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2018-05-28 The Big Issue

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LIMITED EDITION
SNOW PATROL 7? SINGLE
EXCLUSIVE
�50
EVERY MONDAY
NO. 1309
MAY 28-JUNE 3 2018
A HAND UP NOT A HANDOUT
WHEN YOU BUY *
THIS BIG ISSUE
LIGHT UP, LIGHT UP
SNOW
PATROL
THE RETURN
INTERVIEW
*WHILE STOCKS LAST
CCLAIM YOUR
CONTENTS
LIMITED EDITION
7? VINYL
MAY 28-JUNE 3 2018 / NO. 1309
SEE PAGE 25
Hello, my name
is Gerard.
This week there?s an interview
with Gary Lightbody from
Snow Patrol on page 22. I love
my music and I like them.
Big Issue readers can get their
hands on a free vinyl copy of
an exclusive version of a new
song. Jumpin? Jack Flash by The
Rolling Stones is 50 this year.
The Stones were at their best in
the Sixties and Seventies if you
ask me ? read about it on page
37. And The Big Issue wants
to hear your experiences of
mental health care on page
nine. My good friend has
schizophrenia and paranoia
but we couldn?t even get
carer?s allowance. It?s a
very, very underfunded
area and that has to
change. My story is
on page 46.
INSIDE...
16 LETTER TO MY
YOUNGER SELF
Wilbur Smith isn?t tongue-tied
about his sexual awakening
18 YESTERDAY?S
THE BIG ISSUE MANIFESTO
Vendor photo: Sean Malyon
FUTURE
When a social housing experiment
becomes a museum piece
27 CHRISTOPHER
ECCLESTON
Supporting his hero Hopkins
WE BELIEVE in a hand up, not a handout...
Which is why our sellers BUY every copy of the
magazine for �25 and sell it for �50.
WE BELIEVE in trade, not aid?
Which is why we ask you to ALWAYS take
your copy of the magazine. Our sellers are
working and need your custom.
WE BELIEVE poverty is indiscriminate?
Which is why we provide ANYONE whose life is
blighted by poverty with the opportunity to
earn a LEGITIMATE income.
WE BELIEVE in the right to citizenship?
Which is why The Big Issue Foundation, our
charitable arm, helps sellers tackle social and
?nancial exclusion.
THE BIG ISSUE / p3 / May 28-June 3 2018
WE BELIEVE in prevention?
Which is why Big Issue Invest ofers
backing and investments to social enterprises,
charities and businesses which deliver social
value to communities.
CORRESPONDENCE
Write to: The Big Issue, Second Floor, 43 Bath St, Glasgow, G2 1HW
Email: letters@bigissue.com
@bigissueuk
facebook.com/bigissueUK
bigissue.com
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Peter the Great
I write to tell you of a wonderful person
called Peter who sells The Big Issue near
the bus station in Port Talbot. He is there
rain or shine, always happy and he really
makes my day when I see him. I am 80 and
sufer with arthritis but I can get about
some days better than others. So yesterday
when I asked Peter how he was he said,
Up in the air
Practically speaking this idea
[Easing the homelessness
crisis with Airbnb, April
23-29] is a non-starter.
Property insurance companies would be horri?ed.
Having spent years in an
industry where housing
people is critical to their
rehabilitation, alas, there are
some who seek to destroy,
utterly trash, exploit and
degrade every property they
are ofered, to such an extent
that beyond such a point, no
further properties are ofered.
Until such people are weeded
out, as they repeatedly prove
unable to live in society even
when given multiple chances,
those who seek a new
opportunity and future will
see their plans and hopes
eternally destroyed.
Martin Mather, Facebook
Game changer
I bought my ?rst copy of The
Big Issue in 2015 and it has
completely revolutionised the
way I think about and respond
to rough sleepers and those
with mental health struggles.
Previously, I was ignorant of
the stigma surrounding
homelessness, but today I see
that we are all people
deserving of human rights.
Today, my regular vendor is
Daniel, a quiet but cheerful
chap who sells just outside of
the M&S in Inverness. I look
?Much better?. I didn?t know he was ill so I
asked what was wrong and he told me he
has arthritis in his spine. What a brave
man. I know the pain from arthritis but I
cannot imagine what it must be like to have
it in your spine. To me and my husband he
is one of the greats.
Pauline O?Brien, Swansea
forward to seeing him every
week and he has become a
familiar face.
Deborah Ferber, email
Holiday reading
When I came to London for a
holiday, I didn?t know what
The Big Issue was. I wondered
whether it was communist
propaganda, a religious group
or a scam? I eventually built
up enough courage to ask a
seller (in hindsight I probably
could?ve Googled it). He did a
great job explaining how it
worked, so I bought a copy to
help him out.
What I didn?t expect was
how much interesting content
was in the magazine. Keep up
the great work. I will certainly
buy a copy each week when I
return to London.
Tony McCombs, NZ
Super subs
I was very pleased that you
featured vendor Mark
Richards in this week?s issue
[My Pitch, May 14-20]. Every
week, when my Big Issue
drops through the letterbox,
I see his signature on the
envelope, so it?s good to ?nd
out more about him.
Mark: I really enjoy
reading The Big Issue, and it?s
most frustrating when I can?t
?nd a vendor locally. So thank
you for making sure I get my
copy regularly ? it?s much
appreciated!
Fiona Vincent, St Andrews
leeroyjwright
Got my copy of the
#BigIssuetoday. Got a great
piece in there on the work of
#StreetChildUnited and the
#StreetChildWorldCup in
#Moscow which I have just
returned from. Go and get
yourself one
@bigissue
@FordConsulting
Had a great chat
with the @BigIssue vendor
at Pimlico. Now reading the
magazine on my train back
North. Please buy one from
your local vendor this week
@JadeTambini
I love @thebigissue
manifesto so much. So
great to see how they treat
everyone as equals and able
to manage their own trade.
Lots of misconception about
Big Issue sellers.
@HollyFishwick
Got chatting to
a Bulgarian @BigIssue
seller earlier named Izmut.
Absolute baller showed
me how to write my
name in Arabic
@freddygilbs
What an incredible
story in this week?s
@BigIssue. Tackling isolation,
crime and homelessness,
the #StreetChildWorldCup
ofers a few some hope.
150,000,000 street children
is 150,000,000 too many.
@bamboodled
Brilliantly written
article by @PauldMcNamee
in this week?s @BigIssue re
the lack of fresh fruit & veg
for those that need it most.
@PatricksPeople
@BigIssue Amazing
what a single letter of a
single word can do to
change a person?s perception
Great comment from
Andrew Birley in your May
7-13 edition ?I really like the
term ?tough sleeper? instead
of ?rough sleeper??, he wrote.
Me too Andrew!
THE BIG ISSUE / p4 / May 28-June 3 2018
Tiny houses have often been suggested
to be an answer to the housing crisis, but
you?ll struggle to downsize to this. Standing
at 0.015mm high with a footprint of
0.02mm by 0.01mm ? less than the width
of a human hair ? it is half a million times
smaller than a regular two-storey house.
With a traditional pitched roof, four
windows, a chimney and walls made
of an ultra-thin silica membrane, it was
constructed by nano-robots at France?s
Femto-ST research institute, assembled
with less than two nanometres of accuracy.
At least removal costs will be minimum.
For more on actually habitable tiny
homes head to page 20.
THE EDITOR
The truth is out
there ? you just
have to look for it
N
obody really knows anything. As a basic starting point, I
give you Arsenal FC.
They are a big club, one who have been a dominant force
in English football for decades, and with a global reach.
Several weeks ago, their long-standing manager Ars鑞e Wenger
retired. Urbane, multi-lingual, he was a chap who always gave the
impression of somebody who was trying to remain calm despite
having slight acid reflux. Still, he was a great manager. He led
Arsenal for 22 years to multiple trophies. His departure prompted
lively debate about a successor.
Hours and hours of sports radio broadcast was filled with
insiders and experts keen to explain who would take over and why.
Last week, out of the blue, a man called Unai Emery got the job.
Which nobody predicted. He?d been 66/1 just days before. This set
up hours more of analysis, a lot of which was angry, with pundits
annoyed that they?d not got close to being correct, and so were left
looking well outside the tent.
There was a similar moment with the US/North Korea talks. Just
a couple of weeks ago, international experts and cheerleaders were
heralding Donald Trump?s new no-nonsense non-diplomacy
diplomacy. He?d done it, and the Nobel Peace Prize would be
a formality!
Fast forward a month and The Donald is sending weird notes
calling the whole thing off, but still asking for Kim to give him a
quick ring. Like it was a mate who annoyed him at a Christmas
party, but time to let bygones be bygones. Nobody quite
predicted that.
Meanwhile, last week the Institute For Fiscal Studies said the
only way to keep the NHS a?oat was to increase annual taxes by at
least �000 per household.
This is a dramatic finding, one with huge importance, both
because of the change it would bring to individuals and how we view
the tax system in Britain, and because of what it means for
the NHS.
There was a lot less on this than Wenger?s successor. It?s
understandable. Talking football is preferable to talking tax.
But a problem arises here with con?ation.
We?re in an age when all stories, regardless of their genesis or
their basis in fact, are allowed to oxygenate and receive equal billing
and, most importantly, equal credibility.
And because a lot of this happens on social media, agendas grow
and how a story is presented becomes more important than facts.
This is not new. But it?s accelerating, and while it might be dreary,
we need to be vigilant.
In the coming weeks and months, we have to be able to tell the
diference between facts and agenda-driving opinion given wings by
blowhards who shout loudest. At The Big Issue, we will do this. We
make a pledge to redouble efforts to cut through the self-serving
?annel. It?s never been more vital. How Britain is constituted after
Brexit is just one of those things we need to understand. And only by
really understanding can we start building or ?nding solutions that
go beyond the ?I just feel it?ll be great? school that has taken hold.
Some people DO know things. And we should listen to them, ask
them questions, provide ideas and use smarts and facts to
build solutions.
Of coure, we can still talk about football.
Where do you stand on Jos�
Paul McNamee is editor of The Big Issue
@pauldmcnamee paul.mcnamee@bigissue.com
DOWNSIZING
AN UPLIFTING
READ
Giving free books to
strangers? Yes please! An
independent bookshop in
London has launched a
Twitter campaign for
customers to payforward a book for
someone who wants one.
The Big Green Bookshop?s
#buyastrangerabook campaign
allows followers to pay for a
book for another person
every Wednesday.
And it?s ?ying of the page, with owner Simon
Key selling 56 books in its ?rst trial earlier on this
month and 75 the following week. And he is now
encouraging people to pay for books to go to
schools. It?s part of a campaign that The Big Issue
has helped to drive, through our work with Simon
in the Independent Bookshop Alliance, which is
lobbying Westminster for support for indie
retailers to level the playing ?eld against online
giants like Amazon and give local shops a bigger
voice in the industry.
Speaking about #buyastrangerabook Simon
said: ?It?s a nice thing to do and people who can?t
aford to buy a book get the chance to have one
bought for them and people who want to give a
book can do that too ? everyone?s a winner really.
Until people stop buying books for others on
Twitter I?m going to keep doing it.?
THE BIG ISSUE / p6 / May 28-June 3 2018
THE BIG ISSUE
NEEDS YOU!
G ? THE NEW WAVE
?People were doing a little here,
a little there, not enough?
Vendor?s tragic death highlighted in homeless deaths investigation
A hundred homeless people have died
since October last year, according to
the Bureau of Investigative
Journalism?s Dying Homeless
Project.
The group has teamed up with
Channel 4 News to plug the knowledge
gap that comes with no oicial count of
homeless deaths. And last week they
turned their attention to Islington Big
Issue vendor Neculai Popa, who died
last December in a homeless hostel.
There has been no oicial review into
the 33-year-old?s death ? nor was there
for 82 others, according to FOI requests
? while Safeguarding Adult Boards have
only looked into eight homeless deaths
since 2010.
Neculai was plagued with ill health
and treated regularly over two years by
University College Hospital in London,
while also working with homeless
charity Pathway.
But despite the support he received
from Big Issue support teams, failure of
those organisations to implement
joined-up procedures meant that
Neculai slipped through the cracks,
according to friend Amparo Escobedo.
He said: ?People were doing a
little here, a little there, but that?s
not enough.?
Activist Army ?
reassemble! The Big
Issue is in the running for
a prestigious Cover of
the Year award and we
want your help to win?
Our Activist Army
cover, which mobilised
people across the UK
ahead of last year?s
snap election, is in the running
i ffor
the PPA Awards as one of the 10 best
magazine covers in Britain ? which it
clearly is! Now it?s up to people power to
help us win.
Vote for us on the PPA?s website at
ppa.co.uk/Events/PPAAwards2018/
Cover-Of-The-Year-Voting
And get your family, friends and that
bloke you see while walking the dog to
back us too.
Props too to Big Issue publishing MD
Russell Blackman, who is shortlisted for
Team Leader Of The Year at the awards.
Village voice
says ?no? to
holiday homes
One referendum was overshadowed
in the news last week. Villagers in
Northumberland beauty spot Beadnell
headed to the polls to decide on a
proposed ban on second homes ? and
delivered a resounding 90 per cent vote
in favour with 767 in support, 85
against. Fewer than one in ?ve of the
village?s homes are occupied yearround. North Northumberland Coast
Neighbourhood Plan campaign opposes
construction of new homes in the
parishes of Beadnell, North Sunderland
and Bamburgh unless they are
restricted for primary occupation ?in
perpetuity?. The move follows a similar
crackdown in St Ives in 2016.
