Bristol Archive Records Blog

Posts Tagged ‘post punk’

Glaxo Babies

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

The return of Glaxo Babies tonight 23/1/2016 at The Exchange in Bristol,UK

Bristol Boys Make More Noise – THE GIG! 2015 Stylee

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Bristol Archive Records and Tangent Books present
Starring Live
The Untouchables
(RnB from 1978 – back together for one more rocking show)
Plus Lord Dubs (Howard Purse) on the decks (Dugout stylee)
Sat October 3rd Southbank Club, Dean Lane, Bristol, BS3 1DB
Email : to reserve your early bird ticket now
Tickets go on sale Thursday 3rd September from Recession, 8 Jacobs Wells Road, Bristol, BS8 1EA
Normal ticket price £8 in advance – £10 on the door 8pm til late
untouchables-2 poster

Andy Sanders

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
We lost another Bristol star last week. Andy Sanders guitarist with The Electric Guitars sadly passed away in St.Peters Hospice after a long battle with cancer. Andy was an amazing musician and brilliant guy who will always be missed by Steve and myself at Bristol Archive Records. The Electric Guitars were Steve’s fav band and they should have been oh so huge! We send our love to Claire and the family in these very sad times. Here’s Andy on tour with the EG’s in the USA supporting Peter Gabriel. Blessed love. Mike


Bristol Boys Make More Noise Tracklisting – The Soundtrack

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Limited edition pressing of 450 cds, numbered, 44 page booklet, sleeve notes by Thomas Brooman – release date 6th October 2014

1.    Magic Muscle: Free As A Bird

2.    The Cortinas: Defiant Pose

3.    The Spics: You And Me

4.    Gardez Darkx: Bliss

5.    The Radicals: Nights Of Passion

6.    Talisman: Run Come Girl

7.    The X-Certs: Queen And Country

8.    The Media: New Blood

9.     Joe Public: Yellow Runs Forever

10.  The Spics: Angels In The Rain

11.  Sneak Preview: Slugweird

12.  The Various Artists: Unlucky In Love

13.  The Various Artists: Time Of My Life

14.  The Stingrays: Exceptions

15.  The Untouchables: Keep On Walking

16.  Wendy Partridge & Joanna Swan (The Spics): Fire

17.  Shoes for Industry: Sheep Dog Trial In A Babylon

18.  C.C. Sager: Deathbed Lullaby

19.  The Fabulous Ratbites From Hell: Sparkle

20.  Dragons: Best Of Both Worlds


Bonus Tracks:


21.  The Vultures: She’ll Be Back

22. The Sidneys: Bleak Grey Skies

‘Don’t Miss This Punk’ WATCH NOW

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Bristol Music Scene Find of the Year – ‘Don’t Miss This Punk’ WATCH NOW and SHARE


The film was commissioned by South West Arts as a community collaboration between the filmmakers and some of the bands active in Bristol, UK in 1980. It was screened as part of a rock film season at the Bristol Arts Centre* (seen at the very end, on the stage of which some fans perform). This is the 27-min full version made on Super 8mm film with sync sound and digitally restored in 2005.
Included is the music of the bands: Apartment, Art Objects, Black Roots, Blurt, Exploding Seagulls, Brian Damage, Glaxo Babies, Slow Twitch Fibres, Shoes for Industry, The Stingrays, Talisman, TV Eyes, Untouchables, The Various Artists.

A film by Mike Gifford and Mike Leggett.

*The Bristol Arts Centre morphed into Watershed in 1982 and the building in King Square later became The Cube cinema.


Thanks to Alan Griffiths for finding the link

Uncut – Andy Fairley

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Andy F - UncutGet in there!



Paradise Garage

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Paradise Garage – Photo by Greg Embery


Spotlight on Bristol Archive Records

Thursday, December 12th, 2013


There’s nothing better than discovering new music. I thrive off it, it’s why I do what I do. And when I say “new” I don’t necessarily mean the latest, just released, new sound, etc., but rather something I like that I’ve never heard before — that could be early American Roots music or some brand new ground-breaking experimentations. I therefore perhaps spend longer than I should trying to listen to all the music falling under my remit as a client manager here at The Orchard. And something that kept catching my attention were releases on a little known record label dealing in Bristol Post Punk and Reggae called Bristol Archive.

When you think about British musical heritage, most people tend to bang on about London (The Clash, Sex Pistols, yawn) or Manchester (Hacienda, Factory Records, Stone Roses, falling asleep). All true of course, two incredible hubs for some of greatest music the world has ever heard. But when I think about it, Bristol was a massive musical and cultural influence on me growing up — Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead, Roni Size and Reprazent, and the best Graf scene in the UK. But I don’t really know what came before it. There are always reference points of course and discovering Bristol Archive has begun filling in the gaps. Take the Reggae roots sounds of Black Roots “Bristol Rock“ (1981) and onto to the more Digi-Soul vibes of Smith & Mighty’s version of “Walk On By“ (1985) and you have a clear back drop for Massive Attack. I caught up with label owner Mike Darby to find out more.

