No Pain In Pop Preview:
Record label, bloggers, promoters and all round cultural clairvoyants ‘No Pain In Pop’ curate their third annual Nail The Cross Festival in Peckham this Satruday night. With a ginormous line-up traversing the gauzy house of Kompakt’s ‘Walls’ (hold tight for those end of year polls), ‘Becoming Real”s ultra bleak crunk and the fractious nu-gaze of ‘Echo Lake’ really, there’s something for everyone. Unless of course you’re someone that doesn’t like future facing underground music. In which case – what are you doing here?.
Proceedings start at 8 so you can get down there early and stroke your chin while the likes of ‘Ghost Hunter’ do their wrongwave noodlings and just let things get progressively rowdier and stranger until 3am when you’ll probably find yourself smashing it out to Jam City or Night Slug’s Mosca in the main room (if there is such a thing).
The Ransom Note (Jim Brackers, my he gets around a bit at the moment eh?!) stole a few minutes with No Pain In Pop’s Tom King to get the lowdown on SE London’s foremost hipster hoedown.
Congratulations, it’s year 3 of Nail The Cross. This year you’ved moved from a multi-venue set up centred around Goldsmiths in New Cross to a single venue just down the road in Peckham. Tell us a bit about the Bussey Building and what prompted the move?
Thanks very much. The Bussey Building is converted warehouse space in Peckham run by the Chronic Love Foundation (http://www.clfplanet.com/)
which was exactly what we were looking for. The move was down to a few boring reasons but it’s a cool venue and we’re really happy to be
switching to hosting the event there.
Why have you kept the event in South East London? What can you tell us about the relative health of the scene around there? Are there any other promoters or clubs we should be looking out for around that area?
Joy Orbison’s Doldrums night puts together some very good line ups down the road at Plan B in Brixton and Off Modern at Corsica Studios
is always very busy. Peckham itself seems to have a has a fair few things going on – Auto Italia and Frank’s Cafe – but I haven’t been
around there too much myself recently.
Previous editions have featured the likes of the XX, These New Puritans and Joy Orbison. Who on this year’s line up can you imagine
really breaking through?
Given that TNPs were ignored this year I can’t really say Darkstar are likely for a Mercury nomination themselves but they definitely deserve
one as it stands. Vondelpark has a release due on R&S which could see them a bit more wider attention and I’m sure Still Corners and Echo
Lake have plans for next year. We originally had Girl Unit and James Blake booked but they fell through – I guess they’re both acts who
could do very well for themselves if they wanted.
No Pain in Pop is a blog, promotions company and record label. Was this cross-platform approach the intention from the start? And how important is it for, dare I say it, a brand like yours to go multi-discipline in order to impact on wider audiences?
The easiest answer is that we enjoy doing all those things so it wouldn’t have made any sense to do them all separately. They each give
the other a bit of context so it does work pretty well even if all of them are quite niche, especially as the promotions and blog are very
transient. I don’t think you can really call yourself a label until you’ve done 25+ releases but it’s certainly something we’re growing
and it’s the side of things I’m more interested in.
The blog itself is widely regarded as one of the most influential on the web. What is it do you think that makes you stand out in this
ludicrously crowded arena? What would you say are the vital ingredients in a decent MP3 blog and can you tip and blogs that are
currently doing it for you?
Very nice of you to say that, thanks. If it does stand out it’d be because of Kev (Kharas – blog editor) and all the acts that let us
host their music. I find some of ‘blog culture’ is counter productive to acts actually producing decent music so hopefully we’re not
symptomatic of all that. With this in mind I guess good ingredients would be to only post what you really like, not to post too much and
to spend your time listening to music rather than reading other blogs. Transparent, Gorilla vs Bear and Pinglewood have good reputations and
Martin Clark and Simon Reynolds’ are always worth a read too.
The blog, your line-ups and label all traverse a range of genres; club orientated, experimental and song based. Though stylistically
different, at least to these ears there seems to be common themes of alienation, suspension, ‘otherness’ and music that seems to exist
purely in its own space. Perhaps you guys can put it better though? What themes, sonically and conceptually
unite the artists you blog, promote and press?
I’m not gonna get pretentious but I like that quote from the Wire – “It’s the shit that happens while you’re waiting for moments that
never come”. It’s just a combination of the new music we’re interested in right influenced by all the stuff our ears have warmed to over the years and I’m really happy that you think it all sits together well.
I tried to get a mate of mine along this Saturday but he said it all looked a little too austere. What can I give him from you that will
change his mind? What’s going to happen to his brain between 8 and 3 this Saturday night? There’s still gonna be a party, right?
Jim Brackpool (Welcome back for the 3rd week in a row!!)