Rock band Spear of Destiny set to play Nuneaton gig with release of new album

By Courtney Stevens

Spear of Destiny set to play Queens Hall during UK tour (Image: Publicity picture)

By Courtney Stevens

Spear of Destiny are set to play at Queens Hall in Nuneaton on Sunday, December 4, as part of their UK tour.

The tour is to mark the release of their new album Ghost Population which was released on November 18.

The 23-date live tour kicks off in Leeds today (NOV22), includes Nottingham Rescue Rooms on December 13 and finishes in Manchester on December 17.

Ghost Population will be the band’s 15th studio album and it covers a range of themes from personal to political plus it covers the evolution of the band from past to present.

The tour will give audiences a chance to hear songs from the new album live for the first time.

Since reforming in the late 1990s, ringleader Kirk Brandon has supervised a major reissue campaign of the band’s back catalogue, playing sell out shows at venues such as London’s 100 club and Manchester’s Ritz, joining festival line ups and relentlessly writing new music.

Next year will mark 40 years since the formation of the band in 1983 and since then their punk-influenced power rock has gained a following in the UK.

Spear of Destiny have had a changing line up through the years, but this tour will feature their longest serving line up to date, including Adrian Portas (New Model Army/Sex Gang Children), Craig Adams (Sisters of Mercy/The Cult/The Mission) and Phil Martini (Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind), as well as Clive Osborne on saxophone and Steve Allen-Jones on keys.

Tickets are available here: https://kirkbrandon.com/shows

UK tour dates for Spear of Destiny 2022

Society at DMU raises awareness about Islamophobia

By Amina Ali

DMU’s Islamic Society is hosting Islamophobia Awareness Month all throughout November to raise awareness about Islamophobia and its impact.

Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM) was founded in 2012 by Muslim organisations to showcase the positive contributions of British Muslims as well as raising awareness about how they are discriminated against across the UK.

The Islamic Society’s Head Sister at DMU, who did not want to be named, said: “Take the loan system for example.

“Islam is a whole system and within that system one of the laws is that we don’t engage with ‘riba’ which is interest.

“So, it’s really hard for Muslims to follow that law in the West, which is an example of institutionalized Islamophobia.”

She added: “Even with the hijab and niqab bans in our neighbouring countries, the governments claim to have a valid reason for them when in reality it’s just trying to put further restraints on Muslims being Muslim.”

To kick-start the campaign, ISOC will be hosting ‘Try on A Hijab’ and ‘Islamic Literature’ stalls on Wednesday (NOV23) at The Campus Centre to encourage other students to ask questions and to learn more about Muslims and Islam.

On Tuesday, November 29, the Muslim Engagement and Development Company (MEND) will do doing a talk at DMU about tackling the denial of Islamophobia that is so prevalent in British society.

The location of this talk is yet to be confirmed.

MEND is a ‘not for profit company’ which aims to “empower and encourage British Muslims within local communities to be more actively involved in British media and politics.”

Its members try to meet this aim by encouraging Muslims to vote, become politically engaged and equip them with the skills, resources and materials to contribute to the positive and sustained development of a Britain in which all members of society are valued and respected.

If you would like to learn more about Islamophobia Awareness Month or about The Islamic Society’s future events, you can follow them at @dmuisoc on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Students discuss their experiences with antidepressants and deduce the stigma surrounding dependency and reliance 

By Kelly Gowe

The prevalence of antidepressant prescription is astounding with 70 million prescriptions written last year for the 7 million adults who used them.  

It is time to take a more nuanced approach: Antidepressants can be lifesaving for some people while having no effect on others.  

But who are we to say that someone is wrong if they see it as a last resort or something to make them feel better? The stigma must be lifted. 

I interviewed two students about their university experiences with SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) to see how the medication affected their lives. 

Valuable: Abubakr Razak (left) and Heebah Hussain found antidepressants helped them

Abubakr Razak, 19, began taking SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) while studying law.  

He had struggled with anxiety and depression throughout college, which led him to being prescribed an SSRI called Sertraline. 

“I often had anxiety in social situations,” he said. “But very traumatic situations as a child eventually built up to this. My SSRIs were paired with talking therapy, which helped massively.” 

He said they made him feel “level” throughout university and found dealing with difficulties a lot easier. 

Heebah Hussain, 18, said: “I’d encourage anyone in a dark place to think ‘If I were really physically unwell, would I take medicine to help me feel better?’” 

