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===Third Test Nov 1st-5th===
So Pakistan 1-0 up and they play their trump card to try and seal the series, a Bunsen burner (turner) at Sharjah. England decided to play three spinners to match Pakistan and soon reaped the benefit after Cook last his six straight toss and Pakistan batted. The seamers were outstanding all day as they bowled 39 overs for an impressive 19 maidens for a combined 6-53. It was an incredible effort in the heat, Broad and Andersons figures without Stokes an astonishing 28 overs, 15 maidens, 6 wickets for just 30 runs. It was the most economical bowling for England since 1981 and Botham’s Ashes with Bob Willis. The 46 overs of spin were not so good and produced 4-175 with just 7 maidens, Patel in for the rested Wood and three going for nearly twice as much as all three seamers put together. 234 all out was a superb effort and Anderson now averages 17 against Pakistan for his 46 Pak wickets after his 4/17 haul today. He moves into 8th in the all time test wicket list.
===Pak 1st Innings===
234 all out
Anderson 4/17 off 17 overs.
Broad 2/13 off 13 overs
===England 1st innings===
A great first day for England as the recalled James Taylor hits his maiden first-class half-century. The diminutive 5.5` Nott’s batsmen is the one player most cricket fans thought would play all three tests here but coach Bayliss binded in with his central contract guys and so Taylor getting just the last test. The way he plays the spinners is ideal and proved so as he ground out 74* of 141 balls to finish unbeaten on day two. Cook (49) and Bell (40) added 71 for the second wicket before Bairstow (37*) joined Taylor for an unbeaten 83 to close the day out nicely on 224-4.
England were looking far a first innings lead of 100 plus but had to settle for 72 and 306 all out as Taylor and Bairstow fell early With Stokes dislocated shoulder that was a decent effort and a healthy 42 runs by the delightful and podgy faced Patel bringing up that psychological 300.
===England 1st Innings===
The omens were good for England as teams with a 70 plus lead in South East Asia have gone on to win 182 out of 217 tests played there. But Pakistan had learned what was required on this pitch to survive as England toiled without their third seamer, 142-3 at the close. Bell took his 100th catch in test cricket!
Pakistan were in no mood to fold and batted much more positively in the opening session. Hafeez moved doggedly to his hundred as others fell away, 101-0 ending up to 245-6 at lunch. But Hafeez kept going after lunch and added 96 with Misbah and 55 with Shafiq. Hafeez departed for 151, the 5th highest score by a Pakistan opening batsmen against England, 355 all out an imposing 283 lead. Only Saeed Anwar (11) has scored more hundreds than Mohammad Hafeez (nine) as a Pakistan opener. Stuart Broad has taken 51 wickets in 2015, more than any other Test bowler; James Anderson is next on the list with 46
===Pakistan 2nd Innings===
The record run chase in Asia is 317-7 by NZ, but that against a then feeble Bangladesh. West Indies 276-5 in 1987 is more accurate and the size of England’s task. England's highest successful fourth-innings chase to win in Asia is 209, against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 2010.
It didn’t start well with both Ali and Bell back in the hutch by the close of day four. Bell isn’t honorable enough to resign his £345,000 central contract and England doesn’t seem to want to tell him to. Ali quite simply didn’t work as an opener and gone for 22 and averaging that in the series.
===Record run chases in Asia by visiting teams===
317-7: New Zealand v Bangladesh, Chittagong, 2008
307-7: Australia v Bangladesh, Fatullah, 2006
276-5: West Indies v India, Delhi, 1987
The conditions and experienced spin attack on home style pitches finally got the better of England and the overnight 40-2 was soon 59-6 as a crowded bat offered chance after chance. Rashid and Cook stuck it out with a 50 partnership but another collapse and England were all out just after tea for 156, Cook almost carrying his at with 63. Shah 4-44 and Malik’s occasional spin were too much for England in a country Pakistan never seems to lose test matches and the series gone at 2-0.
