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Exclusive pictures from A Night Underwater’s first video shoot

Departures

Drummer: Colin Miller

The boys from A Night Underwater have been busy at work! Little Wing got exclusive access to these pictures from the shoot of their upcoming video for 'Departures.' They endured freezing conditions last night to wrap up the last bits of filming with a super high-tech slow-mo camera. Looking forward to seeing the finished product!

We'll be sure to keep you posted when it's released. In the meantime, you can download their album for free here and enjoy the sweet soundscapes from this epic band.

Departures

Lead Guitar: Elliott Briggs

Departures

Lead Singer, Acoustic Guitar: Dave Whayman

Departures

Bassist: Matt Macken; Drummer: Colin Miller; Lead Singer/Acoustic Guitar: Dave Whayman; Lead Guitar: Elliott Briggs

 

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Burger or Lobster. It’s as simple as that!

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Last night we took a little stroll down Dean Street in London's Soho. Our aim was to find one of the most talked about restaurants in town: Burger & Lobster. It was recommended a few weeks ago by a fellow food lover so we decided to give it a go, despite the warning of a long wait before being seated.

I'm not a huge fan of waiting for food. I'm pretty impatient, especially after work when I tend to feel rather peckish. Nevertheless, we had visitors all the way from Colombia, so this was a must. And let me tell you - it was well worth the hour and a half wait. Like, really worth it.

We chilled by the bar with some mojitos (9.50 a pop, but if this is a bit too steep for your liking, the maître d' takes your name and number so you can go for drinks elsewhere while you wait for your table) chatting about this and that, filled with anticipation as waiters went to and fro carrying delectable platters teasing us with incredible smells.

Finally seated in our booth, we were given a pretty straighforward choice - it's all in the name  - burger or lobster. You can have the lobster whole or in a sweet brioche bun or you can have a beef burger, all accompanied by skinny fries and a bowl of salad. Without a doubt in our minds, we went for the whole lobster and the bun and I haven't been so happy about eating something since I tried a pork burrito in the Mexican eatery Wahaca (another story for a different day). The lobster meat was cooked to perfection, succulent and served with a heavenly garlic and butter sauce on the side. Chips - crispy. Salad - refreshing. The meal in its entirety - finger-lickin' good.

Go to this place. I urge you. Each platter is £20, a reasonable price for a filling and totally banging meal.

They have several locations, too. Check out their website here.

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The Lipstick

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I feel the warmth of the early morning sun. Its subtle heat cocoons me making it difficult to stay awake. My eyelids are heavy; my skin tingles and every inch of my body wants to cave in. But I quickly remember why I got out of bed at 6 am sharp in the first place and fight the urge to curl up and let my body sink into the covers and my mind sink into unconsciousness.

This is where I feel the safest. This is the only place where I can slow down. My brain is used to going a hundred miles an hour; worrying, analysing, over analysing whatever’s already been analysed. But not here. I can forget here.

Coffee is brewing downstairs. I can hear the faint bubbling noise the water makes as it boils in the machine, followed by a drip-drip beat, and then a sudden burst of the sweet smell of Arabica beans invades every corner of every room, so inviting and familiar. The house comes alive as everyone follows their daily routine. Heels clicking hurriedly on the wooden floor landing; hairdryers buzzing in the bathrooms; softly spoken chit chat at the breakfast table; one by one departing until the big iron door is slammed shut for the last time leaving the two of us alone.

I sit patiently on the edge of the bed feeling a little anxious from the events of the past year, wondering what took me so long to come back. Ninety-two seconds pass as I stare at the neon green alarm clock on the bedside table. It looks absurd and out of place in the one room of the house that has managed to escape the claws of modernity and change. Finally, she comes in. Following her trajectory from the door to the dressing table with total undivided attention, it strikes me how this frail woman’s every movement is still so graceful and elegant. That trait definitely skipped a generation or two, I muse.

There’s this discernible stillness that she commands when entering a space. Apart from the tiny particles of dust dancing around the sunrays that penetrate the window, it seems like the world stops revolving and I feel forced to hold my breath as if the smallest of movements would interfere with this ritual. She sits in front of the mirror reaching for the iron clad key that opens the top drawer of her ageing wooden dressing table that holds all of her most prized possessions. She takes out a tortoise shell case that holds pressed powder, a round brittle hair brush that she’s used for 20 years and a red Revlon lipstick. Humming Blue Danube by Johann Strauss, the first song she taught me to play on her grand piano, she places each item lovingly and carefully in front of her, glancing intermittently at a picture of her husband that was taken the year before he died.

