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Forever Heavenly

Believe In Magic #3

We’re back with another three things we’re enjoying today for #BelieveInMagicHour

✶ ✶ ✶Sea Change 2020 – Broadcasting Worldwide

‘Let’s Face The Future’ – Sea Change have now announced that their festival will take place online, hosting exclusive performances, events and conversations across social platforms.

Confirmed artists so far include Yann Tiersen, Shirley Collins, Billy Bragg and more which you can read about here. Expect some Heavenly names to be added to the list very soon…

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Heavenly Weekender at the Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

Heavenly family and friends and friends…today we rise rise from the rubble of our best laid 30th birthday celebrations to invite you to a Heavenly Weekender at the Hare and Hounds, Birmingham, way off in the unimaginable mists of September.

On Friday 18th September comes a set from space-bound boogiers The Orielles, with support from Heavenly supergroup Credwch Mewn Hud. Heavenly Jukebox and The Orielles DJs will spin discs late into the night.

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On Saturday 19th September, laser-toting party personnel Confidence Man take to the stage. Raf Rundell supports, and Unloved’s David Holmes mans the decks.

Tickets go on sale this Friday 17 April at 10am.

Read more here

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The Phil Kaufman Club – The Falcon

London, August 1988

The Phil Kaufman Club was the name I gave to a regular gig night I did at the long-gone Falcon pub in Camden Town.

The thing of note on this flyer is that it features the date of the first ever live performance of The Sundays. It was a pretty remarkable debut gig and one that got the group out of the traps faster than any other group I can think of, even to this day. Their rise was rapid and their success transatlantic but here’s where their story begins…

Everyone knew who I was in that pub. I’d been putting gigs on in Camden for some time by then so bands were always hitting me up with demos in the hope of getting a show. Truth is after all these years there are only a small few of those exchanges that I can clearly recall and one of those is meeting The Sundays.

Their approach was just the same: eye contact, shuffle over – “Hi, Jeff? Could we give you our demo please?” – but they had something about them; David and Harriet were particularly charming, and I just knew that this was going to be something good. And it was. Better than good. The demo was unbelievable. Great songs and Harriet Wheeler’s amazing voice. It knocked me out and I booked them immediately…in fact I was so hungry to see them, and they were so eager to play, that I think there was just a week – certainly no more than two – between this first meeting and the gig.

In the meantime, being the hustling music publicist that I was, I started to hype the show. The first two people I played the demo to were Danny Kelly, then the editor of NME, and Chris Roberts, a writer with a particular style of writing on the Melody Maker (note to young ‘uns: NME and MM were two of the five weekly music papers on offer at the time). Danny Kelly was coming anyway – I knew that because he was good friends with Andy Strickland of headline band The Caretaker Race (Andy was a writer on Record Mirror and had previously been a member of the great Creation band The Loft) – but after hearing the Sundays he knew to get to the Falcon early. Chris was a no-brainer. I knew what he was into and I knew that this was going to be love at first listen for him. It was, and you can read his review of the gig below (“The potential of The Sundays is about twice the size of Indonesia…”). Danny Kelly was equally excited and reviewed it with enthusiasm in the NME. They were off.

I had a label called Sub Aqua at the time and I desperately wanted to sign them. Chris wanted to sack off everything else in his life and become their manager. We could think of nothing else, but I was aware that my label was tiny and I had undoubtedly just shot myself in the foot by shouting from the rooftops as early as I did. I couldn’t help it though, and I still can’t! I hear it, I dig it, I don’t shut up about it.

I remember Chris and I having a meeting with the band a week or so after the gig, just before the reviews had run, at Chas & Dave’s pub, The Pegasus, Stoke Newington. They were lovely and our enthusiasm was probably a bit mental – I think they appreciated it but they weren’t ready to commit. The gig they played that night would be the last one I saw them play with me as the only record label in the room. Shortly after there was a chase and a bidding war and Rough Trade came out victorious. We were too tiny to compete and Chris remained a music writer. Fair enough. However disappointed I was, the brief, intense experience had been an adrenaline rush that I became addicted to.

There’s a pretty decent quality audio recording of the gig on YouTube. Listen here. (Jeff Barrett)

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