===England 2nd Innings===
Pakistan win by 128 runs and the series 2-0.
I regularly buy Q when one of my favourite bands are interviewed or featured heavily, or if I'm going away on a long trip. Essentially this sums up my feelings on the magazine, I'll only buy it if either of these are fulfilled. If not, the features about other bands can be too long, leaving not a lot else in the magazine
However, when I'm interested, the features and interviews are genuinely interesting, and in each issue you will read many things you have not heard about before. The interviewer doesn't usually waste time asking boring questions (to the fans). Reviews in the magazine tend to be quite strong as well, I tend to agree with what they think about many albums. They have live dvds, live performance and reissue reviews as well.
However, since the redesign, they have incorporated more broad reviews such as films, tv shows etc. This is not why people pick up Q magazine and seem a waste of space. Also, more and more of the magazine seems to be adverts these days.
I regularly buy Q magazine when I am traveling on a long journey as there is often a lot of stuff in it which i find interesting. It reviews most of the more popular music around, with a good mix of new bands and big bands from the past as well. Although I am a massive fan of oasis, even i think that Q seems to have an article about them every month! and there is only so many reformulations that they can do.
Some of the articles such as the "how to buy" sections have helped me to get into a greater variety of music, buying the essentials of bands to get into them and then perhaps moving onto the other stuff. Also the reviews are generally pretty decent, but i think that they can be a bit biased and rip apart some really good albums and praise some that arent very good, but its all down to opinion i suppose.
In the festival season they provide some really good reviews of them, and it can help what festivals to look at and perhaps what to go to next year or whatever.
Finally, the price is comparable with other magazines; but still it can be expensive for students and stuff...
Overall, mint magazine
I have just bought Q magazine for the first time in ages. It is the March 2009 issue, I have just broken up for half term and wanted something to read over the obligatory slobbing with my Chinese take-away and bottle of wine on the first night of the holidays. It is a ritual most teachers follow! I was pleasantly surprised with the magazine, the Chinese was ok, and the wine was great!
The price of Q is £3.90, seems a bit steep, but probably compares equally with all the other monthly, glossy magazines that line the shelves these days. I wouldn't know, I never buy them. For the unitiated Q is a monthly music magazine, and it has lots of features and articles on a wide variety of music genres. I find it interesting because the interviews help me understand the real people behind the sometimes manufactured personas.
Q follows a set format each month, this month it includes interviews and articles on Peter Jones, Gene Simmons, Amy Winehouse, The Rise and Fall of Top of the Pops, Katy Perry, Starsailor, Florence and the Machine and Take That. Ok, I have a confession, Take That are my guilty pleasure, am going to see them (again) this summer and I am torn between the talented Mr. Barlow and the diminutive Mr. Owen! So, there is an interview with Take That in Q, is this a clever marketing ploy I wonder, to get people like me to buy magazines like Q? It reminds me of the days when Princess Di on the cover sold the magazine, whatever was inside. Ok, ok, maybe not, but the mention of Take That on the cover sold the magazine to me, so job done!
I love the snippets of information that I glean from Q magazine. Did you know that Dragon's Den Peter Jones is Jay Kay's biggest fan? No, me neither, but now I do I will never again look at him in the same light. Did you know that Katy Perry's parents were pastors? No, me neither, but maybe I could have guessed that one.
My favourite part of the magazine is quite predictably the review section. Am i that transparent? Yes! There are over 20 pages of reviews and the reviews are described as "Morrissey having a good old moan, The Boss hasn't a care in the world, Lily Allen returns, Jimi Hendrix's legacy is lasting, how to buy Bob Dylan, and Metallica and Colplay in the flesh." These reviews are really useful, as I am trying to widen my music taste (for obvious reasons I hear you say) and I will be trying one or two new genres as funds allow.
There is a quirky, dry sense of humour running underneath most of the magazine, that really made me laugh out loud at times, a bit like me really!
