Tag Archives: qmu

I Would Walk 500 Miles: QMU Jailbreak

12 Feb

It’s back. That one weekend when we ask you to come to the union just to run away as far from it as you can. Jailbreak, our biggest fundraising event of Semester 2, challenges you to get as far as you can without spending a single penny. You might think think that means spending a weekend in Kilmarnock, but past participants have gone as far as Germany, Poland and Egypt.

The principle behind the Jailbreak is simple: get as far away as possible in just 48 hours without spending any money on transport (whether it’s a train, plane or a donkey). Teams of 2-4 people compete which team gets the furthest. Our previous winners have gone way over 500 miles. Teams are allowed to spend money on food and accommodation, but means of transport should be acquired by busking, begging, hiding and pleading. Jailbreak is an unpredictable adventure of meeting new people, seeing the world and figuring out the art of glorified begging. I can guarantee that it will be exhausting, but also one of the most memorable weekends of your life.

But why? The whole point of Jailbreak is fundraising. Teams are allowed to fundraise for their chosen charities, or support our charity of the year, Alzheimer Scotland. Last year, Jailbreak raised over £1000 for various charities and this year we’re aiming even higher. Alzheimer Scotland is the leading dementia organisation in Scotland, providing a range of services from home support to helplines and dementia cafes. They also campaign for the rights of people with dementia as well as their families. The money goes towards providing Dementia Advisors, Dementia Nurses for every healthy board in Scotland and running Dementia Research Centres and 24-hour helpline.

So here are a few tips for the journey:

Try raising money on the way.

Don’t break any laws or do anything stupid – Jailbreak is supposed to be a bit risky, but we still want you to come back to Glasgow in one piece.

Better pack warm clothes. Bikinis may not suffice..

Be persistent but polite. It’s ok to be a bit cheeky and try everything at least twice.

It’s worth packing some food with you. A potato lorry is not necessary going to stop just for you.

Ferries seem to be the best way to mainland Europe.

If you’re blagging your way try get written confirmation of what you’re doing: the next train/bus conductor may not believe you quite so readily.

Avoid Kilmarnock, Newcastle & backwater villages.

Decide how far you are prepared to go – after all you are paying for your return.

Take a passport with you…and don’t forget it on a plane.

Want to know how to get involved? Application packs are available at QMU reception on 10th of February onwards and Jailbreak starts on 21st of February. Bon voyage!

Secret Policeman’s Ball: Stand-Up for Human Rights

11 Feb

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

An activist.

An activist who?

An activist coming to a comedy club near you!

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Christmissue 2013

26 Dec

Trouble displaying the above issue? Here’s a direct link.

Arts Review: iO: Sci-Fi Authors at Glasgow University

16 Dec

With modern CGI, there’s very little that can’t be captured on screen. So, with so hardly anything left to the imagination, is there really a need for fantasy or science fiction literature any more? Why go to the exhausting effort of imagining Middle-Earth’s landscape, when you can just see it at the IMAX this December? Why keep track of all those characters and physical descriptions, when there’s alreadt an HBO series that does it for you?

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Interview: Dougie Crosbie

30 Oct

What better way to spend your Friday afternoon, after a long, pretty crap week at uni, than in a suntrap; listening to live, acoustic music? Thing is, this wasn’t somewhere tropical like Costa Rica it was in the QMU’s new Café Twenty2 where we are proud to be hosting the ‘Coffee House Sessions’, brilliantly compiled by Huw Stephens.

Today I was reviewing and interviewing Dougie Crosbie and they say don’t judge a book by its cover but I was taken aback by the black clad, inked Ayrshire boy that walked in. However, when Dougie started playing; the fluidity of his Americana voice, somehow full of grit definitely took me by surprise. When he opened with Justin Townes Earle’s ‘Slipping and Sliding’ I pictured him as a significant part of the soundtrack for the dusty, desert scenes in Breaking Bad, playing whislt Walt and Jesse take the campervan out for days on end for some homemade cooking (if you don’t know what I’m talking about – reconsider your life choices). Dougie perfectly represents the folk, country style; with a little bit of rough and tumble thrown in. His piercing twang was apparent as he played a six song set, with lyrically clever tracks from his brand new EP Choices and Ambitions. As Dougie ended his set with another handwritten surprise, the dusty Texan style continued with soft, melodic tones – similar to an American Jake Bugg. However, what was just lovely to see was Dougie’s genuine delight, with a toothy grin as he heard the crowd applauding him time after time. Definitely a keeper.

