Friday, 16 May 2014

Single Review: 'I Will Never Let You Down' by Rita Ora

In the lead up to summer we all want inspiration to go and get that summer body and make sure we’re ready for that one day of sunshine in Britain and Rita Ora delivers with this track.

Perfect for either lounging round in the sun or dancing with your friends; this summery hit is incredibly catchy with phrases like ‘when you say you’ve had enough / and you might just give it up / oh, oh’ it’s hard not to sing along even after you’ve heard it once. Following Rita’s huge success with ‘How We Do (Party)’ in 2012 ‘I Will Never Let You Down’ gives us the same kind of preppy vibe.

The main point of the song is defiantly a positive message about loyalty but with a pop beat, created by Calvin Harris, behind it. The perfect pairing was defiantly made for this song, Calvin Harris and Rita Ora create a possible big hit for summer and for clubs.

Words by Leonora Meaney

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Know Your Shit : UKIP and the EU

It’s coming. It’s bloody coming. That fateful Thursday the 22nd which sees you get up in the morning, wetting the bed in crippling excitement, armed like a political shotgun when you’ve picked up the clumsy black crayon, tears forming as you know you’re changing the very fabric of British political history! Can you feel that raw passion of democracy-fever? Can you?!?
You probably don’t, and frankly, I don’t blame you. Europe is about as sexy as Andrew Marr in lingerie: Most of us don’t want to know about it, and the minority that do only  want to know all the ins and outs in order to tell everyone what’s good and bad about it. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

We've Been Procrastinating With: Orange is the New Black

‘Orange is the New Black’ is a Netflix original comedy-drama series first released in July 2013 and based on Piper Kerman’s memoir ‘Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison’. It focuses on the main character, the upper-middle class New Yorker Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling), and her time in a women’s prison for transporting money from smuggled drugs 10 years earlier. The series has recently received an award for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards and the brilliance of the cast was also recognised at the 2014 Satellite Awards.

Alongside Taylor Schilling, ‘Orange is the New Black’ also stars Jason Biggs as Piper’s fiancé, Larry, and Natasha Lyonne (both from the ‘American Pie’ series) and Laura Prepon (‘That ‘70s Show’) as Piper’s ex-girlfriend, Alex, who is serving time in the same prison for drug-smuggling.

What really stands out in ‘Orange is the New Black’ is the mixture of personalities amongst the characters. Each episode has a main storyline focussing on Piper’s attempts to adjust to life in prison and the (slightly predictable) love-triangle between herself, her fiancé and her ex-girlfriend, however each episode also has flashbacks which allow the watcher to piece together the individual histories of the other women in prison, and which are also used as a comparison with Piper’s privileged life before entering prison.

‘Orange is the New Black’ is worth checking out for the opening credits alone if the idea of a prison comedy-drama doesn’t appeal to you. They feature Regina Spektor’s song ‘You’ve Got Time’, which is incredibly catchy!

As someone who is fascinated by prisons and is studying Criminology, I binge-watched all 13 episodes of the first season in less than a week and can definitely recommend that you do so too, especially if you’re looking for a way to avoid the revision/coursework drama typical of this time of year. If the first season just isn’t enough, ‘Orange is the New Black’ returns to Netflix with a second season on June 6th.

Words by Hannah Barnett

Monday, 12 May 2014

Feature: The Revision Playlist

Sadly, we’re deep into revision time. Exams are looming, deadlines are nearly upon us, and we can’t even remember the last time we went out.
On the bright side though, we at Liberty Belle have put together a revision playlist to help you through the pain. We even got our writers to write some words about why they made their selection to help you build your own. We're just that nice.

Pat Benatar – 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot'
We’ve all been there. You should have started revising weeks ago, you’ve lost the reading list and your friend won’t let you borrow their painstakingly made cue cards. In the panic of the last minute cramming session, playlists tagged “chill” won’t cut it anymore. Only the most upbeat ‘80s power pop will do when trying to convince yourself that you’ll pull through and there’s none better than ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’. Charlie Mayer

Cyril Hahn- 'Say My Name (Destiny’s Child Remix)'
Singing along to songs in a library is a huge no-no, so I often go for film scores or music with fewer lyrics rather than power ballads. Cyril Hahn hit the scene a few years ago now but his classic remixes, of the likes of ‘Destiny’s Child’ as well as ‘Mariah Carey’ have the perfect blend of reinventing songs while remaining faithful to why people fell in love with them. Putting a mellow twist on classic R&B tracks has become an ever increasing trend and I would definitely recommend looking for similar cover work done by ‘The Neighbourhood’, ‘Chet Faker’ and ‘The Weeknd’. Miriam Amies

