Andrew Collins’s Word articles

Andrew has recently begun posting some of his old articles.

“As the magazine did not reprint its articles or reviews on the website (which instead predominantly acted as a water cooler for the Word massive), I find I am sitting on an awful lot of my own published writing that I remain very proud of. With the passing of the years, some of it even takes on a socio-historical sheen. So, without rhyme or reason – and mainly because I chanced up a random column from 2010 about the disruption to life as we know it caused by an Icelandic volcano while clearing out my email’s “sent” folder this morning – I thought it might be fun, if not necessarily an actual public service, to reproduce some of these columns here”.


Word #27

Issue 27

May 2005

Cover star – Pete Doherty

Word27 cover

Word shuffle

1)      P23– full page advert for Jim Beam bourbon whiskey.

2)      P10 – Word of Mouth section, featuring different Roberts – Downey Jnr and Plant. Recommended books include ‘London: A Biography’ (Plant) and Gore Vidal’s ‘Julian’ (Downey) – “It’s one of the best pieces of historical fiction I’ve ever read, totally taking you into Roman history.” Downey also loves ‘Withnail & I’ (“…I’d watch it so much. Richard E Grant blew my mind”) and Plant recommends a DVD of Gene Vincent performances. Musically Plant points us in the direction of various Soul Jazz compilations (“I’ve got a 13 year old and even he cocked his ear to ‘Saturday Night Fish Fry’. It’s joyous. A great way to start the day”) and Downey confesses his admiration for Elvis Costello’s ‘Imperial Bedroom’, Steely Dan’s ‘Katy Lied’ and Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’.

3)      P96 – a page of album reviews. There are reviews of ‘Funeral’ by Arcade Fire, the compilation ‘Ultimate Aaliyah ‘Hanging The Battle-Scarred Pinata′ by N. Q Arbuckle and Autechre’s ‘Unititled’. Jamie Bowman describes Funeral as “an album full of inspiration, comforting nostalgia and moments of teasing beauty with a sound like the Pixies jamming with The Flaming Lips.” Andrew Harrison writes that Autechre “… defeat conventional evaluation because their surging digital vortices literally have no analogue in the real world.” Of Mr. Arbuckle, Nick Stewart declares “We will hear more of N.Q. to be sure.”

4)      P42 – Andrew Collins’s ‘Telly Addict’ column ruminates on repeats. “The life of a freelance writer can be one of occasional windfalls. I wouldn’t normally reveal this to anyone except my accountant and perhaps Inland Revenue stool-pigeon Adam Hart-Davis, but here goes: I was paid an unexpected £11.18 last week. That’s £9.52 plus £1.66 VAT. This unexpected sum was for services rendered, albeit a long time ago. But it wasn’t a late payment; it was a royalty cheque. I was owed £11.18 for an episode of ‘Eastenders’ I wrote in December 2001, now showing on a pay-per-view net-work called Dish in America. I felt like Hugh Grant’s Dad in ‘About A Boy’, living high on the hog of past glory.”

5)      P55 – Full page advert for the remastered Adam Ant (solo and with and The Ants) back catalogue. Under the picture for ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’, rival magazine ‘Uncut’ is quoted as saying “Franz Ferdinand definitely started here, and so should you.”

Interesting –

Mark Cooper reviews Nick Cave’s  ‘B Sides And Rarities’. “Cave’s not exactly an elder statesman yet, thank God, but he’s climbed into his own skin and become – well, authentic.”

Ross Jones meets Malcolm Gladwell: “It turns out that Gladwell isn’t even much of a consumer, despite penning countless pieces about why people buy what they buy (hair dye, khakis, SUVs) and in turn become a marketing god. He likes travelling and going to nice restaurants, but his worldly possessions are few: a car and a few laptops. “My physical footprint on the world is quite small”, he says. What interests me is not owning things but understanding them. My great passion in life is cars. I’m obsessed with them. I own a 5 year old Saab. No-one loves Porsches more than me, but I have zero interest in owning one. To me, the point is not owning it, it’s thinking about it, learning about it…”

Tweet’s 3 favourite films are ‘The Wiz’, ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ and ‘The Color Purple’.

Roger Daltrey gives his views on Pete Doherty. “He’s a genius. But I’ve known many people like that and they’re all dead.”

Julian Clary talks to Mark Ellen about being bullied as a child at a school run by Benedictine monks. “One of the monks did turn to me and say ‘You bring it on yourself you know’ and I knew what he meant as my friend Nick and I did quite enjoy it, being different, that sort of celebrity status. We weren’t physically abused, we weren’t victims. We would wear odd socks and Denim aftershave and waft around the corridors being very provocative. We didn’t feel we’d had a successful day unless we’d wound someone up.”

David Hepworth writes about record covers that wouldn’t be allowed these days. “Interestingly there is now a tacit acceptance that hip hop is somehow exempt from the same strictures of rock. What no longer goes on in one field now flourishes in the other. This gives the lie to any notion that we have found our way out of the darkness and into the light. We haven’t. We have simply swapped one set of taboos for another.”

Longer article

An appraisal of the mash-up / bastard pop genre by Steve Yates as part of a review of Erol Akan’s ‘A Bugged Out Mix’