Unique Magazines Blog

Monday, 21 July 2014

Five of the Best Music Magazines


It's mid-summer and that means one thing: music festivals. Glastonbury is long gone, but while a million hippies disappear over the horizon, it’s important to remember, we’re only getting started. There’s nothing better than experiencing the great, ever-changeable British weather than with a cold beer and your favourite bands. 

But how to keep tabs on gossip, secret gigs and line-ups? Once your tent’s set up, you’ll want a handy magazine to consult! Thankfully there are music magazines. Lots of them. Publications to suit all whims and tastes. 

So whether you’re an indie kid or a free-jazz boffin, there’s something for you. Here we help you find the best fit.


Rolling Stone magazine subscription

Rolling Stone magazine

RS has been around for yonks, and has produced some of the world’s most famous music journos (Lester Bangs, anyone?). It started out supporting and commenting on music trends, but somewhere on the way it became as much about American culture as rock and pop music. 

Nowadays you’re just as likely to find Tom Cruise on the front as Jack White. It’s the music equivalent of TIME magazine – once an artist makes the cover, you know they’ve made it! Get this for a fine mix of pop culture gossip, music news and in-depth interviews.

NME magazine
NME magazine subscription

America has Rolling Stone, we have NME. In the 70s it was a case of ‘what NME says, goes’, and the magazine single-handedly brought punk to the attention of the wider world. It’s doing the same thing today, supporting new artists and exposing them to the public. 

This used to be an indie magazine, but as time goes on, it’s covered hip-hop, electronica, metal – you name it! When you buy NME, you’re buying into British music history. You’re buying a magazine that dictates trends. If you want to know what’s hot and what’s not, buy New Musical Express.


vibe magazine subscription

Vibe magazine

This magazine is cutting edge and shines a light on the top producers and artists of today. Started by the legendary Quincy Jones (Jazz musician, Oscar winner and producer of Michael Jackson’s Thriller), Vibe is published every week and recently celebrated 20 years of production. 

While the focus is on contemporary music, this is no flash in the pan magazine; it’s risen to the top of the pile and the front of the shelves after two decades of expert journalism. Grab this if you prefer urban music over standard rock/pop fair

BBC Music magazine
BBC music magazine subscription

Orchestral music is often neglected, but more people love and listen to Beethoven or Debussy than ever before! BBC Music provides your standard reviews and interviews in a classical context, but it also gives away some classical CDs, so if you haven’t tried it before, here is your chance to have a listen and test the water. 

This publication is the world’s biggest selling music magazine of its kind, so they’re clearly doing something right! Buy a copy and see for yourself!



Total Guitar magazine subscription

Total Guitar magazine

There’s one thing listening to music, but how about making some of your own? Loads of people play guitar, so why not learn while also reading music gossip and fine reviews? 

Total Guitar is a well-established guitar tutorial released every month. Inside you’ll find dozens of tabs for songs old and new. You’ll also get a free CD that helps you through each lesson. Take this and an acoustic with you and you’ll have the whole field in sing-along mode!

For EVEN MORE music magazines, search the music magazine section of our website. These are just the beginning, and there really is something to occupy anyone and everyone.


Summer Illustrated: Put comics at the centre of your holiday parenting plans

Jacqueline Wilson magazine subscription
The school holidays are here at last and, if you are a parent, you may well have that conflicted feeling going on inside. On the one hand, you are excited to be spending some quality time with your favourite little people; on the other, you have that gnawing doubt that no matter how many activities, play dates and days out you plan there’s always a chance that the kids will be left at a loose end. And every parent knows, that bored kids are scary kids!

Most of all, parents want to make sure that when the whole family take time off to holiday – home or abroad – that the time can be a fun and relaxing experience for everyone.

Now, call us biased, but we think that magazines are pretty great. For adults they can entertain and inform, advise and guide. But for children, they are even better! Easy to pack, full of the latest information and gossip, games and interactive goodies, toys and trivia, they provide kids with bitesize entertainment boosts just when you want them to be good.

