Noisy's Reading Room

Noisy is a staunch supporter of printed fanzines! The plan is to update this as often as possible with the latest independent reads you must check out!
Reviews last updated 22nd January 2012.

Lights Go Out Issues 4 - 11
I don't how I didn't find Lights Go Out sooner, but luckily editor Mr. T sent me a hefty pile of back issues so I can catch up on what I've missed. LGO is a largely a music zine with a rather big personal touch in the form of columns and a general 'cosy' feeling probably only rivalled by the equally good 'Beat Motel'. What I like most about this zine is that Mr. T isn't afraid to write about what he damn well likes and as a result you'll find record reviews of Kylie and Diana Vickers nestled alongside Bad Religion and The Queers; interviews with just about anyone that interests him - ranging from favourite Gladiator Jet, Girls@play (no, me neither) and an actress from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air TV show, to more familiar zine interviewees such as Manda Rin of Bis, Goldblade and Vice Squad; crammed into the pages of every issue.
Issue 6 is a ‘Karate Kid’ special which includes a DIY guide to your own shower fancy dress outfit, some karate moves to practice, plenty of trivia on the films and even an interview with one of the actors - Sensei Ron Thomas!
There’s a wealth of reviewers in every issue so you may find a favourable review of one band in one issue, and a completely different opinion in another, which is no bad thing, I suppose. Of particular interest to this reader were mentions of long-forgotten indie girl bands like Voodoo Queens and Fluffy; but LGO certainly manages to introduce to plenty of new music as well as showing a healthy appreciation for the older stuff - which makes it well worth a read.
About £1.50 per issue, visit website for more information. (A5, B&W)


BitchSlap 1

Bitchslap #1
This is a new publication dedicated to "punk/metal/rock/alternative female-fronted bands" and this inaugral issue features bands including The Smears, Kiria, Dragster, The-Front, Girlfixer, Vice Squad and many more, plus there's also a free fifteen track CD containing many of the bands included with this issue which is a great touch and acts as a good introduction for many bands you may be unfamiliar with. Most of the bands featured certainly practice the more heavier side of music - punk, metal and rock bands make up most of the content of this issue and certainly all of the CD; however the interviews, reviews and news pieces are informative and it was great to see Essex's own Trash Monroe get a mention in the gig guide. The magazine is well produced and the picture reproduction excellent, (although personally I wasn't keen on the cover image of The Smears) I'm really looking forward to issue 2. This issue is £1.50 and more information can be found on the myspace page. (A5, colour and B&W, 36 pages)

Sugar Paper 5

Sugar Paper #5
Sugar Paper is an excellent fanzine all about craft and 'doing it yourself'. This fifth issue is their latest and includes a free shrinking keyring kit, plus features on making a cake shaped like a burger, a latch hook rug, a paper maiche head string dispenser, a desk tidy and (my personal favourite) a hotdog shaped draught excluder! This is only a brief summary of some of the interesting things found in this issue - the front cover can be coloured in, there's also a wordsearch and even some spells, should you fancy bringing out your 'inner witch'! Each issue is £2.00 plus postage and packing, older issues also include free gifts and articles on everything from fancy dress ideas to knitting patterns - so if craft is your thing - buy a copy of Sugar Paper!
Buy copies online from their shop here. (A5, B&W, 32 pages)


Still Dying 1

Still Dying #1
There have been several issues of ‘Still Dying’ since this inaugural edition, (in fact, when I ordered this mag I actually wanted issue 2 with the Devilish Presley feature – never mind!) but I’m so far behind with reviews that this zine dated Feb/March 2009 is at the beginning of the review pile…. Describing itself as a ‘punk rock magazine’ this read takes in reviews, news and interviews, The Damned grace the cover and there’s a lengthy interview with drummer Pinch, alongside chats with the management of Slaves to Gravity, Blacklist Union, Girlfixer and Rebel City Radio. The news section is pretty comprehensive and features bands such as Vice Squad and Imperial Vipers, the photos are excellent, there’s a 6 page ‘X-Posed’ section of profiles of bands “we need to hear” which is a really great touch as well as a look back at the career of Derby band Anti-Pasti. Still Dying does a great job of drawing reader’s attention to both new and established bands as well as offering up-to-date news – all in one very well-presented package!
This issue was £1.50, visit website for latest issue information as it looks like the mag has gone A4-sized and increased in price slightly since this issue.


