Saturday, March 21, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015 - Dogs & Vultures Distro

Raw noisy distorted madness. That's the most apt description I could find for our next spotlight - Dogs & Vultures Distro.
Dogs & Vultures is a Dublin based DIY punk distro and label. They've been in operation for a little over a year, and already their back catalogue is looking impressive.

Earlier this year they released the self-titled album by Burnchurch that has been labelled as an album of the year contender. Burnchurch are a hardcore punk band featuring members of Easpa Masa, Rats Blood and Silence. Heartfelt, raucous and heavy is how I would describe Burnchurch, definitely worth a listen.

The band Gaze are another gem in the Dogs & Vultures catalogue. This quartet play d-beat infused hardcore, and feature members of Twisted Mass and Fag Enablerz. They're great!

No only will Dogs & Vultures bring stock from all the deadly acts they have released over the past year., they are also bring lots of 2nd hand LPs, 7 inches, cds. So their whole stock will be there on the day, along with a cheap box of 12"/7"/CDs/zines/patches/whatever they can find lying around. You can't really ask for much more than that, sounds savage!

Dogs & Vultures have recently celebrated their first birthday. Congratulations to all, we need more distros like this in Ireland.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Fooste Revolving

In the melting pot of creativity that is Independents Day, the work of Fooste Revolving to me stands out as being one of the most unique acts of the day (and that is saying something)!

Fooste Revolving AKA Mac the Crouton AKA Ciarán from Leitrim works in various forms. He makes zines. He acts. He makes field recording. He makes installations. He records nature. He goes to Kurdistan and records protests during the Arab Spring.

While I  have yet to see Fooste Revolving's zines, I've been enjoying listening to his field recordings and sound art.  He has been experimenting "working with drones; minimal and darker ambient sounds; fuzz and harsh noises; nature & environmental sounds and old home audio tapes found in charity shops".

His recordings of the protests at the University of Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, in 2011 are particularly interesting. Fooste/Mac/Ciaran was there during the Arab Spring. After the army, the Peshmerga, opened fire into a crowd killing seven civilians, students invited Ciarán to protest, and he have several sound recordings of it on his sound cloud page.

Apart from sound recordings, Ciarán has made instruments and installations at the Hunter's Moon festival, the festival run by those other Independents day favorites Woven Skull

I really can't wait to see what Fooste Revolving bring to Independents Day. You can bet it will be interesting anyway.

Artist Spotlight 2015 - Shelky Bean

 "I like creating mild controversy. And making things that I want to make. And it's great to have Independents Day as an excuse to make things that would otherwise probably remain in my notebook as scribbles, or wispy thoughts in my head".

YES to all of that! 

So we enter into the realm of a truly unique artist, the brilliant Shelky Bean. In the above quote Shelky was referring to her handmade birds (THE BIRDS) that she has made for independents day, and how some people might be tittering about them from a safe distance away. Rather than people sniggering at them, I think they will be one of the 'must have' items on the day. I love the idea of a room full of people walking around the co-op with bird rings. Lets make this happen!!

When she is not making birds, Shelky is also an accomplished painter, illustrator and artist. She has a whole range of amazing things for sale on her website, Duvet cases, iPhone covers and art prints to name but a few.

Shelky said she got into zines cause she "loves the scene that revolves around the creation of these little publications, and how it is so inclusive and diverse". I couldn't agree with you more, and I can't wait to see what "little publications" Shelky brings to the Co-op on Sunday!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015 - Workshop on radical feminism & DIY culture by clementina veganfeminist

Aside from Sunday being an event supporting the independent publishing, film and music scenes, we will also have have workshops on during the day.
Once such workshop I can't wait for is by clementina veganfeminist (lower case on request).

clementina describes herself as an "autistic vegan straight edge feminist & anarchist, who spends her time making zines (mainly about issues such as eating disorders, intimate partner violence ,& my thoughts & dreams for intersectional liberation)". She will be facilitating a workshop on radical feminism and DIY culture, exploring issues through the medium of zines. 

