Simon Raymonde of Bella Union's tribute to Rough Trade
Rough Trade is as important to my education as was John Peel.
Geoff Travis and John Peel introduced me to so much more than just the music they supported. It always felt RIGHT. They way Peel spoke about bands and the way Geoff released music made me immediately feel 'connected' to something special, a feeling I am thankful to still retain 30 years later.
When Geoff formed Rough Trade I was 16 and still at school but already obsessed with the punk scene and the music that followed it. The Slits and Pop Group collaboration seven inches that _RT_ released in 1980 and songs like 'Sweetest Girl' and 'Faithless' by Scritti Politti, 'Fiery Jack' by The Fall, 'Hand In Glove' by The Smiths, all still mean so much to me even today.
I began working at Beggars Banquet Records in 1980 and I still remember the incredible anticipation I had waiting for the next Scritti Politti single to come into the shop after the comeback single 'Sweetest Girl' which had blown my mind. I had seen Scritti Politti at Acklam Hall in 79 maybe with Red Crayola and thought they were a total mess, but a brilliant one. There was a single I got the next day with a black and white paper sleeve that again was a bit of a mess but had me kinda hooked. Then they disappeared until they came back with a sound that was totally like NOTHING else in the UK and it was genius.
Like The Associates 'Sulk' or Metal Box by PiL, these bands made the UK music scene so incredible. Rough Trade has been brave enough to continue releasing brilliantly original records in the eye of many many storms over their chequered history.
I loved Mazzy Star and Galaxie 500, (both of whom toured with my own band [Cocteau Twins] in the 80s and 90s), Subway Sect, Delta 5, Monochrome Set, Robert Wyatt, Cabaret Voltaire, to name a fraction of the Rough Trade music I own and absorb to this day. weirdly as I have been making and releasing music since 1981 myself in pretty much exactly the same independent circles as Geoff Travis, we only properly spent some time together last month and Geoff was everything I knew and hoped he would be. A massive FAN, who just wants the same thing he ever wanted. To introduce us to music that we wouldn't otherwise have a chance to hear. We have a huge amount in common and for all the music he has brought me I am eternally grateful.
By Simon Raymonde from bellaunion.com
Relevant read: Bella Union: label profile.
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