Archive | May, 2010

We are one!

28 May

They said we wouldn’t do it but we did! ( who said? Well no one actually so maybe I should just say we did it! )

Wish us happy birthday, leave a comment, oh and don’t forget we’ve got a pack hitting the streets in July

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Chelsea for Double, Portsmouth for Championship

19 May

Wembley Stadium

The FA Cup final 2010 isn’t just any cup final it’s Chelsea vs. Portsmouth, two football clubs in very different positions of the Premier league. Chelsea the title winners and Portsmouth being the first club to go into administration and be relegated. At a glance the FA cup does have Chelsea written all over it. However Portsmouth have proved money and big named players isn’t everything in Football; it’s down to team spirit and a great fan base.

Coming out of Wembley Park station is thousands of people dressed in blue as Chelsea and Portsmouth’s home kit are both blue. The clash of Portsmouth and Chelsea fans is crazy, all singing at the top of their voice, skipping and waving their flags both sides wanting to win the FA Cup.              

As I pull out my ticket I’m placed in the Portsmouth end, its Portsmouth supporters to the left and Chelsea supporters to the right. The great divide brings so much tension it’s unreal with either side pointing at each other, signalling hand gestures and still singing the team songs.

 Walking up to the stadium you notice how confident the Chelsea fans are feeling and how nervous the Portsmouth fans are, as they seem to be taking in the surroundings before they enter the ground as this could well be the last time they see Wembley for another few years. However top of the league Chelsea maybe there again next year due to the top position of their club in the league and cup runs.

The stadium is packed out with 88,000 football fans, as I take my seat I am surrounded by blue shirts and crazy blue hair. Being a female football fan at times is hard, as females have different views from men e.g. the offside rule and what the referee should and shouldn’t have done. Football as its known is a man’s world however watching your favourite team and having passionate fans beside you, gives you such a buzz. Men’s support however is very much more psychical and verbal where as watching most women sitting around me they are the ones who just like to sit back and observe as if they are controlling the game.

The final whistle has been blown and with incredible performances from both sides it is Chelsea who have reached their goal by winning the double by a 1.0 win. Gutted isn’t even a word for what the Portsmouth fans are feeling right now but they stay right till the end and watch Chelsea lift the cup now that’s what I call true support.

 

G.B. Says G.B. To GB Politics.

19 May

Even though he was villainous in most people’s eyes and there were beaming smiles upon the faces of the families of the hundreds of servicemen and women felled at war for this great country, the departure of the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is not a time for celebration at all.

It seems as a nation of young voters arise to the challenges and unprecedented debt incurred by the older generations’ spending, they made their voices heard. They registered to vote and vote they did – turnout numbers too much in some constituencies which resulted in people being turned away in their hundreds after doors were bolted shut and police called to control the masses. In the worse case scenario, it was rumoured some polling stations even ran out of ballot papers.

And the final results spoke for themselves – this nation wanted change so badly it had taken parliament and HUNG them. A very fitting term if ever there was one. It was the night that had every politically-minded person gripped to their sofa like results night on the x-factor. Cheering every party that held their expected seats and recoiling in horror at every close-call “swing” that the conservatives gained.

Then the unthinkable alliance was formed. And here we are living in a Con-Dem (ned) nation.

Nick Clegg Leader's Debate

As Gordon Brown announced his resignation as prime minister, the short lived joy of a hung parliament suddenly dropped away and I was filled with a sudden (yet strange) feeling of sadness and respect. There stood a man – as many a mistake he had made – that I saw a little of myself in. a man that fought for every vote and (as much as his supporting MPs and Allies in his cabinet would allow) told the nation there were bad times ahead.

Granted, He never was voted into that position and thus, the nation began its revolt from the get-go. But throughout the campaign, he highlighted the successes he and his party had achieved throughout their decade and small change of power. And great successes they were. But it was just too many bad times that over shadowed the good.

That and the surname “Brown” does not hold goodness with it: Chris Brown, Bobby Brown, and James Brown.

So what we have now is a whole new world of possibility in politics – a chance of real electoral reform, a voting system that will be more reflective of the nations’ choice. When this is addressed, maybe then they can address the actual ways of voting. As my friend pointed out – it’s easier to vote for the next big NOBODY on a “reality” music show/celebrity dancing competition than it is to decide who will govern this “great” country of ours.

In a newspaper interview with the newly appointed prime minister, he pledged that the alliance would “make Britain bright again”. Mr. Cameron, allow me to retort:

“The night is always darkest before the dawn.”

Mr. Brown…thanks…for the good times.

by Lem Leon

Land of Kings

7 May

Eleanore Richardson goes down the rabbit hole in Dalston.

I felt shy and timid walking along Kingsland Highstreet. My denim jacket made me look like I was in the right place but in all honesty I was a complete East London virgin and more than a little lost. But after being nudged down a far less dodgy looking alleyway I reached my destination.

Walking into the Dalston Boy’s club is where the Land of Kings festival begins but instead of the usual ticket collection and bar venue layout, I had the queer feeling that I’d fallen down the very same rabbit hole as Alice.

Something reminiscent of the Mad Hatters tea party smacked to the forefront of my mind as men walk past dressed as women and women intermingled wearing outfits your grandmother would have been proud of in the 1950’s. No- one seemed to have quite synchronised the costume theme, but questions weren’t asked and as I made my way towards the bar, past a huge gilt gold frame propped up against the wall and what looked like the remains of last years christmas decroations hanging from a banister, I wondered whether I was the only one who didn’t quite know what was going on.

