YALC in Amelia Magazines Blog
July 3, 2008
Young & Lost Club
The people who run record labels have traditionally had an image problem. Musicians are cool, obviously; djs are cool; hell, even some music journalists are, but company execs? Not so much.
Both cynical and prone to hyperbole, they have a reputation for chalking up ounces of coke to their ‘flowers and chocolates’ expense accounts, spouting jargon and inventing spurious music genres in the pub. Indie labels fare better in musical mythology, of course, but with their earnest dedication to the egalitarian principles of Marxism, you can’t escape the feeling that Geoff Travis and his associates at Rough Trade couldn’t make the tea without voting on it. Well, Art and Commerce were always going to have an uneasy relationship. Anyhow, everyone knows that record company execs are frustrated musicians themselves. And they’re all boys.
The Young and Lost Club label is different. Reassuringly, founders Sara Jade and Nadia Dahlawi most emphatically don’t yearn to get up on stage. “We know our limits!” says Sara. This might be a touch disingenuous considering the girls’ status as precocious veterans of the London indie scene – at only 23 apiece, they’ve been fanzine editors, label owners, and club promoters as well as djing as the Pyrrha Girls.
“The first musicians I was into were the Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman, Television, Richard Hell and Patti Smith and that led me to reading "Please Kill Me", she says. “The DIY aesthetic and attitude in that book was a big influence on us, everyone just did things for themselves and created their own scene for similar minded people”. The idea of creating a scene seems to hold a continuing magic for Sara and Nadia, for whom the founding of a label seems to be the logical progression of their other interests. Already there’s been a Young and Lost national tour while recent clubnights have seen The Teenagers, Klaxons and Horrors play alongside their own signees.
They are clearly blessed with excellent taste. Currently on the Young and Lost Club roster are the Golden Silvers, who’s glorious Arrows of Eros - an arch disco track about lovelorn boys and girls dwelling in ‘London Town’ that recalls the best of Orange Juice - is getting played loads on 6 Music and looks set to be one of the defining songs of Summer 08. Previous highlights for the label have included the debuts of Vincent Vincent and the Villains, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong and Larrikin Love’s Six Queens – in which Ed Larrikin memorably traded his usual pastorals for a glammy Velvets pastiche. Currently on their books are Pull Tiger Tail, Noah and the Whale (who will be Young and Lost’s first album release), Lord Auch and Naked and the Boys.
And they don’t see the gender thing as an issue: “I don’t think there is a big difference in the way boys and girls approach djing,” says Sara. “Girls are probably approached more for song requests though”.
Oh, and as for that vow not to take up instruments themselves, there is one exception... “Nadia would definitely make a guest appearance on someone’s album playing the harp, if asked”. Bet she’s a really good harpist, too.
Written by Alexa Hall | Posted on July 3, 2008 10:32 AM