Cambridge Edition May 2023 - Web

From festivals to outdoor cinema: get planning for a sensational summer in the city with the help of our May issue!



MAY 2023

Hoppy Hour! The return of Cambridge Beer Festival

FIT FOR A KING What’s in store for the coronation weekend




Jewel in the crown s always, May heralds the start of the summer build-up here in Cambridge, and anticipation is most definitely in the air. Top billing goes to the Beer Festival, which – at last! – returns to Jesus Green this month after a three-year pause. Organiser Anthony Mobbs tells us how it all comes together, and what to expect from this year’s hop-filled festivities, on page 52. Another Jesus Green icon, the Lock House, also takes the spotlight this issue, as we meet the mother- daughter duo taking on the mammoth task of refurbishing this historic building to its former glory (page 81). We catch up with some movers and shakers on the arts scene, too, including local author Lucy Vine, Red Rooster head honcho Harry Grafton, and Enchanted Cinema founder William Morrish, who gives a behind- the-scenes glimpse into his magical outdoor film screenings around the city. In anticipation of this month’s coronation, we also look back at some of Cambridge’s most memorable celebratory feasts through history – including the incredible gathering on Parker’s Piece to commemorate Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne in 1838. With some 15,000 guests feasting on 1,000 joints of meat, 4,500 loaves of bread, 125 gallons of pickles and over 100 barrels of ale to wash it all down – the Victorian party planners really had their work cut out bringing it all together! Food historian Sue Bailey tells us all about it on page 54, as well as sharing the plans for this month’s similar – if somewhat smaller-scale – Parker’s Piece feast in honour of King Charles. Elsewhere, we’ve got news of community jamboree Strawberry Fair (page 17), edgy arts fest Disrupt (page 19), and an incredible Wild Wood Disco giveaway (page 39). Enjoy the issue and see you next month!

EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459 Editorial director Roger Payne Chief sub editor Matthew Winney Sub editor Ben Gawne Junior sub editor Lori Hodson ADVERTISING Sales director Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 Ad manager Maria Francis 01223 492240 CONTRIBUTORS Sue Bailey, Miriam Balanescu, Mark Box, Lotte Brundle, Siobhan Godwood, Charlotte Griffiths, Charlotte Phillips, Anna Taylor,

Angelina Villa-Clarke & Elisha Young DESIGN & PRODUCTION Senior designer Lucy Woolcomb Ad production Man-Wai Wong MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck

Cambridge Edition Magazine Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 499450, • All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of the publishers. • Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Cambridge Edition or Bright Publishing Ltd, which do not accept any liability for loss or damage. • Every effort has been made to ensure all information is correct. • Cambridge Edition is a free publication that is distributed in Cambridge and the surrounding area.








Illustration by Lucy Woolcomb, inspired by an Instagram photo taken by @alex_fice



WISH LIST May This month’s must-haves from local indies

1. Mallorca dinner plate, £15.95, Angela Reed With soft scalloped edges and a sand-coloured glaze, this off-white plate will bring a touch of relaxed Mediterranean style to your table 2. Lind plantpot rose, £28, Iris & Violet A stoneware piece by Bloomingville, this rustic rose pot is a beautiful addition to any room 3. The Emily, £295, Cambridge Satchel Company A brand-new colourway for the brand – we’re head over heels for the ‘lagoon matte’ offerings 4. Calendula soap, £7.50, Cambridge Soap Company Featuring essential oils such as lavender, may chang and cedarwood, this gorgeously scented soap is handmade in Cambridge 5. Workshop jumpsuit, £195, Laird Hatters A fun and functional corduroy all-in-one from Laird Hatters’ clothing brand, Laird Utility 6. Splatterware mug, £15, Ark Bringing a touch of colour and fun, Ark does it again with this chunky, paint-splattered stoneware mug 7. The Subtle Bouquet, £35-£85, The Flower Project A wild and fragrant bouquet of fresh whites, delicate pinks and soft peaches from the Mill Road florist 8. Sunflower skirt, £45, Lilac Rose We love this flowery jacquard skirt by Louche: perfect for spring outfits


Culture Club


Islanders: The Making of the Mediterranean is now at the Fitzwilliam




CULTURE CLUB The must-see events around Cambridge this month Arts & Culture

OUTSIDER ART Pieces from Anne Curry, Carol Peace and Tanya Russell will be on display at the alfresco exhibition


Helmingham Hall in Suffolk is currently hosting a stunning outdoor sculpture exhibition, offering a chance to see work by 50 eminent artists while raising money for a great cause. The event, running from 29 April until 17 September, is hosted by Art for Cure, one of the UK’s most successful breast cancer charities, which fundraises for vital research and support services through the sale of contemporary art, ceramics and sculpture. At the exhibition, visitors can enjoy the suspended mesh wire sculptures of David Begbie, Tanya Russell’s bronze stags and hares, Emma Fenelon’s intriguing terracotta towers and Suffolk-based Paul Richardson’s Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Garden Festival pieces, including Falling Leaves. An accompanying indoor exhibition will display works by the likes of bold abstract painter Henrietta Dubrey and Kate Giles, who creates beautiful depictions of East Anglian landscapes. As well as admiring the artwork, you can buy a piece to take home – with 30% of all proceeds going directly towards the charity’s work.




