Label Launch – No Such Thing Records

Logo for No Such Thing Records - a dark pink bird’s webbed foot on a pale pink background

When a new record label launches into what is an already busy market, it’s sometimes difficult to pick out the USP. However, No Such Thing is very clear about its mission from the outset, setting itself the target of releasing 70% of its music from LGBTQ+ and Black and minority ethnic artists. The wealth of talent already involved in setting up and signing to the label is a reminder that this really doesn’t need to be the exception to the rule of many other independent labels, not to mention promoters, bookers, et al.

The brainchild of electronic musician and producer Dirty Freud and musician and visual artist Ruby Tingle, the label is taking a positive twist on the gender imbalance in music and the arts by proactively championing diversity amongst its acts.

Explaining the ethos behind the label, Dirty Freud says, “What sets No Such Thing apart is our commitment to giving a voice to artists from under-represented groups – whether that’s ethnicity, sexuality or disability… As a Black artist myself, I know that doors don’t always open that easily if you don’t fit the mould. Or if they do, you’re expected to fit into a stereotyped box. We’re here to challenge that, to empower our artists and give them back creative control.”

Ruby Tingle adds, “There’s so much creativity in the north, which we’re here to harness. This is a really exciting time to be doing something different in the music industry.”

Already signed to No Such Thing are six artists all based across the north of England, each one offering something new and innovative – Szou, Leftwinter, Iora, Kaspa, Off Noise and Jaayns.

The label will make its debut release on 12th March with Rose-Tinted by Manchester based electro-pop artist Szou, who says, “I wrote Rose-Tinted in the summer of 2020 when it became apparent that the pandemic was here to stay. Being away from my friends made me appreciate them even more and long for the days when life was normal. It’s a love letter to them really. It’s about looking through old photos and the intense nostalgia feeling you get from that. It’s about wanting to relive those memories, the good and even the bad because it was such a different time to the present day. That sounds bleak but I’m hopeful we’ll be able to make even better memories when all of this shit is over.”

It certainly looks as though No Such Thing will be making memories for the future; we wish them the absolute best of luck with the label and are very much looking forward to watching it develop and grow.

Rose-Tinted is available to pre-save here.

You can find out more about No Such Thing Records here, including more details about their initial roster of artists and links to their socials.

Words by Siobhan

1st March 2021

Clue Records – Music & Mergers: Interview with Scott Lewis

With the global pandemic robbing us of gigs, festivals and so much more, the music industry has had little to celebrate in 2020, which makes stories such as indie label Clue Records celebrating its eighth year of productivity and a successful merging with fellow Leeds label Hatch Records all the sweeter.

With new signings on the horizon and the boat party to end all boat parties envisioned for their decade celebrations, I spoke to Clue boss Scott Lewis over Zoom to discuss all things Clue, beginning with a brief back and forth bonding over a local record shop which led us to consider the sustainability of the independent music business in 2020…

RB: So, speaking of longevity in the music business, was that something you had in mind when starting Clue? Were you thinking in long term ideals, plans…?

SL: I don’t know really. It’s funny, I’ve just started lecturing about business enterprise at Leeds College of Music, and it’s got me thinking back – I didn’t set up a business plan for Clue, no five-year plan, etc. We started with little bits, like if we could release a record, a vinyl record, then that would be mint, but it was more – let’s do it and see where it goes from there really.

RB: I suppose that’s why Clue has been successful, because as corny as it sounds, you don’t necessarily get into these things for the money, or ‘success’ in business terms.

SL: No, that’s bang on. It gets a little more difficult down the line – there’s a mid-point as somewhere it goes from being purely a passion project to a feasible, financially viable thing. But I mean I’ve always been doing it ‘cos I wanna do it, ‘cos I love the bands.

RB: With that in mind, is there or was there a criteria for artists to be on Clue, other than first and foremost you being excited about them?

SL: Yeah, I’ve got to be a fanboy, the buzz you get when you find something new and amazing… it’s hard to capture really and actually if I find artists who I love, and I find out that they are working with someone else I won’t mind, I’ll still follow them ‘cos I’m a fan anyway! Perhaps in recent years I’ve become more knowledgeable and I want bands to work alongside us for the best results, bands that graft and work hard – I can put energy into bands like that.

