The Hunger Games

Long Awaited Book Adaption Lives Up To It’s Name

Being one of the people who had not read the book, ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins, I was querying as I walked into the cinema whether or not the film would bring to life the adventure which so many had talked about after reading the novel, or if I would understand the story given the fact that the film may have left vital parts out.

This was not the case however as the plot for the story was gripping and easy to understand and the actors really get you into the story and have you rooting for them.

The plot is based around a competition called ‘The Hunger Games’ which happens every year where youths between the ages of 12-18 are picked at random to fight each other to the death for the amusement of a television audience. When the younger sister of central character Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence – X-men: First Class/Winters Bone) is picked, Lawrence volunteers to take her place as to save her life. Josh Hutcherson (Journey To The Centre Of The Earth/Zathura) is also picked, and gradually throughout the film these two are put up against bloodthirsty teens and wild animals.

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games

Although the violence and blood has been cut down as to approve for a younger audience, the idea behind what is happening in ‘The Hunger Games’ makes this quite a hard hitting film, it’s not everyday you see a film about kids killing kids…especially when no remorse is shown. It makes you think how far some will go to prove themselves.

The film was directed by Gary Ross who directed such other films as Pleasantville and Big with Tom Hanks. Ross really brings the ideas in the book alive as ridiculously outrageous costumes are worn by the cast in the upper-class parts of the story. Along with Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins (the book’s author) helped write the screenplay for the film which is always good to see when a novel is adapted into a film.

This is the first adaption from a trilogy of books and if like me you have not read the others then you will also be wanted to find out how the story continues…and ends.

The Hunger Games is in cinemas now.

21 Jump Street

New Comedy Is Smash Hit

When a new comedy appears on our screens which stars Jonah Hill in it, the question is always asked “will it be as funny as Superbad?” the answer for this film is…no. This film is more about the bond of friendship between two Police officers who through everything always have each other, they still pop the occasional joke in here and there that have the audience in stitches though.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum

The story shows two high school students (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum) who have grown up to become Police officers but aren’t the best at their jobs, and so are transferred to a mission where they are to pose as high school students to try and take down a drug ring in the school.

Throughout the film the jokes do amuse however some to tend to drag out and become stale, we get a great cameo from ‘Ice Cube’ who can not for the life of him stop using the word ‘motherf***er’ when describing Hill and Tatum, which creates a colourful character.

When we think of Jonah Hill we instantly think…comedy, and with great films like ‘Superbad’ and ‘The Sitter’ it’s obvious why. But Channing Tatum in a comedy seems slightly farfetched as we usually see him in films which pull at our love strings such as ‘Dear John’ and most recently ‘The Vow’. However the chemistry between these two really pulls the audience into the story as they are like two bickering brothers.

The film was directed by Phil Lord who is known for directing the hit film ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs’ in 2009. He also Produced some episodes for the show ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

Ok so the film won’t have you in tears but it definitly delivers it’s share of laughs and it’s good to see a new and fresh faced actor (Dave Franco – brother to James Franco) playing the role of the top dog in the crimes.

By the end of the film the audience are really gripped to the plot as it is filled with several twists which are not expected and a humorous sudden ending. There is no doubt that this film has not only been enjoyed at the cinema but will also bring laughter through the DVD.

21 Jump Street is in cinemas now.

In Gold Blood

Kids Go For Gold With Latest Album

Back in 2008 if someone asked you if you liked the band ‘Kids In Glass Houses’ you would probably look at them with a confused expression and would ask them what they were on about, because at this point they had just released their debut album ‘Smart Casual’ and hadn’t really burst themselves on to the scene of Pop/Punk, rather just walked in.

Kids In Glass Houses

Today though that name has new meaning, it defines a band that has spawned out of the Welsh city of Cardiff and have progressed to find themselves as a band throughout their three albums, and with their latest album, ‘In Gold Blood’, being a disc loaded with energy the band have definitely shown themselves worthy of being where they are today.

