Like so many independent
labels, Market Square Records launched on the back of an enthusiasm
for music and a desire to share it with others.
While many such flounder
sadly, Market Square has grown steadily, expanding its repertoire with a
giddy mix for a relatively small catalogue spanning folk, rock, prog, pop
and psych and - on the way in 2003 - jazz fusion and hard
Success has been down
as much to the marketing acumen of the directors (all come from news media
backgrounds) as to their dedication to developing this 'label of love'.
Based in an 18th century building overlooking the bustling square
of the historic market town of Winslow in central England,this 'label of
love' may be forgiven its tendency toward pastoral whimsy. Check the artist
roster with artists like Steve Ashley and progressive pioneer Kevin
Ayers and you can see this label has a fondness for cult individualists
on the fringes, yet still enjoying established, dedicated audiences.
Much of the label's
output is by artists from the UK's 70s' folk and rock scene who continue
to perform and the catalogue constitutes a mix of reissues and new releases
by the same. That said, quality material by the untried can get a look in.
What the label has striven for is to field exclusively a manageable catalogue
of downright good music!
Right now the folk
and folk rock genre is represented by work by Eleanor McEvoy, Steve
Ashley, Rod Clements, Steve Tilston, The Famous Jug
Band, and a who's who roster of contributors to a special tribute to
Bert Jansch including Roy Harper, Kelly Jo Phelps,
Donovan, Al Stewart Chris Smither amongst others.
vocalist Sonja Kristina brings in her own brand of 'acid folk'
while rock is served by Kevin Ayers, Ollie Halsall and UK 60s
act Nirvana, and 60's pop and psych in a compilation of underground
acts The Owl, Our Plastic Dream, The Jeeps, The Silence amongst others.
Market Square's 2003
release schedule includes further catalogue reissues by Ashley and Tilston
and new releases from Kevin Ayers and Sonja Kristina, progressive rock newcomers
Luminos, folk chanteuse Dorris Henderson, the Incredible String Band's Clive
Palmer. And hard rock/metal! - in a previously unreleased album by Judas
Priest co-founder Al Atkins.