The origins of Clue come from Scott and fellow boss Ste Langton, school friends from Stockton who bonded over a love of music and, after being in and out of bands and a brief stint in basic music marketing (Scott acted as marketing director for the Oxfam music festival ‘Oxjam’), felt as though they had something to offer some of the exciting acts they were following.

SL: I came across these bands who were great and, for whatever reason, struggling and I felt that I wanted to help, maybe some admin or boring backroom stuff. So that was it, backroom of the pub, back of a beer mat – let’s do it. That was in 2012 and Narcs was our first band.

RB: Both being from Stockton, how did you end up in Leeds and how much of that locality was a driving force behind Clue?

SL: Well I had been wanting to move out of Stockton for a while, and Ste had just got a job in Leeds and had a spare room and there was just a great scene at the time going on; NME termed it “The New Yorkshire” – bands like Kaiser Chiefs, !Forward, Russia! and The Cribs were all a big part of it and it just seemed like a cool place to go. It wasn’t too far from Stockton, and whilst Leeds isn’t a small city, it wasn’t London – so it felt tangible that we could do something.

Hatch Records was founded a year after Clue in 2013 by Tony Ereira, (whose surname I embarrassingly require Scott to help me pronounce – which he does, with a chuckle) and the relationship between the two began through the Leeds based independent music publication ‘Come Play With Me’…
(Header photo – left: Tony Ereira, right: Scott Lewis)

RB: So, talk us through the merging of Clue with Hatch, which is run by Tony Ereira – where did you first meet Tony? He’s involved in Come Play With Me, as are you I believe?

SL: I am! I’ve fingers in all the pies (laughs). I remember I went to the launch of Come Play With Me and so I met Tony then, and just kept bumping into him at events, gigs etc. in Leeds. We were planning to do a local profile on all Yorkshire indie labels, so Hatch, ourselves at Clue, (Wakefield based label) Philophobia, etc.

I had a job offer last year for another label, but it would have had to mean I would leave everything else I’d worked on; Clue, Come Play With Me and so on. And at that time Tony broached the idea of merging the two labels, and being in similar places it just felt like a natural thing to do and so we all sat down towards the end of last year, crossed the Ts and dotted the Is and it’s worked out brilliant.

RB: How does it work with the artists who were attached to Clue and the ones who were on Hatch, are they now all under Clue now?

SL: All previous Hatch releases are now under a Clue/Hatch heritage; we don’t ever want to pretend that Hatch never existed, they were two different things. I’m not sure what some of the artists are doing at the minute, but if the opportunities are there and it works out right for us to release with them then we’ll look at it when it comes round.  

RB: Was there ever an arm wrestle between you and Tony on which label would retain the name?

SL: No (chuckles) we never had to battle, it was very civil, I think Clue had more on at the time and it felt natural to move into that direction.

RB: I suppose if you’re all under the same umbrella and working as a unit the name is just for ego’s sake at the end of the day…

SL: Exactly and considering it’s Clue which has kept the name that must mean I’ve the biggest ego out of everyone!

RB: All of these new exciting opportunities and of course releasing Team Picture’s debut album The Menace of Mechanical Music, it must have been disappointing to have been restricted due to the pandemic; how have you found it, what are some of the difficulties Clue has faced? 

SL: Its hard, cos we are trying to get something across which is essentially entertainment when there is a lot of serious, heavy shit going on in the world and we’ve got to be considerate of that. In terms of Clue we’ve had a relatively quiet year, ‘cos a lot of the artists would have either been touring or recording and that just can’t happen. We’ve released Team Picture’s album this year and we’ve booked a tour for next year but with the way things are going, you’ve just gotta deal with it in the safest way. Some of our bands have been offered shows and come to me and the first thing I ask them is, “Do you feel comfortable with it? Do you feel safe? Don’t worry about the money or the need to perform, if you don’t feel comfortable don’t do it”. It’s more important for us to look after each other and focus on other things; write, record etc. Team Picture did something really amazing with their video for Handsome Machine, a 3D interactive space where if you watch it on your phone, you can walk around your room but you’re walking around in the video – which to me was brilliant innovation ‘cos everyone was obviously staying in their homes and it brought an experience to them.