Her cotton white hair with silver streaks, that to the touch is just like silk, catches the sunlight and gleams, almost sparkles, creating an aura around her that makes her look angelic. She gently brushes back her bob with the round brittle brush and not a single strand is out of place. She inspects it in the mirror meticulously, turning her head from side to side and when she’s satisfied she places down the round brittle brush exactly where she picked it up from and opens the tortoise shell case. Her fingers are long and bony; her joints slightly swollen from sewing crochet doilies, the top of her hands sprinkled with little brown spots that give away her age. Inside the case is a thin round sponge which she pats onto the pressed powder and then strokes her cheeks, then her nose, then her forehead. Her face fascinates me; it tells a story of pain and joy, of struggle and achievement. It’s enigmatic. She has almost lived a century and yet her skin is still plump, full of colour, and apart from the trademark family wrinkle – a deep crevice on either cheek stretching from each arch of the nose down to the chin – she barely has any. Her eyes are full of life, concern and love for the things and people around her, yet there’s an emptiness that will never be filled again. She carries her past with a remarkable lightness of being and even though she has experienced so much, she somehow defies the passing of time.

Still humming the work of Strauss, she places the tortoise shell case exactly where she picked it up from and reaches for the red Revlon lipstick. The final touch. The grand finale. The first time I ever bought a lipstick, I bought the same one. The same make, the same shade. I remember standing in front of my bathroom mirror trying to emulate her precise method, but ended up with it all over my teeth as I awkwardly stretched my mouth for precision. She puckers her thin lips and does the bottom and the top in two swift movements with astounding accuracy. She presses them together to make the texture smooth and even, the cupid's bow emphasized by the rouge tint. Looking at me through the mirror she winks slyly, a little crease forming at each end of her mouth. Still in her dressing gown, she looks more glamorous than I’ve ever seen a woman look.

As the tortoise shell case, the round brittle hair brush and the red Revlon lipstick go back in the top drawer where she keeps her most prized possessions, I sit on the edge of the bed still watching her with total undivided attention. She locks the drawer with the iron clad key, gets up and walks to the window and I snap out of that beautiful, dream-like condition. I no longer feel anxious. I feel free and I feel light. It’s strange how such small, seemingly mundane moments can be so cathartic, but I understand why. We need moments that make time feel inconsequential, moments that are so pure and so dear to you and are so embedded within you that it only takes a second to transport yourself and escape.

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Q&A: Daniela Sach

Here at Little Wing, we love nothing more than evocative art. Whatever the medium, expression through art is invaluable for our existence – forms of creativity that allow the artist and the viewer to explore the complexities of humanity or simply look at various aspects of life through different perspectives. Daniela Sach is someone who truly understands this, and her love of art is deeply rooted. Her innate talent for drawing, painting and music was apparent from a young age. Her old doodles, sketches and scrap books tell tales of her dreams and fears. Her songs are poems of love and heart break. Her current work is visually arresting, beautiful yet dark, the kind of images that reach deep into your soul and stay embedded in your mind.

Growing up in Colombia isn’t always easy for artists – it’s a country where unemployment is high and financial struggle is commonplace, so coming out of school and opting for a career in the arts is risky business. But Daniela went against the grain and catapulted herself onto a path she had always wanted to explore. In doing so, she moved to Germany and is now living in Berlin studying German and prepping her portfolio to enrol in a photography course, which she hopes will lead her to become a director of photography...perhaps the next Sofia Coppola?

Daniela Sach

Hi Dani! So tell us a bit about your art background? Where are you from? How did you end up in Berlin?

Hello, hello! I come from Bogota, Colombia… Yep far, far away! I think my background is really experimental, not in an alternative way but I say this because I’ve always liked every way of art and I went from one to another. I danced ballet and jazz, painted, drew a lot, took loads of photographs, played music, sang and wrote songs pretty much my whole life. The fact that I always lived a creative life brought me to Berlin, where the artistic vibe is the strongest I’ve ever felt.

What are you doing in Berlin at the moment?

