Riot fire must not stop the music

The destroyed Pias warehouse contained recordings of some of the UK's best independent music.

As some of you may know, during this week's horrific riots across the UK, a SonyDADC warehouse that stores the physical distribution for Pias was burned to the ground and, among it, the stock of huge swaths of independent record labels. The list of labels is frankly extraordinary -- between them, they have provided a large proportion of the joy I have experienced since I first started buying music and the thought that so many may of them, in one act of crazed stupidity, have lost so much, is deeply upsetting.

In the light of the fact -- that, in many cases, there may be hardly any physical releases left, it has been suggested that the best way people can help is by buying digital releases from those labels affected. Here are some suggestions of things you might like: Zomby, Dedication (4AD); Surgeon, Muggerscum Out (Soma); The Fruit Tree Foundation (Chemikal Underground Records); Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts (Matador); Let's Wrestle, Nursing Home (Full Time Hobby); Other Lives, For 12 (Pias Recordings); Pete and the Pirates, Half Moon Street (Stolen Recordings); Tim Key, Tim Key (Angular Recording Corporation); Yamasuki, Yama Yama (Finders Keepers). You should, strictly speaking, own all of these already -- but, in case you don't, now is a good time to replenish your music collection and help support some of the people that make the music in this country so very awesome.

Fresh sounds from the BBC 6 Music DJ
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What do Labour's lost voters make of the Labour leadership candidates?

What does Newsnight's focus group make of the Labour leadership candidates?

Tonight on Newsnight, an IpsosMori focus group of former Labour voters talks about the four Labour leadership candidates. What did they make of the four candidates?

On Andy Burnham:

“He’s the old guard, with Yvette Cooper”

“It’s the same message they were trying to portray right up to the election”​

“I thought that he acknowledged the fact that they didn’t say sorry during the time of the election, and how can you expect people to vote for you when you’re not actually acknowledging that you were part of the problem”​

“Strongish leader, and at least he’s acknowledging and saying let’s move on from here as opposed to wishy washy”

“I was surprised how long he’d been in politics if he was talking about Tony Blair years – he doesn’t look old enough”

On Jeremy Corbyn:

"“He’s the older guy with the grey hair who’s got all the policies straight out of the sixties and is a bit of a hippy as well is what he comes across as” 

“I agree with most of what he said, I must admit, but I don’t think as a country we can afford his principles”

“He was just going to be the opposite of Conservatives, but there might be policies on the Conservative side that, y’know, might be good policies”

“I’ve heard in the paper he’s the favourite to win the Labour leadership. Well, if that was him, then I won’t be voting for Labour, put it that way”

“I think he’s a very good politician but he’s unelectable as a Prime Minister”

On Yvette Cooper

“She sounds quite positive doesn’t she – for families and their everyday issues”

“Bedroom tax, working tax credits, mainly mum things as well”

“We had Margaret Thatcher obviously years ago, and then I’ve always thought about it being a man, I wanted a man, thinking they were stronger…  she was very strong and decisive as well”

“She was very clear – more so than the other guy [Burnham]”

“I think she’s trying to play down her economics background to sort of distance herself from her husband… I think she’s dumbing herself down”

On Liz Kendall

“None of it came from the heart”

“She just sounds like someone’s told her to say something, it’s not coming from the heart, she needs passion”

“Rather than saying what she’s going to do, she’s attacking”

“She reminded me of a headteacher when she was standing there, and she was quite boring. She just didn’t seem to have any sort of personality, and you can’t imagine her being a leader of a party”

“With Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham there’s a lot of rhetoric but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of direction behind what they’re saying. There seems to be a lot of words but no action.”

And, finally, a piece of advice for all four candidates, should they win the leadership election:

“Get down on your hands and knees and start praying”

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.