There’s no shortage of support for musicians in Brighton. There seems to be (although I haven’t taken the time to count) hundreds of magazines, recording studios, venues and labels all vying for a piece of the action and all covering the many different parts of the music scene in the local area. One such label whose name has been rising in prominence recently is Overhead Wires. With so much competition, what sets this particular label apart from the others?
“We’re about art over commerce or creativity over money. It’s a punk mentality.” says Richard Ward, the original brainchild of Overhead Wires, “A lot of labels seem to focus on money; whether they choose to take on a performer or band is based upon whether they can make money from them and it’s made the music scene quite boring and stale.”
It was for this reason that Richard (later along with childhood friend George Ritchie) decided to start up a label with a difference, one that would get behind bands because they felt they were vibrant and different, not on whether they would spin the Yankee dollar.
The label has actually been in existence for three years but has only started making a lasting impression on the scene in Brighton in the last year.
“I didn’t want to take out a bank loan and pay for it that way, I wanted to build it all up myself.” comments Richard, “It all started with me recording a few local bands at home, burning 300-350 CDs and publicising and promoting them myself. Now we’re at the point where we could easily put on shows every night.”
From the very beginning Overhead Wires has been a not-for-profit organisation. All the money they make goes directly back into the bands they promote and pays for equipment and promotional nights around the town.
“We have a punk ethos that’s not just about punk in a musical sense.” says George, “Any kind of music can have a punk mentality if it’s DIY and not money centred.”
Overhead Wires are currently putting on shows in Brighton two to three nights a week. Their next upcoming show is on Wednesday 15 February, featuring Derider, Terminals, The Blackpigs, Boy In The Cupboard and Chris Alex Thom at The Hydrant.
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