LCD Soundsystem - 'Us V Them'

Like most people, I need a little bit of motivation to help me revise. Let’s face it; sometimes the thought of how much learning you have to do in such little time is one so terrifying that feigning ignorance seems a much more sensible idea.
Choosing a song to provide this motivation has its dangers though. Picking one too energetic and you’ll find yourself dancing around your room all day, picking one not energetic enough and well… you won’t do anything.
With this in mind I’ve chosen ‘Us V Them’ by LCD Soundsystem. The combative lyrical rhetoric implied by the title is coupled with a simple mix of drums, cowbell, and scratchy guitars, keeping your mind free to concentrate on quantum mechanics, the migration of African bees, or whatever it is you were supposed to have learnt about weeks ago. Jamie Doherty

Trails and Ways - 'Nunca'
When played on repeat this track never ends, a sumptuous overlapping record thatmoves with the tide of some far off beach that the song inspires you to imagine. However, whilst promoting escapism during regular listening, Nunca escapes scintillating drum solos or guitar riffs to distract us whilst working and rather fills the room with an almost smoke-like sound, hanging in the air without disturbing the flow of your mind as you work. Arguably one of the best pieces of background music a student could ask for and it never allows your mood to drop. James McMullon

Keaton Henson – 'Teach Me'

A chilled out song from Henson which has just the right amount of singing and instrumental sections to make you relaxed and focused while doing work. His soothing tones lull you into a false sense of security that eases you into revision. This song isn't one for doing all nighters too though; otherwise you might just fall asleep while doing work. Leonora Meaney

The Drums - 'Let’s Go Surfing'

The reason I think this track is perfect for revision is the mood it evokes. The chorus picks up just the right amount of pace; it’s not too slow thankfully, so you’re unlikely to fall asleep whilst attempting to study! That said it doesn’t make you break out into an all-singing-all-dancing-around-your-room-drum-solo kind of routine, either. It’s inoffensive, played in the background without being a distraction and the chilled out vibe to the vocals only serves to remind me of the – hopefully – sunny summer that lies at the end of exam season. Bethany Kirkbride

Swiss Lips – 'U Got The Power'
When you look up at the mountain of revision towering over you and come to the realisation that you have, in fact, learnt nothing over the past academic year and yes, you are about to be tested on it, there’s nothing quite like ‘80s synth-overloaded, fizzy, electro-pop songs to get you motivated and help you power through. You’ve acknowledged that ‘all things are going against you’ but that’s okay because Swiss Lips are here to remind you that although it might not feel like it,  ‘U Got The Power’ to ace those exams. Ellen Offredy

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Single Review: 'Islands' by Screaming Maldini

Screaming Maldini
‘Islands’ is Liberty Belle favourites Screaming Maldini’s May release for their #MonthlyMaldiniXII project, which sees them releasing a free downloadable track every month. This has proved to be immensely popular already this year and is the perfect follow up to their debut album. So far we’ve been treated to the brilliant ‘Soweto’, ‘Bearings’, and ‘Abyssinia’, and ‘Islands’ does not disappoint.

As with all the songs released as part of the project so far, ‘Islands’ showcases Gina Walters’ amazing vocal talents. The cover, featuring a picture of a ship in a bottle, follows on the nautical theme already being explored this year through previous releases, and the song flows from calm to more energetic in a way which conjures up images of the sea and which makes the song stick around in your head long after you’ve heard it.

You can check out ‘Islands’ for yourself, along with the other #MonthlyMaldiniXII songs, on their Soundcloud page, and get excited for what is yet to come this year!

Words by Hannah Barnett

Live Review: Wolf Alice, Superfood, Gengahr @ Leadmill, Sheffield

Described as a ‘right of passage’ by Franz Ferdinand, touring for upcoming artists wouldn’t be complete without a date at The Leadmill, Sheffield’s longest running live music venue and nightclub. Following the release of single ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ and with an EP release on the horizon, Wolf Alice followed this passage after setting off on a UK tour with support from Superfood and Gengahr.

The night kicked off with support act Gengahr, hailing from London, who filled the room with melodic alternative pop rhythms packed full of glistening harmonies and dreamy undertones. ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’ brought about a feel of summer haziness with echoing vocals while smooth bass-lines, accompanied punchy percussion. With not much material online at present, it’s highly recommended you catch Gengahr live if they make an appearance near you.

