Volcano Club

Volcano Club only offers one type of membership - and that's lifetime. To become a member send some volcanic themed work to the HQ (volcanoclubhq@gmail.com) and you might get a codename or some other cool shit.

Monday, 27 July 2015


Do you want to buy any of the Volcano Club back catalogue?

Yes - Of course you do, you're not a fucking idiot, click here

No - You're probably a fucking idiot.

Please note as Volcano Club zines are highly collectable, not all issues are available for purchase. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Recently I went to Iceland which obviously was fucking great. Unfortunately I was on holiday with other people who didn't want to spend the whole time doing volcano focussed shit, why I'm even friends with these people I don't know. I actually went to a festival on an abandoned NATO airbase and it was daylight all the time which was very cool and did make you think a zombie apocalypse was about to start. But obviously no one cares about that so here is some of volcanic shit from my Iceland trip. It will only be some volcanic shit as everything in Iceland is really volcanic; on the journey from the airport to Reykjavik you go through lava fields which are insanely cool and have this weird moss growing over all over the solidified lava.

 Also all the rocks in Iceland are mental.

The place I really wanted to go to was Snaefellsjokull National Park on the west coast. I choose this place partly as I have a theory about the UK that the Atlantic ravaged west coast is more exciting than the east coast which I thought would probably translate to Iceland too. There is no active volcano there but the main glacier in the centre of the park is the entry point in Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Sadly it's an inactive volcano but unless they are erupting, what's the fucking difference? As well as the glacier there is a lot of other cool shit around there, mainly really beautiful beaches with crazy rock formations and lots of waterfalls. Initially we were planning to spend more time there doing a bit of camping and stuff but it turned out we didn't have time. So we just did a tour with a crazy guide who kept going on about jailing bankers and elves.

 This was on one of the beaches, crawling through this hole was a bit like being reborn as the beach was noisy, rocky and cold whereas on the other side it was quiet, sunny and peaceful. When I start a cult this will be the initiation ceremony. Swans played at the festival and they will be the soundtrack of my cult, in general Iceland is quite a cultish place.

The other main volcanic thing we did was to go to the Volcano Show which was run by another mentalist. I think lots of Icelanders are mentalists in the most fantastic and lovely way. Basically it was a tiny museum/cinema run by one guy who had been filming every eruption in Iceland for about 60 years, before that his dad had done lots of filming. It was two hours of films about volcanoes, an overview of eruptions in Iceland for 50 years or so, one about the formation of Surtsey and one about the Heimaey eruption. Obviously for me this was heavenly because I can happily watch film of erupting volcanoes for ever, maybe if this isn't your thing it's not so fun. There wasn't loads to see in the museum apart from some geological maps and rocks, which again I fucking love. There is another volcano cinema in Reyjavik called Volcano House which we went to but didn't see the film, it looked more professional and therefore not as good but they had some nice rocks and stuff.

In general Iceland is really cool and really crazy, I think it's the effect of being so cut off from everywhere. I really want to go back and travel around a bit and see all the volcanoes.

Saturday, 30 May 2015


I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm currently watching X-Files. I am not rewatching it as part of some nostalgia trip, I've never watched it before so it's all very exciting, people always tell me to watch cool new programmes but I'm like "I'm only just getting round to watching X-Files, I hadn't watched Buffy until this year, I'm not gonna watch fucking House of Cards'. This post however is not just about what 90s TV shows I have and haven't watched, which would really fucking interesting. I have known for some time that there was likely to be a volcano X-Files episode. It's called Firewalker and it was actually a really good episode, its in the mould of some of my favourite episodes which are monster of the week ones in some remote and claustrophobia inducing setting where everyone goes mad and no one is sure who is sane/alien/trying to kill everyone. It was also notable as it's the first episode Scully's in for a while, obviously I knew that she was coming back as there are shitloads more series but it was good to have her straight talking and impeccable suit wearing back. This is all in the settling of one of the lovely cascade volcanoes with some silicon based life form and people going mental. What more could you want? Here is a totally legal way to watch it.

See inside a volcano.

Monday, 18 May 2015

35 Anniversaries - Mount St Helens and Ian Curtis

Two amazingly important events happened 35 years ago today one volcanic and one not, apparently these events aren't linked but I'm sure I can manage to find a tenuous way in which they are. The events are Mount St Helen's erupted and Ian Curtis died (18th May 1980). Obviously I wasn't alive for either of these events but the fact that Ian Curtis and Joy Division weren't really around in the 80s has pretty much blown my mind.  

