Tuesday 28 April 2015
Sunday 19 April 2015
There's a Facebook event page here. Here's what I wrote for it:
I was ripe for Clare Wadd and Matt Haynes’s Sarah Records. At the turn of the 90s I was a pretty timid teenager looking for things to help sand-off the rough edges of life. When Sarah released one heart-meltingly beautiful single after another by the likes of The Sea Urchins, The Field Mice, The Orchids, The Wake etc., I was in. Sarah stood out because it proudly celebrated beauty and unashamedly celebrated sensitivity; things which irritated the more laddish element writing for the rock press at the time. They got some savage reviews and were dismissed as “limp-wristed wimp pop”. Professing to a love of Sarah Records was more often than not met with a disparaging sneer. It only made me love them more. Sarah was about more than just music, too. I looked forward to reading Matt and Clare’s writing on the record inserts, fanzines and newsletters almost as much as I did to hearing their new releases; it was so passionate, erudite and slyly funny. Sarah didn’t shy away from the political - check The Wake’s “Major John” and wasn’t ‘Fuck the poll tax!’ etched into the run-out groove on the a-side The Orchids’ “Underneath The Window, Underneath The Sink”? - and it was inclusive: female, male, gay, straight, all were welcomed by Matt and Clare. Like Postcard before it, Sarah produced some wonderful ephemera. There were 5” flexidiscs, the aforementioned newsletters, gorgeous cut and paste fanzines, balloons, the butterfly design Heavenly carrier bag which, inexplicably, got up the noses of the more dunderheaded heavy metal tee wearing types on my university course and so much more. The records consistently looked fabulous, too. When Matt and Clare called it a day in 1995, I was genuinely a bit heartbroken. Happily, however, time has been kind to their uncompromising vision and impeccable taste, what with Lucy’s documentary and a soon to be published book. Even former foe the NME recently proclaimed Sarah to be second best indie label ever. Something which rivals Canadian punks Fucked Up covering Another Sunny Day’s rollicking “Anorak City” in terms of sheer unexpectedness.
Lucy tweets about the film at: @SarahRecordsDoc
Yesterday's Record Store Day at Monorail Music was a blast. As ever, I bought a load of Record Story Day exclusives that I undoubtedly would have bought on any other day of the year: The Liminanas 7", the Hinds/The Parrots split 7", the third archival Half Japanese box, the new Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings 7", Night School's Rose McDowall reissue 12" etc.. I also bought the NF Porter reissue "Keep On Keeping On" / "I Can Only Be Sure" despite its 12.99 asking price because a) the SONGS and b) I'm no Daddy Warbucks so affording the originals is the stuff of delusional daydreams for me. The record I had been looking forward to picking up most, however, was The Wake's subtly shimmying "Clouds Disco" 7". It was a highlight of the cd version of last year's "Testament" compilation but belongs on 7" vinyl. Caesar's vocals are so gentle and great and those keyboards sway as organically as seaside grass. It's a sweet reminder that The Wake's melodies, heart and uncluttered arrangements are always welcome.