RB: Aside from your own projects, what are your favourite things going off in Leeds now, what’s exciting you at the minute?

SL: In terms of bands, Yard Act are amazing. Culture wise, The Brudenell Social Club has just gone from strength to strength and what Nathan (Clark, owner) has done there is incredible, the community and culture created at Hyde Park Book Club is amazing and Chunk, who I think are looking at a new location, they had one of the best DIY spaces in Leeds, what they were doing was unreal.

A slight bias, but I’m working with a company called Music: Leeds, what they are trying to do is provide opportunities in Yorkshire for people who want to work in the music industry and I think what they are doing is accessible and vital for working class backgrounds. I’m from a working class background and one of the things that I do worry about in this pandemic is that money will come out of the industry and artists will massively struggle to be able to create, and so I think what Music: Leeds is doing is amazing.

RB: Mentioning money, I’ve just read today that apparently one third of musicians are considering quitting the industry due to Covid…

SL: I saw the post about that statistic, I have no idea if it’s accurate. I don’t think you get into making music or writing music to make money, it’s more because you want to do it, but I can see why it could be accurate in some respects, because it’s gonna be hard.

How do we make bands now? You can’t meet anyone to talk about putting a band together and even if you did, you can’t get in a room to do anything! The accessibility and the enjoyment found in the community of going to gigs is just not going to be there in the same way it was and it’s worrying.

RB: On a positive note, going forward with Clue, where would you personally like to see the label go? Any concrete plans?

SL: Well we are about to announce a new artist we have been working with which we are really excited about, and what would I like to see in Clue? Well in two years the label will be 10, and I’d like to have a big party on a boat with loads of bands playing! Open top deck boat party! In two years time it might be well needed after all this!

While we’re waiting for that boat to come in, you can check out Clue’s full roster of excellent artists here

Photos above – left: Van Houten by Sam Joyce, right: Yowl by Holly Whittaker

Interview by Ryan Bell

 9th October 2020

Labelled with Love – The Popty-Ping Recording Company

Ever wondered how to set up a record label? When Andy Black had that thought he may not have taken the most conventional route but it’s working out well so far for DIY outfit The Popty-Ping Recording Company. Andy runs the label with two friends, Matt Jarrett and Dan Orton and together they release limited edition 7” singles, each as a one off project by a different artist. With flourishing music scenes developing around them in Wales and the North West, there’s a wealth of talent to choose from – artists featured so far are made up of the wonderfully eclectic mix of Shy and the Fight, Mowbird, Trecco Beis, Gintis, CHROMA and Red Telephone. We wanted to know how it all began, what’s driving the surge in great Welsh music and where it goes from here…

Tell us about Popty-Ping – how did it all start and who’s involved?

Andy: As with the best of such plans, it began as a drunken pub idea. A mutual friend had introduced me to Shy and the Fight (our first signings); after hearing a demo and seeing a gig I was amazed no-one had shown any interest in them so, after several beers, it seemed a brilliant idea to start a record label to put them out. We drunkenly wondered what the daftest name in Welsh could be, and the Popty-Ping Recording Company was born. Knowing nothing about records or graphic design, I persuaded Dan to design me a logo and sleeve. Radio 1 played the first record in the week it broke, so it seemed so much fun we’d do it all over again with a second band and they did a Marc Riley session for 6 Music. I couldn’t afford to pay Dan for graphics so persuaded him to join in with me and make it a partnership (his knowledge of Welsh music is pretty encyclopedic). Then I hit on an idea of setting a target of nine releases, and putting them all onto a compilation LP called Nine Modern Poets (my grandad released an successful poetry book of the same name – so a modern reflection on the same topic). By the time of the fifth record, we spoke to Matt so much about things it seemed wise to bring him in also. And so now there are three of us. The plan is to release nine of the current 7″ singles and then see what happens next I guess.

Have you got a wish list of artists you want to work with or does it just happen organically when it comes to looking at your next release?

