildare’s Fionnuala Bourke could be fashion’s next big thing. Ruth O’Neill chats to the Project Catwalk competitor. Fionnuala Bourke’s star is rising. With the potential to be as synonymous in Irish fashion as the likes of designers Ciaran Sweeney and Helen Cody in years to come. With an overflow of ambition, talent and youth on her side (she’s only 25 years old) this is only the beginning for Miss Burke. Fresh out of Art College in Limerick she decided to apply for the British version of ‘Project Catwalk’, a competitive reality television series focusing on fashion design, because as she puts it “it was something I always wanted to do. Due to my love of sewing and designing and also because I’ve always secretly wanted to be in the spotlight, it seemed like the perfect combination.” Burke also had stronger motivations “to prove to everyone that an Irish designer could make it onto the show, it was a bit of an ‘up yours’ to all those who said I couldn’t do it”. Surprisingly, she says “the best
part was getting there, the hardest part was staying there. I was relieved to be eliminated; it showed me that life goes on after the show and if that was the toughest experience career wise bring it on.” So what was the infamous Kelly Osbourne who hosted Project Catwalk like? “She was boisterous and in your face, but at the same time very family orientated, I could see a lot of her mum in her”. The show gave Burke confidence to take on new challenges in terms of designing and also made her realise “exactly how much you can get done in one day.” Another credential to Burke’s profile is that she is responsible for the stunning cream dress Lynn Kelly wore as she won the title of Miss Universe Ireland. She states “it was a strong dress compared to all the others on the night. It was exactly what Lynn wanted; as was the cerise
bikini I designed for her on the night too”. So who does Burke aspire to? The one designer’s career she would like to emulate is that of Marc Jacobs. “I’m a big fan. He worked really hard through big fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and then made his own name in his own right”. Keeping hot on the topic of Jacobs, whose new ad campaign features Victoria Beckham, she speaks on Beckham’s style. “It isn’t a style; it is more of a look. She effortlessly pulls it off. But I don’t think in ten years we will be looking back on her as a style icon. I think someone such as Chloe Sevigny is more exciting to watch. She is more adventurous”. Burke describes her own personal style in three frank words“Bright, contemporary and fresh”. It is clear this young woman knows who she is and what she wants out of life. She says she is inspired by “my long
Tights Let’s face it- it’s that time of year again! So do yourself a favour and avoid the flu jab by investing in some nylon. The woollier the better!
term goals, they help me push myself to be better”. As for predictions for next seasons trends “Oh easy! Tartan is going to remain huge for Fall/Winter 08, although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There will be a lot of circus inspired and Harlequin themes. It’s about bold statements this season”. Finally, at 26 one must ponder if Burke does miss being a student. “I loved the relaxed lifestyle, just being able to go for pint in the student bar and chill out. I’d love to re-do my degree collection too”. She has however, extended her life beyond the glamour of the student bar.
30 SECOND ROUND
Wellies v Uggs? Wellies Kate Moss v Victoria Beckham? Kate Moss Quirky British style v laid back LA look? Quirky British style Hermes v H&M? H&M Off the Rails v Project Catwalk? Project Catwalk! Tights v bare legs? Bare legs Tan v pale skin? Tan Clutch bag v oversized bag? Oversized bag High waisted mini skirt v wide legged flares? Neither, Skinny jeans Xposé v E!News for fashion? E!News Thongs v French knickers? French knickers
Layering Yep, the onion look is back. Jumper-check Cardie- check, coatcheck. Use waist clinching belts to give more definition.
