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TQ and the return of the zine

Andy Wood

Many people like to have 'things', and there's a whole lot of people who appreciate stuff that has been created by amateurs who are doing their best with limited resources, and where the passion of the creator can be 'felt' in the product.

I'm not just talking zines here, but in all areas of art, including films, painting, poetry, collage, music, performance.

I have never visited many blogs (although there are a few I dip into from time to time), I prefer to have something I can hold, put down and pick up.

Many people spend their working hours sat in front of a screen, and I think more and more are sick of spending leisure time in front of one too, whether that be computer, phone, I-pad, or TV, and now watches!

News is also widely available on-line, including international, national, and local newspapers, but I predict that we will see a resurgence in actual newsPAPERS too, maybe not for a few years, but it will happen.

Theres something sensual that a physical product offers that the electronic medium doesn't, and we all need a bit of sensation in our lives. TQ looks, feels and even damn well smells good.

I read about music and noise extensively, (and of course attend gigs), and have done since I was about 12 years old, although then it was through pretty mainstream UK music papers (noise didn't figure as a genre back then), like Melody Maker, Sounds, NME, Zig Zag, and Rolling Stone, with the odd IT and OZ for good measure. Then it was onto The Wire, Record, Electronic Sound, Long Live Vinyl, Mojo, Crack, The Move etc...

All that time I was also reading any zines I came across, although they were few and far between as I really wasn't 'connected' to the punk/ DIY scene as such. I was also an avid listener to John Peel, and he was primarily responsible for getting me to where I am now in regard to my tastes which are pretty far ranging.

In terms of current zines, I enjoy and take inspiration from Personal Best which is an occasional periodical produced by Lasse Marhaug in Norway, Dynamite Hemorrhage produced by Jay Hinman in San Francisco, and Deluxe produced by Rupert Morrison of Drift Records in Totnes, Devon, here in England.

I simply keep my ears and eyes very wide open, and of course there's nothing like personal recommendations from friends, as well as twitter and FaceBook 'mates'. I am now starting to receive stuff unsolicited for possible review which is always fun, and exciting. I'd like to receive a little more than I currently do, and I think this may happen when the zine gets more established, and hopefully people start to have faith in my writing and recommendations.

I only write and include positive reviews. Why would I waste 28 pages describing stuff I suggest readers don't buy or support? TQ is a forum for exposing material I consider is worth spending hard earned cash on.

Luke Turner, co-founder and editor of The Quietus, recently wrote a great piece of music journalism when he offered a critique of why reviewers should not buckle under the critical and financial pressure to always write a positive review. An excellent piece that every reviewer, performer, magazine, paper and fanzine owner should read, read again.

My hat is doffed to Mr. Turner, and I whole-heartedly agree with him, however if you come to TQ looking for negativity and harsh criticism, you've come to the wrong place mate.

To paraphrase John Peel; 'all I ever want to do is listen to music that I like, and introduce it to other people', and I hope I'm succeeding through the pages of TQ. Every word is from the heart, and every TQ contributor is passionate about their subject. When I was a student nurse back in the 70's, I wrote a music section in the hospitals monthly journal News and Views. I co-wrote a review of TUSK Festival and contributed to Crack and Deluxe a couple of years ago. I also periodically present on local radio, and this gives me another outlet for pushing some more 'left-field' sounds.

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In April this year (2017) I voluntarily reduced my commitment to paid employment by going from full time to a 3 day week. I suppose it's the first step towards retirement.

As music is my only real hobby that I am passionate about, and with too much pontificating about setting up a blog, I got to thinking about a zine.

As I read such a lot about music, I thought why not write about it and see if any one's interested in my opinions and views about stuff.

So, I suppose it was my attempt at combining my love of listening to music with reading about it, and hey presto, TQ was born in July this year.

In actual fact, I suppose the genesis of TQ was when me and a very good mate started knocking around ideas about starting a music blog. We spent so much time thinking and talking about it, but never got it started. So I thought I'd go it alone with TQ, although my mate Al is a great supporter and contributor to the zine

I was also inspired by those zines I've already mentioned, as well as real cut n paste DIY zines like Hiroshima Yeah! produced by Mark Ritchie, and Totally Nang produced by Dee, although I'm not sure the latter is still operational, both those are produced in Scotland. Also, The Chapess edited by Cherry Styles which provides a great platform for some pretty amazing female writers.

TQ is in its 11th week and already has 60 subscribers as well as a growing number of people seeking one-off purchases. I assume the one-offs is people taking a look at TQ to see if it's for them.

I've had a few endorsements from artists whose work has been covered in the zine, and this has been very encouraging. One band has included the review on their site, one duo has even contacted me to say they may record again on the strength of a positive review.

Terrie Hessels, guitarist with The Ex, was very complimentary, Davy Reed, Editor of Crack music paper has also offered some very encouraging praise, and I recently received a great endorsement on twitter from Jay Hinman of Dynamite Hemorrhage.

The biggest thrill of all is the fact that people are warming to the fact that print is back, and TQ is great to see in print.

I have received a few requests for the zine to be available in PDF, but I don't wish to do so at the moment, as the whole ethos is based on a zine made of paper!

However, although I do have subscribers in the States and Canada, I am aware that postage costs can be prohibitive, so I haven't completely ruled out making the zine available as a PDF to interested parties abroad, and I may re-visit this in several months once more established.

The October issue has just been posted to subscribers and I'm very pleased with it.

The main feature is an interview with Richard Sanderson, curator of the eclectic 'Linear Obsessional' label.

A review of the 1970 album 'Shooting at the Moon' by Kevin Ayers and The Whole World is part of an on-going 'Classics Revisited' feature. There are sixteen album reviews covering lo-fi, cut-up montage, horror, black metal, tape splicing manipulation, vocal gymnastics, dark ambient drone, and a singer songwriter!

Issue 4 also includes a piece by a guest writer who saw This Heat perform to a very small audience in 1980 in a school hall in the North East of England.

In addition, I've already had some great feedback about this month's cover design and the colour. It is amazing, and I have Ash Cooke to thank for that. Ash has been on-board as cover designer and creator from issue 2, and he is helping give TQ a certain brand image while maintaining the DIY aesthetic.


Editor's note: The zine is the literary equivalent of a DIY album. Assembled by hand and driven by a desire to turn readers/listeners on to something they've never seen (or heard) before. The zine (short for magazine or fanzine) is usually a short-form publication- and they vary in terms of quality and duration. In this article, Andy Wood, writer, editor, and publisher of TQ shares the story about what drove him to start a paper-based zine, which is becoming known as one of the more well written music publications, from scratch.

You can connect with TQ via twitter or go to the TQ web site for more info.

this is not a photograph

print is back,
and TQ is great to see in print


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