The workshop will be an actual, practical skill  share in making zines! So people will make physical zines at the workshop (yes!). Zines will be made as an exploration of riot grrrl values and their relevance for feminism today, and as an examination of the revolutionary possibilities of DIY culture.

Though I haven't been to clementina's work shop before, she did help us out for a day in the Forgotten Zine Archive last year, and you wont find a more passionate person about zines. The workshop should be great.

It will run from 1:30-2:30 on Sunday, and will be amazing.  Get down early for this, it will be brilliant.

Accessibility to the Co-op

For anyone who hasn't been to the Co-op, or is wondering about how accessible the food co-op as a venue is, there are ramps for access to the main hall and into the exhibition space within it. If you have any access or any facility related issues, please let the person at the front desk know and they will try their best to assist any requests made!

Also, as always, we want we Independents Day to be a positive, inclusive space for creativity, artistic development, constructive thinking to happen! We also want it to be great craic.

If this has not been the case for you during the day, let one of the front desk people know and we will endeavor to help!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Acts playing throughout the day - Zoe and Danae, Anna Mieke and Brían, Xhepa, Seth Elton, Dowth and Cal Folger Day

 Before the bands at the Independents Day Afterparty blow the roof off Tenterhooks, there will be another load of acts playing throughout the day that are definitely worth checking out.

First up we have Jona Xhepa, an artist who works across a host of different mediums. Aside from having a stall selling zines at Independents day, Jona will also be playing folk guitar and sing ballad/jazzy tunes at the event. She also runs a comedy improv/storytelling night called Chronic Jazz. Jona was a great help on the Sunday of the Dublin Zine Fair last year, so looking forward to hearing her tunes (and reading her zines)

Seth Elton just released an EP in December called 13 O'Clock. Seth's influences range from Jazz to Hip Hop to Rock to Blues and back again. It reminds me a bit of Bon Iver or Tim Buckley. I think the Co-op on a lazy Sunday afternoon will be a great place to hear Seth, should be great.

Dowth released their debut song 'Wickerman' last October and it is savage. The band features Tim Ording (Melodica Deathship) on Melodica and Beat Production and John Kelleher (Rats Blood, Burnchurch) on Fiddle. Their video features a sample of visuals from their live set,  it looks incredible. This will be dark, brooding and not to be missed.

Finally we have a jazz chanteuse/chapbook maker/orchestra maestro/former league of Ireland football player (ok so I made that last one up) the brilliant Cal Folger Day. Cal will be singing, playing guitar and selling chapbooks on the day and if her EP's  Adornament (2015) and
Drom-d’reau (2013) are anything to go by, it should be a great show!


There's a few more bands playing throughout the day on Sunday that I would like to give a mention to.
Zoe and Danae will be playing a slot around 1.45. Haven't heard what they sound like, i'm sure they are class though.

And finlly Anna Mieke and Brían. Havent heard the two of them together,  but Brían and his brother Diarmuid play in the band Ye Vagabonds. They play regularly in and around Stoneybatter, in  Walshe’s in Dublin. They sound a bit like Planxty, so looking forward to hearing he and Anna play!

For the set times, check out yet ANOTHER savage poster by Leigh Arthur. This will be some day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: The Forgotton Zine Archive

Today's artist spotlight is more of a spotlight on the works of various original zinesters, the Forgotten Zine Archive.

The Forgotten Zine Archive was started 11 years ago (eleven)!! I love its history.  It was created by Irish zinester, Ciarán Walsh, when himself and 3 friends recognised that the needs of certain members of maginalised groups were not being catered to, and out of a desire to support the independent publishing scene in Dublin, they formed their own archive, and ran it out of a warehouse space using their own personal collections. Made up of around 1200 zines, it was initially opened for a few hours every Sunday, but when the warehouse closed in 2005, the archive moved to Seomra Spraoi, and has moved with Seomra to various locations around the city. The zine archive’s primary role has been as a curated memory institution within which Irish zines could be both preserved, and made available to the public. It has survived by picking up donations and existing in various states of care and neglect, and  its contents now stand at around 2000 items – including many non-English and internationally published items.

