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      14.02.2010 16:37
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      Hit and Miss Guide to London Life

      Time Out is a magazine for londoners, detailing all of the events and information of things happening over the next week in the Capital.

      The magazine mixes film and restaurant reviews with information on dance, music, classical, comedy and gay/lesbian events in London.

      I have subscribed to the magazine on a couple of occasions and am currently subscribed, being honest I find the magazine very hit and miss, some weeks it can be brilliant, others its incredibly dull. Perhaps this is an indictment of the social events going on in London on that particular week, but for me the quality of the magazine is often dictated by the cover feature.

      If its an interesting article like the top 50 cheap eats in London, its information I find incredibly useful, if its an article on historic streets or something aimed at others, I often find it dull.

      The film and restaurant reviews are good although i'd prefer more of these and less of other sections, I enjoy the magazine but do find it doesn't tell me too much thats new nowadays.

      The magazine can be good value, you can get an offer of 99p for 13 issues and then you pay direct debit £22.50 per quarter. This isn't bad for a weekly magazine and i'd recommend this, some of the reviews of other cities are interesting too and there is also a television guide to the rear of the magazine.

      Overall it is a decent enough magazine but maybe its because I don't visit as much as I used to socially, but its a bit tired.

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      21.03.2006 15:43
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      truly indispensible

      Although it's never been the case that I haven't been aware of Time Out Magazine, it's only in the last year and a half that I have come to love it as much as I do now. While I am at uni I buy it every week without fail; it is completely indispensable to me. When I started my second year one of my housemates was a student rep for Time Out, so she got every issue sent to her free. Therefore, we had countless issues lying all over our house, and this was when we all became completely dependent on it. When I'm at home I do buy it less, but this is because I'm further away from London than I am when I'm at uni, and the journeys into town are less frequent. In London it can be bought from every supermarket, newspaper shop or randomer on the corner, and I can always find it when I'm both at uni in Surrey, and at home in Kent. This is a listings guide relevant to London, so, naturally, the further afield you go the trickier it's going to be do to find. But then, once you're out of London-travelling-distance you probably wouldn't want to buy it anyway.

      Time Out, ('London's Weekly Listings Bible'), is £2.50. For a weekly this errs on the side of expensive, however for the amount of priceless information you find inside this isn't asking too much at all. The magazine is split into listing sections so you can easily search for the kind of thing you're looking for. As well as covering each of these sections each week, the magazine also focuses on a particular feature. This week is a market special, giving you a guide to the best markets, where to find the best bargains, where to go for different items, that sort of thing. Each issue focuses on a certain theme, whether this be a particular section within the magazine such as books, music, or nightlife; or a particular area in London, like Soho, or recently there was an issues comparing the North of the river with the South. Also, one I was particular impressed with being a student was the cheap issue =D

      The regular features; the editor's letter, letters & emails from readers, seven up, the big smoke and reporter, take up the first few pages of the magazine. Seven Up lists Time Out's seven picks of the week, this varies from museum exhibitions, clubnights, book readings, gigs, plays, films… Anything the editors feel should be experienced that week. It also has a column dedicated to the best free things to do that week. The Big Smoke contains small kooky features that appear every week. These are things like 'overheard underground', which lists amusing fragments of conversations that have been overheard on the tube. Every week we look to see if we've been overheard but so far no luck. One day though we'll be in print. (Side note, look at www.themanwhofellasleep.com for more of these, they're hilarious.) There's also bits in this section like columns from regular writers and photos of the city from readers. Reporter is a more serious page, which focuses on a particular news story of the moment. This issue there's a piece about squatting, and examining the accusation that underground music and crime are linked.

      After these regulars comes a couple of articles. Dependent on what the feature of the week is, this could be where most of the information about it will be found. However, when the feature is on books or theatre etc, it will be in their particular section. The articles, regardless of whether they are based on the feature of the issue, are always informed and informative, written with a no-holds-barred attitude that actually tackles the issues rather than skims over them. They are always very obviously well researched, but also open to debate, as can be seen from the letters page. Even if the article is on something I'm not particularly interested in, I nearly always end up reading the whole thing anyway because the pieces are so engaging. The writing is always from an intellectual level, but is in no way patronising. On the whole, the journalism in Time Out can't really be faulted.