The 1980 Mount St Helen's eruption is the biggest in recent history on mainland USA. It's part of the Cascade volcano range which is the American-Canadian range up the west coast, I'm quite obsessed with this area because it also has great forests, cool sounding cities and loads of great fiction is set around there (Twin Peaks, Housekeeping etc). It was a pretty large eruption, perhaps the most dramatic part was that one of sides collapsed producing a massive landslide. 57 people died in the eruption and it was also pretty economically and socially devastating. I think it's really easy to forget about the power and potential impact of ecological disasters especially if you live in the cosy developed world, it's way too easy to feel cut off from nature.

Normally Mount St Helens is portrayed in black and white like Joy Division (although I'm pretty sure colour was invented by the 80s).

Onto Ian Curtis (the link will come later when I think of it), I love Joy Division but it's quite rare that I want to listen to them (apart from now which is research), it's just too hard. It's just so bleak and raw (my boyfriend has epilepsy and depression so maybe it's all a bit too close to home) but I'm not gonna go on about how depressing Joy Division because that is just an established fact. I'm amazed it was 35 years ago because they do sound so modern and relevant and maybe that is because of the depressing nature. Without sounding like too much of a dick that raw emotion does kinda transcend time so it's always going to be relatable.

So there we have my link, some things in humanity and nature are inevitable and those are generally shit. Like the incredible force of volcanoes or your own despair just hope you're one of the lucky ones. That's my Mount St Helens/Ian Curtis suicide anniversary message which is in opposition to 'stop and smell the roses' sentiment. Here at Volcano Club we are more likely to stop and smell the roses realise that they are dying from some parasitic infection and understand that is a metaphor that everything good and beautiful eventually decays and turns to shit. Hopefully you can cope with it otherwise love will tear us afuckingpart.  

Friday, 15 May 2015

Volcano of the Week #29 - Shishaldin

I have chosen to write about this volcano for volcano of the week because it's erupting and is in a place called Fox Islands which sound really cool (possibly because I'm watching X-Files and I think there could be a great episode set here). The Fox Islands are part of the Aleutian Island chain which is what links Siberia to Alaska and forms the top part of the ring of fire (definitely could be an X-Files episode). There are around 8,000 people on the Aleutian Islands and natives are known as Unangan, the language is closely related to Eskimo (loads of words for snow blah blah blah). The growing season only lasts 135 days so there is basically nothing there and economy is dependent of military and fishing. The islands along with that bit of Alaska were all originally Russian and according to wikipedia the Russian influence seems generally positive as they preserved the language and tradition of the region. Some of the Russian influences in the area are still present including religion and there are some Orthodox churches. Captain Cook also went there (because he went everywhere cool) and surveyed the islands, the islands were taken over by Americans in 1867. There were some nuclear tests done in 60/70s which seems like a really great thing to do on a chain of volcanic islands.

Back to the volcano, it's apparently the most symmetrical in the world, measuring volcano symmetry sounds like a very fun job. It has quite a lot of low level non eruptive activity including currently and the volcano is on yellow alert. The last eruption occurred last year and the first recorded eruption was in 1824.

Look how symmetrical that babe is.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The End of The World and Lava Lakes

Just a short post because obviously it is end of society and the beginning of a long period of darkness and despair. Here is an update on the Kilauea lava lake which has now overflown and looks pretty cool.    

The really good thing about this video is when you at look the description on youtube it's posted by some mentalist who thinks that its a sign of the end of the world, which is always fun. Even with all the lava overflowing it's still quite calm and mediative. If for whatever reason the world doesn't end then I post something more eruptive soon. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Lakes of Lava

Now like all sane people I fucking love a good lava lake which are pretty much what they sound like, a lovely crater full of lovely lava. While eruptions can be a bit scary and show off, lave lakes are just there chilling, not really posing any threat, just looking pretty. 

This video is of Kilauea and is about to ooze and spill out over the edge. The volcano has technically been erupting for absolute yonks but probably not from this crater or something.

Looking at lava lakes is one of those vaguely hypnotic things like looking at fire, ice melting or test cricket all of which I can happily watch for hours. There are different types of lava lakes depending on whether or not the lava has formed in that crater or spilled into the crater from another flow, the viscosity of the lava and all that shit can also affect the lava lake. Here are two more excellent lava lakes.