Heavy #11
Another mag that states it’s purpose on the cover (and another which has undoubtedly had new issues since this one that’s dated Dec 08/Jan 09 and features a ‘metal Santa’ on it’s cover) Heavy’s tag line is ‘The North East’s New Old Rock Magazine’ and features news, interviews, reviews and local listings for gigs and rock-related businesses in the North East of England. This issue has a nice interview with Stone Gods, a feature on the zine’s top ten frontmen, a rundown on their top albums of the year, as well as letters from readers and fan art on the back page. I think the zine is free and the makers don’t mind you making copies of an issue as long as they are given away for free!
Visit the myspace page for up to date information.

Spiders Web 11

Spider's Web #11
In case the title doesn’t give you a clue of the content of this zine, Spider’s Web describes itself as a “zine for the goth-hearted” and blends music content with other articles on the goth lifestyle. This issue dated Winter 2008 includes a short story about a Vampire, interviews with bands including Esoterica, Richard Christ and 3rd Room and interviews with readers about ‘life as a goth’ and even a fashion designer which make for interesting reading. Personally my favourite features were interviews with the magazine editors of ‘Bite Me’ (for vampire enthusiasts) and Fae (all about faeries).
This issue was £2.50, visit the myspace page for information on latest issue.


Orga{ni}sm: a personal guide to Tokyo and all things Japanese #2
…And now for something completely different! This fanzine is written by Gianni, an Italian living and working in Japan and Orga{ni}sm is all about his experiences in the country. This second issue features articles on people-watching on the train, ten ways to spend New Year’s Eve in Tokyo, three things you don’t have to pay for and a very interesting article on the first western immigrants in Japan as well as some fanzine reviews. Well-written and informative, this is well worth a look if you can find it. This issue is dated Winter 2005 and I’m not entirely sure if there are any new issues, but check out Gianni’s blog for fanzine reviews and updates on other publications he has made, including the very good ‘Call & Response’ which features writing from contributors on a particular theme each issue.


Everlong #11
Yet another fanzine that was on it’s 11th issue when I bought a copy, this Bristol punk zine is a mighty good read for those interested in the genre. There’s really good interviews with Cute Lepers, 241ers and Flyscreen to name a few, and I particularly enjoyed the interview with the man behind ‘Drink the Sunshine’ fanzine in hand-written format! There are excellent photos, oodles of reviews and is definitely worth the £1 cover price.
Don't seem to have an online presence at all (I bought my copy at the TV Smith/Garden Gang gig in Westcliff earlier this year - good to see zines on merch stands again!) so send an A5 SAE and £1 to Shane Baldwin, 1 Shilton Close, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 9UZ for the newest issue.


The Devil on 45 3

The Devil on 45 #3
One of the few fanzines I've read recently which has totally restored my faith in music zines, The Devil on 45 – an A4 black and white read from Ireland – describes itself as focusing on the 'weirder side of music', which gives you an idea of it's content but in no way does justice to the amazing things you will discover inside. '45 is a fanzine about music – it's not interested in following the tried and tested formula of interviews + reviews + what's hot + what's not = contemporary music scene overview; but instead writes about whatever it bloody well feels like. And it is brilliant. Previous issues have included articles investigating the relationship between punk and pornography, the legend of songs such as 'Gloomy Sunday' and interviews with obscure record labels aplenty. The meat of this third issue is an incredibly in-depth piece on the Southern States recording trip of John Lomax and family – who in 1939 travelled across this part of the USA documenting the blues music made by prison inmates, and this issue contains a selection of music from the era on 2 CDs. Elsewhere there's a great history of punk posters (largely focused on the US scene), an interesting look at the representation of the music industry on film, interviews with authors of books on 'vegan metal' cookery and an account of the New Orleans rap scene, PLUS a subjective review of the ABBA back catalogue – brilliant! This is music writing at it's most imaginative, love of the subject matter simply oozes off these pages, everything is written about with respect and intelligence but never coming across as too academic. Once you've delved into The Devil on 45, I doubt you'll ever shell out a fiver for Mojo and it's ilk ever again! Can be purchased online from the Corndog distro website (mentioned elsewhere on this page) or for more details visit the official myspace page.


