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“Writing about music is like Dancing About Architecture”

So how do you write about music, and forge a career as a music journalist?

Saturday 10 Nov  |  12-1.15pm

A famous comment (erroneously attributed to Elvis Costello) suggested that writing about music is like ‘dancing about architecture’, in other words… a tricky, abstract thing to even attempt. However, many careers have been forged by those interested in working the worlds of music and writing, and in doing just that (many of those writers are even within the walls of the Principal Hotel at Louder Than Words).

Working as a music journalist can be your backstage pass to the best gigs, the biggest festivals, and the most spectacular club nights on the planet so how do you get into it… and how do you do it? Is this a skill that writers – both of parties past and gigs yet to happen – are born with, or is it something that can, for instance, be taught at university?

To debate this subject, this panel will welcome Professor Martin James, music writer and now Professor of Cultural Industries at Southampton Solent University. With Martin is Dr Lucy O’Brien, author of She Bop, the acclaimed history of women in popular music and the recent Madonna: Like An Icon. The panel is chaired by Dr Simon A. Morrison, once columnist for DJmagazine and author ofDiscombobulated, now swapping the dancefloor for the lecture theatres of Chester University. These three music writers and academics will use this panel to launch their research hub for music writing called… what else… Dancing About Architecture.

Also on the panel (and in the audience) will be the invaluable input of students currently paying undeniably extravagant fees to study this subject. And perhaps adding another perspective is John McCready, veteran writer for publications such as NME and The Face and now course leader for Music Journalism at BIMM Manchester, and Georgia Rawson, publisher and editor of music magazine Discovered.

Whether aspiring Tony Parsons or Julie Burchills, current music journalism students, lecturers or merely interested parties, come add your spin on this question, and let’s all try to dance about architecture.

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