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Come Play With Me - Record Label Launch

7 October 2015
Come Play With Me - Record Label Launch
Vinyl is back, and this time it looks as though it’s here to stay. Over the decades 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and digital downloads have all attempted to usurp the iconic 7”, but its recent revival confirms the vinyl fire is inextinguishable. The superior sound quality, tangibility (if not portability) and enlarged sleeve artwork have proven a winning formula for purists, who religiously trawl Discogs, accumulating meticulously curated collections.

come-play-with-me-article-4 Photography by Mick Backhouse

The unexpected growth in popularity over the past several years is just one of the reasons that inspired former banker and music zealot Tony Ereira to form his new Leeds-based record label, Come Play With Me. His aim: to nurture Leeds’ vast musical talent, facilitating the rise of alternative bands by providing them the rare and desirable opportunity to record their own 7” single. Running alongside this humble and altruistic ambition was Ereira’s desire to bring back the tactility of purchasing and owning a vinyl record, a treat lost on today’s young music fans.

An intimate affair held at Duke Studio’s new Sheaf Street offices, we were welcomed to the launch by the sedate sounds of four-piece Leeds band Deadwall. Playing on a dimly lit stage, sparse and stationed in Duke Studio’s bare-bricked gig venue, the band’s grunge-meets-Beachboys sound won over a placid but attentive crowd.

come-play-with-me-article-3 Photography by Mick Backhouse

Following Deadwall the stage was set up for Guardian music journalist Dave Simpson to do a Q&A with 80s indie scene veteran, the Wedding Present’s lead singer David Gedge. It was, in fact, the Wedding Present’s track Come Play With Me that provided titular inspiration for the label and it will be Gedge and his band Cinerama who will record the debut release. “There’s something more romantic [about vinyl] than just downloading a file”, Gedge reflects in a relaxed conversation with the journalist.

Simpson, clearly a longtime fan of the Wedding Present, recounted memories of brief encounters with Gedge over the decades, the first of which happened on Leeds’ very own Woodhouse Moor in the early 80s. The pair discussed the music scene in Leeds in the 1980s and Gedge’s predilection for goths, admitting in true rock star style that a couple of past flings were present in the audience. The crowd was attentive, hanging on Gedge’s every word, the light converse between the two covering a rich career spanning 30 years.

come-play-with-me-article-2 Photography by Mick Backhouse

Post War Glamour Girls provided the penultimate performance of the evening, an innovative use of their guitars an education in what can be done when you’re willing to test the limits of an instrument. Long resonant notes and string distortion echoed of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross. while old valve amps added a warmth to the semi-acoustic set.

Gedge’s eagerly awaited performance closed the launch. He was joined on stage by two fellow guitarists and a vinyl spinning giant rabbit (which he informed the crowd will make sense when the video for the new single is released). He played tracks from the Wedding Present’s 1987 debut album George Best as well as treating the crowd to a performance of 1994 track Gazebo. Looking around it was plain to see that Gedge still has his diehard fans, many of them singing along and focused on the singer with stars in their eyes.

A successful launch for what looks to be an exciting and valuable venture and there’s an obvious enthusiasm and passion from all involved. It will be interesting to watch this community-funded project develop and foster local talent, a respectable objective that will surely be warmly welcomed by budding Leeds artists and bands.

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Sophie’s a jack of all writing trades. A freelance journalist and copywriter, writing culture features and opinion pieces makes her world go round.