Heat fanzine ran for nine issues from May 1977, providing coverage to a new emerging Irish rock and punk scene of musicians. One feature of the fanzine, which Brand New Retro have correctly highlighted, is the brilliant front covers. A brief history of the magazine, from the Loserdom fanzine:
The subject matter covered new wave/punk band interviews, articles, reviews and later comic strips and films…by Heat Vol.2 Issue 2 the magazine was gathering momentum, but a published article “McGuinness is good for U2” led to the end of the road. The article alleged that U2 manager Paul McGuinness had succeeded in getting a band [Modern Heirs] pulled from a support slot at a gig for U2 instead. McGuinness threatened to sue Heat unless the article was pulled but a batch had already gone to Easons.
The September 1977 issue of Heat ran with a Time magazine style frontpage, telling readers that “the cover is the first in a series of thinly-disguised covers, ok? For punks only!” Among the papers distributors, Golden Discs, Dolphin Discs and Easons are listed. In the fanzines editorial, the absence of any sizable punk scene in Ireland is lamented, but it did insist that “the bands we have now are musically and song-wise much tighter and a lot better than a lot of their English contemporaries. Rock N’ Roll is alive and well and Dublin. The future depends on the upcoming young bands.”
In particular, Heat championed The Radiators. who had released TV Tube Heart in the year the publication had come into being, and who could boast of being the first punk band to see chart success with their single Television Screen. (Check out Come Here To Me’s interview with Phil Chevron of the band here) There was also plenty of coverage of the Boomtown Rats in this issue. A rather unkind review of Thin Lizzy at Dalymount Park, which described the band as having “as much stage presence as two rubber plants” captures the irreverent attitude of the fanzine in places!
The following review of a festival in Dalymount Park complains that having arrived to see “The Rads and The Rats”, the writer was confronted by “groups of hippies” and “lizzy loonies”. The Rats “got three times the response that The Radiators had received – they had six pogoers whereas The Rads had only two!”
The Radiators get a kind review, and it’s noted that “they are not a Grade A, die hard punk band but for catchy, snappy hi-energy songs they can’t be beaten….I dunno if this will be a hit or not, it sure as hell should be huge.”
The Boomtown Rats review includes a picture of the band at Dalyer, while a second feature on the band noted that:
When I first saw the Rats months back at the Nashville, Geldof was all mouth. “We’re the Rats, fuck you!” When you hear that sort of bollox after every song it’s not long before you start getting very angry. When the shit hits the fans, the fans kick back.It didn’t come as a great shock when I read that some stud had clobbered Geldof in Camden’s Music Machine.
It has been argued that “the dominant feature of Heat was its ability to take the piss throughout its handwritten pages.” Its risque humour would eventually land the fanzine in hot water, but it remains an important part of the story of the emerging punk music scene in the Dublin of 1977.