Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Shrieking Violet Issue 8 — a public transport special! (And a mini-tribute to Alex Chilton)/ Salford Zine Library

Here is Issue 8 of the Shrieking Violet — a public transport special encompassing trams — Alessandra Mostyn has described and drawn her favourite tram journey, Finglands buses — Dan Russell offers a mini celebration of Finglands buses accompanied by a collage and trains — I visit Manchester's second train station, Victoria.

Now it's spring, daytrip season has officially started, and April Preston visits the classic seaside resort Blackpool, whilst rollercoaster enthusiast Dave Robinson recreates the thrill of 'woodies' (wooden rollercoasters) with a guide to Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

There is creative writing by Michael Cassidy and a recipe for spicy vegan hot cross buns by Rebecca Willmott.

Adam Faulkner offers part 2 of his guide to contemporary French music and Alexx O'Shea reviews a night of electronic music at the Briton's Protection.

The cover is by Sophie Wilson, an illustrator currently based in Telford, who has a charming range of merchandise for sale here.

For optimum enjoyment, this fanzine should be read whilst listening to the song Choo Choo Train by the Box Tops. Their lead singer, Alex Chilton, who had a number one record in 1967 with The Letter* (an astonishing 1 minute 53 seconds of pop perfection, all tooting horn chords, swirling organ and shimmering strings over Chilton's gravelly almost-blues growl) at the age of 16, went on to form the powerpop group Big Star, who were my favourite band throughout my teenage years (I spent my schooldays trying to learn their songs on guitar). Alex Chilton died at the far-too-young age of 59 last month. I was very sad, so I suppose this fanzine is kind of dedicated to him. The B-Side to Choo Choo Train, Fields of Clover, is also one of my favourite ever songs (actually I think it's quite a lot better than the A-side).


Issue 8 can be downloaded here in pdf form.

Additionally, paper copies might be left in some of the following places: Good Grief (Afflecks Palace), Koffee Pot, An Outlet, Oxfam Originals, Fred Aldous, Oklahoma, Piccadilly Records, Bread and Butter, Cornerhouse, Manchester Craft Centre, Nexus Arts Cafe, Kings Arms.

To have Issue 8 or any back issues* sent to you in the post (free service), email your name and address to

*Here is a page which has the download links of all the back issues too.

The Shrieking Violet can be read online here, although the pages are in printing rather than reading order.

Issues 1-7 of the Shrieking Violet can also be read in Salford Zine Library, which is in the Engine House at Islington Mill.

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