For example, there is a letter asking why Bono has taken to wearing eyeliner, is it to look like Keith Richards? Also, why on earth did Clint Eastwood wearing white socks with black trainers for his interview with Jamie Cullum? The obvious answer is do you fancy telling Dirty Harry his fashion sense is rubbish! Probably not everyone's taste, but I found it really funny!
I found the subscription offer quite bizarre. I am quite interested in a subscription but surely any self-respecting Q reader will already own The Killers cd that they are throwing in for free, a bit of an own goal there I think. Cd aside I actually think the offer might tempt me anyway. £9.99 for 3 issues delivered to my door, with a Q Special Edition Magazine and Q Quiz Book free! I am still reading the magazine, it is so packed, my only gripe is that some of the text is so small in places, I think I may need glasses. Oh heck, is that a pre-requisite to be a Q reader? It does seem to be aimed at shall we say the slightly more mature music fan. I will definitely buy it again and let you know. All in all a very good read.
I like Q. I've always liked Q. It's a long standing title on the magazine shelves because it's just so good. All magazines are expensive thse days, I remember when they used to be a quid, nowadays the likes of Q are nearer four. The thing is with Q, you get a lot of reading for your money. They have some standards, but they don't seem to have it in for bands like NME do, their reviews I think are fair and they cover a good mix of stuff. A copy of Q I could quite happily read for most of the day whereas NME would keep me going just a lunchbreak. The special editions are real things to keep too, I have a greatest album covers one, which is as good as any reference book on my shelf. These can all be ordered too. A special editon Q on your mates favourite band.. put a ribbon round it and that's a grat present. The crossword is stupidly difficult, but it's a minor fault.
I grew up with punk, new wave, ska and reggae I remember when Paul Weller was an angry young man rather than the personification of ‘dad rock’ and like countless men of my generation I knew that god did exist and his name was JOHN PEEL! Why am I telling you all this? Well in those far away days before PC’s, Chat rooms and Computer games ruled the lives of teenage boys, music was my number one interest and as such I religiously read the NME and Melody Maker. However as anyone knows, with time things change, and just like it’s thought to be very sad to go clubbing and attempt a new dance after the age of thirty, reading the NME now in my late thirties doesn’t feel right. So what’s left for people like me, we are not like our mums and dads who gave up on music when they reached 30, there is a huge market of thirty plus people who still buy CD’s and still want to follow what’s happening in the music world. This is where Q magazine comes in. On the face of it this would be exactly right for me, a mature look at music that isn’t bothered about Will Young, Steps and the meaningless con game that has now become the top forty singles chart… but something is not quite right with the world of Q… Q The magazine was first published in 1986 and still comes out every month and looks very much like any other glossy lifestyle coffee table magazine. Colour pictures, expensive ads for cars, music and mobiles phones fill a large part of its pages. It is published on high quality fairly thick paper and it is a hefty read. CONTENT You have to turn to page 5 before you get to the actual magazine content the first pages are adverts. Glancing at the contents page there is a list of the special features in the issue, in the copy I’m looking at there are articles on ‘The Hives’, Bono, and Shakira as well as a report asking whether ‘Pop Idol’
is evil! (Of course it is!) Turning the page we get to a listing of the magazines regular features that I will talk about in detail below. Generally the content page is well laid out includes lots of photos illustrating the articles with the page number included in the bottom corner do that you can easily find your way there. In ‘web speak’ it is easy to navigate around. INTERVIEWS Every issue there is one major interview usually relating to the cover picture. The subjects can be almost anyone and in the past Madonna, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Morrissey, Oasis, Travis, John Lydon, PJ Harvey etc. have all been featured. I think the standards of the interviews have slipped of late and now tend to try and be more sensational in their tone. An