Bristol Archive Records Blog

Live Music Scene Interview – April 2010


Mike Darby Questions 


How did Bristol Archive Records get started?

We released a compilation cd ‘Western Stars the Bands That Built Bristol’ in 2001 featuring great bands from 1979-1981.It didn’t sell very well so there was no follow up until about two years ago when a friend of mine Dave Bateman,Vice Squads guitarist suddenly died in Spain. It got me thinking that there was no record anywhere of the people that made up the Bristol scene and if someone didn’t pull the project together lots more people would start dieing and then the music potentially could be lost forever. Bristol as we all know is thought of as Massive Attack and Portishead and rightly so for their recognition around the globe but there were and are hundreds of fantastic people, musicians who helped create the scene from 1976 to get to the first Massive Attack Album. Mission impossible therefore had started.


What can we expect from Bristol Archive Records?

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 & remembered.


How did you get involved in music?

Formed a band called The Rimshots in 1979, released our first of two singles in 1980. Played with The Beat, Hazel O’Connor and The Body Snatchers. Didn’t achieve global domination or recognition but had loads of fun. Started managing bands in 1984 with Fear of Darkness and later Love Jungle and then later again Rita Lynch.

Sugar Shack Records started in 1985 to release the Fear of Darkness single ‘Lay Me Down’.


How do you balance your time between Bristol Archive Records and Sugar Shack Records?

Most of the time these days it’s focused on the Archive. There is so much previously unreleased fantastic material that every week brings something new and exciting. New music has taken a bit of a back seat but as we all know it only takes one song to get you excited again.


How would you describe the current Bristol music scene?

Not sure as I haven’t been to a gig for two years now.


If you could have any line-up for a gig, what would it be?

The Pop Group supported by Talisman, The Electric Guitars and The Various Artists.


What future releases can we expect from Bristol Archive Records?

Bristol The Punk Explosion out on cd June 14th

The Cortinas album ‘MK 1’ out on vinyl June 21st

Avon Calling 2 on cd

The Best of Heartbeat Records on cd

The Best of The Bristol recorder and Wavelength Records

Hopefully a compilation featuring The Best of Bristol Reggae

Plus tons of digital only releases


What’s the long-term goal for Bristol Archive Records?

To make Bristol proud by doing a good job, providing an accurate account and a fair and sensible approach to the business end of things



Mike Darby April 2010


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