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Interview: The Fratellis

28 Sep

As his band prepare to return to the stage with a brand new record, qmunicate’s Alice Black caught up with Jon Fratelli to discuss touring the world, new beginnings and a special night in the QMU.

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Glasgow and Proud

6 Aug

This Saturday, 10th August, sees the return of the biggest LGBT event in Scotland as Glasgow Pride once more takes over the city for the day. Originally launched in 2004, this year’s Pride celebrations will include a walking parade around the city centre and live events and entertainment all day on Glasgow Green as well as after parties in venues across the city.

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QMU Jailbreak

14 Feb

Over the last few years QM members have travelled as far afield as Egypt, Alicante & last year two groups got to Poland; all without spending a penny of their own money. They achieved this through taking part in QM’s Annual Jailbreak. The principle behind Jailbreak is simple, get as far away from the union as possible in 48 hours, the team that gets furthers “as the crow flies” is deemed the winner; the only catch being that you must achieve this without spending any of your, or anyone you know’s, money.

Interested? Want to know more? We asked some of our previous participants some quick questions to give you a better idea of what to expect from one of the best weekends of your uni life.



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Issue 98

23 Oct

The one you’ve been waiting for. Full colour loveliness.



Open Day Gig 14 June @ Qudos

22 Jun

It’s a sleepy Thursday afternoon, and I roll out of bed at approximately 1330 hours and on to Facebook to discover that not only is the University holding an open day, but Pronto Mama, Fatherson and Washington Irving are playing a free afternoon show in Qudos in roughly an hour. Being a generally good citizen, loyal QMUite and fan of at least one of these bands I promptly proceed to the shower and onwards to what looks to be a promising afternoon.

I arrive late, but not too late to catch the first act, Pronto Mama, in action. The room is sparsely populated, but the band are excellent. They masterfully blend solid, heavy indie rock with glitchy rhythms and fairly mad progressive passages that become near jazz-like in places, if still dominated by guitar. Their banter may be slightly directionless and circular but their music certainly isn’t; a really refreshing blend of rhythms and textures and definitely something to keep an eye on in future.

They clear the stage to make way for Fatherson, and the first sight to catch the eye is that of a cello being set up onstage alongside the more traditional combination of guitars, bass, drums and synth. The set opens with a fat bass drone that builds up into the first of many soaring, triumphant sound pieces. Theirs is a slightly more straightforward brand of alternative rock than that of Pronto Mama, but their energy is great and they build some impressive crescendos, their bass player looking positively joyful at the thunder his distortion brings. More importantly, the cello does not play the one bit part (a la Twin Atlantic) that might be expected. It makes a welcome textural addition to upbeat and heavy songs as well as the slower ones, although the cellist’s backing vocals are sadly inaudible. The songs are well articulated and go down well with those punters in attendance, although the room is still near empty.

The third and final act is Washington Irving. Until fairly recently the band were characterised by their celtic brand of folk pop, embellished with the fine flute playing of Roslyn Potter. Having now parted ways with the flautist however, I’m interested to see how their sound has evolved, and to hear new material. To begin with, the result appears mixed. The folk feel is certainly still there, but some of the instrumental passages on the older songs feel empty without those soaring flute melodies. However, a couple of songs into the set sees them find their stride, and a darker and heavier side to the group begins to unfold. Unsurprisingly, it is the newest material that works best with the new line-up, and breathless, moody passages balance well with powerful, chant-like celtic choruses on which frontman Joe Black’s voice is often joined by the rest of the band. In places, distortion adds a gritty but beautiful extra texture; in others, a couple of deft, folky lead guitar arpeggios make a welcome throwback to the days of yore. By the end of the set, the band have well and truly won the audience over. The room is now shockingly empty, but those remaining work hard to let the band know they are appreciated. Their forthcoming album will tell for sure how well their new sound has been established, but this appears to be a taste of great things to come from Washington Irving.

As for the open day – was anybody convinced to come to Glasgow University by this gig? Who knows, but if prospective students were in attendance then they were certainly treated to an excellent slice of current Glasgow music for no money at all – and who can argue with that?

[Alasdair Begg]

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