Monks Road Social is a gathering together of artists involved in the label and their friends. There is no genre. All are welcome. Egos left at the door and collaboration is the name of the game. Expect the unexpected
Dr Robert & The Blow Monkeys
Famous for ‘Digging Your Scene’ and ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way’, - belting tunes but there's so much more to Dr Robert than that.
At the forefront of everything, is depth. Real music, passion and care taken over the writing and playing. Moving relentlessly forwards.
The songs keep coming, the playing gets tighter, the accompaniments less, and the soul seeps through. An unstoppable force.
That artists like this aren't more revered for refusing to rely on a stunning back catalogue, but to keep digging for the gold, is beyond me – I'm just glad they do, and honoured to be part of it.
As Robert once remarked to me in the Andalusian sunshine, "The best is in front of me, not behind me, I genuinely believe that"… nuff said.
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you one of Britain's finest...
What can be said about Matt that actually does him justice? Genuinely the most respected, by his contemporaries, that I know
How he isn't a household name beggars belief. We can't change the world but we can give a home to this wonderful man and his music.
You might know him from "Mother Earth". A band that masterfully mixed soul, funk and rock. After three studio albums on Acid Jazz Records and one live album, they split in 1996.
You might know him from his solo albums - A treasure trove of pastoral beauty. They reveal a master craftsman at work.
You might know him from his work with Weller & Oasis..
But the truth is those who know his music all plead with you to listen to his solo albums – the best songwriter you never heard of...
Well now's your chance.. A wonderful new record written alongside the legendary Squeeze frontman, Chris Difford. Buy here
I first saw Sammy play at Karamel club up in Wood Green, with an acoustic guitar in hand a broken ankle!
Singing tales of her native Scotland - she did that magic thing - when you're actually transported there for a moment in time. Her Grandma's house and a cup of tea if I recall...
If you have a penchant for beautifully crafted, lyrically haunting and delicately sung songs that take you off to somewhere else.. you'll love her
Pat Dam Smyth
When Pat Dam Smyth entered the studio to record his debut album after a life that has taken him down many winding lanes – including performing with Paul Weller and Mick Jones, touring with the Smoky Angle Shades and busking on some of Europe's most famous streets for spare change – people were intrigued and somewhat dubiously curious to the sound that would be accomplished in those recordings.
Pat’s debut album The Great Divide has already been hailed by the Irish music industry as a masterpiece, bringing a long lost innocence of song writing and a refreshing echo of nostalgic sentiment where music was something that evoked emotion to the forefront of the public’s attention again.
The Great Divide’s musical references include that of legendary acts such as Dennis Wilson and Wilco with song writing ability close to that of Ray Davies, John Lennon and Bob Dylan. The album draws on many of Pat’s personal experiences from the darkest of death and mental illness to the uplifting experiences that love and living life have to offer, it is these moments that make the record one of the most special releases of 2012.
Pat’s release has gathered mass public attention in Ireland including sold out shows performing to over four hundred people at some of the biggest ROI venues as well as a devoted US following and promising reviews from The Independent and The Irish Times.
One of Sheffield’s finest and created one of the most beautiful soul/pop albums we’ve heard in years. Criminally underrated.
Tinsel's artwork comments on a wide variety of contemporary social and political issues, currently she is creating a body of work motivated by the housing crisis. Her paintings offer biting social commentary entwined with humour and an honest and autobiographical narrative.
"Edwards pulls no punches with a stark, poignant commentary on the capital's rapidly rising house prices - estate agent signs liberated from the streets they litter and the language they peddle have been subverted to tell the stories that matter more: those of the cities residents"
Mark Westall, FAD Magazine
Tinsel was previously in The Fairies Band along with Twinkle, Sparkle and Tinky, they wore wings, granted wishes and caused playful havoc wherever they went for seven years (2000-2007). She went on to co-found Pushing Pussy Records, a label specialising in 7" vinyl which featured acts with at least one lady in the band, the label operated for three years (2007-2010). In 2011 Tinsel co-founded A-side B-side Gallery, a multi-functioning art space and studios in Hackney, London.
Tinsel lives and works in London and is creating a mural capturing the real Monks Road.
The Family Silver
The Family Silver – a rock solid 3 piece. Stunning live and their debut album is one of those that just feels a classic from the moment the needle hits the first groove
Founded by three of the UK’s most influential and highly respected musicians: Matt Deighton (Mother Earth, Paul Weller, Oasis and Bill Fay) on guitar and vocals; bassist Damon Minchella (Ocean Colour Scene, Richard Ashcroft, The Who); and master drummer Steve White (Style council, Paul Weller, Ian Dury and Jon Lord).
Swifty has a place in my music hall of fame. His work with Straight no chaser and Talkin' loud record label, changed how I saw design. He still does everything the old fashioned way, and a visit to his house is an experience in everything that's good about art and craft. We salute you.
Over to him.…
"It seems like yesterday when I set up shop in London’s East end amidst the run down warehouses and empty office spaces, but here i am still knocking it out twenty five years in ! I still feel the true 90’s graphic design story in the UK has still yet to be told. As one of the designers of the ‘Sampling generation’ at the start of the 90’s a new aesthetic and a new way of thinking was emerging and I’m very proud to have been a part of that, its my mission now to get that story across.
The practice of graphic design is never an easy one, it can be the most rewarding of jobs and the most frustrating at the same time, but I do feel incredibly lucky that i’ve managed to work with some great people and I like to think I’ve pushed some boundaries in terms of what graphic design is. During the two decades I’ve been in business I’ve seen a lot change, and in some ways the digital revolution has been a godsend and in other ways the death of graphic design as we knew it.
Although I have fully adopted the digital domain and was one of the first graphic designers in the country to embrace the new macs – I like to get my hands dirty. From simple hand drawn typefaces to cutting out stencils or lino cutting I’ve always been a firm believer in the crafted look. That’s what you get here at Swifty Grafix ! You wont find me grabbing vector files off the internet and pretty much most of the time I’ll create my fonts from scratch. I will generally put in that little extra effort were some don’t!
I have to do everything myself, I don’t farm out any aspect of my work and I do pretty much everything even the silk screen printing here in house. My opinion is that to have control of every aspect of your output you have to have control of every process. Heres to the next twenty five years and beyond !"
Swifty designed our logo... of course, by hand.
Christophe designed our first record sleeve – an incredible artist and a true gent.
He trained in graphic design and art direction.
He has been the Art Director for a number of magazines: • Blitz • Hybrid • Esquire • Modern Painters • The Sunday Telegraph Magazine • Stella
Before that he designed for the music industry: • Assorted Images (Malcolm Garrett) – Culture Club • Peter Saville Associates – New Order • Red Ranch – Level 42 • Three Associates (Mark Farrow) – Pet Shop Boys
And now for MONKS ROAD records. It's an honour to work with him.