I’m currently studying German, and I think I will do that for quite long since it’s impossible to really get it perfect, you know what they say…life is too short to learn German! And at the same time I’m preparing my portfolio to start my studies at ‘’Neue Schule für fotografie’’ [a photography course in Berlin].

The whale

What’s Berlin like in comparison to Colombia? I’ve been to Berlin once before and I completely fell in love with it. What’s it like to live there?

Well Germany and Colombia are worlds apart, but I find Berlin quite similar to Bogota. People party very hard in both, and they’re equally crazy. But for me living away from home definitely has had an impact and makes Berlin much more adventurous. Bogota is my mom’s hotel, a comfy nest…and Berlin is the opposite of that, it’s where I need to be instinctive and that makes it all the way more magical. We connect very well!

Obviously, Berlin is a great hub for artistic talent. What’s it like for a young emerging artist? Do you feel there are more opportunities and paths to explore there rather than back home?

Yes there are definitely more opportunities here. It’s sad to say it because there is a huge amount of talent in Colombia, but here people actually decide to look at your work, even if it is based on a different perspective than what they expected – in fact that makes it more attractive for them. It is starting to change back home, and it makes me happy! But we do need people to open their minds a little more, and pay attention to real growing talents instead of following the usual! About paths to explore, I would say it resides in each individual. If you’re away from home you learn about the world, and within time you start bringing your roots out and all the things that makes you part of the place where you were born. That ‘mix’ between where you come from and where you actually live is very interesting.

Memory pain

Do you come from an artistic family? Have you always had a knack for drawing/painting?

Funny question about my family. I would say it’s half and half. My mom paints and is an art lover, and my Dad likes numbers. I hate numbers and love art. I have two brothers; one is a designer and the other one is an administrator, a business mind. So, 3 – 2 ! Art wins. One of my favorite activities was to bother my mom during her painting sessions and after dealing with me for a while, she would end up giving me something to paint with and I would follow her. So yes, I’ve always had a thing for drawing and painting.

Your drawings are very evocative and some are quite dark. Where do you get your inspiration from? What’s your creative process like?

I think my drawings show a dark side or destructive element of my personality and that’s the reason why they come up like that, quite morbid but at the same time very sweet…it’s confusing for me at times. My wide imagination and fears stand behind all of that. It’s like if a dog barks it’s then talking to a ghost and I’m out of there!

They were together, for once

My inspiration comes from books, films and music…mostly film stills I would say. So my creative process is to look around and everything that reminds me of a book, a song, a character or a film is what I take and start from there. There are times when I feel like doing something, but I see nothing around me that will be inspiring, so I just go through my ‘’things I like’’ file…and some idea will come up. I love the aesthetic managed by Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion, Jean Pierre Jeunet and Lars von Trier…they have a very strong visual identity, and that’s what I aim for. For me, it’s all about having your view of things printed on a photo or recreated by a drawing… so then it becomes something truthful and unique; that’s what transforms something normal into something overwhelming… I hope that within time I will get better at that…

A cat

I know that you dabble in photography as well, so what is your favourite medium and why?

Difficult question... you got me thinking here.  I enjoy them in different ways because they show different things. I would think that with photography I subconsciously express a very romantic and nostalgic side of myself, so at the moment this one would be my favorite.  The fact that I worry so much about ‘real life’ makes me forget about how idealist I really am and photography brings me back to that. Perhaps when life calms down a bit, I’ll go back to drawing as well.

Are you looking to get a career in the arts? Where do you see yourself going with it?

Yes! I am definitely looking to get a career in the arts. My all-time dream is to be director of photography. It goes step by step because it is a big dream and a high-ranking position in the hierarchy of film production, so I will start by studying photography and then we will see what comes next. Fingers crossed!

Have you got any plans for major projects? Is there anything in the pipeline that you’re working on?

Well it is not a major project but I’m currently working on cd/vinyl covers. It’s not necessarily for a specific band because the idea actually came up after some people that were looking at my portfolio were immediately reminded of bands like Pink Floyd, Morrissey, Cranberries, Bat for Lashes and some others. I thought it was an interesting thing, since the art behind music covers should be attractive to the eye, but definitely not obvious. So since then, I transformed a drawing into the 1:1 format (squared format) and I completely fell in love with it. It became something personal but it would be lovely to see them at record stores someday.

