More reviews and an official release for 'A Hardcore Heart'
With the official release of 'A Hardcore Heart' looming on 14th February 2023 the book has been updated and added to even further, to make it a monster 666 pages long for the new print run.
The new additions include a page supporting the Music Venue Trust and a foreword by Frank Turner, along with more great images and anecdotes from the UK hardcore scene of the nineties and noughties.
The updated book will be officially released worldwide on Valentine's day as a love letter to the scene it talks about so fondly, and will be available locally in all countries through bookstores, amazon, etc.
From the reviews of ‘A Hardcore Heart’...
David is a ‘lifer’ - he’s been around the block and earnt his stripes – and ‘A Hardcore Heart’ is not only a fascinating insight into the reality of touring with an underground hardcore band, but an invigorating time capsule of a punk scene before Instagram, Facebook and MySpace, even before mobile phones, sat navs and Google Maps. It’s a veritable ode to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, an underdog story with (spoiler alert!) no happy ending, yet that won’t stop its bittersweet narrative from putting a wry smile on your face.
Ian Glasper- Down For Life (and author of ‘The Scene That Would Not Die’)
Want to know what it was really like to submerge yourself in the nineties Hardcore scene? To live, eat, breathe, and be consumed by punk rock? Or what the reality of being in a touring band that lived hand to mouth and played more shows than the author cares to, or probably can remember, for the sheer joy of playing and not a whole lot else? Then you need to read ‘A Hardcore Heart', a book that's a love letter to the intoxicating joy of music, the enduring power of friendship, loyalty, and the overwhelming desire to create something from nothing and forge a better tomorrow. Thoroughly recommended.
Tim Cundle – Mass Movement (and author of ‘What Would Gary Gygax Do?’)
The key to the success of this weighty tome is in the title: heart. Intelligently written, Gamage avoids the alienating aspects of much academic work, while not succumbing to the flat prose of so many punk memoirs. Every facet of DIY punk scene involvement is here and, that it takes place mostly in the nineties, is frankly irrelevant. Every word imbued with an excitable fervour; this is timeless, essential storytelling that will speak to anyone - from any era - who has spent time immersed in the DIY punk scene.
Steve Midwinter - Personal Punk
Stories like these are much more interesting than biographies of multi-millionaire rock stars who became famous playing safe, lowest common denominator pap. A book like this tells the story of people finding their own voice and doing something because they believe in it.
Andy Pearson – Fear and Loathing
David shares insights into the 90s UKHC scene in a brilliant, descriptive, and entertaining way. Going into such depth and detail you’ll get the impression that you were a part of it all. It’s a deep dive into the life of a young punk rocker with each story delivering a healthy dose of humour, so you’ll have a good laugh while reading it. These stories will occupy your attention until the last pages and hopefully inspire you to start your own band, zine, or record label.
Djordje Miladinovic – Thoughts Words Action
There have been hundreds of books, films and documentaries about punk rock, it’s initial explosion and the impact it had. They all have their merits, but all seem to think it all stopped in 1979. While a lot of the old guard moved on, punk didn’t die, it moved underground and became more pure, more political and much more relevant to a new generation. While those early bands talked the talk, these new kids were walking the walk, punk was now a lifestyle. Like a lot of us, David found himself immersed in this and spells out how he got involved, how it all worked and why it was so intoxicating. A lot of fun was had, and a lot of long- standing friendships were forged.
This book is important as it documents our history. It was an exciting time that deserves to be remembered and celebrated as it was just as important as the initial explosion of punk rock in the late 1970s. Tony Whatley – Suspect Device
Gamage's accounts of a life in the UK punk and hardcore scene are incredibly readable. His enthusiasm for things that happened some 30-odd years ago is described with fondness and humour, rather than being reliant upon nostalgia. Where Henry Rollins' classic tour diaries collected in 'Get in the Van' read like epistles of misery and persecution complexes, Gamage is all about gratitude at being involved at all, and a seemingly boundless enthusiasm for building and maintaining a punk scene.