Shortly after finding a new home in Seomra, the collection was brought to Italy as part of Sarah Pierce's Monk's Garden Project at that year’s Venice Biennale and then on to a follow-up show at Cork’s Glucksman Gallery in 2006. Later that year the archive was involved in a number of small-scale exhibitions at Docklands City Cycle and in Pride Dublin. Ciarán Walsh and Anto Dillon of Loserdom organised an exhibition called "Zine Show – A celebration of Zines and Do-It-Yourself publishing in the form of an exhibition of zines/zine art (both Irish and international)." The exhibition was a collection of covers from the Forgotten Zine Archive, which were displayed along the wall of a Dublin bookstore, and attendees were given freesheets and handouts to take home. That exhibition could almost be viewed as a precursor to Independents Day, as it featured a range of activities from people involved in the local zine/underground scene, which included readings by local zinesters and acoustic music. 

There was a great buzz about the zine archive at the time, but a combination of exhibition funding drying up and those involved with the archive moving away meant that it quickly fell on hard times later the next year. It essentially went into cold storage.

Three years ago a group of librarians took it out of storage, classified and catalogued it. We quickly formed an alliance with another group set up in Dublin - the Dublin Zine Collective (formerly Eddie Pie Hands Printing) and have been trying to foster the independent publishing scene through various activities, such as workshops, meet-ups and an exhibition in the Centre for Creative Practices, at the Dublin Zine Fair last year.

The Forgotten Zine Archive is the only independent, dedicated zine archive in the country. Zines are items of ephemera, they are not created with long-term storage in mind. The fact that the archive has survived for 11 years is remarkable.  It survives on donations. Ultimately we would like to be a repository for physical zines made in Ireland. So if anyone has any zines they would like to donate, either get in touch with Tom Maher or me, or drop down to Independents Day, where will will have a stall selling zines, and the archive will be on display for people to browse through.

The zine archive is more than just a collection of zines. It is an archive of print and DIY culture in Ireland, dating back to the 1970's. A lot of what is written about in zines is not being covered else where. By making and distributing zines, the zine community is creating its own historical records, and that is why it's important to archive zines, least this history would be forgotten.

Today the Forgotten Zine Archive exists as a space to empower the disenfranchised, and as a platform for lending their voices extra weight. While individually the content within zines speaks for itself, when these forgotten zines are brought together, it amplifies their voices all the more.That's the role of any memory institution worth it's salt, and that role is a vital one.

God save the zine!!

(You can read more about the work of the forgotten zine archive in various blog posts, academic journal articles or on our twitter of Facebook pages. Sound!)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: One More Robot

One More Robot is an independent, pop culture print magazine, published quarterly in Dublin. The brainchild of Dean Van Nguyen, it covers a whole variety of topics, including music, film, art, literature, the Internet, media, technology, books, (inhale) politics, sexuality, gender, beauty, current affairs, living in Dublin, and anything else that takes his fancy. 

One More Robot has always had a DIY spirit running through it. It was started 5 years ago when Dean was working as a freelance journalist. Looking for a means to showcase his editing skills, and to "help pass the time during those first few barren months", he decided to publish his own magazine. 

What I like most about One More Robot is how much more in depth its articles are than most magazines. In this twitter era that we live in, the content (to me anyway) in lot of papers or magazines just seems to be getting continuously smaller.  Its almost as if we only trust people to read things if they are given in short, sharp blurbs. One More Robot purposefully has longer features, allowing the writer a chance to display his skills, and offering us punters something a bit more comprehensive to get stuck into.