Andy: Hmm kind of… there have been bands we’ve wanted for years and not got, some we’ve worked to develop a great release and others we literally heard a demo, reckoned it brilliant and begged them to let us release it.

Matt: I’ve usually got my eye on two or three but it’s usually down to timing I guess.

How did it feel back in 2012 when you put out your first single and what was the reaction like?

Andy: Both the scariest and proudest thing I’d ever done. I remember the records being delivered and just looking at boxes of orange vinyl and suddenly worrying, ‘What if I’m the only person who thinks this is any good?’… But then it got played on Radio 1 within a week, people all over the world we didn’t know bought it and Dan even heard it when he went to the Olympics that summer. The reaction to the Shy single was just lovely, I somehow thought it would take three releases to get it on Radio 1 and we did it in a week. I’m still really proud of it and think it’s a bloody great release, it’s probably my girlfriend’s favourite of our releases.

There seems to be loads of new talent coming out of Wales at the moment, what do you think is driving this and who should we look out for?

Matt: People. There’s amazing artists but also an outlet for them. I can only speak for South Wales but schemes like Forte Project and Horizons help highlight acts and are run by knowledgeable and passionate people. Liz and Sam at The Moon in Cardiff and Le Pub in Newport are willing to give new bands a stage and are hugely supportive in addition to the team behind Clwb Ifor Bach and Swn. There’s also a strong DIY ethic with bands and promoters that means that nobody sits around twiddling their thumbs. Things happen. You then have labels like Libertino and Bubblewrap consistently releasing amazing music. The common thread is wonderful human beings with a love of music, doing things for the right reasons.

Andy: Yeah, I think a really great developing network for artists and music seems to exist in Wales. From Horizons and Forte to Focus Wales, Adam Walton and Rhys Mwyn. And we’ve had a lot of help from our peers. People like Nicky Wire from the Manics buying our records has exposed us to a much larger audience. I don’t think my 19 year-old self would have ever imagined that could happen, it is amazing when we’re still so tiny and DIY. Finally every band we’ve put out have almost become family, which we’re also really very proud of. I don’t think I could have asked for nicer people in our bands which is a notable guide to anyone wanting us to release them.

Releasing on vinyl has had a big resurgence in popularity, is it getting easier to press and distribute?

Matt: Press, yes. Distribute? With 7″s, I’m not sure. The whole industry is changing and you just need to do anything you can to get people to notice you. Anyone want a tote bag?

Andy: Matt knows much more about vinyl popularity than me (he sells it every day, running Diverse Vinyl in Newport), the tote bags are bloody lovely too and highly recommended – and available on our Bandcamp. Thanks to the Welsh Assembly and Pyst, the process for 7″ distribution is much easier than ever before.

Your latest release introduced us to the wonderful Red Telephone – it must be satisfying to help promote artists you like?

Matt: Absolutely, it’s why we do it. We don’t make money from this. Anything in the bank goes straight into the next release. For me, watching five bands we’ve worked or are working with at our Christmas party makes it worthwhile. Five, fairly different sounding, brilliant acts and fantastic people that we’ve done our bit to push forward and to introduce to a wider audience.

Andy: Ah man, the Red Telephone record is probably the first release we all agreed from the instant we heard it. That Christmas party was so much fun, seeing a room of people you don’t know who’ve paid to come and watch a night of your record label was a really special thing. That’s why we do it I guess. Watching CHROMA continue to develop and grow after our release is also pretty amazing, the only thing I can compare it to must be your old school teacher seeing you’ve done good.

And what’s next for Popty-Ping?

Matt: The next big thing…

Andy: We’ve got three more singles in the Nine Modern Poets plan to release. There’s some more T-shirts coming (we’ve some collaborations in the pipeline on that front), and if Gintis ever finish their LP (they’re recording it with Bill Ryder-Jones) we’d be keen to try and get it a bigger audience.

You can check out all the singles and merch so far on Popty-Ping’s Bandcamp (those tote bags really are good) and give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to catch the latest news and releases as they land.

