Blast Orders Please
The BBC Blast project has returned to Belfast and is currently sprawling, like a giant bug colony, across Custom House Square. Last year I worked on the Derry event and now I’m taking a course in music journalism. It’s not an occupation that leads itself easily to a teaching format, but I’ll do what I can.
When I worked at NME, we had to de-programme the college kids with their journalist certificates. The academies had turned them into terrible squares. Our job was cultivate in them a sense of adventure, a bit of posturing, a hint of anarchy and the ability to type “cathedrals of sound” without blushing.
I took great delight in watching the Cameron Crowe yarn, ‘Almost Famous’ a few years ago. While it didn’t exactly fit with my experiences, I could remember many of the same moments. How a greenhorn kid from the sticks could hitch a ride on the rock and rollercoaster, with all the perks. How people could suddenly take your opinions seriously. And how you would strike up unusual friendships with famous figures – relationships that were often founded on mutual self-interest. That said, I’ve emerged from that caper with some very solid friends.
I always tell people that music journalism is badly paid and terribly fickle. But it’s also tremendous fun, and if you’re that way inclined, you really should give it a try. It really could be your type.