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We are very excited to be hosting the first annual edition of Dugstock Music Festival at the New Cross Inn! The event is organised by Umlaut Record, a record collective/record label that launched back in April 2016.
Friday 14th April:
Spoilers (Medolic Punk goodness from Kent)
Darko (Fast Hardcore Punk from West London)
Captain Trips (Skate Punk fastness from Portsmouth)
On A Hiding To Nothing (Fast Pop-Punk from London)
Saturday 15th April:
Goober Patrol (Old School punky goodness from the East)
The Murderburgers (Scottish Pop-Punk)
Pizza Tramp (Raw Hardcore Punk from Wales)
Coral Springs (Awesome Pop-Punk from the Netherlands)
Maxwell’s Dead (Uplifting Punk Rock/Ska)
Müg (London based melodic Punk)
No Matter (Irish Pop-Punk aceness)
Eat Defeat (Northern fast Pop-Punk lovelyness)
Sink Alaska (Scottish Melodic Punk Creamy Goodness)
Burnt Tapes (Greek/London Gruff punk)
Launch Control (Ace Melodic Pop-Punk)
Tragical History Tour (Scottish Acoustic Punk heartfeltiness)
Here’s the story behind the festival and Umlaut Records:
As a band, we’ve always been quite proud of our DIY credentials. We’ve written, recorded and toured material off our own back, at our own cost and under our own initiative. We wanted the label to represent this attitude of self-sufficiency. Punk rock does not have to be a niche market or the exclusive haunt of either teenagers or adults who wish they were still teenagers.
When we first started off as a band, and we were less confident in our writing and our ability to maintain the attention of an audience, we occasionally relied on onstage props. One of the early props was a lilo that we inflated and hastily painted the band name on it. This didn’t last long. We also had a blow-up doll (named Poppy) at one point, but she also didn’t stick around.
One fellow that did stick with us, was Dug, a foam skull. He came with us everywhere, would get flung around the crowds when we played, would have various alcoholic liquids poured into his eye sockets and distributed to eager punk rock patrons. He got battered, bruised, lost (and replaced by Dug II) and then lost again (only to be found again, hand painted with the union jack.) He became something of a symbol of the band – he even has his own instagram account.
So when we, as a band, decided to start our own label, there was never any question that he would be the figurehead.
We’d discussed forming a label for some time. We’d flirted with labels ourselves as a band, and although we’d never been treated badly, we wanted to see whether we could go it alone. The label began as a vehicle for our own music but also as an opportunity to discover and work with some other excellent bands. We had no ethos so to speak, and no agenda at that point, other than we only wanted to put out bands that we loved and that we thought other people would love. It wasn’t a money making scheme, it was a way of throwing our collective weight behind a scene that we loved and that had been so good to us over the years.
After much discussion, we decided to launch Umlaut Records (so called because of the jokingly placed, rarely pronounced, umlauts we have over the U in Mug.)
In early 2016 we invited a band called Maxwell’s Dead to record two tracks for a split with Mug which would form the first official Umlaut release. We met these guys while playing a show in Scotland for Make That a Take Records (another label that is highly, highly recommended.) They agreed and the game was on.
We designed the artwork, recorded two tracks of our own and added them together with the tracks from Maxwell’s Dead and the first release was born – set for release in April 2016.
Now, all we needed was a good, old-fashioned launch party.
We wanted it to be an amazing show. We were after all launching both the record, as well as the label itself. We were thrilled when Consumed agreed to headline for us. We played, and Maxwell’s Dead travelled from Scotland. The Unicorn in Camden was jammed to the rafters, the split record flew off the shelves, people danced, drank and had an excellent night.
Reflecting on the success of that night made us think that we could actually make a success of this label. It was the single most inspiring night of our lives in terms of seeing the fruits of our labour. It became the official birth of the label, and in the almost year since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength, hosting some excellent bands who have travelled through London (and beyond,) meeting and promoting some shamefully undiscovered gems, releasing a further six records from across the UK, Europe and the USA, and the culmination of our first year of operation is the first annual Dugstock event.
It’s being unofficially billed as our birthday party, and an opportunity to reflect on the successes of the last year. The fact that our first show as Umlaut had five bands, and our one year anniversary show has over twenty bands over two days will give some idea of how far we’ve come.
We’re very excited to welcome bands from up and down the UK to join us for this weekend. A notable highlight would obviously be our headline acts: Roughneck Riot on the Friday night and on the Saturday, Goober Patrol, a band that most of us grew up listening to. As well as this we see No Matter travelling from Ireland, Pizza Tramp from Wales, Billy Liar, Tragical History Tour and The Murderburgers from Scotland. We’ll also see Dowzer coming over from Holland as well as more local bands like Darko, Spoilers and On a Hiding to Nothing. There is something to like for everyone across both days, and we’ve purposely kept ticket prices super cheap to get as many people down as possible.
Some of the bands that are playing are bands that we’ve released and we welcome them to celebrate with us. Each and every one of them are bands that we know, have played with, have watched, and are thrilled to have them come along.
We truly hope that we can use April every year as an opportunity to reflect on an increasingly growing momentum and while preparation continues for our first birthday, we’re already planning and considering our second.