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Plankton Partners live radio interview

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As the interest and celebrations of Plankton’s 40th anniversary continues, Plankton Records partners Simon Law and Keith Dixon were the special guests of Patrick Sherring and his ‘Friday Night Extra’ show on Phoenix 98FM on November 23rd.

Simon and Keith were interviewed live about the history and music of Plankton. Simon also performed 3 songs live in the studio – including his new single ‘The Haven’ (which has been played by the radio station) and 3 tracks were played from the FORTY YEARS 1978 – 2018 2CD slipcase set.

It was a fun in-depth interview with both Simon and Keith sharing about their memories, thoughts and experiences of running the UK’s oldest surviving independent Christian record label.

You can listen to the programme via the Phoenix 98FM website. Just click on the link and scroll down the page to the player. Simon and Keith are on from approx 5 mins 40 sec to 1 hour (CLICK HERE)

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New 40th Anniversary albums released

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To commemorate 2018 marking their 40th anniversary year, Plankton Records have released two new compilation albums – both available on CD (from this website!) and digital (from every major digital download and streaming site/platform Worldwide.
“In 1998 we released a compilation album too mark our 20th anniversary” stated Plankton partner Keith Dixon, “so we thought to mark our 40th anniversary we thought we’d release another compilation album covering the second 20 years (1999 – 2018) and Simon Law, Plankton’s founding partner, recorded a brand new song to represent 2018 and to close the album. I really pushed for this as Simon’s band SEA STONE, who’s album ‘Mirrored Dreams’ was Plankton’s first ever release in 1978, performed the first track on the first 20 years compilation and this would mean that Simon was on the very first and very last songs over the 40 years!”
“We realised that although we’d released the First 20 Years compilation in 1998, many people who might be interested in our history would not have that album so we have also packaged both CDs into a 2CD slipcase set to give the full 40 year history in the one set. This is called “Forty Years 1978 – 2018″ and it is also available in digital format on all major download and streaming sties/platforms Worldwide”.
“Compared to our 20th anniversary” continued Keith, “our 40th anniversary has attracted a lot more media interest. I’ve already been up to Cross Rhythms in Stoke-on-Trent to give an in-depth interview, I’ve spent an afternoon recording an interview with Flame Radio for future broadcast and Simon and I are going to Phoenix 98FM in Brentwood towards the end of November to be interviewed and Simon will be performing some songs live on air too. Lots of other friends and contacts in radio have been playing Simon’s new single and other tracks off the new albums and reviewers are going to be posting reviews in the coming weeks and months. As always, we are so grateful to everyone for their interest and support”
To listen to tract excerpts from FORTY YEARS 1978 – 2018 (Cat No: PCDN 175) and find links to buying the 2CD slipcase set and also the album on UK iTunes and Amazon (CLICK HERE)
To listen to tract excerpts from THE SECOND 20 YEARS 1998 – 2018 (Cat No: PCDN 174) and find links to buying the 2CD slipcase set and also the album on UK iTunes and Amazon (CLICK HERE)
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New Simon Law single & video released

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The new solo single THE HAVEN by Plankton’s founding partner (and leader of Fresh Claim), SIMON LAW is now available Worldwide on all major download and streaming sites Worldwide – from iTunes to Spotify and every site/platform in between!
Said Plankton partner Keith Dixon, “When we decided to compile and release a new compilation album covering the last 20 years of Plankton’s history to mark our 40th Anniversary I wanted Simon, being the actual founder of the label in 1978, to record a new song to close the new album with. He said he’d written a new song so we went in the studio in early September to record it. I’d not heard the song before the day of recording and I was completely blown away by it. It’s a beautiful song, with a touching back story, and at the same time it is a trademark Simon composition. I decided there and then that it deserved to have its own single release – and it has also turned out to be Simon’s first ever solo release!”
A video has also been made for the single, featuring footage filmed at the recording session, which highlights Simon’s total involvement in the playing on the recording. It shows him singing and playing the acoustic guitar, the electric guitar and the bass guitar parts. Plankton partner Keith Dixon played the percussion parts on the single and his hands make some very brief appearances in the video too!
“It was a great session”, remembers Keith, “and on the video you’ll also see the hands of Ross Simpson playing the piano part. Ross was a vital part of the whole recording and contributed so much with producing, engineering, playing the piano and coming up with loads of great ideas for the song’s arrangement. He also managed to get Simon to sing so very high backing vocal harmonies too!”
To watch the video (CLICK HERE)
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New single release awarded record of the week!