This is one my favourite lava lakes Mount Nyiragongo which is on the DRC and Rwandan border and this volcano is formed by a rift in the African plate. The picture is part of this photo series which is worth looking at. 

This is another African lava lake, Erta Ale and I really like the black scorched look to this lava. Also in all these photos you can see the lovely volcanic rock I'm always amazed at their colours which seem unreal.

Its nice to see the dormant and understated side of volcanoes in comparison to the all the eruptive shit and these glowing lava lakes look like some portal into another dimension. This post is for my mate who is in a six hour meeting which I think has some parallels to lava lakes. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Volcano of the Week #28 - Calbuco

I appear to now to be doing the series about Chilean volcanoes that I said I would write for my friend as she was travelling there. The timing is obviously very apt as she has now left Chile so this will all be really useful travel information. I do keep having to write about volcanoes in Chile as they keep fucking erupting, which may or may not be down to her visit, causing volcanic eruptions would be a great superpower. The latest volcano to erupt is Calbuco in the South which is one of the country's most eruptive volcanoes and there was a very large eruption in 1893. This recent eruption has caused evacuations and flight cancellations and is the first major eruption in over 30 years. There are loads of amazing photos of the eruption which everyone has probably seen already. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Volcanic Perspective

I've been looking lots of different ways of using perspective, often my favourite paintings are quite flat and place things in almost impossible positions. Examples of this are these two paintings, one from the David Collection of Islamic Art in Copenhagen and, on the volcano front a Hiroshima street scene.

In both of these paintings I like the way that your eye is drawn to the stuff in the background. In the case of the volcano it really makes it stand out and seem important giving an idea of what it is must be like living close to such as massive volcano. Pop-up books and paper dioramas are another way of using this flat layering technique, like the end bit of 'The Jolly Postman' which sadly I can't find a good picture of. Here are some examples of Volcano diorama things, all I which I used to own and have now misplaced. The top two are a Hokusai paintings and was part of a kit, the bottom one I made all on my own (impressive right). Volcano diorama things work well as the volcano can still be really fucking big and in the background which generally volcanoes are. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Spring Cleaning

To anyone who has ever visited anywhere that I've ever lived it will come as no surprise that I'm a bit of a hoarder. The upside of this, in addition to having to loads of cool shit, is that every so often you have to sort through aforementioned shit and find some fun things.

 This is a birthday present I got a while ago, when you're finished you can reappropriate the vinegar and bicarb for cooking/cleaning purposes (Boom, life hack!)

Here are all the covers for all the recent Volcano Club issues. I think my favourite apart from Heston (which I didn't do so lets forget about that) is Simmer & Devour and I always think I'm crap at drawing people which just shows what a lazy twat I am. I also love the map because I love maps.

Here are all the back covers because I love word searches. 

All the issues are available to read on the links in the side of the page. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Volcano Songs

For ages now I've wanted to make a Volcano Club playlist/mixtape/CD or something of that ilk. Sometimes I do find songs that I put on the blog and people often send me volcanic tunes however due to a popular music streaming service I can now compile a playlist as I find songs and then release it when it's big/good enough. So far I have 6 songs, and only one is by Bjork, a general stipulation of playlists that you are only allowed one song per artist, although obviously Prince, Prince & the Revolution and Prince & the New Power Generation are all different artists sadly I haven't actually found any Prince volcanoes song but don't worry I will. I also can't decide whether or not the songs have to be about volcanoes or can just be by bands with volcano in the name - which really widens the subject but may make the playlist less volcanic

Here is the list of the first six songs
1. Volcano - Beck
2. Volcano - Jimmy Buffett
3. Vesuvius - Sufjan Stevens
4. Java Girl - East of Underground
5. Take Me Back Again - Volcanoes
6. Mutual Core - Bjork

So send me more songs and I'll make a really good playlist and post it at some point. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Volcano Cricket World Cup

As I was listening to the dramatic conclusion of the semi final between New Zealand and South Africa I remembered one of my fave ever VC posts, ranking all the teams in the european football tournament as if they were judged on volcanoes alone. Here is how the cricket world cup could have been if all that were considered were the volcanoes. Ratings will be given as a VEI (0-8) primarily on volcanoes in the country but playing style can have some impact, my preferences will obviously have none. Ties will be decided on volcano activity alone.

