The Label Recordings: Hooton Tennis Club and The Inkhearts


hooton tennis club the label recordings edge hill university.jpg
Meet the new DIY label’s first two signings who are set to feature at Liverpool Sound City, Getintothis’ Peter Guy reports.

Know the way in films whenever they try to shoot sport or action inside a nightclub it always looks forced and painstakingly awkward?
Well, that’s kinda what usually happens when academia tries to marry music and education; it usually revolves around some dickhead out-of-time professor attempting to play out their own private fantasies and use the kids as puppets as their home life descends into microwave meals, summer breaks in the South of France and watching the soaps on catch-up.
Well, here’s something with real legs. A new DIY record label created by a musician yet allowing the students full creative control with just enough guidance to allow it to organically bloom while retaining that rough round the edges feel.
The Label Recordings is, as the name suggests, a record label based in West Lancashire’s Ormskirk-homed Edge Hill University run by a collective of students from disparate backgrounds with the same goal: to promote new music.
A team of around a dozen students (including media under grads, designers, politics, English students, even an accountant) each have a specific role – be it A&R, pluggers, PR, videographers, technicians (you get the script) – in making this project function as close to the real thing: a full functional record label which head hunts talent, hones it, releases a product and then pushes it.
The key difference – there are no contracts – the artist remains, ultimately in control of everything.
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Hooton Tennis Club’s first pressing for The Label Recordings
Getintothis recently spent a fine afternoon at Edge Hill’s snazzy new Creative Edge media centre, home to a TV studio, recording studio, computer hubs, a monster wall of giant television screens and The Label Recordings. Over the course of several hours we met the students heading up the project and were given an insight into their passion for making it happen.
And things really are beginning to take shape. They’ve signed two artists: Hooton Tennis Club, a slacker dream rock quartet with an ear for a cheeky hook and The Inkhearts, a Skelmersdale-based power pop outfit fronted by spunky vocalist Lauren Shaw.
Early recordings have pricked up ears too, with HTC snapped up for a support slot at Harvest Sun‘s Childhood gig while both bands have received plays on BBC Introducing.
Even better, The Label Recordings have secured a coveted spot in the Kazimier‘s Garden stage for May’s Liverpool Sound City which will see both bands play alongside plus Beach Skulls and Seafaring Creatures on Friday May 2, 7-12pm. And word is spreading, with a chain of Stateside fitness hubs named Chalk Gyms playlisting their tracks.
Edge Hill‘s Roy Bayfield said, “It’s lovely that Brooklynites will be listening to a band from Skem while they work out!
Who’s next on the Label Recordings roster? We’re not sure. But this is an intriguing endeavour well worth keeping an eye on.

Hooton Tennis Club.
The Inkhearts.
Further reading on Getintothis:
The GIT Award 2014: the shortlisted nominees in detail
Getintothis teams up to find new music talent for Grand National 2014
Mellowtone cook up series of intimate gems including I Am Kloots John Bramwell.
Parquet Courts set for Liverpool summer outing at Kazimier.
Brian Jonestown Massacre to decamp in East Village Arts Club.
Andrew WK to party hard in Liverpool’s East Village Arts Club.