The album starts off with the song ‘Gold Blood’  which when listening to it seems to stretch the intro slightly to far, however once the instruments kick in joined by lead singer, Aled Phillips’, voice, the song gets off to an explosive start and binds together with a catchy chorus of Phillips’ softly screaming vocals. It is a great way to start off the album and shows the boys using their typical guitar hooks but adding powerful backing vocals aswell.

Aled Phillips

Straight away after the track, ‘Teenage Wonderland’ jumps in with Phillips telling us that “When we were young we make the mistakes that make us what we are today”, and throughout the song shows how what we do when we are/were teenagers changes the way that our life pans out. The song could however be a way of telling us how the singer doesn’t understand the youths of todays society “i’m a boy, playing a man, trying to understand a teenage wonderland.”

Throughout the album the songs change to something slightly darker, which is a side of Kids In Glass Houses which we haven’t seen before. It’s almost as though there is a good and evil element to the album. With heavy/grungier guitar riffs and darker lyrics, in songs like ‘Animals’ which shows teenagers to be as the singer puts it “young and reckless”, and tells us how we are all just animals at heart.

In Gold Blood - Album Cover

‘Black Crush’ also shows us the darker side of the album but gives us some high pitched singing from Phillips aswell for the chorus. As we get to the last song on the album, ‘A God To Many Devils’, the band send us off with a musically talented ending with the track going into a massive Guitar breakdown of low notes.

Kids In Glass Houses has been created from five members; Aled Phillips-Vocals, Iain Mahanty-Lead Guitar, Phillip Jenkins-Drums, Joel Fisher-Rythm Guitar and Andrew Sheehy-bass. The quintet released their debut album ‘Smart Casual’ in 2008 and their second album ‘Dirt’ in 2010.  It isn’t easy for a band to get big these days and especially one which is coming out of Wales as it is such a big music scene, they gave us the likes of Lostprophets, Bullet For My Valentine, Funeral For A Friend and The Blackout.

It’s hard for a band to create an album were throughout every song we get a chrorus which will be jumping off the walls of our heads all day and great instrument playing thrown in aswell, but this band appear to have done it.

They have stuck to what they know and and added some extras, in doing so have created another album which their previous fans will love and which will draw in new ones.

This album does not disappoint…

In Gold Blood is out now through Roadrunner Records

Listen to: Diamond Days, Black Crush, A God To Many Devils.

Dirt '2010'

Smart Casual '2008'

Hit The Deck!

POP/PUNK TRIO STORM THE STAGE IN FIRST MAJOR GIG

As the sun goes down over the Falmouth landscape, the doors of the performance centre on Tremough Campus open and an audience are welcomed to a music act which will make you dance your socks off…

For their first major gig, there is quite a sizeable crowd waiting for Hit The Deck! To enter the stage, it could possibly be because of the free beer being given away, although the people who are taking the beer do seem to be sticking around to watch the acts.

The stage is ablaze with coloured lights as the audience wait in anticipation for the first act, and they are not waiting long as a young guy (Ben Pablo Feldberg Collins) wearing a dressing gown and in bare feet stumbles on to the stage and appears to be putting on an act which the audience does not get straight away as people are left whispering “what?”. However as he leaves the act behind and grabs his acoustic guitar. The crowd are gripped to the chords he strums out (however much they sound like Wonderwall) and his odd song lyrics which he warns constantly could offend some people seem slightly loose and easily written. However he keeps the audience amused with comedy weaved into the songs for example telling his ex to “bathe in my golden shower” goes down with laughs throughout the studio.

Hydroshima

Once the guitarist has finished his 3-song set the audience are in suspense for something which they can move their feet to. With that thought in mind the explosive Blues duo ‘Hydroshima’ take to the stage and are welcomed to a few shouts and applause from the crowd as they get ready to play. Guitarist and singer Jacob McClennon introduces himself and Drummer, Tyla Haigh, as Hydroshima and then jump straight in to their powerful punch of a song ‘Uranium Fission’ which is a good start for the band as the intro reels in the audience and then the song kicks off. Even with the songs screaming out through the amps, Jacob’s spinning and head banging whilst playing the guitar and Tyla’s energetic drumming the crowd only appear to be nodding their heads without looking as though they are getting into the music. This slightly changes however after Jake tells the crowd “you do know that you can move around, you don’t have to stand there like f***ing zombies”, the crowd then begin to actually jump around a bit and enjoy themselves.