It's also great how the magazine supports other independent Irish artists. It regularly has features on unsigned  Irish bands, or books or media. Content wise its as good as anything on the shelves at the moment.

If you can't make Independents Day and would like to check out the magazine, you can pick  it up in 
independent stores in Dublin that stock One More Robot: The RAGE, The Winding Stair, All City and White Lady Art. Also, you can buy it online via


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Suzy City

Leigh Arthur is one very talented individual.  An animator, illustrator, musician, she seems to excel at all.

As Suzy City, Leigh produces DIY screen printed comics, zines, flipbooks, pin badges and t-shirts. I guess her most recognisable work is her classic charachter Suzy, who picks her nose, burns down  youth clubs and legs it from the cops. The Suzy t-shirts are deadly

Leigh's work has featured in publications like Rabble and One More Robot Magazine. She has also made video's for bands such as the #1's and September Girls. Her mini-comic Strongman Jones is one of my favourite zines. I don't know what it is about it, but I just love how happy Strongman Jones looks twisting his body inside out. It's amazing!

An active supporter and promoter of independent publishing, you will find Leigh at events like the Dublin Zine Fair and the Christmas market in Smithfield. She is one of the organisers of this years Independents Day, she even designed both posters for it. How incredible are these!! If the event is half as good as these posters it will be some day!

Leigh's also a member of the garage rock band 'Sissy', who released their debut ep last year. It's savage and they were named as one of 'The Thin Air's' 15 for ’15 (15 acts to look out for in 2015).

In summation, Leigh Arthur is a legend. You should buy all her stuff!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015 : Splitting Borders

Gareth Gowran and Sadhbh Lawlor are two über talented zinesters. The duo produce Splitting Borders, a web zine which is also a physical comic. Their work is exceptionally good. They produce beautiful, handmade DIY comics, prints and textile pieces, with a subtle dark humor.

Created in 2013, Gareth and Sadhbh describe Splitting Borders mantra as "Live it (awkwardly). Muse over it. Write about it. Draw it. Post it on your web-comic. Print your web-comic. Bring it to the fair".  Hopefully the 'live it awkwardly' part is just fiction for my currrent favourite of  theirs 'The perpetrating husband and his melancholic wife".

Gareth has done character design work for publishing companies, along with illustrating for Atomic Diner and BeActive Media. Sadhbh is a self confessed art "machine fueled by fine art and craft techniques" and has been making commissioned work for the last ten years.


I love their alphabet zine I got at last years Dublin Zine Fair. It came with a beautiful envelope of the image from the front cover of a man swimming through words, and is elegant and lovely and good for your vocabulary. 'C is for Cryptozoology' gets me every time!

If you haven't seen their blog yet, check it out. It's brilliant, and regularly updated. They seem to be consistently prolifically good. Drop down to Independents day in the Co-op on March 22nd and see for yourself!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Twoheadeddog Art

Independents Day on March 22nd will showcase various forms of independent artists. There will be comic writers, zinesters, musicians playing throughout the day, independent film screenings and one artist who likes to make art from lumps of scrap found on a railroad - Twoheadeddog Art.

Aside from making these incredible pieces, Twoheadeddog art also makes record designs,book cover designs, amazing pictures and I really love this piece:

From reinvigorating discarded materials to drawings of snarling wolves, I think you can really sense a punk influence throughout. Twoheadeddog's work is original and striking and I can't wait to see what they display at Independents Day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Loserdom

For today's zine of the day I have the absolute pleasure of talking about one of the seminal zines in Irish history, the exemplary, Loserdom.

There are zines made in Ireland, and then there is Loserdom,  a D.I.Y. punk, political zine, made by the Loser Brothers - Anto and Eugene Dillon. 

