In the face of very uncertain times for the music industry, Leeds based Clue Records are hoping to add some positivity, bucking the trend of record labels calling it a day and flying the flag for the music industry in the North of England.
The merger came after Clue Records’ label boss Scott Lewis joined Leeds based artist development organisation Come Play With Me which is run by Hatch Records boss Tony Ereira. A mutual love of Leeds based genre tourists Team Picture and discussions around a split release of their debut album on Clue and Hatch led to Tony floating the idea of Clue and Hatch combining. They haven’t looked back since, with a number of new releases due in 2020 and some other exciting ideas being discussed for the coming years.
When asked about the merge, Scott said “It’s a strange thing to be growing the label in this way, not something I ever really anticipated but it’s good that it’s happened naturally. In our relationships with acts we’ve released, it’s always been about being supportive, open and honest as a basis of working together. With me and Tony working together on other things, we’d already worked each other out so it felt like a natural fit! I’m really excited to see where we can go with the label and what we can do”
Tony explains “Running Hatch over the years has been a lot of fun and we’ve been fortunate to work with some great artists that we were really into. It’s hard work though! Since I started working with Scott on CPWM we came to realise that the ethos of both labels was very similar and this seemed to be a really logical progression for us both. We’ve admired a lot of the Clue bands from afar so are well excited to start working with them all now, scouting for more artists and being part of a bigger label working alongside some of the other excellent indies around the country!”
Clarifying what the merger means Scott explained that “Yeah, it’s just gonna be Clue from here on out to keep things nice & simple. Felt like a close enough fit and makes sense to focus all energy into one place”
The first release on the ‘new’ Clue Records was ‘The Menace Of Mechanical Music’, the debut album from Team Picture.
I couldn’t resist asking Scott about some of the plans for the ‘new’ Clue, “Aye, why not eh! We’ve got a new EP from Van Houten coming soon, a new signing to announce (although we can’t mention any more than that as there are other parties involved) and we turn 8 in November so we may revisit our 2012 singles club Clue Club idea but with more of a fan club type approach. Once things are happening, you’ll be first to know!”.
I asked what was going to be happening to the existing Hatch releases – in particular the series of Wedding Present releases, “They’ll be ‘Hatch Heritage’ releases, we want to make sure we’re reflecting that Hatch released some amazing stuff. They’ll be made available through Clue soon, adding some of the releases from The Wedding Present and others to our online store”.
Although currently the old Hatch store is still there for anyone who wants to have a rummage around (http://hatchrecords.awesomedistro.com/)
Clue: The basics
Clue Records probably needs no introduction to most of you, but for those of you playing catch-up. The label have released music from the likes of YOWL, Crushed Beaks, Team Picture, Avalanche Party, Van Houten
The label was started in 2012 by Scott Lewis and Ste Langton who had been friends since school. Born and bred in Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England, they moved to Leeds at different times but ended up living together in 2007. They have often tried to skew what is expected of a traditional record label, releasing items including a pulling cracker + running Clue Club, a zine based monthly singles club, throughout 2017. Scott and Ste also host a monthly show on Amazing Radio, showcasing the best new music.
Clue have also been selected as one of four labels to receive support as part of Independent Label Market’s mentor scheme. This will include workshops, stalls at label markets and more
Hatch: The basics
Hatch was formed in the summer of 2013 out of the ashes of Brew Records by Tony Ereira and Simon Glacken (ILikePress, For The Lost PR). Hatch released music from The Wedding Present, Nine Black Alps, Then Thickens, Napoleon IIIrd and more
In recent years Hatch has released a series of session albums from one of Tony’s favourite bands, Leeds very own semi-legendary The Wedding Present, recorded for Marc Riley + Huw Stephens. Fittingly, the 33rd + final Hatch release will be a very special limited edition pale blue 7” vinyl from The Wedding Present entitled ‘Shaun Keaveny Session’, released on Record Store Day’s new 26th September 2020 date.