Looking at Replay on Gloucester Road you would think it was pretty unassuming with its simplistic black walls and stacks of board games. However on Saturday 3rdof November as the Moon set, Drum and bass lovers from far and wide descended.
Juxtaposed as the venue and music genre may appear at first, the overwhelmingly warm reception overrides any preconceived prejudices. Crammed into the little basement space, it was obvious to any onlooker that this was the merging of likeminded individuals both young and old.
Those that had listened to DnB whilst they’d eaten their cornflakes before work in the early ’90s and newly hooked individuals danced side by side. Dissimilarly to the crowd, the DJ’s were largely of the older generation, all except DJ Smijen. Much like the location, an inconspicuous First Year Maths Student who had only begun mixing last year, his set contained a blend of inter genres.
The evening began with DJ zzerg, with Murky, Smijen, Neural Net and Aztek following suit. Whilst the rainbow lights cascaded over the crowd zzerg began with a set comprised of neurofunk, rollers and some liquid style mixes. As the host of the evening and a charismatic performer, zzerg real name Andor Fazekas sent the crowd wild with his deck spinning and pretending to smoke a glow stick that had been launched at him by a friend.
Murky reminded me largely of a dad, with a warm smile and beer hand as he moved behind the giant crate like decks, dabbling from commercial DnB to Jump up the perfect DJ for those experimenting with the genre. Attempts were made in vain to impose a volume restriction by the Café owner to avoid noise complaints from local occupants.
Neural Net riled up the crowd with his techstep and neruofunk tunes, spotted subtly dancing to the other DJs Neural Net emphasized that the Dnb community is built upon inclusivity and enjoyment. Unlike many other genres, it does not reject older artists and equate talent to appearance.
Aztek was the only DJ to use Vinyl’s, highlighting both his experience and pure skill, this is a talent well respected in the community as those using them have no assistance in monitoring the tempo of their songs. It is a sight to behold as he replaces vinyl after vinyl we so often associate with the music our parents listened to.
The buzz of the bass could be felt in your body, as you danced your feet got ever so slightly stuck on the beer-soaked floor. Tetras was projected onto the walls behind the decks as players from the café upstairs played, adding to the bustling atmosphere. Onlookers would remain oblivious to the bunker, filled to the brim with bopping heads just beneath their feet.
Looking at Heidi Loughlin you’d never fathom the pain this woman has withstood. But Heidi is a mother, finding strength when it seems in scarce supply is what they do. An effortlessly likeable character, whether it’s her excrement anecdotes, fiery nature or refreshing honesty that gets you; she’s a woman you won’t be wanting to forget.
In 2015, she was diagnosed with incurable inflammatory breast cancer whilst 13 weeks pregnant with her third child. Cancer Research statistics show that 1-5% of breast cancers are inflammatory. Forced to face her own mortality, she channelled her pain into writing.
This took the form of ‘Storm in a tit cup’, a blog which began as it meant to go on with the first post entitled ‘flamey boob rot and the impending doom’. The frankness of her writing saw the blog grow in recognition, as fellow cancer patients and an abundance of others flooded to read her posts.
“I’ve met many other cancer patients, that decided at diagnosis that they are going to die and that was it. They fail to remember that we all die at some point, but we live every day until that point. Do not let your fear of what may happen, detract from what you already have or what you want. I will not give up on life until it gives up on me.“
Too often we are afraid to show others our vulnerability, but Heidi showed the world unfiltered grief. In the worst moment, possible in any parent’s life. Losing a child.
Eight days after she prematurely gave birth, Heidi and her husband Keith said goodbye to their daughter Ally. “When my daughter died, I felt all the fight drain out of me. I have an incurable cancer diagnosis, but her death was what made me want to stop trying. That was the initial shock and grief. It took me some time to regain control by focusing on my two other children, but that’s what keeps me going today. That, and my unrivalled stubbornness.”
In the midsts of heartbreak, Heidi decided to give her all into preventing others from feeling this same loss. After losing her own daughter to an infection, ‘Heidi’s gloves’ were created; intending to reduce chances of infections spreading in Neonatal Units. Plans for which began in June of 2018, they are aiming to roll the gloves out to NICUs in the latter part of this year. At the same time, raising funds for numerous Cancer Charities and awareness for inflammatory breast Cancer.
Clinical Negligence Solicitor, Ceri-Ann Taylor recounts listening to Heidi speaking publicly “I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room come the end.” Continuing she says ”She speaks openly about the loss of her little girl, and her battle with cancer, but has a positivity about her that is truly admirable.”
