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Browsing: Arts & Culture

After Halo, Bungie began working on Destiny: a sci-fi rpg looter-shooter which showed promise in the teasers and trailers building up to release: upon release players were frustrated at the lackluster campaign, lack of activities and little post-launch support. The one thing people found redeemable about Destiny was the endgame experiences: the Vault of Glass raid on Venus and the Nightfalls, which were strikes ramped up to 100 in difficulty. Once the first wave of DLC hit, Crota’s End and House of Wolves, the player base maintained itself only with hardcore fans: casual players didn’t really get to experience a…

One of the first games I played on the Xbox One back in 2014 was Sunset Overdrive: an open-world third person parkour shooter from the minds of Insomniac Games, who also developed Ratchet & Clank as well as Marvel’s Spider Man for the PS4. As this is one of my favourite games of all time, if not my number one choice, I decided to revisit the game to see if it was as great as I remember. Spoiler alert: it was.  The game puts you in the shoes of an unnamed character working at a concert for a world-famous energy…

Within the popular music of the 1980’s, Prince arguably had no challenger in the United States. Able to combine an immediately loveable style with sharp song writing, as well as creating prominent singles for albums like 1999 or Purple Rain Prince wrote a huge range of significant hits for other pop musicians. The latest in a huge unseen back-catalogue that is being posthumously released by Warner Brothers Records; Originals is a compilation of original versions of songs he gave to other musicians. The first thing to really mention about Originals is that it isn’t just a set of demos or…

June marked the 40th anniversary of one of the most iconic debuts of all time. Atmospheric, solemn and tortured, Unknown Pleasures may not have seen chart success upon its release but is now remembered as one of the most influential and impactful releases from the explosion of punk and the subsequent post-punk movement that sprouted from the initial wave, inspiring artists from contemporaries such as The Cure to later artists like Radiohead or Bloc Party. The Manchester band’s debut has such a legacy most notably in my view for the desolate and reverberant production from Martin Hannett, with even the…

Even within a fairly diverse and eclectic alternative scene of the 1990s in Britain, Stereolab stood out. Mixing a love for the raw and uncompromising attitude of The Velvet Underground with the melody of French pop in their early recordings, within a decade they had blossomed into a band capable of making deceptively complex, vibrant pop. Pretty much the only constants in their career were the sweet bilingual vocals and political lyrics of Laetitia Sadier alongside the guitarwork of Tim Gane, but they had a distinctive yet constantly progressing brand of music because of this. Their comeback tour, coming to…

This Is Not A Safe Place – Ride As a band managing to blend a noisy, wall of sound approach to rock music alongside pop melodies, Ride were a band beloved during their short heyday in the 1990’s and welcomed after their comeback album Weather Diaries in 2017. This Is Not a Safe Place is their second album since their return, and is by no means a poor relation to their more acclaimed previous material, in fact featuring some superb alternative rock. Opener R.I.D.E is one of the most unique songs on this album, with a synthetic vocal and one…

Released in February 2019, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new novel is one to make you laugh, cry and feel every emotion in between. Daisy Jones and The Six is a novel that, just like your favourite song, is one to stick with you for a long time. Everyone who knew something about music, or even if they didn’t, knew about Daisy Jones and The Six. They sold out arenas from coast to coast and their music helped to define the era. Every young girl in the 70s idolised Daisy, however on the 12th July 1979, the last concert of their Aurora…

There has been a new call by TV executives for an independent regulator to pick guests for reality television appearances, instead of networks choosing contestants, which may lead to networks selecting guests who will make the best television, despite any potential effects the shows might have on the contestant’s health. This comes following the death of Steve Dymond, a guest on the Jeremy Kyle Show, and the suicides of Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis. On BBC Radio 4, managing director Jonathan Stadlen said: “I think we need some independent body to try and help us to decide…

