David Gamage is a respected figure in the UK hardcore scene, having contributed to its growth and development for over three decades. His influence is undeniable, as he not only promotes bands and authors through Engineer Records and Earth Island Books but also actively participated in bands such as Joeyfat, Couch Potatoes, Rydell, Come The Spring, and now plays in The Atlantic Union Project. His unwavering dedication to the UKHC scene is evident in the release of 350+ records under Engineer Records and around 20 books published under Earth Island Books.
It is important to note that David’s contributions to the scene stem from a genuine passion and a selfless heart. Being deeply entrenched in the underground music community, he understands the DIY ethos and the idea that the scene takes more than it gives. Despite this, David dedicated himself to supporting emerging artists/bands without seeking personal gain. “
A Hardcore Heart: Adventures In A DIY Scene” is David Gamage’s first book, excluding his earlier collection of zines, “Punk Faction BHP ’91 to ’95,” which he later published as a book. Having had the privilege of reading an early version of the book, I was captivated by the level of detail David infused into the narrative. The book provides a profound and immersive exploration of the late 1980s and early 1990s, offering a vivid depiction of what life was like for a young punk rocker in Royal Tunbridge Wells during that era.
This time, David provided me with a hardcover version, where he included quotes and reviews from the underground music and literal outlets, including myself. This upgraded/expanded version shines bright in all its glory thanks to a high-quality cover that will preserve this literal masterpiece for decades. It’s also good to read that “A Hardcore Heart: Adventures In A DIY Scene” gets well-deserved praise from many respected/renowned names from the DIY punk rock scene, because David really put a lot of time and effort while recollecting, researching, writing, assembling stories and pieces that will become his debut literal piece. Therefore, “A Hardcore Heart: Adventures In A DIY Scene” is probably one of the most comprehensive, well-written punk rock books you’ll stumble upon. One particular aspect that stands out in the book is David’s ability to contextualize the events within a larger historical framework. By incorporating significant details from the world at that time, readers gain a broader understanding of the cultural backdrop against which the UKHC scene flourished. Furthermore, David showcases his writing prowess, showcasing an impressive command of storytelling that belies the fact that this is his debut book. The stories within “A Hardcore Heart” are imbued with a healthy dose of humor, ensuring that readers will find themselves laughing while reading.
The book takes readers on a comprehensive journey, delving into the realms of Couch Potatoes, Rydell, Come The Spring, The Atlantic Union Project, BHP Zine, and Engineer Records. However, it also encompasses numerous other local and international bands, zines, labels, and promoters that have shaped and continue to shape the underground scene. Expect mentions of influential bands like Green Day, NOFX, Alice Donut, Spermbirds, Samiam, Down By Law, Hot Water Music, Leatherface, Piebald, among many others. The interconnectedness of these bands and the harmonious manner in which they collaborated, all without the aid of social media or the internet, is genuinely remarkable. David also provides insights into the straight-edge, vegetarian, and vegan movements that were prevalent in the UK during that time. Readers gain an understanding of how these ideologies influenced and shaped the UK scene, allowing them to appreciate the larger cultural context in which the music thrived. David’s attention to detail and willingness to delve into the depths of these movements give readers a sense of immersion, allowing them to feel like a part of the experience.
“A Hardcore Heart: Adventures In A DIY Scene” is an exceptional book that offers a brilliant, descriptive, and entertaining glimpse into the UKHC scene of the 1990s. David Gamage’s knowledge and personal experiences lend authenticity and credibility to the stories shared within its pages. From start to finish, the captivating narratives will hold your attention and, hopefully, inspire you to embark on your creative journey within the DIY scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to order this remarkable book from
Earth Island Books.