Top tip: To give hair that extra shine quickly run cold water over then ends at the end of the wash and blast with cold hair at the end of the blow-dry to set the hair cuticles in place
Masculine matters for winter While the oncoming winter and the end of the summer sales may mean that its time to pack up your neon brights and cropped jeans until next year, it certainly does not mean that the chance to experiment with your look has to evaporate too. This season’s most interesting look is that of masculine tailoring, which is perhaps one of the most flattering and comfortable styles currently sashaying around. With Coco Chanel as the main inspiration there are many high street stores tempting customers with high waisted black trousers, fitted blazers and strings of pearls. There are many ways to adapt this look so you can channel you inner Coco for day-to-day wear without look-
n Diamonds and pearls: Coco Channel
As the days shorten, it’s time to make for mannish styles, says Fiona Redmond ing like you’re heading to a formal office meeting. The Power Suit While the high waisted trousers teamed with a cropped blazer look may look great, it really is an outfit reserved for the workplace. Yet this look can be relaxed by wearing a capsleeved shirt and swapping the blazer for a fitted waistcoat. Nothing like a bit of arm to set pulses racing. This waistcoat will remain a valuable addition for your wardrobe as it will also look great over a t-shirt just as much as a chiffon shirt. If the blacks and greys seem a bit too dull, a great alternative is to pick up a red tartan waistcoat that will give you an edgier look. The cropped blazer.
This is another piece that you can also add to many items in your wardrobe while still remaining up to date. Invest in a pair of skinny black jeans and wear with either a chiffon blouse or oversized shirt and the cropped blazer. This way you will have a comfortable outfit that still has that elegant twist. Skyscraper Heels. Another addition to the high street this season comes in the form of patent stilettos and leather boots. While there is no doubt that these make for a stunning accessory, they are not so good for your feet, especially if you intend to wear them everyday. The solution for this comes in the form of patent pumps-easy to walk in and easy on the laser. Masculine Makeup On the catwalk, many models had their hair styled in simple ponytails with
minimum makeup. Yet let’s remember here that the point of masculine tailoring is to imitate this formal style-not to actually look like a man. Nothing makes this formal look sexier than long hair so leave those tresses loose. Choose a berry lipstick and lashings of black mascara so you can look feminine and powerful at the same time. Jewellery Chanel was the queen of accessorizing and is credited by many for introducing costume jewellery, so take advantage of it. Oversized rings, pearl bracelets and layers of pearl necklaces are the key to finishing your outfit. Yet remember Chanel’s advice that when accessorizing, look in the mirror and take off the last thing you put on. This is how you avoid leaving the house looking like a portable jewellery cabinet.
BIN IT Unnecessary specs Endless amount of posers are seen these days wearing black, thick rimmed glasses. Fair enough, IF you have a prescription, otherwise NO!
Nu-rave Hate to say it, but nu rave is now ‘old rave’ Bin the neon and bin the Lycra! This season is all about lace and pvc. Embrace your inner Dita Von Teese! AOIFE Smyth
Siren film Music the
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Bringing it up Passe on it Plot: This is primarily a drama that focuses on youth, movement and the lack of choices and opportunities for Brazil’s youth. Four Brazilian brothers with unfulfilled dreams are being brought by their pregnant mother into a poor area. The oldest brother is a bike courier zipping around the crowded streets of Brazil. Dario, the soccer player wants desperately to break into the professional leagues. Dinho seeks a better life by joining the evangelical church. Their youngest brother spends his days riding buses, searching for his father.
Verdict: The main praise for this movie is the excellent performances put in by a cast made up primarily by newcomers. The depiction of Brazil is very gritty with most of the scenes portraying stretches of highway, giving the film a majorly despondent mood. It certainly could not be described as a gripping film and due to the constant plot hopping, you never engage with the characters and the film doesn’t build viewer interest. Cathy Buckmaster
Igor beaver Plot: In a country where each evil mad scientist has an assistant named Igor, the protagonist finds it hard to make his own mark on the evil community. However, the hero of our story has an edge over the others due to his superior intelligence over his master. When an untimely lab accident gives Igor the chance to prove his creative genius, he takes it. Things get especially interesting when his
lidha De passe
Cathy Buckmaster catches up with Simon Pegg to talk about his new film, How to lose Friends and Alienate People, as well as working life in America and his co-stars.