Next up were Birmingham quartet Superfood. Known for having a mysterious online presence only recently taking to social media and making just a handful of songs available online, Superfood have grown. They graced the crowd with a set mix of 90s grunge and brit-pop sounds, whilst also not straying far from the slacker melodies and shoe-gaze tracks erupting from the ‘B-town’ music scene.

‘TV’ boasted guitar hook laden rhythms and raw vocals deliver the simplistic repeated lyrics ‘I can never sleep / I can never sleep / I can never sleep without the TV on’. ‘Bubbles’ featured sporadic guitars and punchy percussion coinciding with rough vocals and bouncy bass-lines, contrasting to the self-titled closing track, ‘Superfood’, which presented a swooning chorus full of enthusiasm.

After much anticipation Wolf Alice entered with great stage presence, bursting straight into new release ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, opening with melancholic guitars, soon accompanied by rock riffs and the vocal hooks of front woman Ellie Rowsell singing ‘ah ah ah ah’. Unreleased track ‘Your Love’s Whore’ delivered similar elements to the aforementioned track also featuring the repeated ah’s of Rowsell, catching the attention of the crowd.

It came as no surprise that the set flitted between the peaceful rhythms and delicate guitars of ‘Blush’ to the fuzzy distorted guitars of ‘She’ and it goes without saying that they pulled it off perfectly. ‘She’ had Rowsell’s vocals switch between delicately husky and early punk reminiscent in seconds and you can see why Wolf Alice have been receiving a lot of attention of present.

Bassist, Theo Ellis, became completely immersed in the performance as they played the festival-esque,  ‘90s reflective, pop hit ‘Bros’, which also proved to be a fan favourite. They encored with the epitome of teenage angst ‘Fluffy’, full of garage sounds and screaming distorted guitars, which, being one of their first releases and knowing it was their last song received the greatest response.

There was no crowd surfing at this gig, which mindful of genre and of Sheffield fans’ usual responses was unexpected.  It may have been down to the nature of the venue and size restrictions, so perhaps on their return; Wolf Alice will play a bigger venue and ignite a bigger crowd reaction.

Words by Ellen Offredy

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Live Review: McBusted @ Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield

After a hugely successful performance at the Royal Albert Hall for McFly's tenth anniversary concert, fans have been clamoring for a reunion between Busted and McFly, and the boys didn't disappoint. Announcing a full UK arena tour last November, excitement has been building as shows across the country sold out and McBusted added more dates to the tour to keep up with the phenomenal demand. Fans had been promised a shamelessly nostalgic set with a few surprises thrown in, and that was certainly what was delivered.

The Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, was bursting with excitable fans and first to grace them were Young Brando. They performed a set of their own material and the enthusiastic lead vocalist dominated the stage showing bags of potential.

The following support group, EofE weren't dissimilar. They opened their set with a cover of Michael Jackson's ‘Billie Jean’ that was well received by the audience and their original songs proved equally popular.

Third support, the 3 Dudes, consisted of three fresh-faced American boys, who were floppy-haired, energetic and had a clear passion for performing. Their performance was not as slick as the previous bands but they definitely gave it their all.

Photo credit: Topher Winward
Finally McBusted burst on stage with a larger-than-life stage presence, opening with ‘Air Hostess’, one of Busted's biggest hits. The arena filled with screams as they quickly followed with ‘You Said No’, a tale of teenage rejection, and ‘Britney’, inspired by former member Charlie Simpson's obsession with Britney Spears.

Although it's been ten years since the boys last toured together, the six band members don't seem to have aged at all. James Bourne sported ripped jean-shorts covered in Marvel comic book patches whilst Tom Fletcher had a snapback hat tucked in his belt loops. Their boyish charm captured the hearts of the audience demonstrating how many ways they haven't changed at all.

The band surprised the audience with an on screen film skit where they acted as victims of an alien invasion before descending from the top of the arena on a UFO, glow in the dark guitars in hand. They performed McFly favourite ‘Star Girl’ which received a huge response from the audience, dancing and singing along.

McBusted treated the audience to a slightly rockier version of Jackson 5's ‘I Want You Back’ with Bourne taking the lead on the vocals, and Matt Willis and Danny Jones accompanied him with a typically cheesy, yet entertaining and refreshing, boy-band dance.

‘Crashed the Wedding’ saw an avalanche of heart-shaped confetti launched over the audience as well as Willis donned in a wedding dress - similar fashion to Busted's original music video. This took the audience right back to 2003 when the song was first released delivering a sense of nostalgia that many of the fans had been craving.

The show ended where it all began with ‘Year 3000’ and there couldn't have been a more fitting ending. There was a great mix of both Busted and McFly songs, and the lively tunes left the audience grinning from ear to ear.

