R*E*P*E*A*T Records - Putting the riot back into rock'n'roll

We set up R*E*P*E*A*T Records after having seen tons of hopeless bands get showered with money and praise and realising that we knew bands that could do a lot better. That was in the post Oasis guitar band boom, things haven't been so easy since then of course, and we have yet to produce a release that hasn't lost money. However we are determined to stick by our principles of only putting out stuff that we believe in for its energy, originality, commitment, refusal to follow trends and its general in-your-faceness. Of course we've made mistakes and there are a couple of tracks that I wish we hadn't bothered with, but I can unreservedly say that I am proud of everything we've ever released on an expectant, indignant or apathetic world.


Our first effort was meant to be a two track flexi to go free with issue 6 of R*E*P*E*A*T. However, when we found out that the nearest flexi pressing plant was in America, we had a quick change of plan. Two more bands were found to combine on an ep that was to begin a series of awful Cambridgeshire place-name puns. 'Oh Grantchester So Much To Answer For'. Freeboy's lilting semi-acoustic lament 'Patrick' had the biggest impact of the tracks as it gained our first Radio One airplay on October 30th 1996, and launched the band on their way to what should have been fame and fortune, but sadly wasn't quite... Amidst the Freeboy excitement, the contribution of the shambolic female fronted Stripey (Talulah Gosh meets Sonic Youth?) should not be overlooked - a band way ahead of their time. Completing the ep were Hinton whose sixties inspired Hammond sounds
found them fans and favour amongst mods and motorcyclists alike, and Eden Park who were very much a band of their time i.e. Oasis copyists.
Our first release felt like a success and encouraged us to do it all again with another four track vinyl only ep 'Straight Outta Cottenham', given away with issue 9 in September 1997. Stand out track on this one was The Saffs ode to female bustliness 'Pamela Anderson' which kick started the band's career across the city and the country, and was only denied an airing on Radio One by Liam and Noel Gallagher's swearing taking up all of the Steve Lamacq show on which it was to have been played. Also included was The Ex Boyfriend's scarily titled ditty to a disappeared friend 'Richey' (re-titled 'Ritchie' in deference to R*E*P*E*A*T's Manics loving readership), Hinton's classic popsicle 'it!' and The Friday's organ powered 'Seeing Stars'. With this ep proving even more popular than the last, we thought it time to get serious.

Our first proper release, available through the shops nationwide, was dedicated to The Saffs who had now won for themselves a sizeable, drunken, glamorous glittery audience of made-up boys and girls, who treated the band as real pop stars. With this following it seemed that the world was their oyster, and the seven inch single 'Supercharger' (August 24th 1998) reflected this confidence. Punky buzzsaw guitars and an infectiously expressive vocal crescendoed over a football chant drum beat, while the band cross dressed on the sleeve.

With issue of R*E*P*E*A*T 12 we returned to the cost-sharing giveaway scam which was always at the heart of R*E*P*E*A*T's ethics. This time the swindle was bigger than ever. An 8 track CD named 'The Dustbin of Histon' was the prize, paid for equally by all the bands and the label, and officially released on December 6th 1998 with two gigs at Cambridge Boatrace. When I listen to this I can't believe how consistently high the quality is on it; of all our compilations its the only one without a single track that I'm a bit embarrassed about. The CD features the sci-fi punk of Dogboy, the quirky Pavement-esque pop of Return Of Id. the one man genius of Porthole, the My Bloody Valentine sounds of a new look Freeboy, the rockout Wildhearts-style of Rollerco, the intergalactic sex pop of Pala and the kid-punk pop assassination of 'I'm A Believer' by Foxy Ramone. However of all the tracks (arranged democratically in alphabetical order of course) it was the opening one that caused all the fuss in Media Land. Alcopop's 'Last Of The Secret it's your fault Agents' was played
several times on Radio One by both Steve Lamacq and John Peel, and won the band an 'On' piece in Melody Maker. It also inspired us to release a single by the band who had been compared to the likes of Penetration, Girls At Our Best and The Shop Assistants. This was the 'It's Your Fault' 4 track CD which came Out in July 31st 1999 at first of several R*E*P*E*A*T CD launches with no CD (it was 'delayed' at the pressing plant): when it eventually arrived the disc went on to win the band many new friends at home and abroad.

