zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Headwinds - Issue #1

A4, 24 pages (23 black and white pages, colour front cover).
 £1.50 (+£1 p&p)

Headwinds… refers to things blowing in the opposite direction to the one you’re moving in,” explains Mike G in the introduction to his fanzine of the same name. This theme of pushing through mainstream culture persists throughout the first issue, which contains comics, band interviews and reviews.

The layout of Headwinds is immaculate; it looks less like a zine and more like something you’d find in your local newsagents nestled between NME and Mojo. The time invested in its quality makes it a pleasant read – there’s no text disappearing into the centre crease or dodgy photocopying going on here.

Whilst aesthetic appeal is important, it means nothing without compelling content. Luckily, Headwinds is as interesting as it is pretty. Given that the zine only costs £1.50 (£2.50 online), I was surprised by just how much content there was – a couple of lengthy interviews, comics, articles, and tons of underground gig reviews – and how decidedly different the items were from those typically seen in mass-produced magazines.   

I particularly enjoyed the interview with Emma, lead singer of The Natterers, which covered topics such as world environmental issues, the perks and dangers of living in a digital age and the declining bat population in the UK. It was weird, and I liked it.

Stranger still was Mike G’s retrospective account of the Treeworgery Tree Festival, which he attended in the summer of 1989. Waiting 28 years after the fact to write about an obscure festival in Cornwall doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t. But it was so well-written that I found myself filled with nostalgia for a place I’d never been, and for a time in which I hadn’t existed. I found myself feeling increasingly wistful for hitch-hiking, serendipitous friendships and weekend tickets for £20.

Headwinds feels like a relic from the past, but it doesn't come across as dated. Perhaps it’s Mike G’s unabashed enthusiasm for the stuff he’s writing about that gives the zine a fresh, current feel, or maybe it’s down to its overall polished appearance. Who knows? The one thing that’s clear is that it’s very tricky to write about underground culture in an accessible way, and Headwinds is an excellent example of how to do it correctly.

To keep up with Headwinds’ latest updates, you can follow @tblastzine on Twitter. You can get a copy of your own through PayPal by emailing tblastzine@gmail.com.

Review by JL Corbett. 

1 comment:

  1. The Treworgey Tree Fayre festival is my favourite too. Very nice review.
    You may also be interested in further information here: http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/treworgey-tree-fayre-1989.html although it's a bit harsh on the eyes


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