We had a blast holed up in the Soho Radio bunker to celebrate Heavenly’s 30 years of existence.
Over four 2-hour shows, Katherine, Daisy, Jeff and Danny selected some of their very favourite tracks from across the three decades, as well as inviting a number of Heavenly artists to contribute guest mixes.
On Monday, next gen Heavenly heads Daisy and Katherine selected their favourite tracks from the label’s catalogue, and played guest mixes from Mattiel Brown & Jonah Swilley of the Atlanta-based Mattiel.
On Tuesday, Heavenly founder Jeff and longtime overseer of smooth operations Danny played tracks from across the label’s huge and varied 30-year output.
Thursday, Daisy and Jeff joined forces to present Heavenly Recordings NOW! — a look into the bands picking up the Heavenly baton, with special guest and rising star Syd Minsky of Working Men’s Club.
And on Friday came Trouble of the World, marking the Heavenly release of a brand new single from Sinéad O’ Connor. The show featured an exclusive 90-minute mix by Sinéad and David Holmes (of Unloved).
As part of Record Store Day’s first 2020 event later this month, Cherry Ghosts “Live at the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge” is available to purchase on vinyl.
Details on the release and participating stores can be found here.
Photography by Nick Small.
Design by Luke Insect.
Fergal Kinney has written the sleeve notes which transport us back to this special live show and highlight Simon Aldred’s songwriting talent.
Live at the Trades Club Hebden Bridge captures the Bolton-born, Ivor Novello-winning songwriter Simon Aldred at something of a crossroads in his creative and personal life.
In January 2015, Heavenly Recordings held a weekender at West Yorkshire’s celebrated Hebden Bridge Trades Club – an interwar members’ co-operative nestled in the shivering Calder Valley – and invited Cherry Ghost to perform. The show would mark the sense of an ending for Aldred’s project – though not an actual ending.
Cherry Ghost had been quiet following the release of their third album, Herd Runners, the previous year. Aldred had stated the album would be their final release. A successful co-writing career was blossoming for Aldred, not to mention the small matter of personal happiness on the horizon. More than this, one of Aldred’s songs – ‘People Help the People’, described by Aldred as ‘an anthem for socialism’ – was having an unexpected afterlife as a global hit for the singer Birdy. How many anthems for socialism get namechecked on Saturday night television by Simon Cowell?
The Trades Club set’s instrumentation brings to the fore Aldred’s songwriting – intimate, spartan arrangements with Christian Madden on keyboards and Grenville Harrop on percussion. Had he been a little less – in his words – musically schizophrenic, a little easier to define, he’d be rightly understood as one of the most impressive British songwriters of the 21st century so far.
Captured here is Aldred’s drizzly Northern gothic, a classicism that comes from both pop and from country – haunted by his seemingly contradictory impulses towards ink-black pessimism and genuine yearning. Last bus loneliness, late-night Spars, solitary drinkers, factory floors and Gods that betray – all of human life is captured in this set. What if Scott Walker had watched the rain in Bolton? What would Edward Hopper find in a city centre Manchester bar?
There are surprises too – ‘All I Want’, quietly released as part of Aldred’s ‘Out Cold’ synth project, candidly examines Aldred’s sexuality, whilst the seldom heard B-side ‘Bad Crowd’ reveals a much funnier songwriter than is expected.
Live at the Trades Club Hebden Bridge is perhaps the best-realised collection of Simon Aldred’s songs to date – and one, it’s worth noting, that ends on his most optimistic song yet; captured at the very darkest point of winter, promising clear skies ever closer.
Details on Heavenly Recordings August 29th Record Store Day releases can be found here.
“The album has got the stamp of ‘the time’ over it. Everything on the album is an echo. It’s an echo of what we’re going through at the time. Getting back together, the Royal Albert Hall and everything else.
A few months back we praised designer Craig Oldham’s Key Worker Print. Now, the designer has curated a new platform to display young talent from across the UK using the #GRADSHOWCASE 2020 hashtag on Instagram and inviting 2020 graduates to showcase their work. The project saw over 500 submissions from multi-disciplinary artists and is a great discovery tool for businesses looking to utilise new talent. In the statement to round off the project Craig added that, ‘the industry will be made better by having the year of 2020 graduates with it.’ Looking at this incredible work, he’s not wrong – I can’t wait to see the website come to life in September. Head to the Instagram in the meantime here.
Annabel Fraser recently shared the news about a brand new Manchester-based online zine shop, we have yet to dive in but it’s looks great. Take a browse here.
