Bandy & Shinty is a brand new quarterly publication; something between an old-fashioned fanzine, a matchday programme and a glossy magazine
Age: About a month old (The first issue was published on Saturday 5 August).
Appearance: Black and white with a splash of red. It’s got a proper spine too – like a book and everything.
What is it? Simply put, it’s about funny, incisive, provocative, passionate writing. It’s about communicating the soul and the spirit of Forest. Taking some inspiration from The Blizzard, a football quarterly that we all subscribe to and recommend, we wanted to give people space to write long form pieces that free their creative spirit and communicate their relationship with this football club. We’re basing each issue around a distinct theme—a concept that will be broad enough to give each writer the chance to flex their muscles, but cohesive enough to ensure the whole thing hangs together.
What’s the first theme then? ‘Firsts’. Clever, huh?
No, not really. Not half as clever as you think so. Go on then (if you must), what’s in it? Incidentally, still not sure what it actually IS: Alright then grouchy-pants. It’s kind of like a matchday programme but thicker and with more writing and fewer pictures. Issue 1 has 64 pages, 16 articles and 28,000 words – all on or inspired by this club of ours. For example, there’s a piece about the first time the writer cried at a game, first time some one left a game early, first away trip, first relegation, the list goes on.
It should be said though that the matchday programme is really rather excellent these days. That too has a spine and feature pieces by Daniel Taylor. If you haven’t bought it in a while, you really should.
Sounds ‘alright’… I guess. Who’s written these pieces? Internet keyboard warriors? I’ve read some of their stuff. They are just weird: Well, whatever ‘keyboard warriors’ means, we’d like to think we’re not. Four of us have collaborated to gather what we think are a bunch of talented writers. Besides, you’ve probably heard of some of them anyway: Paul McGregor’s written a piece on his first boss who just happened to be some bloke called Brian Clough – that’s a cracking piece. Gregor Robertson has written a piece about his debut, against Derby. He’s a talented chap – writes for The Times too these days.
Ex-footballers? Blimey. Bet their spelling is laughable. Could be fun I guess. Anyone else? They have produced quality pieces, as it happens. And yes, we do have proper actual football writers like Nick Miller and Daniel Storey (who just happen to be Forest fans). Also, Arsher Ali – that actor who appeared in Four Lions and Line of Duty – he’s written a beautiful piece on how he feels about the club at the moment.
Alright… keep you hair on. Will it be the same writers each issue? That could get boring: No, we’ll try to freshen it up for each issue. Different writers, different themes and a few interviews too. We’ll be inviting contributions for issue 2 soon.
Interviews? With Fawaz? With Chris Cohen? No, probably not – although that would be very cool. We’ll see what we can do and although we can’t promise anything, we are very hopeful that there will be some interviews or even some pieces written by some very interesting names.
When will that be out? Calm down. Issue 1 has only just hit the streets. But since you ask, some time in December. Quarterly… remember?
So are you Fawaz IN or Fawaz OUT? Come on, you must be one or the other. Which one? We are neither. We want to steer clear of all that – there are enough opinions, arguments and debates out there already. Whilst we may well have individual opinions on the matter – quite strident ones actually – that’s not important when it comes to B&S. We just want to create writing that celebrates, reminisces, makes you laugh, makes you cry and on the odd occasion, challenges. Ideally, we hope that B&S is timeless and that you could pick it up and read it with just as much pleasure a year or two down the line.
Go on then… (reluctantly) how do I get one? Thought you’d never ask. The easiest way is to order from our website. Issue 1 costs a measly £4 but there will be a delivery charge. We will deliver to anywhere: UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
Reign yourselves in lads: We’ve taken orders from here, there and everywhere, I’ll have you know: Ireland, Holland, Spain and United States. Oh yeah, Derbyshire too.
I hate the internet. Can’t I buy it from someone in the pub before or after a game? Maybe but to be honest, we don’t want to be carrying boxes full of stock around with us to each game. Besides, there are rules and licenses required which frankly, go right over our heads. It’s true that we did sell copies in person in the Trent Navigation before and after the Burton game but this was mainly to get it launched. If you see someone with a tote bag at a game, looking all lonely and forlorn, then feel free to tap him politely on the shoulder and ask if he’s got any to sell. But try not to make it look like a drug deal. The best way to get one is to order one from the website. You’ll get a free sticker too.
Do say: A magazine type thing dedicated to Nottingham Forest written by people who care deeply about the club? Excellent: £4 well spent.
Don’t say: Nah mate. It’ll give me inky fingers.