Colin Irwin (journalist)

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Colin Irwin is a British music journalist. Irwin was an assistant editor of Melody Maker in the 1970s and 1980s, before leaving in the summer of 1987 as the magazine moved in a different direction, and editor of Number One magazine in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His book In Search of the Craic details a comic journey around Ireland seeking out pub music sessions and became a best-seller in Ireland. Subsequent books were In Search Of Albion, a similarly light-hearted journey around English traditions and rituals and Sing When You're Winning, about the history and culture of terrace songs at football matches. He has also reviewed music for The Guardian, Mojo,[1] The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, fRoots and Spiral Earth[2] and has been a Mercury Music Prize judge.

Irwin has also presented music programmes on BBC Radio 2. His play The Corridor has been performed in Surrey and Yorkshire. Other plays he has written which have been performed on stage in different parts of the country include 'One Of Us Is Lying', 'When Barry Met Cally' and 'I Am The Way'. In 2017, his theatrical music show, 'She Moved Through The Fair: The Legend Of Margaret Barry', co-written with Irish singer Mary McPartlan was debuted at Glasgow's Tron Theatre as part of the Celtic Connections festival.



  • Irwin, Colin (1994). Dire Straits. London: Orion Books.
  • Oldham, Andrew; Tony Calder & Colin Irwin (1996). Abba : the name of the game. London: Pan.
  • The Rough Guide to World Music (contributor)
  • In Search of the Craic: One Man's Pub Crawl Through Irish Music (2004)
  • In Search of Albion: From Cornwall to Cumbria – A Ride Through England's Hidden Soul (2005)
  • Sing When You're Winning: Search for the Soul of Football (2006)
  • Legendary Sessions: Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (2007)
  • Neil Young: A Life In Pictures (2012)
  • Leonard Cohen: Still the Man (2015)

Essays and reporting[edit]

Album reviews[edit]

Album title Artist Reviewed in
Storytone Neil Young "[Untitled review]". Mojo. 253 (6): 88. December 2014.
A history of insolence Naomi Bedford "[Untitled review]". Mojo. 253 (6): 94. December 2014.
Kathryn Tickell & The Side Kathryn Tickell & The Side "[Untitled review]". Mojo. 253 (6): 100. December 2014.

Albums compiled by Colin Irwin[edit]

  • The Very Best of Celtic (Various artists) (2004)


  1. ^ "US musicians rally round the flag". BBC. 2 April 2003. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  2. ^ "The Colin Irwin Column". Spiral Earth. Retrieved 8 July 2014.