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Oasis and the Electric Proms: A Background

The Electric Proms is into it’s third consecutive year, and with performances like Oasis’, it looks like it’s here to stay.

In 2006, the BBC put together a new 5 day music event celebrating current music artists of the time, along with well known legends such as James Brown and The Who.

BBC Electric Proms

BBC Electric Proms

The name was taken from ‘The Proms’, a classic music festival that has been running since 1895. The Electric Proms has maintained some of this class festival’s traditions, such as ending the festival with an interpretation of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.

Previously the Electric Proms has been held only in London, but for the first time this year it became a two city event, including Liverpool to celebrate its status as the European Capital of Culture.

The festival’s main performances each night have usually been held in Camden’s The Roundhouse, with more intimate gigs held in smaller venues around the Camden area. This year in Liverpool, the majority of the performances were held at BBC Merseyside.

Previous years

The person who brought the Electric Proms into being was Lorna Clarke, who was in charge of organising the whole of the 2006 festival. Speaking to The Guardian at the time, she said

“The idea of having an event on a par with the classical Proms has been kicking around for a couple of years but there was never an appointment of anyone to do it. Live music has never been healthier, – guitars are back, now seemed like a good time”.

Bands and artists that graced the stage included the then newly emerging Amy Winehouse, The Zutons, Kasabian and The Young Knives.

In the second year the festival grew “organically” as Lorna Clarke hoped it would, and included the Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, Jamie Cullum and Paul McCartney.


The mission of the Electric Prom is to give the audience a chance to see the artists perform in a way that would be unlikely to be repeated. Oasis was no different.

On the 29th September it was announced that Oasis would be closing the Electric Proms on the Sunday night, and would be joined on stage by a 50 piece choir siging backing vocals for some of their tracks.

The band have been performing in various states since 1991, originally under the name of ‘The Rain’. They were signed in 1993 and released the debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994.

Brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher are the only members of Oasis to have been there since the beginning, and are renowned for their sibling rivalry. The Brit rock band have recently released their seventh album, Dig Out Your Soul.

For an article on Oasis at The Electric Proms, Click Here

Kirstie Nicols


November 2, 2008 Posted by | Kirstie - Lifestyle | , , | 1 Comment

Halloween and Witchcraft: A Background

This Halloween a petition was put forward to the Scottish and UK governments. The petition called for the justice and official pardoning of hundreds of witches who have been executed in the past. You can view my article on this newspiece here.

It is timely that this petition be put before Home Secretary Jack Straw on Halloween. Halloween started out as a Celtic festival known as ‘Samhain’.

Traditionally, it was a festival that celebrated the end of harvest season in the Gaelic lands.

Ancient Gaels believed that October 31, Halloween, marked the date when the boundary between the dead and the living dissolved.

The dead would become dangerous for the living and could cause potential problems such as illness or damaged crops.

The festivals would usually involve bonfires so the locals could burn the bones of their slaughtered livestock.

Many people today may wonder why masks and costumes are such popular attire on Halloween. The frightening outfits stem from costumes and masks that were worn at the bonfire festivals in an attempt to appease the anger of the evil spirits.

Halloween is now a national saint’s day celebrated across Westernised countries on October 31. ‘All Hallows Day’, its traditional name, became fixed on 1 November, 835.

Witches and Witchcraft

The word ‘witch‘ is taken from the Old English of ‘wicce’ or ‘wicca’. A witch is someone who practices witchcraft through the use of spells, magic and supernatural or healing powers.

The most widely-known habit of a witch is spell-casting. As spell is a magical action that results in positive or negative consequence.

Performance of spells can take many different forms; a set of words, a ritual action such as ‘stirring the cauldron’ or or chanting a verse or formula.

Divination is another popular form of witchcraft. Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling often makes reference to divination lessons at Hogwarts School of Wizardry.

This genre of magic takes place when the witch (or wizard) gazes into a reflection such a swords, mirrors or other specula with the intention of looking into the future. Looking at tea leaves an obvious choice for divination.

The execution and burning of witches

Contrary to popular belief, the Church did not invent the notion that witchcraft is ‘evil’ and that its practitioners should be sentenced to death.

This concept was already clearly presenting other cultures and many examples can be found in ancient texts, such as those from Egypt and Babylonia.

The most famous witch prosecutions worldwide were the trials held North America, in Salem* (Massachusetts).

These trials took place between February 1692 and May 1963.

To find the nearest London witch gathering to you, see here.

* Did you know that Salem is the name of Sabrina’s cat in the hit teen series ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’?

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Charlotte Hanger - Quirky News | , , , | 1 Comment

What Is Don’t Know?