To see more of Daniela's work,visit her Tumblr blog here

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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Aquamarina Adonopolou & an artistic political expression

This time last year, we had already witnessed two popular uprisings in Tunisia and Algeria, swiftly followed by an Egyptian revolution and further demands for democracy in the Arab world. European countries began to crumble to an inch of economic collapse. In the midst of peaceful protests, violent repressions and a global financial crisis, we eagerly anticipated the royal wedding of the decade – a fairy tale microcosm far from a harsh reality. To say that 2011 was an eventful year seems like somewhat of an understatement and even in retrospect it’s difficult to digest the profound ways in which the political, social and economic landscape of our world has changed in such a short period of time. The intensity of such developments have highlighted the needs of many communities around the world, but one of the things that resonated the most was how involved young people were, and still are, in this remarkable collective desire for change. Little Wing caught up with Aquamarina Adonopolou, an art curator in Dubai who has closely followed the uprisings. Through her experiences, she makes sense of it all and tells us why she thinks art plays a major role in alleviating hardships and giving people a voice.

Aquamarina Adonopolou

Aquamarina was born in Greece but when she was four her parents were expatriated to Zambia. In the thick of her teen years, she returned to Thessaloniki in her homeland and finished high school only to make yet another move to the UK to begin her bachelors in Cultural Studies and Philosophy at Kent University. She decided to take a two year sabbatical after finishing her degree during which she travelled, took a few art classes along the way and interned in prestigious art galleries for experience. It’s easy to tell that she’s a free spirit, somewhat riding the wave as it comes and yet keenly intuitive to opportunities that will open doors for her and allow her to learn more about herself and her passion for art. About her move to Dubai, she says it was purely by chance and the result of a rather impulsive decision. “A friend had just moved here and found out there was a position for an internship at Green Art Gallery where I now work. I packed my bags and 3 days later I was here!” She tells us it's a really exciting time for art in Dubai because it's a culture that is growing exponentially and artists from the region are starting to be critically accepted.

Her profession coupled with having had the opportunity to experience different cultures and peoples has without a doubt made her a hugely perceptive individual and she exudes an incredible sensibility. Reminiscing, she tells about her university years in the UK. “The greatest thing I found about England was the tolerance to be whoever you want to be, people really don’t care and there’s an amazing sense of freedom.” Nevertheless, she says that Greece was the best place to be. “It’s great for young people because you can have so much fun, but at the same time there isn’t the drinking culture that you find in England; it’s a lot more laid back.” But is it the same after the mounting economic turmoil that the country has been facing for some time now?

The situation in Greece began to deteriorate in May 2010 when the government proposed severe austerity measures, including an increase in taxes and cuts in public spending in exchange for a £91 billion bail-out scheme. There were protest and strikes throughout the country, initiated by the Direct Democracy Now! movement, which were generally peaceful to begin with. However, as it escalated and Parliament voted in favour of the European Union bail-out measures, violent clashes between demonstrators and riot police began taking place. Accusations of police brutality were widespread and a deep resentment, social unrest and anti-government sentiment were embedded into the collective consciousness. Young people played a pivotal role in these protests. Aquamarina explains why, “I think initially the protests were more of an outburst rather than anything specific; it was aimed at everything. Young people who literally went out on the streets and spoke out against what we ultimately inherited from our parents’ generation. You’re basically coming out into the adult world already in debt and to top it off with no job to repay the debt that isn’t even yours in the first place. It’s bizarre.”

The news coverage of the 2011 civil unrest was mainly negative, but to be fair, the situation was at a critical point. There was such a prevalent general unhappiness and concern for short-term survival, there was no such thing as the foreseeable future. Violence was beginning to take its toll on an already exasperated community. “Slowly, however, what was wonderful was that this rage started becoming a lot more constructive and creative. Young people were coming up with solutions of their own, and actually doing something on any level that was attainable to them.”In a time of desperation, displacement and uncertainty, people decided to take matters into their own hands and help each other out. “Youth groups started popping up all over the cities organizing food and clothing for the increasing number of homeless people, free plays and concerts in the park, and promoting an alternative form of living.” And indeed, initiatives such as S-Initiative:Katalysis started taking shape in response to difficult times. The creators of Katalysis – a mixture of Greeks from all different ages and backgrounds – wanted to come together to “tap our collective resources - our energy, heritage, family and land-based wisdom, innovative ideas, modern technologies and ancient myths” to create a new future. Seeing the current system disintegrating led them to generate and host gatherings and spaces to move away from paralysis through art-based, conversational marketplaces. Their aims were to connect with, inspire and learn from each other’s artistic, literary and enterprise skills.

