To have a successful music scene, you need artists that are willing to graft to make it big; artists that can stomach playing in front of ten people safe in the knowledge that things can only better; and artists that write good songs. Equally, if not more importantly, you need people that are willing to spend their time, and potentially risk their money, to help these artists get their music into the public sphere.
With Nottingham’s music scene as healthy as it has ever been, it’s time to check out some of the people behind the scenes that are making it all happen.
Named ‘Label of Love’ by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens in July 2012, Denizen is a Nottingham-based independent record label and artist management company formed though a sheer love of music. The past year has seen Denizen’s artists, which include Kagoule, Kappa Gamma and Weirds, receive BBC Radio 1 daytime airtime and NME magazine reviews.
Denizen’s studio is an Aladdin’s Cave full of all the vintage amplifiers and instruments that you could possibly imagine.
Denizen boast a world-class Neve mixing console in one of their studios, whilst their other studio is an Aladdin’s Cave full of all the vintage amplifiers and instruments that you could possibly imagine. A perfect location for making music if ever there was one.
If anyone embodies the rising stock of Nottingham’s music scene, it is I’m Not From London, an independent label, promotion company and events management firm that has risen from humble beginnings to now firmly flying the flag for Nottingham’s DIY scene.
I’m Not From London has risen from humble beginnings to now firmly flying the flag for Nottingham’s DIY scene.
Having formed by chance when Will took advantage of a bizarre opportunity at a former workplace, the team is now several people strong, with a band roster that most can only dream of, including the likes of Captain Dangerous, Baby Godzilla, Practical Lovers and Deaf Bridges.
In terms of future plans, I’m Not From London are looking to move their focus to vinyl releases, which is something they’re yet to achieve. Their regular hip-hop night, I’m Not From Brooklyn, at Alley Café is set to become an integral part of Nottingham’s music scene, while the prospect of bigger gigs and events in the near future is highly exciting.
Their regular hip-hop night, I’m Not From Brooklyn, at Alley Café is set to become an integral part of Nottingham’s music scene.
Gringo is an independent record label that formed in Nottingham in 1997. They’ve put out records by the likes of HOOKWORMS, I Am Spartacus and Polaris, guaranteeing themselves a prominent place in Nottingham’s music scene.
Being run from Matt’s bedroom, whilst also holding down a full-time job, Gringo is about as DIY as it gets. He indiscriminately accepts demo tapes from everyone, although prefers not to receive links to online files, all in the hope of finding the next big thing to emerge from Nottingham.
Being run from Matt’s bedroom, whilst also holding down a full-time job, Gringo is about as DIY as it gets.
In addition to those mentioned above, Nottingham is also home to the likes of Earache, Dealmaker Mimm, and so many more. While Jake Bugg and Dog Is Dead have managed to make it out of the city, leaving the independent music scene behind, it is important to note that there would be no Jake Bugg or Dog Is Dead without this committed community behind them. If ever there was a time to be involved with music in Nottingham, it’s right now.