ON BIGISSUE.COM
THIS WEEK
The hospital and Pathway con?rmed
they are looking into a formal complaint
relating to the Big Issue vendor?s care.
Islington Council con?rmed no
Safeguarding Adults Review was held
into Neculai?s care but said it would
?support calls to learn from the deaths
of Neculai and other homeless people?.
channel4.com/news/dying-homelesson-uk-streets-counting-the-truenumber
THE BIG ISSUE / p7 / May 28-June 3 2018
? London?s 24-year-old Young
oung
People?s Poet Laureatee
Momtaza Mehri is revitallising the
rhyme and reason of poeetry
? How the Street Child World
Cup is kicking of change for
street children across the globe
? Best-selling author Rayno
or
Winn?s redemption tale led
d
others to follow her path
FOCUS
MENTAL HEALTH CARE:
THE REALITY
Tell us about your experiences at editorial@bigissue.com
risk needing more intensive support further down the line.
The ultimate consequence can be catastrophic ? we lose
almost 6,000 people a year to suicide.?
Another charity, SANE, says the number of people with
depression and anxiety contacting them is rising, and their
symptoms are more severe.
?We are particularly concerned about younger people,
and especially young women, whose distress may be driven
by factors like social media, or worries about money,
Mental Health Awareness Week has been and gone, in a relationshipsorjobs,?sayschiefexecutiveMarjorieWallace.
way that mental illness stubbornly doesn?t. Amid
?Sadly, this growing need for support and treatment is
powerful stories of crisis, treatment and recovery, not being met by mental health services, which despite
this year critics began to point this out ?
repeated government pledges remain
highlighting that the issue needs more than
desperately short of the doctors, nurses and
just a week in the spotlight.
hospital beds needed to meet demand.?
And while the problem?s growing, the
And these shortages inevitably lead to
safety net of NHS care is not being cast wide
delays, which can be devastating for patients
enough to meet the demand. Encouraging
? not just in the short term.
people to open up about their sufering is
?Simply put, the longer the delay in
...compared
One in
vital, but the right treatment may be hard to
receiving help and treatment, the worse the
three people with three
access or even unavailable.
outcome is likely to be,? says Wallace. ?With
with mental in four for
Reader ?G? contacted us to say she?s
so many people still struggling to access
physical
health
suffering with anxiety. But the first
high-quality care, we fear we are losing the
health
problems
appointment she could get with a GP was a
opportunity to protect the mental health of
issues
get help...
month away and a wellbeing centre had a
this and future generations.?
six-week wait for a phone consultation.
The same concerns about access have
already been expressed by doctors. Earlier
?Afewyearsbackthewellbeingcentrewas
this year, Professor Wendy Burn, president
oferingdiferentcoursesandgrouptherapy,?
of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said
she says. ?I looked today and saw only a few
of all mental health
promises from government of more cash
webinars (that I can?t book on to before my
problems are
weren?t being felt on the ground. Funding
telephone appointment). All other courses
established by age 14
lagged ?desperately? behind that of physical
have been cut.
health provision, she added.
?I desperately want to see a therapist but
The ?gures back this up. Independent
can?t aford it. I don?t have � a session to
charity The King?s Fund reported in
spare.It?sMentalHealthAwarenessWeekand
January that since 2012/13 funding for
I am very much aware of my mental health. I
of mental health
acute hospitals in England rose by 16.8 per
amawareIneedtotalktoaprofessional.Iam
professionals have
cent while mental health trusts saw an
aware that I can?t.?
taken time of in the
increase of just 5.6 per cent.
Cuts to funding came just as we ?nally
last year with stress*
It also pointed out that the net efect of
recalibrated public understanding of mental
staf turnover means there is a four per cent
health and that?s at the heart of the current
drop in mental health nurse numbers
crisis, says charity Mind.
?Overthelast10years,we?veseenahugeshiftinattitudes annually. The result for patients is delays and obstacles.
In a nutshell, the efect of underfunding and patchy
towards mental health,? says Mind?s policy and campaigns
manager Geof Heyes. ?Since the launch of Time to Change, provision means more sufering for the most vulnerable.
[a campaign by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness] public Heyes says: ?We know mental health services have been
awareness and understanding have improved dramatically. underfunded for decades and physical health has long been
This is a positive thing, but as more and more people come prioritised. There is a huge amount of work to do before
forwardforhelp,wewillcontinuetoseeanincreaseddemand. people?s experience of services will improve.?
?We know the earlier that people get the help they need,
the better. When people don?t get the help they need they Words: Sarah Reid @frutepastel
It?s the Cinderella service of the NHS, subject to brutal
cuts and soaring demand. Government is promising
more money but those on the front line say that after
decades of underfunding it?s not enough to ease the
crisis. We want to hear your stories of treatment that
was inadequate, hard to access or just took too long to
arrive. Most importantly, we want to know how this
afected your health, your recovery and your life.
50%
*Sources: Mind, The King?s Fund
22%
THE BIG ISSUE / p9 / May 28-June 3 2018
You can buy
prints of some
artworks featured in
Street Art through
STREET ART
bigissueshop.com
At least half of the pro?t
from each sale goes
to the artist.
HOMELESS
BOY
BY EUGENE LITTLE
Eugene is a service user at
Portugal Prints ? a creative arts
project for people with mental
health difficulties based at
Arlington House in Camden,
London. Over the years he
has spent many hours drawing
homeless people. ?I get to see
a lot of the lads and women
on the streets of London,?
he says. ?I have seen some
terrible things, too many to
mention. Nighttime is very
dangerous and painful. I get so
tongue-tied over the subject
of homeless people. It?s been
going on far too long. I
hope things will get better
in the future.?
14 YEARS A SOLDIER
CAMDEN TOWN
Street Art is created by people who are marginalised by issues like homelessness, disability and mental health conditions.
Contact streetlights@bigissue.com to see your art here.
THE BIG ISSUE / p10 / May 28-June 3 2018
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www.bigissueshop.com
㎞SPCC 2018. Nat ona Soc ety for the Prevent on of Crue ty to Ch dren. Reg stered char ty Eng and and Wa es
216401 and Scotland SC037717. The people pictured are volunteers. Photography by Nick Hodgson. J20181022.
38 floors
One amazing feeling
The Gherkin Challenge
Sunday 28 October
Got what it takes to make it to the top?
Sign up today, join #TeamNSPCC
and conquer one of London?s most
iconic buildings
nspcc.org.uk/gherkinchallenge
JOHN BIRD
Monarchy as a benign
money-spinner.
What a princely idea
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
I
missed the royal wedding.
I?ve missed all of them. From
Princess
Elizabeth
m a r r y i ng Lt Ph i l ip
Mountbatten in 1947, I?ve lived
through 14 of them. And not once,
even when I lived minutes from
Kensington Palace ? and was
therefore a neighbour ? was I
asked as a Notting Hill street
urchin to join the celebrations.
Nor later, as I grew to maturity
and became one of London?s most
prominent washers-up at a hotel
close to Kensington Palace. And
nor when I was washing up for
democracy in Parliament. I was
overlooked and not allowed into
that inner or innermost circle of
people who make up the backdrop
of any royal wedding party.
The family and I went for a
long cycle on that day that
Britain became Great Britain
again. When cleaned up of
homeless people, Windsor became
a bunting haven.
Millions of pounds was added
to the economy by the ?Meghan
effect?. That?s good news for
hotels, pleasure grounds and
London?s West End. For chambermaids on zero-hours contracts. For the
burstingly full Big Mac restaurants.
It might even make up for some of the
disappearing Russian money.
The economy of royalty is mentioned
in nearly every critique of royalty and the
thrones and wealth they sit on. Their
stupendous privilege, for me, expresses
itself best in the electric Jaguar that the
Sussexes drove to Frogmore House for an
evening of fun after a day of rigorous
ceremony. What sky did that car drop
out of? Which fairy waved their wand
to make it appear in time for the gambolling
between one secure outpost to another?
Once again I was not invited to a royal
wedding, even though Prince Charles
opened two of our buildings in the Nineties
and, for a very slim window of time, I was
seen as a new expression of innovative
social Britain. Still, no weddings! The Big
?I?d rather be
poor in the UK
than either of
the republics
I?ve lived in?
Issue hasn?t been good at cultivating links
with the posh and powerful. I couldn?t even
keep in with Tony Blair. In the end, he
thought I was a trout (and I can?t quite
remember what I thought he was).
It?s extraordinary that the UK can still
garner such interest for its royalest of
royal families. They put the world?s 25
remaining monarchies in the shade.
THE BIG ISSUE / p13 / May 28-June 3 2018
Being possibly the last thing left
to us, it?s what you might call our
unique selling point. A kind of
acceptance that the UK has only
the past to sell.
The only other time I can
remember the nation as feeling
i ncred ibly specia l about
something other than royalty was
the SAS storming the Iranian
Embassy siege in 1980. It made the
country look feisty and tough for
a while; perhaps even special.
And before that was The Beatles
in the early to mid-Sixties. Wow,
that was bigger than Elvis Presley,
sweeping all before it. And ever
since then, we?ve been kept afloat
by our creative industries
(another kind of royal blessing),
which now generate �bn a year
to the economy.
Over the years, I?ve been asked
if I am a republican. Do I want
to wash away royalty and consign
1,147 years of monarchical rule to
the dustbin of history (that is,
if you start with Alfred the Great)?
I reply by saying that I?ve lived
in one monarchy and two
republics; R閜ublique fran鏰ise
and the United States of
America. I would rather be poor in the
United Kingdom than either of the two
republics I?ve lived in. The USA is the most
monarchical place imaginable, aside from
Russia. Though they dress them up as
republics, appearance denies reality.
Our monarchs seem to bring more cheap
jobs to the UK. More footfall along Oxford
Street. More tinsel. At least they don?t have
the power in their hands to destroy every
tree, bush and blade of grass in the
world. Supposed republics are assigned
that power.
Pray! And carry on with the royal
parade! At least the head of the House of
Windsor doesn?t have her finger on
the button.
John Bird is the founder and Editor in Chief of
The Big Issue. @johnbirdswords
john.bird@bigissue.com
Illustration: Mitch Blunt
PAUSE
EMILY SCOTT-DEARING
How to understand the
importance of healthy teeth
I
f the eyes are the windows
to the soul, then the mouth
? guarded by our teeth ? is
the doorway to everything else.
It is with our mouths that we
begin to read our environment
as infants, and as they emerge,
our teeth are the only part of
our skeleton exposed to the
outside world.
Our teeth are painfully,
exquisitely connected to our
ner vou s s y st em a nd ou r
relationship with them is so
deep-rooted it is embedded in
our language: we grit, gnash and
grind our teeth, we can cut
them, set them on edge and
achieve things by the skin
of them. From the eruption of
our very first tooth, we can chart
personal milestones that mark
our age. Wobbly milk teeth and
the appearance of new adult
ones; first trips to the dentist and
the fitting of teenage braces;
potentially losing our teeth in
old age are all rites of passage ?
each shifts how we think about
and look after our teeth.
With no two sets of teeth the was important for dental work
same, they are integral to our to match and fit in. Porcelain
identity and sense of self. dentures pioneered in the early
Despite the current prolifera- 19th century were criticised for
their unnatural
tion of tooth-whitgleam and
ening products,
often satirised.
this is no recent
Alternatives infrivolity. Visiting
cluded dentures
the dentist has
set w ith rea l
never been purely
hu ma n teet h,
for f unction,
purchased from
with concern for
the poor or stolen
aesthetics coming
from the dead. It
as naturally to
was said that the
humans as the
battlef ield of
need to be free
Wa t e r l o o w a s
from pain. From
stripped of teeth
Queen Elizabeth
Emily Scott-Dearing
within 24 hours,
I?s tight-lipped
is co-curator of
giving rise
smile to hide her
Teeth, a new
to the term
blackened teeth,
exhibition at
?Waterloo teeth?.
to contemporary
Wellcome Collection,
Thankfully our
innovations in
London, running
dental care is now
dental surgery and
until September 16
much more about
reconstruction,the
prevention than
appearance of our
teeth is as important as our such drastic ?cures?, but this
approach was only embraced by
health and hygiene.
Even at a time when rotten or the British public within the last
missing teeth were the norm, it century. Health checks on
THE BIG ISSUE / p15 / May 28-June 3 2018
prospective recruits during
World Wars 1 and 2 saw many
you ng men rejected on
account of their poor teeth ?
a wa ke-up ca l l for the
government about the nation?s
dental health. Teeth became
the subject of public health
campaigns encouraging regular
brushing and trips to the dentist,
especially for children.
Access to dental care was
transformed by the advent of the
National Health Service 70 years
ago. Free dentures and fillings
were offered to all, but demand
quickly outstripped supply, with
33 million artificial teeth
provided in the first year. Within
three years, the cost of dentures
had become such a burden on
the service that the first charges
were introduced.
With teeth central to our
comfort, confidence and overall
health, it is a stark truth that
financial status remains the
s i n g le bi g g e s t f a c t or i n
determining the state of our
teeth and access to dental care.
Wilbur
Smith
He?s sold over 120 million books
IN 1949
THE YEAR
WILBUR
SMITH
TURNS 16?
Israel is admitted to
the UN / George
Orwell?s Nineteen
Eighty-Four is
published/ Rationing
of clothes ends
in Britain
LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF
Photos: (main) Karen Robinson/Guardian Nees & Media; (inset) REX/Shutterstock
M
y teens were a pretty miserable time. to me. Of course it?s the way you take those formulas
Reading became a sneaky pleasure for me. and employ your own instincts that makes all the
In those days all the heating and cooking in diference. If there is a genius in writing, that?s where
the house was done with wood, and one of my chores it lies.