Despite concerns that the show would be a little bit too cheesy, it was close to flawless; the vibrant personalities of the boys shone through as well as their musical talent, which made the whole experience even more enjoyable. The tongue-in-cheek humour and boyish gags could have made even the most cynical person giggle. And let’s be honest, how often do you go to a concert and see a guy in a wedding dress, huge inflatable balls bouncing over the audience, and a giant trio of boobs above the stage?

Words by Sian Abbott

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Feature: Hand Of

Sheffield based arts platform, ‘Hand Of’ is getting ready for its newest event on 15th May. Victoria Beardwood spoke to its founder about all things ‘Hand Of’… 

Being home to two universities, the city of Sheffield and its rich cultural heritage are often overshadowed by the dominating label of being a ‘student city’. 21-year old Louise Snape, founder of Sheffield based arts platform, Hand Of, aims to amend this, and to support and enrich the local community through innovative art events. “I wanted to get out of the student bubble – as excellent as it is - and learn about the city we’re actually living in”, she explains. “I try to fuse the creativity of local people with that of students as there is a clear chasm between the two”.

Snape has ventured to do this through various novel projects, such as an electronic ballet based on Brecht’s 'The Good Person of Szechwan', and 'Garden Institute', a rolling event and “glorified garden party”, to which the Hand Of team invites strangers to enjoy a patchwork of performances from musicians and poets.

The platform’s newest project is its most ambitious to date. Numerous endeavors in one, 'A Long Walk to Grimethorpe' is a commission for brass band and electronics, to be performed by the University of Sheffield Brass Band on 15th May at Sheffield’s S1 Artspace. It will culminate in a documentary made by notable cineaste, Ismar Badzic. Snape views the project as a means to “set up networks between musical communities in South Yorkshire”, putting on outreach events in Sheffield primary schools, alongside workshops and collaborations between local brass bands.

Despite fears that her young age undermines her experience, a project of this magnitude and originality certainly proves otherwise and makes one wonder if there’s anything Snape can’t turn her Hand (Of - sorry) to.

Watch the trailer here
Tickets available here

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Words by Victoria Beardwood

Monday, 5 May 2014

Theatre Review: West Side Story

As we rushed in to the Drama Studio to escape a dismal Wednesday evening, we were immediately welcomed with the low overture of the orchestra; an uplift to spirits in itself as well as an exciting setting for the evening’s tone. Finding our seats in the cosy theatre having been greeted by a number of performers in character, we were now eager with anticipation. We were not about to be disappointed.

A Sheffield University Performing Arts Society production, West Side Story, a spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has long been a cult musical in itself. The story centres on a controversial relationship amidst a fierce race-based gang rivalry in 1950s New York; which in typical Shakespearean fashion, involves a significant amount of tragedy along the way. Whilst classics such as this are safe bets for drawing crowds in, they are seldom as simple when it comes to ensuring that the well-known story is still told in a refreshing and relevant way. Thankfully SUPAS managed to achieve this, and then some. The cast were brilliant, making the traditional story very funny with what seemed like little effort. A personal highlight was the performance of the satirical song ‘Gee Officer Krupkee’ from American gang ‘The Jets’, which was carried out with impressive skill, paying homage to the tongue in cheek nature of the film’s version whilst managing to make it their own.

Having never attended a SUPAS event in the past, we were unaware and therefore pleasantly impressed to find the calibre of the actors to be extremely high, and were particularly enthralled with the well-rounded performance of Naomi Bailey as Puerto Rican migrant Anita. However, it wasn’t just the performers whose talent shone through. The orchestra were phenomenal and contributed significantly to the overall feel of the play, causing tension in the right places and creating the incredible songs that made the entire show, a backing track couldn’t possibly have competed. It was also evident that the choreography was extremely well designed and rehearsed; the dances were exciting and professional. ‘Dance at the Gym’, a dance off between the two gangs found to be particularly entertaining, a light-hearted piece before the serious side to the story comes into full swing.
It was clear from beginning to end that not only were SUPAS very talented, but that they were enjoying it as much as the audience were, which only made the whole experience more gratifying.   Leaving the studio singing, the grim weather quickly reminded us that we were back in rainy Sheffield. Never has the tune ‘I like to be in America’ been sung so emphatically. Suffice to say two hours in 1950s New York had been a blast.  
Words by Emily Griffiths

