Fanzines

BAMBI IS DEAD

1.00 and SAE from 28 Kenilworth Road, Thornham, Rochdale, Lancs, OL16 4SF
This is a nice, eclectic read, which features a good selection of bands that I like. There's big chunks of rock, a smattering of indie and a fair dose of punk in this zine, as well as the odd inane rambling. The reviews are well written too, not one-line jobs. Unfortunately, the interviews with Auntie Mable and I Am 7 are not so well developed and the questions don't provoke much useful information from the bands. Oh well, a cool read anyway and full of enthusiasm.

CLEAN SHAVEN

1.00 and SAE from 9 Beech Way, Oakdene Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1QG
I know I gave this a mention last issue, but now I've actually read the thing I'm pleased to announce that the zine is everything I expected to be and more. For a pound, Clean Shaven is a complete bargain. 140 pages are packed full of well-worded, brilliantly witty and descriptive reviews of a diverse selection of unusual and exciting bands. Loads of A&B's favourite bands are interviewed too: Hiremeka Hi-fi, Reynolds, Kilter, Monkey Boy, The Monsoon Bassoon and, oooh, about half a dozen more with stars like Terrorvision and Three Colours Red. A year's blood and sweat has gone into the making of this zine, and it shows. Excellent reading.

CREME ANGLAISE

2.00 and SAE from 362A Hornsey Road, London, N19 4HT
This is a bit pricey, but there's no doubting that `Creme Anglaise' is one of the fanzine elite. It has been assembled by an editorial team from all over Europe, and reflects this in it's eclectic reviewing policy, and fine range of intercontinental bands interviewed: Mercury Rev, Pavement, Salako, Jim O'Rourke, To Rococo Rot, Calc, Supergrass and Broadcast. There's an especially interesting one with big A&B faves Sleater-Kinney, by far the best I've read with them. It' all very professional looking too, with hundreds of clear photos and drawings. Go on, buy a copy. It may be two pounds, but that's still less than a pint of beer, eh?

DDDD

1.00 from Marleys, Minstead, Lyndhurst, Hants, SO43 7FY
I know this is a lot of people's favourite fanzine in the world, but I'm in two minds about it. On the one hand, it's an angry, sincere and inspirational read, particularly in its fantastic columns and rants. It's almost impossible to put down as you get taken away by DDDD's stream-of-consciousness. However, I didn't like its review section much at all. They seem to slag so much off. Okay, there is a lot of poor, fake and unemotional music doing the rounds, but there is also loads of bands worthy of attention, who are genuinely challenging and exciting. However, I will be buying the zine from now on, because on the whole, it is totally absorbing.

DREGS / TWO COOL DOGS

free with an SAE from 3 Ash Court, Catteshall Lane, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1NQ
A bumper size split issue that sees both zines improving. `Dregs' is still packed with much punk rock goodness, including interviews with The Donnas, Servo and Jeffrie's Fanclub. `Two Cool Dogs' still seems to have a lot of it's focus on `anarchy' related stuff, some of which is boring (UFOs anyone?) whilst other columns are much more thought-provoking like the call to boycott Nestle. They also manage to interview The Propagumbhis, Grand Central and Moon Monkey. Altogether, a skankin' read.

THE EXCLUSIVE

1.00 and SAE from 53 Birches Head, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, ST1 6LH
Another really good fanzine. Okay, so I may not have accumulated as many zines this time around, but the ones I have read this autumn and winter have mainly been of a very high standard. I'd read so many commending reviews of `The Exclusive' that I had to give it a read, and, yes, everyone was right. It's a an eye-pleasing combination of cut `n' stick and digitized images, and the writing is honest, informative and full of funny moments. The interviews cover a broad spectrum of bands and artists, namely Six By Seven, Teenbeat, The Ultra Montanes, Stephen Regnauld and one of fanzineworld's best known characters, Sid Abuse. It's also nice to see Matt focusing on the Stoke scene at times.