I was very fortunate in having two wonderful
was to go of with the tractor and trailer and a gang of
guys who would cut the wood and load it on and I?d parents. My father was a man of action and my mother
bring it back. I always used to sneak a book down the was an artist, a very gentle person who loved books and
front of my shirt, so I could perch up on the tractor loved painting; I have many of her paintings to this day.
with a big hat on and read my books even in the middle Myfathertaughtmeabouttheoutdoorlifeandmymother
of the day. My father never caught me at it, because I gavemetheothersideofthemirrorwithmusicandbooks,
could always hear his car coming.
and before I could read myself, she?d read to me every
As a child I preferred being on my own, reading night. My father thought that reading too much was
whenever I could. As soon as I was able, I started unhealthy. He only read non-?ction, mostly manuals
to read books myself, starting with Biggles and about how to ?x things on the ranch.
In 1962 I was 29 and, sitting in the bedroom
Just William. Soon I was lost in the worlds of CS
Forester, with his exquisite Horatio Hornblower tales of the bachelors? lodgings where I lived, I stared
of adventure on the high seas. My mother struck up at the 20th rejection letter I had received for the
a friendship with a public librarian in Bulawayo, novel I considered was my masterwork, The Gods First
almost 800 miles to the south, and every month a Make Mad. As I screwed it in my ?st and prepared to
package of new adventures would arrive on the freight tell my agent to stop submitting it any more widely, I
faced a troubling thought: my father
train. From that moment onwards I
might have been right. Books were a
always had a well-thumbed novel in my
waste of time. A few years later, I
pocket. I could dive into books where I
found gripping tales of death and danger,
returned to my love of writing and never
the heroism and savagery of this
looked back.
continent we called home. I loved the
I remember the first time I saw
romance of Africa.
someone reading my first novel, When
When I was 16 I was stuck in a
the Lion Feeds. I was in the departure
horrible boarding school. However
lounge at Heathrow in 1964, after a
disheartening trip to London when I
when I got to university, that was special.
By the time I was 18, the gates of heaven
realisedthattheredcarpetofsuccesswas
had opened for me at Rhodes University
not going to be laid out for me after
in Grahamstown, in the Eastern
publishing one novel. An
attractive woman was reading
Cape Province of South Africa.
my book! I was so overwhelmed
Suddenly there were girls
that I walked over to her and
who did not wear gymslips
said, ?Excuse me, you?re reading
and walk primly to church in
my book.? She looked at me and
crocodile formation. Up until
then put the book down and said,
that moment I had never dreamt
?I?m sorry, someone had just
of how soft and warm these
left it here.?
gorgeous creatures were, or how
sweet they smelled.
I would hope my 16-year-old
I remember a used
self would look at me now and
convertible I bought that was
see something in himself where
very popular with the ladies. From top: Celebrating his 80th birthday with his wife
all of this would have been
Niso in London in 2013; as an eight-year-old with his
I lived in Matthews, part of father Herbert after Smith snr had killed three lions
possible. Writing ?ction on my
Founders Hall, but I soon found
own terms, in my own way, and
my way to the leading women?s residence, Oriel, named neverdoingmycaptoanotherissomethingmyyounger
after Oxford?s Oriel College. I fell for a girl who was in self would be pretty pleased about. I think he would look
her second year. Her boyfriend was a lawyer in Port at me and say, you jammy sod, save some for me!?
Elizabeth but she took a shine to me, a bumbling ?rst
I?d tell my younger self, be careful what you
year, naive and eager to please, but longing for wish for! If you don?t have the chops to deal with the
adventure and new experiences. Within a week I trappings of success, go and work for someone else.
discovered, to my joy, that the mouth wasn?t the only The criticism, the uncertainties of self-doubt ? it will
way to give pleasure during sex.
gobble you up. I?ve made a lot of mistakes. Unfortunately
The only saving grace of my boarding school they are the only way to learn. Fail again; fail better.
was an influential English teacher who took time Move on; learn.
If I could go back in time I would like to watch
to talk to me about the books I read. He focused
my mind on what was I trying to achieve in writing a my mother and father drinking tea on the veranda
story. He liked to have a structure in the classical style: of our house again, talking about what had
beginning, middle, and end. The idea of picking the happened on the ranch that day. The happiest times for
story up and letting it go, and then picking it up again me now? It?s simple: waking up next to my wife Niso on
in the middle, and then at the end to engender the first day of writing my next novel. Pure bliss.
excitement and tension, of not giving too much away
at the beginning, of letting characters develop On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures by Wilbur Smith
themselves and keeping some mystery about how it?s (Zafre, �) is out now
all going to turn out were all formulas that he proposed Interview: Jane Graham @janeannie
THE BIG ISSUE / p17 / May 28-June 3 2018
Photo: � The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Robin Hood Gardens in east London
was an experiment in communal
living but less then 50 years later a
slice of it is now a museum
piece. Sam Jacob, an architec
ct
who knows, tells Adrian
Lobb what this says about
how we want to live
TBI: An eight-tonne section of Robin Hood Gardens
is being preserved by the V&A and transported to
Venice for the Architecture Biennale. You have
been in charge of the British Pavilion at the event ?
what do you make of this?
SJ: When I did the British Pavilion it was to tell the
story of British modernism leading up to the
post-war New Towns ? how people reimagined
better cities, ways of living and ideas of what it is to
be a citizen. This was eventually articulated in urban
planning projects like Ebenezer Howard?s Garden
Cities, which took the best of the city and the best of
the country to produce what turned out to be
Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth.
Artfully done: The section that will
be shown by the V&A at the
Venice Architecture Biennale
THE BIG ISSUE / p19 / May 28-June 3 2018
?WE NEED TO REGAIN THE
CONFIDENCE TO EXPERIMENT.
WE DON?T KNOW EXACTLY HOW
PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE THESE DAYS?
So there are two sides to its demolition. One is
that it is an important piece of architecture by
important architects. But it is also a demolition of a
certain idea about society, which seems a terrible
shame. The idea of taking a section of it to Venice is
about raising these issues. How should we try to
create new housing, how do we make it afordable,
who should it be for ? can we ?nd a way to address
the urgent concerns about afordability?
This feels like a monument, a requiem and a
challenge ? a moment in the past that will never exist
again. We will never fund public housing in the same
way. But we need to ?gure ways to create a diferent
approach to providing these kinds of facilities.
English Heritage said it failed as a place for
humans to live?
The idea of buildings failing is interesting. Because
in the long term, buildings reinvent themselves.
Think of all the Georgian houses that were not
considered ?t for human habitation. So many were
pulled down. Now, those that survived are some of
the most desirable places in London. Buildings are
connected to society and the lives that are lived in
them. That changes over time. So a snap judgment is
often short-sighted. This idea you demolish things
you think have failed is not a sustainable way to
think about buildings.
Will it provoke debate about the future of social
housing and how we design for now?
It is already a big issue. Local authorities are now
thinking about how, given their continuing funding
issues, they can build more afordable, social or even
council housing. The GLA [Greater London
Authority] are providing loans for local authorities
to begin to build again ? and diferent authorities are
trying diferent methods, some becoming
developers, others doing deals with developers.
It feels like nothing happened for 30 years,
between Right To Buy and now this was an ignored
policy area.
Councils were unable to do anything, architects
were unable to do anything because they need a
client. The statement of Robin Hood Gardens is a
challenge: we have to learn from the past and deal
with the present. It is important to look back but not
be too nostalgic about that post-war period. We need
that urgency now ? the things beginning to happen
might not be perfect, but they might be better than
waiting before doing anything.
From top: a 1926 map
of Welwyn; Letchworth
in 1912 ? both Garden
Cities were designed
by Ebenezer Howard
What is the architects? job from here?
The solution is to do with sharing expertise and
knowledge. For too long the template was to hand
over responsibility to the private sector, whose ?rst
responsibilities are to shareholders, not the
community or the citizens.
Now there is no template. So ?guring out how to
make public spaces that bene?t the public good and
include housing is really important. We need to get
together, try new ways, but we also have to operate
within the economic circumstances we ?nd
ourselves in.
Is the temptation to just build smaller homes?
Some argue that is a good thing. We can build more
THE BIG ISSUE / p20 / May 28-June 3 2018
Photos: The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images; Topical Press Agency/Getty Images; ; PA/PA Archive/PA Images; ANDY RAIN/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
That model was important in the post-war
period of reconstruction alongside a drive to
build a better, fairer Britain ? certainly in the
New Town projects that ran from 1946 until the
mid-Seventies.
Each was an experiment in how to make a
better, more equal and more pleasant world to
live in.
And Robin Hood Gardens is part of a certain
idea of social housing. In terms of who it is for,
but also in the generosity of the design. The big
space between the blocks is not the most
eicient way of using land, but was ofered to
the community and residents in a way we don?t
see now.
Would The Garden Bridge have been
another example?
Absolutely. All those spaces, the new King?s Cross,
St Martins by the canal, Paternoster Square by St
Paul?s ? which famously closed during the Occupy
movement ? they present themselves as parts of the
city open to all. But they are not. There are rules,
by-laws, and security guards maintaining one way
of being in the city. And if you don?t belong to that,
you are not welcome.
It is duplicitous. It looks like it belongs to us but
doesn?t. And it is a dangerous development, because
it is diicult to take it back once it has gone into
private control. How do we make it part of the city
again? So a space might look open, you might be able
to walk through it, but there are invisible barriers
and walls. It is so diferent to the idea of parks and
public spaces as democratic places where we can all
participate. It is to do with the editing, closing,
controlling, cleansing and shrinking the possibilities
of what you might do or who you might be.
If you were housing minister, what would you
do on day one in office?
There are two key things: make land available for
the right kind of projects, providing forms of social
housing, and make funding available to build them.
It is really easy! The arguments about the
economics are often short-sighted. In those
post-war New Towns, the investment was recouped
many times over.
Derek Walker, who was chief architect of Milton
Keynes, told me when Margaret Thatcher opened
the shopping centre there she said to him: ?Isn?t it
amazing what the private sector can do?? A
complete misunderstanding. It had been built by
the public sector. A brand-new kind of shopping
centre, all about making really good public spaces.
It was a big public-sector investment.
homes, and our ways of living now are diferent to
the 1950s, 1930s or 1870s. Others say you need
proper space standards.
But maybe there is room for both ? we need to
be more open to diferent solutions, to diferent
ways of living ? because if you are single in
your early 20s you have diferent needs to if
you are older with a large extended family.
Allowing both approaches to co-exist could be
really good.
We?ve seen with anti-homeless spikes and
modi?ed benches a tendency towards making
public space a hostile environment for
some people.
There are developments where large parts of what
was once public space have become privatised.
Then developers essentially present part of it as a
gift to the community, when it is exactly the
opposite way around. Think of Elephant Park that
Lendlease are building in Elephant and Castle.
It is presented as a beautiful oasis of nature
where children can play, wrapped up as some
kind of incredible gift when actually it belonged
to us in the ?rst place. That sleight of hand is
very disturbing.
Coming to social housing ? what is required for
the way we live now and where we live now?
First of all we need to make land and money
available. Secondly we need to regain the con?dence
to experiment. We don?t know exactly how people
want to live these days. One of the amazing things
about looking back at places like Robin Hood
Gardens ? they might not always have been right,
but they were trying their best to be right. They
were really thinking hard about what it meant to
make a community, to make somewhere great to
live. Nobody knows exactly what will work. But
trying to make people live as though they are still
in the 1930s is a sure?re way to build bad housing
which won?t last.
How has Grenfell Tower impacted on
the conversations?
It demands a serious response. We need to think
about the technical stuf, ?re ratings and building
regulations, but a wider issue is the corners that
have been cut, the lack of investment, the lack of
proper maintenance. If that is not a wake-up call,
I don?t know what will ever wake us up.
samjacob.com
@adey70
THE BIG ISSUE / p21 / May 28-June 3 2018
Left from top: Thatcher
meets her public when
opening the Central Milton
Keynes Shopping Centre
in 1979; Sam Jacob says
Grenfell should act as a
?wake-up call?
EYES OP
THE BIG ISSUE / p22 / May 28-June 3 2018
Photo: Charles McQuillan
EN
Chasing Cars was the UK?s most widely played song of the
Noughties. But after global success, Snow Patrol have been
quiet for seven years. Frontman Gary Lightbody was drawn into
the ?dirt and the darkness? by drink and depression but now, he
tells Paul McNamee, he?s found his way home
ary Lightbody?s moment
came two years ago in a gym
in Santa Monica. The Snow
Patrol frontman has long had a
reputation for indulging his
appetites.Butevenhewasgoing
at it on a bigger scale, with a
?erce, Valhallan vigour.
The band?s last tour had
?nished in late 2012. And then: ?I started
drinking,? he says, ?with a gusto that a
professional boxer might train for a prize
?ght. It?d be mostly beer. I was quite a happy
drunk. There was a hell of a lot of fun. Until
it wasn?t.
?I?d get to 2am sitting on my own, have a
cry, and then a glass of something
[stronger]. I didn?t have any relationships
and I wasn?t having sex either. I was very
hermetic. Around 2015/2016 I was drinking
every day and also I was hating it. I regret
doing it even though I knew I was doing it
out of compulsion.?
He was hitting the gym in the mornings
to sweat it of. Then came the moment.
?I bent down to touch my toes and
everything started spinning. It felt like the
?oorbeneathmewasmoving.Ithoughtitwas
anearthquake.Butitkeptgoingon.Iphoned
a friend who lived around the corner. I was
like, ?Are we having an earthquake?? He said
?Something?s going on here?.
?I had a bunch of CT scans on my head.
