LOCAL DIY music zine ISSUE celebrates its tenth anniversary with #79.

The publication was re-launched by Basingstoke’s Neil Duncan after a twenty year hiatus in 2005.

In that ten years, 60 editions have appeared bi-monthly, with over 7,000 copies sold, swapped, traded across not just the south of England - but across the whole country and also abroad.

This epic story of amateur publication is the work of a local, live music enthusiast, Neil Duncan. Like most teenagers he was interested in music and when punk exploded into the consciousness in the late ‘70s he was inspired to get involved.

He played in a band (the Mutant Babies), attended and organised a number of gigs, and started a fanzine with his brothers.

By the mid ‘80s, the band and the zine had run out of steam and Neil's time was taken up by work, family and studies, so he drifted away from live music.

In 2000, however, his past caught up with him and he found himself being drawn back into a world of fast, aggressive music. It was only a matter of time before the urge to return to publishing returned, especially under the pressure of a younger generation who have no experience of fanzines.

In June 2005, ISSUE#19 was released, around 22 years after ISSUE#18 had first appeared. Initially it was focused around the Cat'n'Cakey shows held in St Luke's Hall in Overton, or Testbourne School in Whitchurch.

But very soon other venues in other towns were included as the network of bands, promoters and fanzines expanded. Determined to include as many bands "with attitude" as possible the one or two gigs per month, became one a week, then a couple per week and, for the last few years, he’s been attending three or four gigs per week.

Neil explained: “If I was going to write about local music, I wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about.

“In the past ten years, I have been to 1410 gigs and seen 5907 acts, which includes 2579 unique bands. 1710 of these bands I have only seen once. The 800 or so bands I have seen multiple times, they must have had something special going for them. Life is far too short to waste time on music that does not inspire you.

“My most watched band is home grown and ironically, it is not even a punk band. I have seen classic metallers Karrion 50 times. Anyone who has seen them live needs no explanation why they have scored so highly. Their performances are so memorable and such good fun.


Basingstoke Gazette:

“In some respects, it doesn't matter which band has come first, because the love of music is a very personal thing. Everybody who has taken the time, effort and money to do the music for themselves is worthy of praise. This is an inspiring and rewarding activity carried out for love and not for the hope of earning big bucks.

“The local music scene in Basingstoke is in good health with a huge number of talented of any genre you care to mention. There some great pubs to play in and we are lucky enough to have Jon, Simon and Zoe from Rockbitch running Sanctuary, which is a proper small live music venue. Visiting bands are always impressed by the scene and the welcome they find in Basingstoke.

“I have no plans to hang up my word processor just yet and I am happy to carry on going to shows and writing about them and recording an exciting and vibrant sub-culture, which carries on without any financial assistance from government, local or central, or from the corporate world - this is a thing owned by and open to anyone.”

Find out more about ISSUE online at issuepunkzine.co.uk.

Get in touch with Neil via his Facebook page or Issuepunkzine Facebook page if you are interested in getting a copy of this special bumper Issue.