creation goes badly awry. Verdict: The feel-good-factor oozes from every frame of this film but with the occasional twist of dark humour, it manages to avoid the heavy handed moralising. It is a visual treat if you’re a Tim Burton fan and Steve Buscemi shines as the indestructible enhanced rabbit while John Cusak makes a great Igor. However many of the others don’t have their comedic potential fully developed but with a few laughs, the story is worth watching. Pierce Farrell
With the worldwide success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg is fast approaching the ranks of the best comedic actors around. What’s more, he takes it all in his stride, announcing, “I’m just bubbling along”. Born in Gloucestershire and a Bristol University Arts graduate in Theatre, Film and Television, he began his career as a stand-up comedian before breaking into television and radio. His latest role in How To Lose Friends And Alienate People sees Pegg playing a celebrity obsessed British hack Sidney Young who lands a highly coveted job on an upscale Manhattan based magazine. The film is loosely based on British journalist Toby Young’s memoir of his time working on Vanity Fair magazine. However, as Pegg points out, although the book is the inspiration, the film is vastly different. “The film is very much an adaptation of the book and I’m keen to stress that. The book doesn’t really lend itself to being a film in a sense, because it’s very anecdotal and it’s filled with huge tracts about philosophy and it’s very much a book and an enjoyable one, but in order to make it into a film Peter (Straughan, screenwriter) had to shape it as such, so it is pretty different.” Pegg enthusiastically explains why he was so keen to work on the project. “They came to me with a great
script and it was the combination of that and the chance to work with Bob Weide who directed one of my favourite TV shows, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, and of course, when you get the chance to work with actors of the calibre of Jeff and Kirsten, Danny, Megan and Gillian, well, what more could you ask for?” Indeed, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is riddled with big names such as Jeff Briges, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox and Gillian An-
Dunst.’ “Whereas when Megan did her first take, people only knew her as that amazingly beautiful piece of eye candy in the corner and then suddenly she comes out with a fantastic performance and suddenly everyone is surprised. I remember being really chuffed for Megan when we did the scene by the pool because I remember there being a palpable sense of amazement after Bob remembered to call ‘cut.’” Gillian Anderson plays the pivotal publicist in a way that got Pegg contemplating his view of journalists. “That whole idea of them being the real puppet masters was an interesting one. The way journalists have to work with publicists in order to have stories put out there. It’s kind of sleeping with the enemy.” The film is a classic fish out of water comedy and Pegg felt he had a good idea of who his character was. “Sidney is a specific kind of journalist I think. It was originally set in the mid 1990s but I think now that kind of journalism, the sort of obsession with the material end of show business is now so rabid and ridiculous that the notion of the guy who is desperate to be in that world and at the same time, deconstruct it, is very topical.” “He is the character you are rooting for consistently even if he keeps
Megan did her first take, people only knew her as that amazingly beautiful piece of eye candy in the corner and then suddenly she comes out with a fantastic performance derson. Pegg was only too thrilled to work with them. “Kirsten’s amazing and puts in a wonderful performance. I absolutely adore her. And Megan Fox surprised everyone. People expect it of Kirsten because she is such a seasoned professional, so when she turns in an amazing take everyone goes ‘well, of course, it’s Kirsten
Took our breath away
Tick tock Al Pacino, Alicia Witt and Leelee Sobieski star in Hollywood’s latest thriller, 88 Minutes. Pacino plays an FBI Forensic Psychiatrist and College Professor, Jack Gramm. He begins receiving death threats telling him he has only 88 minutes to live on the day a serial killer, Jon Forster, is to be executed after evidence Gramm gave during a lengthy court case nine years earlier. Gramm must solve the case of a copycat killer, before his 88 minutes are up, or he will be the next victim. Everyone is a suspect.
tempt at a murder mystery crime thriller. Pacino is quite good in the role, but an awful dialogue, flimsy plot and a less than satisfactory supporting cast, including the OC’s Benjamin McKensie, spells disaster for 88 Minutes. Even Pacino can’t save the day. Want to make a good movie? Watch this, and do the opposite.