Pool A

Wikipedia says there are a couple of extinct volcanoes in Afghanistan but I've never heard of them. Its only recently that the have made it on the international cricket scene and have improved quickly - beating Scotland in the group stage.
VEI - 1

Australia is obviously a very diverse country that has pretty all the ecosystems but no fucking active volcanoes, although there are a shitload of extinct ones. As much as it pains me to admit this the cricket team are pretty exciting if a little predictably good.
VEI - 3

Apparently there are no volcanoes in Bangladesh but you've got to love the cricket team who made the quarter finals this year.
VEI -1

The only volcanoes of note are extinct ones in Wales which is technically part of England in the cricket world. What can you even say about the England cricket team? The got rid of KP the only vaguely eruptive thing.
VEI - 0

New Zealand
Yay finally some active volcanoes including the excellently named Mount Horrible and Mount Dick. White Island in 2013 was the most recent eruption in the country. The cricket team are also on fire and as they're already in the final therefore good to back.
VEI - 7

White Island

Lots of extinct volcanoes, volcanic landscapes and volcanic plugs in Scotland including Arthur's Seat some bits of the Hebrides including Skye and St Kilda. The cricket team are just a bit shit though, sorry lads.
VEI - 2
Arthur's Seat

Sri Lanka
Again no active volcanoes but there is Sigiriya which is the best volcanic plug and one of the earliest examples of landscape gardens, a former buddhist monastery and I love it. It's close to Kandy which has the best cricket ground and great forests. The team are also pretty exciting.
VEI - 4

Pool A - Results
New Zealand - 7
Sri Lanka - 4
Australia - 3
Scotland - 2
Afghanistan - 1
Bangladesh - 1
England - 0

Pool B

The main vulcanicity in India are the Deccan traps which are one of the largest volcanic features on earth. This volcanic activity occurred at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and possibly responsible for dinosaur extinction. Cricket team are good if a little dull.
VEI - 4
Deccan Traps

The Irish cricket team represents the whole of Ireland, which is good thing from a VC POV as Giants Causeway is in Northern Ireland and a volcanic formation. Cricket wise - they're the new England.
VEI - 2
Giant's Causeway

Pakistan is home to Tor Zawar - the only recent volcano in South Asia which erupted completely unexpectedly in 2010. The cricket team are eruptive although possibly more for the off the pitch activities.
VEI - 4

South Africa
There's a game reserve in South Africa - Pilanesberg which is of volcanic origin but not much else apart from Prince Edward and Marion Island (I'm only really counting mainland volcanoes for this). I've never been a fan of the team.
VEI - 1

United Arab Emirates
No volcanoes here and it's a ridiculous country.
VEI - 0

West Indies
The West Indies (which only really exists for cricketing purposes) consists of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten and US Virgin Islands. Sorry for the long list but I've always wondered. Active volcanoes include Kick 'em Jenny and Soufriere Hills, sadly Mount Pelee is on Martinique and not therefore in the West Indies. They are also my favourite the best international cricket team.
VEI - 5
Kick 'em Jenny

There are some volcanic land forms in Zimbabwe but not much to speak of.
VEI - 1

Pool B - Results
West Indies - 5
India - 4
Pakistan - 4
Ireland - 2
South Africa - 1
Zimbabwe - 1
UAE - 0

Quarter Finals! Sadly this is going to be a bit predictable, I should create some sort of dice cricket element for this.
India v Australia
India win by 30 runs, with the help of the Deccan traps Kohl and Dhoni put on a big target that can't be chased down.
West Indies v Scotland
West Indies win by 9 wickets, Chris Gayle makes another record breaking 200 and it's a bit of walkover.
Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Sri Lanka win by 2 runs, this one goes down to the last ball and final wicket but Malinga slogs it over the boundary for 6.
New Zealand v Ireland
New Zealand win by 10 wickets. Ireland all out for a pitiful 92.

Semi Finals
New Zealand v India
New Zealand win by 2 wickets.
West Indies v Sri Lanka
In an exciting semi final West Indies win by 24 runs.

New Zealand v West Indies
Chris Gayle's instagram account can't help him now (not sure if this makes me like him more or less but it does have to be seen), Williamson and Guptill help NZ put on an impressive 358 and win by 43 runs.

Here is a picture of VC favourite Tongariro to celebrate.

