Please note that these are not ‘the rules of reviewing’, they exist only as a guide to anyone that wishes to try their hand at writing gig reviews for Silent Radio.

  1. Prepare: Do some research on the band/act beforehand if needed and try to leave any preconceptions you may have at home.
  2. Take lots and lots of notes about everything from the band to the venue to the crowd. It’s always best to have too much to write about, rather than too little.
  3. Don’t expect that everyone reading the review knows everything about the band/act you are writing about.
  4. Always write in the present tense. For example ‘The band enter the stage’ as opposed to ‘The band entered the stage’. This helps anyone reading it feel like they are actually there, rather than just being informed of what they missed.
  5. At the first mention of any band member always use their full name, after this if you need to refer to them again you can just use their surname. Details of band members can usually be found on sites such as Facebook etc.
  6. Name-checking a song title is easier than you think, even if you don’t know any of the songs. An easy tip on finding out is to just grab or ask for a set list at the end of the gig, or even maybe approach the band beforehand or even just take a photo of one they may have to hand. Also at some of the larger gigs you may find that there is a copy of the set list at the sound desk.
  7. Using big words is not necessary. Good English is plain English.
  8. If you’re struggling with writers block, just write lots. You can then go through it and take out the bits you don’t like, leaving the bits you do like. Voila!
  9. Be honest. If you do or don’t like something then say so, but ALWAYS say why. If you are going to be critical, try to be constructive in your criticism. Don’t forget the band will more than likely read what you have to say. Causing an argument isn’t what Silent Radio is about (read our manifesto to see where we are coming from as a website).
  10.  After finishing your article, walk away from it for ten minutes or so. Return and read it through again. You could even get the Mrs or the Mr to be your proof reader.

Here’s a great quote from Marc Woodworth taken from the highly recommended book How To Write About Music: “Your sentences don’t necessarily serve to replace or even parallel the music that is your subject. That’s not what writing about music does, or should do.”

And here’s one from our editor Simon Zaccagni: “If you constantly slag off and criticise music, this will make you look like a music hater, rather than a music lover.”