Around 150 independent record labels have been hit with a serious problem since their CD stocks became a casualty of the London riots, burning up with the Sony warehouse in Enfield that was the PIAS distribution centre.
Sony has implemented its emergency plans. Although it's too soon to assess the extent of the damage, the stock is insured at cost price. So eventually, that should pay out. But the fire leaves lots of small record labels with no stock to sell in the shops and no cash to pay for more CDs to be pressed. Release schedules for the coming months are buggered. The NME thinks it's inevitable that some labels just won't make it through this rough patch.
London labels affected include the Arctic Monkey's label Domino, XL Recordings whose artists include Radiohead, Vampire Weekend and Adele, Wall of Sound who have relaunched Grace Jones' career, Sunday Best who champion Scroobius Pip and, for those of us who've been inexplicably been singing Travis today, Independiente. But with big names on the roster, fingers crossed.
It could be much more gloomy for the likes of Loose, who say,
It’s certainly no secret that it’s a struggle at the best of times for many of these labels to stay afloat, where it’s more about the passion for the music than any making money from it. Therefore, this could potentially affect us all quite badly.
The London riots have of course left families and businesses in need of help across the capital and there are huge social problems to be addressed as the violence and looting dies down. But if you're a music lover you can show your support for our city's independent music scene by buying a digital download and helping to get the cash flowing.
If you haven't a clue about independent music, here are ten suggestions of records you could buy. If you're stuck at home tonight because all your nice plans for a night out got cancelled, then take pot luck and discover a new tune. If such aural risk taking isn't your thing, Lauren Laverne's 'People's Playlist' on 6Music on Friday will be an hour long special of tracks on indies affected, so let that help you decide.
There's also talk of a benefit gig to help the indies. Follow @label_love_ or search #piasfundraiser for more info.
Small and independent film distributors are also affected, including the BFI.