StreetVet Fundraiser – 3rd October 2019!


StreetVet Fundraiser – Thursday 3rd October 2019 at The Star Inn, Guildford. 

Doors 7.30pm. £5 on the door. ALL door proceeds will go to StreetVet. Over 18’s event. 

Who are StreetVet?

StreetVet are a charity who are made up of vets and nurses who volunteer their time to support the homeless and their pets. They started out in 2016 and work with outreach organisations to support homeless people and their pets across the country. With more and more support from donations hopefully they can continue to grow and help more people and their pets. They offer vaccinations, surgery, flea treatments, basics such as food, blankets and toys, a friendly listening ear, and much more. StreetVet

If you wish to make any additional donations to the charity you can do so here via Golden Giving StreetVet Golden Giving page

Who’s playing the fundraiser?

Headlining our event are the mighty Broken Dollars!


Broken Dollars have just released their debut full length album “Hope and Fate”, which is available from Spotify Broken Dollars Spotify


Broken Dollars are playing a rare home show so we are very excited for this one!



New wave / post punk band The Landings will be bringing their most excellent indie wares out to play for us!


Writing and performing since 2005 check out their two records ‘ The Landings’ and ‘Seconds’ on Spotify!  The Landings Spotify



James Scallan from The Pony Collaboration will be treating us with a solo show playing tracks from The Pony Collaboration’s back catalogue, including their latest third album “Everything was ages ago”, released on North Bend Records!


Check out James and The Pony Collaboration on Spotify The Pony Collaboration Spotify and also on Bandcamp The Pony Collaboration Bandcamp


Where is the gig?

The StreetVet Fundraiser will be at Guildford’s longest running music venue, the historic The Star Inn in Guildford!

The Star Inn recently received a PRS for Music Heritage Award PRS Award The Star Inn , which was unveiled by The Stranglers who played their first gig at The Star Inn in 1974.

More information on The Star Inn can be found here The Star Inn

The Star Inn, 2 Quarry Street, Guildford, Surrey. GU1 3TY.


Are there any age restrictions regarding the event?

This is an over 18’s only event


How do I keep up to date with any further information about the event?

There is a Facebook event page where we will be listing the stage times and any further information you may require! StreetVet Fundraiser Event Page


We look forward to seeing you there!! 

Pony roundup!

We are still celebrating the release of The Pony Collaboration’s outstanding third album “Everything Was Ages Ago”, released on North Bend Records in March 2018.


Since the release there has been much activity so here is a bulletin with some Pony News!

In case you missed it you can hear James’ exclusive live session and interview with Kieran Cooke on the Crossing The Tracks show here:  Crossing The Tracks



James has also been chatting with John Clarkson at Penny Black Music (Penny Black Music Interview ) and the band have been featured on the podcast Too Much Rock (Too Much Rock Podcast #438 )

Album reviews have been featured on Vocal (author Katie Young ) Vocal Review and Just Listen To This (author Pete Sargeant) Just Listen To This Review

“Everything Was Ages Ago” is available on limited digipack CD format from Bandcamp ( Pony Collaboration Bandcamp ), our own shop (North Bend Records ) and from the awesome Record Corner in Godalming (Record Corner Website  , Record Corner Twitter)

record corner

You can also buy the digital release from Bandcamp, itunes, amazon etc, as well as stream on Spotify (Everything Was Ages Ago on Spotify )

Thank you all for your support!

Stay tuned to the following channels for more news!

The Pony Collaboration – Facebook , Twitter , Bandcamp

North Bend Records – Facebook , Twitter , North Bend Records Website

New Release! The Pony Collaboration “Everything Was Ages Ago” (March 2018)

We are very excited to have our second release on North Bend Records out in the world! The Pony Collaboration launched their new album “Everything Was Ages Ago”  in a surprise release announcement on Sunday 4th March 2018!

“Everything Was Ages Ago'” is their most exciting and varied album to date. The album consists of songs that were recorded between 2010 and 2013 and which have remained unreleased until now. The band have recently returned to the studio to start work on a follow up.

