A Hidden Landscape
Once A Week

A Hidden Landscape Once a Week, an anthology about the early days of music-writing in the UK rock papers and surrounding media, in the 60s, 70s and 80s, will be published in summer 2017. The current subtitle is: How UK music-writing became a space for unruly curiosity, in the words of those who made it happen.

The project developed out of the conference I organised at Birkbeck in May 2015: Underground/Overground: the Changing Politics of UK Music-Writing 1968-85. This brought together writers, editors and readers of the underground and trade music presses of the 1960s, 70s and 80s with academics and other media commentators, to discuss the emergence and evolution of the countercultural voice in the UK, as inflected through the rock papers between these dates. A full list of panels can be found here.

The proceedings were recorded and have been transcribed, and edited extracts will form the core of this published collection, alongside additional memoirs, essays and thoughts from participants and others. The anthology is currently being commissioned and compiled. A provisional contents list can be found on the Kickstarter page, with a finalised version being put up here towards the end of 2016, as the book goes into production.

In the meantime, profound thanks are already due to the following: Savage Pencil for his illustrations, Val Wilmer, Penny Reel and Liz Naylor for allowing us to film them, Psyche Thompson for camerawork, make-up and wise advice, Birkbeck for staging the conference in the first place (with special mention to Esther Leslie, Joe Brooker and everyone who chaired a panel), Rock’s Backpages for invaluable help with contacts, Mark Pilkington at Strange Attractor, Ed Baxter at Resonance FM, the journal Music & Letters for a grant to enable the recording and transcription of the conference, Katie Grocott Murdoch for help with the lettering on the cover rough, Tim Hopkins for his small-press expertise, Steve Mannion for website advice and design, everyone who attended the conference (on stage and in the audience), and all friends, relatives and colleagues for their input and support in recent months.

The book was successfully funded by a Kickstarter running through June-July 2016. Deep gratitude is owed to the many pledgers listed here, without whom none of this would have been possible.