09/08/80 NME


A quarter of emerging West Country groups are to reap the benefits of the latest independent fusion of sound and vision, a project called 'The Bristol Recorder'.

A compilation album cum magazine cum advertising supplement, The Recorder is planned as a regular quarterly event.

The first album, which is due out next month, features four local bands - Joe Public, Various Artists, Circus circus and the Electric Guitars - recorded live in Bristol. In addition to the goods in the grooves, The Recorder comes complete with a 12 page magazine including ad's, the revenue from which helped keep production costs down - the entire package retails in the shops at £2.50!

20/09/80 NME


As the major labels stand in bewilderment and watch the independents eat away at their previously sacrosanct foundations, so the independents grow, with the dubious aid of media coverage. They are presumably following the dinosaurs up the 'business spiral' as they expand and spawn into the world of lawyers, accountants and contracts.

It's not something that Thos Brooman, Jonathan Arthur and Martin have to contend with at the moment as they shove their precious little project - The Bristol Recorder into the shops. But it seems a reluctant inevitability.

On the afternoon of the interview they were in the process of organisng a promo gig for the magazine and attending to accompanying hassles. Elbourne is the entrepreneur behind the idea and has wisely taken himself off to Italy for a break. Brooman explains 'As a drummer I'd made a record for Bristol's Wavelength Records which lost money and Martin suggested that perhaps people could be persuaded to buy advert space on future sleeves. I thought of an accompanying magazine and Jonathan suggested the album'.

Cave Studios, a new and local eight track, was approached about advertising and wound up recording the bands for a modest fee in order to help what they saw as a worthwhile project.

Recording bands live also fits in with the topicality of the mag. Brooman 'They can make their statements there and then whilst fresh and the bands receive one third of any profit to be split between them'.

Although the recording quality of the album is at times erratic there are some exhilarating contributions from the excellent Electric Guitars and the more commercial Various Artists, both of whom proved themselves highlights of the evenings gig, the former giving a more disciplined lesson in The Pop Group school of rhythm and the latter that commercial music need not necessarily be banal.