Welcome! So huge thanks to Colin for publishing this column, much appreciated. So, let me set the scene a little for you. I’m known as Mr. T (no, not that one and trust me there really is no need for any planes, milk or crazy fool gags), I write the ramshackle punk rock zine that I lovingly refer to as Lights Go Out. I also play guitar in Second In Line. But, this feature is about zines so I’ll move back onto that. I thought I’d submit a top ten zines that I recommend. Obviously I can hardly go and recommend my own bloody zine, but it would be cool if you fancied checking it out, supporting what we do by picking up a copy (or ten!) – we’re over at www.facebook.com/lightsgooutzine and www.lightsgoout.co.uk. Anyways, enough waffle from me, here’s ten zines I fully recommend and in no particular order at all!
This is what I would call a proper punk rock zine. Cut n Paste, photocopied and the layout is very reminiscent of those punk rock fanzines of days gone by. Written with a real enthusiasm by editor Rob, Positive Creed has everything a proper music fanzine should have for me. Well researched interviews, reviews, columns and politics. I cannot stress how great this zine is, if you love punk rock then you really need to be checking Positive Creed Out.
Punk, Hardcore, Records, Football, Stories – what more do you really want? Gadgie is just bloody amazing. If you’ve not actually ever checked out a copy of Gadgie then you have to seriously sort it out. Editor Marv has this amazing knack of relaying a story from his past unlike anyone else. Full of music, punk, laughs and I really do mean the best writing, Gadgie is actually incredible. Oh and Marv also has a self-published book out which is so good! You really do all need to have Gadgie in your life, oh and Marv has a rather unhealthy obsession with Debbie Harry (though he may disagree about it being unhealthy!)
Another sublime DIY looking hardcore/crust zine that is well worth checking out. I love the fact that this zine introduces me to so many new bands. Sadly there’s not been an issue for a while, but there are rumblings that a new one will be coming out this year! Also the editor Steve has a little distro so you can pick up music and zines all at great prices. Can’t wait for a new issue to come out!
Editor Neil has to be one of the most dedicated zine writers out there. Always at shows and Issue never seems to miss a deadline and comes out every two months. A mix of live reviews, music reviews and local scene news. If you’re based around the south coast area then you’ll know just how important Issue is the scene here. A real testament to Neil’s passion for the live music scene, a real credit to both him and the strength of the scene down here. Always a great read and over 80 issues out so far…
Paper & Ink
Classed as a literary zine, Paper & Ink is a seriously decent read. Although not strictly music based, this is written by Martin, a punk fan and each issues has a different subject matter, from the likes of Hangovers to Childhood and more! A really well written zine, well worth your time checking out and so much you can probably relate too!
Link: www.facebook.com/PaperAndInkZine / www.paperandinkzine.co.uk
This is a relatively new zine and I’m so glad that Chris is still putting it out. Too many zines last 1 or 2 issues and then you never hear from them again (Cross Bones for example, which had so much potential). But Perfect Day is still flying the zine flag. A real mix of music, art and wrestling, everything about this zine is just perfect. Totally cut n paste in its design, this is another I fully recommend supporting and checking out.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen an issue from Luke for a while sadly. But this was one of my favourite zines as it mixed in a healthy dose of punk rock with travelling the world. Luke has a great way of retelling his travel stories and On’t Road was a real treat. I haven’t seen an announcement saying the zine is dead (maybe I missed it, I hope not), and the blog seems to be updated towards the end of last year. So let’s hope Luke gets a new issue out of this zine soon, cause it’s rad!
Link: http://ontroadfanzine.blogspot.de/ / www.facebook.com/Ont-Road-Fanzine-190574244302878
How can you not love Artcore? It’s been going for ages, it’s hardcore as anything and normally comes with a free record! Seriously, that’s amazing! The layout in Artcore is also something else, not your typical cut n paste zine, this is all laid out like you’d find a magazine on the shelves of WH Smith, but still maintains the DIY feel. If you love hardcore punk rock and records then you really should already be aware of Artcore! If not, you need to get involved!
OK, so I’m jumping away from the music side of zines in order to mention this amazing zine. Contested Ground is a football zine, but not your typical affair, written by fans of various teams who relay their experiences which bring a much more honest read. Your normal football zine will be dedicated to one team and generally in my experience just provoke anger against the club owners pretty much, but not this one. Only one issue released so far, but issue two is due for release this year and I’ve submitted a piece for this, so can’t wait to see this one see the light of day. Not just for football fans.
And finally I’d like to just pay a quick tribute…
Most missed: A Short Fanzine About Rocking
It goes without saying that a piece on zines must have a mention to the legendary A Short Fanzine About Rocking. Written by Nick who tragically left us last year, ASFAR was pretty much THE zine in the UK. Focussing on hardcore in the main, Nick wrote this with a real passion and by far one of the most important documents from the scene. Not only do I miss the zine, but Nick was a good mate, we had some great times together both musically and footballing. I’m sure most of you will have read ASFAR in the past. A huge loss in every single way.
Whilst here, there are a few other zines of note that helped paved the way for the UK punk rock zine that are sadly no longer with us: Beat Motel, Initonit, Debunk, Mild Peril (by Pete of Ducking Punches fame) and Fracture. All huge losses and if you ever find a back issue of them, well worth picking it up.
I hope I didn’t miss anyone out that should have been in here, knowing me I sadly did, so sorry to you. I tried to concentrate more on music zines, there are some seriously amazing perzines out there as well, which are worth reading.
Please do support self-published zines out, they’re normally dirt cheap and every sale really does help the writer put out more issues. Not just financially (trust me, you’ll never get rich writing a zine) but also knowing people are reading it really does a lot to help us continue with the project.
Also, if you get the chance, you should definitely check out a zine event, there’s plenty going on around the country and they’re a great way to discover new zine titles, trade zines, meet people and have a great day out.
That’s more than enough from me - cheers for reading!
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