in depth investigation about an artist motivations towards his/her music often seems to have given way to a often sneering discussion about revelations of their drug taking habits and/or sexual encounters… Rock and Roll! (Not really). The interviews slot used to feature the tag line ‘Who The Hell Do You Think They Are…’ but now it’s changed to ‘Cash For Questions With…’ maybe more appropriate in a more commercially minded time. NOW This is a short article section featuring some usually flattering paparazzi style photos of a variety of star names. Little snippets of official gossip are included next to each one. Usually included amongst these features are a few whole page spreads called NEW devoted to highlighting new bands or performers. In the past ‘Sum 41’, the ‘Vines’ and the ‘Hives’ have had this treatment. TOP 40 Further in to the magazine we get to the top 40 charts…(No not the singles charts Q would never do that). We’re talking about the more serious and less easy to manipulate album chart. All the information is given, c
hart position, how many weeks, highest chart position as well as how many albums in total have been sold. Some of the records featuring in the chart have a little feature attached giving some relevant interesting information about it. Often humorous chart compilations are also included as a bit of light relief. Q INTERACTIVE Piling my way through more cigarettes and beer adverts we come to the ‘Interactive’ section, which is really the meat of the magazine. This includes a letters page, a question and answer section and the ever-popular ‘Where Are They Now?’ (Although I often find myself answering ‘Who Cares!) Recent issues have featured Brother beyond, Age of Chance and Leif Garett…see what I mean, but sometimes someone interesting is featured. Most issues also include the celebrity buyer’s guide, which is as the title suggests this is a choice of five records selected by a top entertainment personality. One issue included ‘Ricky Gervais’s Guide To Famous Acts, Before They Went Shit’ Which I thought was very funny. Other one off special features in this section have included ‘Top 50 women of Rock’ ‘How Drugs have influenced music’, Bets Live performers and annually in the December issue Q have always listed their top 40 albums of the year, which is always an interesting read. To accompany this feature the magazine has in the past given away a special CD featuring one track from some the top albums they have picked. In the past this CD alone is worth the price of the magazine Q REVIEW This section is the main reason why I still buy the magazine. Q reviews a fairly comprehensive selection of new albums and re-releases using their famous Dooyoo/Ciao like 5 star scoring system. 5 star being ‘Indispensable’ to one star being ‘Poor’ a short description of each album accompanies each selection and you get the fe
eling that each of the reviewers tend to be fairly knowledgeable in the particular genre of music they are discussing. All genres of music are covered and even teeny bop chart topping acts (as long as they have a album out, are reviewed. The review also includes related media such as music DVD’s, Video’s and books and as such provides a first port of call for anyone wanting to find out what’s new in the shops. GIG REVIEW AND GUIDE Each issue contains a full gig guide on forthcoming concerts a few months in advance. You will also find a lot of advertising of gigs by the various promoters in addition to the magazines official listings. This section also includes the critical review of selected recent concerts by Q journalists attending. OVERALL Over the years Q has tried to slowly work it’s way to a younger market worried of being labelled as dad’s rock magazine. To some extent that has been successful and now you are just as likely to read a piece about Eminem or Marilyn Manson as you are about Neil Young or Bob Dylan…that’s progress for you. Despite this its look, the way it’s presented and the price still aims at predominately the 30 plus market (who might want to feel that they are in touch with the kids…) It has come a long way from the early issues and it does offer something for most music fans whatever their age or musical preferences. The problem I do have with it is that it still seems to be reverential of established acts in a way that mostly they don’t deserve. It seems to me that if Bob Dylan brings out a new album he is likely to get an easier critical appraisal that is a newer less established act. Q also seems to have an editorial policy to publicise Oasis and a disproportionate number of articles are written about them or their music. They do tend to latch onto a band and for a while at least that band become the ‘darling̵