We would like to thank everyone who bought records as part of the Independent Label Market Bandcamp Friday. We were overwhelmed by the number of orders and appreciate your patience when it came to getting everything posted out. We still have copies of the King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard ‘Rancid rainwater eco-wax editions’ available, these won’t be there for too long, head to our Bandcamp today!
The closure of Manchester’s Deaf Institute and Gorilla has brought a black cloud over our heads today. We hope Manchester can fight back and these buildings can re-open as music venues once again in the future. To boost our mood this Friday, Ewan Pearson has delivered the goods with this mind-melting remix of Happy Monday’s ‘Hallelujah.’ It’s killer…
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard released a beautiful new single this week, if you’re a fan of ‘Sketches of Brunswick East’, ‘Paper Mâché Dream Ballon’ and ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ then ‘Honey’ is the perfect track for you.
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FRIENDLY RECORDS – CAIO WHEELHOUSE
Check out this absolutely gorgeous T-shirt design from our friends in Bristol, designed by the incredibly talented Caio Wheelhouse. It’s a 5 colour beauty on an organic cotton shirt printed in Bristol by @simpleprintstudio.
Choose a good record and it will stay with you forever. The same goes if you’re lucky enough to find yourself a good local record shop. Kevin Pearce spent his formative years (and his hard earned cash) in an unpretentious South London record shop. Here he reminisces how Cloud 9 helped shape his life…
A great read on the Love Record Stores blog, originally published in Caught by the River’s ‘An Antidote To Indifference’ zine, issue #12.
Hello everyone, I hope your having a good Friday afternoon. It’s Katherine here popping out for a break from behind the Heavenly stall at the Independent Label Market. I’m feeling weary and a little bit tipsy after one too many Camden Hells from the beer stall opposite!
I jest, this summers event has taken place on Bandcamp, champions of new music, the platform for artists has once again waived their fees for the third time during the Covid 19 crisis. This time round labels joined in the action, following the cancellation of the annual record fair for indies.
You can head to the Heavenly page and check out our super £10 vinyl sale as well as snapping up a limited eco-friendly King Gizzard record. I think there are still a few copies of the fluty one (my favourite) ‘Paper Mâché Dream Balloon’ here.
Elsewhere this week I have longed for the dance-floor by reading Greg Wilson’s blog. Wilson has been keeping a DJ diary for 10 years and it’s fabulous! This week he announced the blog had run it’s coarse for now. He has turned this attention to writing a book. He says, “I propose to write about the black music scene in the early-‘80s, and its crucial influence on the course of UK dance culture.” This sounds like another great venture, for now check out his archive posts from behind the DJ booth here.
In additional DJ news Erol Alkan has joined the good folk of NTSlive for a regular monthly show. So exciting! His first transmission will be on Tuesday 7th July at midday until 2pm. If you can’t wait that long, listen back to his brilliant Love Record Store’s mix here. Erol’s mix was inspired by ‘Pure Groove’ a record shop in Archway he loved growing up, read all about his connection to the shop here.
Further up the country in Scotland is Monorail in Glasgow, a record store that is close to my heart. This week they revealed a new section to their website dedicated to Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs compilations, what a good idea! The comps released via Ace Records are SO GOOD. Whilst Monrail’s doors are still closed, they remain open for online orders and you can purchase a comp here.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say that although pubs might be open tomorrow, it’s worth remembering that The Social has remained open during this strange time. As a venue it will not be re-opening it’s doors for sometime. However, having teamed up with White Rabbit Books since the dawn of lockdown the exceptional online gathering is still pushing out the good stuff, as well as the genius online drinks. It’s kept me sane during lockdown and will continue to so in this bizarre, unknown limbo period we find ourselves.
If your feeling creative this coming weekend Greenman Festival have launched a fundraiser t-shirt design competition. Win tickets for GM21 by including your interpretation of the Green Man effigy and what he might doing instead of the festival this summer. Send your design to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by 22nd July, Good luck!
Before I go, don’t forget that Working Men’s Club are playing YES Manchester tonight. It’s our first live gig together… virtually anyway! A Basement Transmission filmed in multi camera HD. Tickets still available via Dice.
Hello friends, family and those who ‘Believe In Magic.’
We would like to say thank-you for joining us during these strange times.
Whilst we kicked back with an afternoon tea at 3pm each day back in April, we also opened up our blog to re-engage everyone with dynamite sounds and interesting articles; showcasing a selection of art, literature and music we enjoy.
It made us feel like we were in the office discussing a new release and sharing our enthusiasm for our friends latest projects and ventures.
Now, as things move forward in the outside world, we too are going to take a new direction. Together, we are going to compile a weekly round-up of all things magical right here on this blog every Friday.