My whole head was infected ? sinus, ears,
eyes, everything. I?d been having styes and
stufonmyeyes.Stickateabagonit.Thiswas
the week before I was going to France to see
Northern Ireland play in their first
tournament in 30 years. I said to the doctor,
?I?m ?ying to France in ?ve days?. He?s like,
?No you?re not. If you flew with the air
pressure it?d feel like daggers ripping into
your head?. I was still thinking maybe I?ll be
alright. I spoke to a friend, Gabrielle, an
acupuncturist, an extraordinary human
being. She?d been trying to get me to stop
drinking for a while??
So he stopped. Or at least, he began to
stop. And in flooded the dark realities
he?d been masking.
In recent weeks, as he?s been working
aroundthereleaseofWildness,SnowPatrol?s
?rst album in seven years, Lightbody has
started to talk for the ?rst time about the
mental health problems which have
plagued him for years. (?I didn?t talk about
anything; nobody knew, the band didn?t
know.?) Last year, after 12 months sober,
came another key moment.
?Last summer,? he says, ?I thought I?d be
relieved to get the album done. We?d just
?nished. But I wasn?t. I was devastated. I?d
opened a place in my psyche and I didn?t know
how to shut the door. It was like the ark of the
covenant was opened [from Raiders Of The
Lost Ark] and there were melting faces left
and right and I didn?t know how to shut the
thing down. So instead of talking to somebody
I tried to shut myself out. Let my own face
melt. And the band knew something and they
?ew from London and arrived at the door and
I broke down and told them everything.
?I have a depressive personality that has
no relationship with reality. I could be having
the best time on the surface and yet my
depression goes, ?You?re still a cunt. Don?t
forget that. I?m dragging you down into the
ink and the dirt and the darkness?. I could be
playing to 15,000 people and three hours later
be in a hotel room crying on the ?oor. That?s
happened a bunch of times. The depression
and the success have no relation to each other.
It?s just part of me. I?ve learned that rather
than running from it, which you can never
really do ? you can never run away from
yourself ? is you have and turn and face it
and look it in the eye and say I?m not afraid
of you any more.?
And so he went home. Back to Northern
Ireland, to North Down where he was brought
up. It?s the place he was desperate to leave in
1994, when he ran to Dundee to start
university, to start the band, to start years of
chipping away with no success. Then he wrote
Run, and everything changed.
It?s easy, given their time away, to forget
just how huge Snow Patrol were for a period
from the mid to late Noughties. Nobody,
really, was bigger.
The song Chasing Cars, from fourth
album Eyes Open, was picked up for US hit
TV show Grey?s Anatomy and propelled them
to massive fame. Lightbody moved to Santa
Monica around 2009 (?Soon as my feet hit
the sand in Santa Monica something just
hit and I thought, I want to live here?).
Recently he claimed he?d moved back to
Northern Ireland because the band were
getting ready to work again and he needed to
be near them. But it feels like the truth is a
little more complicated.
?You?re right. There are quite a few reasons.
My dad isn?t well, my mum isn?t coping
very well and my niece is going to be 11 in
July. I?ve missed most of her life living in LA.
?And I missed home. It?s a time in Northern
Ireland as well when it feels like we?re at a bit
of a crossroads again. I felt a bit of a calling
back here. Not that I ?gure I can help in any
way, but I certainly won?t feel connected if
I?m 5,000 miles away. I wanted to reconnect.?
We?re meeting in the Crawfordsburn Inn,
the picture-postcard hotel not far from Gary?s
shorefront home, overlooking Belfast Lough.
It feels timely. We meet on the 20th
anniversary of a concert in Belfast?s
Waterfront Hall, hosted by U2, that helped
deliver a huge Yes vote in the referendum for
the Good Friday Agreement. In a nation
where de?ant Nos had been the lingua franca,
a Yes was signi?cant. A political statement
and a cleansing.
On that day, John Hume and David Trimble
were ushered onstage by Bono, a man with a
keen eye for a moment. U2 sang Don?t Let Me
Down. Ash were there too, being young and
hopeful. Twenty years on, as Lightbody says,
Northern Ireland is at a bit of a crossroads. And
he?s found his way home.
The album, Wildness, is worth the wait. If
Snow Patrol had touched on themes of
running and movement in the past, Wildness
has a leitmotif of ?nally settling. The word
?home? is laced through several songs. Two
tracks in particular illustrate what Snow
Patrol can really do ? the anthemic reach of
the huge, wondrous opening track Life on
Earth (a track that took Gary ?ve years to
complete), and the
intimacy of What If This
Is All The Love You Ever
Get?, a piece with just
Gary on piano, a
heartbreaker written
for a friend going through
a divorce.
The song Soon marks
another significant
theme. It deals with
Lightbody?s father Jack?s
battle with Alzheimer?s.
It?s a simple builder, full
of grace notes and
sadness. There is
something quietly heroic
in it. The video, ?lmed in
Lightbody?s apartment,
sees him and his father watching old home
movies his dad recorded through the years.
As well as the sadness over what his father
is losing, there is an understanding of a
farewell to lost youth, that the hopefulness
of that other country is worth revisiting
for both of them.
?I love my dad,? he says. ?I have a lot of
respect for him so I wanted to honour him,
but at the same time I also have a lot of guilt
for being away for most of my adult life. I
don?t just mean LA, I mean Glasgow, London,
or on tour constantly. And there is probably
a place in my head where I go when I?m feeling
homesick and that is both a place of calm
and nostalgia and also a place of guilt and
some shame.
?I?ve felt I?ve been running away, most of
the time from myself. So [he pauses]? some
of the home references are me feeling
disconnected rather than connected? feeling
like I?d never really found a home. I never truly
felt at home when I was growing up in
Northern Ireland. Then I left and never really
Snow Patrol, l-r, Johnny McDaid, Nathan Connolly,
Jonny Quinn, Lightbody and Paul Wilson; and (left)
Lightbody and McDaid with Ed Sheeran
Photo: Johnny McDaid/Instagram
feltathomeanywhereelse.AndthenImoved
backtoNorthernIrelandandnowIdofeelat
home here, but that has also coincided with
me feeling at home inside my own body.
Which was the whole problem the whole
time. I wasn?t comfortable with myself. I
didn?t like myself. So you have to ?gure that
out before you can feel at home anywhere.?
Theband?sin?uenceandlegacygobeyond
their own work. They?ve helped shape the
sounds that have become pervasive in
post-millennial pop.
Lightbody and band member Johnny
McDaid have written with, among others, Ed
Sheeran, Taylor Swift and One Direction.
Snow Patrol took Sheeran on the road in the
States in 2011, helping him break through.
They remain close.
?Between myself and Johnny McDaid
we?ve written a lot of things for other pop acts,
him more than me,? he says. ?I would say Ed
came fully formed from his ?rst album. He?d
done the groundwork. All the grafting that
you need to do, when you?re a young band. He
THE BIG ISSUE / p24 / May 28-June 3 2018
busked his ass of from the age of 15 on the
streets of London, sleeping on his mate?s
couch. He had turned up to gigs and said to
promoters,canyougiveme15minutesafter
the doors open. And promoters say aye. That?s
how he started. He grafted harder and still
does to this day ? harder than anyone I know.?
Sheeran?s returning the favour, taking the
band on an American tour in autumn.
Refusing to accept Snow Patrol as
fountainheads of a sound, Lightbody says they
are more like Zelig, ?probably bystanders?.
One got away, though. Mutual friend
James Corden introduced Lightbody to Adele.
?It happened to be a birthday of somebody
that James and Adele knew... and I sat down
with her and she said when are we going to
do [a song]. We did two days ? Adele, Johnny
McDaid and me ? the bones of three really
amazing fucking songs. But we never got
round to ?nishing it. And then the album
came out and obviously we weren?t on it.?
While his own album has just come out,
there is already pressure to get busy on the
next. Longtime producer, friend and mentor
Garret ?Jacknife? Lee has been in touch (?he
says we need to get cracking on the next one?).
For now, ahead of their own arena tour in
the winter, Lightbody is learning to cope,
FREE EXCLUSIVE
SNOW PATROL
7? SINGLE!
FOR SNOW PATROL FANS AND VINYL JUNKIES
Photo: Press
listening to podcasts (?Stuff You Should Know
from HowStufWorks is my favourite one?)
and Bon Iver (?I think he?s the finest
songwriter alive?) and working things out.
?Me, now not drinking, I like myself
but I?m socially awkward. I?d rather be sitting
with bandmates, my family. I?m 41. I know
what I want.?
And that is?
?Peace. I want to make sure that every day
of my life I take a moment and realise
everything is calmer. I?ve learned how to
meditate, learned how to do qigong.
Learned a whole load of practices that I do
every day. They mitigate the madness.
The greatest thing I ever did for my own
emotional wellbeing was to talk.?
And if we went back 20 years, and said
here are the successes, here are the demands
it?ll make on you mentally, personally,
physically ? would you have taken it?
?I would have taken it for half the
successes. I can?t believe what happened to
us. I still can?t believe when I look back at it,
at everything that is successful that has been
good. At everything that is still happening.
It?s a dream. It?s a bloody dream.?
Nobody gives away vinyl any more. Right? WRONG!
At The Big Issue, we do things diferently. We?ve teamed up with Snow Patrol to
bring readers a very special exclusive record.
Polydor have pressed 2,000 copies of the new Snow Patrol track Soon, from
comeback album Wildness. This vinyl is ONLY available to readers of The Big Issue.
The track is Gary Lightbody?s heartbreaking song for his father, who is being taken
by Alzheimer?s.
We?re giving away a special acoustic version of the song that is not available
anywhere else.
?I?m delighted that we can do this with The Big Issue,? said Lightbody. ?My
intention behind the song was to try
and unite me and my dad.
?We?re all living longer now and
these are the things that happen when
we live longer. So one day this will
happen to me, if I live long enough.
So I wanted to connect me and my
dad in the moment today, but also to
connect as we were. And that I think
means the most.
?We made a video for Soon
[pictured]. It?s me and my dad, sitting at home watching home movies. It?s fucking
brilliant. It?s really funny as well.
?It was a really beautiful day. Just him and me sitting together.?
To claim your copy, go to the link www.snowpatrol.com/soonvinylexclusive
and where prompted enter the codeword starfighter before ?lling in your details to
get the needle on the record. Be warned. It?s ?rst come, ?rst served. But please don?t
share this link online. Keep this for Big Issue supporters and real Snow Patrol fans.
Show your love for Snow Patrol ? and The Big Issue ? by posting a pic of yourself
with this mag @bigissue / @bigissueuk and we?ll share it with the band!
Wildness is out now. @pauldmcnamee
THE BIG ISSUE / p25 / May 28-June 3 2018
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THE KING AND I
I took a tiny role in the BBC?s King Lear
to work alongside my hero Sir Anthony Hopkins,
says Christopher Eccleston
When I heard the BBC were doing King Lear with to be in the rehearsal room. Especially because
Anthony Hopkins, I wrote to Piers Wenger, controller also I knew that I was going on to play Macbeth
of BBC drama, and said I would like to audition for this year.
I wanted to learn and pay my respects. It was
a role. I am never seen for classical roles and I think
that is to do with my background ? which is ironic, everything I thought it would be and more. There were
because Tony is the son of a baker and grew up in actors like Emma Thompson, Jim Carter, Andrew Scott
Port Talbot.
? and we would see him do something and glance at
The casting director didn?t want me. I suggested each other, as if to say, ?I can?t believe I am here seeing
myself for a number of roles and was ?nally this.? Tony is now 80. He is bringing a lifetime of
offered Oswald. When I walked into the experience to Shakespeare?s greatest role, a man
rehearsal room, the director Richard Eyre confronted with his own mortality.
said: ?Why are you here? Oswald is a small
In our ?rst scene I get in the way of the Hopkins
role, and we?ve made him even smaller.? I rage. He pushes me to the ground. The last thing
just pointed at Tony Hopkins and said: an actor needs is somebody stood there in awe, so I
?Because of him.?
just did the job. But you get a great sense of play with
When I was at
him, he wants to do the scene with
drama school, I got
you ? you are not there to feed him
a job as an usher
lines. It was one of the greatest
at the National
professional experiences of my life.
Theatre. One of the
An ambition achieved. And he did eat
shows in 1985 was
beans on toast, so my memory of him
Pravda, written
was correct!
by David Hare
Growing up, I didn?t go to the
and Howard
theatre. I had a huge amount of
Brenton,where
baggage about Shakespeare not being
theycombined
for me. Tony has a visceral, physical,
Slick: Hopkins in Pravda in 1985
the figures
instinctive working-class approach
of Robert Maxwell and Rupert and seeing that made me feel I had a chance. I have
Murdoch and made him a South since discovered quite how hard doing Shakespeare
Africannewspapereditor.Tony the way Tony does it is.
I made Macbeth, which I am doing at the moment,
Hopkins walked on stage in a
boxsuitwithslicked-backhair happen by writing directly to the RSC. It must be
andhisperformancechanged frustrating for actors who don?t have my level of
mylife.Healwaysseemedlike exposure to see me get the role. I have ruthlessly
hemightleavethestageatany exploited the fact that I am a television face, and ?nd
minute. Or smash the entire myself coming up short. I am self-critical. You have to
place up. Or jump into the be. My performance has improved since press night
audience. But he was butittakesalifetime to get it the way it should be done.
completely in control of
I have seen Tony Hopkins do King Lear on stage in
what he was doing.
1987 and on camera in this. You can?t take your eyes
It was explosive. of the fella. If I am still here, I want to play Lear in
Animalistic.Electrifying. 30 years, so that is the other element to my pursuit
Ilearnedthattheatrecan of this role.
