“I live in the God damn middle of nowhere,” Hamish Adams declares in his personal letter to Broken Pencil that accompanied his travel zine. He may live in the middle of nowhere, but the exploits in this zine took Adams out of his little piece of nowhere for a while and dropped him in 36 European cities.
Adams is from the UK, and when his band Lucida Console took a tour across Europe, he decided to document it in print. The tour came about when the U.S. band Dirty Tactics suggested the two bands tour together in Europe. Adams was a fishmonger at the time, so he reveled in the idea of touring instead of, well, fishmongering.
While Dog Days boasts a Scottish terrier on the cover, the rest of the zine is just straightforward computer text, which just seems wrong for a travel zine. Adams explains: “There aren’t any pictures or fliers included in this zine because neither exist. Very few pictures were taken and no fliers were made.” Okay, so do a doodle or something! It seems remiss not to include at least one photo of the band, and perhaps the lack of visual artifacts could be forgiven if there were more references to their actual music to liven up the zine, but instead we’re left with a few too many couch confessionals.
Fans of the band or indie music in general may identify with the narrative slant of the zine, and Adams can tell some pretty good anecdotes that border on barbed subjectivity. “A wretchedness engulfs us all. I imagine this is how Polish people feel all the time.” Is that racist? Funny? What the hell does it mean?
In the end I could never quite get over the lack of imagery, which I think would have made the read more enjoyable. I look forward to his next tour zine, but I just hope he takes some pictures this time. (Nathaniel G. Moore)
Zine, Hamish Adams, email@example.com, U.S. $3