So I thought I'd be clever and sabotage John Hyatt's exhibition at Home cinema last night and plant a copy of in an exhibit. John is vegan and would probably enjoy such an act of subversion... The zine wasn't there long, and soon disappeared. Towards the end of the night, I asked a member of staff why they'd taken it down and told her “it's not a punk thing to do”. She told me she'd taken The Vegan's Guide down to read herself, that she thought it was really funny and it had kept her going on a long shift. I was left feeling humbled and very flattered – she got a few free copies of Cubesville to take home too. But the charming vegan staff at Home didn't find the copy I sneaked inside one of the comics - The Vegan's Guide is (invisibly) on show for a few weeks more.
Various – Some of us Scream, Some of us Shout (Monkey Press), edited by Greg Bull and Mike Dines
This collective autobiography of writings and reprints is a piece of history in which to lose yourself. It catalogues a barely chartered era in the early-to-mid 1980s; gathering together first-hand accounts of gigs, zine interviews, Xeroxed handouts, creative writing and artwork.
The punk scene is often guilty of being so lost in the moment that looking backwards would kill its creative energies; it leaves its brave, resourceful, innovative past to be picked over by those without the desire, fight or vision to seek new means of expression.
But Some of us Scream has an infectious sense of urgency that sends a letter of hope and support to DIY punks 30 years into the future; bands practice, zines are glued together and homebrew is drunk despite a bleak backdrop of impending nuclear war, animal suffering and government brutality from Thatcher’s Conservatives.
Throughout, this 270-page collection gathers together personal tales from what we’d later call anarchopunk; Chris Butler gives a fan’s-eye view of his first Conflict gig, while Vincent Learoyd remembers Dirt’s tour supporting Crass. Anth Palmer relates being a teenage vegetarian in West Yorkshire, while Alastair Gordon recounts the birth of UK hardcore. Rudimentary Peni booklets are reprinted in their original, barely-legible glory, while Antisect fanzine interviews are presented with their original, daring honesty.
Whether you were there at the time or are fascinated by a musical and social movement that lost itself in its own moment of creation, Some of us Scream will be your bedtime reading for some time to come – and kindle our dreams of better worlds to come too.