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The new solo single THE HAVEN by Plankton’s founding partner and leader of Fresh Claim, SIMON LAW is released digitally Worldwide on Friday October 26th. This single was recorded in September for inclusion on the upcoming Plankton Records 40th Anniversary compilation albums – more news on these soon – but it was decided to release it as a single ahead of the albums.
Said Plankton partner Keith Dixon, “As soon as we had the idea of releasing at least one compilation album to mark our 40th Anniversary I wanted Simon, being the founder of the label in 1978, to record a new song to close the album with. He said he’d written a new song and we booked into a studio in early September to record it. I’d not heard the song before the day of recording and I was completely blown away by it. It’s a beautiful song and at the same time it is a trademark Simon composition. I decided there and then that it deserved its own single release. And here we are!
We’ve alsojust learned that North of England radio station Lionheart Radio have made THE HAVEN their record of the week next week (w/c Monday October 29th). This means that it will be played across the week by all the presenters. Big thanks to Lionheart Radio (and our contact there Gillian Daniel).”
The single will be available on all digital music sites/platforms Worldwide – from iTunes to Spotify and everything in between. You can also watch THE HAVEN video on YouTube (Click here) 
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40th Anniversary Gig details confirmed

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The details of the previously announced 40th Anniversary Celebration Gig, marking Plankton Records 40th anniversary as a record label, have now been finalised.

“It’s going to be a great evening”, confirmed Plankton partner Keith Dixon ” We’ve got four great artists lined up who all play different styles and genres of music – so there will be something for everyone!

The evening will kick-off with acoustic singer-songwriter MATT JR HURLEY, who released the EP ‘Raising Questions’ with us in 2016. He’ll be followed by FRESH CLAIM who are fronted by Plankton’s founding partner Rev Simon Law. They will be playing their usual blues influenced rock and also Simon’s brand new song that he’s recorded for our new compilation album – more of that another time. Next we have Martin Trotman and Steve Bassett from NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE. They will be sharing some songs from the brilliant 2017 album ‘Nine Beats to the Bar’ with the backing of another band and I’ll be interviewing them both too. And to close off the evening we the fantastic ECHO who will be bringing us their joyous motown and classic soul covers with a twist of faith! So we’ll end the night on our feet!

We’ve got at least 2 new products released on that day too so it’s going to be a real night to remember – and all for only £5. Just get yourself there – no excuses”

The partners have also released a 3 min video promoting the concert. You can watch it here (CLICK HERE)

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Nine Beats Collective UK dates

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Following the recent live launch event in Los Angeles to mark the USA release of their critically acclaimed ‘Nine Beats to the Bar’ album, NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE are playing 4 dates in the UK during October.
Collective members Eric Wilson (who’s flying over from the USA), Martin Trotman, Tony Bean and the man behind the whole Nine Beats initiative Steve Bassett are being joined by Belinda Kae and Ben Grace (he is also flying in from the USA) and a full band for the four UK dates.
“The USA launch event was a special evening” reported Steve Bassett “and with nearly all of the same team playing these four UK dates we are expecting them to be equally special as we explore the meaning of the Beatitudes, the wonderful and challenging ancient sayings of Jesus mainly through music but also with storytelling and thought provoking conversation”
The details of the October dates are:
MONDAY 15th       LONDON. The 100 Club, 100 Oxford Street, London, W1 1LN
THURSDAY 18th   BIRMINGHAM. RJJZ Jazz Bar, Arch 24, 208 Livery Street, Birmingham, B3 1EU
FRIDAY 19th          LEEDS. The Barn Coffee Shop, Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, Sugarwell Road, Leeds, LS7 2QG
SATURDAY 20th   LONDON. Highway Vineyard Church, 88A Romford Road, Stratford, London, E15 4EH
Full details of all of the above gigs can be found on our events page on this site (CLICK HERE)
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New Nine Beats Collective Remix & Video

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As the team at NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE continue to spread the word across the globe about the whole project, they’ve just released a brand new remix of one of the most popular tracks from the ‘Nine Beats to the Bar’ album that is initially targeting France and mainland Europe via our ‘man on the ground’ in France – buts it’s available for everyone to enjoy!

“Wild World” written by and featuring Barry Taylor, has now been given a ‘Bean Euro Remix’ (named after the song producer and remixed – the v talented Tony Bean). The video was directed by the man behind the whole Nine Beats Collective project, Mr Steve Bassett who said “I came up with a concept for the whole video and had fun great fun directing”

Things are also happening in the USA and we’ll be posting news of that and also some possible UK Nine Beats Collective live dates in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, you can enjoy the video on YouTube (CLICK HERE) or via the video page on this site (CLICK HERE)

Please also check out the brand new  Nine beats Collective website – it’s a corker! (CLICK HERE)

Bergdahl new EP

New release is a family affair

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The next Plankton Records release will be a 4 song EP called “Family Celebrations”. The artist is listed as BERGDAHL & FIELDING and this is because it is a recording made by the Bergdahl family headed up by Mr Cliff Bergdahl.

Cliff has a long long association with Plankton Records having released EPs and an album with Really Free Band (the band he led for a long time) and an album with his wife, Char, on the label. Before Plankton even started, founding partner Simon Law played in a band with Cliff touring around the UK – as we said, a long long association.