Throughout history, islands have held a special allure, depicted as remote, romanticised and often mysterious places – quite unlike the mainland. This idea is explored in the Fitzwilliam’s major new exhibition, Islanders: The Making of the Mediterranean , which transports the viewer back thousands of years through a spellbinding collection of over 200 Mediterranean antiquities – many of which have never before travelled overseas. Among the pieces on display are Sardinia’s famous bronze votive figurines (bronzetti), which are on loan to the UK for the first time from the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari. A relic from the 4,000-year-old Nuragic civilisation (about which no written records exist), the bronzetti depict warriors, ships and imaginary entities – illuminating our understanding of this people’s mythological and religious identity. “For the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, the participation in the exhibition and in the connected research project is a great opportunity of underlining the richness and manifoldness of Sardinian Mediterranean connections through the ages,” comments Dr Francesco Muscolino, director of the National Archaeological Museum. “The inclusion of Cagliari museum antiquities, most of which have never travelled to the UK or abroad, gives a substantial contribution in creating comparisons with similar objects belonging to coeval insular civilisations, thus vividly showing the links among some of the main Mediterranean islands.” Also on display will be exquisite pottery, jewellery and bronze figures from the palaces and caves of Minoan Crete, as well as the figurines commonly referred to as the ‘terracotta army of Cyprus’. On loan from the Archaeological Museum of Nicosia for the first time, these incredible clay figures were discovered in 1929 at the sanctuary of Agia Eirini, placed as divine offerings around a limestone altar within a large, open-air court. Offering an insight into Cypriot society in the sixth and seventh centuries BCE, depictions include larger-than-life human figures, deities, monsters and horse-drawn carriages. The exhibition runs until 4 June.

MARE NOSTRUM The exhibition is curated by Dr Christophilopoulou in partnership with the Greek ambassador to the UK as part of the project ‘Being an Islander: Art and Identity of the Large Mediterranean Islands’



Flourish Produce in Hildersham is launching a series of workshops, beginning this month with a session dedicated to Indian-style block printing. Taught by Sophie and Preneet, it takes place on 16 May and will help attendees get to grips with this time-honoured art form, delving into the history and techniques before giving you a chance to get hands-on and create your own beautiful linen napkins to take home. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy lunch – a feast of fresh bread and colourful Ottolenghi-style salads using produce grown on the farm. Tickets are £85 per person. TIME TO FLOURISH FINE PRINT

16 May


Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan present Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, following low-ranking worker Winston Smith as he rebels against the all-powerful Big Brother.

10-13 MAY, CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE LEGALLY BLONDE Everybody’s favourite aspiring lawyer hits the stage this month as Cambridge Operatic Society take on this fabulously fun musical.


A work of gritty dance theatre, choreographer Rhiannon Faith’s Drowntown follows six strangers in a gloomy seaside town, grappling with themes of alienation and isolation.

16 - 17 May


Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club takes on Chekhov’s heartbreaking story of unrequited love and unrealised potential.




The Mays Anthology Is the next Zadie Smith waiting to be discovered in The Mays 31? Co-editor Lotte Brundle tells us about this publication’s remarkable lineage and knack for spotting incredible talent Kate Bush, Stephen Fry, Philip Pullman and Sir Quentin Blake. Apart from fame and success in the creative industries, what do these cultural heavyweights have in common? They have all previously guest edited The Mays Literary Anthology . Joining their ranks this year are author and former acting editor-in-chief of Elle magazine Lotte Jeffs, and singer and performer Jordan Stephens. Since its inception by three Cambridge students in 1992, The Mays has platformed the best new writing, artwork and photography from those at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Culminating in an annual publication that’s sold online and in bookshops countrywide, its aim is to promote student talent and help them break into the notoriously challenging publishing industry. The word anthology derives from ‘anthologia’: in 17th-century Greek, ‘anthos’ meant flower, and ‘logia’ collection. That’s certainly what we have in The Mays 31 ; a gathering of pieces by budding student authors and artists on the brink of bursting into the full bloom of their creative potential. Notably, author Zadie Smith ( White Teeth ) was discovered by literary agents through her short story Mrs Begum’s Son and the Private Tutor in the 1997 edition. She returned to guest edit The Mays in 2001, commenting: “Maybe in a few years this lot will have me out of a job.” In reality, the likelihood of the next Smith being discovered in The Mays 31 is relatively high. Jeffs and Stephens are the latest to add their names to the impressive cohort of guest editors, and have both been enthusiastic in narrowing down the student submissions – of which there were just under 1,000. As a pair, they may seem incongruous, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Jeffs, a former magazine editor, has a keen eye for spotting talent. Her passion for platforming emerging voices can also be seen through her role as chair of the judges on the Evening Standard ’s Stories Competition. In her day job, she discusses the ins and outs of being a queer parent on her podcast From Gay to Ze. Her children’s book, My Magic Family , re- writes the traditional heteronormative script of what a family ‘should’ look like. A less likely author of a children’s book, you’d think, is Stephens, who shot to fame with catchy raps, featuring lines such as: ‘Catch me watching Mean Girls / Wearing a T-shirt saying f*** Sea World’. Debuting at age 19 as one half of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks in 2011, Stephens is the epitome of youthful ambition and creativity. His debut picture book, The Missing Piece , focuses on putting under-represented families into the spotlight; something that he and Jeffs both care about deeply. Re-writing the narrative is what this year’s edition of The Mays is all about. Jeffs and Stephens lack the fusty, grandiose persona of many successful media elite. They also stand in delightful contrast to the traditional nature of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. What unites them is a fresh, honest, no-nonsense approach to art, grounded in the real world and shaped by years in the industry. Jeffs and Stephens have breathed fresh life into the 31st edition of The Mays , which promises to be the brightest and zaniest yet!

