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Hits from the past

Josef from Hits From The Past blog has finished reading his copy of Welly Artcore's rollicking punk rock tour diary 'Directions to the outskirts of town' and sent us his review, reminiscing about the spontaneity that ruled in the pre-internet and sat nav days of touring.

"Look at me actually reviewing a book that has been published just very recently and which I just finished reading. To those of you having been into punk/hardcore since the ‘80s or ‘90s the name Welly Artcore should ring a bell as he is the man behind the excellent Artcore Fanzine still running to this day. “Directions To The Outskirts Of Town” basically combines Welly’s two tour diaries from the ‘90s, once as a roadie with Chaos UK in ’94 and then again with his own band Four Letter Word four years later. While the chapters with Chaos UK are funny and entertaining, they are often also short and could have used a bit more detail considering how crazy this tour was as it took them across the United States. Welly does make up for it big time when it comes to his entries for the ’98 tour with Four Letter Word. Not only did the band cover an insane amount of miles across the United States and Canada, but the tour was really in support of their album released on BYO Records. Welly himself admits that his band having been released on such a renowned label was due to the gold-digging punk rock decade the ‘90s was. This should in no way discredit Four Letter Word, a band I quite frankly am not familiar with at all though. Regardless, the tour diary of their tour is worth alone to get this book as it is full of funny and honest stories of four guys from Cardiff, Wales traveling thousands of miles across North America and quite often playing to a handful of people not knowing how to react. On said tour Four Letter Word did quite often open up to well-known acts such as Youth Brigade or 7 Seconds and it is during those shows that the hierarchies within the punk rock circuit are described with a high degree of honesty and humor by Welly. The DIY spirit of those days literally seeps through the pages of the book with bands crashing at the parent’s houses of people in attendance and surviving on shitty food and cheap beer for weeks on end. I am too old to know whether tours like the two in this book are still organized the way they used to but with Sat Navigation in the cars or on phones life as we know it is different from the ‘90s. Reading the book I often reminisced about those days where spontaneity ruled in the pre-internet days".

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