Thursday is the day of my one secure weekly commissioned piece, the one weekly payment upon which to build the rest of the career. With a background heavily invested in the local music scene through being a musician, a promoter and these days running a small record label, I guess I am very well placed to comment on the live music going on in my town (Swindon, since you ask.) The Swindon Advertiser, the town’s main source of cat up tree and traffic related grumpiness, employ me to write 700 words a week in the form of a gig guide and act as the music guru when it comes to what to recommend as the places to go and bands to see.
As in most towns, music is feeling the pinch, though there is normally enough going on for me to fill the quota and then some so a bit of self editing (I don’t trust the papers Subbies, they cut all my jokes out) and a couple of rewrites and it’s normally in the bag.
Thankfully the days of being the man on the street with his ear to the ground is long gone and the onus is now on the venues. My policy is if you put it on your website in good time then it will be considered for inclusion, for the hourly rate I’m on I don’t see it as my job to wander round all the venues doing the detective work, but you would be surprised how many venues don’t get their information up in time for my deadline. it’s like they don’t want people to come to their shows.
Okay, I’m not exactly Nick Kent or Lester Bangs , making and breaking bands with a well turned phrase or cutting quip, it’s basically a list with added descriptions, but a list all the same. Then again it’s me making money writing about my first love. I’ll take that.