Unfortunately, many people are still reluctant to take medication for their mental health because society has often portrayed it as a sign of failure.  

In fact, making such a decision for yourself is a sign of strength. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you require some additional assistance. 

So, even if you are aware of the risks, your only option is to take it or leave it; our mental health system lacks ambition. 

If you are a student who is struggling, I strongly advise you to reach out to others, even if it is just one person.  

If you know a loved one who is struggling, you can  find out more about how to help here

You can contact the Mind helpline by calling 0300 123 3393.  

DMU’s new Students for Palestine society coming soon

By Amina Ali

DMU’s new Students for Palestine Society has officially started this year to raise awareness and highlight the injustices people in Palestine are facing

The society’s president, Idriss Mazi, said: “It’s important to have student-led societies that speak up for Palestine and for people to know the truth about what they’re facing.”

Mazi hopes the society will have charity, social and cultural events as well as take part in national and worldwide campaigns.

To keep up to date with the society’s’ future, follow them on Instagram @dmu.sfp or alternatively go to the De Montfort Students’ Union website to get regular updates.

TV Priest live at Firebug, Leicester: a raw, orchestral post-punk trip

Review by Shaikha Rahimi

Gone are the days where rock gigs are only about hair whipping and top-of-the-lungs screaming. From chest patting to the lyrics to swinging the microphone stand across the stage, Charlie Drinkwater draws a line between the audience and the band through emotion. And, above all, by being quintessentially TV Priest.

TV Priest’s debut album showcased who they are as a band as well as their versatility, and their second album hammered down their sound. Uppers was an unapologetic political statement and the predeceasing album seems to have traces of that, too. The earsplitting guitars and drums combined with Drinkwater’s vulnerable and honest lyricism created juxtaposition like no other.

Drinkwater, whose artistry is not limited to music, was profoundly immersed in the lyricism throughout the show. He did not stop at satisfying the audience’s ears; he brought the visuals into it. His stage presence is theatrical in a sense, and he almost innately feels the urge to act out his lyrics. “Life only comes in flashes of greatness,” he exclaimed, with his hands over his head. 

TV Priest on stage at Firebug. Image by Shaikha Rahimi.

One Easy Thing, one of TV Priest’s most known tracks, had to make it to the setlist, and the band’s ability to immerse the audience into the lyricism shone through once again as Drinkwater said: “And when you used to laugh, rooms used to open for you .. like a mother weeping.” 

He does it once again as he repeatedly patted his chest while building up the crescendo: “I need to sleep, so very, very deeply. But I am on the call, and I am waiting.” This moment was the highlight of the night. TV Priest put on a show that is well-rounded and strikes a balance between theatrical elements and rock music. I would not have been surprised to see curtains closing the show. 

With the size of Firebug’s venue in mind, it already felt like an intimate gig. But Drinkwater took the artist-fan interaction up a notch by sitting at the edge of the stage during Limehouse Cut, one of the many profound moments during the show. Contrary to the studio version of the track where Drinkwater’s vocals are low-pitched and sonorous, he howled and quavered: “Won’t you follow, follow me?” into the crowd without a microphone. Drinkwater is certainly au fait with sustaining fan interactions. “You can find us around our merch stall after the show selling T-shirts to pay for petrol,” he said mid-show. It seems transparency is not limited to his lyricism.

For the audience, this is a rollercoaster with consistent highs and no lows. It encapsulates meaningful lyricism, with zestful stage presence, and timeless sound. Drinkwater’s commitment to the vulnerability of his lyricism carried the audience through a plethora of emotions. He was clearly submerged in the guitar, bass, and drums. You could just see it in his face, and you cannot help but surrender to the intensity of their marvellous crescendos. Nothing held TV Priest back. This show was incised with energy, sensational vocals, and unparalleled stage presence.

The support act were London-based alternative-rock band Modern Woman. Their music is hard to label and is mysterious in its intent: post-folk-meets-art-rock. The layered instrumental excellence of the violin – yes, a violin – and the electric guitar with the rhythmic cymbals created a goosebump-inducing sound.

But it was TV Priest’s night: a show that felt like a raw, orchestral post-punk trip that gave the audience a thrilling adventure that was all about screeching guitars, pounding drums, and authenticity.

TV Priest’s current European tour takes in France, Belgium and Switzerland and concludes in Köln, Germany on Friday, November 25. Buy tickets at https://www.tvpriest.com.