PROSE FROM THE PROS Each edition of The Mays promises a carefully curated compendium of the finest writing and artwork Oxbridge has to offer. Previous guest editors include Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave and Ted Hughes




Home to Roost Harry Grafton, founder of Red Rooster Festival, gives us the lowdown on its origins – and what’s in store this year

and bringing them to play in front of a big crowd in Suffolk! And they come on and blow people away. I spend lots of time in Nashville and New Orleans, seeing what’s out there.” On the line-up for this year, which Harry promises is the festival’s best ever, you’ll find celebrated blues guitarist Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, manic rock ’n’ rollers His Lordship, Grammy award winner Fantastic Negrito, country star Ashley Campbell and Nashville’s finest The Nude Party – among many other live acts and DJs across the weekend. “It’s music that old and young people can enjoy together,” summarises Harry. “Those bluesy, soul, country sounds that everyone loves – and if you don’t like the bands on the main stage, you can find something more gentle on the Little Red Rooster stage, which has more Americana vibes.” A big coup for the festival this year is the Take Me to the River All Stars, featured in the documentary of the same name, which showcases some of the most influential figures in Mississippi Delta and New Orleans funk, R&B, soul and jazz, anchored by the Hi Rhythm Section (who have played with Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, and many more). “It’s part of an amazing deal we’ve done with the New Orleans tourist board and it’s going to be a two-hour marathon set of about 12 bands from the region on the Friday afternoon, with a gospel choir. We’re really excited about it,” enthuses Harry. Red Rooster is also a chance to enjoy the flavours of the Deep South, with bourbon tastings, the Red Roaster barbecue zone and an authentic crawfish boil. You can join in with foodie workshops, too, including butchery and barbecue sessions, plus a host of family-friendly activities. For all the info and to book, visit

Taking place at the sprawling Euston Estate in Thetford, Red Rooster Festival has been bringing a taste of the Deep South to Suffolk since 2017. Offering a melting pot of music ranging from soul and rock ’n’ roll to blues, roots and country, this is the creation of Harry Grafton – aka the 12th Duke of Grafton – who inherited the estate in 2011. “The story really started in my 20s, when I was living in Nashville working in the live music business,” he recalls. “I went to these events where you’d get rural communities gathering together – always with delicious barbecue and a simple stage set-up, but with amazing musicians. Red Rooster stems from going to those shows and seeing fantastic music from all different corners of that part of the US.” The event started small – just one stage and a burger van (which ran out) – but Harry could feel the magic already. “The headline act was a band called The Jim Jones Revue, who were this visceral rock ’n’ roll band – imagine Little Richard on steroids!” he laughs. “They blew the roof off the place; the crowd went completely ballistic and I thought: ‘Here we go, we’ve really got something here.’” The festival now attracts around 7,000, but Harry is keen it doesn’t grow so much that the intimate atmosphere is lost – and he’s committed to keeping ticket prices reasonable and free for kids, and thus as accessible as possible. While there’s plenty to do onsite, from wild swimming to axe throwing, music is the beating heart of Red Rooster, and it’s something that the team is dedicated to getting right. “We put a lot of passion into trying to produce a show that’s laid back, but which has really good-quality music – most of which the crowd won’t have heard of,” he explains. “One thing I enjoy most is finding a band in a crappy honky-tonk in Memphis or Nashville

1 - 3 June

SOUTHERN CHARMS Red Rooster Festival sees some of the Deep South’s best acts line up in Suffolk’s Euston Estate






Originally fronted by Ian Dury, The Blockheads changed the game with their punk energy and amazing musicianship, incorporating a wide range of influences and creating classics like Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick and Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt 3 .


Fusing hip-hop, jazz and funk, Hot 8 bring the spirit and sound of New Orleans to Cambridge this May. Expect barnstorming covers of Marvin Gaye, Snoop Dogg and more, plus lively originals. 25 MAY, CORN EXCHANGE MIKE + THE MECHANICS Makers of hits including Over My Shoulder and The Living Years , Mike + The Mechanics are back on the road for their Refuelled tour, featuring all the classics, some Genesis numbers and new material from their latest album Out of the Blue . 19 MAY, PORTLAND ARMS CHAPPAQUA WRESTLING Merging shoegaze, grunge and indie sounds, this Brighton four-piece are on the cusp of greatness. Have a listen to their freshly released album Plus Ultra , a selection of politically charged, stone-cold bangers, to whet your appetite. 19 MAY, CORN EXCHANGE KATIE MELUA Hot on the heels of her ninth studio album, Love & Money , the renowned songwriter will share new material alongside chart-toppers like Nine Million Bicycles and The Closest Thing to Crazy .



