Maybe it’s just that time flies when you’re a rock chick having
fun, but I seem to be asked to review a ’new look’ Melody Maker every
This latest effort, however, is the biggest change yet. After decades as
an inky newspaper, ’the Maker’ - to former snakebite and black-swilling
air guitarists like me - has gone A4 and glossy.
When the Maker was a newspaper, parents didn’t even pretend to be
interested in it. Now it’s a glossy, you just know what’s going to
happen: they’ll think you’re reading a nice, gentle pop title, featuring
good little acts like Steps. ’That’s nice, darling,’ they say, peering
over your shoulder.
’Oh. Why is he wearing blue nail varnish? Is he gay?’
Oh, OK then, top marks for realising that the NME had stolen a march on
its core readership, but why has it been turned into Smash Hits? To the
extent that its new, glossy format is an excuse to print lots of pin-up
pics. The trouble is, something has happened over the past decade and
they’re all plug-ugly. Yeah, that means you too, Damon Albarn, in your
twatty schoolboy jumper.
Personal prejudices aside, I simply can’t imagine who would want to read
this. Indeed, a good cover-to-cover to read, I’ll wager, is a
physiological impossibility. Its garish colours and a completely
unjustifiable amount of bold black text have me reaching for the Nurofen
before I’d finished skimming a snippet on Robbie Williams on page
Which brings me neatly to my next point. Shouldn’t the raison d’etre of
Melody Maker be the fact that reading it picks you out as a discerning
young muso, anxious to bone up on the antics of Mogwai and Merz, rather
than to score a few pin-ups?
Some of the features aren’t even that bad - just impossible to read.
Take, for example, the feature entitled ’1990 Gazza weeps and Baggy
rules’. Lovely bit of nostalgia, but the headline is incomplete. It
should read: ’1990 Gazza weeps and Baggy rules. And Melody Maker was
Oh God - it looks like I’m consigned to the Mojo graveyard.
Eleanor Trickett is considering hanging up her rock chick leathers
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