Beano magazine subscriptionWhether it’s by the pool or in the back of the car on a long journey, magazines are fun and child friendly. Yes, an iPad is great and multi-functional device – but do you really want to take yours down to the beach to get trampled on, covered in sand, smeared with sun tan lotion and reflecting the sun's glare into your eyes so that you can't read what's on the screen?

If you want your kids developing their literacy skills and digesting information without even knowing it, there’s no better aid than a comic book. There's a huge range on offer at Unique Magazines, too – whatever the age group, be it boy or girl. 

Take the Beano, for example. This awesome comic has been thrilling children, young and old for decades. In fact, those who read this iconic publication during the twentieth century still subscribe now, with some readers who are now in their eighties. 

Fifi the Flowertots magazine subscription
So, take a tour of Unique's website today and explore titles such as Jacqueline Wilson, The Phoenix and Fifi the Flowertots. We can't promise a summer free of all tears and tantrums, but we can deliver a bit of literary enrichment direct to your door.


Monday, 7 July 2014

5 Under-the-Radar Magazines All Film Lovers Should Read

It's that time of year again when the big budget blockbusters hit the big scree, vying to take the money of eager schoolchildren and their parents.

But not all film lovers are cut from the same cloth. For some, the $200million special effects bonanza of a Michael Bay movie holds no interest. For others, there is an appeal in understanding the creative process than simply watching a movie for guns and gore with popcorn in hand.

Yes, film aficionados come in all shapes and sizes. And fortunately there's a magazine out there for every one of them. Turn your gaze to this selection of cinema publications and we are confident you will find a title more tempting than a ring forged in the fires of Mount Doom.

For the Future Director: Movie Maker Magazine 
Movie Maker subscription

For some film lovers the magic of moving images comes from the science of film-making. If you could talk the hind leg of an animated donkey about aperture, lighting and CGI, you should be getting your fix from a Movie Maker subscription

With sections that discuss the latest updates on cinematography, editing, writing, producing and more, this magazine could be viewed more as a bible for those who want to polish their skills on the art of movie making. 



So Film subscription

For the Movie Eccentric: So Film Magazine  

Love to indulge in the strange and shocking aspects of the film industry that would make others slightly uncomfortable? If your ears perked up at this description then the So Film magazine subscription is perfect for you! Celebrating the unconventional side of film culture, this magazine offers the latest features on the offbeat and unique stories that go on behind the scenes. 

These cheeky articles on behind-the-scene stories and interviews will be sure to bulk up your movie trivia arsenal and have your friends amazed at the oddities of movie culture.

For Big Screen Scholars: Cinema Journal Magazine  
Cinema Journal Subscription

If you love to see the words literature review, methodology and conclusion in your articles then boy do we have the perfect magazine for you. As the official magazine for the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, intellectuals will not be disappointed when they take out a Cinema Journal subscription

Bursting with theoretic and empirically-based pieces, this academic magazine covers the latest on film, culture, media studies and more. Take a break from marking those essays and stimulate your mind with the latest features in the next subscription.


For Sci-Fi Aficionados: Starburst Magazine 

If you want your magazine filled with features on space exploration, comic book superheroes, and building-sized creatures on the rampage, you won’t find a subscription as satisfying as Starburst magazine. As the world’s longest running sci-fi periodical, movie fans will have their fill of the latest information from the sci-fi, horror, and comic book world. 

Be sure to grab a Starburst subscription and read up on what the rest of the year has to offer while you wait in anticipation for upcoming releases such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers two!


For Straight-Shooters: Sight & Sound Magazine 
Sight and Sound Subscription

Without the world's cinematographers, camera crews, lighting teams and audio experts the movie-theatre would not be a particularly exciting place to go. Isn't it great then that there are thousands of people out there who dream of life behind the camera instead of in front of it. If this particular cap fits you, then look no further than a Sight and Sound subscription

Filled with in-depth reviews on the latest films from leading movie critics and film professionals, you will get the most important details on the happenings of the film industry this year. This no-nonsense magazine is the perfect read to keep you informed on flicks to watch and avoid this summer.