27 May


Club Urania Cult LGBTQ+ night Club Urania returns for another outrageous and otherworldly celebration, landing at Cambridge Junction on 27 May. On the bill this time are pole dancer, fire dancer and circus performer Geegee, plus drag performer Dairy King, who has a dubious promise to provide ‘curdled nourishment to calcium-deficient queers’. They’ll be joined by superstar DJ Lucia Blayke, founder of Trans Pride London, and local DJ Bosslady, who’ll be spinning until late: all killers, no fillers!

STRAWBERRY FAIR Kicking off the summer season in Cambridge for over 40 years, Strawberry Fair is back to celebrate the city’s creativity on the first Saturday of June. The ‘Strawberry Fairies’ have been hard at work behind the scenes, curating the stages, deciding on a theme (Revolution), booking stalls and generally organising logistics for this huge, free event, which sees around 30,000 revellers descend on Midsummer Common each year. Stay tuned to the next issue for more details on this year’s line-up and entertainment. LET SUMMER BEGIN



Win tickets!

26 - 27 May

Disrupt – Cambridge’s explosive festival of ‘life-affirming, imagination-firing performance’ – returns to the Junction this month to showcase some of the most trailblazing artists on the scene. Taking place on 26 and 27 May, the event brings together live art, theatre and dance, featuring work from Samir Kennedy, In Bed With My Brother, Lou Robbin, Katy Dye, Catherine Hoffmann, Wet Mess and others.“Disrupt Festival is a true gem,” says Ema Boswood, arts producer at Cambridge Junction. “A real hot mess of performance from some of the UK’s most exciting artists. See 12 brand-spanking-new shows over one weekend and experience a rollercoaster of thrilling emotions. There’s a gorgeous, friendly festival vibe and we’ll be finishing off with a cathartic dance party for Club Urania’s return to Cambridge Junction’s epic J1 club space.” Don’t miss out on an exclusive chance to win tickets at DISRUPT FESTIVAL AVANT-GARDE



BACKSTAGE HOME TRUTHS Miriam Balanescu meets Jessica Ransom, as she brings a polished performance of Laura Wade’s Home, I’m Darling to the Arts Theatre this month

T he best plays are undoubtedly the ones where there is more simmering below the surface than first meets the eye. Jessica Ransom, best known for providing kooky comedy in television shows such as Doc Martin or Horrible Histories (earning a Bafta for her impersonation of Mary, Queen of Scots), takes a slightly more serious turn in the Arts Theatre’s Home, I’m Darling . A contemporary play by Laura Wade about a woman who chooses the lifestyle of a 50s housewife, the cracks in Judy’s seemingly flawless life begin to show; and though the subject matter may be darker than Jessica is used to, laughs are not in short supply. “The best comedy always comes from something truthful,” insists Jessica. “Even with Horrible Histories , you always try to find something real in those characters, whatever they take so seriously that makes them ridiculous to the rest of the world.” Thanks to Laura’s masterful writing, this truth is not hard to find: “I buy it,” says Jessica. “With the way Laura’s written Judy, it feels like this is what Judy wants to do – and I totally see her argument.” Things are not as simple as they seem, though. Judy’s meddling feminist mother (Diane Keen) and husband Johnny (Neil McDermott) throw her polished life into disarray. “Judy’s mum wanted to fight for her to have the choice to do whatever she wants to do,” explains Jessica. “But Judy’s argument is: ‘I have the choice to do whatever I want to do, and that is to stay at home, make piccalilli and make

2 - 6 May

That’s what’s wonderful about plays... you have them captivated

well. It’s never predictable, but it adds to the excitement when stuff goes wrong.” Jessica also reveals that, because of the play’s many twists and turns, audience members are often unable to keep their reactions quiet. “As everybody consumes so much TV and film, it’s rare that people are used to giving their full attention to something,” she suggests. “That’s what’s wonderful about plays… you have them more captivated.” The crux of the play, insists Jessica, is a feminist message – for the role, she dived into research about the women of the day. “What was heartbreaking about it was that so many of them had potential – and that was stopped by the fact that the government and society were saying women should stay at home because that was your duty post-war.” Jessica jokes, however, that she could learn a thing or two from their pristine routines. “Every day of the week is laid out. It’s like a military operation,” she laughs. “Because of being in lockdown, I think we all have a different relationship with our house as well. It’s about expectations within a relationship.”

