Working week: Andrzej Lukowski

Thursday 19.04.2007

As ever, my day begins with me tearing through my post while inflicting upon my co-workers what in my head is a pithy and exciting dissection of my night before, which due to the nature of the job usually involves a gig.

I went to see scarily intense indie hipsters Cold War Kids last night and am today trying to get my head around why the crowd included so many tanked-up rugby player types. Probably one of their songs has been used to advertise beer.

Explaining the organisational structure of the Metro regional editions is not unlike like trying to describe the colour green. But loosely speaking, Metro Life, the arts section, varies region to region, and the other stuff doesn't.

Thus the whopping staff of five in the Bristol office are purely there to run the arts sections of the local and Welsh edition, while I'm also jointly responsible for the music coverage of the regional Metros as a whole.

To further complicate it, the Wales editor, Clare, is about to take a three-month sabbatical yomping around the Mediterranean in a camper van, meaning that I, possibly the least commanding person in the South West, am to be left in charge from Monday.

It's a fairly uneventful day, and come 6pm I'm going to go home to slob out, but my colleague asks me if I want to go see a Pinter play in Bath. I blithely say yes, without actually asking which play it is.

As it happens, the Bath Royal is playing host to a eerie, excellent production of Old Times. We discuss whether or not it's appropriate to describe something by Pinter as "Lynchian".

Friday 20.04.2007

I have my weekly phone chat with Nadine, my co-music editor, where we decide how the Metro regions are going to cover forthcoming tours.

Having just returned from a mildly inadvisable holiday in Romania and the Balkans, I'm quite impressed I still recognise the names of the bands we're talking about.

At the grand old age of 26 it can be a bit gruelling mustering up an opinion on Does It Offend You, Yeah? (I don't like them).

All-in-all, a freakishly typical day for my last one as staff writer – I interview a guy from a performance theatre company (very nervous for a man about to do a solo show in which he pretends to be a monkey) and former 3 Non Blonde Ninia Benjamin (lovely, though I'm the first to admit talking to comedians isn't really my forte).

Clare, possibly the most organised person on the planet, shows me the trillion-page dossier on how to edit that she's prepared for me. I'm hoping osmosis does the trick.

Monday 23.04.2007

I am now officially In Charge. Of one member of staff: Adam, a Cardiff-based freelance, whose has agreed to be my de facto staff writer for the next quarter of a year.

In actuality, all staff writers fill in for their editors' holidays, and I copy read as music editor anyway, so my "new" responsibilities aren't too much of a shock to the system.

My real concern is scheduling copy – I effectively now have near-total control over the arts content of the Welsh edition, meaning I'm slightly afraid of rousing the ire of the Welsh arts scene by some editorial faux pas on my part.

No danger of that today though, and I have time to rattle out a piece on Brighton indie quartet Electrelane. It incorporates the word "antediluvian", which pleases me no end.

In the evening I go to see ancient Mississippi bluesman T Model Ford. A dislocated hip means he can't stand, his stage banter borders on the demented, and there are actually signs outside begging the audience not to offer him drinks, but at 83 he's the greatest guitarist I've ever seen, lashing out primordial grooves left, right and centre. Possibly he's immortal.

Tuesday 24.04.2007

I tell an art reviewer that she has to rewrite a piece because she forgot the bit where she was meant to express an opinion. Despite the fact I'm happy to write murderous things about people, I feel pretty guilty actually telling someone off, but to my surprise she apologises profusely.

Maybe this power thing is fun after all. In the evening, I go with a friend to do a restaurant review. One of the joys of working for the Metro regions is that as long as the powers than be think you're up to scratch, any member of editorial staff is allowed to do these features.

The meal is nice, though sadly they give me the wrong sides with my main, which I'd shrug off in the real world, but feel obliged to grumble about in print.

Wednesday 25.04.2007

Everything seems to be going smoothly until the point Adam mentions he's done all the work for the following week and wants to know what's next. Oh dear. It appears the time to schedule has come sooner than I thought.

Strangely – though largely thanks to Clare's copious notes – it all seems to come off fairly well. The week commencing 7 May (or "my baby" as I shall henceforth call it) is shaping up to be a balanced mix of comedy, film and classical articles, without the ungainly attempt to turn it into NME I'd been afraid I'd go for.

For the week's centrepiece, I commission a big feature on a piece of performance theatre themed around the non-more Welsh story of a teen pregnancy in the Rhondda Valley. By way of celebration I write an album review which features the word "chthonic". Good stuff.

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