Loserdom was first released in 1996 as a free sheet, and was given out at gigs and in record stores.  Around issue four it took it's classic format of featuring a cover, articles, interviews, reviews, and comics by Eugene. It was always closely aligned to the punk, DIY gig scene, and has remained that way to this day (issue 23). Albeit, featuring more on cycling now than was evident in the first few issues.

Both brothers have also released class solo zines. Eugene in the form of 'And they are saying', 'Open shirts and raised collars', and 'I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me to see me looking back from you'(to name but a few)  which we have a copy of in the Forgotten Zine Archive.

I really like Anto's 'Promise me skies' zine. It features stories of Anto traveling around Spain, living in Scotland and putting on gigs. It's really well written, very accessible. When you read it you think I could do that, and this is the case with Loserdom too. I think that is a testament to it's brilliance, and I wonder how many people have been inspired to make their own zines after reading it over the past 20 years.

If you haven't read Anto's thesis on the History of Irish zines, I really recommend doing so. As someone who also did a thesis on zines, it is essential reading, and is a brilliant record of a culture little known, or misrepresented in main stream publications. 

These men have done a lot for the zine/independent DIY community in Ireland. Even this very event 'Independents Day' was set up by Anto (along with Barry Lennon). I'm delighted that the Loser brothers have a table at this years event. 

Loserdom's almost 20 years old now, here's hoping we see another 20 more of it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015 : Bands playing the Afterparty - Wild Rocket, Cruising and Woven Skull

To coincide with the announcement of the bands playing the afterparty at Independents Day, and Leigh Arthur's incredible poster for it, today's artist spotlight will feature the bands playing the after-show, and what a line up it is.

Following the day of various events in the Co-op for Independents Day 2015, we reckoned everyone will be having such a great time that no one will want to leave. So, we're having an afterparty next door in the BYOB space of Tenterhooks from 7pm. Suggested donation is €5, though you won't be turned for lack of funds. To me this line up is definitely worth a fiver in.

I've heard terms such as space metal, psych rock, grunge or stoner rock used to describe our first act - Wild Rocket. They certainly have that dirge'y base sound and repetitive grooves in spades.
2014 was a busy year for them, as it saw them release their debut album "Geomagnetic Hallucinations", along with playing gigs with luminaries such as the enigmatic former Can frontman  Damo Suzuki, and seminal Dublin Krautrockers Twin Kranes. I think they're absolutely savage. They really remind me of the band Loop, and seeing these in a venue like Tenterhooks is not to be missed. 

Cruising are a punk band featuring members with funny names who are also members of other bands. I love how dirty and distorted this sounds, it's almost like a punkier Delta 5, or a female fronted Joy Division. This will be rockin!

And finally, music made in the haunted woods under the sacrificial moon in the wilds of Ireland, the incomparable Woven Skull. Other than seeing these play inside a ring fort, on a full moon on an outdoor session, a dark, intimate venue like Tenterhooks will be perfect.

Three savage acts to wrap up a savage weekend.

My advice for Independents Day is to come early, bring cans and take the Monday off work the day after!

Not to be missed.

The link to the Facebook event is:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Mice Hell

The indpendent publishing "scene" (for want of a better word) in Ireland is made up of all sorts. 

Punks who can't wait to tell you how much better Crass are than Conflict.
Introverts, cutting and pasting together zines in their rooms, oblivious to the laws of space and time.

Then there are artists who like to cycle around Dublin throwing rolled up art pieces at unsuspecting passers by.

Mice Hell is a member of the latter. 
Mice Hell (Michelle) is a multidisciplinary artist who works across many different forms, including in print, drawing, video and performance. She describes herself as making "zines & postcards about folklore & bins & the like". This goes someway to describing her work, but i'd have to add that everything she makes seems to be interesting. 

Whenever I see her stuff I always think "ahh, I wish I'd thought of doing that".
For example, make a zine about skips in Dublin - Wish I'd thought of that.
Sell postcards with Jean Byrne giving an old Irish curse on them - Wish I'd thought of that.
Make some of the nicest home brew you will ever have - Wish I could do that!