On the fourth of January 2019, National Trivia Day, nobody expected this historic, surprising, and actually very unasked for tweet, courtesy of Pottermore’s official Twitter account, J.K Rowling’s official post-book source of content for her Harry Potter series. “Hogwarts didn’t always have bathrooms. Before adopting Muggle plumbing methods in the eighteenth century, witches and wizards simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence. #NationalTriviaDay” This tweet caused volumes of internet scorn, from incredulous fans who never wanted to know such a detail, to an outpouring of despair-filled memes. No-one wanted to know this, and yet Rowling chose to bless…

At most festivals, that inceptive splosh of rain is an unwelcome incidence. Contrarily, at Green Man, a curtain of drizzle before those majestically noble Brecon Beacons is gorgeously aesthetic. Admittedly, this wonderous spectacle didn’t abate the merciless deluge. But it did distract me from my damp socks. Following recent years of relative radiance, the festival’s 17th outing was probably due some weather worthy of watery wellies and muddy macs. Though, no matter the volatility of the British skies, you’ll never be short of warmth at Green Man. It’s exuded by all who loyally flock to dwell in the verdant valleys…

The annual UniBrass contest returns to Bangor University on 8th February 2020, marking 10 years for one of the largest Brass Band contests in the UK. University brass bands from around the country will be welcomed to Bangor to compete across two sections; the Trophy and the Shield. Full details about the contest and the venues will be announced in due course. The UniBrass Organising Committee are hoping to make UniBrass 2020 “the biggest contest yet.” The contest began in 2010 at Lancaster University. It was also held at the University of Warwick in 2014, and in Yorkshire for two…

Seemingly mundane personal documents can weave a rich history between a person and the world around them. The archives and special collections are celebrating a Year of Discovery during 2019. The aim is to present “inventive individuals, adventurous Welsh men and women and new exciting resources for researches in the Archives”. As introduced in the previous issue of Seren, the Archives are in the process of acquiring a new collection titled “The Paget Papers” and are helped by myself, an undergraduate intern, to process the new accession. As three months have passed so far, I want to talk about a…

By Jamie King This semester has been the most inventive yet for Bangor’s English Drama Society, with all three plays in their lineup breaking out from the usual confines of the John Phillips Theatre’s proscenium staging to create a diverse array of theatre for the decent crowds they’ve drawn. The culmination of this programme is the noughties black comedy The God of Carnage, a translation of French playwright Yasmina Reza’s Le Dieu du Carnage – a one-act burst of middle class couples behaving badly, as Veronica and Michael (Roseanna Lovell and Lewis Wilson) welcome into their home Annette and Alan…

By Jamie King “There’s no keys to hold between her fingers. There’s no friend to call to make sure you get home alright. There’s no silenced headphones or self defence classes. We are at his mercy, weakened by lack of food, sleep and sunlight. We are the wilted flowers, the gardener’s hand lingers above ready to pull us from the ground.” In the exact centre of the worst nightmare of anyone who’s walked a dark street alone with a hundred Netflix serial killer shows spinning in their head, or a hundred Disney princesses snatched away and locked in towers –…

Every spring for three years, the Bangor Musical Theatre Society has arrived in Pontio to bring in their main show of the year. Looking back to Fame (2017) and High School Musical (2018), the previous Pontio shows have paved the way to family-friendly feel-good musicals. The auditorium full, we have grown to expect flashy group songs, sentimental solos, lovably humorous chorus characters and at least two confetti cannons in the finale. However, moving from the American high schools to Ancient Near East is no easy feat. Joseph is the brainchild of Tim Rice’s penmanship and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical mind,…

Imperator: Rome, the newest grand strategy from Paradox Interactive, was released on the 25th of April. At the time of writing, it is the 26th of April, and I have logged 12 hours in the game. So, without further ado, a review. What is familiar? As always, loading up a Paradox grand strategy for the first time results in overwhelming confusion-but this is a universal experience in these games- if you are new to the genre, I recommend watching some gameplay before jumping in, unless you are a bastion of patience. On the other hand, for someone who has played…

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