Interview by Siobhan

26th February 2020

Made in Greece – Inner Ear Records

Discovering an independent label with an impressive roster of artists is always going to make you sit up and pay attention. Not that Inner Ear Records are new – they’ve been around since 2007 and have spent that time building the label’s reputation by working with a plethora of new and innovative artists in their native Greece. Based in the carnival city of Patras, Inner Ear have a pool full of talent with some really exciting releases on their books.

From psych to dance and experimental pop, there are so many artists worth checking out so do take a look through their portfolio at your leisure. In the meantime, it’s been a huge pleasure to speak to four of their acts – Bazooka, Daphne and The Fuzz, Goodbye Bedouin and Vagina Lips, all highly recommended listening. Get to know them here and find yourselves some great new music in the process…


Give us a quick band intro – who are Bazooka?

Bazooka is a 4 piece band, at sometimes 5 in the past. We are originally from Volos, a small coastal town in the centre of the Greek peninsula. We formed in 2008 and relocated to Athens in 2009. Since then we are playing around Europe and Greece and we have also toured the US. We are playing a mix of punk and post punk with a lot of 60s’ influences. We have two albums on the US label Slovenly Recordings. The first one is a self titled LP released in 2013 and the second one is the Useless Generation LP released in 2016 that marked our transition from singing in English to singing in Greek.

Your new album Zero Hits was released in January – how long did it take to put together and how did it feel hearing the end result?

In November 2017 we worked for the first time with Inner Ear Records releasing the Zougla EP. After that release our manager and dear friend, Penny Liaromati, said that it was the time for a new LP. The plan was from January till May 2018 to write new songs and then go into the studio in June to record the new album. We did the recording sessions  in Electric Highway Studio in the north suburbs of Athens, with the sound engineer being our drummer John Vulgaris and the second engineer being John Damianos. We did all the live takes in almost 2 weeks. We recorded one or two songs every day. When we were done with the live recordings we started overdubbing where it was needed and then we added synths, percussion, some wind instruments here and there and of course the vocals. The whole recording process took us 3 weeks. It was the first time that we used such a long time. Usually we do everything in 1 week. This time the whole process  of recording and being in the studio felt really good and creative!

You’ve toured Europe many times already – any plans for dates outside Greece in the near future?

We are booking a European tour for April 2019. Countries included are Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and The Balkans. We are going to post the schedule on our Facebook and Instagram pages soon.

Best or worst experiences playing live?

One of the best shows was playing at The Shacklewell Arms in London in 2016. We were touring England as part of our European tour and it was the second show in London in a week. We saw all the people that came a few days ago to our first show coming again and it was really moving and the crowd was amazing. Many good shows in France also. French people know how to throw a party. Worst experience was playing in a squat in Leiden, Netherlands in 2011 on our first tour ever. The people were great but we played in a really tiny rehearsal space where it smelled of rat shit because the guys next door were keeping some rats for pets and all the smell from the ventilation system was coming inside this tiny room. It was a nightmare to say the least.

And what’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2019?

For now we are going to promote our new album Zero Hits by playing a lot in Greece and touring Europe. It’s really exciting playing all these new songs live!

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Listen to/buy music from Bazooka


Daphne and The Fuzz

Introduce us to Daphne and The Fuzz – who’s involved?

Daphne and the Fuzz is the dream pop project of Daphne Lz, a singer, songwriter and videographer from Athens, Greece. We released our debut self-titled album in 2016 and 2AM in 2018, both with Inner Ear Records. The band consists of Orestes Benekas (keys, synths), Giannis Rallis (guitars), Vasilis Nissopoulos (bass and also the producer of 2AM) and Dimitris Doumouliakas (drums).

Your album 2am came out in October – tell us a a bit about it and what the reaction to it has been like…

There was a concept before the recordings that we were going to make an uptempo album. We were inspired by the French electronic scene as well as psychedelic pop/rock bands that turned to dance beats such as Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and MGMT. We have received a mixed reaction to 2AM so far. There are those who liked our debut album a lot – which had a more vintage pop aesthetic – and don’t think that the new genre we tried to approach fits us that well. And there are those who really seem to like the straight-forwardness and extroversion of our new album. I believe that what truly builds a band’s character is above all the songwriting and, as I really enjoy experimenting with new things all the time, I can promise that what’s coming next for Daphne and the Fuzz will sound a bit different as well.

