Insanity Radio Autumn Term Availability – 2017/18

Autumn Term Availability Form

 

For any current or newly applied members, the following link takes you to an availability form. If you wish to have a show, filling out this form will help give us an idea of when you’re free, allocating you an hour show for the new term.

Make sure you check your timetable and timings of other commitments prior to filling out the form, so not to clash with anyone and making the process a little easier for us this end! (Most importantly if you are looking to do your show with more than one presenter).

Colour coding:

Red – Unavailable
Yellow – Available
Green- Preferred Slot

Time slots start from the hour beginning shown in the column e.g. 08:00am means 8:00am – 09:00am etc.

If for whatever you can no longer make your allocated show time, please email Head of Operations Libby: [email protected] (with at least 24 hours notice).

Please send your completed availability form to Halina, our Head of Programming: [email protected]

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw9Elp-_A930QkNyMGxWQldJYzdNaFlkR0xpVVN1YTUteHlV

COFFEE HOUSE SESSIONS: JOHN NICHOLAS

John Nicholas 

Welsh singer-songwriter John Nicholas is the next artist to perform on the Coffee House Sessions Tour. John is known for beating over 12,000 artists in an Open Mic Competition in Birmingham, coming runner-up! He has been working on many projects and had a successful independent career so far – with his debut EP in the works as we speak. So go check him out to hear some new, greatly anticipated releases!

Take a look at what John had to say in his pre-tour interview… 

  1. You’d describe your music as…  Edgy pop that’s catchy and relatable.
  2. You’re currently listening to…  John Mayer, Foy Vance, NEEDTOBREATHE & Mat Kearney
  3. When you’re not making music you’re… Probably, if I’m honest, I am thinking about making music!  But when I’m home I like to be at home, family time is #1
  4. You’d like to duet with… Stevie Wonder, I mean, who wouldn’t?!
  5. Who’s your guilty pleasure? Taylor Swift.
  6. Dead or alive, who would you most like to grab a coffee with? The man who invented coffee.  I’d like to shake his hand and thank him for the beautiful liquid.
  7. You’re an artiste because… I love it.  I always have and I’m so privileged to be able to do what I do full time.  It’s the best job in the world and to be honest, I’m not much good at anything else.
  8. Vinyl, CD or streaming? There’s nothing like the sound of Vinyl so that’s #1, but it’s hard to beat a cheeky bit of streaming on the go.
  9. Your party trick is… I can play any tune by clicking my jaw (don’t worry, it’s not part of the set)
  10. Your hometown is X and we should visit because… Caerdydd!  (Cardiff) It’s a small, friendly city that genuinely has everything.
  11. Tinder or Taken? Taken.  I liked it so I put a ring on it.
  12. Snapchat, Insta, Facebook or Twitter? Call me old school, but FB wins this for me, Twitter coming in a close second, followed by Instagram.  Snapchat never left the starting blocks.
  13. The best boxset ever is… No question.
  14. Coffee House Tour… what are you most excited about? Travelling to new places, meeting new people and performing for you all!

COFFEE HOUSE SESSIONS: APRIL KEEN

April Keen 

The 19 year old singer-songwriter April Keen, originating from Blackpool, visited Royal Holloway to perform with Coffee House Sessions. With her debut album ‘Against The Tide’ now live on Spotify/iTunes, April answered a few question in her pre-tour interview, giving an insight into what goes on behind the music…

