‘KΕΙΤΗ – FRUITS DE MER RECORDS’
answers the MUSIC WORKS Questionnaire
50 years of listening to and buying music. I did work on some UK magazines for a while in the 80s and 90s (NME, Melody Maker, Musik, Loaded) but none of that gave me a clue about running a record label.
2. CREATIVE LIFE HIGHLIGHTS?
Fruits de Mer Records, by a long, long way! (I can’t play or sing a note).
None at all – I don’t do bucket-lists or stuff like that.
If something comes along that looks like it could be fun, and I can afford it, then I’ll take a look at it. Part of the fun of running a record label on your own is that if you really like the sound of something, there’s very little to stop you releasing it.
4. SONGS YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN?
I wish I’d learned to play the piano or guitar – words don’t do a lot for me – great instrumentals do, and a few singers (including Sandy Denny, Julian Cope, Ian Anderson, Anton Barbeau, Britt Rönnholm from Us and Them).
5. DESERT ISLAND DISCS?
The Pretty Things ‘S.F. Sorrow’
The Pretty Things ‘Parachute’
The Small Faces ‘Ogdens Nut Gone Flake’
The Yes Album
Jethro Tull ‘Aqualung’
Family ‘Music In a Doll’s House’
Public Service Broadcasting ‘The Race For Space’
Sandy Denny ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’
Touch (US band on Deram)
The Moody Blues ‘Threshold Of A Dream’
Gentle Giant ‘In A Glass House’
…and I tried to stop myself including anything on FdM, but I can’t resist adding… Sendelica ‘Venus In Furs’ (ask me tomorrow and I’m sure I’d come up with a different list).
6. FAVOURITE ARTISTS/BANDS OF ALL TIME?
See above, but add in Spirit and Grobschnitt!
Put me down for 60s psychedelia, 70s progressive rock and krautrock in general.
7. WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO NOW?
Public Service Broadcasting.
8. THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
The Incomplete Angler – 10 Years of Fruits de Mer Records, by Dave Thompson!
10. VINYL, CASSETTE, CD, MP3, WEB STREAMING?
Music on vinyl sounds better, looks better and means more – but I’m starting to get nostalgic for CDs already – a really convenient and cheap way to store music, with excellent sound – but they look so boring. As for mp3s, as Andy Bracken, who launched FdM with me said, “they don’t exist”.
11.MUSIC IN THE AGE OF THE INTERNET?
We launched Fruits de Mer in 2008, when vinyl was as good as dead; I got involved in our first all-day gig in 2013, while small venues were starting to close everywhere, and now I worry about the future of print. But FdM has survived 10 years and people seem to enjoy our gigs, it will be interesting to see how/whether the book sells!
12. WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL MOTTO?
Life’s too short to bear grudges, and so am I
10 Years Of Fruits De Mer Records
Colour vinyl 3LP + 7” set
Triple gatefold sleeve
FdM Records – Crustacean 84 & 85
Fruits de Mer Records – a decade of psychedelia, progressive rock, acid-folk, krautrock, spacerock, cock-ups and apologies – riding on the back of the vinyl revival, even if there wasn’t one when we started out back in 2008 (even now we keep falling off if we try anything more adventurous than a slow trot, and we still haven’t taken the stabilizers off – they’re a bugger to attach to a horse in the first place….I think I’m losing the plot here).
How do you celebrate surviving 10 years without know what the hell you’re doing? With something suitably ill-conceived and overblown, of course…a triple LP of tracks drawn from FdM’s back-catalogue, in a triplefold sleeve designed to make ‘Yessongs’ seem like the old newspaper you wrap your fish and chips in, with an extra 7” single thrown in for good measure – which we’ve called ‘the little goldfish’ (catalogue number crustacean 85) because it’s not very big.
With tracks from The Pretty Things, nick nicely, Tir na nOg, The Chemistry Set, Stay, Beautify Junkyards, Cranium Pie, Astralasia, Sendelica, Vibravoid, Superfjord, Soft Hearted Scientists, The Honey Pot and a whole lot of other artists who really should have known better, ‘Goldfish’ shows what’s possible if you ask nicely (and others).
I’ve tried not to include too much from Record Collector magazine’s ‘Plankton’ LP collection of FdM’s early years, or from records that are still easily available, or the more extended tracks we’ve released, such as those on our strangefish sublabel…Goldfish focuses mainly on what Fruits de Mer originally set out to deliver – classic and wilfully-obscure songs taken from, or heavily influenced by, the 60s and early 70s….and the bonus 7″? ‘the little goldfish’ contains two songs I really wanted to include on the 3LP set but the artists responsible for them managed to avoid me until the LPs were at test pressing stage – instead it’ll be a bonus disc with all copies of the triple LP.
April 10, 2018