Verdict: Absolute tripe. It is a laughable at-
88 Minutes hhhhh
Top Gun follows the trials and tribulations of Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, played by a young and pre-scientology Tom Cruise, who is a fighter pilot for the U.S Navy. Maverick’s story centres on the battles he faces against the egos and flying skills of other pilots in an attempt to rank first in Top Gun as well as his relationship with his instructor Charlie (Kelly McGillis). Not only is Maverick up against a worthy adversary in Iceman (Val Kilmer) but he is also flying against the demons in his head that exist due to the death of his father, Duke, in mysterious circumstances that were officially labelled an accident by Navy officials. The impression that his fathers death has left on Maverick manifests itself in a wild streak that makes him something of a loose cannon whilst up in the air. However it also lends his character a certain magnetism that has captivated audiences
for more than twenty years. The film has been universally applauded for its exceptional mid-air fight scenes as well as its memorable
soundtrack including novelty classics such as Dangerzone and Playing with the boys. However there are numerous other factors that have turned the film from merely a good movie into a cult classic. The film’s added allure emanates from unique events that happened around it including the death of a stunt pilot during filming and the U.S Navy setting up recruitment stands outside cinemas to grab over-excited punters as they left the screen. Although critics were initially dubious about the film’s merits it has created a legion of fans, been the inspiration for a spoof remake “Hot Shots” and now 22 years after it was released is the subject of intense speculation regarding a sequel. David Maguire
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
a Pegg or two
5 films to... Recapture your childhood The Lion King This coming of age animated musical about an African lion cub who is next in line to the throne is a symbol for all that was right with Disney. When Simba is born, his uncle Scar loses his chance for the throne so Scar does something drastic and blames it on the cub, who flees. His lazy years in exile are spent with fun loving meerkat Timon and warthog Pumba. After years of repressing memories however, he returns to reclaim his crown. As a kid friendly interpretation of Hamlet, you can watch it with the pretence of educational research.
Never ending story letting you down. It’s quite a classical character in a way; it’s the hero that could. And I think there is something delightfully loser-ish about Sidney that I liked.” “Nowadays, you see so many photographs of journalists over their columns and it’s like ‘well, what are you doing? Do you want to be famous or do you want to talk about being famous?’ Of course some of them do want to be famous. It’s that position of having their cake and eating it. It’s what Sidney definitely wants to be.” The film also plays around with the idea of cultural difference. Sid-
ney goes to America thinking his ethnicity will appeal and that he’ll be considered quaint but it turns out his British roots aren’t the asset he was hoping for. Pegg explains how Sidney’s plight isn’t too far from the truth. “We still have that odd appeal to some people over there but the more time I spend over there the more I realise how foreign we actually are to them. Certainly in going over and promoting British films you do realise that the one thing we do have in common is simply that we speak a version of the same language and to certainly to people in the interior
of America, Britain is as foreign as Outer Mongolia.” All in all, Pegg concurs that life is pretty good at the moment. “I’m out there now and I have to keep working which feels like a partly daunting but partly exciting kind of prospect. If I can, I want to try and continue to generate and work in the UK because if I can, I will. Without sounding like a homebody, I would be much happier just working and living in my own and travelling when I needed to.”
»»How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is out on October 3rd
Never Ending Story focuses on young Bastien who, after living through being bullied, seeks his refuge in a bookshop. There he stumbles upon a mysterious book, which he then thieves. He discovers a world of human imagination with swamp monsters and rock-eaters. Aided by memorable characters Atreyu and the childlike empress, Bastien must save the fairytale kingdom from the siege of nothingness that threatens to erase Fantasia. You’ll really feel five again when the Falkor, the luck dragon/an elongated sheep dog rescues Atreyu at the very last minute. It really is top notch children’s fantasy and is even better if you never watch the sequels.
