cover art for Ep. 11: A History of British Zines

The Fanzine Podcast

Ep. 11: A History of British Zines

Season 2, Ep. 1

THE JAMMING! FANZINE PODCAST is back after a year in exile, now as a Podcast for and about all Fanzines, though still hosted by former Jamming! editor/publisher Tony Fletcher. For this first episode of a new series/season, Tony interviews the authors of the excellent new hardbook book, WE PEAKED AT PAPER: AN ORAL HISTORY OF BRITISH ZINES, namely Gavin Hogg and Hamish Ironside. Before, after and when they could, even during the pandemic, they traveled the length and breadth of the British Isles to track down editors of fanzines dating back to the science fiction era that launched the culture, through the punk, post-punk, new wave, indie and Brit-pop eras of the music fanzines, stopping off to discuss a couple of football fanzines along the way, and ending up in the thriving 2020s world of perzines, compzines, and idiosyncratic little one-off publications in a variety of sizes and some with print runs in the single digits.

It's a fascinating, lovingly compiled, and highly professional book - and the interview covers a similarly wide range of subject matter. Tony, Gavin and Hamish date the first ever British 'fanzine' back to 1936 (Novae Terrae), they debate what defines a fanzine, the commonalities among the various editors they interviewed, the shift from the music press culture (including those of fanzines) as a 'men's club' to the current 'zine fairs predominantly frequented by female editors, the financial struggles experienced by most zine editors, those moments of recognition that make it all worthwhile. And David Icke.

Among the editors and zines referenced in this podcast that were also featured in WE PEAKED AT PAPER:

  • Rob Hansen (Epsillon)
  • Mark Perry (Sniffin' Glue)
  • Mick Middles (Ghast Up)
  • Mark Hodkinson (Untermensch)
  • Pete Paphides (Perturbed)
  • Karen Ablaze (Ablaze!)
  • Siaân Pattendon (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
  • Saskia Holling (Heavy FLow)
  • Saleena Laverne Daye (Without You, I'm Nothing)
  • Elias Nebula (The Hegelian)
  • and of course
  • Hamish Ironside (Soudade) and
  • Gavin Hogg (Bag of Tricks and Candy Sticks)

WE PEAKED AT PAPER can be purchased from Boatwhistle books at

Gavin Hogg's podcast, The Giddy Carousel of Pop, is at

Tony Fletcher can be found at

Tony's latest music, writing and social media can be accessed from

One Step Beyond podcast is at

The Best of Jamming!: Selections and Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up 1977-86 is published by Omnibus Press

'The Jamming! Fanzine Podcast Theme' is by Noel Fletcher.

Logo by Greg Morton.

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  • Ep. 20: What Was The First Ever Fanzine?

    What was the first ever fanzine?When was it published? In what country? What did it write about? Where can I find it? When was the word fanzine coined? By who? Where does it come from? What is a Gestetner? Or a Roneo? Where can I get one? Actually, why should I care?To help answer these questions, I am joined on Episode 20 of my show The Fanzine Podcast by: Hamish Ironside, fanzine editor, book publisher, and co-author of We Peaked At Paper: An Oral History of British Zines; and by Rob Hansen, fanzine editor, archivist, and author of multiple books including Then: Science Fiction Fandom in the UK 1930-1980.Please visit for more information, including visuals of the first ever fanzines, and links to Rob and Hamish's various publications. While there, please subscribe to the weekly newsletter.
  • Ep. 19: Postcard from Post-Punk Scotland with Bobby Bluebell & Alastair McKay

    For an episode playlist, to see covers and pages of these zines, and for much more about the fanzine culture in general, visit Midweek Update #12: Fanzines are Alive & Kicking Edition.In 1980, in Glasgow, Robert Hodgens started Ten Commandments alongside writer Kirsty McNeil and photographer Robert Scott; after four issues, known now as Bobby Bluebell, Hodgens moved to London with his band The Bluebells and became, briefly a pop star.In 1983, between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Alastair McKay started Alternatives To Valium. It lasted four years until Alastair, who freelanced for Jamming! during this time, set off to pursue his dream career as a full-time journalist.Both zines were resolutely Scottish in spirit, and each strongly influenced by Postcard Records, the independent label that called itself 'The Sound of Young Scotland.' In this conversation, Bobby and Alastair compare fanzine notes, share interview stories, and talk about how the Scottish post-punk scene shaped their lives. Alastair additionally talks about how Robert Smith told him The Cure were finished in a 1983 interview he took five months to publish, and why Paul Weller and Mick Talbot tried to punch him at a Red Wedge press conference.Among the fanzines discussed in this episode: Granite City, It Ticked And Exploded, Juniper Berry Berry, Fish Pie Tales, Jungleland, Slow Dazzle and more.Among the bands discussed in this episode: Orange Juice, Simple Minds, Josef K, Fire Engines, The Go-Betweens, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Altered Images, Defiant Pose, The Pastels, Positive Noise, The Fall, Echo & The Bunnymen, Another Pretty Face, The Waterboys, and more.Tony Fletcher’s weekly newsletter, long weekend read, and exclusive access to archived interviews, is at By signing up, you avoid the algorithms of FB & X, and you also have the opportunity to support those creators you want to support.The Bluebells' wonderful new album 'In The 21st Century' is out now on Bluebell can be found on Twitter as @R0Poem and The Bluebells Instagram is @thebluebellsglasgowAlastair McKay's excellent memoir, published in 2022, is, Alternatives To Valium: How Punk Rock Saved A Shy Boy’s Life.Hecan be found on Substack at,The Best Of Jamming!: Selections & Stories from the Fanzine That Grew Up, 1977-86 can be found here and signed copies are available in the USA direct from music by Noel Fletcher. Logo by Greg Morton.  
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  • Ep. 17: Confessions of an Ex-Zine Editor

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