We’re happy to have new original interviews with six different women linked with music – Chas Hines, Julianne Regan, June Miles-Kingston, Holly Ross, Gee Vaucher and Wendy James are diverse artists but all are inspirational. If you’re a fan of any of their bands – including Transvision Vamp, Crass, The Lovely Eggs, Angelica, Mo-dettes, The Communards, All About Eve or Bona Rays there’s loads to enjoy, with groovy colourful pages and new photographs. At the moment, you have to buy the printed zine to read these interviews, but we may eventually publish them online as part of the punkgirldiaries blog. Click the link at the bottom of the post or visit the blog store.
Punkgirldiaries is not one of those pure nostalgia blogs, where we wish we were all young again and it’s perpetually 1977, or 1982 or even 1994. We’re fascinated by the idea that the original punk movement got a load of women involved in making their own music, and that new generations of girls continue to see those musicians as inspirations. Nothing’s perfect – the DIY spirit is inevitably a bit dishevelled and all mouth – but here at punkgirldiaries we want to draw together the past, present and future to record how it was in the days of clunky technology and rampant sexism, what those grown-up punk girls are doing now and where we can find people with the same kind of spirit and attitude who are playing great music in 2020 and beyond.
We have original art on the front of each zine, and hand-number each copy. We only printed 200 copies of zine 1 (now all sold) so we’ve done 400 copies of zine 4. It’s got an ISBN and barcode because we want the zines to be a permanent record, part of English-language culture and obtainable world-wide.
We were particularly pleased to interview Black British singer Chas Hines, who recorded a single in 1978 that wasn’t released at the time. Chas tells her story of how she joined the punk band Bona Rays and how the single came to be released 40 years later. Guitarist and frontwoman with The Lovely Eggs, Holly Ross has lots of forthright views in her interview. The DIY punk ethic and the involvement of fans underlies the running of the band and record company. And Holly has a strong working-class feminist message for girls in bands about how you can keep on playing even with a baby in tow. We had a fun zoom call with Julianne Regan of All About Eve, where she told us about her work now as a lecturer in songwriting, helped us appraise some classic Christmas hits and recalled some of her own Christmas memories. Having recently discovered how good the new Wendy James album is, we were pleased that she was able to talk with us about growing up and rebelling through punk rock; joining Transvision Vamp and increasingly taking on more roles – songwriting, arranging, production in her own band that’s had to delay a world tour until next year. June Miles-Kingston talks about her first band Mo-dettes, whose single ‘White Mice’ is a post-punk classic. June describes touring and talks about why the band broke up after just 3 years. After Mo-dettes came drumming with Fun Boy 3, Everything But The Girl and The Communards among many others; June was the in-demand ’80s fashionable drummer. She was a delight to interview and has so many great stories about many bands, as well as gig ephemera that she let us see! The big interview that we were honoured to be able to do in (socially distanced) person is with Gee Vaucher. An important member of the Crass collective, Gee contributed brilliant paintings and other design work as well as being there at the performances. She still makes art and shares her views on current affairs, sexism and the role that Crass played over the years in challenging the system.
As well as the 22 pages of original interviews, we include original art, jolly photos and recycled comic strips as well as articles about Nico, The Shaggs and The Slits. We investigate what it’s like being in a Blondie, Siouxsie or Ramones tribute band and Lene Cortina recalls a significant Stranglers gig from 1980.
If you like reading about popular music, love punk rock, or arty zines you might just like Blogzine 4.
People of all ages in countries around the world seem to like the publication. Here’s some reviewer comments:
Sumptuous … A feast for the eyes’ – Gary Crowley
‘It’s the poshest zine I’ve ever seen’ June Miles-Kingston drummer Mo-dettes, Communards
‘a great punky zine that gathers great info and puts a new twist on it with great production value. Well worth getting.’ Independent Bookshop.com
‘Great content and presentation, featuring interesting interviews from strong and creative women…highly recommended’ – Pauline Murray
‘Punkgirldiaries is a thing of fire & wonder – brilliant to see in print’ – Blue Astronaut
‘Quietly becoming something rather wonderful’ – Liz Naylor
‘Always a fab read’ -Nicola Meighan BBC Radio Scotland
‘A cracking mag’ – The Nightingales
‘A real treat’ – Lucy O’Brien
‘They are the eccentric aunties I never had’ – Cazz Blaise
‘Fabulous content…badass design’ – Louder Than War
‘Top zine! Buy it!’ – Jon Savage
‘Classy and brassy’ – Scottish Post Punk
Oh and we did make a promo video for the zine!