The City Is Ablaze! reads like a musical history of the late eighties and early nineties, one could only be obtained by surfing the sliproads, sneaking backstage at a thousand shows, sleeping on strangers’ floors and living to type up the tales of the sounds that defined an era.
The City Is Ablaze!, which could well have been subtitled ‘The Art of Upsetting Pop Stars’, tells the story of Ablaze! fanzine and its precursors. Alongside hundreds of pages from these notoriously outspoken publications, the book also includes new writings by Karren and other members of the Ablaze! team, as well as interviews with other fanzine writers of the time, essays by DIY cultural commentators, a re-examination of the Riot Grrrl movement, and an epilogue by Gary Jarman (The Cribs).