Shakespeare has been regarded as elitist and a
be as exciting to watch as
sport. It made me feel like I revolutionhas to happen. I hope the BBC will be really
was watching George mindful of gender-blind and colour-blind casting.
Best play football, Alex It is happening in theatre and needs to happen
?Hurricane? Higgins play with Shakespeare on screen. We need to throw the
snooker, or Nastase and net wider and get more sons and daughters of bakers
McEnroe play tennis.
playing the leads.
Then I would go backstage
andseehimeatingbeansontoaston King Lear is on BBC Two on May 28 at 9.30pm and will be
his own. I knew that was the kind on iPlayer. Macbeth is playing at the RSC in Stratford and
of actor I wanted to be. So when is at the Barbican in London from October. Christopher
King Lear came up, I just wanted Eccleston was speaking to Adrian Lobb. @adey70
THE BIG ISSUE / p27 / May 28-June 3 2018
CROSSTOWW
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THE ENLIGHTENMENT
Books
A Bon Jovi road trip page 30
TV
New parenthood laid bare page 35
EXHIBITION
BATTLE SCARS
One hundred years on from the end of World War 1 is a time to look back and
reflect on the horror and futility. A new exhibition at Tate Britain explores the
immediate impact of the conflict on art, collecting together more than
150 works showing how artists documented and dealt with the deep physical
and psychological scars, across divides. This picture, titled Prostitute and
Disabled War Veteran. Two Victims of Capitalism is by the German artist Otto
Dix, while English landscapist Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson captured
Ypres After the First Bombardment, painted in 1916.
Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain,
June 5?September 20
THE BIG ISSUE / p29 / May 28-June 3 2018
Music
Tokio Myers on piano?s forte page 36
BOOKS
JOHNNY RUIN
Jon the Divine
T
he ?rst lie I tell about my debut motivation and mentorship. Workshops
novel, Johnny Ruin, is that it became group therapy. Words arrived more
took me six months to write. In easily. After two years of being unable to
reality, I?d been chewing the idea write, I ?nished a ?rst draft in six months.
I?d be lying if I said the draft was any good.
for a decade. When I eventually sat down to
write the book, in 2015, it poured out. But But it had promise. I left it a month, then
the truth is it took me 10 years to write a dusted it of and pared it down, carved out
novel in six months.
Johnny Ruin is about a man
Jon Bon Jovi is a tonic to the bad
on a road trip through his
medicine of modern life
mind with Jon Bon Jovi.
Heartbroken, depressed, and
on a mission to ?x himself, the
narrator is unable to separate
the facts of his life from the
?ctions, from the lies he has
spun to cope.
But he has help. Jon Bon
Jovi, part spirit guide, part sage,
steers him across the landscape
of his memory, a journey that
looks a lot like a road trip across
the US, only the States are
states of mind; lust, jealousy,
anger. Jon is full of wise words,
wise cracks, and whiskey,
another ?ction conjured by a
narrator who can?t handle his
thoughts and feelings.
The second lie I tell is that I
am not my main character. In
2015 I was coming out of a
major depression. If you?ve
never had a depressive episode,
I can?t recommend it. I couldn?t
write, couldn?t read. I had little
patience and less motivation. I was ?attened,
fatigued, and fed up.
It was a good place to start.
I borrowed parts of my life ? the
depression, the divorce. I gave him a handful
of my memories, embellished and omitted
wherenecessary.Keptenoughdistancefrom
facts to re?ect on my actions. The arti?ce
allowed for an emotional honesty I might
otherwise struggle to ?nd.
Fiction might not be true, but it has to
feel true. The easiest way to do that is to
the story. By the time I was done, a draft or
write as little ?ction as possible.
When people ask you can always say: No, three later, I?d cut 30,000 words. I tend to
say everything twice, so edits are easy. I tend
I made that up.
The truth is, back in 2015 I was a mess. to say everything twice, so I just choose the
Between my job and my brain, I was best way I said it.
In other words, for every three words I
struggling to stay a?oat. So I joined a writing
course. It gave me the structure and support wrote, I kept two.
If you?ve never written a novel, I can?t
I desperately needed. In class I found
?For all the
agony it
inflicts, writing
is the purest
joy I know?
THE BIG ISSUE / p30 / May 28-June 3 2018
recommend it. It?s an exercise in constant,
abject failure. Writing is something I resort
to when I absolutely can?t avoid it, when it?s
the only way to make sense of the world.
When people ask, I always say that I don?t
like writing, that I prefer editing.
Something I never admit is that I love
to write.
For all the agony it in?icts,
it?s the purest joy I know. We all
spin ?ctions, it?s human nature.
But when you live with a brain
that makes you feel second-incommand, writing is the rare
time I get to be in control.
Well, that?s not entirely true.
Fictional characters have a
habit of going of piste, despite
your protests. The characters
in Johnny Ruin crashed cars,
killed friends, stole horses. I
mean, you try telling Jon Bon
Jovi what to do.
The difference between
?ction and reality is you can
edit fiction. You can make
?ction neat. You can iron out
the creases. Reality is rarely so
tidy. This story of my book
certainly isn?t.
I?m skipping ahead: I
finished it, found an agent.
Everything was going to plan.
The problem was, no one
wanted to publish it. They loved
the book, they said. But they
passed. I always say that I don?t like writing.
What I began considering was that maybe
writing didn?t like me.
After some 20 rejections and a lot of
alcohol, a publisher called Unbound
ofered me a deal. With Unbound, readers
crowdfund books they want to read. It was
a risk. But it was also my only ofer. I said
yes. Johnny Ruin funded in just nine days, a
record at the time.
It was released in March this year to rave
reviews. As Jon might say: Keep the faith.
So maybe I lied when I said this story
didn?t have a neat ending. The
trouble is I have a habit of
making things up. True story.
Johnny Ruin by Dan Dalton
is out now
(Unbound, �.99)
Photo : Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images
Dan Dalton?s narrator is on a road trip through his troubled mind with Jon Bon Jovi.
Dalton says it?s definitely not about him ? and why would a professional storyteller lie?
READ MORE FROM...
REVIEWS
JANE GRAHAM
VISIT BIGISSUE.COM
UNDER THE ROCK / THE OFFLINE PROJECT
TOP 5 CELEBRITYSTARRING BOOKS
HELEN M CCLORY
Rock solid
Jane Graham revels in the contemplative northern
tones of a landscape writer on top of his game
THE LACUNA
by Barbara Kingsolver
This gorgeous book is
narrated by the cook to
the gloriously complex and
vibrant Frida Kahlo. So naturally you
get a fair bit of Diego Rivera,
and a nice Trotsky cameo too (well,
not so nice for Trotsky, if you know
your history).
Illustration: Dom McKenzie
T
he genre of British ?place?
writing has exploded in the
last five years and made
literary superstars of its best
proponents. Mesmerising wordsmiths
like Helen Macdonald, Horatio Clare
and literary national treasure Robert
Macfarlane have given rise to an
industry of ornithologists, geologists,
entomologists and etymologists who take
us rocking and rolling over the British
landscape, singing songs of past dwellers
and personal woes as they go. In general,
the genre has held up well, with glints of
diamondoftenfoundgleamingamongthe
inevitable slew of copyists. But few are as
impressive as the formidable Benjamin
Myers, who has developed a voice as pure
and authentic as it is stark, honest and
resolutely northern.
Durham-born Myers began his writing
career as a music journalist, but didn?t take
long to ?nd his true calling in novels, poetry
and nature writing. Under The Rock: The
Poetry of a Place is a kind of autobiographicaljourney,detailinghisleavingLondonand
setting up home in West Yorkshire, where he
discovers, and becomes enchanted by, a
magni?cent local hillside crag; Scout Rock.
He spends his days investigating The Rock,
excavating its legends, its language (?stubb,
slack, holme, broad, crag?) its dark and
terrible past of deaths, ?oods and suicides,
and its place in literature (including being
the subject of Ted Hughes? penetrating and
possibly grief-ridden gaze).
Myersisacommittedscholarofliterature
as well as land, and calls on a wide range of
witnesses, including Sylvia Plath,
Wordsworth, DH Lawrence and Wendell
Berry. His premise ? that memory, myth
and the romantic instinct make an
unremarkable place remarkable ? is well
served by his forensic and empathetic
scrutiny of Calderdale?s chequered history.
He rightly says that much recent place
writing has over-romanticised the bucolic,
and he doesn?t bypass the social problems of
rural Yorkshire. At the same time, his
often-alliterative lyricism ? a seemingly
efortless style which must demand hours of
headachey commitment ? creates an overall
sense of dreamy, quiet beauty, born of love
for the lie of the land. He is an obsessive
wanderer and thinker, a sombre fellow. With
Myers, you get a lot of rock, but not many lols.
I?m all the more impressed by Myers?
con?dent strides because I remember him as a
young pup starting his writing career atMelody
Maker in the mid-Nineties. The ?ush-faced,
indecently enthusiastic boy has become a
prodigious, awe-incurring writer, but he hasn?t
left young Ben behind completely; there is a
rhythm in his poetry which I like to think is
enhanced by his continued passion for all kinds
ofmusic,fromdancetopunktofolk.Themelody
maker is still in there, hypnotising his readers
like a Pied Piper, leading them right to the
ragged ruinous reef that is The Rock. (No, not
Stone ?Enge, you at the back; don?t be childish.)
Welsh writer Dan Tyte?s The Offline
Project caught me unawares. This endearing
novel, about a man whose life is so damagingly
dependent on social media the only antidote is
to attempt an existence wholly offline, came
with little fanfare. But it is an exceptionally
funny, well-observed and street-smart book,
as self-aware as it is sensitive. The dialogue is
as authentic as any I?ve read this year, almost
as if Tyte has secretly recorded conversations
andsimplytranscribedthemwordforword.His
descriptive, scene-setting powers are equally
evocative. If critics do their jobs and seek it out,
it should win lots of awards.
Words: Jane Graham @janeannie
Under The Rock: The Poetry of a Place
by Benjamin Myers
(Elliott & Thompson, �.99)
The Offline Project
by Dan Tyte
(Grafeg, �99)
THE BIG ISSUE / p31 / May 28-June 3 2018
JUST KIDS
by Patti Smith
Obligatory bio time: Smith
recounts her wild years in
Sixties New York City and
her relationship with photographer
Robert Mapplethorpe with beauty,
honesty and power.
A BRIEF HISTORY
OF SEVEN KILLINGS
by Marlon James
A wide-ranging novel that
covers among other things
the attempted assassination of Bob
Marley in 1976 in Jamaica. James won
the Booker for this, in a unanimous
decision by the judges. See for
yourself why.
FEMINIST RYAN
GOSLING
by Danielle
Henderson
Sometimes a meme
becomes a book, and that book is just
a little parcel of joy. Using a handsome
celebrity to unite smart snippets of
feminist theory with humour is a stroke
of genius, and then there are all the
pictures of your man there, just the
icing on top.
JEFF BRIDGES
by Donora Hillard
Poems on The Dude
himself as a kind of
guardian angel to a poetic
life. An example: ?You are sitting at my
kitchen table / and Jef Bridges is in
California. / It is either very late or very
early. / I am sorry for shaking the table,
/ for shaking so many legged things.?
The Goldblum Variations
by Helen McClory is
released on May 31
(404 Ink, �
FILM
READ MORE FROM...
EDWARD LAWRENSON
VISIT BIGISSUE.COM
Seeing double
Fran鏾is Ozon?s latest movie sees an ex-model?s trip to a psychiatrist turn
into a complex love triangle involving warring twin brothers
F
ran鏾is Ozon?s last ?lm was the
World War One drama Frantz. It
was a sombre, restrained work
(shot in black and white, or shades
of graveyard grey) that I admired a great
deal. I like his new ?lm L?Amant Double
too, but whereas Frantz maintained a
decorous poise, this latest is unruly and
lurid, an exhilarating splurge of bad taste
after a bout of scrupulously maintained
good behaviour.
Returning to his roots in cut-glass camp
and twisty psychodrama, Ozon begins with
a moment of provocation: an anatomically
explicit close-up (which, in a stunning
transition, dissolves into a weeping eye).
Both body parts belong to Chlo�, a 25-yearold former model complaining to her doctor
of chronic stomach pains. Having
examined Chlo�, her doctor declares her
physically ?t, and recommends a therapist
to treat her ailment.
So, Chlo� (Marine Vacth) meets Paul
(J閞閙ie Renier), a young shrink with a
serious-minded expression under neatly
parted blond hair. Apropos of her tummy
ache, he informs her that ?the stomach is
a second brain?, a pronouncement that has
a certain folksy wisdom to it but did make
me doubt his medical quali?cations.
Nonetheless Chlo�s depressive state
lifts, so Paul must be doing something right.
Well, indeed: turns out the two have, over
the course of a number of sessions, fallen
for one another. Claiming to be cured,
Chlo� dispenses with Paul?s therapeutic
services, and engages him as her lover,
moving into his ?at with her cat Milo. But young woman is caught between
Milo ? in a performance of feline subtlety competing feelings for the two men.
? remains unconvinced about Paul.
It?s a whole casebook of erotic desire
Perhaps Chlo� does too, or at least her and emotional attachment. Ozon doesn?t
suspicions are triggered when she sees Paul so much attempt to disentangle the mess
with another woman on her way to work. as enter into the chaos. Chlo� tries to
Paul denies it, and after some discover the cause of these twins? fall out,
but the closer she gets to
rudimentary detective
some kind of truth the
work, Chlo� realises she
more sl ipper y a nd
has mistaken Paul?s
FINAL REEL
identical twin brother
delirious
the ?lm becomes.