Tony Maher - Apathy and Exhaustion
Drawing on first-hand experience, Gamage writes lovingly—yet with appropriate irreverence—about the hardcore punk scene of his youth and, in so doing, shines a light on the value of DIY music scenes in every genre and generation. Good things happen when a love of music brings people together.
Marc Schuster - Tweetcore
David writes in such a way that it makes you feel like you're there in those dark, sweaty little clubs, surrounded by friends and jamming out to the coolest new music. He describes one club in such a way that all I could think of was The Lost Horizon in Syracuse, which is where we spent many nights watching bands like Earth Crisis, Snapcase, Shelter, and more.
These memories that I was reminded of while reading just the first few chapters of his new book are the same experiences David and his friends were having an ocean away from me.
Tom Hanno – Chimera
Gamage brings us this fat 650-page bible on his experience playing in bands and running labels in the UK hardcore scene from the 90s onwards. In his honest and unpretentious style, he tells the kind of stories we love to read, from a time when it wasn’t a big deal to hang out with bands like Green Day or Hot Water Music, before they got big. Despite its many pages, or maybe because of them, ‘A Hardcore Heart’ is an entertaining read and you’ll stumble upon familiar names throughout. Highly recommended!
Chris Spath – Bands Are Like Girlfriends
An entertaining portrait of D.I.Y. Hardcore. Fun and informative both for music geeks playing join the dots and budding musicians curious about a world where fame comes to few, but dedication brings its own pleasures and plenty of stories. Tom Osman - New Noise Magazine
I’m a huge fan of oral punk history. Stories from the past, some glorious, some not so much, but all fun to read – and I envy David that he has such a good memory, because I’d forgotten so much. This book helped me remember my own past in this great scene. Joachim Hiller – Ox
All the troubles and all the joy of touring, all the problems with promoters, sound, van breaking down or having a puncture, job worries. A tour de force document about the history of UK DIY hardcore punk in the nineties and all the bands. I found a couple that I had never heard of before and will definitely investigate. This is hardcore from the heart, written by a hardcore kid for hardcore kids. A document about time which may have passed but remains in the heart, a true coming-of-age story.
Vlad Kraykulla – Power of the Underground
Beginning with some mad stories about neighbours and the music being too loud, this book captures the 90’s scene pretty well. The ups and downs were a part of that time, every D.I.Y. band had them, but the author makes light of those situations and keeps things flowing, so you won’t lose interest!
Hope Lye – Street Voice
All the antics, every escapade and shower of shenanigans wazzing about the UK Punk scene from the dawn of the 90s through to the early days of the 2000s and wow, it’s a hefty undertaking. It was all new and exciting, wasn’t it? Finding this under the radar network of like-minded folk who traded in the most ridiculous, brutal and strange new sounds. Records when people scoffed at you for still buying them, zines that were wondrously home-made and riotously funny, angry or both, gigs in hidden corners of the UK with bands from all over the world, that nobody else you knew had heard of, but played blistering and thrilling sets just round the corner from where you lived and it was only £1.50 in!
Marv – Gadgie
Thirteen years of travelling in worn-down vans, with crates of CDs, t-shirts, heavy backlines and a few smelly band-members. Sounds like quite an ordeal, and it must have been at times. Yet the D.I.Y. romance just leaps from this book. You can feel the love for the genre, the love for the other bands on the bill. It’s all too recognisable for those who were there at the time, just before the internet exploded, making music or gluing a fanzine together.
Martijn Welzen – Never Mind The Hype
Packed with first-hand stories and focused on the people; artists, promoters, venues, record labels and fanzines, 'A Hardcore Heart' looks at the intricacies of the post-punk genre and bursts with anecdotes that’ll keep you turning the pages. You can pick up a first edition from the Earth Island Books store now.