my husband’s life nice.’ And if that is her choice, is that okay?” Despite any onstage tensions, backstage the cast have been bonding over brunch on tour, with Jessica and Neil perfecting their performances. “We can feed off each other’s rhythms and kind of go: ‘That part was a bit slower tonight. Let’s try to pick it up,’” says Jessica. “You become a bit of a team when you’re on stage with someone so much.” “I haven’t been on stage for ten years,” she adds. “By accident, rather than design, because you get into a bit of a cycle if you do telly and it leads to more telly, or do stage and it leads to more stage.” And the differences between the two? “With a play, there’s nowhere to hide.” That has given rise to the cast’s fair share of mishaps, all of which they have had to take in their stride. “There’s a show report every night that our stage management team has to send out,” explains Jessica. “Some become epically long. For example, one night last week, somebody fell over in the wings and I had an enormous nosebleed right at the end. That was the night someone heckled us as

TAKE A SEAT Catch Diane Keen (above) and company at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from 2 to 6 May. Both evening and matinee performances are available



PARTY TIME Join the Early Night Club Alex Ruczaj, co-founder of Cambridge’s ‘sensible clubbing night’, explains why her cult party is still thriving after nearly 15 years – and what makes it so special

People say thank you all the time. Thank you for creating a place for us to go. It’s a safe space for people of all ages to let their hair down – that is the best thing to hear, and the reason why I keep doing it. I really didn’t think I would still be running a club night at 51, and now my toddlers are all grown up – in fact, my 18-year-old daughter sometimes comes for a dance, too! We had someone turn up eight months pregnant, and once, someone on crutches, dancing all night. At the last event, a woman managed to do a headstand in the middle of the dance floor to cheers from all her friends. I love it – just the crazy stuff of a great night out, of everyone feeling that excitement and freedom to let go. It seems like there’s a wider movement of club nights for ‘older people’ right now. Annie Mac’s Before Midnight has attracted a lot of attention recently, and you have Jo Whiley’s Nineties Anthems raves for the older crowd – Sara Cox, too. The DJs have grown up and so have we. In Cambridge, we also have the brilliant Karma Klub run by Amy Holly. It’s a dance class in a nightclub that leaves you on the most amazing high. Then, of course, we’ve been going for almost 15 years. It’s about our generation growing up and not wanting to let go of the things that we love, the things that help us to feel young or more like ourselves. This year, we’re going to be doing more events than ever before, working with a variety of different venues. We’re hosting a neon edition at Mash on 4 May, as well as returning to Provenance for our kitchen disco. I have friends all over the place that want to create satellite events – from LA to South Africa. I just love the idea of a global movement of sparkly, older nightclubbers. I am also writing a novel loosely based on the club, so watch this space!

It all started in 2009. I had young kids and was desperate to get out of the house and let loose! I tried a couple of times, but was yawning in an empty club by 10pm – or the DJs would be getting into their groove just as I was heading home for the babysitter. I felt there must be other people like me that wanted to go out dancing too, and the idea for Early Night Club started bubbling away. Some friends and I did our first event in February 2009 at Novi – there was a snowstorm and only a handful of people made it! We then moved to La Raza and have been there ever since, running a regular night from 7pm to 11.30pm. Our philosophy is not just to have a club that happens earlier, but to create a space that everyone feels welcome. Clubs can be intimidating places. We have always made a point of making people feel at ease. Nobody is too cool for school or on the pull, everyone is there to have a good time. You can party hard, but still be home in bed by midnight! The club attracts mostly women. We didn’t design it that way – it just seems women like to dance the most, although there is always a handful of brave men. It was also mostly parents to begin with, but nowadays it’s a real mix. We get lots of

groups on girls’ nights out and we even had a whole family out on the town together! It really is a lovely mix of friendly people who just want to have a good night of cocktails and dancing. What makes it so special is everyone giving each other compliments. Lots of people dress up and there are always many sparkly outfits – equally, you can come as you are. There’s loads of laughter, chatting and dancing; it’s the best hands-in-the-air, joyful atmosphere every single time. GET INVOLVED ENC founder Alex (above) enjoying a dance. Book your ticket for the neon edition on 4 May at city centre nightclub Mash

It’s the best hands-in-the-air, joyful atmosphere every single time



ON THE SCENE BUZZ WORD Ahead of their gig at The Portland Arms, Miriam Balanescu speaks to blazing Welsh band Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard

A fter the runaway success of full- length debut Backhand Deals , Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard frontman Tom Rees wanted to steer the Cardiff rockers in a different direction. “I was obsessed with everything being super clean. I was like, ‘I’m going to show everybody what a clean record I can make, how pristine we can be and how we’re all great players,’” he says. “As much as I love that record, listening back to it, I think I got obsessed with the whole Steely Dan thing.” The four-piece are now bringing their new music around the UK, including a stop-off in Cambridge, but their sound is more brooding and grungy than fans may expect. Songs such as the recently released Chew are saturated with ferocious guitar solos, and the fresh influences are as varied as Happy Tree Friends , the ‘pizzagate’ conspiracy theory and Tom’s dog. “She’s around the 26kg mark, she’s pretty insane,” Tom explains. “When I walk down the street,

turmoil we’ve been experiencing in the past few years. “For a long time, I was trying to work out how I could write that into a song,” he says. “I was very much of the opinion that music should be in a position to challenge authority, whatever level that might be: societal or political. But as we grow older and see a lot of punk bands come and go with nothing really changing, it kind of puts into question: is this actually helping, or is everybody just getting super stressed out?” Panic Shack and Super Furry Animals are among other bands Tom says have embraced a more carefree attitude. “Wales is really good for that because it has had that outlook musically for a long time. Wales historically has been forgotten about politically and musically.” Contrasts and contradictions are integral. Though the new music is underpinned by their ever- constant sense of humour, this is melded with a brand-new murkier sound. The reason behind this, Tom explains, is that he