  1. You’d describe your music as…  Indie-folk
  2. You’re currently listening to…  Lower Than Atlantis and Aquilo
  3. When you’re not making music you’re… Working at Wetherspoons!
  4. You’d like to duet with… Gabrielle Aplin – she is my queeeeeeeen
  5. Who’s your guilty pleasure? Eminem
  6. Dead or alive, who would you most like to grab a coffee with? My Grandad, he passed away when my dad was pretty young but I always get told stories about him and I would have loved to of met him!
  7. You’re an artiste because… I want to make people feel something when they’re listening to my music. I’d like somebody to listen to my songs and for it to help them to get through their day, whatever it may bring.
  8. Vinyl, CD or streaming? Streaming
  9. Your party trick is… I can make my eyeballs vibrate (don’t judge me).
  10. Your hometown is X and we should visit because… Blackpool. It’s much cheaper than London! I can buy 6 drinks on a Monday for the price of 1 in London – thats crazy! The piers are lovely, and the beaches are great for dog walks – I always used to take my dog Lucy there. Also, if you get the chance then go to a gig at the Winter Gardens in the Empress Ballroom, it’s a stunning room.
  11. Tinder or Taken? Tinder. I don’t have it though!
  12. Snapchat, Insta, Facebook or Twitter? I LOVE snapchat although I mostly end up featuring in my housemates’ stories acting like a crazy person. I don’t think I’ve made a legit twitter post in a few years, I should probably get back into it :-/
  13. The best boxset ever is… Nashville! My whole house is in LOVEEE with that show!
  14. Coffee House Tour… what are you most excited about? Getting the chance to play to so many people my age all around the country! I’m visiting so many places that I’ve never even been myself. I’m super excited to play my new material and see what people think. I’m also very excited for the nostalgic singalongs in the car as we drive to all our destinations.

ONE SENTENCE REVIEW: 'ESCAPE' BY KEHLANI

Escape, by Kehlani

Kehlani is an American singer-songwriter from California. At the young age of 21 years, she’s already been a finalist on America’s Got Talent in a group ‘Poplyfe’, as well as being nominated last year for the Best Urban Contemporary Album Grammy Award. With her debut album ‘SweetSexySavage’ released back at the end of January, it seems Kehlani is going places!

Kate: “JoJo throwback”

Laura: “”Updated version of the best 00’s R’n’B ballads.”

Molly: “Enjoyed it but the pre-chorus is a bit of a let down”

Megan: “I like her voice, she sounds like JoJo and it has a nice 2000s sound.”

Will: “Sounds pretty normal to me.”

James: “Very naughties-like. Nostalgic.”

Emma: “Enjoy the more related slow pace, yet feels indistinguishable amongst ‘chart-like’ music.”

Charlotte: “Love her voice!”

Leah: “Kehlani can do no wrong, this is proof!”

Helen: “With smooth vocals, relaxing acoustic guitar and an RnB beat, Escape is guaranteed to chill you out.”

Elliot: “Typical chart song; not very unique.”

Maddalena: “Love the artist – catchy song, but not my favourite.”

Harrison: “Smooth and sultry, yet a little forgettable.”

Wade: “I didn’t like it at first, but after hearing it three times in a row, it’s grown on me…”

 

http://kehlanimusic.com/sweetsexysavage/

EP REVIEW: DIONYSIA – THE BREACH

EP Review – The Breach by Dionysia

 

The latest EP by Dionysia kicks off with strong guitar riffs from the track “Glory”, a solid opening to the rest of the album. The song has powerful vocals and is directed at someone who gave the narrator “nothing” – by the end of the song, the narrator returns the favour. The vocals are interspersed with inventive guitar melodies that combine to set the mood of an upbeat, belty EP. The second track “Zombie” is a real ear catcher with its post-chorus Saxophone melodies. Although personally I am a little tired of the use of the Zombies trope in TV and music, the chorus is very catchy and easy to listen to.

It is however the haunting start to the third track “Maybe I”, followed by some heavy electric guitar, that really demonstrates the bands versatility. The song seems to describe the current state of society, and the artists view on how to deal with it, making this song the ultimate loud sing-along.

The whole EP itself has very alternative vibes, with a twinge of country and blues. It’s the sort of thing I would listen to loudly through headphones and sing along to (likely very badly!). The instrumentation is always interesting and the songs have a variety of lead instruments, such as piano, guitar and sax.
The EP was released the 2nd August 2016, so I was a little slow to discover it. There are 8 total tracks, and the vocals throughout are raw with clear opinions. Dionysia know who they are and are here to show it. Looking forward to the full album!

Written by Cheylea Hopkinson

ONE SENTENCE REVIEW: 'SATISFACTION' – THE BAY RAYS

Satisfaction, by The Bay Rays

The garage punk/rock trio ‘The Bay Rays’ are definitely ones to watch. Originating from Kent, the band have already achieved so much, such as supporting The Slaves on tour and even playing at Glastonbury in 2016, and their success doesn’t stop there! With lots of support from BBC introducing, and an ever-expanding fanbase elevated by their passionate and incredible live shows, the group never fail to perform. 