Ice Cream For Quo 5

Ice Cream For Quo #5
The other fanzine that restored my faith in music zines? It's Ice Cream For Quo – which manages to blend more general articles about music with interviews and reviews of current (and sometimes not so current) artists to again create something that clearly shows passion for it's subject matter and is an absolute joy to read. The fact that I wanted to quote at least a third of this fanzine during this review indicates that I think you should read it too. This A5 black and white zine is free in exchange for an A5 SAE to the editor, and the current issue contains nice interviews with Shirley Collins, Simon Armitage, Family Taboo and Rachel Unthank, plus live reviews of Rachel Unthank (which also functions as a review of the author's experience of using a 'Flip Stick' walking aid in a gig situation) and former Wonder Stuff member Miles Hunt and a neat CD reviews section where the reviewer does not mince his words, meaning, like much of the rest of this issue, there are plenty of laugh out loud moments. There are excellent articles on the actual physicalities of record shopping (reminding me of a funny/dodgy moment I had with a drawer unit and a pile of 7” vinyl in a shop in Brighton earlier this year), one writer's experience of a Chelsea/Dickies gig at Newcastle City Hall many years ago, superb reviews of past purchases by one writer who spent £2.70 on a selection of CDs, vinyl and a book plus reviews of one person's concert history by someone who “doesn't do gigs” - so there's eleven shows reviewed in total ranging from Yngwie J Malmsteen and Gary Glitter to Sisters of Mercy, David Essex and Sparks. The more irreverent pieces scattered throughout include bizarre cartoons ('How Charles Darwin Discovered Evolution in the Galapagos'?) and a piece on Bob Dylan's career in relation to Star Wars – in the case of the latter, not being a big fan of either, this washed over me a bit, but was the only occasion where my mind wandered just slightly whilst enjoying these 40 pages. My attempt to list everything in this issue clearly doesn't to justice to just how much of an enjoyable read Ice Cream For Quo is, the subject matter is vast and varied, but it's the friendly, humorous and informative tone used which makes you feel like an old friend is chatting to you down the pub about your favourite subject, an experience which is worth far, far more than a SAE! Official myspace page.


Drunken Werewolf 5

Drunken Werewolf Magazine #5
One of the many zines I'm reviewing this time around that have been around for ages and I've only just discovered, Drunken Werewolf takes in detailed interviews with the likes of Lupen Crook, Day For Airstrikes, Untitled Musical Project and many more, along with plenty of live and CD reviews of contemporary indie/alternative artists too. It's a fascinating read however my only criticism is that the cost - £3 – is a little steep compared to other fanzines when the issue contains just 38 black and white photocopied A4 pages (no staples). I don't doubt that this price does indeed reflect the cost of photocopying, Paypal fees and postage, but you know, it makes a pricey – but good – read. Myspace page.


Splizz 64

Splizz #64
Splizz is a music/creative writing zine that has been around for a long time. This issue contains great interviews with the awesome Die So Fluid, 36 Crazyfists and Pigeon Detectives. There's also poetry, short stories and CD/fanzine reviews which makes this a really nice read and well worth getting hold of if you like poetry and writing as much as you like music! Myspace page (Subscriptions are available).


Zine Arcade 2

Zine Arcade #2
A brilliant premise that (to my Knowledge) isn't used very much here in the U.K, editor Andrew collects together writing from various self-publishers across Europe and North America and publishes it in the form of Zine Arcade – a full colour, A5 fanzine that is limited to just 100 printed copies and costs around £3.50 (for UK customers). The printed version comes with 3 art postcards of illustrators that are featured in this issue – Bill Donovan, Kevin Hooyman and Jackie Batey (I particularly enjoyed Jackie's 'make a zine' cartoon!) and the bulk of the fanzine is made up of writing culled from various fanzines – there's poetry, an account of putting a fanzine together and yes, even Noisy fanzine is included as the final article is an abridged version of our 'Brighton Diary' from issue 7! Well worth a look. Official website.