Jacob Freestyles

With all the bands coming out these days that are the same genre, it’s good to see a band who blends genres and takes us back to classic Blues which is then hardened up with some Rock and Grunge…it’s a good change which you do not hear a lot it today’s music scene. Jacob McClennon gives off a vibe of a classic Blues artist as well, with his high strapped guitar and tiptoeing for the microphone. Tonight the audience have been welcomed to a great support act who have given their all into this performance, and interacted with the crowd well, making the odd joke now and then…truly a good act.

Hit The Deck!

The studio is now waiting for the band which they have come to see tonight to enter, as their first major gig Hit The Deck! need to make an impression on the audience. On walks the band who are greeting by screams and applause from a ready to dance crowd. One third of the band, singer and Guitarist Matt Tiller, introduces them “we are Hit The Deck! and we’re going to play you some songs”. The trio jump in to their song ‘Hit The Deck!’ which starts off with a quiet Guitar riff from Tiller and is then met up with Bass from Max Ellis and Drums from Rory Mapes, the instruments then cease and we hear the band scream “HIT THE DECK!” and pound into the rest of the song, which straight away has the crowd jumping off each other and waving their arms in the air.

These guys really know how to own the stage as they are constantly talking to the audience which is always good to see a band do, and mixed in with Tiller’s crazy Guitar antics, backing vocals from Ellis and the pounding Drums from Mapes the crowd really sees the energy the band create.
Tiller and Mapes have a great variation of singing between them, during their own songs and the cover of Blink 182’s Dammit which they play.

The Band Bring The Thunder!

Here is another band who have mixed two genres to make something different, changing between Pop/Punk and Screamo/Hardcore changes the way you perceive them on stage, it’s as though the band have two sides to them…Dark and light.

The catchy riffs and choruses of the songs keep the audience entertained, along with a heavier cover of ‘Foo Fighters’ song ‘Everlong’ which goes down a treat with the audience and “the biggest drop” in one of their songs as stated by the drummer which gets majority of the crowd moshing, this is a good thing as he said before “if you want to mosh, now is the time”.

After a great set of songs an entertained audience is left wanting more from the guys, they can get it as the bands EP is on sale for only £2 and includes more songs, 7, than quite a few other bands EPs which is great as the band is giving the fans more. The only flaw for an otherwise great band is that on the EP they don’t appear to bring the energy which their live shows give off, there are great songs on the CD however what let’s the band down is that the instruments are so much more powerful than the vocals.

That aside this is a band that anyone would enjoy live, whatever music genre you’re into, they create an atmosphere which makes you lose yourself in the music and want to move every limb on your body.

For more information on Hit The Deck! click on the link below.

Hit The Deck! Facebook Page

The Story Of Hydroshima

YORKSHIRE BAND BEGINS JOURNEY T’ MUSIC SCENE

Hydroshima drummer paints picture of his new band and his views on the music industry.

At a party in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 2011 two musicians walked in to each others lives and found out that they were to attend the same university in Falmouth for a Popular Music course later that year, after discussing with each other what their preferred genres of music were they decided to start a band whilst on their course at Falmouth University…Hydroshima was born.

The Boys Know How To Have A Good Time

“The blues got kicked out” says Tyla Haigh, the drummer for Hydroshima , when describing the start of the “explosive blues duo” which he calls it, “We had a jam and that’s where it started.

When looking at the genre of Hydroshima you can see they offer a little something for everyone “it’s a sort of heavy blues but it’s got sort of a grunge feel as well, also alternative because we play with time signatures” creates a mood which everyone can enjoy: blues guitar, heavy drums and a nod along beat to get your body moving… “to say there’s only two of us it’s a really big sound.”

