Recent News

New digital single announced for July

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We are pleased to announce an upcoming Worldwide release of the “Fall Deeper” single by singer/songwriter CLAIRE GRACE. The digital single will be released in July and will be available on all major digital music download and streaming sites Worldwide.

As well as being a singer/songwriter, Claire Grace is also a musician who plays piano and flute. Music has always been a part of her life and she started writing songs when she was ten years old and she states that she was writing good crafted songs by her late teens.

Regarding the ‘Fall Deeper’ single, Claire told us, “This song speaks of a journey that moves from a place of failure and mistakes to a place of worshipping Jesus & falling deeper in love with Him”.

Watch the space for more details

Upcoming EP featured on top UK CCM website

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Top UK CCM website LOUDER THAN THE MUSIC have posted a news article about the new 4 song Plankton Records EP by Teesside based band DISCIPLEMAKERS. The EP is due for release in the first half of June on both CD (available from this website) and digital (available on all major digital music sites Wordwide – including iTunes and Amazon)

Click hear to read the article:LTTM Disciplemakers news article

New EP coming from Plankton

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We are pleased to announce that our next EP is being released in early June, both on CD (which will be available from this website) and digital – being available from all major music download & streaming sites Worldwide.

DISCIPLEMAKERS (click here for the band’s Facebook page) are a band from Teesside in the North-East of England made up of Sharon Sewell, Steve Young and Ronnie Taylor. The band came to our attention through long-time Plankton friend and artist Vivienne Neville who is managing the band through her new management company VJ Artist Management (click here for Facebook page).

The EP contains 4 original songs penned by Steve and Sharon from the band. Said band member Steve ” The EP is called ‘Harvest Fields’ and we hope and pray that the songs overall have a strong message of encouragement for Christians. Our aim is for each song to exalt the name of Jesus. First song ‘Disciplemaker’ has a powerful message about spreading the good news of the Gospel. The next song ‘I Endorse You’ is very personal to both Sharon who wrote it and to all the band, in that Jesus calls us into the harvest fields to encourages us to bring in a harvest of souls today. The third track is about surrendering our lives to Jesus, and the last track finishes with Jesus as our Rock, on which we can build our lives upon because He’s the rock that doesn’t roll”.

The EP was recorded at Broadwater Studios in Gateshead (click here for Facebook page) which is owned and run by former members of the CCM band yFriday. Gav Richards (formally of yFriday) produced and recorded the EP.

Watch this space, and our Facebook & Twitter pages, for more details of the release.

Dsiciplemakers website: http://www.disciplemakers1.com/


Plankton’s founder celebrates

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SIMON LAW, the founder of Plankton Records is celebrating his 60th birthday today. So it’s a great big HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY SIMON!

Simon launched Plankton in 1978 when his (then) band SEA STONE had recorded an LP called “MIRRORED DREAMS” (available on all major download and streaming sites Worldwide – including iTunes and Amazon) but no-one wanted to release it, so Simon did it himself on his newly formed record label and the rest is our history!

Now a full time Vicar in deepest Essex, Simon is no longer involved in the day to day running of Plankton but he’s still a partner,  interested in all we do and very active on the accounting front.

He still loves to perform and entertain/communicate whenever possible and his band FRESH CLAIM (with loads of guests) will be appearing at his 60th Birthday bash this coming weekend – where lots of people from Plankton’s past and present will also be present. FRESH CLAIM’s music is available on all digital music download and streaming sites Worldwide and on CD from this very website. Have a look at the FRESH CLAIM artist page https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/artists/fresh-claim/


Plankton announce next album

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We are pleased to announce that the next Plankton Records album will be by the fantastic soul / funk / ska band THE DARN FUNK ORCHESTRA. Band leader, drummer and singer James (Jimmy) Darn is both excited and relieved that their debut album is being released this summer. Jimmy reports “It’s been a long journey with lots of twists and turns but the album is now in the final stages of mixing and the artwork is progressing well”. The album will be called SOUL FOOD and will be released on CD and on all digital formats. The final release date is still to be confirmed but we aim to release it ASAP this summer so watch this space!

In the meantime, if you want to be kept up to date with the band then check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thedarnfunkorchestra


Tribute to Wray on UCB radio

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Tonight’s MUSIC ACADEMY programme, hosted by our good friend and DJ Mike Rimmer, on UCB radio will feature a tribute to the late great WRAY POWELL of legendary 70s Christian blues rock band OUT OF DARKNESS who passed away on 15th January this year.

OUT OF DARKNESS were a band ahead of their time in so many ways and Wray (who was the band’s vocalist, lead guitarist and writer) was described as the ‘Christian Hendrix’ – a very apt and well deserved title.

You can listen to the show via DAB, on your smartphone or via the UCB website at http://www.ucb.co.uk/uk

Mike is a very knowledgable and enthusiastic music lover and his show features some great music each week. His tribute will include 2 Out of Darkness songs and also a song from the band that Wray first played in, in the 6os – The SOUL SEEKERS. Here’s the direct link to the show’s webpage http://www.ucb.co.uk/musicacademy

You can read more about Out of Darkness on our own artist page https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/artists/out-of-darkness/

The fabulous Out of Darkness live in session album ‘The Celebration Club Session’ which was recorded in 1972 by a BBC engineer and then released by us in 1993 is still available on CD from this website https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/celebration-club-session/

We also created our own video tribute to Wray. http://youtu.be/3WnENDFkJ0w

Wray Powell 1945 – Jan 14th 2015

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We were very sad to hear of the passing away of WRAY POWELL who was the lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in the ground-breaking 1970s UK Christian blues rock band OUT OF DARKNESS. Tim Anderson, who was Wray’s friend and fellow band member in Out Of Darkness (Tim was the drummer in the band) sent us this fitting tribute:

Wray Powell, Wrayando McKenzie Powell, was best known in the UK as the lead guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for the 1970s Gospel Blues Band ‘Out of Darkness’. Sadly, Wray passed away aged 66, after a sudden short illness, back home in Jamaica on Wednesday 14th January 2015.

