Nearly 5 months ago I moved over 200 miles, from a tiny little village in Norfolk to Manchester, to study music journalism at BIMM university. I’ve wanted to be a journalist for over a year now. I find writing interesting, captivating, stories and bands careers documented on pages to last as long as the paper will hold them. I want to immerse myself in this crazy world of music, through TV, radio, or print. Music is beautiful, and it is powerful. To be in a city surrounded by so many different genres, and being able to experience them first hand is an opportunity I am so glad I gave myself.
I’m writing this to Green Day’s new album ‘Revolution Radio’, as I’m seeing them at Manchester Arena this time next week (6th February). I would have never been able to see them if I had stayed in Norfolk.
Whilst Norwich did have a good, growing music scene, it just seemed to lack that enthusiasm that Manchester has. Norwich bands only seem to try so hard before settling for being pub bands, or going back to their day jobs, letting dreams of making it ‘big-time’ fizzle out into nothing. One thing I noticed as well whilst studying at college there was that underground bands were predominantly metal, or some form of that particular…and they always seemed to just be…samey. Good, but after about 10 minutes or so, just boring as hell. But that is my opinion.
However, Manchester -admittedly at first glance just seems to be obsessed with Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and The Stone Roses- is richer. There are more layers, more metaphorical corners to explore. In the space of a few days I will be going to Victoria Warehouse to see 7 different DJ’s play, then to see Green Day. How diverse can you get? It is refreshing and invigorating to be around so many music venues that hold gigs for known artists as well as upcoming artists. Everyone is given a chance. Just down the road from my accommodation there is the O2 Ritz, Gorilla and Sound Control, where gigs happen almost nightly. It gives me so much excitement to be in the midst of all of this talent, being able to write about new bands who could potentially one day be as big as their inspirations, whoever they may be. I could go see a psychedelic 6 piece one night, and then a Nirvana-style grunge 3 piece the next. You would not get that in Norwich.
I have ambition. I want to be successful, do well for myself, have a good life and career. Now I finally feel like that can happen. Music is healing, inspiring and being here has given me the chance to expand my knowledge further, to go to events I wouldn’t be able to back in Norfolk. If I’m honest I wouldn’t be in the same mindset either; you have to be very open minded when being a journalist, of course you can still have your favourite band or genre, but basing all your work on different oasis-inspired indie bands all the time isn’t nearly as fun. I’m looking forward to growing as a writer and journalist, especially in a place as vibrant as Manchester, my new home.