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What they said about Ablaze!:

“There are other people to condemn, Karren – aren’t there?” - Morrissey

“I forgive and hope for Karren A” – Thurston Moore

“Fuck off!” – Ian Brown

Praise for The City Is Ablaze!:

“It’s a cacophony of voices. It’s the most moving music-related thing I’ve read since Kristin Hersh’s memoir a couple of years ago. In its dreaming, its manifestos, its desire to change the world, it reminds me of those old Situationist journals more than anything else. You can even argue that Riot Grrrl was their May ’68, a brief fleeting moment when the revolution they’d hoped for seemed inevitable.” – Scott Creney, Collapse Board

“Karren Ablaze! was a publishing renegade: in an era when music mags are slaves to the record labels’ latest folly, it’s easy to see Ablaze! as something of a thoughtleader… [The book is] more than just a good read or a smirk-invoking trip down memory lane... it also makes us proud, excited and hopeful again about the future for girls in music and the music business.” – Ngaire Ruth, The Girls Are

“Not only a valuable document of the underground media of its period, but a sharp reminder of the ideology of the underground.” – John Robb, Louder Than War

Ablaze! fanzinewas published in Manchester and Leeds in the late eighties and early nineties by Karren Ablaze!

The best bits of this notorious and outspokenly passionately zine are now available in book format. Alongside hundreds of zine pages, The City Is Ablaze! features new writings by Karren and other members of the Ablaze! team, as well as interviews with fanzine writers John Robb (Rox), Dave Haslam (Debris) and Richard Johnson (Grim Humour), essays by DIY cultural commentators Lucy Cage and Deborah Withers, a re-examination of the Riot Grrrl movement by those who were part of it, and an epilogue by Gary Jarman.

This 320-page A4 book also covers other zines that Karren produced in Manchester and Leeds between 1984 and 1994, capturing an era where DIY was de rigueur and indie actually meant something.

You’ll be able to read original interviews with the following bands (in chronological order).

Eyeless In Gaza • The Membranes • The Stone Roses • The Inca Babies • Tools You Can Trust • The Bodines • Inspiral Carpets • The Pastels • The Janitors • Happy Mondays • King of the Slums • The Dust Devils • The Shamen • Cud • Sonic Youth • Dinosaur Jr • The Pixies • Throwing Muses • The Sundays • Thrilled Skinny • Rapeman • UT • Dog Faced Hermans • Edsel Auctioneer • Mudhoney • AC Temple • fIREHOSE • Band of Susans • Henry Rollins • Live Skull • Kilgore Trout • The Sun and The Moon • The Breeders • Happy Flowers • Silverfish • The Keatons • The Stretchheads • Pregnant Neck • Mayomberos Alive • Fluff • Archbishop Kebab • Nirvana • Pale Saints • Mercury Rev • The Heart Throbs • Babes in Toyland • American Music Club • Hole • Pavement • My Bloody Valentine • Shudder To Think • The Wedding Present • Leatherface • Nation of Ulysses • Tsunami • Poster Children • Sugar • Moonshake • Hood • Polvo

The book also includes irate letters from Morrissey and Thurston Moore.

The City Is Ablaze!reads like a musical history of the late eighties and early nineties, a history that could only be obtained by surfing the sliproads, sneaking backstage at a thousand shows, sleeping on strangers’ floors and living to type up the tales of the sounds that defined an era.

Buy the book here.


Mittens On Publishing, 145-149 Cardigan Road, Leeds LS6 1JL, UK.