Bed Knobs and Broom Sticks Pick of the week
Mr. Unpopular Plot: Sidney Young (Simon Pegg) is a cynical intellectual who edits his own alternative magazine, the Post Modern Review which mocks the celebrities he secretly worships. So when Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges) offers him a job at the hip but celeb obsessed Sharps magazine in Manhattan, Young doesn’t have to think twice. Once in New York, he dives head first into the seemingly sophisticated high society pools and makes quite a splash, but not a good one. He is rude, obnoxious and has a terrible knack for unashamedly upsetting everyone around him in-
how to lose friends and alienate people hhhhh
cluding those he is sent to interview. After irritating the arts correspondent, Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst), she reluctantly shows him the ropes despite him constantly embarrassing her. Sophie Maes (Megan Fox) is the sexy up and coming starlet that the magazine is promoting thanks to her all-powerful publicist (Gillian Anderson). Sophie becomes the object of Sidney’s desires, and his cynical attitude begins to melt as long as he has a place in her coveted social circle.
story which is always appealing and the blurred divide between celebrity journalism and the people they write about is topical and perhaps more relevant than ever. Not to mention, there is a lot of deserved laughs thanks to a very witty, sharp script. Even as Sidney consistently lets you down, you’ll stay on his side throughout because something about his social incompetence is almost charming.
Verdict: It is a classic underdog
During World War II, three annoying cockney kids are forced to evacuate their home and move in with the apprentice witch Eglantine Price played by Angela Lansbury of Murder She Wrote fame. She gives the kids a magical bedknob that allows them to travel on a bed where they e n c o u nt e r football playing cartoons as well as Nazis invaders.
After learning about a spell that brings inanimate objects to life, Miss Price concocts a plan to help the war effort. It is a good mix of laughs and Nazi hating and the unusual addition of animation is certain to invoke nostalgia.
Jumanji Alan Parris has been trapped in a magical board game, Jumanji since he was sucked into it in front of his friend Sarah, in the sixties. When two orphan siblings begin playing over two decades later, they free Alan as well as an array of generally malevolent creatures from the jungle. However, his freedom doesn’t last long as he forced to join in the board game in an effort to end its affects and save his hometown from destruction. With its tongue in cheek humor, you’ll almost definitely still enjoy it, and so will the child within.
Robin Hood (with the foxes) This classic animated retelling of the Robin Hood legend depicts an array of animals for the characters. The outlaw Robin Hood, a swashbuckling but kind hearted fox, starts to form a merry gang in Sherwood Forest to battle the unpayable taxes that Sheriff of Nottingham has implemented on the poorer animals. “Steal from the rich and give to the poor” is his motto. As a master of disguise he has no problem fooling the greedy prince John and stealing all his rings. It is extremely colourful and full of fun and romance making it a winner all round.
Siren Music THE SKIP the
College Tribune | September 30th 2008
Social Endeavour OF THE FORTNIGHT
Disco Ice-skating The Ice Dome For those that only go ice-skating at Christmas but would like to have the option all year round, the Ice Dome is your answer. As it is awkwardly located in Dundalk, you will almost certainly need a car but the impressive skating rink is worth the effort. Unlike Christmas on Ice and
Sea side sustenance Stephen West escaped the dreary confines of UCD for some higher class nourishment, but left unfulfilled its counterparts, the Ice Dome is an Olympic sized rink so you can avoid that feeling of sardines in a can. Also, because it’s there all year round, there’s not too much of a crowd so there is plenty of space to skate and even try out a few tricks, without creating a domino effect if things go wrong. Public skates are offered at different times daily and the disco skate takes place on Friday and Sunday nights. The Ice Dome really pulls out all the stops for the disco skate by creating a rave like atmosphere with low light, loud music being played by their very own DJ as well as a multicoloured light show. Skates and optional helmets are provided. It is also only a 20 minute drive from Newry’s large outlet mall so if you enjoy a large selection of discount shopping, you can make a day of it! The Ice Dome costs only eight euro with a student card and directions are available on their website. Cathy Buckmaster
If you fancy escaping UCD and wandering out towards the sea side to quench your hunger, you will find nice grub and friendly staff just five minutes from the N11 entrance of UCD. Whether going to treat oneself to a 12oz steak or to see a match you can actually hear, this pub is a pretty decent option, despite a mob of old American tourists smacking their dentures just over your shoulder. Situated on the Merrion Road, P.J. Branagans has a building as reminiscent of the Cold War as any UCD bunker. If you think you know everything about UCD eateries, think again. This place has never been frequented by a UCD scarf or even a pair of dubes or uggs. The delicious food served gets a 4/5.
