This double seven inch, sixteen-track compilation, and the one that came before it (can you guess what that one was called? I’ll leave that up to your keen mind to work out), represent for me an exciting few years in independent British music. Jonson Family, the label that released the compilations, and other labels like them – including Gringo and Errol, and certainly others whose names I forget right now – were releasing the records, the Silver Rocket club in London were putting on a lot of the gigs, and people up and down the country (including an odd focus on Nottingham) were being incredibly proactive in keeping a scene going.
Maybe this stuff still goes on nowadays, but the energy and positivity of this indie/noise/post-rock scene at the time was totally inspiring. I don’t get that sense so much any more, now that everything’s conducted at lightspeed because of no end of internet-based solutions. Perhaps it was just the situation at the time – I was writing a lot for (and hanging out a lot with the people involved with) the Diskant website, going to a lot of gigs including some of the earlier All Tomorrows Parties festivals, starting up my own festival and inviting many of the bands I loved to get involved, and playing in a band that took me all over the country to play shows with tons of bands, several of whom feature on these Twominutemen compilations.
Disparaging though I may have been, sarcastically referring to ‘internet-based solutions’ above, it’s because of the internet that I know that most of the people involved in that scene at the time are still getting up to this and that, and most are involved with music one way or another. Indeed, there’s a fantastic (if rarely updated) blog called Memories Of Running A Shitty Record Label that details the trials and tribulations of Jonson Family records in a pretty hilarious fashion.
One day I’ll make an awesome compilation of the bands that were firing me up in the first half of the 2000s, and it’ll be great. It’ll include Oxes, I’m Being Good, Charlottefield, Cat On Form, Souvaris, Bilge Pump, Lapsus Linguae, Part Chimp and many, many more.