This EP was recorded at ICC studios with producer Neil Costello and was probably one of the last things recorded there before the famous studio closed!

The players include Cliff and Char, their children and some of their grand children too and it will be released on CD and Worldwide digital on FRIDAY 24th AUGUST which is also Cliff and Char’s Golden wedding Anniversary!!!

 

Plankton 40th gig website news

40th Anniversary Gig announced

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After months in discussion and following loads of emails, texts, phone calls and conversations we are at last pleased to announce the PLANKTON RECORDS 40th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION GIG.

Plankton’s Keith Dixon explained: “It’s taken us a while to get to this stage but we are pleased to announce the date of SATURDAY NOVEMBER 30th 2018 for our celebration gig.”

“It’s going to be in East London and the venue is 90% confirmed so we’ll be able to share that soon. The evening is going to be a fantastic mix of live music, interviews and video as we look back over the past 40 years. We’ve got some brilliant live music from ECHO, NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE, FRESH CLAIM and MATT JR HURLEY. Founding partner, and Fresh Claim member, Simon Law and myself are talking regularly and planning the evening now everyone’s committed. These artists bring such a wide variety of musical styles and genres to the event – which is great and what we as a label are all about.”

“We are hoping to be posting regular updates, features etc soon across our website and social media so ‘watch this space’ as they say!”

“There’s also something else in planning regarding the 40th anniversary celebrations which is very much in Simon’s hands with regards to the next stage at this moment in time. We are aware that the year is marching on so we need to be moving too! It’s worth it though because after all, you are only 40 once!”

As Keith said, keep a look out for more news and updates!

 

Plankton 40th Simon Mirrored Dreams

It was 40 years ago…

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Sunday May 6th 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of Plankton Records releasing it first ever release – the album “Mirrored Dreams” by SEA STONE. We asked Plankton founder (and he is of course still a partner in the label) and the (then) band leader of Sea Stone SIMON LAW about the events of 40 years ago.
“Plankton Records was formed to plug a gap in the record market,” reflected Simon. “SEA STONE, a Christian rock band based in East London, was formed towards the end of 1975 after I had played in the British Youth for Christ sponsored band “Really Free”. The band gigged extensively during 1976 in schools, colleges, youth clubs, church halls and pubs – always with the view to communicating the Gospel of Jesus through blues/rock. we were constantly being asked about making a record by the audiences – as they wanted something to take away with them. So, during the summer of 1977 we recorded the album in the newly opened Soundtree Studio under the watchful eye of Brook Trickett. The band had already established its own publishing firm – Sea Dream Music – so that the copyright of the original songs could be vested in the band, and not left ‘up for grabs’ by unscrupulous areas of the music industry. Then, I took on the task of hawking the material around to the record labels. But, it was regarded as too Christian for the regular companies, and too secular for the Christian labels – who at that time were mainly putting out folk music and worship songs (with one or two notable exceptions!).

So, the band decided to go it alone. The mechanics of the business had already been established through setting up Sea Dream Music, so all that was needed was a name for the label. During the recording sessions in Biggin Hill myself and the rest of SEA STONE were helping out at a Christian Youth Camp/House Party in Limpsfield. A lad called Phil in my dormitory was involved in a discussion about putting out an album, and the fact that the band’s name and publisher had connections with the sea, when he said, “I suppose you’re going to call the record label ‘Plankton’!” And that is exactly what happened – thanks, Phil!

And so it was that Plankton’s first album – ‘Mirrored Dreams’ by SEA STONE was released on the 6th May 1978, at a SEA STONE gig at All Souls’ Clubhouse in the West End. Remarkably, sales of the album made a profit and so it was decided to plough the money back into the record label. This financed a SEA STONE 7″ single: “Summer Fever/Blow On By” in 1980 and a SEA STONE 7″ EP “Against The Tide” in 1982. Still in profit, the label decided to look around for other Christian bands and artists, who had something positive to communicate (rather than just ‘Ooh Baby, I love you, yeah’), and try to help them to get some material out to the public. Original vinyl copies of ‘Mirrored Dreams’ have become sought after by vinyl collectors and we’ve know mint condition copies sell for up to £140 in the past!

And here we are forty years on we’re still in business – having put out albums, singles and EPS on vinyl, cassette, CD, digital and back to vinyl again with NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE last year.

Plans for the future? We’ve always said that when we get really big we are going to change the name to ‘Whale Records’ – because the biggest whales only live on plankton!”

Thanks to Simon for sharing his memories. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to us and you can find ‘Mirrored Dreams’ by SEA STONE on all major digital music sites/platforms WORLDWIDE. Check it out for yourself. Here are the links to the album on the UK sites of iTunes (click here) and Amazon (click here)