GALACTIC

1.00 and SAE from 143a Cobden Road, South Norwood, London, SE25 5NU
I bought this zine at the Reading festival after Chicks's set on the Carlsberg stage. I'd never heard of it before, but `Galactic' has proved to be one of my favourite zines of the past few months. Issue four is the Spain issue, with a large article on the editor's trip to the Mediterranean country with her band Wack Cat, that is really interesting and often funny. She got to meet real stars as well, such as members of Mogwai and Sonic Youth. As well as this there are long interviews with Airport Girl, Hello Cuca and Static Waves. All of them seem like bands worthy of checking out in the future. Definitely worth a quid then, especially if you're into different European sounds.

HERE BE MONSTERS

1.00 and SAE from 36 Folly Fields, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, AL4 8HL
One of my favourites. Issue 18 has interviews with Electric Frankenstein, Peter Bohovesky, Jimmy Carl Black and Atari Teenage Riot, which is about the most eclectic selection you will find in any fanzine! In amongst all that there's the usual metal/hardcore/lo-fi/punk/underground reviews as well as two very contrasting columns on unjust, racist imprisonments in the US and, on a lighter note, the editor's vasectomy! There's loads more too, don't be put off by the fact that HBM centres more around harder sounds, because it's brilliant.

HOME AND AWAY

free with an SAE from 6 Clevedon Court, Farnborough, Hants, GU14 7EJ or by e-mail from homeandaway86@hotmail.com
After three years, Pete Cole's fanzine is back, albeit in a reduced form. Two sides of A4, in fact. It's still worth a read though, especially if you have an interest in the Aldershot scene. There's no interviews as yet, but as a starting platform for the local area's very newest bands, it does it's job well. Nice one.

INDEPENDENT UNDERGROUND SOUND

1.50 and SAE from174 Casterbridge Road, Blackheath, London, SE3 9AG
A fanzine that is consistently good. This time around Anthony interviews Will Sergeant, The Paradise Motel, Mondo, The Wisdom of Harry, The Panda Gang, Jack, Cuba and more in a zine that is pretty full. Initially, it was quite hard to get into, because so many of the bands were alien to me, but I persisted and found a highly intelligent and informative read. Not one for the light-hearted therefore, but a wealth of knowledge for those wise enough to read.

KUNG FU KATZ

1.00 and SAE from 1/L, 19 Whithope Road, South Nitshill, Glasgow, G53 7LR
It's cut `n' paste, it loves Bis and it comes with sweets in the post- however, `Kung Fu Katz' is much more than a generic glitter zine. Carolyn is an excellent writer; occasionally hyperactive, often funny, always very decisive. Yeah, so it reads very well, and there's lots of cool bands to read about too. As a brief guide, there are interviews with the very chatty Sourtooth, Bis, Servotron and Come. The columns are good too, especially the pages on boy bands and a recent school trip. The only downside to the zine is that it's a bit old now, but a new one is promised soon.

POPART

0.70 and SAE from 40 Alma Lane, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 0LH
Sid and Karina have been very efficient and produced two issues of their zine in the last few months. It's quite unusual in that as well as featuring all the usual music reviews, a real passion for poetry and art is prevalent throughout. Very cultured indeed. The first issue was a fine start, but issue two is bigger and better. It has interviews with Spearmint, The Audience, The Conspiracy and Ethereal, as well as an article on the underrated Yoko Ono and poetry by Vis the Spoon, amongst others. It all reads well and looks lovely, and you get a pair of cut-out-and-keep Shirley-Specs on the back too!

R*E*P*E*A*T

1.50 and 64p SAE from 7 Ferry Lane, Chesterton, Cambridge, CB4 1NT
You don't need me tell you about this because you all bought a copy after reading my glowing review of it in the last issue, didn't you? Well I'll give a quick rundown in case, as yet, you've been foolish enough not to purchase a copy. Basically, R*E*P*E*A*T is 76 pages packed full of hundreds of reviews, articles and news on the Cambridge scene, complied by a small army of contributors, alongside interviews with, amongst many others, Angelica, Muse, Twinkie, the Yo-Yo's, Whispering Bob and Alcopop. Phew! That was a very long sentence, and here's a very short one. Buy it now!
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Issue 5 Winter 2000 © Tim Bragger