This week Pandora?s Box, the
Louis (also played by
At
the
start of the ?lm
1929 German silent film, is
Chlo� pokes her ?ngers in
Renier) for her doting and
reopened ? or at least enjoys
a potted plant while she
uxorious boyfriend.
a limited theatrical
s waiting for
If you ?nd such a plot
run. From director
h
er
first
development unlikely,
GW Pabst, it?s a
ppointment
then the unravelling
complex, powerful,
with Paul ?
shenanigans are not for
erotically charged
you: filmed with silky
nd produces a
melodrama centred
elegance L?Amant Double
mall
clump of
around a young
is outwardly a model of
arth. I suspect
showgirl in Weimer-e
arthouse re?nement, but
she wanted to know if the
Germany. Louise Brooks is
it lurches from one
plant was real or not. One
electrifying in the lead role: one
improbable set-up to
might wonder the same
of the defining performances
another like a potboiler
thing about the events in
of early cinema.
written to a midnight
L?Amant Double, a ?lm that
deadline. Chlo� signs up
under analysis looks pretty
as a client with Louis without telling Paul. daft and empty. But by its ?nal stages ? a
She claims to be doing so in order to ?nd feverish onslaught of visceral horror,
out more about her lover, but there are confusing gun?re, bad techno and a dollop
other reasons too.
of lube ? I was past asking questions
Louis is unprincipled, brutish self- and had long surrendered to its
absorbed (attributes signalled by the sheer exuberance.
bad-boy quif that Renier sports in this dual L?Amant Double is in cinemas from
role): he?s the double of the title, but he?s June 1
also Paul?s opposite, and when his sessions
with Chlo� move into his bedroom the Edward Lawrenson @EdwardLawrenson
THE BIG ISSUE / p33 / May 28-June 3 2018
TV
READ MORE FROM...
LUCY SWEET
VISIT BIGISSUE.COM
OUT AND ABOUT
GRAPHIC SCENES
The 1930s loom heavily this week. Printing
A New World: Commercial Graphics
In The 1930s (until August 19, South
Kensington, London; vam.ac.uk) shows how
European and American graphic designers
of the time communicated a new aesthetic
? one of idealism amid the dizzying jolt of
the new ? to the public, blurring the lines
between art and commerce, their influence
still keenly felt in modern advertising
and marketing.
Staying in that pivotal decade, and soon
coming to the end of its relatively short
run, Rationalism On Set: Glamour &
Modernity In 1930s Italian Cinema (until
June 24, Canonbury, London; artfund.
org) digs, as the name suggests, into the
Italian cinema of the 1930s to show how the
incredible and highly influential sets were
built. It also explores ? via photographs,
clips and sketches ? the cultural influence
they had in terms of communicating key
architectural trends to the Italian public.
Staying with the cinematic theme, the
Sundance Film Festival (May 31 to June
3, Piccadilly, London; picturehouses.com)
is a four-day bonanza of the most exciting
and interesting new independent films,
many of which will be coming over from the
?mother? festival in Utah.
As we reach a century since the ending of
The Great War, Aftermath: Art In The
Wake Of World War One (June 5 to
September 23, Pimlico, London; tate.org.uk)
looks at how this global conflict impacted on
the art of the time. It also considers how the
European artists themselves wove in themes of
politics as well as dissecting the psychological
and human ramifications of battle into their
work long after the war ended.
Wheee! International Children?s Theatre
& Dance Festival 2018 (until June 3,
Nottingham; lakesidearts.org.uk) is a family
event that brings performers from around
Europe and Canada to perform and run
workshops, with the
highlight being a dance
theatre adaptation of
The Princess & The Pea.
Eamonn Forde
@Eamonn_Forde
Milking it
The Letdown celebrates the fuzzy warmth of new
parenthood ? confusion, terror and the judgment of others
M
y memories of early motherhood
involve (in no particular
order): medieval gynaecological
tortures, lack of sex, lack of sleep, vicious
arguing, feeling like an impostor, boredom,
despair, moments of unexpected joy ?
sometimes in inexplicable situations (ie:
while wiping up shit at 3am) and lots and
lots of cofee shops.
Hmm, what else? Oh yes, mother and
baby groups featuring
annoying women being
pointlessly competitive, constant paranoid
checking of Mumsnet,
trying to freelance
while babies wail in the
background, being told
off for careless road
crossing by an old lady,
drinking lots of wine,
losing friends, feeling
judged, feeling lost,
feeling abandoned by my husband who had
the temerity to go to work, losing my sense
of identity and feeling frustrated that I?d
been demoted to Chief Kitchen Floor
Sweeper. Oh and let us not forget the
bizarre necessity of singing Wind the
Fucking Bobbin Up 867,099 times a day.
So when my friend, who is just entering
into this arena of the stained and insane,
raved about The Letdown, an Australian
TV show that came to Net?ix last month,
I thought I?d give it a go. I mean, I?m now
in the pre-teen stages of motherhood, far
enough away from babyhood to be able
to smoke a cheroot and say sage things
like ?It?ll get easier?, with the knowledge
that I can get a full eight hours of sleep and
will never have to clean up a pee puddle
in a soft play centre again.
However, I wasn?t prepared for being
hurledbacktherelikeabowlofpureedsweet
potato dashed against the wall. The old
episotomy scar started throbbing when
protagonist Audrey (Alison Bell, who
co-wrotetheserieswithSarahScheller)tried
to get her pram up the stairs at the mother
and baby support group, a group about as
supportive as a knackered nursing bra,
populated with the good, the bad, the
judgemental and the
utterlyhateful.The?rst
failed post-natal shag,
complete with worried
Googling half way
through, is brilliantly
depicted. And all that
latching on, all that
unsolicited advice, all
that tortured fumbling
around in the dark
are amusingly and
fearlessly tackled. They
even cover the heartbreaking moment, as
bad as any third-degree tear, when you
realise some friendships aren?t going to last
the distance.
While it isn?t exactly groundbreaking
subject matter, The Letdown strikes a good
balance with broad comedy taking the edge
of the sheer visceral nipple-biting horror
of it all ? and it?s got a warmth and honesty
that similar parenthood comedies (like
Motherland ) didn?t achieve. Bell?s
performance is a bed-headed, muddled,
efortlesslyrelatabletreat,andwhethershe?s
leaving her baby outside, falling asleep in the
cot or crying on the bus, you?re with her all
the way. If you?re a new parent, an old parent
or a parent-to-be, watch it and weep.
?It takes the
edge off the
sheer visceral
nipple-biting
horror of it all?
THE BIG ISSUE / p35 / May 28-June 3 2018
Lucy Sweet @lucytweet1
INTERVIEW
HIGH
The Classic Brit Awards return next month after a ?ve-year
rest. Tokio Myers, the winner of last year?s Britain?s Got Talent,
leads the field alongside Dame Vera Lynn and film and TV
composer Hans Zimmer. This diverse bunch are each up for
awards; it has already been announced that Myers will be
named Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
?Bloody hell, it?s up there with the best of the best,? Myers says
of his competition. The classically trained pianist stormed through
the BGT process with his musical mash-ups that mixed Debussy
with Sheeran and Beethoven with Adele. A record deal was part of
the prize. ?For me it?s more interesting the fact my album isn?t a
classical album.?
Looking at the list of nominations, it?s bizarre to think they could
fall under one banner. Myers? Our Generation is up against
releases from gameshow favourites Alexander Armstrong and
Bradley Walsh, Ball & Boe, Dame Vera and Roy Orbison. The
nominees in the Male Artist of the Year category are at least all
still alive: Myers, German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, composer Max
Richter, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the cellist who was the toast of the
royal wedding, and again, the Pointless Alexander Armstrong.
?Classical music is one of the broadest genres,? Myers explains.
?It always has been. You had Baroque, Renaissance, Mozart,
Rachmaninof, Gershwin ? classical music was always a broad genre
anyway, so here we are in the 21st century adding to the broadness.?
The Oicial Charts Company reports that classical music
streams rose 52 per cent in the ?rst two months of 2018 alone,
surpassing 10 million streams every week except one. Why the
resurgence? Perhaps in part it?s down to the massive exposure
Myers had, his music acting as a gateway to classical compositions.
?It seems to have gone down that route, unexpectedly and
unintentionally,? he says. ?I was oblivious, I thought everybody
listened to classical music at some point but it?s only since being
on the show and afterwards that I?ve realised that?s not the case.
?I think there is an element of educating people. You can put
strings and brass together with a big heavy distorted beat and you
can dance and rave and have a good time. Then we can go straight
into a piece which is just stripped-down piano and have people?s
attention. It feels like now is the time to be doing that kind of stuf.?
Myers believes the rediscovery of classical by a younger
generation is thanks to the diferent way we consume music today.
KEY
Pianist Tokio Myers grew up in a London
tower block, won Britain?s Got Talent
and is now the toast of the Classic Brits
?Back in the day, most kids would have one style of
music they listen to because you?d go to your particular
area in HMV and you?d stick there. You wouldn?t go into rock
or pop or jazz or classical,? he says.
?The one in Oxford Circus, which I used to go to, every other
genre was on the ground ?oor, except classical music which has
its own ?oor. You had to get an escalator to go up but no one ever
would because you wouldn?t want to be seen to be that kid.
?Now, with streaming sites, people hit play and let the internet
dictate where they travel to.?
It?s a clich� to say acts on Britain?s Got Talent have to turn up
with a sob story, but Myers? background didn?t need any exploitative
TV treatment. He grew up on the 16th ?oor of a council tower
block and was practising piano at St George?s School in Maida Vale
when his headteacher, Philip Lawrence, was stabbed to death
outside the gates in 1995.
Ahead of his BGT audition, Myers said: ?Music was a way of
releasing any kind of negative energy and putting it into something
positive. Playing piano kept me out of a lot of trouble.?
He believes cutting funding to arts will have damaging
consequences. ?Creative arts are a form of expression and freedom,
and I feel human beings are put on to Earth to do just that.
Unfortunately society puts us in these little suits to go to school
to set you up for a nine-to-?ve job. We?re not here for that, we?re
here to create in all forms, whatever it is. To take that away from
anyone is cruel. You can see the outcome.?
He seems proudest of the fact that his sold-out UK tour was
attended by all types of people of all ages. And the afect his music
has on them is profound. People cry as they dance.
?There will be big moments when the drums are there and
they?ll be singing the lyrics that are quite sad and quite re?ective,
and I?ve seen grown women, holding their partners literally
dancing and crying at the same time ? and it?s beautiful.
?It did throw me of at ?rst but I?m starting to get used to it.
That?s the power of music.?
Our Generation is out now. Tokio Myers will perform at
the Classic Brits, held at the Royal Albert Hall on June 13
classicbrits.co.uk
Interview: Steven MacKenzie @stevenmackenzie
THE BIG ISSUE / p36 / May 28-June 3 2018
MUSIC
READ MORE FROM...
MALCOLM JACK
VISIT BIGISSUE.COM
Flash forward
I
Myers told his BGT audition in 2016 that music
had kept him out of trouble
t?s exactly 50 years since The Rolling
Stones released Jumpin? Jack Flash.
Back in those heady days of the late
spring of 1968, Mick Jagger?s ?edgling sexual
legend was such that he still as yet had no
knownchildren,whiletheworld?smosthighfunctioning derelict Keith Richards ? a man
who, as Del Preston speculates in Wayne?s
World 2, ?cannot be killed by conventional
weapons? ? still had some of his own teeth.
That groovy Delta blues ?esta has since
gone on to become the most performed song
in the quintessential English rock?n?roll
band?s entire, mammoth 56-year repertoire,
and thus one of the most performed songs
of all time. There are at least 1,135
documented inclusions
of Jumpin? Jack Flash in
Stones setlists at the
time of writing ? a ?gure
that?s rising with every
night of their latest,
feverishly anticipated
No Filter tour. To put
that ?gure in some kind
of perspective, imagine
every time you?ve pulled
your socks on, or cooked
the dinner, or done the dishes for basically
the last three-and-a-bit years, and that?s
how many times Keef has twanged that
iconic clanging rif and Mick has prattled
on about toothless bearded hags and
frowning at breadcrumbs (acid?s a hell of a
drug) while ?ouncing about like a chifon
scarf on a mop handle in front of an adoring
audience. Wild, right?
?Youjustjumpontherifanditplaysyou,?
enthuses Richards in his biography, on the
eternal ecstasy of Jumpin? Jack Flash.
?Matter of fact, it takes you over,? he
foppishly mumbles. ?An explosion would be
the best way to describe it. It?s the one that I
would immediately go to if I wanted to
approachthestateofnirvana.?Andthisfrom
a man who?s been to the state of nirvana so
manytimeshe?sgotatimesharebythebeach!
How does one band, much less one single
song, remain so endlessly popular and
inspiring? When time ?nally does cease to
be on The Rolling Stones? side ? and not even
Richards can defy the ageing process forever
? what then? Will ?oodlights fade to black
and chill winds blow tumbleweeds through
deserted stadiums, guitars be locked away
in ?ight cases for evermore, and everyone
THE BIG ISSUE / p37 / May 28-June 3 2018
go home and just resign themselves to a life
of doing the dishes? Maybe.
The Rolling Stones are, it scarcely
requires stating, the greatest rock?n?roll
band of all time, no contest. Quite apart from
Jumpin? Jack Flash, they?ve written more
shufflin?, shakin?, boogyin?, lovin?, tumblin?
good hits than you?ve made hot dinners. And
as we?ve already established, you?ve made a
lot of hot dinners.
