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Crossfire goes Hardcore

Frank Billek from took a deep dive into the pages of David Gamage's comprehensive overview of the nineties UK Hardcore scene, A Hardcore Heart, and gave it a double thumbs up, stating that it was, and is, “super informative, insanely interesting and humorous”, which is the way we feel about it, so it’s nice to know that we’re not alone and that Frank loves the book as much we do.

You can read the full review here, and pick up a copy of ‘A Hardcore Heart’, and join Frank on the express train to punk rock paradise, here.


Wow! This great book is a 653-page tome about the history of the British D.I.Y. HC scene from the 1990s onwards. Let's turn back the wheel of history. After the punk explosion flattened out in the mid-late 1980s, more and more activities started within the remaining punk scene and the emerging hardcore community, especially in the United Kingdom, to make themselves completely independent of all conventional and commercial structures and to provide the entire scene with its own infrastructure. The whole thing is aptly titled "Do It Yourself" (D.I.Y.) to this day and is an absolutely established term. Opinions differ as to whether this originated in the United States of America or not.


It doesn't matter at all, this phenomenon spread rapidly in the respective subcultures worldwide. Fanzines, magazines, labels, studios, printers, independent concert events, tour and booking agencies, record and clothing stores, pubs, and entire concert venues were suddenly founded completely under their own management and self-administration and soon sprang up like mushrooms. There was mutual support and the worldwide network became visibly larger and closer. Many of the companies founded at that time have long since become large and world-famous institutions, not only in the punk and hardcore genre.


The story of this development, mainly related to Great Britain, is put on paper here with love. Super informative, insanely interesting with a lot of background stories and quite humorous, the author works his way through the spirit of optimism and developments at that time. Many great anecdotes, tour diaries, descriptions of localities, bands that have their say, lots of photos that visualize it all beautifully, weird events, everyday madness, funny disasters and much more can be found here.


Protagonists and contemporary witnesses have their say (nice summary at the end of what has become of one or the other). In addition to lesser-known acts such as Couch Potatoes, Goober Patrol and others, you will find stories with, and about bands such as Green Day, Spermbirds, Blaggers ITA, NO FX, Down By Law, Samiam, Alice Donut, Hot Water Music and many other bands and people. Plus stories about gigs all over Europe and so on.


This book is a really great piece of contemporary history with an apt foreword by Frank Turner. Absolutely worth reading and a book that can only be warmly recommended to anyone who is interested in such a piece of music history, whether colourful-haired pin king, crustie form the trailer site, anarcho, squatter, metalhead, or hardcore freak. In English, but without any major problems even with average school English skills, still great to read.

Frank Billek for

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