The night kicked off with some live music from “The Cabaret for Kings”,framed quite literally on stage. Their music clashed pop and, what sounded like eastern european folk, spectacularly and within less than 10 bars the whole room was clapping along. It was then that I realised, this was nothing like your typical music festival, instead was an undeniably great feeling that a notorious house party had just started.

Walking down Kingsland Highstreet for the second time as I made my to the next venue opened my eyes to all that I had missed on my arrival. What, to the untrained eye, may first appear to be a rather uneventful and rundown highstreet, with enough fastfood venues to make it a boasting point, became a venue trail lit only by the light of the moon and widely spaced streetlamps. At pockets along the Highstreet fellow festival revellers clumsily stumbled to the doors of one of the 13 venues with a festival map hastilty stuffed into the back pocket of a pair of high waisted cut of denim shorts, brandishing the luminous pink wristband to the doormen to gain free entrance.

What I, at first, had presumed to be a bargain bookstore was actually home to small and packed out venue pulsating to a poppy, alternative beat down in the basement.

The atmosphere that tingled along the 8 roads and 13 venues was one of exculsivity and secretiveness. Without some posters and a wristband there would be little to give away the event apart from the groups of punters that, at points, seemed to be moving in swarms from one venue to another, making it clear who the popular acts worth seeing were.

The venues weren’t glamourous, infact some of the clubs barely looked legal but it complimented the whole fringe experience,and made for intimate performances, and a priceless prohibition- style underground atmosphere. A slur on one of the gigs simply could’t be voiced when you realised that the entirity of The Alibi club had managed to squeeze itself onto the dancefloor compelled to move by the ridiculous bass of little boots’ Dj set. This was preceded by an hour and a half of Cocknbullkid which Little Boots owes much thanks to for revving up such a body bouncing mood of 90’s pop and hiphop classics.

At the point when I could no longer feel my feet from the sheer bass of the speakers I took a break from the clubs and headed over to the Arcola Theatre where I came face to face with fabulously surreal moments of swimming costume clad dancers mingling amongst the crowd, spreading an underwater theme, whilst poets recited with tea bags wrapped around their heads, only to drop face down into a bowl of warm water and “stew”.

The Dalston dungeons beheld an artistic exhibition with a difference. In complete darkness a maze of rooms spread out, which left me clinging to my friend as we guided each other around the damp, wet rooms. Doorways were simply not original enough so more than once, the only way out of the room would be through a small hole on a wall. the feeling of spooky and bizarre continued as I walked into rooms where the only thing visible appeared to be a singing hobo in the corner surrounded by tealights, or a UV painted ping pong table with a game just about reaching its climax.

As for the price, I’d say it was a bargain for such an out of the ordinary experience in London, with the ticket costing the same as the cost of entrance to most overrated nightclubs in Soho. The only extra pinch on the pocket were of course the cost of drinks which were a minimum of £3.50.

The land of kings festival was a whole new way of introducing the curious punter to some extremely talented artists and wonderfully alternative venues.

Expecting a haphazardly organised and slightly homemade festival, I was instead met with a dark horse of an event! So if you fancy a dollop of quirky dropped in the midst of fashionable alternativeness, then Land of Kings is most definitely something to star on next years calendar with the anticipation ready to embrace an atmosphere of cool, casual, quirky and completely confusing.

The Chrysalids

7 May

Lucy finds out that you don’t need to know anything about the theatre to have a great, cheap night out.

Despite working for What’s Up Information for a year and having interviewed two members of the youth theatre I’m ashamed to say Friday was my first time watching an actual play at the actual theatre.

It’s nothing personal, i just never think of theatre for a night out. Movie, yes, bowling maybe, art, definately but i don’t know anything about the theatre so i never think to go. Watching a great play by the Arcola youth theatre has changed that and with ‘pay what you can ‘ nights means its a heck of a lot cheaper than the cinema too.

So what’s the play about? We shuffled through the rain into a stripped down theatre set and took my seat to find out. Imagine a new world order where a society of perfect people live within a bordered town. Any type of abnormality is feared and attacked.

A sub culture survives of fringe people hiding and scavaging to survive. But what constituted an abnormality?

The play starts with telepatic sons and daughters of perfect people remembering a recurring dream of a better home. we follow the visibly perfect telephaths as they’re forced to chose between their families and the society they know and the dream of a free home.

The actors were excellent and with a minimal set worked really worked well. As leader if the telephaths meets a young mutant girl on the edge of the land you really feel the pain and confusion of being trapped in someone elses vision, constrained by rules you don’t believe in.

As the telepaths and Fringe people set off on a new journey using one of the only remaining true maps of the land you can’t help but feel that putting the play on so close to the elections also seemed somehow fitting.

With BNP adverts on television and news stories of religious fundamentalism the story seems dangerously possible. And in a nutshell thats what i enjoyed about the play.

It made me think more than bowling and i spent 10 minutes after the play had finished discussing it with my friend. Next time you’re trying to think of something to do remember the theatre. Unlike the movies you get to sit right next to the action, can really feel the atmosphere and enjoy the fact that every show is totally unique.

Arcola – find out more