4 May

CHANGING TACK The band will bring new, grunge-vibe music to The Portland Arms

In the 70s, there’s only a handful of songs about dogs

a crucial decade for them. “Acknowledging your references is great, giving them a nod, but finding a particular way to pull them into this century is important. A lot of the time, I do it through lyrical references as well. There’s a lot more modernity to me speaking about people being afraid of my dog – whereas in the 70s, there’s only a handful of songs about dogs,” Tom jokes. “It has been about finding something funny, usually that Ethan our drummer says because he’s a constant chatterbox, working it into some contextual element of my life, and then having this fun thing that happens.” The new album centres around ‘fun’, Tom insists – especially after the political

people will grab their kids, cross the street or take a step back – people have screamed just at the sight of her… It would give me some weird sense of power. She kind of looks like a wolf. I guess if it was late at night, the lighting just right, you’d be afraid. But honestly, I load the dishwasher and she runs into the other room.” On the music: “It’s a bit darker, basically, allowing me to play way more guitar. I did it for selfish reasons. I just want to solo for 40 minutes every night.” A key philosophy behind the band’s music is looking to classic influences, but keeping it modern by using the technology available today, without trying to replicate a nostalgic sound. The 70s continues to be

felt an urgent, almost unexplainable need to change tack after Backhand Deals : “It was this horrifying experience where I realised I had given something to the world that I just couldn’t take back any more.” We’d just be Cannibal Corpse if we were serious all the time,” he laughs. While recording with The Bug Club recently, bassist Tilly Harris mused that ‘the only way to truth is contradiction’, a line Tom says is true of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard. “You can find this interesting space that’s never been tried before.”

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard perform at The Portland Arms on 4 May



CAMBRIDGE EDITION Book Club This May, we bring you remarkable stories, including glorious Greek mythology, a heartfelt narrative of friendship and an extraordinary tale of family and war



So far, all books from Jennifer Saint are unmissable and, happily, this new epic is no different from the writer’s earlier smash-hit novels Ariadne and Elektra . This time, the author has turned her attention to retelling the legendary story of Atalanta, who was left to die on a hillside as a baby for the ‘crime’ of being a girl – then saved and raised by bears, before being taken by the goddess Artemis to live alongside her nymphs, enjoying a seemingly idyllic childhood in an enchanted forest, running wild, growing strong and learning to prove herself. Yet as she matures (unlike her ageless companions), she starts to question the unbending rules and harsh punishments Artemis imposes upon her pastoral idyll. Atalanta is curious about adventure, to experience life outside the

forest, and is soon given her chance by the goddess: she is sent to join the Argo to be the only female Argonaut and takes her place as one of Jason’s crew on his mythical voyage to retrieve the legendary Golden Fleece. She proves her worth time and time again, winning over the initially sceptical crew with her strength, speed, loyalty and devotion to her patron Artemis. Atalanta’s journey sees her encounter monsters, navigate challenges and cross paths with heroes and legends, all described in Jennifer Saint’s artful, poetic prose. This book is no doubt on the radar of those who love retellings of classical Greek stories, but anyone who loves a strong female lead will adore this adventure alongside the fearless, irresistible Atalanta. Grab your sandals and spear – and strap in for the ride.

LEGEND HAS IT Atalanta is the third myth-based novel from Jennifer Saint, Sunday Times bestselling author



BY NGUYEN PHAN QUE MAI This sweeping novel is a rich tapestry of stories, deftly woven together into a whole by extraordinarily talented author Nguyen Phan Que Mai. In 1969, sisters Trang and Quýnh have chosen to leave the rural village to find work in Sài Gòn and support their parents. Warily, they become bar girls, flirting and sleeping with US soldiers for tips, slowly eroding their strongly held sense of morality. In 2016, veteran helicopter pilot Dan is visiting Vietnam with his wife and childhood sweetheart Linda, on a trip to experience the country he was deployed to as a young soldier and hopefully ease the PTSD he’s been experiencing ever since. Secretly, he’s planning to track down Kim, a bar girl he fell in love with while stationed in the country – and perhaps Kim’s child, whom he abandoned along with her upon learning of the pregnancy. Alongside Dan’s modern-day tale, we meet Phong, son of a Vietnamese woman and a Black American soldier: abandoned by both his parents, looked down on by Vietnamese society and desperately trying to navigate an unsympathetic system in hope of a new chance for him and his family. The book’s title is an allusion to bui đòi – meaning ‘life of dust’ – referring to mixed-race children born during and after the Vietnam War. As the narratives unfold, we get a glimpse of the true cost of war as it ripples down generations. A stunning, unmissable read.

