On 5 February 2014, local music journalist and founder of Liverpool’s GIT award Peter Guy joined students from Edge Hill’s record label, The Label Recordings to talk about the world of music journalism.
Edge Hill student and Staff Writer for The Label, Adam Walker writes about the experience:
As a musician, I know that working with others is a great way to enhance your ability. As an English Literature student, I know that the same idea applies. So when Peter Guy, the editor of music blog ‘Getintothis’ and writer for the Liverpool Echo came to discuss his ideas on writing, the local music scene and the music industry, the advice he offered, for me, was invaluable.
Sitting down with a few members of The Label Recordings, he was adamant and brilliantly honest in making his points clear: when writing, get to the point. Flowery language is fantastic in an assessed piece of work for a degree, but as might seem obvious, a painfully analytical approach to a band’s decision to use a 12/8 time signature is not going to be interesting for a casual music-listener to read. Audience is key.
Looking at it, it might see like perfectly obvious advice, but a key word is: balance. Any piece of writing, particularly in terms of a critique, has to be interesting. Hundreds of writers, including some of my personal heroes, have written wholly serious pieces of musical criticism. At the same time, sometimes the best way to relate a singer’s performance to a reader is to compare them to a crying hamster on helium.
If there was one single word however that Peter Guy mentioned in his conversation with us, for me, it was: personality. Everybody can identify an argument. Everybody can be aware of their audience. Everyone can set the right tone in their work. Personality and individual flair however, is what makes a good writer.
Intense discussion in Creative Edge ‘Icebox’ room. Left, Adam Walker; Centre, Peter Guy