“[I think people] found that when money was actually taken out of the equation the possibilities and things you could do were endless,” says Aquamarina, which is why she believes art plays a key role in helping people express and discuss their views, especially in such tense political climates. For her, it seems that people are too used to receiving information through traditional media sources which are selective and often unrepresentative. “How can you completely encapsulate circumstance, war, famine, conflict, even ‘a people’ in such black and white terms? Yet that’s what happens. Art can depict the broader spectrum of things, it can offer its viewers the opportunity to actually have to stop and think for themselves for a change.” She goes on to add, “To come face to face with the possibility of your own prejudices, misconceptions and even limitations” is instrumental.

Aquamarina in Dubai

This is also something she sees at work every day. Currently Aquamarina is working with a young Palestinian artist, Shadi Habib Allah, whose practice is at the crossroads of installation, video art and recently kinetic sculpture. She talks fondly about him, making an interesting observation, “A lot of Palestinian artists get pigeonholed into certain categories because the circumstances through which their works emerge are so controversial. Through the Palestine- Israeli conflict, which has been discussed in the media almost constantly, the public is used to relating to them in purely political terms. "A young Palestinian artist once told me,  'I could be pushing a white block, in a white gallery space and that would be interpreted as me making a political statement about Palestine.' ” But Shadi tries to emancipate himself and his work from this; like she tells us, art is supposed to be a tool to look at things from a broader scope, one without limitations.

So what does this insightful young woman think of the future, of what lies ahead for her country and for the world in general? For her, it’s been amazing watching how the revolutions have unravelled in a global way, “from Egypt to Wall street. It just goes to show that the system that’s been in place really isn’t working.” But she reckons everything that has happened thus far isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. “Revolutions may happen with the purest of intentions but in the end we have to see if the things these people are fighting for are implemented and to what extent.” Aquamarina knows that the dust is yet to settle, and that we must patiently wait to see what has actually changed. For the time being, she will keep on championing art as not only a means of expression, but also as a means to educate and in many ways a saviour in times of need.

Written by: Nicole McLennan and Hana Difrawy

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That Vintage Shop

There’s no denying that vintage fashion has become hugely popular in the last ten years. Perhaps it is because we are enamoured with past decades and we urge for some 1920’s flapper glamour, or the romance of the 50’s, the psychedelic allure of the 70’s, or the structured big shoulders reminiscent of the 80’s. Maybe it’s because some of us have found the benefit of being thrifty, both to save some money and in the interest of being green. Regardless, vintage is where it’s at – a salute to the past as we incorporate it with the modern.

It’s difficult to find truly great vintage shops where the collections are nicely edited and picked with care for a true vintage customer. Many times you’re faced with a warehouse packed to the brim with second hand clothing and while you can really find some gems in places like that, you have to have the patience of a saint and the eye of an eagle. Luckily, That Vintage Shop in Kingston-upon-Thames is like the light at the end of the vintage shop tunnel. Here at Little Wing we had the pleasure of featuring a few of their pieces in our first fashion editorial. Located on Old London Road, it is a beautiful store filled with many treasures. It’s run by Katie, a young entrepreneur with fashion hardwired into her DNA – her grandmother was a designer and Katie followed in her footsteps at university, after which she decided to open up shop.

The result is a beautiful, comprehensive collection of vintage pieces that are relevant to our times. From a railing with stunning embellished oversized jumpers in a range of bright, bold hues such as scarlet red or royal blue, to the prettiest girly dresses in super sweet pastels, to reformed Levi’s cut-offs with leather inserts, choices are plentiful. The shop itself is perfect in terms of the merchandise layout, as it’s not overwhelming but rather really accessible. It’s got flare and personality; it’s got that certain je ne sais quoi that makes you want to take your time and stick around because you know you’re about to find something precious.

Not much is left to say except that you should go and check it out for yourselves! Definitely worth the visit. If you’re sceptical, ask the hundreds of vintage fashion lovers that frequent the shop from local towns and even those that come all the way from South West London.

