Rock writer starts label for local band

EVERY rock band hopes for a good review from the critics - but one music journalist took things a step further when he set eyes on a Suffolk group.

Jonathan Barnes

EVERY rock band hopes for a good review from the critics - but one music journalist took things a step further when he set eyes on a Suffolk group.

Mark Beaumont, who writes for the New Musical Express (NME) and the Guardian, was so impressed by Prego he started a record label just to put out their next single.

The indie-rock band, fronted by Woodbridge-raised Edd Simpson, have been touted as one of the country's hottest prospects by the music press and have released two critically-acclaimed singles.

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And their growing reputation was given a boost after Beaumont saw them play live at a club night he put on in Camden.

“He told us he was very impressed by us and that he wanted to start a label to put our album out,” said Edd, 27.

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“Once the red wine had worn off, and after he'd spoken to some industry types, he realised it wasn't the easiest thing to do, but he said he still believed in the band and wanted to do something - so he set up this label just for our next single.

“It's a lovely thing to do and we're thrilled. It isn't easy to get people to listen to your stuff in the first place, especially within the industry, so to get this sort of interest is fantastic.”

The label, Year Zero Recordings, will release the download-only single, The Longest Calm, on April 13.

Mr Beaumont said: “After 13 years of watching new bands, eventually one forces you to put your money where your mouth is.

“Prego were the loudest, most brilliantly-concocted cross between My Bloody Valentine's cosmic scree, Elbow's elegant drone and Coldplay's Big Music chart-friendliness I could have ever imagined, and the first band I've ever seen knowing that I'd be a fool not to help put out records.

“I have no major label backing, no money for a full album campaign and not much interest in running a record label at all to be honest, so Year Zero Recordings - named after the club night I saw them play at - has been founded and is planned to exist solely for this one single release, and then be retired.”

Edd, a former Framlingham College pupil, formed Prego in 2005 but the band has undergone a number of line-up changes over the years, featuring 13 different members.

The current line-up features bassist Caspar Williamson, from Aldeburgh, and guitarist Simon Britcliffe, from Saxmundham.

Prego released two singles last year, Causes and Revolve and Answers, which received heavy radio airplay, and the five-piece have been named as one of DJ Steve Lamacq's best new bands of the year.

They are currently working on their debut album with acclaimed producer Guy Massey and looking for a permanent record deal.

Musical success is nothing new to Edd's family. His younger brother Charlie found fame with pop band Busted before going on to form rock group Fightstar, while his elder brother Will is preparing to release his third album with his band Brigade. Their parents, Mike and Tessa, who still live in Woodbridge, are regulars at their sons' gigs.

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