7; of the Q journalists. In the past I have noticed this happen with U2, REM and Nirvana that is not to say that these bands don’t deserve high praise it’s just that Q can overdo things. In essence my biggest problem with Q seem to be that now it has become essentially part of the big record company establishment this feeling has been recently reinforced by them setting up their annual ‘Readers Awards’ and even more by the production of a satellite TV channel. Inevitable as this progression to the mainstream might be, for me a music magazine must always maintain a healthy level of scepticism and adopt a subversive attitude. Despite their increased coverage of more exclusively youth based music Q still gives the impression (between the lines) that it is written by middle-aged journalists who were once fans of the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ and their general tone certainly can seem to me to be slightly smug and patronising in its views, especially in their clear bias towards certain kinds of music. They also seem to have to some extent bought into the ‘post modern ironic’ lad culture and their tone especially in their article on well known female artist does seem to take this approach although Q cannot be said to be like ‘Loaded’ or ‘FHM’ in this respect. Having said all this it is still one of the best music publication around and now still sets the standards for serious music journalism. It is a hefty magazine and is just about worth the money. It can be read cover to cover but will also be useful to dip back into for bits of information. Recommended…just about… Thanks for reading and rating this opinion © Mauri 2002
‘Q, Britain’s Biggest Music magazine!’ the cover proudly proclaims, and, in many ways it’s true. Q magazine has been the premier mag for music lovers everywhere for the past 15 years. Often considered a magazine for real music and, ‘older’ listeners, you are unlikely to see Britney Spears or Limp Bizkit hogging the cover month in month out like some other publications (coughcoughsmashhitscoughcoughkerrang!) Instead it offers a wide variety of bands and musical genres, from hip hop to punk from R.E.M to Daft Punk. It is not at all a ‘lads magazine’ and you will not find cocky sarcastic writers gracing the pages. It’s always refreshing to read articles and reviews from writers who actually like the music and are not ashamed to say it. They are also very unbiased, all of which add up to make a great magazine that will always be informative and fulfilling. I strongly recommend it. **There are also occasional free cd’s with it and these are of great quality. These cds are responsible for getting me onto Ryan Adams and The White Stripes** The Magazine It’s Self; FEATURES A strong point of the magazine the features are always a good read. The varying types of aritists every week mean there is something for everyone. There is usually a good few articles every month so you aren’t restricted to one main feature. All bands/artists are given the upmost respect, even if the writer doesn’t particularly like them. NOW The news section of the magazine is very informative. Here you’ll find out which popstars have checked into rehab centres, which rock stars bedded which models and all the normal news from planet music. This can also be filled with up and coming artists and albums in the pipeline. INTERACTIVE Basically the letters section, there are also various mini sections and trivia bits here
. REVIEWS Of course, this is the heart and soul of the magazine. Albums are rated out of five stars. 5 stars- Indispensable. Truly exceptional 4 stars- Excellent 3 stars- Good 2 stars- Average 1 star- Best Avoided Reviews is split into four parts; NEW ALBUMS, SINGLES, COMPILATIONS, RE- RELEASES. The amount of reviews they cram into here is amazing and while some reviews are given more space than others, you’ll find that these are usually the better ones. There are a few more sections such as INTERNET (interesting music sites reviewed) RECOMMENDED (recommended albums, dvd’s Etc..) FILMS, DVD, BOOKS & CONCERTS all have their own sections. FAMOUS LAST WORDS is the final section usually an interview with artists. So there you have it, a highly recommended, unbiased informative music magazine. (Now all you have to do is go and get this month’s copy!) ****Craig****
