The death of chart music or the dawn of a whole new era?

Everyday, all day we have the opportunity to listen to our favourite musicians, watch music videos and read gossip about them online. We are even able to produce our own music straight from our bedrooms. Have the YouTube celebrities and our instant gratification generation ruined the mystique of popular music forever?

Justin Bieber - When he was just a bedroom performer (Image from


Ben Gilbert is an experienced music journalist who provides editorial music content for Yahoo – today he came to speak to the Skint but Mint team at Westminster University. And he says, “It’s all about innovation. It is phenomenally exciting, you have the opportunity to have a voice – for good or bad!”

During the years that he has worked in the industry Ben has seen a huge amount of change, both with the kind of music available and with the way we consume it. “We’re living in an era of convergence,” Ben says; this is media theorist Henry Jenkins’ concept of old and new media colliding.

Where you used to buy an album and cherish it for months, listening only to those tracks, now we can download music (often for free) in massive quantities. Ben says that this has had a detrimental effect on our appreciation for the music we buy. He says; “The mystique of bands that we know and love has been ruined,” due to gossip and online content, and that the music industry is struggling due to “piracy and illegal downloads.”

One of the most famous, but ridiculous, headlines of all time. (image from

When Ben began to write for local papers in his early career he was “really attracted by the myths surrounding bands – I would have loved to see the velvet underground play in New York…now Lady Gaga has become the way forward.” These days the music has become less of a focus point for the media, “the creative arts have been over taken by our celebrity obsessed culture – tabloids like the Sun will print anything to sell papers.”

But music lovers, do not despair, Ben also points out that we will never be able to slow the creative train – “you can never stop creativity, we’ve seen that in the recent Dubstep movement across the UK, Hip Hop in the US and amateur garage bands made big.”

His advice to budding music journalists who want to survive in the ‘convergence’ world is, “start doing it now, work out how to promote yourself. Your blog can be an invaluable tool when looking for work.”

Written by Georgina Jarvis and Viktoria Kirkova

The Skint but Mint team with Ben Gilbert


Student music- How to stay up to date on music trends

Today we are interviewing Ben Gilbert, taking you behind the scenes of London’s music industry.

We spoke to Ben about gigs, his university life, getting a job and we found out why he thinks Field Day Festival is the best option for students this year.

Gilbert wanted to be a journalist from the age of ten, he followed his passion for music and became a successful music journalist. His highlights include eight minutes with Beyoncé and an hour with Marylin Manson, clearly he has many tips to share. As technology has progressed Gilbert has witnessed music journalism shift from print to online, which has affected the music industry in many ways. Students interested in music are facing a convergence of old and new media forms, making them ask the question what music is worth?

Field Day Festival in Victoria Park London

Written by Emma Bisogno, Tatiana Darie, Emily Baker-Gaunt, Viktoria Kirkova and Georgie Jarvis

Day 11 – Ben Gilbert

Hello students – hope you are all well this sunny Monday.

Today we will be talking to Ben Gilbert, a music journalist who has worked for many different newspapers, magazines and websites. We will be asking him for his tips on success in the music and media industries, and the Skint but Mint team will be posting about him and his career.

Enjoy – lots of love from the Skint but Mint team! xxx

Day 10- Home or away?

Todays posts have tackled the visit home and the family visit all in one! So have a read and feel free to comment. I hope you find these enjoyable and have found the entire two weeks of blogging a success! Skint but Mint team are always here to help

From the Skint but Mint team xx

Heading home? Don’t Panic

Going home after weeks at uni can be a little odd! Dont worry though you just need to be organised so that you can make the most of your weekend…

Tickets- To start with train tickets are not cheap, so if you need to book them do it well in advance! Try using websites that have good offers on, such as Trainline, and if you have a student railcard don’t forget to use it. If you don’t want to travel by train then don’t forget coaches are available to! Try megabus for cheap tickets.

Before you leave- Try to make sure any potentially mouldy foods have been thrown away and switch off any appliances in your room!

Packing- The boring part of every trip, but the dreaded packing must come before the fun! So try to pack for the weather, which you can check out on BBC website. Pack casual, smart and going out clothes depending on your plans.

Travel- Leave plenty of time to get to the train station and double-check you are getting on the right train!

Planning- If you are worried you wont get to see everyone at home in one weekend then make plans! Having a structured day means you can see lots of friends and family without the stress.

Follow these simple steps to make your weekend successful and enjoyable!

Taken from

A visit from your parents…

When you first move out of your parent’s house and branch out on your own things can sometimes get a little out of control – your room doesn’t appear to have a carpet any more and you haven’t cleaned your toilet for weeks on end. If this sounds like you, never fear – here are a few tips for when your parents come to visit you…

Bedroom- Go to poundland and purchase some dusters and polish, give the surfaces a wipe down and attempt to clear the washing from the floor.

