Familly Fodder 'Playing Golf With My Fresh Crawling' (Fresh 001) 1979 (DC Collection)
                                                                                                                                   (SOUNDS - November 15th 1980)
                                                                                                                  
Freshwater fishing
                                                                 VALAC VAN DER VEENE
                                                           
     casts a line in the direction
                                                               
of a fast-rising independent
                                                                                               label.
A QUICK GLANCE at Sounds venerated AIternative, Oi Oi and Futurist charts discloses a healthy
cluster of waxings from Fresh Records bedding down with releases from other independents. UK
Decay, Family Fodder, Discharge, Cuddly Toys, Manufactured Romance, Dumb Blondes and
The Dark ... a large number of brain screwing, provocative, enjoyable or excruciatingly painful
offerings arrive at our (now even more luxurious} offices from Fresh each week. Fresh are typical
of an 'Indie' going places, fast. But will the smel! of success turn into another corporate stink?
Time for a Insight-style probe.

ALEX - 'DON'T quote me on
that'” Howe is label boss,
catalyst and hustler. His
deceptive 'need a drink or
some sleep' image hides a
very sharp mind, and an
obscene amount of physical
energy. He'll have a chat
while dealing with a
publishing agreement, and
hold three phone calls
simultaneously. Then go
and bop to a fave band till
four in the morning.
His running partner's Alan
” you've caught us at a
busy time' ” Hauser. Alan's
the label manager, a
diplomat who'd turn 'no shit,
meathead' into 'we wouldn't
look too favourably on that'.
He can put on that pained
expression, like he's got the
whole weight of the record business on his shoulders, and have a grin over a
pint seconds later. That comes from risking life, limb and overdraft on a band
called
Raped and a record company ” Parole.
In the office, where you couldn't swing a gerbil" let alone a proverbial cat, it
was hard to tell who were 'staff' and who were band members. Who did what?
"Charlie Casey's ex
Menace and now our distribution manager and organises
gigs. Phil, from
The Dark, is on telephone sales, Graham Combi's a nutter and
supplies the shops and John's my trouble shooter ” well, the person who glues
the phone back together when I get annoyed."
Other group members could be seen generally helping out and getting artwork
for labels and sleeves together. "Every outfit does their own artwork ” we try
and make the organisation mutually self reliant". So far, small seemed OK if not
actually beautiful.
"The advantage of having musicians around is extra ears! They're in contact
with the gig scene, can get opinions from other bands, and give us a much more
objective view than if we just had one A&R who had to be
levered out of his office". Alan signifies agreement.
So how did these widely differing personalities team up?
Alan formed Parole Records to release material by
Raped.
"Things started to get serious in late '78. Other companies
refused to touch the band ” shocked puritanism could
describe their reaction!"
My eyes misted over at the memory of that first pair of
bondage pants down the Roxy.
"There were other bands like
The Disturbed and 4 Kings
that I wanted to put out, and before I knew it I was doing 20
different jobs and trying to look confident when I went to my bank."
Meanwhile, Alex was starting a record shop, working in close association with
Rough Trade.
"It was little more than a pre-fab garage, really wretched, hence the name
Wretched Records. I knew a few street market sellers, had met Alan some
years before, and I was able to get some of his records on the street".
Pause for a quick argument over who did what.

THE CONVERSATION drifted round to various 'Indies' -
Small Wonder, Rough Trade” and it seemed as if there
was a bit of an old boys network going on, eh Alex?
"Err, yep” but it's a positive thing, things evolved around
that time” a lot of like minded people suddenly decided to
do it, and help each other out. We were able to form a
network, outside the majors, without the hassles of rivalry
which plague the large companies.
"I don't want to sound all clinical about this, but combining
a retail shop, mail order, your own distribution and finally a
label is a perfect, self supporting format. Point is, we're
young, enthusiastic and are totally behind the music. Being
a businessman isn't a consideration. We're not."
Would Fresh sell out to a major, or do a licensing deal?
"We're both agreed” never. Because there're all these
'Indies' working together now, we'll be in a very strong
position within six months. We keep in contact with Rough,
Red Rhino, Revolver, Discount and Inferno, and we can
cover the whole country and keep costs down. EMI were
amazed when I told them we broke even on under 2000
sales."
Rough Trade have a reputation of 'letting the music sell
itself and not following through with their acts. What's the
Fresh approach?
"RT've got this policy I respect and they're genuine in what
they do. Afraid I'm more aggressive. Just look at the stunts
the majors pull to break' acts, cut-throat tactics, and if we're
too passive, people won't get a chance of alternative
music"

(First Published in SOUNDS November 15th 1980)







DISCOGRAPHY (1979 -1982)
The seeds of Fresh Records were sown in Alex Howe's
Wretched Records stall in London's Soho Market in 1978.
Alex also ran a mail-order service, and demand from other
shops for the
Buzzcock's 'Spiral Scratch' EP led him to
start Fresh Distribution.
Bands such as the
Art Attacks, Second Layer, UK Decay
and Manufactured Romance came to the stall looking for
an outlet for their records.
Alan Hauser joined Alex in 1979 bringing his Parole
Records label with
Family Fodder, Cuddly Toys, The Wall and Bernie
Torme
to set up the Fresh Records label, and the roster quickly took shape.
(from Anagram's Fresh Records Punk Singles Collection sleeve-notes)

