Mandala Publishing


Marc Hanou / Jean-Paul Frijns "We Could Not Do Any Better: A History Of European Straight Edge" Book

PLEASE NOTE: Due to shipping, these books have corner dings, but they are indeed new.

Straight edge is a powerful subculture of a subculture. Punk rockers that don’t smoke, don’t drink, and don’t do drugs are the outcasts of the outcasts. Following the timeline from 1982 towards 2024 the two straight edge authors Marc Hanou and Jean-Paul Frijns tell and show the narrative of the European straight edge through the oral history of the people that made it happen. The development of the European straight edge is described by Dutch bands.

The straight edge scene in Europe developed from Lärm’s Do-It-Yourself punk ethics towards the socialist activism of ManLiftingBanner. Mainstrike and Reaching Forward put the emphasis on straight edge and ‘clean living’, followed by a strong emphasis on veganism as Eye of Judgement shows.
Capturing the immense energy of a vibrant and vivid scene, “We Could Not Do Any Better” contains not just Dutch stories but tales from all over Europe. From Sweden to Spain, from Portugal to Poland. With the straight edge capitols from Europe: Amersfoort and the Geleen-fests in the Netherlands, Kortrijk and the Ieper-fests in Belgium, Warsaw in Poland, the Ruhrpott and Schleiz in Germany, and last but certainly not least Umeå in Sweden. Also Spain with Barcelona, Portugal with Lisboa and both Durham and Leeds from the UK are covered.

Almost 100 people that played in more than 50 bands, operated labels, wrote fanzines or booked shows, are interviewed. From the individual strands of their stories a history of European Straight Edge is weaved. A document for anyone interested in underground music, punk, hardcore or straight edge. But most of all for everyone that went to see a straight edge band at a show, that bought a t-shirt, a demo tape, a record or a fanzine, that fed a band or gave them a place to sleep. You are our scene. We could not do any better.

700 Pages