Tuesday, 1 July 2008

POWERPLAY HITS ISSUE 100


Powerplay has hit a real landmark this month. The 100th issue has hit the shelves, and there's a great deal of special material in there to enjoy. I have now been writing for he magazine for six months, and am thrilled to be a part of this issue. On the personal side it contains my recent interview with Timo Tolkki (ex Stratovarius/now Revolution Renaissance), a profile of me amongst the writers (I'm in some fantastic company) and a load of reviews of mine. It is easy to get complacent about these things. I mean, I've had endless album reviews published online and now in print, but the fact that I get to write for Powerplay means lots to me. The story of the magazine's humble beginnings is told in this issue by editor Mark Hoaksey, which goes right back to the days of it being a photocopied fanzine, but my own introduction to it came back in 1998, discovering it in Noise Annoys, the now sadly defunct rock and metal CD store here in Sheffield. Finding a magazine with Rhapsody on the front cover was a revelation. People still loved the music I was into. I wasn't alone after all. Sure there were magazines that had gone before, such as Hard Roxx and The Rock, but neither of them matched the enthusiasm of Powerplay.

It is a magazine that has stood the test of time and has ploughed on its own journey despite the passing trends that clog up the mainstream rock press and which have turned much of the contemporary scene into a parody of itself. It is a magazine that isn't afraid to cover bands and genres that aren't in vogue. Powerplay revels in that. It delights in covering music that fans love and want, instead of simply latching on to the new half-baked trend of the week.

It is that outlook and the dogged determination of Mr Hoaksey that has seen the magazine reach the grand number of 100 issues. It has gone from being a photocopied labour of love to a much bigger labour of love that, as of this issue, has US distribution and is stocked in newsagents all over the UK and further afield. Look at the covers- those are bands that music fans want to read about, and many are acts you would never see on the front of other magazines. In fact, take a look at the current crop of rock mags- other than Powerplay and the wonderful Terrorizer, all of them will have pretty much the same thing on the cover.

Powerplay is a great beacon for melodic rock and metal (and not so melodic music too), and its arrival at issue 100 is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved in its creation and continued success. Happy issue 100, and thanks for having me along for the ride. It is a great honour to be a part of the team, and enormously satisfying being able to help other people discover bands they may never otherwise have heard of. Here's to Powerplay, and long may it continue.

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