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Archive for August, 2007

Ethical products

We were told by the Ethical Product Review that consumers (that’s you) are faced with a challenge over which green products to buy.

The Ethical Product Review then coyly suggested we should use them to compare, contrast and make recommendations about the ethical products that are out there. On their site, they say, you can research loads of ethical, green, organic and fairtrade products, read what other consumers and share your views on the ones you’ve tried.

So go to the site and give it a try, and write a review, and tell us if it’s any good - that seems fair, don’t you think?

Posted by Cptn

August 31st, 2007

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Knight watch

Our chums over at D+CFilm have been banging on about Ashley Wing’s Hard Day’s Knight for a couple of months now.

Described as a ‘mocumentary of epic proportions’, the 10-minute short follows Britain’s only professional knight in shining armour.

Why are we telling you all this? Well, because you can finally see the flick, in full, on D+CFilm - simply by clicking here. Hooray!

Posted by Thin White Duke

August 30th, 2007

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Aeon right!

Has it really been a year since the first Aeon Festival? Doesn’t time fly, eh viewers? We were but fresh-faced young upstarts frolicking through the fields of the internet in those days. Now, we feel like rheumy-eyed elder statesmen, dispensing sage advice with a kindly toothless smile.

We’re guessing Aeon organiser Niki Portus must feel the same way (although she definitely doesn’t have rheumy eyes and a toothless smile). We first met her at the inaugural Aeon, and since then she’s been involved in everything from PRSD podcasts to organising and promoting concerts in Exeter and Plymouth.

Like the PRSD, she’s learnt loads over the last year, and evidently put it all to good use at last weekend’s Aeon 2.0, where there was an pervasive air of games being upped, scores being settled and points being made.

It’s reasonable to say that barely anyone bothered to turn up last year. This year, it was different. This year, it was bloody packed.

Luckily, the incredibly dusty main arena (shit for asthmatics, fantastic for fans of black snot) was hugely improved from last year - impeccably kitted out with fairy lights and the PA sounded fantastic.

If the band line-up was more consistant than last year’s fest, it also proffered fewer surprises.

Granted, that may be down to the fact that virtually all of the combos had appeared at some stage on a Melting Pot podcast, or Music Mill studio session or somesuch, but there was definitely a dearth of variety - and indeed, a dearth of people with black skin and/or boobs.

Luckily, the female contigent (once it made itself evident) had considerably more balls than the laddish pop-punksters who dominated procedings. But more on that later.

We arrived on Saturday in time to catch stake their claim to stardom. One of the most charismatic and talented combos of the weekend, we were frankly flabberghasted they were on so early in the day.

The afternoon continued in much the same pop-rock vein, and it’s frankly hard to remember who played what. We liked and but remember precisely nothing about them.

turned in another catchy, if forgettable set, as did , whose performance only seemed to come to life once the bland lead singer took a back seat and let the more charismatic guitarist take over  on vocals.

We really liked half of the set. Their pleasing old-fashioned grunge style seemed torn between exhilarating Sonic Youth squall and unispired Cobain-esque nursery rhymes. Yet again the band’s guitarist insisted on getting in on the act - but this time, to the detriment of the overall show.

Poor old  ran through almost exactly the same songs as he played last year, and seemed ill at ease without his fiddle-playing chum (off on tour playing Eastern European folk music, apparently).

Still, things picked up when a drummer and bass player joined him onstage for a bluesy finale. Someone needs to get this guy a band, and sharpish!

We were excited about catching and they didn’t disappoint. Their quirky sound quickly won over the crowd - the lead singer sounds like she’s auditioning for Madame Butterfly while the bass player serves up great slabs of monolithic bass, with a cheeky grin on her face all the while. Oh, and the tunes are bloody fantastic.

The same can’t really be said for , who showed so much promise last year with her PJ Harvey Dry-era vagina rock.

Unfortunately, we’ve caught a couple of her gigs since then and her ever changing band always seems under rehearsed and hesitant, the tunes taking on a dirgy smacked-out quality.

And here’s some advice - if you have to tell the front row to hush cos the talking’s putting your band off, you’re playing too bloody quietly! 

Bizarrely, Evi was one of the headliners, and pretty much killed the party mood. Someone shoulda swapped her for The Quails.

After a dreary half hour in Evi’s company, the last thing we had the stomach for was (live drum’n'bass is one of our pet hates at the best of times), so we stumbled tent-ward.

And so, to Sunday. Last year, everyone headed to the acoustic tent to watch the previous night’s acts get out their guitars and bongos.

This year, however, Sunday played host to yet more innocuous white boy rockers. We skipped irksome ‘comedy’ schtick but special mention goes to (even though, yet again, we can’t remember anything about them) and the bizarrely named , whose tall, shaven-headed singer surprisingly affected a Louise Wener vocal style. They looked pretty awkward onstage, but produced some strangely excellent Doves-type rock.

Time was getting on, but we held out for , who rattled through a storming set reminiscent of Gossip, and, even further back, The Bellrays. The lead singer could probably do with controlling her foghorn wail a tad and the lyrical content is pretty lamentable (I don’t fucken care, indeed), but there’s definitely something special there.

We were a bit gutted we couldn’t stick around for the usually excellent , but the prospect of metallers and the woefully monikered was enough to convince us it was time to wend our weary way home.

Where will we all be next year? The mind boggles, but one things’s for certain: on this evidence, the Aeon Festival will outlive the bloody lot of us.