Sorry that was very long but you probably didn't read it all. It does make you wish that England had colonised countries with more volcanoes. If NZ do win the World Cup then it's obviously all down to the volcanoes.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Cyclone Pam and Volcano Ambrym

One of the main problems with volcano club is that whenever I want to find out about somewhere it's normally because of a fairly large eruption and volcanoes tend to be in really cool places. Then I have this weird desire to go load of places following ecological disasters - so today we have Vanuatu. Vanuatu is so cool that it has the highest language density in the world and is estimated to be the most ecologically efficient country with high well being. It's a great place if you can ignore Tanna, the island where they worship Prince Philip, but that's a cargo cult which have more to do with european colonisation anyway, I mean I'm not a theologist but that's probably true. Unless you know all the flags in the world, all the capitals in the world or are an avid pointless viewer (tbh I'm sure that lots of people are all three) then you might not have known a lot about Vanuatu until cyclone Pam. Vanuatu is quite near Fiji and New Caledonia and used to be called New Hebrides presumably because like the real Hebrides when Captain Cook went there it rained continuously and no shops were open.

The cyclone has been described as the worst natural disaster in the country's history with many buildings being destroyed and some islands being left without services like drinking water. For the island of Ambrym things were particularly shit as there was also a volcanic eruption, however it wasn't in the direct path of the cyclone so other islands were worst affected and are still in need of aid. The volcano is also called Ambrym and has a 12km wide caldera which is fucking massive and was formed in the second largest eruption in recent history. There are two craters - Marum and Benbow which have lava lakes, lava lakes are fucking great as you can see below. The recent eruption was actually quite small and the volcano is one of the most active in the world but the area is still in state of alert.

A quick google search will tell you that aside from volcanoes the island is also known for black magic and there are many associated dances and rituals with this. I think that this type of searching shows the problem with the internet because while I'm sure that there are these beliefs which are important and deeply held, but if you're a tourist you probably aren't really seeing them and you can't expect to understand a foreign culture from a week long stay. Also these magical beliefs are often tied to big scary things, so maybe the sense of foreboding attached to the island has as much to do with the fucking massive active volcano as the black magic. Which is something me and my brother were talking about yesterday - that something can have different explanations which can be unrelated yet equally valid, only he put it way better as unlike me he is theologist and had a way better analogy.

Even by VC's very low standards this post has gone wildly off topic but basically don't believe google , don't be a voyeur and there is still a disaster in Vanuatu, donate if you want.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Volcano of the Week #27 - Villarrica

Right so I haven't done a post in fucking ages but I'm not gonna be all like - relaunch, yeah I'm back! Because I keep doing that and then not posting again so I'm hoping that I can casually start posting again and no one will ever notice anything and it will just be an indication of my great new life. So basically ages ago my mate was all like 'I'm going to Chile to see volcanoes and shit, can you write about them?' and I was all like 'yeah course I will mate, that's pretty much my thing' so I wrote about Easter Island - where she's obviously not going as its in the middle of fucking nowhere. Then more recently she was all like 'I'm in fucking Chile, the volcano I was going to climb has just erupted, can you find out whats going on?' and 'I was like, yeah of course - that's totally my thing', which I didn't do like the twat I am. The other reason (I think that this is an indication of my staggering immaturity) is that whenever someone says that they are doing something slightly fun or exciting, there's a part of me that a bit too jealous to even slightly engage with anything to do with the fun or exciting thing. Which is obviously fucking ridiculous and petty, also mylife is so fucking great that I spent yesterday evening watching masterchef and making a coral reef to go in my fireplace. But back to the volcano.

Its hard not to be jealous when people send you photos like this!

Villarrica was the volcano that erupted and I know that I'm well behind as there is also the Vanuatu volcano but I can only deal with one eruption at a time as I've been working in admin for 5 months and through under stimulation my brain is seriously struggling. Villarrica is one of those volcanoes that erupts quite frequently but rarely massively - although this has been a fairly large eruption and thousands of people have had to evacuate the area. It's also up there with Mount Fuji in the classic volcano looks - snow capped, lake and forest. The lake is also called Villarrica as is a town and national park. The alert has now been degraded and the exclusion zone has been reduced but probably not enough for my mate to be able to climb it, although she did say that she would do some writing for me - cos she's a babe, I'm lazy and she should really pay some penance for having lots of fun.