News & Features

CD releases, artists touring, festival previews, news from UK venues and anything else that people are talking about

Interviews

Conversations with international and UK artists about their music, their inspiration and their future plans

cds & other reviews

Sorting through the mass of new releases for the hidden gems, as well as reviews of live shows, festivals, books and movies

Lists

Some ideas for thematic CD samplers or iPod playlists. Add your own suggestions or submit an entire list

About Me and the Genesis of this Site

After almost 20 years in journalism, I finally got frustrated by the fact that my job and my passion almost never overlapped. This site is an attempt to do something about that.
It is not intended as a rival to any of the UK websites and magazines currently writing on this subject. There’s plenty of room for all of us. I have chosen to launch my own site rather than writing for someone else because I wanted to do things my own way, but that doesn’t mean my way is better than anyone else’s. And of course this site will never rival some of the others in terms of quantity – I am one person, with a full-time job besides.

I am not a musician of any note (I love my guitar but it doesn't seem to love me back) so the technical music stuff often passes me by, though I hope I can appreciate great musicianship. Mostly I come at this music from the heart; I care about the words and the themes, the way the song and the sound make me feel. I also love to go to live gigs, and I'm very interested in the people behind the music. So I will be writing not just about the artists and their music but also about the people who bring them to us, the venues, the promoters, the tour managers. And the fans.

In its pre-launch incarnation, the site was subtitled “unpretentious music writing” – until I realised that was quite a pretentious thing to call it. The reason I originally wanted to call it that was in reaction to some of the reviews you see, especially in American newspapers, that I find self-indulgent and frankly pointless. I read a recent review that described a CD as “a parabolic culmination of inescapable genealogies.” Until the songwriters I love start using such words in their songs, I won’t be using them in my reviews.

For more information about my approach to writing, read the ethics section.
Only time will tell how this site will develop. I am not necessarily wedded to being a one-woman band, and other people may come on board. In the meantime, I hope for support from the fans and tolerance from the people whose help I seek help along the way. I must already thank the artists and PR people who arranged interviews and put me on guest lists even though I had nothing to show them yet, as well as my friends and family for patience and support, especially Don for allowing me to bounce ideas off him.
 
This site was built by Ralph Sleigh, who has worked wonders, and continues to patiently work through my near-daily requests for tweaks.
 
Naomi Koppel