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Please can you REPLAY that?

Looking at Replay on Gloucester Road you would think it was pretty unassuming with its simplistic black walls and stacks of board games. However on Saturday 3rdof November as the Moon set, Drum and bass lovers from far and wide descended.

DJ Smijen – Original Photo by Mimi Granell

Juxtaposed as the venue and music genre may appear at first, the overwhelmingly warm reception overrides any preconceived prejudices. Crammed into the little basement space, it was obvious to any onlooker that this was the merging of likeminded individuals both young and old.

Those that had listened to DnB whilst they’d eaten their cornflakes before work in the early ’90s and newly hooked individuals danced side by side. Dissimilarly to the crowd, the DJ’s were largely of the older generation, all except DJ Smijen. Much like the location, an inconspicuous First Year Maths Student who had only begun mixing last year, his set contained a blend of inter genres.

The evening began with DJ zzerg, with Murky, Smijen, Neural Net and Aztek following suit. Whilst the rainbow lights cascaded over the crowd zzerg began with a set comprised of neurofunk, rollers and some liquid style mixes. As the host of the evening and a charismatic performer, zzerg real name Andor Fazekas sent the crowd wild with his deck spinning and pretending to smoke a glow stick that had been launched at him by a friend.

Murky reminded me largely of a dad, with a warm smile and beer hand as he moved behind the giant crate like decks, dabbling from commercial DnB to Jump up the perfect DJ for those experimenting with the genre. Attempts were made in vain to impose a volume restriction by the Café owner to avoid noise complaints from local occupants.

Neural Net riled up the crowd with his techstep and neruofunk tunes, spotted subtly dancing to the other DJs Neural Net emphasized that the Dnb community is built upon inclusivity and enjoyment. Unlike many other genres, it does not reject older artists and equate talent to appearance.

The template for both the Facebook Page and Leaflet – Original Photo Mimi Granell

Aztek was the only DJ to use Vinyl’s, highlighting both his experience and pure skill, this is a talent well respected in the community as those using them have no assistance in monitoring the tempo of their songs. It is a sight to behold as he replaces vinyl after vinyl we so often associate with the music our parents listened to.

The buzz of the bass could be felt in your body, as you danced your feet got ever so slightly stuck on the beer-soaked floor.  Tetras was projected onto the walls behind the decks as players from the café upstairs played, adding to the bustling atmosphere. Onlookers would remain oblivious to the bunker, filled to the brim with bopping heads just beneath their feet.

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For those that dream of ‘A Curious Career’

Original photo by Lynn Barber, Second Edition Cover

A goldmine for the curious, Lynn Barber’s 2015 memoir ‘A Curious Career’ depicts an image of Journalism that is a far cry from that of today. One of late-night drinking and raucous interviewees.

Her conversational tone puts all at ease, giving the allusion of a family chat over a cuppa. Having worked in the industry for over 40 years, ‘A Curious Career’ is an unintentional ‘How to..’ that should be found in all trainee Journalists backpacks.

Reading Barber’s second autobiography with no preconceived notion of whom she was, would not place any readers at a disadvantage. Scattering informative seeds of her younger years throughout the 224 pages, increasing accessibility by dedicating the entire beginning chapter to anecdotes of her childhood and early adult life. The ensuing chapters relay interviews that have stuck in Barber’s mind from her time in the field.

Original Photo by Lynn Barber, First Edition Cover

Describing vividly the turbulent events of her childhood as an only child, the most intriguing discovery is her relationship with conman Simon many years her superior. This dubious relationship taught the author a handful of lessons, which she ponders throughout. Lessons are in abundance for the author and her readers, from fundamental journalistic skills to never taking everything at face value. Even Barber’s time at University serves as a lesson to readers, that your degree does not restrict the things you may one day achieve.

The autobiography in its entirety is a self-reflection. ‘A Curious Career’ is written with a tone of tender humanity. Hiding very little from the reader, revealing her highs and lows, a particularly solemn moment being her husband David’s death. The book appears to be a relief for Barber, after four decades of telling the story of other people’s lives it’s finally her time.

The intertwining of personal and professional anecdotes is seamless, carefully curated to authenticate Barber’s points. Humanizing the role of a journalist as she writes. She talks of a highly transitional career, placing emphasis on the importance of contacts for journalists.

For many female readers, Barber’s autobiography can be an inspiration. As they read about a woman that rose through the adversity of being a female journalist in the ‘60s. Amidst this inspirational aspect, Barber also highlights the prominent sexual conversation of the ‘60s in her autobiography; her first job being bedroom etiquette interviews.

Despite being alluded to, Barber never absolutely states that there are good and bad interviewees. Nonetheless, a subtle criterion is formulated by the author, “Give me a monster every time – someone who throws tantrums, hurls insults, storms out, and generally creates mayhem.” Her rejection of “the media tendency to lump people into types or classes or stereotypes” appears rather hypocritical as she lumps individuals together in each chapter on based on their careers.

‘A Curious Career’ undeniably fits the brief, curiosity runs through Barber’s veins just like the pages of this book. Susan Hill, Journalist for The Times praised the memoir as she said ”A pricker of pomposity, a ruthless exposer of lies, half-truths and deception…The world needs those interviews.” She in indisputably correct, Lynn Barber is the original rebel, that helped paved the way for today’s female journalists. The reading experience is one of cliche spine tingles and occasional emotional surges of empowerment.