Giving it all away – The LAB Records giveaway day!

LAB Records have announced a once in a lifetime treat for fans of quality contemporary music, by offering their entire current roster for free!

Incredible as it may sound all you will need to pay is the postage while stocks remain available of the following albums:

Just Surrender – Phoenix
The Morning Of – The Way I Fell In
Portia Conn – I Don’t Care
Lost On Campus – Tell Them I Had A Wonderful Life
Not Advised – After The Fight
Lost On Landing – Sweet Talk
MiMi Soya – I Can’t Stand Pop Bands

As one of the most successful independent labels of its kind out there right now, with 15,000 sales this year alone, LAB has built up a solid following of admirers in its short history, and this is their way of giving something back to their fans.

LAB Records CEO Mark Orr said;
“This is a huge time for the label as we come towards the end of our most successful year to date and prepare for a more mainstream sound in 2011. Every label gives away digital samplers but we thought – for one day only – it would be a unique and memorable stand to make all of our CD’s absolutely free. It’s our little way of saying ‘thank-you’ to everyone who has supported LAB over the past 3 years.”

The event takes place on September 3rd, for one day only. Head over to Lab Records for further information on this very special and unique offer.

Tips for 2009: Don’t Believe the Hype

The yearly tips for Your New Favourite Band 2009 have begun…

I recently professed my love of end of year lists. Well, at the beginning of a new year, a new type of list comes out, fuelled by the NME and Radio 1 style quest for ‘your new favourite band’: The Tips for 2009. This year La Roux, White Lies, Lady GaGa and Florence and the Machine are hotly tipped by the Guardian among others.

Adele was rightly tipped for success in 2008
Adele was rightly tipped for success in 2008

Well, I hate these lists. Predictions inevitably tend to come from industry insiders, so what do we get except a bunch of hopefuls for one-album money makers pathetically compared to last year’s big names – big precisely because they weren’t really comparable to anything else. In fact, it’s hard to see La Roux’s name mentioned without Adele and Duffy appearing alongside it.

Did anyone predict the enormous success of Arctic Monkeys in 2007? Did anyone see Bon Iver sneaking onto everyone’s lips in 2008 (I don’t think even those who bought his album when it was self-released in 2007 really saw it coming)?

These lists are ways to fill space and wind up the publicity for the music industry’s next money-spinner. And we are all too willing to fall into their trap at this time of year.

Perhaps it’s a human desire to predict and manage the future, but it all seems so futile when very few predictions come to fruition. Let’s look at what was tipped for 2008: Rightly, Duffy and Adele were causing a bit of a stir, but so were One Night Only, of whom the only thing I saw was an appearance at a summer ball I went to – not exactly headlining Glastonbury.

Sam Sparro also was tipped, though he only actually managed one hit which now plagues me every time I play Pro Evolution Soccer. Black Kids failed to really excite anyone on a great scale, not to mention Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong and Does It Offend You, Yeah?, who were both the pick of the editor of the NME. His best prediction was Late of the Pier, of whom he said “I don’t actually like the music that much”.

Where predictions came good, it was generally stuff that was already fairly big on the internet, or already gaining some hype in the previous year. Take MGMT and Vampire Weekend, for example, or even Foals who had been tipped for quite some time before not quite wowing anyone last year. It all seems a fairly contrived way to state the obvious and crank up the hype machine.

My only advice is to beware: don’t believe the hype, it’ll probably never happen. And judging on last year’s picks, let’s hope it doesn’t.

Oasis Cash Buys U2 Studio Time

Theres a great interview with Noel Gallagher in Mojo, in which the Oasis frontman claims to have paid off the Abbey Road studio so that his band could record there.

Gallagher claims that the studio had been pre-booked by Irish rockers U2 for December, the exact time that Oasis wanted to record their new album.

Gallagher claims that “U2 were booked in there with [producer] Rick Rubin, I was like, ‘U2? U2 have to have a f***ing six-hour meeting whether to get tea or coffee in the rehearsal room!”

“The guy from Abbey Road was like, ‘I’ve got it block-booked for the exact time you want it.'”

Gallagher claims that the band went to the Abbey Road studio with ‘a bag of money’ and said ‘We can pay for the studio now.’

The album was duly recorded before being mixed in America. Dig Out Your Soul will be released on October 6th.

Mercury Prize Nominations 2008

Twelve albums have been nominated for this years Mercury Prize, the nominees were announced at an event in London’s Covent Garden last night.

The nominations for the best album of the year are:

Elbow The Seldom Seen Kid

Radiohead – In Rainbows

British Sea PowerDo You Like Rock Music?

Robert Plant and Alison KraussRaising Sand

Burial Untrue



Laura MarlingAlas, I Cannot Swim

Rachel Unthank and The Winterset The Bairns

Neon NeonStainless Style

Portico QuartetKnee Deep In The North Sea

Last Shadow Puppets The Age Of Understatement

The nominations are an unusually eclectic mix of musical styles and some interesting choices, although I am not absolutely sure about the inclusion of Adele or Estelle as albums of the year.

What’s your choice and why?


The Secret World Of Sam King

Universal Records, Social networking site Bebo and production company Monkey Kingdom are joining forces to make an online soap series.

The soap will feature Amy Winehouse, Bloc Party and Razorlight, along with guest appearances from Duffy, Girls Aloud and The Feeling.

The Daily Star reports that the soap will be set in the offices of Universal Records and will follow the fortunes of teenager Sam King, who works in the post room and sets up his own office in the back of a stationary cupboard.

The soap will only be available to users of the Bebo network.