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cover art for Ep. 19: Postcard from Post-Punk Scotland with Bobby Bluebell & Alastair McKay

The Fanzine Podcast

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 tonyfletcher.substack.com. 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 https://shop.lastnightfromglasgow.com/products/the-bluebells-in-the-21st-century

Bobby Bluebell can be found on Twitter as @R0Poem 

and The Bluebells Instagram is @thebluebellsglasgow


Alastair 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 https://alastairmckay.substack.com,


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 https://tonyfletcherauthor.bandcamp.com/merch/


Theme music by Noel Fletcher. Logo by Greg Morton.


 

 

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