What the music team had to say…

“Explosive and electric, truly uplifting.”

“A loose yourself dance kind of song.”

“A high-octane indie stomper, perfect for road trips or solo hairbrush-and-mirror sessions!”

“Poppy and upbeat, and keeps the foot tapping without losing your attention.”

“A good song to play when on a long car journey.”

“Cool intro, but not sure if it satisfies me.”

“Genre spaning indie with a clear pop influence.”

“Interesting, electric mix of instruments.”

“This song WILL get stuck in your head, but in a good way.”

“I like it, it has a kind of old school vibe to it! Nice.”

“Sounds like old Kings of Leon and a generic indie group had a baby! Good song though!”

“A catchy indie-esque song that makes you want to dance and clap along.”

Check out the track here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14brRjV-ENc

GAME REVIEW: Killing Floor 2

Background

Killing Floor, when it was initially released back in its mod form in 2005, was a very simple game. You and a group of friends would shoot zombie-like creatures. Over time, it evolved and in some ways become the British answer to Left for Dead (Despite being initially released before Left For Dead) and this trend has continued with the newest entry being the craziest, most glorious entry so far for the franchise. With even more money jokes, more slow-mo moments and more silly British stereotypes than you can swing a cat at.

Story

The basic premise of Killing Floor 2 is to kill/wipe out “not zombies”, which are cloned humans that formed from a clearly evil bio-tech company (since in horror games the bio-tech companies are always evil). As such, you spend much of the game killing zombies and kick ass in simply the most awesome of ways, either with conventional weapons or hacking and slashing your way through. This makes up for much of the story. Furthermore, some may argue that I am being somewhat more lenient than with say Infinite Warfare or Eternal crusade. This is largely due to the simple fact that this game is more fun than the other and its retail price is far lower. Despite this I will say that this game is based played with friend to gain the fullest enjoyment.

Mechanics

The mechanics of the game work like many wave survival games do, in that you kill monsters in order to gain money. This allows you buy new upgrades for the class you picked or even new guns to help fight of the horde. As such there is no major change in terms of mechanics for Killing Floor; instead the sequel focuses on taking what was learned from the original game and placing in new locations and improving upon what was there. This lead to the game to be even more fun than the previous version of the game.

Sound Design

The Sound Design for the guns and music in general is superb. The music has a more metal feel than DOOM at some points, which helps fill the scene with mayhem and glee when you find yourself filled with ammo and in a room full of clones. Furthermore, the guns feel powerful and impactful as each of their sounds feels fitting for the gun.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Killing Floor 2 is amazing to play and well worth the amount to pay for it. However, I would recommend this game to be played together with friends, or else your missing out on an amazing experience. As such I would give this game an 8 out 10, as it is competitively priced for an amazing game despite being multiplayer online.

Score

8 out of 10

GAME REVIEW: Battlefield 1

Background

What Battlefield 1 succeeds at doing is something of a common thread among gaming in this current year. That is, to focus on a certain element that is core to the franchise and build the game around this idea. For Battlefield 1, this focusing on team based combat on a grand, almost soundbox style battle. Something that is iconic to the Battlefield franchise. As can be shown when Battlefield time after time get its right in the moment, such as when you have destroyed an enemy zeppelin; or leading a devastating bayonet charge against a group of well entrenched enemies. It’s these moments that Battlefield 1 has succeeding in doing better than any previous entry I would argue up to Battlefield Bad Company 2. This is only the cause due to the somewhat limited story mode or ‘War stories.’

