Just A Crush Launch New Record Fair

We talk to the organisers of London's new Record Affair event

Putting the human element back into one of life’s simple pleasures is Record Affair, a new London based event taking place on September 23 at The Shacklewell Arms. A perfect antidote to the excesses of Saturday night, it will feature stalls from some of the UK’s best local independent labels – Upset The Rhythm, Suplex Cassettes, Comfortable On A Tightrope, Marshal Teller, Sexbeat, Gringo, Milk Records, Faux Discx and Tough Love – as well as a selection of zines and live music from the likes of Omi Palone, The Proper Ornaments (above), Sauna Youth, Virginia Wing and Waiters. Entrance to the record fair is free and it costs £5 to go and see the bands – get tickets here.

It’s being organised by Freya Watson, Laura Hernando and Claudia Suarez, aka Just A Crush, three music aficionados who work together booking shows, releasing records and championing the vinyl cause with their DJ escapades around town. We caught up with Freya and Laura to talk about Record Affair.

What prompted you to set up the event?

Freya Watson: For us Record Affair is all about bringing the DIY community together and rekindling our love and other people’s of vinyl –

Laura Hernando: And tapes!

FW: People who put out the records, the labels, are a big part of us knowing about bands and little is often done to support them. We thought that this should change. We also like the idea of physically buying a record rather than ‘adding to cart’ which you often never get around to doing!

What do you make of the Independent Label Market and Record Store Day?

FW: I feel that Record Store Day kind of preaches to the converted. I’m not saying that our Record Affair doesn’t do that, but we are perhaps unearthing some labels that not everyone is aware of. We are also giving people a chance to buy from people who have put passion, time and energy into releases rather than a giant shop. Label Market day was more about bigger labels, we are keeping it on a local level.

What’s your favourite indie label?

FW: I really like Make a Mess in San Francisco and also Slumberland… Keeping it abroad to be diplomatic!

LH: I’m going to be a bit ‘controversial’ and say that I love Faux Discx and Suplex Cassettes. They were the first labels that came to mind when starting to play with the Record Affair idea and actually the people I talked to before pitching to the venue!

In your opinion, what makes a successful indie label?

FW: One that does it for the love of the music and genuinely loves the bands they are putting out.

LH: I think it’s a mixture of so many things. First is the love of the music and the bands, as Freya says, but then for me, it’s really important that spreads across everything: from the design to the ‘customer service’, the press and PR.

What do you make of the London DIY community? In your opinion who are the standout promoters/labels/venues/bands and why?

FW: I think it needs a bit of energy injecting into it to keep going. That’s what I really hope to achieve with Just A Crush. Get bands started and people going to shows. I really like the Shacklewell Arms as a venue and I love all the labels that we have at the event. Also, Upset The Rhythm have done a lot for the DIY scene in London. Hats off!

LH: As someone foreign, I wish that more people outside of London, or the UK, knew about the amazing things that have been happening for the last few years. Being completely honest, one of the reasons why I moved here was the music, and it really has given me more than I could have ever imagined. Not only the quality of the bands, but the people involved as well. Which is why I guess I would love for everyone to know more about it. Some bands like Fair Ohs and Cold Pumas are so talented I just don’t understand why they don’t have hundreds of millions of fans around the world!

Where are the best places to buy records in London?

FW: Kristina Records has all those records that you search for hours to find. But for a real rummage I love Flashback.

LH: I love Lucky Seven on Stoke Newington Church Street. They have really good secondhand records and a back room full of wonderfully random stuff where you can find buy a record for 50p and three for £1. I can literally spend hours there.

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today