p.j. branagans hhhhh
Recommended on the menu is the frisbee sized beef burger served with an abundance of wedges or the sizzling fajitas. Both are under nine euro and are very filling. Best value is the chips or wedges for just three euro and if you really love a dessert, scrumptious apple pie and ice-cream is just under four euro. Steer clear of the soup of the day, joint of the day, the platter or steak sandwich. The soup is bland, the joint is always like a bad Christmas dinner, the platter is over rated and under portioned and as for the
steak sandwich, it’s just too small for thirteen euro meaning the cost of eating here only rates 3/5. The service is excellent and gets a 4/5, but is probably a little under staffed. The friendly faces turn to grimaces as they hurry off to the kitchen. However there is no music at all so the atmosphere does not quite live up to the service or food quality so only rates a 1/5. On the positives, it has a free car park which can be used to one’s advantage as it’s only a ten minute walk to the campus on the coast road. It is decent food and close by and if you feel guilty about not seeing your grandparents you’ll get your quota of old timers here. Stephen West
A must sea Corsair may look and sound like a book for boys, but I can assure you, anyone over the age of thirteen will find themselves drawn into this moving adventure story about a boy’s search for his sister. The year is 1677, and Hector Lynch, is living a quiet life on the west coast of Ireland with his family, when he and his sister Elizabeth are kidnapped by a shipload of Barbary Corsairs. Separated from Elizabeth immediately, Hector is sold as a slave in Algiers. Luckily, he falls on his feet with a kind master, who favours Hector and his friend Dan, once they convert to Islam. It is Hector’s intention to earn his freedom and go in search of Elizabeth but, by a cruel twist of fate, the ship on
which he is working is wrecked, and he is captured once more. However this time he is captured by Christians who believe him to be a true believer in the Islamic faith and set him to work on the galley ships because of this. One more shipwreck later, Hector finds himself in Morocco. For once however, he is without a master so he can begin his quest for his family in earnest. The plot does not go quite as you would expect, and leaves the reader feeling slightly dissatisfied. However
corsair: the adventures of hector lynch Tim severin
that cannot take away from the extremely likeable character we find in Hector, or the fascinating sultans, knights and sea captains with whom he has to deal. Corsair is based on reallife events of the seventeenth century, and no matter how dramatic the story gets, this holds true – something to bear in mind all the way through this book. Susanne O’Reilly
A bloke’s bible And Another Thing is a book that is opinionative, prejudiced, and a bit pretentious. You will either hate or love it. Jeremy Clarkson is a familiar face to many thanks to his work on programmes such as Top Gear and as many already know, he is not the type of person to keep opinions to himself. In this book we receive the full brunt of the man, the memories and the fascinating thoughts he has. Topics range from how we can all look forward to exploding at the age of 62 to how wasps are the highest form of life on this earth.
and Another thing - the world according to clarkson jeremy clarkson
The book is made up of a collection of articles Clarkson wrote for the Sunday Times so the reader can distinguish a timeline throughout the book by seeing how the articles relate to current affairs. The wealthy lifestyle Clarkson leads does come across in the book, but this shouldn’t distract the reader from seeing how well written and witty his book actually is. The very sharp humour right through the book will undoubtedly provide a lot of laughs. It’s an excellent choice for those looking for light reading as there is no plot you have to slavishly fol-
low and each chapter is just four pages long. Clarkson’s book will almost certainly inspire many a topic for pub talk and if nothing else will provide the reader with a very large collection of useless facts. And Another Thing isn’t a read with a lot of depth and meaning, it is majorly about having a laugh. If you are easily offended by making a mockery of fox hunting, global warming or obesity, then this is probably one to miss. However if you’re not, you’ll surely enjoy it. Maximillian Harding
Published 30th September 2008