MULTI MEDIA A brilliantly written debut novel by the founder of Gal-dem magazine


BY LIV LITTLE Blissfully lyrical, nag-champa-scented novel Rosewater follows the free-spirited Elsie. Surviving and not thriving in London’s Peckham, she works behind the bar in a gay club by night and determinedly writes poetry by day. She’s estranged from her family and uncomfortably discontent with her current lot: she’s also sleeping with her gorgeous co-worker Bea, torn as to whether this is a good choice or not, but finding herself unable to resist her colleague at the end of another hard shift at the bar. The book opens as bailiffs arrive at Elsie’s flat. Left with nowhere to go, she reconnects with her old friend Juliet and moves into her flat’s proffered spare room. She wrestles with hard realities, continues to believe in herself and her art despite repeated rejections, and tries to ignore the flickers of their reignited friendship that are slowly transforming into full-blown, unrequited love – but is it really a one-way street? A pacy, emotional, deeply evocative novel about friendship, feeling lost and allowing yourself to be found where you least expect it.



WHAT IS LOVE CAMBRIDGE? Love Cambridge is the brand

developed by Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) to deliver a range of events and projects that animate and entertain our city. Offerings include the Love Cambridge Gift Card, open-air cinema nights, Wimbledon screenings, magazines, maps and more.

Visit or @LoveCambridge_ on socials.

SILVER SCREEN MAGIC! Our summer cinema is back for the season,

Also, don’t miss our much-loved Strawberries & Screen event, which will bring all the Wimbledon action to Station Road (next to the Clayton Hotel), between 3 and 16 July. Pop along on your lunch break or after work to enjoy a spot of tennis and a chilled beverage with friends and colleagues. The Copper Tree Gin Bar will be serving a variety of gin, beer, Pimms and non- alcoholic spritzes for you to enjoy. Keep an eye on the Love Cambridge socials to stay up to date with all events.

over to The Bad Guys and Black Panther , then rounding off the season in style will be Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody on 25 August. For the first time, we’re also bringing our al fresco cinema to Station Road – where we’ll pitch up on Wednesday 28 June for a screening of Top Gun: Maverick , starting at 6pm. The Copper Tree Bar will also be on hand to serve cold refreshments during the film. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.

offering a chance to catch open-air screenings of your favourite films around the city. The Market Square cinema will host screenings in May, June, July and August, with a chance to catch a double bill of films kicking off at 6pm and 8pm. Some seating will be available, but bring something comfy to be on the safe side – plus your popcorn, of course! On 19 May, catch Minions: The Rise of Gru and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris , then Matilda the Musical and Elvis on 30 June. On 21 July, it’s

JOB FAIR For anyone looking for a new career opportunity, mark the Cambridge BID Job Fair on 20 June in your diary. Taking place at the Downing Place United Reformed Church in Cambridge, it will offer a chance to meet with local employers, learn about roles and network with professionals in different sectors. The fair will feature a range of local employers from a variety of industries, offering opportunities for job seekers with different skill sets and experience levels. Attendees will be able to meet with potential employers, ask questions and submit their CVs for consideration.



Rom-com queen and Cambridgeshire dweller Lucy Vine reveals all about her writing life and fifth novel, Seven Exes A Cambridge WRITER’S DIARY

When I read, it tends to be rom coms, as that’s my genre, but I also love a twisty, turny thriller. My dream would be to write two books a year; one rom com – because I love being silly and making people laugh – but I’d absolutely love to have an alter ego and write a thriller. I’ve always been obsessed with reading. My whole childhood, I was hidden away with a book, but one of the saddest things for me about being an author is that I don’t enjoy reading as much now. I find I’ll read something and think, ‘that’s really clever, I’d maybe do this next’, or ‘this sentence structure could be edited like that’. Often I love a book, but I can’t disappear into the world in the same way I used to. I’d love for my books to make it to the big screen, and I’d love to do some screenwriting at some point, too. My first book, Hot Mess , got optioned for a TV series in the US. It had an actress and a pilot and it got quite far along in the process. But it happened to be around the time of the Fleabag phenomenon, and everybody was like ‘we’ve just commissioned something similar to this’, so it didn’t go anywhere. It would be incredible if it happened though. I love Cambridgeshire, I think it’s so beautiful. I live in Hemingford Grey – and I love that there’s this brilliant city so nearby, and yet this beautiful green space all around. And obviously you’re only an hour out of London, too. It feels like home. I’m the youngest of five siblings and my entire family now lives in Hemingford Grey – including ten nieces and nephews. We’re all in this village, so I can’t leave my house without bumping into a family member! Even though I wasn’t born here and we moved around a fair bit in my childhood, it’s in Cambridgeshire that I grew up and got to know who I was as a person.