Monday, 30 June 2014

The best cookery magazines to get your teeth into this summer

food magazines
If you haven’t had your first barbecue of the season yet, then it can’t be long before you succumb to the smell of al fresco catering coming from the neighbours. But unless you’re a Uruguayan football striker with a penchant for raw Italian shoulder joints you might value a bit of help and guidance in perfecting your barbecue skills this year.

Whether it’s a romantic meal for two shared over hot coals or a World Cup party for a whole squad of family and friends, there are plenty of cookery magazines out there to aid your efforts. Here are just a few of our favourites:

Healthy Food Guide magazine
healthy food guide subscription

Who said that barbecues had to be stodgy and calorific? Healthy Food Guide is in its element at this time of year, finding nutritious yet low fat solutions for your outdoor eating. 

From kebabs to cous cous there is something to tickle the appetite of everyone here. Proving that cutting calories doesn’t need to mean sacrificing flavours, a summer with a Healthy Food Guide subscription proves that you can lighten the load around the waist and work on your tan at the same time.

olive subscription

Olive magazine

With features including hottest barbecue recipes and modern summer classics, there’s more than enough tasty dish ideas in Olive magazine to keep you going from June till October. Each month features not only great solutions for dinner parties of all sizes, but is sensitive to the size of your purse strings as well. Take out an Olive subscription and it will be the neighbours peering over the fence to see what you are cooking up – rather than the other way round.


Vegetarian Living magazine
Vegetarian Living subscription

It’s a myth that the barbecue is purely a place for meat products. Carnivores will always point to that crispy yet succulent flavour and the smoky aroma that makes mouths water, but if you are a cast-iron vegesaurus there are a multitude of barbecue solutions for you, too. 

Flick through the pages of Vegetarian Living magazine and you will find helpful articles on “Alfresco Feasts” and “The Taste of Summer” featuring everything from halloumi kebabs to homemade veggie burgers.

 


Food and Wine subscription Food and Wine magazine

Do you prefer to go a bit more gourmet when you cook? Like to use only the finest cuts? Prefer to make presentation a priority? Then a Food and Wine subscription is the one for you this summer. 

With guidance on infusing your fodder with the richest, deepest flavours and suggestions on getting your side salads zinging, this is the cheffy cook’s monthly bible. But beware, the mouth-watering photography in this beautiful publication will have you salivating like a German Shepherd Dog. 


Image courtesy of Elena Chochkova
by Tim

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Britain’s Summer of Sport


So the World Cup is well and truly under way and there’s a month long party in Rio celebrating the biggest sporting bonanza in the world . . .  although it’s no London 2012, of course.

But let’s think a second. What happens when it’s all over? What if England crash out this week? How are we going to pick ourselve off the floor knowing we have to face another 4 years of hurt?

Luckily there’s more going on than the footy; there’s a whole world of sport to keep you entertained over the coming weeks. Let’s pick out the best of the bunch:

Wimbledon – 23 June – 06 July

Wimbledon. The big one. The new roof may have retired Cliff Richard, and Federer’s getting on, but there’s as much gripping drama in store from SW19 as ever.

Andy Murray has a new coach, putting his faith in a woman’s touch (perhaps to try and find his personality), and he’s hardly in top form after crashing out of Queen’s to Radek Stepanek, but there’s plenty for him to play for. With the crowd behind him, he might just battle to a title defence. He’ll face stiff competition from Nadal, Djokovic and the rest of the impressive men’s field, though.

In the Women’s draw it’s anyone’s game. One thing’s for sure, brutal progression through the early rounds from Serena after a surprise defeat in Paris, and disconcertingly high-pitched grunts from 90% of the participants.


