März 29th, 2022

Directions to the Outskirts of Town – Punk Rock Tour Diaries from Nineties North America, Welly Artcore

Posted in bücher by Dolf

Earthisland Publishing, 22 Church Road, Turnbridge Wells, TN1 1JP, United Kingdom, www.earthisland.co.uk

In this case, the text on the back cover sums it up well: „In 1994 punk rock fanzine writer Welly Artcore jumped in the van with legendary British punk band CHAOS U.K. for a two month tour around the U.S. Four years later he did it all again with his own band, FOUR LETTER WORD, this time also traveling across Canada. From the impossible drives, to scrapes with the authorities and the bands they shared stages and floors with along the way, with often nothing more than the name of a club on a piece of paper that turned out to be a disused unit in an industrial estate, they somehow made most of the gigs. All the while, he did something so many others don’t, he wrote it all down.“

For some reason I did enjoy reading the diary from the second tour much more than with Chaos UK. If you like tour reports and a view in the past, this is a must read. Sometimes it is too detailed and therefore can get boring for my taste. Then again, it is very authentic, bands do the same day after day on tour and sometimes gigs are good, drives are long and party’s are wild, or just the opposite of it. Either my english should be better or the authors english is too british, find out for yourself. There is also tons of photos, that are usually not more than a snapshot and in many cases very blurry (mostly from the first tour), but at least they give you a break from reading. Some funny story’s and anecdotes from life on the road across the USA, some story’s could have been edited, but that would have meant a loss of authenticity. As you can tell, I‘m a bit ambivalent about the book. But, what I‘m clear about is the quality of the layout. I understand that one might think it is cool to use a old washed out typewriter font to make the book look punk and to use the same piece of map as a layout background on every single page of the book to make it look even more punk. But in this case the endresult only makes it very hard to read and, to even top this technical weakness, the ink of the print is also reflecting light. Especially if one knows the author is a graphic designer for punk bands and labels for over 30 years since, with over 170 published releases to date. One would expect he should have known better. There is also tons of gig flyers and other little graphics and gig lists that make the book definitely a contemporary document. 316 pages, paperback, 14,99 £ (dolf)

Isbn 978-1838356743

[Trust # 212 Februar 2022]

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