Southampton's Most Exciting New Record Label: Honeymooner
Southampton’s Most Exciting New Record Label: Honeymooner
“Honeymooner is basically a recent birth of a desire I’ve had for a long time,” says Jamie Ford, founder of Southampton’s newest record label and promotion company, Honeymooner.
The idea of a record label combined with a promotion company came to Ford during a university project in his final year at Solent University. However, Ford felt Honeymooner had more potential than just a final project, and decided to continue it after his studies had ended.
“I wanted more time to think about the actual aims of the label while getting more exposure to the ‘industry’” he says. Upon leaving Solent, Ford interned for half a year at Wichita Recordings (FIDLAR, Los Campesinos) in London before returning and continuing the Honeymooner journey in Southampton.
Southampton is home to multiple live music companies and is riddled with promoters. With Club Psychedelia, Joiners Live and MJR being some of the city’s main examples, why is Honeymooner taking off so well in such a competitive field and from so early on?
With show success in Southampton impossible to pin down to a reliable formula, starting a new promotions company in the city could be viewed as a brave move. “(Southampton) tends to be buzzing one moment, and then drops the next,” reveals Ford. “So far, with all Honeymooner shows I’ve been positively surprised by the turnout, so it’s amazing to see there is demand for the shows I’m putting on. And more importantly, it’s great to see young people loving guitar music!”
The birth of Honeymooner was due to a lack of a specific kind of show happening in Southampton. “Although there are other local promoters putting on some really great stuff, there were other things I wanted to bring to the city.”
Honeymooner is also a perfect illustration of how Southampton promoters are not only interested in their own fortunes but helping other local promoters. Alongside being a label runner and promoter, Ford also squeezes in time to play in local band, Fever. Fever have started to create quite a name for themselves in Southampton, supporting bands such as Spring King and The Magic Gang with the constant support from Club Psychedelia owner, Tom Dyer.
With the backing of other promoters, one other link that is helping the Honeymooner trade bloom is the family connection between Ford and the editor of Southampton’s ever-growing, DIY magazine, So Young; editor, Sam is in fact Ford’s brother. The dream-team have put on gigs in local venues and are planning many more bringing bands such as Public Access T.V and Gengahr.
“(So Young) was born from a small idea and a mutual love of fanzines, and I guess the lack of one within this particular genre. They only write about stuff they love,” states Ford about his brother’s publication, with the main similarity between Honeymooner and So Young being their passion for bringing and promoting new music in the city. The collaboration was one waiting to happen and the ethics and tastes between the brothers are so coordinated that this helpful link is turning into something spectacular.
“For years I’ve wanted to set up my own record label which invests a lot of time into helping bands that it’s working with,” Ford continues, “Seeing potential in a band and helping them to grow is incredibly exciting, being a huge chapter in their journey”. However, he is taking his time in ensuring the label’s first signings, local psychedelic four-piece Mystic Peach, have every chance of breaking through. “I’m really keen not to rush in to anything and make sure when I do something, I do it right”.
Time off isn’t a luxury for Ford and he claims that his time is almost entirely devoted to Mystic Peach as he reveals there is a lot planned and it’s important that he stays entirely focused on the band as his main project. The band have so far played all around the city and have released debut single, ‘Downtown’ through Honeymooner with So Young Magazine’s helpful platform.
Honeymooner has made a huge stamp on the city. By combining the brothers firm grasp on what this city’s live music venture needs, it’s clear that Jamie Ford and Honeymooner will continue being a success. Honeymooner has every chance of blossoming into a bona-fide success- perhaps enough to set its sights a little higher. But for now, Ford is focusing firmly on the city he’s calling home, “I’m determined to stay here in the city and help the local music scene rather than vanish and be swallowed by the music industry.”