You can find a definitive guide to Wimbledon in the new edition of Tennis Head magazine

British Grand Prix – 04 July - 06 July

Punters will soon descend on Silverstone for one of the most hotly anticipated events in the British sporting calendar. As things stand, Nico Rosberg holds a handy lead over our own Lewis Hamilton but things might look very different after the Austrian Grand Prix. If Hamilton can dominate at the Red Bull Ring we might be in for a tense finale to the F1 season.

What’s more, this will be the 50th anniversary of the British Grand Prix. In celebration, past stars will line up for a final lap in a parade that will cover all three days.


For a full run-down, check out this month’s F1 Racing magazine

Tour de France

Brits competing at the year’s Tour de France have suffered mixed fortunes. Sir Wiggo appears to have been frozen out of Team Sky by his former teammate Chris Froome. All signs indicate he’ll miss the Tour this year despite winning in 2012.

Froome meanwhile just lost in a warm-up in the Swiss Alps, finishing with a dismal final day which will have given his Yellow Jersey rivals plenty of confidence.

In contrast Mark Cavendish was in stunning form this week, winning a stage of the Tour of Switzerland and he’ll be keen to get a victory on home soil when the Grand Depart kicks off in Yorkshire.

Whatever the outcome, viewers and cycling fanatics across the globe can expect an absorbing few weeks.

For a blow by blow account, every week of the tour, try a Cycling Weekly magazine subscription


British Open – 17 July – 20 July

After a lacklustre performance from Britain’s golfers at The Masters and US Open so far this year we’re due a thriller at The Open Championship. Tiger Woods might not be fit, but there are a number of other names beginning to establish themselves as candidates for the title of World No. 1.

Martin Kaymer was clinical at the US Open and won at a canter but here’s hoping for a more tense finish on July 20th. With Kaymer in form, Adam Scott still red hot from the early season and McIlroy due a performance, this might just live up to expectations.


For all the info pre-tournament, grab Bunkered magazine and enjoy more stats and info than you can shake the long stick at.



 Image courtesy of William Morice
by Tim

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The woman’s secret guide to packing: cram in the essentials in under 20 kilos

Summer’s almost here. People are going on holiday in pursuit of sea and sand. There’s just one problem: packing!

With baggage allowances shrinking faster than a pair of Speedos on a 90⁰ cycle, packing has never been harder. And with the threat of hefty surcharges at the check-in desk looming large on the horizon this summer, perhaps it’s time you tried a new luggage strategy.

Let us give you our top tips on effective packing this summer – wherever you’re jet-setting to.

Clothes

Weekend city break or African safari, it’s important to look good and feel comfortable. A versatile summer dress that ticks all the boxes is essential. If you don’t have one, get one, and don’t be afraid to splash that bit extra if it means you’ll wear it more.

Make sure to colour co-ordinate. Not just one outfit, but all of them. Take a step back and decide on a holiday ‘palette’. This will save time, save space and focus your mind. Lovely as that leopard print number is, be ruthless, and you’ll reap the benefits.

At least one sarong is a must. Not only are they light and comfortable, but most importantly they are easy to slip in and out of on the beach. A practical way to get that Hollywood look.

Rolling your clothes is by now a well-known top tip that goes without saying. But if you don’t want to pay for the privilege of carrying half the beach home with you in your suitcase, a lint remover is a holiday gem. It will help keep your clothes clean between outings, rid your outfits of insects trying to take up residence in them and remove any dust from hotel room furniture. Whisper it quietly, but you can even use it to remove  flaking sunburned skin.

Toiletries

Most airports have a strict policy on liquids, so buy miniature packs of shampoo and shower gel, or pour contents into smaller bottles.

Think carefully when packing medicines. Keep in mind your destination. You’re more likely to need mosquito repellent in Mumbai than Brussels.

Ensuring tablets are fit for consumption is important, too. Check use-by dates well in advance and consult a pharmacist before leaving if you are unsure about taking any medication.

