Clapton Zine and Print Fair, plus the launch of Yo Zushi’s “Smalltime” album/Ross Palmer’s “Little Differences” single: full details

Clapton Zine and Print Fair 2013

Clapton Zine and Print Fair 2013

Board of Fun and Stars and Flowers present the first Clapton Zine and Print Fair at the Dentist!

33 Chatsworth Road, Clapton, London E5 0LH


Mat Riviere
Bolt Editions
Mark Pawson
Limner Journal
SW London and Surrey Zines Collective
Yo Zushi
Zoe Taylor
Stephen Fowler
Natalie Kay Thatcher
Jennifer Crouch
Nick White
Rosanna Thompson
Hugo Sinfield
Sean King
Ben Roberts
Board of Fun
and more

The launch night on Saturday 4 May will feature a selection of zines and live music from:

Mat Riviere
“Genius bleak pop” – NME
“Simply fantastic” – Artrocker

Yo Zushi
“A masterclass in storytelling” – Dazed & Confused
“This could be the start of something major” – Q Magazine
Yo Zushi will be launching his new album/zineSmalltime“.

Plus Ross Palmer, who will be launching his Board of Fun free download single “Little Differences”.

And live poetry from the south London legend and our compere Jazzman John!

On the launch night, doors open at 7pm. Entry is £3 advance/£4 on the door.

The main fair on Sunday 5 May will be open between 11am and 5pm. ENTRY TO THE ZINE FAIR IS FREE. The venue will turn into an indoor market selling zines, prints, cassettes, poetry books and badges from London’s most exciting DIY artists and publishers (see above list for some of the highlights).
See you there!

Walter Kraut on Martin Amis’s Lionel Asbo: State of England

Martin Amis in Cologne, Germany, in 2012. Credit: Maximilian Schoenherr

Can a writer create a character who is more stupid than himself? It’s a task that one of Britain’s foremost intellectuals, Martin Amis, sets himself in his latest novel, Lionel Asbo: State of England.

The character of the title talks like an idiot and Amis takes noticeable pleasure in describing his speech – Asbo acts like a brain-damaged hooligan and even finds the Sun too intellectual.

Asbo is a petty but ruthless criminal. He is one of seven siblings, most of them from different fathers who were, of course, absent when they grew up. While in jail, he learns that he has won an unfathomable sum of money in the lottery, which turns him from stupid into stupid and rich – and then into stupid, rich and famous, a social category much liked by the British tabloids. (And, you get the feeling, much despised by Amis.) But Lionel’s stupidity, you start to realise early on, is deliberate.

Most of the action is seen from the perspective of his younger, more intelligent nephew, Des Pepperdine. “The difference, it seemed, was one of attitude. Des loved . . . intelligence; and Lionel hated it. Hated it? Well, it was plain as day that he had always fought it, and took pride in being stupid on purpose.” It’s an easy way out for Amis and the wilfulness of Asbo’s stupidity somewhat takes the sting out of Amis’s criticism.

Lionel Asbo is written with energy and verve. It’s smart and entertaining but, as a satire, it slightly misses the mark. The problem with British society isn’t that people pretend to be stupid; it’s that most people are. But real stupidity, it seems, can’t be portrayed by a work of literary fiction. When a head is empty, it’s difficult to fill it with words.