Thursday, November 12, 2009

Word up!

In 2004 I was standing in Cardiff Central Railway Station's branch of WH Smiths. I was hungover and readying myself for a four-and-a-half hour train journey home. I had my sarnie, my water and I needed some reading material. The men's magazines looked as terrible as usual but, just I was about to give up the hunt, I spied the headline "Jeff Buckley lives!".

Now, during my first year at university I had become somewhat obsessed with the drowned-warbler that was Mr Jeff Buckley, after the recommendation of the album Grace from a friend, and so to see this headline, staring out at me among the sea of other "look at me" cover lines, felt somewhat serendipitous.

It was a magazine called "Word", something I was vaguely aware of but not really. Anyway, I bought it, I read the article, I very much enjoyed it. The rest of the magazine was equally compelling with intelligent, interesting, well-written, articles, reviews, interviews and so forth. Ever since I have enjoyed Word - mentioning it in my interview for the Cardiff Magazine course - texting Radio 2 when Mark Ellen was on the show asking for advice for aspiring journalists when I was in my university days, reading the blog of David Hepworth, having a subscription in the boom times (on the Christmas list for this year too) and so on.

Then, in October, I won a competition hosted by Word (by submitting this video), to play with the JD session group the New Silver Cornet Band - made of up musicians who have played with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and so on. The day itself passed in a blur of nerves, missed notes, and a flurry of a guitar solo. Afterwards though, during the little interview I did with The Word's Andrew Harrison I offered (because you have to take advantage of the weird ways life can work out and play into your hands) to write something about the gig that was taking place two nights later, featuring Brett Anderson, Jon McClure and Carl Barat, and - perhaps because I had oh-so-subtly mentioned some of my other freelance work including The Guardian, and plenty of music reviewing - he said, "Okay, sure."

Much agonising over words later I emailed the copy off and sat back, waiting to see what would happen. Fast forward to today...after much peering at shelves in various corner shops in Pimlico (if they're not on a corner, what are they?) I found the December issue and there on page 49 is my review in full, complete with a small picture of me and the band from the rehearsal day, complete with a little, in-bold byline. Pretty cool.

Okay, so I got to write it via a competition entry I saw on Twitter (yet another tick in the pro-Twitter column) but hey, I can now say I've written for Word Magazine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done you! Love how Twitter has actual life-changing potential. Will have to seek out a copy of the magazine now :)