Monthly Archives: November 2011

If interpreting art is integral to making art, then the question of how to teach interpretation needs to be addressed. (via 48hrmag)

Ladies and gents.. we did it!

Live Review: Morning Parade

O2 Academy2 – 22nd November

The upcoming Indie/Alt Rockers from Essex filled out Academy2 last week after the release of their first single.

The gig opened with support band Echohead, a bunch of fresh, enthusiastic lads with an unexpected amount of stage presence for their age. The mostly played songs from their demo; with the exception of some enjoyable jamming moments, which was interesting but not memorable. The lyrics struggled to get through and were often suffocated by the powerful music.

Nonetheless, they prepared the crowd for what was coming. At this point I have to admit that I hadn’t heard any of Morning Parade’s music until that night, but I was pleasantly surprised. After the first few moments of their performance, the comparison was inevitably in my head: these two bands are like a before and after shot. The young newcomers and the professionals, with Morning Parade being the latter of course. It wasn’t a matter of age, but a matter of musical ‘maturity’; Echohead were like an unripened fruit, not quite ready to harvest yet.

With their passionate, energetic performance, and the frontman’s standout vocals, it was hard not to parade with them; the connection with the audience was immediate. A combination of their 90s dance anthem influenced tunes combined with euphoric beats was enough to find myself dancing along. Swapping from electric/indie Muse-like sounds to more melodic and acoustic ones, like ‘Half Litre Bottle’, they owned the stage.

The gig only lasted for about an hour, which included singles  such as the popular ‘Under The Stars’ and the recently released ‘Us And Ourselves’. In songs like ‘Headlights’ and ‘A&E’ the synth parts with the distinct rhythms and layered grooves portrayed a togethered, in total control band.

‘Speechless’, ‘Carousel’, and ‘Running Down The Aisle’ were just some more of the songs performed that complete the impression of a polished, well rehearsed band. An honest and straight forward band whose music comes from the heart with clear influences from Elbow and Delphic. It’s real and down to Earth like they are; of which their fan time after the show is proof. A band with a plan, firm believers in ‘the more you do the more you get offered’, they delivered a captivating show, with the crowd’s dedicating hands waving almost all the way through.

Are they are doing something original? No. I don’t believe there can be a virgin birth in the music industry anymore.
Have I heard people saying that they are yet another teenage rock band? Yes. But so what?
Their lyrics might be predictable at times but that also makes them memorable, and that’s what makes their music contagious. I don’t know if they will stand the test of time, all I know is that I came here ignorant and left humming their songs.

* As published in M.L.

Fundraising jazz night for St George’s


Church Blue Jazz Quintet to raise money for lighting fund, report Nelly Stavropoulou and Maria Loupa


St George’s hosts a jazz evening this weekend in aid of the church’s lighting fund.

Blue Jazz Quintet (Karen Rann on soprano sax, Jeff Smith on tenor sax, Chris Finch on piano, Dave Parker on double bass and Michael Howard on drums) will be performing this Saturday, 26th November in St George’s Church Hall from 7pm.

Organisers say that despite the good acoustics that the Grade 1 listed church offers, many of the choirs and orchestras wishing to perform there are discouraged because of inadequate lighting facilities – extra lighting needs to be hired each time there a musical performance takes place.

Tickets can be purchased from the church office or at the door. Tickets cost £15 each (or £12 for Friends of St George’s members). The price also includes supper – home-made soup and rolls, plus sausages in buns.

*As published in



Fixing your face furniture

With Movember upon us, Maria Loupa dishes out advice on styling that ’tache

Upper lip feeling lonely and a perhaps a bit chilly? Well, now you can warm it up while serving a good cause. For those who don’t know, Movember is a global movement that raises awareness and funds for men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer. Before you go Movember-style, you should consider two very important factors: your face shape and features, and the image you want to portray. Moustaches come with dos and don’ts so choose them wisely.