Q is one of the biggest-selling monthly music magazines on the market. It's been around for ages now and its popularity endures. I've been a reader on and off for about 8 years, and I can say that this month's edition is one of the best I've bought. Q's writers are clued-up and funny. You can tell that they just love music - not just the latest 'must have' music, but music that's good whatever its genre. Sure, the writers can sometimes be arrogant, sometimes be sneering, and sometimes they get things mighty wrong (I always remember their damning 'it'll get nowhere' review of Oasis' What's the Story), but they make up for it with quality journalism, great in-depth interviews, hilarious mickey-takes and a slick professional style. Though there are several pages of the usual latest/reissue music, book, TV and film reviews, this month's issue is basically a review of 2001. We get the poll of '100 women who rock your world' as voted by Q's readers, where PJ Harvey gets the big gong with Madonna second and Kate Bush third. Along with this are interviews with PJH, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and Kate Bush, and articles on Madonna and Courtney Love (all in the top 100). There's also a rundown of Q's reviewers 50 best albums of the year, with - surprise, surprise - Ryan Adams' 'Gold' taking the top spot, and Stereophonics, Basement Jaxx, the Strokes, REM and Starsailor to name but a few bringing up the rear. Elsewhere there's a great Q&A with Lenny Kravitz, with questions (such as 'Why don't you ever wear socks?') asked by readers. There's a 5 minute chat with Dido (who won't be sending Eminem a Christmas card), Sheryl Crow in the studio, Pulp in prison, Tim Burgess in a fright-anorak and much, much more. I've saved the best til last, as this month's edition has a free CD containing Q
9;s pick of the year, 19 (mostly) cracking tracks by some quality artists including the Strokes, the Charlatans, Ryan Adams, Gorillaz, Ash, Daft Punk and even Outkast. Q weighs in at a meaty 178 pages, retails for £3.30 from all decent newsagents and is published by emap. For more info and a damn good read see their website at www.q4music.co.uk
Q is increasingly irritating me. Whilst addmittedly I have never loved it, I am finding the content more staid, predictable and less inventive. This is a magazine that used to have at least some degree of youthful zest about it. It now has as much get up and go as a citroen 2CV. The coverage of bands is limited and restricted to those same old groups that the publication favours ie. radiohead, U2, manics, REM. Not exactly emerging new exciting music which is what I would like to discover. I detest the "pat your own back" Q awards ceremony - yeah fascinating read. Perhaps I am just bitter because first of all I read VOX and then Select but only because they were better. Towards the end of select, they gave away a cracking CD of new music every month which really did make me go and seek out the bands featured. Q CD's feature "the best of the awards etc" just the same dross that you probably have already. Why are people buying it?
When I was a young whipper snapper I used to dismiss Q as a magazine for old farts but over the years they seem to have gone for a younger readership and I in turn have got older (obviously, duh) untl we met somewhere in the middle. Now our tastes have kinda converged. It has the most comprehensive album review section there is although most individual reviews are pretty short and concise. Of course bigger bandslike REM, Radiohead and U2 will get a full page devoted to them, where the review will expound at length on each track and really give you a feel for what the album is like. They also do more live reviews now although this section is still pretty skimpy in comparison to NME. Each month there is a chance to win 25 pounds for posing a question to a rock/pop star in Cash for Questions. In this months issue (Oct 2001) Posh Spice gets a bit irate that not many of the questions pertain to her music, most of them are about Becks 'n' sex instead. Sometimes there's a fre CD stuck to the cover and it usually contains some quality music. The last one I got had 21 tracks including Ash, Supergrass, Semisonic and Suede. There was a lot of old stuff on it but the sort that makes you go 'wow, I haven't heard this for ages, I'd forgotten how good it sounds'. If there's a criticism then it's that they sometimes ignore the small guys. More alternative music gets pushed aside in the rush to laud the Coldplays amd the Travises of this world. Still, if its upcoming and unsigned bands you want there's always NME. Overall it's well written, informative and amusing - a good read.