But the Stones? enduring appeal goes way
beyond simply the songs and the shows and
the decadence and Ronnie Wood?s
charmingly blithe unawareness of what
planet he?s on. Sure, they get a little slower,
a little less powerful, a little less potent and
a lot more ridiculous
with every passing tour.
Granted, they possibly
should have quit years
if not decades ago. Yet
there remains something so life-airmingly
defiant about their
insistence on rocking
until they can?t pull on
their own socks any
more. They are all of our
own futile inner battles to feel forever
young incarnate.
It?s worth noting that when the Stones
gave Jumpin? Jack Flash its live debut on May
12 1968 at London?s Wembley Empire Pool
as part of the New Musical Express poll
winners? party, it eerily proved to be Brian
Jones? last performance with the band, and
thus the only ever known live performance
of the song by the third most-famous Stone
(sorry, Ronnie). Jones of course drowned in
his own swimming pool a year later.
No matter what Del Preston might think,
rock stars are destructible, and even
rock?n?roll itself is temporary and will one
day strut its way of of this mortal coil. If
there?s a thought to be had every time we are
privilegedenoughtohearMick,Keef,Ronnie
and Charlie crank up Jumpin? Jack Flash one
more time for what could be the last of
upwards of a thousand times, then it?s this:
have a gas, gas, gas while you still can, it could
all be over in a ?ash.
The Rolling Stones are on tour
around the UK until June 19,
rollingstones.com
Malcolm Jack @MBJack
Main photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images
Fifty years on, the ultimate Stones anthem shows no sign
of dating ? and will be a setlist staple of their UK tour
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
ENRO
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SUMMEROPENDAY
ENROL NOW FOR SEPTEMBER
Saturday 9th June 10am - 4pm
Visit WAES Lisson Grove to enrol for
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Tour our state-of-the-art classrooms, creative studios and workshops
Take part in activities and watch practical demonstrations
Enrol on the day and secure your September course place.
WAES Lisson Grove, 219 Lisson Grove, London NW8 8LW
Find out more at waes.ac.uk/opendays
Refreshments available
Find out what you need to bring to enrol at waes.ac.uk/enrol
020 7297 7297 | info@waes.ac.uk | www.waes.ac.uk |
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We need to raise �0,000 to buy a row of
garages with planning permission for three
3-bed houses.
Invest with us in the people's revolution to
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THE BIG ISSUE / p38 / May 28-June 3 2018
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To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
THE BIG ISSUE / p39 / May 28-June 3 2018
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
Mental illness and brain disorders will a?ect everyone?s
life at some ?me. One in four of us as direct su?erers.
Here at The Psychiatry Research Trust our sole aim is to
raise funds for mental health and brain disease research
being carried out at the interna?onally renowned Ins?tute
of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (KCL), Bethlem
and Maudsley hospitals. We aim to support research by
young scien?sts in a wide range of mental health topics,
including Alzheimer's and Motor Neurone Disease, Ea?ng
Disorders, Psycho?c Illness, Addic?ons and Childhood
Problems
WWW
Our target is not just to ?nd b???r treatments for su?erers
but also to understand the underlying causes of mental
illness and brain disease with the goal of ?nding means of
preven?ons and cures for these illnesses.
For further informa?on or to make a dona?on contact:
The Psychiatry Research Trust
PO 87, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF
Tel: 0207 703 6217 Web: www.psychiatryresearchtrust.co.uk
Email: psychiatry_research_trust@kcl.ac.uk
Donate on line at www.justgiving.com/psychiatryresearchtrust
Registered Charity Number 284286
THE BIG ISSUE / p40 / May 28-June 3 2018
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
HELPING PEOPLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
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Our website allows you to search for the perfect
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THE BIG ISSUE RECRUITMENT
THE BIG ISSUE / p41 / May 28-June 3 2018
ADVERTORIAL
ADVERTISING CLASSIFIEDS
To advertise: Jenny Bryan 020 3890 3744 / jennifer_Bryan@dennis.co.uk
The Socialist Party
aims at building a moneyless world community based
on common ownership and democratic control with production solely
for use not profit. It opposes all leadership, all war.
for 3 FREE issues of our monthly Socialist Standard write to:
The Socialist Party (BI), 52 Clapham High Street. London SW4 7UN
www.worldsocialism.org.bi
crisisinmentalhealth.org
A patient's experience of
The Mental Health Act 1983
Are your prayers for a partner
still going unanswered?
If so give God a chance to bring
the right person into your life.
Let Friends1st help!
Call for an exploratory chat today.
THE BIG ISSUE / p42 / May 28-June 3 2018
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WIN!
EARLY MAN
ON BLU-RAY
At the dawn of time, plasticine prehistoric creatures roamed the Earth? kinda. From
the creators of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, Early Man tells the story of
courageous caveman hero Dug (Academy Award-winner Eddie Redmayne) and
his best friend Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth
(Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City to save their home.
Leading Dug?s tribe of lovable mis?ts is Chief Bobnar (Timothy Spall) who is joined
by Treebor (Richard Ayoade), Magma (Selina Griffiths), Asbo (Johnny Vegas), Barry
(Mark Williams), Gravelle (Gina Yashere), Eemak (Simon Greenall) and Grubup (Richard
Webber). Maisie Williams voices Goona, the gallant and indomitable rebel who befriends
Dug and helps the tribe in their battle to beat the Bronze Age at their own game.
Also joining the stellar cast are Rob Brydon, who voices the Message Bird ? an ingenious
Bronze Age communication device ? Kayvan Novak as Dino, Lord Nooth?s assistant, and
Miriam Margolyes as Queen Oofeefa, ruler of the Bronze Age world.
Early Man is out now on digital download, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.
To be in with a chance of winning one of five Blu-ray copies
answer the question below:
What is the name of Wallace?s famous four-legged companion?
Send your answers with EARLY as the subject to:
competitions@bigissue.com or post to The Big Issue, 43 Bath Street,
Glasgow, G2 1HW. Include your name and address. Closing date is June 12.
Include OPT IN if you want to receive updates from The Big Issue.
We will not pass your details to any third party.
For full T&Cs see bigissue.com
THE BIG ISSUE / p44 / May 28-June 3 2018
GAMES & PUZZLES
SUDOKU
SPOT THE BALL
B
C
D
E
F
ISSUE 1308 SOLUTION
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
To win Paper Models by Frank Lloyd Wright,
(Last week?s
mark where you think the ball is,
Spot the Ball
cut out and send to:
revealed:
Spot the Ball (1309), 43 Bath St, Glasgow, Wimbledon v
G2 1HW, by June 5. Include name,
Liverpool
(1989)
address, phone no. Enter by email: send grid
position (eg A1) to competitions@bigissue.com.
PRIZE CROSSWORD
1
2
4
3
8
4
5
6
7
9
11
10
10
11
12
13
13
14
15
17
16
15
16
19
18
17
20
21
22
21
23
CRYPTIC CLUES
Across
1. Hit the greater part of
the satis?ed dwarf (7)
5. Has pickled part of
the jelly (5)
8. Small print
obtainable from
stone? (5)
9. An elector does not
have to vote to do
this (7)
10. Fearful? Perhaps
even I might be (12)
12. Coifure I had ? or
messy arrangement (6)
14. Becomes less of a
wild beast (6)
17. He is only thought to
be a man of property
(7,5)
21. Adjust torque about a
line that is invisible (7)
22. Victor losing his head
inside (5)
23. A rind developed at
the bottom (5)
24. Turning over in bed? (7)
24
To win a Chambers Dictionary, send completed crosswords (either cryptic or quick) to:
The Big Issue Crossword (1309), second floor, 43 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HW by
June 5. Include your name, address and phone number.
Issue 1307 winner is Edna Robinson from Tamworth
QUICK CLUES
Down
1. Run away with a door
fastener (4)
2. Become alert when it is
put in drink (3,2)
3. Knocked down, having
been stumped (7)
4. Detest having nothing in
the machine (6)
5. Ofence committed by a
lighterman? (5)
6. Key player? (7)
7. Talk of not being in
favour of poetry (8)
11. Number hire tent out (8)
13. Take legal possession of
�9? (7)
15. At the front of the ship
Heather is taking part
in a sport (7)
16. Worshipped a party
colour (6)
18. Tickled trout for
teacher (5)
19. Often nuisances partly
sufer from a feeling of
boredom (5)
20. Dress up for a card
game (4)
Across
1. Surmised (7)
5. Rank (5)
8. Written defamation (5)
9. Ofence (7)
10. Magnanimous (5-7)
12. In fact (6)
14. Relating to weddings (6)
17. Despair (12)
21. Cinders (anag.) (7)
22. Visual aspect of TV (5)
23. Slightly crazy (inf.) (5)
24. Omen (7)
Down
1. Swallow hard (4)
2. Glowing coal (5)
3. Rescue from
destruction (7)
4. Jet of water (6)
5. Venomous snake (5)
6. Modi?ed (7)
7. Regularly (8)
11. Drooped (8)
13. Down payment (7)
15. Knock down (3,4)
16. Exhausted (4,2)
18. Lay people (5)
19. Move obliquely (5)
20. In?ammation of
joints (4)
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Issue 1308 solution
CRYPTIC: Across ? 5 Bump; 7 Altogether; 8 Aida; 9 Punch-drunk; 12 Adonis; 13 Kissed; 14 Access; 16 Hoodoo; 17 Eyeglasses; 20 Oral; 21 Load of junk; 22 Idea.
Down ? 1 Damp; 2 Sten; 3 Geodes; 4 Shrunk; 5 Brake shoes; 6 Meddlesome; 10 Undeclared; 11 Cinderella; 15 Seesaw; 16 Halloo; 18 Slut; 19 Sikh.
QUICK: Across ? 5 Gulf; 7 Heptagonal; 8 Ours; 9 Diminuendo; 12 Delphi; 13 Shiest; 14 Cleric; 16 Leeway; 17 Admonished; 20 Stun; 21 Churchyard; 22 Acme.
Down ? 1 Chad; 2 Spam; 3 Agouti; 4 Ananas; 5 Gloominess; 6 Large-scale; 10 Idealistic; 11 Importance; 15 Campus; 16 Lunacy; 18 Head; 19 Dado.
THE BIG ISSUE / p45 / May 28-June 3 2018
Photos: Action Images
There is just one simple rule
in sudoku: each row, column
and 3 x 3 box must contain
the numbers one to nine.
This is a logic puzzle and you
should not need to guess.
The solution will be revealed
next week.
A
MY PITCH
Gerard Short, 57
CLIFTON TRIANGLE, BRISTOL
?At the moment I?m applying for two jobs?
ABOUT ME...
MY PASSION
Music?s my main love and I once
had the lead singer of Sad Caf�
in the pub where I worked. But
he had children with him so I
refused to serve him. I didn?t
know who he was until he told
me. But I said, I don?t care ? you
can?t have kids in here!
I?M A DOG LOVER
I don?t have a pet of my own,
but I love my customers? dogs.
India?s a Scottish terrier and she?s
soft as a brush. Another of my
favourites is Shadow, he?s docile
as anything.
ON MY
PITCH?
Tuesday-Friday from
7am till 2.30pm and
weekend mornings
I
was on the streets in
Glasgow when I started
selling The Big Issue.
I?d been moving around
the country, chasing work.
If the work ran out I?d go
somewhere else... Tranmere,
Redcar, Aylesbury. I?ve done
all sorts; coal miner, factory
work, cleaning, recycling. I
can turn my hand to anything.
But the work had dried
up so I was on the streets. I
was only out for about three
nights, so I was lucky. I saw
people selling The Big Issue
and I asked them where the
oice was. I went down on the
Monday and started selling
on the Tuesday. I was there
for six months, then I left
Glasgow and came to Bristol.
My regulars here are
excellent. I?ve got a base
of about 40 people at the
moment. It used to be a lot
more but some people have
left or I don?t see them any
more. It?s starting to pick up
again now. One customer
gave me a bottle of whisky for
Christmas, another gave me
a bottle for my birthday. One
year a guy said he?d moved and
hadn?t seen me in ages but had
come up to see me. He bought
a magazine and I nearly cried.
I had tears in my eyes.
I love my musicals. When
the Les Mis閞ables 25th
anniversary concert came to
the Hippodrome in Bristol I
went to the theatre and asked
if they had any cheap seats. I
got one in the stalls for �. It
was excellent. I was seeing it
for the ?rst time, but I?d heard
the music before. I saw Susan
Boyle at the Hippodrome as
well. Somebody gave me some
tickets so I kept one for myself
and gave the others away
in my Issues. That was an
excellent show as well.
I?m in a private rented
place now. The Big Issue
helped me get the ?at because
I had to save up for the
deposit. I was in a hostel at the
time but I managed to get a
THE BIG ISSUE / p46 / May 28-June 3 2018
two-month deposit together.
I?ve been here for seven years
now. I live on my own, so I
can listen to whatever music
I like. I love Roger Waters,
Eurythmics, Stereophonics.
My favourite is Roger Waters?
opera album 莂 Ira. I don?t
play music though, I just like
listening. And if I sing it rains.
At the moment, I?m
applying for two jobs. One?s
at Southmead Hospital as a
porter, because I get on well
with people. And I emailed my
CV to Bristol Waste for street
cleaning. I?ve also helped out
with co-ordinating Big Issue
distribution. I enjoyed that,
but my shoulders are starting
to go. One day I had to lift
200 magazines and I?ve got
arthritis in both shoulders.
I?ve had an operation on one
but it?s starting to come back
again. As you get older these
things get to you.