Story

The story mode or ‘war stories’ for Battlefield 1 are something of a mixed bag. As the very first one you play is arguably one of the greatest moment of gaming, not just for this year, but perhaps in gaming as a whole,aAs it does something that most video games just about fail to do (for some noble reason). It shows the horrid, brutal nature and in this case the vicious combat of World War 1, even going so far as to humane both sides of the war. However, this moment is somewhat lost as the game’s war stories are affectively prolonged tutorials teaching you the basics, but have a heavy focus on the Allies’ viewpoint in the war. In fact, the Ottomans in the Lawerence of Arabia storyline have a rather interesting female lead, but make the Ottomans to be almost cartoonishly evil, and this war story lasts for about two hours at best. Nevertheless, I can understand why this might have been a better option for DICE over doing a traditional campaign, as the last few campaigns for the pervious entires had been somewhat lacklustre. In so making, the story mode goes about teaching you mechanics of the game, such as how to drive a WW 1 truck or fly a plane. Sounds good on paper.

Mechanics

The mechanics of the game are somewhat the same for the last few Battlefield games, but they make some small but noticeable differences. The biggest of which is the removal of a large number of optical weapons; this make it a lot harder to sniper people across the map and so shifts focus to close quarter combat. As such, the importance of knowing your weapons most effective range is one of the many smaller features to Battlefield 1. However, the last part I should mention that is tied to mechanics is that of operations mode. Which is a love letter to conquest, rush, and fans looking for narrative and context. It provides a thrilling rush in your first mode and for me it is still as fun as when I first played.

Sound Design

The sound design is nothing short of amazing. As it truly provides that lethal early modern industry feel. Whether it be from the fire of a machine pistol, or the manual loading of a rifle, or the pump action of a shotgun after blustering your way through bunkers. It feels amazing, meaty, and powerful. The music helps keep you pumped, moving, and motivated. All of which is vital for Battlefield 1 and help keep the game’s longevity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Battlefield 1 is an amazing game. However, due to the fact the story mode is somewhat barebones I cannot with good faith give it the ten out of ten it deserves but instead the nine out of ten, as everything else in Battlefield 1 is refined and perfected to a tee. I look forward to future Battlefield entries if the same amount of polish and perfection (but a bit of Bad Company story would be perfect).

Score

9 out of 10

 

GAME REVIEW: Dishonored 2

Background

When the original Dishonored back in 2012 was released it appeared to have failed a gap that was missing in the video game marketing: a stealth game that can make the importance of choice ever present and a key factor to who you would approach a situation. It would either award you for being a silent almost batman level vigilante, while also making the game more difficulty should you decide the back-door approach is not your cup of tea. Four years later, now the game improves the small flaws that are held in the game but in some ways, feel more of a return than a brand-new adventure. This helps the game but does not quite give it the same feeling of mystery as was the case when it was first released in 2012.

Story

For those who have not played Dishonored the game allows you to take the role of an assassins called Corvo Attano who has set out to right a grave wrong. The main element of the game was the heavily inspired steampunk design and the hints of a Lovecraft deity. These elements came fully forward, as in the game you can either play as Corvo Attano or Empress Emily Kaldwin, each with a different style of play with Corvo being more a sneaky assassin akin to Assassin’s Creed, whereas Emily is more focused on speed aiming to move faster than other people. Depending on the choice you make in the game, it will determine how the rest of the game plays out for your character and again, the theme of consqeuence through game design is ever present. The game then tasks you retake control of your empire while dealing with a every menacing threat in the background as you rebuild yourself for the final confrontation.

Mechanics

There are no major changes in terms of mechanics, as you still have a heavy focus on using the supernatural powers of the Outsider to great effect. However, the addition of new powers helps create new tactics and ideas to complete the mission to complement the new risk you need to face in the game. These nevertheless do naturally lead to some powers being preferred to others, and thus you have been set on a certain style of play. Thid does however add for an interest in replay value, which is key for the longevity of this game.

Sound Design

The sound design in Dishonored 2 allows for you to understand the key moments in combat and to how to react with certain musical charms, quatrain, and elements that allow to feel organic, responsive, and fundamental to the world. The music, as a whole for the game, could be difficult to pull off in terms of design for such a different world in pseudo-steampunk with hints of Mediterranean, due to the city being so focused on whaleling and the closeness to the sea. However, the game is able to do it with such grace and class it is amazingly suited to the world.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Dishonoured 2 is more of the same as even through it does not quite capture the same charm and awe the first game had, it still is able to be an amazing experience that is well worth picking up should you have the opportunity, as there is no game truly like in the market for the current consoles.