Heidi’s first book ‘Heidi’s Lifeline’ has just been published, “it’s an autobiography with a twist. Describing the writing process, she said ” The most difficult part was writing about the death of my daughter. There are no words that can encapsulate the feelings I felt. It’s not that I had reminded myself that she died, of course, she is always in my thoughts, it was the pain of pushing myself to recount every small detail of her slipping away.” The book also “details the experiences of growing up and then how I have dealt with my cancer diagnosis and beyond.”
Heidi’s newest venture sees her once again grabbing a helmet and jumping on a bike saddle. This time with close friends Lady Sarra Hoy and her husband Sir Chris Hoy for a 200 mile coastal cycle. She says “I’m hoping to learn some secret tips that will keep my arse from falling off.” Continuing to explain “I found that horse riding had toned my legs to a reasonable level, but truth be told, no amount of cycling can prepare your rear end for the pain of cycling 200 miles.”
Writing about Heidi Loughlin has been a challenge, not because there’s nothing to write but on the contrary. She is a person that has experienced more of life than most ever will. It feels ridiculous to say, but as soon as the word Cancer is mentioned; we have a tendency to walk on eggshells around those diagnosed. But we shouldn’t, I’ve learnt that from Heidi. Her unfathomable strength is contagious and yes, one day life will “give up” on Heidi but she will have lived fantastically.
Facebook: Storm in a tit cup by Heidi
To order Heidi’s Lifeline: http://heidischallenge.co.uk/lifeline-book
A: I can’t stand the word ‘journey’ when its related to anything other than someone getting in their car, on the train or walking. I hate it when people refer to parts of their lives as a journey. ‘My cancer journey’, ‘My journey as a parent’ etc. It gets right on my nerves.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
A: Pick your battles and bide your time. This is most likely in relation to the previous answer, whereby my lack of control over my mouth can get me in trouble. I have been developing the ability to ‘bank’ things in the knowledge that one day I may get a chance for revenge. I also aware that sometimes I should let things go and focus on the bigger picture. Pick the battles that you know you can win. There is also some sense in allowing others to get there way from time to time.
Q: If you were to be arrested, what would you have done?
A: As an ex-police officer, I can say there is a fine line between officer and criminal. I’ve definitely broken many laws in my lifetime and yet have never been caught. These days I’d be most likely to wind up in the slammer on a public order offence where I’ve been caught saying something rude to someone. The wrong kinds of people can grate on me sometimes and I’ve never been one for backing down when I feel strongly about something. I’m far too stubborn.
Q:What is your favourite memory? (From any time in your life)
A: Other than the predictable (the birth of my 3 children) I’d have to say my first Scuba Dive when I was in Mexico. I thought I had come face to face with a small shark and therefore I swallowed some water in shock but managed to keep calm and not shoot to the surface. As it turns out, it was a dolphin, but I was officially hooked on the underwater world at that point and went on to learn to dive and subsequently became a speciality diver in Thailand. The earth is much more water then it is land and yet many people never think to explore it.
Q: What is one thing you still have from your childhood?
A: Until about a year ago, I still had a pair of pants that we almost as old as me and still almost white in colour. Cotton is incredible and grew around my rear as I got wider. I also have my Cabbage Patch doll Jeffrey that is currently enjoying a revival courtesy of my eldest son Noah.
Anyone that knows me well will tell you, I think Peep Show is the perfect series for every mood. However, it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. I can’t imagine my mum finding Jez eating a Barbecued dog too funny. I’ve put together some suggestions for next time you’re stumped.
Homesick & Anxious: If you’re a student or just generally prone to feeling homesick, these are the perfect Series for you.
Friday Night Dinner, Gavin & Stacey, Friends and Outnumbered – Easy watching that gives the allusion of being at home without the irritating bits.
Fresh Meat, Bad Education – Can’t go far wrong with Jack Whitehall, he’s the posh friend we all need.
Him & Her – So horrifically cringe, you’ll have no choice but to forget about how you’re feeling.
Stress, Sad & Down: Sometimes all you need when you feel awful is to watch something that involves little brain power.
Ja’mie : Private School Girl, Summer Heights High -Nothing like a little bit of Aussie humour to brighten your mood, especially when it’s as outrageous as Chris Lilley’s masterpieces. You’ll come away thinking everything’s quiche.
Peep Show, Brooklyn Nine Nine – Yes, these two are very different. However, they are some of channel 4’s finest work. Jez’s life coaching is guaranteed to have you feeling better. Brooklyn Nine Nine will make you smile with its strong female characters, a gay man not defined by his sexuality and huge body builder that builds a princess castle for his twins.