      After this come the Time Off sections, each one focusing on a different area. I'll give you a quick rundown of each.

      Around Town:
      This section focuses on talks, exhibitions, museums and attractions. There is a piece at the start of the section with maybe a museum director, or an in-depth look at an exhibition. There are reviews of exhibitions that will be opening that week, and their picks of the best things to visit in the week ahead. In the museum section, (which I found really useful), all the museums and exhibitions are listed so you know what's on where. There is also the Critics' Choice, which features in most of the sections.

      Art:
      This is similar to the section before, except focusing only on art exhibitions and galleries. Once again, there will be a piece focusing on a particular event or artist, and then lists of what's on where. These lists also contain all the information like opening times, prices (and whether there's a student discount, woohoo!), and the nearest tube station.

      Books:
      This is usually a shorter section. This week there is an interview with novelist DBC Pierre (who I really rate btw), and then reviews on books out this week. There is also a shorter interview with author Julie Parsons, and this section also lists readings, poetry nights and other events similar to these.

      Comedy:
      With stand-up becoming increasingly more popular, these pages seem to increase every week. Each gig is listed, along with a short review of the night / comedian in question. It also highlights which nights are free, which is useful. As is the norm, there is a feature opening the section; usually this is an interview with someone supposed to be funny.

      Dance:
      This, like the books section, is shorter than most. Dance is not as popular as other forms of entertainment, and this is reflected in the section as there are less reviews and features then there are in other sections. However, it must be said that when a big dance show hits town it receives the same amount of coverage as other forms of entertainment do. For instance, when Matthew Bourne's 'Edward Scissorhands' opened up late last year this section was in its element.

      Film:
      This is one of the chunkiest sections, as it lists not only every film currently showing with a review, but also every cinema (both central and local) and what they're showing. Time Out film reviews are fair, but harsh. The reviewers are always well respected, as you can tell on film posters; they will always display a glowing Time Out rating if it receives one. It is only in the last few months that the magazine has implemented a star rating system, giving each film a mark out of 6. So far, they have only awarded one film 6 stars, which was 'Hidden', directed by Austrian Michael Haneke. (I didn't see it either…) This section also features short interviews, and is packed full of film posters. But it's not like these are distracting, more like they are the pictures in the picture book. After all the listings is a section on 'Other Cinema', which has information and listings on foreign films, independent films, things like that. After these listings there is a small section on this weeks DVD releases.

      Gay & Lesbian:
      Another short section. This is really an extension of the Nightlife section, just focusing in more detail on gay nights and clubs. However, there are lists of events and meetings as well as bars and clubs. As ever each venue is listed with an address and nearest tube station.

      Kids:
      Again, short, but does expand during school holidays. Gives details of shows, literary events, family days out, and specific events for toddlers. As I'm not a parent I can't say how useful this section is, but is all looks pretty ship-shape.

      Music:
      Another beefy section. This section is loaded with interviews, reviews, previews, reviews of particular venues, reviews of particular gigs, reviews of particular artists, reviews of particular albums, reviews of particular songs. Albums are rated on the 6 star system, usually though an album has to be pretty amazing to be given 5. The gigs section is particularly impressive, listing all the gigs that are coming up in the next week, and also future ones that have been announced, including what they think is the booking of the week. Like the film section this section is littered with adverts for gigs, but far from being annoying these are incredibly useful and just as important to the section as the listings are. One of the great things about this section is the light-hearted nature of the interviews, one that often appears is the 'ask a silly question', which asks people, well, silly questions. I mean, nobody needs to read, yet again, about how James Bland used to be in the army or how Keane got together. The section does tend to focus on rock, pop and dance, however folk, blues and world gigs are also listed as well as jazz and latin, and there is also a sub-section dedicated to classical.

