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Viewing Posts in November 2008

A warm welcome...

 0 Comments- Add comment Written on 30-Nov-2008 by ewencadenmoore

Hello! Fancy seeing you here!


Here we go - with my first blog update for the brand new Hearsay website. These are the first words I’ve written as a Hearsay co-editor in about eight years and I’m not sure yet how quickly and easily I’ll be able to pull that particular hat back on. I suspect, however, that it’s a bit like riding a bike – something you never forget. Not that I’ve ridden a bike for about eight years, either.


Anyway – welcome. Come in, sit down and make yourself at home. This site, which Neil has so lovingly assembled, contains the main body of work which he and I produced for Hearsay Magazine. Anyone who read Hearsay from the beginning (and there may be one or two of you out there) will know that the first issue we produced together (issue 3) really took shape whilst I went off gallivanting around Europe. I came home to find that Neil had grabbed the magazine-bull by the horns and run with it (no matter that running with bulls is probably a very dangerous pastime). This autumn history repeated itself, as I returned from a sojourn in New Zealand to find this new site almost complete and ready to go. So, thank you, Neil!


It seems somewhat strange to be writing quasi-journalistically again as I was pretty sure that I had cast that world aside for good. At some point I’ll probably entertain you with tales of my post-Hearsay journalism career, which took place in a world of subterfuge and threats of GBH, as a section editor at the world’s most nightmarish arts newspaper. Right now, however, I’m more inclined to reminisce about the Hearsay era, something which has been brought back into sharp focus by looking through the pages on this website.


Having everything laid out in black and white here, chronologically and comprehensively, I’m quite astounded by how much Hearsay achieved on zero budget and a lot of goodwill from a very small handful of people. I can scarcely believe that ten years ago, in 1998, we conducted a phenomenal fifteen interviews. I had no idea so many happened in such a short space of time. When I realise that I started a new job in that year and I also staged a show at the Edinburgh Festival and recorded the accompanying album, I’m quite flabbergasted. Sometimes I look back and think I didn’t do as much as I should have in my twenties, but obviously that’s not the case.


And what interviews they were! Two that will be forever linked in my mind are the Syd Straw and Kate & Anna McGarrigle interviews that I conducted with Pete Pawsey that summer. We were really hitting our stride, throwing out unexpected questions to interviewees who willingly batted back fantastic answers. The memories of experiencing Jeff Buckley’s ghost with Syd Straw in Peter Blegvad’s back garden and then, a few weeks later, encountering Alfred Hitchcock’s ghost with Kate and Anna McGarrigle in their West End hotel room will be forever etched in my mind. We also had the privilege of showing Kate’s daughter, the now much-lauded Martha Wainwright, around London’s nightspots, in order that she might try and fix up her first London gig. I’m not name-dropping, you understand – just sitting here slightly overawed by the kind of things we used to get up to in those days.


I hope you enjoy reading the interviews on this website as much as we enjoyed conducting them. I said at the time, and I still believe, that nobody else conducts the kind of in-depth interviews with musicians that we specialised in with Hearsay. I’m constantly frustrated by the music press and the lack of depth it exhibits. We wanted to have fun, but we also wanted to approach our subjects in an informed and serious way, and really get down to the nitty-gritty of their careers and what made them tick. Amazingly, I think we got the balance right in practically every interview you’ll find on this site.


Welcome (back) and enjoy yourself!



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