Friday, February 24, 2006

How to write better clubbing reviews

I want you to send me your club reviews. Writing about music may be the same as dancing about architecture but we love it anyway.

Reviews get us on guest lists and get clubs exposure to the right audience. They also contribute to the overall reputation of a club in the eyes of clubbers. They are influential.

They are also few in number. We want more, so here is our guide to writing club reviews as orginally sent to me by the world infamous Random Bird off of Mixmag.

How to write better club reviews

Reviews need to be made a bit more punchy and original. It’s worth bearing in mind a headline you would put on the review while you are there, something like ‘What’s so good about [insert club name]’ or ‘What’s the secret of [the club’s] success’ or ‘500 munters in hard house convention

We are going to be putting headlines on all the reviews, so it will help if you can bear in mind what these could possibly be.

Things we need to see in reviews:

Quotes from the promoter

It’s his/her job to big up his own club, and a good way to include the club’s history and maybe even get some juicy gossip – ie: local club wars – which would be good for news stories.

Quotes from Ravers

Overheard conversations are also a good way of telling the story of the night without droning on too much yourself. Sometimes they can sum up the sort of people at an event without you having to say too much. Always try and describe the people you are quoting if they don’t have names.

Quotes from DJs

Always good to have a word with the resident about the night from his perspective. Don’t include too much playlist stuff unless the DJ was amazing. In general, as well as a brief description of the club’s music policy, the atmosphere you describe should give the feel of what sort of music it is ie:

“The rumbling bass vibrates the soles of 300 trainers in the back room.”

Quotes from Big Name DJs

If you can’t get to speak to them then it’s always worth looking on their websites in case they have a ‘tour diary’ you can pinch quotes from.

Try and write some reviews in the present tense, as it gives a sense of ‘reporting live from the scene’ and makes the review fresher for longer.

Tips for writing with structure

A feature (or interview) should tell you five things you didn’t know before. If you can’t get five, go for three.

When writing a feature, the intro is the most important part. There are 3 ways to traditionally start an article:

Ask A Question: What do you do when your nearest club is 50 miles away?

State A Fact: If you live in Bangor, your nearest night out is 50 miles away.

Use A Quote: "Bangor was full of blue-rinses before we came along".

A good intro should pose the question or debate, the middle of the article should be the actual debate or information and the end should tie it off nicely. A good tip is to link something in your intro to the end paragraph, ie: “…and we never did find the other shoe.”