Lobster Quadrille 4

Lobster Quadrille #4
Lobster Quadrille is a great little (literally – it's A6 sized) zine that contains interviews – this time around with the brilliant Sexual Hot Bitches, interesting music histories – there's a look at the music of Wild Billy Childish and an in-depth look at a 1984 compilation entitled 'Rockabilly Psychosis', live reviews and a guide to eating out that concentrates on yummy cafés in the London area. I think each issue is free but I'm not entirely sure where you can find it, so best check out the myspace page for more information.


Beat Motel 8

Beat Motel #8
Beat Motel, how much do we love you? Lots is the answer. Huge, huge fanzine that takes in a large array of personal ranting, music reviews and interviews, MASSES of fanzine reviews (which is a must for anyone looking to broaden their fanzine reading habits) and the occasional foray into juvenile tomfoolery with their letters page and jokey bits interspersed between the other articles throughout. Editor Andrew also runs the very brilliant Corndog fanzine distro where you can buy his fanzine along with a whole heap of other, amazing reads and the latest issue costs a very reasonable £1.50, probably more with postage and packing, but still an absolute steal for 80 black and white A5 pages. Even if the sort of topics they cover, which can be largely summarised as politics, punk and stories about bodily excretions, don't appeal to you, Beat Motel is well worth a read just to check out the incredible fanzine reviews section alone. Corndog distro website.


Shebang 1

Shebang #1
Shebang is the kind of fanzine you wish you had made. Beautifully produced and printed in a sort of 'exercise book' style on blue paper and card and beautifully illustrated throughout, this first issue features a mixture of music and musings on culture which range from interviews with Poppy and the Jezebels, The Subways and Peggy Sue and the Pirates, pieces on crafts, Morrisey and cover songs, art, travel and really interesting features on one woman's experience as being dressed as a Geisha for a day and an interview with someone who worked on the TV sets for The Mighty Boosh. Plus there's the obligatory record and gig reviews. More a lifestyle handbook than a regular old 'zine, Shebang is essential reading for anyone interested in reading about more than just someone else's taste in music. It's not cheap but you do get a badge and cute contact card with your order and hell, it knocks the socks off most glossy mags that cost the best part of a fiver nowadays! Visit website to order


P Rock 3

Pussy Rock #3
For the uninitiated, Pussy Rock is a fanzine that focuses on female musicians and this brilliant third issue takes in a plethora of artists old and new for reviews, retrospectives and interviews. Shampoo, Fuzzbox and Death By Chocolate are some of the older musicians revisited here, whilst lead singer of Wicked Little Dolls, Scareifina, Pam Hogg and Velocity of The Vulgaras are interviewed. There are in-depth reviews of releases by artists including Emilie Autumn, Dresden Dolls, Rasputina, Rosin Coven and Hazard County Girls, well worth reading for anyone who wants a closer look at these artists before deciding to delve into their back catalogues. There is also a great interview with Cazz Blase, about riot grrrl fanzines, as she has just written a chapter on the subject for a new book. If the reason you read fanzines is to be introduced to new and different things, then Pussy Rock should be at the top of your reading list. A copy of the fanzine costs £1.50 including postage and packing within the UK, send an email to: appleby dot jane at gmail dot com for further information on ordering.


Hallowed Grey

Hallowed Grey #1
A punk/hardcore fanzine with a freaky skeleton on the cover! This début issue contains interviews with Mike Scott (Phinius Gage), Omerta and Just Die, plus some fiction writing, record reviews and a quick guide to the art of the mixtape – it's good to see some people still promoting good ol' fashioned cassettes! No idea how much this fanzine costs or exactly when this issue emerged, but their e-mail address is: hallowedgreyzine at googlemail dot com.


OIB fanzine

O.I.B Records #4
Picked up for free in a Brighton record shop earlier this year, it appears OIB are a record label who also put on gigs. This short and sweet black and white A5 number contains a photo tour diary by Help She Can't Swim, a review of Iceland's Airwaves festival, book and music reviews and an interview with Mansbestfriend. Go visit their website and you'll find out what OIB stands for. Contact them via their website to get a copy sent to you for free, or read it online in glorious colour – the choice is yours!