      Nightlife:
      One of my favourite sections, and one of the ones I read the most thoroughly. This section has a couple of features on a particular club, or a DJ, or a newly opened club night, something like that. We always pay particular attention to the critics' choice, listing the 9 best club nights coming up in the next week. The writer's in this section really know their stuff, the reviews are always spot on, and the best nights are recommended. The listings are broken down within each day to that day's selection, and then the different music types. I'd be a complete loser without this section, probably staying every night and eventually just melting.

      Sport:
      Known as the section I never read. I'm not into sports at all, but this section looks pretty informative, though is purely a listings section.

      Theatre:
      Another section that's completely indispensable to me. This is one of the magazines best sections. Now, I'm not faulting their film or music reviews, but there are other magazines that do just as good a job. However, the theatre section is one that can't be beaten. I don't think I've gone to see a play in the last year or so without reading Time Out's review of it first, and I will definitely go see a play on the back of a Time Out recommendation. This section is set out in a very similar way to the film section, with a feature on a theatre or actor (etc) opening the section, and then reviews and previews of recently opened and up-coming plays. Then there are the obligatory listings of theatres, plays and musicals.

      The next section is entitled Consume, and differs from issue to issue. Often related to the main feature of the issue, it contains articles and information based upon a particular theme. In the latest market issue it tells you where the best markets are, and what you can find in them. However, if the feature has already been covered in a different section then Consume will focus on something different, such as spa getaways, that kind of jazz. It also focuses on things like hotels and shopping.

      After this comes food and drink. Personally I think this is a really good section, but I don't often eat in the places recommended, as their budget is just a bit bigger than mine! In this section is the Food & Drink 50, which lists London's 50 best restaurants and bars. This is updated every week so is interesting to read and note the new entries. This section not only reviews particular restaurants, but also reports on interesting and new ideas restaurants or bars are trying out.

      Next comes the Time In section, which is TV listings. There is first a double page spread containing the picks of the week, and then each day there are picks, reviews for each film and the film of the day picked out. This isn't vastly to any other TV listings magazine, but is extremely useful nonetheless. (The listings run from Wednesday to the following Wednesday.) Also there is a short and sweet picks of the weeks best radio.

      After this comes a few pages of classifieds, which should all just be skimmed over, BUT look out for the Once Seen ads, one day I'll be in there!!

      The final feature of the magazine is 'My Favourite Londoner', where one Londoner talks about another one. This issue it's Graham Linehan on Steve Bell, but obviously this changes every issue.

      I'm not sure why anyone who lives in London wouldn't buy Time Out regularly. The listings are fantastic, always spot on and in so much detail. There is something for everyone in here, the only problem with it is that I always have lists of things I want to do after reading it, something my bank balance doesn't agree with at all.

      I am completely hooked on Time Out. Other listings guides just can't touch it.

      www.timeout.com/london

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        16.08.2001 18:50
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        • "too expensive"

        This month I have been forced to buy this awful magazine because I have to admit it has a damn good deal going on at the moment. I had to help entertain my partners kids last week - and this really helped. Using the two for one tokens inside, we managed to see several top london attractions for half price - which we could never have afforded otherwise. An excellent time was had by all! I'll be buying it again this week to get my houseguests into the imax and vinopolis for free this weekend. Be warned though - the vouchers are the same each week but are only valid for that week - so don't buy in advance! And, if you are taking four people you do have to buy two copies of the magazine. I thin the offer is only on until end of august too - so be quick. See you at the imax!

