Fanzine Reviews

To make things easier for people living in Guildford, all the zines followed by an (HS) symbol are available at Heaven Sent Records.


50p and SAE from 91 Old Chester Road, Helsby, Cheshire, WA6 9PL
Astro Chimps is weird read; its eclectic and sometimes sick, but always fun and the writer's love for rock music is very apparent. That's what often can make a zine good: genuine enthusiasm. There's also interviews with Gel, Jolt and Rob Zombie, as well as some comedy articles on Rolf Harris and Rod Hull (a distinctive sense of humour required!). My copy was photocopied on luminous paper too.


£1.00 for six issues from 12 The Lawns, High Street, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, GL10 2NU
This zine reminds me very much of what Ashamed and Bored has been like in the past, with short interviews and plenty of reviews. However, BB comes out far more frequently, with at least one issue a month! The issue I'm reviewing is number 27, and features interviews with Radiator and an Atomika tour diary. Matt also likes to do 'special' issues, concentrating more on metal bands, which are worth reading too, and I recommend you send him a quid now.


50p and SAE from 90 Newton Road, Rushden, Northants, NN10 0HQ
This is a combination of the Chic Alors and Small Gods fanzines, and together they make an interesting and eclectic read. There's loads of crazy features and cartoons which make me laugh, especially the 'Kappa Kids' strip. There's interviews with Mansun, Clever Doll, Regular Fries, The Junket, Glendon, The Mystics, The Pecadiloes and, erm... 21st Century Girls! And although I don't do it myself, because I don't have enough time, it's all cut 'n' paste too, so it looks suitably cool.


£1.00 and SAE from Pete, 9 Beech Way, Oakdene Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1QG
Clean Shaven, based near to me, has been a big influence on Ashamed & Bored. Pete features a wide variety of excellent national bands whilst still remaining loyal to his local scene, and the zine is full of great humour. Although I haven't read it, issue 3, 'out soon' has interviews with Add N to (X), the Vandals, Terrorvision, The Monsoon Bassoon, Reynolds, Monkey Boy, Rothko, Hiremeka Hi-Fi, Three Colours Red and Kilter. It's going to be an essential read, trust me, and if you live in Guildford, hang your head in shame if you haven't already read a previous issue. (HS)


£1.00 and SAE from 10 West Road, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 3HT
This is a fine first issue. The interviews with Inner Sleeve, Straw, Little Mothers and Midget are a bit short, but the Katy Jane's interview style is very friendly and chatty, which is nice. The rest of the zine is well presented, if a little bland, but I enjoyed reading it, particularly the article on her love for Hefner. At a quid for twenty A5 pages, this is also a bit pricy, but it shows promise.


75p and SAE from Julia Vergho, Badstr.24, 93059 Regensburg, Germany
Wow! Imagine writing a fanzine in a second language. Congratulations are in order just for doing that. However, it is only the gig reviews that remain in Germany, because Julia is a real anglophile, interviewing Bis, Urusei Yatsura, Jack, Midget, Dweeb and The Crocketts, as well as largely reviewing British bands. Most of the interviews are postals, but they still have a lot of personality thanks to the original and fun questions. Actually, this whole zine is full of enthusiasm, it's cool to read something that you know has had so much effort put into it.


SAE from 3 Ash Court, Catteshall Lane, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 3HS
From the ashes of 'Coffee Break' fanzine comes Fran's latest project. Essentially it's a punk and hardcore monthly newsletter, but quite a bit of variety in there too. Ashamed & Bored has even been reviewed in it! Every month there's a selection of reviews, a gig guide and usually an interview too, all crammed onto four A4 sides. If you live in Surrey, make sure you get your hands on a copy of this. (HS)


free from many music venues
Is this a fanzine? Not really, it's more like a miniature carbon-copy of the NME, and with adverts and sponsorship all over the place it reeks of corporate goings-on. Still, it's free and the interviews with Travis, Steve Lamacq, The Crocketts and Younger Younger 28s read well. Definitely worth picking up and reading at a gig, just don't expect it to be much fun.


SAE from PO BOX 623, Cardiff, CF3 9ZA
Massive, informative and free! What more of a recommendation do you need? Basically, this tells you almost all you need to know about the UK punk scene, and for someone who's not very knowledgeable in that area of music, that's quite useful. Anyone who loves punk music will find this essential, and the interviews with Red Monkey, Game Face, The Queers and U.S. Bombs are particularly good. Essentially however, it's a strictly punk zine so if you're only into indie you'll find some sections of this rather alien! (HS)


50p and SAE from James Donovan, 80 Old Farm Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1QP
The first two issues of ‘Hell ‘En Back’ were focused mainly upon punk and hardcore sounds, and although issue three still interviews punk bands (Ten Foot Pole, Game Face, Spunge), James shows that he has a wide musical taste in his reviews. In my opinion, this has made the zine much better, and it’s one of the most readable featured on these pages. Incidentally, the zine is also beautifully laid-out, with loads of scanned in photos, and is excellently written. Highly recommended. (HS)


£1.00 and SAE from Clive, 36 Folly Fields, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, AL4 8HL
This zine has a pretty legendary reputation doesn’t it? I like it, even though Clive writes about harder sounds than me, including in-depth interviews with Rico, Dropkick Murphys, Nashville Pussy and Backyard Babies. It’s a massive cut ‘n’ paste thing too, and I found myself dipping into it all the time when I took it to school the day I got it. The host of contributors also ensures that there is a strong variety of tastes and opinions, even though they all seem to hate Bis! Find out what all the fuss is about, especially if you like to rock.