The album is available to buy from Bandcamp The Pony Collaboration Bandcamp or from our Record Shop North Bend Records Shop

James from the band will be on Radio Woking’s Crossing The Tracks show on Monday 19th March from 8pm with an interview and stripped down session. You can listen to Radio Woking here Radio Woking

We hope you enjoy the new release!



Debut label single available at our Record Store!

The record store is now open for business!

Debut signings Greedy Hands release their first single on North Bend Records! “Lantern”, comprising of two tracks “Down” and “Never Say Never”, was recorded at Silent Hill Studios in 2015.

This is it’s limited physical release on the website! An exciting day for North Bend Records!


To celebrate our first release as a label all sales come with a limited edition hand designed guitar pick (while stocks last!). Released 29.2.2016 (leap year 2016 day)

Buy “Lantern” now!

(February 2017)

Sub Pop turns 28 years old!

Sub Pop turned 28 years old last week. They celebrated on April Fools Day. Far from a joke at a time in the music industry when things can feel a little bleak for some artists and labels, in relation to how music is now seen as a free commodity by some, knowing they are going strong at 28 is certainly a good reason to celebrate.

Founded in 1988 by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman Sub Pop became as synonymous with the grunge movement as Sun Records with Elvis and Johnny Cash. Sub Pop have subsequently grown to be a much more diverse label, signing the mighty Flight of the Conchords, The Postal Service, Sleater-Kinney, Clipping, Mirel Wagner and Lyla Fox, alongside the influential Nirvana, Tad and Mudhoney. The newer Father John Misty album was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of last year, with sold out gigs on both sides of the Atlantic. They now have a record shop at the airport.


I had the pleasure of visiting the Sub Pop office two years ago, easily one of many highlights of my Seattle trip. A busy productive office, it also feels like an archive documenting what Pavitt and Poneman started, and what they, with supporters, employees and artists have nurtured and developed over the years with framed posters, discs, graffiti and photographs adorning the walls. They are proud of what they have achieved and rightly so.

Happy Birthday Sub Pop!

“Sub Pop turns 28” is part one of an irregular series celebrating independent record labels. Next up Merge Records! 

(April 2016)

Merge Records: Driveway to Driveway

When the idea first surfaced about starting North Bend Records I was given a very thoughtful present from my partner, something to help encourage me and inspire me to get started. It was the book “Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records” by John Cook, with Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance.

With the tagline “The indie label that got big and stayed small”, the pages document the origins of Merge Records, accompanied by images of personal and professional photographs, fliers, record covers, office buildings, bands, artists, gigs, press, and correspondence. It is an archive of their first near 20 years.

Formed in 1989 by by Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Merge Records came to fruition as a means to help put out the material of their band, then called Chunk (they went on to be Superchunk), and their friend’s bands in the local music scene. A genuine do it yourself label due to the resources available to them, the book describes how boxes of t-shirts and records were stored in their bedrooms until they got their own premises, and Laura made the homemade invoices on her typewriter. They encouraged the bands they signed to also be creative in the production and art work of their records. Matt Suggs from Butterglory describes signing with Merge as feeling part of a “community”.

Superchunk as a band started to grow, touring outside of the US and gracing music press covers, including the New Musical Express. The label also started to grow, establishing a significant relationship with the manufacturing and distribution arm of Touch and Go Records. Near the end of the book, published in 2009, Laura discusses the disillusionment of some artists signed with major labels who were now approaching Merge, believing more in their ethos of running a label. Mac describes how they were adapting to the changing landscape of music, in relation to MP3s and digital music and the importance of not making this feel like a “distant” product.

Merge have continued to successfully navigate the many sea changes in the industry since 1989, firmly establishing themselves as one of the top independent labels in the world.


Christina Rentz from Merge Records kindly gave her time to answer a few questions about Merge Records today;

NBR: “Our Noise” highlights Mac spoke in 2007 at the Future of Music Coalition annual summit where concern had been raised in general regarding declining record sales and the change in how people were/are consuming music. In December 2016, in the UK, vinyl had started to outsell digital downloads for the first time. Is this a trend Merge have noticed in regards to a swing back to people wanting the physical?

CR: Streaming is definitely where things are heading, but the resurgence of vinyl has been nice for those of us who enjoy collecting the physical product.

