Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Hello Mike…
Well, for those who don’t know please present Bristol Archive….

Bristol Archive Records is a record label dealing in Bristol post punk 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 & remembered.

I am a musicfanatic myself but with exploring the archive of the Bristol scene, I guess it’s like playing Indiana Jones in musicland, not?

No not really, everything is interwoven, interlinked if you know where to look and who to speak to. Lots of musicians played in various bands throughout the 70’s and 80’s. It might be different now but before computer games and mobile phones lots of kids wanted to be Rock Stars

How did this idea started anyway?

I thought of it in 2000 released Western Stars which didn’t sell very well although it was obvious it was a good idea. A friend of mine Dave Bateman dropped dead suddenly in 2008 and it got me thinking. Dave had been the original guitarist in Vice Squad, I just felt as we all get older more people will disappear and we should remember them for what they once were and what they achieved large or small, they were part of the Bristol music scene.

I know someone has to do the job but if you were not around I guess all those releases landed up in some dusty attic to disappear later in the dustbin, not?

For sure, all destroyed and forgotten, lost forever, dosn’t bear thinking about does it!

You choose a specific decade, I mean it’s only mid 70’s till the 80’s, not?

No we start there and touch on the early 90’s. As the years go on I’m sure we’ll move through the decades, but everyone has to start somewhere and I know alot about late 70’s and early 80’s so it seemed the perfect place

How do you work? Ringing from door to door? I mean, Mike, there’s no info on the net about such bands at all…

Luck, chance, fate, a contact or two, a friend of a friend, no plan just make it happen. Most if not all people are keen to be involved and pleased I’ve phoned them – they understand the historical importance without me having to spell it out

I guess it must keep you busy day after day, not?

Independent Financial Advisor
Chairman of Chipping Sodbury Golf Club for 8 years
Immediate Past Presidnet of The Gloucestershire Golf Union
Captain Elect of the Gloucestershire Golf Union

You could say I’m busy busy busy

If you hear these releases they can all be reduced to some sad stories : I mean they could have been, if only….well if only…

Yea I know – I blame most of the non success on the infrastructure in Bristol through the ages, no managers, music accountants, lawyers most of our talented kids left and went to London to seek fame and fortune ( or Heroin)

I guess one Mr. John Peel played its part in it too….

Sure did certainly for Simon Edwards at Heartbeat Records, Avon Calling 2 is released on August 23rd, if Mr Peel was still alive he’d be playing it all the time as its the follow up to Avon Calling released in 1980

I thought the day Mr. Peel died, music died a bit as well.

Maybe – he gave people more of a chance and a hope that anyone could get on Radio 1

What’s your opinion about the current musicscene itself?

Ok- big bands are making fortunes playing live shows, small bands still have no one coming to see them play. No one is selling records. Its tough but there will always be great bands

Sometimes I think everything in this world has so mellowed…I mean we have everything now but the voice inside has gone too…

Kids have to much opportunity – we’ll never see Punk Rock again – lets all have a go!

Are there any bands around who decide to reform after the re-releases?

The Pigs
The Stingrays
The Untouchables
The Fans

The Fans have toured Japan this year and released material over there via 1977 Records

I ask this to everyone : what’s your fave record of all time and please tell why….

Dancing With Myself – Generation x ( Billy Idol is my hero!!!)

The last words are yours…..

Give Bristol a chance its not all about Massive Attack, Portishead and Roni Size if you look behind these bands you’ll find musicians from the late 70’s in their lineups – Punk Rock lives on in a very quiet way

Mike Darby

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