A horrible hack

About Collective Zine

Please note: we only have a small number of active reviewers these days and a huge back log of submissions. I wish I could promise you everything sent in will get done but it's not as likely as it once was. Please bear this in mind if you are thinking about doing that. It is also very unlikely that we will review non-physical submissions due to the physical backlog! If you want to send something to us please contact you-guys@collective-zine.co.uk. Please do not add us to your mailing list without permission. Doing so breaks European GDPR law.

Collective Zine is old. Old as the hills! Old as 1997 to be precise, when it began life as an amoeba, on the Southampton University servers, maintained by Ian Cavell. Nowadays it attempts to cover as many disparate music scenes as possible, but all of them come together under the banner of DIY. DIY binds the site together, people making music for their community, for the love, and whatever other insane reasons people intentionally lose money for in the name of music. That is what the C exists to cover these days, but at the time it was a mere project to learn HTML and host websites about Brit Rock bands that Ian enjoyed. As time went on, Ian decided to write some reviews. His estimable friend, Andy Malcolm, saw this and wrote some too. These reviews are very bad, and you are not allowed to see them. The site grew, very slowly, and there were more reviews, and the site was moved to the De Montfort University servers. A member of Groop Dogdrill signed the guestbook, laughing at a particularly bad review where his lyrics were misquoted.

At some point in 1998, the site was relocated to Geocities, and Andy and Ian both got into better music, but not into better reviews. The site went blue, it had clip art pictures of a bi-plane and trees that changed with the seasons. Emo. Not long after this, Ian's friend Russ re-designed the site. You can see traces of his efforts by clicking here and you can see what good folks contributed to the site back then by clicking here. The site was nice and black, and featured many reviews by many different people.

In late 2000, Andy felt rich and bought the domain name www.collective-zine.co.uk, and the site was relocated to Freeola. During this period the site featured at least 99 different forums utilising CGI and flat files. All of which broke, or got spammed and deleted. Summer '03, he splashed out on getting a MYSQL database, and the site was moved to PHPNUKE, which made editing and mainting the site a real piece of piss, to be honest. And the site ticked over. PHPNUKE was nice and all, but incredibly flakey and vulnerable to getting hacked. Ironically, some other site that Andy hosted got hacked in March 2006, and he elected to take the C offline for a short while. That short while turned out to be a long while. You can read a bit about that below.

And now the main site is back. And evolving. You can read all the old reviews, now matter how bad, except the really bad ones, which aren't here any more. I hope you enjoy spending some time wandering through the archives of what I rather boastfully believe to be a highly varied catalogue of stuff. I don't think there is a site on the internet that has anything quite similar to this, but maybe that's for the best.

You can see a bit more of the evolution of the site by clicking here.

How do I contribute?

If you want to send in a record / tape / cd for review, then please contant Andy Malcolm and he'll send you the address. Please see the note at the top regarding digital submissions.

Collective Development

The Collective Zine content management system was initially designed and developed from scratch by David McLaughlin in 2006, but work on the system had to be put on the back burner for most of 2007 due to work and other commitments. However the new version of Collective was finally launched in December 2007. Joe McGonagle was responsible for Data Migration from the old phpNuke system as well as the initial front-end of the site at the time of launch.

David has since returned to the project and has revamped much of the front end. The project is now an ongoing work, with new features added whenever time permits. If you're interested in helping out, please contact David for more information. Development is done on a voluntary basis and the CMS is written in Object Oriented PHP with a MySQL database.


Andy Malcolm1927 reviews
Alex Deller1905 reviews
MH650 reviews
Oli Saunders563 reviews
Kunal Nandi544 reviews
Captain Fidanza352 reviews
Chris Bress326 reviews
Ian Cavell137 reviews
Ted Reynolds129 reviews
David Giles108 reviews
Damien Mills101 reviews
Nadia Almashoor96 reviews
Alex Hannan94 reviews
Joe Callaghan88 reviews
Gareth L87 reviews
Joe Caithness81 reviews
Thomas Strawbridge72 reviews
Luke Younger67 reviews
Danny Parsons55 reviews
Russell Opie54 reviews
Mike Whelan53 reviews
Tony Era53 reviews
Martin Brown50 reviews
Unknown47 reviews
Samuel Fowler46 reviews
Tom Sloan45 reviews
Chaz Hewitt43 reviews
Ian Scanlon40 reviews
Graeme Cunningham38 reviews
james pacanowski36 reviews
Mark Skold34 reviews
Nerida30 reviews
Dan Baker25 reviews
Bob Alderdice23 reviews
Adam Fleet23 reviews
Sean Haughton23 reviews
Edward Ling22 reviews
Shawn Cameron21 reviews
Kjetil Holstad21 reviews
Pete Burn20 reviews
James Williams20 reviews
Tom Hughes18 reviews
Norrie Sills17 reviews
Samuel Rogers16 reviews
Hari Ashurst15 reviews
Ewan15 reviews
Rob Mair13 reviews
Dan Bennett11 reviews
Toby10 reviews
Simon Graver10 reviews
Andrew Jadowski10 reviews
Emile Bojesen10 reviews
Simon Wakusei10 reviews
Morris Breadknife9 reviews
Graham Sleightholme9 reviews
Stuart Bartlett9 reviews
C. Kuzmiski9 reviews
Alan Read9 reviews
Andrew Revis9 reviews
Dangerous Jamie9 reviews
Ben Haynes8 reviews
Michael Stewart8 reviews
Figg7 reviews
Adam Cassidy7 reviews
Michael McCann7 reviews
Joao7 reviews
Tony7 reviews
I.P.6 reviews
Biff Wellington6 reviews
Mel Hughes6 reviews
David Morrison6 reviews
Jacob KiTR6 reviews
Ciaran Power6 reviews