Can you give me a brief overview of Bristol Archive and how it came to be?
Bristol Archive Records is a record label dealing in Bristol Post Punk and Reggae 1977 onwards. We aim to showcase music from the diverse Bristol Music scene and provide a historical account/document of all things Bristol that should never be forgotten. Many of the artists and releases are rare, unknown or never before released. The material has been lovingly digitally remastered from vinyl, ¼ inch tape, dat or cassette. The original vinyl releases would generally have been limited to runs of 1000 copies or less.

We would like to thank the original label owners and/or the artists for allowing us to share with you their forgotten works and provide a statement of how brilliant bands have always been from the city of Bristol and the surrounding areas. Enjoy and never forget the talented ones from the past, they deserve to be recognised and remembered. We now have two sister labels Reggae Archive and Sugar Shack.

It certainly seems Bristol had a thriving music scene from the mid-70s onwards. Can you tell me a bit more about that and how it went on to influence the next generation of musicians from Bristol?
Bristol is a very nice place to live. The student population is large and always has been which means a large percentage of visitors stay and find work. Throughout the 70s and right up until today it’s been a forgotten back water, a slow independent city (some might say the dope makes its slow, others the bohemian suburbs — Montpelier, St Werburghs, Redland and then of course the historically Jamaican areas St.Pauls and Easton). The bottom line in my humble opinion is that yes, a thriving scene but very fractured, lazy and never one to follow London but almost ‘fuck London.’ Bands have always tended to form, demo and then split up (the classic we-should-have-a-record-deal-no-point-carrying-on-then syndrome). The individuals then immediately pop up again in different line ups, with maybe different styles, lots of people playing in two or three bands (this was certainly the case in the Post Punk years). Bristol bands never toured on the independent scene until Hardcore arrived. Bristol has never had a huge Rock band —Onslaught could well be the biggest.

During Post Punk, lots of the top musicians moved to London to try and make it — most got record deals (which is interesting because they would never have been signed if they had stayed in Bristol). Most of these people have now moved back. Back home to that slow vibe, that Bristol thing, that Bass line, and so Punk moved to Post Punk through Reggae and then Smith & Mighty arrived. Bang! Bass culture, whilst always here, was the underground platform for the next generation — sound systems — warehouse parties — The Blues — The Wild Bunch get signed — LONDON comes to Bristol! Massive Attack evolve through the Wild Bunch. Tricky, Smith & Mighty get signed — but still not following London. London invented the term Trip Hop — bullshit, Bass Culture Bristol Style. Portishead and then Roni Size get signed. The Pop Group are still the kings but they are long gone, all the members joining and leaving other highly influential bands. Hundreds of bands that you haven’t heard of until now as we re-release the hidden gems that got away.

Bristol today is still massively influential on the Dubstep and Grime scene. Bass Culture is still booming via the new breed of Sound System people — Bristol is still the BASS capital of the world. The big Reggae artists Black Roots, Talisman and Jashwha Moses have all reformed and are releasing new music and touring.

What’s the best thing about running a record label?
Finding people with tapes, transferring them lovingly, digitalising them and then remastering. The thrill and excitement of seeing people’s faces when we present them with in some cases masterpieces that have never been heard before. To summarise, the pleasure it brings people.

Where do you see the industry heading?
To me it’s 1977 all over again. There are no labels, there is no money or capital investment. Anyone can do it, anyone can have a label. The only MAJOR difference is that if you want mainstream distribution then that is virtually impossible to get — that’s one of our strengths.

Interesting. I would have thought mainstream distribution is easier for small labels nowadays. Pre-digital, it was difficult for niche music to find shelf space in non-specialist stores (i.e. the majority) and the length of time a release would remain in stock was certainly very limited. In the digital era, any distributed release can be made available on all platforms with no “shelf life” constraints. In this respect, do you think re-releasing niche music is more of a viable prospect than it used to be? 
I am referring to physical product CDs and vinyl, not digital. We are a record label releasing three formats so the digital side, whilst important, is only a small part. It’s virtually impossible to get a distribution and then a P&D deal whereas in the late 70s, distributors would take anything and everyone.

Thanks Mike! There are some fantastic releases lined up for 2014 including a re-issue of Andy Fairley’s Fishfood vs. Birth of Sharon and The Best of Heartbeat Records. I strongly recommend you go check them out! In the words of Geoff Barrow “Bristol Archive Records is an amazing dot to dot picture of the city’s musical history, I would recommend it to anyone who has ever been interested in why and how the sound of the city has become what it is today.”

pic of mike darby

taken from:

The Book!

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

We’ve NEARLY finished our first book. ‘Bristol Boys Make More Noise’ – a coffee table book based on John Spinks amazing photographs from that wonderful era, the mid to late 70′s and then BANG 1981. It’s virtually there with text by the very, very lovely Gill Loats. We’ve just got to clear one or two things and then its will be available for pre-order. Its nearly 200 pages of Bristol Music Archive history and we are really proud of it and can’t wait to share it with the world. How we are going to pay for the manufacturing is an altogether different subject but hey that’s the music or should I say the book publishing business. Blessed Love. Mike on behalf of the team and Gill we love you x


Mark Stewart from The Pop Group

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Folks the God Father of all things Bristol Post Punk ( aka The Pop Group, Mark Stewart and The Mafia) main man is back in his home town: Be There!

Pic by Stephen Swan – (recognise the other iconic figure)

Mark Stewart and Joe Strummer by Stephen Swan