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          11.08.2001 03:15
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          "Time Out" is London's weekly listings magazine with a bit more thrown in besides. It's probably the most up to date written guide to London you could buy as it's published every week. The listings section covers everything you could imagine from exhibitions, art galleries, theatres, restaurant reviews, body and mind (courses and events/lectures) and bar clubnight and cinema reviews. There are also TV/radio listings for the week and video/DVD reviews for those of us who like to stay wrapped up warm indoors. My favourite section! The event listings are really thorough. They put in full details of the venue, how to get tickets if you need them and the nearest tube station. Of course Time Out only gives listings for London. It's an excellent guide even for locals as it has up to date information on what's happening, even if just want to go out for a nice pizza. It's indispensable if you're visiting the capital as you'll have all the information you could possibly need in one big magazine. It's good value at £2.20 when you consider the content and how useful it would be if you don't know the city well. Details of all the major tourist attractions are listed every week so, Time Out is a possible cheaper alternative to those expensive travel guides too if you feel like saving a few pennies. There's often a few special offers in the magazine too, such as 2 for 1 half price days out at London tourist attractions. There are some features in the magazine, for example articles on bands or films etc. The news section covers stories from the capital too and then there's a customary letters page too. However it's not great value if you just want a magazine to browse through. Listings are boring except you're planning on going to an event and there isn't really enough articles to keep you occupied for long. It's ok for a read once in a while. Bu
          t the aim of the magazine is providing information and listings. Well, it does that job exceptionally well and deserves 4 stars. So if you're making plans to take time out in London, definetely go for Time Out! *If you are plotting on the web, see www.timeout.com*

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            04.05.2001 02:12
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            Time Out used to be just a listings magazine for London and would only have been of interest to those living in, or visiting London. However, things have changed and there is a lot more information included. You can find out what is on at various London clubs and check out what's on in the world of music, cinema and theatre. Find out where and when all the major events are taking place and get the low down on concert dates as soon as they are announced (often increases your chance of geting tickets.) For the couch potatoes out there, you can even find out what's on TV. There's a section on major attractions in London and the cost of entry. If you are planning a tour this is a real must and at £1.95 it won't break the bank. There are restaurant reviews and bar and cinema reviews. This is useful if you want to see whether its worth visiting the capital at any particular time. This magazine is a really good read. You can catch up on all the latest films, the music scene and the theatre. You don't have to live in London to enjoy this and there is something there for everyone. I would certainly recommend Time Out if you are interested in the arts, theatre and just about any type of exhibition.

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            11.02.2001 03:20
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            Very useful listings of all events, but not much more. You'd rather read it in a library than buy it, unless you plan on being REALLY outoing for the coming week! Provides nice listings and also reviews of major events, but also the small ones! Have a good look through and you'll find those bargains, for example JAZZ concerts for free etc.. The nature of TIME OUT as being an informative overview of listings prevents me from subscribing, very often you are interested in what's happening on a specific Friday night rather than everything the next week..

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              07.11.2000 12:42
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              Time Out is best known for being a listings magazine for London, but in the face of competition from all sorts of newspapers, supplements and other challengers, it has become, or have been becoming for the last few years, more that 'just' a listings magazine, indeed, if it was just a listings magazine, it certainly wouldn't warrant a £1.95 price-tag! Time Out is a magazine for London, it does, of course, have very extensive listings, probably more extensive than any other of its kind. As well as listings of clubs, live music, cinemas, theatre and TV listings, which of course, change more or less weekly, Time Out also includes a 'Sightseeing' section, which includes prices and entry times for most of the major attractions, and a 'Things to Do in London this week' which is home to some of the more unusual as well as mainstream events. If you want to know if there is a funfair or circus around, or a exhibition or if something won't fit well into any other section, then here it goes! As well as the more usual listings, which includes prices/times/nearest station information, there are also sections of literary events, political events and gay/lesbian events and club nights. Time Out also carries restaurant reviews, bar reviews and theatre/cinema reviews, which though of course, shouldn't stand alone, often provide a useful guide as to whether things are worth seeing, especially if time in London is limited. The articles in the magazine, concentrate on issues of interest to Londoners or visitors to London, or about art or cultural events taking place in London. It has a niche for both Londoners who live and work in the city, but also, I recommend it for anyone coming for a visit so they know what's on when, particularly, but also because it is a good read. I subscribed to Time Out few a few years and then it just got too expensive, but I'm an occasional/regular reader,
              and as such would definitely steer people in it's direction!

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