[Picture: the Welsh band Trecco Beis]
How often do you start a record label by accident? Welcome to the wonderful world of Popty-Ping. All this week we share the story of this incredible independent label from the point of view of co-founder Andy Black. Discover how hard-work, a love for music and design, and an incredible family journey makes this recording company one of the best in British music today.
"Unsurprisingly The Popty-Ping Recording Company was a drunken, daft idea. I moved from Leicester to North Wales with my job. In Leicester I’d worked voluntarily for a festival, starting and running their fringe festival. That came to an end in 2010, and up north someone took me to see a Llangollen band called Shy and the Fight. The band turned up out to be ace, and wanted to get a release out.
"Running a record label has proved to be a sure fire way to make some of the best friends, lose money and have a great deal of fun in the process."
After a night with Shy and the Fight in the pub, it somehow resulted in a decision I’d start a record label, and the subsequent pub debate (and several more pints) meant Popty Ping was decided upon. Popty Ping is the North Welsh colloquial name for a microwave oven (it should be microdon) and thus the name was born.
Predictably I had no idea whatsoever how to release a record, so I asked other labels how to and they eventually guided me. A mutual friend in Leicester introduced me to a Welsh graphic designer he knew called Dan Orton. Dan knocked up the logo, and then as I kept asking him for design favours, he kept doing them to the point where we just ended up deciding we’d do the label between us. And it’s been that way ever since pretty much.
"We put the Shy and the Fight 7” out, and somehow managed to get it on the radio, and TV and even the PA during the Olympics. And so the record releasing bug began."
The Shy record eventually kind of recouped, by which point I’d seen Mowbird at Swn in Cardiff. So we did a Mowbird record, which sold better then Shy (as we began to learn what to do!). That led to someone recommending Trecco Beis (who we both instantly fell in love with) and now the Gintis release.
Dan is still in the Midlands but it somehow seems to work (Dan co-runs a guest slot DJ night called Hoo-Ha club night at Leicester’s Cookie with his mates Paul Askew and Kate Jackson). Running a record label has proved to be a sure fire way to make some of the best friends, lose money and have a great deal of fun in the process".