Written By: Nicole McLennan

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Q&A: Egija Zviedre

Little Wing had the pleasure of working with model and actress Egija Zviedre in our first fashion editorial. Her professionalism, flexibility and commitment stem from her undeniable passion for her job which is utterly infectious.  She is as fascinating as she is interesting.  In between hair and makeup and snapping shots, we got the chance to delve a little deeper into her life.

Egija Zviedre. Photograph: Chris Edwards

Tell us about growing up in Latvia. What was your childhood like? What is it like compared to London?

Latvia is a very special place. Sometimes I think of as a little dreamy island somewhere far away in the North... Where people live like it's a good 20 years back in the past. Some might argue differently, but that’s what it feels like for me. I do a lot of vintage shoots in London- when I go back to Latvia- that’s real vintage right there! It’s amazing! It’s like going back in time. Culturally it’s very rich and beautiful, very innocent and unspoilt at places. My childhood was pretty interesting! I spent lots of time by myself in my imaginary world. Where everything was exactly how I wanted! And I was really quiet. As the oldest child, I had to take responsibility for my younger sister -Londa. Since a young age I wanted to be very independent, wanted to do my own thing. London is so different from back home, but that’s why I loved it so much at first.

What made you get into modelling and acting? Did you always want to do it?

Well, everything always happens because of a vision. And sometimes you just have a certain vision of something combined with the desire. I have always been very artistic. Both of my parents were very creative people- they used to draw, paint, write poetry. I used to sing professionally, dance and paint myself. I think that was part of it. However, when I was a kid I used to read lots of adventure books, I used to steal them from my uncles little library and a lot of them were about the film industry. I found it very fascinating.

I got into modelling by accident really- a photographer stopped me on the streets of Old Riga when I was walking in a long, white dress. I was 15. He took a couple of pictures and I instantly saw that vision that I mentioned earlier. I joined an agency in Latvia and from then on it just became addictive, going to castings and all that. I started doing modelling for catalogues and billboards.

Why did you decide to move to London?

I decided to move to London, because simply there wasn't enough space for me in Riga anymore. It is a small country with limited possibilities. And I am an explorer. I wanted to see the world from a different angle, wanted to see what was beyond the horizon. When I came to London I was dazzled. I was so taken in and inspired by this big, buzzing city. I felt it. I’ve been here for two years now.

What has been your favourite job (either in modelling or acting) so far?

EZ: My favourite job would definitely be in acting. I think it was the short film that I worked on called “Meeting Mr Manners.” I was playing an art student who finds her father. This part has been emotionally the closest to me. The musical short film “Beethoven Burst” by Ankit Love was also one of my favourites, in which I was playing a cosmic mermaid as a female lead.

What do you prefer, modelling or acting? And…why?

I love modelling because I love great photography- when I see a photograph that I like- I can almost taste it with my eyes... And I really do like to be part of it as a model, because I know I can make it look great. But I prefer acting because I like the journey that it involves. I want to live the life of a character. I like to work on scripts and figure things out like why the character acts in a particular way, what her needs are, and so on. I like the psychological side of it and getting deep into the human nature. Doing independent feature films has really raised my appetite for acting.

Has it been difficult living far away from your family?

It has been very difficult. There isn’t a single day when I don’t think about them, my grandmothers especially. They are old and really want me to spend more time with them.

Who has been your biggest inspiration when the going gets tough?

Madonna!

Is there anyone in your life that inspires you?

Loads of people. My biggest inspiration is my acting coaches. Giles and Michael are my mentors and they keep me going. Also many people that I have met along the way.

Is there anyone in particular that you would want to work with? Like any specific actors/directors/photographers?

Of course! I would want to work with Martin Scorseze, Guilaume Canet, Pedro Almodovar, Darren Aronofsky, and Woody Allen. I’d also like to work with Mickey Rourke, John Malkovich, Ralph Fiennes, Ethan Hawke, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Leonardo Di Caprio... And many more!

Can you tell us about any future projects that you have? We want to keep our eye on you!

Soon I will start work on my next feature film called “The Ex-Factor” which is a romantic drama where I will play the part of Eva - a young, struggling, romantic Slovenian waitress that meets an English producer who  asks her to be part of his TV documentary.(Nothing to do with the actual x-factor).

What advice would you give struggling actresses/models?

To never forget the initial reason why one started acting or modelling. That energy and drive always needs to be within.

