Potted History: Founded by Andrew Kesbey, Clive Smedley and Terry Lane, Ombrelle Concrète is a labour of love and one a long time in the making. “As 20-somethings, our friendship began back in 1987 when I moved to Kent,” says Terry, who found a thriving music scene, starring the James Taylor Quartet and Billy Childish, on his doorstep. While Andrew and Clive played in bands, Terry turned his hand to promoting, even introducing My Bloody Valentine to Alan McGee after putting on a double header with Biff Bang Pow! “By 1989 everything was moving on,” says Terry. “We had grandiose ideas of starting a label, but life saw us go our separate ways.”
Until 2017 that is, when Terry and Andrew discovered they were independently stocking up on electronic kit and making music again. Clive was duly contacted and over “several rounds of alcoholic beverages” they reignited their youthful enthusiasm. This folks, is how labels are born.
Mission Statement: “We’ve always wanted to run our own label, now we have the time and a little more money to make it happen,” says Terry. “When we struggle for words to describe what we’re doing ‘more different’ has become our totem.” He explains the label was set up as a kind of umbrella (you clocked that, right) to do two things: offer a creative outlet to its founders, and engage with an artistic community outside of the “normal” channels. “The label is true to our independent ideals,” he says. “The umbrella is there to serve the artists, with the artwork, mastering and production done in-house. World domination is our aim, but breaking even will do.”
Key artists & releases: “Artists aren’t tied to the label,” explains Terry, spoken in the true indie spirit. “It’s simply a platform to help get work out there and hopefully, over time, an association with Ombrelle Concrète is enough of a reason to give it the visibility or time it deserves.”
The first step was to release their own work, chief among them, the ‘Norway’ EP by The Bleak Industrialists (Smedley) and ‘Everyone Will Live In Their Own Cathedral’ by The Closer We Are To Dying (Lane). While the label is a vehicle for “in-house” artists (The Bleak Industrialists, The Closer We Are To Dying and Sourmilk) it welcomes like-minded souls as seen on their two tasters, ‘Sampler One’ and… ‘Sampler Two’.
Future Plans: Running to a quarterly release schedule, albums are already in the pipeline for 2020 from The Science Department, The Bleak Industrialists with further releases from the in-house family. They’ll also be more samplers, a remix series called ‘More Different’, there’s a dub/electronica version of The Closer We Are To Dying’s ‘New Industrial Ballads’ album and well as a music/art interpretation project… enough to be going on with then.
Any other business? “Ignore wise counsel,” says Terry. “No great art was ever created on the basis of good advice.”
For more, see ombrelleconcrete.bandcamp.com