Interview: Sarah Reid
Photo: Sean Malyon
L I M I T E D R U N 2 3 M AY ? 9 J U N E
ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
ANTONY
IS
KING
LEAR
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
EXCEPTIONAL
Photo by Isaac James
THE GUARDIAN
TICKETS FROM �
MONUMENTAL
e personality that has
no relationship with reality. I could be having
the best time on the surface and yet my
depression goes, ?You?re still a cunt. Don?t
forget that. I?m dragging you down into the
ink and the dirt and the darkness?. I could be
playing to 15,000 people and three hours later
be in a hotel room crying on the ?oor. That?s
happened a bunch of times. The depression
and the success have no relation to each other.
It?s just part of me. I?ve learned that rather
than running from it, which you can never
really do ? you can never run away from
yourself ? is you have and turn and face it
and look it in the eye and say I?m not afraid
of you any more.?
And so he went home. Back to Northern
Ireland, to North Down where he was brought
up. It?s the place he was desperate to leave in
1994, when he ran to Dundee to start
university, to start the band, to start years of
chipping away with no success. Then he wrote
Run, and everything changed.
It?s easy, given their time away, to forget
just how huge Snow Patrol were for a period
from the mid to late Noughties. Nobody,
really, was bigger.
The song Chasing Cars, from fourth
album Eyes Open, was picked up for US hit
TV show Grey?s Anatomy and propelled them
to massive fame. Lightbody moved to Santa
Monica around 2009 (?Soon as my feet hit
the sand in Santa Monica something just
hit and I thought, I want to live here?).
Recently he claimed he?d moved back to
Northern Ireland because the band were
getting ready to work again and he needed to
be near them. But it feels like the truth is a
little more complicated.
?You?re right. There are quite a few reasons.
My dad isn?t well, my mum isn?t coping
very well and my niece is going to be 11 in
July. I?ve missed most of her life living in LA.
?And I missed home. It?s a time in Northern
Ireland as well when it feels like we?re at a bit
of a crossroads again. I felt a bit of a calling
back here. Not that I ?gure I can help in any
way, but I certainly won?t feel connected if
I?m 5,000 miles away. I wanted to reconnect.?
We?re meeting in the Crawfordsburn Inn,
the picture-postcard hotel not far from Gary?s
shorefront home, overlooking Belfast Lough.
It feels timely. We meet on the 20th
anniversary of a concert in Belfast?s
Waterfront Hall, hosted by U2, that helped
deliver a huge Yes vote in the referendum for
the Good Friday Agreement. In a nation
where de?ant Nos had been the lingua franca,
a Yes was signi?cant. A political statement
and a cleansing.
On that day, John Hume and David Trimble
were ushered onstage by Bono, a man with a
keen eye for a moment. U2 sang Don?t Let Me
Down. Ash were there too, being young and
hopeful. Twenty years on, as Lightbody says,
Northern Ireland is at a bit of a crossroads. And
he?s found his way home.
The album, Wildness, is worth the wait. If
Snow Patrol had touched on themes of
running and movement in the past, Wildness
has a leitmotif of ?nally settling. The word
?home? is laced through several songs. Two
tracks in particular illustrate what Snow
Patrol can really do ? the anthemic reach of
the huge, wondrous opening track Life on
Earth (a track that took Gary ?ve years to
complete), and the
intimacy of What If This
Is All The Love You Ever
Get?, a piece with just
Gary on piano, a
heartbreaker written
for a friend going through
a divorce.
The song Soon marks
another significant
theme. It deals with
Lightbody?s father Jack?s
battle with Alzheimer?s.
It?s a simple builder, full
of grace notes and
sadness. There is
something quietly heroic
in it. The video, ?lmed in
Lightbody?s apartment,
sees him and his father watching old home
movies his dad recorded through the years.
As well as the sadness over what his father
is losing, there is an understanding of a
farewell to lost youth, that the hopefulness
of that other country is worth revisiting
for both of them.
?I love my dad,? he says. ?I have a lot of
respect for him so I wanted to honour him,
but at the same time I also have a lot of guilt
for being away for most of my adult life. I
don?t just mean LA, I mean Glasgow, London,
or on tour constantly. And there is probably
a place in my head where I go when I?m feeling
homesick and that is both a place of calm
and nostalgia and also a place of guilt and
some shame.
?I?ve felt I?ve been running away, most of
the time from myself. So [he pauses]? some
of the home references are me feeling
disconnected rather than connected? feeling
like I?d never really found a home. I never truly
felt at home when I was growing up in
Northern Ireland. Then I left and never really
Snow Patrol, l-r, Johnny McDaid, Nathan Connolly,
Jonny Quinn, Lightbody and Paul Wilson; and (left)
Lightbody and McDaid with Ed Sheeran
Photo: Johnny McDaid/Instagram
feltathomeanywhereelse.AndthenImoved
backtoNorthernIrelandandnowIdofeelat
home here, but that has also coincided with
me feeling at home inside my own body.
Which was the whole problem the whole
time. I wasn?t comfortable with myself. I
didn?t like myself. So you have to ?gure that
out before you can feel at home anywhere.?
Theband?sin?uenceandlegacygobeyond
their own work. They?ve helped shape the
sounds that have become pervasive in
post-millennial pop.
Lightbody and band member Johnny
McDaid have written with, among others, Ed
Sheeran, Taylor Swift and One Direction.
Snow Patrol took Sheeran on the road in the
States in 2011, helping him break through.
They remain close.
?Between myself and Johnny McDaid
we?ve written a lot of things for other pop acts,
him more than me,? he says. ?I would say Ed
came fully formed from his ?rst album. He?d
done the groundwork. All the grafting that
you need to do, when you?re a young band. He
THE BIG ISSUE / p24 / May 28-June 3 2018
busked his ass of from the age of 15 on the
streets of London, sleeping on his mate?s
couch. He had turned up to gigs and said to
promoters,canyougiveme15minutesafter
the doors open. And promoters say aye. That?s
how he started. He grafted harder and still
does to this day ? harder than anyone I know.?
Sheeran?s returning the favour, taking the
band on an American tour in autumn.
Refusing to accept Snow Patrol as
fountainheads of a sound, Lightbody says they
are more like Zelig, ?probably bystanders?.
One got away, though. Mutual friend
James Corden introduced Lightbody to Adele.
?It happened to be a birthday of somebody
that James and Adele knew... and I sat down
with her and she said when are we going to
do [a song]. We did two days ? Adele, Johnny
McDaid and me ? the bones of three really
amazing fucking songs. But we never got
round to ?nishing it. And then the album
came out and obviously we weren?t on it.?
While his own album has just come out,
there is already pressure to get busy on the
next. Longtime producer, friend and mentor
Garret ?Jacknife? Lee has been in touch (?he
says we need to get cracking on the next one?).
For now, ahead of their own arena tour in
the winter, Lightbody is learning to cope,
FREE EXCLUSIVE
SNOW PATROL
7? SINGLE!
FOR SNOW PATROL FANS AND VINYL JUNKIES
Photo: Press
listening to podcasts (?Stuff You Should Know
from HowStufWorks is my favourite one?)
and Bon Iver (?I think he?s the finest
songwriter alive?) and working things out.
?Me, now not drinking, I like myself
but I?m socially awkward. I?d rather be sitting
with bandmates, my family. I?m 41. I know
what I want.?
And that is?
?Peace. I want to make sure that every day
of my life I take a moment and realise
everything is calmer. I?ve learned how to
meditate, learned how to do qigong.
Learned a whole load of practices that I do
every day. They mitigate the madness.
The greatest thing I ever did for my own
emotional wellbeing was to talk.?
And if we went back 20 years, and said
here are the successes, here are the demands
it?ll make on you mentally, personally,
physically ? would you have taken it?
?I would have taken it for half the
successes. I can?t believe what happened to
us. I still can?t believe when I look back at it,
at everything that is successful that has been
good. At everything that is still happening.
It?s a dream. It?s a bloody dream.?
Nobody gives away vinyl any more. Right? WRONG!
At The Big Issue, we do things diferently. We?ve teamed up with Snow Patrol to
bring readers a very special exclusive record.
Polydor have pressed 2,000 copies of the new Snow Patrol track Soon, from
comeback album Wildness. This vinyl is ONLY available to readers of The Big Issue.
The track is Gary Lightbody?s heartbreaking song for his father, who is being taken
by Alzheimer?s.
We?re giving away a special acoustic version of the song that is not available
anywhere else.
?I?m delighted that we can do this with The Big Issue,? said Lightbody. ?My
intention behind the song was to try
and unite me and my dad.
?We?re all living longer now and
these are the things that happen when
we live longer. So one day this will
happen to me, if I live long enough.
So I wanted to connect me and my
dad in the moment today, but also to
connect as we were. And that I think
means the most.
?We made a video for Soon
[pictured]. It?s me and my dad, sitting at home watching home movies. It?s fucking
brilliant. It?s really funny as well.
?It was a really beautiful day. Just him and me sitting together.?
To claim your copy, go to the link www.snowpatrol.com/soonvinylexclusive
and where prompted enter the codeword starfighter before ?lling in your details to
get the needle on the record. Be warned. It?s ?rst come, ?rst served. But please don?t
share this link online. Keep this for Big Issue supporters and real Snow Patrol fans.
Show your love for Snow Patrol ? and The Big Issue ? by posting a pic of yourself
with this mag @bigissue / @bigissueuk and we?ll share it with the band!
Wildness is out now. @pauldmcnamee
THE BIG ISSUE / p25 / May 28-June 3 2018
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TI
SH
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W
N
THE KING AND I
I took a tiny role in the BBC?s King Lear
to work alongside my hero Sir Anthony Hopkins,
says Christopher Eccleston
When I heard the BBC were doing King Lear with to be in the rehearsal room. Especially because
Anthony Hopkins, I wrote to Piers Wenger, controller also I knew that I was going on to play Macbeth
of BBC drama, and said I would like to audition for this year.
I wanted to learn and pay my respects. It was
a role. I am never seen for classical roles and I think
that is to do with my background ? which is ironic, everything I thought it would be and more. There were
because Tony is the son of a baker and grew up in actors like Emma Thompson, Jim Carter, Andrew Scott
Port Talbot.
? and we would see him do something and glance at
The casting director didn?t want me. I suggested each other, as if to say, ?I can?t believe I am here seeing
myself for a number of roles and was ?nally this.? Tony is now 80. He is bringing a lifetime of
offered Oswald. When I walked into the experience to Shakespeare?s greatest role, a man
rehearsal room, the director Richard Eyre confronted with his own mortality.
said: ?Why are you here? Oswald is a small
In our ?rst scene I get in the way of the Hopkins
role, and we?ve made him even smaller.? I rage. He pushes me to the ground. The last thing
just pointed at Tony Hopkins and said: an actor needs is somebody stood there in awe, so I
?Because of him.?
just did the job. But you get a great sense of play with
When I was at
him, he wants to do the scene with
drama school, I got
you ? you are not there to feed him
a job as an usher
lines. It was one of the greatest
at the National
professional experiences of my life.
Theatre. One of the
An ambition achieved. And he did eat
shows in 1985 was
beans on toast, so my memory of him
Pravda, written
was correct!
by David Hare
Growing up, I didn?t go to the
and Howard
theatre. I had a huge amount of
Brenton,where
baggage about Shakespeare not being
theycombined
for me. Tony has a visceral, physical,
Slick: Hopkins in Pravda in 1985
the figures
instinctive working-class approach
of Robert Maxwell and Rupert and seeing that made me feel I had a chance. I have
Murdoch and made him a South since discovered quite how hard doing Shakespeare
Africannewspapereditor.Tony the way Tony does it is.
I made Macbeth, which I am doing at the moment,
Hopkins walked on stage in a
boxsuitwithslicked-backhair happen by writing directly to the RSC. It must be
andhisperformancechanged frustrating for actors who don?t have my level of
mylife.Healwaysseemedlike exposure to see me get the role. I have ruthlessly
hemightleavethestageatany exploited the fact that I am a television face, and ?nd
minute. Or smash the entire myself coming up short. I am self-critical. You have to
place up. Or jump into the be. My performance has improved since press night
audience. But he was butittakesalifetime to get it the way it should be done.
completely in control of
I have seen Tony Hopkins do King Lear on stage in
what he was doing.
1987 and on camera in this. You can?t take your eyes
It was explosive. of the fella. If I am still here, I want to play Lear in
Animalistic.Electrifying. 30 years, so that is the other element to my pursuit
Ilearnedthattheatrecan of this role.
Shakespeare has been regarded as elitist and a
be as exciting to watch as
sport. It made me feel like I revolutionhas to happen. I hope the BBC will be really
was watching George mindful of gender-blind and colour-blind casting.
Best play football, Alex It is happening in theatre and needs to happen
?Hurricane? Higgins play with Shakespeare on screen. We need to throw the
snooker, or Nastase and net wider and get more sons and daughters of bakers
McEnroe play tennis.
playing the leads.
Then I would go backstage
andseehimeatingbeansontoaston King Lear is on BBC Two on May 28 at 9.30pm and will be
his own. I knew that was the kind on iPlayer. Macbeth is playing at the RSC in Stratford and
of actor I wanted to be. So when is at the Barbican in London from October. Christopher
King Lear came up, I just wanted Eccleston was speaking to Adrian Lobb. @adey70
THE BIG ISSUE / p27 / May 28-June 3 2018
CROSSTOWW
N
CONCERTS
W
P R E S E N T S
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10|08|18
PLUS
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WEDNESDAY 17 OCTOBER 2018
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THE ENLIGHTENMENT
Books
A Bon Jovi road trip page 30
TV
New parenthood laid bare page 35
EXHIBITION
BATTLE SCARS
One hundred years on from the end of World War 1 is a time to look back and
reflect on the horror and fut
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