WHO AM I?
Aged five or six I knew I wanted to be a writer. I’ve been one professionally since the 1980s, and an editor since the 1990s. Back then I mainly worked for the NME and The Wire, from 1991 coaxing the latter towards something like its present incarnation. I was a contributor to Sight and Sound for more than 20 years and sub-editor at Crafts magazine for 15. This spring gone, after more than 40 years, I quit London for Plymouth; once properly settled I plan to focus again on my own writing.
recent and forthcoming writing:
— an essay on the inspiration that Mark E. Smith found in classic horror writing (Machen, Lovecraft, James), published in Bob Stanley’s and Tessa Norton's Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall
— a lengthy look at Terry Riley’s tape music, collected in Ecstatic Aperture: Perspective on the Life and Work of Terry Riley (ed. Vincent de Roguin, due out Shelter Press in 2024)
four reviews for 4Columns:
— a V&A exhibition centred round Lewis Carroll’s ALICE
— a V&A exhibition centred round Beatrix Potter
— biography of Tove Jansson of the MOOMINS
— an exhibition at the Science Museum exploring science fiction
for the Guardian:
— a mini-essay about the effects of COVID and streaming on listening and music-consumption (Complete with now-traditional Guardian clicktease misdirection lol, the strap-line more or less the exact opposite of my argument. This is a publication now seriously unable to disentangle its strengths from its ongoing harms; the downsides at the moment, meaning the danger of affirming the harms, greatly outweigh any upsides for the principled jobbing freelancer: it’s not as if it even pays adequately… )
CHECK OUT MY BOOK! (details here): A Hidden Landscape Once A Week: The Unruly Curiosity of the UK Music Press in the 1960s-80s, in the words of those who were there)
Much too long dormant, my Patreon will shortly roar back into vivid life. Until it does, check out what’s already on it here. I write reviews for The Wire, the online arts magazine 4columns and the left journal Tribune; I’ve blogged for the LRB.
Semi-transparent socks I have deployed around and about include variations on dubdobdee (twitter, bluesky, mastodon), belle le triste, tierce de lollardie and pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør: I’m nice but I reserve the right to prance cheekily around masked (besides, the very definition of privilege is feeling able to attach your real actual government name to your nonsense). I have an intermittent instagram, plus (more or less moribund) a tumblr, an LJ and a dreamwidth. I have the files and the means to rebuild my beloved radio free narnia (finally consumed when weblog provider PITAS vanished beneath the waves). Apologies for the unsleeping moths here in the digital sub-realms: link-rot and abandoned virtual estate everywhere you look…
With my friend Hazel Southwell, I recorded several podcast on topics covered in the book. The age gap (she wasn’t born in the era the book explores) ensure questions asked were toughly impertinent! It’s a good and funny podcast! Other radioshows I helped make before that include A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou, co-hosted with Eli Sessions, which explored the art of the science-fiction short story, and Freaky Trigger and the Lollards of Pop, which explored everything else -- and was very funny. (Both aired through the graces of Resonance104.4FM.)