The big picture at the top of this article shows the gig listings for The Hop, Wakefield from August 2012 to February 2013. It’s not exhaustive; it’s just the ones that were picked to be advertised on the back of Rhubarb Bomb. The list goes like this:
Retarded Fish / That Fucking Tank / Protectors / Imp
H.Hawkline / The Spills / R.Seilog
Allo Darlin’ / This Many Boyfriends / IMP
Piney Gir / Mi Mye / Adam Killip / Correatown
The Spills / Fever Dream
Wussy / American Werewolf Academy / Piskie Sits
The Twilight Sad + Supports
Gagglewire / T.Weezer / Fungazi
Shwervon! / Fur Blend / The Sunbeams / Balloons
UK Subs 35th Anniversary Tour / The King Crows / Bleed
Blacklisters / The Spills / Two Trick Horse / Allusondrugs
Billy Lunn (The Subways) + Supports
Nine Black Alps / Piskie Sits / Aztec Dolls
Jonnythefirth’s Broken Bones Orchestra / Skint & Demoralised / Secret Society
Runaround Kids EP Launch
Christmas Eve with Mi Mye
This Is The Kit + Supports
Wakey Wheeled Cats NYE Party
Steve Diggle (Buzzcocks) + supports
I was going to simply share this image on Facebook as a bit of “remember these gigs, good wasn’t it?” But I started to think a little more about it. A problem I had for Rhubarb Bomb is that I had to pay for the majority of the printing costs myself. It was incredibly hard to get people to pay £50 to take a page of advertising. It felt like a small price to pay, even though the zine was produced on a small scale of a couple of thousand copies.
The manager at The Hop at the time was great, and always supported us. When he left, that stopped. It made me think about the ecology of what was happening. A venue investing just £50 for an advert helped keep a zine going. The zine promoted bands in the city, promoted going to see live music and when possible reviewed the shows and bands too. That in turn creates an interest in music and culture which increases the chance of driving people to gigs. I always found that rehearsal rooms in both Wakefield and Leeds understood this more than most and were always willing to get involved.
Rhubarb Bomb was old fashioned when it existed as a physical zine, and I knew it at the time, but I took pleasure in that. I’m glad there was a physical thing, so I can look back at these listings and remember some great shows. And although I don’t go out as much as I used to, if these listings were happening right now, i’d be going out more in Wakefield, for sure.
That was the point of the Extinction articles really, that this is an eco-system. There is cause and effect. It doesn’t crumble in one go. Maybe it is advertising stopping. Maybe it is the zine focussing less on local music and more on other things. Maybe it is one band moving to Leeds, or London.
It’s interesting and I think important to know why people stop doing things, why things disappear. Because if we understand that, we may understand more about why people start doing things, where that first burst of energy and inspiration comes from. Maybe for someone it was at one of these gigs?