Q is undoubtebly one of the greatest pop / rock music publications out at the moment. The magazine is pretty much split up in to two sections... the main features and the 'Q-Review' section. In the main features, they talk about new bands, shows, the charts and lots of different stuff. For example, in the Summer 2001 episode they had an article on Madonna (yuck!) and her live show (yuck!), an article on Groove Armada's new album, Starsailor, Linkin Park, rock side projects, Bjork, U2's american tour and two 'where are they now?' The regular features are good and sometimes very amusing. They have a 'Cash for Questions' interview, where you send in ideas for questions, and any that they use, they will pay you some dosh, that's £25 to you and me. The one in the issue in fron tof me was with Boy George, and it tells you what the next two are so you can plan your questions to post, fax or email in. They also have Q-Mail, their monthly postbag, 'Incoming' a section with the latest news, and a listing of what's currently very popular on the Q satellite TV channel in the last month. In the monthly feature, Their Time Is Now, there are two featured artists that are just breaking in to the mainstream. In this magazine, there was Tool and Aaliyah. They also have a charts section with the latest albums charts, and two 'comedy' chart countdowns with subjects like 'Top 25 common causes of stress', 'Ten new channels from the BBC', and '25 funniest body parts' etc. An 'eyewitness' area will have details about a recording session. From my two issues in front of me, Mike Oldfield's legendary Tubular Bells and something involving the Police. The real killer part of Q is the album reviews though. It's like a mini version of dooyoo served in printed form. But not as good. The reviews seem sometimes biased, but usually spot on. They also review re-releases, DVD's, video tapes, books, hi-fi's, internet sites, live gigs and have an essential advert listings of big gigs in the UK. That pretty much sums up a copy of Q. If you are interested in rock music, or pop, then you might like giving Q a go. It isn't a celebrity magazine, so you won't see 'exclusive Five shots' or 'wicked Backstreet pix', but you will find amusing, well-written commentary on the latest album releases and you occasionally get a demo CD on the front to listen to tracks reviewed in the mag. Well worth the asking price of £3.30, even just for the album reviews section it'd be worth that. I might even subscribe sometime soon...
Recently, when it happened to come up in conversation that I read Q magazine, the response of my 30-something friend was 'You know you're getting old when you start reading Q'. But was his highly hurtful comment justified? And should I care anyway? Well, Q is certainly not aimed at the teenage market. Articles on Billie and Britney do make it occasionally, but they tend to be of the 'what are those crazy kids listening to now?' variety, rather than 'hear all the latest about Britney's boyfriend!!!!'. And thank christ for that! For me, the strongest thing about Q is the sheer variety of music they feature. One month, they'll have Billie on the front cover; then they'll have U2; then they'll have Dylan; then Iron Maiden. Basically, they don't consider any kind of music to be beneath their dignity. The Q writers are genuine fans of the music. Not for them the sneering sarcasm of the NME. Not that I don't enjoy sneering sarcasm, but occasionally I want to hear from a journalist who actually enjoys the music and isn't ashamed of it. Another strength of Q is that all acts are treated with respect, even the laughably naff. So, for instance, they can have a 'where are they now' feature on Kajagoogoo, which will be amusing, but not in a sneery way. I mean, we all know Limahl is a joke, but Q leaves it up to us to laugh at him, rather than telling us to do so. One thing that Q can be criticised for, though, is that they can't really claim to be at the cutting edge. New trends tend to be well established before they ever make the pages. Most of the new bands that get featured tend to be of the safe variety. And there's more likely to be an article on Dylan or Bruce Springsteen than on some angry young hothead. But maybe that's what most of the readership is looking for? The quality of writing is almost uniformly excellent. One writer who is particu
larly noteworthy is Stuart Maconie. He's witty, intelligent and informative. He has an unfailing eye for the absurdities of modern music. And he's a real music fan. Everything a music journalist should be. The free CDs which occasionally come with the magazine are well worth the subscription fee in themselves. There's many a band that I only got into because of these CDs. It's great to be able to hear these bands that they're on about, rather than waiting for the radio stations to catch on to them. Last but not least, I have to mention the absolute strongest part of the magazine - the reviews section. This is so comprehensive, it covers just about every new album (and lots of re-releases) that you could ever wish to hear about. The live reviews are a bit few and far between, but the CD reviews are difficult to fault. All in all, Q is highly readable, entertaining and informative. It's great for keeping up with the latest music news, if you're into good quality music. But maybe not for you if you're into all that is trendy. And not very much at all for the Vengaboys fans!