TNS Records fanzine

TNS Records Free Fanzine #1
One of things I thought when I looked at this fanzine is why are everybody's eyeballs are crossed out on the cover? Alan Partridge, Charles & Diana, even Zippy from Rainbow gets the biro treatment! Anyway, 'That's Not Skanking' originally started out as a fanzine and promoter and is now is a record label that puts out this free 'zine. Chocked full of stuff, it's well worth getting hold of. It has loads of interviews with bands including The Medicine Bow and The Fractions, to name a few, and a couple of record reviews. More information from their myspace page.


NCP carpark fanzine

A multi-story tale of a NCP car park nightmare
Andrew Culture, the man behind Beat Motel fanzine, spins a good yarn and there are plenty of them in each issue of his 'zine. This mini zine contains one such story about unlucky Andrew's night spent in a car park in Catford, and it's an entertaining way to spend 15 minutes so splash out 50p for it over at Andrew's fanzine distro


Music Zine

Music Zine #13
This glossy-covered read is essential for anyone living in the Cambridgeshire, Herts & Essex regions. Like the title, it's premise is simple – music, and lots of it. Each issue contains news, comprehensive events listings, live and CD reviews, competitions, interviews and regular features including the humorous 'How to be a rock n' roll failure' series. This July/Aug 08 issue includes interviews with The Subways, Audio Bullys and Malcolm Middleton (Arab Strap), plus masses of record reviews that include everyone from Feeder and The Futureheads to our own Colchester noisemongers The Kuru Smile. This mag can be picked up from various music venues and shops across Essex for free, but is also sold in some places for the princely sum of £1 (there's even an option to subscribe). It's worth it. Visit website.



Level 4 mag

Level 4 #2
Another great free local read is Level 4 magazine, describing it's contents as 'brain food for culture vultures', Level 4 covers music, literature, arts and events in the Southend area and really should be read by anyone looking for things to do and investigate in our seaside town. The main feature of this second issue is the editorial team's trip to Southend's twin town of Sopot, in Poland, they produce a handy travel guide for anyone wishing to take a visit to this interesting place themselves. But that only scratches the surface of what this issue serves up – there's also features on local artists, musicians, events, creative writing and poetry, a recipe (an Eastern European dish, to fit with the theme, of course), a feature on local theatres and, if you look closely, even Noisy gets a mention in these packed pages! Absolutely worth picking up if you see it around, Level 4 proves essential reading! Official myspace page


Sugar Needle

Sugar Needle
Living proof that there is a fanzine for just about any subject, the US gives us Sugar Needle - a fanzine about sweets or, should I say, candy. No idea which issue this is but it's dated early 2006 and has reviews of a variety of sugar coated snacks including candy pipes, Penguin bars and 'tourist' - a cream filled wafer from Taiwan (and no, it doesn't go down well with the reviewer!) plus interviews regarding some candy - related professions. Each issue is crammed with humour and you're guaranteed to learn something after glancing at each page - did you know Japan have red wine flavoured Kit Kats? Neither did I! This zine is available from many distros, but try e-mailing phlox at gmail dot com for further info.



Mono #14
This is a great fanzine about the Bradford music scene, available from local stockists free if you're in the area or £1 via their website. It's a black & white professionally printed affair and this issue sees interviews with British Sea Power, oodles of live reviews and a nice piece by a promoter on his memories of putting on gigs in the 80s. This is a really eye-opening, good read whether you're involved in the local scene or not. Website


Zine Directory

The Zine Directory 0.1
The zine directory has a simple objective - to provide a comprehensive guide to a huge number of independent fanzines (plus one or two larger publications) from all over the world. The listings are in alphabetical order and feature pricing and contact information, making this an indispensible guide for anyone looking to find new reading matter or to find the ideal publications to sumbit music/writing etc. for review to. There's also a very handy listing of distros at the back, so if you fancy buying a load of fanzines all at once, they're you're ideal one stop shop! This issue costs £1.50 which includes UK postage and packing. Further revised editions of this directory are planned for the future, so buy this issue and tell the editor what you think! E-mail: appleby dot jane at gmail dot com for more info.


skip to the end

Skip To The 'End #3
For those who haven't yet come across it, Skip To The 'End is a great free read shouting about all that's great and good in the Southend area, this festive issue is a nice green colour and features articles and opinions from local readers plus some music/website reviews. Well worth reading and can be picked up from a variety of local cafes and shops. They have a full list of stockists on their myspace page here.