Washing- If possible clean your clothes, it’s not hard, just a little washing powder in the machine and make sure you sepreate colours, whites and darks.

Hoover- You can borrow a Hoover from reception at university or a friend, so you have no excuse for not giving your room a quick spritz.

Bathroom- although the thought of cleaning your bathroom may not be appealing it is an essential when trying to please your mum! Grab some rubber gloves and head down to pound land for some bleach and bathroom spray. Wipe down the surfaces and put some bleach down the toilet.

Washing up– Clean your appliances ready to cook that all important meal for your family

After you have finished the cleaning I would suggest heading to the local supermarket for some supplies so that you can impress your family with some cooking. There’s nothing that says you can cope on your own better than a tasty home-cooked meal!

Here is a quick recipe that will make your family meal a success…

Beef Chow Mean


Quick fry beef
Baby sweet corn
Sugarsnap peas
(any stir fry veg of that you like will work)
Soy sauce
Oyster sauce
Ginger paste
Tomato puree


Chop up your beef and veggies
Start frying up the beef and onion
Lash in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic (portions to your own taste) and stir in.
Throw in your veggies and stir fry.
Add the noodles and stir in with everything else.(If you have dried noodles, boil them and then fry them)
That’s it.

(recipe taken from

Taken from blue dragon website

So that’s your main sorted! Next up pudding…

Apple Crumble

A family fav…


35g rolled oats(porridge oats)
35g whole meal flour
20g caster sugar
35g butter
400g cooking apples
50g granulated sugar
1 tbsp water


  • Preheat oven to 190°C
  • Peel and cut apples into small chunks/slices
  • Put the apples in a saucepan with 1tbsp of water and add the granulated sugar.
  • Cook over a low heat for about 5 mins until soft.
  • Place the flour and oats in mixing bowl and cut the butter into small cubes. Mixing it all together takes a while, continue until you have a crumbly texture but it can still be squeezed together and sticks.
  • Mix the caster sugar in well. Place the apple chunks in an oven dish cover with the crumb mixture, bake for 20 mins until golden brown, serve with custard or on its own… Yummy

Taken from my

Love food? Join the Food Festivals in London

If you are a ‘foodaholic’, welcome to the club. Today we are looking at the amazing cultural events that London has to offer. I will be looking at the greatest food festivals across London – you definitely shouldn’t miss these!

Spring is the perfect season for getting out there and finding a trade fair or food exhibition, and trying some of the greatest delicacies on Earth.

Picture from

1.The Chocolate Festival.  Mmm, it sounds extremely    good to me! The Chocolate Festival is  a unique event that gives you the opportunity to enjoy a world of  chocolate:  fine truffles, bars, bonbons, cakes, pancakes, ice cream, milkshakes and much more.  The Chocolate festival is the celebration of wonderful chocolate. It is a great opportunity for you to learn more about this fantastic ingredient, and how it can be used in a variety of products. Chocolate has been scientifically proven to be good for your health – made from cocoa beans, the natural fruit of the cocoa tree, they are full of anti-oxidants and nutrients. Don’t miss this chance to taste a lot of chocolate products and see a wide range of demonstrations and master classes from the UK’s top chocolatiers. Also, you can sign up to join the Chocolate Club and get all the latest tips, advice, offers and discounts !!

You can join the event in London:

Friday 8 – Sunday 10 April 2011
11am – 8pm daily (6pm on Sunday)

Belvedere Road,
SE1 8XX,
Behind Royal Festival Hall
Free Admission.   How to get there

2.Milford on Sea Food Week. There are 11 days left for you to visit the most amazing sea food festival. The event is open to everyone, at any age, and there are more than 100 activities including: Themed Dining Evenings, Professional Cookery Theatre, Celebrity Shows, Cooking Demonstrations, Educational Talks, Film Shows, Cookery Competitions, Dining Offers, Wine Tastings, Kid’s Events & a Sunday Food Market, all run by local organisations, clubs, businesses and individuals.

Great food, great fun. Join it from 11 April to 17 April. You can book your ticket by going to  Milford on Sea Food Week website. £19,65 for a 3 main course sounds reasonable enough – hurry up as places are limited !!

3. The Real Food Festivals. If you want to meet Britain’s real food heroes, just come along to the most exciting food festival of the year. It is not just a food event, but also a great opportunity for small producers to publicise their businesses. Real Food Festivals have been around for 4 years now and it has been very successful, bringing great tasting, high quality food to visitors. This exceptional fair is an amazing experience for those who want to taste of the most appetizing food of Britain and leave with bags bursting with goodies that you can enjoy at home. Book your tickets now: Real Food Festival.

Come along on the 5th – 8th May 2011, Earls Court, London