SINGLES
Cat. No. Artist   Title    Format  
FRESH 001
FAMILY FODDER PLAYING GOLF   7"
FRESH 002
THE DARK JOHN WAYNE   7"
FRESH 003
THE ART ATTACKS PUNK ROCK STARS   7"
FRESH 004
TERRI HOOLEY LAUGH AT ME   7"
FRESH 005
SECOND LAYER COURTS OR WAR   7"
FRESH 006
METROPHASE IN BLACK   7"
FRESH 007
BERNIE TORME ALL DAY & ALL OF THE NIGHT 7"
FRESH 008
FAMILY FODDER WARM    7"
FRESH 009/12
FAMILY FODDER SUNDAY GIRLS   12"
FRESH 010
CUDDLY TOYS MADMAN (Bowie/Bolan)  7"
FRESH 011
FOUR KINGS LOVING YOU IS NO DISGRACE 7"
FRESH 012
UK DECAY FOR MY COUNTRY   7"
FRESH 013
THE DARK HAWAII FIVE-O   7"
FRESH 014
MENACE THE YOUNG ONES   7"
FRESH 015
FAMILY FODDER DEBBBIE HARRY   7"
FRESH 016
MANUFACTURED ROMANCE THE TIME OF MY LIFE  7"
FRESH 017
THE WALL GHETTO    7"
FRESH 018
THERE MUST BE RUSSIANS DON'T TRY TO CURE YOURSELF 7"
FRESH 019
BIG HAIR PUPPET ON A STRING  7"
FRESH 020
CUDDLY TOYS ASTRAL JOE   7"
FRESH 021
DUMB BLONDES STRANGE LOVE / SORROW  7"
FRESH 022
FAMILY FODDER SAVOIR FAIRE   7"
                                                                                      FRESH 023
THE IGLOOS OCTOPUS    7"
                                                                                      FRESH 024
THE DARK EINSTEIN'S BRAIN  7"
                                                                                      FRESH 025/012
CUDDLY TOYS SOMEONE'S CRYING  7"
                                                                                      FRESH 025/012
CUDDLY TOYS SOMEONE'S CRYING  12"
                                                                                      FRESH 026
U.K. DECAY UNEXPECTED GUEST  7"
                                                                                      FRESH 027
THE WALL HOBBY FOR A DAY   7"
                                                                                      FRESH 028
J.C.'s MAINMEN CASUAL TROUSERS   7"
                                                                                      FRESH 029
PLAY DEAD POISON TAKES A HOLD  7"
                                                                                      FRESH 030
WASTED YOUTH REBECCA'S ROOM   7"
                                                                                      FRESH 031
WILKO JOHNSON CASTING A SPELL   7"
                                                                                      FRESH 032
FAMILY FODDER FILM MUSIC   7"
                                                                                      FRESH 033
U.K. DECAY SEXUAL    7"
                                                                                      FRESH 034
BEASTS IN CAGES M+D64Y CHOO CA CHOO 7"
                                                                                      FRESH 035
THE DARK ON THE WIRES   7"
                                                                                      FRESH 036
CHRON GEN PUPPETS OF WAR EP  7"
FRESH 37/12
FAMILY FODDER SCHIZOPHRENIA PARTY  mini-LP
FRESH 038
PLAY DEAD T.V. EYE   7"
FRESH 039
CUDDLY TOYS IT'S A SHAME   7"
FRESH 040
LEVI DEXTER I GET SO EXCITED  7"
FRESH 041
THE YOBS (THE BOYS) YOBS ON 45 (Xmas single) 7"
FRESH 042
FAMILY FODDER THE BIG DIG   7"
FRESH 046
THE DARK THE MASQUE   7"

Vinyl Albums
Cat. No. Artist  Title
FRESH LP001
CUDDLY TOYS GUILLOTINE THEATRE
FRESH LP002
THE WALL PERSONAL TROUBLES & PUBLIC ISSUES
FRESH LP003
FAMILY FODDER MONKEY, BANANA, KITCHEN
FRESH LP004
WILKO JOHNSON ICE ON THE MOTORWAY
FRESH LP005
UK DECAY FOR MADMEN ONLY
FRESH LP006
CUDDLY TOYS TRIALS & CROSSES
FRESH LP007
THE LINES THERAPY
FRESH LP008
VARIOUS FRESH SELECTION
FRESH LP009
THE DARK CHEMICAL WARFARE
FRESH LP013
BRYGADA KRYZYZ BRYGADA KRYZYZ

RELATED
Cat. No. Artist  Title
CD PUNK 32
VARIOUS  FRESH RECORDS - The Punk Singles Collection


Some of these titles can be obtained at the links below or try E-bay as some are collectors items...
www.cherryred.co.uk/
www.jungle-records.net/index.htm
The Dark 'Einsteins Brain (Fresh 24)
The Wall 'Hobby For A Day' (Fresh 27)
UK Decay 'For My Country' (Fresh 14) 1980 (DC Collection)
Fresh Records execs - Alex Howe (left) & Alan Hauser (Andrew Ellis)
Raped 'Pretty Paedophiles' EP 1978 (Parole Records)
Chron Gen 'Puppets Of War' (Fresh 36)
UK Decay 'For Madmen Only' LP (Fresh LP005)
Menace 'The Young Ones' (Fresh 14) 1980 (DC Collection)
PUNK ROCKER
PUNK ROCKER
PUNK PROFILES INDEX
PUNK PROFILES INDEX