I got this fat wad of cut and paste punk free when I paid in at the recent Born/Dead gig in Lewisham. South London Mess is the literary output of the promoters and their band The Scaredy Cats, who I admit I have never heard. It’s packed with what you’d expect from punks actually involved in the scene, and has news, reviews, interviews and gig reviews plus the odd rant. There are some rad vegan recipes and a nice piece about cool places to visit in south south London (i.e- Catford end).
Overall it reminded me a lot of zines I used to put out, personal ska punk focused writings reviewing every gig or cd that passed through my small town. And despite being London based there is a real sense of locality within the pages. It’s south London but pretty much just Catford and Lewisham. Which is awesome. Admitedly the music covered isn’t really what I’m interested in, so a lot of the interviews and reviews were over my head, but if you are into the current ska punk scene it’ll be right up your street. There are the odd bits of not-so-radness, mainly the reply to 56a who refused to stock the zine due to some of the sexist comments within, but he seems to be genuine and asks for feedback in order to avoid offending people in the future.
In general, while not entirely my cup of tea, reading this was a nice little nostalgia-fest for my shameful ska-punk past, a period which I think quite a lot of us have.