ROLL UP, ROLL UP! ROBINSON’S RECORDS IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!

By Neve Robinson, (duh)…

Esteemed readers, friends, beautiful brothers and sisters. Maybe even mortal enemies. The time is upon us. Robinson’s Records is here, and she’s bold, brash, and filled with just the right amount of trash. I’m Neve. Robinson, if I haven’t rammed that down your throats enough by now. And though this may seem a merely a project of pure narcissism (name-wise, anyway), it’s a project I wanted to create with the intention of offering a platform to young contributors across Manchester. Music journalism is an incredibly difficult business to break into. It’s a business, more than anything. A lot of it is quite formal, with strict structural conditions and deadlines. For me, this goes against the very nature of creativity. I don’t think creative expression should be limited in any way, particularly when it comes to writing about creative expression! Nobody’s opinion is wrong here, there’s no guidelines, there’s no pressure. It’s just a place where lovely people can write about the lovely records that they love, and the more personal the better. Maybe even in doing so, we can help out and highlight upcoming artists to give them some positive exposure in this cutthroat industry. At the end of the day, the people reading music zines and blogs, the people supporting artists in any way they can, the people putting the needles down on their records – they’re all normal, everyday people (to quote Sly and the Family Stone). I want to strip away the clinical side of loving records. No pretentious, cold, unfeeling stuff. Loving music is about what it makes you feel, and I want to know exactly how you feel about things. Just pure, unadulterated adoration of tunes. Striking up conversations about albums and artists. Introducing folks to new bangers (who doesn’t love that feeling?!) In short, I want us to do things differently here.

Ever since I was small, all I’ve really cared about is music. Any music. All music. From being 5 with my mum blasting Hunky Dory in the car, to being a dedicated emo at 13, to my Smiths superfan phase at 16 (that is definitely still ongoing, sorry.) Punk, Northern Soul, disco, new wave. I’d hungrily devour record after record. Thanks to a very lucky musical upbringing – shoutout to Sheila and Rob for their impeccable tastes I’ve inherited! – with each passing year I was finding more and more about music. And I just loved the journey, every step of the way. The sensation of stumbling across a new (to me) band and wanting to share their stardust with others, but being met with less-than-enthused responses…well, it just spurred me on to befriend communities online and in Manchester with similar tastes. I started submitting pieces over the years to a variety of amazing music zines and blogs, be it interviews or reviews, and something just clicked in me. This. To talk for hours with incredible people who share my love for all things sonic, to learn from people with extensive back catalogues of musical knowledge. Even flicking through somebody else’s treasured collection. It just felt right. If I hadn’t been given these amazing opportunities to waffle about the things I’m passionate about, I wouldn’t be here today. This is the point of this blog. I want it to be open to anyone and everyone. I want it to be whatever people want it to be.

We’re going to be doing reviews, interviews, articles, think-pieces, discussions on soundtracks. We’re going to be writing about the music we love here. No holds barred. I’ve met some of the greatest people in my life through just chatting about music. And I’d love to meet more through it. So if there’s something you’ve always fancied scribbling about, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email – don’t doubt yourself. We’d love to read anything you’ve got up your sleeve.

Before signing off so that you can have a little nosey through this blog, I want to take a moment as well to just thank everybody who has made this possible. It’s been a rough year so far and we’re only in January; to have the support of so many in getting this up and running has meant more than you can know. To my family, you’re mint, thanks for fueling my passion. To my housemates, who love and look after me better than I look after myself, thankyou. To all the contributors – Tilly for her groovy graphics, Josh for all his hard work interviewing, Josh P and Mads for their wonderful articles – as well as a huge thanks to all the amazing artists that have let us review their works (Blanketman, Ella Boshe/Sam Shaw, YNES and Rory Wynne to name but a few upcoming…) And finally to anyone who’s liked, shared, followed or even just asked me about this project. It means the world and more. Sending love and light. I really hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy putting it all together and collating some seriously great work.

Keep your eyes peeled for some fabulous stuff in the coming weeks. And remember our one and only cardinal rule, folks – no Wings slander tolerated here. After all, according to Alan Partridge, they’re the band the Beatles could have been.

Neve x

© Matilda Wigley