The heroine of Seven Exes is Esther – terminally single and just back from a terrible date. She complains to her two housemates, and they decide to go and get drunk at their local pub, where they discover an old magazine, Cosmour . Inside is a feature about how there’s only seven types of relationship you have in your life, and in among those seven will be ‘the one.’ They laugh about it, but it dawns on Esther that she’s had every one of those relationships to a tee, and starts thinking she must have missed ‘the one’ somewhere along the way. So she decides to embark on the ‘seven exes mission’, which is to revisit all of her terrible mistakes! There’s lots of laughs, and some emotional moments, too. The inspiration came partly from the years I spent working as a magazine journalist. The kind of articles the girls discover is very familiar to me – and they were always so much fun. I love to look back at old magazines now; they’re problematic in a lot of ways but also very nostalgic for me. And the other thing is that before I met my husband, I was pretty obsessed with exes. I’d kind of go around in circles with people I’d dated before. So a lot of it did come from my own chequered past – but I also think that we’re all kind of obsessed with relationships we’ve had, with old flames. All of my friends talk a lot about exes, if only to mock how terrible our choices were! My creative process can be quite messy. I thought that because I was a journalist for so long, I’d be really good at writing books and being organised. But 100,000 words is quite different to 800 words here and there – and sometimes I procrastinate to high heaven. I tend to let things percolate for a while before writing them down. I’ll come up with an idea, I’ll do a plan, and I’ll talk to my editor and make sure she’s

happy with what I’m doing. Then I’ll tend to spend around two months thinking about the book – and when it comes to crunch time and I’ve only got a couple of months left before deadline, it all comes together and I’m pretty fast at the actual writing part. Sometimes inspiration comes in the middle of the night, and I’ll be writing things on my phone, but mostly I find I’m more efficient in the morning. When I’m in the writing phase, I’m a nine-to-five kind of person. I tend to stop for way too long a lunch break, but I’ll write a few thousand words a day during that period. When I’m writing, it comes quite easily to me, and I know where I’m going. Probably because I do so much planning before I actually start writing. Procrastination is my problem – I’ll sometimes spend whole days watching Netflix, re-watching old stuff like US Office over and over again!



FILM AL FRESCO IDYLLIC CINEMA As Enchanted Cinema returns, Miriam Balanescu meets the company’s founder to discover more W hether a nail-biting thriller or a slow-burn romance, the setting in which we watch a film sign the weather is warming up and it’s time to venture out. There is no shortage of visually

Gain new perspectives with our range of top cinema picks in May!

staggering backdrops in the city. “I found myself in many a beautiful environment, creating the spaces in my head before approaching the venues,” explains William. Previous hosts have included the likes of the Gonville Hotel, the Cambridge Blue, the Orchard Tea Garden or even college May Balls. William adds: “The list really is endless in Cambridge – there’s always a beautiful hidden garden to be discovered.” Rooftop cinemas are deep-rooted in London, where filmgoers climb to sky- scraper heights above industrial units or car parks and often recline on conspicuous deck chairs and sip craft beer. William was looking for something different: “I’d been to one rooftop cinema in London prior to beginning my own journey, but it was very brutalist, on top of a car park in the pouring rain with no live music and limited food offerings. It felt rather industrial. I thought we could add a festival element to it, more lighting and a warmer aesthetic. “We’ve continued building upon our venues and what we offer – for instance, blankets, hot water bottles and firepit add- ons,” continues William. “We’ve tried to continually increase the audio quality and visual elements while staying within our price bracket in an expanding market.” With everything moving outdoors during the pandemic, the business was also given another boost. William plans to only push the boat out further in 2023. “We’re looking to expand what we screen in terms of blockbusters, classics, documentaries and environmentally aware showings.” Loving local is key to Enchanted Cinema, which invites a nearby musician to play before every screening, while also programming a line-up of shorts from indie filmmakers as an added bonus. “I’m a huge lover of live music, I feel it sets a calming tone before indulging and delving into the film you are watching,” says William. “Couple this with the sun setting, drink in hand and your best people, it’s magic.”

– on a laptop screen, perhaps, or in the cinema – is integral to the experience. And though we’re most used to watching films cosied up in bed, on the sofa, or sitting on comfy popcorn-peppered seats, the great outdoors is definitely an overlooked part of the cinematic adventure. Picture this: the birds sing, dusk falls, people are huddled on blankets – and the movie begins. “I was working multiple jobs and found myself leaving Jesus Green Lido really wanting to watch a film right there – outdoors, sun setting, live music, street food, taking the anti-social experience of indoor cinema and making it more of a social experience,” says William Morrish, founder of Enchanted Cinema, which runs outdoor film events in Cambridge. “Funnily enough, we have a screening there later this year; eight years down the line.” This month, Enchanted Cinema’s next season begins, this time with a brand-new collaboration alongside Garden House, the snazzy hotel-restaurant nestled on the lush banks of the River Cam. Since the organisation’s beginnings in 2015, its events have begun to cue the start of summer – a


Ari Aster follows up Midsommar and Hereditary with a mind- and genre-bending psychodrama about a man (Joaquin

Phoenix) with mummy issues. Where to Watch: UK cinemas When: 19 May

A Gaelic footballer (Éanna Hardwicke) struggles with life off the pitch in this complex and surprisingly sensitive investigation on identity. Where to Watch: UK & ROI cinemas When: 5 May LAKELANDS


An emotionally colossal tale of boyhood and lifelong friendship from directors Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch. Where to Watch: UK cinemas When: 12 May

THE GREAT OUTDOORS Deckchairs and fairy lights at dusk – setting the scene for a fantastic viewing experience at Anstey Hall, Cambridge


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