With the catchy guitar riffs that Hydroshima use and the fact that they are also an energetic duo, an image of the band ‘The Black Keys’ comes to mind, both bands belt out the guitar and the drums at the same time and use both instruments well, varying between both throughout. Once the songs get going any listener would be intrigued to listen to the whole lot. Another act with the energy of a mob but are still only a duo are ‘Death From Above 1979’ who use bass guitar and drums instead, but can still bring powerful music with the constantly used effects of the bassist.

Jake McClennon

The origin of Hydroshima began after two Yorkshire bred lads decided to start a band, these two were Guitarist and singer Jacob ‘Jake’ McClennon and Drummer Tyla Haigh. Hydroshima is not the first musical act which has enjoyed the presence of these two, Jake, who is originally from Bradford, Yorkshire and who’s influences include; Queens of the stone age and old Blues artists such as Howlin’ Wolf was in a few bands, two of which are ‘Sexual Predators’ which was his college band and ‘Zepper’ a band started with his mates. Tyla on the other hand was brought to life in Pontefract, Yorkshire and names his influences as “the Parlor Mob and Thomas Pridgen…the drummer.” He was in quite a few bands which included his college band ‘Kandinskii’ which lasted from December 2010 to the summer of 2011, and after college they took the band on further, playing many gigs including the Wakefield based ‘Upload Festival’. Tyla and Jake both share some influences “we both like The Black Jesuses” and as they are both a fan of the Blues “we like Robert Johnson”.

With the boys playing their first gig on Thursday 8th March some might think that the nerves could be setting in, especially as they are the support band for another upcoming band ‘Hit The Deck’. However this

Tyla Haigh

is not the case, as the drummer wants to take the gig head on “when you open at a gig you try to play your best, so that the other band is intimidated”, it seems obvious that Hydroshima are going to try and set the bar high for Hit The Deck to follow.

A name like ‘Hydroshima’ could be trouble though with the play on ‘hydrogen bomb’ and ‘Hiroshima’ possibly giving off an offensive vibe, “I don’t think that it would offend” stated Haigh when questioned about the name “It’s just to show that we’re a really powerful band”.

Hydroshima’s Photoshoot

With an enthusiastic view of the upcoming event “we’ll be able to to build a live orientation of our songs” Hydroshima could be looking at “more live shows” and possibly an album somewhere down the line.

Although the official answer was “Booze and Bitches” when the Drummer was asked about what the future holds for Hydroshima, all joking aside you are going to hear from these boys very soon, and whether they are playing live, recording music or just simply busking in the street with locals…they are showing true passion through their music and having a ball doing it.

Hydroshima are playing at the performance centre on Tremough campus on Thursday 8th March.

For more information on the band click the link below…

Hydroshima facebook page

Event Poster

Sam Lynas (Online Journalism)

“Everyone in the creative industries is looking to uncover the next big thing and talented person”, Journalism students were told today.

Sam Lynas, a University College Falmouth graduate and account executive at barefoot media, told BA (Hons) Journalism students at UCF about what an editor looks for and the importance of online journalism in today’s society “The editors of the magazines or the newspapers that you want to work for will come to you and they will pick you out.”

Lynas first goes on to talk about how the interactive age of journalism has got bigger in the last few decades since the introduction of new technology “you couldn’t do this 10-20 years ago, there is better technology, better broadband, faster internet and not to mention the increase in mobile phones.” He paints a picture that shows us how the times have changed and how quickly news and information can be passed around the globe via the internet.

“Just a show of hands, who has twitter” as the majority of the hands go up in the room lynas explains that Twitter is an amazing way of getting exclusive news out fast these days, where as in earlier years journalists would have had to use a phone to get in contact with their editor about a story. Lynas makes the point of how important Twitter is “there’s an editor at the Washington Post in America who says he won’t hire anyone that doesn’t have Twitter, so that just shows the importance.”

