Geoff Travis in Conversation Pop Recs Sunderland August 8th 2013

Geoff Travis in Conversation Pop Recs Sunderland August 8th 2013
geoftravis Laura and I went to see Geoff Travis in Conversation at Pop Recs in Sunderland last night. Geoff Travis is the founder of Rough Trade Records. Rough Trade started as a record shop in London in the early days of punk, and then launched a highly influential record label and distribution network which was home to The Smiths and many other bands. Pop Recs is a record shop, coffee house and venue launched and run by local band Frankie And The Heartstrings. The event was over-subscribed, and was aimed at local musicians and those involved in the music business, being part-organised by local music business catalyst Generator. Guardian writer and Music Business commentator Eamonn Forde was asking all of the questions, and made sure that there was also plenty of opportunity for questions from the audience. It was a fascinating evening, with Geoff talking about the formation and growth of Rough Trade, and giving us insights into what made it such a success. He explained that he started the company so that he could have control over his own destiny, and follow the music that he loved and believed in. Rough Trade was set up on a set of socialist values of honesty and fairness, and Geoff told us how he has always followed his own interests and worked with bands and artists who he believed in. He explained the importance of being spontaneous, and not waiting to act on instinct, citing an example of how Rough Trade failed to sign the Stone Roses, because they didn’t act quick enough in issuing a contract. He also spoke fondly of Morrissey and Marr, and Javis Cocker. He talked about the recent rebirth of Rough Trade with artists such as The Strokes (who he heard down the phone and knew in 10 seconds that he wanted to sign them) and The Libertines. An inspiring evening with a guy who has certainly been there and done it.

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