The Next Big Thing: Leeds-based Crash Records launches feature to showcase up-and-coming artists

A Leeds-based record store has launched a new weekly feature aimed at showcasing up and coming artists.

Crash Records, which is located on The Headrow in Leeds, will each week feature emerging solo artists and bands across its social media channels, as well as giving them a slot in its weekly newsletter, which reaches around 9,000 people.

Matthew Banks, who created and runs The Next Big Thing, said: “For bands just starting out it can be really hard when you’re struggling to get your stuff out there

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“We’ve got a brilliant platform at Crash Records, with tens of thousands of followers, and there’s one thing they all have in common, they all love music.

Matthew Banks of Crash Records, who created and runs the store's The Next Big Thing feature.Matthew Banks of Crash Records, who created and runs the store's The Next Big Thing feature.
Matthew Banks of Crash Records, who created and runs the store's The Next Big Thing feature.

“As a record shop, we’re quite lucky to be in this position, and I just got thinking about what we could do to help emerging bands. This is a really simple way of just trying to spread the word for them.”

Since launching in September, the store has already received over 100 applications from bands hoping to be featured.

Crash Records is later this week set to hold its first Next Big Thing In-store gig, featuring York-based producer and songwriter Kat Dixon, who performs as Moongate.

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The event will take place on Saturday, 25 November, with tickets for sale on a pay-as-you-feel basis. All money from the ticket sales will go directly to the artist.

Through selling tickets in this way, Mr Banks hopes to enable the featured artists to promote themselves further and make purchases which will benefit them in the long-term.

He said: “We will do all the in-store gigs as pay-as-you-feel, with all money going back to the artists.

“It doesn't really cost us anything to put on, and it's just another way to help the artists out.

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“If it can help a band pay for a bit of equipment, or they can put it towards a new recording, it's all stuff that can help in the long-run.”

Local post punk band Coal Mob, who recently released their debut single, were featured in The Next Big Thing late in September.

The band’s frontman, Dom Armstrong, said: ”I applied for the Next Big Thing Feature as I thought it would be a great way to gain some exposure for the band outside of the Leeds area. With our debut single, Bounce, recently being released, I felt this was the perfect way for us to do this.

“The opportunity to work with a company like Crash Records was one that excited me. I believe they’re a staple of the Leeds music scene, so to be featured on their page was a privilege.

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“The feature has had a great impact for us as a band with streams and views on our social media channels continuing to grow. I think it's great that a company such as Crash Records can use their platform to uplift and put a spotlight on upcoming artists that they are passionate about.”

The feature is open for artists from all genres and ages across the country to apply, with details available on the Crash Records website.

Other bands to have been featured include local band Static Caravan, Leeds-based singer and songwriter Naomi Kelly and most recently, Yorkshire rock band Allora.

Speaking on the applications already received, Mr Banks sadded: “The quality has been absolutely fantastic. It's so nice to see people put time and effort into making music, and I really enjoy listening to it.

“I'm being genuine when I say they've all been very good.”

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