Review #3 – PUSH: Best of the First Ten Issues

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Push Magazine The Best of 1-10: A Review

by Gwil James Thomas

 

Hand Job zine, Paper and Ink Zine, along with Push are a deadly three way, serving some of the finest underground literature out there, from the UK and way beyond. They are each unique in their own way. It does feel like a movement of sorts and in many ways Joe England’s brainchild, Push, feels like the base camp.

PUSH The Best of the first 10 issues Joe England John KingPush sold over one thousand five hundred copies in its first six months and a cult following soon ensued. Sold at West Ham United home games, on the street, or via the website, the core ingredients consist of underground literature, music, booze and football. Although these four things are really the blood that is pumped through Push, but it would be wrong and untrue to say that it’s limited to them. There are similarities in the contributors, but thankfully their voices remain unique. In turn, each issue takes a slightly different direction and the first ten issues are a perfect demonstration of that. One common factor of the contributors, is a feeling of realness, a feeling that on some level the bones of the pieces are formed from experience; a feeling of authenticity. Other publications showcasing some degree of that same style may only let you feel that their writers are simply writing about a life they want to live, or experiences their writers have researched, but not had to endure, or enjoy first hand.

I can remember being kicked out of an English class once for something that I wrote. The task was to write a short story; I had no interest in literature at the time and it seemed an impossibility, with many of of us struggling we were told to just use characters from films. But even then that seemed a little bland. Instead, I wrote what I knew, a confession of sorts I suppose. I wrote about a girl in my class and even volunteered to read it aloud. The unnamed girl’s boyfriend wasn’t too happy about it and I was cut short halfway through and sent to another class – where my own bitch of a teacher then said that I’d written the story to upset her and the girl. As if sincere and honest writing was not acceptable. My point, is that if I’d have had the Push anthology then and there (which is full of gut spilling confessions) then maybe I could have finally shut that battle axe up. Which is why I find it wonderful to hear of a younger generation contributing to Push alongside many veterans.

Not that this Push anthology’s limited to confessional pieces either – there’s a wide assoPUSH_anthology_1419774272_crop_550x367rtment of characters and situations along the way, wonderfully spun lines of poetry, nostalgic nods, informative interviews, not to mention Jose Arroyo’s beautiful woodcuts to marvel over. All of which leaves you with the distant hum of punk music in the background; which is not only referenced by many, with bands and songs, but there is something very punk about Push too. Similarly its inspiring D.I.Y. ethic is not to be taken lightly.

There are many highlights in this book, including a body of work from Michael Keenaghan and Joe Ridgwell, Billy BS’ (RIP) powerful poem Introducing Myself, Mellisa Mann’s evocative The Stand, Jim Gibson’s homely, yet dark Ken and many more. All of which are set in motion by a very fitting introduction from novelist John King.

So, what price can you put on all of this? Well, East London Press have set it at a very reasonable £7.99. People pay more for a gourmet burger! Even if you have all of the first ten issues of Push, this is perfect for anyone’s collection and I have a feeling will be all the more collectable in years to come. And again, at £7.99, East London Press are offering you a chance to be a part of this, to cherish this, but most of all share the experiences from this book. Buy this now, read it and spread the word.

http://pushmagazine.co.uk/

http://eastlondonpress.bigcartel.com/

Gwil James Thomas

Gwil James Thomas was born in Bristol, England in 1987. His written work can be found widely online, in zines, magazines and in Greek bookshops. He is currently working on a self publishing his first poetry collection titled Gwil Vs. Machine.

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