The 'Dustbin' compilation, as it became known, also led to a further release: when played live in Cambridge. Pala's paean to emotional vulnerability 'Never Come' always lead to a heart-felt audience sing-a-long, causing the band to see our city as their second home. This encouraged us to get together to release something by them, and boy was 'Cat Like Creatures' (April 2000) a bit different. Described by one commentator as 'mixing Mi G with The Chills', it featured some hard hitting rapping over the top of indie guitars that then crashed into a soaring chorus. The 4 track ep was our first released on both CD and 7', and resulted in many favourable reviews for the band.
Shortly before this. The Saffs put out their and our first album. 'Ladyboy Chaser' (July 1999) boasted all the glamour, hooks, androgony and sleeze showcased by the early single, and tracks from it soon became anthems for the disaffected youth of our city who still poured in to see the band whenever they performed. This CD was soon to become their lasting momento as the band split soon after, and were promptly then played by Radio One!

Which gets us almost to the present. In September 2000 our collaboration with Four Star Mary, the American band made famous by their contribution to 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', came to a head with the release of 'Marlene' on CD and translucent orange vinyl. This coincided with the band's tour of Britain where the single was grasped eagerly by hoards of vamps and discerning fans of American rock. And as I type we are working on the selling of our latest compilation 'It Takes A Nation Of Miltons To Hold Us Back' which features a massive 24 tracks and costs no more than a fiver. Although the quality of recording and mastering on the contributions is of course varied, it's a pretty dam fantastic concoction of established 'alternative' acts already played by Radio One and reviewed in the National Press (Hofman. Alcopop, Pala. The Saffs, MAr, Gentleman Jim, Pigfish, Spraydog, Lunch, Return of Id. Monkey Island) with the brand new and shinily exciting (Skinrush. Mokona, Miss Black America, Pout, Interlaken, Nev's Latest Tie, Suriki. Fenside. Pretty, Delicate Awol, (Missed_Her_Bliss), all sandwiched inbetween the equally ridiculous Daphne (from Daphne and Celeste)'s introduction and the Australian Foxy Ramone (accompanied by The Histon Kidz) murdering of 'Mickey'. Sadly, as we paid for it all and as it's so massive, we can't afford to give it away with R*E*P*E*A*T; however in keeping with tradition, readers of the zine can get it cheap (even cheaper than a flyer!) with the token enclosed. Buying a copy would be the best thing you could do to support R*E*P*E*A*T, and if you like the bands we cover you'll love it - at any rate there's bound to be something you enjoy amongst its 72 minutes 42 seconds. Thanks very much.

The first track on the Milton compilation, 'Miss Black America' by Miss Black America, laid the way for our most commercially successful release to date : as I type we are considering whether to repress The Adrenaline Junkie Class-A Mentalist EP, which was considered by some ot be a hand grenade in the war against the mediocre slipper clad pop epitomised by the lies of Travis, Star Sailor and Elbow. "Punk rock sloganeering" the accusation, and to this charge Miss Black America pleaded "Guilty and proud". No wonder they were quickly snapped up by aa bigger label.

Our next release gained us our first national TV coverage - on Blue Peter! The Hammers formed when they were aged 9 and 10, a year later they were recording their first track "When You Go Away". This was released as a split CD single with that dubious punk - pop super group Foxy Ramone, whose version of "Let's Dance" did little to modify the general opinion that the band's mission seems to be to "nick other people's songs and ruin them!". However The Hammers track attracted the attention of local papers and radio, and finally lead to them appearing live on Blue Peter on January 11th 2002. Not surprisingly the CD sold out and has been repressed.

And that brings the story just about up to date. Plans for the future include a split single to mark the jubilee featuring one half of The Saffs Neo and a young band called The Virgin Suicides - this is to be launched with a gig at The Boat Race on May 11th and will be pressed on republican red vinyl. Then in June the other half of The Saffs, Right Turn Clyde, release a split CD single with Peterborough skate punkers Sup. Watch this space! For while we may not have achieved all our aims in undermining the corporate industry nor in propelling deserving bands to mega star status; in capitalist terms we have totally failed as all we have done is lost money. But we have had fun, worked hard, helped some bands out, inspired others and are really proud of all that we've done, which In some small way has begun to achieve our fundamental aim - to kick over the musical statues!

Most of our releases are available in the shops via Pinnacle I Backs / Shellshock distribution or direct by post from P0 Box 438, Cambridge, CB4 1FX