'It had that spiky sense of humour': your memories of Q magazine (2024)

The closure of music magazine Q has been described as signalling the final passing of the industry’s traditional press, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a knock-on effect on print media. Here, readers pay tribute to the influential magazine.

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‘It was our entry into music from the past’

I have read Q since the 1990s and the heyday of Britpop. It was a kind of grownup version of Smash Hits and the much missed Select – it had that spiky sense of humour where it could take the piss out of established artists. It was our entry into music from the past such as David Bowie and Bob Dylan. We would often buy CDs based on reviews from Q, and it became a bit of a Saturday ritual. Along with BBC 6 Music, it is our gateway into new music: I don’t know where we would have discovered bands like Sleaford Mods or Fontaines DC were it not for Q. It seems like the demise of a whole industry – with no gigs for the foreseeable future, how will music bounce back? Who is going to champion new bands? Christine Hagan, 47, Toulouse

‘The world has moved on’

I used to be an eager reader of music magazines and Q was always one of my favourite go-to places for updates on new music. The magazines were my premier guides to exploring the musical landscape – until the digitalisation of the industry. Now I can’t remember the last time I bought a copy. However, I miss the sensation of reading about an artist and then checking the new record out at the local record store. Or discovering new favourites through references in the reviews of records I already loved. But I grew up in a totally different world than the one my children are growing up in today. I can’t remember any of my two bass-playing children ever having the urge to buy any printed music magazine. The world has moved on. Trygve Mellvang Tomren-Berg, 45, Oslo

‘This makes me worried for other music journalists, like myself’

I’m so upset about the closure. Q was always one of those magazines that worked hard to make sure the music was heard, even when the popularity of that genre or subgenre wasn’t at its peak. It’s a shame to see it close. This makes me worried for music magazines as a whole. I recently graduated as a magazine journalism postgrad, so it makes me worried for other music journalists, like myself, and what the future will be like for these writers. I hope more places will be open to more pitches and willing to take on more writers. Naomi Sanders, 23, Worcestershire

‘We are at a crossroads’

There is no doubt we are in the midst of an information revolution as the world changes the way it accesses and absorbs information. There are many online sources that do an excellent job of providing Q-like experiences, but I have experienced nothing as satisfying as sitting down with the latest Q magazine and browsing its pages at my leisure. Music is my hobby, but I see similar changes occurring around other subjects. We are at a crossroads with millions of older people still looking for content who will not adapt to the online world. These are typically people with money who will buy products that they like, but it is now getting harder for sellers to connect with those buyers as the physical medium fades away. Mike Slee, 55, Monmouthshire

‘More specialised publications still draw in enough readers’

The loss of any publication that writes knowledgably and passionately about music is definitely a blow. I have fond memories of being a casual Q reader when I was a teenager; I even compared the language used in their interviews with that used in similar interviews in the Times as part of my A-level English coursework. It truly is a shame that it’s gone. With the prominence of online music news sources, and direct access to musicians through social media, it’s no wonder that a more general music publication would feel the pinch in modern times. It’s interesting that more specialised publications – Kerrang! for example – still draw in enough readers to keep their businesses going. Tom Forrester, 33, Manchester

'It had that spiky sense of humour': your memories of Q magazine (2024)


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