Students from the University of Westminster give you the News You Need…

The Don't Know Team

The Don't Know Team

For Entertainment News visit Carrian

For International Current News visit Chai

For Quirky News visit Charlotte

For Travel News visit Dimitra

For Political News visit Ffion

For Culture News visit Helen

For Lifestyle News visit Kirstie

For Technology News visit Martin

For Home Current Affairs visit Andria

Check out our Live News Day – hot topics from the 29th October 2008 and how they affected students at Harrow.

November 2, 2008 Posted by | About Dont Know | Leave a comment

Electric Evening as Oasis Play Last Night of the Proms

Brit Rock band Oasis headlined at BBC’s Electric Proms this weekend, making the last night of the Electric Proms a must-see event.


The band were on top form with their 20-piece set, playing classics such as Lyla and Wonderwall, as well as their cover of I am The Walrus.


Part of the charm of the Electric Proms is seeing the artists try different methods of performing their set, and Oasis was no different.

On stage with them was the 50 piece Crouch End Festival Chorus choir, providing backing for songs such as I’m Outta Time and Don’t Look Back in Anger.





The choir appeared to be a big hit with the audience, and gave the performance a different feel to the band’s normal gigging style.


Celebrity Draw


The gig was a draw for celebrities as well as fans, with Noel Gallagher pointing Daniel Craig out to the crowd and saying:


“James Bond is here. I might try and blag it to do the next Bond theme, instead of them getting a load of Americans to do it. If I get it Daniel I’ll let you play me in a biopic of my life”.


Noel also pointed out the infamously outspoken Radio 2 DJ Russell Brand, dedicating their rendition of Don’t Look Back in Anger to him.


The gig was held in the famous Roundhouse in Camden, which seats 1,800 people and allows all present a good view of the stage. BBC 6 Music’s Chi Chi Izundu later commented that:


“No matter where you were in the Roundhouse, you got a fantastic view and were virtually on top of Noel and Liam. You could even see Noel smiling as beer, which had been thrown into the crowd, came dangerously close to him during Slide Away”.


Third Year


This was the third year of the BBC’s Electric Proms, which challenges the artists “to come up with new and original material or arrangements of their music to reflect the central theme of the festival, creating new moments in music”.


The first year saw performances from legends such as James Brown and Jamiroquai, while 2007 played host to Chemical Brothers and Mark Ronson.


With this year being opened by Burt Bacharach and then closed by Oasis, the question is what the BBC will do to top it for 2009.


For a background on Oasis and The Electric Proms, Click Here


Kirstie Nicols

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Kirstie - Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Background: Google’s Journey to the eLibrary

(stock.xchng image)

(stock.xchng image)

What started out as electronic cataloguing exercise four years ago, has ended up as “the biggest book deal in US publishing history” according to the Author’s Guild.

The process began back in 2004 when Google reached an agreement with research libraries in the UK and US, including Oxford University’s Bodleian Library

The original Oxford-Google digitisation agreement was to cover copyright-expired, ‘public domain’ books – in a bid to avoid intellectual property issues.

However in late 2005 the US Author’s Guild filed a lawsuit against the search-engine giant. It which it claimed that a “massive copyright infringement” had taken place, according to cnet.

Google responded, detailing a mission statement promising to ‘make millions of books more discoverable to the world…’ this went on to downplay any suggestion of infringement,

“Let’s be clear: Google doesn’t show even a single page to users who find copyrighted books through this program (unless the copyright holder gives us permission to show more). At most we show only a brief snippet of text where their search term appears, along with basic bibliographic information and several links to online booksellers and libraries.”

“Freeloading…” & The Future

The claim failed to break any ground with the AG, whose lawsuit was shortly joined by a similar action from the Association of American Publishers who, according to ZDnet, accused Google of:

“…seeking to make millions of dollars by freeloading on the talent and property of authors and publishers.”

Google constructed a defense around a policy of ‘fair use‘, but drew a halt to their scanning project as court proceedings progressed.

During this time AAP moved for a court order to prevent Google from scanning complete works without express permission from copyright holders.

Legal wrangling by the involved parties continued until earlier this week, when a settlement deal was finally brokered.

The deal sees a profit sharing agreement come into being, with Google set to take a 37% share of US market sales made through its service.

The decision arrives late in a time of false starts for the book in an electronic marketplace, and the Google service is already being described as “a kind of iTunes for books” by some commentators.

Along with developments like the Sony Reader, and me-too book-scanning efforts from Microsoft in the works the future is looking bright for the printed word.

By Martin Kearney

Find out about the Google deal making ‘publishing history’…

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Martin Kearney - Technology | , , , , , , | 1 Comment