Holly’s Highlights: Week 2

Flat-cap flaunting? Vintage-clothes wearing? Martini-craving? Boy, has Culture Editor HOLLY STEVENSON got some cultural highlights for you.

affordable vintage fair Arts Picturehouse aru benjamin francis leftwich Cambridge Union Society Cambridge University Library cocktails david hasselhoff fashion Film Holly Stevenson jack dee Music Never Mind the Buzzcocks Noel Fielding Real ale Simon Amstell TV

The fact that two of these recommendations involve ingesting intoxicating beverages reveal my guilty secret: I haven’t wet my whistle since Mich started. My litre bottle of Gordon’s Gin sits on my fireplace, forlornly unopened. The wine section of Sainsbury’s remains – to my shame – virgin territory. This week I am determined to do better, and as a bonus, attend all these events whilst slightly off my face. Perhaps I will tap into a depth of meaning heretofore unknown to the sober person. More likely, though, I will vomit over Benjamin Francis Leftwich. I’ll keep you posted.

ART: Books and Babies: Communicating Reproduction

When? Until 23rd December

Where? Cambridge University Library

Why? If your parents never had the ‘birds and the bees’ chat with you, this is the exhibition for you. A little bit disgusting, but also ridiculously fascinating, the displays explore how we have explained, interpreted and controlled reproduction since the Middle Ages. Those looking for a bit of vintage porn would be advised to stay at home with some back issues of Playboy and a Man-sized box of Kleenex.

TV: Never Mind the Buzzcocks

When? 10pm, Monday 17th October

Where? BBC 2

Why? Having not watched Buzzcocks since Simon Amstell left in 2009 (which I still haven‘t forgiven him for), I am pleased to say this series, finally, treads the all-important line between being waspishly funny and getting distracted by Noel Fielding’s wardrobe. David Hasselhoff’s tongue-in-cheek appearance was far better than I ever dared to wish for, and Jack Dee did himself proud. I predict (with trembling hope) that this week’s surprise host will continue their good work.

MUSIC: Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Where? ARU

When? 8pm, Monday 17th October

Why? His haunting vocals and beautiful guitar lines make BFL a truly powerful performer. He’s done Glasto, Reading, and Bestival this year and looks set to be Brit-folk’s next big thing, like Ed Sheeran crossed with The Antlers. And he’s fit enough to make it worth braving the ARU-ers – though you might want to leave the College hoodie at home. And it’s only £9.50.

UNION: Cocktail Workshop

When? 7.30pm, Wednesday 19th October

Where? Cambridge Union Society

Why? Ostensibly to learn sophisticated bartending skills so you can impress your lady friend with your enormous cocktail shaker. Every time I’ve been it dissolves into trying to get as much alcohol as possible into one martini glass, ending with you invariably stumbling out at 8.30pm wasted on a rainbow of exotic spirits (banana liqueur, anyone?). May it never change. Unmissable.

FILM: Texas Killing Fields

Where? Arts Picturehouse

When? From Friday 14th October

Why? Hunters become the hunted in the killing fields of Texas massacre in a game changing rollercoaster ride, race against time, edge-of-your-seat epically clichéd Texas Killing Fields. In spite of not looking like an original film, it still looks amazing. Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are homicide detectives tracking a vicious serial killer who just can’t seem to stop dumping his mutilated victims in nearby marshes, dammit. Tipped as a disturbingly-dark feature from Michael Mann’s daughter.


FOOD: Cambridge Octoberfest

When? 5-10.30pm on Friday 14th, 12-10.30pm on Saturday 15th October

Where? University Social Club, Mill Lane

Why? Sadly, we live in a town where it’s not uncommon to get charged £4.50 for a G & T (surely my human rights have been violated somewhere?), so the Octoberfest is an opportunity to get good quality, cheap booze down your neck with a discerning crowd. More fun and less pretentious than a wine-tasting, at £2.50 or free entry for CAMRA members, it’s a bargain in a glass. Bring your own flat cap.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT: The Pre-Loved Sale: Clothes with History

When? 10.30am-4pm, Saturday 15th October

Where? Cambridge Folk Museum, Castle Street

Why? Run by Trash Chic, a local vintage and retro clothes collective, this sale promises vintage clothes, cheap designer items and quirky jewellery. I’ve often had the urge to run down people with my bike carrying Hollister bags, so start looking a bit different (even if it is only out of a feeling of self-preservation). Not only will you be a new ally against the Uggs-wearing brigade, you are supporting a local business and being eco-conscious. Plus 10% of the proceeds go to the Folk Museum. Four reasons to get your head out of TopShop.

Illustration by Esther Harding