Written By: Nicole McLennan

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Rectum. I mean, Aquum.

Apparently we can no longer go to the pub for a few drinks and be content with going home straight after. The last bell goes and you’re left with that bitter taste of jaeger in your mouth after downing two, three, maybe four, shots in a row before the clock strikes 11. The last bell goes and all you can think about is that it’s too early to go back to reality and sobriety. It’s as if it were nearing the end of time and you needed to be heavily sedated, in a comfortable boozy state of mind to spend the rest of eternity in limbo.

It would probably be sensible to make a quick escape at this point, less money spent, less likelihood of liver failure and the chances are that you’ll manage to get enough sleep to feel relatively fresh in the morning. Problem is, though, that you’re way past the threshold; the tiny you on your left shoulder is being so much more persuasive than a couple of hours ago and keeps egging you on to “have another one” and telling you that “you only live once”, until it’s all you can hear and there’s no turning back. You are now on a mission to get wasted, maybe have a little dance, and probably hook up with someone, which you may regret the next day.

But where to go? The Surrey suburbs don’t really cater for a 20-something’s urge to party. Any place worth going means expensive cab rides and, to be honest, it’s usually way too much hassle because it means leaving the two mile radius around us, which includes our local pub and most of our homes – this is a sort of self-imposed rule that me and my friends tend to follow. Then about a year ago, a place called Aquum opened on Esher high street (within the radius). Word got around, people started going there and getting frisky, and now it’s a prime destination for some after-hours banter.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Wrong. It’s the most heinous place in the world – or at least in the two mile radius. I don’t really know what possess us to go. The reasons stated above really don’t seem like enough. It’s about the size of a shoe box with tacky all-white décor, rude bar tenders and shit music. Because of its absolutely ridiculous size, the capacity is of about 50 people, so if you get there after 11 on a Friday, chances are you won’t be let in, which in itself defeats the purpose of an after-pub activity. You probably have to skip the pub all together if you want to go.

Walking through the doors of that place you get struck by that stale sweat smell that comes courtesy of all the over excited creepers trying to grind on anything with a vagina. The blue and purple bulbs make for some pretty unflattering lighting, which is probably why the girls are way too over-dressed and heavily coated in makeup and towering in 7-inch heels. As a girl, I love putting my good dress and my face on, but there is a time and a place, and it is not Aquum on Esher high street on a Thursday night. There are bottles of Dom flying around with sparklers. Drinks don’t need sparklers; if you really want some sort of glass wear adornment, get a little umbrella. All you can think of as you sip your drink is, who the fuck hired this DJ? You start getting a little pissed off that you even bothered to come, but as the shots keep coming round, so do you.

The absolute worst thing about this god-forsaken place is that you succumb to it, to the dark side. Before you know it, you’re tapping your foot to a JLS song and as if by magic you know all the fucking lyrics which come to you like word vomit. Shortly after you’re backing your ass up on some cutie in the corner or alternatively dancing on the couches, which you know are meant for sitting, but you’re such a rebel at this point that you just don’t care. Then you shimmy to the bar and you’re ordering a bottle of champagne. Why? Why get a bottle of champagne when you’re on the doll, unemployed and living at home with the rents?

Only in Aquum.

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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Aside

Metronomy: True Contenders

Last year we saw Metronomy rise to the occasion. Their world-wide English Riviera Tour was a complete success, proving to be top contenders in the music scene and towering above the melting pot of generic, boring and predictable alternative/electropop stuff out there. Little Wing was lucky enough to witness their very last show, the grand finale of the tour, at the Royal Albert Hall. We were mesmerized, to say the least, and thought that this is most definitely a band worth writing about.So, on a warm autumn evening in early October, Hana and I rocked up an hour late (as per usual), power-walking through the tunnel at High Street Kensington tube station, which by the way always seems like the longest tunnel in the history of tunnels. As we briskly walk up the stairs onto the street, Hana lights a cig and I pop a pill (Cold&Flu All in One – I had a terrible case of tonsillitis) and we leg it to the Albert.

To be completely honest with you, neither of us were die-hard Metronomy fans at this point. I’d heard of them about a year ago through my friend Lien, who actually bought the tickets but sadly couldn’t make it, and Hana had heard of them…24 hours prior to the actual gig. Needless to say, we were excited to be at a concert because we were in dire need of some live music for our ears, but we didn’t really know what the hell to expect. The result was a more than pleasant surprise –Metronomy is composed of four hugely talented musicians with a whole lot of stage swagger.