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Film Review: Transcendence

The debut film by Wally Pfister, best known as the cinematographer on all of director Christopher Nolan’s films, including Inception and The Dark Knight, Transcendence stars Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Castor, a leading computer scientist, who along with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), specialises in the study of artificial intelligence. Predicting a breakthrough on their creation of a sentient super-computer with the ability to change the world and achieve ‘transcendence’, he is fatally injured during an assassination attempt by a radical anti-technology terrorist group, fearing the impact such a machine will have.
With Will dying, Evelyn frantically works to upload his consciousness onto their experimental computer, causing it to develop its own self-awareness based upon his conscious mind. The grieving Evelyn uploads the computer-Will to the internet, where it starts to grow and spread.
Director Wally Pfister and the cast of Transcendence at the Los Angeles premiere.
It’s easy to see that Pfister is covering similar territory to his work with Nolan. It’s an extremely serious and humourless film, combining a sci-fi love story with a cautionary tale about the dangers of technology. The script ponders some interesting concepts about what it is to be human, and the potential of technology to improve our lives, but poses them in a muddled script which never develops much sense of threat or tension. Will’s growing power is hinted at but never fully explored, making the film feel surprisingly small and uninvolving.
As such, most of the film takes place in bare white labs, offices or deserts, in which characters discuss issues of the philosophy of technology. The plot mostly concerns how the two opposing sides of the debate prepare for the inevitable, but ultimately underwhelming, big finale, leaving the film to feel like essentially a long montage.
The relationship between Will and Evelyn should really be the main focus of the film, with her questioning whether she can love a human-like machine, and indeed, if that computer even is Will. But their loving marriage never comes across as especially convincing or engaging. It may be Depp is doing an excellent job of playing an emotionless computer, but he comes across as being perpetually bored in a rather flat performance. Hall tries her best, mixing grief with intelligent determination, but the script limits her scope.
The film looks good, with a controlled gaze and nice shots of desert ghost towns and vast fields of solar panels. But visuals alone aren’t enough to make up for a film which ultimately feels pretty dreary. With its fears of global technological threat, I couldn’t help thinking of Transcendence as being like a less involving or entertaining version of The Terminator. If you want to see a better film about human relationships with technology, then you should definitely watch Her, a charming, funny, believable and overall touching film about modern love.
Overall, whilst it is admirable that Transcendence considers some complex questions, it comes at the expense of making an exciting and memorable thriller.

Words by Patrick Lavin

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Live review: Brody Dalle, The Beaches @ Leadmill, Sheffield

Brody Dalle, former front woman of thunderous punk band The Distillers, stopped off in Sheffield on her brief UK tour to support her new album ‘Diploid Love’.

Source: NME
Opening the show were Canadian girl band The Beaches. Despite their teenage years, the four-piece boldly tore through their set as if they’d been touring for decades. Highlighted best by the song ‘Little Pieces’, the band produce a formidable alt-rock sound, drawing inspiration from the likes of Band of Skulls and The White Stripes. Their EP ‘Heights’, due out next month, is worth looking into.

Main act of the night Brody Dalle, who coincidently was hiding former Distillers guitarist Tony Bevilacqua amongst her band for the evening, fittingly chose to open her set with new song ‘Rat Race’. I say fittingly because of the line ‘I’m going to burn this city down’ which she basically did, or left some Sheffield natives with burnt out vocal chords at the very least.

Her new material, slightly more subtle on record, was properly thrashed at. ‘Meet the Foetus/Oh the Joy’ in particular was given universal approval by the packed out Leadmill crowd. Other new songs such as ‘Don’t Mess With Me’ and ‘Underworld’ fit in to the set as if they were Distillers classics, whilst ‘Parties for Prostitutes’ complimented the heavier material nicely.

The Distillers classics made up the majority of the set, much to the delight of the crowd. It’s been eight years since The Distillers broke up so, despite the quality of Brody’s new material, renditions of ‘Sick of it All’ and ‘Dismantle Me’ brought out a cry of ecstasy from the crowd that couldn’t be matched.

Completing the set list, as well as a cover of ‘Hybrid Moments’ by The Misfits, was ‘Ghetto Love’ from Brody’s previous project Spinnerette. This, a more danceable track than others, was introduced with the words ‘Dance with me, I’m not going to dance for you.’ Quite right.

Overall the set was exhilarating. There are many punk bands around today, but none of them quite like The Distillers, and none of them with anyone like Brody. We just hope she comes back to tour again.

Brody Dalle’s new album is out now and can be heard here.

Words by Jamie Doherty

Single review: 'Abyssinia' by Screaming Maldini

Following on from ‘Soweto’ and ‘Bearings’, ‘Abyssinia’ is the third release from Screaming Maldini’s yearlong #monthlymaldiniXII project, which will see the band release a new song every month.