Posted by Thin White Duke

August 30th, 2007


On your bike

So, Bank Holiday Monday saw the number of biker deaths in and around Plymouth rise to 12 this year.

All this despite a high-profile campaign backed by the police and the Plymouth Herald warning bikers to, yknow, be a bit more careful. Gee, thanks for that.

Don’t get us wrong – we’re all for promoting driver safety, but the thing is, you could be the most careful biker ever, and still end up coming a cropper on the roads.

Motorcyclists have about as much chance of surviving a collision as someone stolling up the middle of the motorway. And most people don’t stroll at 80mph…

People get on their bikes knowing the risks – indeed, in some cases the risks make riding bikes even more exhilarating.

In these days of 4×4s and people carriers, no-one can really claim ignorance as to what can happen if a motorcycle is involved in an accident.

But it’s such a leap of faith to get on the thing in the first place, riders almost become blind to the risks.

It really is analogous to the likes of smoking or drug taking. There’s been stuff in the news today about putting pictures of knackered lungs on cigarette packets. How long will it be before we see similar warnings attached to motorbikes?

Warning – riding a motorcycle on the roads today is pretty bonkers.

Let us know your thoughts at or simply post a comment below.

Posted by Thin White Duke

August 29th, 2007

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Put your heart in it

After a jaunt around Haytor and a jive at the AEON festival, we at the People’s Republic are always keen on good ole healthy fun, especially if it gets your pulse beating. So, while you’re feeling refreshed and revitalised we thought we’d tell you about a British Heart Foundation jog, coming up this Sunday (September 2).

The 5km route is in the grounds of Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury in Gloucestershire (the Republic is ever-expanding, people!), and you can stay there all day. Best foot forward is at 11am and costs £6 per person (£11 with an event t-shirt) if you register in advance, £12 on the day.

Call 0800 1693672 to register or go to the website.

And if you’re after a t-shirt, you could do worse than check out our t-shirt page

Posted by Cptn

August 28th, 2007

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Gender agenda

The first national transexual conference has been left high and dry after a major sponsor pulled out.

The event is planned for September 8 and 9 in Bath, and organisers are now facing the prospect of raising £5,000 for it to take place.

Dan Hooper, chair of Western Boys, told the PRSD: ‘We need to pay for the hire of the venue, accommodation and food for up to 120 delegates, which
is way beyond our budget.’

The conference aims to provide practical advice to delegates, many of whom are isolated and vulnerable. There are around 5,000 transsexuals in the UK, with about 30 per cent of them female to male.

The conference has the backing of Equality South West, whose chief executive Paul Dunn said: ‘Unless funding is found, holding this groundbreaking conference could blow a financial hole in this group.

‘Our role is to oppose discrimination against anyone on any grounds. FTM transsexuals face huge physical and emotional challenges in their lives - especially social isolation because there are relatively few of them - and providing support is very important.

‘We’ll be launching a regional transgender network for the South West later this year and events like this will help develop our contacts and improve our services to this marginalised group.’

(If you can help with funding the conference, contact Dan at )

Posted by Cptn

August 27th, 2007

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Nepal action

Sick of kicking up your heels at home and long to build homes in Nepal? Well now’s your chance.

Action Aid is on the look out for volunteers to help the Kamaiyan people build housing for families recently released from bonded labour.

Helen Walker, Action Aid fundraising spokesperson, told the PRSD: ‘This is Action Aid’s third building challenge. Our first was in Sri Lanka, post tsunami, and the second in Cambodia. The building challenges are chosen by the local communities, who decide when how they want volunteers to help them.’

Participants are required to pay a registration fee of £300 and then raise around £3,200 is sponsorship, of which at least 55 per cent goes towards Action Aid projects, and the rest pays for the trip.

For more info and to sign up, visit the Action Aid website.

Posted by Cptn

August 26th, 2007

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AEON is on

It’s finally here! The AEON festival is in full swing and if you need any more reason to get yourself up and over to the Haytor hinterland, then check out Kolo in the Melting Pot Studio Session Kolo on SpectralWorkshopTV (that person asking the questions is the AEON self-starting dynamo, Niki).

And while you’re putting your glad rags on, here’s another of this avo’s bands, .

Posted by Cptn

August 25th, 2007

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Con text

OMG! There is a crisis of communication and communication technology is to blame, according a report from the Confederation of British Industry, as told to us by the Plain English Campaign.

‘Generation text’ (read teenagers) can’t function in the workplace, because they can’t read or write well enough.

There are problems with basic literacy and numeracy, says this business bunch. But more youngsters are more familiar with more technology - it just doesn’t add up!

It’s nuffin to LOL about IMHO!


Posted by Cptn (that’s Captain to you)

August 24th, 2007

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Benefit gig

Looking for guilt-free fun this Friday night and don’t feel able to commit to the weekend AEON festival?

The Plymouth Environment Centre is having a benefit gig tomorrow (Friday, August 24) at the Voodoo Lounge in Plymouth. The musical joy runs from 8pm to 2am, cost £4 on the door and features , , and . It should be good and the crowd at the PEC, as we affectionately don’t call them, are lovely.

Posted by Cptn

August 23rd, 2007

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Previous Posts

Save the Northcott

Save the Northcott Theatre


Green Books

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Melting Pot

Melting Pot- Studio Sessions

Ethical Directory


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Welcome to the People's Republic of South Devon. Your subscription will begin with the next newsletter. Keep up to date by visiting the blog regularly and make sure your voice is heard. Many thanks, The People's Republic of South Devon.

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