We caught one of the opening acts after getting a few bevvies in at the bar; an awesome foursome based in East London called Django Django. It’s a little difficult to really describe what they are all about. Not really electro-dance and not quite punk-funk, this band is definitely different and one to watch out for. They had a cool vibe, mixing live instruments with recorded electronic sounds, but you really have to listen to them yourselves to gather some sort of conclusion about their bizarre, yet oddly captivating soundscape. They definitely got us going, though!

After a short interval, and another whiskey and coke, it was time for Metronomy – that is of course after a rather unusual, muffled and far too long, introduction by a recorder quartet. They opened up with the title track to their third album, The English Riviera, and a brilliant mix of old (from their second LP, Nights Out) and new followed suit. It was a strange setting for a band that usually propels their listeners into a dancing frenzy, and the angst was palpable as spectators sat with their hands on their knees, edging off their chairs bit by bit to drummer Anna Prior’s pounding beats. Soon enough, producer and front man Joe Mount, with the help of super talented Oscar Cash on the keyboard and effortlessly cool Gbenga Adelekan on the bass, fired up the hall with Holiday and The Bay. People were buzzing, propping up from their seats bopping on the spot or rushing as far front as the ushers allowed.

About half an hour in came out favourite bit, when they played The Look. Not only was it one of the favourites, but Mr Cash got wheeled on stage in a movable keyboard contraption, playing that unmistakable tune. It was visual and audible perfection!

And so, midst a pumped up (mostly hipster) crowd, there we were, witnessing a sell-out, stellar performance that will stay with us forever. The lighting was also immense; it sucked you into the powerful synth of Metronomy’s music. It’s clear that these four are going places; it was hard not to be impressed. If you haven’t been to one of their gigs, go! I seriously recommend them.

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Aside

Unemployed? No, I’m an intern

As we all know, times are tough at the moment. It’s never fun talking about unemployment figures, tax and benefit reforms, the likelihood of a double-dip recession and all other doomsday-esque factoids about our modern society; but I guess most, if not all, of these things are harsh realities which affect a large portion of the population. These are things that are hard to escape and, seemingly, are only going to get worse in the few years to come.

A news headline which has been haunting me for the past two months is that employment for 18-25 year olds has plummeted to an all-time low and that the UK is experiencing the highest unemployment rate in 17 years. So according to the BBC, one in five of us “youngsters” are neither in education nor working nor training. That actually scares the shit out of me. I try to ignore it and tell myself that if I believe it, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby I get lazy and just blame my redundancy on David Cameron and all those damned Tories, and end up having heated political conversations with my parents.

I say fuck it. There MUST be something out there. I, my friends, have not lost hope quite yet. I have nearly finished my Masters, and for nearly a year now I’ve been interning here, there and everywhere, from magazines to PR to sales. This isn’t me writing this to say, “Hey guys, look how awesome I am! I’m an intern and I try really hard, wooo!” Nope. Because, first of all, anyone who’s done placements before knows how belittling it can be; and secondly, placements are a euphemism for free labour, so there’s nothing to brag about here really. I just refuse to render myself useless because I still need to feel that this whole “Life” thing is going somewhere. I’ve been called naïve or been told, “Good for you, sport!” with a little wince and a pity pat on the back, as if what they truly wanted to say was, “Good luck, kid. But grown up life actually sucks.” Well, maybe, but I like to think that if I want something badly enough and work myself down to the bone then I’ll eventually get somewhere. And if I want it that badly it's only because I love to do it. I like to think that I have it in the locker, as my friend likes to put it.

I haven’t got a concrete offer from any of the places I’ve interned for. I’m pretty sure I’ve harassed secretaries and bombarded editors with my CV a few hundred times. But I’ll wait. And in the meantime, I’ll continue getting coffees and deliveries; running like a madwoman around the office trying to find that very specific shirt in a stockroom stacked full of unlabelled containers that has to be sent to Vogue ASAP; or transcribing that four-hour long interview in three hours, all the while trying to make myself be heard, known and liked in the hope that they’ll turn around and say, “Hey, you. Yeah, the one carrying three boxes and three times your body weight. We’re keeping you on. Here’s your desk and your contract. See you Monday.”

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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