The song itself is much darker than the previous two releases. The dance-pop beat of ‘Soweto’ and sunny timbres from ‘Bearings’ have been replaced by a more sombre, stripped back arrangement – culminating in a brooding climax of trumpets where lead singer Gina cries “Are we there?” Although not exactly infectious pop music, the song still makes compelling listening through its emotive nature.

Even if it’s just through their slightly quirky instrumentation, Screaming Maldini always manage to make their music interesting and this is no exception.

What did you think of the new track? Comment below and let us know!

Words by Jamie Doherty

Monday, 28 April 2014

Kate Moss x Topshop Coming This Week

The new Kate Moss for Topshop Spring Collection 2014 is here, and it is - unquestionably - sublime. The pieces have been influenced by Moss’ own wardrobe and the creative vision of Katy England and can be categorized as follows: Quirky Bohemian, Pajama Cool, Red Carpet Siren and Tailored Professional. All of which will fulfill a tiny fantasy of looking much cooler and much edgier than we actually are.

An item that is sure to achieve blogger Holy Grail status is the suede ‘gig jacket’ that is sure to be paraded at Glastonbury this summer at which Moss religiously attends with cult-making fashion trends that cement her place in the style pantheon. Not only Moss herself, but celebrities such as Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller and the Duchess of Cambridge have sported previous Kate Moss for Topshop designs, and Moss’ notoriety has only increased since her much celebrated Playboy Cover this year for her 40th birthday.

The prices start from £40, with a hand-finished Kaftan at the middling price of £85 and the high end of the spectrum finishing with a £600 hand-beaded flapper dress. For most students, this is big money, and perhaps too extravagant when food needs to be bought. However, owning just one of these iconic pieces will balance the financial scales with the infinitely more important fashion ones. If you are going to a festival, the collection will raise you massively in the million unflattering pictures that will be taken of you with 3-day old makeup and greasy hair. If you aren’t going to a festival, then you should get something to make you feel better and at least simulate the festival experience when sat alone in your room, looking fabulous in a fringed jacket and listening to The Rolling Stones.

The collection will be available from Topshop stores and online, Nordstrom stores and online and from April 30, but will probably be sold out by lunch of the same day so the strategic buying that every serious fashion shopper has must be utilized and lectures must be abandoned in favour of incessantly refreshing websites and crying quietly.

By Romy Risley

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Film Review: The Other Woman

The Other Woman tells the story of Carly (played by Cameron Diaz), an ambitious New York lawyer whose cynicism towards the ideas of true love and monogamy are finally swayed when she meets bad boy Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). However her happiness is short-lived when a surprise visit to his home goes horribly wrong and she discovers that he is married.
Source: TalkBacker
Scorned wife Kate (Leslie Mann) finds her whole world crashing around her when she realises that the woman standing on her doorstep is in fact her husbands mistress. She leans on Carly for support and their heartbreak becomes the foundation of their relationship as the weirdest friends ever. To add insult to injury, the women soon discover that there is a third lady in love rat Marks life, the beautiful Amber (Kate Upton), and between the three of them, The Lawyer, the Wife and the Boobs  hatch a plan for revenge on the man who played them all.
L-R - Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz. Source: Huffington Post
Although the plot is arguably predictable and a little bit cliché, this film is a really easy watch and would be perfect for a girly night in. Diaz and Manns characters are the perfect counterparts of each other; the sassy career girl with ice queen tendencies, and the sweet, loveable wife, albeit a bit dippy. Mann in particular excels herself in her performance, sparking off Diaz with ease and providing moments of comedic genius thanks to her characters ditzy personality. Her moments of humour are balanced by glimpses of vulnerability, which are played beautifully, tugging at the heartstrings and reminding you that she still has the devastation of a broken marriage to deal with.

Uptons character, although likeable, is very much disposable. Ambers naivety and girl-next-door charm makes her endearing, and her obvious beauty is appealing to male viewers, but her character is comparatively dull. This is a shame when so much more could have been done with her personality. She doesnt really contribute much to the trio or the plot of the film, and even without her, Diaz and Mann would have worked perfectly on their own.
Source: OnTheRedCarpet
Although it is clear that there has been an attempt at a message of girl power, it is seemingly feeble and doesnt really hit home unless youre really looking for a moral of the story. Although women everywhere relish the idea of reaping revenge on men who have broken their hearts, the fact that the triage of women seem to devote every waking moment on their plot against Mark seems to contradict the point that the film is trying to get across, and it certainly drives wife Kate towards a mental breakdown.

