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LabelLove - helping independent labels after the PIAS fire

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One of the most visually striking moments of the awful riots which hit the UK this week was the fire at the Sony DADC warehouse in Enfield. Massive plumes of smoke engulfed the sky for a full 24 hours after the blaze, and the stock of around 150 independent record labels distributed by PIAS was lost.

Thankfully, no-one was hurt, but while some might think that a fire at a Sony depot can't be as serious as small businesses getting smashed up and looted, writer and Rumour Cubes violinist Hannah Morgan told Digital Spy why that isn't the case.



"These are small labels. They are not giants, they will lose their livelihood if they can't get money back from this," she said. "It is as serious as people who have had their shops burnt down. I think it is on a level with that.

"I would say that small labels are now the backbone of the music industry. This is where music is happening. It's certainly where new music is happening. There's an awful lot of love towards these labels. They have a great relationship with their artists, they have a great relationship with their fans. It's an utter tragedy."

Sony Centre in Enfield engulfed by flames

© BBC



So how did Morgan (and her partner-in-crime Dan Salter, who organises charity gigs for Sunkan Dymonds) become the centre of efforts to help with their LabelLove campaign?

"I heard about the PIAS fire on Tuesday morning because I follow quite a lot of independent labels and artists on Twitter," Morgan explained. "I said, 'Well maybe we should try to organise something' - and between me tweeting that and me getting to work I'd gone slightly viral... "

But shouldn't bands also be looking beyond their own problems when thinking about helping out after such devastation?

"I think that people should help wherever they can," Morgan agreed. "Twitter has organised a massive clean-up operation. The Quietus are putting on a gig to benefit the homeless in Tottenham and we're going to try to link up with that. I know that Emmy the Great and Kate Nash were collecting money in Shoreditch on Wednesday to bus up to Tottenham."

> Sony distribution centre burns down during London riots
> Indie record labels "devastated" by London riot fire
> Sony issues distribution centre update after fire

Won't the warehouse fire just hasten an inevitable move to digital? Perhaps indie labels should see this crisis as an opportunity to get away from expensive physical stock?

"I hope not," Morgan said. "I would be very sad if that happened. I think the prevalence of digital downloads has meant that when people do produce a physical product they put a lot more care and attention into that. I'm not the sort of person who would pay to download music, I would rather pay for a physical product."

We can't help but agree. If you want to help independent labels affected by the PIAS fire, there's a donate button on the LabelLove homepage. 100% of the money given will go directly to the affected labels. The first event has also been announced - Paint It Black's night at The Old Blue Last this Saturday, August 13 has been converted into a LabelLove fundraiser.

Follow the _label_love_ Twitter account and #labellove hashtag for the latest updates from the campaign. A list of PIAS-distributed labels whose records you might want to investigate can be found here.

> All Warp UK stock lost in Sony fire
> Arctic Monkeys single release hit by London riots
> Sony warehouse fire - Three teens arrested

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