With the official launch of 'A Hardcore Heart' in book and records stores, and the Entombed Festival coming up this weekend at The Crypt, David took a trip down to the coast to drop off some more stock at Printed Matter Book & Record Shop in Hastings.
Printed Matter have copies of all the Earth Island punk books on the shelves, along with loads of great titles and hard to find goodies, and Pressing Matters record store downstairs is packed with all sorts of punk, hardcore, ska and rap rarities, also stocking a lot of the Engineer Records releases.
'A Hardcore Heart' focuses on the people in the UKHC scene and the community they built; artists, promoters, venues, record labels and fanzines, and looking at post-punk band’s gigs. The book bursts with ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ anecdotes that’ll keep you turning the pages - until you head out the door to a show!
Printed Matter is an independent community bookshop selling new books on social sciences, social history, culture, fiction & music. There's plenty of vinyl records there too, so it's well worth a visit.
Support the small and independent.
Reviews of 'A Hardcore Heart'...
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
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
‘A Hardcore Heart’ is an invigorating time capsule, of a period before Instagram, Facebook and MySpace, even before mobile phones, sat navs and Google Maps. It wasn’t easy (nothing worth doing ever is) but we somehow made things happen; we stubbornly battered our dreams into reality and bullishly ignored anyone that told us it couldn’t be done. It was a truly inspirational time, when it seemed anything was possible, and a two-bit hardcore band from a leafy town in Kent could share stages and records with the best the world’s hardcore punk scene had to offer.
Ian Glasper, Author of ‘The Scene That Would Not Die’
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 lifestyle, and spells out how he got involved, how it all worked and why it was so intoxicating.
Tony Whatley, Editor of Suspect Device fanzine
A Hardcore Heart is a comprehensive collection of stories narrated by Gamage, a hardcore punk veteran who shares insights into the '90s UK scene in a brilliant, descriptive, and entertaining way. This book will hold your attention until the last pages and hopefully inspire you to start a band, zine, or record label.
Djordje Miladinovic, Editor of Thoughts Words Action blog