Knowing his audience, Lynas goes on to the topic of blogging as he knows all the students have a blog “it’s a lot of fun blogging or writing online…quite addictive.”  Explaining the different types of blogs he starts off with Tumblr “the fast free service blogging platform” as he calls it, he goes on to talk about others such as Posterus and WordPress “the most recognisable”. He gives tips and his opinions of the best blog “I don’t want to use WordPress because I think it’s a bit clunky, and I don’t want to use Tumblr because I want my writing to have a bit more word content to it.”

Lynas tries to help the students by explaining the best way to get your name out there when online, he tells us that it is better to use a broader search name such as ‘restaurants in Cornwall’ rather than ‘restaurants in Falmouth’ because less companies would label their search tag as ‘restaurants in Cornwall’ so then when people search it your website will be near or at the top of the page.

Sam Lynas worked with restaurants, festivals and beach events whilst working for barefoot media and is currently freelancing.

R.I.P Lookout! Records

The music industry always seems as though it is a slightly darker place when a record label goes out of business…and when that label has brought some of the most prominent musical acts in the business to date, it feels as though music has taken a substantial blow beneath the belt.

Record label ‘Lookout! Records’ have officially closed it’s doors, ending it’s 25-year battle of releasing bands who the label believed could make a difference in this world of conformity and churned out pop music.

Lookout! Records was formed in 1987 by Larry Livermore and David Hayes, who had one mission, and that was to sign musicians who they thought had a distinctive sound. To begin with they only releasing punk rock bands, but soon went onto release a variety of genres such as; Ska, Pop-Punk, Reggie Fussion, Pop-Rock. Acoustic Rock and Indie Rock.

The label signed many bands, some went on to greater success and others were not so lucky. One of the main reasons that ‘Lookout!’ started losing money and declining in popularity was because many of their signed acts left them for other record companies such as; Screeching Weasel, The Dollyrots, The Queers and Enemy You all left and signed with other labels and some had their previous records re-issued and re-released. The reasons for them leaving was down to non-renewal of licence agreements, distribution and breach of contract over unpaid royalties.

Lookout! did sign some bands who have gone on to achieve great success in the music industry, three of the biggest are Greenday, Alkaline Trio and Operation Ivy. The most widely known being Greenday who were signed to the label in 1987 after Larry Livermore saw the band play one of their early shows. The band, made up of lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, Bassist and singer Mike Dirnt and Drummer Tre Cool, released their first two EPs through the label in 1987, 1000 Hours and Slappy. The band’s debut album ’39/smooth’ was also released through Lookout! Records in 1990, as was their second album ‘Kerplunk’ in 1992, which sold 50,000 copies.

Greenday then signed to Reprise records with which they achived world fame in 2004 with their rock opera album ‘American Idiot’, not to mention six other studio albums with the label before that. However the band did not officially leave Lookout! Records until August 1st 2005, where Bassist Mike Dirnt explained “I feel we’ve honoured our handshake agreement with Lookout! Records, I think that’s fair. There comes a time when you’re like ‘okay, how long do you want to support your record label.” It was later revealed that the band left because of unpaid royalties, but they had no intention of taking legal action against the label which gave them their first major break.

Operation Ivy then left the label on May 4th in 2006, after which the company stopped releasing music and started selling it’s back catalogue until Christmas.

In December 2009 Lookout! Records went into a major financial reconstruction period, however it seemed it wasn’t meant to be as the funds continued to decline, and in January 2012 the record company officially closed it’s doors for good.

In a final blog posted on the companies website which was entitled ‘Hard To Say Goodbye’, it was stated “It’s best to get the hard part out of the way first, what was mentioned recently is true. Lookout! will be closing it’s doors over the next few months.” The post goes on to thank everyone who has helped the company “Thanks for listening to our music, forming bands, sending us demos, buying records, signing to our label and playing our records”.

The Punk Rock genre would truly not be the thing which it is today if not for Lookout! Records, the label signed bands who paved the way for and inspired many bands which have been formed over the recent years. It is true that Lookout! Records will never be forgotten.

A tear could be wiped away from the eye as you read the last line in the final post from the company “For inspiring us and for all of the memories…thank you.”