NBR: There have been, and continue to be, some extremely ground breaking records and artists that have been signed to Merge and put out highly acclaimed records, for example The Arcade Fire, Conor Oberst, Superchunk, Neutral Milk Hotel, amongst many others. Has there been a record which has particularly, or surprisingly, exceeded all expectations in terms or reach, acclaim or interest?

CR: We love our records and hope for them all to receive the acclaim and reach that they deserve, but there is no predicting what will happen!

NBR: A selfish question! I love the Wild Flag record. Are there any plans for more releases from them?

CR: No, Wild Flag are no longer a band, but we expect new Ex Hex music soon.

NBR: Merge has always been very DIY. Have technological advances helped or hindered this ethos (or indeed both helped and hindered)? As a follow up question; is it hard to remain a viable Independent record label in the current climate?

CR:  Of course it is hard, but worth it to work with the great bands we represent. It is always exciting to expand our roster, too, and work with young artists like Sneaks and A Giant Dog as well as artists who haven’t broken into the US market yet like Ibibio Sound Machine.

NBR: Please can you highlight any future releases we should all look out for?

CR: Ibibio Sound Machine’s Uyai will be out March 3. We can’t wait to see them live in the US for the first time! At the end of March, Sneaks & Coco Hames have new albums. We have lots of surprises coming up, too! Best way to keep up to date is to follow us on socials and sign up for our newsletter.

Many Thanks to Christina and Merge Records!

Merge Records Website

“Merge Records: Driveway to Driveway” is part two of an irregular series celebrating independent record labels.


(February 2017)

Sofaburn Records: A chat with Mike Montgomery

Sofaburn Records was set up in 2006 by Christopher Mueller to release his band’s, Alone at 3am, music. It was also an opportunity to help out his fellow musician friends and fellow local artists’ music as well, focusing on small releases. Operating from that point initially out of a basement office, it was in 2015 that Sofaburn moved out into an office in Dayton, KY expanding and rolling out national releases, having grown and built a wider audience and artist network. The building where Sofaburn now resides is also home to Candyland Recording Studio, where Mike Montgomery, one of “the three sofaburners” also works having designed and built the studio as the owner and engineer.  As Mike describes this is, fortunately for him, “not a long commute” between workplaces.

In March I was able to catch up with Mike on Skype, who kindly took the time out to talk to me from the Sofaburn office to discuss Sofaburn Records in more depth, the ethos behind the label, as well the exciting plans coming up for the label, and associated artists.

We spoke for some time about the background to the label and what they are hoping to achieve going forward. Mike described to me that there is no one size fits all contract when an artist signs to the label; “it depends on the needs of the artist. Some artists may need a van, or a place to practice”.  These basic needs for a band, alongside the more traditional functions of a label in supporting with the recording, artwork, publicity and distribution,  can all be supported by Sofaburn whose priority is to “nurture and support artists” over turning a profit. The three sofaburners trust each other’s judgement in bringing new artists to the label. Mike described how they had a list of people they would like to work with and connected with these artists. They are also approached by artists submitting their work to the label directly (details of how to do this are on their website below).

In keeping with the community values inherent in the label’s make-up, I asked Mike about Sofagive, the charity element to the label. Currently the label have a monthly charity which receives $1 for every physical release order that is made through the website. Charities which have benefited from this include the local animal shelter, and for March 2017 it was Galaxie Skateshop for their community DIY Skate park. Mike mentioned how “ideally in time the artists could decide which charity they would like the money to go to” , from their own releases, so that many charities could benefit at once. Community and support is a big thing at Sofaburn Records who detail local community projects on their webpages as well as in and near area independent record stores. We discussed that of course the label do have a financial interest and of course want to sell records but the ethos is not for profit and is centered around building an artistic community where people share ideas, talents, resources and support each other. It is about relationships.

