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IssuePunkZine reviews A Hardcore Heart

Just in time for the official launch of this monster of a book, Neil Duncan of Issue Punk Zine has sent us #123 with a review of 'A Hardcore Heart'.

"This is a massive beast of a book and it was clear to be that I would never get the whole thing read in time to review it. So I decided to cover the first 10%, then with a bit of skimming ahead I would know what I had in my hand.

Great plan, but now I am well over 25% of the way thru and have to put a stop to me, “... just a couple more pages...” So yes, it is a fantastic read, a story and a history all in one. Clearly written, with plenty of pictures and sub- headings to enable you to keep abreast of where you are at.

Given that the main focus of this book is the 90’s, it was of special interest to me, as it was in the 90’s that I was taking my sabbatical from live music. I spent the decade getting married, having a family, studying, having a career and all that shite. I felt this would be a great way to find out what I’d missed.

I was fully expecting to encounter a sprinkle of famous names, with a plethora of unknowns (to me). In fact I have been delighted to encounter a load more bands (and people) that I know of and some I have been lucky enough to see live also.

Not quite as well known have been the venues, with the JOINERS being most prominent in my mind and experience – but great hearing about all these other places I have not been to and sadly, some that I never will now. We do our annual ‘Duncan Day’ family trip to Tunbridge Wells, where my Dad is buried and I never knew there was a fantastic live music with attitude scene in that sleepy little town.

So hats off and big respect to David for having the energy and commitment to contribute so much to this scene. Then have the strength and will to write about it in such exquisite detail. This book, and others like it are proof that punk is not dead, it is forever evolving to meet the needs of those of us who value co-operation over competition.

I have gotten so into the unfolding story that I have ordered a copy of a CD album, 'Excess All Areas' by Couch Potatoes. They were David’s first band and this was originally self-released on cassette back in 1992. The CD version was released in 2015 and I feel that it is a vital additional piece of cultural evidence that will help flesh out the text in the book.

(It’s not arrived yet. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up ordering some other stuff from back then, as I read more of the book - assuming it is still available!)

So highly recommended, very enjoyable and touching on so many themes us DIY-Scene veterans value so highly." by Neil Duncan.

'A Hardcore Heart' has a foreword by Frank Turner and supports the Music Venue Trust.

The book is officially launched worldwide from 14/2/23 and will then be available from amazon and all good book and record shops.

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