Golden Lion Sounds

Location: Todmorden Est: 2020

Potted History: “The pandemic had taken over hope, jobs and inspiration, and creative entertainment had ceased, including at our establishment, the Golden Lion pub,” says Golden Lion Sounds label co-founder Matthanee Nilavongse. “We tried setting up an oriental food supermarket in the pub and doing cooking classes online, but this only did so much – we were missing the music and wanted to do something about it. On a quiet New Year’s Eve in 2020, I was reflecting on the idea that my partner Richard Walker had about wanting to set up a label based out of Todmorden.

“I asked a friend who runs Basin Rock – also out of Todmorden – for guidance about starting up a label. And I spoke to my friend Louis Sweeting, who has vast experience of staging illegal raves, and producing and promoting club events in Manchester. Louis has always had a great DIY attitude – putting on gigs with pretty big professional acts using pound shop microphones and equipment from skips! His experience and foresight helped us to take the plunge with a ‘yes we can’ attitude.”

Mission Statement: “The name Golden Lion Sounds is straightforward – it’s the sound of the people who have connected with the Golden Lion itself. Praise also needs to be given to Russ Marland, a former Haçienda resident whose night ‘Out In The Sticks’ at Blue Note in Todmorden gained somewhat legendary status within the north of England. Russ set up a crowdfunder for the Golden Lion which helped massively in keeping the place afloat during the pandemic and allowing for the creation of the label.”

Key Artists & Releases: “When we needed tracks for the first two releases, local bands Working Men’s Club, W H Lung, The Lounge Society and The Orielles – who’ve all played at the Golden Lion – didn’t hesitate to contribute. This shows how strong the community is that we have up here. Some of the other seven-inch highlights from the label are releases from David Holmes and Raven Violet, JARV IS…, and The Summerisle Trio – an offshoot project by Sean Johnston.”

Future Plans: “Our upcoming releases – tracks from The Utopia Strong and Richard Norris – are exciting,” reveals Nilavongse. “We hope the label can provide some hope in difficult times and continue to support those involved in the music industry. I understand that the record business is not for the faint-hearted, but luckily at the Golden Lion we have no fear.”

Any Other Business: “Our aim will always be to keep supporting local artists. Our newest and first full-length album release, ‘Future Of The Sea’ by local band Plank, shows how we can have mutually beneficial relationships with local artists. Our record label is the product of turning a negative situation into a positive one.”

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