While The Other Woman isnt the most memorable rom-com, I certainly found it an enjoyable watch. The glamorous settings of New York and Miami along with the sophisticated characters made the film pleasing to the eye, and the regular bursts of comedy moments made the story flow well without there being any lulls of tediousness. Theres even a bit of toilet humour thrown in (literally) to cater for the dozens of bored-looking boyfriends who have been dragged along to see yet another chick flick.
Source: Brunch News
Overall, The Other Woman is fantastic for its target audience and definitely worth a trip to the cinema if youre looking for a light-hearted, girly film.

Words by Sian Abbott

Friday, 25 April 2014

Crop Top Weather Ab Attack Workout

It's that time of year again.... We are getting ever closer to warmer weather and (dreaded for some) bikini season! With the crop top trend flying off the charts and sunshine poking through the clouds, it's time to consider amping up - or starting - to get toned in that tummy area. I know this is a particular problem area for many women, myself included, and it is probably one of the hardest areas on the body to tone up and get definition. Hard, but not impossible! With this in mind I've come up with a little routine that you can easily fit into a busy day and do in your living room; no equipment needed!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Crop Top Trend

Crop tops have experienced a major revival recently, appearing everywhere from the red carpet to the lecture theatre. Our writer, Ashley Chan, takes a looks at this new cropped trend and how to wear it…
It’s that time of year again when our pale legs must emerge from their nylon sheaths, and the summer ritual of fake tanning, shaving, and getting those tootsies sandal-ready begins. This year, however, you might just have one more thing to add onto the list of summer preparation: a slender waistline. It comes as no surprise as the bikini season is approaching, but it’s also a must so that you’re prepared to embrace this ever-growing summer trend: the crop top.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Live review: JAWS, The Magic Gang, Tropic of Youth @ The Plug, Sheffield

With the success of recently released single Think Too Much, Feel Too Little making it into the top 10 on the iTunes alternative charts, Birmingham boys JAWS head off on tour. Of course, any tour wouldnt be complete without stopping off in Sheffield for a greatly received show at The Plug.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Single Review: ‘Money’ by Peace

Harry Koisser presents us with a robust anthem in the form of Peaces single MoneyUnsure of what to make of the news that the Worcester bands frontman had turned his hand to rapping,were pleased to say he doesnt disappoint.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Record Store Day – Is Vinyl Really That Great?

 This Saturday record stores across the US and UK are opening early, hosting in-store parties, and generally selling a lot more records than usual – all because of Record Store Day.

Started in 2007, the event was created in the US in order to help independent record stores in their plight against dwindling sales and encourage people to return to the old form of music consumption. The event centres around bands releasing limited edition vinyl records that can only be bought in person during Record Store Day, forcing fans into stores on mass. Previous bands that have contributed include Daft Punk, Metallica, Florence and the Machine, and David Bowie just to name a few.

So what’s so great about vinyl anyway?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Newcastle Does Vintage

Vintage Fairs are taking the UK fashion scene by storm, so our writer Charlotte Imlah went to Newcastle Does Vintage to see what all the fuss is about…

One of my favourite things to do is rummage through piles of vintage clothes, looking for the next adored piece of my wardrobe that I will wear to death. Last Sunday’s Newcastle Does Vintage – the city’s biggest vintage fair, that takes over four floors at the Theatre Royal – gave me the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Sartorial Lent Antidote: Sugary Easter Dressing

Have you picked an outfit for Easter yet? If not, don’t worry, because Liberty Belle is here to help you! Our writer Amber De Smet has handpicked sugary Spring pastels and cute bunny accessories that will make your day as sweet as the chocolate eggs you’ll be munching…


A pair of cute Topshop socks (£3.50) will instantly Easter up your outfit.

Look sugary sweet in Topshop’s yellow and red floral shirtdress, £42.

Or just relax on the couch in some blush-coloured lacey shorts, £15, New Look.

River Island managed to combine two of the best Springy things – bunny ears and daisies– with this cute headband!

Keep your feet warm (and cute) with some bunny socks from John Lewis, £6.50.

Dress up for Easter brunch with this pastel green top, £15, New Look.

Or hunt for Easter eggs in a pale yellow skater dress from New Look, £25.

We suggest you snuggle up in a light blue bunny jumper at the end of the day. (£20, Miss Selfridge)

What Easter themed fashion trends do you love? Let us know @libertybellemag

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Dreaming of Coachella...

