Fontaines DC and Idles have paid tribute to their label ahead of the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2019.
Both bands are signed to Partisan Records – they starred on our cover earlier this month with the indie’s bosses – and are among the 12 shortlisted acts for this year’s edition of the Prize.
Ahead of the ceremony, which takes place tonight (September 19) at London’s Eventim Apollo, Idles singer Joe Talbot (pictured, above left) and Fontaines DC singer Grian Chatten (pictured, above right) have spoken to Music Week about life with Partisan.
Idles second record, Joy As An Act Of Resistance peaked at No.5 last year and has 52,962 sales, according to the Official Charts Company. Fontaines DC released debut Dogrel earlier this year and hit No.9, it has 22,159 sales.
“We had our own language and we wanted people to hear it and that’s exactly what Partisan have been doing and now we’re doing it together,” said Idles singer Talbot.
We had our own language and we wanted people to hear it
Joe Talbot, Idles
“It’s always been a partnership, but now it feels like one we’ve benefitted from massively as a band we’re very grateful. We’re very relieved to be part of the family,” Talbot continued.
“I don’t envy bands on other labels, or any major label, we could not go to that now, mainly because of the artistry and the lateral, creative thinking behind building something you really believe in.”
Talbot said Idles’ position on the Mercury shortlist means the band “are part of a vital conversation in Britain.”
“We’ve acted out our part concisely and beautifully, our album is beautiful and concise, so I had confidence in it,” he said. “Whether the judges like that or not, it’s a happy outcome. I was not shocked at any of the nominees. I knew Fontaines DC, Slowthai and Anna Calvi would be on there. This world is falling apart and you need to give people windows into something they want to listen to.”
Chatten said the nod had “made my mum happy” and credited Partisan for its role in amplifying the band’s exposure.
I feel a lot less alone in this industry
Grian Chatten, Fontaines DC
“It really is a nice feeling, I certainly feel a lot less alone and unguarded in this world, this industry, with people I trust and care about around me,” he said. “It’s one thing to be a label, but to be one that’s crossing over into being a family is a great part of the reason that Partisan invite bands I consider to be important on board, it’s genuine care.”
Follow the Mercury Prize ceremony on musicweek.com and via our Twitter page. Read our Partisan Records interview in full here and read an interview with judges Annie Mac, Clara Amfo, chair Jeff Smith and his predecessor Simon Frith here.
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Photo: Jenn Five