She gets inspiration from things like Pussy Riot, the Castletown Donkey Derby and St Brigid.
Last time I met her she was going off to make a crumhorn. Who the fuck makes a crumhorn?? What even is a crumhorn??

Mice Hell, that's who!

A stalwart of the independent scene, an amazing artist and a dead sound person, I really can't recommend her stuff enough. 

The Mice. The Myth. The legend!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: The Runt

The Runt Zine

How do you even start to describe the Runt?

 I guess you could start by saying its an arts and creative writing, collaborative zine. That it's run by a rag-tag bunch of misfits and renegades.

If the Runt was a football team, it would be Wimbledon in the early 90's.

Some of the people who contribute to it include:
Richard "War on Slugs" Howard

Boris Belony, (aka Stephen Hughes),  long-term contributor to the Irish independent publishing scene, whose own zine 'Boris Belony' is an out-and-out classic!

And then there's Colm Kearns. The boho, space cowboy of Dún Laoghaire.  The price of admission to Independents Day is worth it alone just to chat to Colm. Just watch this for a performance!

They've published 6 issues of original fiction, poetry and art based around the central theme of each issue. Their last issue was based around outer space, while the next one will focus on dreams and nightmares.

The Runt is class, so pick up all 6 copies at Independents Day.

Check them out on
and YouTube:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Cameron 'Big Bird' Ross

Ahh Wellington. My home from home, take me back!

The "coolest little capital" in the world is home to many great things; Flight of the Conchords, the Embassy cinema and Te Papa museum to name but a few.  It's also home of one of the best zine fairs around, Wellington Zinefest!

Our next Artist Spotlight features a former Wellington Zinefest 'Best of Fest' award winner -
Cameron 'Big Bird' Ross.

Cameron has been making the zine "Always Never Fun" for a number of years. It is a DIY, punk hardcore zine (issue 6 won the aformentioned best of fest award in 2012).

He also runs a distro Always Never Fun Records. It focuses on limited New Zealand Punk and Hardcore Vinyl. He distro's NZ and Aussie vinyl, cds and tapes as well. Check out this for a promotional poster, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key squatting on the Beehive (NZ Parliament) ....savage!

If anyone wants to buy any  records, cd's or tapes off him, send him an email at Other than that, come along to Independents Day on March 22nd and see for your self!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Artist Spotlight 2015: Blackshapes Books

A couple of years ago a friend of mine described Philip Barrett as one of the greatest Irish writers living today, in any medium. 

"Hah, sure he is"' I thought dismissively. 

Then I read some of his stuff. His work is absolutely incredible! 

His output is so consistently good. Just look at his back catalogue, which includes
Blackshapes - about a would-be writer struggling to write to the detriment of his home and work life,  'Ricky'- an eerie tale about childhood friends, Where's Larry? - a would be Irish 'Where's Wally?' and the stone cold classic 'The Littlest Arsonist'.

Philip has been self-publishing comics since 2001,and is a long-time supporter of the independent scene in Ireland, appearing at events such as the Dublin Zine Fair and Independents Day, he even helped get the ball rolling on the Dublin Comic Jam.

Chances are if you are not aware of Philips stuff, you have probably seen it somewhere, as his illustrations and comics have appeared in publications as diverse as the Irish Times and Rabble.

 Philip set up  Blackshapes Books in 2014 to publish longer form graphic novel work, showcasing some of his own work(like his collection of short comics ‘In Bits’), alongside work of other talented Irish comics artists, like John Robbin’s ‘Unlucky Unlikely'.


It's because of people like Philip Barrett that we have a vibrant independent publishing scene in Ireland. Not only does he teach classes on how to draw comics, but he also helps out giving workshops at events like the launch of the Dublin Zine Collective (formerly Eddie Pie Hands Printing). 

 I highly recommend you to check out his stuff at Independents Day.