Queer Eye: What is better than good people doing nice things for deserving people?
Thoughtful & Contemplative: Are you ready for a really good think? You might need a notepad to keep up.
Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Making a Murderer and Jonathan Creek- If you’re ready to follow a complicated plot and aren’t afraid of some horrible deaths watch these crime dramas. Side note – Making a Murderer is based on true events making the gruesome murders even worse.
American Horror Story, Sherlock and Black Mirror – These series will have you questioning everything.
Peaky Blinders – Tonnes of violence and cracking plots.
Tony Robbins ‘I Am Not Your Guru’ – Not for the faint hearted, Tony will probably have you in tears as he opens up one of his world famous seminars to the Netflix cameras.
Happy & Full of energy: In a good mood? Fantastic.
RuPaul’s Drag Race, Queer Eye and Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends – You’ll be making all the ooh’s and ahh’s with this bad bunch.
End of the F**king World and Good Girls – Watching questionably badly behaved people get into some mischief.
Sex Education- Reminisce over your adolescence with this painstaking look at teenager’s sex lives. Giving you the reassurance you need that you’re not alone in your sexual mishaps
Rick and Morty and Disenchantment – There are no words to explain Rick and Morty, it is what it is. Disenchantment revolves around the berserk adventures of Princess Beanie taking centre stage.
A goldmine for the curious, Lynn Barber’s 2015 memoir ‘A Curious Career’ depicts an image of Journalism that is a far cry from that of today. One of late-night drinking and raucous interviewees.
Her conversational tone puts all at ease, giving the allusion of a family chat over a cuppa. Having worked in the industry for over 40 years, ‘A Curious Career’ is an unintentional ‘How to..’ that should be found in all trainee Journalists backpacks.
Reading Barber’s second autobiography with no preconceived notion of whom she was, would not place any readers at a disadvantage. Scattering informative seeds of her younger years throughout the 224 pages, increasing accessibility by dedicating the entire beginning chapter to anecdotes of her childhood and early adult life. The ensuing chapters relay interviews that have stuck in Barber’s mind from her time in the field.
Describing vividly the turbulent events of her childhood as an only child, the most intriguing discovery is her relationship with conman Simon many years her superior. This dubious relationship taught the author a handful of lessons, which she ponders throughout. Lessons are in abundance for the author and her readers, from fundamental journalistic skills to never taking everything at face value. Even Barber’s time at University serves as a lesson to readers, that your degree does not restrict the things you may one day achieve.
The autobiography in its entirety is a self-reflection. ‘A Curious Career’ is written with a tone of tender humanity. Hiding very little from the reader, revealing her highs and lows, a particularly solemn moment being her husband David’s death. The book appears to be a relief for Barber, after four decades of telling the story of other people’s lives it’s finally her time.
The intertwining of personal and professional anecdotes is seamless, carefully curated to authenticate Barber’s points. Humanizing the role of a journalist as she writes. She talks of a highly transitional career, placing emphasis on the importance of contacts for journalists.
For many female readers, Barber’s autobiography can be an inspiration. As they read about a woman that rose through the adversity of being a female journalist in the ‘60s. Amidst this inspirational aspect, Barber also highlights the prominent sexual conversation of the ‘60s in her autobiography; her first job being bedroom etiquette interviews.
Despite being alluded to, Barber never absolutely states that there are good and bad interviewees. Nonetheless, a subtle criterion is formulated by the author, “Give me a monster every time – someone who throws tantrums, hurls insults, storms out, and generally creates mayhem.” Her rejection of “the media tendency to lump people into types or classes or stereotypes” appears rather hypocritical as she lumps individuals together in each chapter on based on their careers.
‘A Curious Career’ undeniably fits the brief, curiosity runs through Barber’s veins just like the pages of this book. Susan Hill, Journalist for The Times praised the memoir as she said ”A pricker of pomposity, a ruthless exposer of lies, half-truths and deception…The world needs those interviews.” She in indisputably correct, Lynn Barber is the original rebel, that helped paved the way for today’s female journalists. The reading experience is one of cliche spine tingles and occasional emotional surges of empowerment.
Mimi Granell is a freelance writer & digital content creator. She’s currently completing an MA in Journalism at UWE in Bristol.
In 2021, she received First Class Honours for her BA in Media and Journalism. Swiftly after graduating, she became a recipient of the UWE Vice Chancellor Scholarship.
Her specialist areas include feature writing, digital communications management, project management, creative problem-solving and digital content creation.