Following on from this idea of different types of artists coming together, I was curious to know how the video collaborations with the animation artists for the label signings R.Ring tracks “Cutter” and “100 Dollar Heat” had come about. These tracks feature on R.Ring’s forthcoming debut LP “Ignite the Rest”, now available for pre-order on Sofaburn. I had noticed that the artist for “Cutter”, Clyde Petersen, was having his work shown at the BFI (British Film Institute) in London, as part of the “Flare” festival which celebrates LGBTQ cinema. Mike Montgomery and Kelley Deal from R.Ring met Clyde when in Seattle, through the artistic community there, which includes cellist Lori Goldston (who features on the upcoming R.Ring record). Alex Leonard, of the band Protomartyr, created the “100 Dollar Heat” video. In short “creative people tend to find each other”.

R.Ring at The Lexington, London. 8th March 2013

Over time Sofaburn has grown which brings it’s own rewards and challenges. An exciting shift has been they have been able to partner with Alternative Distribution Alliance, an independent sales, marketing and distribution network, owned by the Warner Music group, and already working with many independent labels including Sub Pop and Merge. The move will mean Sofaburn’s releases will be rolled out on a much larger scale across the US, and subsequently internationally. This will have a huge impact for both label and artist. I reminded Mike of when we last met in London at the Aces and Eights bar, when I had come to see the Sofaburn curated London leg, in 2015, of the European OH/KY tour with Jeremy Pinnell, Max Fender and Ags Connolly. Both working for labels we discussed at the time the continued public desire for the physical product and how to make this viable in an ever changing market of downloading and streaming. There are a lot of physical releases available on the webpage with clearly marked store sections of “physical” and “digital”. I asked Mike how this translated into sales and demand.We went over how one format can favour the other depending on the artist and even the genre, however both sell well at Sofaburn. Given the scale of the new distribution deal with A.D.A and this being rolled out over the months ahead, the closing comment regarding the popularity of the physical product was “ask me in a month or so!”


Jeremy Pinnell at Aces and Eights, London. 20th October 2015

Sofaburn’s signings are diverse. Daniel Martin Moore, who has recently been touring Portugal and Spain, has a truly beautiful voice to get happily lost for a few hours in his vocal soundscapes.  M. Ross Perkins, currently touring in the US, is a multi-instrumentalist one man band, recording at home for many years at a prolific rate. Soft vocals and echoes of 60’s Beach Boys’ era, he couldn’t be more different to a signing generating significant media interest, Benchmarks, a trio from Nashville, an alternative rock band who have released their debut lp this month. Future releases are also due from Ampline, R.Ring, and a new album from M.Ross Perkins. Jeremy Pinnell, an early and critically acclaimed signing, and R.Ring are both hopeful they will be returning to the UK this year to tour.

Ampline at The Windmill, London as part of Bad Friday. 18th April 2014

Mike and I discussed the path from recording to release and the timescales for this. Timing is key for both artist and label, and this can create challenges for all of having to be patient at times; “Artists are keen to get their release out”, Mike commented, “to release it like a dove” soon after the recording wraps. This isn’t always realistic. It also isn’t always the best thing for both artist and label as bad timing, despite promotion and excitement from the artists and labels, can mean good music doesn’t get the platform it deserves.

Bridged from this discussion was the fact, simply, that across the music industry there is some exceptional music that doesn’t alway sell well, and arguably some music which will sell well but is not as well crafted or executed. This is of course subjective to the listener. We discussed because of this it is important to go and see local bands and support each other. You never know what special music is waiting for you at your local open mic night, or what your music or art may mean to someone else, even if you aren’t selling a million records. I mentioned to Mike I recently had seen the Jim Jarmusch film “Patterson”, starting Adam Driver as a bus driver who writes poetry on his lunch break. He is content in his life and not seeking fame for his work. The pleasure for him is simply creating his poetry and chance encounters connecting with like-minded individuals. For some it is that simple. Whatever the outcome, this seems to me a good basis for all to begin creative endeavours, reminiscent of the start of Sofaburn and other like minded independent labels.

To find out more about Sofaburn, to hear more about their artists and to purchase any releases please visit Sofaburn

Clyde Petersen’s most recent work was screened at the BFI Flare festival in March with a live band  Clyde Petersen

The video for R.Ring’s “Cutter” can also be found here  R.Ring

Sofaburn Records is the third in our irregular series celebrating Independent Record labels!

(April 2017)

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