Mudkiss is perhaps doing itself something of a disservice by describing itself as a fanzine. While it is very much of a labour of love between its editor Melanie Smith, her on-line friend and concert promoter Lorraine Reeves and their small, but dedicated team of half a dozen writers and photographers, that image which usually comes associated with fanzines of wonky word faces, bad typing and crossings-outs simply doesn’t apply. Mudkiss is a slick and professional publication of the finest order.

Mudkiss, which focuses primarily on music from the punk and alternative rock sector, was first established by Smith, who is based in the North West of England, and Reeves, who comes from London, in June 2008.

A book entitled ‘Mudkiss Fanzine Interviews 2008’, which ran to 350 pages and consisted of Mudkiss’s first few months of interviews, came out at this time last year. It has now been followed by a second book, ‘Mudkiss Fanzine Interviews 2009’, which collating together all of Mudkiss’s interviews from last year runs to an even larger length of 416 pages.

An indication of how highly regarded Mudkiss has come in the last two years to be regarded in the punk and alternative rock community is evident in the forward to the new book, which is written by New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders biographer Nina Antonia.

There are extensive interviews with heavyweight artists such as Cockney Rebel’s Steve Harley, Vic Godard, Therapy?, The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Wednesday 13 and John Perry from The Only Ones and also a crop of lesser-known and up-and-coming acts and musicians such as Todd Youth from The Chelsea Smiles, Seymour Patrick from Ten City Nation and Miss Black America, Falling Apart , Dear Superstar and The Adjusters.

Where perhaps Mudkiss excels the most compared to other music publications is in its interviews with those behind the scenes, and there are interviews amongst others too as well with music biographers David Nolan and Zoe Street Howe, Strummerville organiser Phil Fitzpatrick and late 70s and early 80s Liverpudlian music photographer Francesco Mellina.

It could be argued that, as all the interviews in the book are already on-line, ‘Mudkiss Fanzine Interviews 2009’ is a less than compulsory purchase. Smith has, however, added and expanded in her editing on several of the interviews and, with Mudkiss having put an increasing emphasis on photography in recent months, there are several photographs there which are not available in the original documents as well. With interviews that are always in-depth and in their imagination and eye for detail, the Mudkiss team have produced a book that is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the punk and alt. rock sector.

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