Feature: Shiny Vinyl Presents

The formidable spirit of Welsh indie music is being kept alive by grassroots labels like Shiny Vinyl Presents.

Shiny Vinyl Presents operates as a not for profit record label that facilitates the production and promotion of quality original music from Port Talbot and surrounding areas.

Phil Vat is the self-appointed Label Director of Shiny Vinyl Presents, working under the leadership of CEO and co-founder Jackson Lucitt.

“Shiny Vinyl is an ever growing network of music enthusiasts who strive to push the boundaries of what promotion is really about to become the most altruistic, independent label of the free people and to make Port Talbot the ‘pound for pound’ culture capital of the world,” Phil explains.

Port Talbot is a coastal town located on the east side of Swansea Bay and is largely known for its sprawling steelworks. But it is also home to a thriving independent music scene that is staking its own claim against metropolitan areas like Swansea and Cardiff.

Shiny Vinyl Presents has been among the key players in developing the Port Talbot scene into a national interest, introducing 84 original songs by 10 local artists into the world via digital platforms since 2021.

“Before we started the label, in Port Talbot there were two or three local artists gigging their original tunes, sporadically, in between covers to fickle audiences who would only remember the covers and what got them up to dance,” Phil says.

“We have worked with our partners to change that mindset over the last three to four years and now have ten-plus bands and artists playing original sets to listening crowds. This is bringing it up to the same competitive level as Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, with established scenes. In fact, bands from these areas have been seeking to play at Port Talbot venues in the last couple of years.”

Shiny Vinyl Presents is home to a growing stable of established and emerging local artists and bands encompassing the past, present and future of the Port Talbot scene.

“Our current roster includes artists between the ages of 17 to 67, from the young bands Subterrania and The Sporks to the legend, Brian Karrot,” Phil says.

“Other bands, mid-age range, include Sub_51 and Dai Williams & 505 Friends, while Jackson Lucitt occupies the slot just below the line and Aubrey Straw, ‘slightly’ above the line.

“Other collaborative projects are encouraged also, as Strawbrian Players Convention and Hoskins Phenomenon can attest, while restoration projects like ‘The Long Agos’ have been allowed to get their music heard long after it was thought it was lost in the abyss of MySpace.”

Phil is also a founding member of Port Talbot (and proud of it) indie collective Aubrey Straw, who have released their new album ‘There’s A Revolution In Sight v5’. As such, his focus remains on preserving and promoting the legacy of Port Talbot music and encouraging newcomers to be proud of their musical heritage.

“When we were in our prime, we were always proud to say we were from Port Talbot and we didn’t see the point in lying about it,” Phil says.

“We were different to other local bands who would say they were Cardiff or Swansea bands. I noticed this same behaviour before starting the label. So, showing young bands that a pretty cool older band used to be (and still are) proud to say they’re from Port Talbot has gone a long way to changing this behaviour.”

And the cool Cymru scene has come a long way since being known for Tom Jones and Manic Street Preachers, with a bevy of talented artists making their mark.

When looking toward the future and considering the next crop of candidates, Phils says there are no rules and no guidelines. It all lies in the talent.

“Above all things, be true to yourself. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things. If they work, great! If they don’t, it’s all learning,” Phil says.

“No one has the answer really but if we can say we had a great time trying to find out and made lots of good memories and new relationships, with some of the ‘trees’ we planted still going strong after we are gone. Then, it will be all worth it.”

‘Become What You Are’, the new album from The Daisycutters is available now via MADCAP Global Music, JB Hi-Fi and independent music retailers.

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