Some places in the world are defined by music labels that, somehow, managed to capture a moment in pop history. Think Motown (Detroit), Sub-Pop (Seattle) and Factory (Manchester) and, well, you get the idea. Medway could well be on the verge of getting its very own defining record label in The Preservation Society Presents run by Neil Burrow.
Neil, Artist Manager and Record label boss at The Preservation Society Presents, has worked in the music industry for 21 years as a manager and label boss. Having worked with likes of The Bluetones and Jesus Jones, amongst others he is used to hit records and fostering success for bands,
The label was started in 2010 initially as an outlet to release records by Medway band Theatre Royal; they have since expanded, signing Dead Lovers from Dartford and Medway hip-hop act Kids Unique.
Neil believes that Medway is a special place right now “there are loads of great bands in Medway & wanted to give them a way of releasing records. It brings a focus to the local scene which can only be a good thing”
“The acts on the label are quite eclectic. Broadly speaking, Dead Lovers and Theatre Royal are alternative pop bands, Indie I suppose, but they take in Psychedelia, Folk Punk and County. Kids Unique are a Hip Hop band, but as well as Hip Hop, funk and dance music they are heavily influenced by lyricists like Morrissey and Nick Cave as well as acts like the Beta Band”
In keeping with the ‘Medway Vision’, that feeling of independence and artistry that permeates the Medway towns, TPSP is fiercely independent but is not afraid to ensure commercial success too. As Neil points out “we have an emphasis on melody and hooks and working closely with our artists to try and create an environment that allows creativity to thrive but we also utilise commercial angels. We do not want to be pigeon holed by genre, we’ll release anything as long as we think It’s good and believe in the record. We are proud of our independence & what we are trying to achieve”
This year will be a busy one for Neil and TPSP. Three albums are planned for release this year from Theatre Royal, Kids Unique and Dead Lovers as well as a whole host of singles and free giveaways. On top of this there is the, frankly, already legendary, monthly singles vinyl club where two artist release exclusive recordings on ltd edition 7” vinyl. There is a feeling about these releases that remind me of early Sub-Pop records. Vital purchases and will probably be worth a fortune in years to come.
And that’s not all. Alongside plans to open a TPSP rehearsal studio in Rochester, Neil is also promoting a new event coming to Rochester on 28th July 2012. Based on the hugely successful SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, this new event called Music Event One (ME1, geddit?!) will utilize the main stage in the castle (capacity of 4600) as well having 10 other venues along the High Street putting on various music , literature and art events. Neil explains “this first year is 1 day, next year 2 days building up to a 3 day event in 2014” Neil sensationally announced earlier this month that the headline act is to be John Lydon’s PiL. Quite a scoop and one that will give this new festival the exposure it richly deserves
When you live in an age of independence, as I believe we do here in the Medway towns, then you need people to support that. Luckily, for the Medway music scene at least, Neil Burrow is one of those people. For years to come expect bands from all over Medway to long for their music to be introduced as ‘The Preservation Society Presents…’
Kids Unique debut single ‘Seymour Evil’ is out now on digital download.
Vol 1 of the singles vinyl club is out now featuring Theatre Royal and Kids Unique
Volume 2 features Dartford’s Dead Lovers and Margate’s Pantomime Villains. Both can be bought exclusively through the website: www.thepreservationsocietypresents.com.
Area – South East