After you’ve decided on the desired style, you should learn how to keep it up. There are some basic and simple grooming rules you should follow. Buy a moustache grooming kit (comb and scissors). Following the line of your upper lip, use the comb to align the moustache and clip the ends with the scissors. Start from the centre and proceed outwards; symmetry is everything.

For the rest of your face, you will need a standard razor. If you want to live the full moustache experience, you can go old-school and buy a shaving brush too. Always use shaving cream to avoid cuts; a lanolin-based one or even plain pomade will work best. Style it with a little wax, applying it on dry hair and then combing through. To avoid itchiness and dandruff wash with a mild shampoo, not soap. Using conditioner and moisturizing it with a little wine once or twice a day works well. Be patient; it takes time and experimentation with various products until you find the one that works best for you.

Dear hipsters, hammer pants of the world or just moustache-lovers, this is your time to shine… Happy Movember!

The ‘Hulk Hogan’

Are you more than six feet tall and so bulky that no one messes with you? If the answer is no, stick to a regular moustache; there’s a reason why Yosemite Sam is not real.

The ‘Hitler’ 

Don’t expect to avoid the direct link; trust me, no one will think ‘Charlie Chaplin’. This is not funny, not cool and definitely doesn’t look good. Do the world a favour and either get that thing off of your face or grow a proper one.

The ‘Tom Selleck’

Do you want to be a ‘big deal’? If you want to serve and protect 70s style, this rich moustache, which oozes with power, confidence and mahogany, is the right one for you. And you know a cigar would go great with that.

The ‘James Franco’

This one seems to be a very popular choice, as it is the most common outcome of not shaving your moustache for a month. The slimmer the more sophisticated.  Who cares if you look like the Pringles guy in his prime?

The ‘Aunt Muriel’

If you look like you’ve just had a glass of milk, you’re doing it wrong. In order for you to ever feel a woman’s touch before the end of the month, wipe this thing off.

“If you buy a can, you can save a life”, said one of the kids.

Good point, my little friend, good point!

iCan Week: Children brainstorm ideas to tackle food poverty

West Jesmond Primary School students discuss ways of helping iCan project

As part of our iCan Week – five days of news stories, features, interviews, slideshows and videos in support of a local charity initiative that tackles food poverty – Year Six students at West Jesmond Primary School took a break from their afternoon lessons to discuss how they could help tackle food poverty in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Sixty pupils divided into small groups to brainstorm ideas on how their school could raise awareness about iCan – a scheme from FareShare North East whose organisers believe that if each person in Newcastle upon Tyne donated a single can of food, food poverty in the city could be eliminated.

In their separate groups, the children came up with can-collecting activities, and they shared some of their original ideas with JesmondLocal. Watch the video by our reporters Katrina Stevenson, Alexandra Carr and Maria Loupa here:


Some of the children suggested that each student could bring a can for every item of school clothing they want to change to non-school uniform. A “pupils versus teachers” can collection contest was also on the iCan agenda – a popular choice, suggesting the children’s desire to compete against their teachers.

A bake sale, talent show, and a school fair were also discussed. The pupils proposed that friends and family should pay for the events in cans.

Since desperate times call for desperate measures, others came up with contemporary and fun concepts, such as a Lady Gaga can-dress design competition and dressing-up-as-a-can event.

Thinking outside of school activities, students considered the option of putting posters around Jesmond to spread the word about iCan.

Fifteen of the Year Six students then took up the role of grown-ups for half an hour and expanded their thoughts on the iCan project. They came up with ways in which the people of Newcastle could donate cans.

The accumulated cans are collected by FareShare and distributed to 36 different projects across the north east, including drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres and children’s breakfast clubs providing food to those most in need – including some who may go a day or more without a meal.

Our iCan week concludes on Saturday 19th November, with a fundraising/can-raising night at the The Mixer on West Jesmond Avenue.

For more iCan details, visit

*As published in

Math 101

Trust me, that’s all you need to know..


So now that you know the truth, drop it; it’s really annoying!


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