What’s your local music scene like?

Athens’ indie music scene has been rising in the past years. There are so many new talented musicians in such a relatively small city. Even though each project sounds unique there is a continuous interaction between them, and we can’t talk yet about the scene having a ‘settled’ sound because it is still evolving. From dream pop to psychedelic rock, to stoner and electro, it’s definitely indie and self-made, subconsciously inspired by the economical crisis, the political changes and the explosion of technological advances of the past years that formed us and made us take life in our own hands without stopping dreaming. I’m really proud being part of it, but at the same time, the audience, even though supportive, doesn’t seem big enough to bring the local scene outside our country’s borders.

What’s been on your favourite albums list over the last year or so?

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II & Multi-Love, St. Vincent – Masseduction, MGMT – Little Dark Age, Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, Gorillaz – The Now Now, Justice – Woman

I also made a Spotify list with our influences and the songs we were listening during the recordings of 2AM – you can listen to it here.

And what are your hopes and plans for the next year?

I am currently working on a new live set – you could call it a one woman show. I think it contributes to our latest album’s sound and it will be more versatile for touring. So my plans for now are to organise my first European tour while I also want to start working on my new ideas.

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Listen to/buy music from Daphne and The Fuzz


Goodbye Bedouin

Can you introduce the band and describe your music in a sentence?

The name of our band is Goodbye Bedouin and, although we will always have doubts about it, we like to say that we play psych garage music.

Tell us about your debut single Submarine/ Youth

Submarine/Youth is the product of our early rehearsals in the studio. In a sense, these two songs embody the drive and the lust that brought us together in the first place. We had a very good experience working with Manolis Aggelakis (producer), Sakis Bastas (sound engineer), and everyone from Inner Ear Records for its production, and we are really happy that the single is out.

What brought you together as a band – did you already know each other before you formed?

Most of us we were friends before forming the band, so that was in itself a very good reason to get together and see how it would go. Composing and playing music with friends can be interestingly (or exhaustingly) tricky at times, yet it almost always delivers a sense of genuineness and, I guess, substance to the process of making and performing songs. Also, we all shared a very similar desire to adopt a music style that would sound direct and rough, oscillating between garage, rock’n’roll and psych pop.

If you could tour with any 2 other bands/artists what would be your ideal line up?

I think we would all agree on The Velvet Underground and The Jesus and Mary Chain. But at the same time, I guess an ideal line up could likewise consist of two bands/artists that are not famous. You always have more fun with non-famous people I think.

And what’s next for GoodbyeBedouin?

Working on an album or an EP and performing live at interesting places!

Listen to/buy music from Goodbye Bedouin


Vagina Lips

Tell us about the person behind Vagina Lips…

I’m Jimmy Polioudis and I live in Thessaloniki, Greece. I’m 37 years old and I like 80s’ teen movies, vegetarian food, smoking and buying records. The project Vagina Lips was created almost 4 summers away and for the last 3 years I’ve been creating music and playing live shows all by myself. I have released five full albums and four mini albums.

Your album Generation Y dropped in December – who else worked on it who deserves a mention and how did it feel seeing and hearing the end product?

The other person who worked with me not only on Generation Y but on every release I’ve done so far is Konstantinos Iosifidis (leader of the band Psychedelic Trips To Death). When I first heard the end product I didn’t know how to feel. This is something characteristic about me. Most of the time I don’t know how to feel.

Which other artists have you been listening to or seen live lately?

IDLES, Heavy Lungs, Shame, Fontaines DC, Choir Boy, These New Puritans, Young Fathers

Message to the world?

Respect what you don’t understand.

And what are your aspirations for the coming year?

Many live shows out of Greece if that’s possible, to get big, be happy and to get a cat.


Independent record labels are vital in supporting and encouraging new artists; if you like what you’ve seen and heard here you can listen to more of Inner Ear Records’ acts by visiting their website and checking out their Bandcamp, Soundcloud and YouTube pages. 

Promo photos via Inner Ear Records
(Bazooka © Sarah, Daphne and The Fuzz © Mariza Kapsabeli, Vagina Lips © Leah Miza)
19th February 2019