Rachel Magazine

Rachel Magazine #1
Small fanzine by comedian Rachel Pantechnicon, and picked up at one of her gigs for 50p. Very funny, but probably better understood once you've seen the live act. Kind of like 'Jackie' but funnier and far more sarcastic - comics, poems and even record reviews. A nice memento and unfortunately I haven't a clue how you would get hold of a copy!


Cuckoo Press

Grrr Grrr! #3
The third issue of this great zine now has glossier printing and adverts, and still covers a great selection of music. This time around there is slightly more focus on the Cornwall scene and great articles on Pink Grease and Rosie & the Goldbug, amongst others, that will make you want to run and check out these bands after reading about them! There's also a great article written by Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls about the Edinburgh Festival. This is essential reading and a bargain at just £1! Website


Cuckoo Press

The Cuckoo Press #5
This is one of my favourite fanzines ever. Based in Newcastle but happy to scribble about anything and anyone they take a fancy to, each issue takes in band interviews, label profiles, gig and record reviews, recommended books and in this particular issue, great articles including fifteen 'Best Ever Bands With Colours In Their Name' and a guide to local radio programming, complete with beautiful illustrations from co-editor Richard Short. Genre-wise, these guys are heavily steeped in indie and alt rock, with The Future of the Left, Mark Kozelek, The Research, These New Puritans, and The Maccabees making up the pages of this issue. Now, most of these bands I haven't heard of, and those I have give me a luke-warm feeling at best. But that doesn't matter because each and every one of these musicians is written about with a true understanding and passion that rivals just about any mainstream music mag I've picked up in the last few months – take editor Debbora's loving account of her first encounters with The Maccabees as a case in point. These people love music, and they love what they do. So much so, that this 34-page essential read can be yours for the sum of zero pence! Yes, it's free! Visit their website for full details of stockists and make sure you make them your myspace friends, you won't regret it!


Get Off The Internet

Get Off The Internet #2
A zine that's written by Candy Panic Attack's K*, this second issue features oodles of music reviews care of the editor's adventures on myspace, features on Helen's Evil Twin, Blood Red Shoes, The Elephant Dress, a packed-out gig diary, a great report on Ladyfest Cardiff and even a rough guide to Poland, plus much more! A truly great read at 50p, brimming with enthusiasm on every page! Visit website for more details



Debunk #4
A chaotic mix of personal funny stories, interviews and music & fanzine reviews, there's something for everyone in an issue of Debunk. The recently NME-approved Gallows and The King Blues get the interview treatment this time and Beat Motel's Andrew Culture contributes a hilarious account of his school memories which makes for incredibly entertaining reading. Just £1 and definitely recommended! Visit website for more details


Grrr Grrr zine

Grrr Grrr! #1
Touting itself as having a 'back to basics' approach – a price tag of £0.00 and printed at home, Grr Grr is a great read. This inaugral issue sees a mix of articles and interviews with the writer's favourite bands of the moment, including We Rock Like Girls Don't, Hed(pe), Pretty Boys, The Organ, Venom Seeds and many, many more. Complete with colour pictures and a genuine enthusiasm for all it speaks of, this is a marvellous read. For information on the latest issue and how you can get your mitts on a copy, go visit the website


Robots and electronic brains

Robots and Electronic Brains #17
For me, the best fanzines are those that introduce me to things I've never heard of, that are clearly a labour of love and written by people who seem to be constantly combing the planet for new and interesting things the mainstream press don't touch. R&EB is one such title, focusing mainly on the experimental, the electronic or low-fi indie rocker and supplying it's readers with a disc of bleeps and whirrs from a selection of labels, each issue really is an education. This issue strays very slightly into the realms of familiarity with interviews with Goldblade and Public Enemy's Chuck D. As ever the layout is gloriously minimal, this time peppered with clip art taken from old Practical Electronic magazines, the zine is celebrating it's 10 year anniversary, and with such a strong sense of identity, let's hope it lasts another 10 years. Visit website for pricing info

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Forthcoming Project

Noisy & Southend Punk are working on a forthcoming publication detailing the history of fanzines in the county of Essex. If you are/have been involved with an Essex-based fanzine, we would love to hear from you! For more information visit this page.