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Jonathon Geddes - Evening Times Wed 30/03/17
It’s the trend-setting record label being crowd-funded entirely by music fans – and Last Night From Glasgow will mark its first birthday with a special gig at Stereo tonight.
The not for profit label has been a breath of fresh air since launching, with an innovative approach aimed at giving bands and singers plenty of creative freedom.
Currently around 170 people pay in £50 each year, which funds the label and lets them bring out various albums and EP’s. Five releases are already planned throughout 2017, in genres from electronica to Americana.
“We’re not going to put out anything we don’t like,” explains Murray Easton, one of the six men who co-founded the label.
“We’ll discuss a release and whether we like it, or should put it out. Because we put a lot of time into it, especially Ian Smith, our honorary chair, we have to go at it with 100% commitment. It’s not just music but the people, because the nature of the label means we have to build up a relationship with them.”
The whole project started when Ian helped to crowd-fund recording sessions for Glasgow’s all female pop band Teen Canteen, a group which includes Murray’s younger sister Carla. Ian mentioned to Carla his interest in continuing with crowd-funding projects, and she suggested he contact her brother, who was “looking at setting up a digital label to release a few things.”
The duo hit it off, and after asking a few friends to get involved, Last Night From Glasgow came into being, with its first release being a seven inch single by the singer Mark W Georgsson. The following several months brought album releases on vinyl, as well as releases on USB credit cards and snap wristbands.
“We have learned that this model works,” says Murray.
“In an age where people maybe don’t value bands as much as they did, we’ve taken crowdfunding and applied it to a record label. Straight away we know we have about 170 members for a band, who will receive that record, Tweet about it and talk about it.
“The confidence that gives a band is incredible. We can put shows on in Glasgow and there’s nothing like ‘pay to play’ or making them sell a certain amount of tickets. It’s all been very positive.”
Speaking of positive, Murray is particularly pleased about the line-up performing at Stereo tonight, all of whom will be bringing out records later this year on the label.
“Boo Hoo Hoo put out their first release last year and they’ve already been on some ones to watch lists,” he says.
“They’ve done an album that will hopefully be out in August or September and will have people dancing. We have Medicine Men, who are our newest signings and we’ll have their album out in May. It’s like the Small Faces balanced with Can and Kraftwerk.
“We brought out a single by Emme Woods last year and when she played last year she was just starting to play live with an electric guitar. Now she’s been writing with Barrie James O’Neill of Kassidy and building a band around her.
“Lastly there’s Sister John, who we’re actually seeing live for the first time. They’d sent in some demos that were really good.”
Already the label’s ethos has seen it compared to legendary Manchester label Factory, while the fact they have subscribers from the likes of Canada and Germany mean international expansion isn’t impossible.
After all, the label is built on a shared love of music, with Glasgow a natural fit.
“There’s a sense of community there,” adds Murray.
“It’s something people can feel a part of, and Glaswegians are always interesting and creative people who love going to gigs and hearing new music. There’s something entrepreneurial about the city. They say people make Glasgow but people really have made this label!”
Last Night From Glasgow, tonight, Stereo, £10, 7pm. More information on the label is at http://www.lastnightfromglasgow.com/