This weekend, thousands of US festival-goers will flock to Coachella. Fashion Editor Megan Sutton is giving us the run down on the event, and how to dress like a Coachella girl… 

If you’re free this weekend, a fan of Haim, Pharrell Williams and Disclosure, and willing to sell a kidney to fund flight costs, then Coachella could be the place for you. This internationally esteemed festival, held near Palm Springs in California, attracts celebs and hipsters alike year after year with glorious weather, uber-trendy acts, and a reputation of being the place to be seen.

Coachella veterans include Kate Bosworth, Vanessa Hudgens and Alexa Chung, all of whom opt for bohemian style when at the festival. If we were rich enough, or willing to part with that kidney, we’d be in a taxi to the airport quicker than you can say ‘skinny margarita’. But, alas, we’re neither of those things; so instead, we’re just going to plan what we would wear to Coachella…

Friday, 4 April 2014

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival 2014

Some of the most extreme and thrilling experiences known to man will be showcased at Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema this weekend.

The Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), now in its ninth year, will feature over 100 films about extreme sports, adventure and travel.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The New Midi Length

The past year has seen a transformation in popular style with the introduction of the pencil skirt. Fay McDermott talks us through the trend of the minute…

The pencil skirt and crop top is a look that was made popular by Kim Kardashian, and has recently been worn by celebrities like Daisy Lowe and Anne Hathaway. Pencil skirts are a classic cut which have always been worn as office wear; but with daring prints and luxurious fabrics they have been given a new feminine take.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Suit Up, Superwoman!

For many students, the Easter break means it’s time for that internship. Finally, we all get a chance to try and impress the bosses, hoping for a big shiny tick in the ‘yes’ box.
You’ve probably swotted up on the company and practiced your handshake a hundred times.

Now it’s getting closer to the day, you’ll be starting to panic over the most rational things like whether you are likely to spontaneously combust the moment you walk through the office door. And of course, where would our nerves be without that lovely anxiety dream that involves us turning up on the first day absolutely starkers?

Fear not! You are a strong, independent woman with impeccable dress sense (lets deny memory of that onesie). You can and will look fab – especially if you take note of my five formal-wear favourites…

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Inoffensive Mother's Day Fashion

It’s mothering Sunday- the day we all polish our halos and play at being perfect children. You may have nailed a killer breakfast in bed and kept the conversation PG for a whole two hours, but without a butter-wouldn’t-melt-outfit, you’re simply not in the running for child of the year. However you’re spending your day, we’ve got it covered. Here are Liberty Belle’s fave looks that your mum would be proud of… Heading to gran’s for a feast of egg sandwiches and mini rolls? If so, comfort is key for you today- opt for a (non-offensive) slogan sweatshirt like these Topshop beauties…

Friday, 28 March 2014

Why I don't subscribe to Mother's Day.

For most, Mother's Day signals its time to blow the lint off our 'savings' and splash out on gifts for our mums and grandmas. Our Lifestyle editor, Lisa, isn't so sure. To her, it's not about what you spend that counts - it's the effort behind it that matters.

Mother’s Day: The only day of the year we are allowed to show affection for our mums, or a great holiday that has become over-commercialised?

Either way - to me, it’s not worth all the effort that some companies try to make us all think it is. The email reminders calling for people to ‘not forget Mother’s day this year’ and ‘show your mum how much you love her’ start weeks before the big day. It’s just too much.

Every year brands cash in on trying to persuade consumers that they need to shell out hundreds of pounds to reassure our mums that we value how they raised us into normal citizens. 

No-one should spend all their money on an iPad in an attempt to show her that they care on one day out of 365. Instead, she should already know how lost they would be without her because she has been showered with hugs, appreciative texts and appreciates the effort spent to make time for her throughout the year. It’s effort that counts, not the price tag.

Cue Jessie J. It's not about the price tag...

For some reason card shops think that we need a specific day to show our mums how much we love them. It's as though, surely we can only express how thankful we are to one of the people that raised us in one 24-hour period. And we can only express this by buying a card, overpriced flowers and maybe even a box of chocolates. It may be cynical to suggest that this day is a way of tiding over the profits of gift and card shops from Valentine’s Day to Easter, but that’s really all it is.

While Mothering Sunday is a good excuse to make the journey home and spend the day dedicated to being with family, that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t go home at other parts of the year as well.

In the first few years of University when you’ve just flown the nest for the first time it can be hard on a parent, but that should prompt semi-regular visits home, plus calls and texts rather than using a commercialised holiday to force you home.

After all, a mum is for life – not just for Mother’s day.

If you want an easy and cheap way to wow mum this Mother's day, take a look at our breakfast in bed recipes.

What's the nicest thing that you've done for mum?