Score

8 out of 10

 

GAME REVIEW: Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare

Background

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare is something of an odd ball. At times, it tries to be a new wave for Call of Duty that tries to rekindle that fire that gave its juggernaut status back when Call of Duty Modern Warfare was released. However, it at times becomes more akin to its old nemesis Halo, to which it replaced as the need-to-buy game for any console player. Either from its rock rendition of Water on Mars or its focus on having much of its story and multiplayer take place in space, even extended to what can only be descried as “Space Jet” sequence. Yet, because of all this I am still somewhat bored and only really enjoy this game for the zombie mode.

Story

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare story takes place in the near future were humanity has spread to the stars but with an almost cartoonish evil separatist movement lead by Kit Harrington, who pretty much plays his most iconic role to date (which is Jon Snow), but as an evil version. This decision somewhat confuses me; you have an actor who is known for doing an amazing character and is amazing actor, but instead of making the character relatable or understandable you instead almost make him as silly as Cobra Commander. If anything, this games almost borrows entirely from Killzone, as the ideology (if you can call it that) is borrowed almost entirely from the Helghast. Either from their hatred of freedom or disapproval of caring for your troops, even seeing their enemies to be inferior to you. As you can tell, I do not see any sense in the story side for Call of Duty Infinite Warfare but I do understand that most people play it for multiplayer which I will go into in the next section. However, I felt I had to make some critique of how poorly the story was done despite the main great amount of time and effort that was made into making this game; then again this is my opinion of the game.

Mechanics

One of the key improvements to Call of Duty Infinite Warfare are the new changes in multiplayer with a refocus on the idea of movement. As the rule of thumb for Call of Duty and for many First-Person Shooters is that the faster you go, the quicker you can respond to your adversary. This lead Call of Duty to implement jet packs and the ability to wall run etc. However, Infinite Warfare has helped develop various tactics to deal with issues better than pervious entries such as anti-gravity grenades that stop or limit your enemy’s movement. This is but one example of how the game attempts to allow players new ways to deal with the constant issue of one hitting snipers who run fast enough to snipe you, and then find your spawn and snipe you there. In general, through there are not enough of these changes to really be worthy of being mentioned, due in part of the yearly cycle of Call of Duty games, much of the mechanics are either improved from the last year or just added in.

Sound Design

There is no major change in sound design, as much of the games gun sounds are largely the same, with some minor difference and the sound tracks have no major weight to it. Furthermore, much of the gun sounds are likely pulled from older Call of Duty games or have just been tweaked a little. However, I will say the 80’s style soundtrack in the zombies mode is somewhat fitting, more so with David Hasselhoff as your DJ, and it will make for some memorable moments.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare was a game I tried as much as I could to get into, but at times it felt almost insulating to carry on. As you have an amazing cast of actors there who, given the right direction and with a few small tweaks, could have led to perhaps the best Call of Duty. Instead, despite the many attempts and many missteps, it does not compare to Battlefield which has been able to capitalise on this misstep. Could this be the end of the juggernaut that many fear it could be? If future entries have such weakly written stories or such minor improvements, then the answer could be yes, and due to this I will give this game a 6 out ten. Largely due to the fact that this game is still working and has no game breaking bugs or glitches in general, but is largely a boring game and very big missed opportunity on the developer’s part.

Score

6 out of 10

GAME REVIEW: Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade

Background

Ever since THQ collapsed the Warhammer 40k licence has been used by several companies with some games making amazing entires, such as Battlefleet Gothic, and some making somewhat less than stellar games, such as Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance, which was so panned that it was removed from purchase on the Steam Store. Nevertheless, with Eternal Crusade, I am somewhat conflicted about it, hence why I took another month to try and fully immerses myself in the game, as the game when initial discussed was meant to the Warhammer answer to World of Warcraft. However, as development was changed and new heads were put in charge, the game evolved and changed. It would be less of an MMO and more of a multiplayer game with MMO elements (akin to Planetside 2), to which the game succeeds as it takes the style of combat as was used by Warhammer: Space Marine and polishes it to some level and adds tank elements. Despite all this the game never quite lives up to my expectation.

