Mingled amongst the fresh fruits, vegetables and general goods filling the merchant stalls tomorrrow (May 21) at London's Berwick Market will be the owners of such storied U.K. independent music labels as Domino, XL, Mute, Moshi Moshi, Heavenly, Soul Jazz, Wall of Sound, PIAS, Angular Recording Corporation, Rough Trade and others.
A group of leading independent label bosses are going back to their traditional selling roots at the inaugural Independent Label Market (ILM) on Berwick Street (an area once known for its indie record shops) by running their own records stalls and engaging with fans at 19 licensed market stands. There they will be selling signed copies of recent independent music releases, limited editions of artists' first recordings, and rare memorabilia.
The official ILM Facebook page says the event will have "special releases and/or guest appearances" from These New Puritans, Klaxons, White Lies, Manic Street Preachers, the Big Pink, Hot Chip, Theo Parrish, and Yuck
ILM's creator Joe Daniel, who is also Angular's co-founder, explains the inspiration behind this new indie music marketplace:
"I was at a show for These New Puritans in Berlin last year when I found myself having to man the merchandise table," Daniel says. "I could tell that by talking directly to the fans, who enjoyed the attention of someone who knew the act's music inside out, I was selling more records. I enjoyed it and remembered that is how most indie labels start, by wanting to share their taste with music fans."
Back in London, Daniel approached the capital city's independent labels, which all expressed interest in revisiting their beginnings in the business.
Among the inventory on sale at ILM will be XL's 10 signed copies of Adele's latest album "21" as well as hand made mixtapes from label honcho Richard Russell. Angular will have the last copies of the Klaxons' debut single "Gravity Rainbow." While the last few copies of an early single by hit act Florence and the Machine is available from Moshi Moshi. And Bella Union will have signed copies of Explosions In The Sky, Marques Toliver and Midlake as well as special fanzines and a karaoke cassette.
Additionally, fans of alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers will finally be able to get a hold of the only 7-inch versions of "Motown Junk," their first single on Heavenly Records before they joined Columbia. When originally released in 1991, "Motown Junk" was in only the CD and 12-inch formats. A very limited 500 copies of the only 7-inch will be on sale at Heavenly Recordings' stall.
"This year will be the single's 20th anniversary," explains Jeff Barrett, Heavenly Recordings' founder. "Although the rights now belong to Columbia, who acquired it when Manic Street Preachers signed with them, they were all happy for us to sell the 7-inch at the market." It will cost £5.00 ($8.00) each.
He says working on the release also brought back memories of Richey Edward, an original member of the band, who wrote the song before he mysteriously disappeared in 1995 and is now presumed dead.
When the 19 stalls acquired by Angular's Daniel from the local authority for ILM became overbooked, "it made me think we could do this again".
He is hoping to repeat the experience in other major music-oriented U.K. cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, and abroad in New York and Berlin.
"I think fans will enjoy buying their records directly from the person who knows everything about the recordings, funded it, made the important decisions about mixes, re-mixes and even the artwork," he added.