Simon A. Morrison

Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Music Journalism

Simon joined the department in September 2013 as a Senior Lecturer in Music Journalism, after almost two decades spent working as a journalist, at the coal face of club culture. Currently researching a PhD at the University of Leeds, Simon had already worked as a Visiting and Associate Lecturer at a number of universities, including Manchester Metropolitan University and Leeds. Simon also functioned as the industry consultant on the establishing of the new Music Journalism programme, before accepting the appointment to his current role.

Simon currently teaches on various journalism modules within the Media Department, as well as working towards the launch of the Music Journalism degree for September 2014.

Qualifications

  • B.A. (Hons) English and American Literature (University of Manchester)
  • University of Amsterdam - Erasmus Scheme, a year spent on an exchange scheme
  • M.A. in Novel Writing (University of Manchester)
  • PhD (Currently researching a PhD within the School of Music at the University of Leeds, looking at club culture and its representation in literature)

Overview

Simon has worked as a journalist for a varied list of publications including The Guardian, The Observer, Loaded, Marie Clare, Red, Mixmag, DJ, Clash, Muzik, Shortlist and The Big Issue. He has editorial experience at a number of magazines, and for two summers lived in Ibiza, working as editor of Ministry of Sound’s island publication, Ministry in Ibiza. He also reviewed gigs and worked as the pub critic for The Manchester Evening News.

For many years Simon was a columnist for DJ magazine. One column – ‘Around the World in 80 Clubs’ – lead him to an exploration of the club scene everywhere from Beijing to Brazil, Moscow to Marrakech. His ‘Dispatches from the Wrong Side’ ran for 154 columns over eight years. The best 50 stories – including adventures with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Howard Donald (Take That) and DJs such as Fatboy Slim and Paul Oakenfold – were collected together by Headpress, and published as Discombobulated, in both the UK and the United States. Simon’s profile can be found at esteemed archive of music writing, Rocks Backpages: http://www.rocksbackpages.com/Library/Writer/simon-morrison.

In addition, Simon has produced and presented TV and radio, including stints writing the ITV show Club-A-Vision, presenting television from Ibiza, hosting island-wide radio shows and producing a documentary on the 15th anniversary of Manchester nightclub The Haçienda for Kiss Radio. He continues to contribute to BBC Radio 5Live and has also recently featured as a contributor on BBC Breakfast News.  

Simon also helped to organise the 2013 music/literature festival ‘Louder Than Words’ in Manchester, which brought the likes of Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Alan McGee (Creation Records) and Wilko Johnson (Dr Feelgood) to talk about music and writing within the intimate surroundings of the Palace Hotel. As well as hosting a panel conversation on club culture journalism, Simon also ran the PR campaign for the festival through his communications consultancy, Pad Com (www.padcom.co.uk).

Other projects include dramatic works, including a screenplay based on a story Simon penned for The Guardian newspaper around an aspect of the Arab Spring. That screenplay has now been optioned by a director.

Teaching

Simon’s lecturing began as a guest speaker at a variety of institutions, with audiences ranging from primary schoolchildren to Master’s students to an E.B.D school, where he spoke to emotionally and behaviourally disturbed children about his career as a music journalist. Simon has lectured on journalism at universities including Chester, Staffordshire and Salford, conducted many employability sessions at Manchester University and also given several masterclasses on music journalism for the Manchester City Music Network.

Simon has taught on the Popular Music and the Press module at Leeds University, and has also worked as an Associate Lecturer at the new Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University, lecturing around PR and marketing.

Research

Simon has presented his research into EDMC (electronic dance music culture) at conferences in the UK and overseas and has had papers published in journals such as Dancecult. His chapter ‘DJ-driven Literature: A Linguistic Remix’ formed part of the collection DJ Culture in the Mix, published by Bloomsbury in late 2013. He is currently working on a book for the Reaktion publishing house in the USA, looking at the place and function of the discothèque.

Published work

Simon’s publications include:

DJ-Driven Literature – A linguistic remix’  This chapter was published by Bloomsbury within their title, DJ Culture in the Mix in 2013.  www.bloomsbury.com/uk/dj-culture-in-the-mix-9781623566906
 
“Clubs aren’t like that”: Discos, Deviance and Diegetics in Club Culture Cinema’  A peer-reviewed article published in Vol 2. Number 4 (2012) of the respected EDMC journal, DanceCult. https://dj.dancecult.net/index.php/dancecult/article/view/343 
Discombobulated – Dispatches From The Wrong Side  A collection of journalism published in the UK and US by Headpress in 2010. http://www.headpress.com/ShowProduct.aspx?ID=95 
Easy Money (written and edited by Simon A. Morrison)  A guide to managing money for students and young people, published by Golden Moments, 2008. 

DJ Guide to Ibiza (written end edited by Simon A. Morrison)  Published by Future Publishing, 2006.

 

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