I bought my first copy of Q after seeing the Q music channel on sky digital (455). The music was very good quality, unlike the much "popped up" MTV. Some alternative music with some old stuff. A great combination. So I skipped eagerly to the newsagents in the following days and purchased a copy of the afformentioned magazine. First thing I noticed upon flicking through was lack of adverts. There are the obligotary ones in the culminative pages of the magazine (any magazine not have these?) aswell as a few strung through out the remainder of the issue. The interviews were intelligently written, and with actually interesting people in the hot seat. Better yet was a feature where you could send in questions to be asked to next months interviewee. The Album reviews (there are loads of these) are very good, and truthful to what the reviewer feels, something which I find lacking in many magazines now who do not have the balls to go against the corporate grain. I digress. The featured articles are also very interesting and involving, the latest being a 20 page special on Radiohead. Lately though, although I cannot speak for much of the magazine's life, Q's focus seems to be shifting to more and more alternative music. Part of the appeal of Q was its mix of old and new, which it appears to be losing.
I've taken Q almost since it started and now get it on subscription. I'm sad to say it is now a poor imitation of its once glorious self. This deterioration seems to have taken place in the last couple of years and appears to be concomitant with the magazine's greater emphasis on dance culture and an almost unnatural pre-occupation with drugs. As I get older I find the references to narcotic abuse rather tiresome. Yes, OK I was eighteen once and I've done things which were against the law but I've been a good boy now for over half my life. There are many other non-chemical stimulants out there, honest! I also appreciate that some of our greatest contemporary music (and not only of the last 30-40 years) was the product of a not always healthy disregard for conventional stimulants. Q used to be aimed at the prematurely middle aged. It had pre-empted a market composed of the ageing children of wartime evacuees and for ten years or so kept with this market. It's founder, Mark Ellen and early editors such as Danny Kelly were of this generation and understood it well. Mind you, there are only so many good new Eric Clapton albums out there so the logical move was to go younger but still with a largely conservative outlook. Dance culture (by which I also mean all the derivatives such as hip-hop, garage etc) was still only largely reported, not investigated. Then we were grunged. Kids playing loud guitars with attitude. Kids of punks doing what their parents did. Unfortunately for the readership of Q, kids with the attention span and commitment of a piece of cheddar. To keep its readership of young turks the magazine has had to adapt to whatever the kids like this month. Apparently they like swearing a lot and yes, taking loads of drugs. Whether this approach has been successful or not I'm not sure. Judging by some of the ops here, no. It still does do great articles. Last month's issue had one on th
e rise - fall - rise of Aerosmith written by Clarke Collis ( a very funny man if you've ever heard him on the radio). A salutory tale about over-indulgence if ever there was one. The record reviews are nearly always consistently good and at last they've started gig reviews. I've dipped into Mojo a few times and found it to be rather too reverential rather than irreverent for my liking so I'll stick with Q for the time being. Aww...maybe I'm just getting too old.
There was a time when Q actually merited it's huge £3 price tag, however, those days have long gone. The signs of it's downfall have been there since it decided that Radiohead took too long in releasing an album and decided to slate the bloody magnificent 'Kid A', although back when 'Whats the story' was released they slated that too. Then it's lazy, half- arsed approach to journalism- in its recent 'where bands get their names from' section, many of them were wrong, many of them were mixed up and some of them were just boring. Articles on bands i've seen a thousand times before in other magazines or pointless news stories seem to flood its otherwise advert ridden pages. And then comes the mainstream takeover. A while ago, Q was reporting on the bands and musicians that actually mattered and we actually gave a s*** about, but other, shall we say, 'less talented' or crap girl band rejects (ie. Mel C) have started to hog the pages of this once fine institution. Maybe it's because i'm only 17, and i need to appreciate the targeted age, but come on- i've been reading it since 1997, and it was never as bad as this. Mel C? who gives a monkeys about her apart from 4 year olds? Q seems to think everyone does. Since the brilliant Melody Maker passed away, music mags seem to be getting worse. In it's favour, Q does sometimes have good articles, or interesting stories, but these are as rare as a camel in the London Underground. Robbie Williams seems to be in every article whether its about the talentless tosspot or not, and its about time Q started reporting on bands that matter.