Flyin’ Saucepan: The Beginning [Part 1]

1 Feb

Starting up a music label is easy. Everybody is doing it these days.

Unfortunately, it’s for this very reason that running an independent music label as a viable business is so very difficult. Of course it’s made much easier with a team of devoted, motivated and creative people putting all of their efforts into sourcing, designing and packaging their label products, followed by tireless promotion of their artists, releases and label name. The job in hand becomes almost self-propelling due to the synergy of the team, but it still doesn’t make it easy. Each member of the label still has to put in a whole load of work, and usually without much financial reward.

And so, much like everything else in the creative industries, running a label and producing music is a labour of love. Anybody who isn’t in love with what they’re doing (or proud of what they’ve done) will eventually despise it. Their work will suffer, and eventually their personal life will crumble into a huge festering heap of bad compost. Compost that stinks…

The police will have to be called, and long nights in cold cells are guaranteed. Eventually the liver will become enlarged and small unknown European villages will cease to exist, without anybody ever knowing that they did.

“No loss!”, you might say. And you’d be right. Probably.

But what if you and your friends were on a camping holiday together deep in the Bavarian woods? What if something happened, and the nearest civilized settlement had recently ceased to exist?

You would be up shit creek without a paddle, I can tell you that for nothing.

This mental sun-faced crazyguy is happy, because he has a paddle.

This mental sun-faced crazy guy is happy, because he has a paddle.

Let’s say that the nearest civilized settlement is an analogy for a really interesting but unknown music label. Let’s say that the camping holiday is a summertime trip to T In The Park. And let’s say that the “something that happened” was rain. Bucketloads of rain, washing out all of the PA systems from all of the main tents and stages, and making the whole place a swampy disastrous nightmare. I know it’s hard to imagine, but let’s take a leap of faith here…

“Back to our wee tent, a’body!”, shouted Soggy Amanda.

“Aye, I’ve got a bottle of Vodka in my tent! Irn Bru and loads of plastic cups too!” squeaked Party Lynn.

“I’ve got Pink Floyd on my iPod!”, exclaimed Predictable David.

“No, fuck that. I’m sick of listening to the same old shite every time we’re at a music festival. I’d rather sit here outside in the glaur and catch some horrible rain-borne disease!”, moaned Come-Down Cristopher.

Is this wonderment? Or is this sheer terror?

Is this wonderment? Or is this sheer terror?

“NEVER FEAR!”, asserted The Amazing Mr Dimensional. “I have some music that I discovered on Soundcloud which will make your minds tremble with joy as it tickles your ossicles. It’s on a really interesting but unknown music label, and you’ll probably be the first out of our group of friends to ever have heard it!”

“WOW!!!”, shouted the group of friends. Some of the strangers from nearby tents couldn’t help but hear their wonderment.

“Unfortunately I haven’t managed to download any of their music onto my phone permanently, but I can use my 3G smartphone and we can stream it online through Soundcloud or Spotify!”, encouraged The Increasingly Popular Mr Dimensional.

“WOWWOWWOW!!!”.

The group of friends gathered around the 3G smartphone and huddled together for warmth. Party Lynn poured Vodka & Irn Bru into plastic cups for everybody, and some of the nearby strangers with whom the group had been chatting amicably the previous night also popped their heads in.

“Just waiting for a good signal!”, chirped The Unquestionably Exciteable Mr Dimensional.

Everybody wants a good signal...

Everybody wants a good signal…

By now, practically the entire population of T In The Park (including major artists, organisers and roadies) had squeezed into the small 4-man tent with the happy campers. All waiting for a snippet of this amazing new sound…

“Oh dear heavens, NO! NOOOOO!!!!!!”, screamed The Completely Crushed And Broken Mr Dimensional.

“WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG?”, sang the worried looking global population of music loving funpeople, in unison.

“It seems that the music I wanted you to hear is no longer available anywhere on the internet, as the really interesting but unknown music label has disappeared from existence and taken everything that they had released along with it.” explained Mr Dimensional to the immediately diminished crowd.

“If only I’d downloaded it onto my 3G smartphone instead of relying on the wavering stability of the music business. It really was that good!”.

“Aye, right.”, murmured the last remaining acquaintance in the tent, who didn’t even have a name. “Fuck off, you Dimensional tosspot.”

And with that, all hope was lost.

He wis just a wee lad 
dibblin in a puddle, 
glaur fae heid tae fit, 
enjoyin haen a guddle. 
He micht hae bin a poacher 
puin salmon fae the beck. 
He coulda bin a paratrooper, 
swamp up tae his neck. 
Mibbe he wis brekin rainbows 
reflectit in the watter, 
his ill-shod feet wid split the prism 
an mak the colours scatter. 
Onywey he wis faur awa, 
deep wandert in his dreams; 
it richt sobert me tae mind 
a dub's no whit it seems. 
An while ah watched an grieved 
the loss that maks a man a mug, 
alang the road fair breenged his maw
an skelpt him roon the lug.

Brekin’ Rainbows by Janet Paisley

from The Thing that Mattered Most (Black & White / Scottish Poetry Library, 2006)

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