£1.50 and SAE from Anthony, 174 Casterbridge Road, Blackheath, London, SE3 9AG
I like this zine because Anthony just features bands that he loves, be they huge millionaire megastars like R.E.M., or obscure singer-songwriters like Simon Warner. The interviews in 'Independent...', including ones with Gene, Ultrasound, Theaudience, Superstar and Longstone, are considered, intelligent affairs that always prove interesting. It's a nice fat size too, and it'll keep you occupied for a fair while.


£1.00 and SAE from Michael Rumble, 21 Thelton Avenue, Broadbridge Heath, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 3LS
Just before going to print this arrived at my door and I had to give it a quick mention because it's fab. M is well-informed, funny and interesting, three essential ingredients for a zine. Wading through the stacks of reviews will take you a fair while too, although the interviews with Chicks, Gravel and Hooper are a bit short. Michael's personality really shines through in his zine, and after eleven issues he knows how to make it good.


£1.00 and SAE from Richard, 11 Nadin Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 5RH
This has got to be the first fanzine I've read that has a genuine love for Steps and the Spice Girls! Richard is really into pop music at the moment, and this is very evident in the latest issue of 'Neu Resistance'. There's even a hip-hop section, and yes, I did read it! The interviews are still with more typical zine bands like Ash, Disco Pistol and Chicks though; maybe he'll be able to interview B*Witched for the next issue. This is a fantastic read however, and the articles on indie prejudices and fanzine promotion raise important issues too. Nice one.


20p and an SAE from Christian, 79 Ansdell Road, Peckham, London, SE15 2DT
This is short but sweet, to use a horrible cliche. Issue six is mainly review focused, but there's also an interview with Monkey Island that is a bit small, but more funny than the one I did with them. In all, it's witty and knowledgeable throughout, and definitely worth sending a few pence Christian's way.


£1.50 and SAE from Sophie, 8 Brewery Road, Horsell, Woking, Surrey, GU21 4LP
I don't think this is very good, but my girlfriend loved it, so maybe reading about what someone did backstage and which celebrities they met is a girl thing. Admittedly, there is a good interview with Mansun, but the whole It Girl thing annoys me really.


£1.00 and SAE from Andy, 21 Lodmoor Avenue, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 5AF
After a one year hiatus, a big welcome back to Quirk! Issue 7 is quite different to anything Andy's produced in the past, with more of an emphasis on cultural issues, with criticisms of tabloid newspapers, a constructive look at the BNP, articles on student life and even cooking recipes! While this means there is less room for music, there's still interviews with Bis, Symposium and a particularly good one with Rachel Stamp, plus the usual reviews and the infamous fanzine chart. A really refreshing and recommended read. (HS)


£1.50 and 54p SAE from 7 Ferry Lane, Chesterton, Cambridge, CB4 1NT
Despite reading so many recommendations for this, because I thought it was a Manics zine I rather stupidly avoided it for a long time. R*E*P*E*A*T features so much more than just the Manics. With eighteen (count 'em!) interviews and hundreds of reviews packed into 72 A4 pages there is information on practically everything indie-related you need to know about. Loads of work goes into this from a whole army of contributors, and the results are a good three hours solid reading! My favourite fanzine of the year so far.


£1.00 and SAE from Victoria, 17 Ambleside Avenue, Elm Park, Hornchurch, Essex, RM12 5ES
What an ace fanzine Ribena is! It is consistently one of the best written zines out there, and the latest issue is no exception. There are loads of bands interviewed, including the Bluetones, Grandaddy, Placebo, Sleater-Kinney and Stereolab, amongst many others. There are also articles on releasing your own single and the death of grunge, plus humorous columns. Victoria's managed to get together quite a big team to help her out with reviews, which provides a good variety of opinion. Overall, it's definitely one of my favorite zines and at a pound it's exceptional value for money too.


50p and SAE from Simon, 6 The Poplars, South Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 9HZ
Cut 'n' paste gone mad! Yeah, 'Stray Housewive's...' is a lot of fun, and this is reflected in the interviews with Dagobah, Mouthwash, Oizone, Speedurchin, Kill Junior and the Roswells (who are only twelve years old!). As with most punk zines, Simon concentrates a lot on his local scene, whilst reviewing mainly American material. The zine's still finding it's feet a bit, and the columns are a bit bare, but I read this zine from cover to cover when I bought it and found it amusing and refreshing in content.


£1.00 and SAE from 2 Eagle Road, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7NB
A real labour of love this one. Basically, every month the Un-Peeled team list all the records John Peel plays on his show. While that may seem quite boring, it's useful for finding out that brilliant song which you can't remember the name of. There's also small features on some of Peely's favourite bands such as the Cuban Boys and Melt Banana, and they're also beginning to cover the Evening Session as well.


£1.00 and SAE from Maya, 16 Framfield Road, London, N5 1UU
The girls who write this zine are heavily involved in the London glitter-scene, yet 'Violent Pink' is a hyperactive, erratic and fun read that refrains from being too bitchy. The interviews with Symposium, Disco Pistol, Scarfo, Gel, Rachel Stamp and Japan Anti-Rock have a friendly style with lots of cute questions, that is in keeping with the chatty feel of the zine. Issue two may be a bit old now, but it's still a cool read.
Issue 4 Contents


Issue 4 Summer '99 © Tim Bragger