MEDIA UNCUT: AN EXPERT'S VIEW - Uncut goes one step further in the marketplace for readers of music mags, Jim Archer says

I've got to 'fess up here, I was a little prejudiced about this mag

from the start. What could a music and film review offer, that Q

magazine doesn't do already? I was further aggrieved when I had to tramp

to five newsagents to get hold of a copy. "Er, never heard of it." "Sold

out." "I think there's a delivery this afternoon, I'll ask someone."

Finally, with the culprit in my hands and a bad attitude festering, the

critique began. This was no ordinary issue though, it was the 50th

edition. By way of celebration, the main feature was an "All star vote

on the 50 greatest Beatles songs". Great stuff. Musos and luminaries,

from Goldie to Richard Lester via Thom Yorke to Gary Numan, held forth

and explained which were their favourite tracks.

A day in the Life from Sgt Pepper's took top honours.

Gummed to the front cover was a free CD. Twenty-four cover versions of

fab four hits that gratefully went into the glove compartment for my

next spin with the top down.

Inside were articles on other heroes of mine - Roxy Music and Glen

Tilbrook were intelligently handled and hugely entertaining. Neil Young,

Patti Smith, Tricky and Daft Punk also featured.

As a baby boomer I was beginning to feel as though Uncut was written

especially for me. Was it just this issue, or was it just me?

Another spiffing spread on John Le Carre, he who brought the spy novel

in from the cold, chatting about his career and the film of his book The

Tailor of Panama.

The film section was A-listed talent too. Jon Voight, DeNiro, Sean Penn

and Kubrick featuring. A refreshing change when so many so-called

specialist magazines seem to be mere extensions of the studios'

marketing departments for their blockbuster releases.

Essentially, Uncut is a listing of recent music and film releases with

an intelligent ratings guide. As for art direction, I thought the

publication a little sombre - but maybe that adds to its gravitas. As

one would expect, Uncut was chock-full of ads for CDs, videos and DVDs.

I would have thought that the disposable income of the Nick Hornby types

that read this kind of thing would have attracted a more varied

advertiser. I did spot one car ad for Saab, though.

So, was Uncut a hit or a miss? I have to say, I'd buy it again. It

successfully fused music and film coverage by being cool and

level-headed on both fronts.

It was a bit like Q's older, calmer brother - you know, the one that

went off to university and is doing all right for himself.

Publisher: IPC Ignite!

Price: pounds 3.70

Frequency: Monthly

Circulation: 53,193

Full-page ad rate: pounds 2,525

Advertisers include: Our Price, Virgin Megastores, BT Cellnet, MVC,

Saab, HMV, Becks.