Wray was already well known across Europe, in the 1960s, as a member of the Soul Seekers, a popular British Black Gospel group. With ‘Out of Darkness’ Wray toured the U.K. playing large theatres in major cities as well as rock clubs and universities. Wray was a gifted musician who impressed and influenced many fellow artists. ‘Wet Wet Wet’ guitarist and producer Graeme Duffin recalls “ He was a major influence for me ‘back in the day’ ”.

Wray was a very unusual person. He was born at Alligator Pond, not far from Treasure Beach, the Jamaican tourist haven. He was a green-eyed Jamaican; said to be a descendant of a Scottish sea captain who settled in Jamaica after his ship was wrecked. Ironically, Wray was popular in Scotland as ‘Out of Darkness’ toured the country including performances at Kelvin Arena and the Edinburgh Festival. Wray also played with many well know musicians including rock n’ roller Terry Dene and blues guitarist Peter Green, from Fleetwood Mac.

In spite of his big stage presence Wray was only 5ft 4in tall, yet he could play guitar like Jimi Hendrix, was a writer, artist and poet, an alternative thinker often ahead of his time. A close friend, learning of his death, said, “ He was a Dylan Thomas sort of person – such a keen observer of people. He was a remarkable man, intelligent and a very talented musician.”

Wray moved to Switzerland in the 1980s and worked with the show band ‘Casino Royal’ and as a solo entertainer with his guitar and steel pan drums. He later formed his own rock band ‘Red Eyes’ who regularly played sold out concerts in continental Europe.

After some time in Canada, he retired from music in the 1990s.  With the encouragement of his sister Merva and support of her husband Carl Grant, the ‘Out of Darkness’ bass player, he returned home to Jamaica and became a farmer.

Wray raised his family on his farm. His last years were happily spent with his daughter Therese and granddaughter Asia. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and those who know his music.

Tim Anderson drummer for ‘Out of Darkness’ (1969 – 1974)

More about Wray can be read in ‘British Black Gospel: The Foundations of This Vibrant UK Sound’ (2010) by Steve Alexander Smith

We (Plankton Records) were fortunate enough to work with the band when in the early 1990s Tim unearthed some previously unreleased live in session recordings. In 1993 we released “The Celebration Club Session” CD which is still available from our website store via this link https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/celebration-club-session/ and the album is also available on all major music download and streaming sites Worldwide.

We’ve also created a tribute video to Wray using the opening track of that album, called ‘Walk on the Water’. You can watch the video via this link http://youtu.be/3WnENDFkJ0w 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Wray’s family and friends


Echo album wins top 5 placing

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UK CCM site Never For Nothing (NFN) has placed ECHO’s debut album BOUGHT NOT SOULED, which was released in January 2014 at No4 in its top 5 Praise and Worship album releases of 2014. A big “thank you” to Geoff and team

We’ve never thought of Echo’s album as a ‘praise and worship’ album as such but if you study the lyrics it could easily be placed into that category! Needless to say that we and the band are chuffed to bits!

BOUGHT NOT SOULED is available on all leading music download and streaming sites Worldwide and on CD from this very website. Click on this link for more details: https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/bought-not-souled/

Liz Clarke posts her Christmas message

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Plankton’s very own LIZ CLARKE has beaten her majesty the Queen this year in posting her Christmas message to the World.

It was filmed at Newcastle airport by her good friend (and fellow Plankton artist VIVIENNE NEVILLE)  as Liz was about to fly home following some Christmas concerts with Vivienne in which they performed songs from their beautiful joint Christmas album EMMANUEL

View the message here: http://youtu.be/YSoGWFehJLU

It’s been a busy year for Liz with regards to releasing new music. The summer saw the release of her new solo album DESTINY (click on this link for more details: https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/destiny/) and then in the Autumn she contributed 3 solo tracks and sang on a group song on the album WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE (click on this link for more details: https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/discography/what-a-friend-we-have/)

So its a MERRY CHRISTMAS from Liz to everyone – right back at you Liz!

A busy build up to Christmas!

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As the song says… “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” and it’s certainly a busy build up to Christmas for Plankton associated artists with ECHO, VIVIENNE NEVILLE, LIZ CLARKE and BEN OKAFOR all having Christmas gigs and appearances lined up.

ECHO are set to perform in their 100th gig on December 13th as they play 2 x 45 min sets at the Highway Church Christmas Party in the east End of London. Their final appearance of the year (as I write this!) is an appearance on the Breakfast Show at London’s Premier Radio were the band will be interviewed and performing live in the studio too (a early vocal warm up needed!)

VIVIENNE NEVILLE has few solo appearances at the start of the month and she is then joined by LIZ CLARKE who flies in from Northern Ireland to join her for several performances (both guest slots and full Christmas concerts) in the North and the Midlands of England.

Plankton’s old friend BEN OKAFOR also has a Christmas Special concert too.

You can find full details of all gigs and events on our Events page using this link: https://planktonrecord.wpengine.com/events/ 

Let’s have a load of fun and let’s all remember to keep CHRIST firmly in the centre of CHRISTmass