Vintage Viz - Azox (1985)….
S&T (issue #5 - “Sound & Techno”)
CREATED BY: Chris Freer, Kev Reverb, Paul Betts, Mike Dawkeye and others….
In the late 1970s Chris Freer and Paul Betts started a punk fanzine in Leicester called Terminally Blitzed, which eventually mutated into another fanzine called S&T. They also formed a DIY record label called S&T with Kevin “Reverb” Bayliss and Mike “Dawkeye” Dawkins, who became contributors to the fanzine. Issue #5 of S&T was called “Sound & Techno” but each issue had a different name, always based on the letters “S” and “T” (#4 was called “Smooth & Tight”). The front cover of #5 was simultaneously very modern-looking and very “mod revival”, although fortunately there’s not much evidence of the latter inside the zine….
The authors are generally upbeat about the state of the midlands music scene at the dawn of the 1980s and about the growing influence of S&T in particular - they had recently made appearances on Radio Leicester and Radio Nottingham, the zine was coming out monthly and was being sold in record shops throughout the midlands and even as far away as Rough Trade in London….
As such they included a “London Stories” page in this issue, which mainly consists of a review of a gig that The Jam played at the Rainbow….
There’s also a report from their Nottingham correspondent Nick Shaw about the scene there. His other notable contribution is a review of a recent gig by the Ramones….
As well as containing local news like the fact that a band called The Cobras had recently changed their name to The Stripes, there’s also a piece called “Life In Leicester” featuring a new tape label called Alternative Capitalists and a new music shop called Street Music, which the S&T collective hoped would play their part in alleviating the "terminal boredom in our area"….
PIL’s “Metal Box” gets a full page reappraisal to coincide with its re-release as a double album called “Second Edition” after the original pressing (which consisted of three 12” 45rpm records inside a metal 16mm film canister embossed with the band’s logo) sold out. Incidentally, it’s amazing just how many of the greatest albums of all time came out at roughly the same time as Metal Box in 1979 - Unknown Pleasures (Joy Division), Strange Celestial Road (Sun Ra), Live At The Witch Trials (The Fall), Cut (The Slits), Fear Of Music (Talking Heads), 154 (Wire), Y (The Pop Group), Blue Valentine (Tom Waits), Humanity (The Royal Rasses), London Calling (The Clash) - to name but a few….
Speaking of The Clash, there’s a reprint of an ecstatic vintage review of their first gig at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall in May 1977, side by side with a more lukewarm assessment of their performance at the same venue in January 1980….
The rest of the zine contains more gig and record reviews and is pretty excellent throughout. The S&T gang later contributed to another Leicester fanzine called 0533, after which three of them disappeared off the radar, while Kev Reverb ended up forming a band called Crazyhead, who made one of my favourite records of the 1980s, which was called "What Gives You The Idea That You’re So Amazing Baby?"….
my box of 1980s fanzines
Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnymen (from Bluer Skies fanzine, issue #16, 1987)
Bluer Skies (issue #16)
CREATED BY: Mike Bellwood
Bluer Skies was a fanzine devoted to Echo and the Bunnymen, and this issue came out in December 1987, when the band were well on the way to splitting up.
Although they had released their first album of new material for over three years in 1987 (the eponymous “Echo and the Bunnymen”) it also turned out to be their last featuring the original line-up. Drummer Pete De Freitas had already left the band in 1985 and then rejoined a year later, but singer Ian McCulloch quit in 1988 and De Freitas died in 1989….
As advertised on the front cover, there’s an interview with McCulloch inside that was done prior to the album’s release, in which he seems generally upbeat while also revealing some of the stresses and strains that the Bunnymen were under….
Tony Fletcher’s book about the Bunnymen - “Never Stop” - gets a decent review ("a must for all Bunnyfolk") and there are also some generally ecstatic reviews of Bunnymen gigs from the latter half of 1987 - in places like London, Copenhagen, Brighton and Toronto….
The rest of the zine is filled up with info about Bunnymen bootlegs, classified ads (mainly for Bunnymen live tapes), some song lyrics, one or two decent pics of the band, a brief chat with Will Sergeant and the Bluer Skies guide to 60s psychedelia….
my box of 1980s fanzines
New Order @ Deeside Leisure Centre, Queensferry 11/9/1982 (from Merseysound fanzine, issue #26, 1982)
Will Sergeant and Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen live at Sefton Park, Liverpool 26/8/1982 (from Merseysound fanzine, issue #26, 1982)
Merseysound (issue #26)
CREATED BY: Roger Hill, Ronnie Flood and many others
Merseysound was a fanzine that dedicated itself to documenting Liverpool’s post-punk music scene from 1979 to 1982. As it says in the “audience participation” editorial of issue 26: "the magazine is produced by a mix of friends – meeting, talking and writing in their own way about mainly local music". This actually turned out to be the final issue of the fanzine and the editorial does contain some hints that all was not well in the Merseysound camp….
Cover stars Echo and the Bunnymen are interviewed inside and there’s a review of their “Larks In The Park” performance in Liverpool’s Sefton Park in August 1982….
There’s also a three page article about the fourth Futurama Festival, which featured the likes of New Order, Nico, Dead Or Alive, The Damned, Orchestra Jazira, Blue Poland, Cook Da Books and many, many more….
The rest of the zine includes blurbs about bands like Amazulu, Black, Bourbonese Qualk, Aztec Camera, Some Detergents, 3D and Unoccupied Europe, mixed up with local news, gig reviews, record releases, ads etc.
Merseysound founder and co-editor Roger Hill was the only member of the collective who was there from the beginning to the end - and by the time this issue came out he already has his own show on BBC Radio Merseyside….
my box of 1980s fanzines