Story

Something of a shame for a Warhammer 40k game is the somewhat lack of a story, this in part due to the MMO elements the game’s story is ever changing and so even given the extra month I can’t say exactly what the story is. What can be understood is that, the four main factions of the 40k universe Space Marines representing the Imperium of Man, Chaos Space Marines represent Chaos, Orkz and Eldar each fight for control of the planet. What this translates into is that each of the different multiplayer battles have an aggerated effect on the world. This I believe is something borrowed from the Tabletop game it is inspired from and so it feels somewhat fitting that this implemented.

Mechanics

The mechanics of the game take heavily from Space Marine and to the point it succeeds but it adds certain elements I do not approve of, such as micro-transaction which pay for cosmetic upgrades but for a Warhammer game, customising your units is as important as the story. As with the Tabletop game you would take your time painting and making up silly stories as to why your units are Space Canadians or why your Chaos Space Marine likes the colour pink on everything but his left horn etc. So, while the game does help levy the issue by allowing you access to all the units at launch and from buying the game as well giving you some customise options, it feels like something of a missed opportunity.

Sound Design

In the 40k universe, everything is Gothic, over the top and meaty for a lack of better word. This is very much the case and perhaps one of the games more strongest elements at times. Bolters feel like heavy powerful guns, more like the rapid-fire RPG that is than the machine gun copy that people perceive them to be. However, Rhino’s, those most infernal of metal boxes, feel somewhat weird as they make a huge amount of sound and raw energy but can sometimes run over 7 to 8 foot men in huge armour without a major nose to be had. It’s these differences that play to the game’s weakness and why I am so lackluster to the game.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this game is pretty much designed for something you and your friends play every now and then and not something to be played constantly. Either from the confused sound design, the bizarre Micro-Transactions, or even how boring the game flat out is due to the lack of lore in a 40k game. I am rather sad but I must give this game a 6 out of 10; it is something of miss chanced but could be improved as the game is being updated constantly.

Score

6 out of 10 at this current time

 

GAME REVIEW: TitanFall 2

Background

TitanFall 2, is a truly amazing game and is something that far outperforms its initial entry and is an example of something rare in the current video game industry. A video game that has a massive improvement and builds upon a solid foundation. With an interesting campaign mode and awesome multiplayer game mode. I mean, it would be hard to make Mechs falling from the sky and conduct awesome robot fights make the game feel dull and boring.

Story

The main bulk of the story is the interplay between you and your Titan, as you both initially attempt to survive and then later progress to become vital roles in your faction. It does this rather well and somewhat better than to what I had anticipated, as they humanise your Titan (BT-7274) and make you understand how vital he is to your survival and success. Furthermore, the multiplayer learns from its mistake that it made in the last the game where it tied the campaign and multiplayer into one, but did so in a way that most people never truly understood what was happing. Instead, the story is made clear, and in a way, that allows players to gain greater context to the events occurring around them.

Mechanics

The main new feature that I believe is worth mentioning is the improvement to wall running, as in TitanFall 2, the game allows you to build up momentum, allowing you to go faster as you move. However, the issue with this is that the faster you move, the less accurate you become, meaning that often you miss that jump you need to make or the window you were just about to reach. This is a good idea as the biggest risk to new players would be trying to understand how to move swiftly but effectively, which this mechanic succeeds at doing.

Sound Design

The sound design for Titanfall 2 seems fitting for the style the game is attempting to be, which is a sci-fi universe with a grounding in realism. This is helped with how the different Mechs make a loud and well know impact upon arrival with a soundtrack that also to complements this with a mix of orchestra and techno helping build this Realist, but still near future, were Mechs play a vital role in combat akin to tanks.

Conclusion

In conclusion, despite the method of teaching the player by being a game that focuses on “easy to play, hard to master”, I would say this game will become a sleeper hit should consumers miss out on this amazing game. It is something I had a lot of fun playing and was able to get off Battlefield, which I had been playing non-stop since its initial launch. As such I would give this game a 9 out 10 due to the simple fact that the gameplay at times feels a tad bit too fast for my taste and reminds a bit too much of the contemporary Call of Duty’s.

Score

9 out 10