You’ll also want to consider the packaging on your medication. Opt for blister packs where possible as loose tablets have a tendency to take on moisture in the air and lose their effectiveness.

Entertainment

In years gone by we were all faced with a decision before we went on holiday – do we take a DVD player, a selection of books, a hand-held games console or even our laptop. Today, the tablet device and smartphone have made it possible to take the lot without breaking the baggage allowance.

If you’re travelling as a family tablets come in even more useful thanks to the abundance of quizzes, games and children’s audio books, e-books or digital magazines that can be downloaded.

Never be without your No.1 magazine to read

For every holiday there should be a one glossy mag to rule them all. A magazine you keep in your hand luggage while traversing the world, in your beach bag for days by the sea or just as a poolside read.

Why not make that first choice travelling companion the helpfully titled No.1 magazine. Full of handy tips, celeb gossip, fashion guides and household advice, it’s ideal for helping you unwind and be at one with the world.

Buy a 12 month No.1 subscription from Unique Magazines today and save 20% on the recommended retail price.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Think You Know Your Golf: Everything you need to impress your friends at the 19th Hole


The Open Championship is one of the most coveted trophies on the golfing calendar. And with more twists and turns than you can shake a 9 iron at, don’t expect it to be a quiet affair at Royal Liverpool next month.

With millions of dollars at stake, golf has become something of an arms race over the last two decades. Perhaps it’s the “Tiger” effect, but fitness, psychology, club technology, ball technology, swing technology and any number of other minute details are now analysed and assessed to help the world’s elite make marginal gains. 

The result: that one or two per cent difference that means either making the cut or making a swift exit.

Yes, golf has come a long way. But it didn’t always have the same glitz and glamour it does today. Read today’s blog and you’ll see what we mean.

Who invented golf?

The Scots have an affinity for golf and inventing the gentleman’s game is a source of national pride. But in actual fact (and whisper this quietly) the origin of the game probably derives from Holland: well, the name at least.

“Kolf”, meaning “club” in Dutch, was played as early as the Middle Ages. That said the Scots are responsible for the invention of the hole – an integral part of today's sport, you’ll agree.

Distractions

Inventing the hole made golf so popular in Scotland that King James II banned it. In 1457 Scottish archers were so busy playing golf they forgot to defend their country against the English invasion. The king took swift action, banning golf and football until 1502.

Golf as a sport

In the 18th century things got serious. This was no longer a game for the common man but an affluent pursuit. Rules were introduced and specialist equipment made. Golf had become a sport and clubs began popping up across the country. From 1744 onwards, the Gentleman Golfers of Leith even offered a silver golf club to whomever was talented enough to win their annual competition.

America

The game soon spread to England and France, thanks largely to Scottish kings and queens. But when golf was first exported to America in the 19th century it failed to take off in the same way.

It took until 1913 for Francis Ouimet of Massachusetts to break the Brits’ domination of the sport. The American had taken the week off work, and found himself in an 18-hole play-off with the two favourites, Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. When he finally overcame his two rivals, it made front page news in the States and suddenly interest in the sport spiked – and it’s never looked back since.


Golfing IINNNNNN SPAAAAACE

Some believe a 64 year old named Mike Austin holds the record for longest drive. In 1974 he hit a golf ball an incredible 471 metres – an exceptional feat of strength, flexibility and coordination. The longest drive on Earth it may be; but not the longest drive in history. That record belongs to astronaut Alan Shepard who landed on the moon with a set of clubs in 1971. He proceeded to hit the ball ‘miles and miles and miles’ with just one hand, and for all we know it’s still going. Must be something in the air . . .

Buy Bunkered magazine

For more fun facts, tournament calendars, interviews with top golf pros, reviews and much more, why not try a Bunkered magazine subscription. Bunkered is the ideal way to get all the news on the Open Championship while improving your game, with eight editions released each year.

by Tim

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